Glad I'm out! - Printable Version
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Glad I'm out! - Alaskagirl85 - 10-21-2011 11:43 AM
I've been reading this website for the past week, relating to almost everything in some way. Here is my story:
I was raised by athiest parents who were both science teachers and extremely liberal. Much to their disappointment, in highschool I started getting pretty conservative political leanings, and later got saved while reading a Bible in my room. My senior year of highschool I started going to a SBC church, all the while partying and living with my boyfriend. I went to SBC churches all through college, but when I left my boyfriend after college, I started going to this little church near my parent's house. I had no idea what an IFB church was, and knew nothing of the subculture. At this point I was living in Idaho, and IFB is not a big part of the culture. The preacher was a "missionary" from North Carolina. There were about 16 people at the church. This is including the Pastor, his wife, and their 8 children. I decided to really clean up my life now and become a "real Christian."
Within 6 months of joining this church, I was gently encouraged into ankle length skirts, KJB and working in the church. The church started to grow a little. I was cleaning the church, doing the finances, mailing checks to missionaries, teaching a Sunday School class, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and of course bringing a covered dish to the potlucks. I'm very shy and was pretty thankful that because of my full time job in retail, I was unavailable to go door knocking every Saturday. I was still in church Sunday morning and evening, and Thursday night... and of course on "family movie night" and fellowship nights and prayer breakfasts. I was 21. I couldn't believe how much everyone trusted me. I had a key to the church, knew how much everyone gave, it was like a close knit family.
Then our pastor was "called" back to North Carolina after feeling all the "oppression" of trying to grow an IFB church in a liberal college town in the West, which, as he said over and over again, was not a God fearing land like the Bible Belt. Luckly we had a man in our church who had gone to WCBC. So now he was the pastor. Our church sounds like it was a lot different from other IFB church in some ways. Some women wore pants on Thursday night. People watched movies and TV, played cards, dressed up for Halloween/Harvestfest and some were still praying in tongues (only at home of course) from their pentecostal days. There were a lot of rebels from the IFB straight and narrow, that we got from the Nazarene Church or the Community Church. Some people even brought their NIVs to church, despite all the KJVO preaching. Nobody was saved during door knocking the whole time I was there... we just grew the church from people who left other churches. I got very into the culture, only reading IFB books and getting rid of my secular music. I found out about Revival Fires, and Chick Tracts and this whole subculture I was blissfully unaware of a year ago. Every week we got a 2 hour long salvation message, with some standards and some 1950s nostalgia thrown in. But week in week out, it was the Romans road over and over and over. Nevermind that the 40 or so people in the at this point were all saved and baptized. Who knows how many of them were "playing church" and needed to get saved again? The adult Sunday School was always about why a different denomination or Christian author had it wrong. There was the Rick Warren sunday school lesson, and the Seventh Day Adventist sunday school lesson, ect.
I met a guy at work, and drug him to church and he cleaned up his life and got really involved too. I got married in the IFB church (piano music, salvation message given before the vows). The church ladies insisted I have a bridal shower in the church basement. Nothing like getting a heap of lingere for your honeymoon from the ladies at church, along with 3 copies of "Created to be His Helpmeet". I got pregnant on my honeymoon, and was promptly given "To Train up a Child" from several different people. Whipping infants, and the idea that I was created for the sole purpose of being my husband's helpmeet was starting to turn me off from the church. The ignorance from the pastor was starting to hurt my brain. "Hindus worship cows" and "There is no worse sin than being a filthy sodomite" "drug addiction is not a disease" "There is no such thing as mental illness" and such. My husband almost went to Bible College in Oklahoma. But he decided to join the Marine Corps instead. The pastor told him he was going against the Will of God and would be punished. He told him if he didn't go to Bible College, he was putting our unborn child in danger, because God would surely punish us just like Jonah, for fleeing His Will.
It took me awhile to finally leave. I really started to check out mentally after a new woman at our church was "told by God" that she was to teach my Sunday School class, and I was removed from my position. I loved those kids. But apparently the IFB sunday school curriculum wasn't hardcore enough for this lady. She told me she was going to teach the kids the Scripture, and not waste their time with coloring books or games. So out with the curriculum, and in with the large print KJB. Now the kids (5 to 7 year olds) sat in sunday school following along as she read out of the Old Testament.
Once my husband was done with training, we got stationed in San Diego, and the opportunity to move was what I finally needed to get out of the IFB church. The hypocrisy was astounding. I sure miss having all the answers, but I'm a lot happier now and have more peace and more fun now that I'm out of fundamentalism. My 3 years in the IFB was a short but intense period of life. Thank you for this website, it helps to assuage some of the guilt I feel as I reintegrate back into the normal world.
RE: Glad I'm out! - C_Fresh - 10-21-2011 11:48 AM
Hello and welcome!
RE: Glad I'm out! - Away-From-The-Umbrella - 10-21-2011 01:00 PM
Thank God you are free from such insanity. And living in a lovely area with fantastic weather too!
West Coast Baptist College sure can turn out some kooks...at least the ones who heavily drink of the Kool-Aid.
RE: Glad I'm out! - pastor's wife - 10-21-2011 01:05 PM
RE: Glad I'm out! - senda wales - 10-21-2011 02:54 PM
Wow! That's a lot to go through in 3 years, like a crash course in fundamentalism. Glad you're out too! I knew some folks from WCBC.
RE: Glad I'm out! - DaisyDeadhead - 10-21-2011 06:56 PM
Are you speaking to your parents now and how are they taking all of this? Fascinating!
RE: Glad I'm out! - Presbygirl - 10-21-2011 07:15 PM
Great googly moogly! Glad you are out of that too!
RE: Glad I'm out! - Alaskagirl85 - 10-21-2011 08:20 PM
(10-21-2011 06:56 PM)DaisyDeadhead Wrote: Welcome!
Thanks for the nice welcome everyone!
My parents and I have actually been on speaking terms through the whole thing. They're happy I'm no longer in a fundamentalist church. They are pretty unhappy that I still believe in God and am still a Republican. They do try to convert me constantly to their way of thinking, but instead of tracts, it's through email forwards from the New York Times Op-Ed section, and lending me books like 'God Is Not Great.' It's a complicated relationship, but they've always been there for me, even when I disappoint them. It's like the Fundie parents who's child goes astray and they ask "where did I go wrong?".. My parents wonder where they went wrong for me to turn out the opposite of them. In their world view, my sister, the PhD Marine Biologist, is more on the right path than me, the stay at home mom/military wife. But I'm learning to just live my life and do what feels right to me, without feeling the need to apologize to people who's expectations I don't live up to. I think one thing that attracted me to fundamentalist Christianity so much was that there were all these specific rules, and maybe if I followed them all, God would like me, and the Pastor would like me, and everyone in the congregation would like me... and then maybe I would like myself.
RE: Glad I'm out! - MKxcomm - 10-21-2011 11:15 PM
Welcome to back to real life! It's refreshing out here isn't it?!
RE: Glad I'm out! - laurat99 - 10-22-2011 06:13 AM
Welcome to SFL.