Monday, September 15, 2008

Pentecostalism and Insanity

I am no expert on this issue (I am an electrical engineer by profession), but I have thought about this somewhat. I think that mentally ill people are attracted to Pentecostalism because of its irrationality and also because Pentecostalism condones insane and inappropriate behavior such as screaming, shouting, running, wailing, hopping, and other such things where insane people could fit right in and indulge their theatrics for attention. I think a large proportion of Pentecostal preachers are mentally ill also, given that the overwhelming majority of them are uneducated, and that there is no requirement for rigorous scholarship to become a Pentecostal “minister.” I understand that the level of education one has is not a determinant of mental illness, and that intelligent people can also be mentally ill; I am just speaking in general terms and general trends.

I also believe, based upon my studies, that Pentecostals and many Ex-Pentecostals who have not had appropriate therapy, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You will find many Pentecostals suffering PTSD symptoms as follows: stomach ulcers, depression, disassociation, troubled sleep, irritability and outbursts, difficulty concentrating or remembering, hypervigilance (like extreme paranoia), exaggerated startle responses, etc.

I encourage all who are interested in PTSD to get “The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook,” by Glenn R. Schiraldi. It is available on Amazon and I have a copy, of which I have found great use.

The problem with the Ex-Pentecostal movement is that the field of psychology has not yet focused upon Pentecostalism; the closest material we can use at this stage of our history is the research done on cults – and, yes, some Pentecostal churches are cults. However, I have looked at PTSD symptoms, and also the symptoms of two other disorders that have been helpful in my studies: Disassociative disorder and De-personalization Disorder. You can Google either of these and find some useful information, and I think many here will see some parallel experiences with our Pentecostal experiences.

55 comments:

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Anonymous said...

It sounds to me that you are very Ill by attacking other people. I guess you are highly educated to speak on these terms, have you studied Theology or Psychology? I have never read of someone's hate as yours. I honestly hope you find peace some day. I feel sorry for you.

Rafael said...

Well, with all due respect for your concern for those for whom involvement in extremist Pentecostalism, I would submit that this Pentecostal minister who both blogs and speaks in tongues is far from mentally deficient, retains Christian integrity and takes exception to your broad brush approach to Pentecostalism.

I salute you for your on target decrying of the lunacy abroad in too much of the Pentecostal and Charismatic circuses .. but would categorically reject your simplistic diagnoses that because extremism in it exists that these are prima facie evidence that it is all one huge scam. I spent 5 years of my life at a major Pentecostal liberal arts college and think I have enough smarts to recognize truth, error and the difference between the two, by God's grace.

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Pastor Dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said...

As someone who knows psychology and theology really well. I have to agree with you. It isn't only insanity though, it is also lack of intelligence.

There have been many studies that focused on religion and IQ and literal following of religion and IQ.

The more religious a literal follow is, the less educated and intelligent they typically are. The less one believes in any God, the more likely their IQ is high.

Pentecostalism has only existed for 108 years, compared to mainstream Christian branches that have existed for over 1000 years. Most churches side with science, because it is what it is. While churches like Pentecostal churches, think that scientists lie to people.

Lutherius said...

Pastor Dave,

Can you please try to make coherent statements?

Lutherius

Anonymous said...

His point exactly if you didn't get what he just said.

Anonymous said...

Oops, my bad! I didn't read the post correctly, my apologies Lutherius. Actually I quite agree with everything you have said. I am coming out of an experience with the oneness pentecostals and am suffering ptsd. I am bipolar but they told me it was the devil because I was supposed to have been 'healed' from all of that, but 3 months off my medications prooved to me that I had better let my 'intelligence' work for me and go back on my meds. Well that didn't sit right with my husband, Pastor and all. They tried to cast out the demons, but alas it was just that I didn't 'want it for myself'. I believe these people are very dangerous.

charliedog said...

