I wasn’t involved long with GC, but I did see a lot of what other people are saying happen. For a year I lived in a house on campus with a few other guys from the church. 2 were what I would call devout members for lack of a better term, then there was a guy quite a bit older and me. I think we were the projects trying to get us more involved in the church. While living there, it came to light that the older guy was struggling with alcoholism and thoughts of suicide. He was taking our money for lights, and I noticed some of my stuff missing, and he was buying booze with it. This was all coming out about the time I left the church. I’d talk with him, and kept trying to encourage him to get help, get treatment, but the other members of the house just told him it was sin, and if he gave his life to God he’d be free of these issues. I believe they also would tell him since I was full of sin, my advice was wrong and bad. I remember being scared to come home from work everyday thinking I’d find his body, or the ambulance would be in the drive when I got home. I would spend hours in the living room with the other guys (and this usually turned into throwing bible verses back and forth to prove our stance) trying to get them to see he needed real help. I was never listened to because I had left the church, and therefore my opinion was not one God would like. They finally asked for help from some people in the church. One guys advice was to do an exorcism on him. I was floored, here was a guy who was a counselor or or social worker or something, and instead of offering us real help, a few guys came over, and they did this exorcism in the living room. I was told I shouldn’t be there, as my “unbelief” would make it not work. So I stayed in my room and listened as they prayed over this guy, and he ate it up with the grunting and yelling…. I can’t tell you how weird it was… Needless to say that didn’t work. It wasn’t long after that the guy took a bunch of pills, drank some booze and they found him face down in a snow bank on campus. He lived thankfully, and was taken to a state institution. I never saw a ounce of remorse from those who were involved either. Just a shoulder shrug and the whole, “nothing done for God is done in vain” or whatever that line is they like to hide behind. I don’t go to church anymore, nor do I really believe in God anymore. Reading these stories has almost instantly brought back those feelings of inadequacy and exhaustion that was my life during those times. And it breaks my heart that more and more people have gone through similar situations, but I’m glad there’s a place to tell our stories now.

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