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Intellectual Or Emotional. (part 2)


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I'm wondering if church environment might have to do with whether one's deconversion was more emotional or intellectual. I was a bat-shit Pentecostal which is the equivalent of having moonshine pumped up one's rectum, whereas I'm guessing the more highfalutin respectable Protestant churches were like sipping on a fine brandy or something, with all the various "nuances and subtleties" as John Kerry once put it.

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I attended only two churches for any significant period of time during my time as a fundy and both were on opposite ends of the playing field. The first one was a KJO Baptist Pope kind of church where any knowledge had to be filtered through the pastor before it could be deemed "correct". Any self study was strictly prohibited without his overview. This wasn't too much of a problem as the church was largely just followers anyway who would under no circumstance study about the Bible let alone the Bible itself. The pastor himself wasn't really an intellectual either (he attended Hyles Anderson. If you were an IFB you'd be familiar with it and its reputation) The church was also fairly emotionless. I guess this is a backfired result of Charismatics and Pentecostals.

 

The second church I attended was far more open in terms of study and tried its best to supply people with the tools to do so (books, software, classes et cetera). People here, like most churches I've attended were just sheep though and none were really interested in exploring the Bible or their faith to any great extent. I was the only one actively doing this in both churches. Luckily this time round the pastor and his siblings were intellectuals so I had people to converse with "on my level". Funnily enough, just a few weeks ago I heard from a friend on the inside that a sizable portion of the church approached the pastor complaining his messages were "too lofty and intellectual" which to me was a bit of a laugh. I enjoyed his expositonal messages as a Christian and I don't think he ever used any big words or made things "too intellectual" he always focused on the application. Funnily enough one of the elders mentioned that his daughter understands the messages perfectly to which one of them replied "so, you're calling us stupid then?". Given the person that asked the question, I would of heartedly replied "yes, yes you are". This church whilst pretty emotionless like the other is slowly changing. The new music pastor (an american import) has been changing things and is slowly introducing new instruments as well as clapping and swaying hands et cetera during the service. Unsurprisingly people feel uncomfortable but like the sheep they are they simply follow along.

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My church was very emotional. Singing, dancing, falling out, speaking in tongues, crying, and this odd phenomena called "laughter in the spirit." Spontaneous laughter would break out at any given moment and everybody would be laughing hysterically. It was mass hysteria at its weirdest. I felt like I was in a room full of un-medicated schitzos.

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I come from a charismatic/pentecostal background. Im never really sure what the differences are between them. It was very emotional. Always alter calls at the end of service, people crying and wailing and dancing around. We also had the falling in the spirit thing and the laughter thing happening. Sometimes I would feel embarrassed by stuff happening at our church. I know people who visited that werent like us thought it was weird. So yes it was a very emotional church. Clapping, shouting..and screaming oy vey! the screaming and trying to take hold of spiritual realms, and praying in tongues. It was all pretty crazy.

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My first church was very emotional. I longed for the services when "the spirit" would take over and we'd have no sermon. It would be just one long altar call. Crying, swaying, laying on of hands, shouting, some dancing (but not much). I've done Jericho Marches, had services where the entire congregation was down on their knees, had altar calls that lasted hours, we used to have prayer meetings where we would pace the room and everyone would be praying out loud. My junior or senior year of high school, our youth group had early morning prayer meetings. I can't remember if it was everyday or just once a week. But I remember driving over to my church before school to pray and I would be sooooo tired. My church was no where near my school. I went to "special" youth camps (not just regular youth camps) and those were some bat-shit crazy times. I remember sitting in an auditorium and the leaders would have us calling out demonic spirits that we discerned were in the room and then we'd cast out the demonic spirits. :)

 

After I got married and we moved, we joined a more subdued congregation. We still had "prophetic words" where someone would start yelling in tongues and then this one old man would "interpret" almost every time and always in KJV. We still ahd altar calls but mostly on Sunday nights. Lots of crying, and we had a couple of ladies that liked to wail. A LOT. It was still emotional but nothing like I what I was used to. It was an older congregation and when things got emotional it felt more like an old timey tent revival meeting or some of that ole time religion.

 

Our last pentecostal church was more of a show. It was a large congregation with a middle/ upper middle class flavor. We were much more hip. People danced but in a more modern way (it seemed like young men and young people danced more than anyone else). We did some showy things occasionally, like everyone one would come up to the platform and walk through a metaphorical door (signifying a new phase in your life). We hardly ever had altar calls and I think only one time in the 3 years we were there did the service ever stop for "the moving of the spirit". The baptism in the Holy Spirit was never talked about.

