Early in my Christian walk, I did a lot of study on the beliefs and doctrines of the major cults, with a special emphasis on the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs), or at least as far as I could understand those beliefs; they seem to me to be quite convoluted! 😉
I did those studies so that I could talk to the visitors who arrived on my doorstep, and actually be able to talk to them with some understanding. So, for nearly 40 years, I have always thought that people in cults were trapped in their legalism, and pretty-well ironclad and unreachable, save by a move of the Holy Spirit.
Well, recently I have had some very surprising experiences.
You see, over the past couple of weeks, I have been sharing and ministering in an online group for, shall we say, ‘Retired’ Jehovahs Witnesses
And I have to tell you that I have been welcomed with open arms, listened to, agreed with, and I have learned a lot from these lovely people too, about acceptance and patience and tolerance and how to deal with miserable naysayers (these latter not being people in the group!)
And I also want to tell you that there are ex-JWs in that group who have undergone the same deconstruction process that I have. And just like many ex-Evangelicals I know, they too have suffered grievous hurts from leadership, former friends and in many cases family members too; in many cases what they have suffered is far worse than what many British ex-Evangelicals have had to cope with themselves, because the cultic control mechanisms are far stronger.
And I have met people who are moving out into the freedom of the Spirit, reading the Bible with unshackled minds and listening to the prompting of the Spirit of Truth; I have met genuine God-seekers and I have met people who walk with Jesus despite the alien, man-made doctrines they had been taught for so long.
Friends, let me tell you that deconstruction and reconstruction is not just happening in Evangelicalism and/or in mainstream Christianity. It’s also happening in other places, including the cults, wherever in fact people’s hearts are turned towards the Lord. I’ve even seen people exhibiting relaxed attitudes towards LGBTQ+ relationships, surely one of the main bastions of legalism in any faith system.
I mean, it’s not all of the group members, of course; just like in deconstruction in Evangelical circles, people are at different stages in their faith walk and all their deconstruction stories are different. But still, it is happening, and it’s happenning far and wide.
And I can tell you it’s been a real eye-opener. We have far more in common with these people than I could ever have imagined. These people are walking in Grace and recognising it for what it is; they are walking free of legalism and they are living in the Spirit.
This is just sooooo encouraging! This is part of the major worldwide work of God that is happening in our time – people coming out from under legalism in all its forms and finding true Grace – and it’s even happening in the cults! This makes me laugh for joy 😀
Who’d ‘a thunk it?
For anyone reading this who is from that group, I welcome you to my blog in the same way as you welcomed me into your group! I hope you find it a blessing 😀