Leaving the Assemblies of God

Posted by Dan Irving in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

Has it really gotten this bad in the AG?

Because the Bible compels me, I must part ways with the AG.

I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit– that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. – Romans: 1-2 (ESV)

I make no pretense to be expositing the key verses today. These are verses where Paul is expressing his dismay about how far lost his own people, the Jews, were at the time of his preaching. I cite them today only because I understand how Paul must have felt, albeit on a smaller scale. This great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart is borne witness by the Holy Spirit within me. I am not lying beloved. I try as always to speak the truth in Christ. I was saved almost 13 years to the day in an Assemblies of God church. A not so reformed and non-practicing Catholic who believed in a God without realizing I was my own God. It was a good church. A Gospel preaching church. A God-fearing church. Pentecostal and charismatic without many of the abuses that often come with it. We had a great pastor. A born evangelist with a true shepherd’s heart. A rare mix these days behind the pulpit. I went there that day with an equally unsaved friend and we both left that day in Christ. Within a month I was baptized and within a year I was in classes for ministerial credentials. Five years later I was a minister for the Assemblies and remained such until this month when I resigned those credentials. This technicality is irrelevant as my call was always from God and not man. The unceasing anguish is in leaving the only church family I have ever known. In 1962 Ronald Reagan remarked as he joined the GOP that he did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him. That is how I feel today. I am not leaving the AG as much as the AG has already left me. Both globally and locally. My great sorrow is that the affiliation in which I learned discernment seemingly has lost theirs. The affiliation that once bravely stood up to Jimmy Swaggart now barely stands against anything.

Beloved we must understand the backdrop, which is the times in which we live. When we see the Biblical prophecies play out every night on the news and see the moral decay spiraling out of control each day, those who have eyes to see can see that we are living in the end times. The Bible warns us very clearly about these times. There will be a great apostasy, or falling away from the faith. This is very much underway in the church today. Paul warned Timothy about this:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. – 2Timothy 4: 3-5 (ESV)

One just needs to look at what is taught today as doctrine to see the great apostasy. People follow prosperity myths, word faith myths, hyper-grace myths, false signs and lying wonders myths just to name a few. They gather around themselves teachers who specialize in teaching these myths. They wander off by choice. They choose to fall away. Their ears itch with their own passions and want teachers who will scratch them. With this understanding we must decide what side we are on. Remember, Jesus said there are only two choices:

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. – Matthew 12: 30 (ESV)

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7: 13-14 (ESV)

Narrow is the gate and few are those who find it. Think about that as you watch the next false teacher speaking to tens of thousands or claiming that entire swaths of people “gave their hearts to Christ.” There are only two choices beloved. We are either found gathering people to the Gospel or scattering them away from it. Thus doctrine becomes our critical measuring stick. Our plumb line. Who we choose to associate with becomes critical as well. Who we loan our credibility to. I once viewed Francis Chan for example to be a solid bible preacher. Once he decided to promote the wildly heretical false prophet Mike Bickle however, his preaching was no longer relevant. Remember what Paul charged the Galatians with?

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. – Galatians 5: 7-9 (ESV)

A little false teaching eventually infects your theology. It spreads. It is parasitic. There can be no compromise allowed. This is not about perfection but rather purity of the Gospel. I have watched for years concerned about the direction the AG was heading in but was willing to wait and see. Anyone after all can make a mistake. Then the heresies started piling up. For me it all starts with the embracing of Rick Warren theology. The Purpose Driven Church has done more damage to the cause of Jesus Christ than anything in generations. It has eradicated the shepherd mentality amongst pastors and instead turns them into CEOs. Don’t believe me? Ask Andy Stanley, a staunch Warren adherent:

(When asked about Pastors being called shepherd) – That word needs to go away.” He added, “It was culturally relevant in the time of Jesus, but it’s not culturally relevant anymore.” – Andy Stanley (Leadership Journal, “Get-it-Done Leadership,” May 2006).

This began the slippery slope of growing churches but not the kingdom. The Assemblies embraced the Purpose Driven Life as well and coordinated their churches to all read it together. Something we even did at my church at the time. This is the same book that only addresses salvation one time and presents a nine word “sinner’s prayer” that is followed by an absurdly presumptuous – “Welcome to the family of God!”

Fast forward a few years and the AG tried to coordinate their churches again for a group reading. This time it was a book written by one of their own pastors, Mark Batterson. The Circle Maker is nothing but rank heresy. Based upon a fable found in the Mishnah, Batterson tries to change how Christians pray from being reverent to being petulant. The act of drawing circles is also taken directly from witchcraft. That does not mean the Mr. Batterson intended this. Intent however is irrelevant. The Circle Maker remains to this day a black eye upon the Assemblies. Then there are the associations the AG has chosen to make. Who they have aligned themselves with. Many are not aware of “Empowered 21,” which is self described as:

“The Empowered21 Global Council is an esteemed group of International Christian leaders, co-chaired by George Wood and Billy Wilson. These leaders give inspirational oversight to13 Regional Cabinets across the world and seeks to provide resources to address the crucial issues faced by the Spirit-empowered church.”

So the General Superintendent of the General Council of the Assemblies of God in America is the co-chair of this international coalition. Problem? Not until you see who are part of its leadership:

Bill Johnson, Reinhard Bonnke, Lisa Bevere, Kenneth Copeland, Jentezen Franklin, Brian Houston, Cindy “The General” Jacobs, Robert Morris, Phil Pringle to name a few. This is a who’s-who of false teachers and wannabe prophets. I guess Osteen, Warren and Prince were just too busy. Seriously. Why in the world would you co chair this smorgasbord of heresy? Why would you even want to be on the same website? Bill Johnson believes in grave sucking the residual anointing from dead false teachers. He runs his own school for the supernatural where he teaches people the gifts of the spirit – pure blasphemy! Robert Morris abuses his sheep and tells them to pay him his tithes before paying their rent or bills or medicine or else God will curse all of their money! General Cindy Jacobs? Are you serious? Kenneth Copeland and Brian Houston? The Assemblies should know better. Reinhard Bonnke? International charlatan who brags about raising the dead? The AG threw a banquet in his honor recently. These are not fringe elements in apostasy. These are the leaders beloved.

Then there was the extremely poor decision to get into bed with ex-Catholic mystic Roma Downey and her heretical “AD Miniseries.” When I say in bed I mean under the covers. The AG actively marketed the “church kit” that Downey was selling which turned over your local church to this miniseries for 12 weeks. Each week they would provide you with a video sermon given by a Christian celebrity to match that week’s episode. The third lesson was done by none other than George Wood. Other notable teachers in the series were the aforementioned Mark Batterson and the Hillsong false teacher, Christine Caine. The teaching aside, the actual miniseries was a disaster biblically. It was clear that one of the goals Downey had was to overstate the role of women and make any leading male character out to either be a wimp or psychotic. Beloved we are not talking about artistic license. This series simply did not correctly represent the Bible. I can understand someone who is unsaved not understanding the point but I am talking about the actual story. Mary for example did not have to convince the disciples to wait the three days for when Jesus said He would rise again. Without getting too bogged down in the detail this was another example of very poor decision making by the Assemblies regarding who they want to be found in league with.

