216- From Christian Cult to Christ Follower | with guest Christy Lynne Wood

Posted by: WCSG & Hole In My Heart | Friday, February 23rd, 2024 (12:00am)

Christy grew up in a hyper-legalistic system that added rigid rules to the gospel of Jesus. 

(You might have seen glimpses of it if you watched the documentary, ‘Shiny Happy People.’)

Even after leaving, Christy internally battled the legalism that attached itself to her knowledge of the real Jesus. How did she break free—not only physically, but mentally and spiritually?

We also explore:

  • What is the difference between authority and authoritarianism?
  • How can you tell if you’re in a legalistic system?
  • Why would someone be drawn to such a structure?
  • How can we break free from either a direct cult like Christy experienced, or simple (but unbiblical) legalism?


  • “Legalism and behavior-driven stuff (feeling like you have to perform for God) holds on tight. Even after getting out [of the cult] and going to college (I was wearing pants, I had shorter hair, and I looked way more normal than I used to look), I was still very much stuck in this idea that God didn’t like me if I wasn’t performing correctly.” —Christy Lynne Wood
  • “The most damaging part of this cult was the idea of who God was: He was angry, he wanted certain behaviors and activities, and he was going to judge you and condemn you if you didn’t follow these rules and behaviors.” —Christy Lynne Wood
  • “God wants us to be reconciled to the real Jesus, not to some fake god who is crushing us under his thumb… And, He wants this more than we do.” —Christy Lynne Wood

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you have grocery-nesia? Do you go to the store and think you *definitely* need something, but get home only to discover you already have four? We want to hear about it.




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