Before I introduce my latest
“Point of View” I want to let everyone know that my wife and I have retired
from the Church in Bismarck,
ND as of March 10th. We have not retired just retired from
pastoring the Church in Bismarck. We are now pastoring in Harvey North Dakota
and trying to reestablish a church begun by the late L.R. Mitchell. Please note our new address in the header; our
new phone # is 701-226-8411. We would
appreciate your prayers.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3
This very important question
was asked not by the prophet but by the Lord.
The Prophet was the medium that God used. (KJV)
The apostle Paul asked this
question: “And what agreement hath the temple
of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in
them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
2 Corinthians 6:16 (KJV)
My Question Is Where Is The Agreement?
In a recently published web
article there was a call for UNITY to the ignoring of the things that are
disagreed among us. I admire the desire
of the author and wish that it were as simple as he makes it sound. However the Lord was the one to ask the
Question ““Can two walk together, except
they be agreed?” The author of the article has several valid points about
the importance of being able to disagree and still have unity. There are things that all of us will never
agree on and we can still have unity whether in the church or in the home. However there are some things that when they
are transgressed will in and of themselves bring about disunity. It was the authors’ contention that the TV
issue and the resolution should not bring
about a disunity of the Body.
The issues involved in the TV Resolution carries with them grave
consequences. Not least of those consequences
is the division it has brought. A
division not by those that are content, nay committed to maintaining the old
paths, but by those not content to accept the decisions made on more than one
occasion by the majority of the brethren, decisions dating back to less than
ten years from the merger.
That really does sound like
an ideal situation doesn’t it. However this issue can never be satisfied
by just uniting on the doctrine ofActs 2:38 and the Oneness of God. The issues involved in the TV Resolution carries with
them grave consequences. Not least of those consequences is the division
it has brought. A division caused not by those that are
content, nay but committed to maintaining the old paths,
but by those not content to accept the decisions made on more than
one occasion by the majority of the brethren, decisions dating
back to less than ten years from the merger.
As has been often
stated by those on both sides of the issue, “Television is not
Too be very honest I don’t
believe the issue will be settled when the question of using and
appearing on TV comes to a vote again no matter which way it goes or how
often it is brought up.
Why, “Because Television is not the Issue”. Neither is the Issue Unity.
The real issue facing the United Pentecostal Church is the issue of Integrity and
These are essential attributes which every man of God
must possess and are not debatable nor can they be ignored. To debate, ignore or delete either one from
our lives and ministry is to court disaster.
I want to believe that many
of those that are pushing for this change are sincere and really believe that
they want to do it for the right reasons.
However, there are several things about this whole thing that troubles
me and gives me reason to believe that possibly many of the honest people are
being influenced by something other than the word of God.
Without a doubt one of the
greatest influences is the spirit of the age in which we live. The Spirit of the age is a spirit of
lawlessness and rebellion against authority.
It is the spirit of self gratification and sensual desires. This spirit is described in Romans chapter
one as well as the consequences of following such a spirit.
When Integrity and Honesty
are compromised it creates a landslide effect from which there seems to be no
stopping. I have recently revisited a
couple of books written by a man that describes the loss of integrity and
honesty out of his life. They are quite
telling, the titles are “Integrity, How I Lost It, and My Journey Back” and “Fatal
Conceit”, the author is Richard W. Dortch former president of PTL. In these books Mr. Dortch describes the path
that he and those associated with him followed to their demise as leaders and
how they lost their integrity. . I would
recommend that everyone read these books to see where misguided ambitions can
take a person.
In an interview with Leadership Magazine the contributing
editor Brian Larson asked Dortch about the necessary checks and balances for
any church leader's vision.
Larson: What makes vision dangerous?
Dortch: “Pride. Vision appeals to our ego.
pointing fingers at anyone. My problem was not that I bought into someone
else's vision; I bought into my own ego and what PTL was doing for me. I saw
something big and great that could make me bigger and greater.
