Why SO Offended?

I go to a local Church Sponsored "Bread line" on Saturday mornings. Its been very very helpful to keeping the many little tummies full in my family. With me being away finding usable supplies, working odd jobs or otherwise occupied on the property we stay on doing the renovations etc... the children can make easy lunches of sandwiches and fruit and veggies. If you get there early like the first twenty people you have to listen to a 20 min sermon. Sometimes I feel blessed and other times I feel religious people just don't get it. All the examples they give are about consequences of sinnful behavior. Most of us standing there are either single parents disabled or seniors ... so I get offended when the sermonette is not really speaking to the people and almost insinuating 'we' are all having a hardtime because we ruined our lives by choosing to be entrenched in  debauchery. I've made a lot of really good choices in life ( through my thankfulness to God for the life he gave) I've also made some naive and wrong choices. I know I have His compassion and Grace. I see through the power tripping religious  people and do NOT feel at home with them at all. Chiding general remarks about daily living like kids being on too much media offend me because that is a symptom of the WHOLE breakdown of society/ family/ community...  MOST of us do NOT CHOOSE DIVORCE  -or for our spouse to do such harm to us in the case of DV/ abusive marriages. Divorce was just the only way to protect our children. EVERY DAY WE -the  children and I suffer in multiple ways from SOMEONE ELSE'S  sinful choice/s. Some one that was supposed to put us first and protect us ( and pretended to do so at times ). I miss cooking and baking for them It was a joy to do that daily as a wife and homemaker. Now that I have to do more provisional things I am cooking just once a week. I know this is normal for many families but we spent a lot of great times grinding our own flour... baking and learning about canning and fermenting  Our garden was a place where the kids often willingly worked together.  Right now we are learning about rebuilding a living space and eventually will have some neat kitchen space .  Anyway in the interm I deal with a lot of modern issues to parenting like kids getting stuck on media and frittering their time away. I have projects that I am lining up like building a chicken area for our chicks, getting another bunny for mating and raising bunnies... I am praying for free 'rich enough soil' to continue growing things in. We have ops for kids learning to swim this summer... and do more outdoor things. If I can just earn enough gas money and keep getting free resources of materials like pallets and furniture.... I should be able to keep them busy learning useful things.... like making their home. 

We tend to do a Summer Schedule for home-schooling because there are so many days in the south that are so hot that all you can manage is reading and writing. So we are about ready to start our second half of the year that is more academic. I just hate when the religious put burdens on the people -even the pressure to repent. Is that really their place? I detect a spirit of control and power over the people -damn them -feel good about their own position of being chosen -keep us submissive under a gospel of dejection from our human condition... derive pleasure assuming everyone else is damned but they are redeemed. Jesus knows me through and through he knows just what to do with me and my children in this life and eternity. 

13 Replies

  • I hear you, Hope-8! I realized that while the message in church was supposedly about love, so much of the motivation was fear and shame - about not doing the "wrong" thing. It felt really incongruent. 

    It IS a way to control people - not with seeking love - but by generating a fear of going to hell to keep people in line and within what someone determines is acceptable behavior limits. I don't think that's what was intended, but a way some people misconstrue religion for their own purposes.

    I'm sorry you're having to experience that!

    Good for you to be such a loving parent and doing so many things to take care of your family!

  • I think this is such a trigger for me because I have associated with so man believers and there are so man hurts over the years from people of 'faith' My exhusband who is incarcerated for abuse presented himself as one of faith I have slowly isolated myself from church groups until I was abandoned through  ex/ by his actions... I 've had to lean on groups and these experiences have been revictimizing in so many ways. I am not sure what to think about ever re entering a relationship with a local fellowship. It is SOOOO triggering. Since being away from groups the last months I am actually making progress in being independent and bringing on the LONG TERM STABILITY that has evaded us. Thanks for the confirmation that I am indeed learning new strategies to detecting and moving away from wolves in sheeps' clothing. TX

  • You're very welcome, Hope-8! I'm glad you're learning new ways to detect those wolves - they can be very subtle, persuasive and convincing! 

    I had some of them in my life, and finally figured out how messed up their practice of religion was, and stepped completely away from them.

    I understand your doubts about moving into a local fellowship again. It's a deep wound that leaves lasting scars when someone abuses religion for dysfunctional purposes.

