This letter is addressed to current UPCI members who find us here in cyberspace.
Having been a UPCI member, supporter and minister, I certainly understand any current member's dismay at finding us. I probably would have reacted similarly. Please know I am not a UPC member hater, nor am I against members of any UPC church. It is the spiritual abuse that occurs in some churches as well as some doctrines that concern me.
The main purpose of this site is to bring attention to the subject of spiritual abuse in *any* Bible-based church. Spiritual abuse can occur in all types of churches as well as groups that are not biblically based. Unfortunately, because people are human, leadership always has the potential to become abusive and self-serving. There is ample space on the site dedicated solely to this purpose, without drawing attention to any one particular group. I am by no means conveying that the UPC has a monopoly in this area, that all their churches are abusive, or that they are the worst offenders.
The secondary emphasis placed on the United Pentecostal Church is there because this is where I experienced and witnessed abuse and error. Had my experience been in any other organization, the secondary focus would have been on them instead. It is that simple. I am not an outsider looking into the organization, but was a long-term, deeply committed member.
This emphasis is not the result of bitterness, anger or anything similar. I left the UPC in December 1993 and did not start this site until mid 1997. Had this been out of bitterness so much more would have been included about my former church and would have begun sooner than almost four years after leaving. It wasn't until I became more aware of the widespread abuse and twisting of Scripture (not just within the UPC) that this site was created.
I endeavor to present the issues in a fair manner. Many links are made available to sites run by the UPC, its members, or its churches. Visitors to the site are encouraged to send links of other articles as well as to submit a writing of their own. A special area is set aside for current UPC members to address any issue covered by the site. I have even made changes in the past based on correspondence from current UPC members. I know of no other web sites that address the UPC and provide the extensive links or opportunity to submit writings as is done here.
Please keep in mind that links to many other sites are provided. If you take issue with something there, you need to contact that site owner. In addition, the views expressed by those who share in the experience and members speak sections, as well as any other writings originating on this site, reflect the views of the individual authors and are not necessarily representative of my views. Therefore I cannot address questions concerning contributions made by others. If a link is supplied to their e-mail address, you may write them directly.
There are some that assume that since we write about error in the UPC outward "holiness standards" that we are not at all concerned with what people do or wear. The Bible teaches modesty as well as other principles concerning how to live. Where no specifics are mentioned, we believe Christians should be led by these principles through the Holy Spirit and not a list of man-made rules which often come with a proclamation that their salvation is lost should they not obey.
This site is not endorsing an "anything goes" mentality. Rather, we are attempting to show the error of some specific UPC teachings concerning standards, which we believe to be legalistic, and in error. While some take an attitude that God is not at all concerned with outward appearance, this site does not.
A few have inquired as to why there is not a place for positive church experiences. The site is about spiritual abuse. There are no 'positive' examples of any form of abuse. Were the focus of the site on battered wives, for example, would one also expect there to be a section for good examples? There are none! Each church group has their own opportunity for people to express any good that occurs in their organization. The UPC, for instance, has an official site as well as numerous others operated by either individual UPC churches or members. These places are where one should send in such testimonies.
There are some that believe the UPCI is not Christian. This position is not taken here. While there is error in UPC teachings, they do believe that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. They are not worshipping another God. The church at Corinth was carnal and in error on some matters, conducting themselves inappropriately in services, and yet Paul did not proclaim them non-Christians.
I would like to thank the majority of current UPC members who have written through the years and done so in a civil manner. The site receives little negative feedback and I believe this is due to the manner in which issues are presented. I would like to mention that should you write and wish to debate issues, I will not engage in such debates.
My hope is that this letter will better explain our purpose and possibly alleviate some concerns which current members might have. Youíll find we donít report the latest negative news and gossip concerning UPC ministers and members as can be found elsewhere, surprisingly often on apostolic discussion boards. For any that are yet upset with the site, I suggest you simply not visit it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
CONTACT / HOW DO I
OLD FEEDBACK /
UPC MEMBERS SPEAK
LOIS' WRITINGS /
August 23, 1997
Page added July 4, 2002
Copyright © 1997-2012 by Lois E. Gibson
Contents of this web site and all original works are copyright - All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of the owner.
Shop at our Amazon store! This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.