ongoing rejection

BreakFree
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ongoing rejection

Post by BreakFree »

Friends,
I am writing this as I don’t know where else to really turn. The price of leaving CF is high. It is drilled into us before we even consider leaving. When we do leave excommunication is swift and sharp leaving us without our families, friends and communities. You are made and example of as the big stick of condemnation is swung in your direction, warning others not to follow in your folly.
For some they can rebuild a relationship with their family again, though it be quite shallow and the giant pink elephant playing a symphony in the room is ignored.
I have many admissions to mental health hospitals since the fallout from CF. During which I processed some of my feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, sadness, grief over my treatment and loss of family (the pain is never gone, just manageable). I am not up to speed on the current word but I am hearing that it’s very much gone down the “don’t touch the unclean” route again, which they claim is anyone not in CF but especially those of us who leave.
In recent weeks I have been given another blow from CF. I have worked very hard to allow my family back into my life. IN recent weeks my family have decided to move away from me into an area highly populated with CF folk. I feel it is a massive slap in the face and all the feelings of rejection have come back up. It is just another reminder of where the priority lies.
How do others deal with this? The feeling of making small gains only to have it ripped away again. How do you find hope that there can be any sort restoration?

Thank you in advance
guest
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by guest »

How do others deal with this? The feeling of making small gains only to have it ripped away again. How do you find hope that there can be any sort restoration?

Break Free

I am in very similar circumstances and I’m not sure I can say anything to help, apart from empathy and compassion.

I knew instinctively if I lost hope, I’d lose my will to live.

No matter how awful it’s been I still cling to hope.

Until we die there is always hope of reconciliation.

God can change circumstances in the blink of an eye and until He does we hold on for dear life.

You’re not alone
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Dexter
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Dexter »

Hi BreakFree,

I'm sorry to hear you're going through the pain of rejection again. Unfortunately, like guest, I don't really know what to say other than I can empathise to a small degree.

I've also been going through some pain recently just thinking of missed opportunities and lost friendships since being rejected by the church, and honestly it's unbearable. It's like being stuck in detention while all your friends are outside playing. I still don't know why they rejected me or who's decision it was; all I can think is that I didn't fit their mold or meet some unwritten condition.

It's a shame the congregation can't think for themselves and find out why people are kicked out. All it takes is one word of slander from the elders and no one questions it. I know of one situation where someone had been lying about a certain person to the elders. The liar eventually confessed their sin to the person, but never to the elders. That's all it takes to ruin someone's reputation.

I gave everything I had to that church only to have the rug pulled out from under me. Unfortunately I didn't have a backup plan for life outside BCF.

I think I've mentioned it before here, but I'll say it again: the elders will proudly tell you that if you ever leave the BCF you will suffer from serious mental issues. What they don't tell you is that the mental issues start well and truly before you decide to leave. They kick you until you're down, then they kick you while you're down, and then they kick you out.

I have a lot of admiration (and jealousy) for people that have been able to build a reasonably normal life after BCF. I don't know how you do it, but I sure hope to join you one day.

As for reconciliation and restoration, I believe it's possible but I've given up trying to figure out how it'll happen.
👋 :ugeek:
Helen Pomery
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Helen Pomery »

My heart goes out to Break Free, Dexter and so many who have suffered rejection. And, still the pain continues for those who are being shunned without any reason, other than the elder’s slander and condemnation. It is hard to bear. I would say without God’s mercy, love and healing none of us would have been able to survive this level of cruelty.

I’m not criticising BCF folk as you have been taught to trust headship. What must be emphasised is that when hundreds of people bear witness to abuse, it behoves the current congregation to examine what is going on in their midst.

Many may think it’s just a matter for the elders to handle and it’s nothing to do with me!

Well, the days for that excuse have come and gone. You may not have known years ago that something was seriously wrong, but everyone knows now. You cannot bury your head in the sand, any longer.

I say this from a heart of deep sadness and grief at what has occurred in this sect over past decades. I have not seen my children for over 22years. I’ve never met many of my grandchildren.

How would anyone feel if this was your punishment?

Please ask yourself why?

Why would someone like me be condemned to such punishment, when God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me and I am restored to His heart and comfort?

