An open letter to a Pastor gone astray
An open letter to a Pastor found in deep error and leading his flock astray:
From my brother in Christ, Tom Gaston
I am writing to let you know that my wife Jerry and will no longer be attending First Baptist Church and that we would like to cancel our membership there and have it removed from the list. Also please remove us from the Church directory and email listings of Church members. I have discovered some information which has me concerned and questioning some of your teaching which you are doing "outside" of First Baptist Church in other ministries. This is a lengthy email and I will be very direct and firm in what I share, but it is not meant to be mean-spirited, judgmental, nor disrespectful, and I hope that you will not take it that way.
Now you are probably wondering "why" this is happening to some degree, though I really think that you are probably not all that surprised ( for reasons that I will be sharing as I have a number of very important things to share "doctrinally" which are disturbing to me ), but rather you will be more curious about the "details" as to why we are leaving. And I hope you will continue to read this whole email to its "end " despite it being so lengthy. This way you will know my feelings, my concerns, and the reasons why we have made this decision to leave First Baptist. One cannot explain such important matters using just a few words or sentences.
I have been troubled in my spirit for sometime now, and especially more so within the last two months, but really ever since the first day that we joined the church when you stood up in front of your congregation and said basically ( paraphrasing ) "Scripture teaches that we have to be careful about wolves who come into the Church with sheeps clothing.....etc...etc." Those are not your exact words, but they are very close, and they will do. That was the theme and context of what you stated.
Now I find this statement very offensive and inappropriate, especially to new members who just joined the Church. If you remember I called you on the phone and talked to you about this statement you made, at which time you told me that "you always say this from time to time when people join the Church." Well, here is something which needs to be brought to your attention. I have been keeping track of all those who have joined the Church since the very day we joined, and I must say that "not one time" did I ever hear you say or use such phrasing while accepting other new members into the Church. This incident was the "first red flag" which has started the momentum that has led me to become very suspicious in thinking that perhaps you really didn't want us to join the Church ( especially me in particular. My wife Jerry is no threat to you ).
The lesser concerns which I will be sharing here from my heart need to be mentioned, but really they are not the major issues which have led us to make this decision to leave the Church. The more important reason has to do with "doctrinal issues." So what I am doing here is "venting" myself of what has been bugging me for a number of months, but of which has brought us to finally making this decision at this time due to new information that I have uncovered concerning your doctrinal teaching. I will be getting to this important subject in just a little bit.
You know that I am not stupid. And you know that I know the Bible well enough in order to initiate spiritual discernment of "truth and error" by rightly dividing the word of God and defending it ( 2 Tim. 2:15 ). You have heard me comment enough times on Scripture passages in order to know that this is true. But the "signals" that I have been getting from you seems to suggest to me that perhaps you have just been "putting up with me" ( or us ) and therefore you are just waiting for Jerry and I to make the decision to leave the Church at some point. I get this feeling that you would rather have us move on ( especially me, for different reasons ) because we are not the kind people who can be "manipulated" nor easily swayed like many others who perhaps are more submissive and easier to control. Plus I think that perhaps my doctrinal stance concerns you and makes you feel very uncomfortable. This is the impression and the signals which I feel have been emanating from you towards me.
I have been keeping a "tally" in my brain and paying close attention to your body language, the things you say and how you say them, and also noticing the lack on your part in wanting to really get to know Jerry and I by keeping "your distance" from us ( and especially me ). I have felt some rejection from a few other members ( the "inner core" people ), you know, the ones who are the "controllers" of the Church. Yes, there is an "inner core" and "clique" within First Baptist Church and I know who they are as they are easy to pick out. I don't need to identify them here because I believe that you already know who they are. But I can tell you that if Jerry and I suddenly wanted to be at the Church everytime the doors are opened, be involved in every program and entertainment event that goes on at the church, and follow the "script" of Church activity to the letter, then of course we would be accepted into the "core group" of the Church. But we really don't care to have any part of that kind behavioral practice!
A few weeks ago you did something else ( once again ) in front of the Church congregation up front which was another "red flag" ( it would seem to me ) which I found offensive as it sent a signal that perhaps you were conveying how you really felt about me personally. At the end of the service you were telling the congregation that you were going to have a few people get up in front of the Church and share their testimonies of how God has been opening doors for us to witness Christ to others. You said that you wanted "Alisha" ( as one ), and then you said that you wanted me to share.
Here is your Quote:..."And Tom because I know he likes to talk."
Now why would you speak of me in front of your congregation that way? That was inappropriate and disrespectful! You didn't say that about "Alisha", did you! Of course not! And yet I know how much she likes to talk." Why didn't you say...."And Tom and Jerry have some exciting things to share in what God has been doing through them." This made me think of the Scripture passage in the gospel of Luke 6:45. I think you should read it. And the first impression I got when I heard you speak those words was that perhaps this was another one of your "tactics" that you are using with me in order to run me off, as you know that I am smart enough to pick up on these kind of cynical gestures. And when I have had enough of these insinuations, well then, you knew that I would probably leave the church, getting me out of the way.
Most generally when new people become members of a church the pastor will make an effort to want to get to know the new members ( that's been my experience in past years with other pastors in other Churches ). And usually a pastor will personally invite these new members over to his house ( at least once anyway ) for dinner, lunch, or some other activity "outside" of a congregational gathering ( one on one ) in order to get to know them a little better. Well, we joined the First Baptist Church and we haven't seen "hind nor tail" of our pastor and his wife ( other than at the Church ), and we have not seen any attempts being made on their part to want to really get to know us in any serious way whatsoever. None! I wonder why?
Let me give you an example here. For instance, I have tried to befriend Brian ( piano player ) in past months by being polite and encouraging to him as I have told him a number of times how I have enjoyed his music on Sunday mornings, and how he is very talented. But he doesn't show too much response. Funny thing here, he has never once came up to me and said...."Tom, I really enjoy your specials on your guitar, and I would really like to work with you and do some specials together. Maybe we could sit down and work on some music, Your music is worshipful and encouraging. You know Tom, you are very talented too, and you play the guitar really well." No, not one peep from Brian, nor any moves to want to work with me. So basically I have just given up on him as far as that goes as he has shown that he is not interested in working with me at all. Just ignore Tom, and he will go away!
I was hoping that when Jerry and I came to this Church that we would find a real church home to settle down in, but it turns out that this is not the case. No one in the choir has ever approached me and asked me if they could do a special with me while I play guitar, except for Candy maybe, but no one else. I never felt so much rejection from a church music director in all my life as a Christian.
