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Godly Wisdom, Spiritual Abuse or Cult?

Ed Palmer, Otsego

Last November 20th, a spiritual sledge hammer hit me hard "upside-the-head."Stunned is a

word I could use. I could also state that I was totally flabbergasted and even dismayed. It was

the second time in the last 24 years while attending a church in Elk River. It involved a pastor

perverting the Word of God. Pervert means "to cause to turn away from that which is good,

true, or morally right."In more simple language, it means twisting what the Bible (God) says

about a given subject. For those people or churches who do not consider the Bible to be the

"inspired Word of God" -- one might ask: 'So what?'To others, myself included, who take the

Bible in more literal terms -- it is quite a different matter. Something perverse is going on in the

spiritual community right here in Elk River. Everyone should be concerned. Is it Godly

Wisdom, spiritual abuse or is it indeed a cult as many have rumored? I am writing to warn those

people who may find themselves more vulnerable to a spiritually abusive or cult environment

because of a deeper level of faith. Or, their personal or family's search for spiritual answers.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for

correction, for instruction in righteousness," [2 Timothy 3:16 NKJ]Again, while some do not

believe this, I and others do. What makes November 20, 1996 an infamous day in my life is that

the very pastor who perverted the Word of God resides at a church where he preaches steadily

that "the Bible rules" all of his ministry's policies. Further, the very message he taught was

tantamount to his throwing the Bible out-the-window since the foundational scriptures were

taught for months if not years prior to this Wednesday evening service. And, his message was

not just perverted--it was opposite of what God's Word says. So what gives? Simple error,

hypocrisy,something non-biblical or some other agenda? Yes, it certainly involved money!

The foundational scripture taught from was Malachi 3:10 which will be immediately familiar to a

lot of people. "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house,

And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of

heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it."

[NKJ]The Good News Bible even refers to "such blessing" as "abundance."Indeed, the Biblical

definition of abundance according to Guideposts' Concordance is "plentiful supply."To put it

plainly, this pastor taught for months and years to tithe in order to get into "God's abundance."

Godly Wisdom, Spiritual Abuse or Cult?

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