Hi David, I think you've missed the point of what I was trying to say...
Here is the post from the other website - not written by me but someone I'm close to...
"Hi to all; members of Kirkby Christian Fellowship, ex members, new members, old members, brothers and sisters.
I’m an ex member of KCF. I left some time ago to pursue my own life, and what I knew to be right in God for my life. Despite the church telling me otherwise. I have since moved on to be a member of another church, carried on in my faith, and grown as a person spiritually, physically and mentally (well maybe not the last one!?!) My new church is also imperfect, but it is adequate. It is all we can ever hope for here on earth. It is ‘sufficient’.
There can be no doubt that people have been wounded at the fellowship. I am one of those who were wounded too. I have moved on, and I have used those experiences. Our experiences make up who we are, undoubtedly. We can take an abusive situation and let it be a black ink spot on a white sheet. It can be our focus, taint who we are, make us bitter and potentially, it can destroy our eternity. But there is hope! A negative experience can be used to fuel us. We have a choice how we use that energy, there is the potential to destroy and tear down, or to help other people move on from their negative experiences. This (website) is a perfect opportunity for us all to explore and share our experiences. To help one another grow and move on. Or it can be a place where we come to be bitter and ‘bite back’ at those who hurt us. These things are not easy, it takes courage to leave an abusive situation and I do not want to make light of, or take anything away from anyone who has turned things around the way I have described. It is a huge thing and words like ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ do not do it justice.
Sometimes talking things through with someone you trust can help. It is not always gossip, or going against the elders and as you can read in scripture it is not wrong to question (even God.) We can become frightened that everybody else seems to know more than we do, and we just go along with what others are saying because they seem more confident. It is good to question, it is not good to follow blindly. There are counselors; Christian and otherwise, who can help and be a support and be a valuable source of encouragement. Places like [www.reachuk.co.uk
] and [www.philippi.co.uk
] Philippi are pretty good, very caring and will not force their beliefs on you.
If you are feeling like you may be part of a church that is heavy shepherding, if you are feeling controlled, manipulated or abused by your church or elders then the chances are you probably are. We all need to learn to trust the voice inside that says what is right for you. It is not the flesh, it is what you were given by God, common sense, your own experience. You know what is right for you.
Some questions you might want to ask yourself;
Do your leaders spend a lot of time reminding you of who is in charge? Are words like obedience and submission used quite a lot? Is there a preoccupation with performance, numbers, size of church, new members? If things are not how they ‘should’ be, holy enough, big enough, good enough, how are you treated? Are you cast out, condemned. How do you feel generally? Do you feel condemned, not good enough? Are there unspoken rules? Through peer pressure maybe, are there things you aren’t supposed to talk about? (By talking about a problem, you are not causing it, you are just exposing it.) Do you feel you cannot leave the church? Do your elders tell you that you are a ‘chosen people’ or somehow elevated above other Christians? Who made your leaders leaders? Do you feel weighed down by your faith, your church or your walk? Perhaps through busyness? How are scriptures interpreted? Are they interpreted out of context, think of biblical context. How are you treated if you leave, or how do you treat people who have left? Friends for years, family almost; are they/you cut off?
These things can be subtle, and are signs of an abusive church. We can doubt the voice inside us that tells us these things are happening. We tell ourselves “don’t be silly”, and “they know what they’re talking about”. You know what’s right for you.
It’d be great to hear from ex members, current members, leaders, members of other churches, those with experience…
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."