The Original Unexpurgated Document from January 2007 follows:
The Shepherd's Chapel and Dr. Arnold Murray
I am aware that many people who visit this site are directed here by students of the Shepherd's Chapel. Other people e-mail me saying, "I heard you are a student of the Shepherd's Chapel."
I owe a debt of gratitude to the students of the Shepherd's Chapel who have helped spread the word about this website. And I have a duty to the truth and to the students of the Shepherd's Chapel, so I am compelled to speak. I am not a student of the Shepherd's Chapel. I'm a graduate of the Shepherd's Chapel.
I started studying with The Shepherd's Chapel broadcast and Dr. Arnold Murray in the summer of 1993 and by 1996 I owned and had studied every single-subject cassette available at the time. I also made videos from broadcasts or bought cassettes for every book of the Bible available, at the time. I bought and still own all the books which were available, at the time, and I have read nearly all of them (except a few of the archaeology books like "In Plain Sight"). I considered photographing my collection and posting a picture of it on this page; but I thought that would be a little ridiculous. I'll let my understanding of Dr. Murray's teachings "serve as my credentials."
As you may have guessed by the tenor of this writing, I'm not a Shepherd's Chapel supporter any more. And those of you who support the Chapel my be thinking about not reading any further. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask you to bear with me, and I would remind you of something that Pastor Murray taught me, probably the single greatest thing I ever learned from that man, "Don't listen to this man, or any other man, without checking him out in God's word." I got where I am by doing that. One of the things which I have found disappointing about many followers of Arnold Murray, was their inability to follow that simple, yet profound, directive. Many of Shepherd's Chapel students have become followers of a man; not of God; nor of God's word.
If you truly are not a follower of a man, then you should not be angry at me, because, if that is not you (a follower of a man), then I was obviously not referring to you. If you are getting angry you ought to calm down and examine yourself. I also was a student of the Chapel, and a zealous one, I could teach the doctrine of the Kenites with conviction, take you back to "the world that was," describe the "unpardonable sin," and rebuke the babblers of babbling tongues. I never thought of myself as a follower of Arnold Murray, and if you seriously study the Bible with him, chances are, you don't either, so hear me out. I can't do anything against the truth.
I did not come to where I stand because of the unimpressive work of professional "cult-hawks" who produce all kinds of material and web-sites against cults and Dr. Murray and the Chapel. My problems with Dr. Murray are derived directly from the teachings of the Shepherd's Chapel and my own study of those teachings as they relate to scripture. I never really cared if he really was a Doctor or not, I never really cared what he predicted back in the 80's. Honestly, I cannot remember much of what the anti-chapel people have to say. They are all Orthodox, Mainstream, Heretics anyways, who cares what they have to say. Orthodoxy=Apostasy
I was never educated in any theological school or in a church, save the Shepherd's Chapel. I have been a cast-off from every church (except my current church) "but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." I do not read books on doctrine or subscribe to systems of theology. In the preliminary text I have not provided tons of "back -up" from scripture, I will do this when/if challenged, but in general I do not throw out all the scriptures because anyone who is truly taught of Christ ought to know these things already. And if the spirit of God is merciful towards you He will witness to you that what I say is true.
I'm hoping I will get many emails that will help expand this page. Please, send your questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org I will use the questions and answers to add to this page.
My First Passover Meeting: 1995
In March 30th, 1995, I was 21 years old, I was headed down Interstate 44 through Missouri on my way to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Sitting next to me (alternating the driving) was my soon-to-be wife, Katie. We were headed to Fort Smith for the annual Passover meeting for the Shepherds Chapel that weekend, and the following. Wednesday we were going to be married at the Shepherd's Chapel. I was baptized in the Hotel swimming pool by Dr. Murray; I later baptized my new wife in Beaver Lake.
I was going to the Passover meeting with eagerness, I was excited to be meeting the people of God, and I really wanted to meet people from my area. I was hungry for fellowship with people who believed the same things as I did. I was young (just 21) and very excited about the teachings and wanted to talk about the bible with people I believed were God's own Elect. The crowds were pretty impersonal, I don't know what I really expected to see, I guess it was prophets, teachers, men of God, and such. But there was only one person of interest in that place and it was him that all had apparently come to see. We joined the herd and headed in to the auditorium.