Once a vision is up and running, pride can lead a person to do
whatever is necessary to maintain it, including "funny
money" fund-raising and lying. It all feeds on itself. A leader compelled
by pride will do whatever is necessary--even lie and cheat--to maintain that
vision.” (Emphasis mine)
The Novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn hit the nail when he said:
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us
that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will
rise up a thousand fold in the future. When
we neither punish nor reproach evildoers...we are ripping the foundations of
justice from beneath new generations.” (Emphasis mine)
Not wanting to wear out the
prophecy of our esteemed elder the Late David Gray I feel compelled again to
quote from his words in the book Questions Pentecostals Ask by David Gray Volume
3 pages 142-146 under the title of Holiness:
is no question in my mind but that attempts will be made to alter our Articles
of Faith on these important issues. And if they do not succeed, their hope will
be to render them ineffective through simply ignoring them and permitting
violations to continue unchecked; in other words, to not require compliance
with them. To do this will surely spell the
death knell of the United
as a body upholding the holiness principles of the Word of God in the earth in
this end time."
At first it was just a few
that flaunted their pride and had television in violation of the manual. No one wanted to deal with them sometimes
because of threats of law suits and other unscriptural and ungodly
practices. From there it began to become
more common in the church members and then the ministers homes until today I am
told by those that circulate in much larger circles than I that it is as normal
as anything else in if not the majority at least a large percentage of our
ministers homes. And still the sin goes
I want to emphasize the word SIN!
to behave in such a way and to do such a thing a minister with license or
ordination papers with the UPCI must also
lie. To those of us that feel compelled
to follow the rules which we willing agreed to follow when we signed our
application to say nothing of a biennial affirmation, that we signed, find
ourselves asking the same question that God asked through the prophet
Amos. “Can two walk together, except they
be agreed?” Amos 3:3 We find ourselves asking the question how do
we fulfill the
commandment given us by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians
5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them”, and still have unity. To me and too many others it seems impossible to accomplish such a feat. Scriptural unity comes from obeying scripture. The writer of Ecclesiastes
makes it clear concerning vows. While we understand he was no doubt talking
about money lets look at the word vow. Vow
1. An earnest promise to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner,
especially a solemn promise to live and act in accordance with the rules of a
religious order: 2. A declaration or an assertion1
Brethren, let it be known this is a HOLINESS ISSUE
even though we are constantly being told it isn’t. What makes it a holiness issue?
The reason I believe it is a
Holiness Issue is because of the direction and involvement of such an
action. Just a few short years ago we
licensed the use of Video the guide lines were clear and concise. In just a short time the abuse of that
privilege became overwhelming. Churches
were showing videos that were totally out of the guidelines Youth Groups began
using them for entertaining the youth and outreach. Today there is no difference between a large
number of UPCI Churches and the rest of the world when it comes to
entertainment of the youth. Again to
quote an elder, the Late E.L Holley was often heard to say “Whatever entertains
So now we have talent contest
at national events and promote the sin of emulation. We have youth appearing on television with
the most ungodly of people. Even in recent days a Pentecostal Family was
involved with the TV’s “Wife Swap” program (with nearly 9 million weekly
another flagrant violation of the manual and another blow to the desired unity
one of our pastors and his wife were guest on the “Dave Letterman Show”.
Here is a portion of an
interview produced by Kent
d Cury concerning the Wife Swap Program on his website 90&9.
“A majority of Apostolic
viewers felt the producers were even-handed in their presentation, showing
the emptiness of family life for the punk rockers and the regimentation within
the Apostolic family, as well as the positives in both families.
Despite the pressures, Kristin was able to share her genuine love for God and a
godly compassion in many scenes, though Steve was often portrayed as an
inflexible patriarch protecting his children.”
We have churches hosting
super bowl parties and installing TV’s in what used to be called a
sanctuary. We have both preachers and
saints attending Professional Organized Sporting Events.
How do we find a place of unity in this when it
violates the laws of integrity and honesty?
