Sunday, May 6, 2012

We Are Going to Hell

I have spent my life fearing hell. You have to be baptized to avoid hell, we were told. You cannot be baptized because there is no preacher here.


So here is the story the elders and older folks told us so we wouldn’t live our lives in a panic: your parents were baptized, so you were “born holy.” Now all you must do is earn your way into Heaven. Avoid fornication by getting married in your teens. Avoid divorce, no matter how bad things are in your marriage. The rules in the bible do not release you from marriage if your husband abuses you or molests your children or other people’s children.

The only way out of marriage, for a woman, is the death of her husband. If her husband sleeps with other women, tsk tsk, she must not be putting out.

But for a man, it’s not so difficult to throw out a wife you don’t want. Just make her life miserable. She’ll leave. You can tell your children that their mother is going to hell (this has happened before – poor children). Now that you have been abandoned by a “non-believing” wife, choose a new victim – er wife.To be free, to start over, you have to convince the church of your innocence. Make the woman the villain. It was all her fault. She is guilty; you are innocent.

I understand the unforgivable sin to be blaspheming the Holy Spirit. But I always believed that divorce was the real unforgivable sin – for women.  A man can go on with his life if his wife cheats, she is cast out. He is still in. Just one of hundreds of double standards and biblical misinterpretations.

There was a young lady who committed a different “unforgivable sin.” Please forgive me for not having perfect recall about this incident. If I get something wrong, I am not lying, I am writing about something the way I remember it. If I get some details wrong, please be gracious in correcting me. I will change them. So this young woman, she was a few years older than me. Glenford was still alive, so our church had a form of leadership, but no real hope. No one to “save” us through baptism.

This girl was maybe fourteen (maybe?) and she had grown up like me, being told that salvation comes through a human who can bestow sanctification through full immersion baptism. Her father was a controversial man – a friend to Tom Nichols – and someone who had his own ideas – gasp! Her father had been entertaining a man who claimed to be a “called apostle.” The church didn’t accept the man – he wasn’t from Oregon City, so how could his claim be authentic?

Well this young lady listened to the man who was spending time with her family. She asked him to baptize her. And he did. When the church discovered that she had been baptized by this “false prophet” she was done for. Going to Hell for sure. Her fate was sealed.

She continued attending the church services, but the girls her age were told by their parents to shun her. Better not speak to a damned child, it might rub off. What was she to do? She was part of our church. This was her life. This was all she knew. Except that she had done the unthinkable.

After hearing all her life that she needed baptism for salvation, she had done it. She had done was she was told she needed to do. And in doing so, she had committed an unforgivable sin. She would be damned if she did, and damned if she didn’t. Only by doing so, she was to endure hell within the church. Shunned.

She wasn’t my age, but she started sitting by the girls my age because she couldn’t endure the shunning her former friends were enacting against her. I asked my mom what to do and she told me that I could say hello to her at church.  I was glad for that. I always said hello. But I didn’t say anything else. “Hello” was all that was authorized. I wasn’t much of a conversationalist anyway.

Of course, the young lady didn’t last too long. I don’t remember when or how she left. Maybe she just sat with her parents at church after a while. Of course she left. She had been condemned. There is no living through that. There would be no period of shunning followed by reincorporation. She had committed the unforgivable.

There is no such thing as being “born holy” unless you’re Jesus. And even Jesus was baptized. But don’t fool yourself into thinking baptism is what saves you. We all deserve hell. Every mortal person deserves it. That is why Jesus died.

This analogy is not my own. I have heard it from others. I’m sorry I do not know where it originated, but it has helped me to comprehend the good news of Jesus Christ. Imagine that you are standing before a judge (God). You are being accused by the district attorney (Satan) for your crimes / sins. Jesus is your attorney. For every sin that Satan accuses you of, Jesus responds by saying, “I have paid.”

