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Fallen Christain - Ma Strong
November 12, 2009
8:40 pm
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hopeinhim
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Hi there,

So, a strange thing has been happening to me, and my faith has been topsy turvy the last 2 years. I have had doubts about God, and I tried to divorce myself of rigid beliefs that I felt were discriminatory and condemning. This led to a deep depression, and nearly to suicide.

Then, I thought I would try the sexual liberation thing, to see if I could avoid guilt. And, I was not able to. Then, I met "R", and have relapsed and been in 2 traumatic situations. On top of that, I was raped by a male friend of mine who was a good friend for over three years. It was shortly after this I was tied up, blacked out, and another guy I could not even see or now raped me (I really have not put it that way until now, thanks to this site).

Anyhow, in a weird way, I wish I either did not believe and could walk away without looking back; or, have a more confident faith.

I guess everything is permitted, but not necessarily good for you.

November 12, 2009
9:36 pm
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It No Longer Matters
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Sweetie. I know you are struggling. Since you posted on this side I will recommend that since you are a Christian that you search for a Celebrate Recovery near you. It has made all the difference in my life.

Bitsy

November 13, 2009
2:24 am
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hopeinhim
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Yeah, I was going to one (a different type, but Christian Recovery); however, since I relapsed I have not gone back. I would like to.....

November 13, 2009
10:22 am
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soofoo
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God doesn't love us any less when we make mistakes. Being a Christian doesn't make you an angel. All human beings fall. Christ will pick you up every time.

November 13, 2009
11:12 am
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As I like to say: Every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. Aren't we lucky?

Bitsy

November 13, 2009
11:17 am
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Terriberry
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(( Hopeinhim )),

I am so sorry to hear of all the tragic things that have happened to you.

Are you going to church, ...? If so maybe you can reach out to the pastor, or a freind, and maybe they can help you to find the right support system for your, and the issues you need help with.

I will be praying for you.

November 13, 2009
1:34 pm
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hopeinhim
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Thanks everyone.....right now I am battling whether or not to go to my Bible recovery group tonight. I don't know how much to share, and I don't want to dismay them. I do not want to cry. I miss the group.........but, I am so ashamed. I saw the group leader at church last Sunday.

Soofoo - thanks for the brief note.

Bitsy - I love that quote, as well.

Terriberry - I have been going to church, but recently was unable to go to my usual service for several weeks. I went back last Sunday, though.

November 13, 2009
1:50 pm
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Terriberry
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Why were you unable to go? Glad to hear your going back.

My vote is that you go. Share what you feel comfortable sharing. What are you so afraid they will be troubled by ? Why do you feel so ashamed?

November 14, 2009
8:42 pm
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hopeinhim
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Well, I ended up not going to the group last night. I have so much going on......I have gotten my weekend way too jam packed. I haven't told my sponsor about the relapse, but I did tell another woman in the program. So, she had asked me why I did not tell my sponsor. I had called my sponsor, who was first a very close friend. She was having a really hard time (dealing with a client's suicide, and also facing surgery). So, I just did not want to add to things. Awhile back, I had a window of opportunity to tell her because she kept asking if I was okay. She knew about the friend of mine who raped me in August, but did not know about the other 2 instances, as they involved alcohol. The first instance was my induction back into drinking.

That being said, I have drank heavily 3 times since August, and very few times. So, although I am not trying to minimize thing it could be much, much worse.

So, tomorrow morning I am going to church. It is not where I feel I can get even anywhere close to honest with anybody though. I don't have to outright lie, either. It is a church I go to occasionally to help out at.

Anyhow, I could not feel further from God. Although, I don't feel as far away as I was. There are so many belief systems, yet mine says I am condemned to hell if I don't live and breathe it. I think of all the others who will be excluded........how can this be true? I just have such heavy doubts, but feel like it was grafted into me as a child. I feel guilty if I am not following, and then I feel guilty when I do.

Any feedback?

November 15, 2009
12:47 am
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Randomwomen2
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((((Hopeinhim))))

November 15, 2009
8:36 am
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God wouldn't ask us to forgive each other if He wasn't willing to forgive us.

