Exit and Support Network

Some Results of Attending a
"Bona-Fide" Christian Church

Following are a few incidences that I experienced in my Sunday School class.

Incident #1: (July)

What I tried to do:

I mailed my elderly Sunday School teacher a poem of The Weaver (which I had typed from an old poem book I had) because he had talked about this poem at a recent funeral the class attended. I also wrote him in the same letter about how I had been in a "cult" (the Worldwide Church of God), the feelings one has, and how I'd like him to pray for my husband who didn't feel like attending yet.

The result:

I had to ask him (after much fear feelings) if he received my letter. He was busy at the time, passing out sheets to the class. He thought for a few seconds (trying to recall it) and then said, "Yes, it was great," and then scurried on his merry way. One year later his wife died and the next Sunday, he got up before the class and said a friend had sent him "this wonderful poem he had always loved." Then he proceeded to pass out to the class copies of a different version of The Weaver.

Incident #2: (December to February)

What I tried to do:

I made a few visits to an 80 year old man who was dying of cancer (he had been a part of our Sunday School class along with his wife). When he went into the hospice, I visited him three times, and the first two times I was able to read him verses from the Bible and pray with him. He was very appreciative, and on the second visit we even had a wonderful talk about Christ and death. I even called his wife the next morning to encourage her and to also share with her what happened. (I was even feeling that this was what I wanted to do--visit the sick and dying.)

The result:

I thought it was somewhat strange that on my third visit to the hospice, this man's wife told me I "couldn't read to him today" because he had been "up half the night" and was asleep. I had come with another lady from the Sunday School class and this sick man's wife was so glad to see her and mostly talked to her the entire time. Before we left, the elderly man woke when I went over to him and was so happy I and the 2nd lady were there and said that he "missed us."

A few days later, this man's wife (who had not been attending the Sunday School class for the last several months) related a message to me through another lady from the class. At the time, we were at someone's else's house where we all had gathered for a dinner, and I was taken to the basement by this lady and told that "the family doesn't want you reading the Bible to him anymore" and "the family will do it." Furthermore, I was told he was now "blind" and a sign on his hospice door confirmed that, and he was "too weak to receive any visitors," plus "he didn't know anyone who came to visit him anyway."

I called the hospice the next day and was told that he wasn't blind, had visitors come to see him all the time, and he really enjoyed them.

The man's wife, by the way, loved to have the Sunday School teacher show up at the hospice and sing in a robust voice to him some sacred hymn. His wife told me she "didn't know what she would do without that Sunday School class."

Later I could look back and put together lots of pieces that showed I was being discouraged from visiting this man. This whole incident triggered angering, upsetting and trauma feelings for three to four days. I never went back to the hospice, but this kind and gentle Christian man died a few weeks later.

Incident #3: (April) The last time we attended this church.

Our Sunday School teacher was hospitalized for only a few hours and released with nothing wrong. The next Sunday, when the teacher went to the front, the whole class started clapping. Then suddenly, one by one, 99% of the whole class started standing up and continued clapping. (My husband and I only stood up the last three seconds.) They were putting a man up just like we did with Herbert Armstrong and Joseph Tkach, and it made me angry inside, and I just wanted to get out of there.

Incident #4: (May) This confirmed that we had made the right choice to leave.

There was an older man in our Sunday School class who always acted like he was so happy when my husband first started coming. He would put his arm around my husband and act like he "loved" him as his Christian brother.

When we hadn't been to class for three weeks, this man saw me in a Target store and asked, "What's happened?" I didn't want to get in a discussion about why we weren't coming and I just said, "We were at church Sunday." He perked up and said, "You were?" Then I said, "At another church." (We actually had visited another church that Sunday for Mother's Day.) Suddenly he shook his head to express his disapproval and he was gone. We've never heard from him since. It was like he was saying, "You are not attending our church? Our Sunday School class? Our little clique? Our social club? How could you?" This didn't bother me too much because I had already made the decision to stop coming.

Conclusion:

The above are only a few of the many stories I could relate from my time in this Sunday School class. This does not mean that every exiter will have the same experiences. However, one thing is true: No Christian can completely understand what we have gone through (no matter how much they may say they want to) unless they have personally been through it. Nevertheless, I came to see that we don't need to be a member of a church in order to be close to Christ or to know that He is always with us.

By Karina
Exit & Support Network™

Related Material:

Why is it hard for me to attend a mainstream church? (Q&A)


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