Oh wow guys I didn't expect such great responses! I also feel I should maybe clarify my username (ProbablyAnAtheist). I picked it just off the top of my head but now I'm realizing it could be seen as a sort of typical "angry atheist mocking Christians" sort of handle and I just want to say it is most definitely not. I've never really truly believed in God but I sometimes wish that I did. And indeed I try to behave as if I believed God to exist. The "meaning of it all" has always been a big fascination for me and I admire the way Christians are able to just believe so passionately that this is INDEED the way to live life correctly. I mean there is an abundance of great moral philosophy to be found in the Bible. I just never really connected with the idea of vicarious redemption through vicarious suffering of Jesus on the cross. It never made me feel any better or at peace or anything. Regardless, I try to live my life as best I can which probably means as close to the Ten Commandments as I can get. Just wanted to clear that up in case anyone was feeling disrespected by my username. That was most assuredly not the intent :)
The situation I find myself currently involved in certainly seems sticky. This person I'm dating has been my friend for many years prior to this, after years of mutual pining after each other from afar. So I guess thank COVID for bringing us together as we quarantined. We're both in our early 30's. I believe they have taken the advanced class and gone to Camp Gunnison (I think thats what its called), and also hold their own fellowship at their apartment. I recently met the parents and I was little taken aback by all of the "wayspeak" and just sheer intensity of their lives. They are in their 60's and have been with the Way for decades. I asked them about some of the terrible events that some of you have been subjected to in the past by the Way and the parents basically said that yes, it was terrible, and that the Way was too tied up in only listening to one leader and that they've been cleaning it up and its way better now. I'm a little bit more of a skeptical person so I continue to research and listen to podcasts on VP Wierwille and Martindale. Crazy stuff! I've been streaming Sunday services and watching with my significant other. I just want to show support and let them know I'm not going to judge them. But the services haven't really been all that edifying to me. They all seem just like hour long "loyalty checks" to the ministry and very little on how to be a good human being for both yourself and the world around you. I sit there waiting for something that makes me feel inspired but all I seem to see is "make sure you do your abundant sharing" and "you just gotta believe a whole bunch!" I'm disappointed. This is a serious relationship for me. We've even talked marriage and children. So its definitely more than just a fling and thankfully not what Waysider was talking about (very sorry that happened to you!) This person is someone I have known for almost ten years, we've been all over the world together and I trust them. I just think they've been indoctrinated into something that may be nefarious in some ways. But they say that it brings them joy and peace and makes them want to be a better person. And they do indeed seem very bold and wonderful and happy. Meh I dunno. I hear all the horror stories of the past and wonder what the current climate is. I'm very much interested in learning about the parents since they've been through all of the time periods people on here discuss, and yet they have decided to stay for some reason.
Again thank you all so much I'm trying to read as many threads as I can. Thank you for being so thorough and welcoming once again!