Sunday, December 16, 2012

#268- Speaking in Tongues



 I was raised in church and now I am miserable. Did the Holy Ghost do this? I don't know.

I was 8 years old when I spoke in tongues. A child who was trying his hardest to do the things he was told to do.

All my friends received the Holy Ghost when they were five six or seven. But I was scared of lying to myself about having the Holy Ghost. So I waited until I could be sure I received it. I waited until it was true.

When I was 8 I spoke in tongues and cried and felt I was saved. They told me I was saved and they showed me a scripture to prove it and I believed it and I was happy.

My pastor, he died at the age of 35. I was 14 when he died. I was still saved then. That pastor, he was funny. Loving. I miss him.

I don't remember crying as hard as I did when I found out he was gone. The most wonderful man I knew at the time.

The man who replaced him, I remember him too.

I never knew a man who cared more about his people.....

He tried his best as I grew older.

As I grew older I became confused.

Because the love the he gave was not the love I was familiar with. He was my pastor and we read books under him about how we were to submit.

We were told about the Bible and our story about the Bible and we were told how any digressions about people leaving the church or criticizing our new pastor were a matter of the spiritual realm. We prayed and we fasted and I grew older.

I grew up in the same church until I was 24.

I saw things...

I saw my best friends kicked off the platform because they fornicated.

I saw friends who I barely knew get kicked off the platform because they went to the movie theater.

I saw one of my favorite Sunday School teachers get removed from teaching because another precious saint saw her in pants in the early morning picking up medicine for her mother.

I saw a woman in my church write countless books about how to be holy and she was celebrated and she  broadcasted how important it was to vote republican over the pulpit.

I was confused.

I saw veins of conviction preaching against not losing the truth.

I saw weed secretly smoked during church camping trips.

I saw three gay men leave our church because two of them claimed to be married... and even though they weren't on the platform they were asked to leave.

I saw a pastor from another church preach against me because I was against his Holy Magic Hair Doctrine.

I saw another man write letters to the UPC headquarters about who I was and how wrong I was.

I heard about a pastor of my church from before I was born. He brainwashed my parents. Made them fear God before they knew his love. Made them fear their own love. That pastor also ended up cheating on his wife.

I saw my  friend who grew up in church die of an overdose.

I saw a friend kicked out of their house because they smoked weed.

I saw a friend kicked out of church camp because their hair was too long for a dude...

I saw a friend kicked off the platform for listening to the wrong music....

I saw a youth pastor go to jail for being a pedophile to girls in his youth group.

I saw a friend kicked off the platform for cutting her hair.

I saw friends still pray with the Holy Spirit within them even though they were too worldly to be on the platform.

I saw one friend be applauded on the platform for being at the service of the Lord even though she had cover-up on her face (THIS IS MAKE-UP)... and another get kicked off the platform for having too much blush.

I have seen the face of SATAN in many churches and he works on the side of the preachers most of those times....

I saw my friends fall. Fall away from church. And then their own families because their family was still in church. All because they didn't know .... they never learned. Nor did I learn. About the Cross. About Jesus' love. About anything that mattered. Because Christ to them and Christ to me was about making sure we were right on the way to heaven.

We were told it was about being baptized in Jesus name man. We were told about Acts 2:38. We were told about the soon-coming revival. We were told about the necessity about witnessing. We had an annual tall "prophet" preach sermons of fear into our soul only to end up marrying a woman who wore jewelry.  We were told about I Corinthians 11. We were told why women were sinning when they wore pants. We were preached upright about not wearing jewelry or make-up. And we all danced and celebrated and were happy we had the truth because by God's grace and mercy ...

We were the Royal Priesthood and we were called and chosen and we were meant to save the world...

And it's maddening. And it will just about kill you if you're not properly equipped for it...

