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.

Taking every thought captive

There are also some things I was told I had to do to be saved. I was taught to just stop thinking about some things, “taking every thought captive”. However, refusing to think about certain things, particularly problems in the church, is NOT…

Odd thoughts on communion

It’s New Year’s Eve, the time of the traditional watch night service, or foot washing and communion in many Pentecostal circles. It was one of the biggest nights of the year for me for the nineteen years I was “in,” and it’s a…

Grief and memories

I’ve been reading a book on grieving, No One Cries the Wrong Way. The author lists several ways to grieve, and it occurred to me that none of the ones listed works for those who grieve a loss like ours, because we are…

It’s about relationship

I’ve struggled for years with Bible reading. After I was thrown out of a church in 2000, I started having more and more difficulty, but particularly after I moved to a new city and a new church. So for 16-17 years, I’ve struggled.…

Pants or not pants?

Pants for women has become a laughable argument in Pentecost. The argument at my former church was that tights were fine because they had feet, so they resembled hose. Hose were not pants, and hose were for women, so tights were OK (at…

Afraid to leave… afraid to stay

I’ve been reorganizing. As I did, I came across a good-bye letter from me to the pastor from March 2008. I didn’t actually leave until December 2009. I don’t remember what prompted me to write the letter; I’m fairly certain it had to…

Conversation with an Atheist

I have a coworker who is an atheist. I’ve known that or at least had a strong suspicion of it for awhile now. She’s looking for a new house and was asking today about different areas I was familiar with. It’s sad how…

Of Red Doors and Bed Posts

I installed a new door this weekend. And after some debate I painted it red… and laughed because everyone would expect a nice, conservative white door at my house. This morning, driving away from my house, enjoying the fall colors and my new…

Bible Reading and Prayer

I’ve asked and been asking myself for years why I struggle so much with Bible reading and prayer. I’ve finally gotten to a point where I can talk to God a little bit, but I wouldn’t say we were on close speaking terms.…

The sacred cows of Pentecost

According to Wiktionary, a sacred cow is something that can’t “be tampered with, or criticized, for fear of public outcry. A person, institution, belief system, etc. which, for no reason other than the demands of established social etiquette or popular opinion, should be…