I Keep Getting Asked "Do You Still Love Jesus?" and Get Told I'm Bitter

I used to be a reverend. I recently named my former church and "discipleship" program a cult.


Over the past nine months, I've blogged about my church and "discipleship" program and the abuses I faced there. Others have spoken up about their abuses, also.


What is rewarding about blogging is that I feel I'm doing something positive to educate people. I'm not staying silent. I'm calling out pastors for what they did--by name. I've consulted lawyers and other professionals to make sure I'm not going to get sued.


Long story short, I've also recently turned "non-Christian" and am technically an atheist. I'm "out" about not believing in the same bullsh*t I used to believe, and am extremely critical about it; however, I'm still journeying out of my old belief systems.


I get a ton of emails, comments and Facebook messages from people who keep saying and asking the same old thing:

1. Do you still love Jesus with all your heart? Can you still crawl up onto His lap and cry your heart out to Him when you need to? (this one is from FB today)

2. You're so bitter and angry. Why are you so bitter?

3. You're just offended.


It bothers me that few of them take the time to listen to what I'm accusing the pastors of. They think pastors and churches are above the law, even though in my case, my former pastors might have ended up in jail for breaking child labor laws. They don't see it that way. If you disagree with the pastors, you are the evil one! You're the devil's child!


Have any of you left a church or ministry? If so, have you been accused of the same? How did you deal with it?


I don't want to respond back with anger, since that's what I'm being accused of, but I don't think being angry is a terrible thing, either.


Short Version: I blog about my former church, and keep getting "hate mail" asking if I still believe in Jesus, or accusing me of being bitter. Do any of you get the same thing and if so, how do you deal with it?

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That's really interesting, could you link to your blog or explain what the pastors did?

But anyway about your question, I can't relate to your experience because I never belonged to any church. But if I were you I'd treat your religious "hate mail" like any other hate mail and ignore it, delete, and block and un-friend gratuitously until it stops. It might seem callous but it'll work. If someone has something that's really important to say to than surely they have other avenues of reaching you than over facebook.

As far as the bitterness comments, don't let them get to you. After all, you'd only be fulfilling their accusations. You are rightfully bitter about certain things but also had valid reasons (I'm assuming) for doing what you did, so don't let others besmirch your motives by ignoring the merits of your story.

Hey Keith, 

My blog is mycultlife.com Here's a specific link about what I'm referring to: http://www.mycultlife.com/im-bitter-and-angry/ I had an old church friend where I used to be a minister tell me I was bitter and angry, etc. After this post, she emailed me on fb and said, " Lisa do you still love Jesus with all your heart? Can you still crawl up onto His lap and cry your heart out to Him when you need to?"


It's just annoying. I don't still love Jesus. I've been pretty vocal about it--just expressing my own opinion. I've blogged a ton about it, said stuff on facebook, etc. She's been around for a long time on both of those areas and I think when she calls me "bitter and angry" she's actually saying, "I don't like that you're not a Christian anymore, so I'm going to call you angry." 


It's the typical--Atheists are angry at God thing. 


I'll answer the 2nd part later (at work now). 

Right, she might be projecting her own bitterness onto you
That might be true. It's just so hard to figure these people out. I honestly wish they'd just go away. On the other hand, you can't win. They go away, and then I start chatting with a coworker at work who's a die hard Christian and found out I used to be one and assumes I'm not. So she puts down atheists all the time. I don't want to be too confrontational, but I guess I have to be.
I fought leaving the church for so long even when I stopped going and became involved with an Atheist, I am my self while not Christian and not really anything definable more agnostic and yet what I find works the best when I am discussing things with people from my former church is oddly something I learned from the Cult experience I was in... You can argue anything with their own book and being able to do that tends to shut them up. When someone asks if you "still love jesus" Ask them if they could love someone whos leadings led you to being emotionally mentally and sometimes physically abused. If the answer is yes ask them if they would stay with a husband who did that. If they say yes you obviously need not continue the conversation because they are not willing to see anything useful. If they understand and say that the pastors involved were not part of God at least they have an understanding to go from. Does this make sense?
Trying to give a rational explanation to these people won't do you any good. They are incapable of understanding your viewpoint. They just cannot help acting the way they do because of the behavior instilled in them by the cult. You just have to accept that & realize that you are better off now that you would have been had you stayed with them & take solace from that.

I just read your story on your blog page.  I hope the best for your safe recovery to normal society.  It is scary how brainwashed some people can become.  For example, on your page a person named Nathan wrote: 


"I just want you and everyone reading this to know that Masters Commission is not the problem. Men that lose site of the real focus (GOD) are the reason for your hurt."


I'm sure that he's trying to imply that anything bad that happened to you in the cult was because of a person falling short of god's glory.  That is to say that people aren't perfect, but their Christian message is.  But now here you are on an atheist website filled with people who lack a belief in gods of any kind, and we're certainly nothing but supportive and understanding of your situation.  It should be clear how false his words are.  I am glad that you came to your senses and, especially, that you are helping others to do the same. 


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