One Woman's UPC Experience
I recently came across your web page. It was certainly some interesting reading. I attend a Pentecostal church...it was kicked out of the UPC organization years ago because our pastor had a vision to spread the gospel via TV...at the time televisions were strictly forbidden. I still have family and friends who attend UPC churches. I love them very much but some of them believe I am going to hell because I wear pants and makeup.
One friend in particular attends a church where the pastor dictates every part of her life. Her attitude toward me and others is almost hateful. I wish there was some way I could reach her with a message of love. The problem is she thinks she is serving God but she is serving her pastor. When any individual ceases to think for him or herself and rely on someone else to interpret the scriptures for them, they cease to serve God and begin to serve man. The Word says each individual must work out his or her own soul salvation with fear and trembling. I understand that we are to be set apart from the world. The fact that I don't have anything pierced or tattooed sets me apart. (Where I live, everyone has something tattooed or pierced -- it's pretty weird). My point being that God sets me apart, my attitude and countenance sets me apart. I don't have to look like I just woke up and walked out the door. Everything should be done in moderation.
For many years the church I attend was completely cut off from fellowship with any Pentecostal churches. Because we are oneness Pentecostal and there are very few oneness Pentecostals out there we rarely had guest speakers. I know my pastor was very hurt that many of his friends and fellow pastors shunned him. But God has blessed our church so much. We are seeing many of the walls that were built are coming down. Our church recently dedicated a new sanctuary and many UPC pastors attended the dedication services (as well as many Charismatic pastors from our city). Of course T.D. Jakes was one of the speakers so maybe they just came to check him out.
Because of the separation our church had with UPC, God has opened doors for us which never would have been opened otherwise.
There are some good UPC churches. Pastor Rex Johnson teaches his congregation to love the new members even if they don't choose to follow the old "standards". He even tells the church not to "push" their beliefs onto the new members. Him and his family still follow the old ways. If I didn't absolutely love my pastor and my church and know God put me where I am, I would attend Christian Life Church.
My point to this whole letter is that I still see the potential for good. If UPC can learn to love then there is still a chance. If they will learn to model their lives after Jesus Christ then there is a chance for them to be great. They tend to teach a lot from the Old Testament, before GRACE. The New Testament says Love covers a multitude of sins. Put the UPC Organization on your prayer list. I have learned that you cannot fight a spiritual battle on the physical level. This is a spiritual battle. Spirits of religion, spiritual pride, jealousy, bitterness, and down right greed are ruling this organization. We can never convince them they are wrong....God has to show them. Jesus didn't come to this world to condemn us but to save us. They have lost sight of His mission.
I hope this hasn't been too long or boring. I hope that your experiences with this organization have not influenced you to give up completely on the Acts 2:38 message.
One of my deepest passions and desires is for every Spirit filled organization in my city to unite and pray for my city, including the charismatics and the UPCers. God gave the Holy Ghost with the evidence of tongues to other churches too....their hearts must be right with God. Someday UPC members will realize that. One of the most shocking experiences of my life was the first time I attended my current church (after being raised in a UPC church), when I felt the sweet Holy presence of the Holy Spirit there. We where always (subtly) taught that the Holy Spirit only attended UPC churches...imagine my shock.
Thanks for listening.
May God bless and keep you.
Posted March 14, 1998
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August 23, 1997
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