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Crazy Things You Did/experienced In The Church


sarahgrace
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I don't know if this is going to be a popular thread, or even if it's in the right forum, but I was just wondering if there was anyone out there on Ex-C who has a similar church background to mine... My church was crazy about the Toronto Airport movement and got all into the falling all over the place and babbling and making animal noises and convulsing on the floor. Looking back on it, it seems really spooky, and not even in a funny way. It's even scarier to think that I was completely hooked on this stuff.

 

I found that the 'spiritual experience' became like an addiction... one of their buzzwords is 'More, Lord!' and people would constantly fall out or go into even more ecstatic states as a response to this 'prayer'... it was like a preconditioned response. I did it too. I've been 'slain in the spirit', spoken in tongues, convulsed uncontrollably, screamed and yelled... I've even been exorcised by a hyper-evangelical charismatic 'deliverance minister.'

 

Twice.

 

Honestly I think I've been pretty severely damaged by all this stuff and I'm only just now starting to realize just how much. For example I often feel as if I have to keep watching my back or a demon's going to 'get me'. Sometimes if I hear recordings of that sort of revival conference, or that kind of preaching or prayer I still have this gut reaction that I can't explain... it's like a feeling of deep, profound longing for something you're missing out on. Sometimes I catch myself missing those types of services. I know it's totally and completely ridiculous, but I'm sure many if not all of you can understand how long it takes for reason to trump that gut feeling that gets programmed into you.

 

So, has anyone else had an insano-charismatic church experience? How do you think it affected you in the long term? How did you begin repairing the damage?

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Can't say I ever went to a charismatic church back when I was a Christian; however I did do some pretty weird stuff like trying to preform exorcisms, casting out evil spirits (By exorcism, I don't mean just yelling "Be gone evil spirit", I mean tying someone up and sprinkling 'holy' water on them and the whole lot.) Of course I used to think demons where out to get me and were talking to me. I was a lunatic and I know I made an utter fool of myself looking back on things. I know I offended and hurt people with all the crap I used to spout when I was a Christian.

 

I think it's a normal response when you've grown up in a certain way (no matter how harmful) to some times even miss it. And it does take a long time to get rid of the Christian mind viruses.

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My charismatic church allowed speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. We went there for five years but the time that sort of blew me away was when a woman started *prophesying* in tongues on one side of the church, while at the other side a man *interpreted*. The *prophecy* was about the end times being near. That was year 3 at the church....still waiting.

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I had the standing in a room full of people going "allelujahallelujahblabbadabbabllabba" plus a pastor telling me that God had told him to join the church. Plus I saw people weeping in prayer sessions at a weekend retreat.

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My family once took me to one of those sermons where the preacher will give you anything you ask for - anything - you'd just have to believe. I'd see people go up, ask him for something, he would put his hand on their head, they'd fall to the floor, and they'd get what they asked for. I decided I wanted hands that could heal people like Jesus did. I took my spot at the front and told the preacher what "Gift" I wanted from God. He put his hand on my head, screamed his prayer, and pushed down on my head as he yelled. Being rather athletic, I did not fall like the others; I simply stepped back as he pushed on my head. I was expecting my body to go limp like the others did, but it did not. I wasn't sure if I had received my "Gift" or not, but for a while, I went around fairly certain that I indeed posessed hands that had a magical ability to heal. When I finally realized that I probably did not posess such powers, I figured there was something wrong with me because I didn't fall like everyone else that day.

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I started having anxiety attacks if I heard the word "hell" or "holy spirit", even if it was on tv. I would start feeling panicky and mentally start asking Jesus to forgive my sins and save me, but that only made it worse and then I would get short of breath.

 

I can totally identify with this one. I have mild OCD, and am prone to getting stuck in mental ruts if I am not vigilant over my own cognitive stream (I just came up with that two word phrase, and it sounds like some Scientologist prattle - :twitch: ). I remember specifically as a child, saying over and over again in my head "I love god, I hate the devil", for fear I'd otherwise be damned. I couldn't concentrate at school and I couldn't enjoy movies, or other usually fun things, because of this damned broken record I played in my head. Yeah, basically I was bonkos! :eek: I am glad I was able to break the mental shackles the unholy combo of OCD and Xianity had on me and regain my sanity. My OCD is now mainly confined to a general germophobia, which I appease by always having moist toilettes and Purell (truly heaven-sent accoutrements, GLORY!).

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Ok, here is the article courtesy of Brother Jeff: http://www.dicksutphen.com/html/battlemind.html

 

That's an excellent article! Thanks so much for posting that.

