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electech98

Letters Of Withdrawal From Church Membership

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I'm going to print it out, sign it, and probably give it to a deacon or elder at church on Sunday.

What the? You're up in Bakersfield? Just tell them to fuck off and die. This shit doesn't fly here in CA. I started reading this thread thinking you were in some odd place in the bible belt. But Bakersfield? What the hell's going on up in the Central Valley these days? Yikes.

 

I'd ditch these folks and if they said shit to me I'd tell them leave me be and if they tried more than that I'd tell them I'd see them in court. No court in CA would side with jerk-offs like this so why bother playing their little games? It's just the one more bit of control they use on people. Don't give it. Just go.

 

mwc

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I'm going to print it out, sign it, and probably give it to a deacon or elder at church on Sunday.

What the? You're up in Bakersfield? Just tell them to fuck off and die. This shit doesn't fly here in CA. I started reading this thread thinking you were in some odd place in the bible belt. But Bakersfield? What the hell's going on up in the Central Valley these days? Yikes.

 

I'd ditch these folks and if they said shit to me I'd tell them leave me be and if they tried more than that I'd tell them I'd see them in court. No court in CA would side with jerk-offs like this so why bother playing their little games? It's just the one more bit of control they use on people. Don't give it. Just go.

 

mwc

OK...didn't say it before, but I was kind of thinking the same thing...why all of the explanation when is it really necessary? Shouldn't a person be FREE to walk away from something they no longer agree with?

However I understand the reasoning behind it (not that I agree with it because I dont - I loathe church discipline/excommunication/ it's just another method of control they have in their arsenal.)

That being said, I sent a lame ass email that was very short because I knew no matter what...I would be in the wrong for leaving "god's true church".

You can't win with religious jerks like that who think we owe them an explanation for every friggen thing.

However I can say at the time I left it would have been unthinkable to NOT send something...which is why mine was so brief. The mindset is that somehow we owe them an explanation...it's hard to break that indoctrination because in my frame of mind now, years past...I would have told him to fuck himself..not nice I know.zDuivel7.gif

Anyhow eletech I understand your reasons for wanting to give them a letter, but I certainly don't think it's necessary. ;)

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I'm going to print it out, sign it, and probably give it to a deacon or elder at church on Sunday.

What the? You're up in Bakersfield? Just tell them to fuck off and die. This shit doesn't fly here in CA. I started reading this thread thinking you were in some odd place in the bible belt. But Bakersfield? What the hell's going on up in the Central Valley these days? Yikes.

 

I'd ditch these folks and if they said shit to me I'd tell them leave me be and if they tried more than that I'd tell them I'd see them in court. No court in CA would side with jerk-offs like this so why bother playing their little games? It's just the one more bit of control they use on people. Don't give it. Just go.

 

mwc

OK...didn't say it before, but I was kind of thinking the same thing...why all of the explanation when is it really necessary? Shouldn't a person be FREE to walk away from something they no longer agree with?

However I understand the reasoning behind it (not that I agree with it because I dont - I loathe church discipline/excommunication/ it's just another method of control they have in their arsenal.)

That being said, I sent a lame ass email that was very short because I knew no matter what...I would be in the wrong for leaving "god's true church".

You can't win with religious jerks like that who think we owe them an explanation for every friggen thing.

However I can say at the time I left it would have been unthinkable to NOT send something...which is why mine was so brief. The mindset is that somehow we owe them an explanation...it's hard to break that indoctrination because in my frame of mind now, years past...I would have told him to fuck himself..not nice I know.zDuivel7.gif

Anyhow eletech I understand your reasons for wanting to give them a letter, but I certainly don't think it's necessary. wink.png

 

I thought about sending a letter when we stopped attending our last church, but I decided just to leave. We never heard from anyone about it. We tithed for over a decade and gave extra for a new building and heard nothing when it stopped. I guess our sacrifice really wasn't that significant in such a large church. Most people seem to assume that we just moved to another church. It's probably best...

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I say take em a present as a farewell gift.

 

 

You've heard of "dick-in-the-box" right?

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I'm going to print it out, sign it, and probably give it to a deacon or elder at church on Sunday.

What the? You're up in Bakersfield? Just tell them to fuck off and die. This shit doesn't fly here in CA. I started reading this thread thinking you were in some odd place in the bible belt. But Bakersfield? What the hell's going on up in the Central Valley these days? Yikes.

 

I'd ditch these folks and if they said shit to me I'd tell them leave me be and if they tried more than that I'd tell them I'd see them in court. No court in CA would side with jerk-offs like this so why bother playing their little games? It's just the one more bit of control they use on people. Don't give it. Just go.

 

mwc

OK...didn't say it before, but I was kind of thinking the same thing...why all of the explanation when is it really necessary? Shouldn't a person be FREE to walk away from something they no longer agree with?

However I understand the reasoning behind it (not that I agree with it because I dont - I loathe church discipline/excommunication/ it's just another method of control they have in their arsenal.)

That being said, I sent a lame ass email that was very short because I knew no matter what...I would be in the wrong for leaving "god's true church".

