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Date Posted:28/12/2008 3:54 AMCopy HTML

My experience of the RF goes as follows:

Good

*Many sincere people, who really care about the Lord.
*A willingness to help those in need, in a material sense as well as spiritual.
*Immediate baptism by full immersion, not waiting months and taking lessons beforehand, like some churches do.
*No infant baptism, Christening or confirmation.
*Praying to receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues... few other churches make this a real point. In other churches, they often brush over the whole book of acts, and don't mention that you can experience anything like that.
*A genuine love of scripture by some, not all.
*Nothing too over-emotional, like in some churches, where it's more about getting an emotional high than getting to know the Lord.
*Things are done orderly, no one falling on the floor or mass hysteria.
*The Holy Spirit is talked about as a person, not just God's influence or force.
*Healing is talked about and happens. Not so in some other churches.
*Being able to talk openly about how other groups don't base their teachings on the Bible and why.
*How there are some genuinely good and loving people there, who are always rejoicing in the Lord.
*An emphasis on preaching the gospel, as in the Bible.


Bad

*The people who give talks are amateurs, who go over the same topics over and over again, without much variation. Most common themes: The Lord's imminent return, the need to preach the gospel, Acts 2:38.
*Little said to encourage people to live righteous, exemplary lives.
*Shallow understanding of the Greek and Hebrew texts.
*Young children expected to pray to 'receive', when they don't have enough knowledge to really understand.
*Feeling under pressure to do a 'spiritual voice gift' in meetings and how they're done in King James English.
*The amount of gossip among the 'youngies'.
*How some people are openly repulsed by homosexuals/transexuals/transvestites, etc. But all sin is equal in the eyes of God, so what's the big deal, compared to other sins such as vanity?
*How you're made to feel guilty if you're not putting 'fellowship' before everything else in your life.
*How you're not encouraged to seek the truth for yourself, but force-fed information.
*Many of the people 'brought up in the Lord' are clearly brainwashed and don't know how to think for themselves, but rely on the constant advice of the oversight.
*People equate being in the Fellowship as being 'in the Lord' and those outside are seen as 'not in the Lord', or walking 'disorderly'. This is not true.
*Some of the choruses make me cringe.
*Whenever you need advice, the answer is always 'you need to pray about it/pray more'
*If you miss a couple of meetings, it's red alert, unless you've got a very good reason.
*A lot of people don't love the Lord, they're just afraid to leave cos it's all they know.
*How pastors like you to discuss any major decisions with you before you make them, so they can advise you on what you should do... i.e. whether it'll fit in with what the Fellowship is doing.
*The same cringey lingo throughout all fellowships, e.g., "And all the people said...", "in the Lord', "in the world", etc.
*How a lot of people act just as "worldly" as anyone who's not a Christian, just without the swearing, smoking, sex, drugs and drinking. Anyone can abstain from these things, doesn't make them more spiritual.
*How people who have studied Theology or know a lot about the Bible are seen as idiots compared to someone who's been taught the RF doctrines.
*How there are never any clear answers to the tougher questions of the Bible.
*RF doctrines are seen as more important than scrutinising the Bible for the answers.
*Some people have clearly been hurt by the RF, and that's not good.
*Works are emphasised more than God's grace... i.e. once you've done the 1-2-3, you have to do works that please God to "earn your salvation", so to speak, or you'll lose your salvation. Fair enough, I don't agree with eternal security, but works should be the result of a love of God, not fear of the oversight or fear of going to hell.


But despite all this, I guess what's important to each individual is their own relationship with God, not what other people around them are doing. other people will always fail us, over and over again, but God is perfect. No churches are perfect and they can't save us. The only thing that matters is whether we've done what's right by God. We won't have anyone to blame except ourselves when we stand before God, so we need to give our decisions a lot of thought. This website has been enlightening. Thanks. :-)



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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:29/12/2008 3:37 AMCopy HTML

Hiya, Question.

I think you need to open your Bible, your eyes, and your mind a little more. Much of what you assessed as 'good' about the RF is actually bad, very bad.

