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.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Up close and personal conclusion...

Growing up in The Worldwide Church of God impacted my adult life in ways I wish I could go back and change. I wish I could relive all the lost years but that will never happen. I can only do something now and that is why I speak out. I dont want others to lose their potential to really give of themselves as opposed to being taken advantage of by other people in the name of religion. If I were to sum up my best advice concerning this whole ordeal it would be that no other human being has the right to tell you what salvation God has for you and what your relationship with Him is.

I believed The Worldwide Church of God leaders. I believed that they were my closest link to knowing and being accepted by God and when I left the church I was afraid I would suffer horribly for my mistakes. I felt like I had an eternal death sentence over my head. I felt this way because this is what they taught me. I started living my life like my life didnt matter because at that point I felt rejected by my mother, my church, and my church society. I didnt care what happened to me because I would never be worthy or able to be accepted by the most important people in my life. My life spiraled out of control. I got into a bad marriage to ease my conscience over past sexual sins. I still tried to make good of the bad in my life but it all seemed to get worse. By the time my first child was born I realized I needed to do something if not for myself than for my child. My childs father was violent and I knew none of us deserved to live the lives we were living. When the divorce went through a nasty custody battle I fought hard to just keep up the will to survive.

I had finally gotten to the point of my lowest lows. I think, at that point, if I hadnt of had a child that depended on me I wouldnt be here today. But I did hang on and eventually someone came along that grew to love and care for me genuinely and is with me today through all of this. I began to rebuild my life. I was starting to enjoy my life and thought I had everything I could possibly want. But still something felt so wrong. I still had this imposing feeling that I wanted to die. I couldnt understand my despair. Where was it coming from when I felt like everything else was so right in my life?

Then 911 happened and I became utterly petrified. What if this was the start of the tribulation the church had talked about? I was literally sick and terrified that now my children were going to be tortured because of my sins. I couldnt sleep because of the nightmares. I went desperately searching for my old church ties but they were gone. Finally through the internet I found old church members . But the ones I found were talking of other things. They were talking of a cult with deceptive leaders and they were talking about the church I was raised in. Suddenly my eyes were opened. My memories were opened up like big gaping bleeding wounds and I read stories of other kids that grew up hurting and feeling the things I felt. I poured over the stories crying because these too were the stories of my life, my fears, and my pain. I wasnt alone and I wasnt rejected anymore.

Im living a good life now. The past is gone forever, I cant get it back but I can speak out about what I went through and hope that it makes a difference. I am angry that others taught me that God was an angry vengeful God. I am angry that The Worldwide Church of God made me believe that I would not get to have a life because the world was going to end and I was unworthy. I think it was wrong for them to take away my joy for living. I dont know why we are here but Im going to take the chance that God put me here to live this life not to wish it away on another world or to rush through it to get it over with. But to gain something from being here, and living, and experiencing. And giving something back.


  • At 8:59 PM, Blogger CraigB29 said…

    Excellent! Keep up the good work. I check in every couple of days and it's nice to see you keeping this blog up



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