It was no wonder then that this past year at their annual General Council one of their speakers was Christine Caine. Never mind that she is from Hillsong, the largest international heretical organization on the planet. Never mind that she is an ardent supporter of someone like Joyce Meyer. Never mind that after “shadowing” Meyer for a week she tweeted a picture of herself laying hands upon the Bible of Joyce Meyer and praying for “an impartation of her “teaching anointing and revelation.” The same Meyer who teaches Jesus went to hell and had to be born again there. The same Meyer who teaches that she never sins. The same Meyer who teaches that we are all little gods. It is no wonder then that the quote that hit the Internet from Caine that night which was taken as some deep nugget of wisdom was:

“The size of your ministry is determined by the size of your heart.” – Christine Caine

Not determined by God. Not determined by the Holy Spirit. Not determined by correct doctrine or preaching the correct Gospel. No beloved. Determined by the size of our wickedly deceptive hearts. Therein sums up the progression of falling away I have witnessed within the Assemblies for the past several years. They bought into the Warren theologies of growth and marketing. They bought into the seeker friendly notions of church growth. They continued to make whatever associations were popular and gained them more exposure with seemingly little concern about doctrine. As a minister for the Assemblies, I am expected to support them and in complete fairness I can no longer do so.

That is the global scene if you will. It is the scene everyone sees on television and being reported. What is often lost however is the local scene. We all belong locally before we belong globally. There are still some very good AG churches out there beloved. Churches who are trying to do the right thing and preach the whole Gospel. Eventually they will have to come out from among them if the Assemblies does not stop its free-fall. Locally however, the politics are even worse. The disregard for correct doctrine is widely accepted as long as you can put bodies in the seats each week. Never mind if people leave. That is a Warren principle taught in the Purpose Driven Church called “Blessed Subtraction.” This principle teaches pastors that it is OK to let sheep wander away from your flock as long as you replace them. Talk about not understanding the 99 and the one! But this point is vitally important because Purpose Driven teachings insist that we are no long in the business of reaching the unsaved but rather the unchurched. That may sound subtle but it is purely a satanic plot. Instead of focusing on their salvation pastors now focus on whether they belong to a church. Instead of focusing on their relationship to Jesus they focus on their relationship to ministry. That is why Blessed Subtraction is so widely accepted theologically even though it violates the entire Bible! As long as you replace the body then the church has not “lost” anything. But what about the sheep that wandered off?

I have watched such local abuses and continue to see them to this day. I know hundreds of people devastated by Christian leaders and a church that swore they loved them as Christ does but then casually left the pen door open and kicked them out into the cold. I heard a pastor once preach that if a congregant had a problem with someone else they need to leave. From the pulpit this was said. During a sermon. I have watched congregations be eviscerated of anyone who was biblically literate. Anyone who dared to ask any questions. Anyone who even mildly objected. I have watched Elder Boards be launching pads for ministerial preaching careers from people who have no business dividing the Word of Truth. What does the Assemblies do about it?

Absolutely nothing.

In fairness, the overall Assemblies has little power over the churches in their fellowship. The power remains at the local level and that is not necessarily a bad thing if you are ensuring the biblical authority of your ministers. Instead however the local assemblies becomes this game of politics and productivity. If a pastor is seen as a producer, meaning he can refill the seats of those who leaves and grow his church, then doctrine or abuses can be nodded and winked at. Meanwhile the landscape is littered with bloody sheep, many of whom will never set foot in a church again. It is for these local reasons and the people who cry out from their abuses that I also feel compelled to walk away. I have close friends and acquaintances who were set into spiritual tailspins, seemingly never to recover. Every month seems to brings to light a new victim locally and a new doctrinal abuse globally. And beloved, please understand that this is not a broad brush I intend to paint with. As I have said there are plenty of good AG churches and ministers who preach the uncompromised Word of God and are led by real shepherds. This is also not personal in nature, even though I could recount my own personal tales of abuse. It is not about me. It is about the sheep of the Lord and the primacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In good conscience I cannot continue to write that believers need to come out from among the falseness in the church today and continue to proudly claim affiliation to an organization that has lost its way. I will pray for the AG because I love the AG. I ask that you do the same. I pray that this once proud organization returns to its roots of uncompromised Gospel preachers. Time is running out.

Reverend Anthony Wade – January 16, 2016

254 Comments

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Dan Irving What in this article is worrying you so much that we have not already discussed? Terry brought much of it in his Death of Denominations discourse The kingdom-now appropriation within AG has also been thoroughly talked about here. Would you outline what’s new and what is concerning you in this particular text? http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/death-of-denominations/

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    Thank you Mr Stanley Wade
    And Mr Dan Irving prophecy especially the “Thus saith the Lord” type should be examined on light of scripture. I think it was Mr. Troy Day that brought the prophecy of Pastor Christmas to the table. I did watch/listen. After reading this expose’ I would have to agree this prophecy seems to be false.

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Dan Irving We read the article. What are your concerns?

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    Mr Troy Day you have mentioned some problems with the denomination of the Assemblies of God. the NAR as you have called. at what point did it become something that ministers were willing to fight over. I ask because i don’t think the fight for identity of the church is over

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Dan Irving

    Troy Day What are my concerns? If the issue of false teaching in the traditional Pentecostal church has been exhausted, it may be time for chat groups devoted to Pentecostal Theology to sign-off. But, I don’t recall Terry Wiles provided anything like an “end all” statement on the subject. And, if heresy is being tolerated in any traditional Pentecostal denomination, does it not require continuous re-airing?

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Well Terry did provide lots of information about his personal participation in end-all kingdom-now/NAT wide spread in AG. Was it successful and well received – probably not. If of interest I will re-read and summarize the points of the article but at a first glance I did not see anything new AG is doing to prevent the issues you are calling upon…

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Dan Irving

    My concern is this: Denominations are a brand. One could trust when they visited an AG, COG, Southern Baptist, etc., they were entering into a place having doctrinal boundaries and established in a given orthodoxy. (e.g. We like restaurant franchises because we know what to expect.) I think Terry Wiles as much as acknowledged that because of the AG’s philosophy of local control, the AG does not really have control. The unaware/unsuspecting should understand this and be warned. When a credentialed minister of a denomination raises a warning regarding his own denomination, I take that as front-page news.

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Dan Irving I summarized the article in the following 9 points. – I could no make them 10 even if I wanted. No case for dominion theology was made in the article though TV preachers were mentioned that could or could be connected.

    Article is right for the time period 2005-2015 when the brother left AG IT follows AG right past where we left it with the Florida Revival discussion. Rick Warren and Empower 21 were the major themes that followed in AG after Todd Bently and Michael Brown. – SPS even named a whole annual meeting after Empower 21 much of it to no avail but it was hot topic at the time. So here’s my summary :

    (1) For me it all starts with the embracing of Rick Warren theology – a non Pentecostal teaching enforced on many Pentecostal churches

    (2) Empower 21 was a major force at one time just like many other were and then it faded away like many other have

    (3) Growing churches but not the Kingdom is a numbers game that is not new either. Predominantly American so no global scope or major effect on Global Pentecostalism

    (4) The Circle Maker book has been also discussed in the group and rejected – nothing new there either http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-circle-maker/

    (5) Bill Johnson believes (or not) in grave sucking also not news

    (6) Kenneth Copeland is not AG neither is Brian Houston – WOF and Hillsong old news as well

    (7) Reinhard Bonnke’s record is impeccable

    (8) “ The AG actively marketed the “church kit” that Downey was selling which turned over your local church to this miniseries for 12 weeks. Each week they would provide you with a video sermon given by a Christian celebrity to match that week’s episode. ” – we have long known of such video tapes and other media sold to AG churches to promote church growth. No such tapes however have been published or found in this group to review SO maybe a point worth exploring further

    (9) “an impartation of her “teaching anointing and revelation.” Has been in AG and Pentecostalism ever since

    The only thing new is the confirmation of the “kits” which Terry Wiles said he had knowledge of too but never really seen them. Apparently they do exist and fishing for them continues Joseph D. Absher Auuthor of the article could be invited to shed more light his story and motives
    What am I missing here in this brief over review that is worth our time in further research?

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Dan Irving

    I see that Mr. Wade’s article was written two years ago. Old News?

