FREE and LOVING IT!!!!
(From the now defunct PT Forum)
Was I a "true believer"?
Good thought-provoking question...but it brings up things that are still painful to remember, doesn't it? Guess I'm still amazed at how much of a believer I was...
Mom received the lit. for a long time when I was young. Dad...well, he listened to her talking about it and agreed with most of it, but he was never one to "Join" anything like a church...our family rarely darkened the door of a church. I remember going to some local church for VBS...probably now that I think about it, parents wanted some free time! ha ha...
As I was starting thru the teen years, the usual angst was rampant and I was ripe for the pickings. I started reading the lit and got caught up in it. I have always!!! believed there is something WRONG with this world and the people in it...something very fundamental...and Herbert W. Armstrong seemed to have alllll the answers. Don't know if my crummy childhood/incest/abuse had something to do with this feeling...probably...
Anyway, I was looking for (important point) the truth. Oh how sad. I thought I'd found it. It just made so much sense!!!
I still had some wild seeds to sow...and I did, but came back home and settled down. That's when I dug in for real on the lit and CC...still wasn't ready to "join" a church, tho.
After I married, I realized there was still something missing in my life. Here the church enters the pic again...and I started studying like crazy and found out where the church met...and got an invite to attend.
Didn't take long...I soaked it up like crazy...and I just knew this was all for real. In my opinion, and the opinion of many professional people, the kind of person I was...an all or nothing, black and white thinking...is the kind of person that this cult attracted. At long last, I found a place where there were answers to every question...strict + legalistic = safe!
As far as how much of a true believer I was, I guess I was a total nut case for it. There was never a time when I disagreed with them. I sometimes didn't fully understand things, but I bought the argument that.. "In time, you will understand." I was completely enmeshed in the whole deal. I'd argue with Mom that even the D/R thing was "God's Will."
Looking back, I realize that I was sick. I guess if they had told me to drink funny-tasting Kool-Aid...then I'd have first helped serve it, then drank it.
I was just cleaning out an old box of stuff...and ran across my schedule from a FOT in 1995...my last one. I was sick as a dog from the Lupus, but boy did I ever serve!! I played for hymns, ran down off the stage and interpreted the 'ette (I was in "charge" of the sign language interpreters...whoopee), then ran back up to do special music...then back down to do more interpreting...then when services were over, I ran back to the First Aid room to serve there! Talk about sick...in the head!!!
When people were disfellowshipped, I was the first one to swallow whatever line of crap they dished out for a reason...and I shunned people. When people were ill or in dire financial straits, I smiled and told them to rejoice that God was testing them. yuk
What helped set me up to (gasp!) QUESTION them at all...was when I moved to Pasadena...and got in closer to the higher-ups. My bro-in-law was head of the Auditorium stuff.. Kevin...and he had lots of parties at his apt with many of the muckity-mucks invited...my apt was over theirs...and I remember laying on my bed and listening to some of the worst language I'd ever heard...from MINISTERS!!!!!!
They drank too much, told horrid dirty stories (I'm no prude but this stuff was disgusting) and generally showed their ass. That was the first shoe.
When the changes started, I tried to be patient and let Gawd open my mind. Our minister, McNeely, was having a terrible time with it all...and I was just breaking up with a man whom I dearly loved. It was all too much. I sat down one night and said to myself, "Well...things are going to hell...and just where ARE you, God??"
I figured that, in my still black/white thinking, if the church was going to throw away everything I believed in, then it couldn't possibly be the TRUE church. I mean, how can you say one thing for...years...and then one day decided that it was all wrong? No way. In my opinion, God doesn't change. If the church changed, then God was not there to begin with.
I know they tried to put the best spin on all that changing they could...but I didn't buy it. I gave up God, the church, and alll my beliefs.
Now...I'm glad. I see things much more clearly now. I understand myself a whole lot better...why I bought it...and why I left. I am on a quest to find myself...for that is all I'll ever have. It's enough. I think we are meant to be self-sufficient, to some degree. Emotionally and mentally, that is. Sure it's nice to share life's troubles and joys...but you first have to stand on your own two feet...
Wow...did you ever open up MY floodgates!!!! Yikes!!! Sorry...but you asked! :) Hope it's not toooo boring...
Interesting to see what other's might have to say.....
Thanks for the topic. We all differ, I guess, in how much we bought it.
FREE and LOVING IT!!!! Becky
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