I’ve waited a long time to start writing about my experiences in, with, and leaving what is known as the ‘prophetic movement’ in the American charismatic church. For some people who have left this, or similar, movements, it was helpful and cathartic to write about it from the beginning. In some cases the writings are helpful to those inside the movement who have questions, or those in the midst of the leaving. One can feel very alone in those times.
For myself, I felt a very strong conviction to NOT write in a public way. I did some commenting on a few choice blogs (more on that later), but all in all, I felt a deep conviction to stay quiet. Maybe because so much of my experience involved talking, talking, talking, declaring, professing, prophesying, etc., and we were told “God is always talking.”
I’d had enough talking. Enough noise. So many words supposedly from God. So many words I wished I had never uttered as being God’s words.
Catharsis? I certainly needed some, but mine took place in my prayer life, during late nights and long drives with my husband, and across the kitchen table from a dear, dear friend.
The second reason I waited to write was because I didn’t trust myself to write without sarcasm. Sarcasm has its place. I lean toward the sarcastic, but I don’t think it’s helpful to the reader I want to help. To the person who is in the prophetic movement, new apostolic movement, charismatic movement, spiritual warfare mvmt, etc., and can no longer ignore those nagging little suspicions; sarcasm is like a slap in the face.
To the one who is just daring to ask those questions that have been stewing under the surface, sarcasm feels like a snarky attitude from people who think they are wiser; people who are tearing down the pastors, leaders, and teachers they have come to trust.
Anyway, that’s how it felt to me. I was pretty timid about asking questions that might look like disloyalty (a big one in my CLB), or touching God’s anointed, or rebellion. I was searching for answers to very specific questions, and when I found blogs and websites that treated those topics with sarcasm, it confused me. I was looking for biblical answers, not high handed snarkiness. I was looking for help.
Of course the best place to find any answer is in the scriptures themselves, but I can’t deny the power of personal testimonies and discussions online. Some blogs were very helpful. These were the blogs that discussed topics with scripture as the basis, and a gracious spirit, and I knew I needed human input. To a certain extent, my mind had been trained to view scripture in a certain way, and I knew I needed to be willing to take a good, hard look at what I had learned, and explore the possibility that I was viewing things incorrectly.
If you are in a close knit community (church) where everyone sees things basically the same- even having its own vocabulary, it takes guts to ask questions. It takes guts to be willing to be completely wrong about what you hold to be the true expression of the ‘church’ or the ‘kingdom’ or God Himself. Your dearest friends might not be friends for long. The cost is sitting right there beside you all the time.
So, if any of this strikes a chord with you, I hope you will browse the posts and comments as they develop. I hope you find a calm, gracious approach to some tough issues. I hope you ask more questions, and most of all, I hope you trust the Lord Jesus to give you a desire for the truth above everything else.