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, April 12, 2005

Why do we let others control us in the name of religion?

I dont know if this is a question that can be answered. I feel that I was raised in a destructive church that had a huge impact on the course of my life. In a way I feel I didnt have a choice of my belief system because this is what I was taught by my mother and her choice of churches. And her choice of churches was a destructive cultic one. But why did my mother allow this belief system to control her life? Why did the others in the Worldwide Church of God allow the leadership to have such control of their lifestyles? (Even to the point of making marriage, business, and life choices for them?) Are people without any religious instruction at all evil people?

For the most part of my life I have lived feeling that life was worthless. That I was a bad person for forsaking the religion I was raised in and that I would be denied eternal salvation because of it. When I type this it seems extreme but in reality I did base a lot of my life choices on those feelings. And this was just the remanants of what I learned while in the church. But what about the people still in these destructive churches? Or other religions for that matter? What are we needing so badly that we allow others to dictate our lives?

For me I feel that it must be needing to belong. To feel wanted and loved for who we are. For the hope that there is meaning to all of this life. But do we find that when others dictate to us or do we find that inside ourselves and our own personal relationships with others and with God?

I think what bothered me most about belonging to a destructive organization was that they believed they were the only chosen few and that everyone else was evil. This bothered me because I knew there were genuinely good people that were not in my church. There are examples of people that do good all over the world. Why do some feel people that others who dont have a church affiliation are evil? And cant good come from inside us as opposed to what other people dictate to us? Sometimes I feel just as much harm and evil comes from religious groups as to those from outside religious groups.

The best I can hope for is that Im working towards the good and I live a fulfilling life. I give thanks to God as I know him but other than that I have to admit I just dont know the answers. I dont think anyone else has the answers either. We all just have our opinions and what we were taught as kids.

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