I have been through a lot of painful experiences in the Christian Church and religion. Not from my family, but from the organized religion and the American Church. I would have become an atheist if I did not personally know Jesus and have a relationship with him. I am also a very spiritual woman who is sensitive to the unseen spiritual realm.
It has taken me a few years to heal from the traumas I have been through and recently I tried a church that I thought would be a perfect fit for me. I believe strongly in freedom and women being able to lead in any position in a church. There seemed to be a lot of freedom in this particular gathering and I was intrigued to learn more.
I went to a few Wednesday night classes for anyone who wanted to know more about this church. I felt like the Pastor had a similar experiences from the organized Church and I felt like this would be a safe place for me to be. The more I learned about the Church, the more I felt like this would be the next place where I would find those of a similar faith that believes in freedom, not rules, control, and oppression (which I find to be true in most churches).
On a Friday night I had heard they were having a prayer and worship night, I felt a pull to attend. God met me there and I found so much healing by words of blessing and prophecies spoken over me. I resonated with these people.
As I hesitantly kept moving towrards getting involved in their community, I also had my antenna in high alert for any red flags.
I wrote down my email and phone number in case they needed to contact me. I wasn't ready to commit to anything yet. I did sign up to dance in the back of the church as part of the prayer team. I love dancing. I also signed up for one of the wednesday nigth devotioanl class.
Within a week I recieved an email from this church asking me to sign a belief statement from the Church. If I wanted to particapate in the dance team or serve in any way, I needed to sign this document.
I was horrified. It was an extensive list with Bible verses about all of their beliefs.....even beliefs on sexuality. This is why so many people stay out of churches.
I understand the belief about Jesus and the Trinity, but all the other beliefs listed were not necesary for me to have to sign to volunteer.
Then I got curious and started looking up every church I had attended to see if they had a list of Beliefs and what they said.
I have come to the conclusion that it is very helpful for a Church to list their beliefs on their website to help others looking for a church to know what they leadership believes and what the church is founded on. However.......if you have to agree with all of these beliefs in order to be a part of the community, I would boldly say that it appears cultish.
When a family, group, or community has to agree about their beliefs to be accepted and to be able to contribute, that is a red flag to me.
We are experiencing that in our country right now and in the world. I would hope that we would be able to be different in groups where God's presence is.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.