Now If you remember I shared one Sunday evening during bible study the following. It was right after we had joined the Church. I said....."don't push me." Do you remember that? Of course you do! Do you know why I said that? It was because that very Sunday when we joined the Church "Alisha" came running right up to Jerry immediately after the service and she said...."Oh you can now help us with vacation bible school." Are you kidding me! That was very rude! Here we just joined the Church and no one really knows us nor our gifts and abilities and yet "Alisha" comes running up to Jerry and tries to "push" a church position down her throat. Then at bible class that night pastor you approached Jerry, and once again the subject of vacation bible school came up. Jerry was very uncomfortable about the whole thing. That's why I said what I did. I didn't say it because I didn't want to be active in the Church, but rather I didn't want pushy people pushing me or Jerry into postions that perhaps we had no business being in, nor did we feel called to be in that particular position, especially since we just joined the Church. Well, from that time on the Church knew where we stood, and they knew that Tom and Jerry were not "manageable" enough to control. So this "rejection" which we have been feeling, I believe, started showing iself very early from the very beginning.
I know now that we became members "too early" and that we should have waited a little longer before we joined the Church. We probably would have already been gone by now which would have spared me from having to write this email. But I must say it has been a good learning experience for both of us. I have gifts and talents that I know some Churches would deeply appreciate and that they would love to have Jerry and I serve with them. I can only hope that this will be the case before Jesus comes. And if not, well then that's more than ok with me as I am not too worried about it because I would rather be in heaven then down here dealing with all this "aggravation" which takes place within churches in these evil and deceptive days in which we live.
Now I want to share my doctrinal concerns here which I feel are more important. I have been doing some research on you and Bernie Lutchman who has a great number of videos out on Youtube. I got on his website http://businessmeninchrist.com/ and checked out some of the material that he is posting and promoting ( articles etc..etc. ). I have spent some time reading and watching his videos and paying close attention to his teaching. I am not impressed with this mans teaching, none whatsoever, as he has some serious problems with his doctrine which appears imbalanced and distorted in areas. And what concerns me about Bernie is the fact that you are working together with him at BMIC ( Business Men In Christ ).
Bernie is a "post-tribulationalist." He doesn't know how to separate Israel's program from God's program for the Church. And you already know that amillennialists and postmillennialists use the "allegory method" for interpreting the Scriptures ( thanks to the early Church father Origen ). This is why so many today cannot rightly divide the word of God. Bernie believes that the Rapture is unbiblical, and that the Church must go through the tribulation period. The following article at his link below which he posted shows no scholarly discernment in rightly dividing the word of God whatsoever. He is just repeating what he learned from someone else who doesn't know anymore than he does. Bernie doesn't know how to properly exegesis the Scriptures. His article on the Rapture is really a theological nightmare http://bernielutchman.blogspot.com/2011/09/think-on-these-things-sunday-message_11.html
I also noticed that Bernie is promoting your early morning bible study material called "Walking in the Desert with God" by Ray Vander Laan. This man Ray vander Laan is a member of the Christian reformed Church / http://www.rvl-on.com/about/. He also has some distortions in his teaching. Rob Bell, who is one of the major "emerging Church leaders" in America has already stated that..........quote: "Ray Vander Laan was his rabbi." He leans heavily towards Judaism. For example look what Ray Vander Laan's influences has done to this persons church.....http://apprising.org/2008/04/11/rob-bell-and-his-echoes-of-ray-vanderlaan/
My question to you is.."What is attacting you to Bernie Lutchman and his ministry?" Bernie is "dominionist/ kingdom now" kind of guy in his thinking and theology and he believes that we can bring revival to America and save it like many others who are not living in reality. Dominionism is the "poison" which is overtaking our churches. You also appear to be in agreement with Bernie as you are working together with him closely. So what other reason is there which one could conclude with, but that you are both in agreement and working on the "same page." Therefore you are both trying to start a "movement" which will achieve your agenda and your belief!
After watching your video called "Steeled in Christ", then I can understand why you just recently ran the two hour film at the Church called "One Generation Away." I didn't come to view this film because I already knew who was behind it and whose strong influences were promoting it. The dominionists driven people are the ones who are behind this "government religious right wing fundamentalist movement" in America. They are not looking for the Rapture, but they are on a mission of saving America and conquering the world in the name of Christ, as they believe that they have been given apostolic authority and power in order to bring about the establishment God's kindgom within the earth. They believe that it is their calling and mission. And one of the major Scripture texts these dominionists use, abuse, distort, claim, and take out of context and try and apply to the Church today is 2 Chronicles 7:14. I am not even going to quote nor comment on this Scripture text here pastor because personally I am sick and tired of hearing it being butchered and taken out of context by those who are totally ignorant on how to properly "exegesis" the Scriptures, and they do so to their own shame!
How sad! Such a waste of time, money, and energy. I have important news for those "misled Christians" who are ignornant of God's word, and who are caught up in this movement which also includes the religious right wing non-christian church going people of America who are putting all of their time, money, and energy into such "political movements." And the message that I have for these delusioned people according to what God's word is!....YOU ARE ALL GOING TO FAIL! But somehow these biblically ignorant and uniformed religious peoples think that they are going to be the "savior" of this country somehow turn the tide, beat the odds, and once regain restore America as they believe that God wants them to do so. The majority of them are of the "amillennialists" and "posttribulationists" group.
The Dominionists have a great influence in this film called "One Generation Away!" The content and theme of this film is just another political documentary which is full of " futile and wishful thinking" that will never become a reality. Not according to "my word or opinion", but according to God's prophetic word which has already revealed where this is all going. I am not against voting, nor praying for our governmental leaders, or letting our voice be heard.....etc...etc. But these movements are motivated by those who are not looking for the soon return of Christ for His Church. It is all another tactic from the devil in order to rob the believer of their blessed hope and draw their attention in another direction.
Pastor, you need to check out Peter Wagnor and his states in the link below.
Dominionist Peter Wagnor is one of the top "movers and shakers" and strong influences who is leading the way in this country for control and domination of every institution in America. This 11 minute video of him is quite alarming! But it's one of the best informing short 11 miniute videos that I ever seen which gives you the "straight up" and "in your face" truth of what is really going on in this country with the "restoration thinking crowd"
Pastor, from what I have discovered then it would seem that you are looking for another "great awakening" like the "first great awakening" which was the beginning of the chaotic and demonic "Charismatic movement" in America which has polluted the minds ( doctrinally ) of so many pastors, bible teachers, and the laity within the body of Christ. I came across a Youtube video of you preaching at one Bernie's BMIC winter retreat in late January of 2014. This video was a real "eye opener ", and it was really the final nail in the coffin which brought me to the decision to leave First Baptist Church.
