Reaching Out to the Wounded
©2013 Stan Hallett
I 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.[email protected]
Tags: Apostolic, church, collegial eldership, dress codes, God, gospel, holiness standards, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, home groups, Jesus Name, legalism, man-made traditions, One God, Oneness, Pentecostal, spiritual abuse, United Pentecostal Church, UPC, UPCI