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My father was a Missionary Baptist preacher in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, so I was therefore raised as a Missionary Baptist. He ceased preaching when his mission work in Virginia failed, and we attended church regularly after that, but I do not remember which denominations. Most likely they were Missionary Baptist and Southern Baptist. At that time Southern Baptists were still pretty conservative where we attended, though I admit I didn’t pay much attention to those things as a child. I knew the Bible stories well, and was able to understand the deeper things of some of them, and was saved at the age of 10. Unfortunately I was raised to believe that God would get me if I did wrong. I knew of His love, but I was always afraid that if I did wrong, He would punish me in some horrible way. I was always very shy as a child, and as a teenager I felt out of place in and out of church, I didn’t fit in with anyone. Because of this, I stopped attending church when I turned 18, figuring if people in church treat me no differently than people out of church, and sometimes worse, why bother. Fast forward a few years, I was now married, and had a friend who told me one day that he had just gotten saved. I congratulated him, and he was surprised that I knew what he meant. He and his wife invited my wife and me to attend their newfound church, which happened to be IFB. Knowing that I really needed to be in church, we began attending regularly. Once again I began to have those feelings of guilt and fear that God would get me if I didn’t do certain things in the church, or if I did things contrary to the church teachings. These included tithing, dress standards, attending service every time the doors were opened, doing work around the church, etc., the usual IFB things. This was the late 1980s, and we attended a few different churches of like faith (IFB) as we moved around due to my job. From that time through about 2009 I continued to be a good and faithful IFB member, tithing and giving to Faith Promise Missions (FPM). Throughout this time we had many financial woes brought on by my feeling that I needed to give to the church even if I couldn’t afford it, because we were taught we couldn’t afford not to give. The whole time I expected God to bless me and give me money like I had heard so many others say had happened to them, but it never happened. Others would say, and preachers would preach, that God wouldn’t always bless with money, but sometimes with good health, or by helping you save money on things, and by keeping my car from breaking down, etc. I bought into it because my family did have good health, and I had a couple of old cars that were very reliable, but broke down on the person I sold them to. However, I failed to look at all of the other issues without rose-colored glasses, believing that God was testing me, and I needed to remain faithful to give. Every time there was an unexpected expense, I would pull out the credit card to pay it since I had no spare money. I remember on occasion telling my wife that I felt like I needed to stop giving so I could pay off bills, but I was afraid not to give. I always felt so self-righteous believing that I belonged to the only true church, that all other churches were preaching heresy, and didn’t believe the Bible, KJV of course. In 2009 I began to really question some things, though I don’t remember why. I think it was because of some things that seemed contradictory, so I decided to study out tithing and FPM giving. I discovered these are false teachings, and felt very liberated, as if a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders. I believe I still have a long road to recovery, but my wife is not yet ready to leave our IFB church. So I go along, and am a bit overly critical at times of the things spouted from the pulpit, knowing that things are taken out of context, and that I am out and out being lied to about some things.

Latest Posts by the Author

  1. Faith Promise Missions Deception