Back in 1994, I attented a large church in London, run by very intelligent people. Lawyers who have been to Oxford and who then became vicars. And yet when a particular scam called The Toronto Blessing "hit" were they dumb enough to say "Oh great- it is the holy spirit...and if you don't think it is good people, then you are speaking from satan's point of view." So, on paper, these were some of the most highly educated people on the planet. But in reality, Reverend Dumb, and Reverend Dumber.
ALOT of people were damaged by this so called Toronto Blessing, because it was Insantity.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i'm psychologist, i'm italian so please excuse my english.
There is too many dinamics to discuss this on a blog.
Lutherus you have noticed something important that happened to me too after few years of pentecostal cults.
It's 3 years that i look for answers and i found some.
We need to talk...
this is my mail:
luigisorrentino.psi@virgilio.it

libresansdieu said...

I am an ex pentacostal christian and I remember that when I was with that movement I often had the feeling that I was experiencing a movie. Also I was afraid that other people were not real, I had the impression that they were made of cardboard (in 2 dimensions). Makes sense!

Lutherius said...

Proud Pentecostal Woman,

Do you hear yourself?

"I may not be highly educated.."

"..or my husband either.."

And your husband is a preacher? And "not highly educated"?

And he "...didn't need college and theology study..."

So, you are admitting that he is unqualified to be a minister, but you are ranting against this blog?

Are you nuts?

Perhaps you should be ranting and raving against your husband for pretending to be something he is not...as most Pentecostal preachers do.

I left your comment up to show to the world how crazy you people are.

Are you not embarrassed to write this stuff?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the apostles had formal education. I mean, they couldn't have been mere uneducated fishermen. I like the fact that Jesus chose his disciples out of the priest and pharisees who studied and dedicated their life to the knowledge of the law. Or did he? You see I don't actually pay attention in my Apostolic church due to all the shenanigans going on. That would be absurd.

Alwin Daniel said...

Love it man!!! You are absolutely right..

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with this post. I have a few friends that have embraced Pentecostalism and I love them dearly - but they all are of the same "type" of personality. They are easily led astray and the normal person would label them as being "odd". I've said in the past that the people that are pentecostal are either not quite right to begin with and that's how they fall for this religion or being in this religion makes them odd. I haven't quite figured that one out yet.

Amanda said...

I have just been thinking about this. A very close friend of mine was raised by a single, pentacostal, mother.
And to say that mentally ill people are attracted to this bizarre group, as far as my experience is true. My friends mother is a narcissistic psychopath and acts like a cult leader. She was never a mother to him, just a perfect discription of a cult leader and created a brainwashing situation instead of a childhood.
Now I notice severe cognitive dissociation with him. At least he doesnt attend the pentacostal church anymore and knows that its mad.
Also, suggesting PTSD is a great point! To see your mother acting crazy during creepy ceremonies and being forced to involve yourself in them must really confuse and traumatize a childs psyche.

Ben W. said...

It's an interesting theory. I wonder if the act of testifying is a form of group therapy. If you listen to enough Pentecostal testimonies, clearly many of the followers of this sect, particularly the most zealous, have been deeply hurt and are still healing.

Anonymous said...

I've had bad experiences with a pentecostal church but to be fair, other pentecostal ministers in the region were also very concerned about that particular church because it was too cultish. The pastor is a middle aged man with mental health issues. He sends abusive text messages to people who step on his toes and during bible study he used my nieces cell phone to phone my dad to tell him how bad I am but he then started to go on about how he didn't wreck my sister's marriage. The guy is nuts.

MontBlanc1 said...

Dear Anonymous, I have studied both Theology and Psychology at Central Bible College. Now I am Reformed after 17 years of attending an Assemblies of God church, and their school. My professors (4) of them earned their PHD's from Reformed seminaries. On my blog www.5pointcalvinism.wordpress.com I do NOT illustrate hate. I would encourage you to read Thomas Brooks work "Heaven on Earth" and Thomas Hookers' work "The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ." Both these works address those who struggle with assurance of salvation and will prove beneficial if you believe you are going to hell. Jesus said,"Come unto me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest." While I believe that the Pentecostal gifts are for today and have NOT ceased, so to do numerous Reformed Theologians. John Frame, Vernon Sheridan Poythress, Wayne Grudem are just a few. D.A. Carson stated that "both sides can learn from each other." I hope you find this beneficial. You can email me direct at solascriptura95@yahoo.com

Respectfully Yours, Tom Michnay

Anonymous said...