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:29/12/2008 8:06 AMCopy HTML

Hi  Questioneverything

Can't help but notice that your 'bad' list outweighs the 'good' in number and in content/weight.
Is this tipping the balance enough for you to look elsewhere or have you already?

Ian
I marvel at your succinct post and brevity of response. Can we look forward to a lengthy, point by point summation - or is it the road so well travelled you want to take a big breath first?

Chips



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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:29/12/2008 8:14 PMCopy HTML

Hello mate, good to hear from you

 

Good

*Many sincere people, who really care about the Lord.

 

I disagree with the above because the following scriptures comes to mind,

 

Mat 15:8  "'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;

 

Mat 7:20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

 

The love of the LORD is not there except for a few who are ‘on the edge’ as Pr P would say, or maybe very ignorant members who are not clued up to the doctrines of TRF and just go on in simplicity of the joy they received. This is very difficult in most cases because there is a serious lack of real support, a void of love and an obvious lack of joy.


*A willingness to help those in need, in a material sense as well as spiritual.

 

There is no willingness to ‘help those in need’ there is merely a strong attempt to bring people in line with accepting what Pr P decides with the support of the silent ‘yes men’ of Europe. You said it yourself before about them not wanting to talk about so many other biblical issues, which they are uncomfortable discussing. Their simple motto is’ get in line or get out’. You either go on wilfully ignorant just to remain in TRF, or you stand up for God’s word and get out of there. 

 


*Immediate baptism by full immersion, not waiting months and taking lessons beforehand, lie’ some churches do.

 

There are plenty of churches out there that do the above and also display the fruits of the Spirit, which TRF does not.


*A genuine love of scripture by some, not all.

 

I disagree with that because the general line was to focus on the ‘Gospel message’ and not ‘hang your hat’ on other biblical issues, which were not ‘salvation issues’. There are many examples of this and as soon as you leave TRF and read your bible, you will realise there is so much more in there, than the repetitive militant Jehovah’s Witness style attack on the very few scriptures used by TRF. Did you ever give a talk? They soon shoot you down if you delve into things they don’t like, be it a black and white shut down, or an attempt at a subtle rebuttal. Oh, how the ears were closed.

 


*Nothing too over-emotional, like in some churches, where it's more about getting an emotional high than getting to know the Lord.

 

The above is very subjective and because of this it is difficult to make a comment. There is almost a complete void of anything in a TRF meeting in Holland, Yorkshire or Manchester. Having been to a northern England ‘prayer meeting’ I was in absolute shock at how miserable people could be, especially when they believe they are at the pinnacle of what the Spirit has to offer. A Dutch meeting is incredibly morbid, which I experienced after a German camp. The Dutch leadership act far stricter when the other Europeans aren’t around ‘feel at home’.


*Things are done orderly, no one falling on the floor or mass hysteria.

 

Again, the above is a subjective because you would have to understand what is ‘decent and in order’ to begin with. For example, lifting hands, dancing ‘swaying’, and other things. Well, let’s look in the bible,

 

Psa 150:3  Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

Psa 150:4  Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

Psa 150:5  Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Psa 150:6  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

 

Do you honestly sense any of the praise declared above in a TRF ‘chorus session’?

 

 

Psa 63:3  Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Psa 63:4  So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

 

1Ti 2:8  I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

 

1Co 14:15  What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

 

TRF declare that in Jude ‘praying in the Spirit’ means speaking in tongues. Well if this is their conclusion, then using their own logic, they must allow singing in tongues, but they call declare it as ‘indecent’


*The Holy Spirit is talked about as a person, not just God's influence or force.

 

In TRF he is essentially a ‘tongues’ and little more is spoken thereof. Never once did I hear a talk on the Godhead and the triune nature of our Creator in the Father, Word and Spirit. There is an incredible amount of scripture for a clear grasp of what God wanted us to know; yet it is an issue, which they do not like to discuss. I dare say it is because He is not the one they are seeking.


*Healing is talked about and happens. Not so in some other churches.