You might want to check out the following links below about the "charismatic great awakening" that took place in 1906. And in your presentation video from BMIC called "Steeled in Christ" you expressed that you want to see another one of these kind of charismatic "great awakenings" to take place in America once again. We certainly do not need another Azusa Street experience in this country because we presently are already over saturated with these kind of demonic influences and activities which are taking place in our churches throughout America.
( Your words pastor from "Steeled in Christ" ).....Quote:..."You may see a little movement ( of God ) where your're at, but "we want to see" something like the "first great awakening", do you know what I mean, the "second great awakening".......( end quote )
This is very troubling to me pastor that you would want another one of these "Azusa Street" type of movements in America....T.G. )
Azusa Street Revival of 1906
2014 BMIC WINTER RETREAT LEADOFF SESSION - MICHAEL HENDERSON "STEELED IN CHRIST"
After viewing your 36:25 length presentation on this Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-mfIJ31Wmw, then I knew what I was dealing with concerning what you really believed doctrinally as it was made very clear in your presentation. And I believe that this explains why you have been "keeping your distance" from me and not getting too close as a partner in "the faith." You and I are not on the "same page", and you know it. Also I thought that the title of your video should have really been named "Will the real Mike Hinderson please stand up." Why this title? Because after viewing this video it became very clear to me that the Mike Hinderson in this video is radically and totally different from the Mike Hinderson whom I have witnessed preaching in front of his congregation at First Baptist Church on Sunday mornings in Springfield, Illinois, and also at Sunday evening Bible study!
Therefore from what I have observed in this BMIC video there seems to be "two sides" to Mike Hinderson. This is why I think that this video should have been titled differently. And I must say that you have clearly indentified yourself to me in this video called "Steeled in Christ." This all seems "very sneaky" to me pastor Mike. And that in itself I have to say is surely not God honoring! Does all of your members at First Baptist Church know what you are doing, and what you are up too? Does the Baptist association itself know that you are leading encouraging your congregation to accept, practice, and embrace the teachings and the protocol of the charismatic movement ? All of this is very troubling! You are using "emerging Church" methods and promoting and encouraging "Charismatic teaching and experience in your protocol for your "church building" program. And what you have presented in this BMIC meeting it would also appear that you want to spread your method to other Churches and get them involved. I do not believe that God is in any of this!
No problem with the following:
( 1.) Yes, you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in that we are saved by grace through faith, and that you want people to hear the word of God and be saved ( that's not the issue, and not a problem as it is biblical )
( 2.) Yes, you preach that we should share Christ with the world and evangelize ( that's not the issue, and not a problem as it is biblical ).
( 3. ) Yes, you preach that we should live holy for Christ and walk in the Spirit as believers and be obedient to Him, standing up and defending the truth of God's word. ( that's not the issue, and not a problem as it is biblical ).
What I am really concerned about are the influences which are shaping your theology, your bible interpretation methods, your thinking, your methodology, and your protocol methods. I believe that there are some "flaws" in the areas of your theology and in your understanding and perception of how you think God should be working in the age of grace in comparison to the way He worked in the past under the law in the Old Testament / gospels / book of Acts.
It appears to me that you are wanting to have a "Nineveh experience" in our day, but on a much larger scale in which people in cities and towns everywhere will suddenly have the "power of God " fall on them supernaturally by way of an "outward" manifestation just like in the Old Testament / gospels / and the book of Acts. You are wanting a "supernatural outward sign from God." However God is not working today within the age of grace the same way that He worked in the Old Testament / gospels when He was dealing only with His people Israel under law. I don't believe brother that this "great awakening" which you and many others are looking for, and of which you are all trying to bring about through different methods will ever happen this side of the Rapture, and not until the tribulation period ( Rev. 7:9 ). That's the period of time in which God will be bringing millions and multitudes of people to faith in Christ.
The New Testament epistles never mention anything ( not one word ) about a "great awakening" taking place right before the Rapture of the Church. The apostle Paul never mentioned it in 1 Cor. 15:50- 58, 1rst and 2nd Thessalonians, nor anywhere else in his other epistles. Don't you think these passages of Scripture and others which speak about the coming of Christ for His Church would be the proper and ideal place for God to inspire the apostle Paul to write and record such a profound doctrinal teaching concerning a great awakening taking place right before the Rapture of the Church! Therefore if Paul would have recorded such an event in these important passages of Scripture which I have listed above, and of which speak about the coming of Christ for His Church, then the Church presently today would already be Scripturally informed ahead of time and would know what to look for, what to expect, and thus be ready and prepared for such a great move of God! And He would certainly want His people informed, prepared, and ready for such an hour when that time came. But the apostle Paul didn't insert any such teaching! Nope! Not one word about a "great awakening" taking place prior to the Rapture of the Church! Go read the epistles more carefully!
Paul's epistles reveal in great detail what society will be like in the last days leading up to the coming of Christ for His Church. And a supernatural massive revival or great awakening with people falling down everywhere and weeping and bawling over their sin is not one of the "details" recorded in Paul's epistles to the Church, brother! Rather the epistles to Church reveal and teach us how society will get worse and worse and how it will become more evil and more rebellious as the world will become apostate and will turn away from "the truth" and "sound doctrine" as we draw closer to the end of the Church age. People will want to have their "ears tickled" ( 2 Tim. 4:3 ). I don't have to list all the Scriptures here on this subject because you should already be familiar with all of them as a pastor.
In your passionate presentation "Steeled in Christ" Youtube video you clearly demonstrated that you have this unquenchable "passion, need, and fixation" with the "supernatural power of God" and the manifestation of it which took place in the Gospels under the "law" when God was dealing with national Israel, and also in the book of Acts when the Church had its inception ( Acts 2 ). Certain events and administrative powers which were demonstrated by the apostles in the book of Acts cannot be duplicated and initated in our day for it was an "apostolic time" which is past. God at that time was authenticating and building the early Church through apostolic authority which Christ personally endowed them with. Many "signs and wonders" were taking place by the hands of the apostles while the Church was still in its "infancy" in the book of Acts ( Acts 2:43; 4:33; 5:12 ). That was the time when God was "breaking down the barriers" between Jews and Gentiles and making them both into one new man in Christ ( Eph. 2:11 - 16; Col. 3:10,11 ), bringing them into a new administration which we call the "Church" ( The mystery revealed ) which had its inception on the day of Pentecost. This new administration from God was hidden from the Old Testament prophets ( Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:9, 5:32 ).