Lutherius, I have grown up in a Oneness Pentecostal atmosphere and have to say it is one of the greatest things you will ever experience. The move of God is always evident. I have never heard someone so judgemental. I agree with a young woman who earlier commented that there is only one judge, and that is God. There is a story in the Bible that is talking about a woman who committed adultery. The people were going to stone her but Jesus said that the only person that could through the first stone must have no sin. So who are you to judge others.

fergie2000 said...

I agree with you Lutherius. I was in the pentacostal movement for two decades and had huge emotional problems. Five years ago i was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder which I firmly believe was caused by the stress of not being able to live up to the expectations of the church and the confusing message it gave. I was not able to be the real authentic me. Everything was either minimised or spiritualised. Thankfully I didnt leave all my brains at the door and walked away with some sanity intact. I too suffer from PTSD and have had counselling for two years. It's the hardest thing to grieve. I think its going to take a long time

Gary Marble said...

I think the focus on education does not quite get to the root issue. There might be a general tendency toward a lack of education in some quarters of Pentecostalism, especially classical Pentecostals, but not quite as much with neo-Pentecostalism. I think the real problem has to do with revelation. By that I mean, what is the authority that one appeals to for reality? In Pentecostalism there is a real tension between the personal subjective inner revelation and the objective written Word of God in the Scriptures. They state the Bible is the ultimate authority, and that any personal revelation is subject to the Bible, and this is the only thing that stops total apostasy of the movement; but why is it that often a prophecy in a church service has more weight to it than just standing up and reading a Bible verse? Why is a "fresh" word is held in such high regard? Why do so many sermons start off with the Lord gave me a word for you this morning?
This tension of two competing levels of authority tends to make one more vulnerable to false teaching, every wind of doctrine, and makes it difficult for them to objectively think through doctrinal matters.
As far as mental illness, I do not know, but honestly for some the personal revelation can lead to some mental instability and difficulty to reason well, and for others they manage to live with the tension; but why live with it?
If one holds to sola scriptura (Scripture Alone) there is no need to competing authorities. God speaks through the Bible alone, and that is the only authority one looks to.
It is not a cold, sterile, dead,and dry way of walking with Christ, after all the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it is alive and active. What is dead and dry about that?
There are exeptions, but most Pentecostals (probably most Evangelicals for that matter), they can't give you a good explanation of justification, God decress, or even what the gospel is.
The issue is that to grow in our Christian walk we need solid Bible doctrine, and since Pentecostals often rely on God's direct revelation to them personally, in addition to their Bible's, there tends to be a neglect of the written word of God. And a tendency to not connect the various doctrines of the Bible together into any kind of coherent system, leaving them theologically inconsistent and ignorant.
As a graduate of an Assembly of God college (Vanguard University now), I was given, by the college, a two volume edition of The Assemblies of God, by Edith Blumhofer. Ironically, that book helped me see that I needed to leave Pentecostalism. It is precisely because of the competing authorities of inner subjective vs. written objective revelation that I left the AG denomination. As Pentecostals go, AG is pretty conservative, but the doctrinal diversty and aberant doctrines just became too much.
I am now a Reformed Baptist.

LadyG said...

I am conflicted. On the one hand, you raise issues that I too have experienced and had to find answers for, things that have caused me great difficulty and pushed me to look beyond Pentecostalism. On the other, how I experience truth does not define the truth itself. I do not consider myself an ex-Pentecostal, though I was raised in a Pentecostal faith system with many of the warts you describe; not a "Oneness" a sect, something I have no experience in. I don't necessarily consider myself non-Pentecostal, either. In fact, I've summarily rejected defining my faith walk by any certain institutional label--perhaps my own form of pushback against one of Pentecostalism's flaws. Yet in it, God instilled, nurtured and preserved in me a passion to intelligently and intimately know him, AND experience spiritual reality in "real time". I have a wide net of friends, people of various streams of the Christian faith, and because life is not a perfect science, all of them/us have imperfect formative faith experiences unique to our environments. At the end of the day, that we are God-conscious and alive to spiritual reality at all is a miracle of His grace. I would plead with you and others to walk in that same spirit as we all try to follow Christ. That is, in my view, the real miracle of The Church, that He continues to work in us at all, given our excesses and inconsistencies. Thanks be to God for his ongoing work of redemption--even redemption from the flaws of those of us who call ourselves Christian--in all its expressions. (Ref Eph 4:1-6)

Speaking In Tongues Unlike anything else said...