I don't remember when it was said, it may have been the very first night, (you still may be able to order the tapes and tell me) but Pastor Murray was talking about the fifth trump and that "that is where we are right now," I did not misunderstand him, I'm a man of very keen understanding. It makes sense if you know much about Dr. Murray's teaching. I have a cassette from the late 80's called "The Windows of Heaven" in which he talks about a vision in which it was revealed to him that we were moving from the 4th to the 5th seal (maybe it was 5th to 6th), I guess at that rate by 1995 we ought to have been along in the trumps. In retrospect, that was the turning point, because he lost me there. I couldn't buy that one.
As far as I'm concerned, this is a fact: not one trumpet of the Apocalypse has yet sounded. A trumpet is a signal, "if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" When the "trumpets sound" they will be events which will serve as very clear signals. The events which are the trumpets, especially the first four trumpets, will probably be literally fulfilled or at least be very clearly distinguishable and identifiable as trumpet events by God's elect, and perhaps by much of the world. In retrospect, the idea that we were in the fifth trumpet back in 1995 is, on its face, ridiculous.
Many of you who study with the Chapel may be saying, "that was a long time ago," I was just thinking the same thing. It occurred to me that the 80's prediction thing (which I have on cassette, but is no longer available from the Chapel) was actually closer then, than 1995 is now, which makes me feel my age, but, granted, maybe he repented. I don't know, I don't listen to him anymore. But this is my story, and, at that time, it bugged me. I think, from that moment on, it suddenly became difficult to listen attentively to Arnold Murray, my estimation of him as a man knowing the things of God diminished. Even though, at the time, I was not ready to consciously acknowledge it, but subconsciously, I knew that if he was wrong, then he was a false teacher. After all, a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
When Katie and I were married later that week (Wednesday April 5th, 1995) I was still very devoted to the teachings of the Chapel. The 5th trump thing, for the time being, was, "put on a shelf."
Doctrines of the Shepherd's Chapel Which I Know To Be Not Biblical
When I got back to Illinois, I continued my studies with Pastor Murray, but now I was meeting with other students, and I was very happy for that. I had begun leading bible studies in 1993 at Harper Community College in Palatine, IL and now these studies moved to the homes of my new friends.
I'm not going to go into those relationships, but in the course of studying with them, I came to realize that there were some serious problems with what we believed and what Dr. Murray was teaching.
Going into this, I'm not going to go to great lengths to explain the teachings of the Chapel. I wrote this for Shepherd's Chapel people, so other people are not going to really "get it." I may expand this section by adding more explanatory texts in red or additional pages linked as I get e-mails and think about it more.
Titus 3:10 "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself "
1. Details of the World That Was, the Elect, and the Angelic Rebellion Completely Fabricated by Dr. Murray
This was the big one, maybe, for me, the worst thing, when examined closely, Pastor Murray teaches a perverted form of predestination.
It goes like this: the elect are chosen "because they stood against Satan" during Satan's rebellion in the world that was, meaning in the World in the time before the days listed in Genesis Chapter 1. You Chapel students should know what I mean. This doctrine is nothing like the doctrine of election the Apostle Paul taught in Romans 9 and other places.
First of all, the point about, "because they stood against him" is just something Arnold Murray says, it's not in the Bible anywhere, he has absolutely made it up himself. It is an interesting and tantalizing story, but it is not truth. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that we were ever consciously alive before we were born into this world. Certainly, we existed in the purposes of God, and he did foreknow us, but He knew us before we were, not when we were before; Pastor Murray's vision is a fantasy of his own creation, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
In teaching this doctrine, Pastor Murray points out the place in the book of Job where the Lord speaks to Job out of the whirlwind saying, "Where were you, when I laid the foundations of the Earth...when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Pastor Murray presumes to give an answer where none was given, "He (Job) was there!" "And so were we!" so Dr. Murray says... Pastor Murray has answered God in a matter which he is completely ignorant, Arnold Murray does not know where he was when those things happened, he does not know where you were when those events occurred, but he likes to pretend he knows.
Many people fail to recognize the full implication of this doctrine, which is this: Arnold Murray teaches a form of work's (earned) salvation. Make no mistake about it, according to the Chapel, it is not the works you do in this world which earn your election, it is rather the works you did in the former world (which you cannot remember), these works make you the elect. Then Dr. Murray throws in this idea that some people are "freewill souls" (I guess they sat on the sidelines?? I could never quite figure that one out) and then the "Kenites," well, Dr. Murray says that they might change their stripes. (Yeah, right! Tares do not become wheat, period!) If you are getting confused, you are obviously not a student of the Chapel.