Bitsy

November 15, 2009
10:43 am
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Lanigirl
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Hope,

Keep questioning until you get answers for yourself. No need to share anything until you're ready.

Wow, guilty if you follow or guilty if you don't. That's a huge burden.

I was also raised in an organized religion but I refuse to believe that Gd, in whatever form you believe, is a punishing force or some folks are going to a hell for not holding similar beliefs to specific religions.

May I suggest that you read about other religions, not to convert you, but to give you a wider range of thought and peace?

November 15, 2009
3:57 pm
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hopeinhim
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Lani,

I have had some exposure to other religions. And, I also have had some friends who had Buddhist background. Although, they would not say that it is a religion.

Whenever I am exposed to different beliefs, it is hard for me to be objective. I am bristling, despite my best intentions, to compare it to my Christian upbringing.

I don't feel you are trying to convert me, as it is a good suggestion.

Bitsy - I have considered how much more God has to forgive compared to us.

Thank you for the continued support everyone.

November 15, 2009
11:39 pm
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Hi hopeinhim,

I don't think you are a "fallen Christian."

I believe that you are just struggling with your growing understanding of the world, your life and how to reconcile that with being a "spiritual person" and follower of the teachings of Jesus.

That always leads to crisis, and it is not necessarily a "bad thing."

Growth generally requires that we shed younger parts of ourselves. And it usually hurts a bit, and can be scary.

I suspect that what may be happening to you is a phenomenon called "spiritual emergence." It is always scary, because it involves questioning and perhaps discarding some of our previously deeply held beliefs, and the Ego never likes to be changed.

If you can have faith in yourself, and bear with the process I have confidence that you are going to come out the other end of this growth crisis stronger and more confident than ever.

I think you will probably not end up being the "same kind" of "Christian" that you were before, but you will be a "better Christian" than you have been. And you will be happier.

A "Christian" is "Christ One."

Jesus did not require that people have total faith in the literal truth of the Old Testament, and he did not require that people have "faith in him."

The remarkable thing about Jesus is that he had Faith in People. He had faith in the Essential Goodness of people, because he was aware of the True Nature of People.

Jesus has faith in you and so do I.

November 16, 2009
9:57 am
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StronginHim77
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I am sorry that I did not respond to you when you posted yesterday, but Sundays are my busiest day of the week (as a minister).

First, let me give you just a minute of feeling hugged. And cared about. And accepted, just as you are. That is what the Father would want. He would want you to feel His loving, comforting embrace and know that there is NOTHING you can do that could separate you from the love He has for you, His special daughter.

If I did not believe in the Word of God, I would have no business being a minister. But, I do. I trust Him and I trust His Words to us. He has said that if we repent, He is "...faithful and just to forgive us." He has also warned us that "...to be carnally-minded is death."

Yes, you have fallen to carnality. But you are certainly not the first Christian who ever went down that path, nor will you be the last. I can tell you from my own life experiences (HEY...I wasn't ALWAYS a Christian...I have a VERY colorful past!) that carnality does not bring us peace. It does not satisfy our souls. It leaves us feelings empty, used and broken.

How do I know? Because I have been there. I've done it all in my past: group sex, exhibitionist sex, being photograhed nude, dressing inappropriately...you name it and I've done it. And today, I have completely sold out to Jesus, found the peace & forgiveness which eluded me my entire life and stand as a living testimony that there is no sin too great to be forgiven.

What is a Christian? The term was first coined in Antioch, circa 300 BC and means "follower of the Anointed One." That means a follower of Jesus Christ. And He, Himself, said that "...no man comes to the Father, but by Me." It is our belief in -- and CLOSE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH -- Jesus which saves us. And remember that the term salvation means to be "made whole in spirit, soul [emotions/mind] and body."

It is my hope and prayer that you will find a group of believers who will not judge you, who will help you to encounter Him via the Holy Spirit's Presence in a personal and powerful way. He is very real, my aching, broken, friend and waiting for you to reach out for His Hand. He will not let you fall and He will heal your broken heart.

