Getting On : Faith
from Hanna_Black - Wednesday, October 16, 2002
accessed 1444 times
Please feel free to comment on this!
Having been born and raised in the Family, I must admit that I was afraid of taking the final step and leaving.
Would God punish me for not tithing and have my children paralyzed?
Would I never be proctected from poisons in food and water?
Would I be stabbed in my sleep like another "backslider" was?
Once someone got a prophecy for me that God would separate me from my husband, should I ever make the choice to leave. The thought hovered over me like bad news unspoken.
Despite my worries I had made my choice in my heart: The Family was not where I wanted to raise my kids! Definitely not! I had my doubts in believing that every word out of Mama's and Peter's mouth was from heaven. I couldn't understand how the members in the home we lived with (VSs, to be exact) were so unloving to others, and so uncaring. Hundreds of reasons I thought of for leaving, none to stay, so I left!
Unlike my husband, I was pretty worried that we "wouldn't make it", or that we would reap God's punishments somehow.
I talked with my Mom who left the Family 3 years before me, and she said she had the same thoughts. Then she remembered a verse in the bible that says "there is no condemnation in Christ." (Romans 8:1)
At that point, she said she finally realised that there is a huge gap between God and the Family.
Well, the whole thing got me thinking! If there is no condemnation in christ, then why is there in the Family? (I mean being condemned for leaving, deserting, abandoning God's Endtime Army) If they were true christians, it wouldn't be that way!
Most ex-members I know, disbandon their faith when they leave the group, and turn agonstic. Of course, everyone is entitled to their choice and I am in no way writing this to try and "convert" anyone back to christianity. Don't get me wrong here! It just seemed like such a pattern to me that young people throw away God and their belief when they leave TF.
Then I realised what happened!
Take my friend as an example, let's call her Jane. Jane has grown up in the Family and has it drilled into her that it is God's highest will, nothing could be as great. Slowly but surely, Jane started realising that the Family is not the place for her and actually the whole thing is pretty weird. She decides to leave. Now, what SHOULD have happened is that her "sheperds" or parents accept her choice, help her find a place and make sure she has everything she needs to start a life on her own.
Did it happen? Of course not! She is fed with what I call Artificial Condemnation, a sort of mental blackmail. Her Dad talked with her and told her he is very dissapointed in her and maybe she should spend a few days in the word and cleanse her spirit. Jane said that she didn't believe in the Word. "What??? Oh my God. How can you say that, jane? This is the body of Jesus christ, given to us by a man who died for our sins and gave us the wonderful Mama Maria and the Family! How dare you doubt it? If you reject the Word, you reject God and thus commit and unpardonable sin! Are you sure you want to do that?" The only way to escape thinking she rejected her saviour, is for Jane to say the unthinkable: "Well, I don't believe in God!"
"...but the Bible says..." No, Jane doesn't believe in the Bible either. The home received a prophecy for her, about how jesus is crying for her and wishes she would come back to the fold. Disgusted, she leaves the home, her parents and begins a normal life. To her, she can never believe in God again, because then she fears she would have to admit that she left His highest Will.
That is her mistake, though! For all of those who really believe in God, Jesus and the Bible should know from those teachings that there is no condemnation in Christ.
God gave one commandment: Love one another! Basta, end of story. Jesus never said to spend two and a half hours in the word a day, or masturbate to him! Maybe according to Zerby and co. he did, but I will take the Bible over them anytime. If there really is a God, and if he really cares, then all he would ever care about is if you love each other or not.
I still very much believe in God, but I didn't find him in the Family, because the God I found for myself is very different to theirs.
My God does not give a shit if you leave a cult that encourages 16-year old boys to masturbate to Jesus.
My God does not give a shit if you tithe to a cult or not.
My God could not care less if I had more than two glasses of wine this week.
My God wouldn't even notice if I drink 3 cups of coffee a day.
My God doesn't let a truck run you over for wanting to live a normal life.
My God would never condemn me for leaving a cult which used to condone child sex.
If you are thinking "yeah, but what kind of a God let me be abused as a kid?"
The critical point is:
My God gave every person a choice to do right or wrong.
Reader's comments on this article
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Monday, November 22, 2004 - 04:00
(reply to this comment)
Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 10:12
So true! I think becoming antagonistic and becoming an atheist when leaving TF all originates from this incredible amount of guilt (In Family lingo aka "A Fear of the Lord") we've been brainwashed with!
Look here: we felt guilty if we spent one second too long on the toilet - we felt guilty if we accidentally ate one slice of dry bread too much - we felt guilty when instead of getting 50 cents for every poster, the man (goat) only gave us 49 cents - we felt guilty for not enjoying word time, praise time and all those other fucking times....the list is endless! It was all about having a fear of the Lord - in the english language known as GUILT!
When I left, I, too, felt like Hanna: "Is my hair gonna fall out because I left TF? Am I going to get deathly sick because I left and actually feel GREAT about not paying 10 fucking procent of all my income? Oh dear! Such a waste of brain power! Thoughts similar to these plagued me while making the decision whether to leave or not too leave. This time of indecision was the worst time waster in my life! By staying in TF, I thought I was "safe" from hairloss, cancer, and any "evildoers". Just a load of c**p!