The Bible gives its own reason why God chooses His Elect. "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil (not any in this world or any world before it!), that the purpose of God, according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)" Romans 9 The Apostle Paul also said of the election of God, "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." Romans 9 The only reason that the elect are chosen is that the purpose of God has purposed it. People I meet all the time do not like that, but that is what the Bible teaches, God is sovereign over all period.
God chose us from before the foundation (or overthrow if you prefer) of the world. In his desire to answer the question of "why," in regards to this, Arnold Murray supplies an answer from his imagination, "because they stood against Satan." It is a fascinating and captivating story (God knows, it has captivated the minds of thousands); but it is basically a denial of God's Grace and Sovereignty, and is certainly a lie.
The whole picture of God from Arnold Murray's perspective is wrong. Pastor Murray has overstepped a boundary and filled in what he perceives to be a gap in the story. In my opinion, to teach that fiction as truth is blasphemy of the truth.
There are allot of twists and turns to Pastor Murray's theory, the fact that there is no scripture to really support his idea makes it easy "fix" the story. Do you know all the twists? He has an answer for why we don't remember the world that was, we must be "born innocent of woman," but no scriptures to back it up. All the little fixes in the story are his vivid imagination at work, period.
No one, no one, resists the will of God, you may think you do, but, if you think that is what you are doing, it is because God made you to be that way. If God truly hates you; it is because you are something hateful which God has created and allowed to exist, not because of what you have done in this world or any other (Esau, who didn't have to do anything in order to be hated of God, is a great example). Romans 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
The scriptures say that we love God "because He loved us first," therefore it is also true that, if we hate God, it is because He hated us first.
Isaiah 29:16 "for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?" You are not the maker of you, or the author of your salvation, your choices do not determine things, you choose the things which are already determined. The human experience is one of choices, but from God's perspective it is all predetermined by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.
2 Peter 2:12 "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" God makes people to be destroyed, that is their purpose, "What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:" Fitted to destruction. You have to be made to conform to the pattern of destruction.
1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." God appoints people to be disobedient. Don't let that slide by, let it sink down into your ears
I'm not going to go on all day. I will eventually write a paper on this subject which will not involve Arnold Murray.
Main Point: Arnold Murray teaches election by deeds which you did in another age. That is a lying dream, it is contrary to the scriptures.
2. Replenish the Earth - Dr. Murray Abuses the Word When Convenient
One subject that got me into trouble with some students of the Shepherds Chapel was when I started "going back to the original languages," just like Dr. Murray taught me. In Genesis 1:28 God tells the man to "replenish the Earth," Dr. Murray likes to put heavy emphasis on "RE-plenish," which he teaches means "RE-plenish" from when the world was populated before, in the "world that was." Well, if you look up that word in the Hebrew, like I did, you will find that the word is FILL; there is no idea of "again" anywhere in that Hebrew text. The word "replenish" in King James' time, simply meant "to fill," you can look that up in a good dictionary. But the Hebrew is the key, when you, "take it back to the Hebrew," it says fill, not refill, as in fill again, no, it's just, "fill." Every modern translation correctly translates the passage.
What's the big deal? Well, you would think, with all the emphasis Dr. Murray places on the passage, that he would have "checked it out for himself" to make sure he was standing on solid ground. Either, he is ignorant of the facts, or he is abusing the word because it is convenient for him to do so in order to bolster his wild and speculative hypotheses. This issue illustrated to me the "gospel truth" Dr. Murray's statements can take on, in the minds of some students.
Oh yes, and there is no such thing as a "prime root" in Strong's Hebrew dictionary "prim. root" is short for "primitive root." An honest mistake, but one that came to bug me.
3. Kenites and the Devil's Children
I learned all the scriptures there are to know on this subject, and looking at the scriptures I realized that the whole thing had very flimsy support, if any.
Satan Actually Fathering a Son - Dr. Murray has to read into the texts things that are not there and he pours extra meaning into words like "wholly seduced" which does not mean "sexually seduced," and "sperma" which does mean seed, and can mean seed as in "sperm" but is not the way we use sperm in English, having a singular technical meaning "sperm" has in the modern medical sense. We get the word "sperm" from the Greek word for seed not the other way around. Sperma is used of the "seed of David" but it doesn't mean, "sperm," it means offspring; the same word is used of seeds in the parable of the sower (some "sperma" fell on stony ground), and of the mustard seed (the smallest of "sperma"). Just because there are "children of the devil" does not mean that they are literally the by-product of Satan's sperm and Eve's egg.
