"I've discovered a whole, big world outside of those doors"


December 1999
By a "backslider"--former six year member of Calvary Chapel

I was [associated with] Calvary Chapel at Downey for a little over 6 years, but I officially "left" the congregation in 1997 and have never returned. Actually, the thought of it makes me sick.

As I read "Losing My Religion" a flood of memories and emotions passed over me. I began to remember in detail just how lonely I was the first day I walked through those doors [at Calvary] and finally felt that "unconditional love"--or so I thought it was at the time. I bought into it "hook, line and sinker."

I still live in California, am now engaged to a great guy and feel better than I ever have in my life. But my experience [at Calvary] still haunts me daily. Despite being happy--I am still deeply troubled by my experience there and cannot seem to sort it out [see Recovery].

I want to believe in God--I really, really do, but I wonder who He is. I cannot believe that He is the same God preached by [the minister I knew] at Calvary.

I am also very frightened. Believe it or not, I can still "hear" the voices of those in leadership who I thought were my friends--condemning me; reminding me that I'm destined for hell and calling me a "backslider."

I have not set foot in a church since 1997. I just can't do it. I do not consider myself a Christian any longer and cannot shake feeling like I was stupid--a complete idiot, a loser and a fool. Yet I still feel better than I ever did when I was with Calvary Chapel at Downey. I've discovered that there's a whole, big world outside of those doors.


Copyright © 2000 Rick Ross


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