Is God There?

  So I went to a pentecostal church here in Tulcea this morning with my sister in law.  My Romanian is still very, VERY, limited so I understood pretty much nothing.  The services here are much different than what we experience back home, there is a lot of standing, sitting kneeling & praying, then singing.  The several different men got up and spoke, reading scripture [i think], then more down on the knees and praying. 

  I didn't know if people were "speaking in tongues" or just praying out loud in Romanian.  I didn't feel God's presence, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was because I didn't understand anything being said, or if it's something else.  Kinda made me wonder. 

  I know that most of what goes on in the mainstream churches in the U.S. is heretical and un-biblical, so it made me wonder if some of the 'charismatic' move has moved on over here too.  I believe in God, His son Jesus, the crucifixion, resurrection, etc.  However, I don't necessarily believe in the whole slain in the spirit & speaking in tongues, 'holy laughter', etc. that runs rampant these days.  Most of that seems demonic, not righteous and holy.  BUT, I do believe that a fraction, a very small fraction of it is real. 

  I think mainly I've just seen the Word so twisted and convoluted in "churches" - that it has left a really bad, bitter taste in my mouth.  I try to not judge and not be bitter, not be so cynical about it, but I guess the whole fool me once: shame on you, fool me twice: shame on me, kinda fits the bill here.  I've been fooled one too many times by charlatans and false teachers, and propho-liars!  I can count on 1, ONE, hand how many TRUE men/women of God that I know, who are teachers/preachers.

  Anyway, so do you think it comes down to understanding what is being said in order to feel God's presence, or is it like most everything else in churches these days - a big show that induces psychosomatic sensations, i.e. the power of suggestion?


Anonymous said...

I believe u are in tune enough to feel his presance
anywhere. Maybe it's a little of both bc it has to be hard to connect when you can't understand the language. I say have church at home. Nikki

LTM said...

fantastic question. I wonder myself. And knowing a bit of what you've experienced, I've learned (old lady that I am) that it's best to reserve judgment on what's real and what's fake. I mean, of course, unless there's obvious sin going on...

God judges the heart, so I try to keep mine where it's supposed to be and let him handle the rest! xoxo love you!

Loved the Christmas card! You're so beautiful! Merry Christmas~ :o)

Anonymous said...

@ LTM - Right on the Money... I couldn't have said it any better.

Gorges Smythe said...

I guess I missed this post during the time that I had no desktop computer and I was posting from Wally-World. I know I've been in churches where I felt nothing and others where God's presence was obvious.

As for tongues, I believe that if we read the Bible honestly, it was simply speaking in foreign languages the speaker didn't know, so that foreign-born Jews could still get the message. Having some Pentecostal family, I tried staying open to other beliefs on the subject until I realized that I had NEVER seen or heard any lasting good come from the practice. Aren't we supposed to judge a tree by its fruit?

I honestly wonder if it isn't a case of Satan taking something that belongs to the Lord and giving it a twist to cause confusion and discord in the church. I won't condemn anyone for speaking in tongues, but I will be suspicious of them, such as, are they craving attention or are they insecure in their salvation to where they're trying to make themselves feel more saved? I won't say it's wrong, but I DO know that until the Lord shows me a reason to feel otherwise, it's not something that I want to be around.

Odessa said...

@LTM, I know, I really do try to reserve the judgment, but at the same time, when there is scripture twisting going on, I want to run screaming out the door. I don't my kids growing up confused about things, basically in the boat I'm in now. Not confused about God, or scripture, more like the doctrines we were taught - most of which seems to be a GROSS misinterpretation of scripture.

@Gorges - yeah, the whole speaking in tongues thing.....I grew up in a church where you weren't considered baptised in the Holy Spirit unless you could speak in tongues.....ummm...isn't that a GIFT of the spirit, not a requirement?!? Herein lies my problem....see what I mean.

I tend to just stay home and read my bible here. I know we need fellowship, but honestly if I were to set foot back in the U.S., a church building is the LAST place you would find me. I just can't deal with it anymore, especially the people who say I'm back slidden because I'm questioning "THE PASTOR" and HIS teachings - Oh God Help me!

Gorges Smythe said...

"I just can't deal with it anymore, especially the people who say I'm back slidden because I'm questioning "THE PASTOR" and HIS teachings - Oh God Help me!"

It seems to me that I've read scripture that tells us to test the spirits AND EVEN THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES. The idea for the latter is that we will never prove it wrong. Not always so with the spirits. And, as for questioning the pastor, you could have heard a pin drop the morning I stood up in church and told the preacher that, not being God, HE had no authority to say that a particular person was going to hell. (The guy had made a deathbed profession of faith and the preacher didn't buy it.)

Also, my definition of a cult is when some person's word bears more weight than God's.

Incidentally, I re-opened my FaceBook page; I'm not sure just why.