For anyone who has been thinking about leaving any of the Stanton CoC groups, but has been frozen by fear, Debby Stevens shared some very well-written thoughts from the heart yesterday that you need to read. I had people emailing me asking to put her comments into a single post so they don’t get lost in the comment rotation, and I agree. My favorite quote: “If you leave the group, it doesn’t mean you have left God. Actually, you may be leaving so that you can continue to follow Him, and Christ.” Thank you, Debby, for sharing.

I have something on my heart and it’s been there for awhile, and I’d like to share it if ones will bear with me!
It wasn’t just one thing that opened my eyes that I needed to leave the Stanton group. It was a lot of little things. Early on in my Christianity I had taken a scripture completely to heart and followed it “In all thy getting, get understanding.” So I prayed and strove to understand scripture, my heart and God and Jesus. This led me to ask a lot of questions.

It was in that pursuit that I came to realize that the church that was first presented to me by the group was not the one I was actually a part of. For years I had labored under the delusion that it was a “church” that really did follow the bible and only “spoke where the bible spoke and was silent where the bible was silent.”

I knew that what I saw and heard being done in the group was not right. I heard things being taught as doctrine but were actually private interpretations and personal opinions.

And, most of all, I was living with the realization that what I was seeing in my bible and what I was being taught by the group were not compatible. In fact, they were opposite. For now, I’m not going to get into what those things are, that’s not the point of what I’m trying to say.
I’m speaking to those who are still in the group, and are living in fear everyday. You are actually a sheep in wolves’ clothing. Outwardly you try to appear as if you are believing the same as the are, but inwardly you know you are not. And you are walking and living among them knowing that if they find you out, they will attack and devour you. You have seen what they do to those who dared to oppose them, even if done privately.

My heart and prayers go out to and for you. Because I understand the conflict you feel, and the fear you live with everyday. You may be asking yourself “what to do? If I leave, where will I go?” Even though you realize the Stanton group does not have the truth and doesn’t honor it, you have been taught that no one else does either. But what you need to remember is that we all have the Holy Spirit. Remember that He is in you, will guide you to all truth. He’s not just there for “teachers and leaders” in the group. He will guide you into understandings just as He has been all along.

If you leave the group, it doesn’t mean you have left God. Actually, you may be leaving so that you can continue to follow Him, and Christ. If you remain with the group, you cant really and truly follow Christ without getting into trouble with the group. You might even be withdrawn from.
This conflict over the group vs Christ will not go away by staying in the group. Instead, it will eat at you and will wear you down. It will begin to dull your conscience.

It takes great courage to walk away. Especially when you have given so much of yourself and life to the group. But take a look around you, think about it. Of all the people that have left the group, how many were really and truly anxious to return? I sure haven’t seen a great crowd beating feet to get back in.

If you decide to leave, you have help here. I’m willing to share what worked for me, and I believe there are others here too that would be willing. Know that you are lovable, and are loved!

My prayers are for you, love Debby