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Date Posted:10/01/2008 4:08 AMCopy HTML

Disfellowshipped After 22 Years

I joined the Revival Centres in 1982 with my husband as a young mother and wife. Having been witnessed to by our dear neighbours with whom we still have great love and eternal connections, we had been miraculously converted through a series of personal encounters with God. My only reason for going to the Revival Centre (as it was then, but lately Revival Fellowship) was to be baptised since God had shown me I needed to do this. My first experience of a Revival Centre meeting was mixed. It was a small South London fellowship. The Pastor was ill equipped for the role and the congregation appeared to be nervous. However I was there only to be baptised so I did not really take much notice of the individuals since I had no plans to return. However after being baptised and witnessing to my family who rejected the gospel we found ourselves returning to the fellowship to be with others who had experienced the miraculous baptism of the Spirit. I was like a sponge soaking up every spiritual lead I could. It was not long however before the true nature of some of the 'saints' of God began to leak out. My zeal and enthusiasm for God manifested itself in wanting to open my home up to others for prayer and fellowship. This was interpreted as young people wanting to 'take over'. Praying in tongues in a group was forbidden unless the Pastor was present to assess whether or not it was appropriate. My husband who offered to play the guitar since there was a lack of musicians was also seen as wanting to take over. It wasn't long before I began to realise that both myself and my husband were seen as a 'threat' in some way. I first began to feel my joy ebb away at this time but being a new Christian and looking up to others who I believed were mature and knew better than I did, I submitted, albeit reluctantly to a regime of control and oppression. Admittedly at the time I did not recognise that this was the case. I felt I was being 'discipled' and learning to submit to the authority of others which I was told was scriptural.

We went along for several years challenging some of the practices and rules which we felt were unscriptural and controlling. We were told that we were trouble makers and that everyone else was happy. We knew from most of the saints in the fellowship that many of them were unhappy. New people who came along rarely stayed. I had a great passion for witnessing to people and brought many people to meetings only to find that often someone would pressure them, criticise them or offend them in some way. I began to lose heart in witnessing fearing bringing them into the fellowship as I did not feel it was a safe place. I commented to the Pastor on one occasion that there was no love among the people. I was told that people who are falling away often make this accusation.

My husband and I left the Revival Fellowship after a few years and within a year a dozen people had been baptised in our home and were fellowshipping regularly including my parents in law. It was at this time as a new Leader that my husband approached the Revival Centre to return since he felt he needed guiding in his new role. He was told if he came back he would have to hand over his flock and sit in the back row indefinitely. Being a humble soul he did this much to the distress of our small flock who were unhappy with the Revival Centre culture. There were many unspoken rules which until you broke them you were unaware of. Disapproval or not being included in activities were the methods used to convey the Pastor's displeasure. I was very unhappy in these early days but being a dutiful wife I supported my husband in his decision to return. I felt my walk with God was stifled and oppressed. I was trying to serve two masters, God and an organisation that seemed to have conflicting agendas for my life. God seemed to be trying to speak to me in dreams, signs, wonders and ministry but the organisation did not recognise these methods of walking with God and so this was a dilemma for me.

Eventually we moved to Northern Ireland through a series of miracles and doors which God opened up to us. This was at the disapproval of the UK Revival Centres. Within a year we had a small house group of eighteen people fellowshipping and baptised. What we had learned in our time in Revival Centres was how 'not' to minister to others so we began to learn how to 'minister' in love. Once again this was seen as breaking away from the traditional Revival Centre way. Constant interference from Pastors in Australia and the UK many of whom were unfamiliar with our situations or culture in Northern Ireland became burdensome. The UK and European saints attended many of our conventions and commented on the freedom which we enjoyed as though it was an anomaly they were unfamiliar with. Some were affronted by it. Our own saints while under the banner of the bigger organisation enjoyed a more relaxed atmosphere. However two situations occurred which broke my heart and from this time on I did not trust the Pastors in the Revival Centre. My fourteen year old daughter was molested by a brother in the Church who was nineteen years of age. The 'rule' for Pastors was that if a situation occurred in their family or assembly other Pastors needed to be consulted. My husband, who was Pastor at this time, dutifully handed the situation over to the UK Council of Pastors who in conjunction with the Australian contingent ruled that my daughter as well as the offender should both be put out of the Church. My daughter was distraught at the event especially since she trusted this brother and had a strong regard for him. She felt abandoned and abused by the Church, the offender and her family who were expected to carry out this punishment. She maintained her dignity and returned to the Church but her spirit was crushed and broken. She never truly recovered form this incident and further similar events in her life and the lives of her sisters only compounded the effects of an abusive regime into which they had become accustomed. Another daughter found herself in a situation which resulted in her being disfellowshipped. She confessed to her husband a fault. Her husband was also put out of the Church for not preventing his wife from 'sinning'. Again I sanctioned these punitive measures. I am not proud of this but at the time I was indoctrinated into believing that this was scriptural. I believe this daughter has never recovered from the treatment she received although she also returned to the fellowship. There have been many other such inappropriate decisions made by the UK Council of Pastors.

Eventually when a split occurred with the Revival Centres, we became associated with the Revival Fellowships. We had a new council of Pastors and the future looked more promising. It seemed that the UK could organise themselves independently and work alongside Australian Pastors rather than be directed by them. It wasn't long however until the UK under pressure succumbed to the 'old' way of Senior Pastors who once again assumed an authoritarian role.

