Hello from conflicted pastor

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by God's in Charge, Dec 29, 2016.

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  1. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    My past still confuses me.
    I graduated from Rhema Bible College (Kenneth Hagin' word of faith school) in 1990. It was at this school that I learned to have such a high regard for the "Infallible Scriptures". In fact the Bible was held so high they taught very little church leadership or anything else. Hagin rarely opened the book in class because he'd memorized the entire NT and we'd follow along as he quoted entire chapters word for word faster than we could read. From this teaching I read scarcely anything but the Bible for many years.

    You already know where many hours in the Bible eventually leads - reformed theology.

    But at school it was the real Jesus and the real Bible that was lifted up. There was also a zeal for prayer and Christian love that I'm still trying to match in the church I lead. My graduating friends have all left the tangent teachings in the dust but remained faithful to Christ and his Church.

    So what's the conflict?

    How in the world do you hold the Bible that high, bear that much good fruit and get that far off center?

    I pioneered LifeChurch in Gorham, Maine and have pastored there for 20 years, the church is vibrant and growing. I'm overstating my case if it sounds like I think about this too often. But, my reason for joining here is to gain clarity on a few vestiges of old thoughts I still struggle to fit into my reformed brain. I'll post those ? in other threads.

    I hope I've found the right place for clarity.
    Brian
     
  2. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    Have you read " A Different Gospel" by D R McConnell?

    I found it very helpful many years ago in my charismatic days. My sister was in a faith movement church where they confessed their healing and everybody was into "speaking the word" and they quoted bible verses all day long. It was hard to figure out what was wrong even though you could tell something was. And my relatives went to pieces watching two of my sister's babies die due to lack of medical intervention, and trying to figure out how this was Christianity since the group zealously talked about Jesus more than almost any Christians I knew.

    Part of getting off center was accepting that the eight visitations Hagin had from "Jesus" where Jesus took him to hell and to heaven and taught him the word of faith message were genuine. This doctrine is all over the New Apostolic Reformation today- they go up to the third heaven and get personal visits from Jesus, the Patriarchs, Isaiah and Jeremiah and Luke, etc. The minute somebody tells you Jesus came to them and took them to heaven ( ie Hagin), run. The minute somebody tells you they have new revelation not in the bible, run. Hagin promoted the trash about how you were not saved by the cross, but by Jesus going to hell, becoming a sinner, being tortured by the devil for three days in hell, and getting born again in hell. ( Joyce Meyer used to admit this was not in the bible but came by revelation of the spirit, and also said you had to believe it or you would go to hell.. I heard she backed off a bit on the latter part).

    I have had it- absolutely fed up had it- with any Christian who tells me their group is cutting edge and more radical and passionate than everybody else. We went to an SGM ( it was PDI) church in the mid 90s and they claimed to be the first group in 2000 years "doing it right" ( Calvinist plus charismatic plus apostles). No wonder the awful problems with them have come to light. Run from pride, embrace the entire body of Christ globally, and for hundreds of years past.

    You really ought to reread that book. I will pray for you. It took me years to get over my past. Welcome.
     
  3. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Welcome, Brian. This is a great place to grow in the Lord and to fellowship around sound theology.

    There is some theological horsepower on the PB, as you'll see; so ask away. God has used it greatly in my life.

    Hope you enjoy your time here!

    Grace to you.
     
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Greetings.
     
  5. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    Welcome Brian. You have found the right place. Looking forward to fruitful discussions as you are so moved to start.
     
  6. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

    Welcome to the PB, Brian. :wave:
     
  7. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Senior

    Welcome!
     
  8. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

  9. PhilA

    PhilA Puritan Board Sophomore

    Welcome
     
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was spiritually raised up in the AOG, was a teaching Elder trained at heir Institute, and can say that the big problem with Hagin/Copeland and the like is that while they claim to honor word of God, tey also claim divine revealtion from God at same time. They end up with God who is physically same as us, just larger, Jesus was NOT preexistant, but was in the mind of God and was spoken forth as messiah, that we are under health/wealth of Old Covenant to Israel, thatJesus died asa sinner nd had to get born again, that Jesus was the way in that He knew nd ued ws of the Kingdom.

    Basically, Word of Faith and thlike are cults, who claim Christianity but deny main doctrines!
     
  11. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Junior

    David,

    Would you mind fixing this? I can't tell what you meant to say. There are several other typos in your post, but I think I figured those out.
     
  12. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    David,
    This would all be MUCH easier for me to understand if listening to the living Kenneth Hagin were the same as listening to his critics who tell you what he said and what he meant when he said it.
    I assure you the Jesus he taught was pre-existant with the Father. None of the other classic doctrinal problems you mention were mentioned in years of every day school. I don't have time to get into my concerns with his teaching but if he actually taught everything he is accused of - I wouldn't be conflicted. He'd be a heretical nut-job - easy to dismiss.
    I have no need to defend him - I struggle mightily with some of the things he claims Jesus told him.
    The only ? is why was so much orthodoxy the backbone of the school if he's a heretic. Why constantly encourage students to examine everything in the light of scripture and throw out anything he says that doesn't line up. He said that constantly and that's exactly why I ended up reformed. The Bible he held so high carried the day.
     
  13. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Sophomore

    Lynnie, that was the book that really confirmed to methat it was time to depart Pentacostal circles, and the best part of it is that the author was from Oral Roberts, s could not claim that he was not "one of us!"

