I was on Facebook and I noticed that Brownsville Assembly of God has become Brownsville Church. While this is popular to do these days, I do not think it is good or wise for churches to try and look non-denominational. Pentecostal churches should be proud of their heritage, not ashamed of it. Continue reading…
Tagged in: Assemblies of God
Many of us might not remember Marvin Gorman, I hardly do, but he passed away today. He was a pastor in Baton Rouge that has issues with Jimmy Swaggart. While it is not clear if he ever worked out his differences with the televangelist, both ministries remained in ruins and only a shadow of what they was at their peaks. Continue reading…
Many years ago, I was raised in Pentecostal church but the focus was soul winning, praying in tongues and making sure the world knew their sin would lead them to hell. Jesus came to save and baptize us with power from on high. No one in the Assemblies of God would deny the power of God to heal the sick but there sure was not much focus on divine healing in Missouri. Continue reading…
I was looking through my Kindle this morning and found an old book that I have that is nothing but the teaching of Smith Wigglesworth. I remember when I was at Central Bible College in Springfield, I would read these messages every morning after reading my bible. It was read a chapter of the gospels, a chapter of Acts and a chapter of Smith Wigglesworth. It was a great system to have. Continue reading…
Azusa Street Revival is a name that we hear alot and we hear that the revival just magically ended one evening. No one seems to know what happened. The reasons for this is really 1) history only gives the highlights 2) the internet didn’t exist and 3) people have different stories. Continue reading…
I use to be part of YWAM and I still love them but if you are thinking of doing a mission trip with them, you might want to know some things. While they do some amazing things around the world, they have become very dailed down in some core expression of the Kingdom. Depending what tradition of the faith you come from, this could become an issue.
Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission, is the son of an Assemblies of God pastor. In fact, many believe that YWAM was designed to be part of the AG movement from the start but it couldn’t work for political reasons inside the movement. This is important to know because people use this to think that YWAM is Pentecostal friendly.
This is not the case anymore.
In a quest to open the doors to other traditions, Methodist, Baptists and even Catholics; the emphasis on the Holy Spirit has been dailed way down so people will not get scared from casting out devils or healing the sick. Really a sad reality but it is what I saw in many of the bases that I visited when I was part of YWAM.
Mission trips with YWAM are not miracle crusades
This is important because in the Pentecostal tradition, when we go to a nation; we plan to see the blind see and the deaf hear. Miracles, signs and wonders are what we are in faith for and it is the only thing that we will be happy seeing. We want to see people come out of wheelchairs and having someone popup out of the casket would be amazing.
The problem with that is most people in YWAM are not even sure if they believe that miracles happen today. Many tend to align themselves closer to the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church than they do the General Council of the Assemblies of God and the General Assembly of the Church of God.
In my experience, the number of Pentecostals and Spirit-Filled Charismatics in the ranks of the mission group is now a minority. If anything, we are struggling for a voice than being the main expression that started Youth With A Mission.
I remember being on a mission trip in Los Angeles and there was a man that was having alot of problems. The YWAM trip was praying for him to have “peace.” The problem is you can’t have peace when you are tormented with a devil. I pushed my way to the front and told him, “You have a devil on you. Do you want me to cast him off you or do you enjoy your devil?” Twenty minutes later, he was delivered and the whole YWAM group was offended. They didn’t really believe in casting out demons.
Am I telling you that you shouldn’t go on a mission trip with YWAM? Not at all. I am just telling you that if you come from a Pentecostal tradition, you might be surprised how little of Pentecost is left in the movement these days.
YWAM is a tribe
What I mean by that is there will be major pressure put on you to do a Discipleship Training School if you have not done one yet. There will be pressure for some school as that is how Youth With A Mission pays the bills. Personally, I only did a DTS as I was taking classes at Oral Roberts online. I found that to be a much smarter choice for me at the time.
You will find the pressure to join YWAM as a missionary, do schools and if not, support the mission base financially to be pretty intense. I am not saying you shouldn’t do any of them; I am just saying the tension with be very much real.
Even though I was part of the YWAM movement, I can’t say I ever really believed in it wholeheartly. I was always a classic Pentecostal with some faith movement leaning and was in the middle of the prophetic movement. It was me and I know it. I was a square in a round hole when I was working with YWAM. I didn’t buy into the vision completely. I believe that was for good reason as I look back.
