Tag Archives: SGMSURVIVORS

Future Mad Scientist, DB…Responds to Creflo Dollar and the Issue of Spanking

14 Jun

In my last post (which you can find here), I commented briefly, that Creflo Dollar is claiming that he did not hit and choke his 15-year-old daughter, he only spanked her.

Future mad scientist DB had this to say

First, as a still-Christian, the rod is symbolic of parental authority not permission to beat your kids.

Second, why is everyone up in arms because of her age? Why is it ok to beat little kids but spare older kids? No one should be hit period.

One of the things I regret as a result of my time in the same cultish church as our dear host is that I ever physically assaulted my children.

Nothing will take away that shame and regret.

What you may not know about DB and christianagnostic, is that we used to go to the same church.  In fact, we used to go to the same small group, at this church.

It was at this church that I was first exposed to the teachings of Gary Ezzo.  DB approached our pastors about some concerns she had with the Ezzo and his parenting advice.  They kicked her and her family out of the church and forbid anyone to speak to her.  They shunned her family for merely asking them to justify these extreme parenting ideas.  You can read DB’s story about these events here.

So there’s a little context as to why DB and I fell so strongly against spanking.  It’s because we were parenting young children at a church that encouraged parents to spank at almost any infraction and at any age.

In the parenting classes I attended, we were instructed to begin disciplining children as young as 3 months old.  And when I say discipline, I mean we were specifically taught to flick a baby’s  backside if they were crying and showing their “sinful” nature.  All of this was  according to Mr. Ezzo and our pastoral staff, the “Biblical” way to raise “Godly” children.  This same pastor, went so far as to suggest that we NOT take our children to any doctor that would inspect their backsides for marks, because then the doctor might be obligated to report suspected abuse.

He went on to say he could recommend a Dr. who “understood” Biblical discipline and was always careful to never inspect children’s backsides for bruising.

If you’re sitting here with your mouth now open and wondering if anyone actually followed this advice….I’m sorry to report that I witnessed young babies being “flicked” for crying too much.  As a parent of a toddler, I had been encouraged to begin spanking with a foot long glue stick.  Yes, a glue stick.  I was told that it ensured that pain was felt and that it left very little bruising.

Now call me crazy, but this sort of teaching is all about control through violence and intimidation, not discipline.  And you want to know the other side of it.  It doesn’t work….I could list family after family that used to follow this regime, believing that they were raising “Godly “children that would never rebel or disobey (yes-they actually pitched this as a way to insure that you did not ever have rebellious children).  Only to have major issues with their children.

I actually attempted to follow this parenting model, but just couldn’t.  It seemed so wrong and harsh.  As a new parent, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t just harsh, it was abuse.  We chucked it pretty soon into it and decided we didn’t care what our church thought.  But I still have regret for ever giving heed to such an abusive outlook and it has weighed heavy on me, at times.  Once I realized how awful it had been, I would cry (almost uncontrollably) at how adversarial I had been to my own children.  They were young and tender, and I was assuming the worst of their tiny hearts.

So when it comes to spanking, I say “Buyer Beware”.

You might be able to control your children in the short-term with such tactics, but you could be sowing seeds of resentment that could last a lifetime.

Wartburg Watch Website Down…Hackers May be to Blame

27 May

For the last couple of days,  The Wartburg Watch has been offline.   Dee left this post at SGM Refuge yesterday:

Jim
I am sorry to use your blog like this but The Wartburg Watch has a serious problem and we are trying to get the word out. We will be down for the entire weekend. Things have just “disappeared.” There is concern that we have been hacked but that is not confirmed. Whatever happened, it is bad. Please pray for us.

Deb left this message over at SGM Survivors:

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

For those of you who peruse The Wartburg Watch, just wanted to let you know that our website went down yesterday for some unknown reason. Our tech guy says the problem is extremely serious.

For those of you who have been enjoying our EChurch services, we apologize. We will post it when the blog is up and running again.