He is in the business of resurrection. He resurrects people from the ashes of their lives and gives them peace, strength, purpose, protection and hope.

So reach up...He will meet you there and lift you out of the muck and mire which has darkened your life and stolen your self-esteem, peace and hope.

I will be praying for you. For purposes of AAC anonymity, I cannot give you the name or location of my Ministry, but we reach out to women who are broken and bruised by life, even providing them with free counseling support services. Our vision is to see women restored to loving relationship with the Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.

May He bless and strengthen you.

- Ma Strong

November 18, 2009
2:33 am
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hopeinhim
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Hi Ma -

I made it to church Sunday.........I have been living a very carnal lifestyle. I grieve the loss of my married sex life. I thought I could have my cake, and eat it, too.

I did not want the divorce, and was devastated. I do not knoe what God's will is for my life, but I hope for a husband. I really do. I know I am doing everything wrong to even find the man God intends for me.

Thanks ma stong, for sharing so personally. You overcame quite a lot. That is sur evidence of God's power and grace.

Good night.....

November 18, 2009
9:13 am
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StronginHim77
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When God becomes the center of your life, the center of your heart, He will fill that empty, aching void which we try to "stuff" with a man. And this is a good thing because we then gravitate towards healthier, Godly men and are no longer driven by wounded, emotional neediness.

I have seen this in my own life. I pray you find this true for yourself, as well. Press towards Him...and trust Him to handle the details.

- Ma

November 19, 2009
1:09 pm
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stringtwanger
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My wife relapsed a cupel of times sienc we have been married how can I forget about it

November 22, 2009
2:48 am
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hopeinhim
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Ma,

Thanks, although I know it! I need it in my face. God first, not man. As a sex addict, this is SO difficult. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Your input, advice, and grace are nothing short of amazing.

November 22, 2009
9:36 am
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StronginHim77
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In the spiritual realm, there is no such thing as "sex addiction." This is a worldly, psychiatric term for sexual lust and perversion. Pure carnality.

The only way to overcome carnality is through closeness to (intimacy with) the Holy Spirit. The more of Jesus within us, the less our flesh dominates. It starts with small choices: saying "No" to our fleshly appetites in simple ways, like passing up on a dessert, guarding what our eyes see (movies with immorality, nudity, etc.), reading impure literature, getting up 15 minutes earlier to spend some personal time with GOd instead of sleeping in later.

Bottom line? To be led by the Spirit, rather than yielding to the ungodly desires of our flesh. Note how I said "ungodly." There is absolutely nothing wrong with sexual pleasure...within the right parameters: the covenant of marriage. This is not 'Ma Strong's' Plan...this is God's blueprint to spare us the hardships of heart and the woundedness to the soul which results from carnal behavior(s), outside of His guidelines.

I was married for twenty years, before being widowed. Our sex life was intensely pleasurable and spiritually very deep. I deeply grieve the loss of that unique closeness. Six years later, I have accepted it, but it was not easy. I still have moments when I keenly miss his touch, his warmth and his sexual closeness to me. I share this because you are also grieving the loss of your husband through divorce...a divorce which you did not seek and which has broken your heart and wounded your soul.

I can only assure you that the Lord WILL help you to recover your peace and will heal your broken heart, if you will turn to Him. No sexual relationship can do this. It will only ADD to the pain in the long haul.

Blessings,

Ma Strong

November 22, 2009
3:51 pm
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hopeinhim
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Hey Ma,

I think based on that premise you could say there is no such thing as a lot of addictions, and they are sin and separation from God. That is for sure.

"R" has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and he has taken some of the precautions you listed above. Avoids things where he might be triggered, works alone where he won't be around a lot of women, and really has built his whole lifestyle around avoiding sexual temptation. Of course, we both are needing to start the reconciliation process with God. As you may know, with OCD the thoughts are not pleasant, and it is very difficult to deal with. Different meds have had severe side effects for him, and he is extremely sensitive to most things.

