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Behind Alpha: by an Alpha Leader

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“My name's ‘M’. I'm originally from South Africa but now live in London. I attend church at ‘X’ (London). Our church is an HTB graft, very involved in Alpha and the Just10.

I'm in a bit of a difficult position. Let me explain. I'd fallen away when I first moved to London and didn't attend church. I then got a bit of a wake-up call about not losing my faith. My girlfriend had been feeling the same and had found ‘X’ and attended an Alpha course there. So I went along. I must say that I have made good friends there. Everyone is warm and friendly.

I went on to lead a few discussion groups, preached at one of the suppers and helped at Just10. My girlfriend and I stopped living together, got engaged and are making plans to marry. Together we also lead a home group.

However, as I've found myself back in God's word, I've started to grow increasingly uneasy. I've read all about the roots of the movement with Peter Wagner, Paul Cain and the so-called Kansas City Prophets, and John Wimber. I'm totally convinced that Brownsville, R.H. Brown, Vineyard, and all of the above are totally not of God.

I'm disgusted by the doctrines of Manifest Sons of God (MSoG) and Kingdom Now. But, I get so frustrated because no-one else seems to get it. There clearly is a link between them and Gumbel and Alpha. But, nobody knows about the Latter Rain connections. And people can't even see what's wrong with the MSofG teaching because their other understanding of scripture is so shallow. In fact most people seem too confused by Revelation, so they just discard it and then don't know anything about the Millennium, so they just go along with Kingdom Now.

Our church is also motivated by Rick Warren and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek. I'm even more perturbed by this because of their connections with Schuller, Wagner, Peale, etc. Why can't they see it? Even David Wilkerson has preached against the Seeker Friendly Movement, calling it a ‘Gospel of Accommodation’.

The problem is that I don't want to be out of fellowship. I've found others who feel like me but they often seem to have no brotherly kindness (like one of the 7 churches in Revelations). At least some of the people in my home group and my fiancé are beginning to listen and think. The thing is, the Vicar has gone so heart and soul into this all, that I don't think he'll be able to lose face and turn around.

I've sent him a list of my misgivings, but he just told me not to read these websites because they're all written by people who haven't got time to do anything better than destroy other people's ministries. I assured him that people like Prasch and Fruchtenbaum had healthy ministries of their own and were only doing the right thing - correcting error. I hope to soon sit down and go through my misgivings in more detail.

But, as I say, I don't think he can change the direction he's already taking the church in. In which case I'll really be going against the grain.

If you know of any good churches in S. W. London, please let me know of them. Else I guess it may be time to start our underground church soon.

Thanks so much for listening to me.”

‘M’, January 2005

This young man wrote to me by email, unsolicited. He joined an Alpha church and found the errors out for himself.

Really, he has no real choice to make. Like so many, rather than search for truth he prefers to remain in a church that teaches error, because he fears losing ‘fellowship’.

But, how can a genuine Christian have ‘fellowship’ in such a church? If it teaches error and refuses to listen to truth, a Christian has to leave it behind, even if he has to ‘go it alone’ for a while. Such a church does not have ‘fellowship’. Instead, it has ‘friendliness’. It might even be caring. But, the local church is supposed to be a meeting place of like-minded Christians, not a carer’s group. One can leave that to a social services department!

Fellowship is possible only when love and truth coincide. Otherwise, what happens is that people who meet together carefully avoid speaking about things that are important doctrinally, and fill-in with care and friendship. In other words, there is a fake fellowship.

Readers will note that this young man echoes some of the objections I have stated in my own work against Alpha. Interestingly, he says that if he has to leave the local church he will be forced to open what he calls an ‘underground’ church! Sadly, then, he seems to view non-Alpha churches to be covert! Far better if he openly began a house-church and declared that he spoke the truth.

© January 2005

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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