~a newsletter for former Pentecostals/Charismatics everywhere~
edited by The Association of Former Pentecostals
Affiliated with " Ex-Apostolics: The
Association of Former Pentecostals "
© 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved. ________________________________________________________________________
1, Issue 2
April 15, 2002
Table of Contents
2. Pentecostals In the News. . .
3. Cover Story
4. Famous Pentecostals
5. Spotlight On. . .
6. Letters to the Editor
Welcome, subscribers, to the second edition of "Delivered!" newsletter! In
preparing for the May newsletter, I had collected so much more information than
I really needed that I decided to stop, clean it up, and release the newsletter
a month earlier. As of now, I'm backing off calling it a quarterly; ffrom now
on, I'll refer to it as a "periodical" with the short term goal of putting out
five a year, instead of four. However, this is only a temporary goal. If the
information flow continues, my current personal schedule would allow me to
publish one every other month -- making it a bimonthly. This is my long-term
goal, but I'll wait until the next issue is out (tentatively June or July at
this rate) before making such a commitment.
I actually had more items than I could fit in this newsletter, so I'll have to
postpone an article concerning church growth among Pentecostal and Charismatic
churches. I'll include this in a later issue. This issue has eight news
stories, two profiles, and commentary on modern spiritual gifts.
We hope you enjoy it, and will send it to other friends in your e-mail address
The Association of Former Pentecostals
~PENTECOSTALS IN THE NEWS*~
© 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All
TWO AG MISSIONARIES INJURED IN PAKISTAN BLAST
Most of us heard the news recently of the terrorist bombing at the Protestant
International Church in Islamabad, Pakistan. A total of five people were
killed, along with two Americans; as many as 43 were injured. The Assemblies of
God News Service announced recently that two of the injured were members of AG
affiliated churches. These missionaries had returned to Pakistan after the 9/11
incident to complete their unfinished work.
MINISTERIAL SEXUAL ABUSE CASES
The Catholic church is reeling from international accusations about child
molestation from its priests. Many dioceses face stark financial futures as
they sort out how they will pay for the sins of the predators wearing their
priestly robes. At least one is facing complete liquidation of their assets in
this growing scandal that is shaking the entire Roman Catholic Church. But are
The Christian Science Monitor recently published an article citing a report on
child molestation by religious figures that dates back to 1985. They state that
the number of crimes in this subcategory are increasing, but are by no means
isolated to the Roman Catholic Church within the United States. As the largest
Christian church in America, they do account for about half of the cases, but
the rest are composed of the following Protestant denominations: Baptist,
Methodists, Episcopal priests, and . . . Pentecostals.
CELINE'S HUSBAND SUED FOR RAPING A FULL-GOSPEL MINISTER
In another story of sexual misconduct, a civil lawsuit was filed in March
against singer Celine Dion's husband and manager Rene Angelil for allegedly
raping a female Full Gospel minister, the Rev'd Yun Kyeong Sung Kwon, after
following her back to her hotel room from Caesar's Palace. Angelil had settled
with the woman earlier due to a fondling claim the woman made before concerning
the same alleged incident, but has stated that he agreed to a settlement only
because he was too sick with throat cancer to fight her at the time. He has
stated that this time, he will not be afraid to meet her in court to challenge
her alleged claims.
TULSA PASTOR LOSES MAYORAL BID DUE TO CONTROVERSY
Bishop Carlton Pearson, pastor of the 4,500 member Higher Dimensions Family
Church, was unsuccessful in his bid to be Tulsa's first black, Republican mayor
after losing last month's primary. The Pentecostal minister, a graduate of Oral
Roberts University, told Charisma News Service recently that the loss was due to
a controversial doctrine he has been teaching lately called "The Gospel of
Inclusion," which sparked a controversy he was unable to overcome despite a well
planned campaign that included TV commercials with Deion Sanders and Kathy Lee
This "doctrine" focuses on salvation through Jesus Christ, which has saved
everyone since Calvary (though not necessarily to their knowledge), and
contradicts what many mainstream Christian faiths teach about "original sin" and
salvation through an active belief in Christ. He stated that his opponents used
this to ensure that Tulsa's Christians would vote against him in the Republican
MAYOR, COG PASTOR BANISH SATAN FROM TOWN
Last Halloween, the Mayor of Inglis, Florida, Carolyn Risher, was distressed
about the dressing habits of the youth in her town and decided to do something
about it. To her, it seemed the workings of Satan were afoot in her small,
tranquil town of less than 1,400, so she sat down and wrote a mayoral
proclamation banning Satan from her town, henceforth!