What right have elders to judge and condemn, when our Lord offers us such wonderful and free mercy? We haven’t deserved such kindness, yet in Jesus, we are loved and accepted.

No one attending BCF or any group around this nation can stand before God and say “I didn’t know”!

The victims verify each others experiences and we each substantiate the level of abuse aimed at us. We cannot all be lying and you know it in your heart. ‘Lack of submission to eldership’ is no grounds to be rejected and condemned for the rest of our lives.

Break Free and Dexter have poured out their sorrow, their pain and their current suffering on this public forum and I stand with them here and now, in faith and love. No one deserves to be shunned in the name of the Lord!!

Do you not know of God’s goodness, mercy, forgiveness, grace and love? He gives everything to us so freely because of what Jesus did.

I don’t ask for your kindness because I deserve it, or can earn it in any way. I’ve already received a life sentence for whatever my sins are according to BCF laws. Ask the elders, as they have kept the list of my sins and why I deserve such punishment.

Isn’t it strange that God doesn’t even treat me in like manner. My list of sins He says He will remember no more!!!

Which God would you rather serve? The god of submission to elders where your sins are always held against you or the true God who offers kindness, forgiveness, love and mercy to all unconditionally.

Break Free and Dexter, I’m praying in the day ahead you will feel some grace and peace surrounding you. You are not alone. Many are walking this lonely pathway. Yes, it’s hard but God has promised He will never forsake us or leave us. Cling to that reality and take courage. Love and blessings to all.

I write like this in sincere gratitude for God’s deliverance out of that place of bondage. I pray many, many more are delivered before it is too late for them; husbands, wives, children, men and women, old and young.

I’m willing to answer questions on this forum if anyone wishes to reply.

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL. AMEN
guest
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by guest »

BreakFree wrote: Tue Oct 24, 2023 7:39 am IN recent weeks my family have decided to move away from me into an area highly populated with CF folk.
It's worth noting that this has become a trend within the CF churches. Just another step to solidify that the members lives are to revolve around the church.

I'm sorry you've had to go through this.
Helen Pomery
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Helen Pomery »

”To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust him in the dark - that is faith.”

— Charles H. Spurgeon
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Dexter
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Dexter »

Ask the elders, as they have kept the list of my sins and why I deserve such punishment.
I’m willing to answer questions on this forum if anyone wishes to reply.
Thank you Helen. I (still) do have a lot of questions, and while I know that answers won’t change the past, perhaps God is willing for me to find some closure this side of eternity. It only takes a little light (truth) to dispel a lot of darkness (lies and confusion). If you are happy and able to answer any of the following I’d be grateful.

Is it true that the elders kept written records and files on all church members, or only a few (e.g. elders and their families)? Furthermore, is there some kind of ‘freedom of information’ act, policy, or law that could allow members to view their files even if the elders wanted to suppress them?

I can’t imagine I was a big enough fish to keep a file on; nevertheless, I do recall getting the impression quite often that elders and leaders were having conversations about me, not with me, and that they would subsequently use counselling sessions with me to make decisions or “strong suggestions” that would end up drastically affecting the course of my life. If there was a file on me, I’d love to see it, if only to see how they ‘got’ me completely wrong and led me down a garden path of their own warped design.

In a similar vein I’d like to hear more about the persistent rumours I’ve heard about “fixed” or “arranged” marriages, whether it’s true and to what degree. Also, whether there was in fact an “unmarriageable” list and what criteria they used for that. It sounds far-fetched but I remember when one young man was given the “administration” of overseeing dating and marriages among all of the young people. It didn’t sit right with me (the concept seemed a bit dystopian, as though couples would be under constant surveillance) but at the time I just put my nagging doubts down to rebellion or ‘unsubmissiveness’ on my part.
👋 :ugeek:
Helen Pomery
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Helen Pomery »

Is it true that the elders kept written records and files on all church members, or only a few (e.g. elders and their families)? Furthermore, is there some kind of ‘freedom of information’ act, policy, or law that could allow members to view their files even if the elders wanted to suppress them?

Dexter
I am willing to answer any questions but you must remember that my experience is from 1997 to 2001. It is not current knowledge.

During those years my husband and I were a leadership couple until Victor Hall orchestrated the lies, slander and abuse directed towards me.