 

In your longer post, which was very good, were you talking about Rodney Howard-Browne? The 'Holy Ghost Bartender'? I've never been to one of his services but John Arnott of TACF went through a phase when he absolutely gushed about this guy and was determined to pass on the 'blessings' from his ministry. The hysterical laughter is one of the very few things that I don't think I ever experienced... not as far as I can remember, anyway. But it's kinda scary... taking inventory of my memory of when I was involved in this movement, and finding gaping holes... times when I know I was at a particular service or conference, with a particular speaker or worship leader, but I can't remember what went on. It's weird because normally I have a very good, very detailed memory. Could this have something to do with altered states?

 

I've learned a bit about hypnosis and inductions in the last while and the guy who exorcised me actually used a hypnotic induction to call up whatever demons were apparently in me at the time. I can't remember what happened after the induction at all... both times.

 

odd.

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I grew up in a church where:

  • The worship leader would sing the same song for 30 minutes because "the spirit was moving".
  • The pastor would routinly say things like "I sense an urgency in the Holy Ghost tonight, and I feel that if someone's life doesn't change, I'll be going to two funerals this week."
  • The people would yell and scream at the top of their lungs, telling some invisible man how great he was.
  • People would start running, sometimes running into people, walls, decor, pews...you name it.
  • People would shout and dance and kick the people behind them in the shins.
  • People would start spinning around, arms flailing like a helicopter.
  • People would fall on the floor and begin to roll back and forth.
  • People would lay hands on other people and shake them around.
  • People would point fingers and yell "I rebuke you Satan, get out of this church!" at people who refused to partake in the worship service.

The list could go on and on. Nineteen years of that -- I got used to it. It wasn't anything to see someone running around yelling stuff about God or wailing at the top of their lounges, weeping profusely because "God" was moving. I never participated in this -- most I ever did was clap and sing.

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I grew up in a church where:
  • The worship leader would sing the same song for 30 minutes because "the spirit was moving".
  • The pastor would routinly say things like "I sense an urgency in the Holy Ghost tonight, and I feel that if someone's life doesn't change, I'll be going to two funerals this week."
  • The people would yell and scream at the top of their lungs, telling some invisible man how great he was.
  • People would start running, sometimes running into people, walls, decor, pews...you name it.
  • People would shout and dance and kick the people behind them in the shins.
  • People would start spinning around, arms flailing like a helicopter.
  • People would fall on the floor and begin to roll back and forth.
  • People would lay hands on other people and shake them around.
  • People would point fingers and yell "I rebuke you Satan, get out of this church!" at people who refused to partake in the worship service.

The list could go on and on. Nineteen years of that -- I got used to it. It wasn't anything to see someone running around yelling stuff about God or wailing at the top of their lounges, weeping profusely because "God" was moving. I never participated in this -- most I ever did was clap and sing.

 

I went to a pentecostal church for a few years that was exactly like this. The funny thing was, at the time I believed it. I never did the speaking in tounges, laughing hystarically, or screaming thing. For years I thought that God didn't like me as much as those who did, that there was too much sin in my life, or that I wasn't praying hard enough. But after reading some other posts I realize that I just am not hypnotized easily.

 

When flipping through the channels I sometimes catch a glimpse of some of this stuff on the tv sermons. I wish that someone would start telling those people to get in touch with reality for a change.

 

Here's the laugh of the weekend for me: I got an e-mail from a former pastor who was asking people to pray for Saddam's future. They think that there was still time for him to be rescued from his sins. This came just as Saddam was minutes away from being executed. That's a little out of touch with reality for me.

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Ah well I was Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.. but we were pretty tame compared to other peoples posts..

 

Personally the crazy things that I did.. Thinking that if I just got close with god.. I would be set free from bondage and be able to live my life as I wanted.

 

Mental illness does not exsist.. it is all spiritual war and oppression.

 

All physical illnesses are caused by the spirtiual realm

 

Jesus can save you from this all...

 

Experiencing virtigo durning spiritual prayer/inner healing meetings.. and other kind of crazy things.. but the women who led it really didn't like dramatics.. Unusual I know.. we always sat down on a chair when being ministered to. After one such time, I went home and was sick and had headaches for a few hours latter. I thought I was called to go into the ministry.