Do we not realize what love is? Love isn't about making sure the ones we love are "right." Love is loving someone as is. And hoping to God they will love us.... and if they reject us... well it should be a heartbreak every time. But no. That's not how we were raised when we were showed THE TRUTH. The Apostolic truth that has me so so confused about life. Because I was raised with a MASTER who they told me was God who they said Died for my sins so I would live as HE wanted me too... and when I or someone else dared fall.... they said my MASTER LOVED ME but that MASTER also said I needed correction and reproof....

And over time, I learned to see it....

I saw my MASTER's alleged Holiness from my teachers. They focused on things so we didn't have to worry other than praying harder and wanting us to thrust our way to salvation. The Old Master made me scared and fearful and He also liked it when I danced at the altar... even though I faked the dancing to make people think I was saved.

The Old Master... this was the God that was made for me in my head. Other pastors in the UPC will deny it and say  the Master that I was raised with was not the Master of the Bible.....

But the problem is....

 I saw Jesus on cross.... I saw a Jesus who loved me so much he died for me. And I have never seen such a pastor loving me so much that he would die for me other than the one who died when I was 14..

 I have seen Jesus and I see Him  warning against the very teachers and preachers who raised me. And perhaps raised you...

I saw Him the moment I started to obey and do the thing those teachers told me to do....

I read the Bible. And I say you should read the Bible too. Read the Bible. And read about your Messiah. And YOU SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME ABOUT LOVE AND GRACE AND MERCY and read Romans and you read the Gospels and you tell your pastors "NO! HELL NO! YOU ARE WRONG! YOU DO NOT LOVE ANYONE BUT YOUR FAMILY AND YOURSELF and those who looked like you! Just like the Jews of the Old Testament." You tell them  "YOU WILL NEVER KNOW MATTHEW 25 and YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE GOOD SAMARITAN OR the Book of GALATIANS AND YOU ARE THE WORST OF JUDAIZERS!" ANd they will say you are rebelling and you will say, "I'm so so sorry.....but I found the Lord... and He is Absolute and resolute... and unlike your God, I refuse to make him to an image about what I want him to look like to think I am saved."

but my Lord and my Apostles, they rebelled against their tradition too...

and the Apostles, through my Lord spoke in tongues....

And yet... everyone outside thought they were drunk when they spoke in tongues. But they weren't. They were filled with the Holy Spirit.

And they never understood us who were filled with the Holy Ghost. They tried to constrain us by having revival and Youth Congress and telling us we were proud of our Apostolic Identity.

But I couldn't be fooled again. I had actually read the Bible. And read the only time that God's chosen ones were proud of who they were, and those were the Jews who lived before Christ had come back.

The same Jews who killed Jesus 2,000 years ago because they were so fixed on the truth that they couldn't recognize love right in front of them...

And every night I speak in tongues knowing God hears me.... hoping to God that His spirit will lead me to

More Mercy....

More grace....

More love.....

To those who don't deserve it. Like the kind kicked off the platform and out of church....

The poor, the widows, the lost and confused... and yeah, I fail at loving as such... and yeah because of my Old MASTER that was contrived from the Old Testament, I feel like I"m never doing enough to get saved....

but then you remember Jesus and Acts 2.... and that Love and the Holy Ghost won't make sense to those in church... they'll never get it.... they'll be lost to themselves in a story about themselves....

And all I want to know is among my salvation, why can't God give me back all those nights lost where I was taught to hate people when they didn't follow the holiness standards we were told to follow.



33 comments:

  1. Powerful post. It's supposed to be all about love. . . Loving Him, and loving our fellow man. It is so very easy to become as the Pharisee's, and Jesus spent much of His ministry preaching against Pharisee's. Thank you for your post.

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  2. This. is. amazing. We left the UPC this past year when we realized we weren't in the truth. We were the very people who would stand before Jesus and hear him say He never knew us, when the whole time we thought it was those "worldly" Christians.

