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Editorial Comments unless otherwise specified are by Philip L. Powell (plp).
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AoG & Elim Living in a Fool's Paradise
27-04-2011 - 18:13 - Thank you for your mail about our two beloved movements. As far as I can see I am mostly in agreement with what you say. The problem of trying to improve things by re-structure has been wrong from the beginning, and has only made things worse! Due to ill health I am unable to get involved with communications. I do hope that someone can get these leaders to see some sense and allow our movements to recover even a little. May the Lord bless you in your attempts to bring the truth to their notice B.M. AoG-UK.
27-04-2011 - 21:55 - Dear Sir - I do not know who you are and have no relationship with you and you have no authority to speak into my life whatever the content or context. I find you (sic) email content demeaning not only to the leaders of AOG but to my spiritual understanding of my connection to AOG. I am not placing my future ministry or hope in any church structure including the one you are involved with. For someone to pertain (sic) they are right and others are wrong puts you in a vulnerable position before God. I suggest you get on with the work you feel called to do which does not involve any input to me. Please do not email me again and take me off any list you may have M.T. - AoG-UK
27-04-2011 - 17:31 - Having read your article with burdened heart for you and the evident bitterness undergirding these unfair judgments presuming the motives and ministries of people (some of whom I know well and respect), I most definitely want to come off your mailing list Thank you T.R - AoG-UK
18-04-2011 9:21 AM - Dear Pastor Powell, I read your article on AoG and Elim. I am not surprised at the apostasy that has taken over most of the Church system. I was raised in the Foursquare Church and they too have gone the way of apostasy. Today people are at risk staying in the system because of so much false teaching and signs and wonders i.e., Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, etc. I have a friend whose husband and she were AG pastors who saw the writing on the wall and left. My husband also was a pastor, and we left the system. My friend Pearl was a student of Walter H. Beuttler, do you know about him? She said he was one of the best teachers at the AG schools back in the 1950s 60s and 70s. He is with the Lord now but she has transcribed his tapes into booklets. Now we are fellowshipping in our home and phone fellowship. Isn't it sad that it's come to that? In the last time according to Daniel 8:12, Truth will be cast to the ground. God Bless J.T. Texas, USA.
ED I responded to each of the above personally, pointing out to the critics that as Christians we all have a relationship one with another and that the Bible requires us to warn those who depart from the faith, which is what we try to do at CWM and through CETF. Some are awakening, others sleep and dream on. Those who wish to engage in a discussion on this topic may do so at -
http://cetf.co/okRwwN OR http://cetf.co/gtomeV
Cessationism vs Biblicism part 3 Junia Woman Apostle
10/03/2011 10.41 a.m. - Dear Philip re. Part 3 of your series on Cessationism vs Biblicism, [June 2010 CETF just received] and the comments on apostles, I agree that the present so-called prophets and apostles are not biblical. In the Scriptures we see the original 12 and then various others, such as Barnabas, referred to as apostles. John Stott suggests perhaps we should refer to them as 'apostles of the church' since they are not the same as the original 12.
In Romans 16:7 we have the naming of a female apostle. Wayne Grudem who is somewhat of a misogynist naturally says that there is 'too little clear information to allow us to draw a conclusion' from the verse. Actually there is quite a lot of information! Below is some and I also attach a file containing a synopsis of the book Junia, the first women apostle by Eldon Jay Epp Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005, ISBN: 978-0-8006-3771-2
In addition in Rom. 16 :7 the apostle Junia [female] is much commended and approved of by some of the early Church fathers e.g. Clement, Origen and John Chrysostom [337- 407].
Clement praises the woman apostle Junia in one of his letters, thus providing further evidence of this woman, and he was not particularly pro women!
John Chrysostom, another early church father, praises Junia, the woman apostle. He too says some very negative things about women but wrote positively about Junia: "Oh, how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!" John Chrysostom (337-407), Bishop of Constantinople.
Origen of Alexandria (c185-253) said the name was a variant of Julia (see Rom 16:15), as does Thayer's Lexicon. Leonard Swidler cited Jerome (342-420), Hatto of Vercelli (924-961), Theophylack (1050-1108), and Peter Abelard (1079-1142) as believing Junia to be a woman.
Dr Swidler stated, 'To the best of my knowledge, no commentator on the text until Aegidus of Rome (1245-1316) took the name to be masculine. Apparently the idea that Junia was a man's name is a relatively modern concept but the bulk of the best evidence available is that Junia was indeed a woman, and an outstanding apostle.'
