A short exchange with someone named Erin

2 February 2002

I realize that writing you is probably a waste of time, but it is my time and obligation as a Christian.

I found this site purely by accident, but opened it to see for myself what sort of demented things could be here. Calling this site Ex-Christian.com is certainly appropriate.

I'm sorry you have never been lead to the truth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He loves you and your family and wants to come into your hearts and souls. It is never too late to search for the real truth, and God is the truth. Please pick up your Bible again and try a Bible study group. Blind faith is a difficult concept, but that very faith is what will set you free. You just don't know enough yet. Try God, he never lets you down.

I will pray for you Mr. VanAllen.

Erin Horner

From: Dave VanAllen
To: Erin Horner
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 2:22 AM
Subject: RE: I pity you

Thank you for your concern, but perhaps you did not read my testimony. If you are interested in reading it, it can be found here: http://exchristian.net/testimony.htm

Have a nice day,

Dave VanAllen

February 7, 2002

Dear Mr. Van Allen,

I did read your testimony--twice. I notice in your second to last paragraph you even write bible with a small "b" and god with a small "g" emphasizing your disillusionment. I can't say that I blame you.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church for all the wrong reasons. My mother was an opera singer and she was paid to sing at the church. For 10 years we went to 2 services every Sunday and many church events during the week. My parents did not care if any of us kids were Episcopalian or not--they went for the money. They just wanted us to be involved in something. 3 of my siblings and I decided to go completely the other way, so we attended the Pentacostle Church. Like you, I found that I HAD to be saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and speak in tongues. It never happened for me. Once at a camp, the elders were getting mad at me for not speaking in tongues. So, I faked it. They wailed and cried and thought it was great. I left all church, feeling really disgusted.

Since that time, I have attended many different churches. I find that evangelical churches most pointedly, Pentecostal, AG, and Baptist, want you to follow what the preacher says, and not have a mind of your own. This is much like many Catholic churches that look down on parishiners for reading the Bible. No church is great, and they all have lousy politics. The Episcopal Church has some really lousy politics. However, I have found a church that is Episcopal, but they are non-denominational at the same time. That is a rare find. The people in this church know their Bibles inside and out. They are fanatical readers of Christian literature and disagreements are incouraged. It's the way man learns. We just keep our hearts and minds open.

My point here, is that maybe you have been looking for your answers in the wrong places. Maybe you should try a calmer church, and avoid the politics at all cost. Jesus did not abandon you, preachers and spiritual leaders did. If you can't find a church you like, study the Bible at home. I went many years in my adult life without going to church, and I still do not go regularly. I just do not want to get pigeon-holed into being an Episcopalian rather than a Christian.

You say in your testimony that you don't know what you are, so you guess you are agnostic. If you are really agnostic, then why bother trying so hard to get people to join you? Misery loves company? I don't think so. You are passionate about your past Christian life and frustrated and lost now. Pray to God for wisdom, and he will deliver. Besides, you appear to be a very intelligent man.

Oh, and as for who actually penned 1 John, we just have to go with the word of the Bible on that. And, if he seemed to believe that the end was near, just remember that in the Bible, time is strange to say the least. Soon to them could be in 2000 years. Christ told us to beware (be prepared), as he would come again when we least expected it.

Thanks for being so passionate about religion and your frustration with it all. Everyone feels that way sometimes. Just don't make your understanding and love of Christ get wallowed in the muck. Don't make it too hard.

Your friend in Christ, Erin

February 7, 2002

I forgot to say that I was really interested in the part of your testimony where you basically give up, even though you had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Satan is real busy these days. He loves to prey on people who are vulnerable and unsure of themselves. I believe you may have been filled with the Holy Spirit. But, I also believe that you let yourself get so lost, that it allowed Satan to enter your soul and guide you away from Christ. Satan CANNOT enter you unless you give him permission to do so.

Please pray that in the name of Jesus Christ, Satan will get behind you. Yell at him if need be. He CANNOT touch you if Christ is in your life. The Holy Spirit would never lead you astray. I've been where you are, and had friends where you are. Don't let Satan win the war with your soul--the stakes are too high.

"For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17) NIV

Your new friend, Erin

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