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Matthew 7: 22-23


    I am convinced the vast majority of Oneness Pentecostalism breeds Pharisees, and false prophets. We have all seen it, participated in it, exhorted it, idolized it. How can this be the truth? How can we be the only ones saved, when outside our cultish world lies people who genuinely love God, have hearts of servants, show all the fruit of the spirit, yet have never spoken in tongues. The Bereans (Acts 18) searched the scriptures for truth after listening to the apostles preach it, and they were applauded for doing so, yet in UPC world we are berated for asking a simple question, or daring to think for ourselves. Such hypocrisy! Here are some nuggets of truth, no strings attached. No reading into them something we see fit. Just pure, simplistic truth.

    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." - Romans 10:9-10

    "What does the Scripture say? "Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." - Romans 4:3

    "Whoever BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life;" -Jesus, John 3:36

    I just hope and pray that those stuck in the bondage of the UPC or other Apostolic doctrines will come to the same truth we did, and realize salvation has nothing to do with speaking in tongues, or standards, or rules, or who's who in the Pente circle. It is about JESUS and HIM CRUCIFIED. His grace is all we need, and in the ten years I was in the ALJC/UPC I heard almost nothing of His grace, or even the true gospel for that matter.

    "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who BELIEVES, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" - Romans 1:16



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    1. GRACE and LOVE. Two very important words belittled in the UPC world.

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  3. I have found that in the UPC/penecostal church pastors put themselves on pedestal to be exalted and glorified. The youth pastor at my church is very unfriendly; I greet at the door and he always walks in without even a hello. They think that they are holier and better than the church people; they only hang out with certain people who look, and act like them. I've also noticed in my church that people who make a lot of money or are pilots, doctors or lawyers get praised by the pastor.

    The "in" crowd who are in the limelight on the platform have this attitude where they think they are better than other people and I don't understand where they get this idea from. They have this air of self importance and pride; even the old people in the church complain about these people. I understand why I'm looked at the way I am; I cut my hair, I wear make up, I wear pants and yeah I go to college and majored in biology. I'm always treated like a back slidder. I don't let these people bother me because I go to church for God not man. I agree with the other commenters; the modern leaders of the UPC behave just like the pharisees.

    Thank you for writing this blog. I've been reading for years and have never really commented. But I wanted you to know that you and all the other authors of this blog have helped me in getting through some of the hard times in my life. I was glad to know that I wasn't alone and that it was ok to have questions and seek to go deeper in my relationship with Jesus. Thank you.

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  4. Just an FYI for anyone interested. whyileft.org is a very helpful place when thinking about doctrinal issues relating to the UPC.

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  5. This article describes completely what prompted me to finally dig back into scripture and decide whether or not tongues was the be-all-end-all of having the Holy Spirit. I looked in my church and saw hypocrisy and the mockery of other Christians. I looked at other, non-"Apostolic" churches and saw the love of God, the Fruits of the Spirit in abundance, and men and women doing the work of the Church. I dug into the scripture, studied, and when I emerged, I could no longer claim the "Apostolic" doctrine as scriptural. After a few months out of the movement, I wrote out my study notes on my blog, which can be read at http://www.screevo.com/2012/01/do-all-speak-in-tongues/

    Joel, while we probably disagree on the importance of tongues (I may be wrong, I'm assuming that since you still self identify as "Apostolic"), I want to thank you for being willing to stand up and use your podium to speak on this issue of the Love of Christ missing from UPC (and in my experience, ALJC) churches.

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  6. The most disgusting part of this whole doctrine is the lifting of a man and downsizing Christ! We were made to worship the pulpit rather than the Saviour! Whoever demmed themselves the pastor were exhalted and the congregation was brainwashed to believe our salvation lied in the man and his determination of our walk because he was going to stand in judgment for us! Really??? No he is going to be judged for what he preached to us!! The pulpit always seem to be unaccountable for anything. The sect I came out of kept all the tithes and we were mandated to pay addtional offerings. One pastor even said he could spend all the tithe money given him on bubblegum if he wanted to... Seriously did I take this for over 36 years? I raised my children in this that is the hard part.
    And look at the ship wrecks this causes!

