The Writings Of Lois E. Gibson
This page will take you to writings on various subjects surrounding spiritual abuse and the proper interpretation of scripture. All too often in groups which become controlling or abusive, there is a tendency to teach a distorted view of certain verses in the Bible. A verse may be taken out of context or a word may be given a non-biblical meaning. Thus, one's view of the subject matter can be quite different from what God intended.
When a member hears these verses over and over with the accompanying faulty interpretation, they may have difficulty viewing the scriptures in any other manner. I term this looking at the Bible through the organization's glasses. The way to break free from this is to set aside any preconceived thoughts on the passage in question and read it in context. It should also be compared with similar verses as well as any related themes or possible examples shown in the Bible.
Once a person can break free from only being able to read the scriptures using their group's glasses, the Holy Spirit will illuminate God's Word in a marvelous way! You will then be free from the faulty interpretation and all that comes with it. Jesus said his yoke was easy and his burden was light. It is man's yoke and man's burden that can get pretty cumbersome and weary to carry.
You may also wish to read my blog.
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Sexual Abuse In United Pentecostal Churches: (Sterling Hammett wrote an article on sexual abuse in United Pentecostal Churches and I added additional information.) I am going to present disturbing evidence of both wide scale pastoral sexual abuse and pastoral and organizational cover up of sexual abuse within the United Pentecostal Church. In the many convictions, arrests, charges, and news reports there is a disturbing trend. Not only does the UPC have a poor screening process for its pastors, but even when victims report the abuse it tends to get buried and not reported by higher ups.
Some Apostolics And Homosexuality: In May 2012, before Kim Davis made headlines as the Rowan County clerk, Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana, where Jeff Sangl is pastor, made the news, though they received much less media coverage. ...A young boy is singing on the platform at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle and the congregation is seen enthusiastically cheering, clapping and standing in approval as he sings words to a song that was obviously changed by an adult. ...You can also see what appears to be Pastor Jeff Sangl in full approval in the background, smiling and cheering him on. Sangl neither stops the song nor admonishes those cheering.
The Movie Divergent & Unhealthy Churches: At one point Tris asks someone what's out there beyond the walls, did they know? He shares that they are cities that didn't recover from the war and says, "Let's just say they built the fence for a reason." We never learn what the reason is or what threat lies outside the walls. It is similar to "The Village" in this way, where a community was made and one was to stay inside it for fear of what was on the outside. There was peace and safety inside the walls as long as the rules were followed and everyone knew their place.
A Message Found In Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: The other night before bed, I watched the old children's claymation Christmas program, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Something in the movie caused me to pause it and ponder how it related to the extra-biblical rules that are made by controlling ministers and others. You may never view this children's classic the same!
"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" & Unhealthy Churches: It comes about 34 minutes into the movie, where the people are all gathered together while the May-Who (mayor) of Whoville makes the festive announcement that it is time for nominations to be made for the Holiday Cheermeister. It is apparent May-Who expects to be nominated. But suddenly little Cindy Lou shouts out from the crowd, "I nominate the Grinch!" There is talking and gasps as the people all turn to look at Cindy Lou and then Mr. May-Who.
A Review Of Ruth Rieder Harvey's "Reflecting The Glory": Prior to reading this book, I had never seen such twisting and distortion used to attempt to persuade people, particularly women, to follow outward standard teachings. I had definitely heard the basic teachings, but never with the thought thrown in that we are protectors and guardians of God's glory and have the role Lucifer once had. It takes these teachings to an entirely different level, with much more at stake should one fail to follow.
"Kingdom Clothing"- A review of the second Ruth Harvey children's book, featuring her daughter, Angel Rieder, who is also a co-author. This one teaches about girls not wearing pants. Miriam asks what an abomination is and mom says it is "something extremely disgusting to God and makes him feel very sick, almost like throwing up." When Angel inquires as to if it makes his stomach hurt, Ruth shares it hurts his stomach and heart and he feels very sad. The girls decide that since they love Jesus, they "don't ever want to make him feel sick or sad."
