Essays & Experiences

This page has a collection of essays of personal commentary and experiences by people affected by the Pentecostal / Charismatic denominations and congregations.  Some links, if denoted by an asterisk (*), will take you to off-site commentary.  External links will open in a new browser window. Should a link open within the same window please use your browser left arrow to return to AFP once reading such commentary.

My Experiences with AoG Churches  NEW  My story isn't as dramatic as most of the others, but has affected me to the point that I never want to go to another church again.

My Experience with Benny Hinn   NEW  You can chose to believe me or not. That is your option. These words are what I experienced and I believe what I know to be the truth. After talking to other Charismatic Movement Survivors, I have found that I am not alone in my experience.

A Woman in Life's Journey, Post Apostolic Involvement   NEW  I suppose the best place to begin is at the beginning. I wasnít raised in one church. My dad moved us from church to churchÖ to church. I remember that after each church service, no matter what church we had gone to, he would sit us down and tell us what was wrong with what the pastor had said and tell us what we should believe instead.

Forgiveness - My Story   NEW  Isnít that what itís really all about? Forgiving one another? Iím slowly learning this. Iím slowing trying to put the past behind me. Iím slowly trying to forget all thatís happened, but itís so darn hard to do sometimes.

Woman Recalls Physical Abuses, Arson at Former Church  This will be my first time talking about the abuse we personally witness first-hand in (a local UPCI church*). Most of the abuse that took place was destructive in nature, hurtful and some even physical and causing bodily harm to the party involved.

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.

Ex-Pentecostal Recounts Spiritual Journey   A former Pentecostal Church of God Member recounts her experience growing up in the faith, dealing with the inconsistencies and fears of her faith, and her eventual spiritual destination.

Preacher's Kid Addresses the United Pentecostal Church, International  - A former member criticizes the governance and money handling of the world's largest Oneness Pentecostal denomination, and touches on some of their "standards" teaching.  This anonymous perspective is one of a preacher's kid (now a grown man)

Reflections of being "in church" -  A former member of the Oneness Pentecostal movement (UPCI) speaks out about what it really means to be "in church".

Dominion Experiment: The Shepherding / Discipleship Movement   by Robin Arnaud. The struggle of a man and his family after surviving a particular troublesome sect of the Charismatic movement.

Tithing Issue Frees PAOC Member  - A former member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada finds freedom from Pentecostalism over disagreement on the issue of tithes.

Karen's Song  - Woman recounts how Pentecostalism failed her marriage, and how she learned to find God in new and unusual places.

The Jawbone  - Woman recalls a wild night at church filled with physical violence and property damage and being involuntarily disfellowshipped.

Off Site Essays

Pentecostal Missionary's Kid Recounts Life, Emerging from Faith* - A long, reprinted article recounting life as a Pentecostal missionary's child in Taiwan, then as a young Christian in the US. It meanders a bit, but offers some powerful insights.

PAOC Teacher Quits for Anglican Church* - Journal article based off of an interview with a teacher from a Pentecostal college who explains why he's leaving the Pentecostals for more structured worship.

Disfellowshipped!* - Former UPCI member tells of her emotional turmoil after being disfellowshipped by her former pastor.

Why I Walked Away from the UPCI*- Former member remembers inappropriate behavior from pastor and the harassment that ensued when she left her congregation.

Fear, Fear, Fear!* - Young man recounts issues that lead him away from his former church, some which led him to the brink of suicide.

Losing Everything After Giving All* - A woman recounts positive and negative experiences in the UPCI, then shares of how she gave everything she could to the church, only to be "cursed" when she decided to leave, losing her family and possessions in the aftermath.

Family Tortured by Death When the Healing Failed* - A man recounts his family tragedy and the emotions they faced due to their "programming" by a "faith-healing" Charismatic-style church.

Pastor Forbids Marriage, Man Discovers Truth*- After his Apostolic pastor refused to marry him to his fiancť (he had been married once before), this man earnestly studies the Bible to discover the falsities of the Apostolic sect.

From Krishna to the Charismatics: Man Recounts Spiritual Journey* - Story of a man's spiritual journey that lead him from Christian Science, through being a member of a Hare Krishna group (and an awful bout with bulimia from that experience), to finally "settling down" down in a Charismatic church complete with it's own set of problems. Interesting insights.

Former A/G Church Musician Recounts Experience* - Former convert to an Assembly of God church in Portugal recounts his experience, including an interesting account of the "power" of church music in Pentecostal churches.

Placing Faith in the Baptizer, not the Baptism*   A minister's journey out of the UPCI.

How God Opened my Heart to the Gospel
*   Another minister's journey out of the teachings of the UPCI.

Why I Left the Pentecostal Church
*   One man's journey out of the Pentecostal faith into traditional Christianity.  Lists many Pentecostal errors.

A Short Review of Personal Experience within the UPC
*   One former member's trials while in the UPC.  Details the infamous "blacklisting" that goes on between Oneness Pentecostal pastors.

NOTE: Do you have an experience you'd like to share concerning your past experience with the Assemblies of God, UPCI, Vineyard, or other assorted Pentecostal/Charismatic denominations or independent churches?  If so, please send an email entitled "Experience," and it will be added at our next scheduled update.  Help us help others with YOUR story of overcoming!



© 2005 Association of Former Pentecostals. All rights reserved.