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Destroyed by "Word of Faith" teachings

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by mark321, Jun 6, 2007.

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  1. mark321

    mark321 Guest

    +0
    Hi all,
    Sorry for the long post.

    I've been a Christian for about 6 years. I consider myself a reasonably minded person. I usually plan and study for things to make sure I make the right choices. I made a sincere and heartfelt commitment to Christ back then and stuck by it. My wife and I attended an Anglican Church where our Vicar even suggested I go into ministry! We moved and the local Anglican church was awful. In the meantime, I was concerned that I didn't really 'feel' the Holy Spirit guiding me. There was no still small voice or miraculous events in my life. We decided to attend a local 'contemporary' church. We were taken in by the modern music and atmosphere. A pastor who claimed that God had healed many through his fingers, there were prophets and visions, all the things that made God come alive for us. We gave large amounts of money to the church. This we were told unlocked God's promises for us - backed up with of course with Bible verses. Furthermore, the housegroups were a case of watching John Bevere, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Copeland etc. No discussion or Bible study. With millions of followers accepting what these and others said - they must be right, I thought.
    The turning point came. One of the members, a friend and young adult who had been sexually abused by her father earlier in life was made homeless and we took her in. The girl also had many physical medical problems and had to have various stays in hospital. She was suicidal and made attempts on her life whilst staying with us. She finally got booked in with a counsellor and psychiatrist and this began to help her. The church leaders cornered her after one meeting and said that she needed to stop going to counselling because it was blocking God's natural flow of healing. She was told that she must stop telling people that she has medical problems because it's negative talk and upsets the church. She was told simply to 'speak out' that she was healed and leave it to God. Lastly she was told to ask God's forgiveness for having sex before marriage (having been raped). I was disgusted.
    In some of the home group sessions, I tried to ask questions about videos I'd seen about Benny Hinn's lack of proof for his healings and tried to open a discussion about the love of money, tongues etc. I got sternly told that I was walking on dangerous ground if I try to critisise Benny Hinn because he is such an annointed person. At no point could anyone discuss what the pastor preached (in a negative or questioning way). You were not allowed even to say you have a cold or you feel a bit under the weather. We were taught that if you didn't speak tongues, you were a freak. If you didn't have any money, you had to give anyway or God would not bless you.
    My wife and I broke away from this church thankfully but I have been left shattered.

    In my efforts to not be tricked ever again, I began to study the bible in as much depth as possible. I tried to follow multiple trusted commentaries and study aides. I asked the holy spirit to guide me before I opened the book. I prayed for understanding, I followed as best as possible the greek and hebrew meanings but this has caused so many problems. Take the calvanist vs Armenian debate. There are huge heavyweights on either side or the argument(Spurgeon, Luther, Wesley, Graham). All these men probably spent 10 times as much time as I have to study the word and they are poles apart with their interpretations. What chance do I have? None of these men I believe tried to be deceptive, all claimed to be under guidance from the spirit. But how can this be. Of course there are arguments raging about baptism, eschatology, creation, salvation, gifts etc. To this end, my frustration grew and I've stopped reading the bible. If God is there then there should be one truth, but what chance do I have of finding it? If millions can find biblical proof on WOF, I guess that anything can be proved if twisted enough Greater men than I have failed repeatedly to come to one understanding. The Holy Spirit (if it exists) does not guide me. God does not speak to me.
    I have asked for forgiveness for everything I have done knowingly or unknowingly, I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour, but I have never felt a relationship with him (despite many desperate prayers).

    How can I read the Bible anymore. I don't want to lean on my own (or others) understanding yet the spirit does not guide me.

    I'm stuck and losing my faith fast.
    Your opinions would be appreciated. I apologise if there are WOFers reading this and are offended, but my opinion that this doctrine is at least anti biblical can now never change.

    Mark
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. tapero

    tapero Legend Supporter

    +1,061
    Christian
    Single
    Dear Mark,

    I am sorry for what happened to you. I don't know much about WOF and am not discussing them here.

    You were in a bad church. Plainly they didn't even open God's word.

    A church that is healthy is a Christ centered church. If you see the pastor exalted, or demons, or healings all exalted, in other being preached rather than Christ, something is wrong.

    I don't use commentaries, etc, as I want to understnd the word for myself, however I was grounded some 20 years ago in a good church which I attended for about 2 years before moving.

    What you need brother, is to find a good church. I know how scary that must sound to you, but what you went through is not the way it's supposed to be.

