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Old 04-22-2020, 10:42 PM   #1
InTheKnow
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Default After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Hi everyone! After reading sister Jo Casteel's post, I can't imagine the amount of burden and pain the people that this cult has been victimized.

I was born and raised in this church life. It was my life and goal to be an 'overcomer' and be an 'age-turner' (yes, I was your typical church kid)! I never missed any SoCal YP conferences. However, one day I had this epiphany that I may be bi-curious. I've had these thoughts when I was still a kid but dismissed them. This epiphany gave me so much grief and strife. I had no one to talk to about it because the internalized homophobia in the church. My close 'companions' told me that they hope I wasn't bi. So I dismissed it again but I couldn't. It bothered me deeply. I prayed and hoped that I would 'turn' straight, so that I can be more useful to God and be able to join the full time training. I was so devoted to the point that I was no longer mentally stable. After 2 years of self-deprecation, I finally couldn't take it and started to self-harm. I had suicidal thoughts but the only thing that kept me from killing myself is the fact that my family's name would be tarnished by my death (my grandfather was an elder). I also thought about the amount of pain it would bring to my family and to the saints. The time I found comfort and relief was when I met my non-church friends in college. They had given me the comfort and validation that I am normal for my thoughts and nothing about me should be changed.

Therefore, I became agnostic because I thought the teaching of the church and WL is still the truth. Like they said, Jesus hates lukewarm (Rev. 3:16). I decided to be completely out of the church yet support them ( Hahahahahah! I hope I make sense). I defended their teachings and I still love some saints that I grew up with I communicate with them. Infact I still attend Lord's table meetings just so I can please my parents and grandmother. I even short termed. During these times, I felt at home yet I was reliving that dark time in my life. I even prayed and made a deal with the Lord that I would never date and marry so that I could still enter His kingdom. It just didn't work. This internal struggle was hindering my studies and relationship with my peers. I ultimately gave up. I've never been more happier now than when I was in the Church life. To this day (since I still live and am dependent of my parents because they pay for my grad school), I am still waiting for that day that I will feel complete freedom. The only thing that is helping me from going to meetings is the fact that I'm busy with school work.

Now I am out of that brain fog and I finally now know the truth. I am a person that believes that no matter how small the abuse is, the offender must still be brought to justice. As a person who grew up and had/and has family member who are still ingrained into this clergy/laity system, I am appalled and livid of the abuse this church is doing to its doing to members of their congregation. I just want to know what I can do to help these saints who are still trapped and are experiencing abuse. Since I'm technically still in the church life could I help usher these saints to safety? I have also noticed bullying in the yp meetings with the leading brothers making fun of younger saints who 'were not up to their standard'. I have noticed preferential treatments as well. These happened to me and my other friends.

This is just a post for those lurkers who are just like me to let them know that they are not alone. Please be kind. I noticed the sort of judgement being part of LGBT here receives. We all experienced trauma and pain from LC. Thank you for actually giving me a platform to be able to voice my testimony and opinions anonymously.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:44 AM   #2
Sons to Glory!
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Default Re: After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Well . . . welcome to the forum. I must confess I have no idea what to say!

Bottom-line is I'm glad He's the Savior, because I have no idea how to tell you to proceed, other than to seek Him who alone is able!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheKnow View Post
Now I am out of that brain fog and I finally now know the truth. I am a person that believes that no matter how small the abuse is, the offender must still be brought to justice. As a person who grew up and had/and has family member who are still ingrained into this clergy/laity system, I am appalled and livid of the abuse this church is doing to its doing to members of their congregation. I just want to know what I can do to help these saints who are still trapped and are experiencing abuse. Since I'm technically still in the church life could I help usher these saints to safety? I have also noticed bullying in the yp meetings with the leading brothers making fun of younger saints who 'were not up to their standard'. I have noticed preferential treatments as well. These happened to me and my other friends.

This is just a post for those lurkers who are just like me to let them know that they are not alone. Please be kind. I noticed the sort of judgement being part of LGBT here receives. We all experienced trauma and pain from LC. Thank you for actually giving me a platform to be able to voice my testimony and opinions anonymously.

Hi InTheKnow,

Thanks for sharing your story. I don't have any experience with or close family members who have struggled with LGBT issues, so I won't speak to it except to say I'm sorry you've had to wrestle with it. I understand it's a deep internal struggle, and I do wish I understood it more so I could show more meaningful compassion and render genuine help.

