- I actually spent thirteen years as a Pentecostal. (It only seemed like nine years because I was dissociating for about four years of it.)
- Dave's right: I decided to leave and then HE got kicked out, but I'll explain all that later.
For women, it meant:
- you couldn't cut your hair
- no makeup
- no jewelry (except wedding rings and the occasional pin on your coat, although this was frowned on by some)
- no jeans or shorts (only dresses or skirts were allowed)
- no fun (OK, I made that up, but it's kind of implied)
- no shorts
- no facial hair
- no long hair
Anyway, these rules were not, in the long run, just a benign annoyance. They spoke to me. They whispered in my ear something about worth and dignity and control. They became a splinter in the center of my mind, gnawing at my heart almost continuously. I began to notice all the little ways they created a wall between me and the rest of the world. Even worse than this, they also separated me from God. When the honest questions about all of this started to surface in the back of my brain it was the beginning of the end of my Pentecostal days. As soon as these questions found their way from my mind to my mouth, I might as well have been screaming "unclean" at the top of my lungs. They had exactly the same kind of effect.
Questions are the most dangerous heresy of all. More dangerous than lipstick.
I promise I'll tell you all about the leaving and getting kicked out next time.