We all deserve to die. We cannot save ourselves. Only the blood of Jesus can pay for our sins. Without Jesus, we are damned. What will you choose? To try and defend yourself for crimes you are guilty of or accept the free gift of Jesus? I have made my choice. I deserve Hell, I have deserved it since I was in second grade or so, but I’m not going. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God

Romans 3:23-25

37 comments:

  1. Good job Zuzi on another massive generalization of a church that you, obviously know alot less about than you realize. I know all you shumakers think you know everthing but you have missef again. Susanne, have you thought that your generalized views on the foc church and there beliefs about the church are possibly off base and that you and the other ex-followers believe these things because thats what was told to them by there own family. You have said many times that there was no preacher when you were there so obviously you were being told all this from your parents. Mabey the reason you and all you ex-follower contacts acctually left is because of what was being taught to them in there house, not what was being taught in other peoples houses. Like I said befor, I know you think you know everything about us because you "poll" other ex members, but your jaded view on us is just that, jaded. How can you what other people believe in thete hearts or ate being told at home. I know that your going to say that it's just the way you and your ex follower buddies remember it being but mabey you were being taught different than the rest of us.

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    1. Actually, you and I both know these are things that were taught to us in church by the elders. I heard many people outside my family say that "so-and-so" were going to hell. heck, people said that to me about members of my own family.

      If I have things so wrong, why are you so angry? Feel free to set the record straight.

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    2. I'm a Shumaker and I go along with very little of what Suzi has to say here. I believe that she has a jaded view as well. When you say, "all you Shumakers", that shows me that you are behaving in the exact manner in which you have accused Suzane. And you don't even have the guts to say who you are.

      Chad

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    3. Actually Chad I was generlizing Shumakers because of the way suzanne does the church. sorry you are offended by that but I'm offended by suzanne.

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    4. I hope you don't believe... you are going to hell Susanna. It's not a nice place to be...

      J...

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  2. The only way to know what someone is being taught is by talking to them right? When I spoke to brethren, young and old, this is what I heard. She's right on with her statements, you might not want it shared, but it's the truth. No, it's not what is taught to everyone, or in each household. Nothing is taught the same to everyone, and nothing is taught at all in many, many households.

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  3. This is why I am glad I am a non believer. It is amazing the poisonous, awful things that are taught children by " church elders", who are trying to interpret a book written 2 thousand years ago by misogynist men who thought the world was flat. Many times these "church elders" are poorly educated, have a very limited/narrow worldviews, and REALLY need therapy/healthy doses of psychotropic drugs themselves!

    Your FB friend Tony S. :)

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  4. I think what I find most interesting about Suzi's interpretations/memories of her growing up in the FOC is the difference between her experiences and my own. Whether the current followers accuse her and others who have left of being jaded or misinterpreting a detail here and there is futile. The bulk is that people (children, no doubt) were shunned for various reasons and were told they were going to Hell for other reasons. I can't remember anything like this ever being told to someone in any Christian church I have ever attended. Ever. Honestly, it sounds like the work of the devil to me. Not very Christian, at all.

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  5. Is jealousy the motivation behind how they treat ones who have left? If you believe what you read so faithfully you can't be overlooking babtism. This looks like a desperate bunch of cowards to me. The amazing part is they fear each others wrath more than the wrath of God. Not for no reason, what they do to these kids that do believe is unconscionable. People will do crazy things to protect their own, but FROM salvation? Lies will not save them from anything but good. Deception now will not save them from judgement later. My dad told me, isn't going to trump what they had the opportunity to read all of their lives(the Bible), and it's not going to change until heaven and earth shall pass. If you haven't noticed, we're still here and bound by every word.

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  6. I've lived in a lot of different places. I've tried different churches in different denominations. I seen this same treatment not by the pastor or preacher but by the elders. They have turned people away because of something the person was doing that the elders didn't like. People are not perfect. God knew that. Jesus knew that and they were okay with that. And Jesus never turned away anyone or turned his back on anyone ever. No matter what they had done, we're doing or what they may do. As long as people believed in him and repented their wrong, they were accepted.