    Call the pastors ahead of time and ask them if they are involved in wof, and if so, then don't go there, if you don't wish to be involved with any part of that.

    Also, you can attend bible studies at night even if you don't go to the same church or any church. This is one way we grow, is by bible study, the other reading the word.

    salvation is by grace alone, thru faith in Christ. Once you believe you can never lose your salvation. You can be baptised years later, does't matter when, it is not needed for salvation, nor is the Lord's supper or anything else needed but to believe in Christ alone brings salvation, nothing else. No matter what someone tells you.

    While a new Christian i hungered for the word for two solid years, couldn't get enough of it, as well I attended church, a small bible study, and prayer meeting. I didn't pray aloud, too shy. In the bible study one brought up things not said in the bible, so this does abound.

    That's why it's so important to read the bible. Also, it's okay not to understand what you are reading. As you make new healthy Christian friends, you can ask for help; again remember whatever they tell you is their opinion; you need check all things with the bible.

    Just like what I'm telling you is my opinion.

    But staying in the word things will reach you. None of fully grasp the word of God, as it hits us at variious times and sometimes we gloss over the very same scripture that now is jumping out at us.

    I wouldn't worry about theology, doctrine, and if you read commentaries, remember it is there opinion.

    the gospel is very simple. many complicate it.

    Here are a few verses i'd like to share with you.

    This verse says all that is needed to be saved.

    This verse guarantees our salvation (redemption) once we believed, and explains the Holy Spirit (God) indwells in us. We can never lose our salvation.


    This verse shows that we can not do works, or in other words any good things to come to Christ. Some teach that one must stop this do this, or that before Christ, and it's not true.

    When we come to Christ, we do good works naturally, this is after salvation. We also turn from our sins, not all, and all this varies with different people.

    We will always sin, though we try not to, and will always struggle with sin.

    lastly, I would like to give you the url given by Christian Forums on how to become a Christian.

    http://www.christianforums.com/faq.php?faq=gospel#faq_christian

    I'm not saying you aren't, but so you can see what is written about such, the verses used etc.

    You wre in a bad church, and what occured is you got burnt, common terminology when this occurs to us. I've also been burnt in a bad church. Healing does happen, and God loves you very much. Don't worry about why we all have different takes on things, as we are unique and many; but rather would be good to concern yourself with Jesus more so, and read the bible and pray. Just talk to God in any way you feel to.

    He doesn't speak to us audibly, but the Holy Spirit brings truths from the bible and truths to our mind.

    Please feel free to send me a private message if you like and we can talk more also.

    God bless,
    tapero

     
  3. michaelj77

    michaelj77 New Member

    69
    +2
    Protestant
    Single
    Hi Mark, I just want to tell you that I'm also very sorry for what has happened to you. Jesus said that to everyone He has given a "measure of faith" Some people have tremendous faith, others don't. And those who have faith have no right to impose their faith on others, like whats happened to you.
    I am one who went through depression and medicines and doctors helped me. I belive God used them for my healing. Doctors are also used by God to heal people, not only prayer and faith.
    I think tapero has replied to your pain in such a wonderful way, and I totally agree with her. Do find a good church that focusses on Christ not anything else. I will pray that Christ will guide you to the right church. Don't worry about not hearing the Lord, bacause God says "If we seek Him we will find Him" I belive God has a great plan for your life!!
    micheal
     
  4. cmarieh

    cmarieh New Member

    6
    +0
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Mark,

    You have an interesting story, you are one of the many who have been hurt by religion. But God is sooo much bigger than religion and He hates when people are hurt in churches by people who are called by HIS name! I also, suffered hurts and saw so much deception and hypocricy in churches that I turned away from Lord for over 4 yrs. The first bit of healing that came to my heart was when I heard Him say "People are people, But I am God." The fact that their are many religious leaders out there whose main focus is to get rich off your heartfelt offerings does not mean that God isnt real. I truly believe scripture is Gods word and He says He will cause all things to work together for the good for those who are in Christ. Maybe, just maybe - God has allowed you to see what you have seen in churches because He's purposed you to be apart of the change! Pray about it! The body of Christ needs a revolution and God is looking for people to carry out His plan! Keep seeking God, Keep reading His word, the bible, and pray - when you dont understand, ask for wisdom. God loves you and He has called you and allowed you to see what you've seen for a purpose!
     