Let me remind you here that the "four gospels" are the "life and ministry of Christ to Israel under the law" ( Matt. 5:17; Matt.10:5 - 8, 15:24; Gal. 4:4,5 ). Even though the gospels are listed as the New Testament, yet technically the New Testament did not begin with Matthew, but with the book of Acts ( birth of the Church ).
Pastor Mike, the apostolic age has passed and it cannot be repeated nor duplicated today. Your "spiritual formula" of daily fasting, and all of your faithfulness to God will not bring the apostolic age back in our day. And so I believe that you and many others are "chasing yours tails " thinking that these miraculous gifts which Jesus delegated to His Apostles are still available to the Church today. They ceased when the apostles all died. You apparently seem to be fixated and infactuated with the outward manifestation of "signs and wonders" which took place through the hands of the apostles. You made this very clear in your video "Steeled in Christ."
Jesus spoke something very important to the pharisees and the religious community of His day who were seeking a "sign."
Matthew 12:39....But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet ( A reference that He would be in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights which followed with His resurrection" ).
Pastor, the only analogy which I can come up with in my mind in order to describe your belief system is that it is like a "theological cocktail of mixed doctrine" it would seem. This is not meant to be cynical or rude, but only to make an important point here. You are made up of Bible truth mixed with some "Dominionism - Word Faith, and Charismatic experience, and whatever else might be throwed into the mix of your thinking process. From what I have observed it would appear to me that these are some of the influences which seems to be motivating you to want to start a "movement" which would hopefully achieve a "second great awakening" in America.
I must say that I was already suspicious of you before I watched that video. But now it is absolutely clear to me that what you really believe "underneath" that cloak ( which you are hiding behind ) will only come to the surface depending upon whether or not the crowd of people whom you are addressing are more conservative doctrinally, or that your audience is more predominately charismatic in practice, doctrine, and expression. And these people who were present at this BMIC meeting that you were speaking to were "your kind of people", and you knew it, and therefore you let it "all hang out " for them to see who you really are, as you felt you had "freedom" to do so in their presence due to commonality with their personal platform of teaching. I am one of the Lord's sheep whose "ears and eyes are wide open." And the "wool " is not hanging down over my brow.
During your video I was watching your body language, your expressions, and I listened very carefully to what you were trying to convey and teach your audience. You were teaching them that "daily fasting" combined with prayer is the formula which will empower us as Christians to be able to "walk by the Spirit" victoriously. And if we incorporate your "spiritual perscription", then this will bring about an outward manifestation of God's "supernatural power" in the life of the one who is practicing it. You are using a few gospel passages of Scripture ( ones which deal with the casting out demons by fasting and prayer ) out of context in order to try and support method.
I was not supportive of the two hour film "One Generation Away" shown at the Church because I can see what you are doing, and that is you are systematically conditioning the people at First Baptist "very gently and slowly", gaining their trust, and pulling them along with you in the direction "you want to go", gaining a supportive majority core group of cooperating people within the Church to help carry out your quest using your protocol. This way there will be no opposition nor any problem since you have gained their trust. And so they "will not question you" nor your methods.
No, I am not questioning your "sincerity" pastor, for it is obvious that you were very sincere in what you were presenting to your audience at the BMIC winter retreat of 2014. And it has already been demonstrated and recorded many times down through history that many false teachers of "movements" and leaders of "religious cults" feel the same passion about their message and their "belief system" which they practice, and of which they want others to accept and get onboard with them. No, I am not saying that you are trying to start a cult here ( though this is how they do get started many times ), but rather what I am questioning here is your "method" or "system" which you are promoting which is not taught in the New Testament epistles to the Church. Fasting is an individual choice, and it is not a commandment given in Scripture for the Church to practice daily, though it appears to be "your commandment.
Pastor Mike, my comments, my examination, and the conclusion which I am drawing out of all of this is not being determined based on the faulty grounds of what I call the "arena of personal opinions", as personal opinions vary from one person to the next. but rather all I am doing is simply examining what you are teaching, and weighing it against what Scriputure states and teaches.
Here are your own quotes below from "Steeled in Christ" presentation below.
What we need to do is we need to realize that what John was talking about with this "fast", right, and these different things of prayer and fasting, getting into small groups in your church, getting your pastor involved if you can. Get on that email list so we can "start something" ( Yes, another great awakening is what you really mean pastor...T.G.) We want to "start a movement", and we also want to get to the point where we can get enough people together that we can go out in "two's", all right, sometime this year, God willing, and stand on various street corners in the city that we'll plot, right, so we can actually pray at the "same time", similtaneously, holding hands in the name of Jesus, lifting our hands in the name of Jesus for the city of Springfield and praying for the power of God to fall on this city......( looking for an Old Testament, gospel account, and book of Acts event......T.G.)
Pastor, the apostle Paul never used such a method as you are presenting, nor did he ever promote or teach such a practice in his epistles concerning "daily fasting." The apostle Paul never started any such kind of "movement" like you and Bernie are wanting to start. But it is the dream of Mike Hinderson and Bernie Lutchman and others like them who have serious doctrinal issues to consider.
The Church had its beginning under God's appointed apostolic administration whose special administrative "gifts" and power ( for the building up of the Church while it was in its infancy ) are no longer operating, nor are they needed within the Church today. Jews and Gentiles have now been made "one in Christ" ( which took place in Acts chapter 10 ). This was authenticated and confirmed through the hands of the apostles ( who were the foundation of the Church Eph. 2:20 - Christ Himself being the Cornerstone ) throughout the book of Acts in which "signs and wonders" were following them as God was outwardly confirming and physically manifesting to the apostles and to all everywhere that He was establishing His new administration which He was carrying out through His apostolic administrators, the apostles.
( Your words here pastor )...........There cannot be revival in this city ( Springfield ) without God's power.............. We can try to do it all, you know, do all we want, we can try, you know, every little event, you know, every excercise that we can come up with to try to do it, but if God is not in it, it's not going to happen........
No! What you really mean in this statement pastor is that God will not be in it unless Christians start following your formula of fasting and praying ( simultaneously ).....T.G.