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Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. After taking a psychology option last semester in my university, I came to realize how close Pentecostalism can come towards certain types of schizophrenia. Couldn't anyone agree?

Anonymous said...

I went to a UPC Pentecostal church for a short time in Crockett Texas in the mid 1990's. The peacher there was extremely judgemental, called a young woman a whore for having a child out of wedlock even though she clearly just made a mistake and was looking for a relationship with God, he called people there very evil and dirty names behind their back. It was like he was judging like God and not offering forgiveness, only preaching hellfire and brimstone. He was the sinner of the worst kind. Using the pulpit to make others feel awful and hurling evil insults and judging as though he were God when he should have preached forgiveness and God's love. It was disgusting and I ran as fast as I could from that denomination!

SCM said...

As a Pentecostal Chaplain who also holds MS in Marriage, Family, and Child therapy, I find your generalization disturbing. Without reflecting on how you have dealt with your personal experience, I must say that there are significant differences between Oneness Pentecostals and Trinitarian Pentecostals. However, some responses revealed personal frustrations and changes in religious beliefs that others from non-Pentecostal groups encounter. Should we conclude that those people are insane and attempt to attached mental health diagnosis to them. What religious body can claim that their membership is free from mental health related issues? What assessment and diagnostic tools did you use? How reliable and valid are the tools you are using to make your assessment? How many people in your case study?

Anonymous said...

Lutherius,

I completely empathize with you. I see this blog as a way for you to work out your bitterness and frustration with the Pentecostal church, which is very cathartic for you. I would only suggest that you don't "put down" everyone who has chosen to remain in the pentecostal church because then it appears as if you are spreading hatred. I mean all of this in the nicest way possible. I am also a former Pentecostal having been born into the denomination and only having left it in 2003. All of my family members have either stayed steadfast in their "pentecostal" beliefs or have completely left church altogether. I am the "black sheep" in my family because I am now a member of the United Methodist church. I completely understand how the pentecostal church can really "mess with your mind." The church I grew up in consisted of my uncle as the preacher. When I was around 10 years old, he was found to have been molesting young boys for the last 20-30 years, picking his victims from the pulpit. It nearly destroyed my family. Several family members had been abused by him for years. We were all taught that you do not question authority figures within the church. This man supposedly spoke in tongues and was a man of God. My question has always been, "How could God have bestowed the gift of tongues on someone who was a closet child molester?" I've never received an easy answer other than he had received the gift of tongues as a young man before he became a vile, detestable man and his spirit remembered the gift and made itself known by the utterance of tongues. Aside from that insanity, I remember the churches I attended after that all taught that science and religion cannot exist together, the Bible was to be taken literally, guilt, shame and fear was something that was instilled in us in every church service. It amazed me that a church who claimed to be so close to God because of all the "signs" needed to have revivals all the time. I've been in services where they did a Jericho march, where congregants were called forward to be prayed for, where Satan was talked about more than God, where God's wrath was talked about way more than His Love. I lived it for 30 years. I still find myself reverting back to the ways I was taught simply because it is all I know. I feel like I'm having to delete all the files that I've collected so far and start from scratch. It's been a difficult journey. My husband calls it a cult. He had never seen such things before. He was raised in a Christian Church. It is strange. I began researching world religions and denominations of the Christian faith several years ago and determined that if current Pentecostals knew about their church "roots," they probably wouldn't go back. I left in 2003 and it has taken me all the years since then to de-program. Although I am still reminded by family members that I go to a "dead" church and they still hope that I will come back to the "one, true church." To be honest, I still don't know how I believe about everything. I have tried a few different other denominations. I suspect that I will continue to find my path to God. In the meantime, I will extend love and tolerance to Pentecostals in the hopes that one day they will also see the truth and light that is God, not Pentecostalism.

Benny said...

After many years in a Pentecostal church, and now many years out of one, I would suggest it is the lack of accountability structure that is its biggest weakness. Once upon a time I would have believed that a church structure hindered the movement of the Holy Spirit, now I believe it helps the church to not so easily launch on scriptural tangents.

