My parents joined the 2x2s when I was less than a year old. According to their testimony when they were part of the 2x2s, they had been less than happy with their local church and were searching for “the true way” (that was always well received by the workers!).
The first time I really started thinking any negative thoughts about the friends was when I was about 10 and the Gospel meeting was being tested. God hadn’t spoken to me and I certainly had no intention of getting to my feet – that would make me a hypocrite as far as I was concerned. all of a sudden I felt my mother elbow me in the ribs and I was stunned. At the time I was angry at my mother but I hadn’t realised that there was an obligation for me to profess and my mother was starting to feel the pressure.
When I was 15 we started studying cults at school, and I started comparing what I was growing up in to the characteristics we were studying. It was a little too close for comfort and I can remember reading every single book on cults in the library at school trying to find the 2x2s. Unfortunately, they didn’t stock The Secret Sect. This knowledge, and the fact that I was angry enough at God to become an atheist, really consolidated my reasons for not professing and trying to avoid as much of the social obligations of “the friends” as I could. I was a pretty angry teen hiding behind the perfect dress length and hair worn up in a bun at the Sunday morning meeting.
I left mid-way through my first year at university. I just didn’t get up in time for the Sunday morning meeting and stayed as late as I could on Wednesday night. Mum and Dad ended up leaving over the next 6 months, so we really had our own individual faith crisis!
I started thinking about God one night in my mid-20s and spent a night getting very angry. I felt that I had been abandoned. Why on earth would God gave allowed my parents get mixed up in a cult! That one-sided conversation with God lasted several months. Until one night I had a very gentle realization that Jesus died for me, because God loved me. It wasn’t just an event that occurred 2000 years ago. This was for everyone. It took another couple of weeks for me to fully process that new God planted idea. But I remember the night that it finally sunk in, I found myself on my knees praying with tears of joy. That feeling of joy has never left me!
I became a regular attendee at a local Anglican church and spent quite a few years involved in different Anglican church camps meeting wonderful Christians from all around Gippsland. Being a musician, I found myself playing at a number of different combined church services around the area.
About 6 years ago I really felt God urging me to make some changes in my life and I ended up moving to NSW to be part of a Church Plant (within the Anglican Church). While I’m no longer involved in the Church Plant (now a drug rehab facility), it was a fantastic experience.
Church-wise up here, I’m happy to enjoy more than one denomination. I tend to float depending on what time I can make the service. I’m confident that there will come a time again when I settle back into a particular church—just not at the moment.
March 4, 2011