Author Topic: Assemblies of God Church  (Read 1149 times)

Dave Likeness

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Assemblies of God Church
« on: June 27, 2021, 03:30:38 PM »
Has anyone on  this Forum had any interaction with an Assemblies of  God member or pastor?

I know they OPPOSE consumption of alcohol, gambling, abortion, homosexual marriage

They ENDORSE Ordination of women, baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, 1000 year reign of Christ

I am curious how serious they really are about their beliefs on the local parish level

Charles Austin

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 03:50:51 PM »
No contact with a church or a pastor. Six of my members, two families, before I arrived, had taken up with an Assemblies of God church for a couple of years, and when they returned they were biblical fundamentalists. Four remained with us, two drifted away.
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Daniel Lee Gard

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 04:21:33 PM »
I have known a number of AG military chaplains and count them as friends. I had great conversations with some of them although occasionally one would express serious doubts as to whether a Lutheran could be saved. Those I have known are very, very serious about their doctrine.

The doctrines of AG are radically opposed to those of Lutheranism. They are classical Pentecostals with roots in the Azusa Street mission. They affirm the doctrine of the Trinity so we have that in common. But Justification is seen through decision theology, infant Baptism is rejected and any Sacramental understanding of Baptism and Communion is not a part of their tradition. Both Baptism and the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" take place only after conversion and are the result of the believer's faith and not the means by which one receives the gift of God.

On social issues they are conservative and, like the LCMS, they reject abortion and homosexual behavior. But, like the ELCA, they practice women's ordination though their understanding of what ministry means is different. Recently, leadership of their fellowship was conferred on a woman.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/august/assemblies-of-god-elects-first-woman-general-secretary-donn.html

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 04:33:27 PM »
I attended an AofG congregation when in college - as did many college students. (There was not glossolalia during the evening worship services we attended.) They had an excitement about the faith that was seldom present in Lutheran congregations. (I also attended a Lutheran church on Sunday mornings and worked with the youth.)


We had an AofG minister attend a pericope study. He admitted that he was one of the few AofG clergy who had attended seminary. He had some difficulties with the lack of education among many of his colleagues. The fact that he would attend a pericope study with mainline clergy indicates that he was more open than many others.


The AofG congregation in a town where I served was known for sheep-stealing. They would seek out members of other congregations, explain how wrong the other churches were, and encourage them to come to their congregation. On another topic, their minister remarked how God and told him that it was OK for him not to wear a tie, because he had suffered a neck injury that made ties or tight collars painful. (It struck me as a bit strange that he needed God's permission to defend his attire.)
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2021, 06:43:19 PM »
As to Pastor Likeness' thumbnail description, the only point I would question is whether the AOG is necessarily millenialist.
As to his final question, in my experience, established AoG congregations tend to get a little more 'established' and dial back on the hard pentecostalism, though by no means repudiating it.
I've gotten along pretty well with AoG pastors, but as Dr. Gard notes, there are significant divergences in our theology.
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2021, 08:35:46 PM »
Among the Protestant denominations in 2021. who could have predicted that
Assemblies of God would have 3.2 million members and the Lutheran Church
Missouri Synod would be at 1.8 million members. 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 08:38:48 PM by Dave Likeness »

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2021, 08:39:20 PM »
When I first came to Crookston, the local Assemblies of God pastor had his son enrolled in our parochial school.  I believe he attended all the way through the grades we had at the time.  That congregation was closed by the regional Assemblies of God headquarters (against the wishes of the pastor and members, I believe) as it was deemed too small to continue.  The pastor now serves as chaplain at our local nursing home -- run by the Roman Catholics.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2021, 01:05:19 AM »
As to Pastor Likeness' thumbnail description, the only point I would question is whether the AOG is necessarily millenialist.
As to his final question, in my experience, established AoG congregations tend to get a little more 'established' and dial back on the hard pentecostalism, though by no means repudiating it.
I've gotten along pretty well with AoG pastors, but as Dr. Gard notes, there are significant divergences in our theology.


I would characterize AoG as the most mainline of Pentecostal denominations.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Michael Slusser

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2021, 08:16:16 AM »
I have known some theologians from the Assemblies of God. The chief characteristic difference they display from other theologians I know is that they work from a base of the activity of the Holy Spirit in their lives now. Their erudition, their familiarity with texts, is considerable. One of them is active in ecumenical discussion and joint presentations with Lutherans and Catholics. Both have taught at North Central University in Minneapolis, an AoG institution. Both are intensively involved in the lives of the congregations.

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Terry W Culler

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2021, 08:54:05 AM »
A friend of mine served a church in small town ND so all the pastors knew each other pretty well.  The AoG pastor told my friend that he could teach him how to speak in tongues.  Kris replied, but if you can teach it, how is it from the Holy Spirit?  No answer.

I've also read that a surprisingly large number of younger AoG pastors, when polled, admitted to faking speaking in tongues because they were under great pressure to do so.

John MacArthur wrote a good book on Pentecostalism a charismatic practices a few years ago called Strange Fire.  It's worth reading
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2021, 11:04:48 AM »
In September of 1988, I remember the sign on the lawn of the local Assemblies of God
Church near our suburb.  It read: "Get Ready! Christ Is Coming To Rule The World."
This date was picked because it was 40 years after Israel became a state.  Pentecostals
believed that this time slot would begin the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 11:11:28 AM by Dave Likeness »

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2021, 02:45:57 PM »
Again, Pastor Likeness, millenialism is not an essential part of Pentecostal theology, though many Pentecostals may believe that.
Dispensationalism is actually contrary to Pentecostal theology, because strict dispensationalists believe the time of miracles is over.
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Assemblies of God Church
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2021, 03:24:07 PM »
Here is a quote from The Religious Bodies of America by F.E.Mayer (CPH 1958)

"The Assemblies of God is the largest Pentecostal body. It was organized in 1914
and eventually established its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. It features
speaking in tongues as evidence of the Baptism of the Spirit and stresses  Christ's
premillennial coming" (page 337)  F.E.Mayer was professor of Systematic Theology
at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.