~a newsletter for former Pentecostals/Charismatics everywhere~
Copyright © 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
Over 100 subscribers!
Volume 1, Issue 3
June 15, 2002
Table of Contents
2. Pentecostals In the News . . .
3. Famous Pentecostals
4. A Pentecostal Experience
5. Letters to the Editor
6. Spotlight On . . .
7. Final Prayer
Editor: The Association of Former Pentecostals, email@example.com
Contributors this month include: Robin Arnaud, Lois Gibson, and Karen Blanton.
Thanks for your continued readership! I think you'll enjoy this month's
newsletter; we have eight news stories, a profile on Benny Hinn, a powerful
experience by one of our readers, and some exciting news about our new
Even more than that, we compiled so much information and contributions this
month, that I couldn't include it all -- a first for Delivered! We will publish
a special EXTRA edition of Delivered! newsletter next month on July 15, 2002, to
accommodate this additional material.
We hope you'll keep reading, and spreading the word about Delivered!
The Association of Former Pentecostals, Editor
~Pentecostals in the News*~
Copyright © 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
ONE GOD = ONE CHURCH?
According to a recent report by Charisma News Service (6-5-02) and the website
of the Center for Spiritual Renewal, a historic event for the world of Pentecost
took place in a meeting that was held at the end of April by Robert Fisher,
director of CSR. At this summit, Mr. Fisher had gathered leaders from most of
the major Pentecostal and Word of Faith denominations and churches, and major
movers in the Charismatic movement. Not since the early revivals of the late
19th and early 20th century had major figures in this world-wide movement been
in "one accord in one place."
The purpose of the meeting, according to CSR, was to unite in their history, and
not to discuss issues of doctrine and faith. Present at the meeting were the
General Superintendents of the Assemblies of God and the United Pentecostal
Church (Thomas Trask and Kenneth Haney, respectively), International Foursquare
President Paul Risser, International Pentecostal Holiness Church General
Superintendent James Leggett, and tele-evangelists Kenneth and Gloria Copeland
-- leaders in the Word of Faith movement. Representatives of the Church of God
of Prophecy, the Church of God in Christ, and the Church of God Cleveland were
It was not only remarkable that the event itself took place, but the kindred
reception the Oneness Pentecostals received at this occasion. It was also
remarkable that Oneness Pentecostals even bothered to attend considering their
arrogant position of being the only faith that teaches true salvation.
Though nothing was reported about possible reconciliation among the faiths or of
creating an ecumenical movement among the similar denominations, this meeting
does beg the question: Where do they go from here?
TELEVANGELIST KNOWS WHEN TO FOLD 'EM
Spirit-filled Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson is not just "horsing" around
when it comes to his conservative, fundamentalist religious beliefs, or his
right-sided views in politics -- he means business. However, the founder of the
Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition was left "wrangling"
up excuses when the New York Times revealed another business venture Pat was
involved in -- a venture that has left many other Christian conservatives
wondering which ranch he is riding for.
Two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, the Times revealed that the one-time
Republican presidential hopeful owns a business called Tega Stable, which
houses the race horses he also owns, including one that he hoped to race in this
year's Derby. Though he intended to keep his equine endeavors a secret, he
defended them stating he loved the horses and not the industry that supported
them. He also stated that he hoped people did not bet on his horses.
Critics were not so amused, and one -- according to the Times report -- stated
that his owning race horses while condemning the industry that supports them was
equivalent to owning a bordello and condemning prostitution.
After an avalanche of criticism, Robertson gave in. No longer "horsing around,"
he intends to sell "the ranch" in the next few months.
IS SATAN WINNING IN INGLIS?
As reported earlier in Delivered!, the mayor of the town of Inglis, Florida
officially proclaimed that Satan and his forces were not welcome in her town.
The Church of God member was responding to changes in their community, and
recent doomsday sermons by her pastor, according to a recent report from the
New City Commissioner Gene Kiger feels that this Satanic preoccupation -- which
has only been exacerbated by continued media coverage -- has led attention away
from municipal issues that concern the city. He feels that the city should
focus on road paving, and developing a sewage system -- things that the city
needs to develop in order to accommodate a possible influx of new residents that
may come when the state builds a new highway spur to their city.