This passage is fascinating indeed. It includes three prominent early church fathers, Thayer's Lexicon and three medieval theologian Christian writers who all agree with the premise that Junia was a woman. Surely we've accepted other stances in scripture to be true with much less supportive historical evidence than this one.
Dr Alan J. Torrance, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Kings College, London writes in Harmful Religion: An Exploration of Religious Abuse: Lawrence Osborn and Andrew Walker:
It can be argued that there is a male orientation and 'slanting' of the scriptural witness at different levels. First, it is apparent that the (Jewish) culture, which provides the cognitive and semantic context of the biblical writings, was patriarchal and that this is echoed in the text. Second, it can be argued that this led to an inherently selective (male-oriented) recording and rendering of events in the traditions from which the biblical material was compiled. And further, it appears that the editorial processes involved in producing the scriptures conditioned these accounts still further, in that those who collected and assembled the material accentuated the patriarchal slant of its message. There are examples of women who feature in early biblical accounts, whose place in the stories diminishes in favour of the male characters as the accounts are retold in later material. The contributions, for example, of Miriam in the Old Testament and Priscilla in the New Testament gradually lessen in favour of the accounts of Moses and Aquila. While there are other similar cases, we can assume that the fact that there are not still more examples of this is an expression of the fact that the majority of women have disappeared entirely from the historical process. The testimonies to their witness and contribution in the life of the Church are now, humanly speaking, lost in the sands of history.
That the editorial processes continued to downplay, or even eliminate, the role and contribution of women is reflected in the case of Junia. She was referred to by Paul as 'outstanding among the apostles', and had even gone to prison with him as a result of her witness (Romans 16:7). As late as the thirteenth century; she was to undergo a change of name and sex, becoming Junias (supposedly a male name - although not one that features anywhere else in ancient literature). As Bernadette Brooten points out, the argument in the minds of the translators was quite simple: 'Because a woman could not have been an apostle, the woman who is here called apostle could not have been a woman.'
Not only do we have here an alarming expression of the supposition that anyone making this degree of contribution to the life of the Church could not possibly be a woman, but this distortion also served to compound this supposition still further within the Church throughout the following centuries. It eliminated a prime exemplar of the kind of role which women, as well as men, might be modelling. Cases of this kind confirm the extent to which accounts of past events tend to concern a history that is indeed 'his-story' rather than 'her-story', thereby ensuring that future history is likely to remain 'his-story'. [chapter 6 Theology and Political Correctness]
Ed .- Thanks for going to such lengths to present your case. However from my perspective all of the above builds on "weak" perceptions (implications) and actually avoids the internal biblical evidence about the role of women in the New Testament Church. There is no mention of Paul's clear instruction to Timothy:
But I do not suffer a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence - 1 Timothy 2:12.
If Junia was indeed a woman, and an apostle in the generally accepted sense, then surely there would be a didactic and an authority function in her ministry. This contradicts what Paul clearly explains to Timothy. Biblically we must dismiss it no matter how much extra biblical material e.g. what your authority claims about the early Church Fathers etc, you may call upon. Our stance should be sola scripturaAlone. I have to agree with John Stott and with Wayne Grudem even though you may dub me a misogynist as you have dubbed Grudem. For me the matter is quite simply resolved if you carefully examine the text and allow for another interpretative conclusion:
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me - Romans 16:7.
Adronicus, presumably a man and Junia, presumably a woman, though related to Paul were nevertheless highly esteemed by all the apostles who knew them and therefore worthy of honour by the saints at Rome. Paul was keenly seeking to avoid partiality based on blood relationship and shared imprisonment. What a great character is Paul, a true apostle of Jesus Christ in EVERY sense.
PENTECOSTALISM Classic & Neo
Hi Philip - David Wilkerson stood strong on many things, but his prophecies failed. It was a shame he did not come right out of the lie of Pentecostalism Andrew Craig Adelaide, South Australia.
ED Andrew if DW's prophecies failed you should give the documentation for your assertion. Neo Pentecostalism is a sham and you are a fraud. As you know the only time we met was when we were joint speakers at a Pentecostal Conference in Brisbane. Do you deny it? If you are so opposed to Pentecostalism why did you participate in that conference? Classic Pentecostalism, as I have proven to you many times, and you have never logically and intelligently refuted it, is totally biblical and historically attested. God willing I shall be speaking at a CWM Conference in Adelaide during the last weekend in September, 2011. I challenge you to come. My co-speaker, Larry DeBruyn, is NOT Pentecostal. Why don't you bury the hatchet and join with those who are contending for the one Gospel Truth and stop accentuating incidental differences.
