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Old 02-06-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default How Many Are Former Members Of The Local Church

I was wondering how many are former members of the local church . I left a year ago and now I am having trouble starting a new . May I ask why you left . I left because of a way they handled a brothers marriage arrangement , and I saw things they are a border line cult .
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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I was wondering how many are former members of the local church . I left a year ago and now I am having trouble starting a new . May I ask why you left . I left because of a way they handled a brothers marriage arrangement , and I saw things they are a border line cult .
Welcome to the forum, April.

I left the LC about two years ago, although my disillusionment with the whole thing began to develop several years before that.

Basically, in the LC I was taught to eschew "religion" and "organization," and once the Lord opened my eyes, I realized that the Local Church is about the most "religious" and "organizational" thing there is.

Would you like to share what you experienced?
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:39 PM   #3
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I was wondering how many are former members of the local church . I left a year ago and now I am having trouble starting a new . May I ask why you left . I left because of a way they handled a brothers marriage arrangement , and I saw things they are a border line cult .
Welcome, April.

Just about every poster here was once in the local church. I was there 30 years.

There are many sad stories about marital manipulations in the local churches. Some of these are posted on the Introductions sub-forum.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: How many are former members of thr local church

I haven't met on a regular basis since 2009 since taking exception using the prophesying meeting to put down Christians outside the local churches. The lead elder disagreed with my feeling, and that was it the last time I met with the local church where I reside. However whenever I visit my parents in Southern California I do meet with the locality they meet with.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:23 PM   #5
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I was wondering how many are former members of the local church . I left a year ago and now I am having trouble starting a new . May I ask why you left . I left because of a way they handled a brothers marriage arrangement , and I saw things they are a border line cult .
Welcome Many Blessings,

The really short version and final blow of why I left the LC, my elderly parents needed my care and attention and I became unable to toe the line attending meetings. I was being pressured by an elder about my attendance but I was led by the Lord to take care of my parents. I followed the Lord.

I reached this place over a period of years, but I have never looked back. I prayed "Lord, please don't let go of me." He didn't.

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Old 02-07-2017, 07:55 AM   #6
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Actually I am still in local church (LC). When talking about LC, be aware not to offend our Lord. LC is belong to our Lord, not to a group of people. LC can be anywhere, in home or a place with your dear brothers and sisters.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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LC can be anywhere, in home or a place with your dear brothers and sisters.
Amen to that littlesheep! Welcome to the forum. Feel free to give your testimony regarding your salvation and experience in the Local Churches.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: How many are former members of thr local church

I was in the LCM many years ago. It took me a long time to readjust. I think it would have been a lot easier if I had this board and especially if I had sought counseling. That's my recommendation. Find a good, well-adjusted Bible-based church and the ask the pastors for help with finding counseling. The enemy would have you keep your doubts and fears to yourself. Open up to a mature counselor and you will get help.

Leaving the LCM is hard because of the cognitive dissonance. There are good things mixed with the bad things. This is confusing. The bottom line is there is no imperative to stay there. It is not the only place you can grow and serve the Lord. Their message that they are is the worst thing about them.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #9
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I left the church because the lord relived the truth to me. I was depressed for some time , I was told by the church we need the Lords supply . We do need the supply but I did not agree with some of the teaching . I learned we can rely on our own strength with Gods help. And they would arrange a marriage between to people who do not know each other .
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:37 PM   #10
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I left almost a year ago. What drove me away were their theological views and their implying that man can be lesser gods. I've heard someone say that we are, in a sense, "gods" with a small "g".

Their constant blaspheming* of Jesus' name by calling upon Him for no reason did not help, either.

This led to me leaving them, though only after discovering this forum did I find I am not alone.

* I know it's not blaspheming for them. Yet it tasted like blasphemy when I forced myself to say His name for no good reason other than "to be like the others".
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
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In the LC from January 1973 until about August 1987. Left with my wife and 2 children.

The biggest problem for us was that we were having marital problems and just going to more meetings was not a solution.

But the biggest transition for us was realizing how many ways our understanding of even common things in the Christian life and faith had been subtly altered. And some not so subtly. I eventually had to decide to take each case where my first reaction to something in Christianity was to say "whaaaaaatttttt???????" and force myself to assume that the LC teaching was wrong and then only reaccept it if I could prove it as true.

