"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Brunstad Christian Church (Smith's Friends) Movement|
Brunstad Christian Church is a worldwide evangelical non-denominational Christian church. Established in Norway early in the 20th century. It is represented by more than 220 churches in 65 countries. The Norwegian researcher Knut Lundby has estimated that in the late 1990s, its membership was at 25,000 to 30,000 and growing. As many as two thirds of its members live outside Norway. For many years the group did not have a formal name and was referred to as Smith's Friends, particularly in Norway.
Johan Oscar Smith (18711943), the church's founder, was originally a member of the Methodist church. After a religious conversion in 1898 Smith began preaching to small gatherings. In 1905, his brother Aksel Smith (18801919) joined him. Smith had early contact with the Pentecostal movement in Norway and Aksel Smith cooperated with Thomas Ball Barratt during the first few years after Barratt introduced Pentecostalism to Norway in 19061907. As both the Pentecostal movement and Smith's group developed, they became increasingly wary of each other, with Barrat accusing Smith of creating schism within his group, as some of his followers joined Smith. During the following years both groups wrote and published articles against the other.
In 1908, Johan Oscar Smith met Elias Aslaksen (18881976) while serving in the Norwegian Navy. Under the leadership of Johan Oscar Smith, Aksel Smith, and Elias Aslaksen the group began to grow quickly. During World War I, Smith, as a Naval officer, partook in patrols of the Norwegian coast. During this time, he had contact with believers and churches were established in several Norwegian coastal towns. During the 1930s churches were established in inland Norway, most notably in Hallingdal and Valdres. During this period, congregations were also established in Denmark.
From the 1950s, the church began to spread throughout Western Europe, most notably in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, after several church leaders were invited to participate in the Pentecostal conferences held at Leonberg during the 1950s. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Brunstad Christian Church spread further to Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, Africa and Asia. Churches were first established in South America in the 1970s.
Today, there are more than 220 congregations in more than 65 countries. The church has annual international conferences at Brunstad Conference Center and regional conferences throughout the world. It has its own publishing house, Skjulte Skatters Forlag, publishing books and distributing audio-visual media intended for spiritual edification. The monthly journal Skjulte Skatter, ("Hidden Treasures") has been published every month since 1912.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2011/12/18 16:26||Profile|
| Re: Brunstad Christian Church (Smith's Friends) Movement|
Greg, this group is considered a cult by some and I know that Zac Poonen had some issues with them. Have you done your research ?
| 2011/12/18 17:46||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
Yes brother I heard some consider them a cult :) I just put out this on the forums for discussion and some people to give input. They started off as a holiness group which was always maligned by the majority of churches as different.
I believe they have a good emphasis on holiness which is their burden, and they have good ecclesiology in that the church is a brotherhood of believers (a body) and not a building where we go for 1 hour a week.
In all stricter groups there are always problems and some areas or thoughts that are too strict. I really try to be open-minded with many of them to learn from them the burden of why they believe what they hold to.
I appreciate your burden for the work of the Lord dear brother.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2011/12/18 17:48||Profile|
| Re: |
It's a pity that this has been put up as a 'Christian' group. This is not a non-denominational evangelical church as they like to project themselves. It is a super-rich sect that operates on the basis of an ancient heresy as Zac Poonen pointed out years ago. The central heresy is that 'Jesus came in a sinful flesh like fallen Adam." Then he overcame that sin in his flesh and became the son of God. These things are clearly written about in the central texts of this closed, clever sect/cult which has been around and deliberately has hidden itself from mainstream Christianity for more than a century, that's how smart it is. Try to discuss their core doctrines and you will find their evasiveness, defensiveness and justifications to the fore. The definitive explanations of this heresy can be found written in black and white in The "Letters" and "Articles' by its founder J O Smith, "The Bride and the Harlot' by Sigurd Bratlie, "Christ Manifest in the Flesh" by Elias Aslaksen and all the key writings of its original leaders and the present generation of leaders put a sweet spin on it to keep snoops away. The heresy is well masked and quite well whitewashed to the layman's eye but all the original texts exist with many hundreds who have left the sect/cult. This is the same heresy as that practiced by the Irvingites (followers of Edward Irving) who slowly disappeared and the Christadelphians and many other weird groups who do not have their Christology right. I would strongly suggest that someone first read the core texts and then decide whether or not this is a 'christian' group/denomination to be projected here instead of citing Wikipedia. If this is a 'Christian' group or denomination, then the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Moonies and many other such groups should also be considered 'Christian'. Shalom.
| 2019/4/17 11:49||Profile|
| Re: |
"What does it mean that He was descended from David according to the flesh? Quite simply, it means what it says. We know about David and his seed. Paul was of the same lineage. Hebrews 2:16. Paul says concerning himself, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.” Romans 7:18. And Jesus’ flesh was just like that.
According to the Spirit of holiness He was designated Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead. We cannot change this fact either. So the question arises: When He came to earth in that body which was of the seed of David, did He come with all the fullness of God in His Spirit? The answer is “No”, because it is written, “… who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8. We often hear it said, “He was true God and true Man.” But this is not true if you mean that He retained all God’s fullness when He came to earth in the body that was of the seed of David. Nor is this statement appropriate in light of what is written in Hebrews 12:2, “… looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”"
Sigurd Bratlie in 'The Gospel of God'.
Can one say Amen to the notion of a Jesus "in whose flesh dwelt nothing good", just like Paul's flesh? Can one trust in a Jesus in whom 'the fullness of the Godhead" did not dwell?
Then, of course, what He said cannot be true - John 8:23-24 “The difference between us,” Jesus said to them, “is that you come from below and I am from above. You belong to this world but I do not. That is why I told you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am who I am, you will die in your sins.” (J B Phillips)
| 2019/4/17 12:28||Profile|
| Re: |
I have done a lot of research on Smith's friend and its association with Br Zac Poonen and CFC. I have even met people of that era who closely observed the association and split (from both the groups). I have my understanding on why Zac associated with them and also why he then split. I have listened to lots of views in an unbiased way and made my stand.
I would say we should stay away from Smith's friend. There are mistakes in relation to their understanding of Flesh of Jesus, even to the degree of denying the deity of Jesus while he was in the earth.
Bible tells that Jesus came in the likeness of our flesh. The Word Likeness is very important (Romans 8:3). His Flesh was like my flesh but not exactly same. But does that make Jesus not my example? No, he is my example and he overcame Sin by the power of Holy Spirit which is today available to me (1 Peter 2:21). There was no sin in his Flesh (1 John 3:5).
I believe both are true. The flesh of Jesus is a subject that we have to believe by faith not by sight. The lesser we research, it is better for us. I once did lot of deep dive into this subject but it did not benefit me. Certain things God has hidden in our eyes and want us to believe by faith. Flesh of Jesus is like that.
| 2019/4/18 9:59||Profile|