PASTORS "of" OR "in" THE CHURCH?
Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 3:54 PM - Wow, your website is a little behind registering the latest CETF as Dec. 2010. With regards to Volume 17.1 Issue 55 page 21 The Position of Pastors might I please contribute matters of research I have done on this issue for your publication in light of the fact that an article or series of articles could be a soon possibility.
Did you know that:
- Not one of the 22 Epistles was addressed to any Pastor or any particular "church" leader, and all this under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit ?
- "Deaconage" only came about to release the "apostles" to the Word and Prayer ?
- The Body of believers chose men full of The Holy Ghost to do this "menial" task, but these men went on to do miracles....perhaps we have under categorized and meanealized the deaconage but elevated pastors who hardly get a mention in the Word of God ?
- Pastor, Shepherd does not get a good rap anywhere in The Bible so maybe they are not the best ministry/gifting/function to have as CEO ?
- As we now have "pastors" seeking to be recognised as Senior pastors then that must make other "pastors" secondary and subjective to the SENIOR pastor.
R.M. Nambour, Queensland. Australia.
ED thank you Roy for your submission, which as you know is very lengthy. It will be used for reference purposes when we get into the series which you have anticipated. I don't want to pre-empt things here but must say that you have made some elementary errors in your assertions. Paul did address particular Church leaders in a number of his epistles e.g. Timothy, Titus (both of whom acted or functioned as "pastors"), Philemon (fellow-labourer), Apphia, Archippus (fellow-soldiers), and I could go on and on. You see you have fallen into the same trap that you are actually trying to rescue others from. I know what you are trying to say, but your premise is wrong. Simply because these NT characters are not directly identified in some "leadership" role that we recognise today does NOT mean that they were not leaders. On the contrary they were real leaders in terms of New Testament definition. Also you have made the same mistake that most make in assuming that the seven in Acts chapter 7 were "deacons" which they are never called, though obviously they served in that capacity as did Paul himself and our Lord of course. But we'll get into that later. In the meanwhile thanks for sending what you have. Also thank you for mentioning our website default. Actually we now have a new website at www.cwm.org.au where you can source the latest and some of the earlier CETFs in a more acceptable format and setting. God bless you plp an errand boy for Jesus.
ERRATA CETF #55 (March 2011).
To The Editor - The whole purpose of my letter was to draw attention to the unscriptural office of the pastor of the church. When the letter was printed the phrase 'pastor of the church' was changed to "pastor in the church". Of course there are pastors in the church. A Sunday school teacher is pastoring. It is part of God's plan for the church: but by changing the word you have completely changed the main focus of the letter. Readers may form the opinion that I am criticizing scripture. One little 2 letter word and it is so important. I am rather disappointed. Christian greeting. ADJ South Australia.
ED I apologise if we used the wrong preposition. As yours was in longhand and I need it "on-line" it was copied. The original by you was destroyed or lost so we have no way of checking what actually happened. I take your word. However it really makes no difference what preposition "in" or "of" you use. In the strictest sense it is impossible for someone to be a pastor "in" the Church as the Church is people not a building. So "pastor of the Church" is more correct. The issue does not lie with the use of the preposition but with the understanding and definition of "pastor", who is a carer not a controller. Basically I agree with you but I would express it differently. Today most pastors act as Directors or Chief Executive Officers (CEO). The emphasis on "leadership" should have been a focus on "servant-hood" and that's where the problem lies. I recently heard of a "pastor" who was criticised that he was NOT a CEO so he went off to University to learn how to become a CEO. That's how much the world has influenced the Church and that's where the problem lies. The other statements that you wrote on the page of CETF that you sent to me are disappointing and misleading. You say, "Satan is using 'tongues' to confuse, to divide and to convince people that speaking in tongues is a guarantee of salvation." While there is a measure of truth in this, it is misleading as it tends to imply that all who "speak in tongues" fall into this category, which is NOT the case. The Christian Revival Centres (CRC) did, and may be still do, teach that speaking in tongues is a sign of salvation. Most Pentecostals disagree as do I. You say that the "Baptism into the Holy Spirit" is not in your Bible. Then all I can say is you have a perverted Bible. It is clearly there as I have shown in my series of articles on Cessationism v Biblicism. If you are trying to make a case based on prepositions "with" as opposed to "in" or "into" then I think once more you are missing the point and confusing the issue. It's a pity that you don't base your argument on all that we have published on this issue. By all means argue your case but do it logically, biblically and based on history, as we have done in our publications. God bless you - PLP