Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Antioch Community Church, a personal review

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lillybeloved)

Considering these people are a "missions church", I think this might be of interest of some people here.

So today I went to Antioch Community Church with [info]iremembernot and [info]white_lily0584.
For anyone not from Waco:
Antioch Community Church is a VERY pentecostal/charismatic church that is most probably Domionist and maybe a cult.
The lifegroups (smallgroups put on by the church) definetly have DANGER plastered all over them.
But today was the first time I went to the actual service.
It was packed. And that is not a small church. It was formally a strip mall that was gutted and changed into a large auditorium.
We sung a lot. Some of the songs I couldn't tell if they were about God or some lover I should have hidden in my bed. The people around us had lots of hands in the air, random talking "Amen!" "YES YES YES" or walking over to someone and telling them the Holy Spirit wanted them to do something, and lots of REALLY RANDOM clapping. It was EMOTIONALLY PACKED. The songs were also, as a tell tale sign, repetitious. Things were said three or four times in order to get louder and stronger as they were chanted.
Then they took the offering. and more singing.

Finally, a man I think named Vincent (this would be easier if Antioch put STAFF on their website, but no...) came up to introduce everything. And there was clapping.
And then the baptism. A Baylor gal was getting baptized, and... four people from her lifegroup were baptizing her. They couldn't be over 20. Anyway, they shared things that the lifegroup saw in her "the childlike way she said the word Jesus", "her humility", a few really sweet things. And baptised her in the name of Jesus. yes. Just the name of Jesus.
So the lights all go dark. Very VERY Dramatic.
At first they are reading from Acts 3, and dramatically re-inacting it. Once it gets to the actual speaking part of the lame begger, a few liberties are taken with speach, and he's up and leaping (well, to be fair, the bible has him jumping) and all is well. My eye, I hate to say it, found it interesting that the man was of a darker skin tone than the predominately white church. Reminds me of the Truth Ministry advertisment.
Probably another repetive song. This really makes me lose track of what happens in what place. really frustrating.
Skip forward to when Jimmy finally begins to speak. There is prayer for some missionaries that are about to go back to Lebanon. Yay for missionaries. yay for lucky Lebanon. Yay because in these end times we really need missionaries. (yes, the words "end times" were used) Lets pray these missionaries are better than Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, other ACC missionaries. A bunch of people bound up to the front to lay hands on them and pray. Everyone NOT bounding up puts their hands out towards them and starts praying aloud at the same time. Reminds me of the buzz you hear at the movie theater before the lights go dark.
And Jimmy starts on about Acts. Well, about God. Well, about his missionary work. Well, about everything and their cousin Igor. The topic for the day is physical healing. And like Salvation and Justification, God promises Physical Healing. (yes. in that order. Salvation, Justification, Healing). People randomly yell "AMEN!" of "YES!", even when Jimmy is not pausing.
He starts with the story of what happened in this weeks lifegroups, which I already got by email.

I was at lifegroup tonight and my friend Autum had a broken wrist, my friend Taylor stepped on a nail today and had crutches, and my friend Meghan had swollen limph nodes and had gone to the doctor because she didn't know what was wrong adn had her blood tested (results will be back on thursday).

BUT, scripture says that by his wounds we are healed, that he "forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases" and that He is a God with "healing in his wings" so we all layed hands on the our friends and...

Autum unwrapped her temporary cast thing and...her hand was completely healed,...moving fingers, not purple anymore, JUST LIKE NORMAL! (I want to add that she usually plays worship for us so she tried to strum the guittar with the fingers of her hurt wrist earlier that night and it hurst to badly)

Taylor's foot was healed and HE WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN

Meghan's Lymph nodes completely went down.

BOO YA!!!!!

Our God is an awesome God! He reigns! ...ok, so guys, HE STILL HEALS TODAY! (woa)

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he started off wth:
"Our Father who is in Heaven, Holy is your name. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."

My friends, in Heaven there is no sickness. When we ask for it to be on earth as it is in Heaven, we get to see healing because that is the practical process of God bringing His Kingdom (which means the King's domain) to HERE! Let's invite Him in to have authority in every person, every life....

