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  • 40 – Growing up in a Hyper Christian Environment

    August 6, 2014 · 4 comments

    ep-40-growing-up-hyper-christian

    “James would you ever write an article or two about the faith movement or growing up in a hyper Christian environment? Thanks for talking about it.”

    I get down in dirty about my childhood experiences with and understanding of God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, The Faith Movement, the Prosperity Gospel, the Devil, demons, fear, spiritual manifestations and even backward masking for good measure! Scattered throughout you’ll hear how I learned to cut through the crap and pursue what is real.

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    • Janusz

      Even “Weird Al” Yankovic got into the backward masking craze!

      “I Remember Larry” from Bad Hair Day (1996)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNL1IYc3A7k

      “Nature Trail To Hell” from In 3D (1984)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7P64YKXzRI

      • That’s good stuff!

      • Janusz, of course you had me at “Weird Al” because I am a big fan! I know the song very well, and never knew about this “hidden message.” Wow. My life has been changed! 🙂 I do know that at the end of his “Off the Deep End” album, there is a 10-minute silence followed by yelling and screaming, just for fun. That is a little more direct.

    • Thanks so much for telling us about your childhood “hyper-faith” experiences. I am a few years older than you, but I was being taught a lot of the same things at that time as a pre-teen/teenager. I listened to the teaching cassettes from the big “Word of Faith” ministries. I sat in services where everyone was raising their hands and being very enthusiastic, when I did not “Feel the Spirit move.” I did my best to “start my prayer language” by reciting gibberish. I felt very out of place, and wondered why my “spirit man” was so weak.

      I had the opportunity when I was a high school senior to see how “the other half lives” in more Evangelical Christianity. Because I was hanging out with very well-educated musicians at this particular church, I learned about hymns and other “old school” Christian music, which might have seemed tired and lame to some people, but for me it was an opportunity to worship in a whole new way. Also, God was OK with silent prayer! From that point on for many years, I have attended churches that are looked down upon by the Word of Faith folks as being too “religious” or “dead.” Unfortunately, what I see in the Word of Faith is a whole new set of rules and traditions, not the “freedom” that they claim.

      A while ago I read two books by Hank Hanegraaf, the “Bible Answer Man” on the radio for a long time. Not sure what he’s doing these days. Anyway, the books had “Christianity in Crisis” in the title. They contain a good description along the lines of what you said regarding the Word of Faith, as well as many quotes from the main preachers, examples of folks whose lives were affected negatively, or how they left the movement. It was very encouraging for me to see I was not the only one who felt this way.

      Thanks again, James! No matter what our theological preferences and hang ups might be, we should not be slaves to false traditions and superstitions. Oh, by the way, I think Joni Eareckson Tada is the lady you used to hear on that record. She was a big name in Christian music in the ’80s.

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