Rest assured that we are more determined than ever to get the truth out. We will not be hindered.

Blessings to all!

No fun, I hope to see TWW back up and running soon!

Story of Child Abuse from the Mothership of SGM-featured at Exchristian.net

3 May

exCLCer has posted her story of abuse at the hands of two pastors from CLC.   For those not familiar with Sovereign Grace Ministries, CLC (Covenant Life Church) was the founding church of the cult.  One of the founding pastors is CJ Mahaney, author and speaker in many of the new Reformed conferences.  CLC’s current  pastor is Josh Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

I attended SGM churches for almost a decade, including a brief period at CLC in Gaithersburg, MD.

I’ll let her story speak for itself:

http://new.exchristian.net/2012/05/losing-faith-gaining-facts-my-story-of.html

How Smart People Get Sucked into Cults

14 Apr

I was a few months into my new job and really enjoying my position and co-workers.  I was taking a quick break and jumped on a computer in the break room to check email.  After checking email, I decided to click over to the SGMSURVIVORS board for current and former member of the cult I used to be a part.  I was just about to wrap it up when one of my newest co-workers came up and enthusiastically asked what I was reading.   AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!  Do I just kinda fudge it and say nothing while I quickly close the page?  Or do I just tell the truth?

I hesitated and she asked “What?”-you know, the kind of one word question that says “did I just say something wrong to you” sort of what.

I breathed deep and said, “I was checking on a Survivors blog  for former members of an abusive church I used to attend…..a cult.”

My co-worker looked surprised and said “But you’re smart, how did you end up being a part of a cult?”  Without getting too deep into the details, I explained that I was raised Christian, and while at college I attended some churches to try to stay involved with my faith.  Unfortunately, I ended up at a church that seemed so friendly and nice at first;  but after being involved for years, came to realize that they would suck people into their relational network, only to threaten to take it away if you dared to disagree with church leadership.

It took me years to admit it….but it’s true.  I was part of a cult.  And you know why it took me years to admit it…pride.  You see, only gullible and naive people get sucked into cults, right?  I mean, if I admit that I was part of a cult, than what does that say about me?  That I’m gullible and naive, of course.  And what intelligent person wants to admit that there a sucker…I certainly didn’t.

Emotional Creatures Are We

The experience of getting sucked into a cult has taught me something-we are emotional creatures first, rational creatures only when forced to change.  This is a generalization of course, but I think it holds true and is why thinking people get caught up into cults.

From my experience, I can look back now and see how the church I attended would Love Bomb visitors and then exploit the relational needs or vulnerabilities of these folks.  They would draw their new-found recruits into a deeper relational network composed of only members of the church.  Once someone became intertwined in the church, that’s when the additional demands (both doctrinally and practically) would be trotted out.  At this point, I am forced to make a choice.  Do I reject this new doctrine/demand and risk losing  my new-found relationships, or do I try to make a go of it so that I can continue to enjoy the relationships that I now depend on for support and self-worth?

It’s this exploitation of our emotions that makes leaving a cult so hard.  It hurts like hell, in fact.  All of the sudden, people you thought you could depend on are treating you like you’re a criminal.  Or acting as if you don’t exist anymore.  All the while, you thought you were building relationships to last a lifetime, only to see them washed away in one fell swoop.

It’s then that you realize that all the phone calls, the meals when you were sick, the invites to hang out as couples all hinged on you being a part of the “best church” since the New Testament was written; maybe even better.  Now that you’ve voiced some concerns, or pointed out an area where they do not practice what they preach, you become “persona non grata”.

And that’s it in a nutshell.  It almost doesn’t matter what the particulars of the belief system are.  It’s the fact that you will be punished through your relationships, with cruel efficiency and forethought by people you love.  It’s this threat of relational banishment that holds current members in fearful check, while those being banished find themselves overboard and drifting on a sea of emotional turmoil and confusion.  Have I mentioned it hurts like hell?  Well just in case you missed it, it hurts like hell.