Authors: Jake Gustafson (Poikilos) and Robert Kiraly (OldCoder)
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International
This is the first page, Introduction. For the next page, Foreword, click here. Note: The introduction is below the table of contents. Scroll down.
OVERCOMERS PART I: LESSONS FROM MY LIFE
09.0) Neurodiverse isn't Worse
OVERCOMERS PART II: ADVICE TO INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES
OVERCOMERS PART III: SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAYS
ABOUT THIS SITE
Contact information, Privacy Notice, document license, etc., are on the Site Notices page.
WHAT IS THIS BOOK?
This is a personal story intended for U.S. readers. Especially current and former church-goers and people in problem relationships.
One context is Fundamentalist ministries. If you're familiar with the Baptist Church or have a position on Maranatha (MBBC), the story will be of interest.
The book also discusses toxic relationships, cases that involve manipulation or abuse.
There are situations that you're not expected to put up with or to take responsibility for. We'll discuss the line between things that can be worked out and situations that you should exit as quickly as possible.
The backstory is about Jake and Ray Gustafson, two brothers who were born and raised in the Fundamentalist world, and the different paths that they took.
Jake Gustafson is a reserved software developer in his 30s. He's committed to the community and faith that have been the cornerstones of his life since childhood.
Ray Gustafson is a massage artist and drug user in his 40s. He's a former Christian leader who positions himself as an Ex-Christian guru and, at the same time, seems to boast of bedding women who are as young as he's able to get.
Ray has been been arrested and prosecuted for multiple drug and/or alcohol offenses. His future is bleak. It's safe to say that his life hasn't turned out as well as he might have hoped.
The two men are conflicted.
Jake retains his faith, but he's in the process of deciding where the boundaries that define community and faith lie.
Ray has explicitly rejected Christianity, but he seems to waver on this position. He's said to have tried to introduce the Bible to the local drug culture.
The key figures also include Chameleon, a manipulative and corrosive woman that both men have had as a lover. She doesn't define the story, but she does complicate it.
Chameleon was into BDSM and hard drugs and once did a threesome involving two gay men. “Lol, it's a miracle I didn't get HIV”, she said. She asked Jake, on occasion, to watch her kids so that she could engage in prostitution.
Chameleon arguably wasn't the best match for a Fundamentalist man, let alone for two Fundamentalist brothers.
This site will go into signs of relationships that aren't on a rock-solid basis.
This book is Jake's look at his life, Ray's life, and different perspectives on Faith. Both the people involved and the public in general are invited to comment.
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