What is Holiness?

What is Holiness? This is a question, that if you Google, has been asked and answered a thousand times over. So why am I writing about it? So that I too can understand the real meaning of Holiness, and talk about it with you.

So is Holiness something you can achieve? Is there some habit or clothing I can wear to be holy? Can I perform a ritual to be holy? Is ‘holiness’ something you can see on the outside, or is it just something that takes place on the inside? Or both?

 

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The Similarities of Medieval Catholicism and Modern Oneness Pentecostalism (Long)

When I first let the Oneness Pentecostal church I had been a part for 15 years, I wrote in my exit letter to the pastor a statement that has been mirrored by others many times over, and something that I have commented on several times since. I wrote, “Only the Catholic Church holds more ‘works for salvation’ than we as Pentecostals seem to have created.”

My intent was to say that the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal church almost mirrors the practices of old-time medieval Catholicism, while at the same time declaring it [Catholicism] heretical and blasphemous. The irony isn’t lost on me. And it’s wrong.

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Coping with the Cults – Part #3 – Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse is one of those labels that can be overused, much like the word cult. In the times following Jesus’ crucifixion and the birth of the Christian Church, Judaism and the Roman occupiers of Jerusalem labeled the Christian movement a cult. However, it is also something that needs to be defined and exposed, because it happens in our neighborhoods, around the block, and in town.

Spiritual Abuse is defined as when a spiritual leader, such as a pastor uses his/her position of authority to control other individuals in a way that requires absolute obedience and results in the personal gain of power, prestige or financial gain.

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Coping with the Cults – Part #2 – Judgementalism

Since leaving a cult, I have delved into studying, writing, reading, talking and coping with the very real, sometimes hidden, but obvious affects cults and their teachings have on lives. Most certainly the very word ‘cult’ conjures up the worst horrors to hit the news headlines, like Jamestown, or Waco, TX, but the majority of cults are far less obvious and insidiously covert, and right next door.

The most common fear or result we have seen as a result of leaving a cult is the harsh judgmentalism that is felt by those who leave, or ‘change’. You don’t obey their dress standards anymore. You can feel the whispers, the stares. You can even see it in their children’s eyes. Continue reading “Coping with the Cults – Part #2 – Judgementalism”

Spoiling the Egyptians – Beware Neighbors

I wonder how many people in McMinnville know that when the church people bring their kids to your door, in those pressed red and white blouse and skirts, or blue slacks and a white shirt with a red sweater vest, neatly dressed and irresistible smiles, to get sponsors for their school’s Bike-A-Thon fundraiser, they privately call this ‘Spoiling the Egyptians’?

I know. That was me. And I’m Sorry.

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Coping with the Cults – Part #1 – Separation

Since leaving a cult, I have delved into studying, writing, reading, talking and coping with the very real, sometimes hidden, but obvious affects cults and their teachings have on lives. Most certainly the very word ‘cult’ conjures up the worst horrors to hit the news headlines, like Jamestown, or Waico, TX, but the majority of cults are far less obvious, and insidiously covert, and right next door.

The most common question I am asked, the top concern and hurt I see through my YouTube channel, this blog, interviews and online groups, is ‘How do I cope with the pain of all those I loved who now reject me, simply because I no longer go to church there?’

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The New Birth – Are Oneness Pentecostals/Legalists getting it wrong? Part #3 (Long)

The Oneness(Apostolic) Pentecostal denomination declares Acts 2:38 as the one and only true method of Biblical Salvation. Any other religious observation is null and void. Sincere, but sincerely wrong. Baptised in the literal Matthew 28:19 formula? You just got wet. Didn’t speak in tongues? You are lost. Not following Holiness standards? Lost.

But is this supported by Scripture? Are there adequate supporting evidences in Scripture to show that Paul continued teaching this model to the Gentiles?

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The New Birth – Are Pentecostals/Legalists getting it wrong? Part #2

The New Birth. Being Born Again. The moment of Salvation. The Reception of Grace. What is this mystical and magical moment in time? What does it look like? Feel like? Do you know it happened? Do you feel something? Do you speak in tongues? Do you enter a trance?

Recently I was asked by a Pentecostal who began to question her church system what my thoughts were on the New Birth, the Trinity, and Speaking Tongues. In Part #2 we’ll talk about the evidence in Scripture of what the New Birth is without private interpretation.

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Are you taught to keep the Law of Moses?

I have been absent for some time in my writing trying to sort out the real motivations and purposes behind this blog. There is an internal conversation that asks, should I continue focusing on legalism, cult-style control within religious organizations? Or should I turn the focus towards grace, and love, and freedom in Christ?

Then events take place that remind me, grace, love, and freedom in Christ, comes from the awakening the understanding that the yoke of legalism is ugly, destructive, and anti-Christ, and my resolve is rekindled.

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The Idolatry of Celebrity (Pentecostal) Preachers

Giants Among Us. Larger Than Life. Above Reproach. Super Human. Deserving of the best seating at banquets and church events, the finest food, the best rooms and accommodations. We crave their autograph, two minutes of their time, to sit near them as if, like the Apostle Peter, their shadow might grant us healing, or powers!

The idolatry of celebrity and prosperity preachers is no surprise, but it is rampant among the United Pentecostal Church, International and Pentecostal churches as a whole. But did God want us to idolize preachers, pastors, apostles? Is that the example Jesus came to setup, or Peter, Paul or the other apostles created?

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