 

The meeting I attend now (not TRF) is full of healings, miracles and God’s love. I was close to tears at a recent testimony meeting, hearing how God has changed the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters and how joyful they were and sang praise to Him. A bus smashed into one girl when she was walking across the Zebra crossing. Her head smashed the glass at the front of the bus and the bus launched her forward and then drove over her legs. She was covered in blood and in intensive care. The first thing she said when she saw her granddad was ‘pray for me’ and can you believe she had no broken bones at all, nor any glass in her face or body. She was completely healed in a speedy recovery and the doctors could not believe it. They gave all glory to God. I could tell you many more things that would make you praise our Creator.


*Being able to talk openly about how other groups don't base their teachings on the Bible and why.

 

I doubt the above simply because they do not know what the others believe. Half of them don’t even know what TRF belief because very few issues are discussed. They talk about Catholicism and then, ‘Pentecostalism’ but the way they go about it is quite ridiculous. The ‘Pentecostals’ are classed as one group and they like to use some American ones who run up walls and so forth. It’s typical slander techniques of going for the most extreme cases and then labelling all as being like that. They don’t talk openly about their own doctrines, so it is highly unlikely they do the same about others.


*How there are some genuinely good and loving people there, who are always rejoicing in the Lord.

 

Hmm, which group were you in? I saw maybe 5% of people actually rejoicing and the rest were either miserable or hopping from one step to another so as not to offend the hard-line TRF philosophy.


*An emphasis on preaching the gospel, as in the Bible.

 

The emphasis was on wearing a shirt and tie and getting to every single meeting/outing. If you didn’t do it, you were an outcast.


Bad

*The people who give talks are amateurs, who go over the same topics over and over again, without much variation. Most common themes: The Lord's imminent return, the need to preach the gospel, Acts 2:38.

 

Exactly.


*Little said to encourage people to live righteous, exemplary lives.

 

Exactly, but the reason is they have no joy or understanding of the fruits of the Spirit.


*Shallow understanding of the Greek and Hebrew texts.

 

Hence the weird doctrines


*Young children expected to pray to 'receive', when they don't have enough knowledge to really understand.

 

Spot on


*Feeling under pressure to do a 'spiritual voice gift' in meetings and how they're done in King James English.

 

And they are just the ‘same old’ or a re-hash of the previous 10 years of ‘gifts’. Often used as a chance to have a go at a person behind the smokescreen of a God-given revelation, which is merely there own presumptuous declaration.


*The amount of gossip among the 'youngies'.

 

It’s everyone, not just youngies. They gossip because it’s all they have. The joy of the LORD is not there, so they keep themselves busy.


*How some people are openly repulsed by homosexuals/transexuals/transvestites, etc. But all sin is equal in the eyes of God, so what's the big deal, compared to other sins such as vanity?

 

We are told the wages of sin is death, and death entered the world when Adam sinned. Because we are all descendants of Adam, we are all born sinners because we have inherited the fall from our forefathers. The creation groaned, hence the decay of the present world and the entropy law, which affects everything. For this reason, Jesus was the only possible atonement for God’s righteous judgement that the wages of sin must be death.

 

All sin is equal in this respect that without Jesus sacrifice, we would all be doomed to perish, but the bible does clearly show that there is greater/lesser suffering for differing deeds.

 

Luk 10:12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

 

And there are plenty of other examples. Homosexuality is declared as wicked in many scriptures, so it would be folly to treat is as a ‘light’ sin. ‘Be holy, as I AM holy’


*How you're not encouraged to seek the truth for yourself, but force-fed information.

 

But you get plenty of double-speak, which says do it, but don’t.

 

*Many of the people 'brought up in the Lord' are clearly brainwashed and don't know how to think for themselves, but rely on the constant advice of the oversight.

 

Exactly. Brain-washed mind-controlled and the techniques used are identical to the Jehovah’s Witnessed. I should know because I used to be a JW and then ended up in TRF until I finally understood God’s grace after leaving TRF.


*People equate being in the Fellowship as being 'in the Lord' and those outside are seen as 'not in the Lord', or walking 'disorderly'. This is not true.

 

Yes, and the fat people seem to have a real jealousy towards those of us who are slim and go to the gym. Jealousy is rife in there.


