I once belonged to the Assemblies of God Church. For those who don’t know about this particular religion, it’s a Pentacostal religion. The world’s largest Pentacostal denomination. Evangelism in all its glory. Smoking, drinking and swearing are strickly prohibited. Speaking in tongues is common. My kids said it sounded like gibberish and they were often scared during service. The pastor often yelled to make his point. The Assemblies of God church teaches that only those who accept Jesus as their lord and saviour will go to heaven and there is a final judgement for those “lost souls” who have rejected Christ.
I never felt comfortable there. It always felt wrong and “off” to me. Maybe it was the hypocritical way the pastor lived his life. Once during a sermon he thanked god for “inventing VCR’s” so he could record the Sunday football game. Thank god for that? Seemed an odd thing to thank god for. Or maybe it was the pastor’s 17 year old daughter who gave the pastor and his family less credibility. This young girl became pregnant by an adult church member and then became pregnant again shortly after by her boyfriend. Hypocrisy at its finest. They explained it away by saying it was the devil’s temptations at work. How convenient to have something to blame your mistakes and indiscretions on.
When I suffered a miscarriage the pastor told me it was god’s will. Perhaps my baby would have become a murderer and god decided to do away with him before birth. He actually said this. I was devastated. When my Grandpa died I was told that he’d go to “hell” and not “heaven” because he hadn’t accepted Jesus into his heart. This wonderful man, one of the best people I’ve known was going to hell? I couldn’t accept this. It was at this point I decided to leave this church and have never looked back. The Assemblies of God Church says that there is a “book of life” where god has recorded all his worthy believers. And so I suppose my name will be missing from that book.