I happened upon your website by accident and read about some of the bad experiences people have had with the UPC. Let me first say that I am saddened in my spirit each time I hear of such an experience, because I've heard some from people close to me.
I am currently a member of the UPC. I noticed that a lot of the "bad" experiences concerned standards and holiness issues. I just want to tell you how I feel about it.
I have a wonderful pastor that ALWAYS uses Godly wisdom to preach on this subject and has been preaching on this very subject the last 7 Wednesday nights. I have been attending for about 9 years. I was witnessed to by a co-worker who later became my husband.
It wasn't until about 3 years after I started attending that I really started to study on the issue of holiness. I was looking around me and seeing that the ladies didn't cut their hair, wear make-up, or wear pants. I am the type of person that doesn't do things just because everyone else does, but I have to know why.
Well, I began to really seek God concerning this and it wasn't until AFTER I had received the Holy Ghost (with the evidence of speaking in tongues) and being baptized in Jesus Name that God starting molding me into what He wanted me to be.
You see I noticed something that was pretty consistent in all of the "bad experience" letters I read on your website concerning holiness. It always seemed to come down to what people think and asking the pastor or someone else's opinion. I just skipped all of that and asked the author of the bible...... JESUS. You see, holiness and standards are not something you just do or are "conformed" to, but something that God uses to "transform" us into His vessel. Sure, I could have done it because it was preached about and everyone else was doing it, but that would be in vain and no good since it wasn't truly in my heart.
Holiness is all about attitude and the condition of the heart. When you truly have an experience with God as I have and have been delivered from alcohol and tobacco only as He can deliver, it will change your attitude. It will go from "why do I have to do that?" to "what else can I do to please you Lord?". When you get to the point of doing ANYTHING the Lord desires, He will change your desires.
I do feel that holiness and standards are very necessary. I'm not saying that they are heaven/hell issues, but why try to get away with all you can and risk missing heaven instead of just giving it 100%?? After all, Jesus gave 100% at Calvary..................
I would like to suggest some reading concerning the holiness issue. This lady is UPC, but has a divine revelation concerning the subject and has scripture reference to BACK UP EVERY WORD CONCERNING HOLINESS. Please go to www.positivepowerofholiness.com and order some of her books. May I suggest Power Before the Throne to be your first read? I ask that you would prayerfully consider reading this book and read it with an open heart to what Jesus may want you to see.
Love & prayers,
Posted October 29, 2004
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August 23, 1997
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