Anglicans/Am an Anglican who's been left confused after getting involved with a Elim Pentecostal church.
I was brought up in The Church Of England and though my parents were never regular church goers I started attending when I was about fifteen(I am 61 yrs now)I really enjoyed the beauty of the church services and singing the old hymns along with the choir and church organ.
Eventually I got Confirmed after going through Confirmation classes,but looking back on it now I wish I hadn't been confirmed back then as I was too young and didn't really understand what it all meant.
I have attended church all my life and whilst in my youth I joined a Youth club at my local Methodist church nd occasionaly would go along to their sunday services.I have always really liked the Methodist church as well as COFE.
However when I was in my late fifties I started after an invite going more often than the cofe to an Elim Pentecostal church.I got quite hooked on it,it was very different from a cofe service,in fact it wasn't like ''Church'' at all,but more like a ''Rock concert'' with its Live Worship bands that play todays modern contempory worship music.You see people with their hands and arms raised,dancing and jumping up and down to the music,speaking in ''Tongues,been ''Slain in the Spirit''(faling down on the floor in some kind of hysteria,and there was a lot of pressure to get ''Saved''and they were very much into Jesus.
You were expected to Repent and turn from your past sinful life and live a Holy Life following everything it said in the Bible ridgedly.You weren't expected to swear,drink,have sex outside marriage,go to parties or go drinking ,get drunk or do anything else that was condemnded in the Bible.
People got ''Saved'' by confessing and repenting of all their sins,asking Jesus Christ into their lives to be their Saviour and Lord and living by the Bible,followed by getting properly baptised by Full Immersion as this is what is commanded by God in the Bible.They taught that Infant Baptism(Christening) is wrong,its not Biblical,as no where in the Bible does it say to baptise a baby who cannot speak for itself,it cannot repent or ask Christ into its life,therefore babies should not be baptised,it should only happen by Full Immersion baptism when a person becomes a ''Born Again'' Christian,(Accepts Jesus into their life as personal Lord and Saviour)and starts to live a Holy Life acceptable to God.THe Pentecostal do also do a lot of things I at first found alarming,like praying over people in ''Tongues'' and they would start crying and get hysterical and fall to the floor,and you get people speaking aloud prophesying in the services as well as getting worked up into hysteria when the pastor was preaching,and I have ended up been thoroughly ''Brainwashed'' by the Pentecostals,and have been that hooked on it I have found it difficult to leave those churches.I have still attended Church Of England services from time to time as I love the cofe and couldn't give it up entirely.
What are your views on these kinds of churches?its contempory music,its beliefs on Baptism,Tongues etc?Do you think Pentecostals doctrines beliefs and practices are all wrong...should I go back to and stick with the Church Of England?As this is what I call ''Proper church''I never felt i'd been to 'Church' when I was with the Elim sect...its more like been in a ''Rock concert'' as I said with its pop groups and noisy loud music.Theres no reverence for God at all in their so called church services.They are very extreme in everything.Also what do you think of their version of getting ''Saved''repenting of ones sins,asking Jesus to come into your life and heart to be your personal Saviour and Lord of your life,followed by a Full Immersion baptism and living a Holy Life,folowing the Bible ridgedly word by word.The Pentecostals and charismatics too only recognize full immersion baptism as true baptism and are very much against infant baptism,saying sprinkling isn't baptism.
These churches have left me so confused and they do I think ''Brainwash'' a person.Also I have found a lot of websites than warn about getting involved with both Pentecostal and charismatics.What do you think of them?Do you think they are a crazy extremist sect and should be avoided?
I am taking time out after finally leaving the elim pc church before I return to the Church of England.
I am very sorry that you have experienced pain as a result of your membership in a church. Spiritual pain is very real and harmful, especially when it results from a trust that you have placed in an organized religion. I cannot condemn the pentecostal and charismatic movements wholesale, however. I am a member of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican expression over here. That is the church in which I was raised and feel most comfortable and able to grow spiritually. I have also attended pentecostal and charismatic services, and have found them truly spirit-filled and helpful in my spiritual journey, while being somewhat out of my "comfort zone." The type of worship and the fundamentalist teachings of such denominations appeal to and are a true help to many people. You say of your own experiences that you felt "brainwashed" and rebelled against that. When you feel comfortable enough to return to your Church of England home, do speak in confidence to a trusted clergyperson there. He or she would be more capable than I of determining what it is that you have actually experienced. If it is indeed spiritual or clerical abuse, it must be dealt with for your own spiritual health. I pray for your growth in faith in a loving and accepting environment. I hope that by returning to your home in the Church of England you will find this comfort. Faithfully, John