A preacher friend of hers, the Rev'd Richard Moore of Yankeetown Church of God
had had a similar idea before, and wanted to place hollow posts on each of the
town's entranceways with prayers tucked inside. The mayor improved the plan by
adding the proclamation.
Some in the town support her as they see Satan's handiwork in the calamities of
everyday life, but some feel she is embarrassing the town through the
international attention this story has brought to their town. Even the ACLU has
stepped in threatening lawsuit feeling that this violates church-state
While Inglis ponders its newfound attention, demonic forces must now ponder her
proclamation that includes such lines as "Satan is hereby declared powerless, no
longer ruling over, nor influencing, our citizens. . .," or "By that authority,
and through His Blessed Name, we command all Satanic and demonic forces to cease
their activities and depart the town of Inglis."
AG PASTOR PREACHES TO THE . . . SENATE?
When Colorado State Senator Dave Owen (R-Greeley) invited a local pastor to be
the guest chaplain and open his chamber with prayer one morning, he and his
colleagues in the Upper House received quite a surprise. Pastor David Meek of
Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Greeley was supposed to deliver a nonsectarian
prayer, but instead did as he "felt led in the spirit."
In his prayer, Pastor Meek prayed that they would "reverse the Roe vs. Wade so
we can stop the killing and murder of the innocent little babies," urged female
Senators model themselves after Esther, invited them to accept Jesus, and prayed
for a Holy Ghost revival within the Senate and the state of Colorado. Many
female Senators left the room mid-prayer, as did others offended by his
remarks. The pastor had been told to be respectful of other cultures prior to
the prayer, but did as he pleased leaving his Senator to apologize later "for
any that were offended."
Many, including the preacher's wife, have stated that such is to be expected
when a Pentecostal minister is invited to pray at such an event.
AG CHURCH SUED OVER EXORCISM
In Tarrant County, Texas, a judge has awarded one Laura Schubert $300,000 in a
civil case that charged the pastor and several members of Colleyvilles's
Pleasant Glade Assembly of God with abuse and false imprisonment. Ms. Schubert
successfully claimed in court that on two occasions, members of this church
attempted to "exorcise" her after anointing the church with holy oil, and
propping up a cross against the door to keep demonic forces out, according to a
report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. These attempts were particularly
abusive to Ms. Schubert, spurring this lawsuit; however the church claims in a
statement that "We are a Bible-believing, Pentecostal church. For this we make
Our thanks to Lois Gibson for bringing this story to our attention!
FOURSQUARE PASTOR OUSTED FOR ABUSE-RELATED OFFENSE
Associate Pastor Paul Ilger of Hope Chapel of the Valley didn't get fired for
molesting four students while he had been a second-grade teacher. The church
leadership of this congregation associated with the International Church of the
Foursquare Gospel already knew of his checkered past, and gave him duties that
limited his access to children, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
The members of this Pentecostal church did not know; however, and when the
pastor explained his jail time to one member as being due to his environmental
activism, the member became suspicious, did a little detective work, and
discovered the truth.
The truth did not set the pastor free, however. In this course of this being
brought to light, the church discovered that that pastor was not registered at
his new residence as a sex offender, which is required by law. The whole truth
being known, the pastor has been relieved of his duties at the church, and is
facing California's famed Three Strikes punishment since his failure to register
offense is his third crime in the state.
TAMMY FAYE BLINKS AGAIN*!
The Many Lives of the Former Televangelist
© 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
Regardless of what you feel about the former Queen of Christian Television, one
can't help but respect her tenacity, her courage, and her longevity. Raised in
a strict Assemblies of God home, she eventually married the young minister whose
evangelism on television would make her a household name. After marrying young
Jim Bakker, they set about on their journey, creating "The 700 Club" for Pat
Robertson's ministry, starting TBN with Paul and Jan Crouch and eventually
settled down to create "PTL," or "Praise the Lord." Their ministry would
outshine their previous work, creating a large Charismatic empire that rivaled
any at that time, and even still many today. At the pinnacle of their career,
their ministry had built a theme park, Heritage-USA, whose annual attendance
rate at its peak was only surpassed by the two Walt Disney parks. And yet,
because of her husband's mortal tendencies, their combined lavish lifestyle, and
the blind ambition of the Rev'd. Jimmy Falwell, their empire crashed faster than
Enron's stock value.
One would think that with her husband's marital betrayal, the ensuing moral and
financial scandals, and her public humiliation, that she would simply dissolve
and go away; but, she survived it indeed, and still feels there's more work for
her to do.
