Well, it’s been almost a month since I’ve written anything on here!
Yikes! I’d better punch something out before I run to bed!
So what have I been doing?
Well, I’ve been having a little fun at a few people on Twitter and Facebook, doing some e-mailing and pursuing church work, and helping my family through a time of some sickness/infirmity. Mostly though, I’ve been preparing for the upcoming Bible Conference that I’m speaking at. I figured that I’d spread a little word around the web, seeing that the conference doesn’t really seem to have much online presence.
The conference is called the Last Days Bible Conference. From what I understand, it started as an eschatology conference but has turned into something far broader. They’ve had people from all over talking about various issues over the years, and this year I’ll be giving four presentations. Now it’s not exactly a big conference, but Canada doesn’t really have any big conferences…at least not big when compared to anything like the Shepherd’s Conference. I also have volunteered with Sola Scriptura Ministries from time to time, and they do some of the better conferences in my area. Still, even they maybe get 200 people out for a conference (out of the 2.5 million people in my area). In 2013, James White came up here and spoke on Islam (the videos of his presentation are here) and there was maybe 200 people out for that.
So what am I speaking on?
My four sessions will be on the Charismatic Movement:
1. The History of the Charismatic Movement. I’ll be attempting to give a rather broad overview of the factors leading up to the formation of Pentecostalism, as well as the first few decades of Pentecostalism. I’ll see how I much I can comfortably fit into a 45 minute session.
2. The Heterodoxies & Heresies of the Charismatic Movement. This will be essentially a discussion of the foundational beliefs of Pentecostalism and then the doctrinal changes/developments from 1906 leading up to this decade.
3. A Biblical Understanding of Tongues, Healing and Prophecy. This will be a really brief explanation of the biblical teaching on these three issues, and a very brief explanation of how the biblical definitions and teaching on these three issues are the standard against which all modern variants are judged.
4. A Biblical Understanding of Words, Faith and Prosperity. This will be a proper interaction with the concepts of positive confession, Word of Faith, and the Prosperity Gospel.
This will essentially be my own smaller StrangeFire Conference, and I hope to take some of what I learned from the last 2 years and offer something both highly informative and also edifying. It will not and can not be comprehensive, nor will it cover most of the issues, but I imagine that I should be able to deal sufficiently with Pentecostalism, and more specifically the post 1960 Charismatic Movement, and give people, both inside and outside the movement, some solid biblical criteria by which to evaluate their own experience and beliefs.
So beyond the fact that I’m the one speaking at the Last Days Bible Conference, why do I think you should come?
1. It’s FREE. That’s right. Due to some fantastic supporters, the conference doesn’t cost a penny. Every Mennonite-blooded friend of mine lost almost every excuse not to come.
2. It will be a great time to connect with other conservative, bible-believing Christians in Western Canada. There’s not that many of us, and I’d love to meet and connect with all of you.
3. I’ve been working for over a month already, digging through all original sources, and pulling out some stuff that will absolutely make your hair fall out. Here’s a little taste. William Seymour, leader of the famed Azusa Street revival in 1906, said some interesting things in the very first edition of the official paper of the Azusa Street revival, The Apostolic Faith (Sept. 1906):
He wrote that the Apostolic Faith Movement was “the restoration of the faith once delivered unto the saints” (page 1), and then part of that “restoration” was the teaching that “the blood of Jesus will never blot out any sin between man and man they can make right; but if we can’t make wrongs right the Blood graciously covers” (page 2).
That’s right. Follow the link above and read it for yourself. William Seymour openly and proudly taught that the atonement does not cover intentional sin, but only unintentional and original sin. The intentional sins that a person commits must be personally atoned for. That was part of “the restoration of the faith once delivered unto the saints” (page 2) that was brought back to the church, after being lost since the time of the apostles.
That’s not exactly subtle, and not exactly orthodox Christianity.
Does that sound familiar?
What’s worse is William Seymour’s response when someone had the audacity to point out his error and preach about the finished work of Christ at Azusa Street. I’ll save that little tidbit, and a few hundred others, for the conference.
Well, for those who attend I might toss together a few dozen pages of notes with some even more interesting (and damning) quotes…and once the sessions are over, I’ll probably head out for coffee with whoever wants to come and share the rest of the stuff that I don’t have time to share in my presentation. It’s going to be rather fun.
So if you’re one of my friends from Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Regina, Kelowna, Medicine Hat, Vauxhall, Veggerville, Vernon, Kamloops, or anywhere else within realistic driving distance of Calgary, think about booking April 23 & 24 off work and making a little trek to Calgary! If you know someone who might be interested, let them know! I’d love to see you (or your friends) there and have a chance to spend time with old friends and make some new ones.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “The Budding Armchair Pentecostal Historian” Unger