( Your words here pastor )......You may see a little movement ( of God ) where your're at, but "we want to see" something like the "first great awakening", do you know what I mean, the "second great awakening".......
Yes, I do know what you mean pastor! What you are really expressing here is that what God is already doing in different areas to bring people to Christ is not enough for you, is not dramatic enough for you, is not effective enough for you, and certainly not satisfying enough for you. And of course you believe that if we all just get together ( christians in ever church in the city of Springfield ) and use your "spiritual receipt " which you believe will bring about this "second great awakening" in our city and America, then of course it will happen! But as you have already stated in your presentation......" it is up to us."
You stated in your quote above....."but we want to see"...etc..etc. Yes, that's exactly right! It is all about "human experience and drama", isn't! This is typical of people within the charismatic movement today who have a "fixation" with the miraculous and the supernatural. And of course the "devil " will be more than glad to accomodate them with an "experience" which God had nothing to do with, but of which they will claim that He did ( Matt. 7:21 - 23...Jesus said...."I never knew you" ).
Experience will "never be enough" for the one who wants to live by it. Just seeing someone come to Christ is not enough for these kind of "professing" christians. They have to see with their own eyes the "supernatural power of God " being demonstrated outwardly. This fixation by way of example is like an alcoholic or drug addict who can never get enough. They will continue to chase that which they are addicted to until it kills them. And likewise in the same manner those who are caught up in the charismatic movement today have an unquenchable fixation with experience, drama, and more experience, endless experience, which is never enough! For these kind of emotional driven people there will always have to be more, and more, and more, until they reel like a drunkard who is out of his mind. Then one day they will "crash and burn" ( spiritually speaking ) because God didn't come through for them like they thought He should have, even after they had done everything they were told and instructed to do by their own deceived pastor's and leaders within their church who are encouraging the charismatic approach to spiritual success.
Pastor, what you are expressing here in all reality is that you want "more" than what you already see God doing. And this is because you somewhat a distorted view of the "sovereignty of God" in how He reigns over the affairs of men and his whole cosmos. You feel totally responsible for the salvation of every person in this world whom you meet. This is why you are driven endlessly, and this is why you are physically, spiritually, and mentally exhausted, as you try to do this "balancing act " between reality and non-reality as there is not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that you feel responsible for in the area of your service to Christ. It's....This meeting, that speaking engagement, go here, be there, this convention, that program...etc..etc. You feel that if you don't share Christ with every person that you come into contact with, and they die without Christ, well then you feel personally responsible and believe that you will be held accountable for them going to hell! And if you don't believe what I am saying here, then take a look at your own quote below from your own book called..."The Sifted Generation."
( Your quote here pastor )....."The salvation of souls everywhere depends on our faithful service to God."
Whoa! What an unscriptural statement! This quote may sound good to some, but is it really Scriptural and accurate in light of the full and total sovereignty of God which is taught in Scripture? NO! It is obvious that you do not believe in the "full sovereignty of God" over the affairs of men and his whole creation, and this is your whole problem pastor! And what you are presenting here is the distorted idea that God's "sovereignty" is "conditional " based upon "human response." This is absurd and totally false! If God's "sovereignty" is "conditional ", then God is no longer sovereign and supreme . Such a teaching puts God on the level of "man." And when that happens, then "man's will " is now determining the course of "God's divine will " which does not allow God to make any choices of His own, forfeiting His own sovereign will as the divine creator, and allowing man who is a fallen creature ( Rom. 3:23 ) to call the shots. Therefore God is no longer omnipotent and supreme above all, and therefore He is no long God. Who in the world is "man" that He should have the right to tell God what He should do, how He should do it, and how He should not do it! How arrogant and foolish of anyone to do so!
Job 39:4....."Where were you ( o man ) when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who sets measurements........etc.
What a distrubing quote pastor! And to think that you are promoting such teaching in one of your published books. This is such a distorted view of God, and such a teaching ( which is not true ) would place a tremendous heavy burden of responsibility put upon the backs of christian to have to try and carry out such an impossible task. And this is your theological stance concerning the salvation of souls of men that is based upon the "free will of man", which sets aside God's sovereign will, and prevents Him from making His own choices. Such a belief system could eventually drive you to a nervous breakdown mentally if you keep pushing and driving youself endlessly day and night by continuing to do more and above than what God requires of you. Your distorted theology and thought process is a "ticking time bomb" which could eventually destroy your life, and the life of your family if you continue to fill your life with more and more church programs and activities which will never be enough to satisfy you. This quote is really all about you as an individual "The salvation of souls everywhere depends upon Mike Hinderson's faithful service to God" which will NEVER seem to be enough for him because his performance or the lack of it ( in his eyes ) dictates the will of God.
A Christian's faithfulness, or the lack of it does NOT determine the destiny of the souls of anyone, nor does it determine the course of human history whom God the Father has already preordained according to "His sovereign will " in eternity past. Our performance and our decisions which we make here as believers will certainly have consequences in respect to "rewards" given, or the "lack of them" given at the Bema Seat of Christ. But our decisions do NOT change the course of God's program, nor do they overide His sovereign will which has already been set and determined by Him alone before His creation. Therefore christians do not determine the destiny of peoples "souls" by their faithfulness or the lack there of. The following Scripture passages makes this very clear.
Jesus himself stated the following in John 6:37 - 39
" All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
John 6:44...."No one can come to Me unless the Father ( not the Christian ) who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:.."For this reason I have said to you , that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
Pastor, If a Christian fails to be obedient to what God is calling them to do, such as witnessing to someone whom the Father is calling and drawing unto Himself, then God the Father will get another faithful believer in order to do what one christian had failed to do because of their lack of obedience because Jesus will not lose one whom His Father is drawing and calling unto Himself. Your "free will of man" theology is what is driving you and pushing you to feel responsible for every person around you.
In our bible study on Sunday evenings at Church you would share often share the meaning of words in the Greek. So as a faithful steward of God's word in desiring to rightly dividing it, then I thought you wouldn't mind if I gave you a "Greek word assignment" in order to look up some Greek terms which are used in some very important passages of Scripture which reveal that we are the "elect of God" according to the "calling" and "foreknowledge" of God the Father. And so I am sure then that as a pastor you would encourage any student of the bible to follow the Greek translation of biblical terms, wouldn't you!
Here are the Scripture passages.
