Over at Set Free there was a recent post about this topic and it is incredibly well written, I would recommend reading it before continuing with this post.
I have been thinking along this line for a couple weeks now. When I left MFC (my former church) I immediately quit dressing up for church. I always hated dressing up anyways. That just isn't who I am. But I did it because that was required at my church. As I stated in my first post I have started over in my beliefs in Christ. I am taking nothing that I have learned in the past couple decades about God from here forward. I learned before MFC that God loved me enough to send Jesus, his son, to die for me. So I am building from that foundation. For a bit of back ground MFC is a Word of Faith church, read that as a prosperity church... also, read that as a charismatic church.
I have begun to notice that I seem to have a whole lot more questions than answers. Which makes me think, "have I ever really paid any attention to what I believe or why I believe those things?" And I don't think I have. For years, I bought the company line - hook, line, and sinker. Someone recently told me about how years ago Former Pastor told the congregation to not shop at K-Mart because the clothes were not good enough. I guess everyone should only shop at Jos. A. Banks or Harold's or Saks. I don't remember this "sermon" as it happened while I was still a child, but that explains why I felt like I was doing something wrong when I bought my Christmas tree from there a couple years ago. Subconsciously, I believed that K-Mart was taboo. On a side note: To all of the K-Mart exec's reading this blog, I am sorry for that, and I have come to realize that I can change things I have a K-Mart not too far away. I will give you guys a second chance. Now I feel bad for thinking about how terrible it was for Sears to have been bought out by you.
This one example has helped me to see just how deeply my entire life was impacted by MFC, not just my religious beliefs. So maybe while some people can just sort the good from the bad, I am left standing here considering myself fortunate that I am not just walking away from God altogether. And believe me when I say the thought has crossed my mind several times. I feel great empathy for those who like me grew up in a church that was abusive like mine and choose to walk away from God. I believe Jesus put things pretty plain about his view of this in Matthew 18:2-6.
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.