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Author Topic: WOUNDED PILGRIMS  (Read 197326 times)
Mark C.
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2002, 08:19:18 pm »

Hi John,
  I understand your caution re. "Christian" counselling as there can be a unhealthy mix of secular psychology with Biblical Christianity.  This is why I would advise finding a counsellor with an understanding of recovery from cults and who has exhibited a true commitment to the Word of God.
  My experience with finding help from typical Christian pastors and preachers is a total lack of understanding of how the Bible applies to those who have been damaged in groups like the Assembly.  I tried to talk with one pastor and he cautiously listened and then showed up at my house on a surprise visit and cross examined me re. my faith in Christ!  He assumed I had been involved in a cult and felt he needed to give me a tongue lashing to set me straight!  This was not helpful to my faith or my recovery and reminded me of the tact  Assembly leaders would have taken.
  It would take a very long post to present the arguments re. how psychological counselling methods can be helpful if it is done by a caring Christian.   I would suggest that some who have had counselling here give a testimonial, like Eulaha, as to how they were helped not only emotionally, but in their faith.  I would also suggest reading the book that I mentioned in my previous post as it goes into  practical examples of how Christian counselling can be helpful.  
  John, what kind of advice would you give from the Word of God re. someone whose personality had been controlled for 20 years and they were feeling so confused they didn't know if they could even trust their own ability to think through their faith?  Do you think that more Biblical instruction as to the correct way to think could be accepted by a person so injured?  Do you think that compassion and empathy needs to be included in sharing the Word of God, or does our responsibility end with giving instruction?
                                  God Bless,  Mark  
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Oscar
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2002, 01:32:54 am »

Mark,
Amen and Amen!

It took me years to work my way out of the Assembly, even after I knew that GG's ideas on prophecy and church polity were in error.  There is definitely an emotional side to cult inolvement.  In my opinion, it is stronger than the doctrinal side.  
I never went to a counsellor, but reading books by Christian psychologists was a big help to me.  One was "Inside Out" by Larry Crabb.  Another one, who's name doesn't come to mind, showed an illustration of the "Striving Christian" who works hard and is completely dovoted, hoping to win the approval and respect of others instead of resting in his true identity in Christ.  I showed it to my wife and asked her, "Have you ever seen anyone like this?"  She said, "You".
It was one of those "eye openers" a merciful God sends to lost sheep.
God bless,
Tom Maddux
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Mrs. Arthur
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2002, 02:41:27 am »

Eulaha,

My suggestion is to stay away from anyone posing as a "Christian counselor" and anyone who will take a VISA or MASTERCARD (or any other payment) to listen to you.

Find a man who preaches God's word in a local church. Study the Scriptures under him.

Most of your problems will be solved, the rest you can live with in a manner pleasing to the Lord.

John,

You don't even know Eulaha!  I do and she is my friend.  

You said that she needs to "Find a man who preaches God's word in a local church. Study the Scriptures under him."  In my opinion the last thing she needs is to find another low-down dirty scum ball in her local church that claims he knows the scriptures to study under.  A wolf in sheep's clothing bit her.  How could she trust another so called shepherd enough to go and learn from him while she is still hurting from the many attacks?  

Brent nailed it when he said to find a church with good worship - in worship there is no threat of getting bitten.

Eulaha, we love you and will support you in your healing process.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2002, 02:42:35 am by Mrs. Arthur » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2002, 02:56:37 am »

Hi Tom (Oscar?), Eulaha, John, and Others.
   That is very interesting Tom as I have felt that the term "mind control" is inadequate to describe our past subjection in the Assembly.  I have come to believe that a better term is emotional control.  I would like to share my opinion re. emotional control and see what others have to think about it. (I know you can be helpful in this discussion)
    Cognitive understanding of the Bible means that one has a mental grasp of the Scriptures.   Paul talked about having "bowels and mercies" toward one another; this refers to the emotional attitude we should express toward one another.  Sometimes even the healthy cognitive understanding of grace is not expressed in my attitude or actions toward others.  It has been shared already that knowledge without love is a clanging cymbal.  Obviously, there is fruit of the Spirit which has an emotional component, such as love, joy, peace. To deny the need to deal with our emotions as Chrisitians is to deny reality and face a lack of wholeness in my life.
    Can emotions be damaged and if so how can they be healed?  Often our culture presents the image of the macho man who has no weakness and who has great confidence in his ability to master all difficulties (as in Mr. T).  Grace is found by the humble and dependent soul who comes to Jesus.  The Gospels are filled with the examples of who Jesus met and who experienced his grace.  There were those who had the great sickness of sin in their lives and Jesus attempted to point it out by addressing their practices and attitudes.  Some of these, in Jesus counselling of them, eyes were opened to their needy condition and turned to God.  There were some who were angry and tried to turn the tables on Jesus and accuse him.  The above shows two emotional responses: one healthy and one not so.  We are not as logical as we think in our reactions to the Word of God and our reactions show what is really in our inner life.  The proud assertion of the pharisees to their claim of superior knowledge of scripture was shown for what it was by our Lord's constant reminder of their PRACTICE that he refered to as hypocrisy. (MT.23)
    This is all to say that healthy emotions are part of being whole in Christ and that this is God's intention for his children.  The pharisees were known for making their converts into "twice the sons of hell" that they were and as such this shows how they were able to control their converts and twist them into a unhealthy state.  This happens in cults as well and real damage is occasioned as a result.  
 This post is too long and so I will elaborate further later and look forward to comments from those interested.
                                           God Bless,  Mark
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Arthur
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2002, 03:25:25 am »

