Since I am still waiting for the release of my new book, “Climbing Out of the Box”, I decided to post another excerpt. This time from the chapter I call the Circus Year………
There were a lot of special speakers brought into the meetings at what I had begun to think of as “the circus church.” There was one guy who said he could see the demons, who looked like gorillas, lurking in the four corners of the room just waiting to pounce if we got in the “flesh.” At the time I wondered, since I live in my flesh, how could I get out of it and be safe? I tried with all my might to see these gorillas. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure they weren’t sneaking up on me, since I was still “in the flesh.” Everyone else looked pretty fleshy too, so I didn’t understand what I had to do to keep these gorilla demons away from me. I also noticed that this man terrified the children in the harsh ways he spoke to them and threatened them with the hand of the almighty God falling on them if they made noise in his services. I remember being aware of a giant red flag at his behavior and his attitude toward children and the church. Again, I felt God reminding me that children flocked to Jesus everywhere He went. Children adored Jesus and loved sitting all over Him and loving on Him and laughing with Him. Never, in all the history we have of Jesus, were children afraid of or not drawn to Him. The Bible clearly tells of His incredible love for them by His actions towards them. I wondered at the time, was this visiting preacher really a representative of Christ?
Our tithes and offering services were quite interesting as well. There would be loud music and lots of shouting and “praising” when that time to give came around in the service. Big trashcans were brought out to the front of the church as a sign of faith that lots of money would come in. We then marched around the building, soldier style, filing by the cans and dropping in our monies. The wealthier members had the preeminent places at the front of the lines as an example to us of how we could be prosperous if we were spiritual enough by giving large sums of money. If we contributed enough, we were heading for prosperity from God! I remember feeling in my spirit that something was not right. I became concerned that all this money was being used only for supporting the church building, and, as I suspect now, the pastor himself, as opposed to giving it to help people in need.
Things really began to break down for me the night we had another special speaker who wanted to pray an “anointing” for all the ministries in the room. My partner and I were excited to receive prayer, and, since we were part of the group with a “special ministry,” we were anxious to get this special anointing from God. Many times these various characters would “transfer their anointing” to us. But I had never felt any difference in me when they would do these transference prayers. So on this night my ministry partner and I made our way to the front of the room and had hands laid on us by our spiritual fathers. We both fell over backwards, spectacularly, I must say, under the “anointing.” But looking back at it now, I think I fell because I knew it was expected, and it really looked more spiritual to the audience, and I was caught up in the hype. I was influenced by the power of suggestion. Plus, the guy praying pushed me, I am sure of it. I thought I was supposed to fall and not embarrass him for his lack of power. I see now that this whole thing had nothing to do with God. It was about control and power over people. This was unlike my Jesus who is so kind, gentle, and not obtrusive.
While my friend and I lay on the floor, I felt a rushing wind blowing over us. I thought, “how appropriate, we are in the upper room and the Holy Ghost is blowing over us just like at the day of Pentecost.” At the same time, the door to the room we were in blew open and slammed into the wall with a horrifying crash. But there was no one there. At this point, I was horrified and terrified. The next thing I knew, there were fast, heavy footsteps running towards me where I lay on the floor. My partner and I both raised our heads and looked up and to the left at exactly the same time, just as a tall man from out of nowhere ran right toward us, leapt over our heads, and headed for the window. He jumped head first-out the window, and fell two stories to the street below. Everyone just sat there stunned and not sure what to do. I lay on the floor in a state of disbelief.
The church had a prayer person who was called the Intercessor. Her job was to pray consistently for the church and all associated with it. She was revered as the one within our ranks who was closest to God. It was thought she had an inroad with Him. When this man ran through the service and jumped out the window, she jumped up dramatically and ran down the stairs to the street. When she saw the man on the pavement, she ran to him and threw herself on top of him, in true Elijah form, praying loudly in another language. Meanwhile, someone had called an ambulance, and when they arrived, the EMTs couldn’t get her off the injured man so they could tend to him. I can only imagine what they were thinking. It was embarrassing. I didn’t go outside to join the crowd, for fear someone would know I was with that group. The paramedics had to physically remove the Intercessor from the man, and he was taken away to the hospital. We never saw him again.
My only awkward conclusion to this episode was, “What in the world am I doing in this loony bin?” It was explained to us later that we had gotten so full of the Holy Spirit while praying, that we just witnessed a full display of the demons making spectacles of themselves. (I thought it must have been the gorilla guys).