New Apostolic Church – I cried for help! – By your fruits she knows! – A true dialogue!
My name is Petra* and I am in the process of breaking away from the New Apostolic Church and I just wanted to pour out my heart. I have read your posts and would now like to tell you about myself.
I am 21 years old, for the last 3 years I have only been going to church irregularly, or to be more precise, not at all. Like many others, I was raised New Apostolic and never doubted a single word until shortly after my confirmation. Until everything changed in one fell swoop.
After my confirmation I joined the choir, played in the orchestra, also in the youth symphony orchestra. I did everything when asked without thinking for a minute.
I was ostracized
My father, a priest, has a severe drinking problem – all the ministers knew about it. Yet they called him to office. That was the day it all started. Slowly they cut themselves off from me, I was either not taken to youth services at all or simply forgotten there and they went back without me. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but these incidents became more frequent. At some point I thought to myself, “Nah, if no one will take you, then you’ll just go to the youth services in your area.” So I did. But more and more I realized that I was being ostracized. It was known throughout the district that my father – the priest – liked to drink one over the thirst. Everyone ignored the problem.
The apostle does not listen
I cried out more than once for help from my ministers and ‘pastors’ (it sounds like mockery to my ears by now). No one was there. I went to my youth leader – he ignored my plea for help. I went to my priest – he ignored my plea. I also went to my apostle – he did not listen to me and left even before I could tell him everything. I wrote to our District Apostle – from there I have not received an answer to this day.
I was treated with contempt
When my father resigned from the ministry and stopped attending services, my mother and I were not allowed to go either. Nobody cared that I suddenly stopped coming. Silence reigned from that day forward. My youth leader didn’t show up – no one. When I came to church services, I was met with contempt and treated as if I were air.
When brothers and sisters met me on the street, they would change their clothes or pretend not to see me. I kept wondering if I had done something wrong. If I had continued to go to the services, all hell would have broken loose at my house. And it was hard enough having to live in an apartment with an alcoholic father.
No one would listen
I have always sought contact with my priest and the others. They didn’t hear or didn’t want to hear. That I was suffering from depression, cutting my arms in despair, and that I was miserable, they never saw that.
“The Lord will work it out,” they used to say. “You just have to trust in God and have faith, and your prayers will be answered”. But the phrase “you must carry it in love” destroyed everything for me. When the sermon was about the church and community, it screamed loudly inside me, “What are you preaching up there? If you acted on it, you would try to stand by me.”
No objection allowed
When I once expressed these thoughts in a youth class, I was unceremoniously kicked out. They didn’t want opposition, criticism, and certainly didn’t want to help the other person. To this day, I don’t understand why they didn’t help me. Why they looked the other way when I was still being talked down to by my dad before church. They knew everything! I told them everything and they didn’t help.
A year ago now we left my father. After 3 years of attending services irregularly and now 1 year of being completely absent, someone at my old church finally noticed that yes, I wasn’t coming at all.
I have completely finished with the NAC
But even via email, I still realize their ignorance. Because after countless questions (the answers to which probably don’t interest them anyway) and indirect accusations of running away and that I was running away from my problems, the mail ended with a quote: “It is better to have little food under a board of one’s own than a delicious table among strangers.” (Sirach 29:29)
Since this mail I have completely finished with the New Apostolic Church. Still, the question remains: why did everyone look and gossip instead of help?
thank you for your mail and the trust you have placed in us. What you have experienced in and with the New Apostolic Church is terrible, but unfortunately – and this is the frightening thing – symptomatic! As long as the ‘sheeple’ stay on the given track, everything is fine, but as soon as one of them leaves the track (in this case your father), you are dropped like a hot potato. The whole family suffers. Unfortunately, you are not the only one who has experienced this. Through my educational work, I have contact with many dropouts. There is virtually no one among them who does not or did not suffer from depression or anxiety (myself included). This may be a small comfort to you that you are not alone in these problems, and that it is not just you, but circumstances, that often leave you feeling down and melancholy.