( Acts 2:23; Rom. 1:6,7, 8:29 - 30; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:24; 1Thess. 1:4; 1Peter 1:2, 18, 20; Rev. 13:8, 17:8 )
And here below are the Greek terms used in these important passages of Scripture.
Predestinate ( Strong's # 4309 ).....Foreknew ( Stong's # 4267 ).....Foreknowledge ( Strong's # 4268 )....Elect ( Strong's # 1588
Called ( Strong's # 2822 ).....Foreordained ( Strong's # 4267 ).....Chosen ( Strong's # 1586 ).....Election ( Strong's # 1589 )
( Back to the theme of a "second great awakening" )
So pastor, you want a "second great awakening" like the first one that took place in America! Well, the first one which you are making reference to is the one which is known as the Azusa Street Revival which was a historic Pentecostal revival meeting which took place in Los Angeles, California, and it is the origin of the Pentecostal movement in America. It was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher. It began with a meeting on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly to 1915. This demonic revival is one of the reasons why we are in this "spiritual demonic doctrinal cesspool " that we are in right now! Nothing but confusion and distortions of Scripture has come out of the Charismatic movement which has no trustworthy nor any honest bible teachers whatsoever in their midst who seem to have trouble rightly divide the word of God correctly. The charismatic movement and its leaders have failed in their exegesis of the Scriptures, as they lean heavily on "their experiences" ( which they claim are from God ) and of which many times contradict the Scriptures over and over again. If this is the kind of "second great awakening" you are talking about, then I don't want anything to do with it whatsoever!
( Your words pastor )..."We" want to see the power of God fall and people just weeping, everyone saying..."What am I doing, and what have I done." Only God's Spirit can convict the heart of sin, that's all. And there are some hard hearts out there, but He can break them...............Any how, that's what this is all about. The prayer and the fasting ( combined daily ) is what is important, it is, and if you've never engaged in that before as far as fasting is concerned you can start, now is a good time to start, ok..........................
(your words here pastor )........"I was talking to somebody the other day, "forgive me for not mentioning your name". I was talking to somebody that actually gets up in the morning and they do their bible reading, they do their prayer, and they do everything before they have coffee, before they do anything, and that's a small short time when they are denying themselves, time that they use to have all the time while they are praying and while they are reading the Scriptures. When they are finished, then they go ahead and have it ( coffee ), but they set that time aside so they can clear their minds and clear, you know, their thoughts, and clear their minds, and clear their, you know, their thoughts and heart so they can focus..........
Pastor Mike, with all honesty and sincerity brother, the truth is that this was your Protocol of morning activity in spiritual preparation for the day which you were sharing with your audience and not someone elses morning routine. How do I know this? I know this because you shared that very same exact routine with us at bible study one Sunday evening back in late January of 2014 around the time that this BMIC meeting took place. And of course your audience at the BMIC meetings you were speaking at was not at that particular bible study that Sunday evening at the Church when you shared with us the "same routine" which you practice every morning before you have coffee. And since your audience didn't have any knowledge of your disclosure to your bible study class, then you could get away with presenting this morning routine as someone elses so as not to reveal that it was indeed yours. Of course I know that you would never admit to this, and I can certainly understand why, but you and I know that this is true!
( Your words here pastor ).........there is a "system" that God put in the scriptures.......
Pastor, and this "system" which you are speaking of is called "fasting daily" ( every single day ) combined with prayer which is never taught in Scripture. Look at your own quote below.
( Your words here pastor )...Quote:.......This fasting has to be a daily thing......( end quote ).
( Your words here pastor ).......in order for us to experience the power of God, and it has to do with daily fellowship with Him...........( which is attained according to you by "daily fasting"....T.G. )..................I am not up here just preaching to be preaching, I want to see the power of God work in your life, I want to hear testimonies, I want to hear miracles, I want to see you see God, I want to see the power of God fall on the city Springfield, ON EVERY CHURCH where the men stand up and say were going to trust God, WE are going to rise up, as the song said, and WE are going to stand.....................( Example given in Luke 9:1- 6 / the demoniac )..........
I want, I want, I want.....a fixation on experience. This obsession with experience is rampant within the charismatic movement today and has spread into the evangelical churches everywhere. The apostolic gifts ( signs and wonders / Acts ) which the apostles possessed are no longer in effect nor in operation today as that time has passed. And in order to be a first century apostle one had to be an "eye witness" of the "risen Christ" ( 1 Cor. 9:1,2 ). This obviously disqualifies anyone today of being a New Testament apostle, and therefore those "signs and wonders" which were performed by God through the hands of the apostles has ceased.
Jesus personally gave to His disiciples the authority to do those miracles which are recorded in the gospels during His ministry in order to authenticate that He was indeed their promised messiah who had finally come to His chosen people Israel in order to save them ( John 1:11). The charismatic movement and those involved in it today are trying to "duplicate" these miracles, but not by God's authority and power. A lot of "demonic mimicing" and trickery is going on in the Charismatic movement today through the "power of suggestion, hypnosis, and demonic activity and influence which many are falling for because they have no spiritual descernment whatsoever!
The Gentiles were officially brought into the Church in the book of Acts chapter 10 ( Peter at the house of Cornelius ). The apostles were empowered with these gifts in order to carry out the task which Jesus had commissioned them to fulfill. The Church was a "new administration" which had to be established from its very beginning. This is why "signs and wonders" were taking place by the hands of the apostles as God was confirming and establishing this new administration which was now in operation. But today however we now have the written word of God in our possession, and it is called the bible. But the first century Church did not have what we have today as it was being lived out and recorded in "letters" to the Churches.
The apostles were to be very careful on whom they "laid their hands on" because they did not want to pass on their apostolic authority to someone who was not responsible nor trustworthy. This is why Paul said the following:
1 Timothy 5:22........"Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
The apostles were the "foundation" of the Church, Jesus Himself being the "Cornerstone." In Ephesians 2:11 the apostle Paul gives a list "in their order" of the gifts given to the Church and the first one is the "apostles."
Ephesians 2:20 ....."having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone......."
The gospel of the kingdom which was being preached by John the baptist ( Matt. 3:1, 2 ) and by Jesus Himself ( Matt. 4:17 ) was not the gospel of "grace" which the Church preaches today. The preaching of this goespel during the time of Jesus in the gospels was specifically directed and preached to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and it was not directed to the Gentiles as the following Scriptures reveal this truth ( Matt. 10:5 - 8, 15:24 ). However the gospel of "grace" which the Church has been preaching since Pentecost is a gospel which is going out to all people of every race, Jew and Gentile alike.