For me, I do not get triggered as easily, and am not OCD. I just miss married sex, and know that according to the Bible I am not suppose to remarry. So, unless I knew for sure that my ex-husband was a "false Christian" then I have no freedom to remarry according to scripture. A lot of teachings and pastors will tell you there is grace, or that it is adultery the first time, but then God wants the new marriage honored. They say that if the other spouse cheated, you have a right to DIVORCE (granted in Moses' time due to bitter hearts), but it is not a certificate to REMARRY.

So, this means I am NEVER to have sexual intimacy with a man ever again. I know I am suppose to look on the bright side, and be thankful for everything I have, but I see the "fallen" in society just drinking in whatever they want, and I admit I get to doubting.

I find it helps to not focus on my self, be self-centered, and to do the right thing of course. But, I just don't know if I see myself making it without that intimacy for the rest of my life.

I get angry because I was so faithful to my husband (even in thought), and went to church, and studied the Bible. Anyhow, thanks for listening and weighing in. I know Sundays are not the greatest day for you, so you, or others get back to me when you can.

hope

November 23, 2009
9:51 am
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StronginHim77
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Dear Hope -

You have been fed some "false theology." Just because you are divorced does not mean you are Biblically condemned to a lifetime of celibacy, forbidden to remarry.

It sounds as if your first husband broke covenant with you. Can you share with me some details of how long you were married, whether or not both of you were committed Christians at the time of your marriage, whether or not you both continued to walk your lives as committed Christians and the reason(s) for the divorce? Also, who sought the divorce? (I believe it was your ex-husband?) And what efforts were either of you wililng to make to seek pastoral counseling, to salvage the marriage?

If you can share this info with me, I will be happy to address your status and freedom to remarry (within Biblical guidelines).

Just so you know my theological training/credentials (without revealing my identity, I am a 3rd generation, Derek Prince Ministries pastor who spent nearly ten years in training, prior to my ordination. I also completed thirty hours of theology studies with Christian International (Founder: Bill Hamon).

I have been a fulltime minister for nearly ten years, including two years as a Police Chaplain, two years as a prison chaplain and founded my own Ministry two years ago with the blessing of those who trained, educated and "raised me up."

Blessings,

- Ma Strong

November 23, 2009
9:54 am
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StronginHim77
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Please be aware that physical, sexual, emotional, verbal and/or spiritual abuse are all grounds for divorce with freedom to remarry within Biblical guidelines (i.e., marrying only a fellow-believer who shares your commitment level to Jesus [in other words, equally yoked]).

That is why I hope you will bring forth the reason(s) why the marriage ended in divorce.

- Ma

November 23, 2009
5:54 pm
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hopeinhim
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Hi Ma,

My understanding is that the only ones who can remarry are the widowed, and then those who were married to unbeliever who left them - not vice versa.

My first husband was abusive, and I had him removed from the home with a protection order. I filed for legal separation, and then he filed for divorce, and had another woman move in and got her pregnant.

I met and married my 2nd husband, and he decided to leave me and the kids because I think he was afraid he was going to abuse us. I did have to leave when he assaulted my daughter from my previous husband, and call the sherriff. I went to counseling for a number of months towards the end, and we took a whole parenting course together. I had my heart broken. When he left I filed for divorce about 4 or 5 months later because he was out meeting and dating women, and did not want to reconcile.

As far as husband #1 and husband #2 go, they said they were Christian, but they were very carnal (kind of like me the last 5 months, or so). They swore, prayed only when nearly suicidal, and were against tithing 10% and such. Are they saved? How can I truly judge that?

Really, the only way I could remarry and not live in adultery according to scripture is if they both were not Christian. There is tons of scripture to support this.

It is part of the reason I am frustrated with my faith................

Thanks for weighing in.

November 23, 2009
7:08 pm
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StronginHim77
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First husband was abusive? You are Biblically free to remarry. He broke covenant with you.

Second husband assaulted your daughter? Then abandoned you? Again, he broke covenant with you. You are free to remarry.

Any church or minister who would try to teach you otherwise is legalistic and missing the Spirit of the Word by a mile. Such a viewpoint would be pure, vile legalism.

You are God's daughter. Do you think He would expect you to remain with a man who abused or abandoned you (or your child)? NO WAY.

- Ma Strong

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