The Assemblies of God (AOG) news services in recent weeks has been advertising a marriage restoration ministry they have. The beginning of the ad states, "When a pastor pays too much attention to his or her church's needs and ignores the needs of spouse and family, it's a lose-lose-lose situation. Children go astray, divorce is not uncommon and the church begins to look for a new pastor."
Note, about ministers and their spouses they have written, "...divorce is not uncommon..." However, it was very uncommon when I first joined the AOG in 1970.
Many factors have led the AOG to make that statement, and too few are able to see what has taken place, and fewer still do anything about it.
Of course the underlying factors include our sin nature and satan #. There are scores of other factors, like beetles on rose bushes bringing holes and not holiness.
But, for this advertisement, my mind returns to 1970. I had joined an AOG church around September of that year when I was in my first year of training at Northeast Bible Institute(NBI).
About three years later at NBI I heard a couple of girls talking about that year's General Council during which time it was decided by that body that AOG ministers would now be permitted to perform weddings for those who were divorced if they were the "innocent part" in regard to adultery. The one girl stated if things would not work out with any future husband she had she would now have room to divorce him and marry another.
I personally decided I would never perform such an adulterous ceremony since the Bible clearly indicates only physical death dissolves a marriage.
The AOG's very unbiblical decision of 1973 placed a sinful "way out" in the minds of a younger generation instead of reinforcing that Jesus is the Way. That sinful thinking was fortified in the minds of people each time an AOG minister conducted a ceremony of an adulterous union.
Less than 30 years later came the General Council fiasco of 2001 where the AOG took a most disastrous and stance of permitting those who were divorced and remarried before they were save to be credentialed ministers available to pastor a church. While any Christian can minister, the Bible clearly indicates the pastor is to be the husband of one wife. Some of the spiritual poisons that the AOG decision of 2001 has put in the minds of people include, but are not limited to, ...
* God's grace not only forgives sin, but it wipes out historical fact, like marriages.
* Either God did not mean what He said in the Bible or He, for some strange reason, made instructions about marriage so complicated it takes Greek scholars and new translations like the New International Version to help us "see the light".
* Man has the power to change God's commands.
* Human experience should interpret the Bible.
The words "divorce is not uncommon" in regard to ministers were not heard in 1970, and I doubt they were heard in early 1900s when there was a fresh outpouring of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The AOG has walked away from their spirit-filled heritage and embraced the ways of the world in more ways than one.
If you are an AOG member, pray. Nothing is impossible with God. He can still send a holy refreshing and perhaps at a future General Council the damage can begin to be reversed. Now that you have people with more than one spouse ministering in your ranks a possible solution would be to have a classification of credentials that permits such people to minister in any capacity but that of pastor.
Nonetheless, it is not surprising to me at all to see the words, in regard to ministers, "divorce is not uncommon" coming from your headquarters.
The AOG is producing three-time-losers because they lost in 1973 and 2001. Let's see that's two-time losing. I dread to think what your third one will be.
Pray for revival.
Former AOG ordained minister
# I avoid capitalizing satan for personal reasons.
© 2007 Macinta Ministries