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  7. I'm really missing Glen's post from last night...it was definitely right on target. Especially the part about walking around all day saying, "I'm right" about everything. ;)

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  8. I deleted it because I called some people out that maybe deserved it, but I feel I need to be better than that so I took it down. I may repost the part you liked though :)

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  9. Haha, good, because my husband and I keep quoting it. :P We just had one of those "I'm right" experiences with a Pente (they have the only truth) and all we could do was giggle. ;)

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  10. Ok, for Nicole I'll restate part of what I said -


    There is a huge problem with egotism when touting the phrase 'the truth.' All 'we have the truth' means is "we're right."
    So do that. Every morning when you wake up say "I'm right." When you look at your spouse say "We're right." Get a bunch of friends together three times a week, pat each other on the back for how right you all are. Put it on a fridge magnet. Get a t-shirt. Get an "I'm So Right" edition of the KJV.

    After you've thoroughly convinced yourself of your rightness start wavering a bit. When you cut someone off in traffic; "doesn't matter, I'm right." When you leave a bad tip, make sure you spend the preceding dinner conversation talking about your rightness so the waitress can hear. Berate your wife in front of your kids; doesn't matter bro, you're right.

    After a while you're just a disconnected prick who's convinced of his own superiority to society.

    That's what that phrase meant to me. I grew up hearing our precious truth compared to the 'denominal world' all the time.

    (Side note - when a pastor or preacher is talking about other denominations and uses the word 'denominal' he immediately loses all credibility in my eyes, as that isn't a word that means anything close to what they think it means. It's a descriptor of a type of word and it's also used in math. It has nothing to do with denominations and the only people I've ever heard use it have been very, grossly uneducated so I'm not surprised at their slaughter of the english language)

    Back to point -it was always 'The Truth vs. Denominations/Other Religions' growing up. I heard preachers belittle people with education because we had the truth. I saw men get up time after time after time and say "I didn't know what I was going to preach until I got up here..." because they were so convinced that their 'truth' gave them a direct line to God and he would just feed them the words so they wouldn't have to study or prepare (which is a gross abuse of the pulpit, and incredibly disrespectful to Gods word and people. Seriously, if people come to church when they probably have other things they could be doing show some freaking respect and prepare a message so as not to waste their time)

    I think one of the explanations for most of what Joel discussed in the post is the mentality of superiority that comes from brow beating how special we are because of 'the truth.'
    It's created a monstrosity of an ego that exonerates them from crossing the bounds of morality, responsibility, ethics or the like.
    Joel gave just a portion of what we've seen growing up in the movement and he hit the nail on the head. I've seen EVIL in that movement. I'm not talking about doctrinal things I disagreed with, I mean downright, ugly black EVIL, and not only have I seen it over and over and over and over and over, but I've seen it passively dismissed every. single. bloody. time.

    As long as we have Acts 2:38 we can do anything we want and if anyone has anything bad to say about it, well screw them because "the truth", that's why.

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    1. A lot of times I feel like going to church to hear "preaching" is a waste of time. The preachers preach the same thing ALL the time, they never have anything new. I know its up to us as individuals to study and go deeper but my god why is it that the preachers never have anything new at all? Its like they stopped studying. My youth pastor once asked me why I didn't come to youth night and I told him that his lectures were boring and I just want to hear someting new that was reavealed to you by God not about colthes, hair and makeup.

      As long as we look "holy" we are better than other christians is what I get from their message. I don't understand where they get this idea that Pentes are the only true christians. Its absurd! Why can't they just love all God's people regardless of how they look?

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  11. I can honestly say I am so happy that I have no clue what you are talking about. My experience has only been with honest, real preaching. Loving God and with God's help loving people. I almost made my own list of "positives" to go up against Joel's "negatives". I can think of them, trust me. But I realize I am up against very negative, bitter people who see only the bad, so there really is no purpose. You wouldn't believe them anyway.