 

My last church was baptist. As I've stated before I was trying to get away from "emotional" Christianity. This church had what I liked to call a "sweet spirit" about it. You could still feel "the sweet presence of god" during praise and worship but it was very subdued and gentle and just left you with a glowing feeling of peace and love (if it did anything). They were only marginally aware of how to manipulate people with music. By the time I left, the new music minister had replaced that sweet time of "worship" with a weekly beating on how we weren't worshiping up to his standard. I think he would have been happier at a pentecostal church. :)

 

I think the church was more open to charismatic ways of worship but nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. We would have never stopped the service to have an altar call or anything of that nature. One major difference I saw in the churches is that almost no one went up for prayer in the baptist church (although they did place "prayer partners" at the front at the end of the sermon). When "prayer partners" were placed at the front in the pentecostal churches, lots of people came down for prayer. I wonder if it was just the different expectations that caused people to come forward?? If you are more likely to believe that something supernatural is going to happen if you go down for prayer (prophetic words, laying on of hands, being slain in the spirit, an emotional release) you must be more likely to come forward. If they are just going to pray for you and nothing is going to happen, I guess it's just as easy to wait and pray at home. I know I never went down for prayer at the baptist church but went many times at the pentecostal. Hmmmm.

 

freedom

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I forgot about my whole dalliance with the prophetic movement. This is where everyone thinks they are a prophet and that the church is going to be fixed by everyone learning how to prophesy. Prophets come to the church and everyone clamors for a "word" and boy did I ever get some "words". I had a friend get multiple repeated "words" that she was going to get married. She's an older woman, not married, so it's easy to see why multiple people would prophesy that marriage is forthcoming for her. Dreams, words, numbers, revelation, prophets.... it all sounds good and feels good but the reality of it was whackadoodle. It's like fortune telling only biblically sanctioned. "Tell me how God is going to fix everything for me and how I don't have to do anything to make that happen!" They were also big into the arts, spirit led jam sessions, spirit led poetry and singing and even dancing. It was all very tribal feeling. We had one service where everyone was doing this dance move to cut off demonic power with our arms. I don't know how to adequately describe it but it looked like a tribal war dance and we were using our arms to cut through the air. I didn't do it (and I was only one of two people in the room who didn't) but I was also open to it being "of the spirit". These were a lot of people who had come out of oppressive religious regimes, were too crazy for the "normal" pentecostal churches, were your dreamers and deluded people. It was just so bizare and out there. I really thought it was "God" for awhile. Until I started looking at it critically and even looked into the "birth" of the movement, which was fraught with chaos, lying, stealing etc. When I met up with some local people who were a part of hte prophetic movement, I knew it was not for me. Lots of attention on the spirit realm and demons over our area that they personified as wolves and octopi. A whole lotta crazy and a whole lot of emotion but no substance.

 

freedom

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What bothered me most about the prophetic "movement" is the word movement. It seems every movement in the last 40 years has been deemed to be "not of God" when the movement passes. And every movement seems to birth the next movement. So if every former movement was "not of God" but every current movement is birthed in a former movement, how can we/they believe that they are in a movement that is "of God". It seems that every movement is "spoiled" or sullied by people and then subsequently ruined. Why would God keep giving people "movements" if he knows that we are just going to ruin them and turn them into this horrible things that ultimately end up hurting people? Why can't people see that?

 

Just my rant for the day.

 

freedom

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Awesome! The first 5 posts are all from former Pentecostals. We're like a support group for people who've survived extreme weirdness.

 

Fuck yeah, dude! Like I've told people before, "there's an extra added layer of shit" on top of already being a fundie Christian as it is.

 

Were the people around you into demons and shit? That shit really fucked me up.

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Were the people around you into demons and shit? That shit really fucked me up.

 

Yes. They slew more demons than Buffy Summers. My deconversion began when some fuck knuckle youth leader told everyone at a prayer meeting he could see a "demon of pride" in me. Next thing I knew, I was either getting hands laid on me to cast the demon out or gang dryhumped by loonies, depending on perspective.

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My church was very emotional. Singing, dancing, falling out, speaking in tongues, crying, and this odd phenomena called "laughter in the spirit." Spontaneous laughter would break out at any given moment and everybody would be laughing hysterically. It was mass hysteria at its weirdest. I felt like I was in a room full of un-medicated schitzos.

 

Ditto for me Foxy! Highly emotional! We actually used to get so excited during the sermon that we would jump out of our chairs and run around the church screaming and hopping and jumping into the air. Once I 'fell' under the spirit and banged my head real good.