  • Hope, I'm soooo sorry you are dealing with this.  You know that there are some Christians out there who "get it", but finding them in a general setting like that is hard to do.  I'm struggling with finding a safe church, but determined to do it eventually.  I know there are good, loving people out there who truly care!  It's getting past the ones who don't... that's the hard part.  I've been deeply hurt by Christians, by churches and people who are supposed to love others but are too critical and condemning of what they don't understand.  Honestly?  If they feel that way, that's THEIR problems!  I have found such a support group of other Christians, and even ones who cared enough to study and learn about PTSD to know how to love me more.  Don't give up!  Those who are condemning and critical need to walk a mile in our shoes... ignore them and find those who truly do care about you and your children.  I pray that it is soon!  <3

  • My sadness is I use to still hold onto hope I would eventually find fellowship but I don't see it happening anymore even in the future. I have a few good friends up north that have tried to understand and do support me emotionally but there is still missunderstanding like my best friend insists that ( though more quietly in her own heart because I won't receive her hope) That someday my ex and I will be a couple again and will co parent. I absolutely had to let that notion go about a year ago It was clouding my ability to survive what we have to go through alone independent of him ever changing. Putting energy towards him at all takes away from the kids NOW. I found it selfish on my part pinning for a man/ marriage that proved to be so unstable. Dangerous and just wrong.

  • I do not understand your friend. The ex is in jail for abuse. And abusive behavior is a hard pattern to heal out of. He has to really want to, and work hard at it. Unless the ex himself wants to, it is not going to happen. I see this pattern in a nearby neighbor. He says, "Oh, I'll change." And promises whatever he thinks the landlord wants to hear. His "change" lasts about a week, then he is back to fighting with his girlfriend at 3 in the morning, just like before.

    If your ex has an abusive behavior pattern and does not want to change it, enough to go to jail for it, why in the world would your friend think he'd make a good co-parent in the future? 

    To me, your choice to take care of your kids first and foremost is a sane and healthy decision. I support that wholeheartedly.

  • I understand, and your friend is unrealistic about abusive relationships.  He WON'T change!  Been there, done that... but just as marriage and love, (this is my 3rd marriage, married for 36 years very happily encouraged and cherished by my sweety :) ), churches are the same.  I've been hunting for a church that will understand and be supportive, and my support system is part of a church that is currently going through some changes.  I had to step back and wait until things settle down there, but I will probably go back, depending on the outcome of the changes, in time.  People can be cruel, but when they want to understand, they are teachable and truly care.  Those are the people you can find if you keep trying... I have.  It may take some time... it's taking me ages, but it's not impossible!  Hang in there, and know that there are many of us, people of faith, who DO care and want to understand.  Take your time.... and give them a chance....  <3

  • Oh dear, that is unkind. Nobody wants to have to rely on handouts.

    In Britain we have Foodbanks, but they are secular, run by a charity, so there are no sermons, just the realisation that anyone could fall on hard times.

    Hope you and your family can get on your feet soon.

  • I do not know what resources there are in your area. Where I am there is a secular food bank from the local county Emergency Assistance program, as well as the religious-sponsored ones. Have you had a chance to do a Google search for other resources in your area, in case there's a secular program where you are, also? 

    I live on a small budget myself, and had a similar discomfort with the blameful preaching of one of the local religious groups, so I switched to the secular one instead. I also found a work exchange part time job with a local farm. I help them at the farmer's market, and they pay me in vegetables.

  • I am not a religious person for the very reasons that have been discussed here. I find it very sad that everything that I have read about Jesus is that he did not look down at anyone and did not blame anyone for their lot in life. He reached out to them and loved them despite their difficulties. I am not sure how that could be lost in translation by so called religious people.

    I wish you well. I hope you can find a safe and loving group of people that do not abuse you or your kids. From my experience, their are a lot of good loving people out in the world if you really look and  you feel that you deserve them in your life. My PTSD works against finding them at times but I have found a lot of good people. They may or may not be religious people. Good people are good no matter if they label themselves with the religious moniker.

  • We "religious" people are fallen, lost, just like everyone else.  Those of us who have a relationship with Jesus realize that we are sinners saved by Grace, and have no right to judge anyone.  Our job is to love... to support and help and encourage and try to understand... unfortunately, too many of us fail horribly at that, and it breaks Jesus' heart.  I hurt if I disappoint my Lord, so I work very hard at it.  Does that all make any sense????

  • that is how I believe in a nutshell .... absolutely!!!!

  • I am so sorry you have to go thru this. Our church also provides food but there is never a sermon, unsolicited advice or anything of the sort. Volunteers simply hand out the provisions with a smile & a hello. Never a word of judgement or even a mention of religious talk at all. There are social services departments nationwide that offer a wide range of assistance & are affiliated with a specific religion that would never do what you have been put thru. It's a shame that some churches lack of common sense & compassion makes all churches look bad.  I hope you find a better place to go.

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