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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Assembly Of God vs. Four Square - HELP PLEASE!

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Christisking
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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California

 Assembly Of God vs. Four Square - HELP PLEASE!

Hi - NOT starting a doctrine debate, but just trying to get some info. Does anyone know what the difference is between Four Square and Assembly of God as far as doctrinal believes. For example -

Calv/Armin-
Post/Pre Trib-
Gifts of the Spirit-
Lose Salvation or not-
Other common denomination difference-

Thanks for any help you may give - just trying to understand where different denominations stand.

God bless,

Patrick
www.jonahproject.org



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Patrick Ersig

 2009/10/5 20:35Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Assembly Of God vs. Four Square - HELP PLEASE!

There is no essential doctrinal distinctive between the two groups. They are both "classical Pentecostal" churches, and pretty much believe the exact same things. The only main difference is that the Foursquare church has its origins in California, founded by Aimee Simple Mcpherson. The Assemblies of God had it's birthplace in the midwest.

Officially the only difference that I know of is that the AoG states in their core doctrine that they believe in the pre-tribulation rapture.

All the classical Pentecostal churches are unofficially Arminian in their theology. But, interestingly enough, none of them ever officially teach such. It's generally just assumed.

They all believe in the gifts of the Spirit being for today.

There are some difference in church governance too. But, I'm not overly familiar with the Foursquare polity. Assemblies of God churches pretty much hold to a presbyterian style government, though, in recent years, they have become much more episcopal in structure.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/5 23:15Profile
poet
Member



Joined: 2007/2/16
Posts: 231
Longview WA

 Re:

[url=http://www.foursquare.org/landing_pages/4,3.html]Four Square fundamental beliefs[/url]

[url=http://www.ag.org/top/beliefs/Statement_of_Fundamental_Truths/sft_short.cfm]Assembly of God fundamental beliefs[/url]


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howard

 2009/10/5 23:38Profile
Christisking
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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California

 Re:

Thanks for the input - the basic doctrine position on the website are pretty vague. A few more question for anyone who may know.

Does 4 Square believe that evidence of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues?

Does 4 Square believe post trib?

What is 4 Square church government?

Also, for King Jimmy - you said - "Assemblies of God churches pretty much hold to a presbyterian style government, though, in recent years, they have become much more episcopal in structure."

What is the difference between presbyterian and episcopal church government.

Thanks again,

Patrick
www.jonahproject.org


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Patrick Ersig

 2009/10/5 23:56Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

Thanks for the input - the basic doctrine position on the website are pretty vague. A few more question for anyone who may know.



Yeah, most Pentecostal statements of faith are pretty simple and don't say too much. Most of them exists solely that they might declare their doctrinal distinctive of the baptism of the Holy Spirit :-)

Quote:

Does 4 Square believe that evidence of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues?



I've yet to see any official statement that the Foursquare church insists that speaking in tongues must be the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many do believe this, though, they've never officially asserted such. In fact, Jack Hayford, the figurehead of the Foursquare Church today teaches that while a common experience, doesn't have to occur.

Quote:

Does 4 Square believe post trib?



They have no official position on this. You'll find a wide variety of beliefs concerning the rapture within Foursquare churches. Though, like most Pentecostal churches and Evangelical churches in America, most of its members probably believe in pre-trib.

Quote:

What is 4 Square church government?



Explore their web site, I'm sure you'll find an explanation somewhere. I've never studied their polity.

Quote:

What is the difference between presbyterian and episcopal church government.



I'd suggest you consult a theological dictionary for a much fuller explanation. But, basically a presbyterian style church government means there is no centralized hierarchy within the church's structure. It's generally ruled by a group our council. A episcopal form of church government resembles the Catholic and Episcopal church, which is regimented and hierarchical. It means, generally speaking, one man alone is in charge. Thus, you'll have a sr pastor, who is under a district pastor, who is under a regional pastor, who sits under a pope type figure.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/6 7:18Profile









 Re:

As a former Assemblies of God licensed minister I can speak with some authority on this.

Doctrinally speaking the major difference between the Foursquare and the AG is the speaking in tongues issue as it relates to the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The AG says that speaking in tongues is "the initial physical evidence" of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Foursquare does not make this distinction.

As for eschatology, the AG allows for pre, mid, and post trib views. But you have to agree not to "make an issue" of any view differing from the predominant "pre" view.

I don't know 4Sq Church gov as well as AG. My Bachelor's degree is from Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. This is the only Bible College directly sponsored by the national AG. The others are under the districts. (Of course Evangel U. is under the General Council as well as CBC, but they are liberal arts) I point out my education only to say that I think I have some credibility on this. The AG is built on a mix of Congregationalist and Presbyterian forms of Church government. Traditionally the pastor is elected not appointed. But in the districts of churches they have more of a presbyterian system. They use Robert's rules at the District and General councils.

Hope this helps.

 2009/10/7 21:15









 Re: Assembly Of God vs. Four Square - HELP PLEASE!

What I'm witnessing in an AoG church is definitely 'one man in charge', which looks superficially like the episcopal system. However, there is much less local accountability than in the episcopal system where the Bishop's permission might be required for the introduction of such changes as midweek meetings in people's homes.

AoG put a strong emphasis on 'the local church', and the leader meets other local church leaders at Regional level while being totally subject to his elders at local level (or so we are to believe).

The introduction of Rick Warren's methods in the church I've recently attended, has been so simultaneously overt yet subtle, that the vast majority of attenders, no matter how unhappy they are with these changes, now have no way of registering their discontent publicly, since the good old AGM has silently disappeared.

This is an example of how things can go wrong under the 'one man in charge' (with no Bishop breathing kindly over his shoulder), who deals with objections by either ignoring them, or responding with pure blarney. 'Biblical church' now means what he wants it to mean, and expository preaching is neither his intention nor focus.

 2009/10/7 23:48
Christisking
Member



Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California

 Re:

Thanks guys - this does help understand things a bit. I was unaware that the AofG allows for all post - pre and mid views. I think the 4 square is post trib - correct me if i am wrong.

Thanks again,

Patrick
www.jonahproject.org


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Patrick Ersig

 2009/10/8 0:04Profile
bdcutler
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Joined: 2009/9/15
Posts: 22
Mitchell SD

 Re:

The Four Square tends to be pre trib, just like the AoG. They're not dogmatic about it though (it's not an official position). My wife emailed and asked them to explain their view several months ago, and they responded with a pre trib view.


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Benjamin Cutler

 2009/10/8 9:51Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

I think I knew somebody who was Foursquare that was pre-wrath.


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Jimmy H

 2009/10/8 11:06Profile





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