I was a Pastor’s Kid. My parents met in Bible School.
My Mom married my dad because she played the piano, and he preached.
They were a good team to serve God, they thought.
Despite the early warning signs of verbal abuse, my mom thought that she had to commit to my dad because it was God’s choice for her. When she was pregnant with me, they had a fight so bad that my dad actually kicked her. He kicked his pregnant wife. She ran home to my grandma but eventually went back to my dad because Divorce was not an option. The bible said ” GOD HATES DIVORCE”, so she would just have to endure all the daily turmoil.
I always scoffed about Sundays because it all seemed like a big show to me. During the week my dad would be hot tempered, impatient, even abusive, but on Sunday he would prepare his sermon and be very proud of it when he preached. He was very proud of the sermons he wrote, more than whether or not he actually lived a life of love.
I grew up thinking that everyone in church were hypocrites. The same old people playing politics and the youths – everyone followed the program. We all sang “Lord I offer my life to you” and ” You are my all in all” , but those were just songs. After the songs were done, everyone was there just to mingle. Most of the time, I wondered what was the point of all of this when I did not mean any of the words I was singing?
I read the bible and all I could think about clearly was that I only saw Pharisees and my dad condemning us all. His always said that God would be his judge and it was between him and God.
There was once, he was so angry with my mom that he spat in all the food that she had cooked for dinner. He also took the bin and threw out all the rubbish onto the floor in our house. In front of us kids. I was 7 and my sister was 5.
Me and my sister always felt like we needed to protect my mom and we hated our dad. Hate is a strong word, but I am not lying to say that we did. In his church office one Sunday, my sister who was probably 8 at that time, left her biscuit on the table. My dad saw it and took a bite. My sister was disgusted and did not want to want to eat the same biscuit that my dad had eaten so she threw it in the bin. He was so offended he made her take it out of the bin and eat it in front of him.
There were so many other unpleasant memories but suffice to say, I was completely turned off Christianity. If God was the God that my dad was “serving”, and if reading the bible everyday made him this sort of a person, husband and a father, I wanted nothing to do with this religion.
I knew that God was real, I just didn’t know if he was the same God that the bible talked about and if Jesus was real either. I knew all the stories… but they were all in theory.
It wasn’t until I had personally encountered Disciples of Jesus. Regular Guys and Girls that were filled with the holy spirit. Walking with them changed my life. At the same time, I was listening to teachings from Joseph Prince that opened up my spiritual eyes and heart to the gospel. I was filled with forgiveness and even love for my dad when I realized how forgiven and loved I was.
Even as I was excited to share my new found love and relationship with God with my dad, all he could say was that he didn’t agree with these teachings. He rejected healing and tongues for today. He was brought to Christ by a Bible School that taught that all these “moves of the Holy Spirit” were not for today and were demonic. Christians could not prosper. We were always poor and he would pride himself on being able to survive on bread alone quite at the expense of his children.
Why do I share all this? It is not to shame my dad who has passed away 7 years ago but I share because I want you to know that you are not alone. If you were from a “Christian” Family and it seems like you would think, this family looks perfect on the outside and could not have all these things going on at home, this sharing is for you.
Last night, as I shared a little about my dad, someone reached out and it sounded like her dad was just like mine. Personally, I struggled with the idea of a father that loves me, thinks for me, provides for me, protects me – because my father was none of the above. There might have been snippets of care but the abuse always outweighed any measures of “love” I could have experienced.
The year my dad passed away, I had a conversation with the Holy Spirit asking WHY WHY WHY did my dad end up like that and HOW HOW HOW could he have been this way. For years I hated my dad but for the first time, I could understand and love him through the grace of God.
The Holy Spirit showed me how REJECTED he felt. How ALONE he felt. How he was actually so insecure that he always felt like he needed to prove himself and justify himself. His Anger and abuse was a symptom of the pain and rejection that he had carried with him. His identity was in his knowledge of the bible and when questioned, he would fight with anyone to prove that he was right – because if he wasn’t, then who was he?
My dad was also an orphan. He NEVER HAD A DAD HIMSELF and his first “dad” was the preacher that had told him about God and introduced him to this theology that he so dearly clung onto for his life. He was adopted by a single lady and he never had the embrace of a father. How would he know how to be a father, himself?
And that is why we can only love because HE FIRST LOVED US. How can we give what we have not first received?
Unfortunately for my dad, He had believed in Jesus coming to die for his sins, but had rejected being filled with the Holy Spirit. Somehow this lens that he wore made him believe that when Jesus said “heal the sick, cast out demons …. be filled with the holy spirit…. and that these signs shall follow those that believe. They will pray in new tongues”, that all these things were not for today and were no longer applicable!
If not for the power of the Holy Spirit and if not for the Holy Spirit filling us up, teaching us all things how can we be dead to sin? John said, I come to baptise you with water but the one after me (JESUS) will baptise you in the HOLY SPIRIT !
If you are not baptised with the HOLY SPIRIT but instead are baptised only with water… can you really die to yourself and be alive with Christ?
We CANNOT take up our cross and follow JESUS by our own flesh and strong will ! Even by memorizing the ten commandments and scripture! The Pharisees showed us that. When Jesus said, you study the Scripture so that you can find the messiah but here he is, when he was right in front of them they could not see him!
I remember clearly, the day those disciples asked if I spoke in tongues. The answer was NO ! I did not know the Holy Spirit. They laid their hands on me and prayed that I would receive the holy spirit. That night, I started praying in tongues by faith and at first it started out like ‘shiokubutsu” and then it became an actual groaning of the spirit, a language that I had not had before that could just flow. I could pray in the spirit even as I did not know how to pray.
Have you received the Holy Spirit?
Do you know the Holy Spirit ?
What was the baptism you had received?
FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS chapter 19,
Paul asks some disciples if they had received the Holy Spirit.
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.
He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”
On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
If you are automatically filled with the Holy Spirit when you receive the word and believe in Jesus, why did the Apostles travel to Samaria when they found out that there were believers there that had not received the Holy Spirit? ( Acts 8: 4 to 25)
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Friends, have you, like me, grown up in a Christian home but never knew God and the holy spirit? Have you been told the gospel through a lens of religion and self effort ? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
If you don’t have a community and don’t know where to do and want to know more about all of this I would love to share more with you! Please reach out! Love you.