WHY IT TOOK SO LONG TO LEAVE A TOXIC CHURCH

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“Why did you stay in that church for so long?” A fair number of people have asked me that question when I told them about what I went through. After considerable thought, I conclude that the answer was credulity and a need to belong.

When I gave control of my life  to Christ in 1969, nobody personally invited me to their church. I had no idea why church attendance was so important for new believers. Having been forced to go as a child, I had grown tired of the Sunday morning rigmarole.

Consequently, I sought spiritual nourishment from radio preachers. One who captivated my attention was Herbert W. Armstrong and his World Tomorrow program. He spoke convincingly about the Bible and he also taught things which the other preachers didn’t. Because he linked Bible prophecies to the daily headlines, I assumed he was correct and far ahead spiritually comp aired to the rest of the teachers I heard.

Then a friend, with whom I boarded so I could attend a special school in Edmonton, suggested I go to his church. I didn’t care much for worship services but I loved studying the Bible. The lay minister of the house church spoke of the same sort of things which Armstrong did. I believed that God had led me to an advanced congregation and teacher because of my love of learning what the Bible said.

Though the elderly woman at the house church fed me supper on many Wednesday evenings before the meetings, she was also judge mental. She condemned my love of rock music, my long hair, and my interest in CB radio. Worst of all, she and the minister condemned me for lacking enough faith to be healed, having a root of bitterness, ancestral curses, and lusting for good sight. They egged me on, yet they also condemned my all-consuming desire to be healed of my poor vision.

One Sunday in June of 1987, I could stand their criticisms no longer. I stormed out of the house and never attended another service or meeting. Unfortunately, I threw out the baby with the bath water. I turned my back on God, assuming that evolution was more realistic than Christianity. When I bought a condo in 1996 and found out it was in a far noisier neighbourhood than the house I used to own, I realized I had made a mess of my life. I also understood that it wasn’t God who was too stingy to give me good vision but the lies I had believed which were at fault.

Now I attend church online at South Main Baptist in Houston, Texas. I listen to scholarly Bible teachers such as R. C. Sproul, Ravi Zacharias, John MacArthur, and Hank Hanegraaff. They showed me how to interpret scripture by scripture, not by subjective feelings and bogus revelations.

This is a summation of my testimony called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. But the story is always more compelling than the synopsis. Read more about God’s wondrous providence in my life at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

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Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of How I Was Razed, Deliverance from Jericho, and When a Man Loves a Rabbit. Two of those memoirs are available on my Blogspot page. How I Was Razed is available through Amazon and at the www.virtualbookworm.com page.

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