The Below is a short testimony from a sister who has requested for anonymity. Such things happen when you come from an environment of cultic TPM. She was a Worker Sister from one of the TPM churches in the west.
My journey into the organization took place at a young age. I was encouraged to communicate with the senior leaders without my parents’ knowledge while I was still a minor. That itself should have set off alarm bells, but I was just a teenager. I was instructed by the organization’s elders to call them collect from school and visit secretly without my parents’ approval or knowledge. I was groomed–private meetings with leaders, subtle counsel, ego-stroking–and finally received into the ministry. I entered with the understanding that my life would be given to reach lost souls for the kingdom. I was in love with Jesus and no price was too great. Finally, I thought, I had found a group of sold-out, radical lovers of the cross. Imagine my dismay when I slowly began to understand that their agenda was far from what I imagined: dry, sleepy prayer times coupled with lavish evening meals in believers’ homes! And the souls we invited to church from the community? They would come in one door and run out the other when they saw these oddly attired people who presented them with a list of DOs and DON’Ts. The “gospel” we shared, which was full of rules and regulations, was not effective in bringing people into a true relationship with Christ.
I began also to hear teachings that did not line up with Scripture. I watched young married couples and their children cruelly separated in the name of “consecration.” When asked “Why?” the only explanation given was, “Have we not the right to lead about a sister, a wife” (1 Cor 9.5). The inference being that a wife must only be equated with a sister—nothing more. This was exegetically wrong!
In the years that I remained there, I questioned the elders on the alleged heavens and their assigned inhabitants, the banning of marriage for ministers, the exclusivity of the church and its reluctance to acknowledge, much less fellowship with, the rest of the Body of Christ. Their answers rang hollow and unsupported by Scripture. I observed workers who arrived with fire in their eyes slowly evolve into dull, frustrated “yes” men who lived for the approval of their elders. I watched divine death tragically takes its toll on young and old alike. I saw parents who loved their children gaze upon their ministerial offspring with longing and remorse—cut off, “corban-ed,” dejected. My list could continue, but you’ve heard them all.
Finally, through a series of events that allowed me to return to seeking the Lord who had called me, I made up my mind to leave. Was it easy? No—I would not like to relive that portion of my life. Imagine a hundred voices telling you you’re wrong, deluded, bitter, and backslidden. But His voice was louder, His embrace stronger, and His strength sufficient. As I walked out the door, I was again met with threats (disguised as prophecies) of futility, loneliness, shame, and infamy. But, I kept walking.
Even though I was received back home as if they were receiving a corpse. Even when I heard whispers of supposed scandal. Even when hope seemed shattered and uncertainty loomed like an effigy in my path. I kept walking, and all the seeming monsters drowned as the seas parted. May I share with you that I have since walked into a large place, an inheritance that is more than I could ask or think! God has redeemed the years and given me both family and ministry together with life in HIM! And, I get to enjoy all of this with His beautiful Body—all of them! There is not a moment that I have regretted the decision to not only leave the ministry, but also the fellowship. I do not attend that church because of its extra-Biblical teachings and its dire effects upon numerous families. His Word is too precious—I cannot placate people at the cost of being untrue to the Bible.
For those of you who are contemplating a similar exodus: don’t wait! There is LIFE outside those four walls. The God who saved you is big enough to lead you and satisfy your soul. Do not remain in error and waste your days. Do not choose the comfort of the familiar and settle on being a big fish in a small pond. Don’t be content with the seeming security of faith home life—venture into the unknown with Jesus, your true Provider. Your assignment isn’t over, and lives depend upon your obedience. Many of us who have walked this path are determined to help our brothers and sisters who need support, camaraderie, and tools as they leave. I pray my story will strengthen your resolve and assure you that you are not alone…Welcome back to life.