Search
Follow Us Online
Previous News Topics
« Justin Knapp: Answering God's Call | Main | Andrew Keeping "Boots on the Ground" in Uganda »
Monday
Nov212011

Pharisees Transformed 

Greg and Katrina Owens stand with Andrew in the freedom of Jesus, at the 2011 Atlanta GTS.
(Click to enlarge)
Early in their marriage, Greg and Katrina Owens made the decision that their family would serve the Lord. Greg had been raised in a very quiet Baptist church where, according to Katrina, "You could've heard a pin drop—unless someone was snoring." On Katrina's side, she came from a broken and abusive home, and her family's church attendance was inconsistent at best. In an effort to avoid being seen as hypocrites, the young couple made a conscious choice to join a church that they believed did everything the right way. Intent on becoming good Christians, submitted to God in all ways, the Owens quickly became entrenched in legalism. Now, after 11 years in the death grip of religion they have come to know what it means to truly be free in Jesus. The Owens found freedom in 2009 through reading Andrew's book, The Believer's Authority.

Katrina and Greg were so set on being good Christians that the accepted the bonds of legalistic religion. (Click to enlarge)In their former church in North Carolina, the Owens submitted to an exhaustive list of rules. The stringent regulations eliminated just about every enjoyable aspect of modern life, but eager to please the Lord, the Owens lived within the church's regulations. For five years Greg's brother served as their pastor, and under him, Greg stepped into a position of leadership within the church; first as the choir director and then as a preacher. Eventually Greg was ordained.

The Owens sat passively under condemning and sin-conscious teaching for nearly a decade. They were taught that they were wicked, that God was angry and that they needed to fear God's wrath. Preachers consistently used Old Testament examples of people being killed for their disobedience to scare and condemn the congregation—ultimately keeping church members bound by fear.

For Katrina, and many other women in the church, particularly those within the leadership circle, striving to meet the church's ultra high standards came at a price. Try as she might Katrina never felt like a good Christian wife. Even Their bondage drove the Owens to search for the truth—even if it meant going agaist their church.
(Click to enlarge)
when women around her marveled at what she accomplished in her daily routine, she felt worthless. Failure to meet the standards caused internal struggle and depression for many women in the group. Some, Katrina included, relied on anti-depressants to manage their struggle.

"I was trying so hard to be a real Christian, but all I saw was my sin. One day, I heard this verse, 'Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed in thee, for he trusted in thee' (Isaiah 26:3). It was then that I began to realize that having a focus on sin was the same as having my eyes on me instead of Him," said Katrina.

Frustrated and tired, Katrina began to realize that the people in her church were all poor, broke, and disgusted. The Owens family, including Aubree, Bryson, Justin and Corbin, out from under law and living in the truth of God's unconditional love and grace (John 1:17).
(Click to enlarge)
She and Greg craved the truth and they began to pray for a way out. After years of being beaten down with graceless teaching, Katrina started asking God bold questions. One of her questions was, "Why did He let Satan exist?" One day in 2009, as she lingered in a Christian bookstore, she received an unexpected answer to her question. The Holy Spirit led Katrina to Andrew's book, The Believer's Authority. "This [book buying] was actually against my religion. So I argued with God. This was not the title I expected so I asked for confirmation. I told God that if the Scripture references in Andrew's book were from the KJV, I would take it home. The references are, and Katrina began what she calls her "enlightening."

Reading Believer's Authority was a real eye opener for the Owens. The first thing that caught Katrina's attention was the authority originally given to man in Genesis. She went over the scripture references with a fine tooth comb and began to share what she was learning with her husband. The couple then downloaded The Believer's Authority teaching so Greg could listen to it on his way to and from work.

Andrew and Greg chatting at the GTS in Atlanta. (Click to enlarge)Katrina began to recognize the Lord's voice. Even while mopping the floor, He reminded her of the scriptures in the book. He told Katrina she had authority over sickness; that the power of life and death is in the tongue, and ultimately, He told her He would deliver her from religion if she would receive it. "When God said that to me, I wanted deliverance. I didn't even realize at the time how much religion I had," Katrina said.

As the Owens gained revelation of the Truth, it became increasingly more difficult to sit through a church service without feeling angry. They knew they were being deceived and could see clearly the intentions of the people they called their leaders. "I was ashamed," said Katrina.

The Owens are free from religious dress codes. No more mandatory dresses as seen in the photo above. Katrina started wearing pants in 2010. (Click to enlarge)Through Andrew's teaching the Owens realized that God is not controlling everything and it changed their lives. As the revelation came that God has given believers dominion, and that He is not controlling or demanding, and that He is not holding sin against believers or withholding healing, the Owens were set free. "The more we read, the more we studied and found Andrew to be right. Our lives did a 180. I could see how Satan loved putting people in religious bondage. I saw that I was under that and began to rebuke death, sickness, etc. We were Pharisees transformed. For the first time, we began to "speak to the mountain," and we saw it move. Our marriage has been changed. The way we raise our children has been changed. Nothing is the same and we both agree—we will never go back," said Katrina.