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Hardly so. At least not for me. The article covers a very important period of time 2005-2015 right after the crash of the FL revivals which continued AG’s bad list
    from Fuller-NAR-Wagner in 1999-2002
    through FL revivals 2005
    and then the said period with Warren’s purpose driven + emergent churches + multi campus / shepherd2rancher and so on strategies for church growth

    As a result PEW forum reports our AG growth but to what cost?
    It is a valid question that needs to be addressed theologically

    We need to learn more about the period from the said media / tapes/ manuals and “church kit” which Terry may or may not tell us more about

    I just hope with the church kits we did not lose the Holy Ghost

    BTW you may remember we discussed AG stats were not well prepared, but compared apples to oranges. YES AG is growing but outside of the US. Most states show rapid decline in the past 2-3-5 years all across the US https://religionnews.com/2016/06/07/southern-baptists-decline-as-assemblies-of-god-grow/

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    No I say unto thee Terry Wiles

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    Will Sovie

    AG is the best

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    the best in what 🙂

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    Anonymous

    I believe it’s good to keep discussions of certain topic especially New Age False doctrines entering the churches today. Even if they have already been discussed someone may not know.

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    Melvin Shomo

    Well is the man going independent or another denomination??

  • Reply February 27, 2018

    TimnJanay Richards

    Independent is the only way
    Bishop

    • Reply February 28, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Why is Independent the only way to go?
      Whom do you answer to?

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    No I am not leaving just posting some new stats since Dan Irving posted this. We had a discussion which appears to have greatly affected some religious circles who are wanting to reclaim the avid vision of church growth.

    Our simple church stats show were confronted by Steve Maxwell wrong and by Terry Wiles plain heretical (in search for the exact word) But they were neither wrong nor heretical Apparently official write ups by our AG was published shortly in various publications showing growth.

    Problem with those stats is that they compare 1989 post-Jimmy Swaggart stats with mid-Obama 2013 Ag church in post modernity . Apples to oranges? Yes of course.

    Then, one of the publications went into to claim that the Assemblies are growing at rate 0.3% faster than the population of the United States #hello We can live with that but then comes the shocker:

    According to the article, churches claim an amazing 81% increase in conversion
    (What define conversion?)
    59% more people are following the Lord in water baptism
    42% increase in church membership in local expressions of the Assemblies of God.

    Where? In these United States of America?
    No of course. That would make the AG bigger than the Catholic church

    So while we appreciate AG authors visiting our page and using it for inspiration of their writings, lets get it right once again

    YES AG is growing but outside of the US. Most states show rapid decline in the past 2-3-5 years all across the US https://religionnews.com/2016/06/07/southern-baptists-decline-as-assemblies-of-god-grow/

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    You need to take a class on statistics and learn the difference between a study and anecdotal evidence.

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Just prove the growth and we will call it even Steve

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    How many times have we seen this verse quoted to buttress an argument. In the last month, I’ve had Oneness Pentecostals and a a Church of Christ minister use it on me.

    “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7: 13-14 (ESV)

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Stay on the topic PLS You most obviously dont have a clue how church stats work. Do you know the term “evangelistically speaking”? This is from the official AG stat publication:

    The Assemblies of God is one of the few major denominations in the United States to show continuing growth. But the real story is the ethnic transformation of the Assemblies of God. It is becoming less white and more reflective of the ethnic, linguistic and social diversity that exists in the global church.

    key note words here – growth, ethnic, global 🙂 meaning NOT in the USA

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    I just quoted from the same link Steve Maxwell Why cant you answer my question on these stats?

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    One thing that should be a very serious concern is that 3 in 4 of these conversions (or decisions) is not receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If we are saying we are seeing 81% growth in decisions but 17% growth in seeing baptized in the Holy Spirit; something is seriously wrong with our preaching and our altar ministries. As we look deeper, we see that more people are becoming members than are claimed be filled with the Holy Spirit. This should be something that every district official needs to address! I

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Link Hudson

      I am cincerned with th gap between conversion and water baptism. In some A/Gs conversion can mean repeating a prayer without hearing the gospel first.

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Does AG show gap there too? They shouldnt have

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Kenneth L. Harrell

      Link Hudson in high school I visited an Assemblies of God congregation with a Nigerian friend twice. One of those times I watched a husband and wife who were puppet evangelists. At the end of their skit the husband made the appeal. He had us close our eyes and he asked those who were not saved to raise their hands. Then to those who raised their hands he said you’ve been added to the kingdom of God. That left a negative taste of the AG in my mouth. I must be clear: I do not believe that the sinners prayer, or the Protestant Rosary as I call it, has any foundation in scripture. It is unfortunate that so many Pentecostal preachers now use Finney’s methods and the Romans Road and all other mechanical methods to produce “conversions”. I firmly believe in order to be born again you have to hear the gospel and believe the gospel by repenting from your sins and exercising faith towards God. And water baptism is not optional. No one should be allowed to confess Christ and join a church without obeying the command to be baptized in water. If profession of salvation was was based on repentance people would be obedient and get baptized. And if their repentance is genuine they would desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Kenneth L. Harrell I see church membership as automatic but I hear you about the puppet technique.

      Ritual without sibstance. This practice of declaring people saved for gping through a manmade ritual whether or not they believe in Christ or even hear the gospel has got to go.

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Oh OK so you are just a copy cat linker 🙂 Why am I even asking you questions you cant comprehend or answer?

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Just a little anecdotal evidence on my behalf. Two months ago, my daughter and I attended Victory Worship Center in Tucson Arizona. In the one service I attended, over 200 people went forward to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I imagine the same happened in the earlier services.

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell 2015? you are posting old data of course! Remember when I showed you the 2018 official AG stat by state stats in february and you said … well, you couldnt say just about anything to that

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      I’m just curious why you want the AG to fail so bad. It’s sort of like wanting Trump to fail.

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Cheap shot of course. I voted Trump you know I wanted him to win for the people and keep his promises

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      No, I’m saying it’s like wanting Trump to fail…..not you want Trump to fail

    • Reply May 30, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      yeah yeah keep up with OP pls

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Troy this ethnic stats only include the USA. You should see the number of Hispanics, who have converted to AG in California.

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Certainly NOT where AG claims its growth. Went to school with several leading hispanic AG pastors in SF and LA. They can not account neither for growth nor for decline in AG today – 2018 Yes people are getting saved but many more backslide and leave the church

  • Reply May 30, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Troy, the AG members world wide is closer to seventy million.

    Concerning your state by state statistics, as I recall them….Some states aren’t doing so well, while others are. Add it all together and the AG is growing. However, I believe many of the independent Pentecostal churches are doing well also. Churches like Calvary chapel are hammering it.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    I attend a small AG in the NW Florida district of the AG.
    Last April the Secretary/Treasure of the district came and preached for us at our church..
    He made a remark in his sermon that it was good to hear a message in tongues with interpretation and also a prophetic utterance in a service.
    It was something that he seldom heard in the churches across the district.
    That was a sad remark to me, because not only is he a leader in our district, but he is also a pastor of a church.
    Just by reading the stats the Assemblies of God is a PINO (Pentecostal in Name Only.
    I have been members of the COG and AG throughout the years.
    I do not attend district activities in either organization anymore, because of the theatrics presentations of the services before the preaching. There is still some good preaching, but I won’t endure the entertainment theatrics before the preachers.
    That is why people are leaving. There has been coup in the church.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Link Hudson you made quite the baptist argument again if you noticed, but I will still respond. The water baptism in AG has been at 60-70% rate for ever. Some pastors here can probably confirm. It is quite high for several reasons, one being the historic division with Jesus only oneness who insist even in double baptism of same person to make sure its done in Jesus name only. AG tradition has traces of water baptism persistence too

    Now more alarming is the decline in HSB, being still high though. Currently in Pentecostalism only 40-60% are baptized with the HS Since 2000 however, some denominations claim barely 6-10% of new believers receiving HSB AG is not far behind that number Used to be about 30% back when I was in school and that was a long long time ago

    Now the problem with this stray generalization of stats is including international numbers so to show denominational growth

    YES AG is growing globally as worldwide organization
    YES AG has been declining going on 5yrs now in the US

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Being within historical ranges does not make it not a problem.

