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Darcy Anne @Dragonfly_Darcy
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Once upon a time, I was a worship leader at a local church, after having been in music ministry since I was 15. I had helped transform their music ministry with my gifts and time

Then they kicked me out. And that was how I became #Exvangelical. It wasn't originally voluntary.
We had been at this church for 3 years after moving here. We were active, part of a small group we "did life with". 3 kids in the children's ministry. I was the pianist and a vocalist, alternated leading worship with the other leader, a man. We were happy, they were our family.
During a study I was leading in my home, I mentioned that I wasn't complementarian but believed in equality between husband and wife. Our marriage was egalitarian, I gave Bible verses that supported my position. 1 friend apparently felt threatened by this new info.
She tattled to the pastor, who then preached at me using Gothard's "umbrella of authority" the next Sunday. I had a panic attack in church seeing my old cult's main symbol. I felt confused that in 3 years this was the first hint of complementarianism I'd seen in this church.
The pastor ended up contacting me, saying he had questions because my friend told him I believed questionable things. I panicked a little, having trauma from my past surrounding "authority figures". I kept my cool and invited him over for dinner.
He came over with a deacon, the leader of our small group, (we thought) our friend. His wife had tattled. I was hurt she didn't ask me about my beliefs first. She later told me my knowledge of the Bible was threatening 2 her, she was afraid I would convince her of a lie.
Long story short, we went through a series of inquisitions aimed at me. The pastor tried arguing theology with me and lost, which angered him. He sat on my couch & called me a heretic, said I wouldn't submit to him. I saw a man I didn't recognize, tho I'd known him 3 years
For the last meeting, I asked the other worship leader to come. We had been communicating with him and his wife about what was happening, they were in disbelief, they were on our side. I needed a witness to what was happening.
I was in a state of numb disbelief during this time. I couldn't believe this was happening to me, a life-long Christian, a good person who had spent my life helping people, radically following Jesus, teaching the gospel, and ministering to others with my gifts.
The very last meeting, pastor was surprised to see J, the worship leader. J is an old hippie who gets along with everyone, his presence would be peaceful, I thought. Then the pastor handed me a statement of faith and membership "covenant" I was to sign to make all this go away.
I saw J's face and demeanor change. He wasn't an official member either, didn't believe in "membership", said we were all part of Jesus' church and didn't need a man's paper to prove it. He had to listen to his pastor say that without that paper, our ministry was illegitimate
I asked the pastor to show me how a man-made membership covenant was Biblical. Pastor got red in the face, tried to tell me that the souls added to the church on Pentecost all signed a membership covenant. I laughed his face. He got madder. I was done. Gloves came off.
He discovered at that point that not only was I a feminist egalitarian who didn't believe he had special authority, I also believed in theistic evolution, that being gay wasn't a sin, and that the 2nd coming was not a literal future event. It blew his tiny mind and sealed my fate
He said they never really knew me, obviously. Implied I was a wolf in sheep's clothing going to deceive his church. Regretted letting me into ministry without thoroughly vetting me.
I should mention that at the beginning of this process, he had tried addressing my husband about my sins. My husband said "talk to her about it" and quietly sat next to me in support, only speaking up when needed. Pastor had no idea how to deal with that. Threw him off his game
So back to that last meeting.
Pastor handed me the statement of faith and membership contract. Said I could sign it and they would forgive me. I said I didn't need to be forgiven. Said I didn't agree with everything on the contract and wouldn't sign it.
I used scripture to back up everything I was saying. FROM MEMORY. He tried flipping through the Bible he brought, got flustered, and couldn't reply to anything I argued. His cliches and route canonical answers failed him against a woman who actually knew her Bible.
Meanwhile, J finally found his voice. Asked pastor "so are the years I have spent building your music ministry nothing to you?" Pastor replied that he was just a contract worker they paid as long as he wasn't a legit member. J looked devastated. Music for Jesus was his life.
In the end, we were told to sign the statement of faith and contract, or we wouldn't be welcome any more. I flat-out asked if we would be allowed in church if we didn't sign. Pastor said their doors are open to everyone, can't keep us out, but we wouldn't be allowed 2 participate
We walked away, our integrity intact, our hearts broken. J and his wife left the church. Most of the worship team left after hearing all of this. Pastor maintained to his members that we chose to leave, that we walked away. To this day, most of them don't know what happened
Weeks later, I called my friend who tattled and started all of this. She was wary but said she meet with me. I sat on her couch in tears, asking why if she had a problem with my beliefs, she didn't come to me first as a friend and talk about it.
That's when she told me that my knowledge of the Bible intimidated her. She needed the pastor to tell her what the truth was, she didn't want her ears tickled by my words, knowing I knew the Bible better than she did, she was scared I could convince her of a lie of Satan.
I walked out of her house with so many feelings. Betrayal, loss, grief, confusion, anger. I didn't realize until over a year later how much this entire event added to my PTSD, made my spiritual abuse PTSD so much worse. But that's another story for another day.
We tried for a long time to find another church where we could belong. But we had lost the naivety that we had and each church we went to we knew wouldn't welcome us. We were "heretics" and unapologetic about our beliefs. Evangelical churches would never welcome us.
That was the beginning of questioning everything I believed in. My old blog is full of my journey and feels during this time. Here is an example:…
Here's another example. I was trying so hard to hang onto my faith in Jesus, in the good that was Jesus.…
As most here know, I walked away from Christianity completely. Not because I was hurt, it wasn't an emotional reaction to abuse. The abuse was the catalyst for shifting my entire worldview, yes. But I walked away because I was finally able to ask the important questions.
I can thank the pastor who sat on my couch and sputtered "You refuse to submit to me but you'll submit to HIM!" while pointing at J. The guy I trusted who kicked me out & claimed I left on my own. was threatened by me & responded by acting like an ass. Thanks for changing my life
As I was debating sticking it out or leaving, J looked me in the eye and said "don't stay where you're tolerated, go where you're celebrated". He has no idea how much that has become the theme of my entire life.
People have asked me what type of church this was. It was ABA. It tried hard to look relevant, called itself a community church. ABA prides itself on being more progressive than SBC. This was ur basic run of the mill evangelical church.
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