being "in church"
A learned lesson
We found a certain percent of the members were
selected to care for the other less important members... 20% of the
elite took care of the 80%.
People and families were targeted to either be spiritually nurtured or
starved in hopes they stay or leave. So after discovering that I looked
back on how our family was treated and wondered if that is why we were
targeted to be neglected, in hopes that we would never return because
they thought we weren't good enough for their church and their God?
When "in church" you can't really make friends, unless you're a lucky
one, part of ministry or join in on the backstabbing and snitching to gain a rank of
acceptance with the preacher or his clique. He always needs snitches and holiness cops
to help keep his flock in order and to warn him of dangerous people who
could break up his control over everyone.
When "in church" if your spouse isn't a
follower or has more liberal Pentecostal ideals you are discouraged of
following them as the head of the household and to rely on the preacher
for direction since the spouse could lead you astray. Some are
encouraged to leave their spouse to wake them up or divorce.
Being "in church" your geared to be
"tight knit" in one way so you don't stray from the legalism and control
of the preacher. Who ever decides to make their own decisions without
contacting others, the preacher or praying, beseeching, fleecing and
fasting they are seen in most cases not really part of the flock and are
seen as dangerous and are dealt with subtly or swiftly.
When trying to get together with others
you can't just talk... you have to stay focused on and discuss church
functions, miracles that can happen if you dive deep and give all,
punishment that will come down on you if you aren't bendable, pastor worship or the Bible. Hardly anyone really cares about
you as a person. Most contacted us to check up on us to report back to
the controlling preacher or to report to their gossip group. And they are only your friend, brother or sister if you
are in their church or organization. Once you leave church or their
church and go to a church down the street, you're no longer part of the
flock. Yes, visiting a church across town that is within the same
organization is considered disloyalty and you might be seen as a threat,
church hopper, butterfly, someone spreading discourse, etc. You get the
It's shallow fellowship and a fake love. They claim
to love, but if
you don't fit within their ramifications of spiritual rightness or if
they pre judge that you will never be bent into submission you will be treated
in a way that will drive you away. They are isolationists, you cannot
truly make friends within the church and you are not allowed to have
friends or family who do not belong to the religion. You are told to cut
off people who might "steal your salvation by corrupting your morals".
If you still talk with others sometimes you are guilty by association
and will be the object of taunt and repercussions. They practice
religious prejudice and intolerance to anything other than their own
doctrine or social arena.
They focus on how you're a horrible
sinner because your born into sin and how you have to die out daily and
take up your cross. You constantly have to prove you are saved again and
again by repenting, speaking in tongues, putting on display of
spirituality within church services or prayer rooms, dressing according
to the rules and anything else they want to throw in there. Legal
opportunists to mold someone into submission. This is done so others in
church can see that your "just" in the eyes of God and their
barbaric imaginations. You're really
answering to their presumed holiness.
You have to adhere to strict holiness
dress standards so the church members and pastor can judge and monitor
your spirituality levels. If you don't line up to dress standards you
will be shunned or called on the carpet so you will be taught a lesson or in hopes you leave
because you are rebellious and not serious about living the Apostolic
way of life. "You're not fit for the plow". If you still
attend and don't adhere to their "convictions" or lack convictions you
are fair game to whatever actions they deem worthy to make you
No two churches teach the same exact by
laws. If you attend one church for any extensive amount of time and learn
to follow their rules and happen to relocate and attempt to follow the
same rules as the previous church (if it was a more liberal or "live
church" in worship) you are swiftly taught what's to be expected when
attending the new church. If you feel that you aren't supposed to be at
one particular church and feel you've heard from God and try to find a
new church you will be a suspicious character and will remain in
probation. Sometimes the character label and probation will never let
up. You will not ever be accepted. They chalk up the church rule
differences to "sovereign" tactics.
After saying some of our history
I say this. I realize church/religion thrives on peoples emotions.
Faith is an emotion, fear is an emotion. You have to have faith to
believe in God, and you have to have fear to believe in hell. And
playing with peoples emotions by telling them that if they don't believe
in God they will go to hell is a form of emotional abuse. Telling people
if they aren't Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals they're going to hell is
emotional manipulation and abuse.
I sought out God for peace, love and grace and all I ended up hearing
was hellfire and damnation sermons... having to dress holy, repenting
sermon after sermon and speaking in tongues (outward appearances of
salvation- works of the flesh) I was tired of proving my
salvation/spiritual level to man and God. I didn't need to be reminded
sermon after sermon, lesson after lesson how much a sinner I was or how
many demons I would get after walking away in order to keep me on the
pew. You cannot entice me with heaven by offering me hell.
After realizing I was being controlled by the emotion of fear I made a vow
to myself to walk away from all forms of emotional abuse.
Yes I was a "seasoned saint" and was involved for over a decade but after living
"in church" for years I realize those were wasted years and I was fooled
into their legalistic fear driven views of obtaining access into heaven.
Most of their laws and rules are based on paranoia and sheer greed to
control a persons life. They teach, screech and lecture on the law and
holiness... but rarely do you hear peace, love and joy to attain heaven!
If heaven is mentioned it was either a prelude or an introduction on a
scare tactic of eternal torment for not complying to some rule or ideal.
I will never again be ruled by the
emotion of fear to believe in God, heaven or hell or to follow by
laws set within each separate church... it's abuse,
plain and simple.
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