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Goodbye Jesus

Home Prayer Meetings


Mongo

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I wanted to follow up on a story I've been telling in a couple other threads - namely some of the home prayer meetings I'd go to.

 

Where I come from the community was rather small and there were no charismatic churches even though there were charismatic fundies living there.

 

The Baptists were 'staid' to say the least and did not satisfy the 'spirit' minded and so the natural outcome was to have holy ghost meetings at the home of a fellow believer who encouraged charismatic worship.

 

I was not a 'core' member of this group as I favoured the PAOC church in the nearest city where I lived and worked. However, on occasion I'd zip home for a weekend and join in a prayer meeting.

 

These meetings were led by different folk and often by a young guy fresh out of bible college.

 

This guy's ideas knew no bounds and at some prayer camp he went to, he discovered the gift/ability/principal (not sure what to call it) of casting out demons.

 

When he got into the home based prayer meetings, he would teach his new ideas and encourage everybody to get all excited, demonstrate as many gifts of the spirit as possible and cast out demons.

 

I've probably been to as many as 30-50 of this type of meeting and I've seen these sessions used to cause people to confess things that I think could be too personal for a gossip based organization.

 

I've also heard some of the most stupid theological ideas said in these meetings because the competition for ideas is weaker and the ability to manipulate/intimidate is stronger.

 

Any comments on these basement bible studys? What have you seen? Thoughts?

 

Mongo

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Goodbye Jesus

'Where two or more are gathered, shit happens' is correct. It usually results in the separation of wallet and money.

 

Baptist do not have fun, they live in a box. They believe the disciples took the miracles to the grave with them, unless of course a Baptist needs some special healing and then there are miracles up the ass waiting to happen.

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'Where two or more are gathered, shit happens' is correct. It usually results in the separation of wallet and money.

 

I keep being amazed at how many of the rumours I used to hear about "town churches" are confirmed on these forums. "Our people" never carried wallets on Sunday (and Sunday was the only time there was church) so it was pretty difficult for separation of money and wallet to happen at church. Prayer meetings were one of the reasons the Old Order Mennonites split from the modern Mennonites--they didn't think that kind of thing was decent. I attended one prayer meeting in my life and it was in a church. There were only three people present (including me) and it was one of the most uncomfortable situations I've ever experienced. I would have liked for there to be a group so I could just be in the background and observe because I hadn't the slightest clue what goes on at prayer meetings. I still don't know what was supposed to be happening. The other two people kept saying things to god at odd intervals. I haven't a clue anymore what they said. Nothing significant whatsoever.

 

The only audible prayer ever to happen in the Old Order Mennonite church was the one prayer at the end of church service. The other prayer in church was silent. All prayer in the home before meals and at bedtime, or during the day, is silent. But Paul said to "pray without ceasing" so this can mean to organize one's thought life to be one endless stream of prayer. In a life where there are no musical instruments, tv, radio, or other artificial means of sound or speech or music, there is much opportunity to organize one's thoughts around silent prayer. The use of hymn-singing as prayer or praise also works the same way.

 

A life that centred on agriculture requiring most of one's waking hours year-round, and communal labour in which family members worked together, worked well for this kind of entertainment. In the few minutes that we had for reading in the evening, and on Sunday afternoons, we could learn songs and poems that we would teach each other as we worked together during the day. When individuals worked at solitary jobs they could take their memorized pieces with them. It occurs to me now that no time was required for commuting to and from work because all the work was at home.

 

So there wasn't all that much money to part with. Maybe that is why they were so set against this kind of meeting that required money???

 

I'll be fascinated for a long time to come with the relationship between beliefs, culture, and lifestyle.

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I might begin to wonder whether many people here went to prayer meetings in a home. Maybe I should have added a poll.

 

***

 

In my experience, money and prayer meetings at home never mixed.

 

Food however... what is **more** xtian than snacking?

 

***

 

There was another prayer group I used to attend for a while. This one was Catholic group of "charismatics" and took place in the basement of a medium sized Catholic church. A new friend in the PAOC church knew about it and invited my buddy and I to go.

 

The RC charismatics were decidedly less exuberant and forceful in their worship than the PAOC whereas the RC charismatics were more gentle and wooish (for lack of better word).

 

At this RC prayer meeting, everyone sat in a circle of chairs. They would start out with songs of god's love. The boisterous Pentacostal (jump and shout) songs did not fly. My friends played guitar there, and we'd sing rounds and rounds of gentle songs and then a (charismatic) priest would give a talk. More music and then some babbling.

 

I don't recall any "message in tongues" and "interpretation" given at that series of meetings.

 

I distinctly remember thinking that the PAOC folks would not understand that I considered these folks brethern in Christ because they were Catholic.

 

Mongo

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When two or more are gathered in my name, shit all happens.

 

I was introduced to christianity at one of those kinds of meetings (weird intro, I don't know why I ever went back), and the leader was always so excited and ready to prove god listens and moves. We would pray for healing, lay hands, pray in tongues, give prophecy and cast out demons. A big theme was to pray for "revival". After a while, I started to think about how many millions of words I had said and yet nothing "came to pass". No revival, no healings, just the same ol' bullshit all week, then a two hour prayer meeting.

 

So I would just stand there and silently open and close my mouth, instead listening to everyone else. And man, they were praying for some fucked up stuff.

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Ugh, those were the worst. My female parental unit, or her fundie best friend, would have one every now and then. Since they weren't out in public it was "anything goes." My female parental unit has an amazing gift for making up the sappiest prayers possible.

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About twenty years ago I was attending a school for industrial electronics. The teacher attended a church called "Victory Outreach". He told me and my gf that we were possessed by demons. A few days later we were at his house with his wife and one other couple (three men and three women). My gf stayed with the women and I went with the men to another room. We all held hands and prayed. I could here my gf in the other room making some strange noises (like a seen from the "Exorcist"). Anyway the men continued to pray for me (it was a little strange) and when it was all over he asked me if I felt any different. With an honest reply I told him I felt the same. His response was "the demon in me must be strong" and he needs more people to help next time (never was a next time). Anyway my gf came out feeling pretty good (I guess her demon wasn't as strong).

 

Now I will always have a little demon in me. :fdevil:

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