FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What is the purpose of Association of Former Pentecostals?

  • Simple!  It was created as an information and fellowship community for former Pentecostals and Charismatics.  Check out "About Us" for more details!

I still don't understand.  Why does this site and its "services" need to exist?  What makes an ex-Pentecostal any more special than, say, a former Baptist or Methodist?

  • Pentecostalism is unique among Christian faiths in that it often creates lingering anxiety and low-self esteem in adherents, a situation that often "hangs around" even after some have left the faith.  Our site allows such individuals to find fellowship and information about their former faith with complete anonymity -- shining light on matters that could still be causing problems in their lives.  We hope to let current and former Pentecostals know that there is life after Pentecostalism, and we're not talking about Hell (the special place of judgment for all that "leave the faith," according to Pentecostal teachings).

But the whole premise of this site seems negative.  Wouldn't it be better if you spent your time trying to build the Kingdom of God rather than trying to tear it apart?

  • This is a highly subjective question, and really depends on what you define as "the Kingdom of God."  Most Christians of all faiths are at least slightly critical of other Christian interpretations of "truth."  Most Christians have no problem criticizing other faiths, especially those faiths that seem to be a little odd.  This site is a critique of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, and does not apologize for that.  We do not view this movement as a movement from God, but an errant interpretation of man that completely ignores historical Christianity and 2,000 years of scriptural interpretation and doctrines.  Instead of "tearing apart" the Church, we seek to help those trapped emotionally and spiritually by the imprisoning doctrines of the Pentecostal Movement and her Charismatic cousins.

By what authority do you declare that Pentecostalism isn't the one true way?

  • Pentecostalism is an amorphic and ambiguous faith.  It often contradicts itself, contorts vague scriptures, and allows multiple interpretations of certain passages to fit their doctrines -- even within a particular sect of this faith.  The Bible is molded to fit the doctrine, not the other way around.  The Bible in Pentecostal faiths is a blank slate -- completely pliable in the hands of the speaker behind the pulpit.  Because of this, many Pentecostal and Charismatic preachers constantly claim to receive "new" revelations, though no new books, chapters, or words have been added to the 66 books in over 1,500 years.  Most Pentecostal faiths are strangely absent of Christian doctrine of any sort, save a few salvational policies, or lifestyle guidelines.  This "interpretive authority" given to ministers allows ministers in these churches to assume unchecked powers, which more often than not leads to manipulative abuses by church leaders.

I've been Pentecostal all my life, and what you are promoting on this site has never been my experience!

  • Then, please consider yourself quite blessed. The authoritarian powers that most Pentecostal ministers assume are a corrupting power they often find too hard to resist.

    Comparing religion to politics: we know that history has examples of good Kings or dictators, but such absolute authority is often a corrupting influence, and as such creates a bad system. Since human beings populate religion (as they do politics), such unchecked authority often leads to the same result. It creates a bad system when a minister has unfettered access and control over matters of church governance, funds, or in matters of doctrine. It may not happen to every Pentecostal/Charismatic minister, but such a corrupt system creates enough problems that such abuses are rampant within this movement, and to a higher degree than within Christianity at large.

I am currently attending a Pentecostal church.  I am often depressed, always feel condemned, and although I feel that "something is wrong" with this church, I'm really unsure of how I can leave it.  I'm afraid I'll lose all my family and friends, and I don't want to go to Hell.  Can you help?

  • Some may say, "All you have to do is leave," but as an ex-Pentecostal myself, I realize that it is often more difficult to do this than to say it.  Often, we are deeply entangled in "the faith," especially when family and friends are also involved.  You will ultimately have to make the decision as to what is best for you, your family and your situation.

    I suggest to all current Pentecostals or Charismatics that are contemplating leaving their faith or current congregation to do the following:  Before you run out the door, do some in-depth research about your faith, about Christianity in general, and about spiritual systems world-wide.  Be bold and read critiques of your particular denomination, and experiences from people who "got out" and stayed out.  These experiences are often "lifesavers" because they often show examples just like yours or mine, and can help us in making our ultimate decision.

    Again, do "the math" before you bolt for the door.  If you leave not armed with the knowledge necessary to explore your spirituality and survive outside of your denominational mind-set, you may find yourself running back to the church you were trying to leave -- only this time you'll be more cemented in their garbage than you were before.

    Also, check out our site and its resources, especially our "forums."  Finding friends online that can encourage and enlighten can make all the difference, and that's what our forums were intended for.
 

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