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Pentecostal ?

Open Discussions About Cult Abuse and Mind Control or Manipulation.

Postby LifeSong » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:20 pm

I have experience in this subject, as someone who attended Pentecostal churches growing up (with my grandmother), and as the daughter of someone who felt harmed and rebelled vigorously against the Pentecostal church her entire life (my mother).
As an adult, seeking my own way, I've come to realize that I believe deeply in the God of the Bible but I do not always agree with the various ways that we have organized ourselves in our attempts to worship and serve Him (religion). I see many, many flaws in many religions, not just Pentecostalism. But then again, for me, my faith is not about a relationship with a religion but about a relationship with a person. Just thought I'd do a disclosure first.

Bacchus wrote:
I would imagine that the voice you heard was in response to the pressure to hear voices. When that's the expectation, one would feel inadequate to not be able to meet it, and that alone may lead one to manufacture an experience.

I agree with this statement. A 'manufactured experience' will always lead one away from most anything, including religion, since it is not true. I agree that there can be a certain pressure in some Pentecostal churches to hurry and have a certain experience - I have always felt that that was wrong and unwise. We are all often susceptible to trying to fit in with others; religion takes a wrong turn each time it tries to make things about all of us doing things that same way, instead of each of us seeking out our own relationship with God.

Even if I was a Christian, I would see "speaking in tongues" through Paul's perspective in Corinthians, that is one of the least "gifts of the spirit." He actually advised the Corinthians not to engage in that behavior because it was, essentially, counterproductive.

I am a Christian and I agree with this statement. Tongues is a minor thing and I disagree that it is the very evidence of having the Holy Spirit. Bacchus is correct in saying that this is also Paul's perspective; he specifically warns that 'tongues' can be misunderstood if not handled properly ("Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will be speaking into the air" - "So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they say that you are out of your mind?" Corinthians 14 - NIV) but so much less important than other things like love, hope and faith. I think that the Pentecostal church has errored in elevating tongues and other things seemingly beyond the essentials of faith/hope/love.
I think that any time the experience itself becomes the sought after goal, we'd better watch out.

Do I think that the Pentecostal denomination is a cult? Emphatically not. Do I think that it causes mental illness? No, but I think that, like many other things, some churches can set up an atmosphere where illnesses can be fostered.

As for the 'circus' atmosphere of some Pentecostal churches (and it is only some churches).... well, God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.

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Re: Pentecostal ?

Postby Geneva » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:43 pm

I do believe they are a cult. They push their beliefs on other people. I have heard many Pentecostals say in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven one must speak in tongues. I believe they also worship Jesus as God and Jesus said he was not God he is the son of God. Jesus always gave credit back to his father for everything. I grew up in the Church of God and my Pentecostal friends says they are a cult. I do not believe that as Christians we should celebrate halloween and many 'pentecostal churches do. Hallowen is a pagan holiday. They seem to follow the world's ideals and say they are Christians.
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Re: Pentecostal ?

Postby Cate68 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:59 pm

This is an old thread, but I would say that it depends upon the sect and also the church. Sometimes, reality will make the PC's "behave" and undestand that the curve balls of life (like an unwed relationship and a coming child not necc. equalling marriage), but you do indeed have to be careful about which church you go to.

I'd agree that they probalby do attract schitzophrenics and they also attract many Native Americans who are sublimating their aboriginal experience into Western culture, which I feel is harmful.

Not all PC churches are bad; there is a modernish, pleasant one where I live, but it is soooooooooo far out that you can't reach it.

But yes, other than the modern churches, it is best to stay away from snake handling, intolerance, dogma and magical thinking.

I too believe in God, though.
One of the greatest blasphemies is the taking of one's freedom of thought, dictating matters of the heart and the theft of another's personal peace.

Everyday I live is an act of rebellion.

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Re: Pentecostal ?

Postby HesDeltanCaptain » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:13 am

If you run down the list of symptoms for schitzophrenia and other mental illnesses, many of the claims from religious folk will result in checks next to many of the symptoms. Yet most religious people aren't mentally ill. I think instead most of them are "religious" more out of tradition than actual beliefs. I often wonder if various faiths' clergy are taken aside in seminary by someone older who tells them like, "You realize this is all just made-up right? If you're not ok with that, and pretending it's for real you shouldn't be here." :) My own path towards becomming a rabbi was halted when talking with older rabbis resulted in as much as this. It started out as a good system for controlling people who left to their ownd evices would run amok to the detriment of the rest of society, but has gone from that to a political device used to fracture and fragment society instead.

If there really is a god of some kind then it isn't worthy of being worshipped since it never actually does anything. How many innocent children die in accidents every day despite being members of a given religion? How many church buses drive off cliffs in South America, or churches get destroyed in storms? What's the point of belonging to a church if the deity you think you're serving can't be bothered to save you when in peril?

When I see movies about gods being real, those are gods I'd worship since they actually you know, do stuff. :) As it is though in the real world, the god of the Bible, Qur'an, Torah and everyone else's book is like the kids' tv show "Pirate Who Don't Do Anything." Is a pirate who never steals, rapes, or murders still a pirate? Or something suitable for small children as a cartoon? Similarly, is a deity who never does anything worthy of being worshipped even if it exists?
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I pretended to be." - Me.
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Re: Pentecostal ?

Postby owenmeer » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:14 pm

I grew up within the pentecostal movement and still have some connection with it although I consider myself now a non-pentecostal. I have studied theology at university to doctorate level and did some studies in trauma psychology as I ended up a missionary in Africa helping youngsters deal with the effects of ritual and religious abuse. It is only in recent years that I realized I was not just treating them but also treating myself for the effects of religious abuse. I am still a firm believer in God but I also have come to believe that pentecostal churches tend to attract a large percentage of people who are disordered and who are not able to thrive in any of the more structured churches as they will quickly get into conflict or their disorders will be quickly recognized for what they are. This is not to say that all pentecostals suffer from a psychological disorder, many are nice and well-meaning people, but the emphasis on supernatural experiences and the high tolerance for a lot of emotional excesses allows people with personality disorders to escape detection. My personal experiences and observations are supported by various scientific studies as well. See for example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8088740 and http://gradworks.umi.com/32/48/3248181.html
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Re: Pentecostal ?

Postby CrackedGirl » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:15 pm


Thank you for your thoughts.

If you ever want to PM me to talk more about your work in Africa I would be very interested to hear about it. i have some experience of ritual and religious abuse in Africa myself and also come from a missionary background based in Africa

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