  5. mark321

    mark321 Guest

    +0
    Thanks all for your kind replies.
    I am just so desperate now to make sure I know God's word. I never seem to hear from God. I've tried quiet time, prayer and hours of reading the Word.
    Like I said in the second part of my post, everyone claims to be hearing from the Holy Spirit, but people have opposite opinions. I just don't think I have a chance of really finding out what God wants from me anymore, or if he even exists.

    Thanks again
     
  6. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    I will not comment on what you have experienced, because you know the truth about this already. Christ is the Anointed; no-one else. But I am very sorry indeed about what has happened to you.

    We all begin our pilgrimage from where we are today, and it looks as if you are saying, I understood the route, I had the book, I had the signposts, I had a church and a shepherd; I knew how I was going to get there. But now the signposts are meaningless because I do not know whether to trust them. The book has become devalued because of how it has been distorted. Where do I go and how?

    I would suggest that the first thing to consider is Christ at Gethsemane. He is the pattern for any of us when we reach a point of personal or sprititual crisis. He did not have access to the Torah, except as written on his heart, and neither did he have a community around him to support him.

    What Christ does at this point is to fall back on God, and place all his reliance upon his love, even though at this point in his life he does not feel supported or loved by anyone.

    Our faith is not about getting a warm cosy glow in our hearts. Our faith is about continuing to put one foot in front of another, whether that warm glow is there or not. Sometimes we feel God with us, and sometimes we do not. When we do not feel him with us, that is the time to become obstinate and stubborn; whether we can feel him or not we know that he is there. I have no idea how we know, but we do. And it is this kind of stubborn, determined, stoical continuation of our journey of faith that matters most. Anyone can be a Christian when times are good; it takes true resilience to hold on in spite of losing everything we have.

    Assume that from now on you will not receive these confusing 'feelings' that you have experienced. It may well be that they are the result of emotional manipulation of a very human and very unholy kind, and that God has decided that it is best for you to learn faith without the emotional highs for a while.

    Light a candle and watch how it shines. This is how our faith lights up our lives. Sometimes it flickers, when there is a draught, but mostly it shines steadily and constantly. And even one small candle in a whole room provides light to every corner. When I find it hard to pray, or to believe, I light a candle, and let that represent my faith and my prayer. It is constant, and always there, whether I know it or not. Just as your faith is.

    I would keep away from reading Scripture for a while. This might sound heretical, but don't be afraid that this is dangerous - it is not. You will find that Scripture speaks to you from your heart, and you will hear the voice of God that way. But do not listen to the loud, strident, thoughts. Listen for the very still, very small voice which speaks of love, respect and tolerance. That is the voice of God. You have most certainly not lost God, because it cannot be done. All that you have lost is of man. Return to Scripture when you have a real longing for it, and feel a real need to read it. Not before.

    God will never leave you nor forsake you. Christ was alone at Gethsemane. But because of this, none of us is alone; we have Christ beside us.

    I wish you well.
     
  7. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Christ said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that ye love one another as I have loved you."

    He also said "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind and all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself. Upon these hang all the law and the prophets."

    Knowing these, there is no more to know. This is what God wants of you, and me, and every other Christian.

    And if he does not exist, but you still live by these, what have you lost? And what has the world gained?

    God be with you.
     
  8. DivineAtrocity

    DivineAtrocity New Member

    43
    +2
    Christian
    In Relationship
    I am very sorry to hear about your troubles brother. I hope we both can one day find god without the divine atrocity in front of us. I live day by day hoping that maybe the "all-loving" god will come to me for a change. Lucifer has shown more interest as far as I am concerned. Peace be with you...
     
  9. OldChurchGuy

    OldChurchGuy Regular Member

    195
    +22
    Presbyterian
    Married
    You bring up a most interesting point. What would you say should happen for you to conclude you have heard from God?

    Not being as well read as you, what are the opposing views on hearing from the Holy Spirit?

    Sincerely,

    OldChurchGuy
     
  10. tapero

    tapero Legend Supporter

    +1,061
    Christian
    Single
    eeks, just saw your post. no, wrong, on everyone claims to be hearing from the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit teaches us things, not audibly in any way. Though some claim so, this is not the norm.

    You know he exists when you ask Jesus in your life, or however you word it.

