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Man Discovers Self, Leaves Bigoted Congregation


I would like to share with you my experience with the UPCI. I began going to the local congregation in my small Southern hometown after my algebra teacher in high school "witnessed" to me. I found her explanation of the oneness of God intriguing and exciting. I went, but was scared senseless the first night! However, the people seemed sincere, so I figured it was okay and chalked it up to their way of worshiping. I became more and more interested, almost desperate to receive the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. After months of tarrying, I finally spoke in tongues. Whatever experience that was, still seems very real to me. I'm not a Biblical scholar, and I don't know if speaking in tongues is right or wrong. I just know that I did it. After the initial infilling of the Holy Ghost, I spoke in tongues almost every day for 8 years. Nevertheless, I still knew I was attracted to men. I could not reconcile in my mind how I, a gay man, could speak in tongues to the Lord since speaking in tongues was the truest form of talking to the Lord. It seemed that the pastor there railed against homosexuals at least once a month. He actually said if he saw a homosexual enter "his church" that he would physically throw him out. There I was sitting in the 3rd row, front and center scared for my life.

I stayed a few more months only to hear the pastor do a Bible study that took the position of being against inter-racial dating! This was taught in a racially mixed congregation with a myriad of "Amens" from the older crowd, while some of us younger members were rolling our eyes. I decided to leave the church, my Sunday school class, my singing position on the platform, and my parents after that over-the-top episode. Needless to say, the congregation was flabbergasted, according to my mother, when I never showed up again. I never told them why I left, but it wouldn't have mattered to them because a back-slider always goes to Hell. I'm okay with them thinking that of me. I no longer need their approval or their strict moral code to make myself feel better. Thank you for letting me vent.

Michael


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