Continuing my account of Life Changing Experiences I move on to:
1) Became disillusioned. There seemed to be a wide gap between the Christian life I and fellow church goers were living, and what the church taught and I could see in the Bible.
I wanted more! I wanted reality not theological theory.
2) Made the leader of the youth group and given opportunities to preach at weekly church services. On reflection I didn’t preach very well, and I also managed to reduce youth fellowship numbers by around 75%. However I was able to help close the division between “competing” youth groups in the local area, increasing inter-church fellowship meetings.
3) I was introduced to Kenneth Copeland and WOF teaching. A group of friends from church had come across recorded sermons from a Kenneth Copeland conference and were sharing them around. I wasn’t impressed by the teaching they were trying to push onto me and spent many hours in vigorous discussion, until they broke through my barriers. I then became an avid follower of Copeland’s teaching, because for the first time I had a tangible understanding of faith that made it much more than the substance-less, wishful thinking it had appeared to be previously.
In addition to local church involvement I became involved with ministries in Sydney, going with Teen Challenge to preach on the streets of the red-light district, and attending events organised by Vision Ministries.
4) Difficulties arise with church leadership over WOF teaching. A growing friction with my church pastor coincided with invitations for me to preach elsewhere. Before long the door opened to move to a different church, closer to home, where I was appointed to eldership.
“Deliverance ministry” started to become a focus of my new fellowship and I was regularly called upon to assist the pastor when demons start making an appearance during counselling sessions. I witnessed some very unusual things that for a time strengthened my faith – I was finally (partly) experiencing a kind of Christian ministry that seemed more related to the biblical example than anything I’d seen before.
However the WOF situation started to cause problems again.
5) Then something happened. I’m not sure what. But suddenly nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Around that time I came across The Seduction of Christianity by Hunt and MacMahon. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I didn’t know how or why it affected the way I thought and believed, but it seemed to work on small areas of doubt I had with WOF. Those little areas that didn’t add up, but I’d been willing to ignore. [Surely one of the most dangerous things to do no matter how good the rest may seem to be, those little niggling warnings when something isn’t quite right should NOT be pushed aside].
I was thrown into confusion, stopped attending my regular church and started “shopping around”, coming across a diverse mixture of church styles and teachings that ultimately led to nothing.
6) I entered a 15 year period I now refer to as my spiritual crisis.