    The Pentecostal denominations are getting less Pentecostal, and non-Pentecostal denominations are copying Charismatic and Pentecostal style.

    Even here in Jakarta, 15 years ago, some of my Lutheran in-laws thought of Charismatic and Pentecostal churches as ‘churches that clap their hands’. They had traditional hymns. Now, they have services focused more on young people that have contemporary music. Style-wise the imitate the Charismatics to keep the younger folks from going to Charismatic churches.

    In the US, some of the Pentecostal churches have adopted a seeker-sensitive model and prefer to teach more ‘generic’ doctrine in not too much depth.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Well this is a good example Link Hudson I’ve been trying to show Steve Maxwell that if 1000 churches in Jakarta join AG – yes we are growing but these churches may even not have Pentecostal identity and some of them will probably never amount to an AG church What is the Bethel or Bethesda church you always talk about that is merely amalgamated and does not really identify with Pentecostal theology ?

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    I like the Assemblies of God today, much better than the legalistic AG church I grew up in. I really appreciate the fact that tongues, interpretations and prophecies are judged now, instead of automatically accepted as coming from God. I knew most of what went on when I was a kid was phony. “Thus saith the Lord, I created my Son………” was one of my favorites. Poor guy didn’t know his Bible very well.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      That is why the Pentecostals are no longer Pentecostal because they have quenched the Spirit
      I have been in it all my life
      I much prefer the old way where the Holy Ghost was spontaneous

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Scotty Searan, no they are becoming full Pentecostal, where they obey all of the instructions on the gifts of he Spirit.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      blah blah – one cannot be in active ministry today and speak such nonsense

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Steve Maxwell yes i knew some that went over 3 messages in tongues. But most didn’t and they still as our church does have the spontaneous worship

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Link Hudson dont let nobody go over 3msgs 🙂

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      I believe Jesus was more interested in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit giving us the power to fulfill the great commission. The power to spread the Gospel.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      yet He baptized no one with HS while on earth 🙂

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      How do they judge in your church. Was the ‘created my son’ supposed to be with a small ‘s’? Need some context. Luke calls Adam the son of God.

      One way of reading the passage is not to allow two or three utterances to go by without interpreting. I was on a discussion list with a retired Classics (Greek and Latin) professor and chair who argued that since I Corinthians 14:27 is about tis, one, speaking in tongues, that two or three refers to utterances, rather than speakers. Two or three things uttered, one interpreter. He considered 2 or 3 in verse 29 to likely be about prophetic utterances, though he acknowledged the Greek was ambiguous and could refer to two or three prophets.

      Paul wrote of all prophesying twice in the passage. So he may mean the prophets are two speak two or three and then the other judge, and it can be repeated. And if someone sitting by receives a revelation, the speaking prophet is quiet. Some churches turn ‘let the prophets speak two or three’ into ‘two or three prophecies per meeting’, and it does not say that. Prophets is not prophecies. ‘Per meeting’ is not there.

      Paul might mean the same thing about tongues, that the instructions in verse 27 and verse 29 could be repeated multiple times per meeting.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Steve Maxwell the Gifts of the Spirit were not technically going on before the baptism in the Holy Ghost and Apostle Paul through the Holy Ghost set the guide lines not churches 2000 years later.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Scotty Searan you managed to hi jack a purely statistical OP with your own somehow 🙂

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Troy Day i was just stating why i thought the people were leaving or not joining by my own observations

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      They are not getting saved thats all

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Scotty Searan Paul says let the prophets speak two or three and let the other judge. How many churches try to obey the let the other judge part?

      How many Pentecostal churches have ever followed that part that comes next that if a revelation comes to one who sits by, let the first hold his peace? If some got a word while a prophet were speaking, would he let the other guy prophesy, or would he say the made-up doctrine, “the Holy Ghost does not interrupt himself.”

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Troy Day It’s a subthread though.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Sctotty started 2 threads on the gifts lately that did not pick up and is trying it here now Good for him

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Link Hudson I agree with you, i have only been in one service where another person begin to preach (prophecy) while another and it was a powerful service.
      But i have also been in a service where there was 18 messages in tongues and interpretations
      But it is very unusual for it to happen
      I was in a service where Jimmy Swaggart was preaching and a person started to give a message, but he asked that person to not speak till he got through preaching and his explanation was God don’t interrupt the anointed.
      IMHO he was wrong and the Spirit i believed was grieved the rest of the service

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Troy Day no i am not. It was a IMHO observation

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Scotty Searan I used to go to Family Worship Center. That sounds like something he might have done, but I don’t think I ever saw him do that in church. Tongues and interpretations did not seem all that common there, but they did happen. One guy kept giving an interpretation about going into the highways and byways.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      It was in Tallahassee Florida in the mid 80s

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Link Hudson i have an old teaching set on the Holy Ghost by him from the 70s and he taught that in that series.
      Let’s go back to the stats if we can before Troy Day gets bent out of shape

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Scotty Searan If the Spirit can give someone a prophecy while someone else is prophesying and the first guy has to be quite, why wouldn’t that apply to a preacher or teacher. Prophesying would be the ‘higher form of gifted speech’ wouldn’t it? Moses prophesying would trump the priests teaching about what Moses had prophesied, right?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      hey Scotty Searan I love talking gifts but it turns too much to follow 3 gift topics by you in a small group BTW when was your last observation of membership dynamics in actual AG?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Troy Day I follow quite regularly
      My pastor shares a lot of things with me
      I also have COG minister friend that shares with me also
      I had seen those stats.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Scotty Searan

      Link Hudson I agree. But we are to have order in a service
      But it is a wonderful thing when the Holy Ghost disrupts our program

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      So do you see this great growth in the AG today?

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell follow the numbers from your own stats
    AG in the State of GA has 20% increase – oh WOW according to Major Worship Service Attendance 2006 through 2016 – PDF (29.3 KB)

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    I don’t know of any churches joining the A/G. An international A/G here seems pretty similar to the US, but I might say it feels ‘mildly’ Pentecostal. I don’t know if prophecies or interpreted tongues every happen in the big service. I have not had enough exposure to local A/Gs to know the culture. I’ve been to English-speaking services. They don’t seem to have that many congregations compared to Bethel.

    Gereja Bethel Indonesia joined with the COG,and it is huge. A lot of the churches have more of a Charismatic style, but some of the ‘style’ is kind of a local version of Charismatic. The doctrinal statement looks pretty much the same as COG with some parts in a different order, except I didn’t see foot washing in the GBI version.

    GBI split off of GBIS, which split of of GPDI, the Pentecostal Church in Indonesia or off a split off of a GPDI church split. GPDI was started by ethnic Dutch missionaries sent out by a Bethel something or other congregation in the Pacific northwest not too long after Azusa Street.

    GPDI has people who are conservative about things like dress and movies. You wear a long sleeved white shirt if you preach there. I’ve never done that. I haven’t been to a GPDI. I visited an ‘Ambassador of the Gospel’ church and asked the people at the reception desk if they were Pentecostal or Charismatic. They said Charismatic. I asked what the difference was. They said the Pentecostals cried a lot, and I think they said something about getting baptized on the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.

    GPDI folks will fast and pray before Pentecost and dedicate Pentecost Sunday for getting baptized in the Holy Ghost. Maybe some of them think it has to happen on that day. My wife first spoke in tongues in GPDI, on Pentecost Sunday if I recall correctly (before I met her.) I never heard anything about Pentecost or anything else on the liturgical calendar except Christmas, Easter, and maybe Palm Sunday in a Pentecostal church in the US.

