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Can Philippians 1:15-18 Justify the Alpha Course?

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As Alpha now rules the world of ‘churchianity’, so more and more Christians are trying to find reasons to accept it. But, they are rationalising and not justifying their acceptance. Without doubt, our original critique of the main book used in the Alpha course contains sufficient material to justify opposition to Alpha, but no-one can justify acceptance of Alpha!

One argument used by pro-Alpha-ites is that even if the course is wrong, it nevertheless preaches the Gospel. Friends, this is a shoddy excuse! Such supporters of the course use the Bible (as do the worst of charismatics) to stake their claim; in particular, Philippians 1:15-18. Let us look briefly at this text. My answer shows very clearly that this text has been totally misinterpreted and cannot be used to gain acceptance for what is a Satanic deception!

In essence, supporters of Alpha are trying to tell me that Alpha can be used so long as it preaches the Gospel. Superficially that sounds fine, until one looks hard at the course and discovers that it does NOT preach the Gospel!

Philippians 1:15-18

“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely… But the other of love… What then? Not withstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice…”

So that proves it? That verse proves we can accept and use Alpha? No, it does not! This text shows us that Paul is referring not to the content of the preaching, but to the attitude and motives of the preacher. Paul is talking about those who ‘preach Christ’ (His authentic Gospel). That is, the Gospel as found in scripture. He is not talking about preachers who are preaching a lie, or who distort (or ignore) the Gospel. There is never an excuse to promote a lie just to preach the ‘Gospel’. If anything this is the Jesuit ploy – the end justifies the means! After all, Alpha is the friend of Romanism.

Paul, then, is saying that whether or not the preacher is genuine, so long as he preaches the authentic Gospel, the hearers hear the same thing. The authentic Gospel tells us Man is dead in his sins and must be saved by Grace, not by works. It is this Gospel Paul rejoices in, not the heart of the preacher, or false teaching!

Now look at Alpha. At many points it mimics much that is Biblical (as do many cult teachings). But, at the very point where it matters - how we are saved - Alpha is not simply deficient in its presentation of the Gospel, it is totally devoid of truth! How? Alpha is based on Arminianism. This means it preaches NOT the authentic Gospel, but the false gospel of heretics. It teaches we can choose God after ‘learning about Christianity’. But, we can learn about the outward principles of any religion. What we cannot do, is be saved by such learning. That is what scripture tells us.

Alpha teaches we can be saved by deciding for ourselves that Christ is for us. We then call to God and virtually demand our dues – salvation. This is not the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ! It is the outworking of a Satanic ploy, a mass deception linked heavily to other huge deceptions, such as charismaticism and ecumenism.

SATAN ÞliesÞdeceptionsÞcultsÞoccultÞspiritismÞPentecostalismÞcharismaticismÞecumenismÞAlpha

GOD Þ electionÞtruth Þ purity Þ faith Þ perpetuity of the Gospel of grace Þ Holy Spirit intervention Þ salvation

The above chart is very much simplified, but it adequately shows the lineage of Alpha. Alpha advocates and encompasses ecumenism and charismaticism, which are both lies. Charismaticism is the spawn of Pentecostalism. No matter how much the latter tries to deny its own child, or how it tries to hearken back to its supposed Biblical roots, we can see in its own birth the seed of destruction. It was formed by Satan to eventually lead to the horrors of charismaticism and to the preaching of a false gospel. It should be added that part of this process includes the use of corrupt Bible versions, which slowly erode confidence in God’s word as it stands (I will not enter into debate on this).

Pentecostalism is rooted in the spiritism of Azusa Street, which ‘fronted’ the spiritist and occult antics of unbelievers in the previous century. These owe their allegiance to the general occult and to the activities of other cults throughout the ages. All can be traced to a variety of deceptions and lies propagated by a huge number of unbelieving heretics and occultists. And all are the children of Satan, who is the ‘father of all lies’. Alpha, then, is the off-spring of Satan and everything it does comes from, and leads back to, him. Alpha claims to save people by its own words and methods, and this is a big clue to its Satanic nature. It is self-congratulatory, as its literature shows.

God is truth and all that comes from Him is truth. His Gospel is one of free grace and a total lack of works by us. We can only realise salvation through the true Gospel after firstly being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Without this we cannot be saved. And the whole thing is predestinated by God and returns to Him, Who is the author of Salvation. We cannot choose salvation, but can only accept it as a free gift. No course can save us. Only God saves us, through Jesus Christ via election before time began. This means that if we are not saved in eternity before time began, then we will never be saved at all. Alpha rejects all this and teaches ‘another gospel that is no gospel’, anathema to God; Arminianism.

Allowing preachers with false hearts to preach the authentic Gospel is very different from allowing deliberate lies to be foisted on people. The dividing line is the teaching – which is heretical and Arminian. It is NOT the Gospel, so we may not accept or use it. Once we accept the Arminian basis for supposed ‘salvation’ we may as well accept any claim to salvation, whether it is Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon, or any other cult or occult belief, because they all relate to Man’s works to save himself. Already, Alpha is linked inextricably to the cult of Roman Catholicism. Next will come links with other cults and occultisms, for there will be no logical reason to exclude them! (This is also the message of Billy Graham, by the way).

Scripture cannot, then, be used to support Alpha. Christians who like the course must repent and oppose it with all their strength, otherwise they will fill their churches with unbelievers who, because they genuinely think they are saved, will be hardened to the true Gospel and to true Biblical theology. If you, a Christian, accept Alpha, then it indicates that (a) you have received very poor teaching in the past, or (b) you are rebelling against true teaching and true pastors. (c) It shows that your Biblical understanding is deficient and that your heart and mind have been corrupted by a grave deception. (d) It shows you have no discernment.

Therefore, you MUST repent and turn back to God. The alternative is to continue in your sin and to lend credence to heresy. Your spiritual life will suffer by degrees and you will then be unable to turn back to God or to truth unless the Holy Spirit intervenes. If, after reading our critique and other material against Alpha, you continue to support it, then all of the above apply to you! Make no mistake. Repent before God leaves you to your own devices.

© January 2002

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
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