Multiple bloggers sharing, educating and supporting those who have been in unhealthy churches.

Author: Through Grace

I was raised in a somewhat unhealthy church group within the Nondenominational Christian Church. After graduating high school, I began attending a United Pentecostal Church (UPC). I've been a member of four UPC churches and visited many others. Of the four of which I was a member, I was "encouraged" not to leave the first and then later sent to the second; attended the second where an usher repeatedly attempted to touch me and the pastor told me I should not care about the standards of the organization and was wrong to do so; ran to a third at that point, which threw me out after a couple years; and walked out of a fourth. For these transfers and because I refused to gossip about my former churches, some called me a "wandering star, a cloud without water" (Jude 1:12). I love the fact that when the blind man was healed, questioned by the Pharisees and temple rulers, and expelled from the temple, Jesus went and sought him out. He very rarely did this once someone was healed, but for this man, he did. I believe God has a special place in his heart for those who are abused, wrongfully accused, or condemned by religious leadership. I believe He loves those who are wronged by churchianity--yes, churchianity, not Christianity, because those who do these wrongs follow a church, not Christ. 1 John 4:7-8 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

A Modern Parable

“God, help us to love our neighbors more,” they prayed at church on Sunday. After service, they filed from the sanctuary, not smiling, not saying hello to the person who nodded at them or offered a greeting. “I’ve seen her here before. She…

What happened to being nice?

I’ve been attending a certain church since February. In all that time, I still haven’t really connected with anyone. They’ve said so many times, “We’re all introverts,” as an excuse for why they aren’t friendlier. This morning I pulled into the parking lot…

Dreams are strange things

I dreamed last night that I went back to my former church-not to stay, but to visit. In the dream, my former pastor (the one who skipped town after leaving a resignation letter on his desk suddenly several years ago) returned and was…

Fears after Leaving

After leaving, there may be a time period of trying to find some balance, a time when a person might go to opposite extremes with a sort of pendulum effect. Different people seek different kinds of balance. Some may go to extremes with…

Leaving (pt 2)

Continued from here. When I left my former group, I needed a place to talk through things with people who would understand, and found three groups that seemed to. They were very different. One announced personal information about me, which scared me. The…

What it’s like to leave

Leaving a church affects us all differently. Some words I’ve used and heard used to describe leaving are: frightening, overwhelming, scary, freeing, confusing, sad, hopeful, and happy. The mix of emotions can be overwhelming, and on top of that there is a struggle…

The outward appearance

Legalists often quote a partial verse, “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart,” to prove they should maintain “standards” of dress and hair. This is a prime example of a partial verse quoted out of context to make…

Twisting scripture

As kids, we were playing with some neighbors. We had some cheap plastic bead play necklaces. One of the neighbors decided to twist it around and around her fingers, snapping the beads, glued to the string, together so that they interlocked and made…

Why does it take so long?

People may wonder–*I* wonder–why it’s taken me so long to get over some things. Part of it is that I was abused in more than one church, and had been taught to doubt myself and be dependent even before that, so there’s been…