    GBI has some churches that focus on prosperity. One denomination that split from GPDI since I first got here has a preacher who emphasizes anointing yourself with oil that he has prayed for. I’ve heard a bit of emphasis on prosperity, but it isn’t associated with the celebrity preachers in the US, so you don’t hear the same set of doctrinal statements that are just off parroted from US TV WOF preachers. They might parrot some local preacher a little.

    Charismatic churches here typically have a time where everyone sings in tongues or in Indonesian all at the same time. I see that a lot more here than in the US, where I’ve seen it, too.

    Ironically, GBI seems to be a bit looser when it comes to dress. I don’t mean wearing skimpy stuff, but i don’t hear clothes line preaching. It’s not much different from the US. GPDI has some of that type of thing, I think, that and being against various forms of entertainment, but they teamed up a few years back with Foursquare. Foursquare just experienced huge church growth that year. It’s easy if you just claim some other huge denomination, i guess, as a part of you.

    The irony, IMO, is that GPDI seems more conservative and old timey, while GBI is more modern and hip. But, based on my experience, in the US, the COG seems more conservative and old timey, while Foursqure seems more modern and hip. So it is ironic that they ended up with the partners they did in terms of style and culture.

    Of course, my understanding of what GPDI is like comes from talking with people who are in or have been in GPDI. I’d like to visit and get a better idea of what they are like some time.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Link Hudson they dont JOIN anymore They amalgamate

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      I think COG is bigger, numbers wise, than any other branch of the COG.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      no not really our AG is the biggest 🙂

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Troy Day Worldwide it was the last I heard. Isn’t it second for Pentecostal denominations still, behind COGIC, in the US?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      7 mil vs 7 mil I think – about the same

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      It’s kind of imperialist, isn’t it, for the white men to acquire the brown men’s denominations and require them to follow the white men’s rules?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      oh yes absolutely
      it is actually called imperialistic missions
      or lately I’ve heard it called
      colonial approach of doing missions

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      The Assemblies of God is 67 million world wide

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      actually 68 and a half check the 2018 numbers

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Troy Day, growing

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      growing worldwide declining in the US according to your won stats that you posted and failed to understand

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell lets take the 12% growth in Georgia
    That is line 6 in Major Worship Service Attendance 2006 through 2016 – PDF (29.3 KB)

    the 12% increase in period 2006-2016 shows also
    decrease 2015-2016 in Georgia
    2015 33K attended
    2016 32K
    -1.9% according to the number in the stat sheet
    in the 2018 it shows as -3% in Georgia alone
    and that is NOT membership stats but general attendance

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Church growth can mean attracting the baptists by having more interesting preaching and more exciting children’s programs.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    I hear that in China, a number of the three-self churches have people who speak in tongues. Dennis Balcombe has preached on the baptism of the Holy Ghost in these churches in China. He wrote he heard Chinese speaking in tongues in English. His daughter told me she heard a little village grandma speaking in tongues in English. I asked her what she said. She said she was speaking a psalm. I asked which one. She said she didn’t know if it was an actual psalm from the Bible, but it was something like that.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Link Hudson but how is church growth counted – attendance? actual conversion? membership with regular 10% and active involvement Steve Maxwell What is your ministry? Where do you minister? Do you show decline in your own ministry as well?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Not a very favorably worded ministry. Did Jesus experience decline in His ministry in John 6 or when all His disciples forsook Him and fled?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Jesus experienced decline in John 19-20 but it turned around by Acts 2 – resurrection does that 🙂

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell I very much welcome the unanimously elected Donna L. Barrett to serve as the 11th general secretary She will clear the books from all this confusion that is perplexing general membership and lay-ministers

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Our church in New Mexico is growing well. Our young tattooed minister is leading well and people are getting saved and filled with Holy Ghost. In the past I’ve lead Life Groups and filled in for the pastor, when he traveled. My business takes me on the road too much to be as involved. When I first started attending this church, it ran about forty. It’s now pushing up towards 250.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Life Groups is SO NOT AG – cant begin to tell ya

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Troy Day, I’ve had two AG pastors enact Life Groups. Maybe that’s why your only familiar with dead and dying churches. People want to go where there’s something going on….something successful that they can be a part of.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Hawaii AG has experienced massive growth at 43% consistent rate. All because AG retired ministers move there 🙂 They say its really HOT spiritual climate there

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    I know that in California, the Assemblies of God is growing like crazy.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      N California shows -2.6% decline in 2016 while S California +37% Whats wrong with that picture Link Hudson Pentecostal migration at its best cooking the stats

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Troy Day, the only thing wrong is that Northern Ca isn’t growing….can you say NET GAIN.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      We could say NET If we were comparing apples to apples as a non minister you may not understand it all

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Troy Day, that makes no sense

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      oh yes it does – ask ANY minister what evangelistically speaking means. You will get the idea then

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      I think I’ve given enough evidence that the AG is experiencing NET GROWTH. Have a good day

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Stay with the stats Steve You have given nothing Your own stats show decline since 2016 All you have given is anecdotal interpretation of data that is not confirmed like:
      1. our church is growing fast
      2. california growing like crazy

      straw man is your fav as usual
      NO one is arguing about your church or california

      AG in the US is declining in general – all 50 states
      Go fetch the stats I showed you from your own URL Link

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Troy Day Why am I supposed to know about this stuff? California?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      ha? IDK Steve Maxwell posted some stats that he cant explain

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Troy Day Red Hill has a pretty big congregation. First Assembly there is like a little mini-denomination within the denomination with branches. There are a couple of Foursquares that do that. It may have to do with expenses of starting up and saving money with shared services.

    GBI in Indonesia has a number of churches set up that way. Bethany and Tiberias in the 1990’s had branches off the mother church. Both formed their own denominations though there could still a number of churches that I think may still form their own denomination within a denomination that used to be Bethany that went with Pak Niko during the split.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Link Hudson are you talking multi campus or actual mini denomination

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Troy Day, the way the multi-campus are run in both cases, but especially they way they were run in Indonesia seems like mini denominations within the larger denomination. But I might say that if I got to know most multi-campus set-ups.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    but is it multi campus or mini-denomination I am asking because I know of a case where one Pente. denomin. fired one of their officials in Asia. big shot with thousands of churches. They somehow kept the churches without him but as it TURNED the guy had 1200 OTHER churches he never mentioned with which he started his own denomination Soon the other several thousand – most at least – followed with him as their first and only supreme leader

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Another number that is alarming in your 2016 stats is that we only see a little under 20% more credentialed ministers to pastor and lead the 81% rise in decisions. #hello When a movement is set forth for growth it all grows equally When a movement fakes the numbers it cant match growth in all facets

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Kenneth L. Harrell Let’s get real about something, shall we? There has been a lot of people praying the “sinner’s prayer” but never really getting converted. If we was really leading them in true conversion and training them to walk out their salvation; we would not see the huge gaps in some of these numbers.

    I am not saying that everyone that prays with a pastor is a false convert. However, I am going to say that many are and who knows how many duplicate converts are in these numbers from people who just think they need to get “saved” every service.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Troy Day, also lots and lots of ‘converted’ people who never go to church. Some of them may have repeated a prayer that did not even contain the gospel after not hearing the gospel from the preacher who led them.

    It’s as if some preachers think that going through a ritual saves you, even if you take the gospel out of the ritual.

    And I can’t find the ‘personal relationship’ rather than a religion angle as the way the apostles preached the Gospel. The closest thing I can find is where Jesus says eternal life is to know ‘Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.’