*Some of the choruses make me cringe.

 

The choruses represent their philosophy. No melody / no harmony in the body itself. Same old songs / same old talks over and over again. Monotonous hand clapping / robotic acceptance of doctrines delivered.

 

The songs were awful, but the core of this is because they do not have the joy of the LORD; therefore what do they have to sing about?


*If you miss a couple of meetings, it's red alert, unless you've got a very good reason.

 

Yes, already an outcast


*A lot of people don't love the Lord, they're just afraid to leave cos it's all they know.

 

Exactly, they never knew the LORD, so what are they holding on to? Come out of her and find God’s people.


*How pastors like you to discuss any major decisions with you before you make them, so they can advise you on what you should do... i.e. whether it'll fit in with what the Fellowship is doing.

 

This is normally written in the Pastor’s handbook. It might as well be called the book of Mormon. Anyone would have thought the Bible would be enough! Pr P self esteemed infallibility is dangerous.


*The same cringey lingo throughout all fellowships, e.g., "And all the people said...", "in the Lord', "in the world", etc.

 

So much for traditions and rituals:  ‘Oh bless the LORD, oh Hallelujah, oh praise His Name’ ‘thank you thank you thank you, thank you (ultra high pitched voice). And many other empty phrases, which are used be others copying the oversight and never connecting with what they are actually saying.

 


*How a lot of people act just as "worldly" as anyone who's not a Christian, just without the swearing, smoking, sex, drugs and drinking. Anyone can abstain from these things, doesn't make them more spiritual.

 

Spot on

 

Col 2:20  If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—

 

Col 2:21  "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"

 

Col 2:22  (referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?

 

Col 2:23  These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


*How people who have studied Theology or know a lot about the Bible are seen as idiots compared to someone who's been taught the RF doctrines.

 

Exactly.

 

2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

 

2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.


*How there are never any clear answers to the tougher questions of the Bible.

 

And even when they do have answers they are wish washy and clearly unscriptural.


*RF doctrines are seen as more important than scrutinising the Bible for the answers.

 

They don’t want you to search for anything and if you do find something, they try to explain it away with incredible stupidity


*Some people have clearly been hurt by the RF, and that's not good.

 

Many people. I just hope that when they left, they found a place of true Christian worshippers.


*Works are emphasised more than God's grace... i.e. once you've done the 1-2-3, you have to do works that please God to "earn your salvation", so to speak, or you'll lose your salvation. Fair enough, I don't agree with eternal security, but works should be the result of a love of God, not fear of the oversight or fear of going to hell.

Exactly.

You want to leave TRF and find somewhere teaching scripture accurately and where the fruits of the Spirit are clearly seen in action, not just words.

 

Jesus loves you.

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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:29/12/2008 8:25 PMCopy HTML


*The same cringey lingo throughout all fellowships, e.g., "And all the people said...", "in the Lord', "in the world", etc.

 

So much for traditions and rituals:  ‘Oh bless the LORD, oh Hallelujah, oh praise His Name’ ‘thank you thank you thank you, thank you (ultra high pitched voice). And many other empty phrases, which are used be others copying the oversight and never connecting with what they are actually saying.

 


*How a lot of people act just as "worldly" as anyone who's not a Christian, just without the swearing, smoking, sex, drugs and drinking. Anyone can abstain from these things, doesn't make them more spiritual.

 

Spot on

 

Col 2:20  If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—

 

Col 2:21  "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"

 

Col 2:22  (referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?

 

Col 2:23  These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


*How people who have studied Theology or know a lot about the Bible are seen as idiots compared to someone who's been taught the RF doctrines.

 

Exactly.

 

2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

 

2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.


*How there are never any clear answers to the tougher questions of the Bible.

 

And even when they do have answers they are wish washy and clearly unscriptural.


*RF doctrines are seen as more important than scrutinising the Bible for the answers.

 

They don’t want you to search for anything and if you do find something, they try to explain it away with incredible stupidity


*Some people have clearly been hurt by the RF, and that's not good.

 

Many people. I just hope that when they left, they found a place of true Christian worshippers.


