Friday, July 7, 2017

The Great Joy When Leaving The Church



From Exit and Support.

A person describes the joy they have when leaving the abusive Philadelphia Church of God.   This is the same joy that thousands have shared on different FB pages as they talk how their lives have been since leaving the church.


June 29, 2017
I don't even know where to begin. It's so difficult to summarize my experience and sort out how I'm feeling about everything that this so called "church" has put me, my family, and countless others through. The abuses that we undergo are covered up kept hush-hush and resolved through gossip started by who knows. I started becoming very skeptical when my own family began to be ripped apart by the ministry, who were not to be questioned ever! Every problem was pushed back on us not having it all together, or not praying and studying. No biblical proof was offered, just the opinion of a man who thought he spoke with God's authority--although certainly not with God's LOVE. It's so clear to me now why no one was ever allowed to compare stories or talk about counseling sessions. They did not want us comparing notes on our interactions with the ministry.  
But my last service was when our local minister aired all my family's dirty laundry in front of the congregation, blaming everything on my father's inability to lead. Taking no responsibility for his own interference and meddling. FURIOUS. I left knowing I'd never be back. I told no one and refused to talk to anyone after. A clean cut was the best resolve for me. I was so sick of being dragged into everyone's drama when I had no part in it. And I was certainly tired of feeling beaten down--not good enough and chastised every week at services. Also, if I missed a week, I felt like a child being scolded. I wish I'd left sooner. No, I wish I never would have attended at all.  
Since I've been out, I've been happier than I thought possible. I'm happy to let God judge me. At least it will be true justice. If anyone is considering leaving, do it now. I waited years and regret it deeply. I will mourn family left in and pray they leave. --Raised in WCG; joined PCG as adult

10 comments:

Byker Bob said...

Back in 1973, I took a course in personnel administration, taught by a bank executive at our local community college. In that class we took apart, forensically, contemporary staffing and working situations, and learned how to manage, mentor to, and motivate the human resources entrusted to us to optimize productivity, and to retain good, caring, promotable employees long term. Up until that time, the only example in my life of any sort of management had been what I learned in church, at SEP, and at Ambassador College as a student, and later as an employee.

The course I took really opened my mind as to how to successfully and ethically work with people. We learned that authoritarian management was even back in the '70s passe, and in reality had never actually worked, except perhaps in the military.

Of course, since that time, two opposing trends have emerged and progressed. One is that management techniques in the working environment have continued to evolve in a positive direction, and to become more widely known, so that most people who are employed have a highly developed sense of right, wrong, and fairness in the usage of authority. Number two is that if anything, cruel authoritarianism has actually worsened in many of the Armstrong churches. Supposedly, being the only place where "the truth" is taught is seen as giving authority carte blanche to be demeaning and abusive.

How does an individual or an organization treat others if given absolute authority over them? I submit that the answer to that question is an effective way to measure the character of those exercising the authority, and the fruits which they produce in their charges' lives. Whether or not they realize it, they are accountable personally and professionally. That responsibility is an integral part of having authority.

BB

Anonymous said...

I felt complete rapture when I stopped attending PCG.

Anonymous said...

they didn't leave the Church because they weren't in it....they were in PCG

Anonymous said...

I remember a story about a member who was questioning a past member about his success after he had turned n away from the CHURCH OF God, to which the past member retorted "Satan takes care of me." I guess after being fed alot of church propaganda like not tithing is robbing God, the world out there is lost, church members are the most blessed and prosperous on earth etc, it was hard for members to imagine a better life apart from the Church of God environment.

Helen Wheels said...

When I left, I was fed all the old clich├ęd church catchphrases that I'd heard repeated ad nauseum ad infinitum for decades by some. It's not like I didn't know what people would accuse me of doing, or how they would accuse me of failing. After all, they think "The Truth" is just a series of clich├ęd catchphrases.

I was also surprised that many more were far more gracious than I had anticipated. I don't know how the gracious ones dealt with the cognitive dissonance.

Anonymous said...

To question or criticize the ministers is knock them off their thrones, so of course it's taboo. Exalting 'Gods government' through the 'magic' of repetition, (or 'government is everything' as Herbie kept saying), amounts to these ministers exalting themselves about God. Just like Satan. No doubt a tyrannical Satan kept telling those angels under him that 'government is everything' as well.
This view of government is very different to the American constitutions 'to secure those right (life, liberty and pursuit of liberty) governments are instituted..'

Ed said...

Inspite of the lingering scars of being a member of the Armstrong religion for 13 years, my life has inproved.

My income has more then doubled. It seems that, if there is a God, he has blessed me since I no longer tithe or give a penny to any religious institution.

Angela Storey said...

I think many of the doctrines they taught are right. However they do not understand about loving relationships with God and other people. God is love They have no comprehension of what that means. Authoritarianism and exclusivity preclude love Focusing on government is just missing the point entirely. Such mentally unhealthy people using the bible to promote their own ideas and pathology. Get away from people who treat you like you're rubbish. You don't want to become converted like them. It's so sad.

Angela Storey said...

I think many of the doctrines they taught are right. However they do not understand about loving relationships with God and other people. God is love They have no comprehension of what that means. Authoritarianism and exclusivity preclude love Focusing on government is just missing the point entirely. Such mentally unhealthy people using the bible to promote their own ideas and pathology. Get away from people who treat you like you're rubbish. You don't want to become converted like them. It's so sad.

Anonymous said...

When I left WCG I was told by the minister that, "I had lost the plot!" What a great thing it has been to have "lost the plot" as he so eloquently put it. Those who leave can now get on with living their lives again free from the "plot" they have been under.