Rochester, New York
Where can you read the 16 fundamentals of the AOG church?
| 2007/8/10 22:40||Profile|
I was kind of speaking in general terms about the A/G as a whole. While I did have my concerns about the GS, my comments here were not of that nature.
I also was acquainted with the soon to be former GS. I even ate pizza with him at his home one night while I was attending CBC.
My concern in the A/G is that the leadership, not specific to the general presbytery but rather in general and nation wide, is not acknowledging the real problem (crisis as bro. Crabtree called it in his sermon in Indianapolis). I don't think that they are aware of what the real crisis even is. Speaking of bro. Crabtree, he gave an inspiring speech last night at the Gen. Council, however, while he nailed the symptom on the head and I applaud him for it, he missed the disease and therefore the cure.
The problem in the A/G is not the lack of discipleship, evangelism, church planting,...etc. Opal Reddin was right on when in the last years of her life she was heart-broken over the real problem: the loss of the Gospel in the Assemblies is the crisis.
When the Gospel is not at the center, everything else is. As important as discipleship, evangelism,...etc is, they pale in comparison to the true Gospel. When the gospel is guarded and preached and believed, discipleship, evangelism, church planting naturally follows.
When my house has cracks in the walls and in the ceiling I don't fix the cracks until I've checked the foundation because those cracks didn't just happen on their own. When there is a crisis in discipleship, the problem really exists, but it's likely a symptom of a deeper problem.
Liberalism is almost systematic in the A/G's now especially amongst the young urban ministers. They don't call it liberalism btw, instead it's called [i]being Progressive[/i]. When John Bueno can stand on a platform at a General Council and tell the leadership of the A/G's that the solution to our lack of evangelism is the contextualization of the Gospel there's a crisis in the A/G's.
I love the Assemblies. If you took my blood type it would probably be A/G, but I love the Gospel MUCH MUCH more. Without denying the need for discipleship, evangelism,...etc, all these needs are more than met in the faithful proclamation of the Gospel.
SI Moderator - Jeremy Hulsey
| 2007/8/11 0:07||Profile|
Thanks Husley for your comment. It's great to read an article like that.
I'd say my doctrinal convictions are a mix between Vineyard, Foursquare, Calvary Chapel, and AoG. Yet, I'm called to AoG. I have no problem with God's leading. May the sheep be cleaned!!!
Just keep in mind. No church denomination is perfect. The tares WILL grow with the wheats till He comes again.
| 2007/8/12 3:39||Profile|
Perhaps part of the problem is that we shouldn't have denominations to begin with? Perhaps the reason denominations fall apart is because they are built apart from Christ? Maybe they are falling apart because Christ is causing them to fall apart so as to bring the thing He longs for out of the body?
| 2007/8/12 8:45||Profile|
The ironic thing is that the Assemblies of God never set out to become a denomination. They originally identified themselves as a cooperative fellowship, and the mindest was anti-denominational and creedal statements were to be rejected. Any kind of leaning towards a centralized authority was feared. Many of the founding ministers came from disenfranchized Baptist and Methodist backrounds who had experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and who were no longer welcome in their own denominations.
Paul Frederick West
| 2007/8/12 9:42||Profile|
I certainly agree with your points! There is a very real rift developing within the US Assemblies of God. However, it is difficult to rhetorically express what this "rift" entails -- except that it is easy to separate congregations in a "conservative" and "liberal" manner.
After having traveled into Mexico on several occasions with missionaries and local Mexican pastors, I was shocked at the massive differences between what was mostly the rural versus urban church cultures. Like the economic conditions in Mexico, there was little "middle class" between the two sides of Mexican AG churches (liberal and conservative). Most of these churches were either extremely "growth at all cost" oriented -OR- extremely "traditional."
The city churches resembled many of our mega-churches in the United States. They had programs for everything! They had dance teams, drama teams, sports teams, hand choirs, pop-music worship, "evangelistic" concerts, "famous" guest speakers, youth pop/rock music teams, etc... There was a major thrust to achieve "church growth." In fact, the friends of mine within these churches commented about how they were committed to "do what it takes" in order to achieve such growth, including "thinking outside of the box." Quietly, there was a certain level of silent pride that it exhibited too. The pastor even commented that his church used to be small like the other local AG churches until he "realized his own religious error" and committed himself to "reaching the entire community." The youth in these churches are commended for their involvement. However, I detected just a hint of popularity contest within the large youth groups. Most of the youth (including the extremely poor) attempted to at least look like the popular youth in the group (or like the popular youth from Mexicos rich, light-skinned music and TV personalities). I noticed that the musicians in the youth groups bands were treated almost like quasi-celebrities.
