An Old Church Friend Visited Me

I haven’t written anything on this blog in almost two years.  I kind of lost interest in talking about my experience in the Charismatic culture and losing my faith in God.  It’s been around 7 years since I started losing my faith in God and a little over 5 years since I distanced myself from my Charismatic Christian upbringing that the distance has separated that part of my history so much that it almost has no part of the life I’m living now.  Other than the occasional conversations I overhear at work from coworkers after the weekend about the church services they’ve attended on a Sunday and posts about how great God is from old Christian friends and family on Facebook,  I just don’t get much Christianity in my life these days.  It’s been pretty nice.

Last month an old church friend of mine came to Colorado for a visit.  I took a day off of work to hang out with him.  He is a good guy, but the epitome of Charismatic culture.  He’s very into the bug-eyed Bethel supernatural prophetic ministry.   We haven’t hung out in 5 years and I was excited to hang out with him.  Before I moved to Colorado, he was one of my few friends in California that I was still hanging out with as I was beginning to lose my faith.  I knew hanging out with him there’d be talk about God’s work in his life, but that didn’t bother me.  I figured I could just get the general idea about what was going on in his life and take it for what it is.

I’m not going to go through every detail of our time together, but I felt a distance in our worldview.  I haven’t talked with someone so involved in the hyper spiritual side of Christianity in so long that it was almost jarring.  I asked him what’s been going on in his life and he went off on what “God was showing” him and how God was really pulling him “closer to his call.”    He told me about some miracles he saw at a service he recently went to and how the people in attendance were “rocked by the Holy Spirit.”  I could tell he was trying to minister to me with these stories by helping me remember all the miracles I experienced in the past.  But it wasn’t working.  I just listened to him.

He asked me how things were going in my life.  I told him about my new life in Colorado.   My relationship, my friends, job and the new interests in snowboarding and hiking I’ve picked up out here. I let him know how genuinely happy I was.  I could tell he didn’t know what to make of it cause I seemed happier and  more content now than I was when I was living the Christian thing.  He told me it was great to see me happy, but then he went on  about some old prophetic words that were spoken over my life in the past and how it may play out with my new interests and life.  It was really odd.   It’s been so long since I heard Christianese phrasing and prophetic culture lingo that I felt so beyond everything he was talking about.  I moved away from it and he was still stuck in Charismania.

I dropped him off at a house church in the Denver area after hanging out for the day.  I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.  As I was driving home I thought about how nice it felt that I freed myself from Christianity so much.  All of the cognitive dissonance and the hang ups about morality and immorality, trying to walk in my destiny and  wondering if I’m hearing from God and what He may be telling me no longer concerns me.  I can just be.

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The Secular Barbershop Podcast: Absence of Christ Interview

Last week I was interviewed by The Secular Barbershop ; a podcast “Run by an Secularist of Color; For Secularists of all Colors.” Below is a link to listen to us talk about speaking in tongues and other weirdnesses of the Charismatic culture within Christianity:

The Secular Barbershop Podcast: Absence of Christ Interview

While you’re at it follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook:

The Secular Barbershop Facebook
The Secular Barbershop Twitter

Podcast: Everyone’s Agnostic Interview With Absence Of Christ

I was recently interviewed by a deconversion podcast out of Nashville called Everyone’s Agnostic.  Below is a link for the show.  This podcast has a lot of great interviews by others who have left the faith, so be sure to check those out too.

Podcast: Everyone’s Agnostic Interview With Absence of Christ

Christian Necromancy: Grave Sucking

cuddling at grave
Grave sucking is a Christian necromantic trend coming out of some of the more hyper-spiritual Charismatic and Pentecostal churches.  Grave sucking (also known as grave soaking or mantle grabbing) is when a person goes to the resting place of a dead revivalist, faith healer, apostle or prophet and begins to pray or call up the spiritual anointing of the dead so that they may be filled with the same power.

Even with all the contradictions and strange miraculous stories in the Bible I don’t know where this fringe-ritual within Charismatic culture gets this idea.  The only story in the scripture I can think of is when a dead guy was thrown into Elisha’s tomb and he was immediately resurrected (2 Kings 13:21).  But that had nothing to do with an anointing or prophetic call being passed on.  I assume this ritual comes from this story mixed with other stories and scriptures about one character in the Bible anointing another with their spiritual gift or prophetic promise  (2 Kings 2:9-10) (Numbers 11:24) (Acts 8:17). And New Mystic evangelists like John Crowder and New Apostolic revivalists like Todd Bentley have been open about their grave sucking experiences, thus influencing the more hyper-spiritual Christians looking to have supernatural experiences.

One of my friends I use to do street ministry with told me about his grave sucking experience.  He and a few others from his Vineyard church drove to Fort Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California where Aimee Semple McPherson is buried and “soaked” over her grave and felt the anointed power go through his body.

Below is a video example of grave sucking by members of the Bethel Church in Redding, California