Thank you RRMODERATOR and others who have discussed the issues related to the ROC without getting too preachy. Although I managed to cling to my personal relationship with God I know from experience that if someone is still involved in a corrupt church or freshly out they are dealing with a strong mixture of emotions.
Dealing with the realization that you were unwittingly involved in a corrupt or cult group is painful, even if you, like myself, managed to remain free of the corruption yourself.
You see, a person who is experiencing the opening of their eyes will experience everything including: confusion, anger, anger at self, shame, embarrassment and depression. These emotions will swirl around for a really long time and be directed at self, at specific others, at the leadership, at the church as a whole and even possibly at the religion. It takes awhile to separate what was God and what was man in all of the person's experiences with the church. Yes, even God can work in a corrupt church.
However, this forum, thankfully, is for the process of discussing, opening one's eyes to the truth of what has been happening within the group and not to be 'preached at' even if it is meant with the sincerest of intentions.
Those of you who may never have exited a cult group such as Set Free (and I suspect The ROC) may not be aware that for a while, during that separation process the victim may become extremely adverse to hearing any 'preaching to' from anyone at all. It's a self-defense mechanism.
You see, part of the feelings one experiences is the shock that one was duped by a religious leader. A person may not feel like they can trust even their own instincts. I went through this process and it was painful. I felt like "I believed in Phil and all those other leaders. My every instinct, most of the time, felt like they were doing strictly God's business and were good at the core. Since my instincts were wrong there I have to fear that my own instincts are not working. Thus, how can I trust the next few people who come up to me proclaiming to be such loving, supportive Christians?"
Also, part of a cult's practices is to pick and choose scripture and use those select verses to drill in their agenda. So, a person in this process may, for a short time, rebel against anyone getting too 'in their face' with scriptures to prove points. I can promise that even if one goes through that, they may still survive with their own personal relationship with God.
So, I urge fellow believers who discuss these groups here to recall how overtly scripture riddled posts may affect people who are suffering and confused and dealing with corruption in a religious group.
Again, touching on the feelings they may be experiencing, a person may feel anger. So, they may react to 'preaching' by either striking out angrily or withdrawing completely from anything and anyone religious. I personally went through that for some time. I got instantly angry if anyone came off as 'preachy' or overtly Christian to me. In fact, Part of the fallback for me has been that to this day I refused to belong to any specific church and absolutely do not believe in organized religion. I prefer a personal relationship with God and share and pray and socialize with my family and friends. Fortunately for me, all of them know about my past experiences so they remain supportive, share and pray with me and for me but never ever push me or judge me or force me in any Christian path. Because of that and them I can maintain my spiritual faith. God knows this and keeps them all in my life.
Another of the feelings, experienced much later, is that of shame and embarrassment. I still only reveal the years I was so heavily involved with Set Free to only a tiny number of people in my life. It even took me until this year to openly talk (a little) with my family about my experiences and they KNEW me during those years, of course. Many of us who have gone through and come out of a cult/corrupt group feel embarrassment and shame. We may feel like we are stupid to have fallen for what later feels so OBVIOUSLY corrupt. We may look back and wonder at how blinded we were. We may wonder how easily we were convinced the group was good and doing great things and not at all corrupt at the core (the caveat is of course that not all people in any cult are corrupt, and of course some activities will always be helpful to others and good at the surface). We may wonder why we fell so easily for such a corrupt group and others don't. That, coupled with the fear that we can't even trust our instincts may mean that we become extra defensive and even reclusive after leaving such a group.
With this in my mind, and my memory, I speak to the few people who have been posting here about their own knowledge of The ROC. It is obvious to me that they have or are currently still involved with THE ROC and may be going through any part of that long and painful process.
I am no counselor but I have gone through it and know and remind myself to be careful and sensitive to their needs at such a confusing time.
Thanks to all who post. It is not only helpful for those who are currently or recently involved in cults/corrupt groups like The ROC and SET FREE it is also for those of us who have the longer-term issues and sensitivities from having been a part of such a group.
Please don't offer sermons here about your beliefs.
It's against the rules you agreed to before posting here.
Please focus on ROC, which the subject of this thread.