    The truth though is that Hagin taught that Jesus did as a sinner, went to Hell to get born again, and that his Gospel was that
    He held to the teachings of the Word of Faith, and they preach/teach another Jesus, another Gospel.
    http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/hagin/general.htm
     
  14. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Junior

    "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." - 1 Cor 11:13-15
     
  15. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not here to defend him.
    It may be true that he's a genuine heretic.

    All I'm saying is such teaching as Jesus born again in hell I never heard once from his lips. Somehow at school he stayed closer to center.

    As stated, I disagree with several of his positions.

    To clarify,
    Are you gentlemen also placing the Assembly of God and other Pentecostal denominations in the heretical and cult camps?
     
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    AG and other Trinitarian Pentecostals? No, not unless they teach that you have to speak in tongues to be saved. It seems that some have been unclear on this, perhaps especially in years past. It seems to me that the AG statement of faith is itself unclear on this, but when questioned I've found that most will not go so far as to say that those who don't speak in tongues aren't saved.

    However, I and most others here would put Oneness Pentecostals such as the United Pentecostal Churches International, various Oneness "Apostolics" and others in the heretical and cult category. Their official doctrine is more heretical than Roman Catholicism. I wouldn't say that everyone who is a member of such a church is lost, especially now that some churches have followed the general religious trend of downplaying doctrine and may not teach their distinctive views in the way that they did before. But they teach a works salvation (requiring baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus, speaking in tongues and (perhaps to varying degrees) adherence to their holiness standards) and deny the Trinity, which is a cardinal doctrine of the faith. Many of them do talk much of grace these days and downplay their differences with other pentecostals, but their official doctrine has not changed.

    Have you read D.R. McConnell's "A Different Gospel" on Hagin, etc? "Positive Confession" and many other of his false teachings are derived from heretical "New Thought" teaching that emerged around the turn of the 20th Century. I'm sure there are also many online resources that go into this. As you may know, some in the Assemblies of God as well as some other Pentecostals and charismatics consider some of the teachings of Hagin and other Word-Faith teachers to be heretical. McConnell himself was on the faculty of Oral Roberts University and he said that Hagin's teaching was very divisive there.
     
  17. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Freshman

    hehehe isnt that true
     
  18. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess it's sounding like my conflict is wondering if WOF theology is true.
    I'm clear on that.

    The confusing part is how was so much orthodox at the school.
    I guess I'm asking a question that only former students can answer.

    I have read enough "Hagin exposed" material to know that none of it comes close to representing reality.

    I bet I could take any preacher who has 50 years of sermons published and cut and paste heresy from anyone.
    Try this one

    False prophet claims we are Gods.
    Here's the direct quote "I said you are gods". John 10:34

    I just quoted Jesus word for word and completely misrepresented him. I personally am highly skeptical of any mud flinging.

    Again I state, I'm clear on doctrinal differences. And I'm clear after reading many expose' why you're convinced he's a cult leader if you believe 1/2 of what you read.

    I have no need to defend Hagin.

    I only joined here to try gain clarity on some scriptural questions that I'm trying to fit into a reformed brain.



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  19. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Because the Bible was neither given in a vacuum, nor is it read in a vacuum, there is great need for what you might call auxiliary studies. Focusing on the Bible to the exclusion, for instance, of church history is not actually very humble because it assumes that all light from God's word will fall upon us directly, and not that it is together with all saints that we will come to know the length and breadth and depth and height.

    Most heretics don't wake up one morning and decide to start trying to corrupt the church. Dr. Lloyd-Jones observed that many people are led into heresy by a focus that is too narrow on their favorite parts of Scripture. Of course the moment you start trying to hold together and in proper proportion all the teachings of Scripture, you're engaging in at least a rudimentary systematic theology -- something in which we can derive great help by the efforts (and even the failures) of others who have attempted the same thing already. And it's helpful in that to know the methods and patterns for faithfully transforming the Scriptural givens into theological propositions.
     
  20. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    Focusing on the Bible to the exclusion, for instance, of church history is not actually very humble because it assumes that all light from God's word will fall upon us directly, and not that it is together with all saints that we will come to know...

    Dr. Lloyd-Jones observed that many people are led into heresy by a focus that is too narrow on their favorite parts of Scripture.

    So true,
    This is at the heart of this issue

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  21. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Sophomore

    No, as I was a teachingElder foe 10 years in he AOG, and would see them and other Pemtacoatal churches as being Arminian Christians, who have some misunderstandings insalvation and workings ofthe Holy Spirit, but really saved persons and part of the Body of Christ. Charasmatics on theother hand, such as Word of Fait/health/wealth, are not following Christian doctrines, but most of that Theology is not of/from God, as many deny Jesus, as they have him needing to get born again in Hell, ongoing revelations from God etc!
     
  22. God's in Charge

    God's in Charge Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you all for your insights, this has been helpful.
    Especially the thought of the Bible being taught in a "vacum" of Church history.


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  23. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Welcome to the Puritanboard, Brian

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  24. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Sophomore

    There is literally nothing new under the sun, as heresy was there making its rounds from the very start, and now has come back under just another repackaging name/label!
     
  25. gkterry

    gkterry Puritan Board Freshman

    Welcome. Brian!
     
  26. nick

    nick Puritan Board Freshman

    A lot of good folks on the PB (and even more lurkers who come to get the information shared, but never officially join - I did that for years). The "search" button will hopefully get you started on the road to clarity, but sometimes it's better to just ask and let those who have been here for awhile direct you to the best threads (some topics are discussed over and over, some conversations seem more fruitful than others).

    Anyway, welcome!


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