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Some Comments from Readers

 

The following are just some of the comments received regarding tongues & manifestations and their views or experiences with the various topics discussed in our articles.

March 5, 2004

I stumbled across your Web site today and just wanted you to know how much I appreciate it! 

For about 11 years I attended an Assemblies of God church. I served on the worship team (singing and playing guitar for services and concerts), I was a church board member, secretary, assistant to the youth leader and Missionette leader. I was very much involved!

The last couple years I was there, however, I became very depressed. I didn't know why exactly...just chalked it up to me needing to get closer to the Lord and "filled with the spirit" and speak in tongues as the AG churches so enthusiastically teach. It took me nearly committing suicide one day for me to actually hear something God was trying to tell me. After some tragic circumstances, I became angry at God and accused Him of lying about promising this and that as well as withholding tongues, etc.....I was so depressed that I nearly drove into oncoming traffic in an effort to kill myself. After all, If I thought God had lied to me, what point did I have in living?

Above all my anger, however, I heard a tugging in my heart asking "was it me that lied to you or was it man?" That statement shocked me. I thought about that statement for several days. Could the people I had come to love and trust as strong men and women of God have been teaching lies? I knew my Bible well mind you, or at least so I thought. I'd read it cover to cover and even preached many times! Could those church folks be misled in their beliefs? Of course I knew God NEVER lies, but it took a few days of chewing on it all to make me realize I needed to see if I was believing God's word or the AG doctrine I'd been fed for a decade. As I began reading God's word, I started noticing scripture that just didn't jive with what the AG church taught me to believe. It was like someone turning on a light switch! It was liberating! I began to see that all this time I was believing man's lies. No wonder I was always being disappointed!!!

During that time I prayed for God to continue leading me to the truth in His word, and He was quick to answer that prayer. He led me through scripture of course, and to a number of books and articles and Web sites that shed light on what had happened to me. I also found hundreds of other people who have gone through things similar to me.

Not long after that I left my AG church. It was extremely difficult because I had been so close to my church family for so long. It was a small church, so we were all very much apart of each other's lives. (I must add that I've only heard from three of them after leaving, and after two years away, only one person calls and that's rare. The family I loved so much shut me out.)

The straw that broke the camel's back for me and got me to leave was when during a service they took a special offering for a guest speaker. They told us all that if we didn't give, and do it in front of the whole church to see, we were in dangerous disobedience to God and would be judged for it. Pretty sickening to hear such a thing coming from the pulpit huh?

It'll be two years since I left that church, and I have to say leaving was a huge relief, but also a lonely journey for me. I have yet to find a church I can call "my home." Not to mention I have a hard time trusting people in the church.

 I hope this all made sense. I'm just trying to cram several years of my life into a few paragraphs! I'm thankful the Lord brought me out of all that and also thankful that I have never spoken in tongues. God in His mercy kept me from it, and I have grown to know why in recent times. 

Anywho. You have a wonderful Web site Keep up the good work. It's an encouragement to those of us out here who have been terribly hurt in a place where we thought we were safe. 

God Bless!....

 

Thank you for writing Vicky, and thanks also for your words of

encouragement. Please feel free to use my letter/testimony if you like. I also don’t mind having my name on it. I’ve got nothing to be afraid or ashamed of :-) If I can help and encourage someone else going through this, then praise the Lord!

 

I never realized the full meaning of “knowing them by their fruit,” until recent years. At my old church we had several people suddenly leave the congregation, and little to no attempts were made on the part of other church members to keep in touch with them as brothers and sisters in the Lord. It bothered me terribly and I always did what I could to maintain contact with those people. I should’ve known that when I left, I would be treated in like manner. The offering incident is just one of many things that went on in my old church. I should’ve listened a lot earlier than I did. I regret so much wasted time, but perhaps I went through it for some reason...perhaps to get me to a point where I hunger only for truth...and that truth can only be found in God’s word.

 

Commitment was a huge thing at my AG church. Being committed to God meant being in church EVERY time the church doors were open. I recall an incident where I was sick with bronchitis and missed church only to be scolded by a fellow church member. He told me if I really had faith in God, I would’ve been healed of my illness and been in church that night. I blew that comment off because it obviously was a bunch of garbage. It stung though.

Then another time after my mom had surgery, I missed church for a week because she needed my round the clock care. That really upset church folks. Where was my commitment to the things of the Lord? I was pretty mad at those comments and told them “hey...God’s word says to honor my father and mother ... I’m doing just that by caring for her in a time of need.” ...

 

I must add that forsaking family ties was pretty much expected by them. After all, God was supposed to be first, and along with that, church. They forgot that loving and serving God means loving and serving those around you...not just serving your church and the people in it. In the months before I left that church, I began to start saying no to them a lot more...and suffered for it. They began leaving me out of church stuff.

