Mercy Survivor Torie gives Christian insight into her decision to speak out about Mercy Ministries. Torie shared bravely in an exclusive radio interview with Cameron Reilly in 2008 under pseudonym “Sarah Mac”.
I’m fairly sure I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been confronted with the line…
“Well, you must no longer be a Christian”
This is the line that makes me so completely angry. I totally respect those who have walked away from Christianity as a direct or not-so-direct result of Mercy Ministries. But that doesn’t mean that that all of us have.
I think the thing that I hate the most is a person’s assumption that if you choose to come out publicly and speak out against a Christian organisation, that you can’t possibly be a Christian, because it must be coming from a place of bitterness and hate.
My best answer that I’ve been able to come up with is
“So if a doctor cut off the wrong leg, would you keep quiet about it just because he’s a Christian man?”
I will admit that when I got out of Mercy, I started questioning my beliefs and took a break from “all things church” so I could figure out what I wanted and what I believed and whether I wanted to walk away from God completely. But instead of breaking up my relationship with God, it just made it stronger. I think I have a better walk with God now than I have had in a very long time, because I’ve chosen to go back to my basic knowledge and re-build from the ground up.
I in no way think that those who have walked away from God have done the wrong thing. I think they’ve made the right decision for themselves and no one can tell them that’s not right, because it’s every person’s own choice.
I think my biggest point in all of this is that speaking out against Mercy Ministries in NOT speaking out against God. It’s not a case of attacking God or “allowing the enemy” to attack Mercy. We are not just a jaded bunch of girls who are bitter or resentful about being kicked out of Mercy Ministries. Many girls coming out with horrific stories are in fact graduates.
For 2 ½ years after leaving Mercy Ministries, I said nothing against them. I kept quiet and didn’t feel the need to speak out because I truly believed that I was the only one who had a bad experience at Mercy, and because I was the only one I didn’t need to say anything against what happened because it was a one-off event.
To my absolute shock on the 17 March 2008, I woke up to the media articles and could not keep my story quiet any longer.
Before I chose to speak about my experience I did a lot of soul searching, and sought out counsel from Christian friends as well as from my family. All things pointed towards needing to publicly come forward with my story. Every single step of the way, I have sought the counsel of godly people, and have always searched my own heart to ensure I wasn’t going to speak out of a place of bitterness or resentment.
I’m never going to say it’s an easy road speaking out. It has been anything but easy for me. I have lost friends and faced many other challenges with speaking to media and putting my heart on the line so that the truth about Mercy Ministries can be shown. But here’s something I’ve learned throughout this experience – I don’t regret any of it. Sure, it’s brought me some heartache and pain, but it’s all worth it.
There have been times when I’ve just wanted to drop the whole thing and stop talking about it, because it brings up so many memories. But my motivation in speaking out is this: if I can reach just one girl, and help her overcome the things that Mercy did by sharing my story, then it’s all worth it.