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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Can I find faith after being raised in Herbert W. Armstrongs church?

I was raised as a child in the Worldwide Church of God and left in the mid 80's before any of the changes that later took place after the death of Herbert Armstrong. When I left the church I had just about given up. I couldnt progress in life without feeling that all was meaningless. I would never measure up to the churches rigid old testament standards without feeling pathetically outcast and inadequate. I never felt I would get to really live my life without being persecuted and rejected by God. I chose to go on with my life the best way I knew how at that point, however, and practiced no religion.

But almost 20 years later when 911 happened, I became scared. What if this was the beginning of the tribulation the church had warned us about. I wondered if now my children would suffer in the tribulation because I had sinned and left the church. I became distraught and started searching to renew my church ties. But where was the church? My local congregation was gone, all moving on to main stream churches after the newly appointed pastor generals doctrines shifted towards main stream Christianity. My mother, the one who had gotten us into the church in the first place, now went to a Sunday church. I was angry with her explanations. After years of enduring guilt and shame from her for not toeing the church line, now she didnt believe their original doctrines anymore. I was raised to believe their doctrines meant my life or death.

It is ironic through all the time that I was trying to renew my church ties that I had been praying for God to show me the truth. What was the truth about the Worldwide Church of God? The irony came when I stumbled on The Painful Truth and Ambassador Watch web sites and learned about the deceitfulness of the original Worldwide Church of God. The storys there opened my eyes and I do believe I finally found truth and reality.

But where do I go from there? The WWCG debunked everything I knew about modern Christianity. I cant sit in a mainstream church without thinking about the hypocrisy of people and religion in general. I truly feel there must be a God but as far as religion goes, sometimes I feel no one really has the true answers. Some are guessing, some are presuming, some are taking advantage of people for their own gain. I wish I could belong to a church again but that experience has devastated me. I have faith in God. Thats the best I can do right now.

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