The Owen's new revelation and understanding freed them from their bondage and gave them the courage to leave their controlling church. As they walked away, they were shunned by their friends, and some family, and the church stripped Greg of his ordination, but the Lord was faithful to provide comfort and new fellowship. Eventually, the Lord led them to move to Greenville, South Carolina where they found a new church home at Foundations of Faith pastored by Charis Bible College graduate, Larry Romero.

"It takes courage and boldness to break free, but it is worth it. There is nothing to turn back for, but everything to look forward to. We had to choose not to care what people thought of us. When we heard the good news from Andrew Wommack, we threw out everything we had ever known and grabbed hold of Jesus. We had to stand against family, friends, and everyone we knew, but a new love for Jesus made it easy. I am so thankful for a personal relationship with Jesus. Since reading Believer's Authority, life will never be the same," Katrina said.

Reader Comments (9)

We attend the same church, "Foundations of Faith" in Greenville, SC.

The Owens are truly a beautiful, spiritfilled family. It is a blessing to know them.

Their love of Christ is what you see from the minute they greet you with their
warm and welcoming smiles.

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Castronova

Marie,
Thank you for sharing your kind words about the Owens family.
Blessings.

November 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterKevin Bree

Beautiful! so proud of you guys and happy for you. glad I call you a friend!

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnjieFitch

i've been blesed by the testimony. i think this is a very timely reminder to believers to be on guard against the spirit of legalism. because it is so easy to slip into the mind set of trying to be "good enough" to be right with God and to get things from Him. also, andrew wommack's ministry has been a blessing to me via the internet. i've seen him on TV about once or twice but i've been logging on the website since and reading his teaching articles.they've been very illuminating.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpatrick mba

I relate completely to this story...I too was delivered in 2007 out of a controlling, legalistic church. This was precious group of people that were very faithful but we were sincerely deceived. I call it a thread...there was a lot truth taught but there was a thread of legalism woven into every message. I was miserable...I served, served, served in this church. I was full of good works! I had forgotten what is was like to just sit at the feet of Jesus. I began to ask God personal questions and I was scared to even do that...I started asking Him...Am I at this church because this is where you want me or am I here because I think this is where I'm supposed to be...God do I hear you? Or do I look to others to hear from you for me? I was seeking God with all my heart and asking Him hard questions. During this time I felt prompted to call Andrew Wommack Ministries prayer line (which was against my church’s teaching & I was scared to call because we were told to seek counsel only in our church) I shared with the Prayer Counselor my heart and what was going on in my church, again I felt like I was betraying my church by telling someone what was going on... but he had a word of knowledge that set me Free... he said I'm concerned you are more attached to the people than you are to God, this word pierced my heart to the core and set me free - It like God touched my heart with His finger. I knew that this was God sending me my freedom papers. We left the church that week & were shunned by our church of 18 years but the Freedom in Christ has been worth it! My heart goes out to those still in deception! It was for Freedom that Christ has set us Free from a Yoke of Bondage and Slavery! My husband and I are now pastoring a Grace Based church in Houston, TX - New Heights Fellowship. We are Blessed beyond Words - God is Faithful!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobbye Jones

Patrick,

Thank you for your comment and for continuing to mine Andrew's website for revelation. www.awmi.net, news.awmi.net and www.charisbiblecollege.org are full of "illuminating" content and teaching materials. Enjoy!

November 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterKevin Bree

Robbye,

I am so excited for you and the freedom you have found in Christ. We have two similar stories you may enjoy as well: "Yes, Virginia—There is a God" and "Finding God in the Pantry". These can be found under the "Testimonies" link in the column at the right "Previous News Topics"

Blessings to you and your new church family.

November 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterKevin Bree

oh, how I can relate to this story. I too have found freedom through Andrew's teachings. It has set me free from religion and legalism. I too felt like God was a God of wrath, no pants, no makeup, I could never reach the level in Christ that I wanted to because of feeling condemned. Thank you for sharing your story. I too am set free and I finally know after 35 years how much God loves me.

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrj

What a wonderful and amazing testimony, legalism is as deadly as the worst poison, it is the alternative gospel and so is no gospel at all!!
Our amazing Abba daddy has opened our eyes too, to the truth of his unconditional love and grace and it has transformed our lives.
Thank you for this great encouragement

November 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe one who Jesus loves

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>