    Blessings,tapero
     
  11. ConanTheLibrarian

    ConanTheLibrarian Regular Member

    269
    +23
    Catholic
    Single
    US-Libertarian
    [/quote]In my efforts to not be tricked ever again, I began to study the bible in as much depth as possible. I tried to follow multiple trusted commentaries and study aides. I asked the holy spirit to guide me before I opened the book. I prayed for understanding, I followed as best as possible the greek and hebrew meanings but this has caused so many problems. Take the calvanist vs Armenian debate. There are huge heavyweights on either side or the argument(Spurgeon, Luther, Wesley, Graham). All these men probably spent 10 times as much time as I have to study the word and they are poles apart with their interpretations. What chance do I have? None of these men I believe tried to be deceptive, all claimed to be under guidance from the spirit. But how can this be. Of course there are arguments raging about baptism, eschatology, creation, salvation, gifts etc. To this end, my frustration grew and I've stopped reading the bible. If God is there then there should be one truth, but what chance do I have of finding it?[/quote]


    This would be high on my list of reasons why I became a Catholic just over two months ago. You're seeing for yourself that the "Bible alone" position is an impossibility and leads to precisely this sort of chaos. As the Ethiopian said to Philip, "How can I understand the scriptures, unless someone guides me?" (Act 8:31)

    If I understand correctly, your own Anglican church has also taught that scripture must be interpreted in light of tradition. If someone like Benny Hinn comes along and suddenly teaches something very different from what the Church has taught for 2,000 years, we should be suspicious.

    I am very sorry to hear of your devastating experience with the Word of Faith movement. I think most Catholics would agree that God gave us brains and meant for us to use them! We should by all means feel free to think for ourselves, ask questions, and definitely not follow leaders blindly.


    [/quote]The Holy Spirit (if it exists) does not guide me. God does not speak to me. I have asked for forgiveness for everything I have done knowingly or unknowingly, I have accepted Jesus as my Saviour, but I have never felt a relationship with him (despite many desperate prayers).[/quote]


    I'm sure I'm not the first to point out that feelings are decidedly secondary, and very untrustworthy. Christ came into this world to save sinners, and promised to be with us until the end of time. That remains true, whether I feell like it or not. The Catholic and Anglican view of the sacraments is an antidote to this subjective mindset. Christ comes to us in the Eucharist, when the priest speaks the words of forgiveness, etc., again regardless of my feelings.

    Above all, don't give up. Continue seeking the truth.
     
  12. BigNorsk

    BigNorsk Contributor

    +755
    Lutheran
    Married
    Wow, they really chewed you up didn't they?

    A lot of what you are experiencing is the problems with the theology of glory. The alternative that satisfies and protects and assures us is the theology of the cross.

    See what they were basically doing is telling you that you were important and that you were saved because you could look to yourself and see things and so on. Problem is when things get tough, right when we need assurance the most, we fail and so our assurance goes out the window.

    It's all a violation of the "Christ alone" rule from the Reformation. We are saved totally by Christ and for Christ's sake. It is all Jesus and not us. We look to Christ on the cross and we see his perfect sacrifice, sufficient for all our sins.

    Another basic reformation truth the group abandons is "scripture alone". What was important was the latest revelation to whatever self-proclaimed prophet. The Bible serves mostly as a proof text for what they want to teach. Which ultimately is that they are the authority and you better listen to them.

    Welcome to the new Popes!

    Scripture protects us from these people. Paul talks about Jesus appearing to all the Apostles and then Paul says that last of all Jesus appeared to him, who was like an abortion at the wrong time. He really emphasized how unusual Jesus' appearance to him was, and it was aorist tense, not something done over and over but that's it.

    Now there are all those new Apostles claiming to have seen Jesus, Benny Hinn even says the flash of light was just like Paul saw. Only problem is that would mean Paul wasn't the last of all, and that would mean that how Jesus appeared to Paul wasn't unusual but the normal way He appears.

    What a mess the third wave has given. You really can't reason with them, they don't care, they feel good and that proves it. End of story. That's why it's sometimes called the gospel of experience.

    Yet Paul, the last Apostle, he condemned anyone who came with a different gospel.

    Now you say you have studied things in depth, but I'm not so sure. For instance you mention the Calvinist vs Arminian debate, but you make it sound like Luther was on one of those sides. He wasn't. Luther didn't make a system and thereby reject what part of the bible said. He made a real effort as Lutherans do to this day to accept the Bible as it stands.

    So Luther was monergistic in justification. But he did not see God predestining the damned. If you are saved, you are saved by Christ alone, if you are damned it is due to your rejection of Jesus.

