Freedom's Cost

by E.L. Anglin

To date, I have written extensively about some of my reasons for leaving Oneness Pentecostalism but have only ever focused on the theological aspects of my transition. I've purposefully left out personal experiences because I wanted everyone to know that my decision was primarily theological.

After some consideration I've decided to share some of the personal, relational, side of the process.

You should know that from beginning to end the entire process took almost eight years. I was entrenched in the system and from the beginning never really considered exiting altogether. I naively thought that with enough conversation perhaps the system could change.

From time to time I still hear people publicly posit that possibility. While I believe that with God all things are possible, I temper that faith with the reality that demons must flee at the name of Jesus, but the human will is able to stifle the miraculous.

You should know that I've lost friends. Many friends. Some disconnected from me because a continued association would taint their credibility. On the other hand, I disconnected from some because their pity, judgement and anger was too much to bear. That said, make no mistake, I am the one who changed. I am in no way who I used to be. I'm sure that's quite a shock.

You should know that I am no longer respected by a very large portion of my former friends and associates as well as some family members. Some would think "Who cares?" Well, I do. At times I have felt very betrayed and the irony is they do, too.

You should know that I have been cursed, slandered and gossiped about. I have deleted very obscene comments. Someone actually typed "I spit on you in the name of Jesus." Others have stated in writing, and to my face, that my departure has voided all of my previous ministry effort.

You should know that nothing about theological transition is easy. To believe otherwise is foolish.

You should know that like a Buzz Lightyear doll, there are certain phrases you are expected to parrot. When you are no longer willing, in good conscience, to do so you are deemed defective. Defects are trashed.

You should know that all of this damages one's pride. It crushes one's spirit. It severs relationships. It strains others.

You should also know that none of this makes me or you a martyr. Real martyrs lose their heads; you've only suffered an injury to the heart.

I have reached the end of a long journey, and now begin another. In time you will see a finish line, too.

My prayer for all whose hope and dreams have been shattered was originally spoken by one of my favorite movie characters, Iris, in the 2006 film 'The Holiday.'

My prayer for all who read this page is that "after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, will eventually begin to fade."

Pursue peace.
Be happy.
Be healed.

Live the life Jesus purchased.


This writing is the copyright of E.L. Anglin and is reprinted on this site by permission. View all of his available articles here.


Page added July 3, 2015

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