 

Nobody even can to see if I was alright. I was on the floor for at least 10 minutes. They thought I was 'seeing god' but I was 'seeing stars'!:wacko:

 

They told me that when you 'fell' under the spirit - you would never get hurt. My neck ached for months and I have never been the same. I think I need a brain surgeon!

 

I know now that I had a hypoglycemic attack and I fainted.

 

The music was so incredible suggestive - you wouldn't believe it. Our church's music ministry was full of ex drinkers and druggies and they were the best musicians you could ever want in a church. They all played in bars around town for years until they got 'saved'.

 

God I can't believe I'm going to say this, but there are times I actually miss the excitement. :shrug:

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God I can't believe I'm going to say this, but there are times I actually miss the excitement. :shrug:

 

I know what you mean. It can be exhilarating. I went to a Benny Hinn sermon many years ago and was slain in the spirit. The euphoria afterward was better than ecstasy or cocaine. There is a trigger in our subconscious that a Pentecostal revival tugs on. It's like nothing else.

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The euphoria afterward was better than ecstasy or cocaine. There is a trigger in our subconscious that a Pentecostal revival tugs on. It's like nothing else.

 

I wonder if there would be a way to replicate that kind of effect but in a godless/heathen context? Or does it depend entirely on delusion?

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I've wondered the same thing for a long time. I believe the answer is yes. The power of human imagination is strong and when combined with a large mass of people all imagining / focusing on the same thing, I've observed a similar euphoria in other settings (sweat lodges, Hermetic initiations, Wiccan circles, Eastern mystics) but I've never seen anyone as good at whipping up hysteria as Pentecostal Evangelists.

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My deconversion was mostly intellectual, and the churches that I attended were quite staid and unemotional. Maybe a few people would raise their hands during a song, but there was definitely no flopping around. The Christian school that I attended was more emotional in terms of guilt and manipulation and alter calls, but it was still far from charismatic.

 

The last church that I was at was more intellectual - most of the elders were college professors. The elder whose small group I went to was a chemistry professor with a prestigious history - a Fulbright scholar at MIT and a NATO fellow at Cambridge. He wasn't a young-earth Creationist either. Maybe that made it even more of a slap in the face, emotionally, when he chose to shun and abandon me.

 

My father is not emotional at all, and my mother is very emotional. All the conversations that I've had about the reasons that I left Christianity, both intellectual and emotional, have been with my father. He can be annoying about Christianity, but to his credit, he's always dealt with me head on. My mother acts like she's in denial and the only time she'd talk about it, she said that I'm a back-slider because she knows that I was truly saved so I can never lose my salvation. It was her kind of emotional weepy manipulation that made it so hard for me to come out, but I do know that she's a "true believer".

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For me the pentecostal lifestyle was always going from one high to the next. Always waiting on god for the next big word, getting prayer from people who you knew were prophetic, getting the buzz of having hands laid on you in prayer. It was literally like a drug, and I think the last 15yrs of my life have been sitting around waiting for this big magical destiny from god and an amazing prophetic word to say blah blah...

 

I was wrapped up so much in that, that I stopped living. I am now slowly learning to take control of my life again and be proactive in my life.

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That's exactly what the Pentecostal lifestyle is about. All you're looking for is the next big spiritual high and for Jesus to come back so you can get out of this shithole world and go to heaven. It's purely escapism.

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Music is my 'high' now.I can still feel euphoria from music.It's amazing what your favorite music can do for you. Exercise makes me high also. that's why I force myself to do it every morning - add music in my ear and I could run around my house like I used to do the Church!

 

:funny:

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They told me that when you 'fell' under the spirit - you would never get hurt.

 

Was raised second-blessing holiness and that group would do some running the aisles and shouting - no speaking in tongues - they believe that is demon possession. Anyway, one guy wiped out when he was zooming his way through a turn. After church, people were talking about how he must have not been in the spirit, otherwise he would not have fallen down. And there he was, defending himself that he had been in the spirit. silverpenny013Hmmm.gif

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you folks are hilarious,,,,,,,, why can't i particpate in these churches.....

 

my methodist church background is more traditional, with occasionally charismatic touch, when they have the youth band for service along with an invited charismatic speaker, only then, have some tongue speaking sessions.

 

Other than that, basically, a fairy tale story time with a feel good ending. Not exactly emotional or intellectual, jus mainly a heart warming psycho-therapy session as such.

 

are you guys serious? laughter and dancing and running in spirit during service? wow........... must have missed that comedy acts,,,,

 

just saw kenneth hagin and gang on laughter in the spirit on

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, really a loony tune land production,,,,,,,,,,,,, were they in who frame roger rabbit?
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