When I PROFESSED
I was about 10 years old when I professed. My sister Pam Lewis (she is married and her name is now Pamela Jane Rank) had professed about a month before. I asked my mother about professing. She said that I should profess when I "heard God's call to my heart". I had never heard God talking to me. I never heard an audible voice. I didn't know what "God's call to my heart" or "God speaking to me" was. So, as most children do, I assumed it was the peer pressure from my sister and other "professing" kids and the pressure from my parents amd workers to profess. Like most kids, I wanted to do what would please my parents and I was afraid of going to hell. And my parents and others wanted me to profess. It was expected of me. Professing was something you did as a kid raising in a professing home.
Lynda talks with Grace Ploegsma
My mother was encouraged when I asked her about professing. She talked with the worker Grace Ploegsma. My mother let me know that Grace was going to test the meeting for me. And I could just stand up in the last hymn. So now my simple question about professing turned into an obvious expectation of me to profess since I had asked about it. What was a kid to do? I didn't know my rights. I felt enormous pressure. I felt I was on a roller coaster with one track and no way off. I didn't know what was involved in professing. I knew it meant taking part in Sunday AM meetings, but I didn't even know the beliefs of this religion I was raised in compared to Christianity. I thought we were the only way, that's it really. I believed our ministers were the only true ministers on earth because they didn't have a home and they stayed in our house with my father, mother, sister and I. That's what I'ld been taguht. We gave up our bedrooms for them so they could sleep in our house. My folks never gave up their room for the workers.
Grace Ploegsma Gets Stood Up
Ok, so it sounds funny, and it's true. Grace Ploegsma and Willa Dahlin (the two workers in the Gresham/East-Portland field in 1981) tested the meeting and I was so scared that I COULD NOT stand up. I felt paralyzed. I felt like the whole meeting was staring at me. Word had probably gotten around through worker gossip that I was going to profess, and it scared me to death. It felt so unnatural. What was I going to do? I was confused, embarrassed and felt like I had let Grace and Willa and my mother down. I knew and could see on the faces of the the worker that they were disappointed with me. I could tell it by the way they prayed at the last. They preached at me through their prayers. They let me know through the last prayer of the meeting that they hoped I would profess. Kids are sensitive and not stupid. I knew what they were saying in their prayer. It was a horrible meeting. It was really hard on me and stressed me out. And I had no one to talk to about it.
The Tested Meeting
So, you may wonder, "What's a "TESTED MEETING? It's not in the Bible." Well, you're right. It's not in the Bible. It's a religious ceremony that hails back to William Irvine. Whereas Christians told others that they believed in Jesus Christ and received him, 2x2s signify their joining of the cult by PROFESSING (but they don't say a thing). It's a regular 2x2 GOSPEL MEETING except for when it gets to the part where one of the WORKERS is announcing the last hymn. The worker in charge of the meeting or "leading" the MEETING tells people that they are going to sing the last hymn, and if anyone wants to "make their choice known" (your choice to belong to their group), then you can show others by standing to your feet. So that's what a "tested" meeting is. They test to see who is "with them".
Grace Ploegsma Tests the Meeting Again
Mother basically asked me what happened. I told her I was too nervous or something. She asked me if I still wanted to profess. I did, of course. What kid that wanted to please their parents wouldn't? I felt I would be more accepted if I professed. Until I professed, I knew I was "unprofessing" and people would always ask my folks if I was professing. And my folks would tell people that my sister Pam was professing but their son, Brad, had not professed yet. Yet YET! What kids wants to live with the scourge of being labeled by all your parent's "friends" as "unprofessing" for the rest of their life. It is a scourge on you.
So Grace tested the meeting again. I stood up this time. My heart was pounding. I jumped up right at the last couple of words of the last verse of the last hymn. Grace didn't see me profess, only Willa did. That's what mattered because Willa was going to "close the meeting in prayer". And Willa Dahlin's prayer was different when she closed the meeting. I knew I had been accepted into the group. I had the comfort of knowing I was now "professing" and the pressure to "profess" was gone. My parents' son was now going to be "professing". Both their kids would be "professing". What more could parents ask for? I didn't understand what had happened by simply standing to my feet, but I knew that I was now considered "professing".
The Friends Response
After the meeting, a couple of the friends came up to me and told me "That will be the best decision of your life." (Later, I came to see how wrong they were). I had no idea at this time of the child sexual abuse going on in the field, the fornication, adultery etc by many of these smiling "friends".
On the drive home, I began crying. I could hardly stop. Mom told my father and sister, "He's just crying because he's so happy." I found out later that demons enter people when they profess. Many if not most people cry after they profess. Crying is not something that we ever read about after people received Jesus Christ. It is a sign of immense strain and inward confusion.
Brad Lewis - Home|
Letter of Apology
When I Professed
I believed as 2x2
My 2x2 Baptism
Why I Left
Mistakes I Made
Girls and Dating
How I Got Out
Memoirs 1 B&R
Memoirs 2 Offering
Memoirs 3 - After Work
Cannot Go Back
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|