Here are some examples from scripture of "spermless" seed:
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed (Gk. sperma), and heirs according to the promise.
Aside: That passage makes the whole "we (white folks from NW Europe) are the true Israelites," doctrine pointless. And that is the doctrine of the Shepherd's Chapel.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed (in Greek: "Sperma") remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
This is how I know that I'm the child of God: I've got the "sperm" of God in me, and the seed stays in me, and I shouldn't sin anymore. There is no doubt, Cain was a child of the devil, but no more than you or I are if we do not do righteousness and love our brothers. Works are what distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil. Not that works make a person the child of God or a child of Satan, but works distinguish them. "You shall know them by their fruit." Cain slew his brother out of jealousy, no doubt Cain was of the Devil and of the Serpent's seed, albeit, in the spirit the same way I am of the seed of God, but the spirit.
John 8:39 "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 41Ye do the deeds of your father."
John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. "
If we compare these two verses we see that the "Kenites" (really, just these specific Jews) are at once, Abrahams seed and not his children. Now the seed is either spiritual or carnal. Were they the carnal seed of Abraham? Or the spiritual seed of Abraham? Because they must be both not his children and his seed. Dr. Murray's doctrine says that they are the flesh and blood offspring of the Devil. Well, then was Jesus saying that they were the "spiritual seed" of Abraham? The answer is obvious, they were the flesh and blood seed of Abraham but Jesus did not respect that because their works showed that they were the seed of Satan in the spirit.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Aside from badly mishandling John, Pastor Murray does not understand the parable of the tares, I have heard him suggest that a tare can become wheat, that a "Kenite" can become a child of God, "if they repent." This is contrary to the scriptures that he tries to use to establish the Kenite doctrine, like John 8 which says in verse 43, 44, "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the Devil and the lust of your father ye will do."
If they cannot hear the word of God then they cannot repent, faith comes by hearing, without faith it is impossible to please God, without hearing it is impossible to have faith. Pastor Murray has many teachings that contradict each other; he teaches about having eyes to see and ears to hear, but at the same time allows that a tare can become wheat if it "repents." Wrong.
As it was written of Esau in Hebrews 12:17, "For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Sometimes, repentance can be rejected, even if it is sought "carefully" and "with tears."
Extra People Making It On the Ark?
Pastor Murray used to talk about "Noah's little old flood" and like Dr. Murray, I used to believe the flood was not world-wide and that was how Cain's descendants got through the flood. Then he brought in this trash idea that, "It was 8 Adamic Souls on the Ark." For one, Cain was "Adamic." Eve was taken out of Adam and Cain was the son of Eve, correct? So Cain is a descendant of Adam, even if Satan was his Dad. So that whole bunch of garbage about other "kinds" of "souls" getting on the ark ought to be discarded as such. The souls of men are one "kind" in the bible. Pastor Murray has introduced much fiction into the scriptures.
Are The Kenites of Chronicles Descendants of the Same Cain from Genesis?
There easily may have been more than one person with that name (Cain). Being called Kenites does not mean they are the sons of that Cain. Especially when the original sons of Cain were wiped out by the flood.
Frankly, the only real "benefit" which I have ever seen of knowing, "who the Kenites are," is that knowledge makes many people prejudiced against Jews and assuming they are "Kenites." I know that is not explicitly what Pastor Murray teaches but that is what it does to many Shepherd's Chapel students I have known. Dr. Murray frequently emphasizes how important this doctrine is; it is the subject of his free, "Mark of the Beast" tape, but it is not even a biblical doctrine.
I know some people are going to object and say the Jews are "our dear brother Judah," but you are not a very thorough student of the Shepherd's Chapel, read on.
4."Teaching on Three Levels," Just Who Is, "Our Dear Brother Judah?"
As I said, I listened to just about everything Dr. Murray was saying back the late 80's and 90's. I doubt much has changed. Dr. Murray only has a few notes to toot while constantly alluding to that, "deeper level." I bought all those tapes because I thought somewhere I would find the "deeper level" teachings plainly laid out for the advanced students. Maybe even stuff that would help me get out of my sins! The "deeper truth" is actually simply possessing the full understanding of what Pastor Murray is talking about when he gets vague. "A word to the wise is sufficient."
