I don’t want to write this entry, but I’ve made it a policy in the past to blog about the good doctor whenever he initiates contact with me. Since I just got an email from someone purporting to be conflicted about joining his “church,” I shall have to post this. [UPDATE: Sure enough: the letter was a fake; other people who had been in his church got similar notes around the same time. It really sucks to have to be suspicious of everyone who pops up in one's life like this.]
Please scroll around my main page: I got pop culture. I got politics. I got it all, here. Just not in this particular entry.
On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 11:46 PM, Truth Seeker wrote:
Hi Miss Attila,
I read about your blog entries about R.L. Hymers. I also read Doxa’s blog entries regarding him. Basically, both you and Doxa say that his church is a cult. I’ve been invited to come to his church before and it seems like a good church to me. Could you please provide some background info about R.L. Hymers if it is not too much trouble for you? Thanks in advance.
I suspect you could do better than Dr. Hymers’ church. I know that there are a lot of people out there who got saved in his churches, but it was very, very painful. And risky: some of his former followers left Christianity forever. And there are many survivors of the experience who wish they’d never ever met him. Good, Godly people.
I’m tempted to tell you that you might do okay in his church as long as you avoided extended contact with Dr. Hymers himself, but that’s not really the way his ego/management style works: he tends to corrupt those around him so that not only is he abusive, but those around him are encouraged to be that as well. I have tremendous respect for several men who were Elders in his church, and must now bear the burden–for the rest of their lives–of having acted as his henchmen. No one should have to carry that around with them.
It’s as difficult to explain how a seemingly Godly man can twist Scripture and church history to fulfill his own ego as it is to dissect the art of seduction: at what point is a girl (or a guy) being seduced?–is it too much eye contact? A touch that lingers too long? A kiss? There are so many subtle steps involved that one doesn’t really see it or admit it until it’s too late; it’s like totalitarianism: sure, the end result is clearly evil! But at what point did it become that? When, exactly, did the good intentions–or the supposed good intentions–turn awry?
By the time one realizes that “this is all wrong,” one has to deal not just with the spiritual ramifications of leaving, but also with the practical issue of how to conduct a physical escape from a man–and a team he has cultivated–who is not above physical violence, public humiliation, smear campaigns, or legal action against fellow Christians. (If indeed he is a Christian; it’s a subject of spirited debate. Like the debate on whether the word “cult” applies.)
Just remember that the Devil himself can quote Scripture when it suits his purpose. And quite well, too.
I’m not sure I have too much to add about Dr. Hymers, other than what I’ve already written. All you have to bear in mind is that there is tremendous trust that any member of Christ’s church gives to a minister of the Gospel. More trust than you give your doctor, even. So while you cannot find someone who is perfect (only one guy ever managed that on this earthly plane), you cannot grow spiritually when you know that your trust might be abused. Someone who doesn’t just lose his temper occasionally, but cultivates his temper as a tool of control–yelling at people from the pulpit, breaking things, knocking things over, dousing people in icy liquids at Elders meetings, publishing people’s real/perceived sins in Church bulletins–is not a person you can trust.
Please know, also, that even after you escape Hymers’ cult, there is a practical effect that you would have to live with for the rest of your life: you’d always be looking over your shoulder, wondering when and if the retribution is finally on its way. For instance, I’m halfway embarrassed to admit that I have to wonder if YOU are for real, or merely another of his minions, pumping me for information on who I am, or attempting to trip me into some sort of admission that can be used against me legally.
Please let me know if you need recommendations on a good, Bible-believing church near you; I’m sure I could find some referrals for you. But I can’t, in good conscience, recommend any church related to Hymers or his associates.
Joy W. McCann
Little Miss Attila
Such a chore. Oh, well.
Olly olly oxen free!