Exit and Support Network

My Talent of Music Was Never Appreciated

I began attending Worldwide Church of God when I was seven years old. A few years ago I decided to stop attending, although I did visit congregations on occasion until events within the WCG left me with no conscionable alternative but to disassociate myself completely with them. I have spent some hours reading the material on your site.

I cannot point to a single reason that pushed me over the edge to leave, and it's hard to articulate my experiences even now. The easy answer would be that I grew to the point that the hypocritical, self-serving, and self-righteous attitudes that were flagrantly exhibited by many ministers and "leading" members of the congregations I attended and visited regularly became so disgusting to me, and the way those same ministers and "leading" members treated those "lesser" (read: less than perfect, in their eyes) individuals who were truly seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, that I could not in good conscience continue to attend.

I had a talent in music and I traveled regularly through the congregations, bringing hymns and special music to many of the small congregations that would not normally have special music, and who occasionally had no one that could even play the piano at a level sufficient to accompany the hymns, or had someone who could not regularly attend to do so, or whatever. The attitudes similar to those I've referred to that I witnessed in these congregations sickened me, but I could not stop what I later came to understand and believe was my own ministry of music because of the outpouring of love I received from the "lesser" individuals in these congregations. These people needed their spirits lifted, and I believe that God worked through me to help do that with my music, which I poured out with great feeling. I also performed on several occasions at FOT--until the level of resentment directed towards me by certain ministers and their wives and more of those "leading" members became so high that they imposed their will over God's and denied me the ability to play at the FOT for the last several years I attended, much to the puzzlement and disappointment of hundreds, if not thousands, of brethren who knew me, knew what talents God had bestowed on me, and could not understand why I was not allowed to give my offering of music to the congregation before God.

I was aware of the problems with the WCG from a very early age. Eventually I came to see that, ultimately, my relationship with God was just that--my relationship with God--not a relationship with God filtered by WCG. Of course, no one could undo all the things that had been beaten into me over the previous years, nor the incredible amount of guilt that I was burdened with by "the church" and my parent. Nothing could prevent the damage done by so many of those other ministers and "leading" members that haunt me to this day and have caused me so much pain.

I know of others that attended another university after AC (Ambassador College), after finding out just how worthless in terms of employment value an AC degree was. (Isn't it ironic that the WCG exhorted us--even demanded us--to give more and more, but their college was so bad that one was privileged to get a job as a janitor after graduation, if one didn't go into the ministry?)

I have struggled with my faith and with what WCG "beat" into me--both literally and figuratively, directly and indirectly. I have also struggled with my identity as a man, a husband, and a father as a result of those same "teachings." It has caused me and my family great pain and distress, and only recently have I been able to begin to explore its depth--and I realize I cannot do it alone. 

By Randy - Child survivor of WCG
August 2, 2002

 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,  and
I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28

 

Also read:

WCG Caused Me to Pass Up Music Scholarships (another child survivor's story about music)

Why Weren't Our God-Given Talents and Gifts Valued in the WCG?

Healing Through Grief (Includes Personal Stories About Grief from survivors of Armstrongism)


Back to Stories and Testimonies From Child Survivors