This is an example of something Dr. Murray has said: "The Kenites have given our dear brother Judah a bad name." Translation: "The people who are commonly called Jews have given the German race a bad name." If you don't get that, then you have not been a very attentive student. Like I said, I've heard ALL the tapes. If you walk up to him and ask him that, I am guessing he will deny it, because he will think you are a heretic-hawk or something, he is very careful to keep a lid on that sort of a statement (a word to the wise is sufficient). I heard him say on several occasions that the true tribe of Judah is Germany, and if you don't know who the Kenites are... you haven't gone very deep with Dr. Arnold Murray (Hint: the Kenites are the Jews). He has made statements about them really finding "little ovens" after WW2 instead of "big" ones (I've heard him minimize the Holocaust in such a manner, but I've never heard him actually deny it).
But really, there is not a whole lot of deeper stuff than what is written in that awful, "Discovering God's "Natural" Truth," kids' book. Eve and Satan had a son together (Cain) who was a fraternal twin with Abel (Adam's son). The sons of Cain survived the flood, and eventually supplanted the real Jews/Israelites (the white Northwestern European race) by infiltrating the priesthood etc., and, of course, they crucified Christ, and are a scourge on humanity until this day. A word to the wise is sufficient. I burned that "Natural Truth" book in a fire at church last June. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
5. Are White Folks Really the True Israelites?
The doctrine that goes hand in hand with, "the Jews are the Devil's Children." Is the doctrine that white people are Israelites really important? I had a pureblooded Italian student tell me that he was an Israelite; I didn't have the heart (back then) to tell him the "truth," Italians are definitely "gentiles" [I'm actually 1/4 Italian]. This doctrine is based on scriptures which say that God would send Israel North etc. etc. But the scriptures also say that they would be left few in number and that they would be swallowed up by the heathen. Dr. Murray tries to teach that the Israelites went out swallowing nations and not the reverse, that is wrong. Some sermons were preached at my church on this subject, check out:
August 20 2006 - Swallowed Up the demise of Israel
I do believe that many people are distantly related to the lost tribes (Not just related to the Jews, but I do mean related to the lost tribes of the Israelites), but it is not just white folks, they are Blacks, Chinese, and it is written that they were scattered into every nation. But even if I was a "pure blood" Israelite, I do not see how that is important since we now have Christ and a better covenant than the Israelites did. Why go back to the beggarly elements?
6. "God Doesn't Really Care About Your Little Old Sexual Sins"
Speaking of deep things, how about the depths of Satan? I remember very clearly Pastor Murray once saying, "God Doesn't Really Care About Your Little Old Sexual Sins," but that what he really cares about is spiritual adultery. I.e. what god are you going to worship? The scripture teaches that whosoever commits sin is of the Devil. So, sinning in any form is rebellion against God, sin has to stop, that is what Jesus came into the world to do, to save us from our sins. Dr. Murray's teaching is light on righteousness, in fact, Dr. Murray has said that anyone who says they are righteous is a hypocrite.
Arnold Murray Creates Room for Sin - At the time, Pastor Murray's statement about sexual sins gave me a great deal of comfort in my sexual sins, God didn't really care about that. Whenever teaching and I would come across passages about fornication or adultery, I would emphasize the idea of spiritual adultery as being "worse." The same thing with drinking; "spiritual drunkenness was "worse," that was the fruit of Dr. Murray in me. The reality is that literal fornication is spiritual adultery from the ways of God and walking after Jesus Christ, Dr. Murray's teaching leaves room for people to continue in sin so long as it is not, "habitual sin" (whatever that means). Esau's rejecting of his birthright was not an "habitual sin" but he still was rejected and found no place for repentance though he sought it, "carefully" and, "with tears." (Hebrews 12:17) The Bible never speaks of "habitual" sins. Willful sins, yes. Committing sins, yes. Habitual sins, no.
7. Dr. Murray and the "Great Doctrine of the Trinity"
Trinitarianism is one of the cornerstones of the Apostate Church (Orthodoxy) (See Editorial Comment below). Some people have tried to peg Dr. Murray as anti-Trinitarian; he certainly used to think he was and sure acted like it. But even back when I was listening to him, he had begun to cozy up with the Trinity, referring to it as, "the great doctrine of the Trinity." This one honestly makes me sick, Arnold Murray doesn't believe in the Trinity any more than I do; but he doesn't want to say so publicly for fear of losing many people.
