Date: November 03, 2002 02:59AM
<<Although I no longer believe in a "personal God" It is my dream to see truth win out in this situation. To comment on Joe's topic of suicide, it is my belief that the suicides and attempted suicides in the assembly are numerous.>>
Unfortunately this is a common theme I hear from those who have left the assemblies. Many are depressed and some refuse to admit they were ever saved. Others have held to the belief there is no personal God. I think it's important to realize that this is a common response after being in a very abusive "church". We tend to discard everything the assembly taught us, including the truth that we did hear. I found in my own life an equation between the leadership and God. So when I turned against the leadership, I felt I was also turning against God. Because that's how we were taught. I had to rethink how I saw the scriptures and read the Word without the 'distorted lenses' that George Geftakys gave us.
One thing, if you're willing David, is to go to God about all this. I did before I even left the assembly. I was sure He was going to strike me down or otherwise judge me. He didn't! Even though I wasn't doing those things I was taught to do, like daily times in the Word and prayer, etc. God gave me His peace. From the Word of God I found out that God would do anything to be with me, this is the gospel. I didn't have to do anything to measure up to get saved and I don't have to perform to ensure George's conditional salvation. Because our full salvation is given at our initial salvation. He never intended us to perform for Him.
One thing about suicides is that there were always coverups. There was a suicide in the Valley assembly 3-4 years ago. I forgot the brother's name, but I remember he worked at In-N-Out and was from the campus. He was discouraged when he came in because he felt he didn't measure up to God. You can only imagine how the assembly warped his mind. In the days before his suicide, he was continually depressed because he thought he would never be holy. What a burden to bear!
That's all for now,