    So Luther taught general atonement and grace alone. As well as faith alone. Calvinists deny the vicarious satisfaction of Jesus for the sins of the world. Arminians really deny grace alone. Calvinists really don't teach we are saved through faith, but rather through election. And both groups tend to deny all the biblical references that we must persist and can indeed commit spiritual adultery and lose salvation.

    Luther's theology is very satisfying. For instance when Jesus says "this is my body." You can simply believe and thank him for giving it for you. Instead of thinking "this is my body" means it is not his body either nothing really the real absence or else his spirit, even though Jesus emphasized it was his body and never mentioned his spirit.

    If I have elicited any interest on your part by now, I would suggest getting a CD from the Concordia Theological Library. It would be CD number 5, the basic theological library. It contains three books. Two are designed to be basic expositions of Christian doctrine and the third, Mueller's is a fairly advanced book on dogmatics. It's really a condensation of Francis Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, but unless you are pretty good in Latin, Greek and some German, I would suggest Mueller's one volume work over Pieper's 4 volume work.

    Anyway, you work through them, you might not like it at first because likely you have made some presumptions in your theology and you might be very certain at first that they are wrong, but give them a chance and see if you don't actually end up agreeing.

    I like using systematic theology books because they do cover things. A lot of people just try to do a bunch of bible studies and think they will eventually get it worked out, but that seldom works. Look at these books see how they tie scripture together and how they accept what the bible teaches trying not to gloss over what it says with interpretations.

    I think you will ultimately find it very satisfying. Unlike being constantly tossed by the latest "revelation" and looking always to people for proof, and oh yes, constantly being hit up for money.

    Marv
     
  13. RandomSock

    RandomSock Mismatched pair @ random chance

    164
    +3
    Non-Denom
    Private
    Hi!
    I am sorry you are feeling so down,I hope you will find comfort ans support :hug:

    I would advice you to look at all the bad stuff as something you needed in order to learn,as a part of your journey to the best way for you to relate to God.
    Don't be angry ,accept it all a blessing,because you
    learned ,and learning is good.
    Media advances multiplied the information available to a person,and it can be a reall blessing,once one finds a way to deal with it all.
    I believe God is guiding you towards better understanding,and you will learn to recognise His quiet voice among all the shouting of selfrighteous people.
    Don't give up,don't let fears waste your time,just place your trust firmly in God,and focus on Jesus,the way he lived and teached.Try to become an example for others,by acting towards creation with love. I believe focusing on Jesus brings peace to ones heart and mind,and things become clearer,and the scriptures start speaking to you .

    Many people gave you advice,and you will see,we all deal with life differently,we all have different needs.
    I believe not everyone will hear,see,know God the same way,and trusting God brings security,that He knows.

    Often you may feel that you are doing something wrong,or that there is no God,but even those moments are important ,and later,we learn why and how those time benefited our faith.I wish you the best,and I hope you will find people who will be able to support you,comfort you,and guide you in your time of need.
     
  14. abacoian

    abacoian Regular Member

    192
    +6
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you. When I first became a Christian I turned on tv and saw "Christian teachers" mainly that taught WOF garbage and I had no reason to question them because I thought that if they say they are Christian's then why or how could they be wrong and lead me wrong. But thank God I turned on the radio one day and found a ministry that warns others of bad teaching and bad doctrine and how it can leave you spiritually bankrupt because it is not from God. It is very important to be discerning of what kind of church you go to and who you let teach you about God. There is an award winning book called Christianity in crisis that was a big help to me and there's also a daily radio program that talks about these matters, it can also be listened to on-line. If you are intrested let me know and I will give you a link to the broadcasts.

    God bless you, praying for you.
     
  15. sweets3000

    sweets3000 New Member

    12
    +2
    Christian
    Married
    Don't be discouraged by "disputable matters" within the body of christ. This was something common even in Paul's day, and he said in romans 14 and 15 that such issues don't have to divide the body. As long as we agree that Jesus is Lord, we are bros and sisters. The rest are not issues unto salvation. Read Romans 14 and 15...that shed a lot of light on the situation for me. Also, remember, God is so infinite and His ways are so beyond us, that it makes sense if we are unable to grasp it completely in our human frailty and thus have differences in how we view some of the peripheral issues...the issues not unto salvation. Notice, however, that the important stuff; the fact that Jesus Died for our sins; is clear as day among most churches that are truly Christian churches. With this in mind, just pray for a closer relationship with the Lord, and just find somewhere that most closely fits your understanding of scripture and where you can meet true Christians to fellowship and grow with. Also, while doing ths, keep in mind that other denominations are still your brothers and sisters in Christ as long as they beleive Jesus Died for our sins and the other fundamentals. Hope this helps!
     