Heh, no problem there.  I was looking over her shoulder when she wrote the post.  "Vashti"--well at least it wasn't Jezebel.   Tongue
As for the low-down, etc.  Well, what would you call someone like George?  
« Last Edit: December 24, 2002, 09:49:13 pm by Arthur » Logged
Eulaha L. Long
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2003, 12:09:56 am »

Leaving the Assembly was very hard on me.  I lost my identity, because my identity was wrapped up the Assembly- official taper, bathroom cleaner, the only single sister who showed up early to set up chairs, Bible club party organizer...When I made the decision to leave, it was like leaving a job the you've had for years and years.  What am I to do now?  I'm still very confused and am deeply hurting.

I tried "going to church" for a couple of months after I left the lodge, but I was not ready for it just yet.  I needed time to heal.

There are so many things I need answers to, but I don't know where to find them, such as, "Why am I alive?  What is my purpose in life?"  I just turned 29, and I have so little direction for my life! Sad

I'm thankful that the BB is here so I can talk to you all and get encouraged.
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Mark Mancuso
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2003, 01:55:03 am »

Eulaha, I hope that I don't lose my reputation as an "unloving" guy but here goes...

Your post struck a chord with me.  I thought that I would give you some of my history that may perhaps comfort you:

I was saved at age 26.  My fellowship was a Brethren Church in Omaha, NE.  I was single and very interested in learning the Scriptures.  My desire was to marry some day in the Lord's timing.  The desire to marry may not be your issue, but I assume that it is wrapped up in there somewhere.  After about five years of learning the Word, I started to teach.   Although it was very fulfilling to teach the Scriptures to other young men, I still struggled with "my purpose of life."  

1Cor. 7 speaks of "undistracted devotion to the Lord" for the single brother and sister, but that was of little comfort to me as I approached my mid-30's.  Matt. 19:12 states, "...and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of the heavens sake.  He who is able to accept it, let him accept it. "

Well, I wasn't able to accept it.  I still wanted a wife and children.  Around this time I left my assembly because of reasons of conscience due to unjudged sins among the leadership.  I was slandered and called a quitter, etc, and many of my Christian contacts faded away including some of my best friends.  (As I am writing this my 5 year old son is throwing up - so it has a happy ending)

I started to attend an even smaller church with no prospects of marriage in site.  I enjoyed the fellowship very much, but something was still missing.  I was becoming more and more acquainted with a man named Roger Diercks.  He lived in a different city, but I would see him and talk with him a few times per month.  Roger had a wife and four children, which I thought was an excellent example of a Christian family.

Roger died in a plane crash in January of 1994.  After Roger's death I became more acquainted with his wife, Maureen, and his four children.  My interest in Maureen and the children developed very quickly, but I did not dare show it or tell anyone about it, especially Maureen.  One morning I prayed that the Lord would take away my desire for Maureen if it wasn't meant to be or show me that it was His will.  That same day I travelled to Columbus, NE, to watch my father's baseball team play in a tournament.  I stopped by Maureen's house that evening.  That same night she told me that I shouldn't come around anymore.  I thought, "Oh no, she knows that I am interested and she is insulted by it (being a grieving widow)."  She then went on to say that I should not come around anymore because she was attracted to me and I would have to deal with the burden of four children.  I told her that her disclosure was an answer to prayer and that I felt the same way about her.  Also, I told her that the children were not a burden but part of the package deal (I am paraphrasing here).  We were married two months later in Nairobi, Kenya.  

Thus, I was married at the ripe old age of 37, and no U.S. insurance salesmen or encyclopedia salesmen know we're married.  So we have that going for us.

Eulaha,

I don't know what the Lord has for you, but just to say, "Don't compromise here."  The Lord does know what you need.  Just trust Him for that and wait on Him.