Regarding what to do to help saints still trapped and experiencing abuse.....this is a big issue. There are numerous types and depths of abuse occurring in the local church. And as crazy as it sounds, many saints don't even know they are being abused. I know sexual abuse does occur. I know emotional/psychological abuse occurs. I know spiritual abuse occurs. I am not sure if physical abuse occurs in the church, per se, but I am sure some occurs in the home lives of some saints. I am not an expert, but I think the first three are more common than the last.

It is the emotional/psychological and spiritual abuse that saints most likely do not know they are enduring since it's a integral part of the accepted teachings in the local church.

"We are so pure" - but they harbor despising attitudes towards the rest of the body of Christ outside their movement.
"We are not a denomination" - but their practices are worse than any denominations are.
"We care about oneness" - but they are one of the most divisive groups out there.

A dissonance is then in all the minds of the members, and it is borne from psychological abuse....the leaders are on stage pretending to speak for God, but denying the very reality that all the members live in.

"submit to deputy authority no matter what", "only care for life", "don't have opinions, get out of your mind", "if you leave this group you will never be an overcomer" - these are all spiritually abusive teachings, but are part and parcel of the system. Saints accept it as the truth, but it is spiritual abuse and spiritual oppression.

From my perspective, the best thing to do is speak up, but the system has been polished and honed over the years to abort anyone who identifies and speaks up about abuse. If you are IN it and speak up about abuse, you will quickly find yourself outside of it. When push comes to shove, the movement does not care for the wellbeing and health and sanity of its members; it only cares that the members fall in line with "the ministry". And when the top leadership acts contrary to the Bible and even to "the ministry", then the top leadership creates the un-Biblical rules out of thin air that you have to bow down to or else. It's a strange little place.

But the members have been trained over the years to "cover" sin and to doubt their own mind, and to "turn to their spirit" or "take grace" rather than address sin in the church. So the opposite needs to take place - speak up. But you may find saints distancing themselves from you quickly, because they've been taught a skewed version of the Bible and run from the actual light in the truth. Sorry this isn't much help. But your question touches on a problem that's been ongoing for a long time.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Dear InTheKnow,

I helped parent a cousin much younger than myself..... I love him like my own son, and he has grown to be gay as an adult. I have some familiarity with this territory.

So I would like to add to what Trapped has written, (which I think is a fabulous reply). I would like to recommend you become aware of a gentleman by the name of David Kyle Foster.

That is, if your interest is in understanding your bi-sexual feelings as may relate to this man's own journey through homosexuality and faith in God, and the teaching he has developed on this matter.

He is a gentle, lovely, sincere and wise man. I have met him and learned from him over a weekend course once, therefore I am confident to recommend his books and ministry. (They are easily available through just googling his name, as with everything nowadays).

Just thought it might help to put you in touch with a resource out there in the wider Christian world, which expresses God's heart much better than the LC for a start, so might be just what could help you move on from an LC veiw of Christianity, plus help make sense of your feelings as there is some deep understanding there in his ministry.

Hope to hear more of your journey, as and when it might suit you to.
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:29 PM   #5
finallyprettyokay
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Default Re: After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Dear In the Know:

Thank you for sharing. I was in the LC for 10 years, long long ago. Off the top of my head, I know of 3 or 4 members who were LGBTQ. Most married hetero, trying to "overcome" in that way, to disastrous ends. I also have LGBTQ friends now, friends with as real of Christian beliefs and experiences as anyone I have ever known.

What I would tell you is that remember God made you, and made you perfectly. Don't let anyone tell you differently. There is nothing wrong with who you are, nothing. There are excellent books available, do your research and find some that speak to your heart of hearts.

Love is Love. You are fine.

Last edited by finallyprettyokay; 04-24-2020 at 08:07 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:32 PM   #6
Cal
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Default Re: After years of indoctrination, I've been enlightened!

Hi IntheKnow,

My suggestion is to pray a lot. That may sound trite and boring, but truly getting to know God is the key to everything, and the key to that is prayer. Prayer lays the tracks so the train of God can move. That includes the train to help your friends. Always pray first. Prayer is great because it brings in God's presence, strength and peace. It's how we get to know him personally.

Also, I might suggest this video directed at those who grew up in the Recovery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1732nUnkyo
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