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Author Topic: Explicit Confession of Sexual Immorality  (Read 1590 times)
Wingless_Butterfly
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« on: November 30, 2018, 11:41:36 pm »

Hey, y'all.

Time for me to bring up one of the more painful and disturbing aspects of my GCC experience. I'm going to do this by asking a question:

When confessing a sin of sexual nature, were you ever prompted to give more detail than you were comfortable with?

Follow up: Biblically, is there ever a moment where this would be appropriate? If not, what IS the appropriate way to deal with the confession of sexual sin?

In a nutshell, there was many a situation where I came forth and confessed, willingly and of my own accord, to sexual immorality. I did so out of a sheer desire to not repeat the sin. I was shamed, to say the least, and most disturbingly asked for specific and sometimes explicit detail because I "needed" to feel embarrassed. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I was asked these questions in front of my pastor, my parents, and my partner's parents. I said things in front of my father that no father should have to hear.

And, to clarify, I was at least 20 years old the first time this happened. Sigh.

Anyone else?
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Cult Proof
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 03:16:07 am »

This is sexual and emotional abuse, and public humiliation.  I am so sorry. 
I experienced similar by three pastors but never publicly the way you described.  I can’t imagine your pain.  And they weren’t exploiting shame I felt over sin but they were using shame I felt over childhood abuse to get personal information from me.  Either way it’s extremely abusive.  I was told I didn’t need counseling, “ the Lord had provided “ these pastors (one in particular). I ended up with ptsd, not from my childhood abuse but from the abuses of these three pastors.  I feel raped by those men and as my counselor says, I was spiritual raped by those men, spiritually gang raped by those men.  They are sick on so many levels.

Thank you for sharing your experience.  It helps me feel like I am not alone.  I haven’t felt like people from gcc have grasped or understood the depth of pain and trauma that experience caused me.  Thankful I am in a new church now and finding support, care and love that isn’t attached to control or shame.  I am healing, but it sure takes time and care. 
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ReaperofGCM
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 12:26:41 pm »

This is an interesting topic. Although I have not been present, I have heard from multiple people that attended Jeromy Darlings Evergreen location that
he has had his wife share her stories of her sexual past and this is beyond disgusting. Almost feels like something that would happen in "biblical times" right
before you were buried up to your head and stoned to death.

Although I am an ex Christian and ex member of this organization, even with my intimate knowledge of the Bible I do not feel this is ever appropriate to discuss
the details of your "sexual sins" to any pastor or even confession booth in a Catholic church.
If you were 20 years old when you were made to divulge this information to a pastor or worse yet, your father, you are 100% correct, no father should ever
have to hear about the sexual activity of his adult daughter.

This was very prevalent in the church I attended, and I noticed it even more at HSLT gatherings in Myrtle Beach or Colorado Springs. In our group sessions,
we were asked on more than one occasion to describe the porn we looked at if we admitted to masturbating, which God forbid you raised your hand when
that question was asked to a group. Information about sexual partners was also asked for. I had sisters that also attended these camps and I never
asked them about their experiences, although HSLT was also one of the places where one of my siblings had sexual contact with another teenager from
GCx church.

The worst part about all of this is that it was always about abstinence. Never about education. I guarantee you no one in those group sessions
at HSLT were familiar with STD's or anything related to sexual health and safety.
Just my 2 cents but then again , I'm probably the wrong person to ask "what does the bible say" about this.
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Wingless_Butterfly
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 06:44:10 pm »

Thanks, Reaper. I think your opinion on this is valid. I don't think you're "the wrong person to ask."

What do you mean that information on sexual partners was asked for? Like.. they asked about what the other person was doing? I don't mean to ask to be gross in any way, I'm wondering out of curiosity and asking for clarification. But you know, if you'd rather not answer, I 100% understand.



Cult Proof:

Ugh. Just, ugh.

I'm so very sorry.
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 07:03:15 pm »

None of the scenarios that the three of you described above seem appropriate.  I would be curious to know what professional Christian counselors and healthy Pastors (those educated and trained in these areas) would say to that kind of explicit discussion, and in front of those people.  I will ask some.  

Yes, I agree with you that your spiritual leaders/pastors’ counsel to not get counseling (or you didn’t need counseling) is SO WRONG!  How DARE them!  