Regards,

MM
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Tony Rosete
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2003, 02:03:25 am »

Hi Eulaha.  

Your message about feeling like your identity was gone is just all too common.  We forget that our identity is in Christ, b/c we got so wrapped up in the non-stop activity, and for many, the controlling and abusive environment.  It was very weird for me as well my first 2-3 months of "going to church".  I settled on a new place of fellowship within 1 month, and many things just felt wrong.  However, God never left us when we left the Assembly, despite what several may have thought.  In fact, knowing that you are going where God is leading you (in my case, all I knew was OUT), I had a great sense of peace (not like going to Wendy's peace), despite feeling strange about alot of things.

Step out in faith, and be in prayer as you look for places.  God will lead you - He does want us to be involved with His people, and He does exist in other places, despite what you might have been told as you left.  It can get worse before it gets better, but God is faithful, and will take care of His sheep.  Once you start forming new relationships, much of that "weirdness" will go away.

Take care..

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editor
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2003, 03:20:15 am »

Dear Eulaha

I really agree with Mark's post.  You have had enough time to realize that something is missing.  The Lord promises to fill you, and make you whole.  Perhaps is is time to step out in faith and seek healthy Christian fellowhsip?  by this I mean a place where the Word is faithfully taught, where people have liberty, (redundant with regard to the first point) and where the saints have a desire to worship.  More important, The Lord must be there!

I know there are churches like this near you.  Why not go out and find them?  This can be your purpose in life, at least for the next few months until you find a place of fellowship.  Then, as you are ministered to, you will find that the other problems shape up.

Brent
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Eulaha L. Long
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2003, 12:02:14 am »

Brethren

(Wow, that almost sounds like "Assembly-speak"!)

I am thankful for all the encouragements I have received from you all.  Please -pray for me, that I would walk with the Lord, and that I would find a place of fellowship.  This would be greatly appreciated.  I am praying for you all too! Wink
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freebird
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2003, 07:10:50 am »

To all who may feel wounded, betrayed, lied to, and mistreated:

I have been reading a Tony Evans book called God is Up to Something Great.  I want to quote the beginning of chapter 3, entitled "What's Not Fair?".  Brother Evans is referring to Joseph's unfair indictment and imprisonment:

"We ended the last chapter with Joseph in a situation that was totally unfair.  When you think about it, though, Joseph's situation probably isn't that unusual.  Anybody else been lied to?  Cheated out of something?  Talked about behind your back?  If you have---and everyone has---then you know what joseph was going through.

But you know what?  Exactly as you might expect, while Joseph was in prison, the Lord was still with him......"


That is exactly what Genesis 39 says:

21  But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22  And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23  The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.


Everyone needs to remember that though life is unfair, God can more than compensate.  His presence, faithfullness, and mercy are greater than all the abuses and disappointments.  Remember Eph 1:6, that you are accepted in Christ.  Hebrews 13, God will never leave you.  I know when I left 3 years ago, I had a haunting feeling for soooo long that I was in trouble with God for "leaving fellowship".  I knew in my mind that I was right, but there were these darts that kept flying my way.  Don't entertain those thoughts even for a moment.  Break down those strongholds and trust your GOOD HEAVENLY FATHER!  God is greater than all, and God was around before there ever was an assembly.  Men will let you down, but God (Love) never fails.  
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Rudy
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2003, 08:14:50 am »

twila paris - beyond a dream

god is in control


this is no time for fear
this is a time for faith and determination
don't lose the vision here
carried away by the motion
hold on to all that you hide in your heart
there is one thing that has always been true
it holds the world together

(chorus):
God is in control
we believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
we will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him
we know, ohh, God is in control

history marches on
there is a bottom line drawn across the ages
culture can make its plan
oh but the line never changes
no matter how the deception may fly
there is one thing that has always been true
it will be true forever

(chorus)

He has never let you down
why start to worry now
why start to worry now
He is still the Lord of all we see
and He is stilll the loving Father
watching over you and me
....
watching over everything
....
watching over you
watching over me
every little sparrow,
         every little king
ohh, every little king

(chorus)
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freebird
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2003, 09:20:08 am »

Rudy,

"every little sparrow"

PTL!
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Kimberley Tobin
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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2003, 09:27:24 am »

Garth buddy!
 
You are encouraging people!!!!!!!!!!! Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Doesn't it feel great!
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freebird
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2003, 09:36:12 am »

Yes Kimberley,

It always does feel good to encourage others.  I really hate to be misunderstood.  If I had any common sense, I would probably stay away from this BB and go on with my life.  But strange as it may seem to some (those who really don't know me) I do care for God's people.  

In Christ,
Garth
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