THE LEAST OF THESE
No Longer Welcome -- Part One
After attending services at Houston's Vineyard Church in the Heights for nearly
two years, lesbian couple Marti and Donna Rickard were not only told they could
no longer participate in communion or worship, but that they were no longer
welcome to enter the building. Pastor Michael Palandro believes that
homosexuality is a sin, but apparently did not mind their fellowship for the
last two years since the couple had confessed their relationship to his wife
shortly after joining. According to the Houston Press (5/2/02) which broke the
story, the pastor was just giving them time to heal, though the couple stated it
was more likely that the pastor might have been influenced by the congregation's
reaction to a visiting Vineyard minister's positive comments on gays and
lesbians within his own assembly. During that service, all but the handful of
homosexuals within the Houston congregation left, after which anti-homosexual
remarks were made nearly every service, according to the couple.
Marti and Donna felt it was God's will for them to attend this church formerly
affiliated with the Assemblies of God. They heard from friends at the time that
although the church had issues with such orientation, they seemed to be
developing a more tolerant attitude.
In an earlier unrelated article in the Press (4/4/02), Pastor Joel Osteen of
Lakewood Church in Houston was asked about such sexual topics as homosexuality
and abortion. In that interview, he inferred that he steers clear of such
topics, preferring to be an "encourager."
SINS OF MY MOTHER
No Longer Welcome -- Part Two
A 5-year-old in California was recently expelled from Capital Christian
School. She was not removed for academic or disciplinary reasons, but for
reasons pertaining to Christian morals -- or at least the absence of them by her
mother. According to several reports, CCS -- a ministry of Capital Christian
Center (one of the largest Assemblies of God churches in the US) -- removed the
young girl when it discovered her mother was working as an exotic dancer to pay
for the $400 monthly tuition. The former Sunday school teacher was also told
that while she continued her chosen profession, neither her nor her daughter
would be allowed to attend services at the ministry's church where they once
By the next week, the pastor and the mother reached a compromise, and the young
girl was allowed to return to finish the school year, providing her mother
stopped dancing -- at least until school let out.
In a story that continues to evolve, news broke from another source that by the
end of May, the mother had reneged on her immorality clause and posed nude for
Playboy.com. Officials at the school have announced they will keep their side
of the bargain and allow her daughter to finish the school year.
(information contributed by Lois Gibson)
When Pentecostal minister Al Petty called, many people answered -- and sent tons
of money! According to a report by the Houston Chronicle (5/26/02), this
musician, former instrument maker, and inventor from the Overton area had
finally created a business that made him a millionaire ten times over, after a
life of job hopping and an impoverished existence.
The money flow has since stopped, mostly due to the efforts of the FBI, and
their charges that the minister was operating a "Ponzi" scheme out of his small
trailer. In that deceptive guise, he sold investments and phone services,
promising his investors up to 1,300 percent returns on investments ranging from
$1,300 to $50,000 in as little as three months -- figures that many of his
conservative network contacts believed when he doctored up his sales pitches
with Biblical references.
Now facing trial and jail, many of these supporters still believe the
dream-seller -- perhaps in a last ditch effort to recover the thousands invested
in his TeleCom2000 business.
Child Abuse in the Church -- Part 1
The pastor of Greater Anointed Tabernacle Worship Center of Lithonia, Georgia,
is going to need a miracle to get his feet "out of the miry clay." According to
several reports by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (5/15/02-5/22/02), the
Reverend was in the middle of a child molestation case against him, which
threatens to relocate him from the sanctuary of his church walls to walls of
concrete and steel -- for up to 30 years.
This is the third such charge against the pastor. The latest involves
encounters with a 15 year old male from his congregation, a crime that netted
him 25 counts. Another charge several years ago -- from other youths in the
church -- was dismissed after it was discovered the victims were 16 at the time,
which is the age of consent in Georgia. He faced similar charges in New York
many years before.
Distraught at his arrest, it was reported that he attempted suicide
TEACHER ARRESTED FOR LEWDNESS
Child Abuse in the Church -- Part 2
Another 15 year old -- this time in Gainesville, Florida -- learned more than
geometry while attending The Rock church school, a ministry of a charismatic
church of the same name. His former Spanish teacher allegedly had sex with him
numerous times, spawning a daughter for him in the process. The Gainesville Sun
reported that their encounters took place between January of 2000 and September
2001, and when the church school discovered it, they informed the parents and
not law enforcement -- an omission which has caused much controversy. The
pastor now states many of the accusations against the church group are false.
When law enforcement discovered the crime, the teacher was arrested at her new
job at Immokalee High School in Collier County, where she was undoubtedly
responsible for teaching other teen-agers.
