You have been so brave and learned so much.

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You have been so brave and learned so much. Empty You have been so brave and learned so much.

Post  emigration on 16/03/10, 01:11 pm

Think of all the things that you gained from your association. There are two sides to this. First, the positive things that you carry with you, the things you gained or still believe. I can't say what these might be for you: learning to articulate yourself to others, standing up for what you think is right, helping someone in need, high standards for Christian lifestyle, deploring evil, memorized parts of the Bible, having an interest in alternatives education, healing, health, child raising, the media , identifying worldliness , being a witness for Christ and the Gospel. Strong soldiers lasted at Christian Centre. The other side has to do with the positive things you gained from your negative experience. Again, it will differ from person to person. Maybe you learned that it was important to you to be able to ask questions -- and you learned this precisely because you could not ask questions without being marginalized. You also have knowledge about certain brainwashing and control techniques; knowing how it's done does give you an edge, if you become conscious of how it happened. You will recognize it again, and you have the ability to resist it.. You are also less vulnerable in some respects because the fact that you are former conforming member to Reverend Johnson's doctrine of authority almost certainly means that you are courageous enough to have stepped out of something despite enormous pressure, and to stay out despite pressure to return to what is internally called "the truth". You already know a lot about the politics of difference, and from two perspectives at the very, very least. Being Christian at CCM , you experienced being a minority from the perspective of the so-called "mainstream"; being an ex-SCC members adds another layer of difference, this time from those who used to hold your difference in a solidarity (remember the self-justifying nature of persecution for the group as a whole). These are positive things that you construct from the negative experience. You may also begin to take more seriously and positively other areas of constructive liberation and freedom. In the best case, you will experience a gradual transition from knowledge, then to understanding, and onto wisdom. Growth and beauty come as fruit.

Find a constructive way to turn the things you have learned into something meaningful to you. We all lived in a culture of reading,sitting and listening. Do some free research for a change; it is extremely liberating. Go where your questions and problems lead you. If you are disgusted at their subordination of people, read up on how to be free of another's control. If you think their biblical interpretation is off-base, read some of the amazing research being done by scholars of God's Word, find out about hermeneutics and deconstruction and other literary and philosophical theories, learn Hebrew or Greek, study the social context or the archeological finds. Find out about the history of how doctrines arose, and in response to what sorts of pressure. If your membership at CCM made of you an object of shame, read about trauma and scapegoating. Research controlling personalities. There are other ways to arm yourself with some truth -- just don't believe that anyone has the whole truth. All that you can hope for, finally, is to put together strong truths that hold weight for you and possibly for a community of like-minded others. The truly transcendent truths are rare , and who has the hubris to claim to have a hold on them? Can you explain quantum physics to an ant?
The world is much more complicated than you have been led to believe. That does not mean, however, that everything is a hopeless chaos. You will have to learn how to tolerate a certain amount of ambiguity. Start small, build your truths on the best knowledge that you can access, digest, and put into your own language, and you will gradually build understandings upon which you can rely. You have the living Christ within you to help and guide you as you ask God for truth unencumbered by a denominations dogma.

Stay away from groups that can only define themselves against others. "When we are all good, and they are all bad", we've forgotten our common humanity-and that's when all the worst aspects of humans come out. Make yourself loving and available, (even if that is what they are avoiding to do to you). Concentrate on where you go from here.

You are strong.You are mindful of following Christ. You have done an amazing thing, you have walked away knowing you would be called deceived, back sliden, unable to stand the truth of the Word and "strong" leadership styles. You walked away from infectious evil rooting its way into your children's concept of themselves , church and God.
You can now take the opportunity to fall more in love with Jesus and get your eyes on your Bible.


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