In the gospels it is recorded that the disciples went out by the authority of Christ who sent them, doing miracles as they went. The Scriptures state that when they returned to Jesus they were rejoicing because the demons were even subject to them. But they came upon one particular person who was demon possessed and they could not cast out the demon. They were bewildered by this. Jesus then responded to their bewilderment in Matt. 17:21.
....Matt. 17:21 Jesus said however this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.........
( Now here are your words pastor ).......This fasting has to be a daily thing.....( end quote ).
Pastor Mike, You are taking Matthew 17:21 and "adding" an additional interpretation of your own outside the context of this passage. I call this "distortion" and "adding" to the word of God in order to try and support what you are teaching. Your statement of "daily fasting" is not substantiated in Scripture! We are never instructed, nor are we taught to "fast daily" within the New Testament epistles in order to be able to "walk in the Spirit" and be obedient to Christ. Every christian is already indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit and therefore every Christian has the power to "walk in the Spirit" by simply surrendering themselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit each and everyday. That is the true "formula" for walking in the Spirit, and not your formula of "fasting daily" which is not mentioned in the epistles to the Church.
Does Scripture instruct the believer to pray? Yes! How often? Without ceasing ( 1 Thess. 5:17 ). But does Scripture teach and instruct the Church to "Fast daily " in order to gain supernatural power of God ? No! Fasting is mentioned only three times in the New Testament epistles ( 1:Cor. 7:5; 2 Cor. 6:5, 11:27 ), and not once in any of these three Scripture texts does the apostle Paul instruct the Church to fast daily. The apostle Paul never made "fasting" a mandatory requirement in order for the members of the body of Christ to "walk by the Spirit", otherwise he would have surely mentioned such an ordinance and commandment in the important passage of Eph. 5:16 - 24 where he speaks on this very subject of "walking by the Spirit" and not "walking by the flesh." But he didn't! Not one word!
The apostle Paul ( nor any other apostle ) never established at any time an ordinance, a ritual, neither a commandment for daily fasting as a mandatory requirement in order to be able to walk by the Spirit. This is a distortion of these gospel texts that you are using, and it is your own manufactured "perscription" if a believer wants to be victorious in their walk. Fasting is a personal choice of each individual, and it is NOT a "Scriptural mandate" nor a "spiritual formula" which imparts, ensures, or extends the supernatural power of God to the one who is practicing it. And the one who chooses to fast, opposed to the one who does not choose to fast, does not make the one who does fast more spiritual than the other who doesn't. And neither is the one who is fasting daily going to get some special power by doing so. The apostolic age is long past and it cannot be recaptured in our day. The charismatics have tried, but not with God's authority, power, and help, but rather with the master of deceptions power ( the devil ).
( Your words here pastor ).............The effect of the genuine prayer and fasting in the believers life are to teach us and train us to trust in Jesus, every single day. That's what abiding in Christ is all about...................so fasting and prayer teaches us to depend on Christ in all things............There are times when we "cheat" people, there are times when we "lie", there are times when we exaggerate, there are times when we don't tell the truth. God sees this. That's not fellowship..............now you can take this message or you can leave it. It depends on if "you" want to see the power of God manifested in your life......( end quote ).
What you just stated pastor is very clear in what you are teaching and suggesting concerning the practice of fasting daily. It means that if other christians are not practicing "your mandatory daily protocol " which is fasting ( and there are many good and faithful, obedient, and God honoring Christians who do not do this daily ), then they will not be able to see the "manifestation" of God's power working in their life. This is grossly suggesting that God is "idle" and not working in a christians life UNTIL they begin to engage in daily fasting!........This is totally unscriptural!
Here once again, what you have just revealed in your statement is the fact that you have this "fixation" and this need in your life to see an "outward " manifestation of God's power ( in a supernatural way ) taking place in your life and around you. And without this "demonstration of power " the Chritian has no victory nor any power to live for Christ.
I have a Scripture for you.
Philippians 1:6......"He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ."
( Your words here pastor )...........they ( the disciples ) forgot who they were "in Christ." Not only did they do that, they forgot there "position in Christ." Not only did they do that, they forgot their authority that He gave them because it's His authority who works through them in the name of Jesus. they forgot all these things...........( end quote ).
Whoa! Wait a miniute! No one is said to be "in Christ" in the gospels "prior to" the day of Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit descended from heaven in order to personally indwell the believer. The Holy Spirit did not indwell the disiciples during the minstry of Christ, but rather the Holy Spirit only "abided" with them which was temporary under the old covenant of the law ( John 14:16,17 ). This "indwelling" did not take place until later when the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost. And Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for what the Father had promised concerning the Holy Spirit who would come and give them "power" from on high ( Acts 1:4 - 8 ).
How could the disciples possibly be "walking in Christ " prior to Pentecost? They were not "in Christ" yet....."For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" ( 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 5:17 ). The disciples of Jesus were "followers" of Christ, but they were not "in Christ" during the life and ministry of Christ. Jesus was teaching, preparing, and revealing Himself to His disciples during His earthly ministry. He was getting His disciples ready and prepared for the ministry that He was commissioning and them to fulfill, and of which would come later. Many times the disciples didn't understand nor believe what Jesus taught. That all changed after Pentecost. This very important phrase "In Christ" which is used in the epistles to the Church is never used in the gospel's as the Church was nonexistent. God was dealing with Israel's program.
Jesus breathed on His disicples the person of the Holy Spirit ( this took place after the resurrection of Christ and not before and during Christ's ministry - John 20: 22, 23 ). The disciples at that time were not receiving the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but rather they were receiving the comfort and strengthening from the Holy Spirit who was their "helper" and who abided with them ( John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 ). The Holy Spirit only desecended "once" according to Scriputure and not "twice." Otherwise, If they had received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them, then there was no reason for Jesus to tell them to stay in Jerusalem and "wait " for the promise of the Holy Spirit to descend on the day of Pentecost, since they had already received Him prior to that day. There is only "one" Holy Spirit" ( Eph. 4:4 ) who descended "once", which was on the day of Pentecost, and not prior to that day!
Jesus Himself stated the following in John 16:7...."But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you ; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
Therefore it cannot be stated "accurately" nor Scripturally taught that the disciples forgot who they were "in Christ", that they forgot the authority which they had "in Christ", and that they had forgotten their "position in Christ" when the body of Christ did not exist yet?