He wants to have it both ways. He wants to call his doctrine "the Trinity," but his "three offices" doctrine, is not a Trinitarian way of explaining God. Trinitarianism is "Team God," as a baseball team has nine players but one team, "team God" has three persons but one "God." With the Trinity, basically, the idea of God is a mere unifying semantic designation given to three different guys. For example: the '85 Bears, Payton is Bears, Dent is Bears, Singletary is Bears, but there is really only one "Bears," that is the Trinity in a nutshell. (See Editorial Comment below)Trinitarianism is: one office (God) three persons (Father Son and Spirit) Dr. Murray's is (though he is not very clear on it) one person; three offices. Both are wrong, "Three Offices" are as unscriptural as "Three Persons." (See Editorial Comment below)
Editorial Comment: To say the least, I have gotten some negative feedback for these statements. I am dropping the objections to the trinity which I made in 2007 on this page. These objections were not made with thoughtful consideration, I objected to the Trinity, but I was not entirely sure why. When I wrote this page, I was mainly interested in beginning my work against the ministry of the Shepherd's Chapel and provoking a response from people faithful to that ministry. So I just made objections based on what seemed plausible to me at that time. After all, I didn't really know anything about the Trinity. "God in three persons" is not terminology I had read in the bible, so it was easy to say "that's not biblical." I did not know what the terms mean to Trinitarians. So the objections mentioned here do not adequately explain my current position in regard to the Trinitarian doctrine. The following Article does explain my position. On the Doctrine of the Trinity
Here is some food for thought:
In John Chapter 17 Jesus expresses His desire that we may be one as He and the Father are one, if Trinitarianism was true then we would be joining the Trinity. "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:... that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one "
Think about it... Who, in the Trinity, was Jesus father? "The Father," you say? The how come the scriptures say of Mary, "she was found with child of the HOLY GHOST." Matthew 1:18,20 Think about it...
Anyway, there are lots of good reasons to reject the Trinity. I'll just say that I like to describe God and the Son of God using only the scriptures. See my article On Jesus Christ and The Nature of God. That is good enough for me and for anyone. Speaking of the Holy Ghost...
8. Pastor Murray is Wrong About Tongues
I used to walk people through 1 Corinthians 14 and demonstrate (emphatically) how it was only talking about people being skilled at different languages and regulating their use. The only problem is that it just doesn't make much sense.
O.K., for one, if you don't know it already, on March 21st 2005 the spirit of God came on me with a real power which I could actually feel and this was evidenced by the speaking in tongues as the spirit gave utterance. I was not looking for tongues, I wanted God to help me stop sinning, and He did, and does, but I got the tongues thing too.
In this section I would like to point out a few things to you bible students about 1 Corinthians 14.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
Did you catch that? If I am praying in Spanish, because I can speak Spanish, why would I have to pray to "interpret," for my own benefit, my own prayer? Why wouldn't I have fruitful understanding if the language is known to me and I can speak it?
Why would anyone be tempted to have foreign language speakers speak when no one in the room understands them? Unless, it is because they are speaking, "in the spirit," and not in a normal foreign language, and doing so might have seemed like a very spiritual thing to do. I can see that temptation, someone gets the Holy Ghost and now they want to stand up and address the Church in tongues. Paul says, "No." I simply cannot imagine someone who only spoke Chinese walking into an English-only church and addressing the church in Chinese without an interpreter. it doesn't seem like something that people would try to do and need to be corrected over.
Why should I pray to interpret my own prayer? If I know the language and can interpret it why not just pray in the language people understand. It doesn't make sense. Unless, you understand speaking with tongues to be the new and bizarre spiritual exercise that it was, then one can readily imagine why the Apostle would dedicate a whole chapter advising how to deal with it.
Do we think that people had never had to deal with foreign languages before? In my life I have never been somewhere where they had a foreign language speaker addressing a group of people who did not understand him. It would be madness, so would having someone get up and do so "in the spirit," but because of the novelty of "tongues," I can imagine it.
1 Corinthians 14 makes no sense to me, reading it thinking it is giving advise on dealing with folks who speak foreign languages. None at all. What does it mean to "bless with the spirit?" Verses, say blessing with the understanding? Or, "sing with the spirit," verses, "sing with the understanding"? How do you do that. I know how.
