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Friday, August 29, 2008

How I Left

I left my splinter group on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008.
I had followed Herbert Armstrong for 30 years.

I insisted on going to services in order to see everyone one last time. I arrived dressed in my best. I made sure to give out as many hugs and hardy handshakes as possible. I got a cup of coffee and settled in for the sermon. When the coffee was gone, so was I. Quietly, I sneaked out the back door, and I am not going to return.

These were the people who were there when I was a child. They were at my wedding. They saw my wife and I through our pregnancies. Everyone was invited to my wife's baptism. They were grandma and grandpa to our children. We went through agonizing church splits together. They loved us like their own. They were a closer family than my physical family. And I never wanted to have to go.

I didn't set out to leave. This was no case of "exit theology" where I prepared for months and looked for a reason to go. I was studying into a false prophet whom I know very well, whom I call the "One Witnesses", when I learned some very terrible information about Herbert Armstrong. I was completely unprepared for the scope and weight of what I would find. I realized that I cannot call one man a false prophet and give the far greater offender a pass. That would be respect of persons. After many long and painful discussions, my wife and I decided we couldn't stay any longer.


Simone said...

I too am an ex-WCGer. I too read a horrible book about HWA. For a good many years I was a mess. However,I think its time we stop placing blame solely on the WCG ministry for the state we found ourselves in and see that a good part was of our own making. If we had been like the Bereans to begin with we would not have ended up as we did. We had some responsability. After all the Bible says, "Be not deceived", which to me places the onus on the individual.. When I read blogs from ex members a reaccuring line keeps surfacing. It goes something like this: I followed HWA, or I followed WCG etc. And that tells it all! We should have been reading our Bibles and following Christ, not an organization. Just because we were under an abusive ministry is not reason to now fall headlong into the false doctrines of protestanism. If Sabbath (for example) was right then it is right now. Just because headquarters were not faithful does not mean God was not. Its just too sad that many have let someone take their crown. I do pray for all the brethren who have suffered and are still suffering. For me healing only came when I at long last started to see my role in the whole thing. Blessings

xHWA said...

Well, Simone, I think you're definitely on to something. We absolutely had a responsibility that we "abdicated" (for lack of a better word) to the demands of the hierarchy. Not a wise move.

But it is what it is now. Can't go back and change it, can only go forward and change it.

God bless with your Bible studies. And I hope you at least give those false protestant doctrines a good looking in to and prove for yourself what they are all about. Don't let the doctrines of those unfaithful people at headquarters go unchallenged. ;)