I received a comment from Faith on my previous post ‘The Church Mafia – Spiritual abuse in our churches‘ and I thought it needed a separate post because I believe that countless amount of people have been (or are still) in Faith’s shoes and have been trapped by legalism and bad doctrine. She writes:
God Bless Everyone:
I have recently left an organization which I thought I would be a part of for many, many years or at least until I went home to be with the Lord. I am a young woman who was in search of spiritual guidance and leadership. Unfortunately, what I found was control, witchcraft, legalism, tradition and a judgemental spirit. The church was also indoctrinated with rules and regulations that would constitute holiness.
God had to show me in his grace and mercy that what I experienced was not of God but rather mans qualifications for holiness. What am I talking about? I became what somebody else wanted me to be instead of what God wanted me to be. I allowed leaders and a church to define my holiness instead of seeking God. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of his righteousness and all things shall be added unto you. That is what the Word tells us. I allowd the teaching to strip me of my identity and therefore I became a clone of somebody else or a robot of what holiness should look like.
I was told that women should not wear pants, make-up or cut their hair. Before my life of salvation I wore make-up very modestly and I never thought of it as enticing or in the nature of Jezebel as it was constantly reminded in so many sermons. I wore make-up rather as something that would enhance myself as a woman and as a finishing touch to attire. I never idolized make-up. I also enjoy being multi-faceted when it came to my wardrobe. I do not think that I should stop wearing pants because the word says “A woman should not wear that which pertains to a man”. I believe that these man made rules put no emphasis on righteousness but rather put works as a precurser for true holiness. My holiness is not predicated upon whether I wear make-up, pants, or cut my hair. I am free in Christ Jesus and who the son of man sets free is free indeed!
I felt like I was in bondage. I began to judge others who wore pants and make-up. I began to feel low and down trodden with the burden of this facade of what holiness should look like. I became a clone instead of being myself. One day I looked in the mirror and I looked worn out and beat up. My face was dry and I did not look like I had the joy of the Lord. My hair has been thinning so when I wear a short hair style it looks neater classier. I felt like I did not fit in because I wanted the short hair. The pastor would say that in Corinthians it stated if a woman cut her hair she might as well shave it all off. So much pressure. One day I heard an ispiring message by G.E. Patterson which began my transformation.
I began to seek God and I prayed for him to open my eyes. I felt sad and heavy. I began to gain weight because of the depression. As I began to seek God he began to show me what was the problem. I heard him say in a soft voice “legalism”. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. As I began my transition I began to get purged of all the church doctrine and tradition that was implanted in my brain for 4 years. I was so messed up to the point I felt like I wanted to commit suicide. But God, in his loving kindness saw fit that I would be delivered.
Today I have on make-up, I wear pants in freedom and I don’t feel like I am going to hell because I have either one on. I thank God for salvation. I am going to order the play Church Mafia. I pray that all born again believer seek God and not man regarding their salvation. Do not let man decide who you should be but let God mold you into the person he designed you to be. God bless you!
Please also look at comment 6 from Liz here
May this encourage those who are still trapped that you (as I always say) do not have to suffer in silence