 

Visons and a feeling of leaving your body and entering into the holyiest of holyies.. that warm fluffy peace

 

And yes because of this charasmatic prayer/spirtitual inner healing experiences I really believed I had experienced god and that no one could convince me otherwise.. I was just fed up with religion and would find my way back to the church community when I wanted to and could find the right new church home. The women who led it would know things about you without you hardly telling her anything.. I could see jesus in her eyes and she would get words from jesus. I wanted to be just like her she traveled the world doing miracles and setting people free including many non-believers who became believers. Then her husband died.. and I started to wonder why god could be so creul to take her husband away. I still struggle with thease experiences to a certain degree, because they seemed so real and she seemed to know so much that I had no told her. Though I did try to contact her when I beginning my deconversion a few months ago.. I left a brief voicemail message... but surprise surprise I have not heard back from her... If the god cares so much about lost sheep.. you would think her would have told her to call me and get me back to the flock. I read books on science and the pschology of belief and reason to try to conteract thease very emotional/spiritual experiences of mine.

 

Trying really hard to speak in tongues.. then finally singing in tongues.. trying to repeat the experience again but never being able to..Except for when I was in a motor vechical accident a few years latter when I was so scared as the car was spinning that I called out for Jesus... and once out of the car started speaking in tongues..

 

I was convinced that because it formly was my very religous grandmothers car who plead the blood of jesus over it everyday.. that was the reason neither my friend or I were seriously harmed..

 

I also thought the man that helped us was an angel.. and god had put the parked car at the side of the road to stop our car from whatever could have happened..

 

thought the two days before this happened when I was really doubting xianity that if I had not of asked jesus back into my heart that I might of being more serioulsy injured or killed.. that god protected us.

 

Turns out I needed physio, I eventually recover.. said friend still suffers from pain to this day five years latter.. though half of it the medical proffession thinks is all in her head. They can't find a scientific explaination for her pain. Thought that god would heal her from the pain.. and one day we would give our testomines and lead many other to christ.

 

Praying for parking spots... praying with my family for god to send angel mechanics to fix the broken car and keep the gas tank full till we can get to the gas station..

 

I feel really silly now for believing those things, I was too strong willed and minded to believe everything in the bible literally like many fundy do.. but I was a beliver but I do think most of it had to do with being brainwashed since the womb to believe it all.

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I was the official "catcher" for a charasmatic church. I would stand behind the person being prayed for and catch them as the fell under the "power of God". I soon realized that the pastor was having the people close their eyes and he was able to give them a push making them fall. I once tried an experiment where insteat of catching the people I actually held them up. I was able to do this for about 5 people but on the 6th one the man was very tall and heavy and I just wasn't able to hold him up. The pastor used this as an example of the power of God taking two people down..

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I was the official "catcher" for a charasmatic church. I would stand behind the person being prayed for and catch them as the fell under the "power of God". I soon realized that the pastor was having the people close their eyes and he was able to give them a push making them fall. I once tried an experiment where insteat of catching the people I actually held them up. I was able to do this for about 5 people but on the 6th one the man was very tall and heavy and I just wasn't able to hold him up. The pastor used this as an example of the power of God taking two people down..

 

Hey, welcome, southdakota! I've never been a 'catcher' but i've been caught a whole bunch of times. I remember the first time i was 'slain' was in a Pentecostal church... i was in high school and there was a guest speaker at the youth meeting. They gave the altar call for everyone who wanted to be 'filled with the spirit'... of course i went up to the front. I've never been one for the weeping (i'm emotionally constipated :HaHa: ) but the moment was pretty intense. I was praying as I waited for the preacher to come and pray over me... when he got to me he said 'raise your hands.' so i did, to about shoulder level, kinda like this --> :shrug: . He said, 'no, raise them higher. All the way up.' So I did. Then he did the whole push down on my head thing and my knees buckled, and down I went. I believed at the time that it was the Holy Spirit, but now I can see that I probably wouldn't have fallen if my balance hadn't been off due to having my arms up in the air.

 

Charismatic preachers are Class 'A' manipulators!

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I was only in Charismatic churches for about 10 years, but I made up for lost time.

 

- I was given several words of knowledge/prophecy in a foreign tongue

- Sang in praise & worship team, did lots of hand-extending in prayer for others

- Participated in prayer sessions for healing and exorcism

- Sent over a thousand dollars to Kenneth Copeland's ministry

- Experienced God's presence and fell to the floor (by myself, on more than one occasion)

- Led praise & worship for five years

- Did the holy laughter thing when Rodney Howard-Browne came through Fort Worth

 

When some church members started doing the Brownsville thing, doing birthing crunches up at the front of church during altar calls, that's when I started pulling back. They then implemented spiritual warfare mapping/praying which involved driving wooden stakes (marked with scripture verses) into the ground in front of satanic strongholds. You know, places like strip clubs and the Masonic retirement home. They also drove around town pouring vegetable oil out the window to anoint the town. Shortly after that we stopped attending church altogether.