Since the scandals, she's abandoned much of the evangelical intolerance she had
preached before, almost as quickly as the Charismatic community had abandoned
her. She divorced Jim Bakker while he was in prison, and married Roe Messner --
who had been a contractor with Heritage-USA -- a man she claims to let her be
herself. In a recent Larry King interview on CNN (March 6, 2002), she claims to
not even watch current Christian programming due to all the pain that had
happened in the past.
Though she still claims to be an ordained minister, her recent work is mostly
that of an entertainment sort, or marketing her own wares. Her recent forays
include a failed talk show, "The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show," and a recent
documentary on her life and life after the ministry, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
She has a new book out: "Tammy: Telling It My Way," and an intermittent one
woman show. She also states that she has a new television show in the works,
possibly a cartoon.
Though her previous ministry robbed many of their finances and perhaps their
faith, her new life is one of love, entertainment (often at her own expense),
and acceptance; characteristics that even Tammy would agree are often lacking in
the popular Evangelical Charismatic movements of today.
Famous (Ex) Pentecostals
EX-APOSTOLIC TURNS POP STAR DIVA*!
A Profile On Toni Braxton
© 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
A few years ago, fans of pop star diva Toni Braxton were shocked to see the
beautiful songstress posed nude and seminude (albeit with limbs strategically
placed) in the pages of a popular magazine. Although it was all for the sake of
promoting her album at the time, most of her fans thought that her voice alone
was advertisement enough to sell her music.
No one has held this against her though; each of her albums do very well in
record sales, and provide several hit singles for pop and R&B radio stations
around the world. One would think with her sultry alto voice, and her soulful
styling, that she came from a rich, musical tradition perhaps similar to a
family so involved in the music industry like that of Whitney Houston whose
mother was a backup singer for Elvis, and whose cousin Dione Warwick was a top
popular singer herself.
Toni wasn't so fortunate. She was raised in a large family in Maryland, one of
five children in her household. There were no famous relatives; her father was
an Apostolic minister who forbade her and her siblings to even listen to popular
music, much less aspire to work in that industry. Their lifestyle was very
strict, as are the lives of all of this particular Pentecostal faith. Unlike
many congregations in this faith, television wasn't forbidden (though some
programs were), so when her parents were away or asleep, Toni and her sisters
would sneak into a room (or perhaps at a friends house) and watch popular music
programs, especially Soul Train. They would also sing in the choir at church.
In later years, their father lightened up, and in the very early nineties, she
formed a singing group with her sisters, The Braxtons. They were discovered by
Arista Records who promptly signed them to a contract. They made one single,
"The Good Life," which never materialized into a hit, but it attracted them to
her longtime producers, Babyface, and L.A. Reid. They saw quite a bit of
potential in Toni as a solo act, and produced her first album, "Toni Braxton,"
in 1993, which sold over 2 million records in the US alone, and earned her a
Grammy for Best New Artist in 1993.
Since then, she has gone on to make two more pop/R&B albums, a holiday album,
and countless hit singles. A new album, now untitled, is scheduled to be
released this year, and is her first under a new label and new producer. It
promises to be a hit as the singer herself has shown herself to more than a
"one-hit-wonder," and has moved into the rank of Pop Diva with fellow singers
Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey.
Snowflake (Arista)- 2001
The Heat (Arista) - 2000
Secrets (LaFace) - 1996
Toni Braxton (LaFace) - 1993
Hit Singles include:
Just Be A Man About It (Arista Records) 2000
Unbreak My Heart (LaFace) 1996
Breathe Again (LaFace) 1993
SPOTLIGHT ON. . . ~Ex-Pentecostals~
As most of you know, this newsletter was an outgrowth of another ministry
started earlier, a e-mail support group for Oneness Pentecostals called
"Ex-Apostolics." In that group, many joined from other Pentecostal sects, and
to my surprise, many shared experiences of spiritual abuse very similar to those
that group was formed for. I was planning to create a newsletter for this
particular group, but was inspired to make it for the "broader" growing group of
Ex-Pentecostals and former Charismatics due to this.
This month, I'm pleased to announce the creation of a new e-mail support and
discussion group simply called "Ex-Pentecostals." It is aimed at this larger
group (along with this newsletter), and will serve to provide a medium of
communication, fellowship, and support for all who've left (or are considering
leaving) any Pentecostal faith, or a Charismatic congregation. It is open to
all former Pentecostals, including current members of "Ex-Apostolics" (though
this is not an attempt to replace that first group).
To join, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ex-pentecostals and choose the "join" command,
or simply send a blank e-mail to Ex-Pentecostalsfirstname.lastname@example.org.
