Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why Are You So Bitter?

Bitter: adjective. Characterized by intense antagonism or hostility. 

In the past seventeen months (since I began this blog), I’ve been accused of being bitter more times than I can count. I’ve come to realize that this is the go-to insult for people to use when they can’t win an argument. And, really, I don’t want to argue with anyone. But I will try to explain my feelings about the Followers.

  1. Sympathy. This is my primary emotion when I think of this group. I feel sorry for young women who are made to feel that they are insignificant. For teenage girls who have to wait in a corner for some boy to deem them worthy of a dance or date. Outside of that group – guess what? Girls and women do the choosing. Yes, that’s right! They don’t have to ask boys out (and most do not), but they select who they will go out with – because for every girl, there are several guys vying for her attention. I feel sorry for young women who are born with brains, but advised to downplay their intellect so as to not intimidate boys. I am sad that you do not have the option to go to college. I feel sorry for the young women who marry at age seventeen (often dropping out of high school for this event) and start having children so young. It makes me sad to think of the women there who are living with domestic violence (no – I’m not saying all men abuse their wives – but enough do and there is zero support for the victims).
  2. Responsibility. When I learned the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, I felt so shocked! Jesus loves me? Yes! (But, I’m so unworthy). Jesus loves all of us and wants us in heaven. He made it easy for us. I wish someone had told me years sooner. I know how hard that is to accept when you come from the FOC. I thought it was ridiculous! I fought accepting this truth for months, but someone cared enough to persist in praying for me. When I told my family that I’d become a born-again Christian, they tried to disprove that a person could KNOW that they are saved.
  3. Nostalgia. I miss some of the people I grew up with. The people I love and care about now would never shun me. But I would love to catch up with some of the people who were, during my formative years, central to my life. I also miss all the great social events and structure: all the support for the sick, grieving, and celebrating.

I never expected to write about this group. I was terrified to do so, but I cannot explain the feeling of freedom that I’ve gotten from doing so. I still feel like a Follower in so many ways though. I would never call someone a “fool.” I would never take God’s name in vain. I would never use the words, “I swear.” Some people say these “nevers” of mine constitute legalism. But, I don’t care – these are values that are important to me. Why disrespect God? I do not want to hurt anyone. And I hope and pray that my words will do more good than harm.

Still think I’m bitter?


  1. No, Suzi, I don't think you're bitter. You're just passing through this life like the rest of us and making do (and making amends, reckon) with what God put on a plate and handed to you to digest. Take it from someone who has seen it, done it, or heard about it. And guess what? Ain't nobody gonna take away your past by diminishing it, ain't nobody gonna take your present and future by the same token. God is in control.

    I have a problem with fear. Always have. Perfect love casts out all fear, I know you understand that. Moreover, we must find the peace that surpasses all understanding. Hard to find but find we must--I sound like Yoda. Ain't nothing wrong with your raisin'. It may have been a bad deal but it made you who you are and you are just as you should be in the sight of God. You're glorious in His eyes. Well, reckon that's all I have to say for now.

  2. I believe when anyone singles out an organization, there is a deemed bitterness. When I read your posts I could have said the same thing about a mega church I attended in Dallas. Had I challenged some of the actions of Christians in that church, I too, would have been deemed bitter.

    In the end, all that matters is your relationship and walk with God.

  3. Suzi, people will always find something to say, usually the first thing that pops into their head without clearly thinking it through, and it's often more a reflection of something within themselves. Looking forward to visiting again, Amanda

  4. Good post, Suzi.

    I love that your second point (responsibility) is prominent in your motivations to speak up. Several scriptures come to mind as I reflect on why you must be a light to your former people:

    1 Timothy 1:15-16 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

    James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

    Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

    When I think of those from the FOC who've discovered the good news of grace that only comes by faith in Jesus, I realize that you are also called to love them by speaking the truth. And I also think of the situation the Apostle Paul was found in when his eyes were opened. He also felt compelled to communicate the truth to his countrymen (the unbelieving Jews) even though it meant most would reject him, the gospel, and even seek his destruction.

    I pray that you have the grace to absorb criticism from those who would have you be mute about the truth. Press on...

  5. Thank you for your courage in speaking out against the spiritual abuse happening in that body, and congrats to you for getting yourself out of it.

  6. Hi Suzi, I think what's most important is whether you think you're bitter or not. If the answer is no, and you feel that you have successfully moved on, then the people suggesting you are bitter are of no consequence.

  7. Hi Suzi. No, I don't think you seem bitter. I came into your series partway through and only recently became aware of why you were writing it. Now, it makes sense. I am so glad you have found freedom in Jesus...and long for others to know the same.

  8. I still think you are bitter. You still feel like a follower, it seems to me you never were one. You have admitted that your reasons for writing this blog are less than honorable. You throw out accusations of domestic violence. I think you have no credibility but people believe everything you say. They want to hate us so bad they believe every word. I think most of your problems were because of your parents not because of followers. The picture you have painted is of the foc is inaccurate and skewed by your bitterness.

    1. I think you are a scared of your own brethren (posting anonymously). If the FOC was so wonderful and accepting, you wouldn't have to hide your identity.

      The picture I paint is more than generous. You and I both know that. If you want to have any credibility when you falsely accuse me, then use your real name.

      Why would anyone want to hate you? People want you to know the truth about God's love.

    2. I don't feel obligated to tell you my name. I don't owe you anything. What false accusation did I make? You have spent the last year painting a picture that makes you look like a victim. You lump everyone together. Your raising wasn't typical we all could see that. This blog shows how selfish you are. It's always been about self promotion it was thinly vailed. Anyone who believes any this was about more than hype for her book and spite hasn't seen the whole picture. I wonder how low you will go its hard to get out if the gutter once you are there. I don't care about "credibility" I know the truth. You are promoting your book and slinging mud.

    3. Okay don't tell me your name. I appreciate that you read my blog so faithfully - I think you may be my biggest fan!

      I'm not sure how I can promote a book that's not even published yet - but, I'm sure you'll be the first in line to buy it.

    4. I am not a fan and I will not buy your book. I feel like you are trolling the foc.

    5. I think you will!

    6. "Trolling the FOC", hater learned a new word. You'll buy it!

  9. Suzi -
    I've known you most of your life (and mine). Though I can't say I knew a lot about the FOC when we were kids, I knew more that I wanted to admit about the negative aspects of that section of society. I don't think you're bitter at all!! I think you're very brave for following your heart and your brain to better yourself and your situation. I think you've become a very strong woman and I congratulate you for that. I am certain that you're passing along these positive values to your kids, grandkids and students. I'm proud of you and proud to know you!!

  10. Way to tell the bitter, Suzi. Jesus loves us all. Pretty sure it's in the Bible.

  11. Nice blog & yes I was one of the girls on the outsie edge of the dance floor. Most of my friends however have married young, while I waited until God provided the right man for me. Yes I am even more thankful that I never even married young @ that. Thanks so much for a wonderful blog on what was on your heart.


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