Growing up in a dysfunctional Pentecostal home must be one of the toughest things that could happen to a kid.
It’s likely the most confusing place a child could ever have to be in. One of the most tragic things that can happen to any little one raised in church, is when things at home do not match what others see at church.
These kids learn how to live a double life, a double standard, often from the time they become aware of being in the world.
What they learn about the precious Jesus and how He loves, is not what they witness among their own. And they learn to hide.
I’ve watched and listened on Facebook. I’ve heard some people I’ve known for many years, actually brag about their parents and make comments about what fine people they were, when they know, and I and many others know, that is not true.
I feel for them and I understand why they are doing this. They learned a long time ago to cover up and pretend in public that everything was okay.
Most often, they had no choice. To tell the truth about real life at home would have brought great punishment, and I guess you love whatever you have.
Most people on the outside, or at church, saw a completely different picture of the parents and thus many would never dream anything was wrong.
Too many times, this kind of environment produces a very twisted, split-personality young person, who has no idea who they really are.
Someone railed on me not long ago about my dysfunctional past and present, and fully forget that I know just how neurotic the mother in that minster’s home really was and what torment the man suffered.
The idea that a kid raised in such a place could grow up and actually point out faults in other people and be critical of others with problems, is interesting.
There are many wonderful Pentecostal families and I’m not talking about you. Someone must speak for the other side, actually, the side you should have known about all along.
Maybe you did know, but there was nothing you could do.
I often wonder why discerning of spirits was not more active in our churches. Someone would have truly seen what these children were going through and maybe spared some of these kids a lot of suffering and torment by confronting the parents and doing some teaching on being real.
I think one of the sad things too, is that many of these children become adults in the church and go right on pretending everything was fine, and sadly cause harm to their own children and those around them.
I’ll likely cause some sparks to fly here and I truly apologize, but at the moment, I don’t care.
No one is standing up for these adult children who are still crying out for help and trying to understand a God who could allow such pain in their lives.
A well known minister on Facebook made a comment about how people who are abused in the church, abuse others in the same manner.
Somewhere, somehow, this cycle must be broken.
But I wonder how many really care?
The fear in these kids eyes — even as adults — doesn’t anyone ever see that?
Are we so busy shouting and running the aisles that we can’t see what is happening around us.
Battered preachers wives, battered saints kids and let’s all be quiet and brush it under the carpet. Like someone told me, “Why can’t you keep quiet?”
I wonder if people really wonder how it feels to go around in circles, year after year, trying to find God and develop some kind of relationship with Him that makes sense.
What it’s like to dislike church and church people, and have a deep hurt about God and ask everyday why He let those things happen to you.
It’s not just kids from Pentecostal churches. I’ve learned that kids from all Christian faiths have experienced the same hurt and disappointment.
But I thought we were the best…. I thought we had the Truth and we were the cream of the Bride of Christ…..
Okay, what sparked this outpouring here? Why did I not just turn off the computer like I’d planned and get some rest?
Someone posted something about young people in our churches who are in serious trouble, because they have lost respect for their church and families, because love has not exceeded legalism and they are confused and lost, although they continue to be at church and even participate.
Another story of a lost Pentecostal kid, became hurt and bitter and ended up in prison. Never could find God again and didn’t want to. Then died that way later in a car accident. It rocked me.
Now, you throw doctrine and standards and holiness and all the other terms you have at me if you want, but I am telling many of you, that we will answer.
Some of our children and their entire families are lost and we just keep quoting scriptures and saying “They know the Truth.”
Yes, they do. All of it. We learn to forgive others, we really do and that part is over with.
But there is no reason to remain ill, forever trying to find peace and go on pretending.
We don’t have to tell our business and spill everything we know, but we have to tell somebody the truth.
Carrying it the rest of your life is just going to keep you from finally finding peace.
Tell it all to Jesus! He knows it already anyway, but do not be on Facebook, saying things about your family that are not true.
You don’t have to pretend and you don’t have to cover up for them anymore.
You’re not alone. I love you and so do many others.
Being real may be the last thing we can do.
First published: November 11, 2010
~ Robert Blackburn