By Ernest Perce V
If you are an Atheist who is currently preaching the Gospel in a church somewhere, or a closet Atheist, then this blog is for you. If you’re a charismatic minister then I’m going to read your mail and you will understand me in a way that the majority of the Atheists who read this blog will not. If you are a not religious you may find this personal story both tragic and/or moving. Some of you will hate me, but after reading this, most of you will understand exactly where my passion for our movement comes from.
Please understand, whether you like me or not doesn’t move me in any way at all. I have never lived my life for the acceptance factor or to win a popularity contest. For me, it has always been “balls to the wall, all in, or nothing at all.” So with that said, here we go!
Most of the “preachers” I encounter are nowhere near as insane as I was when compared to the level of religious dogma I was living in. Christians often tell me I wasn’t sincere, I didn’t really believe the bible, or I’m just pissed off that God didn’t give me what I wanted. However, you will not let yourself get to the level of insanity that I was at if that were true.
I heard God audibly I became so bold that I would throw people out of wheel chairs. I would lay people down who had back injuries flat on their stomachs and run on their backs believing that I was carried along by the wind of God. For this was the demonstration of the Holy Ghost and power! (1Cor 2:4)And my language and message were not set forth in persuasive, enticing and plausible words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power, proof by the Spirit and power of God that was operating in me and stirring the most holy emotions in the minds of my listeners and thus persuading them.
I believed I could raise the dead back to life and that I was endowed with supernatural power from on high. I was baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4). There was a radical evidence of the call of God on my life. God called me to be a prophet. Miracles and Wonders would flow through my life. I would be used by God to raise the dead. So why wait? God would honor my faith, so twice I went to the local morgue to raise the dead. After all, that’s where the dead were. I had never seen a dead man in my life, yet Jesus spoke to me in “red” and said “go raise the dead, my boy, go raise the dead, (Matt10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, RAISE THE DEAD, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give ) and the second time I arrived to raise the dead I had arrived only to cause a disturbance, and I was told by the authority if I ever returned with this nonsense I would be arrested for harassment.
Once, while eating dinner at a restaurant, God shouted at me to go close down the Palm Reading business that was right next door to the restaurant. So, I abruptly left my lunch company to go into this business and bind the evil spirits up, take authority, limit their ability to perform and cripple the business financially. I walked in with the boldness of a lion (Prov 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion) where the owner pulled a pistol on me screaming “we are of God you are of the devil!” I screamed back and jumped in front of my friend Thomas Smith and my brother Tom McLain (who I later buried in 2007 in Joplin, MO) and screamed in tongues and interpreted the tongue saying “I rebuke the spirit of death and bind the spirit of murder in Jesus name.”
We ended up having prayer with her right there on the spot. Two weeks later the place shut down. I was a local hero in my church and in my town. Now, some 18 years later, there’s a taco business where the Palm Reader once “served Satan.” This only reinforced my delusion. Years later, I had learned that they were struggling financially that is why they closed. They wouldn’t have killed me and it was only a pellet gun that they waved at us. Hell, it didn’t even work at that. I found this out because we led the lady to the Lord and she became a Christian and never forgot my boldness and it was a testimony of the Lord’s kindness.
In my spirit I knew no man could kill me because God loved me so much I was going to fulfill his call on my life (Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.) Oh the days of Glory!
Trust me, you would have rode my coattails in demonstrations of the Holy Ghost and power, I could talk about the stories until your blue in the face. The sick were healed and the lame would leap. The owner of a very famous Mexican restaurant on the river walk that still in operation today in San Antonio was raised from his death bed after I laid hands on him and instructed him to wear a prayer cloth for 12 days that I anointed with my tears. I was a small time, but big time celebrity round that neck of the woods after he was restored to life. He introduced me to his daughter and wanted me to court her. “Brother Ernest, is an anointed man of God.” I had no reason to turn on the juice because I wasn’t attracted to Sister Deborah. Thank goodness for the hospital or else Brother George would be dead and San Antonio might have one less awesome Mexican Restaurant.
You also would have road my coattails in manipulating the flock. I could raise money, I could bring in the sheaves, and I had a way with the women. I was that charismatic prophet that was an irresistible charmer to a female who loved a walking bible. After all, that’s how I scored with the majority of the women I secretly courted and messed around with in the churches. Women were my weakness, but after all king David sinned with Bathsheba and he was a man after God’s own heart, and I had the blood of Jesus – a new covenant – and God was long-suffering. If any man sins he has an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 john 2;1).
