a monthly publication for ex-Pentecostals & Charismatics!
vol. 1, issue 6 Copyright ©
2001-2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
This Issue . . .
- Pentecostals in the News
- Famous Pentecostals (A Pentecostal in "Big Brother's" House)
- Too Much Grace? (Cover Story)
- Spotlight On . . .
October 1, 2002. Thanks to all who have subscribed! We've
got a slightly different format this month, and some interesting stories. We
hope you'll tell us how what you think! In the interest of keeping it short
and sweet, let's get on with the news! ~The Association of Former Pentecostals, Editor
PENTECOSTALS IN THE NEWS*
. . .
Copyright © 2001-2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
COMING TO AMERICA (Part 2)
Not to be outdone by the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria (see
"Delivered!" 8/15/02), the Assemblies of God is also sending missionaries from
that country . . . to America! According to Charisma News Service, the AG
converted more than a million Nigerians in the last decade -- but many of
these African Pentecostals lose their faith when immigrating to America and
other countries. These missionaries will primarily be used to minister to
these African immigrants, and to create new African churches.
PAW MEETS, PROMOTES WOMEN
During the last week of July, the Pentecostal Assemblies of
the World met in Washington, DC for their annual convention, according to a
Washington Post report. During this meeting, it was decided that women could
hold the position of district supervisor -- a first for this denomination that
had believed men should be the only ones to hold such leadership positions.
Despite this expanded role for women in the church, the offices of bishop and
presiding bishop are still "male-only."
The PAW is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the US, easily
rivaling the membership of the Assemblies of God and the United Pentecostal
Church with whom they share a "Oneness" doctrine. Created by African-American
Pentecostals during a time when many white churches and organizations excluded
blacks, this church has a membership of nearly 1.5 million.
In yet another example of an entire Pentecostal church converting to another
faith (see "Converting the Chosen," Delivered!, 7-15-02), a Korean Pentecostal
church in Nashville, Tennessee, converted last month to the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Bertram Herlong and retired Bishop William Sanders laid hands on each
of the church's 100 or so members in a service that Sunday -- not only
creating a relatively large congregation for that diocese, but also one of the
largest Korean-American churches in the Episcopal community, according to a
report by The Tennessean.
The change did not occur overnight. Over the years, Pastor Moon Lee developed
a friendship with a former Presbyterian minister (also Korean-American) who
had led his own congregation through the same process. The conversion
experience was not a "walk in the park" for Rev. Lee; he had to complete a
course of instruction in a local Episcopal seminary for the diocesan officials
to deem him qualified to serve as an priest in his new faith.
Though the new Episcopal church did have to make some changes in their
services, they were not as magnificent as one might suspect. Korean
Pentecostal services are more structured than those in traditional Pentecostal
congregations -- resembling the style of worship in many mainstream,
NEO-PENTECOSTALISM INVADES COMMUNITY CHURCHES
Lois Gibson provided some of the information for this news story
For decades, the local church was the center point of the black community in
America. They served as civic centers, community meeting places, and served
to create a voice for a people who were often neglected or oppressed by
society and politics of the day. It was in the churches of the black
community that they found their political power, as leaders rose from these
churches to the forefront of the civil rights movement.
Is the role of church as a community center and a forum for civil rights for
the black community a thing of the past? Many pastors of these historic
churches believe the "writing is on the wall" as many traditional black
churches and those that would fill them fall under the sway of the ever
expanding Pentecostal and Charismatic movement, according to articles in the
Baltimore Sun and the Houston Chronicle.
While some feel this "neo-Pentecostal" movement is reviving these more
mainstream churches, many worry as the "celebratory" style of worship with the
message of "individual empowerment" supplant the mission of community
involvement and social progress. Many traditional pastors continue to hold
their ground as this movement spreads through churches not normally associated
with the Pentecostal movement, resisting the trend to become mega-churches.