On the other hand, there are some extremely traditional AG churches in Mexico. There aren't many "programs" within such churches that are designed to explicitly raise attendance, other than traditional one-on-one evangelism or occasional public rallies. Such churches preach an extremely strict, uncompromising doctrine. One of the women who accompanied us on my first mission trip was a licensed cosmetologist. She gave free haircuts to the children, particularly those afflicted with lice. When the pastor of this church discovered that the hair of some of the young girls was cut, he immediately kicked this well-meaning woman off the premises. Every allegation or accusation of outward worldliness is called into question. Music, clothing, hairstyles, and even diet are sometimes publicly called into question. As a result, these churches arent particularly appealing to sinners. Nor do the churches enjoy the increase in attendance from transfers coming from existing churches with fewer programs.
A similar rift seems to be occurring in the US Assemblies of God. There are urban churches which are dedicated to the church growth philosophy. These churches seem impressed to do whatever it takes in order to achieve growth in attendance. Along the same lines, there seems to be excitement-starved pastors who will allow anything (even questionable practices) in order to get the church energized. I have been to AG churches that openly embrace the prosperity gospel, the holy laughter movement, and all sort of questionable doctrines that fill the pews. In fact, I have heard some AG churches lose the absolutely essential sanctification rhetoric of the 16 fundamentals. On the other hand, there are a few traditional churches that are becoming even more sectarian. I visited one AG church that actually separated the sexes during service (men sat on the right pews, women on the left).
Overall, however, I feel that the vast majority of AG churches seem to be headed toward the liberal theology. Why? Have you visited any of the AG Bible Schools lately?
There used to be a time when you could look up any AG church in the phone book and know what to expect. Thats not the case anymore. Local churches in the AG are provided the opportunity to write their own local constitutions. As such, some pastors are voted upon yearly while others are given nearly lifetime leadership opportunities. Some churches have vibrant checks and balances (with church elders providing a good balance to the pastors authority), while others are run like dictatorships with pastors on ego-authoritarian trips (you know, the pastor is your umbrella of leadership type of rhetoric).
I no longer attend an AG church. Even the one where I came to know the Lord in has slowly morphed into a modern prosperity-centered, charismaniac type of church. Where the church once wept for the condition of this world, they now laugh, dance and jam to the music of a finely tuned rock and jazz band. Instead of pleading for lost souls and personal holiness and intimacy with Christ, they publicly claim the riches of this world. I do hope that the Assemblies of God return to the simplistic holiness calling of their 1914 Hot Springs, Arkansas ideology. Personally, I find todays corporation styles of seeker churches to be quite undesirable or truly impacting in a greater spiritual sense.
| 2007/8/13 12:05||Profile|
AOG has been warned strongly.. all thats left for them if they continue on their course is to sink deeper into strong delussion.
The Dangers of the Gospel of Accommodation
A sermon given by David Wilkerson at an Assemblies of God headquarters chapel service.
I am not coming to you as a pastor but with a prophetic word. God so shook me recently with this message that I should bring it somewhere, sometime in Springfield. This morning the Lord, by His Spirit, spoke to my heart that this is the time. He has called me to be one of His watchmen, and I have wept over this and prayed that He will help me deliver the message in a spirit of love. This is not a chastisement but a warning for the Assemblies of God.
A New Gospel
Accommodate means to adapt, to make suitable and acceptable, to make convenient. A gospel of accommodation is creeping into the United States. It's an American cultural invention to appease the lifestyle of luxury and pleasure. Primarily a Caucasian, suburban gospel, it's also in our major cities and is sweeping the nation, influencing ministers of every denomination, and giving birth to megachurches with thousands who come to hear a nonconfronting message. It's an adaptable gospel that is spoon-fed through humorous skits, drama, and short, nonabrasive sermonettes on how to copecalled a seeker-friendly or sinner-friendly gospel.
[url=http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/199901/078_accommodation.cfm]David Wilkersons address to the AOG general council[/url]
| 2007/8/13 12:21|
| Re: New General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God|
Are credentials from accredited institutions important in the Kingdom of Heaven?
| 2007/8/13 17:33|
Logan City, Queensland, Australia
Yikes! The way Ps Dave describes the seeker-friendly movement is exactly how AoG Australia is at the moment (specifically a certain megachurch in Sydney).
| 2007/8/13 19:04||Profile|
Earlier in this thread, a link was given to the new Superintendent's sermon website. Can anyone confirm that this is indeed George O. Wood's site and not his son's, (George P. Wood) who apparently is pastoring a church. I've listened to some of the preaching on this site and it is excellent...I'm confused becuase this guy sounds a lot younger than what I imagined the elder Wood to sound like. If anyone can clarify, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
| 2007/8/15 18:44||Profile|