Benny said...

I know people who are still in the Pentecostal church, they are forever attending "life changing" courses, healings, etc. The irony is they haven't changed much in nearly 20 years, and they still think the next course is going to bring them that long sought after carrot.
Mind you, they are always paying money for these life changing events.

JaniceMinnett said...

I have a question, and I was wondering if you could ask you by email instead? If you'd be ok with that, my email c.j.minnett@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Everything which exists in this physical realm is finite and must therefore preserve its consistency. Hence, Organisations, organisms, people and other aninals, by any means necessary, have to provide for their existence. One way to sustain oneself is to increasingly take control of ressources. Ressources can be internal or external. Using that logic, it is a sound course of action, that Churches by any means necessary, take control of their constituants.
On another note, I am going through a divorce. Since I left the house, my ex-wife has been bringing the my kids regularly to the Pentecostals. My 15 year old daughter came to visit me with 2 bibles in her handbag. And a month ago, my 9 year old was telling me about what they do in HER religion. Well, the term Parental Alienation Disorder or Syndrome is almost going mainstream. I suggest that what is going on in some of these religions is Religious Alienation Disorder.
Religion is a system... Like any living being, it has to try to sustain its own existence.
Beware people, everything which exists is just a subset of ideas.

MontBlanc1 said...

As a reformed Christian, it is important to note that many reformed scholars have written excellent treatises on the Biblical use of tongues/prophecy. John Frame and Vern Poythress are two great examples.

Bill Scudder said...

Much of what is said on this forum is exaggerated. I am a Baptist Pectecostal. None of the Pentecostal, (Assembly of god, Chruch of God, Open Bible etc, are not as you claim. I do believe that the UPC,(Oneness) borders on the occult and believe they are saved by works.

Bill
Azusa755@sbcglobal.net

Bill Scudder said...

It seems as though most of the so-called former Pentecostals are from the Oneness or UPC church. that I can uderstand. It is not the mainstream of Pentecost and is probably a cult. There are many good pentecostal churchs, AG,COG, Open Bible, etc.

As for those that have gone to Calvinism, they have no assurance of salvation because the believe that they do not know if they are of the elect until they die.

Azusa755@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

i have a 9-year old stepson whose biological father is a hardcore pentecostal. he (the 9-year old) is an obvious candidate for bi-polar disorder, and is in frequent trouble at school. his father, 'tho, won't hear anything about possible medication for the boy.....in fact, he encourages & rewards his negative behavior, and the pentecostal church has been a perfect vehicle for said behavior. someone else mentioned the lack of accountability with pentecostals, and that person is right on the money. apparently the boy buys into that angle as much as any.....needless to say, whenever he returns home after a visitation with his biological father, to put it bluntly, he's practically off-the-rails brainwashed. it's put a tremendous strain on the marriage, and i'm this close to having a less-than-civil confrontation with the biological father. i don't know if i have a point to share, but stumbling across this blog made me feel a little reassured that i'm not imagining any of this.....

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with your blog post. I was raised in Oneness Pentecostalism. The church I grew up in was very much a cult, although I know many other pastors and leaders who are not cult like.
I have suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, sleeplessness, personality disorder, disassociative disorder... two divorces (from Pentecostal pastors who were so abusive verbally and physically) raised four sons on my own...
I've been in counseling for the past 15 years and my Psychologist said the same thing... The Pentecostal sect tends to attract people who have disorders of some kind.
I believe I was an emotional junkie... I needed to get my "fix" at church.
I still believe in the Holy Spirit. I still speak in tongues. I still believe in God. In fact, I still believe many of the doctrines of the Oneness movement.
But I am no longer involved in their organization. No longer a music minister (was for over 30 years). No longer married to a Pentecostal preacher...
I still enjoy the presence of God. But I am no longer subject to the controlling, manipulative, abusive, unbalanced leadership on the Oneness movement.
Yet most of them (my family members are still Oneness Pentecostal pastors and missionaries) would say I am backslidden and on my way to hell...
I am happy and at peace with God.

Anonymous said...

