My membership is still at the old church (for the time being)
I am NOT a one-issue person. I'm not all about stirring things up. I have at times been devastated, angry, frustrated and saddened by all of this. I'm devastated that people who have trusted their church have been exposed to this. I've been angry when I have felt that I've been outright deceived. I'm frustrated that the things that have happened don't seem to matter to many of the "people". And sad that this is the path Sunshine is taking.
I examine my heart - am I working out of spite or anger? I keep coming back to: I chose the CRC because of the doctrine. If a church within the denomination steps outside of that doctrine and nobody steps up, what happens?
I moved my children to Sunshine because the denomination (Arminian) that I was coming from teaches doctrine that I no longer agree with. And now Sunshine is teaching doctrine that I never have agreed with, yet they are in a denomination that I do agree with and want to stay in.
I've been told that Sunshine swings like a pendulum and that before they have always swung back toward the center and this is a good thing. My hope and prayer is that God will use me to help this church swing back toward the center of the denomination teachings.
What I didn't know is that it started in October; the church opted to work outside the denomination disaster relief network (CRWRC) to work with another organization and got hooked up with these people. Several work teams were sent down and in January the New Orleans church leaders (an apostle and prophet, husband and wife team, both of them ordained and prophetically anointed by CIMN), came to speak at our church. That's when the saga (on my part) started.
This is my initial assessment of Firehouse Family. (They've got "modalism" language, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, evidenced by tongues, health and wealth prosperity gospel, five-fold ministry). I have found them listed in several places as "Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries".
The "Prophet" laid hands on the pastor's wife and performed what is known in Pentecostal circles as an "impartation and activation" and then prophecied. Here is my impression on her prophesies.
I met with one of the pastors. At the time, I thought the meeting had gone well. Reading that post, I see a couple of things.
I wrote that I was told, "Parts of the service were not expected - the Shelton’s had come to give a “thank you” message." But when I listed to the MP3 of that service, it was Pastor Dave who had invited people to come forward to "take part in this prophetic ministry".
I wrote, "There are big plans for our church and they are definitely talking about a singles ministry!". Here's the thing - since that time there have been several updates on plans for future ministry and I have yet to see singles in it.
I was also told that there was no relationship with Family Firehouse, we had just gone down there to help out.
This is something my daughter posted! My heart is proud of her even when I read it now!
In February I blogged about a letter than my daughter got from the youth ministry, announcing the plan to send our teenagers to New Orleans to stay, work and worship with Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries. It said (in part), "
We are excited about the relationship that Sunshine has built with Firehouse and we are excited to announce that we have changed our plans and will now be working and staying at Firehouse Ministries.
THE PLAN…Sunday we will worship at Firehouse…
That letter was the last straw.
I wrote a post in February that tied several things in my life at that time together, including the stand that my daughter was taking at church on the "Firehouse" thing.
In March I started looking for another church, starting with a CRC (not a good match for me)
My thoughts on looking for a new church home let to a couple of posts...the first one was about searching for a new house and searching for a new church. The follow up explained where my brain had been going.
In May I met with a gentleman from the denomination. This is vital to what I am doing now.
In June, after talking to my new pastor, I decided to make the break, but in order for the break to be a clean one I had to write a letter. There is more, and will be more, but those things cannot be public. In going back over the things that had happened, I listened to the MP3 of the service in January and made a transcript of the "prophetic activation and impartation" that took place at Sunshine.
Several things struck me all at once, on the progression to "follow the leader, no matter what."
On Thursday, June 15, 2006 I dropped off the letter to the board of elders at the old church. This is the text of the letter.
And now we wait. Since I put wrote a letter and asked for a response (and since my membership is still at that church) the board must respond.
On June 23 I received a card from the clerk for the board - every board member would have a letter in his hand before the meeting and it would be discussed at the metting the next Tuesday night.
On June 24, a commenter had asked a couple of good questions about the letter and the situation; I responded in a post (since it was a long one) explaining the history.
On June 30 I received another card saying that since the pastor couldn't be there (he was in New Orleans at Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries the previous Sunday) and since the agenda was full, the discussion of my letter would be postoned for two weeks.
As of July 1, 2006, we wait.
August 17, 2006. I got a letter from the church board...I feel the breeze of blowing smoke...and I blog...