Healer in the House
A Profile On Benny Hinn**
Copyright © 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
(some information for this profile was forwarded by Lois Gibson)
~Under this anointing, the words I speak cannot fall to the ground. Under this
anointing, everything I say, happens. ~ Benny Hinn, TBN, 9-10-99~
I remember a song a group of ours in my former church used to sing. It was
called, "Healer in the House," and it told how God's Spirit was in our midst,
and would heal those who needed and wanted it. It reflected the theology of
many Evangelical faiths, that healing can happen through faith in God, and not
through any power of man.
Benny Hinn is known throughout the world as a modern day "healer," and says all
the right things as any Christian minister might; that when healing happens, it
is of God, and not of him. Does this mean, though, that anything and everything
that Rev'd Hinn does is of God? Many critics of him show evidence that little
he does and preaches is consistent with evangelical Christianity -- some things
showing little resemblance to Christianity itself!
A recent HBO documentary (America Undercover) followed Benny Hinn through
one of his crusades, and followed several of those who had been "healed," or at
least prayed for. None of those followed showed any lasting improvement, and
one young child died of his affliction. One who got up and walked out of his
wheelchair after years of debilitating hip pain, promptly got back into it after
the service -- unable to move from the pain. There are some who have claimed
healing from his services, but not many in the line of dramatic healing where no
other cause could explain the improved direction of their health.
These activities could be ascribed to any neo-pentecostal evangelist, but Hinn
is no ordinary minister of the Gospel. He admits to not having a traditional
ministerial training, but he seems to have made up for it with his own
adaptations and interpretations of scripture. Often, some of these
interpretation are against traditional Christian theology, and some aren't even
in line with Christianity. Other teachings he has made have simply been called
How does Benny get away with it? Most of his followers -- members of
doctrineless Word/Faith or charismatic churches -- simply take what he says at
face value, having little scriptural background for themselves. Believing that
he is a man of God, it never occurs to them to question, doubt, or even research
the doctrinal claims that he makes.
What are some of the things Benny is saying that has the religious world in an
uproar? I'll give you a few of them (some of them Benny has recanted, or denied
stating even when much was captured on video or audio recorders)
- That Jesus Christ Himself was going to appear during one of Benny's
crusades. He made this claim in 2000, and, well . . . none of us have seen such
a startling headline in the world's newspapers! Traditional evangelical
Christianity teaches that we won't see Christ until he returns for His Bride --
Benny says we'll see Him before that!
- Pastor Hinn split from accepted Trinitarian doctrine in stating that each
entity in the Triune Godhead was not only a distinct and separate being with
it's own spirit, soul, and body ("Trinitarians" believe that God is One in three
Persons, not three distinct beings), but that each entity is a triune being of
Himself. In essence, he said that each distinct member of the Trinity has its
own trinity -- basically, these three are Nine, not One! (Benny stated this in
1990, but has since stated that he was misunderstood.)
- He stated once that the Lord revealed to Him that women were originally
created to give birth out of their sides, though he has hinted that this might
have been an error.
- He prophesied that Castro would die in the 90's -- again, a prediction
that did not happen.
- And perhaps the greatest of his "revelations" was when he "taught" on TBN
that the Genesis 1 account is not of the Creation of Earth and its inhabitants,
but a "restoration" of Earth that had previously been destroyed by God after
Satan's fall from Heaven, and that what we consider as "demons" were not fallen
angels, but one of many "pre-Adamic" races -- all that were destroyed (along
with the dinosaurs) when God flooded the earth (not Noah's flood -- which he
claims was the second flood) and froze it. He states that this accounts for the
Earth actually being millions of years old, although Adam was created 6,000
years ago. He props this "teaching" up with vague Old Testament scriptures,
inferences, and emphasis on certain words within scripture.
- He stated in 1991 that since Adam had dominion over the birds of the sky,
that this means he could actually fly -- and not only around the sky, but to the
moon! Move over, Neil; Adam was the first astronaut!
- Benny claims that in dreams and visions Christ Himself has appeared before
him, as well as the archangel Michael. He also claims to have been visited by
the late faith healer, Kathryn Kuhlman -- who came to him in a vision to lead
him into the ministry of healing. Such remarks have created charges of
necromancy against him (speaking to the dead) which is clearly unbiblical.
- He has espoused a word/faith heresy that states that Christ died
spiritually after the Cross and became one with Satan and sin, and had to be
"born again" (His Resurrection) first in order for others to do the same. His
Blood was not enough, according to this heresy.
In addition to his false claims, he has gone on record and cursed all those who
would speak against him or any other preacher -- even if they are wrong.