While they might not be a denomination in the purist sense but have many of the same thinking patterns as those who are in one. I find that YWAMers can easily get an elitist spirit and I do not think it is productive.
Do your mission trip with your eyes open
I am not telling you that you should not do a trip with them. Far from it. I am saying that you should do it with your eyes wide open and your ear open to only the Holy Spirit. Knowing the facts is more important than anything. If you know the political spirit and the controlling spirit is there beforehand, you are better prepared when you see it. That’s all I am saying.
I am very thankful for the time that I spend with YWAM and I still work with them. However, I know what is happening in the ranks and I am not smiling about it at all.
I hope I did not make you think they are bad people or a “cult.” I do not believe that. I just believe there is some serious problems inside the movement that need to be dealt with but won’t. These same issues were there back in the 1970’s and have always grew from then. I do not expect them to be fixed in my lifetime.
Looking at my Kindle and I reading several books, one of them is Darren Wilson’s Filming God. I like Darren as a guy and I love to hear his journey out of unbelief into being “the defender of the miraculous.” He is alot like Randy Clark in alot of ways (minus the 1990’s haircut that Randy keeps)
When I am reading his book, I have remind myself that he is not a classic Pentecostal or someone raised in the Charismatic renewal. He was a good ole Baptist boy that questioned everything just a decade ago. His “mainframe” is your normal one that people who stand strong on healing have. The wiring is a different color.
I really am enjoying the book and most of his thoughts I agree…. but there is one that I have to passionately disagree with. I am sure Darren means well and I am sure this is his baptist roots kicking in. If someone even believe God could heal someone is radical in the Baptist movement. If you believe he would heal, you done lost your mind and went Dr. Ron Philips on everyone.
Divine Healing is not a gift!
This is where I fall off the train with Darren, theologically. I understand where he is coming from. I do. I just do not see it biblically as he does. I do not see healing as a gift. More on that in a minute.
In my experience, the main hurdle many people must overcome before they will fully put their trust in a God who loves them enough that He might possibly heal them through miraculous means is to come to an understanding that He might not heal them. (Darren Wilson, Filming God)
If you believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ (as I do), you can’t believe that God “might not” heal someone. Healing was paid for with the same blood as salvation. If God won’t heal you, He also did not save you. No one with any theological background (beside hard core calvinists) would not agree with that statement. Healing is part of salvation though.
At the heart of this discussion is what we call sozo. It is life to the soul and spirit but also to the mind (delivernce) and to the body (healing). It is complete transformation of the person. That is what salvation is.
Many will hold, “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.”
I agree with that with one little issue: privilege is too weak of a position. It is not just our privilege but is our birthright to be healed.
The fact of the matter is God loves to heal and in order to heal through us, he has to get healing to us. Miracles are just for you, they are to empower you so that miracles can flow through you.
The preaching of salvation with signs, wonders, and miracles was God’s design in the New Testament.
Healing is for you!
“Christ’s death on the cross not only provides for forgiveness of sin, but also healing for sickness. The One who gave you the gift of eternal life…is the same One who can heal your body.” Rev. Doug Clay
While Doug could not be considered a Benny Hinn type of any measurement, his thoughts are very powerful. This is coming from a man much more related to pastoral ministry than having an evangelistic signs and wonders ministry. In my view, pastors are normally the weakest on healing. (That’s another discussion)
When I hear a pastor made a blunt statement about healing like this, my ear pop open. Realizing it is not the common position for them; I know that the Holy Spirit must be speaking to them.
While I think saying that God can heal you is a copout, I do understand the reason for someone in a position of Clay would give the chicken exit. I am sure if I said the same about salvation; everyone would be completely up in arms. I have no idea what they do with the atonement.
The movement that Doug is part of is one that I was part of since the day I was born and I was saved in the Brownsville Revival. I love them but the Assemblies of God have become wimps when it comes to healing. Alot of Assemblies do not even preach it anymore. They prefer to talk about having your best life now and living with purpose.
Why Healing matters in revival?
We are a ministry committed to revival so why should we care about healing? It is not just an add-on on the evangelist’s menu of things to preach. It is the center of the message of the Kingdom of God. Healing is critical to winning the lost. As Mike Francen likes to put it, “A miracles settles the issue.” One miracle and the town repents and turns to God.
The reason that guys like Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke and Richard Roberts put so much emphasis on healing is that is one thing that will convince the masses more than a thousand sermons. Without the supernatural, Christianity is just a story of a guy that made some pretty outlandish claims. Miracles are what makes them legit.
