Andrew's UPC Experience
My Grandfather began attending a UPC church in the early 50's. My father was raised in it and raised me in this tradition. We had some great pastors over the years.
Our family was not one that went along well when men, more interested in control and rules than in loving people, came along. When I graduated from high school I went to Stockton and began attending Christian Life College. This was to begin the journey out for many people. I was amazed as I sat through Dr. Segraves class on Romans and began to understand justification by faith. This was to cause a major shift in paradigms for me.
I began to understand that what Christ had done was what had saved me not obedience to a set of rules. I began to telephone my parents several times a week and relay to them what I was learning. It was a little hard for my mother to accept at first but they began to change as well.
I cannot say enough about what the class on the book of Romans did in my life. Two other classes are worth mentioning that continued to open my mind. Both were taught by Bro. Yadon: Evangelical Ethics and Galatians. I left CLC to get married and returned to my home church excited about what I had learned.
It was not well received. (although many of those that I talked to that fought the hardest against grace have since found it and left) I was never used at all in the year and a half that we were there. I offered to teach Sunday school and would never get a response. I was too stupid to realize that this revelation I had received was a threat to the status quo.
We decided to return to Stockton so I could finish school. We had our son just before we left and I took the opportunity at his dedication to talk about the love of a father for a son and how I had learned to see God as my father and not just a Judge. I wondered what lengths he would have to go to for me to remove and disown him. I knew that he would retain my name even if he got grass stains on his new pants, made a mess in the house, or broke a glass. I reminded them how the Scripture told us the Father's love was greater than that of an earthly father and that they would not be disowned for making a mistake.
God quickly opened the doors and in about two weeks after our decision to return to CLC our house sold and I was employed in Stockton. For the next two years I attended classes and worked full time. I began to ask questions and seek out answers. I knew it would be impossible for me to minister within this organization.
After two years we returned to Oregon where a lot had happened. The church had split and about half of the families were left with nowhere to attend so the assistant from from our church was able to open a church in a neighboring town with the blessing of the UPC. He did not require the "standards" and this quickly became a healing station for those who left.
I returned too and began assisting at this church and the pastor soon after turned in his license with the UPC. After about a year we merged with a CEA church that baptized in Jesus name. I have been attending there since that time and have never been happier. Leaving was not a dramatic experience for me- it was simply following where God led me. I never felt like I had lost my salvation. In fact, I felt as if I had it restored to me because it was no longer taken away with every mistake.
Posted June 2, 2000
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August 23, 1997
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