Time will tell if Benny Hinn's ministry survives his own misdeeds, or if he
simply becomes a household name, mentioned in the same breath along with such
people as Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart or Robert Tilton -- people that rose high
as self-proclaimed high-priests of God, but fell hard as their egos and greed
got the best of them, exposing them for the blowhards (or the charlatans) that
they were in reality.
Copyright © 2001. Karen Blanton. Used by permission.
Over the sea,
Bondage to self
No longer to be,
Love of self,
The spiritual key.
~A Pentecostal Experience~
A Dominion Experiment **:
The Shepherding/Discipleship Movement
A Personal Account and Analysis
Copyright © 2002. By Robin Arnaud. Used by Permission.
I was very new to the Charismatic experience and just 12 years old when this
movement began, right in my own hometown. Originally billed as "a return" to
city-churches, it was supposed to eliminate barriers and unify the church in
every city. It was to be a grand, courageous exercise in mutual submission that
would dissolve all remaining walls between Christians (denominational,
political, theological, financial, social). And such a unified church would be
so powerful that dominion would quickly follow.
"There were not separate churches divided by denominations in the first
century," they explained. "Churches were city-churches, single entities in every
city, which is why the gospel spread so quickly despite persecution." The
authors of this great experiment (Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, and Don Basham)
began it soon after they had established very popular teaching ministries in
Fort Lauderdale Florida and founded New Wine magazine - now defunct, but then
hugely popular. New Wine was one of the earliest Charismatic "teaching"
magazines produced by the Charismatic movement. I grabbed every copy I could get
my hands on, and literally sat at Bob Mumford's feet on those overcrowded Monday
night teaching meetings - first held at Memorial Baptist Church and then moved
to the Governor's Club Hotel in downtown Fort Lauderdale to accommodate huge
crowds of itchy-eared Charismatics. All us preteens and teenagers sat up front
on the floor to let the grownups have the chairs. Besides, the closer to the
front we could get the better we liked it!
"Kingdom dominion" was the object of this movement from the very beginning. The
object was to unify the church, thus making her far more powerful and
influential. "That we may be one ... perfected in unity and in glory so that the
world may believe that God sent Jesus," was the appeal, based on a gross
misapplication of John 17:21-23.
Early on, this movement wedded itself to "Kingdom Now" theology, which most of
the more orthodox churches (even Pentecostal ones) had rejected as heretical and
dangerous. But "Shepherding" offered a way to make "Kingdom Now" actually work.
It was to be the first practical application of the concept, putting the ideals
into practice through mutual "shepherding." It was supposed be the means to
"establish the unified Kingdom of God on earth," hastening the return of Christ.
This was my first exposure to any Post-millennial eschatology. I was bewildered
by it at first, then completely taken in by its appeal to here-and-now dominion.
And I felt lucky to be "on the ground floor, right at the beginning" of the
establishment of God's kingdom on earth in the first city in it was to be
achieved in our century.
The appeal of this idea was irresistible. We expected to become powerful and
influential. We expected to win the entire Broward County metro area to Christ
in just a few short years because of "the uninhibited flow of the Spirit"
through a "unified" Spirit-filled church. Dominion of the whole world would
follow within a generation or two, spreading from right here in my own hometown.
Here's how that unity was to be achieved:
Not really by His Spirit, but by might and by power.
The might and power of manipulation. The equivalent, I believe, of witchcraft.
Manipulation of others is witchcraft. A "pyramid" of leadership was laid out
like an organizational chart with Christ at the top, followed by three
"apostles" (guess who? If you guessed Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, and Don Basham,
you win!), and from there to their disciples, who would, in turn, train other
disciples once they were fully trained. Every individual in the whole city would
be personally discipled, by a "shepherd" who had himself been personally
discipled, etc. Right on up to the "top" - so that everyone would ultimately
become a disciple of Christ. Every person was assigned to a "shepherd" who had
been trained in discipleship by the three "Apostles of the Church in Fort
But what kind of authority does a "shepherd" have? As we look casually at
examples of discipleship in the bible, we get a picture of total obedience. But
it was not slavery! Any disciple in every biblical model was free to leave his
teacher at any time. The biblical model of discipleship did not blur the lines
between spiritual authority and domestic authority. Biblically, the individual
retained his own responsibility and authority for his own vocation, family,
children, place of residence, etc. But this Shepherding movement blurred those
lines. In fact it virtually eliminated them. There were stories of abuse so
hideous that they had to be quelled by stern orders from above. The equivalent
of a "Papal decree," one might think.
