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Date Posted:01/02/2008 7:59 AMCopy HTML

Dedicated to RD
It's great to hear that you've broken free from the mind control and deception of Noel Hollin's church system.
I was a pastor in that system for a long time and it has taken me a long time to come to terms with the evil of what I did and to finally be able to enjoy life as a "normal" believer in jesus. I was struck by what you said about the role of your conscience in your journey out of the false system. I identified immediately with you because I basically had the same attitude and experience.

All those years I faithfully and fervently preached and taught the N.H gospel, I was thinking that I was believing and propagating the very truth of God. I preached and taught what I did because I honestly and truly believed it to be true. Despite the times when I was troubled by what I heard and saw, I continued because my conscience told me that the basic message I was teaching people was the truth.

In the back of my mind I always had the thought that if somehow I ever found undeniable proof that a teaching was wrong, I would drop it. Of course, I never believed that that situation would ever arise, so I was completely shocked when I actually did find something that seriously put in doubt a major doctrine.

I was a fanatical B.I zealot. In the Philippines I made sure that everybody was well and truly indoctrinated in this great "revelation" from God.I would often have slide meetings explaining it, not just in Manila where I was based, but in all the other assemblies around the nation.

In Dec. 1999, I was planning to have a series of special meetings to further indoctrinate the church in this most important of doctrines, as N.H put it. I looked at all the usual material and slides we used and wanted to use some that we hadn't used before, so I decided to actually look into Josephus' book and discover in depth the quote he made about the 10 tribes being lost.

To my shock and horror, when I looked properly at the actual passage, I saw that Josephus was actually saying that the 10 tribes were not lost at all, but that their whereabouts and identity were well known to the Jews of Judah in the Middle East.
I was instantly plunged into an intense crisis of conscience.
I remember sitting up all night virtually ( Sabrina and the kids were asleep), reading that passage over and over again, saying to myself "Is that really what he's saying?". I was pacing up and down the lounge for many hours agonizing over what I immediately knew would be the implications if the 10 tribes were not lost.
In my imagination I could see it all before me: our major doctrine that made us different from everybody else , a lie!?
My conscience was telling me that IF it wasn't true I just couldn't teach it anymore.

Then for a moment I had the thought, "Well, no one else has seen this, what about if I just keep it all to myself and NEVER EVER bring it up with ANYBODY. It would save a lot of trouble and I wouldn't be responsible for rocking the boat. Everything could just go on as it was, I would keep my comfortable position and everybody would go on respecting and hearing me....this could open up a real can of worms", but another voice was troubling me, the voice of my conscience.

If indeed B.I was a false doctrine, and I hid that and kept it as my own dirty little secret, just so I wouldn't have any inconvenience or trouble in my life, I knew I just wouldn't be able to live with my conscience.
I decided therefore to go public with my discovery, first with my wife, then the Philippine leaders, then with Noel himself.
The rest is all history.

I did what I did because just as Paul said of himself (even before he was a Christian).."... I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man". Acts 24 v.16.
Paul particularily makes it very clear how important conscience is in how God will judge us in a lot of his writings.
In Romans 2 verses 14 to 16 he says that people that never heard the truth about God in this life will be judged, aquitted or condemned, by how they responded to the voice of conscience, which he is inferring acts as a witness concerning doing the will of God or not.

In 1 Timothy 4 v.2 he states that religous teachers that willfully go against their conscience are liars and hypocrites.

In Romans 9 verse one, he states that the Holy Spirit and our conscience will work together in our Christian life. The conscience will confirm in us what the Holy Spirit may be leading us into.
In 11 Corinthians 4 v. 2, he says that the target of his preaching and teaching was the conscience. I.e,with every person he ministered to, he aimed at their conscience.

I believe that conscience in man is the one thing that really makes him different from animals.
It is a God given witness to every single human being, so when we start disregarding our conscience we're really descending to the level of brute beasts, and that is precisely what you find in history.
Whether it was a King in the ancient past, the Communist Party, Hitler, Emperor Hirohito, the Pope or any other religous or political leader or movement, whenever "blind" unquestioning obedience and submission is demanded, people have acted with unbelievable cruelty, because as I said the working of conscience separates us from animals which have no conscience, so if we allow any man, church, movement or belief to be above our conscience, to become our conscience, we have fallen to the level of animals, and will start behaving accordingly

Any person or church who demands that you violate your conscience is evil and God is not working in them.
I believe that God never compels a person to violate their conscience.

A Christian may have what Paul called a "weak" conscience, which means his conscience bothers him about things he shouldn't worry about, i.e, he thinks he is sinning in God's sight when in fact he is not, he thinks something is sinful when it isn't. But we are not to compel that believer to go against his conscience, instead we need to educate him so his conscience won't be "weak" (think he's sinning when he isn't), but "strong"(so he won't be condemning himself about things he shouldn't be).
Paul's teatment of brothers who have a weak conscience further highlights the utter importance of conscience in our relationships with God and man.
Paul's basic point is simply this:  NEVER, EVER COMPEL A PERSON TO VIOLATE HIS CONSCIENCE.
I remember in the GRC how the Pastors would fervently say how strongly they were standing for the truth. It's so easy just to say it, but another thing to actually do it.
Any pastor or leader who is knowingly doing or teaching anything that is troubling his conscience should not be respected. A pastor who demands people ignore their conscience in preference to a supposed "revelation" he has from God ought to be rejected.

When I told Noel in person that my conscience didn't permit me to preach B.I anymore until my doubts and questions were answered, he told me to ignore my conscience and keep on preaching the "truth". He didn't use those exact words, but that was the point of what he said to me.
Once I heard that, I knew that Noel had totally lost the plot and was no longer worthy to be my pastor. I knew that he had to be RESISTED, not submitted to.
It was one hell of a struggle, and I suffered a lot, and lost my own mother and many others that I thought were my closest companions in this life.
For awhile my marriage and family were turned upside down and I went through years of serious depression as I tried to come to terms with having been in a cult for 23 years.
I suppose that I'm still somewhat scarred from it all, but I know one thing for sure.
When I stand before the judgement seat I will be able to honestly say "I have striven always to keep my conscience clear before God and man".
When it's all said and done, if we can't honestly say that, well, we're going to be in trouble, aren't we?
If we prayerfully and diligently guard our conscience, we're going to be O.K as far as the Almighty is concerned.

Brett Warren
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Re:The importance of conscience

Date Posted:01/02/2008 8:13 AMCopy HTML

Thank you for being so open Brett.

I was "in" when you were Pastor in the Phillipines and I admired you and Sabrina greatly.

I realise now, just how hard it must have been for you both to admit that you were wrong. Much harder than we followers to admit that we were duped.

Good luck for the future.

"Faith is not about everything turning out OK; Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."
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Re:The importance of conscience

Date Posted:01/02/2008 8:49 AMCopy HTML

Once again Brett you have touched my heart with your genuine honesty.
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