As a result, I have generally come to the conclusion that unless you have no base for faith from outside the LC, the best answer is to consider Christianity more likely correct and the LC wrong. Throw out the bathwater. And as long as you have another source for the "baby," you can presume that throwing out the baby with the bathwater is OK since what you need (the "baby") is covered elsewhere.

Where there are relationship, psychological, addiction, etc., issues, consider almost any reasonable source of help. Counselors, "recovery" programs, etc. I'm not saying to resort to Zen Buddhism, but you get the point.

For sure try to quickly get over things like:
  • sitting in pews
  • having a band leading the singing in worship
  • joining the choir (or the band) (I do both in two different types of service)
  • having communion with little separate cups (or dipping a wafer in a bowl of juice/wine) (and even calling it "communion")
  • "going to church"
  • praying for "low" things like the health of Aunt Susie or your own need of a job or reduction in back pain
  • tacking "in Jesus name" on the end of prayers
  • doing responsive readings in a meeting or reciting a creed
The list goes on an on.

Be willing to talk with the pastor or another leader about problems you are having.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:31 AM   #12
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I left a year ago and now I am having trouble starting a new . .
The reason you're having trouble starting anew is because you've been poisoned. They call it being "inoculated" but I daresay it's the opposite. You're constantly told in the LC that Christianity is dead, dormant, lifeless, Christless, satanic etc. That causes you to consider other believers with suspicion, judgment, and fear. You weren't allowed to receive them in Christ Jesus, because they weren't on the ground of oneness. But Jesus taught, Love those who hate you. Give them your other cheek if they slap you. Give them your shirt if they want your cloak. Forgive them their trespasses just as God forgave yours. Visit them in sickness, comfort and encourage them. In other words, oneness is within, reaching out to those who lack. Instead, in the LC you were given an outward oneness, or conformity, or uniformity, in order to "fellowship" with them.

So now you're maybe out of the LC system, but its poison in your own system lingers. You were "inoculated" against love, charity, forbearance, tolerance, magnanimity, receiving one another, functioning among the flock. Instead you passively received the LC "ministry" and now that it is gone you have no way to start anew.

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May I ask why you left .
I left because I was tired of the same group of people who sat in a circle and exercised their spirits over the words of ministry, and the select verses which the ministry approved. We met as the church but we despised the church, and only received those who sat in the circle and exercised their spirit over the words of ministry. Plus they had no real way to deal with problems among members, or within the group. Everything was supposed to be "glorious church life" so anything else was denied.

But after leaving I was still positive for the ministry, and tried to share it with others, but gradually I realized the ministry was merely the subjective output of one fallen human being and his very subjective opinions and concepts.

For example when reading the Psalms in the RecV, it notes that Psalm 45 was a type of Christ marrying His bride the church. But why? Isn't Psalm 45 merely the fallen concepts of well meaning, pious humans? That's how most of the rest of the Psalms are treated in the RecV. So likewise in Psalm 45, shouldn't this interpretive rule apply as well? Here, the king is seen marrying a foreign wife, which biblical history shows us caused his heart to turn to foreign idols. Remember Solomon? Remember Ahab with Jezebel (daughter of Tyre [v.12])?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religio...-psalm-45.html

No, Witness Lee said that it was a type of Christ. Okay, fine; but why is this a typological picture of Jesus Christ, when elsewhere, similar statements in psalm were fallen human concepts? Just vanity, empty words of sinful men trying to be good? For an example, why was Psalm 16 a vision of Christ obeying the Father and being given glory (according to Peter and Paul in Acts) yet then Witness Lee said Psalms 17 and 18 were not, but just David being David? Just another sinner talking smack? So, one must ask why one rule interprets scripture in one place, and another elsewhere? Apparently only because the subjectivity of the expositor wanted it this way.The bible text became secondary, and exposition had primacy. Interpretation ruled the text, not vice versa.

And everyone in the audience knew it, or most of them. They knew the ministry said one thing one day, and another thing the next day. But they couldn't leave "the ground", because they were convinced that Christianity was dead. So it is the LC, failures and all, or nothing. And so, as our friend has said, there's no way to start anew. We were "wrecked, ruined"... boy didn't we know it! We'd been poisoned.

Look at any Witness Lee message, and it's full of phrases like "We all must see that..." and then something follows that isn't even true. All these "We must" and "We have to" and "We need to" phrases fill the ministry speaking. I think That Lee was displacing his needs on the church, and we passively accepted it as real. Lee needed us to turn this way or that, so he'd say, "We all need to do thus-and-such" even when the Bible didn't say it. But Lee would say, "Clearly the Bible show us that..."