 

In my experience the number one cure is to stop going to church. Lack of exposure helps a lot.

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- I was given several words of knowledge/prophecy in a foreign tongue

- Sang in praise & worship team, did lots of hand-extending in prayer for others

- Participated in prayer sessions for healing and exorcism

- Experienced God's presence and fell to the floor (by myself, on more than one occasion)

- Led praise & worship for five years

 

check, check, check, check, aaand, check. My youth group actually did a road trip down to brownsville in 1997, but i had an exam so I didn't go. I really wanted to though.

 

And I think I actually have a wooden stake with Jeremiah 29:11 written on it somewhere in my Dad's house back in Ontario. Mental note: Next time I go back there, find that bitch and burn it! :HaHa:

 

I haven't been to a service like this in well over 2 years, but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies to think about. Seeing videos, photos, hearing recordings of that kind of crap sometimes still momentarily shoots me into this weird headspace that's reminiscent of what it was like to be there and i get this feeling of nostalgia and expectation that God's going to suddenly show up and flatten me to the floor in some dramatic reconversion experience. The moment passes quickly, but I think it's just some of the conditioning that lingers. Thanks for the encouragement... I have hope that it'll fade more with time.

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I didn't attend a pentecostal or charismatic church, but I have visited a few. At one service, a lady started doing cartwheels in front of the altar during a tongue babbling session. In another church, I was amazed when, in addition to jumping and rolling, people actually began running all over the church. I admit to being rather impressed that they didn't crash into one another.

 

Let's see, gymnastics, track and field...it must be the First Church of the Lord's Olympics.

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  • 6 months later...

Great topic! Thanks for reviving it, perianwalsh!

 

I can certainly relate to all that has been written here. I have either participated in or seen most "experiences" listed.

 

- Operated sound equipment, eventually became a musician in the praise and worship band - even led occasionally.

- Helped/directed VBS and other kids programs (brain-washing indoctrination at its finest)

- Was numero uno in youth group - eventually started to lead it when the church was between youth pastors

- Taught Sunday school (was terrible at it)

- Led a Saturday prayer night

- Got drunk in the spirit (could never speak in tongues though)

- Prophesied over people (thought I got special words from god)

- Was prophesied over on a regular basis

- Practically lived at the church (if I wasn't home I was usually in church)

- Participated in "revival" services (prayed for those who were falling down, laughing, etc.)

- Participated in literal "foot-washing" ceremonies

- Rebuked demons/satan

- Had "visions"

 

Yeah, I was totally and completely engulfed in every bit of imagineable crap.

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-participated in an evangelising drama in the middle of a crowded high street on a saturday where we had to walk round in a circle saying "I know where I'm going" (meaning hell). :banghead:

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Man..it's so embarassing to think of all the crazy things I did. Most noteworthy were:

 

Anointing my workplace with oil to cast out demonic spirits - especially those that used co-workers to torment me!

 

Praying in tongues to a woman whose first language was spanish. Everyone felt the spirit would translate it and she would understand what it all meant. I hope she did cuz I sure sure didn't.

 

Going to a leaders meeting at a public botanical garden to get a special message god had given the pastor. Of course it involved dealing with barren soil - guess we needed the visual. We sat there like idiots listening to it while people walked past us wondering what kind of wackos we were.

 

Going to Niagara Falls (in Canada) to get a special message from god, through the water - or whatever else we may find there. We had to make sure we had a testimony at the next service to say what gos had told us. Needless to say most people made up stuff!

 

Having someone stand in proxy for another person - who may not have even been xian - so we could pray for their issues (revealed by god of course) without them knowing.

 

I could go on....but I think that's enough reminiscing for now!

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Well, I remembered an embarrassing thing I did when I lived in Washington State on Whidbey Island back when I had two very young children. That's important to this memory because I had to strap them in my double stroller before I raced across the space between my neighbors' and my yard. So, basically I was at home being a normal person (I thought) and making the poor choice to listen to some maniacal preacher on a tape. I don't even know who it was. What I remember was him saying that how awful it will be that our neighbors or others will go to hell if we don't get the courage to witness to them and blah, blah. At the time I was a busy mom and had no business listening to such depressing stuff, but thought it was good and believed it, etc. I started having that sick, guilty feeling I was familiar with while thinking of the older couple who quietly lived to one side of our property and just felt compelled to go and at least invite them to church. I guess I saw their car coming back--maybe I was outside waiting even and as soon as their car pulled into the driveway I dashed across pushing the stroller. They watched me with puzzled looks and let me come in the house. I remember asking them if they went to church anywhere, and I think they said it was the Presbyterian church. I don't recall if I actually invited them to my church, but there I was trying to catch my breath and feeling relieved that at least they weren't complete heathens. I don't think I stayed very long after that and I bet they were glad to see me go and perhaps a bit concerned for the wee boys in the care of the lunatic next door. Maybe I'm being fanciful there, but I'm quite sure they never asked me over for a visit. I don't think they ever stopped by my place either.