"Marble Palaces Or Painted Barns"- A review of the third Ruth Harvey children's book, featuring her oldest daughter, Miriam Rieder. This one teaches about make-up on Miriam's birthday. Having given her an art set, Ruth asks how Miriam would feel if she drew all over the pictures Miriam painted for her. Miriam responds that she would be hurt and think that her mom didn't like them. Mom then explains that this is how God feels when we paint ourselves (referring to using any make-up).
Desiring To Be Seen Of Men: The Pharisees wanted to be noticed by the people around them. They wanted to stand out in the crowd. They made their garments different from everyone else so that this would be accomplished. What they did, they did in order to be noticed by people. They craved the attention and public greetings. They were so overly focused on the outward appearance, that the inner man was seriously neglected. While they could be picked out of the crowd due to their outward appearance, and while they were reverenced by many as being seemingly holy, inside these people were a mess.
Acts 10: A Closer Look: Note that Peter didn't say something like, "The Holy Spirit fell upon them as he always does with every person who believes." He didn't say, "You well know that the evidence of receiving the Spirit is always speaking in tongues and the Gentiles did this." Instead, he takes them all the way back to the day of Pentecost when about 120 believers spoke in tongues after they were filled with God's Spirit. It happened to the Gentiles like it did to the Jewish believers on the day of Pentecost.
Acts 19: A Closer Look: Have you ever stopped to carefully examine the "proof texts" that are used to support the UPC/Apostolic teaching on speaking in tongues? Did you know that speaking in tongues is only mentioned in three places in Acts and happened with just a small number of believers, all who never prayed to or expected to speak in tongues?
UPCI Letter of Transfer: Through the years as I have had contact with many current and former United Pentecostal Church members, I have received reports where a member of a UPCI church requested to relocate to another church in the organization and was denied a letter of transfer from their pastor.
The Arrogance of Knowledge: Caution in Contending for Beliefs: Within the Body of Christ will be found believers in various stages of understanding when it comes to matters of the conscience. Paul spoke of these things in letters written to the churches. It appears some contended for their views to the point where they judged others and/or brought harm or disunity to the Body. Hundreds and hundreds of years later, we see that some things have not changed.
Unworthy or Worthless?: Unhealthy churches often cause people to have an erroneous view of themselves and how God sees them. Do you regularly feel defeated because you just don't measure up?
The Presence of God: Many trying out new churches after leaving an apostolic church struggle with thinking other services are "dead" and void of God's presence.
Studies on 1 Corinthians 12: A series of studies covering some often overlooked truths that Paul shares concerning the giftings of the Holy Spirit.
Obedience: Hebrews 13:17: This verse is often misinterpreted to mean one must do whatever the leadership in the church tells them, even with relation to personal matters. But how does this line up with what the scriptures teach?
Delusion: When many people contemplate leaving a controlling or elitist group, they fear that they may be going into delusion. Just what is this delusion of which the Bible speaks? You may be surprised at the answer!
Authority & Anointed: Better watch you don't question the leadership! They are God's special anointed ones. But does God have 'pets,' so to speak? Learn who God's anointed really are and that we can, indeed, question those in leadership and even correct them.
Backslid: Often when a person leaves a controlling or elitist group, they are referred to as being backslid. The term is often used to mean everything from simply leaving a church building to changing views on standards or other issues. What the Bible teaches about this is contrary to how the word is often used today.
Women's Hair: This link will take you to another section of the site where I have an in depth look at whether or not the Bible forbids a woman to ever cut her hair. Included is an article on modern day Pharisees, different Bible versions, and whether or not it is proper to use a modern day dictionary to explain the meaning of a biblical word.
Comfort: A Ministry of Reconciliation: Have you been hurt in a church setting or by a deep loss in your life? Learn how to make something good come from your deepest trials.
All writings are copyrighted by Lois E. Gibson
You may write Lois at the email address displayed in the image. No correspondence that seeks to debate will be answered as I have no desire to debate. Understand that due to the volume of mail, not every email may be acknowledged.
Page added June 3, 2000 & Updated June 30, 2016
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August 23, 1997
Copyright © 1997-2016 by Lois E. Gibson
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