~Letters to the Editor**~
I wish to make a comment on the article by Karen (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Feb 15, 2002)
regarding her personal experience with the Islamic priest or "Imam." As much as
I appreciate her encounter of a loving person of different faith, I must stress
that it is not the same God that she heard. I am from Malaysia and the majority
of the population are Muslim. Although we enjoy freedom of worship, but we also
are fully aware that we pray to a different God. To this people of Ishmael
lineage, we are infidels and at most only tolerated. We are treated as second or
no class people. We can be removed to serve their higher cost if necessary.
Certainly their Allah is not our God. Sorry to differ with you Karen, but the
love they project to you is not Calvary's love. I was a victim of spiritual
abuse in my former church, but that is another story which I hope to share
Alan Phua, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Karen shared with our group later that communications with this gentleman
eventually turned into a more dogmatic, doctrinal direction, and that they no
longer communicate. The reason I printed the story was to show how we can see
God in many things, though all things are not necessarily of or within the Will
of God. - AFoP Editor
"All That Glitters*. . ."
© 2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved.
For this editorial, I'd like to start a special series of articles focusing on
unusual gifts of the spirit. This series won't appear in each newsletter, but
as I gather enough information to present.
The "gift" I would like to focus on in this issue is a strange phenomenon of
gold dust and gold fillings that "miraculously" appear in many Charismatic
churches and revivals today. The first I had heard of this was shortly after
moving to my current town of residence, and starting a new place of employment.
One of my supervisors told me about the church she was attending -- a former
UPCI church -- where gold dust appeared on everyone in the audience during a
special service held by an evangelist who is "known" to preside over such
After hearing this, I did further research, and discovered these occurrences
have been claimed for several years in churches in South America and South
Africa, and became popular in the States and in Europe after their prominence in
the infamous Toronto Blessing movement and the "revivals" this group inspired.
With the gold dust issue, apparently it is supposed to happen as I mentioned,
and there are claims that state that it is actual gold either miraculously
appearing on worshippers, or descending from the air. With the so-called dental
miracles, there have been claims that plain amalgam fillings have been turned to
gold (or sometimes silver or platinum), often happening to dozens of people
within a single service.
After these "occurrences" took place in many American churches, some
investigations were done, and some startling results were found -- even when the
"research" was done by these churches to bolster their "miracle" ministries. In
some churches, the gold dust was discovered to simply be gold colored plastic
flakes, or glitter; many churches refused to have the "dust" analyzed and simply
took the issue "on faith." With the dental "miracles," some claimants simply
forgot their dentist had already given them gold fillings, while other gold
claims were simply discovered to be "shiny," but not gold. One lady became
disturbed and doubted her faith in God as the "gold" coloring on her teeth faded
after a period of time.
No research I have found has proved that overt fraud was involved by a church or
individual in creating these "miracles," but often these claims come up short
and have perfectly reasonable scientific explanations. It seems that these
claims have the potential to do more harm that good when, as one critic claimed,
that instead of stopping wars or ending hunger, it would give the impression
that God is more concerned with changing dental work.
One minister remarked in one report after it was suggested that some of these
"miracles" did not involve actual gold, and I paraphrase, that it didn't matter
what it really was, just as long as God was involved in the actual miracle. 'Nuff
Holy Creator, Who dwells in Heaven,
Yet surrounds us with Your eternal Presence;
Your name alone brings us hope, peace and love.
Bring to us today these promises;
And from our hearts remove doubt, despair, fear and hatred.
Let your presence and dominion come down and
Be felt by our hearts and our souls.
Help us to fulfill in our lives
The potential you have planned for us.
And give us the guidance to walk that path;
And the faith to see us through.
Forgive us for our shortcomings, Lord,
And help us to understand, forgive, and then love
Those whose actions have caused us to remove our eyes from You.
We know that You would never lead us astray;
So, help us, Lord, to leave selfishness behind and embrace love.
For you know the path our souls seek to find;
Your Love and Spirit encompass all Eternity.
We Love You, O Lord!
- by The Association of Former Pentecostals Inspired by the Lords Prayer. Not copyrighted.
Delivered! is a FREE periodical newsletter for former Pentecostals/Charismatics
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Do you have a news story, poem, essay, critical review, song lyrics, short short
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of this newsletter ~Anon Editor
©2001-2002. The Association of Former Pentecostals All Rights Reserved. All stories, opinions, and
other text in this newsletter, Delivered!, are the personal copyrighted property
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*each news item and profile is compiled from several media sources, and as such
is considered public knowledge and not copyright infringement. When only one
source is used, every effort is given to give proper credit to the news source.
**contributions and experiences by former Pentecostals do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of the editor of this newsletter.