It's very interesting how that, among Charismatics, any new "move of God" ends
up being a move towards Rome - whether in polity, theology, liturgy (the use of
icons, "points of contact," confession of sins to a "shepherd," veneration of
holy objects, etc.), or practice. I have suspected for many years now that the
Charismatic movement will, in years to come, become a wider means by which Rome
will recapture much of Protestantism. Anyway, back to Shepherding /
There were no clear lines drawn to define the scope and limit of a "shepherd's"
authority over those he was "discipling." The authority of a spiritual discipler
is spiritual, not domestic nor political. It is limited to training in the word
of God. Except in the godly application of Scripture to all of life, a discipler
has no authority to control a believer's personal life. But in this movement,
such limits were never defined.
My own "shepherd," Andy Z., had a group of men living in his home who kept 10
percent of the money they earned for themselves and turned ninety percent over
to Andy. I would have been one of them, but I wasn't old enough to move out of
my parents' house yet. My older brother, however, was old enough. Already
troubled by the abuse we endured at home, my brother moved out of the house at
the first opportunity that presented itself - which happened to be Andy's newly
forming commune. I was very happy that my troubled older brother had finally
"come to Christ" and that he was being "really discipled." He'd be okay after
all, I felt.
But now to this day, my brother will never darken the door of any church, and
bristles at the mere mention of Christ. He knows a lot of theology and can quote
a lot of Scripture. But he hates the church, and is at enmity with God. The
abuse my brother suffered at the hands of this "shepherd" and the men who formed
this little commune at Andy's house was worse than the abuse he had fled from at
home. The damage was so profound and long-lasting that my brother remains unable
to maintain relationships and to hold a job. We have lost touch with him, but at
last report he was homeless and living in a pickup truck.
The second half of "A Dominion Experiment" will appear in the next month's EXTRA
~Spotlight On . . .~
After many months, a dedicated website for all the services is finally a
reality! On May 30th, I secured the domain name, and have been working on
building the site ever since. On our main page, it briefly describes the
purpose of the site, and services provided. There is a separate "forums" page
introducing our two support groups, "Ex-Pentecostals" and "Ex-Apostolics," and
the debate forum, "Pentecostal Debate." A third page is dedicated to this
newsletter, and currently supplies information on submissions and "letters to
the editor." We hope to build it even further -- including pages for links and
resources for former Pentecostals, and have its "grand opening" sometime in late
summer or early fall.
Please pardon the dust as we continue construction on the site! Please bookmark
it after visiting, and visit frequently for updates and changes!
GO TO . . . www.ex-pentecostals.org
~Letters to the Editor**~
Thank you for the newsletter this month. I appreciate your efforts in
keeping us informed of the wider world of the Pentecostal/Charismatic faith.
There is so much out there that we never hear about. Even though the news is not
pleasant to hear, I find that such information goes a long way in dispelling the
mindset I have had of the Apostolic faith being the "true church." In the past I
had heard of scandals and problems in other "Christian" churches and the spin on
such information was "the true church" (meaning UPC) would never do such and
such. And yet, after I left church I found that the UPC was embroiled in many
such scandals and problems. We just had a history of silence and secrecy about
such things. My own church for years harbored a minister who just last year was
imprisoned as a pedophile -- having molested his seven daughters and in the
past, young teens in the church. But no one talked about it then and had not his
daughters finally brought suit, he would never have been stopped.
Any way, thank you for the effort. I hope to see more writings such as
your poetry, from other ex's out there. Such positive, creative writing leaves
you feeling more hopeful after having read such sad, distressing news.
Thanks, Gracie, and this month's edition does include more contributions from
our subscribers. I would like to see more contributions, though, from our
readership! Tell us your thoughts, your experiences, or even write a news
story! Check out the details below.
A Psalm of David (25:5) KJV
Lead me in thy truth,
and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
Delivered! is a FREE quarterly newsletter for former Pentecostals/Charismatics
everywhere, distributed by e-mail only. It is affiliated with ex-pentecostals.org.
A special EXTRA edition will be published next month, July 15, 2002. The next
publication date of the general newsletter is August or September 15, 2002.
For more information concerning services and forums, check out ex-pentecostals.org.
Comments? Submissions? Letters to the Editor?
Check out ex-pentecostals.org/newsletter.html for more information, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*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
without intentionally infringing on copyright laws.
**contributions and experiences by former Pentecostals do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of the editor of this newsletter. Contributions many be
edited for grammar, punctuation, or length.
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
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