Re: Praise chapel...a cult?
Date: February 28, 2011 03:31AM
Hello all, my name is Richard and I have gone to Praise Chapel Anaheim/Orange for quite some time while I was living in So. Cal. My earliest experience in a church was the dreaded Catholic services as a kid. Hated all that ritual stuff, but even as a child and through my growing up, there has been a longing to find God. While in the Navy, I even asked the Chaplin on how do I get closer to God, all I got was "pray". That's all fine and good, but if a person does not know that he/she is a sinner and is in need of a Saviour, then it is futile. Through a course of time, I had gotten married then divorced. My ex had contacted me and explained her salvation. I was intrigued, more so in hoping to get back toegther. Well needless to say, my first night at PC was memorable, April 12, 1988 is when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I continued to go to church and was set on fire. Eventually we became Bible Study leaders. Teaching fit me and I realized that was my gift. We all are given gifts, but God in his wisdom expects to find it on our own, it's part of our Christian matruity.
I am the kind of person, I do not accecpt one's word for anything as being gospel. Even as a former over-the-road truck driver, I did not take a DOT officer's word on regulations unless he/she can show me in the DOT regulation booklet. Anyway, I trusted my Pastor because of his integrity, honesty and truthfulness about the direction of the church and the word he preached. Every year in Jan. he would "open the books" of the church and go over the financial year our church had. Most boring service, but he did not hide anything. I searched the scriptures to to see for myself and find what God had for me in that message. I knew that Pastor did preach anything contrary to the Word of God.
There was no "mind control", deception and rules that were contrary to the Bible. He expected the leaders to be just that, leaders (servants to the flock). People I have encountered that yap about "mind control" fail to allow God to direct their life. Usually those folks were the one's who condemed us for handing out tracts or street witnessing. "Keep it in the church" they would say, my favorite was, "you are giving a bad example about Jesus" something to that affect. Yet those that speak like that never bothered to share Christ with anyone. To my knowledge, going into the world and preach the gospel was what we were doing, I took that point blank.
We were radical and Pastor allowed us to experiment and find ways to reach people. He did not have an iron fist, we were allowed to have fun, as long as we did not break the law obviously.
And yes, it is hard to find a new church aftr PC. I am going through that as I write this. All I really ever knew was PC. That was my life, by my choice. Am I goofed up? NO. I just don't want dead chcurch, a place where all that happens is sit in a pew and do nothing but get a spiritual band aide till next Sunday. But God showed me, grow up dude, PC was then, this is now. So now we will be attending a new church home here in Indianapolis. A church in the Calvery Chapel fellowship.
If you are struggling with that as I have, then get off your rear and onto your knees and seek what God wants you to do. Excuses is an example of being neither hot nor cold, and for those that have read Revelations should know of that. And I am an example of that.
I am greatful for my experience in PC. Without that, I might still be an unbeliever. Who knows but God. I am using it as a measuring stick to what I am looking for. And I found that there are churches in Indy that have not just the same beliefs and service structure, but goals and the growth potential I want. I want to grow and am not afraid to allow God to put me places I would not go to on my own. My trust is in God not the church, but without the church, we can not truly reach out potential. We need a leader to which we can serve and help guide us and discipline us and keep us on tract. We also need a body of believers which we can give our service to as well.
My fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, I apologize for a long post, but I was offended by PC and cult in the same sentence. PC is far from a cult, my I say as the Lord did to me "GET OVER IT" and move on. Find a new church home and keep the negitive comments to your self. We are accountable for every word we speak, write and read. If PC is wrong, God will bring it to light, but if not, then would not those words (words can kill and be as deadly as any weapon) be like what Paul the Apostle did before Jesus got his attention.