A 27 year member of the UPC tells her story

December 1999
By Snowflake

I have read many of the articles you have posted on the United Pentecostal Church. Quite a few seem to focus on doctrinal differences. Others seem to focus on the obvious problems of child neglect and/or abuse issues. I agree these issues must be dealt with.

I was a member of UPC for 27 years. I was disfellowshipped because my Pastor had (and these are his words) a "revelation from God" about my "sinful and rebellious heart." After 45 minutes on the phone with him I was no longer part of a fellowship and no longer a part of the "Kingdom of God."

I am sharing my story because most often the UPC is presented as a rather benign, if somewhat on the fringe, form of Pentecostalism. But I don't just see them that way and I am not alone in saying that UPC has impacted my life in some very bad ways.

After 27 years I was tossed out into a world I did not know about. There was and continues to be a tremendous struggle to integrate into this world--some five years later now! There is not a day that goes by that I am not confronted with issues that I do not know how to deal with. Depression is my constant companion these days. I am not saying what I am feeling. I can't. Words do not convey the inner turmoil and spiritual uncertainty that bubbles inside me.

Perhaps the point of sharing my personal pain is that people who discuss the UPC somewhere along the road must realize that it is not just a benign fringe expression of a larger group, or just another church to keep an eye on. This church destroys lives.

The UPC and its members can object to my statements all they want. Of course, they will point to all the people who live "quiet, holy lives, happily going about the Lord's business." And they often hold up one sinner after another and say "if we did not present the Gospel to this one, they would still be lost." All I can say to those who defend the UPC is this: At what cost to a person's well being do you present the "full Gospel?" In my case, the cost was very high and extreme.

Had I known what that cost would be when I was presented these "precious truths" I would not have given my life away.

Jesus does talk about the man who before building--counted the cost. All I can say is, at least he was given the opportunity to count, I was not. And no one else within the UPC seems to be given that opportunity either.

I hope you will keep presenting articles about the UPC and let people read the warnings.

Perhaps one day the UPC will wake up and get a heart again. They have drifted so far from their first love. The doctrine and the Name have become their gods and these gods do not care, nor can they genuinely love or have compassion for, anyone who does not conform to their image.

Copyright © Rick Ross

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