Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm leavi....I've left my church Pt. 2

Ah where to start in part 2? I have no idea how long or short this will be so I'm just going to flow with it.

One of the primary things that led to me leaving was a missions trip that was held for the college students to Atlanta. The main church had sent a few people down tehre to plant a church and they were the ones that were going to be leading it. Now during my time at college, I had always come back home and then come back a couple of days early before the break ended because I was on the golf team and for some reason we always had a tourney scheduled right at the beginning of the week classes started back.

So now that my tenure on the golf team had ended, I figured I would actually go somewhere and what better way to spend it than a missions trip to ATL? I had never been on a missions trip before so I was looking forward to it

*sidenote...I believe that missions doesn't always consist of going to countries across the world because there are some neighborhoods and areas right here in the U.S. which need the gospel just as badly*

Anyways everybody is excited and we make the drive down and the first night we're down there we have a little bible study and then we get into deep worship for about 2 or 3 hours.

Now I was used to this style of worship a few times know where a specific phrase like "yes Jesus loves me" is sung over and over for an hour or more. I never quite understood as I was like ok, this is worship, but it reminded me of the vain repetition prayers Jesus talked about. And looking more into it, this actually sends your mind into and altered state of consciousness where you will be more willing to go along with what one says. To tell you the truth I would lose my focus on God more often than not and it felt more of a pressured or controlled worship type of thing.

After the worship the leaders asked if anyone heard the angels singing and playing the flute. Now I know I clearly didn't hear anything but nearly everyone said they heard it. Now I was looking at myself like ok what is wrong with me? Was I concentrating on God enough? How come I didn't hear them? This would not leave my mind for the whole night and into the next day.

So the next couple of days, we have some bible study sessions which I enjoyed more than anything during the trip, and cleaned up a neighborhood. On Tuesday or Wednesday we have to get up early to meet at a college campus for morning prayer with someone else who runs a church down there. We had a very loud prayer session with speaking in tongues and everything and then afterwards the people that led the prayer said that they heard from God that there were some bad spirits in the place concerning some of us(the college students). Our leaders then decided to tell them to name them and they only said one, but they said that there were two people with a "Bad attitude" spirit or something like that. So now I'm checking myself wondering "is it me?"

Well afterwards I really did think it was me because I was in sort of a "funk" for some reason but I couldn't figure out why. Nobody had done anything to me, and I didn't experience anything that I knew of to cause me to be this way. Come to find out, for some reason EVERYBODY was like this after the prayer and the leaders could sense it. So afterwards, we get back to the main house and they let us know, so we get into another prayer session where we prayed for everything from abortion to the black community for about 4 hours. Now once again, I have nothing against prayer or long prayer, but it's this type of prayer where we're commanding God to do stuff and not praying according to His will. Now I'm not saying God does not answer our prayers, but it was the way these types of prayers were done. That if we pray THIS long, and THIS loud, and THIS way, then God will be forced to answer and cause revival in the country.

So after the prayer, everybody seemed fine, but I felt even worse. I felt like my faith had just been shattered, but I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT WHY. I'm like what has happened to make me question my faith? Looking back on it, I remember feeling inferior because I questioned the style of prayer in my mind, and I didn't have the same passion it seemed as everyone else.

After the prayer, everyone was scheduled to go feed the homeless. I had decided to go off on a walk by myself with bible in hand to this little pavilion down the road where I could be by myself and literally just talk to God. I was in Hebrews for awhile and just immersed myself in the chapters and verse on faith. I was literally crying out to God like "why I am feeling this way?" I stayed down there so long, that I missed the trip to feed the homeless. When they got back, I had felt a lot better after reading Hebrews and the night ended with a bible study and worship.

So the next day while in the men's bible study, our leader noticed that when he said "pray in the spirit" none of us did anything. We told him we didn't know what that meant, so he got hyped up and was like "you guys don't know how to speak in tongues? Oh we're gonna change that tonight!!"

So that night, we all gather at the house and begin worship. Worship lasts for about two hours and then we proceed to move the chairs out of the way and stand in a circle. Our leader tells us to start singing the song "Yes Jesus Loves Me" over and over again. I kid you not, we sang this song for 6 hours. The same words over and over again. While people were singing, the leaders began laying hands on people to get the gift of tongues. Some people began manifesting tongues and some didn't. So he gets to me and admonishes me to feel the "fire". I don't feel anything but after 15 minutes, I just began speaking whatever came to my mind and was like ok I'm speaking in tongues. But I was aware of everything going on around me and even had thoughts of "I'm hungry" come to mind.

I'll continue tomorrow if the Lord permits as I am tired of writing lol.


Anonymous said...

I'm so there with you. (Or have been). Thanks for showing leadership in wisdom by making a decision that goes against others' expectations of you.

Nathan Alterton said...

Thanks for sharing that. I would have been feeling the exact same things, if I were in your place.

Anonymous said...

Wow thats deep. You can't force tounges. It either comes or it doesn't. Here, it looks like it didn't. There are a million issues on here, but yea..I didnt know u were going through that.