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Christian Koinonia
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It sounds unreal but I tell you this goes on in many UPC churches as well as other Oneness groups. If the way of salvation is easy, these churches will make it hard. But it’s not hard and Jesus paid the price on the cross for our salvation! I was under that Pentecostal bondage and abuse until I finally got myself out of it. I finally found true freedom in my faith in Jesus Christ. That is why it’s called Amazing Grace.

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"And I’m telling this story publicly because I hope that other churches can love people like this, the same way that I have been loved. There have been so many years of hurt and misunderstanding between the Christian community and the LGBT community....

"I found a church where I am accepted, where I belong. I have chosen to not date girls anymore along with several other lifestyle changes, not out of shame but because now I believe that this is not healthy for me. I came to trust that Jesus doesn’t just tell people to follow arbitrary rules out of some twisted power trip, but because he cares about our well being. This is a personal decision, and not something that I usually tell other people unless they ask me about it."

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If you came out of the United Pentecostal Church or another Oneness organization, this is how we were told to be saved. That it was the only way to be saved. This was “The Truth” that they’ve been preaching for many years as the only way to be saved. They’ve proclaimed it as truth and condemned others for not obeying it. They caused disunity with other believers and centered a whole doctrine around it.

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Now my grandmother converted to Pentecostalism and became indoctrinated quickly and prayed for her family to follow in the Pentecostal ways. Problems began with my mother who rebelled against the church and its teaching at age 17 and married my father when she was 18. The marriage didn’t last long and they divorced when I was four and my brother was 14 weeks old. We moved in with my grandparents and were once again under the influence of Pentecostalism.

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It’s scary to leave a group. To hear people saying things against that group when you’ve been taught never to say ANYTHING even remotely negative about the group can be frightening. To hear that group called a cult or heretics, to hear the standards discussed as false doctrine, and to even see people making decisions to not believe in God at all, blaming the group for their disbelief–those things can be terrifying.

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Leaving a church affects us all differently. Some words I’ve used and heard used to describe leaving are: frightening, overwhelming, scary, freeing, confusing, sad, hopeful, and happy. The mix of emotions can be overwhelming, and on top of that there is a struggle to learn what is really OK and what isn’t, what the Bible really says about things (or whether to believe the Bible at all), who we are without the group, how to handle questions or reactions from others, where to go to church or if to go at all, and so forth.

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Just a few of the questions:
Does your group discourage doubts, criticism or ideas that differ from their belief system?
Do you tend to rationalize whatever the group does even when it goes against your sense of right and wrong?
Do you often feel exhausted from lengthy group activities, meetings and projects?
Does your group have its own unique words, cliches, slogans, chants, prayers and doctrinal phrases that reinforce the group viewpoint?
Are doubts viewed as a lack of faith, dedication, commitment or disloyalty?
Have “your thoughts” become “the enemy?”
Do you often find yourself doing more and more things in the group, or because of group peer pressure, that you would not have done on your own?

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To reinforce his position of dismissal, he told me that he knew of my past experience with scissors in cutting my oldest daughter’s hair. Then he proceeded to tell me that cutting my suffering baby’s (not even two years old) hair was just as bad as if I had given her alcohol and cigarettes! (In a works based church, alcohol and cigarettes rank right up there with lying, cheating, and stealing.) Yes, that I had harmed her in the same way as if I had given her abusive substances! It is interesting to note here: the senior pastor called me when he got back in town and told me that he would never have done what his son did!?!

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Those from a Oneness Pentecostal background might be interested in taking this survey. This site is not involved in it.

A Quantitative Exploration on the Perceptions of Psychological Abuse Experienced in Oneness/Apostolic Pentecostal Groups

You are invited to participate in a study conducted to explore the perceptions of group psychological abuse experienced in Oneness/Apostolic Pentecostal organizations. The main purpose of this research is to determine the presence or absence of group psychological abuse, its severity, and to explore the experiences of the individual participant – not to positively or negatively label any one group, organization, belief system, or faith tradition.

Due to the nature of a limited survey population, the researcher has been granted permission to utilize non-probabilistic sampling methods. This means that you are highly encouraged to share and forward this survey to other individuals who might benefit from the findings of this research. The success of this research depends on individuals such as yourself sharing this message and link – a method formally recognized as ‘snowball sampling’ or ‘chain-referral sampling.’ If you are the recipient of this message and have already completed the survey, please either forward or disregard.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any time. Anonymity is guaranteed. There will be no consequences or harm to you if you choose not to participate, and there are no consequences or anticipated instances of harm if you decide to participate. Participation in this survey will constitute as informed consent.

Study: A Quantitative Exploration on the Perceptions of Psychological Abuse Experienced in Oneness/Apostolic Pentecostal Groups
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