 

I was the church guitarist, and slowly I was being moved out of that position and replaced. No one bothered to tell me. It hurt terribly, but I was also relieved because it made it easier for me to leave them altogether.

 

As for speaking in tongues: for all their worship of that “outward sign of the holy spirit baptism” (as they put it) I never saw any one of them act any differently than any other Christian. I did not see any difference in boldness or any of them leading any less of a sinless life than those of us who haven’t spoken in tongues.

 

Another note on that: If you didn’t speak in tongues, you were made to feel like a second class Christian. You didn’t often hear that in so many words, but it was strongly implied. They constantly coerced people to receive the holy spirit and speak in tongues, and if you didn’t, then you were being rebellious (a sin akin to witchcraft) or had some secret sin in your life. 

 

... I remember beating myself up endlessly trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Then there’s the dangerous teachings on healing they have. If you prayed for healing, God would heal you. If he didn’t, it was because you had sin in your life, did not have faith, or were rebelling against the healing. I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida, so during the time I was there, they endlessly prayed for me. They took me to Benny Hinn crusades too! I would come away not miraculously healed of course. Afterwards, I would always hear comments like “when are you going to believe God for your healing?” and “you must not want God to heal yyou or you’d just receive it,” or “You must be sinning.” No one bothered to realize that God is sovereign.

 

It’s HIS WILL not ours to heal. I know God will heal my body one day, but I may have to wait till heaven till I see that. In the meantime I am bubbling with joy in serving God just as I am, with or without a perfectly healed body. :) A statement like that, however, would come across to them as a statement of having no faith in God. Saying things like “if it’s God’s will,” was also not allowed -- that was saying you didn’t have faith that God wanted to do what you asked. How dare I not believe God could zap me to perfect health instantly. That’s what nearly drove me to suicide ...thinking something must be so horribly wrong with me that God refused to instantly heal me.

 

The AG church likes ordering God around rather than accepting His sovereignty. That’s a scary thing. Isn’t it much like putting yourself above God? AG people will deny they do that, but if they take the time to listen to what they pray, what the sing in choruses (yup even many of their choruses have false doctrine in them) and what they hear preached...and compare that to what God’s word really says...they would see how unscriptural it all is.

That and the whole tongues thing really hurt me a great deal and it’s taken some time to heal those wounds. I should say the Lord has been helping them heal through the truth in His word.

 

When I left that church, I asked God for forgiveness for believing the lies and not finding the truth in the Bible a lot sooner.

Thank you for listening and I do pray that you’ll keep up all the good work. People need to hear and be aware that there’s so much deception going on behind church doors. Christians need to wake up, smell the coffee and get reading the Bible. We should not be quick to accept what we hear from men.

 

simply,

Yovanna

 

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Dec, 2003

"I dunno if you get MSNBC up there, but I'm watching this show about televangelists who claim to be exorcising demons. Public exorcism seems to be a thriving trade. I don't think I ever watch any of the charismatics you've written about, though I watch Joyce Meyer, who was mentioned by one of the readers, and I've never heard her encourage people to get "the gift of tongues", though she's said something about tongues (not calling them a "gift") and unfortunately I think she believes in that four-temperaments thing. As for the people on this show: The one they are showing now is named something Brown or Browne, and the other one is Bob Larson, of whom you have probably heard (who hasn't?). Of course, one of the first things one of them said at the beginning of the show was "We are charismatic, we believe in tongues", which I kind of expected. Some of the stuff the "exorcists" do looks more like it would transfer demons to the person being exorcised, or at least attract demons to them, rather than cast them out. I know I've had a Norse Pagan with a cat familiar in an occult shop suddenly grasp my hands for no reason and transfer cat demons to me (this was when I was practicing Asatru and had a wolf familiar). I know demons were transferred to me because A. she sounded like something else was talking through her when she grasped my hands and called me sister, and B. I could feel the power slamming into my body, and C. I had visions and nightmares of cats, so she was apparently correct about the "genus" of her familiar. The tingling, electric, fuzzy-headed feeling, which is the same feeling I would get when going into occult stores or after taking hallucinogenic plants, hung around until I asked God to get rid of it. I don't know why He did, or if it was really He who did, since I didn't get out of Paganism for maybe a year after that (when the insomnia and demonic visitations and hallucinations started and I couldn't stand to go into my bedroom at night).

Another thing the charismatic exorcists reminded me of, was those new age seminars I was always going to with my dad in the 80s. These folks were supposed to teach people "self-help" but they were abusive thugs who would mock and demean the participants when (not if) they were frightened by some of the new age rituals and the "energies" conjured up. Neither of the charismatics bullied the people, but either Bob Larson or the other guy actually said they wanted the demons to manifest and that they were trying to call them up, not verbatim, but that was what they meant, and "talk to" the demons. Some of the victims certainly seemed to be manifesting *something* but the manifestation could as easily have been conjured by the "exorcist" through their rituals, or drawn to the person by hypnotic suggestion, as it could have been present in the person prior to the exorcism. I'd be hesitant to seek any sort of spiritual aid from somebody who said they wanted demons to manifest in the person they were claiming to cure.