These leaders continue to hope that the church's role as a center for
community activism is not a dead one.
FAMOUS PENTECOSTALS* (well, almost!)
A Pentecostal In "Big Brother's" House
Copyright © 2001-2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights
In July, Jason Guy's biggest dream had come true. CBS
television notified the 25 year old that he had been chosen to be a house
guest on their reality TV program, "Big Brother 3." One catch, though: he had
to leave the next day. This member of Mobile, Alabama's Knollwood Assembly of
God had no idea what was in store for him as he left for his adventure.
Being a Pentecostal on a TV show that monitors your every move with 11 other
house guests would have its difficulties for Jason. The show confined the 12
participants in a closed, cramped studio. From these confines, they would plot
and scheme as each individual would try to avoid being "evicted" from the
house (and likewise -- the show) during a weekly ceremony. Whoever made it to
the end would win the $500,000 prize.
Jason seemed silent for the first week or so of the competition, but quickly
"came out" as the show's resident "virgin," and practicing Christian. After
his "announcement" warranted a few odd stares, he pretty much faded into the
background, not participating in the temporary alliances that seemed to change
weekly. He did make friends with several of his housemates, including one of
the show's strongest players; Danielle.
During the game, it seemed Jason was being manipulated by either Danielle or
another extremely powerful player, Roddy. Regardless of Jason's outward
comments about his own wishes concerning who should be evicted, he seemed to
always kowtow to either Danielle's or Roddy's wishes -- depending on who was
most masterful at manipulating him that week.
Although he was strategically weak during the game, he seemed to hover below
the radar of other players, and by the end of the last week of the show, he
was among the final three players left. Although he had never once been
nominated for eviction, and had won the coveted position of "Head of
Household" twice during the game, luck had finally run out. On September 21,
he was evicted on the show's next to last broadcast.
In his private life, Jason's occupation is listed as being a "videographer."
He seems to be attracted to sho-biz (as a quick visit to his vanity site, www.jasonguy.com will attest). This culminated in him being an extra once on the soap opera,
"Guiding Light." He is a gifted vocalist, and has performed on local
Christian TV, as well at his local AG church.
Will he be a Contemporary Christian recording artist, or an actor? No one has
really ever been successful at using these "reality shows" and games as a
springboard to pop stardom, and this show has already given the poor guy more
than his entitled "15 minutes of fame."
TOO MUCH GRACE?*
Bishop Carlton Pearson's Controversial Message
(Cover Story) Copyright © 2001-2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
For those familiar with the Pentecostal/Charismatic
movement, the name Bishop Carlton Pearson meant nothing more than one of the
many pastors of mega-churches frequently parading on TBN and other Christian
programming. But, don't let that fool you! The message preached by Bishop
Pearson is far different from what one might hear in other Pentecostal
churches, or even other Evangelical or Fundamentalist churches.
The majority of Christianity's non-Orthodox churches teach that one receives
salvation through acceptance of Jesus Christ, but Bishop Pearson teaches that
Christ's Blood extends even further than that. While he believes that Jesus
saves, he teaches that He saves even those that don't believe in Him, or know
Him, according to several news sources.
This "Universal Reconciliationist" view of salvation has not endeared the
bishop to those in Pentecostal circles. Since stories of his self-styled
"paradigm shift" first appeared earlier this year (see "Delivered!" 4-15-02),
the bishop lost a mayoral primary bid, has been forced to resign from the
Board of Regents of Oral Roberts University (and been barred from using their
facilities), has been removed from scheduled conferences, and is even in
trouble with his record label who is trying to decide whether or not to
release his latest album on the Christian market. Since the controversy was
made public, hundreds have left his congregation at Higher Dimensions Family
Church in Tulsa, OK.
