Mocking As A Discipleship Tool

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Spiritual Abuse
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

After I left the church, I was incredibly torn about the decision, whether it was right or wrong, would God be angry with me, am I now going to be cursed for leaving, etc.  I felt so conflicted about it and I tried to get closure by staying in touch with my old “friends” at the church.  I went so far as to write two separate emails to Tyler Wachenfeld, someone who I was very close with at FCC.  The day that I left the church, he hugged me, told me he loved me and that if I needed anything, to call him.  So I felt that perhaps there was still an open door, of sorts, to stay in touch.  A couple years after I left, I was still wrestling with certain elements of my decisions and truly felt that perhaps I could have done some things differently and wanted to right any wrongs I committed.  After sending two emails asking for forgiveness for hurting my friends (which I now believe was self inflicted condemnation), I got no response.  Not a “no thank you, I forgive you, please go away”…I got nothing.  After one of my very good friends left FCC he told me that Tyler would show him those emails and mock them, make fun of them and make it a spectacle of how weak I was and I just couldn’t get over it.  After I heard this, I was very mixed in my emotions…At first, I was pissed but then I realized that this was their M.O….they MOCK anyone and everyone that they can’t change.  I remember asking one of the elders what the best way was to get someone to stop doing something that we didn’t like (this statement sounds insane to me now!!), if it wasn’t sin and we had no biblical reason to approach that person.  This elder told me “we mock them.  Mock them until they change.”  This is what we were taught!! We emasculated these men if they couldn’t or wouldn’t do what we wanted them to.  I recently spoke with someone who was a former staff member and he described a recent interaction with Steve Hall as having an interaction with a mocking spirit….I completely agree.  Biblically, mockers are not someone that you want to emulate.  I can post numerous passages of scripture showing how mockers are depicted in scripture…these are not the people you want to be like!! And it certainly shouldn’t be used as a discipleship tool for young Christians.   My point in saying this is that it became evident to me that there would likely be no reconciliation because that would mean that these men would have to stop mocking and actually humble themselves to a point of extending mercy and forgiveness where necessary but then in turn, that would expose their behavior and force them to repent and ask for mercy and forgiveness.  Someone coming and trying to reconcile would mean that they would have to change the way I was presented to other church members and I believe this would be too difficult and too embarrassing for the leadership.  The way we were taught to mock people is the opposite of the people Jesus called us to be…there is no love in mockery.  It is sad to me that even after I extended an opportunity for reconciliation, I was mocked and never contacted again.

In summary, I extend my hand in reconciliation and challenge the leadership to repent and personally contact, apologize and right the wrongs and abuse they have inflicted on hundreds of people.  I would welcome that and I’m sure most of us former members would welcome it as well.  I hope and pray that day will come.

– Nick Puente

  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep posting these articles! They are eye-opening and freeing to see the truth! I keep praying for more eyes to be opened in these churches – Amen!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Nick,

    I admire the strength of your faith in leaving, your courage in writing and posting your experience, and the love you have shown for people needing to hear of this type of faith and courage.
    I was a friend of your mom and dad and remember you as a young boy. From what I have read on this site, you have grown into quite a man.

  3. Thandi Gooden says:

    I agree with the the previous post. I remember you and your family. I think I was at chruch the day you proposed to your wife. We didn’t interact very much, but I do remember you.

    Anyways,I was only at the chruch for a short while, my husband and I were already married by the time we got there. Hence, we didn’t experience the depth of the cultish behavior. Nonetheless, when your family left that was a huge red flag to me that the signals I was getting were right. We left around the same time. Thank you for your leadership.

    Thandi Gooden

  4. Christopher Scott says:

    Nick, you won’t remember me but I definitely remember you. It was a long, long time ago but I am pretty sure that I babysat you and your two younger brothers on one occasion. I always had a lot of respect for your Mom & Dad so hearing that they actually left Faith Christian is an absolute indictment on them that they went wrong somewhere. My name was mud amongst those people after I left (from what I heard) but it was something I had to do. I live in Phoenix now. Contact me if you like.

  5. The Truth Matters says:

    @ Nick,
    Mocking has NO place in the mouth or heart of a follower of Yahusha (” Jesus”), as you already said. Mocking is a form of cruelty, an evil fruit of a bad tree, a tool of the world and the evil one. The context you stated was obviously one of blatant abuse, extreme pride, and the witchcraft art of forceful manipulation and cruel pressure, that is NOWHERE taught or condoned in the Word of God. YHUH’s way, amply demonstrated, is all about choice, and when defiant choices are made, He offers conviction and correction. If those are refused on the long term, then He brings judgment. It is a matter of choice and consequence, Not force. The types of character you’re describing are not of God, and no reconciliation can occur with the unrepentant, unless you cow and bow to their falsehood, turning away from YHUH. By now, I would imagine you know that your discernment was working correctly in directing you to leave, even though some temporary confusion, pain and grief caused you to second guess your decision. Looking back, we can know that YHUH in His Love, delivered you out of an evil camp of the devourer. Your heart was tender, and you had love in your heart, so you wanted reconciliation, but the rebellious will never tolerate that, because as you said, that would require them to repent, and it sounds like they’ve been very busy making hard hearted choices to defy and grieve God, and from their demonstrated comfort level behaving that way, evidently they’ve been at it for a long time. When someone is comfortable with sin, that shows they’ve been embracing it a long time. That also reveals they have been without the convicting of YHUH’s spirit, and where He isn’t convicting of sin, He isn’t! There is a very high likelihood that as a result, He has already released them over to their choices, that any attempt to correct is long past. YHUH will always quicken the conscience of His people when they’re in sin, and they will quickly repent, because they love Him, and He will keep convicting them until they return. Where His correction is not, He isn’t present. It looks like you were mightily delivered, even though it hurt. Sin always has a way of driving us away from the people we shouldn’t be involved with. It separates the wheat from the chaff. I’m so happy for you that you are out of there.
    I once went to a yard sale they were holding there in the parking lot, and a very bold aggressive and scornful man who said he was a member there, came up to me, and was smilingly profane with shocking language. I took note. That told me a great deal. Obviously, the sanctifing presence of God is Not in that place. After 30 years, I touched base with an old friend who told he was a member there. He used to be so nice, a rather godly fellow. But he had become so mean and hard hearted. I was amazed. We would say Repent- but except for the departing individuals, it looks like they have signed themselves up for what God has in store for the wicked. We really need to fear God, people. He is the same as He was long, long ago. He is not someone to take lightly. He means what He says, and will not defer justice beyond measure. Rev. 18: 4 tells us to Come out! And be separate, that we Nor participate in the sins around us, that we be not partakers in the resulting curse.

  6. Sister Judy Bisignano says:

    Hi Nick: You probably don’t remember me but I sure remember you and your amazing family! As a former member of Faith Christian Church, I would very much like to extend my hand and heart to you. I am sorry for the pain you experienced in the name of Jesus! You did not deserve it – not did all the others deserve it. You are a strong, young man. Move in self-forgiveness and peace. Please give my love to your parents and your brothers. Peace to you, Nick.
    Sister Judy Bisignano

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