This is a beautiful and touching story of recovery from a religious system with a damaging atmosphere. This interview was conducted with a young lady who was saved as a child only to realize that several detrimental things from the church followed her and others into their adult lives.
She mourns very little connection with her natural blood relatives. The church was considered her family where holidays and other times were not spent knowing her relatives.
John 9:31 that God does not hear sinners’ prayers was drummed into the doctrine to such a point that often some adults from the church have trouble praying to God because they feel God will not hear them. (I want to address this later in a separate blog. This was taught incorrectly and out of context).
She remembers it as a male-dominated religion where the women and children did most of the suffering. (I remember a Joliet, IL Pastor of our group gathered young men together to apologize to them for things they endured as children, but it was an all-male meeting when overall girls suffered disproportionately more troubles to adhere to standards)
She remembers the strong focus on God as a God of judgment and not much emphasis on God’s love.
After being believing in a conformist type of Christianity for many years, God showed me that there is more freedom in Christ than what we know. Look at how God created the universe. Snowflakes, leaves, and stars are all things we can name where billions of them exist but no two are alike. Our fingerprints are so unique we know that no one on this planet can sign in to work for us because out of billions of people, our fingerprints identify us. So why, when it comes to God and worshipping him, do we expect God to only talk to us a certain way or deal with our problems the same as the next guy. God recognizes our uniqueness. He made us that way. God looks at us as individual souls, with different understandings and convictions and he works with us on that basis.
When I first read this quote, it was amazing to me the truth of this statement. The ability to notice what’s missing can be instinctive, but in life, it takes learning by experience to become expert at what’s missing. Suppose a man wines and dines a woman and does all the right things to court her. It would seem that he says all the “I loves you’s” at the right time and calls when he says he will. Then he always has the perfect explanation for why he didn’t call or didn’t pick you up that time he was supposed. Other than those times, he’s thoughtful and considerate. No big deal right? He just seems perfect. Would you believe the woman in this relationship if she said, “But something is wrong.” Continue reading →
When it comes to true religion, the right concept is always in the back our brains, yet the principle can quickly be snuffed out by our surroundings. The Bible defines true religion as being free from the world and loving others as we love ourselves. Continue reading →
“The real me isn’t the person I describe, no the real me is me revealed by my actions.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Assessing the Problem
How many times in relationships and life have we ignored people’s actions and tried to ascribe to them a better attribute than they deserve? Maybe they’re busy, perhaps they didn’t really mean what they said, or I know this person just lied to me, but maybe they misspoke. A detective in a documentary said one time that to ignore coincidence after coincidence is just plain stupid. When people act childish, manipulative, jealous or hateful. There is no mistake.
And that’s the hard part, isn’t it? It’s not that we don’t recognize these character flaws, we try to believe the best about people and unintentionally blind ourselves refusing to accept what we know in our heart of hearts. Continue reading →