*Works are emphasised more than God's grace... i.e. once you've done the 1-2-3, you have to do works that please God to "earn your salvation", so to speak, or you'll lose your salvation. Fair enough, I don't agree with eternal security, but works should be the result of a love of God, not fear of the oversight or fear of going to hell.

Exactly.

You want to leave TRF and find somewhere teaching scripture accurately and where the fruits of the Spirit are clearly seen in action, not just words.

 

Jesus loves you.

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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:29/12/2008 11:36 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Chips.

I marvel at your succinct post and brevity of response. Can we look forward to a lengthy, point by point summation - or is it the road so well travelled you want to take a big breath first?

Geez, it gets a wee bit tiring covering the same old ground, time and again. However, I'll tread these long, worn paths once more, just for you.

*A willingness to help those in need, in a material sense as well as spiritual.

So long as they're fellow members of the RF, that is. The RF has never involved itself in meeting the needs of society's poor, dispossessed or weak, even though Jesus himself provided such an example.

*Immediate baptism by full immersion, not waiting months and taking lessons beforehand, like some churches do.

And this is a significant mistake, one that has led to (perhaps) the majority of Revivalist baptism being both null and void. Baptism, you see is restricted to the converted, and not those who wish to convert; it is for those who believe, and not those who wish to believe. The historic Christian Church has always ensured that candidates for baptism have met the necessary criteria to undertake the rite: a comprehension of, and confessed belief in, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Revivalists, on the other hand, will 'dunk' anybody whether converted or not, whether understanding of the significance of the gospel or not. If the RF ever went to the trouble of providing catechesis, then things might be different. But they don't, so they aren't.

*No infant baptism, Christening or confirmation.

Another most significant error, one which clearly identifies that the RF doesn't properly understand the purpose of baptism, or the very fact of the 'household' baptisms that we find described in Acts. Such a position fails to identify that baptism's primary function is the inclusion of believers into the community of faith. It further fails to identify that Acts clearly presents the picture of the head of the household (the so-called Pater familiaris) acting vicariously for all the members of his household, whether they be wives, children or slaves. Personal and individual choice, you see, is a strictly recent (and Western) phenomena. It simply didn't exist in the biblical cultures. Next, the rite of Confirmation is amply attested to in Christian writings dating from before the close of the 1st century onwards. So it's a very brave move indeed, to dismiss out-of-hand, practices that have been followed by the Church everywhere from the 1st through the 21st centuries!

*Praying to receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues... few other churches make this a real point. In other churches, they often brush over the whole book of acts, and don't mention that you can experience anything like that.

Few churches teach this because it's absolute cr*p! The simple gift of 'tongues' isn't evidence of anything, and certainly not of the indwelling of God's Spirit in the mystery of salvation! This particular 'doctrine' first hit the streets in the late 1930s in the good ol' US of A. Prior to that time, it simply didn't exist, anywhere. Next, our RF correspondent fails to appreciate that what he's been led to believe is the teaching of the book of Acts is anything but. And I've proven as much, exhaustively, elsewhere. Finally other churches (the Christian sort) teach Acts as Acts actually is, which is both good and proper. After all, we can't experience "anything like that" again, regardless of what some may claim.

*Nothing too over-emotional, like in some churches, where it's more about getting an emotional high than getting to know the Lord.

I'd suggest nothing 'emotional' at all. The RF is far too dry and sterile. It has rules in place to ensure that emotion isn't given a 'look-in' at any point, even though we humans were created as affective beings.

*Things are done orderly, no one falling on the floor or mass hysteria.

The RF's concept of what is, or isn't 'decent' or 'orderly', is automatically assumed to be biblical. Of course it isn't, it's simply a further example of human legalism that seeks to build 'hedges' around the 'law' by confusing culture with doctrine. The RF draws it's 'decent or orderly' stance from 1 Corinthians, which it believes to be a sort of 'manual' on how to 'do' church. This simply demonstrates that the RF has altogether failed to appreciate the issue of context, and has failed to properly understand Paul's purposes in writing to the church of Corinth to begin with!