Our departure from the Revival Fellowships came in 2003 after twenty one years of service in the Organisation. An issue arose as to the deity of Jesus. It seemed that one of the Senior Pastors did not believe that Jesus was God and my husband was reprimanded for preaching that Jesus was God. This issue was later 'made light' of. Ironically we met another group in Northern Ireland who believed the Acts 2:38 message of salvation and during a conversation they produced a leaflet entitled 'Jesus is God'. I believe this was a divine encounter as it showed me that other people believed and were like minded with us in the gospel. We visited this group and one of their members visited our group. It was an exciting discovery to find like minded saints. After my husband attended a Pastors meeting in the UK he was disfellowshipped. He openly declared his consultations with this group and his displeasure at a Senior Pastor in our fellowship who, while believing that Jesus is not God, continued to forbid others to say that Jesus was God. After 22 years my husband received a phone call saying, 'After you left we had a chat and decided you have to go'. I guess this is how you treat the saints of God after they have supported and served the Organisation for so many years. After this there was no communication. No one contacted me to ask me how I was feeling or if I wanted to remain in the fellowship. My children whom I had brought up in the Church did not contact me. My son in laws assumed the role vacated by my husband. There was no consultation, no debriefing, no discussion, thanks or good wishes. We did however acquire a document sent to other Pastors giving reasons as to why we my husband had been disfellowshipped. There were about fourteen accusations, assumptions, criticisms and judgments, many of which lacked any evidence or supporting facts. I can only describe the experience as a brutal and unnecessary amputation.

Since then most of my family left the organisation. We are in a process of recovery from years of oppressive spiritual abuse. I do not use this term lightly. Under the banner of 'Christianity' there are many good things and wonderful saints of God whom I love and miss, but the organisation and those who assume roles of pastor and ministry are misguided in so many ways.

I have now discovered the true meaning of 'grace' and 'love'. I have returned to my first love and am free to explore the manifestations of God without scrutiny, criticism, oppression and rejection. I feel free for the first time to worship and please God in whatever way the Holy Spirit directs. God has begun to minister to me once again in dreams, revelations and gifts. I believe God is doing a restoration programme in my family. He has shown me this through signs and wonders. The organisation of the Revival Fellowships tried to break my family. Satan wanted to destroy a family of God who were strong and gifted and a threat to his plans. Satan meant it for evil but God has meant it for good. A grain of wheat unless it is broken cannot yield any harvest. We have been broken but it was the best thing which ever happened to me. I am now free in Christ and I know the love of brothers and sisters who unconditionally love me, accept me and with whom I can be myself and openly discuss any issues which concern me without fear of judgment, criticism or insecurity. God has begun to restore all that the cankerworm has eaten and it is even more glorious than the former. Praise the name of God. I forgive all those who have damaged my family and I pray that those whom I have hurt will forgive me also as God has forgiven us all.

Amen!

Anonymous
July, 2005

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Re:Disfellowshipped After 22 Years

Date Posted:07/01/2009 10:47 PMCopy HTML

God bless you and praise Jesus that you have found a place that teaches of his grace and love, which is the core of a Christian life.

We went along for several years challenging some of the practices and rules which we felt were unscriptural and controlling. We were told that we were trouble makers and that everyone else was happy. We knew from most of the saints in the fellowship that many of them were unhappy. New people who came along rarely stayed. I had a great passion for witnessing to people and brought many people to meetings only to find that often someone would pressure them, criticise them or offend them in some way. I began to lose heart in witnessing fearing bringing them into the fellowship as I did not feel it was a safe place. I commented to the Pastor on one occasion that there was no love among the people. I was told that people who are falling away often make this accusation.

The above is incredible and 100% how I found TRF to be whether I was in Yorkshire, Manchester or Holland. It's such a deja-vu reading your post and it's as if I had written it.

It's a common charge against TRF and the ones who are aware of it just carry on because they don't know anywhere else and because of the years of indoctrination and fear. As for the others, especially the pastors and those trying to usurp power over the rest, ...

Mat 15:14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

Our departure from the Revival Fellowships came in 2003 after twenty one years of service in the Organisation. An issue arose as to the deity of Jesus. It seemed that one of the Senior Pastors did not believe that Jesus was God and my husband was reprimanded for preaching that Jesus was God. This issue was later 'made light'

This was another thing I found to be absurd and I did notice that Jesus was never really preached. It was generally 'overcoming' and 'tongues' and 'anti-pentecostal'. It beggars belief that they would deny the deity of Jesus because the scriptures clearly state this. Curiously, when I first left the group and toyed with going back at a weak moment, this issue was brought up with the Pastor and I wanted to know his stance on the Godhead and the deity of the ONE GOD - Father, Word and Holy Spirit. I asked him to confirm his belief that Jesus is God and the response was, 'I don't have a problem with that', which I found to be extremely uncomfortable and shocking. It was not a definate, nor a positive acceptance of what the scriptures clearly say. I was also told not to make an issue out of it. The scriptures below should not go unnoticed!

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Joh 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.


All the glory to Jesus, our saviour, not through our own works, but by his grace. Amen.

Jojo the Lion Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #2
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Re:Disfellowshipped After 22 Years

Date Posted:10/01/2009 4:59 PMCopy HTML

Whatever my past and present beliefs, my visits to Belfast and the two Irish camps I went to remain very fond memories for me and I will not forget the unique warmth and hospitality of the opening poster and her husband.  Best wishes.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price / I have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
RCI prophesies
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