You can't win with religious jerks like that who think we owe them an explanation for every friggen thing.

However I can say at the time I left it would have been unthinkable to NOT send something...which is why mine was so brief. The mindset is that somehow we owe them an explanation...it's hard to break that indoctrination because in my frame of mind now, years past...I would have told him to fuck himself..not nice I know.zDuivel7.gif

Anyhow eletech I understand your reasons for wanting to give them a letter, but I certainly don't think it's necessary. wink.png

 

I thought about sending a letter when we stopped attending our last church, but I decided just to leave. We never heard from anyone about it. We tithed for over a decade and gave extra for a new building and heard nothing when it stopped. I guess our sacrifice really wasn't that significant in such a large church. Most people seem to assume that we just moved to another church. It's probably best...

If they let you go & you didn't get a letter of excommunication or church discipline then it sounds like the church you left wasn't as nasty as some cult churches can be. You're lucky. ;) Now you can sacrifice the tithes you would be giving for you & your family...where it belongs.
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If they let you go & you didn't get a letter of excommunication or church discipline then it sounds like the church you left wasn't as nasty as some cult churches can be. You're lucky. wink.png Now you can sacrifice the tithes you would be giving for you & your family...where it belongs.

 

Yes, they always tried to be a seeker-sensitive church that catered to people who had been burned at other churches. My wife and I had already gotten burned out and stepped down from activities that we were leading, so there was no need to explain anything to anybody. When we stopped attending our home group it left everyone with questions that we just try to dodge. We still consider those people friends that we just don't see as often.

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I understand the desire just to stop going and hope it all goes away, but with this type of church it doesn't just go away unless one is proactive in withdrawing and setting down boundaries for staving off harassment, etc. They don't see it as harassment, but they need to know that further contact on the issue will be viewed as such.

 

This is also more of a formality for the sake of family and friends who know. They need to know I am conscientiously withdrawing of my own will, and that I am taking a stand against whatever authoritative pressure or bullying the church would try to throw at me.

 

As long as that church sees me as a member, they will proceed with disciplinary steps and eventual excommunication. If I withdraw my membership formally, it is (to me) a symbolic gesture of taking away their discipline power. It is something I can always throw back at them if they try to enact discipline or convince me to come back.

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I understand the desire just to stop going and hope it all goes away, but with this type of church it doesn't just go away unless one is proactive in withdrawing and setting down boundaries for staving off harassment, etc. They don't see it as harassment, but they need to know that further contact on the issue will be viewed as such.

 

This is also more of a formality for the sake of family and friends who know. They need to know I am conscientiously withdrawing of my own will, and that I am taking a stand against whatever authoritative pressure or bullying the church would try to throw at me.

 

As long as that church sees me as a member, they will proceed with disciplinary steps and eventual excommunication. If I withdraw my membership formally, it is (to me) a symbolic gesture of taking away their discipline power. It is something I can always throw back at them if they try to enact discipline or convince me to come back.

I understand electech. It just bothers the hell out of me that churches even have the power, or perceived power to inflict "church discipline" or "excommunication" on members that decide they want out.

I'm glad you are setting an example of freeing yourself.

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Some churches harass people who drop out. If one has been a member of such a church, a letter of termination is necessary. This is because most states have laws that protect a departing member from harassment and public degradation only if that person has submitted such a letter. In this case, I would send the letter certified mail.

 

But many churches actually do nothing if a member simply quits showing up. In such a case the best route is to simply quit going.

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Church discipline for not going...oh, FUCK OFF!!!!

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Alright, gave the letter to a deacon on Sunday. He'll give it to the leadership the next time they meet, so there will be a little lag time between now and when the shit will hit the fan. But screw 'em if they get all bent out of shape over it. It's their problem.

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How did it go?

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For those who wonder just "how" the response to withdrawing can be, I came across this post from my denomination. Fortunately, they let me go!

 

Some weeks ago the consistory had the following announcement come from the pulpit:

Consistory advises the congregation that [name] has informed the consistory that she, in connection with her intended marriage, wishes to withdraw from the Church of Jesus Christ, and join a church with which we have no relations.

Over the past months Consistory has attempted to convince [name] that withdrawing is not an option. Her letter shows that consistory’s efforts have not had their desired effect.

Since withdrawing is contrary to God’s ordinance, consistory did not feel free simply to acquiesce to [name]’s intention. Instead, consistory wants to involve the congregation first, urging you to pray for her and speak with her, in an effort to bring her to repentance.

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Jesus Christ, that's just creepy. Can someone get a restraining order against an entire church?

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Jesus Christ, that's just creepy. Can someone get a restraining order against an entire church?


I'm not sure.

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By the way, Elechtech, how are you doing on that front?!

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Well, I've not received any communication from any leaders in the church since the letter was given to the deacon (who subsequently gave it to the pastor). Hopefully they are complying with demands that they not contact me to try to get me to come back to the "fold" or to try to convince me to change my mind. It's only been a few weeks, so time will tell.

 

Thanks for the follow-up!

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Good to hear that both of you are being left alone, at least for now. Hope you have a nice non-holy-day weekend!

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