Long hair, rock music, CB radio, watching TV: these things were labeled sins by certain house church elders that I had the misfortune to meet. Their main worry was that these entertainments would turn me away from Christianity. Instead, it was their legalistic nagging that turned me against the faith for nine years.
The elders’ chiding led me to the belief that God was unfair. No matter how much I worked up my faith and squelched all doubts, my eyes weren’t healed. In fact, I lost my left eye to a hemorrhage. Because of those unrealistic expectations and their incorrect teaching about the Lord’s nature, I turned against Christ.
Years later, I came to realize that the heavenly Father wasn’t at fault for not giving me 20/20 vision. Neither was I at fault for lacking faith. I attended church regularly and contributed much to its finances. I learned the doctrines of its leaders and tried to teach others what I’d learned. Thanks to proper Bible scholars and teachers, I found out how wrong the house church elders were and how misinformed I had been.
The Bible teaches that God is sovereign. We can’t boss him around with demands for healing or material prosperity. Furthermore, he gives to believers what they need at the time they need it. This sometimes happens during persecution or illness. We don’t like it but we benefit from his wise choices in the end.
Unfortunately, many radio and TV preachers claim that faith is a force, words are containers of that force, and we can speak blessing into our lives using the name of Jesus. Whenever such people are asked why this or that claim never materialized, the victim is always blamed. These misled believers often are accused of having a lack of faith or hidden sin. As a result, many sincere people drop out of Christianity and never return.
My hope and prayer is that my How I Was Razed testimony will help wounded seekers of the Lord realize that God isn’t responsible for misguided or false teachers. Those wicked helpers of Satan will have to stand before God Almighty and explain why they didn’t teach the truth. I also want non-Christians to realize that most believers are kind and sincere. As in any endeavor, the few ruin it for the many.
I wrote extensively about this errant house church in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the electronic version of my book while Virtual Bookworm Publishersstock the paperback edition. Please also visit my http://www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com page which features my previous memoirs.