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Tithing Issue Frees PAOC Member

I have been a member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada for eleven years, from year 1989 to 2000, after having been invited by a neighbour who had told me about supernatural things happening in his church. In the beginning, I thought I had found the perfect church. Everyone was so nice to me, and the promise of being healed by Jesus from my emotional problems (I was having panic attacks and anxiety disorders) was like a dream coming true. I was also told that my finances would improve a lot if I would simply give ten per cent of every penny I would get. For the first two or three years, I believed everything they were teaching about the scriptures, God and the person of Jesus.  But then, I began to have very serious financial problems, even though I was giving my tithe religiously, Sunday after Sunday. (In fact at that time I was giving up to five thousand dollars every year in tithe only plus the offerings).

So, I began to give only what I could afford to give, because I could hardly pay my power bills. I went through very difficult times, both emotionally and financially, asking God why He didn’t provide the money I needed so desperately. One Sunday morning, after the service, I was asked at the pastor’s office. (He had already told the whole congregation, that he was not interested to know who was giving and who was not). He spoke to me about the fact that I was not giving my full tithe.  I told him that I was not able to tithe my ten per cent anymore, because of my financial situation, but he kept saying that my tithe was God’s property and that I had to keep giving a full ten per cent.  If not, he said, you may lose your salvation, because keeping your tithe means you don’t trust God anymore.

But even there, I could not decide myself to give my full ten per cent on all my income.  I was feeling very guilty about this, and Pentecostal preachers never miss a chance to remind you that if you are a real believer, you will give at least your ten per cent, otherwise, you are on a dangerous slope that may take you to hell. I didn’t know my scripture enough at that time. I didn’t know that God was not asking believers in Christ to tithe anymore.  

Many years passed, and I kept giving what I could give, but was overwhelmed by guilt and the fear that God would reject me, because I was not tithing a full tithe.  Finally, in 1995, guilt and fear helping, I began to feel very depressed, and I went to see my family doctor.  He said I was heading for a depression, and was referred to a psychiatrist. I was prescribed some medication (Paxil in this case), and after a few weeks I was feeling a lot better. I told my pastor about that and he almost got mad at me, saying that I had no faith and that God could heal me through the laying of hands. But I had tried it all, and it never worked, because, I know it now, God does not heal people by the laying of hands of appointed men, as He used to do at the apostolic time.

But something happened that surprised me, about two weeks later. That same faith filled pastor had to see a psychiatrist, for nervous problems.  He could not sleep anymore and was also heading for a nervous breakdown. Curious, isn’t it? Finally, that pastor left for another church and was replaced by another one, who had, of course, the same teachings.  

Not too long after, I was ordained deacon. I was already involved along with my wife (since the beginning) in everything that was going on in that church.  I was a full time musician, as keyboardist, and two of my oldest sons were also involved with me in the music ministry.  I and I my wife would also teach at the Sunday school.

In 1999, after a Sunday morning service, the pastor called me and another deacon to his office. That Sunday morning, he had been preaching on tithing, and had been using the scriptures used in Malachi to help us understand God’s will about money and the church. Once again, we were remembered that a man of God gives a full tithe, not what is left in his pockets.   Anyway, after a long talk we decided to tithe for good and see the Hand of God do miracles for us. But after only a few weeks, I was back in financial troubles, and the other deacon was told by the pastor, that because he was not paying his tithes, he was no more accepted as a deacon. It is at that time that I decided to really check the scriptures by myself to see what is written about tithing. Something inside was telling me that all those men of God were not teaching all the truth. After searching in my bible for many weeks, even months, with the help of many studies I found on the web about tithing for Christians, I finally found the truth on that matter and other subject like the speaking in tongues, prophecy by the so-called prophets of God, physical healing by the laying of hands, anointed singing and playing, and all those bizarre manifestations from the “Toronto Blessing”, who were supposed to be the work of the Holy Spirit, like jumping as frogs, laughing to the point of almost fainting, shaking, crying, having visions, heat waves, and many other things that I now know, is not from God.

In August 2000, I went to see the pastor with a study I had found on the web that was called ”No more tithing”. It was very well done, and I showed it to my pastor and asked him to find the errors in that study, and to underline them with a coloured pen.  Then, I said, when this will be done, just call me and we will meet on that study.  And I left. He never called. So I went to see him at his office, and asked him to show me the errors that he had found in that study.  He said “none”. So, I said” Then, you won’t teach tithing anymore in this church.  He said; Yes, I will keep teaching it even if it is not written in the scriptures.  I really got mad at him, and almost hit that man at that time, realizing that I had been deceived for so long, and feeling all the guilt and sorrow I had been going through after all those years in the midst of that Pentecostal church. That same week, I was, along with a few others, leaving that assembly for good. I still remember that feeling of freedom that filled me, when I went to that church to take my musical instruments, and my personal things back home.

But, I have been going through a lot of struggles afterward, asking myself if I had done the right choice.  Those who had been my friends for years were now my enemies. I was still entangled in the Pentecostal teachings. It took a while, to get rid of all those lies. But knowing the Word of God, has set me free from the P.A.O.C. After three years out of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, I think that I have well recovered from their brainwashing.  I don’t want to get involved in any other religious organization, because I think I have suffered enough because of spiritual teaching. Now, I rely on God and God alone, for my eternal salvation. No more religion, never!

To anyone of you who has just left a Pentecostal or charismatic church, and suffers, I hope you will find peace.  Jesus said: You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”.

Donald Godin
Village des Poirier
New-Brunswick, Canada

 

 


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