In memory of Becky Rush. August 2nd, 2003.
One of the “little people” in the Worldwide Church of God.
My top ten teachings of the Worldwide Church of God
that have screwed up my thinking.
1. That “GAWD” wants me to get down on my knees, grovel a bit, and beg! his mightiness for my daily food, shelter and safety.
I didn’t ask him/her to be born…and if there IS a god, why the hell WOULDN’T it take care of my basic needs??? What kind of sicko mind requires that of its’ creatures??? I don’t require it of my beloved fur-friends… And how can I hold my head up when I am told that I DON’T receive the things I need because I either didn’t ask, ask properly, or because I need to learn some sort of lesson?
2. That I am “Peculiar” and “Chosen” by the Almighty.
Wow…doesn’t that one make me feel “special!” HA! Yup. I’m SOOOoo much better than everyone around me…right. Hey, if I’m so special, then how’s come I gotta grovel???
3. Perhaps the most cruel one of all…”The heart is deceitful…(so much so that you can be fooled and not even know it!)…”
The way they taught this made me doubt and mistrust even myself! The very one I need to listen to, ME, is the one I’m told I cannot trust! Well…then who AM I supposed to trust? Them? Gawd, thru them? Or nobody? This one has impaired my thinking more than I can say…it has affected every aspect of my life, making it difficult to get close to people, have friends and relationships…it has broken up beautiful loves and caused deep pain. How DARE THEY! How dare whoever? wrote that horrid book, the bible!! Perhaps there IS some truth in being careful and questioning ones motives…but Worldwide Church of God used what could have been a GOOD tool to indoctrinate us into confusion and misguided loyalty to THEM!
Just because I’m away from that influence doesn’t mean it no longer impacts my life. This scripture STILL comes to mind…at unwanted times, and causes trouble. Working on stopping the recordings in my head…but it’s hard!!!
4. “Gawd” will only give you what you can bear.
Oh brother. Sounds like the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Well, duh, yeah, I guess so!
But are you whole after going thru something terrible? Aren’t you CHANGED in a fundamental way? Aren’t you “weaker” than you were? If I cut my arm with a knife every day, over and over, wouldn’t I be scarred? Is a scar “strong?” Or is it just a scar…indicator of trauma! Who wants to be scarred for life?! Not me, though I don’t see how I can avoid it, completely. But the Worldwide Church of God seemed to believe that these “scars” are badges of honor! Yikes.
5. You will be a KING in the NEW WORLD TOMORROW! You will RULE over those “unwashed” millions…
Thought there would be NO gender differences in the brave new world..? And how can I become a “ruler” when I can’t even trust myself?? What trash. Used to make me feel important…and hopeful…and eager for the new world order. Thought I’d finally be able to make some progress and change, as one of Gawd’s elect and with his blessings…a little mini-god…HA! But it didn’t do much for my everyday life here.. uh uh. Just a wantabe…
6. You will probably have to up and leave everything and everyone behind when it comes time to run to safety…and those left will probably have to suffer terribly from what is coming…
Now gee…that sure makes me want to take off to Petra, doesn’t it you? Yeah…leave kids, husband, pets, parents…whatever…to struggle thru something worse than has ever happened to anyone! While I sit and bask in the glow of Herbert W. Armstrong and his henchmen…waiting for the glorious return and final battles…holy cow! What a story line… Used to cry myself to sleep with worry over my hubby and parents and sister…and I did a lot of groveling to the ceiling in the hopes that, by my hard work and near-perfection, they might be spared this. What a heavy burden.
7. The “Yellow” race is mean, heartless and cruel. The “Red” race is shallow, spineless and lazy. The “Black” race is shiftless, lazy, horny and uneducateable. Don’t marry them…don’t even have them for friends!
Ok…talk about stereotyping! That I’ve known “white” people to hold all of these traits…guess it doesn’t mean anything, huh? But you know? To this day, these thoughts spring forth when I meet a new patient or person on the street…just for a nanosecond, yes, but there nonetheless. I shove it back down…hard! And force myself to keep an open mind…but it bothers me that it even surfaces at all! Before the Worldwide Church of God, I believe I was as unprejudiced as a person can be. Came from a family who didn’t have these ideas…but thanks to Worldwide Church of God, I learned them. They made some sort of sense at the time…but only because I wanted them to.
8. “Gawd” is so far above us…like we are above monkeys…that you cannot understand his perfect mind.
Hmmm… now there’s a sure way to keep me in my place! Yup…just another little monkey…monkey see/hear…monkey do. Don’t think, just shut yer trap and listen!! You’re too dumb to understand the deeper things…so let us (ministers) do your thinking for you and we’ll tell you what to think-say-do. Good recipe for fostering idiocy… To this day, I will acquiesce to someone in authority…until I realize they may not be the sharpest tool in the shed…then I turn on the ole brain and figure things out for myself. But, it still causes problems…
9. Emotion, especially as they show in those horrid Pentecostal churches, is not Gawd’s way…don’t let emotion have a place in your life! Stifle it!
I remember being told by McCrady that you need to place your emotions in a box, put the box on a shelf in a closet, and lock the door. (Speaking figuratively)
My question? If I’m not supposed to embrace my emotions, why do I have them?
This one has done a lot of damage…it has caused me to “stuff” a lot of things I should have experienced and dealt with. And helped me to turn off my feelings towards others, sometimes with terrible consequences. Sigh. What a wonderful thing, our emotions. Should they be controlled? Well, of course, especially those that could do harm! But turn them off??? Some might say that isn’t even possible, but I am proof that it is. Rigid and inflexible control is needed…takes a lot of strength and energy…but it can be done. But the results aren’t pretty.
10. The world’s problems are caused by sin, which entered the picture in the early part of the garden story. Satan wasn’t able to fool the man…but he WAS able to fool the woman. She is, therefore, the weaker vessel.. mentally.
Oh, bullshit. Horse hockey. Give me a break. Couldn’t there be different spins put on this sordid little tale? But, wait…ah…this is JUST the thing we might need to keep the little ladies in their place! Yes!!! It might just work! (smiling madly and rubbing hands together…) Yes. it did work. As a “Christian” country, we’ve done our part to keep women in their place. at least according to the religious community. Again, this has had an impact on my life. Besides #3, this one has caused the most grief for me. I thought I had to find the man the minister deemed good enough (whatever that was) and then take my place behind him…and stifle my own dreams, creativity, emotions…and be a helper to his higher agenda. What a crock. Does someone need to be “in charge” in a relationship? In charge of what? Of the other person?? Of their finances?? Of their very way of life?? Gee…I don’t know, but wouldn’t a collaboration make more sense? Why does one person need to be in control? Because they are afraid?
Well…I guess I could come up with more…and I may! 🙂 But I guess I got it out of my system, for awhile. These things are hard to get rid of and I hate it that they are still with me…I believed this crap sooo deeply…and am ashamed now that I did. But, at least I don’t anymore…sigh.
Well, what do you think? Bunch o’ crap, huh?