Disclaimer: I do not hold personal grudge against anybody
My Childhood days
I was born and brought up as a member of TPM. The church was the center focus of our lives since our early childhood. During those times, there were some good souls and the workers of TPM were genuinely interested in people’s welfare. So I grew up with the thought that this is the BEST CHURCH. But then, there was a brother in the church who truly had the spirit of evangelism due to which he was scoffed by TPM fanatics. Later on, when I started understanding many things that were happening in this church. I felt that something is wrong.
My dad was a person who grew up in a hostel run by missionaries. He would tell me good bedtime stories and never forced me to wake up for the 4:00 AM morning prayers. I remember him telling me about Joseph, Daniel etc., and my love for Jesus grew. Whenever I went to the church, I would start crying thinking about the love of God. And one day, the elder sister in the church called me and scolded for weeping in the presence of God and asked me not to over-act. That was the first time I saw the true being of the TPM Clergy, behind the mask.
My Sunday School Days
If I recall the early days of my TPM life, It was filled with “DON’T’s, DONT’s and DONT’s ”.
- Don’t apply lotion
- Don’t apply perfume
- Don’t apply powder.
- Don’t wear jewels.
- Don’t wear colored dresses.
- Don’tattend weddings of those who do not attend our church, even if it’s your own sister.
- Don’t go to the hospital.
- And much more such DONT’s
These were the central theme of sermons and Sunday school classes. Poor us!! We were never told, “What should we DO”. Every sentence of theirs only had a negative connotation.
The Sunday School Anniversaries
The Sunday school programmes were conducted to show off how nice gifts they can give to the guests. The boys and girls weren’t allowed to do programmes together after a certain age. They had programmes to advertise their bible studies(Indoctrination sessions) and tarrying meetings. We had two or three programmes during the anniversary to praise our dear “Ministers of TPM”. This was all done to please the center pastor who happened to be the Chief Guest.
They made others think that the ones who attend all meetings, come to church early, sits in the front row and shouts the loudest are the holy ones. Alas! They could not look beyond that.
I personally did not have a major issue during my adolescence because I was attending church regularly. Therefore I was considered to be among the “good” ones. Then they started coercing me in a very subtle way to join their ministry. Though it sounded like motivational, it was a mental coercion. In my heart, I was sure that I will never ever go for this ministry because of the bitter experiences and their attitude which I would mention below.
Some Key Experiences
Discriminatory Hierarchy System
Once I accompanied an elder sister to the market and was shocked to see some revealing character of our saints. She was purchasing few plates. The plate bought for the center pastor was greater than ₹1000. O, my God! She wanted only white color, not even a cream one. With a small border in golden color. And the poor shopkeeper had to pull down almost everything. And now for the assistant center pastor, the cost was around ₹800 and the price range comes down as they buy for the younger brothers. And trust me; I have never seen such a crockery shop in my life. The believers, the ones who are funding them have to eat in a plate bought from streets, the cheapest one. I do not have an issue to eat even on an aluminum plate, but why so much of money wastage when they have not earned them? Are they not supposed to be careful in spending when they boast of living a life of austerity? Aren’t, they supposed to be good stewards of the money they have received? And why such hierarchy even for a plate?
The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him. Proverbs 20:23
Attitude with Children
I am a person with a dark complexion. There was an instance when the pastor shamed me for my complexion along with another girl. He called me a name which hurt me. Though it was funny for him, it certainly wasn’t for me. First of all, they rip children of their self-esteem by telling them so many “dont’s”. Then they cannot participate in any of the extracurricular activities at school. And on top of that, children are like play toys for them, they hit on heads, they bully children and surprisingly parents enjoy it. I have seen them hitting children’s head for not jumping during tarrying meetings.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:40
Arrogant Behaviour of the so-called Saints
I do not know whether these people are born arrogant or if they accumulate arrogance over the period of time. They certainly are not BORN AGAIN. A few years back, there was a sister in our church and the Sunday school practice was going on. When the practice was over, some samosas were kept to be distributed among children. After the distribution, 20 samosas were remaining. The Headmaster asked me to give it to the sisters. When I went in, she was so angry with me because I did not get the samosas prayed by her and did not give her first. She grabbed it from my hand and threw it in the dustbin.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Matthew 23:13
Relationships and Twisted Thoughts of the Clergy
After my dad’s demise: It is a strict rule at TPM that a boy and a girl is not supposed to look at each other after their adolescence. And I think everyone knows what happens when there is a strict rule like that. During my college days, my dad passed away and we were just three women at home. And for any of our need like carpentry, plumbing, we had to call a male. And when we did that, immediately there would be news spread like wildfire. And people enjoy adding masalas by making it look like the man stayed at our home. All these holy people and their followers have no issues in accepting such messages which makes up for some juicy stories. Such messages reach the faith homes faster than WhatsApp in those days.
