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 the Issue”.


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 Honesty. 

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?

Richard Dortch:        Pride. Vision appeals to our ego.

I'm not 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)


In thinking about the present dilemma that we as a movement find ourselves in. I have to wonder if at least some and maybe even most of it is due to the fact we have failed through our unwillingness to both punish and reproach those among us that have flaunted their spirit of rebellion and pride.

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:

"There 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 Pentecostal Church 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 unchecked. 

I want to emphasize the word SIN! 

Since 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 instructs.” 


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 viewers).  In 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”.

 James 4:4



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 prominence. 


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 so.


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 the world.


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.  


As a 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 sand.