I think pentecostalism can cause mental illness through an unstructured way of life, sponteneity and alienation. When we open doorways into our minds curiosity into a world that has no functionality I think that it can cause disfunction in relationships, poor judgement, irrational thinking. Children who are fit and well see things lodgically, all logic vanishes when you become a pentecostal. This goes against Christian teaching. I also think that these cults attract mentally ill people because they are vulnerable, and the cults themselves know who to target, people who need love and support therefore drawing them in not to strengthen them as a good Church would but to make them identical to them. I have never settled since I received the Holy Spirit in that way, I was already a Christian but I was brainwashed into thinking that that was the only way to go on. I was vulnerable at the time needing support.

Janey said...

If pentecostal groups resemble cults in any respect, I think it's in the feeling of exclusivity and the shunning of outsiders or "backsliders" (former insiders, who committed some sin or managed to offend the leadership, usually by asking too many embarrassing questions). PTSD would be a response, I think, to bullying that ex-members often experience.

Rachel said...

This could explain why my wife and her family (mother, brothers and sisters) are all on the same pain meds, stomach meds and anti-depressants. I always thought it was strange but I was told the complete thing was heriditary. Maybe not after reading this post!

Anonymous said...

When the apostles spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost, they actually spoke other languages, so that those who were listening, understood, each in his own language, yet the apostles new not what they were speaking, as they only new their language. Since the tower of Babel, the people only spoke one language. God caused different languages to occur and separated each group of languages. So, we had diff languages. Abraham, a Jew, was the first person to have a covenant with God, so, God chose the Jews as his chosen people to be an example for the rest of mankind. On the day of pentecost, God annointed the apostle's with the gift of tongues (real languages of other nations), so that they could reach the rest of the world. Prior to pentecost, God only spoke to the Jews. Now, God used the Jews to preach to the gentiles salvation. Corinthians 13:10, "but when perfection comes (the completed word of God), the imperfect (tongue speaking, prophecies, miraculous signs, wonders, knowledge), will cease & pass away. For we know in part (a portion of God's word). Once the word was completed, we no longer needed the gifts of the holy spirit or a preacher. The tongues speaking in Pentecostal churches are not the tongue speaking the apostle spoke. Pentecost churches are cults that cause so many people into deception. I'm not judging the Pentecostal church's, as I was one myself nearly 16 yrs. There are so many good people in the pentecostal churches, including the Pastor's, but even they themselves have been deceived, they just aren't aware of it yet. My Lord Jesus has delivered me & healed my mind from the lies and deceptions of the devil. Please read, pray and ask God for guidance. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Mallory said...

I'm so glad I've found this. I am a 21 Year old female who was raised by my grandparents .
From an early age, about 6, my grandmother constantly encourage me to receive the holy ghost by speaking in tongues. I was told that if I did not receive the holy ghost by speaking in tongues, that I would be left behind while everyone else was taken to heaven. Needless to say, when I couldn't speak in tongues, I was completely terrified. I carried this fear with me constantly for years. I would jump at any little sound, cry myself to sleep fearful that I would wake up alone. I'd go to church and wonder why I was the only one He wouldn't save. My grandparents would tell me I wasn't opening myself up to it. I prayed and prayed that I would speak in tounges, all to no avail. As a teen I gave up. I became completely rebellious to any form of authority, but I still carried the fear. I longed to know God, but no idea of how to find him. I decided to forget everything I had ever learned about religion, which was NOT easy. My family was Pentecostal so I had noone to turn to with my questions. I started to pray for a real relationship, and to be led to a church that taught the real truth. It never occurred to me that there could be others who felt the same way.
I too have noticed that the Pentecostal church is filled with weak minded people. I've always wondered why that was the case. Thanks for this. :)

maples said...

This world tells us there's something wrong with us disease. The bible teaches that Jesus heals all disease. People I will pray for all of us to be in unity . And that our faith may grow. It is impossible to please God without faith.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this subject is no one can prove Pentecostalism wrong without looking at Christianity at its entirety. People say that Pentecostals stray from the Bible, but that assumption suggests that Christianity is the only true religion. Christianity wasn't the first religion, there were many religions that existed years prior to its existence. The fact that Christianity happens to be the dominat religion in North America doesn't prove it valid. Can you explain how Christianity is anymore true than Hinduism, Islam, and Neo-Paganism just to name a few.

