Lucy's United Pentecostal Church Experience
Hi. I am currently in a UPC church, and have been for about 10 months. I must say, the wool was pulled over my eyes!
At first as a new convert, before my church knew of my sins, (such as my pending divorce), I was welcomed with open arms. But, then after they knew of my divorce, and illegitimate child, they did everything to make me feel worthless. I felt I deserved it!
I was told to stop having ANY contact with men, stop wearing make-up, stop wearing pants, and to cut off my ties with the outside world, (except to convert others) and that I was sinning if I cut my hair, or wore jewelry. I felt like they stripped me of my dignity, and of my womanhood.
To make matters worse, I met, and fell in love with one of THEIR members. He and I were FORBIDDEN to even speak to each other. I do understand that adultery is a sin, however, my divorce was weeks away from being final and I don't feel that my personal life was any of the church's concern. The church, disagreed.
To top it off, the other member (X) and I continued to see each other, and I also got pregnant--big no-no! Once again, we were forbidden to have contact. He and I defied, and stayed together. We never, ever wanted to disobey, that was not our intention.
At first, our relationship was a very deep friendship. I first started the church (and met X) at the most frightening time of my life. I had a restraining order on someone, and my life was in danger. I was suicidal. I found refuge in the church-- which allowed me to be easily sucked in, and also in X. X continued to stay with me, largely because of my pregnancy, and mental state. He endured unbelievable persecution. We both did!
The church made my pregnancy out to be a scarlet letter, and called my baby a sin. I was spiritually stoned. X and I discontinued our "physical" relationship and swore by that, laid our sins down at the altar, begged God, and our church for forgiveness, and they would not believe or forgive us. It wasn't so much the members, as it was our pastors, and the elders of the church. But X, our baby and I were publicly humiliated in church one service, as our pastor announced that X and I were "with sin". X and I got married 5 days after my divorce was finalized--4 months ago. I am now due with our baby.
All that time has passed, and the persecution STILL continues! My husband is a musician, and was forbidden to take part in the music ministry as a punishment. 9 months later, following repentance, and marriage, he is STILL punished. I know that Christ would not have us treated as we have been!
I am still apart of the UPC church, because my husband is. But, I do not go along with their rules-- I still wear make-up, jewelry, and pants, and secretly go to another church. My husband was raised in the UPC church, and unfortunately believes that their persecution of us and of women, is not only justified, but biblical. So, I have to go along with some of it.
I am trying to show my husband (with scripture) that the UPC church is not only wrong in their doctrine and teaching but is also a cult. Just last week, my pastor asked me what was on my face, pertaining to my make-up. That was his nice way of telling me to stop wearing it.
The UPC churches treat their women almost as bad as the Islams do. We are below men. We are told not to work, (even if it is financially needed ), we are forbidden to wear short sleeves, wear garments with necklines below the collar bone, and skirts MUST be below knees! We can't wear anything that isn't big and baggy, as to not show our bodies and tempt men. Women are treated as if we are all EVE!
My husband and I fight because I don't follow the rules, and he gets in trouble for it. My husband is punished because I am not being subservient to him, because I am DISOBEDIENT to him. He and I were told by our pastor that I needed to OBEY my husband. That my actions reflect how strong his walk with God is. My husband was told that he wasn't being a good leader for me, that he needed to "take charge" of me.
Well, thank God, my husband's parents had left the church a few years ago-- largely due to my mother-in-law's disagreements with the treatment of women. So, my husband, (although he argues with me a lot), doesn't try to change me.
As I said, I still am a member, for my husband, and because I go to church to worship the Lord, not my fascist pastor. When I can, I sneak off to another church, where my soul isn't disturbed by oppression and false doctrine. If I were not married to a UPC member, I would leave.
I strongly encourage anyone who is a member or is considering membership to a UPC church, to run! Run far, far away. The Spirit of our Lord exists in all different churches.
If you are struggling with the decision, read the book of Galatians. Jesus died so that we would not be oppressed--Jesus also saved a prostitute from being stoned. God is about grace and forgiveness and love, NOT self loathing and persecution, and the ruling of one sex over another.
The UPC church teaches that women are not to leave a batterer, or a child molesting husband. We are to pray for their souls! That doesn't set right with me. God loves us and wants us to be happy!
Posted August 31, 2002
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August 23, 1997
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