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Link Hudson You only know this if you are in actual ministry Steve Maxwell does not and cannot make that difference at this time

    There is a clear disconnect between people making a decision for Christ at a service (conversions) and following the Lord in Baptism of water, Holy Spirit, and becoming voting members of the Assembly of God they attend.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Overseas yes, but not in the USA

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    ant that the God honest truth Steve Maxwell Maybe you should import them over the wall Scotty Searan 🙂

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Scotty Searan The order in service is to be Biblical, not man-made. Tradition says to have so many songs, offering, sermon, maybe communion, songs with prayer thrown in here and there.

    The Bible says when you come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    That is the context the instructions on tongues and prophecy were form.

    A lot of Pentecostals assume the instructions are to fit around the pastor’s sermon, but the passage doesn’t mention a pastor or one man preaching a long sermon.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Troy Day I do communicate with some overseas, but the Pentecostal movement has always seemed to have more inroads with the less formally educated people
    I am not calling these people dumb, stupid or ignorant because I have been called that many times myself
    But i believe it as Paul talking the foolish things to confound the wise.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Link Hudson I agree
    In most churches most worship teams would not let a person in the congregation who wanted to sing a song sing a song spontaneously
    But in my raising in a lot of churches we attended a person could stand and ask the pastor could they sing a song and the pastor would allow it.
    Pardon my expression, It takes Guts to stand up in a congregation and ask to sing. I know I am a singer also.
    When that would happen the Holy Ghost would fall in the house

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Howard Gardner

    The article gives only sparse reasoning for leaving the A/G:

    (1) It’s affiliation with the prosperity movement – if anything I have seen an increased rejection to the Word of Faith teachings

    (2) False signs and lying wonders myths; It has been my experience that most A/G pastors cautioned against things like John Hagee’s Blood moon prophecies as well as Harold Camping’s “Save the date” nonsense.

    (3) Our General Superintendent coming together with Billy Wilson, President Of ORU, for this Empowerment 21. The article remarks “Problem? Not until you see who are part of its leadership” Well who are they? The article doesn’t say. Wilson has played a remarkable role in restoring ORU and bringing it away from the prosperity nonsense. Commencement speaker at the ORU gradation last year was Ravi Zacharias and if this author is leaving the A/G because of Ravi then let him leave. I wish the A/G and ORU as well had 1,000 people like Ravi:

    Not saying there are not problems in the A/G. I thoroughly disagreed with their bringing metaphysicist Ruth Barton to General Council a few years back. But I was at least satisfied that such action was denounced.

    Most people consider me to be a very independent thinker. But for the present time at least, leaving the A/G has not even entered my mind. I for one am staying.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    I had a look at the leadership. Many of them are Pentecostal leaders. Maybe he is concerned about Kenneth Copeland, Cindy Jacobs, or Bill Johnson.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Howard Gardner

      Interesting. Does look like some people I would question. Copeland in particular. http://empowered21.com/about/leadership/

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Howard Gardner

      Wow this Cindy Jacobs sure sounds like a nut.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Maybe? Lol

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      This is a legitimate concer but then again, we have survived the Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker debacles.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Howard Gardner

      Steve Maxwell good point. And that was 31 years ago yet Bakker was as much of a prosperity teacher as any of these people. Not sure he knew John 3:16 or the 23rd Psalm but he sure had the slogan “Give of a dollar and he will owe you ten” down pat.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Scotty Searan I don’t assume the type of church meetings the apostles were a part of had to make all these activities go through ‘the pastor’ or that they even had someone that exactly performed the role of what we call ‘the pastor.’

    The apostles appointed elders. Apparently church had a somewhat open floor.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Link Hudson I believe someone had to be moderator
    I can’t remember but either the Quakers or Puritans had an open forum at one time.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Theodore Wright

    I attend church but I do not identify with a denomination any longer. http://maverickchristians.com/

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Many attend church but never become part of The Church.

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Does this mean they can be demon possessed ?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Can one truly be a Maverick “Christian”? Is that what you are asking Troy Day?

    • Reply May 31, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Terry I dont know Can one author Res 16 and not be truly AG?

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Scotty Searan Quakers.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    William Lance Huget

    Every local church and denomination may have problems. It is one thing to leave a nominal, apostate, liberal church (right thing to do) and evangelical churches that cannot stand up to narrow heresy hunters who will never find a perfect church in their lifetime (cf. Paul and Corinthians). God is not finished with AOG and issues with some leaders or teachings does not mean God has forsaken them and we should too.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Dan Irving I appreciate you posting this link in the group

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Rebecca L Ringler

    Sad. These started as a great move of God. Sad what transpires.

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Howard Gardner

      I still think it is a great move of God Rebecca. The early Pentecostals had their share of blunders as well.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Sorry Steve Like I said above, in your line of work it may be OK to resort to such wording, but as a minister I cannot come down to that level. What to you is stats to me is my life work, and not just mine. So, no I dont take these dynamics lightly. And it also seems you still have not seen the 2018 stats so maybe we talk another time

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Here you are Troy. I really don’t know how you can refute this, but here the stats of Sunday morning worship attendance. Now please address this and tell me that the AoG has not experienced significant growth from 1978-2016

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Just so you won’t be able to spin it, I’m including the top line. Please read it and put your spin on it. This is from the official AG web site.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Here is another in the United States 1978-2016. We grew from 1.2 million to 3.2 million.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    This has to be one of the most incredible debates that I’ve been engaged in. I feel like I’m persecuting Troy Day with good news and then being accused of using untoward language for doing so.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Howard Gardner

    Some years back a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary (hardly a pro-Pentecostal faculty) stated: If anything positive is being done in the field of World Missions it is in almost every case being done by the Assemblies of God.

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Link Hudson

      They might day that about Baptist and CPMs if you asked now.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell again and again what you post indicates international growth ONLY in the last 3-4 years

    AG has grown from 0 to 27 000 000 since 1914
    and is declining rapidly since 2015-2016 through 2018

    I explained where in the stats is shown and answered why
    We will talk again when you actually seen the 2018 stats

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    USA stats report slight growth because of late inclusion of Hispanic stats. At least that is what was shared with governance bodies.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Here you go Troy Day. USA only chart

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Thanks for proving my point Steve Maxwell Whoever was asking my about the decline in 2000, 2005, 2010-11 I forgot who it was but here are the numbers The cycle repeats 2020-22 Daniel J Hesse was it you asking?

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Daniel J Hesse

      I would never ask such a question. I believe we are on an uptick over the long haul. The transition from traditional AG to contemporary AG has provided very interesting results.

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Daniel J Hesse on 2018/05/31 at 4:48 pm you said:

      Is it fair to expect a 102 yr old woman to have quadruplets?

      and asked me “I wonder what are the causes?”

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Daniel J Hesse

      Troy Day AG is 102 yrs of age. Do you really think a system like ours can give birth to a revival? Why not a renewal based on prayer as Moravian Missionaries did for over 100 plus years?

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Daniel J Hesse

      A lot of the growth we show is accessional growth and assimilational growth. I did food accounting and could walk on water with the numbers.

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Daniel J I truly dont know if it can birth a revival

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    But stats don’t tell the whole story. Only the story they are shaped to tell.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Terry, that’s exactly right. The AoG is a Hispanic story right now.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    How many places do I need to post the USA stats for you to see them, Troy Day

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    Steve Maxwell. Yes. It is true. And that makes Troy Day also right. The white AoG membership shows statistical signs of decreasing in the USA. Probably there are several causes, the major cause, IMO, is internet/social media startups/and networking.