P.S. And to those who use to be Pentecostal, it's perfectly normal to react angrily towards a religion you whole-heartedly believed in. There is no malice in questioning your faith with facts.

Not a penny any more said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

From what I read about the pentacostal movement, their's a very dark message specially neopentacostal churches and my understanding is that this message is straight from hell. The ministers and preachers pastors and bishops all use the bible and use their life experiance as a morality for everybody. There's also a high level of $$$ demand that's in place of grace and salvation for eternal life in heaven - everything is for here and now on this earth so that the more money you give to God the better off you are and the closer to God you will be. There also seem to be a lot of idolatry and mental enslavement in this movement and its ripe for the picking for people that are true Christians. There's a group called uckg or cukg or something like that and their very controvercial. Its made up of a family called Macedos Bezera and Cristian Cardozo. They do heavy marketing on their websites and have large followings of people for themselves, they give a lot of importance on themselves and not on God - to me thats a big ego problem and idolatry. Take a look at the Cardosos wife website and read some of her stuff she's a type A personality thats being full of herself and with herself. Theirs no substance to her blog, it's like look at me and look at me some more with so many pictures. Their's no realness to neopentacostalism, just hand over your hard-earned cash and call it a day. It's all a SCAM. Watch out for neopentacostal and cuckg or universal. Dont become a slave in your spirit cause I read a lot of people cant get out once their in even if they try - they become like spiritual slaves. The best thing is get away and pray and pray and pray.

Raymond Jr said...

I was raised in a Pentecostal Church and I left when I was 22. I have joined The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since then and can't be happier. My life in the Pentecostal Church was a nightmare to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I agree on the point about post -Pentecostalism stress disorder. I, too, have recently disassociated myself from a 13-year association as a leader in a Pent. Church. I have difficulty resolving issues since leaving, such as anger, betrayal, shame, guilt, and rejection from members of leadership.

I became involved with this denomination as an adult Christian who was reconnecting to God after many years of separation. I knew little about the Bible and its teaching, and was so eager to learn about God and his word that I was trusting of the leadership, which was taught. Over the past three to five years, I became restless and was unsure of the origin. A closer connection into the core of the leadership of this church revealed things that did not seem right to me.

The top leaders became distant, cold, and hard in their leadership style. They did not like ANY questions about ANYTHING. The church was immersed in legalism and religion, but I did not understand what this was until God opened my eyes to it. Then I knew what I had to do- leave. I continue to pray for this church, its leaders and members. I truly want this to be a be a house of God where the truth of God's word is preached and lived out everyday.

Anonymous said...

If you look at any church there's bound to be some people with mental health issues, as well as physical issues. A church is basically a hospital for the terminally ill.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe in using a broad brush to categorize. However, it is true that the doctrinal practices that are generally applied will influence beliefs. Now since there are observed practices that promote what.arw not supported in the Bible, it is understandable if the expected behaviors, held as scriptural, are considered duboius at best.

Anonymous said...

I might have to agree with some of the statements the writer made. I retired to a semi rural area in Connecticut and searched for a church. I did indeed find that the pentecostal churches seem to draw the type of people who have more life issues and are less educated and seem to have emotional issues in addition to having come from and sere currently involved in unstable home lives, poverty, addiction and similar situations. I noticed that folks who attend the quieter churches are more inclined to have come from more stable backgrounds, generally seemed to do better in live, strive for better jobs and stressed education with their children. When I heard the pastor at the Pentecostal church claim that the church can't raise the dead because they have too little faith That was when I walked out and never went back.

Anonymous said...

I am generally accepting of others belief systems and philosophies. I have had personal exposure to my aunt and ex-neighbor who are Pentecostal and my aunt who is charismatic Pentecostal. Pentecostalism appears to violate the feelings and rights of others.
The one thing that ceases to amaze me is their self-righteous jibber but yet they live like idle glutton. My previous neighbor caused much trouble in our neighborhood spinning lies about people yet still believing she is in no wrong. I feel personally that many Pentecostals are mentally ill or suffer from some form of psychiatric disorder.
I feel for many individuals that have suffered spiritual abuse from this religion.

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Anonymous said...

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