Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I WAS SOAKED IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.

Time, money, loyalty, - I gave them all willingly to Thee Church (as I thought of it). And what did I get in return? The elders criticized and mislead me for more than fifteen years.

As I previously posted, I was a naive convert with no clue that not all who claim the name of Christ had my eternal welfare in mind. In this excerpt from my upcoming How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, here is the first example of the erroneous expectations which the elders placed upon me - beginning at my baptism on this date in 1971.

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"Here's a bathrobe, Bruce," Sister Roberta said after the hymn. "Go upstairs to Sister Eileen's bathroom and change into your bathing suit."

When I walked into the church a few minutes later, I saw Brother Herald waiting by the tank for me. He and Jay removed the comforters and lid. Then Sister Roberta lifted a short wooden step ladder that stood to the left of the tank, lowered it into the water, and held it steady. Brother Herald and I removed our bathrobes and Sister Eileen placed them on the freezer. I took note of the way Brother Herald climbed into the tank so I wouldn't embarrass myself. Then I followed him in.

"We are gathered here tonight to witness the baptism into the name of Christ of this new member," Brother Herald intoned to the four congregants standing by the tank. "Let us pray. Lord Jesus, be with this young man as he accepts baptism into your family. In Jesus' name we pray this. Amen."

"Bruce," he gave me a penetrating stare, "are you ready to receive the baptism of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins?"

"Yes, I am ready to receive the baptism of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."

"Then, in Jesus' name, I baptize you into the name of Christ. Receive the Holy Ghost."

I pinched my nostrils closed as Brother Herald pushed me backwards and held me under the water for a few seconds.

"Start speaking in tongues," Sister Roberta exhorted as my head broke the surface. Everybody except Brother Herald jabbered as I stood, awaiting the promised Holy Spirit to manifest.

"Come on, Bruce," Sister Eileen urged. "You've got to speak in tongues. Just say anything and let the Spirit take control."

"How do I do that? What if I say something wrong and don't know it?"

"Just let the Holy Spirit guide your tongue."

I spoke a few nonsense syllables as if to jump start the process but I sensed no supernatural change.

"Hallelujah! He's starting to speak in tongues," Sister Roberta blurted. This sent the congregants into an accelerated frenzy of babbling. In spite of all their efforts, I remained mute.

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How I Was Razed is my testimony of how charismatic house church elders misled me for more than fifteen years. After leaving that congregation and turning my back on God for almost a decade, due to the lies that the cult taught about him, he revealed his true nature to me. I now realize how blasphemous that house church's doctrines were.

Check out my previous memoirs here. You're also welcome to contact me directly for more information.