    Bottom line, we are to love God and love people, and believe it or not, it can be done within "that church" that you have all come to hate. God is still One. Acts 2:38 still is the plan of salvation. And holiness and separation from the world is actually scriptural. Self righteousness is UGLY, but so is the bitterness and hatred that you all display.

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    1. People here are not bitter, they are sick and tired of seeing corruption in the church. The church is not a place of refuge anymore its become corrupt, I've seen this myself. Should people keep quiet about what they observe?

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    2. If the church is "corrupt", it still doesn't change the Word. Speaking in tongues is STILL the sign of the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Yes, there are offenses. Yes, there is sin in the ministry. Yes, there is carnal humanity, worse now than ever before, truthfully. But God's Word is still God's Word. If there are people in the church that commit such harsh sins Joel spoke of, God will be the judge. Not Joel. Not Glen. Not Nicole. And not you. You all would be better served finding ways to help it improve, not point out its faults. Let Joel write a post on how he reached out in a special way to someone. Your perspective has become so warped that I really don't think you can see any more good.

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    3. Sorry but the faults have been allowed for too long. I just won't sit silently anymore. I really don't care how I'm perceived. Thank you for calling us bitter though. Go back a few months and read the 'Not BItterness' post. You played right in.
      Anyway, there's never been an open source of critique in the movement and I don't care how marginalized I get and how many people sneer. I've seen too much evil to sit back and shut up. These pastors and preachers are ruining lives and driving people FROM God, not to Him. If we have to be the bad guy that calls it out then so be it. I don't care.

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    4. I personally am just speaking out against false prophets when I talk about how Oneness is NOT the truth. I am not bitter...I've moved way past that. I never left the church over anything anyone said, or did to me, or because of standards, etc. I left the church because of the heresy of it. You do NOT have to speak in tongues to be saved - that is NOT the "initial evidence" of the Holy Ghost. I'd like to see where in the Bible it says that. However, tongues IS a gift of the spirit, and that is all. 1 Cor 12-14 is very clear about that, and even references the prophesy of Pentecost in 14:21, in the context of it being ONLY a gift, that NOT EVERYONE HAS. That, my friend, is truth.

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    5. So, every person who has spoken in tongues (including the children) have the gift of tongues and it's for the edification of the church? Amazing. Funny Nicole, now you and your husband can go around saying "I'm right". You do think you have the inside scoop on Truth after all.

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    6. If what they are doing is true, biblical tongues, then yes, it is only a gift, according to what the BIBLE says, and it is SUPPOSED to be regulated the way Paul says. I'm not claiming to have an inside scoop on truth, because the Bible is clear about it - it is a plain truth. According to Oneness doctrine, their plan of salvation is a direct result of a "revelation" some men had back in the 40s, which is historically how the Oneness church began. Before the 40s the entire movement believed what they had was just the gift of tongues, and it was the Oneness crowd that started the heresy of tongues as an initial evidence of salvation.

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    7. I think it's funny that Glen, Nicole, et al are willing to post their names up here, but for someone who claims to be right, you hide behind Anonymous.

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  12. @anonymous

    Point #1- I am not arrogant enough to tell your experiences with your pastors are wrong. I'm sure they've all been good host. but you see, I like wrote this post above out of my experience. It's my life dude. And YOU CAN't SPeak anything to it just like I can't speak to yours. Except you have the Truth, and I'm a bitter sinner....

    So it only makes sense you were arrogant enough to imply my experience in life was a result of bitterness and therefore a false life live. Hey anonymous, keep tell yourself stories about other lives in your own head. It'll get you no where but hell

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    1. It's all about perspective, Joel. It's about realizing the mistakes the ministry makes will be dealt with by God. It's about realizing those mistakes don't minimize the truth at all. It's about realizing they are human. It's about realizing that I, too, have offended others. It's by realizing God's grace really is big enough, and truth will always be truth regardless of stupid humanity.

      The only reason I responded was because you only point out one side of the church. It is very lopsided. There is more than one side of it, but you can't even see it anymore. And it troubles me that you speak on behalf of Apostolics in general.