    The greatest concern from my perspective is the slide toward Bapticostal/Evangelical Theology in preaching and practice instead of Pentecostal which emphasizes the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which brings the enduement of power for life, service, and witness.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Jeez Terry Wiles finally some common sense Steve Maxwell JUST as I did in few months ago I will post you highlighted so even the blind can see it – there are signs of decreasing in the USA 2015-2018 I dont know the reasons well enough as Terry but the numbers are there AG decreased even when Terry left 🙂

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    In all honesty, I grew up as a kid in AG church where the gifts were minimally expressed and element of witness and s et rice rather personal and private.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    We chose the Purpose Driven Life structure which is great, but a far different paradigm from our roots. New wine in old skins. Still waiting to see the outcomes.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Troy Day and Terry Wiles, if you want to cite ab issue with caucasian attendance loss, that’s a different story. I’m citing the net GROWTH GAIN in the AoG. I value my Hispanic Brothers just as much as my white ones. I attend a church that is majority of Hispanics and we are growing, because of them. Maybe you in different parts of the country need to get your act together.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Glad you are finally seeing the decline

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Not a net decline Troy Day. All though I will say that it may be in your part of the country and that may be the difference between you and I. I travel between Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. Every AG church i visit is growing.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Like Terry Wiles who is an actual AG pastor not just a traveler searching for the truth tried to explain to you, if ANY growth is accounted for it comes from (1) hypedup hillsong-like churches and (2) using short-term paradigms for growth that change our Pentecostal identity forever

    Other denominations have done it too and regret because the churches that grow have lost their identity Assimilating believers from other denominations is not truly denominational growth

    I am also wondering what Daniel J Hesse thinks about the stat numbers posted here without proper discretion or interpretation

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    I share your perspective yet still ask what are the options today?

    • Reply June 1, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      I am actually asking for a proper interpretation of the stats

    • Reply June 2, 2018

      Daniel J Hesse

      Troy Day this is a non social media conversation

    • Reply June 2, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Probably so BUT Terry Wiles mentioned some social media church paradigms I am still perplexed over Care to explain?

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    I am actually asking for a proper interpretation of the stats What exactly does it mean to have a decline in 2015-2018 ?

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Please show me a graph that indicates a decline from 2016-2018. I have shown proof that there was an increase in 2016. Haven’t seen any stats for 17-18…..we are in 18 btw, nothing should be out yet.

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell All you have to do is re-visit the stats I posted several months ago specifically for you. I really dont have the time to repeat everything. There is also a number of serious studies done recently that we’ve seen presented at various Pentecostal conferences in years past

    One particular comes to mind is a dissertation written by the Lead Pastor of The Assembly at Warner Robins in Warner Robins, GA whom some of us know His work “Revitalization of Assemblies of God Churches in Stagnation or Decline” (c) 2-1-2017 covers decline about 3-4 years back (while GA state reports 20% increase mind you)

    This dissertation examines church revitalization in Assemblies of God churches in the United States experiencing stagnation and decline. It examines a contextualized perspective of various factors, both practical and theological, as well as various approaches that are being utilized in the field. Section 1 delineates various problems associated with church decline. Statistics and data are used to define the current reality. It recognizes the decline in 2015-17 (also shown in the official AG stats you posted) and projects 2018 up to 2020-22. I dont know where you get your info from, but the 2018 first quarter stats have been out for some time now. Read the dissertation, ask question. There is much more for you to read
    http://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1216&context=dmin

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Donald Phillips

    I am with Steve Maxwell on this. I don’t think you have your facts straight, Troy Day

  • Reply June 1, 2018

    Steve Maxwell

    Pfffft

  • Reply June 2, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Maxwell Please pay attention I will not be repeating

    • Reply June 2, 2018

      Link Hudson

      I haven’t been following here, but is the debate here that numerically the increase is happening, but it is all occurring in 34% or so of the churches in the US and the rest are shrinking?

      Are some baby boomers in the A/G dying off? Are people going to other churches? Are they backsliding?

    • Reply June 2, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      The dissertation points out 3 types churches that contribute to the growth: from memory (1) young churches (2) multicultural churches (3) immigrant churches – these are in the US if I understood correctly

    • Reply June 2, 2018

      Link Hudson

      Troy Day So the story is a net gain with a majority of congregations in the US actually losing members over time?

  • Reply June 3, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Donald Phillips Thanks for your question This is not a new OP so nothing lately as you presume. Bro Dan posted it in January and we’ve been searching for an answer which is just now getting confirmed

    Now then, are you a minister ordained with AoG?
    Where do you get your information from ?
    Hare are you figuring your facts based on the stats we posted?

    Here is the January OP if you missed it https://www.facebook.com/groups/pentecostaltheologygroup/permalink/1597682476953428/

  • Reply June 3, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    All statistics are as good as those who report and compile them.

  • Reply June 3, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Daniel J Hesse Thank you Hence my comment about “evangelistically speaking” but a person not in the ministry cant understand that

  • Reply August 5, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    I am not for one RichardAnna Boyce Encouraged by our meeting in Orlando Lots of new things coming to the church I fell sorry for the people who abandoned their heritage for catholicism

  • Reply August 5, 2019

    LeeLee Hall

    I’m PCG can’t deal with the extra biblical stuff coming into AG.

  • Reply August 5, 2019

    Joseph L. Arnold

    So, am I dumb or what am I missing….I can only read half of the article and then it stops……

  • Reply August 5, 2019

    Robert Erwine

    Followed

  • Reply August 6, 2019

    LeeLee Hall

    I posted this in the comments we must all be aware of this slipping into our local church ..not just AG.
    http://www.spiritoferror.org/2013/06/the-assemblies-of-god-and-the-nar/3246

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      LeeLee Hall do you mean NAR?

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      LeeLee Hall

      Yes that is what this article is on .

  • Reply August 6, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    i am very Biblical Pentecostal discipleship; growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus; and not interested in NAR, which i have only just learnt about.

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      how do you see NAR related to this? Philip Williams you see how I posted about our recent assembly and the topic switched to the danger of kingdom-now NAR?

  • Reply August 6, 2019

    Tyler Lee Price

    Local CoG congregation bringing in some NAR teachings (though the denomination as a whole doesn’t take a doctrinal stance on this) is partially why I left the CoG and went to the Anglican Church (ACNA not Episcopal. We are non-affirming). It’s more biblically and traditionally sound.

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Link Hudson

      ‘Non-Affirming’ sounds bad. Is that code for not affirming a certain type of sexual perversion? Doesn’t, “not-pro-sex-perversion’ describe it better?

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Not affirming of practicing homosexuals. We allow them to attend and partake of the Eucharist, but we don’t ordain homosexual/transgender deacons, priests, or bishops, nor do we perform weddings for homosexual couples.

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Tyler Lee Price full article is there with authors name at the end – pls reload and re-read again

  • Reply August 6, 2019

    Janet Wisneski

    Dennis D. Niles think it over

  • Reply August 6, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Tyler Lee Price this is about our AG meet in Orlando this week BUT Local CoG congregation bringing in some NAR teachings ??? any proof yet? Charles Page has proclaimed but no proof

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Troy Day I’ve experienced it multiple times in multiple churches.

      Promises of supernatural healing simply by faith alone? (I don’t discount this, but i don’t think it’s something an evangelist or pastor can control) – ✔️

      Drunkenness in the spirit? – ✔️

      Being “slain” in the spirit? – ✔️

      Falling on the floor and shaking as if seizing? – ✔️

      Telling someone that God is telling them that it’s “their turn” to speak in tongues as if controlled by demand? – ✔️

      Jentzen Franklin has been allowed to speak at some COG events.

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Tyler Lee Price multiple times in multiple churches. – like where exactly and what exactly? telling them that it’s “their turn” to speak in tongues as if controlled by demand sounds like Link matter

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Troy Day

      My home church and our sister church – drunkenness in the spirit, evangelists pushing people down, rolling around on the floor in “the joy of the Lord”, promises of supernatural healing if one steps out to be prayed for by the evangelist. Each of these was at a special service or revival.

      A small church here in Cleveland (COG Country) – Promise of financial blessings upon those that tithe, pastor said it was one of the youth’s turns to speak in tongues bc God told him so through the spirit, then, later on, the pastor made the BOLD statement that his wife was being called into a healing ministry, then proceeded to have her pray over people who were sick and hurt and they remained in the same position. He also affirmed drunkenness in the Spirit.

