Robert Clary's UPC Experience
My name is Robert Clary, and I came to a place of repentance before my Creator in my living room watching a TV preacher. I repented, got a Bible, read and prayed daily. The sins and burdens dissolved in a short time. There was a joy in my life I never thought was possible in this life. I was easy prey for Oneness missionaries who indoctrinated me into the fellowship.
I remained there for two months and was introduced to the "standard" which I followed because I wanted to teach Sunday School. I am ashamed to say I embraced unhappiness, bitterness and spiritual elitism that is so common among Oneness Pentecostals.
Eight months passed and my joy became a bitter anger that wedged me away from my family and friends and anybody from any other church, including Oneness churches. And soon the bitterness began to creep into our fellowship and simmered. When the pastor died, there was a predictable four way split.
I loved my pastor and when he died, I then began to re-evaluate everything. My former friends gleefully prophesied doom over my life. And yes, I did experience a faith crisis when my mom passed away in '96. I was hurt, angry and alone. My spiritual rebirth occurred from a most unlikely source in a Trinitarian minister who reached out to me personally.
Again, I resumed my studies and have been blessed in every area of my life. My world did not end and I am stronger and happier today than ever. I left the fellowship in 1992 and still can't believe it's been 15 years.
We moved to another state and expanded our family to 5 kids - all boys. I have shrugged off the shackles of religion and spiritual dogmatism. I teach my kids to draw close to their Creator while staying far from religion. We are blessed with health, love, prosperity and closeness to God.
I would never trade this life for the UPC bondage I once lived under.
Posted December 3, 1999- Revised March 13, 2003 & March 22, 2007
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August 23, 1997
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