Yet, through it all, I believed what the bible said concerning me and my household, regardless of my circumstances or situations of the flesh. As for me and my household, we will serve the lord (Josh 24:15). I met Kelly and we hit it off in a very unique way and we ended up with a beautiful baby boy that we named Praise. Praise was a miracle baby. Kelly nearly died in pregnancy right in my arms. My friend, Pastor Clark Ortiz, of Faith Pleases God Church sent the cavalry out to assist in her healing. God spoke to me in the rage of a storm, “I will raise her up and you will have a son, my Praise shall be continually upon your hearts.”
There was no weeping or sadness. I kicked the family out of the hospital and cut off all communications with the family who were not in faith. Later Praise was born and I circumcised my child on the eighth day, after the manner of Jesus (Luke 2:21). As he grew up I knew he would be a prophet of God so I prepared this child for the ministry. Yet, it never worked as I planned.
As he grew I injured him through faith healing countless times. I caused him mental abuse again and again. He would say, “Dad, I can’t stop coughing.” To which I would fire back “Child, do not acknowledge your ailing body, Jesus healed you 2,000 years ago when he raised from the dead.” I steadfastly refused vaccinations, as there was no way I was going to put any plague near my child’s infant body. He grew older and it was time for day care, but they wouldn’t let him in since he wasn’t vaccinated. I explained that I had a Religious Exemption and this sidestepped the vaccination requirements.
They allowed him in, but kept him in his own room all day. Since they had web cams I was able to monitor this and I filed complaints with the State’s Day Care Board of Licensing and brought media attention to the negligent religious abuse that Blue Bonnet Day Care committed for ostracizing my child in his own room. I ended up getting the school threatened by the state with $50,000 fines twice in a row for not allowing my unvaccinated child full access with other children in the school.
My state religious vaccine exemption was as good as a vaccinated child who had his shot records and even more so because God gave me this right as our state bowed to the bible (The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he will, Prov 21:1) I stood on scripture that (no plague shall come night thy dwelling, Psalm 91:10). Vaccines were a plague and his body is the dwelling of the Holy Ghost. I won, and because of the order given by the State and the threat of being fined 50k, they allowed him in.
There were many cases where I stood in faith and caused unnecessary sicknesses upon this child that his Pediatrician could have cured with a simple antibiotics or medicines. Fevers of 105 degrees, prolonged coughs, dehydration – the list is long. There were situations that I put him through that were not necessary. Seven years of hearing loss that was (and still is) a living hell because I believed God would heal his hearing. Thankfully, today he is going through therapy. However, I believed not the testimony of his own body, but I counted it to God for the sake of righteousness (Rom 4:19).
I “knew,” without question, that my child would be healed of his 60% deafness. How could God lie? I knew that by two immutable oaths it is impossible for God to lie and his promises to fail:
This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us.) – Hebrews 6:18
God told me,
“Ernest, I will try your faith and when you have reached the point that I am satisfied, both you and Praise will serve me wholeheartedly the rest of your lives and I will honor you before men, you will share your testimony and speak of my goodness.”
You see, I anointed him with oil and cast out the demons of deafness before his mother, before brother Dick Mills (a well known man of God) and several of our closest friends. There were several of us bible-believing, name-it-and-claim it, blab-it-and-grab-it, confess-and-possess-it followers gathered to agree on my son Praise being healed. (Matt 18:19 I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven).
The day we corporately prayed for a breakthrough, the glory of God came into the room. A cloud rolled into the room and several of us witnessed it. You couldn’t convince us otherwise. Today, I know what this is and I can explain the visual. Yet, I was called of God as a prophet and people believed I heard from the Lord. Because of this, Praise knew his daddy heard the Lord too.
But I made a beautiful child believe something was wrong with him. He believed he was filled with demons and he trusted his daddy. He looked up at daddy and asked, “Why don’t I hear like others?” I would ask myself, “Why is God so good that he will heal others through me and not my own child?” This shakes a man to his core. Today, I look back and say, “I can’t believe this was only five years ago.”
I decided that I would dig into the word even deeper than I had ever dug in the prior thirteen years to find the answer to this question. I was on a search to find the verse that spoke to me about my son’s hearing loss. I was looking for that one nugget in the rock pile, the needle in the haystack – the one verse out of the 31,102 verses that spoke to me. I needed that Rhema word for my situation, the one word from God that would change my destiny, the breakthrough verse that would release the anointing that destroy the yoke of bondage (Isa 10:27). This would be tough because I already read the bible from start to finish every sixty days. Each morning I read my five chapters in the Old Testament, five in the New, five Psalms and one Proverb a day. This didn’t including my daily studies that I would do in the evening.
It was during this time that I was fasting and God said “I will shake you to your foundations” I thought “interesting.” The days went by and I found a contradiction in the bible that I couldn’t rectify. This bothered me. Where did Jesus go after John baptized him? Did he go the wedding in Cana or to the wilderness for forty days and nights? He couldn’t be at both places at once. (Mark 1:10–13 — After his baptism, Jesus went to the desert where he was tempted/John 1:29 – 2:1 — After his baptism, Jesus went to Cana in Galilee to attend a wedding). This was a problem for me (2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness). The breath of God is what made the bible infallible. It didn’t matter what the situations of life said, or what the evidence contrary showed. God said I believed it and that settled it!
