Friday, 4 January 2013

CALLED TO BE FREE.

Have you ever watched the portrayal of a miracle on DVD? I did. In fact, God used it as part of his program of renovating my views about him and his Word.

In my newly-published testimony, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, I described how this history of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God blessed me.

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Though my nervousness subsided, I still wanted to participate in some form of worship service. A Google search led me to Christianity without the Religion, an online congregation of people who had been burned by authoritarian clergy.

At first, I enjoyed the gentle sermons from the online church's pastor. Greg frequently described how his parents and the Worldwide Church of God misled him since childhood with the Armstrong's legalistic requirements. He showed through Scripture how the Lord wasn't a sadistic ogre in the sky who made devoted believers run on dogmatic treadmills, but a loving and generous granter of grace to all who came to him for forgiveness.

Upon hearing this amazing story, I subscribed to Plain Truth magazine. In one e-mail bulletin, the publication gave away a copy of a DVD entitled, Called to Be Free. Because it wasn't a paperback which I couldn't read, I e-mailed the publication to request it. My letter arrived as the ninth one in their Inbox, making me a winner. Hank Hanegraaff mentioned the amazing transformation of this works-based cult several times on his show, but I knew nothing of the profound changes which the organization underwent before I watched the video.

"I praise you, heavenly Father, for leading those people out from the bondage of a false gospel, just as you led me to authentic Christianity," I prayed after watching the DVD on the evening I received it.

Because of this documentary's compelling nature, I watched it many times that year. It's still one of my favourites.

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I wrote extensively about the house church I once attended in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.