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Author Topic: Leaving GCx Churches  (Read 7657 times)
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2023, 05:38:42 pm »



I am considering leaving. … I have been attending [GCx] for almost 20 years. a lot has happened over the years which has lead me to question things. … I have been rebuked many time for questioning things. They keep telling me I don't have enough faith, read my bible more, pray more, I'm not tithing enough…  I was told I am a sinner for questioning things.

I am tired of the shame, guilt. I see it is getting very controlling and very legalistic. I am looking for a good time and good way out without a lot more guilt and shame thrown at me.  I see have what has been done to others. They have asked others to leave who question them too much, others have left on their own. I have had pastors say not to speak to people who have left in the past and I was told that they have to publicly admit their were wrong before they will be allowed back in the church. I would like to stay in contact with some very good friends but am afraid the pastors will then go up to them and tell them not to speak to me as they have said to others in the past. …

-wondering




« Last Edit: October 07, 2023, 05:44:00 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
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2023, 06:22:22 pm »



Since I have left GCM, I have started to learn that our sole purpose in life is not just to see people saved. There is more to our own salvation than sharing our faith. God wants to heal and restore us to him, not just use us to promote the basic teachings of the faith. He wants to grow the fruits of the spirit in us, partly so we are more effective at sharing our faith (which we should do), but also just for the sake of growing us. He wants us to be more like him, and that does not just entail sharing our faith with anything that moves.

GCM seems to forget this important aspect of salvation.

-araignee19,   2012


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For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2023, 07:58:05 pm »



I remember guardedly watching all around me, scared and thrilled, as I walked out of my last GCx church meeting toward the parking lot to leave this organization permanently. Only one other person (who also was leaving) knew my intentions that day, to never return.  Yet, I was PETRIFIED someone would figure it out and try to stop me. ...

The intense fear of not escaping them that day only served to confirm my brave decision. The psychological pull of that organization was like a strong gravitational force that I had to exert much faith against just to separate.  For many years I experienced nightmares that I was somehow back there captive to them again.

Yes, most of the people there were probably believers, and many basically nice people; but they had submitted to a devotion, loyalty, and worship that was NOT of God.  My spiritual, emotional, and mental health could no longer afford to be entangled with them. ...

It seems from many testimonies on this site that this is not an unusual experience in leaving a GCx church group.

-Janet


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For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2024, 07:23:23 am »



My story is seen through the lens of my experience at Evergreen from 1988-2002. … being in an environment like Evergreen really delayed true Gospel healing in my life. My hidden pain coupled with the emphasis on striving to be "mature" was a toxic mix. … the lies I believed:

• My spiritual strength is ultimately in myself. If I just read my Bible more, memorize more verses, do (fill in the blank) more, and STRIVE HARDER I will be a godly woman. In other words, Jesus saves, but the rest is up to me. …

• My husband isn't spiritual enough, and I'm not spiritual enough, so we've probably messed up our kids for life.

• I can't tell church leaders my misgivings about them because they are in authority over me, and that wouldn't be submissive/godly. There's probably something wrong with my attitude.

…God revealed the dysfunctional parts of my spiritual life, and returning to Evergreen wasn't going to help me to heal. … My first love was the church, the approval of the leaders, and doing ministry...not knowing and loving Jesus.

… There was a sense that we were the "true" church who was doing it right, that we had it all figured out. It was a culture that celebrated ME (look what I did!) instead of Jesus (look what HE did!) … Ironically, by striving so hard, I missed the gospel of GRACE.

-Free now,   2018


« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 07:25:29 am 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
margaret
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« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2024, 05:11:18 am »

Free now,

I could have written this almost word-for-word. It's sickening how prevalent this was throughout the organization.
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2024, 11:57:17 am »

Margaret, how true that seems to be. It seems a rare exception for that not to be the culture of GCx churches. Not saying every single leader bought into that, but there was NO room to make and keep real change since honesty and transparency were not valued or appreciated in that environment.

Those ideas kill the joy of the Christian’s life by ultra focusing on our fallible selves instead of our ever forgiving and compassionate savior. They lead to a lot of head hanging instead of head lifting.
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For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
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