So wait, a contradiction in the bible? It is not possible and if there was one, surely I could rectify the issue. I was after all, the “walking bible” who beat Jack Van Impe in a bible quote-off at a church after the service in Houston. This, however, was one that I couldn’t. I asked myself, “If that is a contradiction then why hadn’t I found others?” Then the light bulb came on, I had seen the contradictions, but I just made answers for the contradictions. They were “translation errors.” Or where they? Was this the shaking of my foundations?
That day was so clear to me. It was the crumbling of my faith. If there was one error in the bible, then not a single person could be healed, not a single prayer could be answered. More so, Jesus could not be the word “kai theos ēn ho logos,” which is translated as “God was the word!” (John 1:1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God / John 1:14 and the word was made flesh). Everyone who had ever told me, “The stories in the bible were stolen and regurgitated” was right. The bible wasn’t so inspired anymore and “Jesus wasn’t the first man God, he wasn’t the last.” Was it possible that Jesus never existed? If Jesus never existed then nor did God.
I sat in the back of the house on Oct 17th, 2007 at 7:41 pm in El Paso. I began to tear the Word apart and found contradiction after contradiction. I ran from one part of the house to the next screaming at the top of my lunges in mother’s house. “There are errors in the bible, do you know what this means?” I was visiting and she was really freaking out. I knew what this meant all in a moment. It meant that I could no longer stand on my Dake’s annotated bible during a crisis in life and shout at my mountain of a problem. For it was all a scam. Religion was a Ponzi scheme! There was no more power in Jesus name. You see for me, once I lost the foundation of word and I realized the word wasn’t infallible, the religion of Christianity instantly crumbled away.
Within a day I was depressed and it lasted for two months straight. I didn’t want to work. I just slept. I couldn’t get over the fact that I wouldn’t spend eternity in heaven with my spouse and children. We would not be singing praises before the lamb. I asked myself, “What in the hell is the purpose of living at all if we are just going to die and not exist?”
I thought about just killing myself because, after all, there is no God. But I longed for the next moment with my family. I was depressed and didn’t want to sleep because I thought, “What if I die tonight, how valuable is one more breath with my son” Who will I to talk too during a real crisis? Where do I turn when I truly screw things up? Where do I turn when nothing makes sense? At least during these times I could turn to the Holy Ghost who would say, “Son, weep not, here am I.” I could at least talk out loud to my then best friend, but there would be no more jumping up each morning saying “good morning holy spirit, here am I, your vessel.”
Just to make sure God wasn’t trying to deceive me, I would softly call out in desperation, “sweet Holy Spirit, it’s me, Ernie, the lover of your soul, answer me in Jesus name. You have to respond in the Name of Jesus!” But there was nothing, just quiet. Not even my own deluded voice, answering myself back saying, “Son, I am here.” It was over. I knew then that it was all a scam. As with most people who find out that they have either bought a scam or have unintentionally sold a scam, I got very pissed off. I sure did.
I called Pastor Jim and told him what a sham he was. I called Pastor Bayless Conley and ripped him a new asshole because he destroyed my marriage. I was addicted to porn and also had a lot of sex with my spouse and according to Conley, porn was a sin and so was too much sex. What a douche! He never denied my money though!
After the depression and thoughts of suicide abated, the realization set in that this is it – this life is all there is. Short or long, great or terrible, healthy or sick, I’ve one life to live. What will I do with the short time I have left? Others that I sat under had to know it was a lie. So I picked up the phone and told my story and shocked the hell out of the people I called. All I found was scorn and ridicule from my former mentors, but not to my face or on the phone.
They thought I was mad at God for not healing my son, but I was mad that I spent years of my life believing a lie. I gave away expensive $2000.00 watches just to see dumbass pastor Jim Harris melt the solid gold band on a 14 karat Seiko Presidential into a wedding ring. I gave away expensive suits, thousands of dollars in cash and I bought groceries for ministers. Then I realized I could have been a doctor or an attorney, but all I had was a worthless ordination.
I left preaching the word and the office of a prophet immediately. I had a mission to tell every person I met that the Gospel is a fairy tale. Faith healing is dangerous and child abuse. You didn’t want to be around me for my first year. I ripped through Knoxville, TN with fury. I was pissed with an anger that birthed “TheSaint’sRevenge.” I had offers to stay in the church and preach in the inclusion circles, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew the price to pay was my conscience. Sorry, I’m not afraid to do what is honest and right. My family would suffer financially, but at least my kids would look at me and say, “My daddy believed in what he did, he set an example for me to follow.”
