The Lucky Loser

January 22, 2010

God is Great but the Church is Awful Part2-Cult Land!

I got saved at a Campus Life meeting right after my high school graduation. And then it wasn’t until I went away to college that I found a real bible believing church.

After school finally ended and I had to return home for good I discovered that for me at least it was easier finding a real job than it was finding a good church.

When I finally found something that looked like the one I went to back at school that one turned out to be a cult.

Of course it’s not like they had a sign on the door,

“We’re a cult suckers welcome.”

It was more like,

“We’re the only one’s who know what’s really wrong with the world and the church so stick with us if you want to be one of God‘s favorites.”

And,

“Don’t criticize our leaders or say anything bad about us or God will get you where it counts.”

Not that people should go around dicing their pastor all the time but there is a balance.  There is a right way to question leadership.  However when it reaches paranoia of pathological proportions because everyone’s afraid to say anything critical it’s time to leave. You’re in cult land.

It’s especially true when a church is drifting further and further from sound biblical doctrine. They seemed to make up stuff as they went along.

But by the time I started seeing the warning signs it was already too late.  I had fallen victim to the lie and the emotional chords were around me.

Cults can come in all shapes and sizes.  Some like this church may only consist of one or two fellowships.

The thing about this group was how  they made me feel special and needed at a time when I was desperate for that.  I may have had a real job but it wasn’t a very fulfilling one.  And with a very low self esteem to begin with this place gave me a major boost.

This church wasn’t evil.  They were a victim of their own ignorance.  They were trying to undo what’s wrong with mainstream churchianity in America today.

But the solution isn’t to cut yourself off from the main vine.  Especially if you look and wait long enough you’ll find people working in the system trying to fix the same issues you’re running from.

As for me when I realized at last that I could no longer stand how closed of a group they were I moved away to get away from them.

The trouble was I was now about to be exposed to the ills they were shielding me from.  Not only that but there were lots of areas in my personal life that never got dealt with while I was in the cult.

All that was about to come crashing in on me.  You see, it took ten years to get me out of the cult, and another twenty years to get the cult out of me.

So how about you?

Were you ever in a cult?

Did it ever feel like the ground would swallow you up if you ever said,

“That group is a cult!”

Go to Part 3

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December 13, 2009

Freed From A Cult/God’s Place For You

Cults come in all shapes and sizes.  Some may only have one or two fellowships.  The bottom line is how they distrust mainstream Christianity and most other Christian groups.  They also feel they’re God’s favorite and one day the rest of the world will catch up to them.

Back in the day when I was a member of a Holier than most, “Jesus Only,” cult if you had told me that one day there would be over 800 fellowships in America that follow a “One Church, Many Locations” pattern, I would have scoffed in your face.

“You mean everyone watches the senior pastor on a jumbo-tron screen and he’s not even in the building? That can’t work!”

Well yes it can. And it does! In fact it frees up allot more space for growth and sets allot of people free to minister more effectively. And making more and better disciples is what it’s ALL about.

Meanwhile back in those days if you had told me that I would drive 10 miles from my home in my small city to go to a church in the suburbs I’d have said,

“Get thee behind me!”

Especially if you had said the church was in the Town of Halfmoon.

“Halfmoon?

No Way!”

Way!

In fact I’ve never felt like I belonged more to any other church( including the cult church) than I’ve felt now. And it happened so fast!

Part of it is God’s timing and part of it was the people that go there.

Besides it only took 10 years to get me out of a cult. But it took another 2o something years to get the cult out of me!

Now I know that I don’t have to try so hard to prove myself.  That never works for anyone anyway.  (We’re already approved by putting our faith in Christ alone!)

But years ago I never would have thought in my wildest dreams the whole multi church location thing could ever work.

Yet here I am. Proud to belong to a satellite church that draws in part from the same area as the old cult church did. And it feels so good to be SO OK with that!

Who’d a thunk it?!

There’s no such thing as a perfect church, but IMHO there’s a perfect place for everyone.  And it looks like I’ve found mine at last!

What about you?  😉

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