Be true to your cult, ctd

Spiritual Sounding Board’s Julie Anne publishes a thoughtful meditation on the ways that pastors use language to signal disapproval and isolate members. Well worth reading.

Ok, Kathi brought up a knitting group and coincidentally I was in a knitting group while attending my former church which I believe runs like a cult, Beaverton Grace Bible Church. This knitting group consisted of some friends from a former church and also other knitting friends, some were Believers, some not. I was never told not to go to the knitting group by my pastor, but I felt guilty each time I went. I felt I was betraying someone, but who? Yes, I thought I was betraying my pastor and his “mission.”

Whenever I played the piano for the local high school choir and the concert coincided with Wednesday evening services, I felt guilty that I wasn’t spiritual enough, that I was letting my church family down. These guilty feelings really weighed on me. Why couldn’t I spend time with great friends and knit, even if the conversation didn’t always revolve around the gospel? Why couldn’t I share my love of music with high school students who were part of my community? We were building relationships and I was getting to know people in my community. Where was this division coming from?

My gut proved me right. I later got word from my friend who was a staff employee that my pastor, Chuck O’Neal, did NOT like me meeting with other ladies to knit.

We should expect the domineering, cult-like behavior of churches to intensify as the growing numbers of ‘nones’ force them further into retreat.

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