I'm posting a comment from Moonshadow and following up in a post - the only reason is that she asked good questions for a follow up and it's going to be long and have links - I's way rather do the links in a post than in a comment, since Blogger does it for you in a post...
What a carefully articulated letter.
At first, I was not a sympathetic reader. That bit about rebuilding a NO church? I mean, come on, everyone is helping out NO, no questions asked. I wondered what could be so wrong in that.
Thanks - I worked hard on it and had the help of a friend.
I understand what you mean about New Orleans. Everybody has sent a team. The church I'm attending now has sent a team. The denomination I belong to has a disaster relief group called the CRWRC (Christian Reformed World Relief Committee). Here is a CRWRC press release concerning Hurricane Katrina from October 20. This is from just last week - over 40 CRWRC work groups have been sent from churches, with another 60 planning to go in the near future.
It is pretty clear that Sunshine Community Church had a very effective structure available to work through already in place, yet opted to work outside that network.
This is not a "denomination" thing. I would not have had a problem with any "mainstream" Christian denomination.
But...would we have rebuilt a Mormon tabernacle? Or a Jehovah's Witness building? This is why I have a problem with helping to rebuild a Oneness Apostolic church.
Then, I came to see the problem with these ministers preaching at your (old) church. I mean, those sorts of things go far beyond the pale: the dreams, the appeals to unity and cooperation, the claims of (divinely-vested?) authority of the pastorate. Am I hearing you correctly? Perhaps I read too much into your charges.
One of the "dreams" referenced in my letter was "River Dream" by one of the local pastors. The dream is no longer available...I wish I still had a copy.
As far as the prophecy that was given during the sermon, the MP3 is no longer available.
The "appeals to unity and cooperation": at the end of the message, before the prophesies, "Apostle" Shelton said, "when your pastors start to lead you, don't try to figure it out, just follow." I have a transcription of the prophesies and the direct quote from "Prophetess" Shelton is: "God says whoever does not cooperate with the unity that is between the two of you God says if they do not obey by the Spirit He will have to deal with their flesh."
As far a being "divinely-vested", the group that Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries is affiliated with, CIMN, "prophetically commissions" both husband and wife to the five-fold ministry at the time of ordination - generally the husband is commissioned as "apostle" and the wife as "prophet".
In short, I hadn't any idea there was so much risk involved in churchgoing!
Some of this sounds sort of like the Roman Catholic Church (divinely vested authority, apostolic succession, unity and cooperation...)
The Bible tells us to examine teachings against Scripture, holding the Bereans up as an example.
Forms of Pentecostalism are slipping into many churches today. Here is a link to "The Catholic Charismatic Center on the World Wide Web". The new site links you to the archived site, where an article states that, "I believe that some of the forms of prayer used by the Church effectively supplanted or replaced this form of prayer [praying in tongues]. These are prayers like Litanies, the Rosary and other repetitive forms of prayer.
Translation - this Roman Catholic writer is saying that his belief is that the gift of tongues disappeared when the Roman Catholic church introduced the rosary and other litanies.
It is my belief that every Christian should look into this issue and be aware of what they believe the Bible says.
thanks for stopping by and I hope that this further explains my concerns with my church