  16. AllTalkNoAction

    AllTalkNoAction Potentially Wonderful

    +70
    Pentecostal
    Single
    Hello Mark,
    God's answer is simple.
    You need to receive His Spirit, he will lead you into all truth.

    Luke 11:5-13, Acts 8:5-18 & Acts 10:44-48 are 3 good passages about this.

    I have prayed with numerous people who received, and of course I'd be happy to do the same with you, or reccommend a church which does things just like the one God set up in the New Testament, where all members have the Spirit (i.e. not dead or half-dead) but where things are reasoned and taught not imposed.
    So, objections and questions are welcomed, no-one is forced to give money or do anything they don't want to do.
     
  17. DIVA_for_Christ

    DIVA_for_Christ Veteran

    +149
    Christian
    Hi Mark :wave: ,

    I know you had negative experiences with the church you attended. However that does not mean that all of WOF is corrupt. You were dealing with corrupt leaders who were prostituting God's word for their glory. Now this might sound crazy and like I have a heart of stone, but please know there is a very good and Godly reason for the statement I'm about to make. You'll see way at the end of this response so please read through with an open heart, mind and spirit. Here it is: I thank God that you had these negative experiences and I praise Him for it.

    Every pastor, leader in position is not necessarily placed there by God. Some people choose being a pastor for a profession, like another person would choose to be a doctor, teacher, construction worker, etc. There is a huge difference between someone going and God sending them. When somebody just goes, having no relationship with God, to be a pastor and was not called of God, they'll have no problem prostituting God's word because they're heart was wrong from the beginning - looking to make money off of people and since they don't know Him, His spirit is not in them to convict them.

    Now that's not saying that some people who have been called by God didn't somehow stray or had wrong hearts. But these God will be able to convict because His spirit still resides within them and in His timing and in His way, He rebukes and corrects.

    Remember God is long suffering and patient - it is His desire that none shall perish. God always gives warning before destruction. Pride comes before the fall.

    In the case of you not hearing from God and not having a relationship with Him - that is NOT TRUTH. You are having a problem recognizing His voice and that's okay because He is training you. You are looking to "hear" Him specifics ways, yet He is talking is ways that you are not recognizing.

    How do I know He talks to you? If His Spirit wasn't in you, guiding you, speaking to you and leading you on the path towards an even deeper relationship with you, what then allowed you to recognize that you were in a church not of God? Do you think it was your own knowledge, wisdom or understanding? Do you think it was just common sense? If the spirit of God was not in you, you would not be able to discern the spirit of God. What was the difference between you and the other peole who are still being deceived?

    You heard from God, followed His leading and YOU LEFT.

    You also have to realize that God's ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. Each one of us has our own individual walk with Him and in every step of each of our processes He teaches us things.

    In this process of you experiencing what you did at that church - God Himself taught you how NOT TO TREAT His people. He showed you what He is NOT in. Do you realize that if He can trust you in showing you and teaching you from others mistakes that you are a person who's heart is right towards Him. That you are someone He can shape and mold to use for His glory. That you are DESTINED for GREATNESS. God has gifted you with wisdom, knowledge and understanding and He can propel you into your destiny in leaps and bounds because your heart is pure enough to be able to learn from the mistakes of others and NOT treat His people in any way that will displease Him.

    It is my prayer for you that you start to see just how much God is truly talking to you, guiding you, instructing you, leading you and loving you and making you into the man of God He orginally intended you to be.

    God bless and I stand in agreement with God's will, plan and purpose for your life!!!! :amen:
     
  18. rocklife

    rocklife Senior Veteran

    +128
    Christian
    maybe just listening to Bible on walkmen tapes can be helpful also. and as you read the bible, be a doer of Jesus' teachings prayerfully, but have to be careful about superficial understanding, not all of Jesus is literal. for example, Jesus' says if our eye causes us to sin, poke it out, if our hand causes us to sin, cut it off. I don't know of any sane christian doing this, but Jesus does show we need to take drastic actions to get away from sin. We need to dig deep and not keep our own pre-conceived notions when coming to the Bible, especially with a love of money (Creflo Dollar and others are into money and justify it with bible, we need to not copy that)
     
  19. heron

    heron Legend

    +891
    Christian
    In Relationship
    What a rich experience! So sorry to hear about the bad parts.
    I completely agree.