Mark chapter 9:20.........when the demon spirit ( in the boy ) saw Jesus he fell down to the ground while foaming at the mouth.....etc...etc.
( your words here pastor ).....and that's the way it should be happening when we walk into a room, when we face a situation..........if there is spiritual warfare there the demons should be fleeing...........but they're going to show themselves, they're going to show themselves. It could be somebody who starts cursing, it could be somebody who starts screaming at you, it could be somebody trying to interrupt what you are doing...etc...etc......and it's satan, and let him know, cast him out, he has no authority. Move against it and keep on doing God's work................
know who we are. When you walk into a room the demons should be scattering. When you walk out on the streets the demons should be scattering. Remember that He gave you authority to stomp on scorpions and serpents and every other wicked thing that's out there, that's out there to destroy us......( end quote ).
( No pastor! Jesus only gave His disiciples ( who were later the apostles ) this delegated authority whom He was addressing. Jesus was not addressing the Church, nor any church member.......T.G ).
Luke 10:19 ....Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
These two passages of Scripture are some of the most abused and distorted verses in the bible ( Some shcholars say that portions of Mark here were not in the original Greek text. But we are not going there and getting off on the subject here ). This authority and power which Jesus delegated to "His Jewish disciples" in these verses of Scripture was not "all inclusive", in that it was not to be extend to the Church beyond the apostolic age to our present day, though many are trying to teach and support such an erroneous interpretation in many of the charismatic churches.
Jesus personally gave His disciples ( apostles ) this authority which would be in operation during their ministry and "earthly apostleship" while they performed and carried out the great commission which Jesus had entrusted to them. And once their mission had been completed and their lives ended, then this apostolic authority and delegated power which they were endowed with by Jesus personally ceased. Therefore there are no more first century apostles which are operating within the Church today, and there hasn't been any since around the close of the first century. To be a first century apostle according to Scripture one had to be an "eye witness" of the risen Christ ( 1 Cor. 9:1, 2 ). The apostle John was the last apostle to die out of all the apostles. Some historians estimate his death as taking place sometime between 95 to 100 AD. That time is past and the apostles took that delegated authority and power which was personally given to them by Christ with them to the grave.
Acts 28:3 - 5...."But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.
Here we have a Scriptural example of how God supernaturally protected one of His apostles in relationship to what he stated in Luke 10:19 and Mark 16:18. Paul was one of God's important apostles and therefore God protected him in order that Paul might continue to carry out that which God had called him to accomplish for His purposes. Not only for Paul did he intervene, but also on behalf of His other apostles. None of the apostles left this world "prematurelly." These special gifts which they were empowered with were for the purpose of "enabling them" as they were carrying out the great commission which Jesus entrusted to them.
Notice that Paul didn't go looking for a serpent, and then when he found one he purposely stuck his hand out and encouraged that serpent to bite him so that he could put on a display of the power of God and "impress" the native peoples around him who witnessed this event, thus demonstrating the power of God for all of them to see. But instead the apostle Paul had no inclination that this serpent was even in the wood pile until it came forth.
God obviously had to protect Paul supertnaturally or else he would have been dead within a short period of time by the venom that this serpent had injected into his body. If God had not intervened miraculously on Paul's behalf, then the venom would have killed him which would have "cut short" the ministry which God had called him to accomplish. God could not allow this to happen.
Notice that the Scripture passage doesn't mention once that Paul was concerned, or even that he feared, or that he was jumping around in panic and begging for help. But the Scripture reveals that the apostle Paul just "shook off " the serpent from his hand and continued on with his business. Paul knew that he had more work to do and that his time was not up yet. Jesus had told Ananias how much Paul would have to suffer for his name sake ( Acts 9:15 ). So God watched over His apostles "supernaturally" until their mission was fully accomplished, then He took them home.
The conclusion of this letter.
It is obvious that you and I have some major differences in our doctrine that will not be resolved this side of heaven. And when it comes to Dominionism, word faith, charismatic experience, and interpretation of the Scriptures using the teaching of such religious movements whose theology is distorted, then my "doctrinal meter" starts registering off the charts and red lights start flashing everywhere!
Therefore In conclusion here I think that it is best that Jerry and I move on and relieve you of any concerns which you may have about us in relationship to our differences in the areas of doctrine. I don't like feeling stressed because it robs me of my peace and walk with the Lord. These things which I have shared have weighed heavily on my heart for sometime and it has been very hard for me to come to Sunday services and sit under your teaching while these things were "brewing" inside of me unaddressed. Therefore I had to finally vent myself here and let you know where I stand doctrinally ( But I really think you already knew ).
For a number of weeks I felt a very heavy depression come over me which was making me literally physically sick, irritable, and losing sleep. And so I finally had to make this decision that we were going to leave the Church. The stress was getting to be too much for me to handle and my wife Jerry could see this clearly by my mood swings and body language. But ever since I decided to make the descision to end our membership at First Baptist, then these feelings of depression and stress have completely left me.
I believe that it's best that we leave so that our differences don't end up causing more stress which could spread to other members of the body of Christ. It has been a learning experience, but I feel its time to "get off the train" because the ride is getting bumpy and unpleasant as I see now that it is not going in the direction that I thought it was going. I know that God has a church somewhere for Jerry and I to serve in. And if the Lord comes for His Church before Jerry and I arrive at that destination where we are suppose to be, well then that's absolutely ok with me because frankly I am really getting tired of this world, and I am more than ready for the Lord to come and get His Church. His coming for us cannot come soon enough for me and my wife Jerry. And we lay in bed every night and pray...."come quickly Lord Jesus! "
Pastor Mike, I have no desire for both of us to continue to debate eachother back and forth over the content in this letter. It would serve no purpose for either one of us as it would only invite more emotional stress, which frankly I have already had enough of over my concerns which I have expressed here. I am firm in my stance, and arguing any details would be unfruitful for both of us, and it certainly wouldn't change how I feel and what I believe to be Scriptural. Debating would only bring about contention between us which would not honor the Lord. My wife Jerry and I have now resigned our membership and therefore we are no longer under the authority and leadership of your assembly as we are officially no longer residents of First Baptist church. Thank you for honoring my request. Please tell Joyce to remove us from the emai list and church directory. Thank you.
Titus 1:9...."holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
2 Timothy 2:15.....Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
May the Lord lead you in "His truth", and nothing but "His truth!" )
Until He comes!
In Christ, Tom and Jerry Gaston