*The Holy Spirit is talked about as a person, not just God's influence or force.

Rubbish. The RF official website, for example, still refers to the Holy Spirit as a depersonalised 'it', by stating: "What is the Holy Spirit?" And every time I've ever heard an RF 'testimony', the Spirit is similarly depersonalised. The wording usually goes something like, "and after I received it..."

*Healing is talked about and happens. Not so in some other churches.

Rubbish. Healing in the RF is far, far rarer than it is, for example, in the Australian Anglican Church, which has enjoyed a long and successful healing ministry.

*Being able to talk openly about how other groups don't base their teachings on the Bible and why.

Yes, the 'blind leading the blind'. The RF has no concept whatsoever of the history of Christianity and Christian doctrine, yet believes itself capable of judging others against her own ignorances, biases and mistakes. Given that the RF is led by pastors who wouldn't be able to spell 'Nicea', it's somewhat ironic that these very same men would boldly judge the Christology and theology of far more learned (and wise) Christian ministers.

*An emphasis on preaching the gospel, as in the Bible.

And this is the silliest claim of all. The RF doesn't even know what the gospel is, never mind its content. No, the RF has ditched the Christian gospel in preference for Lloyd Longfield's unbiblical nonsense, which they inherited and 'swallowed' without first 'chewing'.

In summary then, "bah, humbug"!

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:30/12/2008 2:53 AMCopy HTML

Geez, it gets a wee bit tiring covering the same old ground, time and again. However, I'll tread these long, worn paths once more, just for you.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ian,

Thanks - most excellently delivered and right along the lines I was expecting. I hope it helps not just a wee chip like meself, but that QE reads it with relish.
 
There's lots to ponder on, QE, from Epi and No Jezabel as well.

QE, you're right about this website being enlightening. Stay tuned.

Spitchips

 

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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:30/12/2008 5:16 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Chips.

Well, I seek to please. Actually, no I don't. I seek to teach, and sometimes people neither appreciate the context of being taught, or the content that is taught.

To whit I say, "tough"!

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:10/12/2009 11:54 PMCopy HTML

Hi Ian

After reading the above now i really am curious about you, forgive my ignorance if you've already answered this question elsewhere on this site but what is your story?? are you ex rf?? i was in croydon for 20ish years (since childhood) maybe i know you, i've got a feeling Ian must be your real name.

Cheers

Fearlessfly

ps i don't think they can kick you out of here :)

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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:11/12/2009 8:20 AMCopy HTML

Hi, "Fearlessly".

Indeed it's quite possible that we may have met, "once upon a time", as they say. You can read my testimony at www.pleaseconsider.info if you're interested, it describes what motivates me to do what I do.

ps i don't think they can kick you out of here :)

No, they can't kick me out of here. However, I can kick them out ("Moderator" status, and all). But I won't, as doing so is counter-productive to being able to help them ;o) Anyway, you may be surprised to learn that John (i.e. Fremde) and I are now quite "tight". As I said in my riposte to him, my methods work (eventually)

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
Pastor Buck Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #10
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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:22/12/2009 3:06 AMCopy HTML

What has Changed in the revival fellowship in the last few years is that people are been given a more free will. They are able to make descisions on attending meetings. The messages is to get to what you can no pressure.
Is the Revival fellowship perfect? No it is not are other churches perfect? No

What is important is that you have relationship with God and are assured that no one or ogranisation will take it away from you. I have been unhappy in the revival fellowship and some of it was there fault but I found that I was not content in myself once I sorted that out I have been set free. Please remove all bitterness and disapointment from you life and be happy with your relationship with your God.
If you are still bitter with the Revival Fellwoship you need to sort it life is too short to be bitter
JoeDimmagio Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #11
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Re:my experiences in RF - Good and bad

Date Posted:30/12/2009 2:16 PMCopy HTML

Reply to questioneverything

My experience of the RF goes as follows:

