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At the end of last year, I published an article listing the ten most popular posts of the year. I was shocked to discover my post about Edwin Young and Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City, KS, to be the most popular article – more than even articles on my lawsuit. Here is what I wrote about that Number 1 post of 2012:
This was a huge surprise to me. I took a detour on this article after reading the Edwin Young story in the news. This type of church is foreign to probably most of my readers and this post on Pastor Edwin Young and Faith Tabernacle has received the most hits of any blog posts and continues to receive hits on a daily basis. Lois of spiritualabuse.org probably the most information on this group on the internet and she has told me that the people in these churches are searching for answers. You’ll notice that many of the comments are anonymous. These people live in fear, yet they know something is wrong at their church and are looking for information. I praise God that He has used this disturbing and snarky post to reveal the truth and hope that people will not settle until they find the Truth.
I just checked the blog stats on my now shut-down blog at BGBC Survivors. I continue to receive hundreds of hits there despite the fact that it has been closed since 12/31/12. Guess what is still the most popular search I have seen on a daily basis? Yes, Edwin Young, Faith Tabernacle, and Jordan Young.
If you go to spiritualabuse.org, and I hope you do because it is the site with the most information on this church, you will find this summary of events of Edwin and Jordan Young and reference to the new pastor, Nathan Dudley.
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There’s no doubt about it, by indication of the hits on my old blog, the amount of comments on that article and others I have done, there is something funky going on in that church. This is an environment where you simply do not question God’s anointed, the beloved pastor. Women have strict rules on how to dress, how to wear their hair. People are told what they can and cannot do in their leisure time. I’ve been told no televisions, no internet, so the fact that these people are searching on the internet to find sites about Faith Tabernacle is revealing. I hope and pray that those who search and find my blog will read my articles on Faith Tabernacle/Edwin Young and see that there can be freedom and grace found in discovering the truth.
Even though most of my regular readers have never experienced a church like Faith Tabernacle (FT) , I hope that by including FT stories, we can identify the typical patterns of spiritual abuse. They are all the same because they all went to that Creepy Spiritual Abuse School (CSAS).
Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a former FT member who is now a pastor. He gave me permission to share his story anonymously. I’m so glad he sent me an e-mail. I hope that his story helps others to have strength to get out of this destructive environment.
Before we read from the pastor, here is a sampling of preaching by Jordan Young, former Pastor Edwin’s son, who at this posting has been charged with at least 10 counts of sex charges against children. He talks about the greatest weapon is “our testimony.” Yes, indeed it is, Jordan. Your testimony is a stench to the Christian church.
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Story by Anonymous Pastor, Former Member of Faith Tabernacle
I have been following these posts for some time and it’s apparent that most of the people have had some contact with religion of some sort. I was a member at FT and found it to be excessive in its approach to good Christian living. When the pastor presented himself as someone that never do any wrong, I couldn’t accept that (I am not talking about adultery, fornication etc…). When he made the proclamation that “some of you think I am just a man, well I am not just a man.” I realize that I had to leave with my family before things really got out of hand. I informed the pastor that I will be moving to another state to which he strongly disapproved and stated that I would go “down, down, down.” I was hurt because he thought I was not able to live for God anywhere but there (FT). He made it seems as if Junction City, KS was the only place in the world that I could be saved. He also made it seems as if the only reason we (me and my family) were still living this Christian life, is because of him.
There were young men at FT who had aspired to the ministry. When they found out that I was leaving, there was an endless barrage of negative preaching coming from the pulpit. Some of them never spoke to me again. I remember one young man got up and said, “I heard some of you are talking about leaving; go ahead and leave. God will bring in two to take your place.” I thought to myself, I am doing an injustice to the church by staying. If God will replace me with two, I should leave and allow two more to take my place. Needless to say, when I left, I was the subject over the pulpit for a few years. The lies and sensual things that were said about me and my family were unbecoming of a minister. Truth had no privilege in that place and neither did love and understanding (It almost seems as if God had left the building).
While I was at FT they call me brother, but as soon as I left, I was no longer a brother. Ms. Westberg would call me by my first name whenever I visited. Mind you, I did not commit any sin and no one could point their finger at me for any wrong doings. I worked in a servant capacity, paid tithe, gave in the offering and supported the foreign missions. I had a lot of friends that I truly love at FT, but they had made their choice as to how they would live their Christian lives and I decided for myself. I wanted to live free of constant brow beating and negative preaching. I wanted a church where the sacred place call the Pulpit would not be used as a place of hatred, for bulling, to beat up on the members, or speak evil of any that does not agree with what is being said.
It was a very trying time for me. For about four or five months after I left FT, all I could do is cry and moan and groan in a closet (figuratively) when I think of the hurt and pain and all the lies that were told about me and my family. If I did not have a relationship and an experience with God, I would have turned my back on all that which is call religion. It is safe to say that religion is what did this to me and not God. Although I was deeply wounded, I knew how I felt about my God. I wanted to live for the Lord more than anything else in the world. I knew that it was not God that hurt me; it was man. You see, the experience that I received would not allow me to hate and to harbor malice and bitterness. My experiences lead me to seek a deeper walk with God. Like a tree void of water on the surface, its roots grow deeper and to find water, thus making the tree stronger. It made me to want to know Him for myself. It made me want to understand my Christian experience even more. They wanted to keep me in a box, but the God that I serve is so much bigger than Faith Tabernacle and so much bigger than the UPC organization. He is so much bigger than religion. He is the great I AM.
I see all what’s going on at FT and it does not make my heart glad, but rather sad. I don’t like it when people stereotype pastors and put them all into the same bundle and declare that they are all alike. I know that there are good people out there that desire to do the will of God. That is what I want to be.
I think FT has forgotten how to love and forgive. Yes, I know they say they have love one to another, but what reward is it if you love them that love you. Take your love and compassion outside the doors of the church. I have personally seen them strain gnats and swallow camel. They talk about how long your sleeves and dresses should be. They make clean the outside. They display disdain for everyone that doesn’t believe what they preach (even though they don’t have any bible to back it up). They tell you to do things that they will not do themselves. They paid tithes and are present at every church service, yet the weightier matter of the law they have omitted which is to show mercy, love and faith. To be tender-hearted one to another. To be patience and kind, but the greatest of these is LOVE.
Today I am the pastor of a small church and refuse to have all the “hoopla” that went on in FT. I don’t want any special recognition or be put on a pedestal. I don’t want the people to think that I am some superman with God and that I am on a level that they will never attain. If we need to do something special, let’s find someone in the church that is in need and do it for them. I don’t believe in putting people out of the church and oh by-the-way, I do make mistakes and I am not perfect (I don’t mean adultery and murder etc…). May the God of heaven bring peace to heart of everyone that has been hurt by these institutions.
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