I was just reflecting on how a new and supportive experience contrasts with what I learned to expect at CJ. Someone just took an action to support my moving to a better living location, one that will be more peaceful and safer for me, much less stressful. The process will take a while, but having someone recognize my need and do something positive for me from a position of experience, knowledge and “authority” in their field overwhelmed me. In contrast, I had seen people try to express their struggles and needs at CJ, whether it be a physical allergy or an emotional upset about the stress of our life. I had also seen them be told that their “problem” was just sin, and that their attitude was selfish and demanding. I heard them being talked about negatively behind their backs. They were told that they were a problem for having a problem. I learned from this to suppress my needs and reactions. I learned this so well that I would suppress my thoughts and reactions even from myself. Since all “problems” were my sin, and I had to fight my sin, ergo all problematic thoughts and feelings were to be suppressed. Can you think of a more unhealthy way to live? And the sad and outrageous part of this is that this mentality was presented as being the true and deeply spiritually Christian way to live. Funny, but I have not read anything in the Bible to support such a practice of Christianity. For someone like me who joined CJ as a new Christian with no other Christian teaching in my background, I took what the charismatic leaders said as being the truth. They taught with authority and charisma, and everyone else there, who had been Christian a long time, took their word as truth, so I believed them all. Group think is a real and dangerous phenomenon that I will talk about later.
September 5, 2013