You know what I think?!  I think most of the GCx leaders/pastors are afraid their members getting professional counseling will expose the truth about what they have said and how they have behaved toward the people there, and will rightfully be declared as unhealthy and inappropriate in their speech and actions.  I believe that is WHY they strongly discouraged you from counseling.  I have read story after story on here of GCx “pastors” saying very similar things to others regarding counseling outside of the church.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 05:05:25 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Lost Creature
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 07:43:21 pm »

You know what I think?!  I think most of the GCx leaders/pastors are afraid their members getting professional counseling will expose the truth about they have said and how they have behaved toward the people there, and will be rightfully declared unhealthy and inappropriate in their speech and actions.  I believe that is WHY they strongly discouraged you from counseling.  I have read story after story on here of GCx “pastors” saying very similar things to others.

Then, why did my GCX pastors encourage me to seek professional counselling when I struggled with depression the last few years?

You know what I think, Janet?
I think you are using those who have been hurt by the movement to satisfy your own revenge against GCX...
You almost did this with me...and then had me banned for questioning your intentions when I asked for objectivity.

Am I wrong? If so...tell me...and everyone else here....
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Linda
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 07:51:13 pm »

Quote from: Lost Creature
I think you are using those who have been hurt by the movement to satisfy your own revenge against GCX...

Wow. Just wow. Rush to judgment much, Lost Creature?

Reading through some of the posts today and yesterday, I just want to say I am so sorry for all of the pain this group has caused so many and for the inappropriate things that have happened. It is very sad.

We have found an odd comfort in watching the Leah Remini series on Scientology. It shows the intimidation techniques applied when people leave high control groups and has been very helpful in processing some experiences we have had over the years with various high control groups.
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Lost Creature
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 07:55:32 pm »

Quote from: Lost Creature
I think you are using those who have been hurt by the movement to satisfy your own revenge against GCX...

Wow. Just wow. Rush to judgment much, Lost Creature?


Unfortunately not...but, there's another thread with the rest of that story elsewhere...

In keeping with the theme of this thread, though,
if you have ever felt pressured to share these things by any pastor or church leader, then yes, that is definitely wrong.

It is wrong for any leader to take emotional advantage of their flock...or their army...whichever they see it as...
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 09:56:15 pm »

Lost Creature,

I have been trying to figure out what happened as far as the “banning” is concerned.  I may have caused a misunderstanding between the administrator and myself.  I am so sorry if that is the case.  I don’t think there is anyone on here who thinks you don’t have a right to express your perspective.  Not sure what happened.

I am glad some GCx leaders/pastors have encouraged others to get outside counseling.  It seems that far too many have discouraged outside (professional) counseling according to others on this site.  

I think God is very upset about the spiritual abuses that have occurred and are still occurring in GCx Churches.  I believe he has led me to expose them, label them, and warn others about them as he has others.  Vengeance is God’s, not mine.  I wouldn’t practice it very fairly.  Some things I or others write here may sound harsh, but they are actually Scriptures and analogies in scripture that God himself uses to describe this type of teaching practice.  

If it’s any consolation, I touted it for a decade not knowing it was SO WRONG.  Many people in GCx are not able to see and acknowledge the damage it is doing.  That is why Jesus refers to these type of teachers as “the blind leading the blind”.

Again, I am so sorry about any mixup I might have caused.  Will try to straighten it out.


Janet
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 09:58:15 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Cult Proof
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 06:56:01 am »

Please let us remember that this thread was started by a very courageous person asking a very valid question.  Might more of us have the courage to be honest about our experiences of abuse.  Might we know we aren’t alone, it wasn’t our fault, it was wrong and extremely painful, might we heal together.

I believe many people experienced similar abuses. I painfully and regretfully know that on one occasion I brought a person to our pastor for them to confess. I thought I was helping but I now know how horribly wrong that was.  Her trust in me should have been honored and valued and it wasn’t. In that environment love and care is so twisted.  We are taught to abuse each other and to thank people for abusing us. The damage on both sides can feel insurmountable but NOTHING can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. He forgives us and heals us, he understands we need both.

Please read her words again.  If you feel able please pray for healing (hers, yours, mine).

“Hey, y'all.

Time for me to bring up one of the more painful and disturbing aspects of my GCC experience. I'm going to do this by asking a question:

When confessing a sin of sexual nature, were you ever prompted to give more detail than you were comfortable with?

Follow up: Biblically, is there ever a moment where this would be appropriate? If not, what IS the appropriate way to deal with the confession of sexual sin?