Good

*Many sincere people, who really care about the Lord.
*A willingness to help those in need, in a material sense as well as spiritual.
*Immediate baptism by full immersion, not waiting months and taking lessons beforehand, like some churches do.
*No infant baptism, Christening or confirmation.
*Praying to receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues... few other churches make this a real point. In other churches, they often brush over the whole book of acts, and don't mention that you can experience anything like that.
*A genuine love of scripture by some, not all.
*Nothing too over-emotional, like in some churches, where it's more about getting an emotional high than getting to know the Lord.
*Things are done orderly, no one falling on the floor or mass hysteria.
*The Holy Spirit is talked about as a person, not just God's influence or force.
*Healing is talked about and happens. Not so in some other churches.
*Being able to talk openly about how other groups don't base their teachings on the Bible and why.
*How there are some genuinely good and loving people there, who are always rejoicing in the Lord.
*An emphasis on preaching the gospel, as in the Bible.


Bad

*The people who give talks are amateurs, who go over the same topics over and over again, without much variation. Most common themes: The Lord's imminent return, the need to preach the gospel, Acts 2:38.
*Little said to encourage people to live righteous, exemplary lives.
*Shallow understanding of the Greek and Hebrew texts.
*Young children expected to pray to 'receive', when they don't have enough knowledge to really understand.
*Feeling under pressure to do a 'spiritual voice gift' in meetings and how they're done in King James English.
*The amount of gossip among the 'youngies'.
*How some people are openly repulsed by homosexuals/transexuals/transvestites, etc. But all sin is equal in the eyes of God, so what's the big deal, compared to other sins such as vanity?
*How you're made to feel guilty if you're not putting 'fellowship' before everything else in your life.
*How you're not encouraged to seek the truth for yourself, but force-fed information.
*Many of the people 'brought up in the Lord' are clearly brainwashed and don't know how to think for themselves, but rely on the constant advice of the oversight.
*People equate being in the Fellowship as being 'in the Lord' and those outside are seen as 'not in the Lord', or walking 'disorderly'. This is not true.
*Some of the choruses make me cringe.
*Whenever you need advice, the answer is always 'you need to pray about it/pray more'
*If you miss a couple of meetings, it's red alert, unless you've got a very good reason.
*A lot of people don't love the Lord, they're just afraid to leave cos it's all they know.
*How pastors like you to discuss any major decisions with you before you make them, so they can advise you on what you should do... i.e. whether it'll fit in with what the Fellowship is doing.
*The same cringey lingo throughout all fellowships, e.g., "And all the people said...", "in the Lord', "in the world", etc.
*How a lot of people act just as "worldly" as anyone who's not a Christian, just without the swearing, smoking, sex, drugs and drinking. Anyone can abstain from these things, doesn't make them more spiritual.
*How people who have studied Theology or know a lot about the Bible are seen as idiots compared to someone who's been taught the RF doctrines.
*How there are never any clear answers to the tougher questions of the Bible.
*RF doctrines are seen as more important than scrutinising the Bible for the answers.
*Some people have clearly been hurt by the RF, and that's not good.
*Works are emphasised more than God's grace... i.e. once you've done the 1-2-3, you have to do works that please God to "earn your salvation", so to speak, or you'll lose your salvation. Fair enough, I don't agree with eternal security, but works should be the result of a love of God, not fear of the oversight or fear of going to hell.


But despite all this, I guess what's important to each individual is their own relationship with God, not what other people around them are doing. other people will always fail us, over and over again, but God is perfect. No churches are perfect and they can't save us. The only thing that matters is whether we've done what's right by God. We won't have anyone to blame except ourselves when we stand before God, so we need to give our decisions a lot of thought. This website has been enlightening. Thanks. :-)




Hi questioneverything and all,

I thought your above observations were pretty much smack on the money IMO.

The only thing I disagree with is this:

"*An emphasis on preaching the gospel, as in the Bible"

I have found that the gospel in RF is Acts 2:38.  In numerous scriptures in the NT I can see that the gospel is actually the fact Jesus came, was the son of God, lived, died for our sins and was resurrected etc.

From what I can see Acts 2:38 is the response to hearing that gospel, as opposed to being the gospel itself.  Some may say that I am splitting hairs here, but I found that in RF (especially the youth) have Acts 2:38 drilled into them without really appreciating what Jesus did for mankind. (whoops sorry, humankind lol), and thus it has little impact on their life/decisions/thoughts.

