The Legacy of the Worldwide Church of God

What it was like growing up in a cult and its impact on my life and others like me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pat Robertson anyboy listening?

So I just had to bring the blog up for this one.

Evidently Pat Robertson has expressed the opinion that Venenzuelan leader Chavez should be assainated to save the U.S. money in a future war. Good grief. Maybe Chavez is a bad guy. Maybe he is in bed with terrorists and communists. But Pat you're a religious leader arent you? Where are your ethics? Why are YOU sticking your nose in politics and preaching murder instead of being a righteous, loving, giving, Christian? If you are preaching sound more like a sinner than a religious man. Just another example of the hypocrisy of some of our more religious leaders.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The heart of the matter

Ive been thinking about reasons why we, as individuals, become so impassioned for causes. What are we seeking? What are we needing? What is the heart of what drives us?

For some I guess it may be vengence for concieved wrongs. For others to help others so they are not hurt. For others to feel better about themselves.

For me, I know, I have felt the need to tell my story. For people to know what has hurt me and how I have coped and started to move on. But I guess at the base of all that it is just the need to feel safe and loved and worth something.

If you think about it as I child that is all we needed. To feel safe, loved, and important to someone. And as a child when you dont have that you start learning ways to cope in a world that doesnt offer you those benefits. But all in all isnt that what we need as humans to survive. To feel safe, loved, and important to someone.

I think when things work against those basic principles of feeling safe, loved and important, than we are causing harm. And that harm comes in many forms. Be it religion or any other thing that takes away our capacity to care for other humans. It is the true acts of unconditional kindness and nonjudgement that allow us to carry on the human race instead of destroying it. If we could work towards making others feel safe, and loved, and valued maybe the world would be a better place.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Overcoming the fear of religious zealots

I havent quite gotten over my immediate adversion to pushy religious people. My in laws favorite past time is to harrass me about going to church. I wonder why some people feel it is their need to save me? And its almost not that they are concerned about me really. It seems more so that their pushiness stems from wanting to make themselves feel better. Or make themselves look like the more worthy person.

After being raised in a destructive religious organization, Ive found its hard to trust anyone telling me what I need to do to be religiously acceptable. Who gives another person that right? Wouldnt it be so much better if people just put action into their hearts and give of themseleves to others instead of spewing the need to convert and control them. I guess I should consider myself blessed that I dont live in a country that controls our religious beliefs through violence and war but isnt the need for some organizations to control our minds and our wallets just another rung on that ladder? I wish I could get over the feeling of distrusting people that get on a soapbox about pushing their religion on me but I cant. Theres just something scary about it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Apocalypse Now or How?

I havent posted in awhile. Just been busy but I dont want this blog to die because I think its important for people to realize how they can be taken advantage of by bad religious organizations. Religion is a powerful persuader. Everyone wants to believe in meaning and purpose. I know I do. I hope there is a meaning and purpose to this life. I hope there are some answers to all the questions I have. I am resolved that no earthly being knows any of these answers and if anyone tries to tell me they do than Id probably tell them they are full of it. Im comforted in the fact that I try to be the best person I can, work on being a giver and I am comfortable to be able to admit I just dont know what life after death holds for anyone.

Its taken me a long time to come to this conclusion.

My mother is still convinced the world is headed toward an apoplytic disaster and soon. I think she still believes all the things the cult told us although she has worked it all up into her version. I dont like world events either but all the people that are so anxious for the world to erupt into all the horrors of relevations, that sit back in judgement and persecution, are just as liable for the destruction as those they believe are instigating it. We catapult towards the horror on wings of stories told and manipulated by those wanting to control us and our environment. The other voices of reason, that wish to be free of hatred, of prejudice, that want good for all people, that just want to survive and prosper in peace, are merely unheard. We are all of the human race, its too bad we cant act like it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I like what these people have to say....

I just recently stumbled across the Universist Movement. While I havent had a chance to thoroughly read at their web site, I think I will like what they are about. Or should I say what they are not about. A Universist basically supports no religion allowing that individuals can choose, question, and reason for themselves and follow their own spiritual path without any organized religion. This makes sense to me. I can believe in God if I want to without other men telling me how to do it.

Heres their addy:

Of course while Im promoting websites, dont forget all my good pals that helped me through my cult experience at the painful truth:

and for all the good wwcg information and happenings at ambassador watch:

Criminals have it made in religion. They can shmooze money, control people, and hide their vices behind a religious cloak to escape prosecution. Theres something wrong with that.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Learning how to express joy and celebrate

Part of being a member of the Worldwide Church of God meant that you no longer celebrated worldly holidays like birthdays, Christmas, New Years, and many other average holidays. The church taught that these were pagan perversions of real holy days and self serving. But even the required church holy days were often somber affairs, subdued, and consisting of many hour long church services. I dont even really remember celebrating baby or wedding showers. There was only one holyday I can really remember as being joyful and fun and that was The Night to be Remembered where we gathered to have a fancy dinner and celebrate Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. But even that usually consisted of a somber ministerial lesson. The Feast of Tabernacles usually provided a few hours of fun after the church services but we were still instructed with church services and activities were monitored and church appropriate. Dancing was formal only and for all activities a subdued, grown up attitude was expected of even small children. I grew up not fully understanding the joy of celebrating.

My family also maintained a subdued/somber lifestyle. We rarely attended any community parties or functions. Home parties were non-existant outside of a rare bowl of icecream for a school achievement or picnic with grandparents or on occasion extended family members. By the time I graduated highschool I didnt even want the celebratory bowl of ice cream. It was wrong to have attention. When I left the church I had a hard time dealing with knowing how to celebrate. My first husbands mother floored me when she threw me my first surprise birthday party at 22 years old. Even now with children of my own Im sometimes embarrassed and afraid of throwing large celebrations. But why is this? Why did the church make me feel that celebrations were wrong?

Supposedly we were supposed to refain from vain things. We werent supposed to seek material pleasures. We were supposed to concentrate on being godly. Somber. Mature.

Then why did God give us the capability to laugh, and smile, hug and leap in joy? Why cant we celebrate the life God gave us? He gave us this life didnt he? We know that these are good things. What is more joyful than a childs laugh? Why cant we express our love in celebration? Why cant we give gifts in appreciation? Why cant we cherish the people we care about? Why cant we have fun and not feel guilty about it. Why cant we celebrate the joy of our families and living?

The answer is....WE CAN. I am just learning the true joy in that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The fear of being unredeemable

Perhaps another one of my biggest fears about God that The Worldwide Church of God instilled in me is that if I knew and understood the truth as the WWCG saw it and then chose not to accept it, I would lose my eternal life. They considered this a deadly sin. To know the "truth" and to turn away from it. But doesnt every religion on the face of the earth teach, to an extent the same thing? They all want to be right. They all require submission to the church leadership.

Sometimes I still wonder if I am endangering my soul by not following a religion. But religion is basically all about having faith. And having faith is believing sight unseen what other men have taught us. And what if they arent teaching us right?

To me, my faith is believing there is a God. A God that is removed from the pettiness of this world. That remains unprejudiced against all people. That sees the good in people. That wants us to make the most of the life he gave us while we have it. That believes in love and compassion and forgiveness. I can have this faith without anyone telling me how I should be having it and what I should be doing to keep it. That is between me, my faith, and God.