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“The message is that God is always there”

February 8, 1999, by a former member of Potter's House

I was part of the Potter’s House in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I now understand what was meant by mind control. I never understood when I was young when I entered that church. Although I try not to blame the Potter’s House for my leaving the church and God, I do know that my experiences at the Potter’s House did affect how I view God.

I always thought of Him as someone who would only love me if I did the right thing 100% of the time. I felt that God would never heal me or speak to me because I was told I never had enough faith.

I always felt that if I did not bring someone to church that was a “sinner”–that I was a bad member and I was not doing my job as a “born-again” Christian. I was made to feel that I had to “speak-in-tongues” or I was not “spirit filled”.

Members of the church would look down on you if you did not go to a street preaching, on outreach or pass out flyers, because you wanted to go skating instead. I felt that I could never go to college outside of Albuquerque or pursue the dreams that I had in school. I always felt that I could not participate in my high school athletics and activities, because I needed to be in church every time the doors opened. I alwaysfelt that I had to be in every prayer meeting, every music scene and the various things that the church had there.

It was so frustrating because I never really had a life. I always felt rebellious and wanted to get back at people at that church because they were controlling my life. It was frustrating. I now know that is wrong.

One thing though is I do not hold [the pastor and his wife personally] responsible for what happened, because they were victims too. Its unfortunate all the pain they had to suffer. They did not know.

One thing I have learned over the years is that God does love and does forgive. It was hard for me to accept that God actually loved me because I always felt I was such a bad person. I know and have learned a new meaning of what it means to have a personal relationship with God. People should want to serve Him, not be coerced into serving him.

So if any message gets out to others who have left the church, I hope the message is that God is always there. He loves you and wants to heal you. He is still working with me, but His patience and grace has been there for me.

Source: RickRoss.com