Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 – A Retrospective Look at the Project

When I started this effort, my sole aim was to provide information to the reader about dysfunctional religious groups. I speak from the perspective of being in one and then out of one. My own personal tragedy is that I did not leave the group I was a part of solely on my own choosing. Frankly, I should have acted upon my own assessment of my situation much earlier but if you have taken the time to read over some of the earlier entries, you would have noticed it is uncommon for people to leave on their own power. In fact, I would say most of the people in the described situation are currently in such a state of mind: They know something is not quite right but to make the decision to leave the group is not an easy one to make. This is because for years they have been conditioned not to trust their own assessment of the situation but to look to others and their peers. Take it from me it is a miserable existence.


Okay, so I started this blog as a personal quest to crystallize my own thinking regarding some of the main subjects I had been taught and to address them with more than my own take on the Bible and my own feelings. Much of the entries cite others who have had extensive training and experience in dealing with each individual topic. So, what you are reading really is a synthesis of my own research and perspective. Really, I don’t know how one counsels those coming out of a dysfunctional group unless they have walked those dark halls themselves. What I have offered those who have read this blog is as much as I am able to write it, clear and balanced teaching. The reality is those of us who have ‘come out’ of such groups have a tilted view of God, The Bible and the World. Friend, it takes a long time and a diligent effort to rid ourselves of what we have experienced. Why? Well to be frank, it has become a part of us and we don’t even know it. Our former life returns to us at times through memories, scriptures and even pictures on our walls that whisper darkness to us. So what we need is a good ‘head-cleaning’. We all need to keep this in mind. My friends, the true and stark fact is everything you learned within the group must be questioned. You must do the research and invest time in yourself to sort and strain through all of it. If you do not, you will never be delivered from the ghosts in your mind because it is the word and balanced teaching based on the word that will give you force and power to defeat your own random thoughts. I wish there was an easy way but you must know that in a sense the strong man has entered your dwelling with seven more evil than himself and it is too much for you unless new roads and the fresh wind of the freedom of God’s word sets it all aright.


If you look at the blog it, I have attempted a systematic approach of healing and freedom. I start with defining what a dysfunctional group is, why it takes to long to leave one. Then the blog turns to my own personal thoughts and experiences and extracts from them characteristics of what a dysfunctional group can do to one’s mind and thinking. I then address the power that destructive thoughts and emotions have on one’s entire holistic being (body, mind, and soul). Having identified the forces that are at work within one extracted from such a group, I turn to the rights of the individual believer. This is the first constructive teaching in the sense of after defining the ‘world’ where you had been dwelling to the wasteland of your own mind. I describe this a wasteland because it is a grope to try to find your bearings and even your very self again. Then I take look at authentic authority because many foist themselves as God-ordained leaders when in fact more than likely they have captured you in their own delusion. This begins to strike at the very heart of the issue that who was your leader must meet the criteria for holding the authority they tout that they have but in essence – according to the word of God – they fall very short and masquerade in a role perhaps for only a very few. Once the group and the individual who you followed have been identified as a toxic influence, I open the subject of your own personal right to measure any teaching someone has taught you. As examples of this, I embark on some theological subjects that I believe for the most part are subjects in which dysfunctional groups identify themselves. I start with the subject of jargon within the group and use three words as examples. Next, I address the impact of this teaching on those who you know and love that still might be in the group. I try to provide a balanced perspective on the very scriptures that are parroted by them that allow them to disassociate themselves to expatriates from the group. This is so you might be able to present to them the mis-application they destructively practice. Next comes the re-assessment of the ‘house’ you live in – metaphorically speaking. This topic is presented so that what has been presented to you in this blog up to that point is re-affirmed as you look at yourself. Be fearless in your assessment of each ‘wall’ in your house. Then comes a three part series on water baptism. The main thrust of this three part series is to not to teach you what it is but what it is not. Many dysfunctional groups leverage water baptism into what it is not – a part of salvation – this is the heresy of the Judaizers the apostle Paul fought in another form. I then discuss the terrain of the Leviathan planet. That is the micro-world of the dysfunctional group and split that world into two main groups. It is hoped that through this topic, the underworld of the dysfunctional group can be understood and seen as a place where hell is more the model they follow than heaven. Finally, I deal with the topic of moving on taking you through the town of Miss Havisham – I cover in the last section the inflection point of our change to a new life. Simply put, we must be like Jesus and forgive those who have caused so much damage.

The reality is we have not been discarded but given a great gift: The ability to discern truth from error, light from dark, Jesus from religion -- most of all mastering the art of forgiveness

As we look ahead to the next year of 2011, I will strive to provide sound and solid subject matter that hopefully will help you.

God bless you and thanks for embarking on this journey of healing with me.


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