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    1. I have been out of the FOC church for 35 years and have lived in different cities and gone to a lot of churches. I can say that some are better than others about walking in God's love as many have a religious spirit that is hurtful. I am blessed with a very loving church and they don't kick people when they are down, they don't throw stones and they are encouraging and help people to keep growing in The Word of God :)
      I would encourage everyone to keep searching for the place God wants you to be. He knows the exact place for us. That is my hope and prayer for everyone to find a great church home and personal relationship with Jesus. God is always good!

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  7. The doctrine of being born holy, jut stay holy and earn your salvation took over in the early 80's from what I remember. It continued past Glenford's death into the 90's and continues today. There are a bunch that never believed that but it certainly was a belief of the majority. It is an evil doctrine because if you believe you are holy then there is no need for a savior because you think you are holy. It was a belief made out of desperation because time did not end like they thought it would and since there are no other "right" churches there was no where else to go, they believed. The problem is this doctrine of being born holy contradicts just about everything the bible teaches about Jesus and grace.

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  8. I am somewhat surprised that the first anonymous would call Suzanne jaded. To this angry anonymous, since you obviously attend the church, are you saying what she says is untrue? Are you being baptized and are the children being baptized?? I know people that have baptized and accept Jesus as their Savior and have been ostracized from the church and their own families. I have talked to members that are still members that would let there children die, before they made any attempt to save them. The good Lord gave us the knowledge to have physicians among us. Many of the children and adults have been save by doctor, and even doctors have admitted by the grace of God, someone is saved that shouldn't have been. This brings our prayers into action. We should always pray to the Lord no matter the circumstances, but when he puts a way and a means in front of us and we ignore it, we will have to answer to him for our ignorance. Read the Bible, anyone who excepts Jesus gift of salvation and follows his path, will be saved. Judging others isn't the way and you sound very judgmental. God's Blessings.

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  9. To the first anonymous.
    If what Susie has posted is jaded and not what is being taught by other families at OC FOC...please post what you were taught. It is easy to say someone is wrong when you don't give any facts.

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  10. It is hard, mentally and emotionally, to even begin to understand why the women of this cult have continued to accept the abuses they endure. How can they stand by and let their husband sexually abuse their children? I surmise that if you can watch your innocent child die a horrible, painful death - you are so brainwashed that you will put up with any atrocity men do to you. May God have pity for the uninformed women who are slaves to their man-made world.

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    1. Wow!!! You win. You posted the dumbest thing yet. good job moron.

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    2. That was the most ignorant thing posted yet. I think you are confusing them with the catholics. there has never been any form of sexual abuse tolerated in the church. and the very few cases ever known of the abuser was almost imediatly excomunicated. You need to get your facts straight worse than susanne!

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    3. I knew of several known child molesters. One was the father of a girl who was my friend. My parents told me to stay away from him. Two others were friends with the parents of another friend.

      One man molested a prepubescent girl then he and his wife ADOPTED a little girl and every single person in that church said NOTHING.

      I've known so many girls there in that church who were abused and the teenaged boys or adult men went on with their lives.

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    4. And several children abusing children, but I don't think the children were ever tried or charged, but one dad was arrested for hitting a kid for abusing his son.
      Sweep Sweep, like the other comment said!

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  11. Suzanne, I have read your entire blog and have not read why you don't use your husbans last name. Just currious if your still with him or if you are useing your maiden name so church members can find your blog easier?

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    1. I use my maiden name as a writing psuedonym for the privacy of my children.

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  13. I'm no leagal expert but I think you just crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed. I don't think that publicly accusing minors of sex crimes is leagal. I don't think that when a minor is convicted of whatever your accusing these boys of that they reveal there named outside of court. If I was the parents of any of those boys I would go after you and this blog!

