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Disturbing Things My 17-Year-Old Daughter Shared About Her Own Experiences in Children’s Church and Youth Groups…

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My 17 year old daughter (who recently turned 18) made some comments to me, a couple of months before my most recent spinal surgery (which happened on September 2, 2014), about what she learned, and experienced, in her own lifetime of attending Children’s Churches and Youth Groups in the Word-of-Faith, Non-denominational, and other Seeker-Friendly “churches” we attended over the years (we no longer even darken the doorway of those types of places). What she said was STUNNING, to me!

Before I tell you what she actually said (she did give me permission to share her thoughts on my blog), I have to say that this REALLY hit me HARD, as a parent, and starkly pointed out MY OWN SHORTCOMINGS and SINFULNESS of not teaching my children about WHAT I believed, and WHY I believed what I believed (which, really, could be a blessing, as it would have just probably confused them)!  It also made me realize my own lack of ever being properly discipled, or catechized (which has only happened much more recently), in the infancy of my own faith in Christ .

How could I have even taught them, that which I could not explain, myself?!  I really did not know WHY I believed any of what I believed over the years…!  I really was living on the “blind faith” that what I was taught must be true, because the people I was trusting, made it seem like it was right, and they called themselves Christians and Pastors (which, by the way,  is NOT the Faith spoken of, in God’s Word).

First, my daughter told me that, up until a couple of years ago, the only things she could remember, that she knew came from the Bible was, “a story about some lady, who put a red ‘something’ on one of her doors, or a window, or something, for some reason” (this would most likely be a reference to Rahab, the prostitute, who was part of the lineage that pointed to Jesus). She also said she remembered “a story about some guy, at some time, that tricked his dad into thinking that he was his brother, by putting fur on his arm. The end.”  Wow, that was really something helpful to know…

Also, up until about 3 years ago, she did not even know that there was more than one book in the Bible (she just thought it was all one big, confusing book, that others could understand, but she could not)!

Next, she told me that pretty much everything else she remembered was playing games, making crafts, watching various videos, singing fun feel-good songs (and plugging her ears because it was always too loud), temporarily learning some Bible verses – with no context or reason for why she was learning them, of course (none of which she even knows what they were), having snacks, and being picked on, teased, or just plain ignored (because yes, she is a bit “different”, and it does show, especially in larger group settings that have way too much sensory stimulation).

That’s it!  That is all she got out of being in Children’s Church, and Youth Groups, all these years!  What a waste of precious time, and energy (it is NOT easy getting 3 kiddos, that have special needs, out the door to get to church on time)!!!  Not to mention all of the MONEY wasted and volunteer time wasted, at these churches!  And we wonder WHY we are LOSING our children to the secular world and/or false teachers (whether these teachers call themselves Christians, or not)?!

These are the “impressions” that these “seeker-sensitive” models, of the visible “church” are giving so many children.  NOT anything that the Holy Spirit can even work through, because they are not even hearing actual Bible passages that are related to each other (and their significance to Christ explained), or being called to repentance of their sin (by hearing God’s Law), and then comforted by the Gospel!  My kiddos, AND myself and husband, should have probably just stayed at home, slept in, and enjoyed some family time together…!  We would have ALL received more from that, than we did in ANY of these churches.  Sad, but oh so very true.

Just in case you are wondering, this is no longer the case with her, OR any of the rest of us in the family!  We are now in a SOLID church.  The Pastors have actually spent one-on-one time with us at the church, at hospitals, and even in our own home (all within the last year, and we have only been members since March of this year)!  Also, we learn a LOT in the Sunday Bible Class (in which the two teens attend the Adult Bible Class, with us), after the Divine Service (which is filled with people in ALL the various stages of life, from infancy to old age, and is also filled with Bible teaching and receiving God’s gifts to us every week).

Our Pastors have helped us to read the Bible for what it actually plainly says, in its own context.  If the Bible is silent on something, they are silent on it also.  No more “dancing around” our questions, or ripping verses out of context to just “paste them all together” to make them say what is wanted (and not what is actually needed), or just plain ignoring or avoiding our questions altogether (which has happened at pretty much all of the other churches we had attended over the previous 19 years).

Again, I praise God for calling us OUT of these places, and keeping us THROUGH the fires of testing!

~Annette

You MIGHT Not be in a Real Christian Church If…..

Generic Church in a Stadium1) your Pastor is not teaching and preparing you for suffering, as a Christian, in this fallen world.

2) your Pastor does not comfort you with the gospel of what Jesus Christ did for you, after he has hit you with God’s laws.

3) your Pastor puts his own “vision” for your church above what God’s commands are for a New Testament church.

4) there can be no distractions in church in order to hear the words of the teacher/preacher, rather than whole families in church to hear the reading & teaching of whole passages of Scripture… in their original context!

5) the Pastor teaches you his own “vision” and rules, as if they were God’s law (ask to see it in context, in Scripture).

6) you are pushed into signing “commitment cards” for things not found in Scripture (usually after emotional manipulation in a “sermon”).

7) you are pressured into “serving the church”, even if it means detriment to your vocations in life at this present time (father, mother, husband, wife, daughter, son, citizen, employee/employer, student, etc.)!

8) your “pastor’s” emphasis is pretty much on having your best life now (what will your afterlife be like..? ***shudder***).

9) your “Pastor” takes the Lord’s name in vain (ie. “OMG”) without even skipping a beat…!

10) you rarely seek, in times of distress, comfort from others in your church, out of fear of having a “negative confession” (this is what was previously known as superstition)!

Just some thoughts as I watch what is happening in much of the “visible” church in this world…  I feel a possible “series” of posts coming on, after my LONG hiatus!