Ok, Mr. Stringini, but how about Pentecost Day? Hmmm? Indeed, on that day, it was said that the hearers understood them in their own languages from the very towns in which they were born, and that was a miracle, it was a very special day, but why would the Apostle Paul later tell us to pray "that we may interpret?" I believe some of the speakers may not have understood what they were saying or what was happening themselves, at first. If we look at the times, later on, we can find examples when the Holy Ghost fell on people who all spoke one language and no strangers are there; we must ask the question: if everyone knew what they were saying, how did they know that they were speaking in tongues if everyone understood what was said. Wouldn't that just be prophecy? How does one tell?
In any case, nothing trumps ideas like experiences, my experience has wiped out my doubt that tongues are for real. Can people fake tongues?Sure they can, but if that is what they want; fake religion, then, I say, they are welcome to it. That is not for me. Try the spirits to see whether they be of God.
9. Dr. Murray's Awful Misteaching of "Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit"
Editorial comment: A Shepherd's Chapel student has shown me how I misrepresented (unintentionally) the exact nature of Arnold Murray's teaching on this subject. I still believe he does not teach the doctrine correctly, but in the interest of fairness I am posting that student's correction here: #94.) "You Are the Fraud!" One of My Inaccuracies is Pointed Out by a Sharp Shepherd's Chapel Student
I remember how I tried to understand and explain Dr. Murray's version of "Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost" doctrine and, for a while, I did it his way. But anyone who studies the scriptures for long will realize that pastor Murray is just using the fact that a single passage which refers to being "delivered up" occurs once in proximity to Jesus mentioning the "unpardonable" sin. Non-Chapel people are going to be baffled by this one. Basically, Dr. Murray says that premeditating what you will say when you are delivered up before Satan is THE unpardonable sin; blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.
Let me show you every time Jesus talked about this.
Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith sever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Notice: a far greater authority than Dr. Arnold Murray gives us the meaning: Note in the above scripture: Because. Calling that which the Holy Ghost does, the work of evil spirits, is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. Pretty sensible.
Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Again, we have the same story, the meaning is very obvious, not one word about being delivered up before Satan. I could never understand how it is in Dr. Murray, so much so, to pervert the Word of God on this point. His blindness is staggering. So is yours, if you do not get this, or are angry at me for pointing out the error of his ways.
Now, Dr. Murray's favorite, Luke 12, the interesting thing about Luke 12 is that if you will examine the context, it is a series of teachings which do not necessarily depend on each other. Many of these teachings occur in different contexts in the other gospels. But what Dr. Murray does with this passage is suggest that verses 11 and 10 have a cause and effect relationship: that 11 defines the meaning of blasphemy in 10. Friend...that defies logic. Not that logic is the be all end all of things. The word blasphemy means, "to speak evil of," but Dr. Murray's interpretation makes it mean "speak amiss, or speak willfully," honestly, I don't know what he wants us to believe the word means. There is no hint in this passage that verses ten and eleven are dependant on each other. Furthermore, I have Mark and Matthew backing me up. Especially Mark who tells us it was, "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." That settles it for me.
Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. 13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
You can see the way the subject matter discussed here by Jesus are not totally dependant on each other or need to fall into this sequence, but consist of a series of teachings which could be taken independently. This is another case of Dr. Murray abusing the Word of God for a purpose I cannot even understand. Why would he do this?!?
If I did not know that God himself has blinded this man then I would truly marvel. But this is the Lord's work. I truly benefited from having studied with Dr. Murray; who else would have taken me through the bible line on line? But there comes a time when every student ought to graduate. Maybe you are ready to graduate from the Shepherd's Chapel into some real meat. Honestly, Arnold Murray doesn't offer much in the way of meat, and the milk is polluted with doctrines which ought to be silenced. I liked Dr. Murray allot, I recently watched the video of My wife and I getting married at the Chapel, and may add it here, I was very fond of him, and in many ways I still am. I'm not angry at Dr. Murray one bit, he does not know what he is doing. I must speak against those things which God has commanded me that I must speak. Arnold Murray needs to repent.
"But doesn't the fact that Dr. Murray teaches many good things count for anything?" A little leaven leavens the whole lump; either make the tree good and its fruit good or make the tree evil and its fruit evil. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Yes, the rapture is a lie. But knowing that does not make you of God. Yes, eternal torture is a lie, but teaching that does not make you of the truth.
Let me tell you something my dear Shepherd's Chapel student, stop following men, you will be very sorry for it. Repent of these false doctrines and turn to the truth, God's Word, which shall make you free indeed. Make your calling and election sure.