In a nutshell, there was many a situation where I came forth and confessed, willingly and of my own accord, to sexual immorality. I did so out of a sheer desire to not repeat the sin. I was shamed, to say the least, and most disturbingly asked for specific and sometimes explicit detail because I "needed" to feel embarrassed. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I was asked these questions in front of my pastor, my parents, and my partner's parents. I said things in front of my father that no father should have to hear.

And, to clarify, I was at least 20 years old the first time this happened. Sigh.

Anyone else?”
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 03:46:06 pm »

Wingless Butterfly, I am so sorry you had these experiences.  This is NOT appropriate or professional pastoral practice.  There is NO reason you should have been asked to give details. Discussing details is a never (perhaps unless someone is discussing up a certain trigger) and there is especially NO reason to do this to shame you as part of behavior management. Honestly, this is horrifying.  And for your father to be involved--that sounds like the quiverful movements where people are "stay-at-home daughters" and subject to their father's authority until they are married and authority over them shifts to their husband.

An appropriate way to confess sexual sin?  Assuming it was consensual activity between two adults (which I am NOT asking you, just clarifying that anything non-consensual, exploitative, or abusive *would* require more intervention), I can't see any reason why it would be different than confessing any other sin.  I don't imagine that all of us go to our pastors every time we are selfish, judgmental, etc. and have group meetings about it including our parents.  If a person is participating in sexual behaviors that are compulsive or hard to control, they might want to ask for more assistance.  The bible says to bring sin to light and to confess our sins to one another, but it does not say you need to tell your pastor about every sexual sin.  Nor your parents, who may or may not be the appropriate people to discuss this with depending on the type of communication you were raised with.  A pastor who wants to know sexual details has issues, IMO. 


Hey, y'all.

Time for me to bring up one of the more painful and disturbing aspects of my GCC experience. I'm going to do this by asking a question:

When confessing a sin of sexual nature, were you ever prompted to give more detail than you were comfortable with?

Follow up: Biblically, is there ever a moment where this would be appropriate? If not, what IS the appropriate way to deal with the confession of sexual sin?

In a nutshell, there was many a situation where I came forth and confessed, willingly and of my own accord, to sexual immorality. I did so out of a sheer desire to not repeat the sin. I was shamed, to say the least, and most disturbingly asked for specific and sometimes explicit detail because I "needed" to feel embarrassed. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I was asked these questions in front of my pastor, my parents, and my partner's parents. I said things in front of my father that no father should have to hear.

And, to clarify, I was at least 20 years old the first time this happened. Sigh.

Anyone else?
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ReaperofGCM
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2018, 10:29:00 am »

Thanks, Reaper. I think your opinion on this is valid. I don't think you're "the wrong person to ask."

What do you mean that information on sexual partners was asked for? Like.. they asked about what the other person was doing? I don't mean to ask to be gross in any way, I'm wondering out of curiosity and asking for clarification. But you know, if you'd rather not answer, I 100% understand.



Cult Proof:

Ugh. Just, ugh.

I'm so very sorry.

As far as the information requested, really obvious questions like what caused us to get an erection, did you do more than kiss, did you touch each
other, did you lay with them, etc, definitely explicit stuff to be discussed in a group full of random teenagers.
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2018, 12:24:26 pm »

What?!?  What was the setting for this? 


As far as the information requested, really obvious questions like what caused us to get an erection, did you do more than kiss, did you touch each
other, did you lay with them, etc, definitely explicit stuff to be discussed in a group full of random teenagers.
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ReaperofGCM
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2018, 12:44:26 pm »

What?!?  What was the setting for this? 


As far as the information requested, really obvious questions like what caused us to get an erection, did you do more than kiss, did you touch each
other, did you lay with them, etc, definitely explicit stuff to be discussed in a group full of random teenagers.

Since these "tough" conversations primarily in my case happened at HSLT (convenient that it happened away
from our parents) , the typical setting was 6-7 teen boys (ages 13-16 typically)
in a shared beach house where we slept in sleeping bags on the floor. I will decline to give the name of our group leader but I remember
this like it was yesterday and this happened early 2000's. This "shared" time typically happened at the end of the day
right before we went to sleep and we would usually sit in a circle and talk about some pretty sexually explicit things.

There was one time however, and this meeting was ran by Mark Darling, where Mark asked all the ladies in the auditorium (group of about 300-400 of us)
to leave as he wanted to "get real" with the boys. I know the girls had their own version of this talk and I am not sure who ran that one.
 The topics he discussed were really intense and made most of us feel uncomfortable. First questioned ask to our group of guys was
who were virgins and who weren't, and you had to raise your hand if you weren't. If you raised your hand that sealed your fate for
massive embarrassment that night.
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Linda
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 01:11:32 pm »

I am so sorry to hear this.