So I'll similarly offer some alternate "musts" and "need to"s and "have to"s.

We have to receive speaking from more than one minister or ministry. Proverbs says three times that the counsel of many brings safety.

We must listen to the ancients. Not just the up-to-date speaking of this last conference.

We must turn away from any minister who says he hasn't learned anything from anyone else for 45 years. That person is trapped in a self-delusion of ignorance and arrogance.

We must receive all believers, not just those who meet on some arbitrary "ground". Oneness is when you can be one with all, not just a select few who meet your criteria. Look at Jesus - He was one with all sorts of people. He met them where they were. He didn't impose restrictions, except to love and forgive. He met them "Just as they were" and led them to the Father. And He said we should be one, as He was with the Father. We must be open to all, not just a few of "God's best".

We must open to the whole Bible, not just selected passages that can support today's teaching. The NT was founded on the whole scripture, on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It's called scripture for a reason.

We must use consistent interpretive rules that apply to all scripture, and that are consistent with NT use of scripture (i.e. Psalm 16 interpretive rules should also apply to interpretation of Psalm 17 and Psalm 18).
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:31 AM   #13
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We met as the church but we despised the church
To me this is the glaring problem of the LC, and why I began to look outside at "Babylon" even after 24/7 immersion in group activity, teaching, and practice. We were the supposedly the church, but we wouldn't talk to anyone else including other Christians.

But look at Jesus. He met everyone where they were. He had the best outreach ever... the ones who tried to stay holy, and pure, were aghast. Lepers! Prostitutes! Drunkards! Jesus met them all, where they were. We, by contrast, were told only to go after the "good material", i.e. naive college students. Nobody else was worth the time.

And that nobody included me, ultimately. I came in from Babylon, the worse for wear. When I tried to confess my sins to the LC eldership they got nervous. "Just call 'O Lord Jesus' and all your problems will go away". There was no opportunity for healing, for growth. So after a season of pretense I went back to where people had problems, and admitted them to each other, and as I began to minister to others my own problems became more bearable. Lo and behold - "Do unto others and it will be done unto you" was true after all!

The church is all who name the Lord, not just those affiliated with a ministry or minister. In its attempt at purity the local church became myopic, dysfunctional, and ultimately delusional. The groups associated with a minister and his ministry were held as the glorious church, the Bride of Christ and the Body of divine/human incorporation; all others were fallen, dark, satanic, devilish, deformed, yada yada.

