Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Aftermath

I just read this on another site and thought it perfectly articulated the bewilderment and slow healing that accompanies growing discernment. Time helps that wound hurt less, but it never really heals.

"...Discovering that you’ve been deceived and manipulated [by Pentecostal teaching] can put major strain on a marriage. Many people exit Charismania with little sense of what’s real and what’s fake about their Christianity. This can prompt a major life crisis. And husbands and wives often handle this crisis differently. Perhaps one spouse spends all his time reading and researching doctrine, while the other one grows apathetic about all things Christian. Losing one’s faith in the “Word of Faith” message is akin to losing a loved one. When you discover that it’s NOT necessarily true that you’ll always be victorious in precisely the way you declare victory…when you discover that miraculous healing is NOT necessarily “always God’s will” for every situation…when you discover that the “hundredfold harvest” is essentially a myth, a con, promoted by unscrupulous “men of Gawd” so that they can line their own pockets and pursue their own luxurious lifestyles even as they themselves do not “sow” all THEY have into OTHER ministries because they KNOW that they won’t receive a “hundredfold return”…

Well, these discoveries are like little deaths. At least they were for us. And as with any death, any loss, nothing will ever quite be the same again. There’s grief. There’s pain. There’s a keen sense of disappointment. And just as the grieving process over an actual physical death can take its toll on a marriage, so can this type of death, the death of one’s belief in the sort of “fairy tale God” taught and promoted at Charismaniac churches."

(emphasis mine)

While the author is talking in this context about the effect unsound doctrine can have on marriage, I would offer that the most profound and painful scar is left in the individual's soul. It is finding out that Santa Claus doesn't exist, to the nth degree. You wonder if you will ever really trust God again, let alone other Christians. The pain of change, of having your eyes opened up to the deception and teh manipulation and the eisogesis....is more acute than the pain of staying with the deceived flock playing "make believe". It is hard, at times, not to slip into cynicism and even bitterness. The only antidote is staying close to God...prayer, and studying what His Word actually says.

False prophets come and go, but He is always faithful.

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