Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of the box...Again

I was raised in a cult. I’m sure it wasn't on purpose. I imagine that my family (minus my father who did not buy into these beliefs) felt very strongly that this was the way of God. Overnight…literally, things changed in my house when this belief system came in place. All holidays were permanently banned. Birthdays were gone as well. It was believed to be vanity to celebrate your birthday. As you can imagine this “religion” brought on many depressing days this time of year for me. No one was allowed to vote or take part in the military by any means. I imagine, if we were allowed to vote, we would have been told who to vote for and why. We would have been expected to do it without question, in mass. No free thinking here, because WE SAID SO was enough reason to obey, along with a few scriptures neatly placed to drive in the point.

I was only about six years old when this heavy ban was placed on our home. My mother was roped in by her siblings and thus the disease of “one mind” continued for many years for us. I remember wanting to question everything but being told to question nothing. It’s like having your vocal chords squeezed into submission along with your mind. At age 19, I was finally free. Kicked out, disowned, but free nonetheless. By the way, I found out that my mother pulled away from these people before she died, that information was not privy to me until I grew up… she too was free.

The search for the true meaning of my life began after 19, and I spent many days like a hobo in life, meandering about in my mind as to where I belonged. Nothing could have surprised me more to find out at age 28 that I was in fact loved and accepted by God.  I had no choice but to conclude that the God that held His hand out for me then, was not at all behind all of the brainwashing and behavior that I learned in my childhood. In fact, this new God of mine allowed me to ask questions, as many as I needed in order to understand Him better…and He still does.

Because of my upbringing, I see life differently a lot of the time, people who have been in my shoes know exactly what I’m talking about. I tend not to want to stand in the same lines (figuratively speaking) as everyone else at the same time. I don’t like playing ‘follow the leader’ (many of ours were very dishonest people) and please, whatever you do, DO NOT ASK ME TO REPEAT AFTER YOU in a church service, I know you mean well, but it feels…well…cultish to me. I must seek God and the words that He wants me to speak, the things that He wants me to believe and the way that He wants me to live on my own. I must hear His voice. I must know for sure that my decisions were not influenced by the majority, because the majority can be wrong.

God is unconventional, this I know. He is not cut and dry. Look at creation. Okay, so He made an ocean, but why make waves and add sea life?  Fine, He created a sky but what’s with all the beautiful fluffy clouds and the sunrise and sunset? He didn't have to do so much extra, but He did, because He is the originator of creativity in action. So, I got to thinking, God if you are so creative with our landscape we call earth, than I’m sure that you have many more unconventional methods of bringing change to our world. Why do so many Christians believe otherwise and stick to conventional thinking? We say “get out of the box” but then jump right back in it again when challenged.

God never asked us to picket, protest or wear t-shirts about what we believe. He simply asked for one radical movement of love and then He demonstrated it by being Christ who showed no form of discrimination whatsoever. He simply loved. Oh, He was honest and direct with people, but the mercy and grace that flowed from Him was all that was needed to understand right from wrong, the rest was up to them.

These past few years of cleansing myself from any form of religion has led me to one astounding truth...NOT ONE PERSON on this earth, has claim to God more than the next.  Christ died for ALL. Is it possible that those who profess to know so much about Him would be willing to demonstrate His love?

Or will this life changing movement come from an unexpected source with a willing heart?...

The person that does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8


  1. Wow, what a story. I must admit, I laughed at loud at the "don't ask me to repeat after you in church" part. I feel exactly the same way! I like to say, "A god that is too small for your open mind is no god at all." Fear and control are not the way He works. So thankful.

  2. I like that Brooke. I have a good feeling about people who just want the God of Love to direct their paths.

  3. Bonita, this is so...I am at a loss for a descriptive enough word! Your transparency is very moving. Although I was not raised in a cult, for some reason I never felt comfortable following the crowd or traditions or religions. Never fit in..(in or out of church)!

    Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Lottie, being an outsider can be a real gift sometimes. Thank God for it!