One Fish That Jumped Out Of The River
The Testimony of Matt D. (Sussex, UK)
Over the past few months, I have come out
of the "TB" (Toronto Blessing), and have realised what
a sad state the Church is in. I am 20 years old and have only
been a Christian for 18 months, having come out of drugs, the
occult and new age, etc.
I experienced all the manifestations, from falling, to swimming, to growling, laughing, crying, convulsing, shaking - the works. I really thought I was going through life-changing spiritual experiences. But the fruits were superficial. I had a "love" for Jesus, I sang of His kisses, of seeing Him run over mountains and peer through doors. Yet I always seemed to wonder where my "lover" was. I experienced times of absolute depression and anxiety. I would start crying for no reason. I would scream at God and swear at Him. I couldn't understand where this "God of love" was when I felt like that. At times my anxiety would become physical and I had one or two panic attacks.
Sometimes the depression and anxiety would come at the same time. It was unbearable. Many times, during this time, I considered turning away from God and returning to my old life.
I struggled too, with my quiet times. I just never had any! I couldn't spend time with God, it was such a struggle. I really thought I had missed the mark, I thought that there was something really wrong with me. I thought: "I fall, I shake, I laugh, I do all of this and I can't spend some time on my own with God."
I was hearing testimonies like: "my
life is wonderful"; "I feel so close to God".
These didn't really encourage me, but only seemed to lower my
Looking back, I can now see that my walk with God took a real and serious nosedive. I was falling into sin and feeling far away from my Saviour. I couldn't get out of the sin, and yet I was being convinced that I was meeting with God and my life was changing. During this time, two close friends of mine left the Fellowship because of things being taught, and because of the TB. I was advised not to have any contact with them, or receive ministry from them because they were "in rebellion" and because I was under the authority of the person discipling/shepherding me, so I stayed away.
Occasionally I would see them, yet because I was told these people were wrong, I felt very uncomfortable and judgmental. This didn't feel right, again, but because I was told this about them, I figured it was a reaction of the Holy Spirit in me, reacting to the "spirit of rebellion" in them. It was frowned upon by a few people that I still saw them at all.
Something happened though, when I visited them. They asked me firstly why I believe in revival. I couldn't really give an answer. I just assumed that because it was preached at church, it must be true. Over a period of time, they gently brought me to a point of questioning the TB. So I did. (Now this is where the fun begins!)
They had brought me to the point where I
actually went to church with a questioning heart. I did manifest,
but not as much as I normally would. (I took note.) I would see
people rolling about and it just didn't ring true with me. I was
horrified when Terry Virgo encouraged us to get together in a
circle and hold hands as a sign of "unity" and to let
the power flow through us.
It was a testing time. My life was turned upside down. Everything I had taken for granted was utterly destroyed. I really cried out to God: "Help. Lord!". He spoke Proverbs 3 -5:6 to me. ["Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths".] All I had to do was trust Him, so I did. I decided to write a letter to the elders at church declaring my feeling and also my concerns. I suggested a meeting.
By this time, my "shepherd" was condemning my two friends, which hurt me, so I laid my heart on the line with him. Our friendship wasn't quite the same after that.
Anyway, I met up with an elder, armed with
scripture and questions. He came up with two conclusions: (1) the
Bible is a book of principles. (2) I was a
"dispensationalist"/pre-millennialist. He referred me
to the Senior Pastor. I came away from that first meeting
frustrated. No answers. (He also told me that if in a year i was
still the same, my position in the church would be questioned.
I.e., I was put on probation. Is that biblical?)
I came away from that meeting totally
crushed. So I wrote him a letter almost demanding some biblical
answers. Four days later I left the church.
I apologise for the length of my letter but
I felt in my heart to share my experiences with you. To be
honest, I don't know why, but I would like you to feel free to
share any part of my testimony with others if you feel led to do
so. All I want is to see people come out of their deception and
set free, and if this can be used to do that, then please feel
free to do so.
(signed) Matt D.
(COURTESY OF BANNER MINISTRIES, U.K.)
Please see Dr Eddy Cheong's article Deceiving the Elect - Laughter Movement for A Scriptural and Critical Analysis of the Laughter Movement, Cross + Word - excellent Web Site containing articles and testimonies on the Laughter Movement.
Click RHB Spiritual Revival Meetings for an eyewitness account.