Aubrey Fox's Story
To be very clear, I harbor no ill will towards my parents for the choices they made. They gravitated towards an optimistic message of all Christians being united and believed that this teaching was unique to this group; that this group had a monopoly on this “high truth.”
Unfortunately, living out the practice of the church life was a bit different than the original vision.
It led to arrogance. Most Christians seem to have some level of this arrogance, believing that they have figured out the mysteries of the universe; mysteries that the most brilliant minds in science in the history of the world haven’t figured out. But in my experience, the local church movement took this arrogance to a new level. I was raised believing that everything in my life was right and all others were wrong from media consumption (no TV, limited radio and news), school choice (private and church connected), diet, dress, everything. The purpose of any connection to “the world” (which was synonymous with evil) was to bring members into the church. Although the strictures of my youth weakened as the family grew and my parents aged, I believe my family’s deep roots in the local church movement was very impactful during my formative years. Although mental disorders are multi-causal and the scientific method hasn’t pinned down any specific causes for any of them, I believe this deep-rooted idea that “we are perfect in every choice we’ve made” may be one cause of some of my long-enduring mental health struggles.
As a young adult I slowly separated from our local church as I ventured out into the world. I discovered some popular Southern Baptist-funded church plants and saw different church groups working together for the good of the community as a whole. It seemed that their goals for the community were not as narrow as just bringing them into the group or even just spreading the gospel, but actual social justice issues like food, clothing, and housing. I had been taught that Christianity was divisive and ignorant of what was in the Bible and found the opposite.
I came to realize that a lot of the teachings, practices, and terminology used by the local churches served the purpose of separating its members from their families and other Christians. Whether intentional or not, this is the exact opposite of the vision they sell.
I’m so thankful to have found freedom from this group.