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Swimming Up Stream by: Patrick Menzies

Rocking The Family's Religious Boat
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"Loss of Identity with the Trinitarian Faith" 

It was a weekend, and Patrick was staying over with Lieutenant Bland, in Salinas California.  The Lieutenant lived relatively close to the Oneness Pentecostal Church in Salinas where Patrick was baptized.


          Motivated by his new-found faith and dedication to God, Patrick decided to call his mother and share with her his experience. 


          To his utmost amazement, his mother did not leap for joy at his excitement for the New Birth Experience he had had; but instead openly rebuked him.  She questioned his dedication to God, and said: You mean that you have been a hypocrite all this time?  I thought that you had accepted Christ a long time ago.  What do you mean when you say, You just got saved?  Startled by his mothers reaction, Patrick tried to explain the difference between the religious terminology of Accepting Christ, and the biblical terminology of being Born Again.  His efforts were fruitless.  For the more that he tried to explain about his conversion to Biblical Christianity from Religious Practices, the hotter the conversation got.


          The conversation ended with his mother hanging up the phone on him, after strictly commanding him, that he speak henceforth to none of his brethren concerning this new religion; that it spread no further among the family.


          The challenge to Patricks new religion came a few months later on his subsequent trip to Chicago, during his family visit a few months later.


          He was driving in his car with his sister Yvonne, when the conversation came up concerning his new religion.  After a few minutes into the conversation, he asked his sister to get his bible and open it to John 3. She got it and read:  3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?  5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  Then he asked her to turn to Acts 2:38, where she read: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 


Okay, shouted Yvonne, you mean to tell me that I am not saved?  I accepted Jesus in my heart and that's enough.  I am not the one convicting you of the need to be born again, responded Patrick, you read it in the bible.  Now, you can follow man's religion, or you can choose to obey Jesus Christ.  The remainder of their trip was very tense and quiet, as Yvonne refused to talk any more concerning her religious condition. 


          As if that encounter with his sister was'nt enough war for one trip, Patrick went over to Anthony's (his eldest brother) home that weekend, where the confrontation was even worst.  His brother confronted him concerning his new religion, only moments after Patrick's arrival at his home.  Anthony asked Patrick to describe his new religion. 


When Patrick got to the point of explaining his belief that a person must be born of water and Spirit (baptized in water in Jesus name, and filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance), to be able to enter the Kingdom of God; his brother stopped him.  You mean to say that Im not saved? Anthony asked.  I don't mean to say anything, replied Patrick, but Jesus Christ himself said in John 3:5 that Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 


Anthony, who had only recently re-dedicated his life to Christ at his local church, was furious.  So tell me then, he said, if I die right now, where would I go? 


Patrick felt cornered.  He knew what the bible said, but he also knew that his brother was evidently picking a fight on this issue.  Well, that's not up to me, he said, trying to find a way out of answering his brother, knowing that it would cause serious problems if his mother ever found out about his conversation with Anthony. 


"But you tell me," Anthony insisted, "where would I go, to heaven or to hell?"  "Well," started Patrick again, knowing that he would have to answer his brother directly, or the conversation would'nt end; "since you have not been born of water and of the Spirit, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 

"So what you're trying to tell me is that Im going to hell, is that it?  Why dont you just come right out and say it?"  Anthony asked. 


"Okay," replied Patrick; "you are going to hell."  That was all that Anthony wanted to hear.  He started immediately to attack Patrick concerning his new religion, and questioning his authority and knowledge in declaring someone hell-bound. 


          When Patrick's mother found out, she was furious.  She again scolded him for talking to her children about that new religion.  Needless to say, Patrick left Chicago that weekend torn up inside, due to his family's rejection of the Truths of Gods Word.

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