Posted January 3rd, 2011 at 12:18 PM by mary
Some years ago, I was thrown out of a church because the pastor falsely accused me of things and wouldn't allow me to even say I hadn't done what he accused me of. He told me that if he said I did it, he was a Man of God, and God had obviously talked to him about me and revealed the wickedness in my heart. He also preached that I would walk out of church the night he kicked me out and immediately go and cut my hair and wear pants and makeup. I felt like I was betraying him by NOT doing those things, proving that he was a false prophet. I hadn't done anything wrong, and I believed THE Truth, so I didn't cut my hair or put on pants. I simply found another Oneness church and tried to act like nothing had happened.
The new pastor told me to just forget about what had happened and move on. But I couldn't. What happened had created a lot of questions and doubts in my mind, things that I needed to work through and discuss. I needed time to heal. They wanted to act like there was nothing to heal, and that hurt worse.
I always felt condemned for not doing crazy things in church. After being kicked out, something disconnected. I went to church, and would shake "under the power of God." I'd never done that before. People would tell me how close I must be to God. I didn't feel close to God. I'd been kicked out of a church, but they didn't know that, so I felt like a hypocrite. I also knew the shaking wasn't God, it was me wrestling hard to reconcile what I believed was The Truth with what I had seen, heard, and experienced that blared that it wasn't. There was such a deep grief and so much condemnation associated with praying, fasting, and studying the Bible... and especially with worship. The new church was very pushy about how much I should worship and exactly how we should and shouldn't worship. That didn't help me at all, because so much of what he told us we needed to do seemed unnatural or just plain weird or wrong to me.
It took me years to untangle what had happened in the church I was kicked out of. I had been happy in a way, and spoke in tongues often and danced a lot. When I was kicked out, even though I went to a different oneness Pentecostal church (where the pastor assured me I was fine), things just weren't the same. I doubted pretty much everything I was feeling, because the pastor who kicked me out said I was backslid and terribly wrong. If that were true (and of course it must be-he was a Holy Ghost filled preacher) then what I had felt, and the speaking in tongues and the worship I was doing must be all wrong, too. How could sweet and bitter water come from the same source, after all? I almost "got past that" but then with all the show and people really hurting people in the altar of the new church, I started relooking some things.
At the same time, I went through a time when every time I tried to pray, I'd pretty much immediately fall into heartwrenching...