The unreality of it all became too glaring for me, and I left. The dissociation was more than I could bear. I just wanted to be a normal Christian. Poor material or not. Christ's love and sacrifice were for all.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:40 PM   #14
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I left the church because the lord relived the truth to me. I was depressed for some time , I was told by the church we need the Lords supply . We do need the supply but I did not agree with some of the teaching . I learned we can rely on our own strength with Gods help. And they would arrange a marriage between to people who do not know each other .
I never witnessed a marriage between two people who had never met, but i do know of some from different localities that were introduced to each other and after courting were eventually married.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:51 AM   #15
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Plus they had no real way to deal with problems among members, or within the group. Everything was supposed to be "glorious church life" so anything else was denied.
I learned this at a young age. If you have problems, no one wants to hear. General advice would be, "just call on the Lord three times". Dealing with problems each of us has is viewed as building up the individual, not building up of the Body. Sure, at various times there have been flows where brothers would speak about "shepherding the soul". Easy to speak about, but difficult to do if you don't want to deal with problems.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:28 PM   #16
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I learned this at a young age. If you have problems, no one wants to hear. General advice would be, "just call on the Lord three times". Dealing with problems each of us has is viewed as building up the individual, not building up of the Body. Sure, at various times there have been flows where brothers would speak about "shepherding the soul". Easy to speak about, but difficult to do if you don't want to deal with problems.
That, or "go to more meetings."
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:12 PM   #17
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Hi I just stumbled upon this site the other night and I have registered but have to wait for a reply. I am also a former member from a small group in Maine. I grew up in the LC and got out of it when I was 18 years of age. My parents left before I did because I assumed the LC was the only way to God and leaving was leaving God behind and turning toward the world. Every part of the LC was a normal way of life to me until the one day when I met with the "elders" of the group and I realized my whole childhood upbringing in this group was one big lie. I had a lot of issues when I left; for a short time I was not doing so well and then I met my then boyfriend who later became my husband. He was saved and he helped me to get through the difficult years of leaving such a group as the LC. We've now been married for over 20 years and to this day I thank God for sending my DH to me when he did. When you first leave something like this especially as a young person you look for anything or anyone to fill the void that 100 people you thought were your "real" family; walk out of your life in one day. To this day I still feel sick and dizzy when I read teachings concerning the "recovery" but I am so glad my family and I are free to enjoy Christ outside of the LC. Now I just study and show thyself approve the KING James Bible with my family. Thanks for reading and looking forward to more posts in the future!
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:15 AM   #18
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Hi I just stumbled upon this site the other night and I have registered but have to wait for a reply. I am also a former member from a small group in Maine. I grew up in the LC and got out of it when I was 18 years of age. My parents left before I did because I assumed the LC was the only way to God and leaving was leaving God behind and turning toward the world. Every part of the LC was a normal way of life to me until the one day when I met with the "elders" of the group and I realized my whole childhood upbringing in this group was one big lie. I had a lot of issues when I left; for a short time I was not doing so well and then I met my then boyfriend who later became my husband. He was saved and he helped me to get through the difficult years of leaving such a group as the LC. We've now been married for over 20 years and to this day I thank God for sending my DH to me when he did. When you first leave something like this especially as a young person you look for anything or anyone to fill the void that 100 people you thought were your "real" family; walk out of your life in one day. To this day I still feel sick and dizzy when I read teachings concerning the "recovery" but I am so glad my family and I are free to enjoy Christ outside of the LC. Now I just study and show thyself approve the KING James Bible with my family. Thanks for reading and looking forward to more posts in the future!
Welcome to the LC Discussion forum!

Please read the Gospel of John chapter 10.

There was a time when Jesus the Good Shepherd led some His seekers into the Recovery to find "green pastures," but those days are long past.

Today the Good Shepherd leads His seekers out of the Recovery to find "green pastures" elsewhere because many LC leaders have become LSM "hirelings."

Thanks for sharing your story. Please register and share more.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:44 AM   #19
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Today the Good Shepherd leads His seekers out of the Recovery to find "green pastures" elsewhere because many LC leaders have become LSM "hirelings."
It's not nice to say, but it's true. Experience has shown an unwillingness to labor or to turn away when confronted with difficult situations.
Leadership becomes a product of loyalty and not from capacity to shepherd.
In practice nothing more than LDM facilitators.
The focus and concern is more how they're perceived in Anaheim/Cleveland than in being shepherds of a flock.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:24 PM   #20
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hello, this is my first time to post here.
In the LC from 84 (birth) until '08. My entire family (parents, siblings & siblings-in-law) are not just members, but serving full time.

Marital problems were the final straw.

Although growing up, even as a small child I was very conflicted when told I was 'chosen'. It never sat right with me that we had all the answers and that other christians (and everyone actually) were in the dark.

It wasn't until I was put into an abusive marriage with an emotionally unstable brother, that I completely saw through the fraud. When I decided to leave him, an elder told me I could not. In the locality that I was in, I saw first hand that there was no care for anyone other than College freshman. When leaving my exhusband I lost all friends, and family too for a while.

This board might not be for me, as I dont identify as a christian anymore. However, I think any of us who were raised in the churchlife, especially in an active city like Irving was in the 80s, knows the true spiritual abuse that happens there.

I beg that you don't close your eyes to any marital problems you see. Help and stand with those that the church turns their back on.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:22 AM   #21
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This board might not be for me, as I dont identify as a christian anymore. However, I think any of us who were raised in the churchlife, especially in an active city like Irving was in the 80s, knows the true spiritual abuse that happens there..
anotherchurchkid,

As one who kept his faith when he walked away, and still identifies as Christian, I'd say your journey is just as real to you as mine is to me, and that your voice is as important here as anyone else's. The non-Christian perspective is a valuable window into what happens in the LCs. Think of sociological, cultural, psychological insights; to be more specific think of an Asian-flavored personality cult.

Some defenders of the group say that our complaints are of 30-year-old events; "Get over it", they say. Testimonies like yours show that the manipulation and control issues are still there, just modified a bit to be less obvious. All the more reason they should be pointed out.

