Paul, the apostle, wrote about himself In Philippians 4:4-6:
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
My story fits right in there. Let me paraphrase:
I am 4th generation professing on my father’s side, 3rd on my mother’s side; Professed at the age of 12, baptized at 15. I was referred to as a “sterling” young person in the fellowship. (Even though I wore jeans to school which the professing world did not know about!!)
I offered for the “Work” at the age of 21 and went into the “Work” at 24. Came up through the ranks pretty much on schedule and was popular within the circle of workers. Through the years I learned scripture (within the 2×2 interpretation) and articulated my thoughts well. I stayed for nearly 22 years.
In Philippians 4 Paul continued on with:
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ.
That’s it! I had my own righteousness and plenty of self righteousness. I was a good Pharisee. However, I did not have a righteousness that came from God based on faith. But through the years I began to feel more and more frustrated with my own life within that church. I wanted so much more of God; of Christ than that group was talking about or even knew about. I didn’t want the “world”, I didn’t want sin, I wanted God.
I was beginning to understand that there was more to God than I knew. He was much bigger; uncontainable actually. He wanted a relationship with me that was extremely personal and involved. I needed to surround myself with other Christians who were feeling the same way. I was speaking about these feelings and desires in the meetings and while the friends seemed to appreciate it, no one joined me in the pursuit.
I did not walk away from God; I walked toward Him. I found out who Jesus really was/is and putting Him in His rightful place of worship changed everything. I discovered the Gospel of Grace and everything finally made sense. Galatians and Romans finally made sense. (More on that later!)
I was excited about everything that pertained to God.
My journey of leaving the meetings is what this blog is going to be about. I will share my journals and my journey with my readers. Why? Because I long to share it with others who might be considering taking a similar journey or maybe who already have but feel alone in it. It took me several years to make the final break. It was the hugest thing I have ever done and if I can support anyone else in their journey, I will.
This is not going to be a blog about bashing the workers or friends; there are already several of those out there. This is just about getting answers to everything I had been taught and taught myself as a worker and finding out what really was Scriptural and what wasn’t. About finding the courage and peace to do what was needful in order to survive.
It is about getting the message across that God and Jesus were never the problem. The meeting system was. The workers chose to promote legalism not freedom in Christ.
Leaving the meetings is traumatic because of how indoctrinated we were while there. Breaking free is liberating and wonderful but we have to work through a great deal after we leave because the system is so extremely toxic. If we don’t work through those things, we will end up cynical, bitter, lonely, without God/Jesus, and living a very shallow life. We were created for so much more!!
Coming to peace with our past within the church is vital also. God can and will redeem everything for His good and His glory. That is so hard to learn and believe. It is a process that I am still on.
Once again quoting Paul from that same chapter in Philippians:
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I’m still in the process of breaking free of anything and everything that was between me and God. I need a place to share this journey rather than bear it alone, and that is another purpose of this blog.