Pearson hopes to clear up what he deems "misunderstandings" about his position
at a conference early this month. Many friends in the P/C movement have
shunned him, but the bishop remains optimistic about his future in this
movement. Many Pentecostals and Charismatics may never be comfortable with
his position, illustrated by a recent statement he made on TBN, "the world is
already saved, they just don't know it." The bishop states he has plenty of
scripture to back him up (check out his statement on his website, www.higherd.org),
but perhaps his ideas simply are not ready for prime-time Christianity.
Occasionally, people aren't satisfied with what they see or
read in Delivered!, and they'll resign their subscription. As much as I'd
like to change that, it is often difficult to make improvements without
feedback from you, the reader. Of course, there's no way I can please
everyone in this endeavor; but I can certainly make it better! I truly value
each and every opinion from the readers -- this newsletter is supposed to be a
service TO YOU, and if it is failing that task, I need to know about it. To
write me about comments, concerns, or opinions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please indicate whether or not your comments can be included in a future
edition of "Delivered!" under "Letters to the Editor."
Also, if you want to read past issues of "Delivered" newsletter, they are now
posted on our website! Check out http://ex-pentecostals.org/newsletter.html !
SPOTLIGHT ON . . .
Azusa Street Survivors
Nearly 11 months ago, I had an urge to create a discussion
group for former Apostolics through Yahoo!Groups after becoming involved with
such email lists through another endeavor. After creating it, I quickly
realized that I had competition, that two other such groups existed and were
serving the same community (and still are doing excellent at it -- I might
add). I created a greater niche for our group, to try and reach all former
Apostolics -- not just those who had left the UPCI. Although I was the "new
kid on the block," I noticed a great hunger for such fellowship among those
who've left this faith.
As we grew, many others joined as well -- all having stories about how
Pentecostalism had wrecked their lives, along with stories of how they
recovered. Although this stories were very similar, I was surprised to find
that these were stories from people within the Assemblies of God, other
Pentecostal groups, and even from Charismatics. Eventually, I knew I had no
choice to expand the focus of this group to include all who've left the
Pentecostal faith and its successors.
If you're not already familiar with it, Azusa Street Survivors is a support
and discussion group for all former Pentecostals and Charismatics. It
functions as an email list and brings together some 120 participants on a
daily basis. On a slow day, we may only have one post, but often as many as
20. A record day brought nearly 100 responses.
What do we talk about? Our painful experiences, our path out of our faiths,
and our joyous road to recovery! We are from all walks of life: many have
simply switched denominations within the world of Pentecost, while others have
adopted other faiths -- some leaving religious life altogether. Despite the
differences we hold now, we come together in unity as we help each other grow
emotionally and spiritually.
If this group seems like something you'd be interested in,
simply click here to join online
(recommended). If you don't have Internet access, or you don't want a FREE
Yahoo! ID, or if you simply want to receive each message in your email inbox,
simply click here and send a blank email
If spiritual abuse and pain is something you're still dealing with, or you
just want to help other people -- then this is the group you need to join!
Delivered! is a FREE monthly newsletter for former
Pentecostals/Charismatics everywhere, distributed by e-mail only. It is
affiliated with ex-pentecostals.org. The
next publication date of the general newsletter is November 1, 2002. For more
information concerning services and forums offered, check out ex-pentecostals.org.
Comments? Submissions? Letters to the Editor?
Check out ex-pentecostals.org/newsletter.html for more information, or e-mail: email@example.com
*information compiled from several independent media
sources are considered "public knowledge," and sources are not identified.
Articles compiled from one source, the source was identified, and a story
written extracting the news using "fair use" rules without intentionally
infringing on their copyrights.
Copyright © 2001-2002 by The Association of Former Pentecostals All rights
reserved. All stories, opinions, and other text in this newsletter,
Delivered!, are the personal copyrighted property of The Association of Former Pentecostals, unless
otherwise noted. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced by any means
without the expressed permission of the author(s). To request permission for
reproducing original materials contained within this newsletter, please e-mail
The Association of Former Pentecostals at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.