 ... There's one on right after it about psychics ... One thing the psychics, the charismatic exorcists and the new age seminar people have in common is that they put the people they work with into an altered state. Another common bond is that they are making gazillions of dollars from their victims. I used to want to be a professional psychic because I thought I could get rich and I had real clairvoyant and clairaudient "powers". The testimony from the former psychic on your site is almost of clone of my life. I used to "hear" the same sound she heard of mocking, distant voices....

The temperament stuff is connected to astrology and the zodiac, and the "four elements" (I never delved into astrology, probably because I like astronomy, which negates astrology, of course) so it probably counts as divination.

I had an experience with somebody whom I think was connected with Vineyard and we both thought it was "Christian", but now I don't think it was any more than a psychic reading even if the reader didn't know any better. She *could* read my mind and knew that I was drawing black-and-white sketches of demons and would keep erasing and starting over on them, etc, etc. It shook me up at the time. It doesn't now because nothing occultists do really surprises me...."

*****

____________________

 

"...One of the key hallmarks of the luciferic initiation that is setting in on the world and which will prepare the world to worship the image of the beast is the resignation to altered states of consciousness. The drug culture made major inroads to American society to accept doctrines of demons, phenomenal manifestations and their leadings. But as all of the eastern mystics of the seventies pointed out, drugs are only the entry. Once past the initial portal, the mind, through the imagination and the will, become the vehicle for "enlightenment."

Tongues and ecstatic experiences put people into the SAME altered state as shamans get into, in order to receive "visions," "higher knowledge," "prophecies" and such from the demonic realm. This is kid's play for fallen angels.

Now we have a "Christian" church that is not only suggestable to such leading, but trained in its use. The occult calls trained mind travellers like this "adepts."

The adepts are the ones who will take their "training" to the mainstream at large to accept the serpent's fruit as one in the same with the gospel. Moon's job is to integrate the right-wing branch of evangelicalism into the world religion. They are following him like the pied piper. Little surprise that the leaven takes the "church" by storm.

 Thanks for all your research."

*******

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"...I thought you'd find it interesting that shortly after I was born again a friend of mine who'd become a Christian a year previously told me she'd been blessed with the "second baptism". She'd been home alone praying, and suddenly found herself ecstatically speaking in tongues, and had continued the tongues as her "private prayer language" after that initial experience. Within 6 months she had left her husband and moved in with the neo-pagan man next door, while still thinking of herself as a "back-slidden Christian". I myself was seeking the "second baptism", but was really thrown for a loop after hearing her report and seeing her actions. I had wanted the "second baptism" in order to be closer to God and for the power to serve, but couldn't help but notice that it certainly hadn't worked that way with her!  I still sought after it for a few years, but, praise God! was protected from the "other spirits" that were operating  in the various groups I went to..."

******

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"...I'm afraid I'm with you on the tongues issue.  That is after years of believing there was a second baptism (there is not) and seeking tongues for some time. Since I was determined in my delusion and filled with pride, (The Lord saith: "I will choose their delusions") I did receive a phrase (to set me apart as better than) which I was afraid to say because it sounded in it's meaning like "Father Satan Yahweh". If that is the refreshing but I would not, then thank you I don't want any...

I do believe that there are some who honestly want the so-called "deeper life" who go after this nonsense but that there are those who like myself are filled with pride and want to be better than.  Unfortunately it was only after being born again awhile that The Lord began to reveal to me that my heart was deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who could know it. That old man is ugly. No wonder we must forsake all of it to be his disciple. Daily, hourly.

With regards to a heavenly language, an angel's tongue, if you will: there isn't any for humans.  Why? Because there is only one verse in the entire bible alluding to such a thing and we are commanded to have two or three witnesses to make a doctrine. There is one verse to allow the deception or try the heart...

Someone wrote an article on Tongues that was so good. I sat with it one whole day and looked up every verse.  It took hours.  By the end of it I realized I had been misreading 1 Corinthians 12-14 for years.  The carnal Corinthian church had allowed the occultic tongues of their town to infiltrate their local assembly and they were proud of it.  What is amazing is how God through Paul chose to deal with it. The same carnal mind today will miss the point and have classes on which gifts do you have etc....I do ask the Lord's mercy on us all...."

*******

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March 6, 2003

"Dear Vicky,

"...Thank you for your response. I would love to share what has happened in my life, that it may bring hope to someone and be an encouragement.  It's kind of long, but I'll try to shorten it.

