Cambridge, Dorchester County, Md.
At the end of August 2003, with great respect and sadness, I submitted my resignation as an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God to the Potomac District Council of the AOG, and notified them that I had declared the work here in Cambridge an independent Pentecostal work.
Under the by-laws of the AOG, I could have been listed as dismissed and not as resigned because, in their thinking, I withdrew the church I pastored from the AOG. Personally I would say the AOG withdrew from being AOG as of the 49th General Council and left a few of us without a home fellowship.
It was the kind decision of the District and General Council to consider me as resigned. The District recognized my move to withdraw the church.
As a result, we have had the need to declare our Fundamental Truths SOFT. So I have drafted a document similar to the AOG, and of course added a Biblical stance on marriage and the office of pastor and deacon.
In the coming months, I hope to accomplish the following:
- Have the congregation review the SOFT.
- Draft standard operating procedures, which will be called the Directives Of Standard Operation (DOSO). This is, in part, a response to the needs of our insurance company on certain matters. The DOSO will eventually help to guide special decisions that may need to be made.
- The drafting of a Constitution and By-Laws, with the congregation reviewing.
- Updating this website after these changes - The establishment of a membership and creation of basic church government.
My comments here are in no way a tirade against the Assemblies of God or any other group, but simply warnings I feel by the Holy Spirit to give.
We are certainly living in the end times! Since I became a born again Christian in 1970, I have seen too many subtle changes not only within the Assemblies of God, but in many other Pentecostal groups and conservative fellowships. These subtle changes mirror the proverbial story of the Frog In The Kettle and can be likened to ingesting very small does of poison at a time.
What I once thought was something to avoid, namely, being an independent minister and Christian, is now what I am - at least at the time I am writing this.
You may ask ,what changes have I seen? Here are a few:
In the early 1970's, born again Christians were supposed to witness to Roman Catholics. However, that changed as many were convinced that they too, Roman Catholics, are born again. In some cases, many Pentecostal Christians assumed if people spoke in tongues they had to be saved. The situation became even worse in the 1980's because of the "electronic church" - increased conservative church use of radio and television. At least two Assembly of God ministers, and I am sure there were more, spoke of Roman Catholics as our true brothers and sisters in Christ. I dare say that if most Protestants would have kept witnessing to our Roman Catholic friends that perhaps there would have been a true revival amongst those earnest folk and the RCC would not have had to go through that embarrassing period in the late 1990's and early 2000's when revelations of homosexuality within their ranks came to light. Satan, of course, was behind all of this and made inroads to that great evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who had lovingly reached out to Roman Catholics by firmly preaching the truth.
We can add briefly here steps by many groups towards ecumenicism.
Pressure to have pastors declare themselves employees of a church and not as self-employed is a bit of the poison I mentioned above.
The encouragement to have churches adopt charters and become legal non-profit entities is another.
Some may question why I feel this way about these things, and, as time permits, I will let you know either at this site or some other site.
I honestly felt that I had to resign my ordination credentials with the AOG and declare the work in Cambridge an independent Pentecostal work. I did so for many more reasons than I have listed here. There were times after the 49th General Council that I felt God strongly say resign, so I did.
Now, as time permits, I will add more below or at some other site.
Commentaries:I Dare You! - A challenge to some Assembly of God brothers and sisters to actually do something to help the AOG return to Biblical standards regarding marriage and the office of pastor.
Sapphire Streams, Pastor's Newest Web Site
Pastor's Oldest Website