Helmut Meier is a New Apostolic and believed he was sit in the wrong movie, a typical pompous divine service with the Chief Apostle is the first impulse to get out! A very interesting report about the experiences in the New Apostolic Church and what finally led to leaving this church.
Dear Mr. Anselm Schönfeld, Dear Mr. Lutz Jusko,
by chance I came across your website nak-info.de. I never had the courage to read the lines and pages, now I took heart and studied everything carefully.
First of all, I would like to introduce myself briefly so that you know who is actually writing here. My name is Helmut Meier*, born in the 1950s in Berlin. I have been of the New Apostolic faith since birth, so I was born into it, so to speak. My upbringing was strictly faith-based and I have always found this time, especially in my youth, to be more of a burden on the soul. The indoctrination of this religious community and the external restrictions went so far that even wearing a beard, watching television and going to the cinema were forbidden and were considered to be the devil’s work.
Now I don’t want to dwell on the details, but rather on your website, which I liked so much because you don’t make fun of the NAC, or even appear arrogant with a raised forefinger, but expose the NAC as an erroneous belief with a great deal of empathy. This really spoke to me and woke me up.
The turning point
Because of the fall of the wall and because the world around me changed so much, my urge for freedom became unbearable and had to find an outlet. At a so-called festive divine service conducted by then Chief Apostle Richard Fehr, who also introduced the first image transmission via satellite, I sat in the pew in our congregation and thought I had landed in the wrong movie. Pompous representation of the fairgrounds with exterior shots and NAK flag. I thought, are we at the state reception now or the church service? These subjective impressions of mine then carried on throughout the service. The more Chief Apostle Richard Fehr said at the time, the more I was against it.
Again and again I found points in the sermon that I did not like and where I disagreed. It was the broadcast of the service from Vienna. I don’t remember today what word it was about, I only know one thing today: I was about to leave the service. I could not bring myself to do this, because I did not want to disturb the other brothers and sisters in their devotions. In any case, this experience was the reason that two or three services later I no longer attended the services of the NAC.
I thought I was going to hell
A complete pagan age of utter indifference to the NAC in particular followed. Although I must admit that this period was marked by great feelings of guilt. I always felt that I was consecrated to the devil and hell for all future. The events surrounding the fall of the Wall in West Berlin, the events surrounding the festive service from Vienna were now the outlet for my thought of freedom to give itself free rein!
At the beginning of 2000 there was an advertisement in the Berliner Morgenpost, where the railway subsidiary DB Dialog was looking for call centre agents for Berlin and Saarbrücken. Since my wife and I had also been longing to move away from Berlin for a long time, and since we had brother-in-law and sister-in-law living in Saarbrücken, this was a perfect match for us. I applied to the railroad and it all happened very quickly. It went one after the other: apartment found. I thrived in my job, I felt at home in Saarbrücken. I took the positive turn in my life as an opportunity to try attending NAC services. As a sign of good will, so to speak, and out of gratitude to God.
A new attempt with the New Apostolic Church
Also in Saarbrücken the often praised blessedness in the church services did not want to come. My view of faith was shaped by the will to conform out of gratitude. Of course, this was not a good foundation, but this became clearer to me much later!
In the meantime, I preferred my freedom and now attended the services of the NAC only sporadically on so-called big occasions. For example, I was a listener at the festive divine service on Pentecost on the occasion of the change of Chief Apostle from Richard Fehr to Chief Apostle Leber. I felt very comfortable and could also feel something like happiness, because I was able to find my personal peace with Chief Apostle, now retired, Richard Fehr, with the thought: “He was only doing his job … so don’t be angry with the experience from Vienna at that time”. However, this service did not lead me to attend the services of the NAC on a regular basis. The desire just wasn’t there!
Now the thing is, my brother-in-law is a priest here in the parish and the sister-in-law kept saying, “Why don’t you come back to the service”. I had to hear this from this site and from friends all the time. I felt more bothered by it than inspired to attend services again.
In the course of Mr. Mehdorn’s globalization measures, the call center location in Saarbrücken was “flattened” and I lost my dream job.
My relationship with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law has unfortunately broken down as well. Meanwhile, my godlessness was now shaking violently. In my search for support and security, as well as a goal, I was marked by fears and the need to be blessed by the eternally failed attempts in the NAC.
Logic and creep distance
Only your homepage made it clear to me what false doctrines are taught in the NAC. I’m very grateful to you for that.
To me, your logic, your objective detachment seemed most plausible, but was still heavily under the influence of the NAC’s constant fear-mongering. One was always afraid of not being there when the Lord came … if one did not do this and that! Be that as it may, from the factual side the website has cleared up some of the dogmas of the NAC. In my heart, however, absolute chaos had broken out, marked by deep depression.
One should only follow Jesus Christ
Since then I have experienced terrible things but also wonderful things. Every day leads me to more and more new insights. In the beginning there was your site, which struck me pleasantly because of your clear but very factual line. In the meantime I have searched and studied many publications on the internet. None are as factual as your website.
In the meantime I am now firmly convinced that one should free oneself from all “church fetters” and only follow one – namely God our Lord and His Son, revealed in the form of man in Jesus Christ – directly through prayer and Bible reading and with all the fibres of the heart and of course with a life pleasing to God.
In Christo and many kind wishes
Your Helmut Meier*
*The names and places have been changed!
We recommend the translation of the Bible by Franz Eugen Schlachter in the 2000 version