SO after lifegroup, all of us college aged students were dancing around, jumping up and down and singing...the poor neighbors. We really could not contain ourselves. GOD IS POWERFUL!

we are all excited,....I called some friends to tell them....I don't want to get any credit for having a ton of faith beause I could hardly believe my eyes and kept asking Autum to move her hand to make sure it had really happened.

This is the first healing I have ever seen and now I am convinced, It is TRUE after all!!!
God says to pray for the sick, so let's do it! Don't be discouraged if He doesn't heal right away or He doesn't heal the first person you pray for. You are obeying him to pray and that's all that matters. The rest of the healing responsibility is up to Him! :)


Praising Him,

So, we heard the story of Autum, a few details left out, a few added (she went bowling Thursday night). I assume she lives in a D-House run by the church.

Another story, which had the congration laughing and [info]white_lily0584 furious, was shared.

Jimmy was for some reason in northern russia and it was cold so he was in a train station with a lot of other people. Someone pointed out to him that one of the men sitting in a seat was dead. And yep, he slides off the chair and is dead as dead gets. So Jimmy goes to the wall and starts praying. And he wants to know what to say, "Be Healed" or "Rise" or "Get Up!" or whatever. So he goes over to dead-man-on-ground-in-crowded-area and starts to say pray these things. None work. So they keep praying, and finally Jimmy notices that there are a lot of people looking around him. So he leaps up and says in a LOUD BIG STREETCORNER EVANGELICAL VOICE "THIS MAN IS DEAD! DO YOU WANT TO DIE AND LOSE YOUR SOUL? TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR AND YOU WILL NOT DIE AND GO TO HELL! WHO WANTS TO BE SAVED??"
And a bunch of people respond to said thing and raise hand. So Jimmy's evangelical team save tons of people by using dead man's body as an example. And he says it again- pointing to THIS DEAD BODY ON THE FLOOR AND USING IT AS FEAR TACTIC to have people come to Christ. And so he's the hero, right, because he totally came up with a way to USE the body of this man to further his church planting in northern Russia.
So much for sanctity of human life. So much for a burial. Using him as an unfortunate example of what you don't want happening to you makes so much more sense.
But. of course it doesn't stop there. So then Jimmy shouts out "IF YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL HURT, PUT YOUR HAND OVER IT AND ASK GOD TO HEAL IT AND HE WILL!" And tada! Mass healing in Northern Russian train station that totally never got in the news.

Antioch has gotten in trouble with this before, as their problems in Sri Lanka are mentioned. A few times, actually.

And then there were two more cases. First comes the wheelchair example. Jimmy was in south america for some reason. probably planting another church on a short term trip. So he sees a man in a wheelchair, and prays to God and asks how to heal him. God says "15", so Jimmy asks the guy "did anything happen 15 years ago to make you like this?" and the guy goes "no". So Jimmy keeps praying and hears "unforgiveness" and asks the guy if there is anyone he hasn't forgiven in his life. The man says yes, his sister, for the last 15 years. So Jimmy says "to be healed and walk, you need to forgive your sister. God won't heal you until you forgive your sister." So man forgives his sister, and God heals him! yay!
This irks me because it can possibly mean 1) God is dependent on what people DO in order to heal them, or 2) God is punishing the man for not forgiving his sister. There are other possiblities, but I'm fairly certain the second is the one Jimmy was hoping the people thought of.

The next is the story of someone's cousin Igor in the country side. I have no idea where Jimmy is this time. But Igor has gangrene and will have his leg chopped off. So they go to Igor's and walk into his smelly room, and he is bandaged. and they pray, and decide to remove Igor's bandage and put their hands on the open wound. Apparently, it is green and really smelly. That's how descriptive it gets. So Jimmy puts his hand on open wound and they begin to pray. And YAY! The wound, IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES, begins to heal. But it stops in the middle of healing. And Igor wants the rest to be healed! And so Jimmy his team pray. And they tell Igor that God will heal the rest of the wound once Igor becomes a follower of Christ. So Igor becomes a Christian and wakes up the next morning and all is healed. Yay Igor!

...I don't even want to go into what's wrong with that.

saying that. Here is the pamplet from today's services.

The scariest thing about this entire church is that I'm sure Jimmy could tell them ANYTHING, and 90% would believe it as gospel truth without a second doubt or scripture to back it up.

x-posted to my personal journal

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