The Pastor’s Got Warts!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

perfect pastor

©2015 Stan Hallett

Before I begin I must insert a disclaimer. I use some terms in this article that may have broader definition in the minds of those within the realm of what is called “Orthodox Christianity”.  When I use the term “Christian” I am not referring to the broad definition that is generally accepted. The term Christian generally means followers of Christ.  A better definition would be that a Christian is one that 1.) Has a correct understanding of who Jesus was and is. 2.) Is obedient to the His Word. 3.) Has obeyed the Gospel, and 4.) Continues in the faith.

Many that proclaim to be Christians do not know who Jesus was and is, are not obedient to the Word of God, and have not obeyed the Gospel.  In fact many, if not most that claim to be Christians do not know what the Gospel is, nor have they obeyed it.

People have interesting concepts of what they feel the Church is, and how they relate to their local assembly. I suppose a lot of it has to do with our culture.

In the beginning there was only one assembly in a population area that was reachable by walking to on the meeting day.  Christians generally became knit into their local assembly.  They couldn’t go Church shopping and bouncing around like so many Christians do today.

It is important that you become knit into the Church, your local assembly of One God Christians who believe, preach and teach the same doctrine that the Apostles taught in the book of Acts.

As time goes by and you begin to get knit into your local assembly you will begin to find that people are not perfect, even true Christians.  We all have flesh, all have ups an downs, good days and bad. This is where your walk with the Lord may be tested.

I often have said that it is impossible to offend a person that is full of the Holy Ghost, and I can prove it. If you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, then think back to the day that you were were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues.  Were you upset with anyone?  Did you hate anyone?  No way!  You loved everybody!  You were full of the Holy Ghost!

I have observed with many assemblies that the pastor often treats his home as a sanctuary, a place where he can relax and not be concerned about every word he says, and every thing that he does. He has learned from experience that one wrong statement or act can offend people and cause them to leave and go somewhere else. This is wrong.

Yes, those in leadership positions need to be examples to the flock. However, we need to also understand that these men are also human, are imperfect, can make mistakes, and do and/or say the wrong things on a occasion.  We as saints need to forgive others as we desire to be forgiven.

No pastor, missionary, evangelist, deacon, elder, or saint of God is perfect and always does and says the right thing 100% of the time.  Any pastor will tell you that there have been times when they spoke when they which they could have pulled those words back into their mouth.  Are any of us any different?

I do my best to always give grace and not be offended.  That does not mean that I do not recognize an offense. Here is an opportunity for you to rather than be offended and take negative action, but rather to go to that Sister of Brother and take positive action. Does not Jesus say; “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15)?

As you become knit into a body you should be growing spiritually.  As you draw closer to people, including those in leadership, and if you are walking closely with the Lord, you will find more and more opportunities to minister to all saints, including those that minister.

Stop bouncing around assembly to assembly, and stop Church shopping!  If the basic and fundamental doctrine is right, then get knit it and serve right where you are at!  The more issues and the more problems there are, the more opportunity to serve. Isn’t that what you asked the Lord for?  A place where you can be used?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Reaching Out to the Wounded

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

©2013 Stan Hallett

hurtingI have attended a lot of Church services over the course of my 64 years, all across this country from sea to shining sea. Although I have had some experiences with denominational “Churches” in my life, my primary experience has been what has come to be known as “Apostolic Pentecostal”, or as some refer to us as “Oneness Pentecostal”. I have been part of, and have attended many assemblies whose pastors are licensed with the *United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI).  In fact I was baptized in Jesus’ Name in 1976 by a UPCI pastor (The late David F. Gray, Revival Tabernacle, San Diego, California).

I have also attended some assemblies affiliated with other organizations, and have been part of the leadership of others. I have also attended, and been part of some Independent Apostolic Pentecostal Assemblies, as I am now. You should also know that I consider all that are repented, baptized in Jesus’ name, and are filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance, and continuing to walk in the newness of life, no matter what organization, or what the name of their assembly is, to be my brothers and my sisters.

Having said that; I agree that man-made organizations have done much good in the kingdom due to the organization of efforts, I feel that they have also done much harm due to the exclusion of those ministers, pastors, evangelists, and elders that are not card-carrying members. The spirit of exclusion, the spirit of competition, of disfellowship, and disunity is alive and well in the Church, which should not be. Nowhere has this been more prevalent and obvious to me than in my own home state of Maine. This has done, and continues to do harm to the Church as a whole. What some have intended to be a tool to unite like-minded brethren, has only served to divide us just as much.

The answer was never in man-made organizations and bylaws. The answer was in what Jesus already built (Matthew 16:18). Paul instructed us that “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). You might ask why we don’t just submit, and join the ranks of this organization for the sake of unity? For me the answer is very simple.  While I agree with the basic doctrine of salvation, i.e., Acts 2:38, I do not agree with other false doctrines, the prevalent legalism, and the traditions of men which have harmed, and continue to harm the Church. It does injury to those that otherwise might have been saved through love. Jesus said; Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30).

There have been many rules, or what are referred to as “Holiness Standards” put in place that are often not Biblical, or are taken from a misinterpretation of the Old Testament law, and do great harm to the Kingdom of God. This has been a yoke too heavy to bear for many new converts, and some older saints as well. There are also many traditions of men that are put upon the church as a yoke, which is often too heavy to bear for many.  I’ll not go into these here simply because I do not always know who my reader is. It is not my desire to cause harm or division in the Church. I will say that true holiness comes from the heart, and a covenant relationship with the Lord. True holiness does not come from a set of rules, the keeping of the Old Testament law, holiness standards, the personal convictions of others, or any man-made traditions.

What I do want to do is reach out to those that are of like faith, and that have been hurt by some of these false doctrines, standards and traditions of men, and may have given up.  I am reaching out to the wounded and hurt Saints of God that may live in or around the area of Northern New England. It is to them that I would like to invite to visit us at the First Apostolic Church of Biddeford, Maine. I can testify that I arrived here drawn by the Lord, in my mid 50’s and have been here ever since.  I came with a bit of baggage, thinking that I was well rooted, and had a pretty good understanding of doctrine.  I have learned much since I have been here and have grown in the Lord greatly. I am anxious to share it with you!

Come and visit us as you are, and where you are in your walk with God.  If your heart is to seek, learn about, and serve God, you are welcome here (See About Our Church Assembly). Have Questions? Want to talk? Feel free to email me, or call if you would like.  Or if you prefer, just come, and if you come, please make yourself known to me.

First Apostolic Church of Biddeford
One Apostolic Way
Biddeford, Maine 04005

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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Stan Hallett
[email protected]
 

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 * The United Pentecostal Church (UPCI) is a ministerial organization of which only it’s licensed ministers are members. It is the largest Oneness, Apostolic, Pentecostal organization of ministers. It is not a denomination or a church organization, although many congregants feel that they too are UPCI if they attend services where a licensed UPCI minister is the pastor.

 

 

 

 

        
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