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Leaving Pentecostalism

By Nonchai ~

I left xtianity for the following reasons -

1) Got fed up feeling I was talking to myself during prayer without a hint of any "presence" - after 10 yrs.

2) A sense that my fellow charismatics at large seemed to lack any critical thinking with regard to "holy spirit" type experiences and supposed claims, plus a general atmosphere of gullibility

3) I Felt more and more comfortable when talking about human and REAL topics and felt the "light-bulb" in my head turn off as soon as talk shifted to typical vapid charismatic subject matter.

4) After living and traveling with a friend ( in fact letting him stay in my apartment at cheap rent for a year ) for years, and seeing how when he became a trainee pastor in a pentecostal church linked heavily with Rheinhardt Bonkke and Benny Hinn started to get extremely suspicious and skeptical about the whole pentecostal evangelism thing - particularly with its focus on supposedly "spiritual" Africans.

5) Felt more and more uncomfortable with my Y.E.C. hobby and missed my days when I was filled with wonder and curiosity about science. The emperors creationist clothes started to drop off.

6) A nagging and unresolved doubt about the inerrancy of the bible and whether it really did support the trinity doctrine.

7) The kind of friends i ended up liking - finding the most interesting, mind expanding and fun where people who ENJOYED asking the hard questions within the church or people who all ended up leaving the charismatic church - even if most retained some form of liberal theism. I just didn't like the typical type of fundamentalist personality types and i reckon after a while one starts to be able to categorize common "charismatic stereotypes" quite easily. And i didn't like any of them. The "happy clappy thing simply started to seem vacuous.

8) I saw what happens when a pentecostal group gets "serious" with regard to "holiness". Some members of my family started going to a Scottish pentecostal church called "Struthers Memorial Church" In Greenock Scotland which in my mind has many almost cult-like attributes. And I saw how children in that church were almost brainwashed form an early age and encouraged to fear anything form thew "world" including newspapers, TV, theatre - basically anything that didn't "glorify" god. Not the typical pentecostal church by any means - far more "radical" but i saw what kind of personality type was drawn to that church and didn't like it. Think JESUS CAMP meets the "strict brethren" and you get some idea.

9) The idea of a soul made less and less sense.

10) The idea of a select few going to heaven after some "born again" altar call experience while the majority of the world gets consigned to hell.

11) The problem of suffering ala Bart Ehrman.

12) Total lack of ANY evidence for any claims, spiritual and doctrinal

13) A gradual distaste for all things evangelical whether baptist or charismatic. ( didnt go the liberal route - just went to a non-church going phase and then slowly to a declared atheist position.