Firehouse Family Ministries (Guest Speakers at my Church)
“Apostle” Sherman L. Shelton and “Prophet” Corrine Shelton of “Firehouse Family Ministries” in New Orleans, LA.
I have concerns. BIG concerns.
I’m not quite sure where I stand on “prophetic gifts” and one thing I’ve said pretty consistently is that whether “gifts” are active today or not – the Pentecostals are doing it wrong (according to the Bible). But that’s for another day.
Today, let’s talk about doctrine.
I’m “reformed”. Not “Truly Reformed”, but reformed, so I’m coming at this from the reformed direction. I won’t be quoting the Confessions or Catechisms as though they are the Bible, but as a summation of what we believe the Bible teaches.
(words from Firehouse Family Ministries will be in green)
Section 1. The Scriptures Inspired.The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to c onscience and reason, but not contrary to reason. (II Timothy 3:15-17; I Peter 1:15-17; Heb 4:12)
The Westminster Confession says, “IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God."
The last of the Scripture they list here (Hebrews 4:21) says: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
This is important, because it says the Bible judges my thoughts and attitudes. I don’t know about anybody else, but my thoughts and attitudes (and thus, my reason) are contrary to Scripture on a regular basis. By saying that Scripture is not contrary to (man’s) reason, we are using our own humanity as a God’s judge. Not a good plan. As the Confession says, the authority of the Holy Scripture does not depend on the testimony (or reason) of any man.
This is important, because antitrinitarians claim that the doctrine of the Trinity is contrary to reason; their statement of faith says that the Bible cannot be contrary to reason, therefore the doctrine of the Trinity is false.
Section 2. The One True Godhead. The triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct personalities, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, who are eternally self-existent, self-revealed and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, is the second member of the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with The Father and The Holy Spirit.
It is not entirely clear here whether this church is anti-Trinitarian. I suspect that they are. Key phrase is “three (3) separate and distinct personalities”. A Website that Firehouse Ministries links to says that “We believe in one God, eternal and self existent, self-revealed and manifested to man as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” This denies the Trinity, in that they deny three persons – instead claiming “personalities”.
As the “United Pentecostal Church” website asks and answers, “Do these titles (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as used in Matthew 28:19 mean that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead? No, they refer to three offices, roles, or relationship to humanity."
The Westminster Confession states: “In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son."
I’ll let you decide where you think Firehouse Family Ministries fall.
Section 4. The Salvation of Man.
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus Christ became sin and sickness providing both salvation and divine healing for all mankind.
Key phrase: “sin and sickness” – providing both salvation and divine healing. This opens the door for “Word Faith”.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
There is no mention of Christ becoming "sickness".
Section 8. The Evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The full consummation of the Baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance,
At least some of the early Christians spoke in tongues. There is not Biblical evidence to say that all believers spoke in tongues or that it is the “initial physical sign”.
1 Corinthians 12: 29-31 asks, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire the greater gifts."
The answer is clearly, "no." Not every Christian in the apostles' day spoke in tongues - thus it could not have bee the evidence of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit".
Paul goes on to say, "And now I will show you the most excellent way." This way is love, not tonuges.
Section 10. Total Prosperity.
“Name it and claim it”. “Blab it and grab it”. “Health and wealth” Gospel.
Section 14. Five-Fold Ministry. We believe that in order for the Church to truly reach God’s expectations we must have the presence and influence of the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor and the Teacher operating through us. (Eph 4:7-16)
This is the sole passage for the “five fold ministry”. Here is a great article on apologeticsindex.org.
There are 15 sections; these are the most problematic. Thoughts, anybody?