You are not alone with your problems
What you report took me back to my childhood and youth. Our family also had problems similar to yours. We have felt this many times and on different occasions. Harassment and exclusion were the order of the day. It is clear that a child’s soul is damaged by this: On the one hand, one is a ‘child of God’ of the New Apostolic Church and thus taken out of the ‘world’, feeling like something very special because one is saved and all others are lost. On the other hand, however, one is excluded and harassed by this ‘salvation-bringing’ community. When I once turned to the pastor of the church in my distress, this “pastor” “diagnosed” me with neurosis instead of taking my distress seriously. What can’t be, can’t be!
I know a former New Apostolic woman who was sexually abused by her father. She turned to her apostle, but he could not or would not help her. Her suffering was not taken seriously, she was not believed! Later, this woman also had to care for her father, who had abused her, and accompany him in death. No one was there to support them!
May Jesus touch your heart
Now, why am I writing all this to you. So you see, you are not alone in your suffering. I also want you to know that I will pray for you, that despite all of this, you will find rest and peace. May Jesus touch your heart and heal you. In my case, this has happened. He is not only the Savior and Redeemer for eternity, but also heals the whole person already in the here and now, if we let Him, I can testify to that. He says:
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world you are afraid, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Joh. 16, 33). This is the greatest consolation to me. He has overcome for us and knows our fear. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will keep supper with him, and he with me.”Rev 3, 20
A sick tree brings rotten fruit!
If there is something positive about the New Apostolic Church, then perhaps it is the knowledge of the existence of a God that is born into one’s cradle. Do not lose your faith in the existence of this God through the mercilessness of the people in the New Apostolic Church
The New Apostolic doctrine is false at its core
However, this should also be said. I am convinced that wherever people work, mistakes are made. There is abuse, betrayal of trust, bullying, and more in other communities as well. For this reason, we are essentially concerned on our website with the theological aspects of the New Apostolic Church, with the contradiction between biblical and New Apostolic doctrine. We are convinced that the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church is wrong at its core. The doctrine of salvation, the New Apostolic gospel is unbiblical. But what is to come of false foundations? Are the fruits that arise then good fruits? I believe that the grievances in the New Apostolic Church, the extreme misconduct of individuals and the indifference of the community of ‘believers’ are a result of the wrong foundation. Jesus says:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Can you also gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? So every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit, and a rotten tree cannot bear good fruit. Any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not all that say unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but they that do the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many shall say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and have we not cast out devils in thy name, and have we not done many works in thy name? Then I will confess to them: I have never known you; depart from me, all you evildoers!”Matth. 7, 15-23
Where are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
It’s very irritating. In a community whose apostles claim to be the exclusive givers of the Holy Spirit, there is such a coldness of feeling towards people who need help. Are the ‘brothers and sisters in the faith’ not filled with the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth? Shouldn’t you reach out in love to anyone in need? What’s wrong? Where are the fruits of the spirit (Especially when they are needed): “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and chastity. (Gal. 5, 22)
From a human point of view, there is really no need to be surprised either. The priests of the New Apostolic Church are supposed to be pastors and preachers, but they have studied neither theology nor social pedagogy nor psychology. Nevertheless, they should help in the most difficult situations and life situations! Laymen are active up to the highest offices, who often have not even read the Bible in its entirety. What do you think will come of it? Oh yes, the Holy Spirit guides the servants! Obviously, however, there seem to be deficits in this respect. Forgive my cynicism.
The Lord alone
Maybe you’re like me. You remain skeptical because of these unpleasant experiences and are open to the real work of the Holy Spirit. You are not bound by the biblically false ideology of the New Apostolic Church. Not apostles or sacraments make you a child of God, but the Lord alone: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, even the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself for all to be saved.” (1 Tim. 2, 5) “For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus to be Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For if a man believe with his heart, he is justified; and if he confess with his mouth, he is saved.” (Rom. 10, 9-10)
I wish that for you and I pray that you find peace in Jesus and confidence for the future.
* The names have been changed to protect the persons!
We recommend the translation of the Bible by Franz Eugen Schlachter in the 2000 version