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      BUT Charles Page drunkenness in the spirit, evangelists pushing people down, rolling around on the floor in “the joy of the Lord”, promises of supernatural healing if one steps out to be prayed for by the evangelist has been in cog / ag LONG before there was ANY KNOWN NAR out there

    • Reply August 6, 2019

      Charles Page

      Perry Stone up to no good again!!!

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Charles Page Perry is not kingdom-now NAR

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Charles Page

      Troy Day u think?

  • Reply August 7, 2019

    Gary Bell

    My dear brother in Christ.
    I truly believe everything that you have said.
    But devilish things that is going on in AG. Is nothing to compare to what’s happening throughout all of the Churches.
    Remember the Lord said that the love for God. In the last days will grow cold. Well we are in the last days.
    God bless you for your love for God and his Son.

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I dont think it is that bad Just finished the Orlando meeting with great expectation and anticipation to follow

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Gary Bell

      Troy Day It’s not only that bad. But is getting worse every day. You need to fast and pray.. that the Lord will open your spiritual eyes.

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Joseph L. Arnold

      Gary Bell Enlighten us. Help us know what we are looking for

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Gary Bell

      Joseph L. Arnold look in our Bible does it not say. In so many words. That there will be a time when folks will be wanting to here from someone who will speak sweet words of kindness.
      Than to hear the truth. Because those word are way to hard to be heard.

      Look at today’s preachers. Whose teaching them. The true understanding of God’s Holy Words. But Man, and by man’s understanding of God’s Holy Words. And not by the Lord Himself. Who through His Holy SPIRIT will teach us what we are to know. Not what man thinks. And that right there is the start of the fall of the Churches. Like it or not!

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Jim Price

      Bro. Bell be careful so as not to be unfair in your judgement. These men that you criticize are trying to bring the good news to an ever larger crowd. They say that if you ask 10 doctors about a patient you will at least 7 different answers. How much more so for those of us who must deal with an unseen God and a bible that didn’t know about America, trains, airplanes, telephones and a whole host of modern ethical situations.

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Gary Bell

      Troy Day LOL ?
      The way that you sound. Sound like you
      It’s hard for you to believe that he truly exist.
      Well then my friend you never experienced being Reborn in the Spirit.
      And those planes trains and automobiles. Was sent to use by the wicked one. To the point where they will be one their gods. And not the real live God, Jehovah!

  • Reply August 7, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Tyler Lee Price tell us more about this The signs you are talking about are in just about every early 90s Pentecostal meeting and revival What about eschatology? Has it change? Is it still pre-Mil or even kingdom-now? Do Pentecostals need to be Premillennial? http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/?s=pre+mil

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Troy Day the COG as a denomination still affirms Pre-Mil, but a lot of churches are leaning more toward the kingdom-now eschatology.

      Pentecostals do not need to be pre-mil. I don’t see any need to be.

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Tyler Lee Price This is good to know but still quite the claim without much proof if you ask me

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Troy Day there’s a lot of CoG churches going wayward if you ask me. There are quite a lot that have stayed true to CoG teachings though.

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Tyler Lee Price well Charles Page is saying that too but NO proof whatsoever At least I am yet to see one going post-mil kingdom-now Just saying

  • Reply August 7, 2019

    Jim Price

    Rev. Wade writes a long goodby and it is well written. Still I think that he may well have caused more harm than good. As Wesley said, ” first do no harm.” The world is changing fast, new humans are being born at 244,000 per day. To fault leaders that are trying to find oneness and build unity on a larger scale is to give no comfort to those who are trying to manage birth pains into the future. Dealing with change has always been messy and risky but what choice do we have?

    • Reply August 7, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      arent you the same as Charles Page ? have you noticed any dominion or kingdom-now theology

  • Reply October 28, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    What is your take on this? Chris Friend

    • Reply October 28, 2019

      Chris Friend

      Ahmmm…”this past year at their annual General Council [of the AoG] one of their speakers was Christine Caine. Never mind that she is from Hillsong, the largest international heretical organization on the planet.” Of course when he wrote this in 2016, Hillsong was a part of the Assemblies of God. And Christine Caine received her credentials from the AoG.

      Since penning those words, both the author of this article, and Hillsong have all left the global family of the AoG (in 2018). I’m unsure what Christine Caine has done with her credentials at this point.

      I don’t know the author, and I’d hesitate to comment on his character or his experience. But I can say that I grew up in the AoG and there was a point when I got quite disillusioned with where things were at. I’m in the IPHC now BTW.

      I’ve come to realise that the primary issue at hand is a western issue (not American or Australian or European), and we are all going through the same thing as the Pentecostal church at large grapples with what it means to deal with post modernity. And a lot of churches/groups are grabbing onto “products” or “people” “or programs” whereas we need to be quite old fashioned and grab onto the Lord. He is the One who will faithfully lead us and our churches.

      In the meantime, our job is to live under the law of love i.e. love our neighbours in other denominations even when we don’t agree with them!

    • Reply October 28, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Chris Friend Yes and weve discussed it some The article was inspired by Resolution 16 that shut down the NAR agenda for our AG Joseph Steven Girdler has called for the prophetic but AG shut down the prophetic pretty much from all FL revivals with Res16 Peter Vandever was there

    • Reply October 28, 2019

      Chris Friend

      Troy Day you’re talking about the American AG though.

    • Reply October 28, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Chris Friend well now thats a great assumption – RichardAnna Boyce has been addressing other countries too We’ve been talking about the 2019 decline of the US AG compared to the 2017 world wide growth

  • Reply March 26, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    how come? and why is there a lady on your blog’s ABOUT page?

  • There is still a lot of (Acts Church’s) spirit filled Pentecostals in the body of Christ, around, alive with the Holy Spirit and Fire, making a difference. In fact we are growing in number, I am not referring to a certain church, but many church’s who are Pentecostal. A church (people) is as strong as their leadership.

  • Reply March 27, 2020

    Louise Cummings

    Good message you preached all the way through. I knew some but not all.

  • Reply March 27, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Joseph Reeder WHY?

  • Reply March 27, 2020

    James P. White

    That’s why I am at a Vineyard church. We believe in the kingdom of God as one of the most important concepts in the Bible

  • Reply March 27, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    meaning? James P. White What happened to the Vineyard? http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/what-happened-to-the-vineyard/

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      James P. White

      Troy Day nothing, it’s a cool Charismatic church. I love it

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      James P. White but what happened to it Seems to have gone through a lot of trouble with the shepherding doctrine and only Peter Vandever is willing to talk about it

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      Troy Day the Vineyard died in December 1995.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Peter Vandever Has it really gotten this bad in the AG?

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      James P. White

      Troy Day I’m in Kansas City and this church is alive and well Peter Vandever. North KC Vineyard is a great church.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      Troy Day it needs revival but the AG tends to re-invent itself every decade or so.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      James P. White the Kansas 4 are long no more

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      James P. White Hardly. Been there. I am from KC as well. Forerunner Church is the closest the original Vineyard.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      James P. White

      Troy Day what Kansas 4? I’m talking about my church, and its amazing

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      north North KC is NOT bad but since IHOP went all-NAR it all started going down the drain theologically

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      James P. White Been there. Lack of power and authority 🙂 Just saying.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      James P. White

      Peter Vandever no North KC Vineyard has been amazing.

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      Troy Day IHOP is Pre-wrath (post-tribish)….

    • Reply March 27, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      same with IHOP it has turned to iHIP – know the mayor but got no prayer in the IHOP minus prayer = iHO

  • Reply March 27, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Peter Vandever just got someone to tell us how the Vineyard is doing and you had to get them going 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.