~ Annette

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An Apology to All Who Heard My Public Testimony from 08/2010 (and a Humbling Lesson for Myself…)

The Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral

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For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.    Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.  And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—  just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.    Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”  But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.  Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. ~Jude 4-11 ESV (emphasis, mine)

I come to all of you, with a very heavy heart and under great conviction, right now.

Back in August of 2010, I did an online radio program testimony, that is probably still “out there” on the internet “somewhere”… It was my story of getting out of Neo-Paganism and New Age spirituality, and then, sliding right on into the Word-of-Faith movement, as a brand new Christian. I then was able to gradually, by reading God’s Word for myself, get out of the WOF, also. Unfortunately, at the time of that interview, my mind still was not totally out of all of the erroneous teachings that I had learned while in the WOF church, and under those teachings. I am sure I will continue to find even more of those beliefs, that may still be lingering in my mind, as I continue in The Lord’s Word.

The teaching that I am apologizing, and publicly repenting for, is that of railing against the devil, and his demons. I cannot, in good conscience, say that there is a solid biblical precedence for doing such things, if the scriptures cited by those teachers are taken in their full context! If even the archangel Michael (in his undefiled form) as a finite (a created being, having a beginning), but glorious angelic creation of God‘s, dared not to do this… I do not think that it is any coincidence that this little, but powerfully packed, book of Jude is placed right before The Revelation with its many strong warnings, to us! What in the world made me think that I should do such a thing?! The only thing I could come up with was a deafening, resounding answer… It was my own irreverence, arrogance, and PRIDE! One of the things God hates the MOST!

There are six things that the  Lord  hates,  seven that are an abomination to him:   haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that devises wicked plans,  feet that make haste to run to evil,  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. ~Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV (emphasis, mine)

As a matter of fact, looking back, pretty much everything I learned (and allowed myself to continue to believe, and “buy into”), in that church (and the teachers they subscribed to), was from a self-centered, feel-good, prideful, arrogant, man-centered, scripture-twisting, meetings out-of-order and chaotic, chasing after signs/wonders/miracles/visions, point-of-view (may sound harsh, but it is the truth)…! Even now, when I happen to hear any of these types of preachers on the TV, radio, or internet, I am continually appalled at the lack of humility, or any semblance of a reverential fear of The Lord! The longer I have been out of the WOF, and into The Word of God, the more I see it.

Also, I helplessly watch how the errors inherent in these teachings, and the “different” false Jesus that they offer, ruins the minds, hearts, and spirits of so many of those who follow, previously followed, or just happen to “run into” these false teachers. So many of these damaged, and broken, people are practically unreachable, because of the inherent spiritual abuse, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, longings for a “Word from the Lord” (outside of the Bible), dependency on “feelings” and emotions, the addiction of chasing “signs and wonders”, and sometimes even deep brainwashing (mind control) that they have gone through! It is an ongoing, dark, and terrible, travesty…!

One thing that these misled individuals REALLY need to know, is the following truth:

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. ~2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV (emphasis, mine)

I daresay, and testify, that since totally abandoning the practice of “railing” (along with teaching my children to stop this, also), the demonic activity, AND horrific nightmares, have almost COMPLETELY come to a halt in our household (after so many years of wasted, railing battles)! What we DO need to do is continue to be subject and obedient to The Lord, continuously keep on the armor of God, and proceed in His righteousness!

I (and my children) now simply either say, “The LORD rebuke you” (following the archangel Michael’s example), or simply call on the name of Jesus Christ!

It IS a battle we are in, but it is a “different” kind of battle. An individual, spiritual battle. Not a battle where we need to shout, and rail against the devil and his demons. It is a battle to keep ourselves (through the help of the Holy Spirit within us) in the ways that are listed in the scriptures below. It is from a place of making sure that we are in right-standing subjection and obedience to The Lord, that we are even able to resist the devil, so that he cannot get an easy foothold (or open doorway) into our lives.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. ~James 4:4-10 ESV (emphasis, mine)

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. ~Romans 13:11-14 ESV (emphasis, mine)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, ~Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV (emphasis, mine)

It really is simple, yet not always easy to do. With the help of the Holy Spirit, though, it does get easier, as each day goes by.

Even if after all of this, I find that the Lord lets the devil have his way with me, I now know that it is only to keep me humble (not just because I did not have “enough faith”, or I am “not doing something quite right”, or I do not have the “right positive confession” or “life verse”, or a myriad of “other” reasons I was given, by the WOF followers, and leaders), and to refine me by fire (to see if I really do stand with God), like silver is refined to become pure.

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,  and the Lord tests hearts. ~Proverbs 17:3 ESV

~Annette

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Devastation in the Southern USA

My prayers and thoughts are with those people in the South who are devastated by the recent tornadoes. I pray that those who are still trying to find their loved-ones will find them safe and sound, even if they are under rubble.

These precious people are dealing with so much, today, along with so many others, worldwide. Things seem to be accelerating at break-neck speed!
I really do believe that we are in the last, of the last days. I have never, in my life, seen the types of devastation and unrest, worldwide, as I have been seeing in just these last four months!

Please pray for the people involved in these many events and the many workers who are going in to extend a helping hand.  Also, please give whatever you yourself can, to help (ie. time, money, supplies, prayers, etc.).

The following are two possibilities of organizations who help with these types of disasters:

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_deadly_tornadoes/

http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-local/Home

I want to leave you with a prayer from Ephesians 3 (HCSB) ~

Prayer for Spiritual Power

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 [I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,  17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. [I pray] that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth [of God’s love], 19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us- 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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