My Mom’s Accident: On a Saturday evening, my mom met with an accident and was luckily saved. The next morning she testified at church. After the church was over, I and my sister were sweeping the floor when an Anna from church asked us about the whereabouts of mom and we were replying and the elder sister came out rushing from her room, and started screaming at us, asking us how dare we to speak to him. And we were so helpless and we both started crying. My mom and that sister had a major altercation later. When they speak to anybody of opposite gender, they always have a twisted mindset. Poor rotten souls! These are the people masquerading as SAINTS.
Moral Policing: Once somebody made up some stories about me. The Pastor did not even have the courtesy to bring it to our notice but had no problem in believing it. This famous pastor who is no more with us now. He called me over the landline and changed his voice and spoke in the voice of a boy in our church, just to check how I reacted. I spoke very normally as to how I would talk to that boy since I knew him well. He disconnected the call, and called my mom and revealed his identity and was furious that I spoke over the phone casually. Only when he called mom, I came to know that it was Him. I was so furious but did not to speak against him, Wish He was alive today, I have so many questions to ask him now. The so-called “Self Proclaimed Moralists” made our lives miserable. I wish I knew all their scandals then.
My question to them is, “Your lives are rotten, you have lust, you cannot take a ‘man and women speaking’ in a right spirit. Then how do you stay under the same roof and call yourselves celibates, saints etc?”
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
Just as I made sure that I would not go to ministry, I also made sure that I will not get married in this church.
There was a circular long back about giving and taking dowry, we have an Act in our country about dowry prohibition. But it is still ok to take and give dowry at a Pentecostal church? It is still ok to get married based on caste, language, looks, education and socioeconomic status? But love marriages are prohibited you see!! What a Joke!!! I do not know what happens to love marriages outside the country.
In TPM, You can still get away with love marriages, provided you are well off and can afford to give a huge amount of money to the pastor. And the pastor covers up it for you. And people also shamelessly lie to the pastors, pay them well and want to get married in the same dungeon. God knows, why!!
I married a man( A Believer) I love, I proclaimed my love for him, and I did not want to hide anything from anybody. People were against it. But God was with us. I got married in a registrar office paying a minimal fee of Rs.45/- and had a small party for friends and close relatives. God has blessed our marriage!! And He is with us. I love my God and he loves me more than I do. And there is no need of any mediators in the middle.
TPM’s Fear Mongering
TPM Clergy wants to tie us down with fear; they do not want us to think independently. They want to leave our brains along with the sandals outside the church and enter in. But I pray that they repent soon or we do not want such an institution and may God shut it down!!
Lastly, I want to just make a note of my observation. All they have is one instrument and that is “Fill people with fear” I will just quote, what I have heard from them all these years
- If you do not come to meetings, Scorpions and snakes will enter your houses (Dude, Seriously?? Good Joke )
- If you wear makeup, You will be burnt with acid in hell
- If you have pets, angel will not guard your home
- If you take medicine, your dead body will not be brought to church
- If you do not jump in tarrying meetings, you cannot fly in the air when Jesus comes ( Ha Ha)
- If you get married to the guy you like, you will not have a child ( What?)
I do not proclaim myself to be a special saint over the others, but a sinner washed by HIS BLOOD!!