My De/Conversion Story 8.5: The next two years.

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The gates of Elysium.

I think I went through a period where I was feeling very defeated in my Faith because I couldn’t seem to conquer my perceived lust for women. I knew it put a gulf between myself and God. I got depressed because I would be on cloud 9 with God, feeling like I’ll never fall away again and the next thing I know I’m back in the same sins again when I should know better.

I would pray and try to stay connected with God but the guilt would be overwhelming at times.

There was a period where I began exploring other aspects of the occult world. I was so desperate for spiritual and supernatural connection that I was watching ouija board videos on YouTube and even thought about just making my own board but chickened out.

I also got interested in OBE(out of body experience). That led into astral projection. I consumed information on the topic. I read about the so called benefits and dangers of this practice. I read about the different entities I might come across on the astral plane. The reading material warned against taking negative actions in that realm because it could spill over in this plane.

I can’t speak too much on it but, supposedly there are reports of people coming to the gates of Elysium.

I did try astral projection. The only thing I can say about the experience is, what was described would occur leading up to the OBE did occur. That’s about as far as I was willing to go. I got spooked, honestly.

A trip to Tulsa.

I had got a new job where I worked graveyard. So, I spent most of my days in my Word reading, fasting, and praying. I kept growing in my knowledge and understanding.

But understand that I was alone living in a bad neighborhood. My neighbors sold drugs and one of my neighbors was a prostitute. I made a couple Christian friends but they had jobs and families so I couldn’t really connect with them often. So, I did what I was used to and found a woman online to keep me company.

This girl was different because she was definitely a believer and came from a line of ministers. She was ordained to preach and actually was a singer who had experience performing. I come across her online from time to time and she is still involved in ministry to this day.

Although we did clash when it came to our business relationship because we dealt with the religious community, we were cool overall. She told me about a worship center in Tulsa, Oklahoma that she went to every year and wanted to go together. We rented a car and went on my birthday.

This place is called the Prayer Centre and headed by Dave Roberson. He has a website you can check out. He also has a book called “The Walk of the Spirit” that I received for free when I was there.

At the Prayer Centre, they heavily emphasize speaking in tongues. I saw people falling out when he laid hands on them. It did not happen to me or my friend when he laid hands on us. I never bought into being slain in the Spirit. I felt that some of them were acting in order to influence the unsuspecting.

One thing I remember is that he would hold up an empty wallet and claim that he never takes up an offering, which to his credit, he did not take up an offering when I was there for those two or three days. Still, I wonder about that.

A kind of born again experience?

The lady I went to Tulsa with and I were business partners you could say. We were involved network marketing together with a company called OrganoGold.

It was my first introduction into the world of network marketing. We did make money doing it. It’s how we paid for our trip but in large, it was a failure. There was a structure to building our business that we just didn’t have.

I started reading books on the subject and came across this book called “The One Minute Millionaire”. It just blew my mind on what we were missing from our business.

Was I fooling myself all this time?

I was so illuminated but startled and concerned at the same time because the what I was experiencing while learning these things, until then only occurred when I read the Bible and learned something new. We would consider that a “revelation”.

I can only describe it as an intellectual high, now. But before this, I would’ve likened it to a born again experience. It’s similar to preaching and how a person hears exactly what they need at the moment they decide to follow Christ. Maybe Like a euphoric state.

When I read the Bible, I thought this euphoria I was experiencing was the Holy Spirit revealing Truth to me and now that I was experiencing the same feelings reading this book, I realized then that there was nothing spiritual about it.

I had to start questioning the things that I considered spiritual that in reality had natural explanations. After that, I was careful about what I was labeling “spiritual”.

A word of caution.

There’s people in the Faith that mistake euphoria with some supernatural experience. You’ll have no trouble finding this in more charismatic fellowships. For me, it always raised red flags for me when a person started out explaining their experience with “it felt like….”

Feelings can lie to us or we can mistake one feeling for another.

My wife and I used to listen to contemporary Christian songs on the radio and we noticed how repetitive the lyrics to some of the worship songs were. When you’re at church and hear these same songs coupled with whatever is going on during the worship service, it’s all to induce a mood and experience. From the lighting, to the sound system, to the worship leader(s), it’s all for the experience.

Talk about “calling those things which be not as though they were”!

I remember when “The Passion of the Christ” first came out and the news was interviewing people right after the movie was over. I’ll never forget what this woman said. She said something to the effect that because people in the theater were crying and getting emotional, that was “the Holy Spirit moving“.

She was mistaking emotional response for the supernatural. Many believers fall into this in different degrees. Some of the more extreme ones seem to draw the attention of other believers who think they have some exceptional spiritual depth.

This seems true of popular charismatic ministers. The more animated they are, the more people think the gift of the Spirit is operating through them.

The take away is: People want to solidify the existence of God so much that they’ll exaggerate what’s natural in order to somehow validate what they consider supernatural?

What about you?

Did you ever fall sucker to this in your time as a Believer? Did you experience something supernatural and later realize it wasn’t that at all?

Also, do you have an experience that you believe is supernatural and would like to tell it?

If so, I want to hear from you. You’re very welcome to comment and I encourage you to subscribe to more upcoming posts. Much thanks ahead of time.

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