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    2. Isn't that amazing... you are the perfect relativist. A bad postmodern rebellious kid at their best. Using logic when you need to and disregarding it when it doesn't fit you.....

      1. You believe in the absolute truth of speaking in tongues as a means of salvation. Keep in mind that tongues is only spoken through human beings. There is no way to know speaking in tongues (or the Truth as you call it without humans).

      2. You begin the first line with "it's all about perspective" which is cool if you believe truth is relative and about perspective.

      (please note the contradiction already at work in your beliefs).

      3. You say The Truth is Out there like it's in heaven. And call people dumb sometimes. Yet Biblically the truth was written about by humans under the inspiration of the Spirit. The Truth (out there in heaven) was only revealed to you through humanity (preachers) and yet the moment they go bad you say pay attention to the good. So basically the truth is then that which is communicated by Good humans?!? You can't have it both ways sir. Either the truth is in heaven and you can't say a word about the Truth (since you could be wrong) or the Truth what comes to humanity in Acts and asuch .... it's not something "Up there, unreachable, like it was in the Old testament. But rather lives on through humans. Bad humans testifying just as much to the validity of that truth as good humans. Stop your witchcraft of logic and start being honest with yourself

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  13. @anonymous... and if all you got out of it was an us vs. them bitterness post, then I can see how you would misread the Bible so much to come to the conclusions you are coming too...

    It's called hermeneutics and learning to read. And my point, if you read close enough to pay attention is far from a scathing rebuke with a holier than thou attitude. But of course, you'd have to read past what you're emotions tell you the meaning is to get that point.

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  14. Excuse the spelling errors done in haste above....

    "hosts" instead of "host." "but" should be capitalized. Other capitalization problems. Also "lived" instead of "live" and "telling" instead of "tell."

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  15. I think it's funny how people always use the "bitter" card. As if they know any of us.

    Also, an abusive relationship will look differently to the abuser than it would to the abused. You wouldn't call an abused woman bitter when she takes her abuser to court?

    Just the same, why would you think of calling someone who has been spiritually abused "bitter" for calling out their experiences for what they are. Spiritual abuse is a very real thing, and regardless of which denomination it is happening in, it is rampant.

    By this logic, Jesus must have been a very "bitter" man to call the Pharisees and label them vipers and wolves. :-/

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  16. This post made my heart sad and heavy. As a Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal female, in it saddens me to my very soul that there is such hatred and vile matters in the church. However, please know this is not a "oneness pentecostal" issue. There are heretics and serpents in every doctrine, in every house of worship, at every corner. I'm thankful to God to have a pastor who will stand on the word, yet be honest and tell his congregation that there will not be only "Pentecostals" in Heaven. It's not about the denomination, it's about the true plan of salvation...whosoever will. I know that it grieves the Spirit to see the amount of hatred and anger spewed between so called "believers" and "saved" people.

    Is it our job to giggle and make snide remarks because "that person 'thinks' they have the truth? Is that Christ-like? Or should it be our souls desire to teach people the Truth with love and compassion? Those of you screaming that you are saved and you are right with God, yet you are degrading other people and walking around like little Kings on your own throne need some serious time in prayer with our Maker--regardless of your denominations.

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  17. Whoever says "You have a bad spirit" first, wins. That's how this game is often played. Really? Is that ever an acceptable response (you have a bad spirit) to heart-felt questions and discussions? Are we that far behind when it comes to being able to have (or not have) open and honest discussion about God, faith, truth, and 'us'? For example, I am comfortable enough to say "If we agree on the mighty God in Christ, I'm good." With that much in common but perhaps little else, I am also comfortable to say, "there ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy, there's only you and me and we just disagree." Not a biblical quote, I know, but maybe it should be. Are you (my hypothetical discussion parther) able to say the same to me? If so, we can move forward. If not, then you're stuck.