I knew I could never preach another day in my life. I knew I could never tell another human that Jesus was Lord; I don’t care how much of an offering I would receive. Damned right, I’d miss the groceries, the folks paying my bills, buying my gasoline, fixing my car, buying my family clothes and taking us out to nice restaurants. But I saw the effects and danger it caused in my life. I left for the sake of my children. I swore I would never harm my children again. Praise and Apple, my children, would be safe in my care the rest of their lives.
I had to tell the truth. I harmed too many innocent people, I destroyed too many marriages, used the Gospel to get offerings (I’m talking big bucks) and I harmed my loved ones. I preached healing so masterfully that I disabled my spouse up until one year ago. She bought the healing message hook, line and sinker. Arthritis attacked and ravaged her body and because of the doctrines I taught her, it set a precedent for her to believe this faith healing mess. She refused her medicines and became seriously disabled. She didn’t believe in healing when I met her, but up until a year ago, she fought for the healing in Jesus name and quit taking her medicines and it again disabled her – all because I programmed the healing power of God in her way back then. We’ve got her back on track.
You might think I don’t understand where you’re coming from, non-believing Preacher. You may think I don’t comprehend that your children are older and that you must keep earning your paycheck. That you feel you cannot do anything else for a living but be a preacher. However, if you are a Minister who is a closeted atheist, look at your family and “to thine own self be true.” Just look at them and say, “I will never lie to you again.”
Will it be hard? Oh, you had best goddamned believe it will be. It might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Will people turn their backs on you? Faster than my old Pastor Jim Harris did, or faster than Jimmy Swaggart would pick up a hooker on a dark street corner while no one was looking. Will your biblical degree be worthless among the atheists? You best believe it. Will your atheist group be an elitist group because they are educated and we aren’t? You bet your damned life they might be.
Will you have to flip hamburgers to support your family? You might have too. It won’t be so bad. After all, didn’t we clean toilets in church before we were ever given the microphone to preach our first sermon? (We must be faithful in the small things before we can be entrusted in the large). At least you won’t be pimping the Gospel to people in a big Ponzi scheme.
Your local atheist group might even kick you out of their group and say, “You have no substance and you are toxic to the movement.” In fact, I’ve been told, “TheSaint’sRevenge has no shtick here.” But, what the hell do they know? The only knowledge of religion they have is behind a nuevo atheist book and this gives them the right to run a group? But don’t worry about them. Odds are they’ll get bored and move on. Stay focused on the big picture.
There is however, a place in our movement for you to shout on the mountain tops “Come out of the closet, it’s a lie!” You will be a voice crying in the wilderness. Many of the atheists will turn their backs on you because they will not comprehend your passion. That’s OK, because if you preached for long enough, then you are used to that already! Remember when God gave you a controversial message and people left the church? Meh, it’s not that big of a deal after all. At least for once in your life you’ll tell the truth.
Listen to me closely as I speak from experience, I’ve gone through every situation I’ve listed above. I’ve pimped the pimps, I’ve played the players, and I’ve mastered the faith healing game. I’ve shared it with large groups and I’ve one-at-a-timed it. I’ve preached to the masses and preached to the animals (psalm 150:6 let everything that hath breath praise the lord). I’ve even preached to the rocks (if they keep quiet the very rocks will cry out Luke 19:40).
I tell you today that if you do not come out the closet sooner than later you will reap the crops of your deceit far into the future (Gal 6:7). So it is better to come out now than later. Come out and be free and we will respect you for this action alone! Come out and you will find healing here. You will find a place somewhere in our movement where you can fit in. We may not have our act completely together and some of the local groups might be high and mighty, but we are still in our birthing stage and there is still room for the five-fold atheists.
I’ll be waiting to meet you. I’m not an elitist, nor am I in this as a popularity contest. I’m in this for you. I’m in this for every child who has been abused by a faith healer. Come out of the closet. I won’t judge you. We will laugh, we’ll joke and we’ll talk about the good old days together. More importantly we’ll talk about the plans, purposes and pursuits of your new part to play in the movement.
I want to talk to you about someone very special. She is the mother of our movement and she will change so many aspects about your life. When she speaks to the masses, you will feel that you are the only one she is talking to. She will shake your foundations as a human being. This is what will make us different from all the other atheists in the movement.
So pardon me if while we talk a few tears well up in my eyes and I begin to shout with excitement and that old prophetic fire flickers within in my eyes as I tell you about the greatest evangelist to ever walk the earth. She’s my mentor. She’s my teacher, she’s the voice who was left crying in the wilderness. She paved the way for American Atheists, and her name is Madalyn Murray O’hair. Now my new friend, freely you have received, so freely you should give!
Now, go turn the world upside down…