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Victimized by the NAR: Angie’s Story

September 6th, 2013 | 4 Comments | Posted in Spiritual Abuse, Testimonials

silhouette woman 2 croppedThis week I received a heart-breaking letter from a dear woman named Angie. I received her permission to share her letter with my readers because I believe others may be helped by hearing her story. It can be very healing for people who have been vicitimized by false teachers to see that they are not alone and they are not crazy–but that they did, indeed, experience spiritual abuse.

Angie’s Story

Hi Holly.

I’ve been reading your writings, both on Spirit of Error and other Web sites, for over two years. My story is a long one. I changed churches after my husband died in 2000. He was diagnosed with cancer and died two and half months later. It was just too hard to keep going where he and I had gone for so long.  

 The pastors at the new church, in Texas, were going to “take care of me because I was a widow” (and disabled), and they said it was the church’s responsibility. In 2008, I downsized and bought a smaller house. The pastors were going to take care of selling the house my husband and I had.

 They came to me and took over. It wasn’t my request; but I did agree. In this church it was, “Do not question the anointed.”

The house was next door to one of the pastors and he had known my husband. Long story short, they said they would sell the house to one of the elder’s daughter’s family. But the “sale” kept being delayed, and all the time the family was living in the house I was still paying the utilities. I didn’t have the heart to turn the utilities off of three young children, and the pastors were saying, “Don’t worry, we are taking care of you” and “Don’t worry, you will get your money.”  

 My dad had died in 2004, and my mother died in 2010. At that time, I told them they had 45 days to finalize the sale or the family had to move out. The pastor told me I couldn’t make the family move out because “I would look bad to the church.” After that, the pastors wouldn’t respond to my e-mails, nor would they answer or return my phone calls.

 I had the family legally evicted and it got worse from there. When I finally got into the house, it had been torn up. I ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars, not only in what they owed me for the 15 months they had lived in the house but also all the work and repairs I had to have done just to get it to the point that I could sell it. Of course, I did leave the church then.  

 I tried to talk to every pastor, who had all told me they “loved me” all those years, and I thought they were my friends. For nine years I had gone to their homes, and they had been in mine, and it was all a facade. I went into a deep depression and I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I got an attorney to write a letter to try and get some of the money owed me. Then they threatened to sue me for slander, etc. There is a lot more but I will not go into all the details.

 I started checking into the background of the church, the pastors, elders, and other people connected to the church. It had “apostles” and “prophets,” and I naively thought it was just what they called their deacons. I had never gone to a non-denominational church before.

 Yes, I went to that church for nine years and I never heard the words “New Apostolic Reformation” or “NAR.” I didn’t particularly like their two “apostles,” but they hardly ever came to the church so I didn’t have to deal with them. I was in leadership. I think that was just another ploy for the pastors to use me, but that is another story.  

 I hope this isn’t too confusing.  It all still confuses me! I didn’t know that evil like this lived inside the churches. But every day I get better. 

 Now I spend my time telling as many people as I can about the NAR and about what happened to me. And also about others who have been spiritually abused. I have always enjoyed and wanted to help others. Telling others about the NAR so they won’t make the same mistakes I did, I think, is a good thing. 

 Angie D.

My Thoughts

As I read Angie’s story, two Scripture passages came to mind. They highlight the stark contrast between Christians who are true representatives of God–demonstrated by their care for the vulnerable–and false teachers who only pretend to represent God, demonstrated by their greed for money and exploitation of people.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you … And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. (2 Peter 2:1, 3).

Of course, exploitation of people does not occur only in NAR churches. It can happen in any church. But it is much more likely to occur in an NAR setting where apostles, prophets, and pastors are viewed as “God’s anointed” and receive unquestioned obedience from their staff members and churchgoers.

If you have a story you would like to share with my readers, please leave a comment below. Or, if you prefer, you may send me a private message via the “Contact” page on my blog.

— By Holly Pivec

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4 Responses to “Victimized by the NAR: Angie’s Story”

  1. Juan1715 Says:

    I see these things happening outside the continental USA. This brand of gospel is being now exported to the hispanic countries, and its derailing the young minds into apostasy. And is also driving the elder generation into isolation and pasture as old wine sacks that cannot resist the new revelation pouring down thru the annointed apostles beard.

    One of the roots for this to happen is the lack of sound bible understanding, the taste for the experience rather than the right believing that produces the fundamentals for a strong christian identity in every believer of Jesús, our only lord, our only master, to whom we owe obedience to his word, not obedience to an ordinary man like these new apostolic reformation wolves.

    The apostolic letters speak clearly of obedience to the faith. This obedience is to the word of God, which by hearing , faith comes by the hearing of the word of God.

    So dont call your apostle your father, nor call a man your Rabbi (Master), because only one is your father and he is in Heaven.

    Dont be afraid or intimidated by those who put fear in your heart telling you that in order to gain access to the blessings and prosperity from God, you have to call that apostle your father and be accepted as his son, in order to be blessed as he is blessed.

    Dont let them deceive you about the covering of the Holy Spirit. You dont need an apostle’s covering. You already have the covering of The Holy Spirit, which is bringing healing to your physical body and is empowering your spirit with gifts and knowledge.

    When you celebrate and recognize your apostle, you are rejecting Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
    It’s that serious, IT’S IDOLATRY, pure and simple.

    Seek Jesús as the center of your life.

    Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and safe passage.

    Congregate, worship and PRAY!

  2. Jessica Says:

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story Angie.

  3. Bev Sterk Says:

    I realize this is years after the posting, but this year through my research of spiritual abuse, this description came to me for those who have suffered from spiritual abuse… and yes, it is very similar PTSD, which you mention…  it is PTSAD… post traumatic spiritual abuse disorder…  I truly believe those who have been harmed by spiritual leaders also suffer from PTSAD…

  4. Malinee Says:

    Thank you for allowing your story to be shared, Angie. Sorry to hear all of the horrible things that you had to experience during your time there. It is wonderful how this can now be used to bring glory to Jesus Christ and his message of salvation for the lost.

    There is only ONE shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jesus declared, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

    Those who have abused the sheep will be held accountable. For those who have suffered at the hands of self-seeking and power hungry leaders, know that Jesus is able to heal the broken hearted and wounded. He brings strength to those who belong to him. Instead of being angry and upset, pray for those blinded by the things of this world; those caught up in the things of the flesh.

    Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)

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