As a parent whose children attended many HSLTs, I am very angry.
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Rebel in a Good Way
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2018, 07:42:19 am »

What in the world?!?  This makes me feel rather ill as my husband (friend at the time) and I chaperoned an HSLT trip in 2002.  I don't remember this happening but at the time it probably (sadly) would have seemed normal to me so it might not even have registered. It would have seemed normal because we were trying to be "so different from the world" by kissing dating good-bye a la Joshua Harris.

I try to be fair, thinking "not all kids are going to feel comfortable talking to their parents about sex, so isn't it okay to have a respected adult they can go to?  If my children won't talk to us, I'd rather they talk to someone so they're not navigating this all on their own or only listening to friends."  And, "wouldn't it be a good thing to make church an okay place to discuss real issues that teens face?"  So on one hand I would--in theory--be okay with them talking to a youth leader about sex.  However, to be asked to raise their hand about their virgin or non-virgin status in a room full of peers?!?  To sit around with that age range (all it takes is for one nasty senior to hear the confession of a freshman and think about that poor kid's life) and share details?!?  What is the purpose of this?  I'm sure they would say it's to "get it all in to the light" but again, they certainly don't expect details about being disrespectful to parents ("What did you say next?  Did you use a sarcastic tone?  Did you roll your eyes?  Did you make your mom cry?").  This is a completely inappropriate method to address this issue. It's forced on the kids, not by their choice.  The kids came to learn more about Jesus or something and then creepy pastor shames them publicly.  For a high school kid to have to share their sexual "status" (and what about the kids who were assaulted or raped?!?) is humiliating.


What?!?  What was the setting for this? 


As far as the information requested, really obvious questions like what caused us to get an erection, did you do more than kiss, did you touch each
other, did you lay with them, etc, definitely explicit stuff to be discussed in a group full of random teenagers.

Since these "tough" conversations primarily in my case happened at HSLT (convenient that it happened away
from our parents) , the typical setting was 6-7 teen boys (ages 13-16 typically)
in a shared beach house where we slept in sleeping bags on the floor. I will decline to give the name of our group leader but I remember
this like it was yesterday and this happened early 2000's. This "shared" time typically happened at the end of the day
right before we went to sleep and we would usually sit in a circle and talk about some pretty sexually explicit things.

There was one time however, and this meeting was ran by Mark Darling, where Mark asked all the ladies in the auditorium (group of about 300-400 of us)
to leave as he wanted to "get real" with the boys. I know the girls had their own version of this talk and I am not sure who ran that one.
 The topics he discussed were really intense and made most of us feel uncomfortable. First questioned ask to our group of guys was
who were virgins and who weren't, and you had to raise your hand if you weren't. If you raised your hand that sealed your fate for
massive embarrassment that night.

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Wingless_Butterfly
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2018, 11:13:31 pm »

Sad I so wish this was harder to believe. Thank you guys for sharing. To a certain extent, it helps to know I'm not alone in this.

Our experience was honestly horrible. Reaper - that kind of question sounds all too familiar. I think what angers me most about this is that whoever comes forward to a leader and complies with these questions is obviously trying to "do the right thing." No one answers these embarrassing questions for fun. Personally, I can say that I was doing everything I knew to in order to please God, and for this to not be an area of weakness anymore. I hated myself for what I was doing to myself and to my friend. And they twisted it. They took that desire and not only did they embarrass us both - they lied to us about who we are in Christ. They took this and used it as ammo to say we didn't love God, we were hypocrites and we were totally wrong for one another - even though we were sincerely in love. In an effort to comply with that bull**** "I kissed dating goodbye" ideal, they never even entertained the thought of a healthy day ok NG relationship. And because of that stupid "are you ready to get married?" pamphlet, the idea of marriage was ages away and seemingly unachievable.

I praise God that He spoke to me through all this. He cut through all the noise and protected my heart, and only by His grace and mercy am I still even a Christian. The way they treated this situation left me and my  partner so demoralized and devastated, it's a wonder we didn't walk away from the alord right there and then. It makes me so, so angry. They took something that is supposed to free us - confession! A desire for right living! - and turned it into bondage. God have mercy on them. Vengeance is His.
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