I think the greatest misconception about those of us who speak OUT against cults and abusive leaders is that we are not kind. People suggest we are full of hatred and bitterness.
It’s not so.
I know fewer people who are kinder than those of us who silently give our time and energy fighting causes like this. Yes, we may have a rough exterior but that’s because we get bullied constantly. Underneath that tough facade, there’s a kindhearted person who’s committed to making changes in the world and committed to making the world GOOD.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my life it’s this: Sometimes those who APPEAR good (ahem, preachers) are all bad. Judge everyone, and doubt everything but consider the voices who speak up against injustice. We might just be the kind ones.
Today I’m thinking deeply about why people make excuses for predatory pastors, violent books of faith, and church institutions that have a very dirty past (and present). I’ve done the same thing, so this question is more curious than accusatory.
Past the “why” is that they ARE making these excuses and maybe (or maybe not) it points to a much larger thing. What compels us to do this? As with all things, there no one universal answer. If church provides a need for community, then is that what they are protecting-their sense of community and the provision against loneliness? If church has become a person’s “family”, are they protecting the dark secrets of their own “family” as much as their own reputation?
Weigh in with your thoughts.
My advice for the day: Verify what people spread online. You never know when that thing you instantly repost or talk about hasn’t been verified. I personally verify everything I can on this site, before I post it and even after. I make sure my stories are correct, or they are personal experiences that I can verify.
Why is this important to my readers? For years, I sat in church and didn’t always verify what I was being taught. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I found inconsistencies. Sometimes I’d question and find that no one else felt similarly, so I kept it to myself. The point is, whether it’s an Internet rumor, or religion, we must always take the time to ensure that what we believe in and what we are being told and taught are verifiable and hold weight in the real world, not just the supernatural la-la kooky, “my pastor told me so” world.
Doubt: It’s Not a Curse Word.