Former Charismatic recounts spiritual abuse, deceptive teachings that offered no assurance of salvation & lies made against him after he left the cult.
I was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist in Alabama, USA. My father was an alcoholic and my mother was a controlling narcissist. They are divorced now. Family life was never stable and I suffered greatly from it. Due to a lack of proper and functional parenting, I was not taught the ways on how to be a man and I had to learn it the hard way as I got older.
When I turned 23 in 2010, I was introduced to the Charismatic movement. This particular bunch of Charismatics called themselves “truthers” and quoted a lot of Scripture, so I thought they were right. They also made me feel accepted and loved, which was what I had been looking for all my life, so you could see how I got sucked in quickly.
As they were part of a street preaching cult led by Wayne Levi Price, they emphasized a lot on sinless perfection and the sign gifts like tongues, dreams and visions, although not crazy extreme like animal noises that other Charismatic circles do. I even enjoyed a close fellowship bond with Price himself.
Salvation, according to them, was to stop sinning and live holy or you’ll end up in Hell. Christ’s death, burial and resurrection took no part in that.
Furthermore, they believed in Moral Government Theology, which basically states that God is always learning and that He doesn’t know the future, Adam’s fall did not put us under the curse of sin, men are good but they just make bad choices, etc. They are also quite militant online in promoting these kinds of unbiblical stuff.
We would go street preaching at big events like concerts, gay pride parades and sporting events. Worse of all, these Charismatics were extremely manipulative and condescending. They once told a woman that she lost her salvation because she called the police on her abusive, drug addict husband who almost killed her instead of her “submitting” to him.
Many times during street preaching, they would preach and speak in tongues, which many outsiders found it weird, funny and ununderstandable. The good thing was I never embraced it because their tongues never made sense to me. And because I never spoke in tongues, members of the cult accused me of “not having enough faith” or that there was “something wrong” with me, even as far as insinuating that I was a “secret devil”. I also experienced many weird and disturbing demonic dreams while I was in that movement.
Worse of all, I often worried about my salvation, constantly fearing that at any time I was going to Hell. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop sinning. An evil thought would come, an occasional curse word would slip out and porn was a struggle too (before I got married). I realised that I sinned even more when I tried to stop sinning in my own strength. It got to the point that I hated God and cursed at Him and complained how hard and unrealistic it was to stop sinning altogether.
I wasn’t the only one.
Other members felt the same feelings of constant fear and no assurance, worrying all the time if they were good enough for Heaven. One guy even cried to me that he couldn’t speak in tongues, so he believed that God hated him.
One night, as I pondered about how terrible and wicked I had been, I cried out to God in despair to save me.
I began to doubt my cult leaders’ claims on being sinless. I know a lot of street preachers have many secret sins, but they circumnavigate or avoid any confrontation about it just so as to keep that lying, holier-than-thou facade in front of the people. So, I distanced myself from Wayne Levi Price whom I always went street preaching with.
One day, some members whom I was closest to asked me to do a Bible study refuting Catholicism (yes, they are one of the rare Charismatic groups who are against Catholicism).
That was the turning point of my life.
I started reading up on Catholicism and I even bought several Catholic books and catechisms for my research. The more I read Catholic material, the more I was baffled because of the similarities it has with the Charismatic cult I was in including no assurance of salvation (except for the belief in the veneration of Mary, the angels and the saints).
The confusion was so astounding that I decided to read the New Testament for a solid 2-3 months to search for answers. The more I studied God’s Word, the more it became clear that salvation is by grace alone through faith. I finally understood that I’m a sinner, helpless to save myself and that I needed the Saviour. I realised why Jesus died on the cross so I can be set free and receive eternal life as a free gift. It was a refreshing eye-opener.
After my discovery, I shared with some of the members about it (including my now wife). They accepted the Gospel and we left (about 20 of us), and that was when I also stopped having those demonic dreams.
When Wayne Levi Price caught wind of it, he published a YouTube video and made false accusations about me, including calling me a “womanizer”. I received death threats and nasty messages on my phone from hundreds of people thereafter.
I decided to make my own youtube channel called “Rod of Iron” to expose the Charismatic movement, works- based salvation and other “Christian” cults. Since I’ve started my video ministry, I realised that many deceived people hate the true message of grace and how they find it hard to accept that they are being deceived.
Today, I no longer beat myself up about sin like I used to. As long as we are in the flesh, we will never stop struggling with sin. However, Christ’s blood has covered me and has saved me from God’s wrath, no longer making me Hell-bound. It humbles me even more and to continually seek His grace and strength in my daily walk.
To those who are still in the Charismatic movement, I strongly advise you to come out of this heretical movement. Believe the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. You’re a sinner and you’re going to stand before God on judgement day and the only way out is through the belief in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
You cannot save yourself by speaking tongues, having dreams or visions, prophesying, water baptism or trying to stop sinning (a.k.a turning away from your sins). Only Jesus’ shed blood can pay for our sins (past, present and future) in full. Only He can give you power over sin in your life. Only He can give you assurance of eternal life.