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  18. being first generation pentecostal coming out of RCC and SBC, I've done so much studying and so much debating, i've decided to cling to the essentials: Love God Love people mark 12:29-31 repent, be baptized in Jesus name, and take hold of the Holy ghost which is Jesus whithin. my righteousness is filthy rags and only Jesus blood and imputed righteousness will get me to heaven. many preachers and saints have fallen but i'm trusting god that I'm called and by his working in me I will be saved.

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  19. Joel, I'm writing this as anonymous because I truthfully do not want to cause any problems and I do and always have loved you. I'm younger than you are and spent a good deal of time around you watching you and hoping that someday I could be as "in church" and "full of truth as you were.

    Looking now I see some of the points you make as extremely intelligent and others as extremely confused.

    We do need to love God and others.

    We do need to have a forgiving attitude and a forgetting attitude.

    We do need mercy and Grace.

    I have experienced first hand the corruption in ministry and had I not developed a relationship with God for myself I would have fallen victim to becoming bitter. Which I do not think you are. I think you are the opposite of bitter. I think you got screwed I think you got hurt by people who really should have been there for you.

    If we believe the whole Bible. Or from what I can tell at least the New Testament then we know fornication is a sin. We also read judge not lest he be judged but as I'm sure you know that means if you judge then God will judge you with the same harshness.

    If a pastor boots a girl off his platform for fornication yet he has also committed fornication then God will judge him with the same intensity.

    So as hard as it may be to see such outrageous hipocrisy we must believe God can forgive her and Forgive the pastor.

    Will the only people in heaven be long haired skirt wearing women and clean cut pants wearing men? No of course not.

    But will God stop those who have turned their back on standards simply because the person preaching it was a hypocrite? That I do not know. I hope we can all make it to heaven and be together happily worshiping the King whom it truly is about.

    But what if standards are in place to protect that girl who if she was able to wear short shorts and tank tops wouldn't be able to save herself for marriage. What if pants are the way that Guys are using to "come out from among them and be ye separate?"

    Are all standards necessary for heaven? No.

    Are most of them good ideas and fairly harmless? I say yes.

    The problem doesn't come when standards aren't upheld they come when judgement is cast down in the wrong spirit or is taken in the wrong Spirit.

    Joel, I say this next part out of love but somewhere between what you believe and what our conservative hypocritic Pentecostal brothers believe is the full real truth.

    God is one his name is Jesus.

    The evidence of the Holy Spirit is tongues because there has to be some evidence otherwise how would we know? And don't tell me the fruit of the spirt yes it's a sign but we all know once the seed is planted it takes time for the fruit to grow and blossom.

    Baptism in Jesus name is a necessity found many times through out scripture.

    Standards platform standards can we cut our hair can we grow beards that all falls in our gray area (yes this seems like a cop out) but if I live my whole life under these standards and make heaven without needing them
    Then what did I lose?

    Joel you are incredible! Intelligent and as I said before I looked up to you for a time.

    I feel now you are still a tiny bit confused but I pray whether I'm right or you are that one day we find ourselves hand in and and the Feet of that Loving saviour because in the end is that not what we all desire?

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    1. Standards quit being 'harmless' when they re used to measure, judge, and legitimize ones salvation. One can drink the koolaid and proclaim the UPC mantra using UPC twisted scriptures but that will never make it ' The 'Truth' Finding the real truth about the love of God is not a logical outcome of a bitter heart.

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  20. Joel - would you do an article telling what the original UPC church was like? I would like to know what the original preachers taught their congregations. I would like to see a comparison to what it was like then to what it is like now. I do feel there is a corruption happening within the UPC and some members worshipping the church instead of God. Using their pastor as the final word instead of the bible.

    When we do that...it will become a cult. I don't think there is anything wrong with waving the flag and pointing out that the UPC has drifted from their own original teachings. I don't even know who the very earlier pioneers were - how did we go from Azuza Street to forming the UPC? I saw the skit they did at General Conference a few years ago and I liked it quite a lot...but who were those men and what did they teach?

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