I have experienced the RF in a number of different locations within aust.  I have enjoyed serving the Lord in RF, but also been frustrated with the culture at the same time.

I have noticed that some people have posted into this forum saying the RF has lightened up etc.  I have found this to be true in some RF's, but the underlying culture is still there alive and well which does some damage.  As it stands now, IMO I don't think I can talk of the RF as a single entity, comprising all of the fellowships world wide or even nationally.  This is because of the growing differences in standards between one fellowship and the next. 

Adelaide was frustrating because some old school militants still existed there enforcing the frustrating culture.  On the outside things appear to have changed, but the old culture prevails once you get in the nooks and crannies. 

Things that I noticed which I believe to be detrimental to christian life is as follows:

* the us and them attitude was promoted heavily. 

Rather than separating the truth from everything else, during talks the division was created between 'churches', as opposed to talking of the true church.  This causes believers to develop an 'us and them attitude' and believers can lose sight of the fact that the lords people are not confined to one organisation, but comprised of true believers everywhere.  This practice also results in members executing premature judgement and ill-treatment of other believers or ex members who may do things differently, but could very well be acceptable to God.

* a lot of time during talks, and in social gatherings, time was spent justifying the way the organisation operates, or where changes can be made to meetings, music, 'youngies' etc, or why changes should not be made, rather than just getting into things of the Lord. 

This results in believers not growing in God (or getting to know him) because their focus and worry is on administrative matters rather than the scriptures.  

* the organisation is very regimented, which detracts from Gods requirements.

Adelaide had a very regimented structure with frequent meetings and activities.  This is okay but IMO they were over emphasised, allowing believers to exist in these rather than God.  A believer may try to fulfill all the requirements of the organisation without giving much thought to God's desires directly from the bible.  They can just 'exist' within the structure of the organisation and get spoon fed.  A strict regime also promotes a works based salvation.  For example a believer may feel guilty for not tithing 10%.  I found a lot of people unfortunately did not understand Grace or walking in Spirit because of a strict regime, and felt unwarranted guilt for non-compliance with the organisations typical operations.  This strengthens the culture which has taught some to take offence to things that are against the grain of the regime but don't really matter to God. (because they do not know him).  Grace was not mentioned enough IMO.

Some say the guidelines have relaxed, probably true but this was not really the issue IMO.  The issue is a result of believers reverencing and focusing on organisational rules to govern their life as opposed to the Bible and God.  Adelaide mainly.  I can understand that with a large number of youth a rule or two is ok, but they need to be taught that the things that matter are from the Bible.  I saw situations where a scripture was pulled out of context to justify a 'guideline' thus making the 'offender' feel guilty about something God would not care about.  Not good.  ( one fella broke the midnight curfew in that instance)


* some cultish practices are alive and well.

  same old as below: I know first hand:

if you wish to leave or express certain opinions then you can probably still expect to be dished up a fair amount of guilt and shunning, made to feel like you have issues, and generally you self esteem is ripped apart.  It is incomprehendable (is that a word? dunno) to some people there that you can lead a godly life if you leave the organisation, (which is ludicrous) and is certainly not suggested. 

Conclusion:

I don't believe you can't serve God in the RF, all the luck to you, but you may just get jacked off from time to time with some things that I found to really impinge on my walk with God and oppress the Spirit.

Good on the RF for getting people baptised by water and spirit.  It's just all the other cultish stuff that needs to go.  I found NSW and QLD fellowships a lot better than Adelaide in this regard.   I believe the smaller numbers in fellowships here helped to put the focus on God a lot more, so the Spirit prevailed more which was good.

I think it's easy to fall into the 'this church that church game', but it's about us as individuals.  I believe some people from RF will be part of the first resurrection, as well as people from elsewhere.  And I don't think that we will be able to blame the RF or any other organisation for our short falls when we front up to God.  One body.  One Spirit.

God Bless and remember God is with his people and is for us and not against us.


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