For the first 38 years of my life, I lived an ungodly life and was brought up in an ungodly home.  My parents did not know how to show agape love and felt that they were "RULERS" over their kids, that we were simply things to be controlled.

In my house, you didn't feel or cry, or you got something to cry about. I felt from a very young age that I didn't belong there.  Anyway, I will continue to honor my parents and pray for their salvation. My life was one continual search for what I knew was missing. Now that I look back, God was calling my name, pulling on my heart, but I never even knew there was a God or knew anything about my spiritual condition.  But He never left me.  He stayed with me through alcoholism, divorce, drug addiction, and of course my character left a lot to be desired.  It is called dead man walking.  But deep inside I knew if I hung on, that I would not die before I knew what I was so desperately lacking.  Then one day(and I have left a lot out for space sake) I was in a deep depression and thought I was losing my mind.  I told this to a woman that I knew, but not very

Well, I was led by that woman to a charismatic AOG church.  At first I didn't understand anything and just went along with what everyone else did.  But as time went by, something in me was very distressed.  There was a heaviness over me, and I couldn't help but wonder why things in the church weren't much different from the world.  I lived in the world for too long, and I could see a lot of it in the church.  There was competition, gossip, everything was focused on prospering and speaking in tongues.  Then it became a "look how big were getting and how lovely our building is and on and on... The simplicity of Christ and the Glory of the Gospel seemed to disappear and instead it was all about "look at all we do."  

I always tried to hide my sin and keep it covered.  Knowing all along that my insides were so ugly and dirty.  I was freed and completely delivered when I heard the Gospel!  Jesus exposed my darkness so that I could come into the light.

The first Scripture that I heard and embraced was Psalm 103:12 "As far as the East is from the West so far hath He removed our transgressions from us"  I knew I was forgiven and that Jesus was indeed alive!

Oh Vicky, there is so much to say, but the most important thing is that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ knows a pure true heart that seeks only to serve and love Him.  That is what I seek in my life. Nothing else.  He will bring anything else that He has for me and I can only praise His name forever for showing me the way out of the deception. I thank Him for discernment and wisdom that can come only from God Almighty alone.  Jesus is my life and my love. 

Right now I'm looking for a church, but I have a very small group of born again believers and we meet often and share with each other. I know that the Lord will lead me where I'm to go."

****************

March 7, 2003

"I would like to say that I was in the charismania movement for a few years. I went to a Joyce Meyer meeting and I had been pressured with the tongues thing for a while and I went up to get the "gift." I felt horrible (that should have been my first clue). Nothing happened until a few weeks later in my church on a Sunday and I just started speaking in tongues. I did tongues A LOT. Then I got another "language" (sounding like some American Indian sort). The first "language" I received was some sort of Asian sounding thing. When I look back, it's interesting that both those languages are of mainly people who are practicing false religions. I also had all kinds of other supernatural experiences. I saw demons and "felt" things. It was crazy. 

 

I can relate to the lady who wrote about her friend. I had to admit that so much of all that stuff is just pride and I had to repent to God of my pride and my evil heart. But God showed me in such a loving and gentle way what it was that was really happening and I will be forever grateful to Him. I look back and it's so easy to see how prideful the people really were all in the name of acting humble and thinking they were so spiritual. It's sad, but it will get worse the closer we get to time winding down. I pray for them.

 

I was so upset for a long time, I just wanted to pull them out. But, then God showed me that if you really want the truth, He is happy to give it to you, but if you don't want it, He won't force it on you. 

 

So, there are lots of people who like getting off on the "experience" instead of dying DAILY to self and working out your salvation with fear and trembling  DAILY. It's a slow, slow process that God works in us and I can see now that the charismania group just wants the quick fix and a Santa Clause for a god.

 

Anyway, my church just got more and more out of control and I just kept praying for God to show me the truth no matter what. Something just constantly kept bothering me. 

 

Well, God sent me a friend on the internet of all places, but he was a Godly man and him and his wife just steadily sent me to the scriptures and would tell me I was interpreting things wrong. I studied and studied and studied and then one Sunday I just knew I had to run out of my church and leave. My good friend and evangelist told me that Satan had taken over my mind. It's so sad. I had to give up all my friends, too, because we were separated totally by doctrine, but nevertheless I had to go.

 

I repented of all the "witchcraft" I had been involved in a "Baptist" church. I felt such peace. I cried and cried. It has been a long haul since leaving that church two years ago, but it has been a steady uphill growth. I just thank God he is showing me the way. I thank you for your website. It is desperately needed in this time of chaos and heresy and apostasy. I still haven't found a healthy well-balanced church, but God will place me in one when He sees fit...I am starting to find some sort of balance hopefully.

Well, I could ramble on and on, but thank you so much for your work. It helps."

 

***********

For dialogue with a former charismatic, dealing with tongues, see: Memorable Correspondences > Experience of tongues

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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