Go ahead and laugh. It actually seems funny to me now that I'm not trapped in that nightmarish state of fear and terror.

Sparkyone

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I spent my childhood in the Assembly of God Church/School , I don't really have experiences with it as an adult.

 

* Every Halloween I'd go door to door passing out Tracts for Jesus, I was never allowed to receive Candy.

 

* I was part of the Sign Language Ministry, we went to local schools, malls, festivals, doing shows to bring the unsaved to Christ.

 

My life was pretty much the Movie Jesus Camp in a nut shell..

 

 

* I hated 'revival weeks" it ment going to Church even more.

 

* I was terrified of Rock music (Didja know The devil talks to you and plants thoughts in your head subliminally..? )

 

* I was terrified of the world, there was a sinner or a devil behind every corner waiting to grab me and take me away.

 

* I was also terrified of the rapture or any sermons pertaining to it.

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When I was a very active church member.

 

-I was to take over the youth group when the youth pastor then moved to Arkansas with his wife.

-I was actually very close with the pastor, and we talked to each other frequently.

-My name is on a plaque on a wall (or at least I think it's still there) commemorating my dedicated services.

-I helped organize revivals, donated many hours to church work, went to almost every service, and alot of bible questions were directed towards me.

-I prayed to God day and night to get rid of the demons that keep me not wanting to talk to people about Jesus or being able to find the words to talk to them about Jesus. I also prayed to god very intensely to get rid of the demons that keep on getting me thinking I should be a girl.

-I could recite the Bible, almost word for word, and had all major versus memorized.

-I hated gays, harry potter, just about all forms of music, wouldn't touch shrimp with a 10 foot pole, never shaved, (although I didn't catch the polyester and rabbits being evil.) And even Disney was evil with all the hidden messages and images.

-I never swore, smoked, drank, never stole, and thought drugs were an evil I would never indulge in.

 

Today

 

-I am known for hating Christians, Christianity, and for harassing churches.

-I would tell my old pastor and youth pastor to go fuck off and die in a heart beat.

-I might steal that plaque to destroy it.

-I rarely donate any of my time to any cause.

-I have learned I don't have demons. I do have Asperger's Syndrome though, and I still won't bother with starting or getting in on a conversation with a complete stranger. I do not give into being transsexual though. I hold out and sacrifice my last remaining shards of sanity in hopes a cure will soon be found that doesn't involve thousands of dollars spent on therapy, pills, and surgery. Not too mention having to learn to live as a woman to not be ridiculed the rest of my life. Not only am I too lazy to re-learn how to walk, talk, and so on, having Asperger's makes it difficult to pick up on the differences between men and women, especially hand-gestures, body language, and all other forms of non-verbal communication.

-I have forgotten more about the Bible than most Christians will ever know.

-I shave abit of my face, trim abit more, and am growing a Scott Ian type of goatee, Slayer is one of my favorite bands, and shrimp is my favorite sea food. I have a couple gay friends. But, I still don't like Disney that much. Pirates of The Carribean is cool, but I can't think of anything else Disney that is.

-I smoke...just about anything that ignites, have been drunk many, many times, have done many things I never even imagined I would do, and I swear enough for a whole boat's load of sailors.

 

Now, life is much better than it was back then.

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Guest Azerate218

I went to church once (and this was supposed to be one of those trendy "modern" "tolerant" churches). The pastor guy brught out a bucket of cranberry juice, a bucket of water, and a sponge. He said "the sponge is you, and the cranberry juice is sin". He put the sponge in the cranberry juice and screamed out "THIS IS YOU DROWNING IN SIN!!!!" He then put the sponge in the water and said "And this is Jesus purifying you". He then proceeded to put the sponge back into the cranberry juice, and screamed out "BUT YOU FELL BACK INTO SIN! YOU'RE DROWNING IN IT!!!!!!!" He then dumped the cranberry juice all over himself and ran around the stage scremaing about sin. Fuckin crackwhore.

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Wow, Luke Wolf,you are like some sort of formal fundie.Seems your lifestyle quite extreme at that time

 

Azerate218-your story shows the true nature of some fundies.These fundies think they are quite liberal,in fact they are not.

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