I have seem it a dozen times. A chief in the village comes to a crusade, he is healed by the power of God, when the people see he is healed, they all come to the crusade and get saved. One miracle will truly save a village.
Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (Apostle Paul)
Here is the video of Doug Clay about healing
Here is the promo for Holy Ghost Reborn by Darren Wilson
I was on Facebook and a friend asked me “Are United Pentecostals christian or are they a cult?” This is an honest question that many have actually.
You may or may not know that Tommy Tenney, the God Chaser guy, is a member of the United Pentecostal Church International. His father just recently retired as the leader of UPC churches in the state of Louisiana.
As far as Tommy Tenney, I know there is an ongoing discussion just how much of the theology of the United Pentecostal still has. Well, I am not sure it matters. What you will not read in this article is throwing stones at them or calling them a cult.
David K. Bernard is the current President that is back in Hazelwood, Missouri. He doesn’t seem like a dumb guy from what I can tell. He preaches what he believes well and is pretty educated. Graduate of Rice University and Doctorate from University of Texas.
I have been to many services at a few United Pentecostals churches. I loved the passion of the believers at The Pentecostals of Saint Joseph in Missouri. Really sad that they lost their facility that was overlooking I-29 out by Brian Zahnd’s Word of Life Church.
United Pentecostals do believe different
They do hold a winner takes all view of salvation. They believed that you are either baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues or you are not saved at all. They take the passage where Jesus talked about being baptized with water and spirit literal.
Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. – Jesus
One issue that I see first out the gate is they confuse being born again and the Kingdom of God. The government of God and Soteriology is no quite the same. That is a common mistake among alot of churches though.
In United Pentecostal theology, you have make a confession of Lordship, be baptized in water and be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to be saved.
One other way that they differ is you have to be baptized in the name of Jesus only. No Father, Son, and Holy Spirit baptism.
The other passage that is used alot in their Soteriology is Acts 2:38,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I have heard some of the leaders in the Church say this is the gospel, not the Romans Road. I disagree but I still love them as brothers of the faith.
The position that is hold officially by United Pentecostals on a prayer language or praying in tongues is not all that different besides one thing: they believe it is a salvation issue. Most other Pentecostals do not and see it as a second grace from the Lord.
The things that really divide Pentecostals
Now the two areas that make them very different that modern Pentecostals in the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Charismatic movement. One of them is quite silly but a major divider among the Pentecostal movement; the one is only serious about of the damage it does to the people involved.
Back in 1914, the Assemblies of God was formed and only two years later, it was under attack. You have most people believing in the Trinity but you also had a minority that demanded that there was only Jesus, no Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It became such as issue that at the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1916, also a third of the assemblies were kicked out and they formed what became knows as the 16 Fundamental Truths with right off the top being the Trinity.
As a result, they formed the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies that later became the United Pentecostal Church International.
Isn’t the United Pentecostal pretty legalistic?
The other issue is their holiness ideals. It goes way past anything the the Bible even remotely teaches. Things like how to wear your hair, how long a dress should be, what type of suit to wear, television were not allowing in your home, no jewelry or makeup for the women to name a few.
Legalism is a real bondage that still is alive today in the United Pentecostal Church. It destroys lives, family and ministries. There is nothing positive that comes out of legalism.
The other thing about it is when someone does come out of the bondage, they go to the extreme and live in complete sin. I have seen women leave the United Pentecostal movement and just become a nymphomaniac. They do not know how to handle freedom after so much legalistic bondage.
So why don’t I call them a cult?
This is where I struggle. I see all the problem with the United Pentecostal movement and even the biblical areas that they have departed; I also see a pure desire to love Jesus and move in the Spirit in them.
Outside of the Trinity issue, they do believe in the gospel. They have all of that right. They only add things that are not there and misunderstand the place of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.
I do receive them as brothers in the faith with some theological reservation. They have serious error but I receive the Baptist, Church of God (Cleveland) and the Calvary Chapel that all have some theological issues as well.
One thing I do know is a group of United Pentecost people can pray and they can get the devil of people. They do know how to tarry and war in the Spirit. They don’t mind praying all night for someone to get set free from bondage.
Call a prayer meeting, the UPC people will be there until you lock the door; the Assemblies people will give you about trinity minutes than they will be out back playing basketball for the next three hours.