To prove their allegiance to Vic, all the leadership men had to disclose private and intimate details about their wives and children to Vic and Lorraine and also the presbytery.

It was a manipulation tactic in the name of the Lord to make sure those receiving the tithe were men ‘of good standing’.

While this may be a biblical instruction it was never meant to be used as a manipulation tool. Vic knew if the men in leadership would discipline and chastise their wives and children at his behest, then they would in effect, prove their allegiance to him.

Every cultic leader who wields power and control must have those under him who will shoot on command and do as they are told without question.

These manipulators are cunning enough not to be the one who shoots the weapon. They simply give the orders, or load the gun and get the underlings to do the dirty work.

The lies and degrading gossip that was shared amongst the men was slanderous. Many people back then and even today, would be able to testify to the private, intimate and shameful details that Vic tells people about others. The man knows no shame in revealing sexually explicit content about marriages, young adults and teenagers behaviour. It’s embarrassing what he will reveal about anyone and everyone.

I can testify honestly that all those within BCF leadership who were involved in any type of counselling had to write details of what was shared during those private sessions. All these disclosures were discussed among the men (at every level) under the name of submission to headship.

Home group leaders were to tell the elders all the sins and unsubmitted behaviours they witnessed. All the women in leadership were also required to tell their husbands about the ladies who attended women’s meetings and who said what, about whom.

This betrayal of people’s private pain and their struggles with sin is disclosed and it’s justified in the name of submission to headship.

I know between the years I mentioned that every man, woman or child who told anything private to a leader, it was written down and filed away by elders.

The private matters of marriages and families within leadership couples was aired within presbytery. I can prove this by the documents written about myself and my children that Ian Barlow, Bill Barnes, Murray Wylie and others shared to the men at presbytery. I have copies of these documents.

I doubt whether ‘freedom of information laws’ would apply to counselling sessions within a church assembly.

I am not sure if this is helpful or not? For me personally I want to know the raw details as it helps with processing the corruption and betrayal. If we do not know what these men are capable of, we will be open to deception, lies and betrayal.

There are many who can also bear witness to the despicable behaviour exhibited by the men at BCF.

Does God want to bring a conviction to this group before it is too late? I am praying for God to minister to all those affected by this wickedness and abuse.
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Dexter
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Dexter »

Thanks Helen,

I appreciate your insight. Even if it isn’t current knowledge, it certainly helps to explain some of those undefined gut feelings both myself and others had during those and subsequent years. To find out that gossip was rampant among the elders and leaders is both illuminating and sickening, yet somehow unsurprising given the oddly specific subject matter of certain sermons over the years. I know I was targeted once and while my identity wasn’t explicitly disclosed, I thought it was pretty obvious who the preacher was talking about given my unique situation at the time. In my opinion he violated the confidence of our private conversations so I tried to be more discreet after that.

I can’t imagine the situation has improved at all in recent years. If anything, I can imagine the resident IT gurus have harnessed the power of technology to make the gossip grapevine more efficient than ever.

It’s such a shame because, while it’s essential that we confess our sins to one another, love should cover a multitude of sins, not air them out for the whole congregation to hear. Nevertheless, I’m practicing trust with a new circle of friends and hopefully learning to be more discerning about what I share and with whom.
👋 :ugeek:
Lillith
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Re: ongoing rejection

Post by Lillith »

My heart goes out to Breakfree, Dexter, Helen and others who’re suffering from rejection.
These wounds will never go away.
I am working towards “a healing that is not about getting rid of the pain, but a healing which is the capacity to hold pain” - Gabor Mate.
Friends of decades have shunned me. Fortunately, family has not, but these relationships have been compromised by my leaving.
One wound I was spared is no face to face abuse/name calling.
This was because teaching at that time was to not engage with anyone on the brink of leaving, or those who’ve left.
The reason given was so they would not be caught up in our lies!
So I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with the emotional fallout of having their words ringing in my ears (it was bad enough reading what what being taught about those who’ve left).
My focus is on knowing the co-suffering Love of God.
Then I focus on sewing good seed.
I can’t control how the seed lands (the receptivity of the hearts), so it’s needful to let go of any specific expectations.
There WILL be some sprouting seeds tho - such is my confidence in the power of God’s love on the heart.
The Serenity Prayer is helpful in this regard. ☺️
Deep love to all xx
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