While we attended this church throughout my childhood, there were a lot of changes. They started in a small-ish shopping center until they raised enough funds to build a super-dome stadium.
I went to numerous Halloween celebrations and was even baptized here when I was 10 years old and convinced that if I didn't, I'd be a terrible, incomplete person. The day I went to the front to 'give my heart to Jesus', the preacher was placing his hands on other people who had come up and praying for them. 2/3 of them fell to the floor, consumed by the Holy Spirit. When it came my turn, he placed his hand on my head and started praying, then ever so slightly started to apply force. I was confused at first and then realized that he was trying to prompt me to take my turn and fall to the floor!! I pushed back and he gave up and moved on. I turned around and saw that my dad, who had gone with me to the front and had been standing behind me the whole time, had noticed it, too, and gave me a sad smile.
Shortly after that, they built an actual CASTLE for the youth to have their fellowship and bible studies in, complete with suits of armor and shields lining the halls..
Not too long after that, we went in for a Sunday service and things felt different. Apparently, we had a special guest! Bowls of cough drops were in the lobbies and the preacher actually stopped mid-sentence to tell an usher to bring one to someone when they were trying to clear their throat.
Thankfully, we never went back after that, but the damage was done! Took me a few years to clear that bullshit outta my head..
Haha! I know, right? I immediately recoil at Jesus-in-your-heart talk now..
Nice to meet you, too. =)
Welcome, and nice to meet you, Misha.
I can see that you learned early the secret of "being slain in the spirit" as some call it. Imagine the scene now as someone is going to pray for you. You have come forward for salvation, healing, or whatever it is. The minister lays hands on you and prays. He might take one finger and place it on your forehead, gently pushing you backwards. You fall to the floor by the power of the spirit with little or no effort used.
If you are standing there in front of the man with both feet together this will happen every time. Some of us know that if you move one foot backwards slightly you will never fall. Imagine that.
To Binnie Hinn and the faithful it's the power of god. The power of the spirit at work. It's a miracle, -- but only if you fall down.
Welcome Misha. Glad you're here, and found a little corner of sanity.
As to you former church, I've never attended a mega-church. Nor, I might add, do I have any intention of ever setting foot in one. However, they have always struck me as phony mass marketing. It has little to do with religion, and much more to do with sales, and the profit margin of the pastor and directors. They mimic concert venues, theme parks, and whatever slick marketing will get new initiates and their wallets in the door.
Glad you got the hell out of there.
Hi Misha....welcome to AN.....I heard about things like what you described and often wondered how people could fall for that.....So glad you came to your senses....Now that you are a nonbeliever like the rest of us you can concentrate on the important things like living your life as you see fit without all the intrusions.....
Thanks for the great welcome, everyone! It is certainly nice to be a part of a community like this, instead.