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I beg that you don't close your eyes to any marital problems you see. Help and stand with those that the church turns their back on.
I write partly for those who don't write, who think that somehow it was their fault, that they "couldn't make it" etc. Mostly I write for self-therapy (and boy do I need it!!), and occasionally because I just like to hear myself think. This forum is for you as much as for anyone. Thanks for writing and peace to you.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:49 AM   #22
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hello, this is my first time to post here.
In the LC from 84 (birth) until '08. My entire family (parents, siblings & siblings-in-law) are not just members, but serving full time.

Marital problems were the final straw.

Although growing up, even as a small child I was very conflicted when told I was 'chosen'. It never sat right with me that we had all the answers and that other christians (and everyone actually) were in the dark.

It wasn't until I was put into an abusive marriage with an emotionally unstable brother, that I completely saw through the fraud. When I decided to leave him, an elder told me I could not. At the locality that I was in I saw first hand that there was no care for anyone other than College freshman. When leaving my exhusband I lost all friends, and family too for a while.

This board might not be for me, as I dont identify as a christian anymore. However, I think any of us who were raised in the churchlife, especially in an active city like Irving was in the 80s, knows the true spiritual abuse that happens there.

I beg that you don't close your eyes to any marital problems you see. Help and stand with those that the church turns their back on.
Welcome to the forum anotherchurchkid! You are the reason we are here! Many of us have decades in that program, others just a few years, yet we all have been hurt.

You are not alone to question your faith, but let me assure you that Jesus Christ loves you, and is also grieved by the abuses you have endured. No one should lose the love from family and friends. Should not the unconditional love from Christian family and friends reflect God's unconditional love for us? But, as you have experienced, God's love in the Recovery has long been replaced by a business model. Austin, TX is merely one of their franchise centers.

I'll pray that you will one day be able to distinguish between the conduct of evil workers and the work of God's perfect love manifested to a sinful and dying world on the cross.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:58 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by anotherchurchkid View Post

It wasn't until I was put into an abusive marriage with an emotionally unstable brother, that I completely saw through the fraud. When I decided to leave him, an elder told me I could not. In the locality that I was in, I saw first hand that there was no care for anyone other than College freshman. When leaving my exhusband I lost all friends, and family too for a while.

This board might not be for me, as I dont identify as a christian anymore. However, I think any of us who were raised in the churchlife, especially in an active city like Irving was in the 80s, knows the true spiritual abuse that happens there.

I beg that you don't close your eyes to any marital problems you see. Help and stand with those that the church turns their back on.
It's happened in the 1980's and it still happens now. As long as a husband is viewed in good standing, the elders & deacons will look the other way when it comes to marital issues. Whether my opinion has merit or not, my feeling has been brothers are ministry-centered while sisters are Christ-centered. So of course there's going to be conflict because when I say ministry-centered, that also involves church politics.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:30 PM   #24
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Default Re: How Many Are Former Members Of The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherchurchkid View Post
However, I think any of us who were raised in the churchlife, especially in an active city like Irving was in the 80s, knows the true spiritual abuse that happens there.
It was from Irving that my wife and I left with our two small children. But that was many years ago now (30 years in just 2 months). But it was for all the reasons that you enumerate. They are useless with respect to care for the flock.

And much of the time we were there, Irving was exceptionally bad because all they cared about were those who gave of themselves to the printing operations.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:10 PM   #25
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Default Re: How Many Are Former Members Of The Local Church

Wow, AnotherChurchKid, we are so similar!

Besides the point that we're the same age (born '84) I also left the church because of the way I was treated after leaving my abusive spouse. Happened just 6 months ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherchurchkid View Post
It wasn't until I was put into an abusive marriage with an emotionally unstable brother, that I completely saw through the fraud. When I decided to leave him, an elder told me I could not. In the locality that I was in, I saw first hand that there was no care for anyone other than College freshmen. When leaving my exhusband I lost all friends, and family too for a while.
Just swap the word 'brother' for 'sister' and 'husband' for 'wife' and you have my testimony.

My family were never in the recovery so I didn't have that problem. They were very happy to finally have me back though, as while I was in the church I was taught to keep them at arm's length because they didn't have the view of God's economy.

I still identify as a Christian but I don't live like one. In fact, I'm actively making an effort to go against my fundie background and integrate back into 'worldly' society. For example, how on earth does one go about dating and meeting women? I'm having to learn from scratch in my 30s.
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