I've been busy this weekend with visiting and shopping. I've done alot of driving and for some reason whenever I was driving this weekend for extended periods of time, I started to think about this person from my past.
I'm sortof in a theological vortex at the moment and it reminds me of when I left the Way International cult years ago. Maybe that is why I keep thinking of this guy. When I was in "the Way" I would go out on the witnessing trips with a group and we would go door to door, telling people the good news according to the Way International. I made a fine cult member back in those days. I knew the ministry approved doctrines and also knew what happened when you left the cult.
Anyway, I remember the day I first met Arnie. We were going door to door witnessing one sunny afternoon and he opened his door to us. I can see his face perfectly. He had flaming red hair and soft blue eyes. He was very quiet and shy and humble. He had no idea how beautiful he was. He listened to us tell him "the Word" and he wanted what we had. He really did want to know more about Jesus and the bible and he was like a sponge soaking in everything we told him.
Ok. Maybe I was a little in love with him, but I never let him know that. As an elderish cult member, I decided to take Arnie under my wing, show him the ropes and what's what and all that. We became good friends. I took him to the way functions, barbeques and get-togethers and answered his questions to the best of my way-infested ability.
I told him about how WE had the truth and those people who left the ministry were turning their back on the truth. What fellowship does light have with darkness? That is why we don't talk to those people anymore. They have turned their back on God.
Arnie continued to read the bible and learn about God. He really did have a sweetness about him and an innocence. I really enjoyed just hanging out with him. He helped me buy my first computer because he knew all about computers. He told me that he'd gotten kicked out of art school because the head of the school told him that he had no artistic ability. I told him that was stupid! What did that guy know anyway?!
I was going to school to get my Associate's degree and I talked Arnie into going to school too. We even had some classes together and enjoyed visting and working on our homework together. It was nice.
Then came the day when the Lord opened my eyes to the REAL truth about the Way International and their cultish mind-control guilt-tripping manipulations. The Lord showed me that it was time to leave the Way. When I left that ministry, I also had to leave all my friends and people that I had known for seven years.
The first Monday after leaving, I went to my class and there was Arnie. I went to talk to him and he didn't want to talk to me. I was now Mark and Avoid and he was just doing what I, ME, What I had taught him to do. I had made him twice the child of hell that I had been. So I just looked at him and said, I understand - just remember how I treated you. When that class was over, I never saw him again.
I don't know why I keep thinking about him. I feel like praying for him, that he got out of that evil cult and maybe God has healed him and he is okay now. I'm sure he is okay, God is in control right?
Pray for my old friend Arnie. Please pray for me my imaginary internet friends. Thanks.
Blessings in Christ