    You were not attracted to that church because of its falsehood, but because of certain things that God needed to show you at the time. And when you felt it reached a point of being harmful to you, you left. If you're wondering how you ever got caught up in it, don't worry -- it made sense to you then.

    It is rare that an entire ministry should be trashed -- it usually needs to be corrected, and God knows just how to do it. I think He yanked you out before the cleaning session began.

    It is not a church or ministry that will keep you in a safe zone, but the wisdom that God has implanted in you, that you have nurtured, fed, and protected.
    So true. I suspect that the each of the horrible things you heard were spoken by an individual, and never corrected because people were on a hyperspiritual roll.

    There is a tendency in some fellowships to love spirituality so much that it becomes a game. You pointed out how poorly they cared for the girl you took in -- their neglect and cruelty is an obvious sign that religiosity went too far.

    Pray for these people, because they still are God's children, and God still has a hope and a future for them. I pray that their destructive force will be thwarted, and that they will take on humility and love... and that damage will not just be repaired by God, but by acts of their repentant spirits.

    Have you noticed how certain people have a natural gifting toward hearing on the supernatural level? I'm not just talking about Christians, but all humanity. I believe that each brain has its strengths and weaknesses.

    You probably have such a resolute spirit, that you can wade through seaweed and stench and not be pulled under. A person who hears too much in the supernatural realm can err on the side of hearing more than God, assuming it was God they heard. It doesn't make one of you gifted and the other errant -- you just are what you are. Love what you have!

    It sounds like you have been away long enough to analyze the good and bad points. Use what you have put together, to help prevent other people from sliding downhill. It's valuable information!
     
  20. TheGuide

    TheGuide Regular Member

    +98
    Christian
    Single
    You and your wife sound like a pro-active couple. Give more responsibility to God, especially when it comes to troubled people. Also, the people in your church who insisted the young woman not talk about what was going on inside of her were inflicting their measure of faith on someone who did not share the same. Sounds like a bunch of baby Christians trying to play know-it-all's.

    Also, it was kind of you to take her into your home, but God may've had another plan that you did not hear, because you acted. It could be that you can't hear the voice of the Holy Spirit talking to you, because you are too spontaneous. Then, when things go wrong, you say that God is not speaking to you. Well I'm going to tell you how you can hear the "inner voice."

    The "inner voice" is quite and not verbose. His voice comes from a depth right beneath your breast. He may say one word or five, but his voice is very distinct. For example, a friend of mine, who had recently come to Christ, was having a problem with paying tithes. "Ten-percent?!" she exclaimed. Now the command for paying tithes is very specific. Also, a tenth of whatever we bring in belongs to the Lord (people have gotten into the before-and-after tax debate, but if the tax is withheld, and the withholding is not voluntary, then it's not counted as money brought into the household to me. Ministers may not agree, but they are not my God :) ).

    After talking to me, my friend told me that she talked to God, shared her concerns and objections, and asked that He tell her why she is resisting paying tithes. She said that, hours later, when she had sat down to watch the football game, the inner voice said "You're afraid of committment." Boom. She now pays her tithes.

    When we are even remotely in doubt about God the enemy knows it. In turn, he has aminition to delay whatever answers we seek, because we're short on faith. My friend's answer was delayed for whatever reason, but her sincerity in wanting an answer made it possible for the answer to finally reach her.

    Dan 10:13 — But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

    Would you still be waiting on your answer 21 days from now? Also, regarding your "feelings," you have Lord-given authority regardless how you feel. Take a traffic cop who raises his hand for cars to stop or waves his hand for cars to go. He may be sick as a dog, his wife may have left him for another man, he may've lost a child a month ago, or he may be so depressed he can hardly think straight but when he raises his hand for cars to stop they stop, and when he waves his hand for cars to go they go. Nothing happens to his authority.

    Your authority in Christ Jesus is there whether you feel it or not. It's all about faith. And faith may well be the test you are now failing. Also, regarding the pastors you mentioned, turn your concerns over to God, because they are doing their thing whether you object or not. God will deal with them accordingly, and in His time.

    God bless you,

    The Guide
     
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