The Enemy Within

Yesterday I was thinking about how, when I was a Christian, one of my concerns was that my children would be able to maintain their Christian faith, once out in the heathen world.  I believed, back then, that one of the ways to insure their safety was to keep them away from “nonbelievers” for as long as possible.  The goal was to have them strong enough in their faith to resist the onslaught of anti-Christian propaganda.  I truly believed that was where the danger was—in the non-Christian world.

The funny thing is, that is not where the perceived danger was at all.  The enemy was hiding in plain sight.  I just didn’t allow myself to see it.   As I think back on my journey out of Christianity, it was not the secular world that influenced my exodus, not at first anyway, it was those within the church that gradually sent me searching for something real, something secure, something that made sense.

As I thought about it, the chipping away of my faith began many years ago, long before I actively sought answers from the secular world, but probably the reason why I did:

  • My church-going grandfather who stripped away my innocence before I even knew what innocence was.
  • My Christian father who raged against and abused us.
  • My God-fearing mother who was complicit
  • The pastor who befriended my violent ex-husband and tried to get the restraining order against him lifted, all because he had accepted Jesus.
  • My Christian brother-in-law who cheated with my sister’s Christian best friend and left my sister when she was 8 months pregnant.
  • The pastor who later married the two and welcomed them back into the church
  • My married pastor who told me I was beautiful and grabbed me while I was alone in the “sanctuary.”
  • The elders that left me twisting in the wind when I came forward about it.
  • Our respected youth leader that had been being “inappropriate” with young boys for 30 years and was forgiven while everything was swept under the rug.
  • The youth group that rejected my daughter because she brought kids from all walks of life to church and that made them uncomfortable.
  • The youth group leader who said she wanted to spend time with my daughter to really get to know her, and then never called.
  • The Jesus loving girls in the youth group who said they loved my daughter and then disappeared from her life when she needed them most.
  • My pastor that prayed and sang hymns every morning during his personal devotions, yet stood at the communion table and told lies, destroying his flock, of which I was one.

The secular world did not lure me out of Christianity or tempt me to turn my back on God.  The Christian world showed me long before that, that being washed in the blood, filled with the spirit, and loving others as Jesus did, is bullshit, plain and simple.

Yes, dear friends, it isn’t us, the unbelievers–the ones that are honest and upfront about our lack of belief–that are a threat to the Christian faith.  It is the God-fearing, God-loving, born-again believers that are the true threat.  Their behavior makes the strongest case against a Christian God, or Jesus,  or Holy Spirit that changes people.

It seems I owe them a debt of gratitude.  Thank you Christians for ushering my children and me out of the Kingdom.

All those years I spent fretting over my kids leaving The Church but it was The Church that had been the true danger all along.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ... Zoe ~
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 19:14:55

    Speechless but in no way shocked. So often this seems to be the norm. You would have fit in perfectly in the circles I use to run in . . . this type of crap went on and was normal and all that energy expended to try and reason it all out . . . makes me sick. And you, you are the heathen and hell bound. They, they are forgiven and get heaven. Makes a lot of common sense doesn’t it? 🙄 Zoe’s tongue is caught in her cheek.


  2. notabarbie
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 23:46:29

    Well put Zoe. It’s hard not to get angry. What’s difficult is seeing the same kind of thing played out in the lives of my son’s friends…I may blog about it. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  3. susan1gb
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 01:59:27

    All too familiar. Wishing you a fantastic future. Thanks for your story.


  4. Name withheld
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 05:51:14

    You know, I didn’t experience those kinds of horrible betrayals from Christian people. I just ultimately rejected the ideas. Course I am still under the radar except to my husband kids and mom. I believe for the most part people in my life were just trying to do their best with the mental framework they’ve got. Just got stupid ideas from books and preachers and emotionality and their own dysfunctional background. Fundamentalism combined with Charismania is a pretty potent drug. There was a lot of wackiness in terms of practices and damaging things done and said to me (like my parents and their friends purportedly casting out a demon of witchcraft out of me because “rebellion is as witchcraft”.) Me an ultra-pleaser straight A virginal worker bee with “seed faith”. I guess I had some disagreements. I can see a lot of it is fear-based. Our churches and groups were proud of the tattooed or down and out that ended up inside but i sure wasn’t supposed to date them. What ultimately repels me is the groupthink, the expectation of conformity, the chasing after the next idea because “God told me”, the fear of others’ thoughts and ideas that aren’t under the tent of Christianity. The only reason my husband will read Parenting with Love and Logic is that it’s published by NavPress. Is the book useful? Many say so. is it “true”? No. You have to decide if some of the ideas are appropriate to your particular family situation. That’s your job as a parent, not abdicating that role to a document. I appreciate that the authors state that. Supposedly trying to literally live according to a historical document is ridiculous and damaging. Certainly some observations or principles are of value, perhaps revolutionary for their time. Seeing that in my lifetime, do you think the early Christians were that different from us? Paul framed nearly all the theology surrounding Jesus and Christian living, and he never met the guy. It was hearsay and a vision. The gospels were written quite some time after the death of Jesus. People can’t even agree about what happened to JFK or the twin towers in our generation. There are overachievers and dogma-givers in every age. Maybe wrong or right or smart or logical. The madness of crowds comes from emotion and human herd mentality, not logic. It is powerful.


  5. William Hurt
    Jul 04, 2018 @ 07:30:30


    • notabarbie
      Jul 05, 2018 @ 08:41:04

      Who are you? How did you know to contact me? I need to know more before I respond.


      • William Hurt
        Jul 11, 2018 @ 13:24:49

        I have a dear friend who was used and abused by Art. I have seen his manipulation and wickedness up close, and she knew of you. I then found your blog which mentioned him by name and by description, assuming that he is the one who grabbed you in the sanctuary. He did the same to my friend, although because of her fears, she didn’t fight it and got sucked in by his authority and abuse of power.

  6. Barb
    Jul 17, 2018 @ 14:12:50

    Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter in, but only those who do the will of My Father. The Bible makes it clear that FEW will enter in ….FEW among those who “claim” to know Christ will enter in. NEVER EVER put your trust in a human. That being said, the Bible also says that all sins are forgivable, except the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit! Art will be called to a greater degree of judgement, seeing as he took on the roll of a teacher. I will never let a human turn me from God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Maybe there’s a lesson for all of us, stop idolizing humans, salvation does not come from a man, but from Jesus Christ!
    I am praying for Art, his family, his church and his victims!


    • notabarbie
      Jul 17, 2018 @ 14:39:14

      What is your point, exactly?


      • Barb
        Jul 17, 2018 @ 15:08:10

        He sinned, he was found out and he was kicked out!

      • notabarbie
        Jul 17, 2018 @ 15:47:19

        Okay. I was just confused by your verses from Matthew. Art, by all intents and purposes bore abundant fruit and yet he’s nothing more than a film-flam man—most pastors and elders are. You say you are praying for Art and all involved, but aren’t you praying to the same god that allowed Art to have a position of power over his people and to a god who allowed him to be surrounded by men who turned their backs on good, god fearing people? What do you pray exactly, “God where were you?” I’m not trying to be mean. I’m just curious about that.

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