Just recently a UPCI pastor
was interviewed about his mission to make a science fiction movie about Joseph
and God’s directive to produce 42 movies a year. While reading the interview I was impressed
again that somewhere it becomes impossible to be identified with this type of
thing and so we find another crack in the unity that should be among us.
All of this in direct opposition to the manual of the United Pentecostal Church
As a result of the TV and Media influence on the Leadership the
advertising and theme of many of our youth conventions has all of the flavor of
the world while the leadership strives to be relevant.
As I have been writing the above and during the course of
receiving the information I could not help but ask the question, “If This Is Happening when we have The
Prohibition Of These Things, What Will Happen If We License It?”
To again quote The Novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “In keeping
silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears
on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in
the future. When we neither punish nor
reproach evildoers...we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new
generations.” (Emphasis mine)
The cry for unity seems to
emanate from a desire to not lose numbers even though God has never been
impressed with large numbers just for the sake of numbers. No one should be foolish enough to say
numbers don’t mean anything to God, they do.
However numbers are not God’s first
priority. To be honest I don’t think
that unity is God’s first priority. God’s first priority is obedience.
God has often pared back the numbers of
unified groups that were in disobedience.
Call it anything you want to
but God said “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship
of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the
world is the enemy of God”.
Recently at a large gathering
of Pentecostals a noted pastor boasted about the money given to UPCI endeavors
by the church he pastored. It was a
rather impressive amount but it wasn’t the widows mite, she gave her living
while the others gave of their abundance.
Comparing apples for apples this church gave no more than anyone
else. And it wasn’t theirs anyway. It was God’s, it was given by people making
up a congregation for the very purposes he stated. It was in no way given (or at least I hope
not) for the purpose of buying prestige or influence pedaling to influence
voters to his way of thinking.
To make matters worse, after
his rather lengthy and impassioned presentation he then stated he was for using
television. To say I was not impressed
would be an untruth. To say the
impression was somewhat less than good would be an understatement.
Have we come to the place in
the UPCI where money and position take precedence over integrity and
humility? Does our position in society
carry more weight in the affairs of the organization than it should? Again I would think it would be well to look
at others that have thought that they could succeed by their own abilities and
As I have said many times the
Issue is not Television. The issue is
whether we are taking yet another step away from the simplicity that is in
Christ. The statistics and information
concerning the detrimental effects of moving into the Television arena have
been and will be quoted and tossed around many times over the next few
months. I am not going to get involved
there at least not at this time since there are so many more qualified to do
I want to focus our attention
on the bigger picture of purging out the old leaven from among us. My appeal is not for unity at any cost but my
appeal is for brethren that have made up their minds to keep their integrity
intact and live up to their commitments to unify. We all know that there will be differences of
opinions on some subjects however let us not make the mistake of unifying with
I believe it is time for the men and women of this
organization to call for the leadership at every level to enforce the manual. I believe it
is time for all of those committed to seeing the Whole Gospel preached to The Whole
World to move forward to make sure it is a pure gospel not tainted with the
world and its bright lights and cheap makeup.
The phrase the Whole Gospel
to the Whole World was our theme for many years it has only been in recent
years that the addition of the words by any means possible were added. I hope that the addition of that was not a
precursor of the move to go on television.
The Whole Gospel to the Whole
World must include Integrity and Honesty or it is not the whole Gospel. The Whole gospel is more than Acts 2:38, it
is the Sermon on the Mount and the Apostles’ doctrine, it is the Old Testament
Law of a just weight and measure, it is the manifestation of the spirit of
holiness both in word and in action.
movement we are fond of using the reference of building our house on the rock,
a phrase taken from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whosoever
heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise
man, which built his house upon a rock:.”
These words were spoken at the conclusion of the “Sermon on the Mount”
which is Jesus teaching about the way we need to live. To leave out Honesty, Integrity from the
foundation of our house is to court disaster such as met the house built on the