Ask a questionQ & A
I attended a church that had may have been a cult. They talked a lot about money and I feel betrayed. I have left but also feel left by God. Can God help me?
Thank you for contacting us with your very interesting question. I am very sorry that you have experienced so many discouragements.
I understand that you became disillusioned with your church and are now finding it difficult to find a spiritual home. Actually, I have been in a similar position. I left a church because I felt strongly that the members were being misled and people said of me, too, that in leaving them I had left God. It was very hurtful and confusing and made me unable to feel confident or at peace for quite a long time. However, God had not left me and used those experiences to teach me and mature me. He has not left you, either. Whatever the leaders or members may say, theirs is not the only church where God speaks and blesses. Remember that He promises,
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I wonder how you now feel about having left your first church. Do you feel peace that it was the right thing to do? I am not for a moment saying that you were wrong, only that you need to find the peace of God about your decision. When you are at peace about that, you can trust Him to lead you to the right place. You do not need to worry or stress about it, because He will lead you. If it was a cult then I understand it to be the right thing to do.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27)
You say that there were cultic elements in that church and that there was an emphasis on money. I presume that by 'cultic elements' you mean that they were too controlling and demanding. You are right in thinking that you are meant to be able to follow the Word of God and Spirit of God without being unduly pressurised by other people. We are meant to be responsible about our church membership, attending meetings regularly, giving to the church and respecting good leaders, but we are not meant to allow ourselves to be controlled by men. That is Christian freedom.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Everything in the Christian life comes down to faith, not keeping rules. God is the giver of faith. He values it highly, so much so that when He sees that we believe, He counts our faith as righteousness and He blesses us with all that we need to follow and serve Him.
Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:6-7)
We should not submit to extra rules made by men, however exciting or spiritual they sound, but obey God by faith. If you are believing God and seeking to follow His leading, He will bless you; You can trust Him. He does have the right church for you.
This would be true even if you made a mistake in leaving that church. He wants you to put past experiences behind you and go on with Him.
Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
The trouble is that when we have trusted a church and then been disillusioned, we feel disappointed and hurt and it is very difficult to trust again. Perhaps the problem with another church is not so much that they are not able to give you what you need but that you are finding it hard to trust anyone or commit yourself. You may feel that God is not listening to your prayers for a similar reason. When trust has been undermined by hurt, it is hard to trust God, ourselves or other people again.
That is why we must not trust our feelings. We must make a decision. We must decide to trust God, even though we are feeling bad, and keep on deciding to trust Him whatever the days and weeks may bring. That is how we mature as Christians.
I suggest that you look for a church which teaches the Word of God and where you can find spiritual nourishment and go there, however you feel, at least until it becomes clear to you that God is leading you somewhere else. Don't worry or stress about this but rest in God and keep trusting Him. When you find the peace of God in your situation, you will be able to hear Him speaking to you.
In summary, I am sorry to hear of your troubles regarding your recent church. However, fins a good Bible believing church to attend, and pray that God will give you peace and guidance moving forward. Be a good witness to your wife, holding on to God and pray that her heart would be softened to Him.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your questions. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit another question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
Find more answers in...
If you can't find an answer to your question, please ask us instead.