Here is a cross post from the group, Escape From the Fellowship
A subject that I have found fascinating over the years since I left the fellowship is the change of beliefs that ex members of Waymanland undergo. It's pretty wild, really, the different directions that ex members have gone in relating to their spiritual, religious, or metaphysical beliefs. Some merely change their Chrisitian doctrines. Some embrace doctrines like eternal security, which is an abomination to Waymanchrist, since it neutralizes his cult control of church members. Others develop different ideas about "what the Bible really says," and some become just as dogmatic about their new beliefs as they were about their beliefs when they were a part of Waymanland.
A few of us took the step into a complete examination of the Bible, and the whole Christian faith. Some of us ended up renouncing the Christian faith in favor of other beliefs, I being one of those ex members of Waymanland who did that.
Many people have passed through these message boards over the years. Not so much in the past two years, but quite in the years before that. I really wonder how many of them, who professed to still be Christian believers, while they were writing on the message boards years ago, are still professing Christians today?
Loki, aka, Perry, is one who professed Christian faith when he was first posting on the message boards, but later openly changed his beliefs. Had he dropped off the message boards when he was still professing Christianity, most would probably assume that he was still Christian and attending some church somehwere. Because he stayed on the message boards, we got to see his transformation, so to speak.
Here is a post by Perry, from his message board, Loki's Potting Shed, from back in early 2005, that reveals some of the evolution of his beliefs.
On Leaving the Faith
I did it quite suddenly. After leaving CFM and trying to hang around
in other churches I was getting nowhere. I couldn't reconcile all the
variations in doctrines and different behaviours. Actually, this was a
key misunderstanding on my part. Coming from the PH, you generally
expect people to all be the same, that being the norm in PH. Group
personality. In healthy churches people really are free to be
themselves. It took me a long time to realise this.
Anyway, I left the faith suddenly, because I decided that I would toss
out every doctrine I'd ever learnt in PH and start learning them all
over again. Except this time I would not suspend disbelief in fear of
not fitting in with the crowd.
I started out with a 3 month study of the sermon on the mount. I
figured that if God really does exist, then if you want to know what
he's like, look at Jesus. So that's what I did.
A few things gnawed away at me during my years of extreme skepticism.
I can't say it was outright unbelief, as I never said to myself that I
stopped believing in God -- just that I was very skeptical. Given the
fact that my head had been plugged full of false doctrine by the
Mitchell/Mastin/Vicary brigade, it's quite reasonable to doubt that
The things that gnawed at me were the fact that I could still speak in
tongues, and a few supernatural experiences that I'm not going to into
at this time.
One thing I found hard to do was to separate my CFM experience from my
Christian experience. Eventually when I was able to, Jesus became a
lot more appealing to me.
During my years of skepticism, however, serious doubts occurred to me
and I really am sorry to say that I have certain objections to faith
that most Christians are really bad at answering. I've found that the
only people who can come up with decent answers to these questions are
agnostics and ex-believers. Atheists and believers are useless with
these questions. When asked these questions, atheists and believers
retreat behind their own preconceptions.
Things like, why does god allow suffering? Standard answer: those
people in nations like India suffer because they're not Christian
nations. What a load of crap. Christians suffer too. I was talking to
someone from a part of the USA -- I think he said Iowa. Des Moines.
Would that be right? He said it's a white rural ghetto and the meth
capital of the world. His girlfriend is from Indiana and she first
witnessed a murder (she's witnessed a few) at age 7. So. Won't these
people be rapt to be told that they live in Christian nations, so
there's no suffering to worry about.
In general I've found that Christians are really bad at giving answers
that have any usefulness outside of their own little worlds. The New
Testament speaks of signs and wonders that convince unbelievers of the
reality of God. But a lot of these explanations that believers come up
with make absolutly no sense.
And yet, I keep saying that I've come back to the faith. Well... I've
answered some of those nagging questions to my own satisfaction. I'll
share those eventually.
Sunday, January 23, 2005