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    1. I don't even know those boys, their ages, etc. whose names were used. I can easily prove that I did not post that comment since there were many people who saw me shopping at Safeway at 2:42 and then picking my children up from school a few minutes later.

      Thanks for the threat though.

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    2. Your riight, your no legal expert. If no one said their name how would the police ever know who to question? Slander is another story, but she's not lying genius.

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    3. Actually the police could easily use ip addresses to find out who named thouse boys. If you missed it a coment was posted accusing 3 minors of sex abuse and there full names were used. "genius"... let me guess you are about 12 years old?

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    4. The only reason the police would care who posted it would be to get more info on the abuse case. Like I said, they are criminals, calling them out that way isn't against the law. If its not true, that's another story. There has to be an accuser for there to be a crime. How do you accuse someone without using their name? I don't see how age has any bearing. The court system can't release names, individuals have to.

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  14. I think what Suzanne has said is a lot nicer thanI would have wrote. It

    was like she reported only worse and of course anonymous didn'agree. He is most likely a Man!

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  15. Suzanne, the account of the girl who got baptized is pretty close. I also am a former member of the followers, who, like the girl was convicted of sin and wanted to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. For me it finally came down to fearing God more than men. Baptism is not an issue, so much, of who is doing it, but a question of belief. Now for most people in the followers they will not understand these things, because they are carnal, and not spiritually minded, (just the way it is). But for those with ears to hear...listen. There are some out there that hate going to that place, just to sing?, no teaching, no reading from the bible. Why do they do it? They are comfortable, they convince themselves that those who went and got baptized, went about it the wrong way, wrong man, wrong church. As long as they believe this they do not need to do anything. But, if they were to ever do anything, rest assured, it would be Right. You are not fooling anyone, especially God. You cannot separate yourselves from that which you are a part of. you cannot serve two masters... God is not mocked. The question of "what to do" was answered 2000 years ago in Acts 2:37-41. We know that "without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins". What will you do with Jesus? Again, most of the followers will not comprehend this, Jesus is not a risen savior to them, they look only to the church membership for answers. But for those of you that know... "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
    Nick Nichols

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    1. Thanks Nick, you've always spoke the truth, nothing's changed I see. Being caught up In the man is a way of life.

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  16. IF ITS TRUE NAME NAMES!

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    1. If it's true, report it to the police. Blogs and other public forums are not the appropriate place to accuse a person by name. There is a possibility that the person was not actually guilty. That is why our government has a system of keeping the law and investingating crimes.

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  17. I was one of these children who was abused by church members and to all of the people who stood by and did nothing...Thank You....If you really want to make a difference and expose what this church is about, tell the truth and quit covering for them...I will not post again because I find all of this sickening that it is still going on and no one is willing to do anything about it...My life has been pure hell for 60 years because of this religion..I am not an ex-member...I AM A SURVIVOR. Quit talking and actually do something to make a difference.

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    1. All that evil needs to thrive is for good men to stand by and do nothing. This is easy to do just to stand off to the side and say what a pitty. Or this is sad who is going to be next by one of these young men. If left undone or unreported, they can get to your kids or your grand kids. Oh my then what a sick stomach. Just don't stand by and do nothing to protect the guilty.

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    1. Well, I have never publicly commented about being part of this church. I left when I was 20 years old and am still haunted by the teachings and feeling isolated. I was among the last group that was baptized and remember Walter's preaching and when he preached the world would end, and when he died. I use to get in trouble when I would ask if we were followers of Jesus or followers of Walter. I was delighted last week when I was told about your book Suzi, and this blog by some one who went to school with you. I can't wait to read your story. Thank you for putting your self out there. I am sorry for the nasty grams that people write. By reading these comments I do feel that I am not alone. Keep it up and thank you.

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  19. I don't feel informed enough to comment directly on your post and its sensitive topic, Suzanne - but I do find it interesting that so many of those posting less than civil comments are doing so behind the mask of anonymity. I don't think I've ever seen so many people named "Anonymous" posting at a blog before!

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