Once I left, those guilt feelings were gone! I came to see that some things JUST HAPPEN! There is no sinister motive for the things I do and don't do, the things that people do and don't do. There ARE absolutes, in my view, and that's what living is all about! No more of this hogwash, brainwashing guilt! To hell with it! "God" loves you even if don't have sex with his Son!God, it feels good to be blasphemous!
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Friday, October 18, 2002 - 08:49
I'm an agnostic, but not out of codemnation for 'leaving'. After I left I went to various churches and all reminded me of TF. I said to myself I want nothing to do with the christian religion. It's amazing how free you feel after leaving it ALL, the whole chrisitian guilt, good/evil, afterlife brownie points system behind you. You feel more alive and happy, except for those mood swings which I think I'll have to learn to live with.
(reply to this comment)
Friday, October 18, 2002 - 01:13
Ove the last 3 years I have been analizing this very subject: why most ex-member youth become egnostic or athiestic when they leave. I came to my conclusion when I compared the paths of ex-member FGA's and SGA's.
FGA's spent their first 20 years in society, most of them influenced by mainstream Christianity in some way. They might have been from a Catholic or Protestant background, or even just plain European or American, but all had some idea of what acceptable religion was. Some were even Christians while others might have only gone to Sunday school as a child and to Church at Christmas.
Let's say that a member is made up of two 50% parts. The first part being who you are and what you know apart from Family doctrine(all you have to begin your new life), and the part that is your identity as a member (the part you leave behind).
When an FGA leaves the group, their original idea of Christianity is included in the first part because it was a part of their mental make up before they ever became involved with the COG.
However, when an SGA--whose understanding of Christianity is part and parcel of group rhetoric--leaves, they wash off the wanking Jesus and the condemning God in the bathwater and throw it all out.
And then it takes time for us to ascertain what we believe in, if anything. We need to have our own experiences, make our own evaluations, and read and understand in our own minds.
I believe we all take "faith" very seriously, either way. It's not something to have "just because". Hope, yes. Faith, no.
(reply to this comment)
Friday, October 18, 2002 - 00:12
I agree with your reasoning of why most of us choose to no longer believe in God after they leave. My sisters left before me, and I was surprised when one of them told me she was basically an athiest. I was still in the group, and though I tried to be 'open-minded' about it, it was very difficult to understand and my hope was that she would eventually find God in her life. Two years later I left the group and went through the same thing and finally truly understood why it is that I would choose to be an athiest, and what it was my sister's experienced.
After being told that this was the greatest and best way to serve Jesus and that if you leave the Family you are on the bottom of God's trash heap and a backslider, it's then a basic decision, 'Do I want to continue living my life under the idea that I'm a worthless backslider and God hates me, or do I just throw out the whole idea of God and live my life in happiness?' Perhaps in time some of us may come to some sort of conclusion about the existence of God, that there is a God, but the Family has probably overall ruined the hopes we hold in religion, and at least for me personally, I will never again have a religion or anything to do with it, even if I may choose to believe in Jesus or God.
(reply to this comment)
| From DarkAngel|
Thursday, December 04, 2003, 18:33
Yes those are the fruits of Fam. doctrines and abuses.but if you read the bible you'll find that the word made provision for people like Berg , Maria ,Kelly and crew
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little one wich believe in me ,it were better for him that a millstone were hang about his neck ,and that he were drowned into the depht of the sea...
Now you know were to look for Berg ,he is probably bound to the bottom of the sea with his" lude fellows friends of the baser sort" where he used to teach his followers to cast anyone that disarranged his teachings
So even if they don't get corrected in this life they will in the next ,as I once read "God's weels of judgement grind exceedingly slow but exceedingly fine " So justice is on it's way ....(reply to this comment)
| From BabaYaga|
Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 11:59
I also am pretty anti-Christian now. That's why this website is so good. All the other ones have so many Christian ex-members (mostly adults) posting. I find them repulsive.
I have noticed one thing: People still in the Family are horrified when you say you don't believe in Jesus. I have friends who are still in, so I don't exactly flaunt this at them. Once they get out, they will "de-tox" and find their own beliefs, probably ending up athiest at least for a while. (reply to this comment)
| From Hanna_Black|
Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 14:05
I am not horrified when people say they don't believe in Jesus. the reason i wrote this is cuz some people I talked with actually DID believe, but puyhed it away out of guilt. Again, some people don't belive in God for other reasons. I was mainly talking about my frined in this post. Hope you agnostics aren't offended at this. I quit believing in God too for a while, or so I thought, till I realised deep in my heart I did believe. Just that it wasn't the type of God the Family had.(reply to this comment)
Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 20:59
aside from your last little literary device - which was right on! - this topic has already been discussed repeatedly on this website
(reply to this comment)
| From Elsie|
Friday, October 18, 2002, 15:13
"Cut out the plunking, little Ludvig, Herr Mozart already covered music."
Seriously now, Joe would you please point out to me which articles are the definitive truth for each particular topic? This would help me as I have a tendency to let my ideas evolve as I hear more opinions and have more experiences. Tky, GBY!(reply to this comment)