Apostolics Who Don’t Know Their Savior

When it comes to the Apostolic movement, I’ve been around for a little while now. It’s been just less than six months away from 11 years in the Church proper, though I was introduced to the movement when I was 11, which was more than 20 years ago. Granted my attachment was not always sure, or even strong, but it grew stronger over time. When I was in my early twenties, because of certain people in my life, I was pretty closely attached, even recognizing that if I ever converted to Christianity, I knew that I would become an Apostolic believer. I converted when I was 24.

And from the day of my conversion on March 9th, 2003, I’ve been involved in the lives of many, many people, mostly, of course, Apostolics, so I feel I speak with some authority here.

I’ve seen hundreds of people saved over the years, winning a portion myself. I’ve seen just as many if not more, depart from the faith, including people I won. I’ve met lots and lots of Apostolic believers, from all over the place, and have interacted with even more online, through Facebook or various message boards and forums.

I don’t know what percentage falls under what I’m about to write, but I’m coming to the conclusion that there is a large number of those who call themselves Apostolics who don’t really know Jesus Christ the way they should (or say they do).

Now, before I explain, I want to define Apostolic. It’s a pretty specific term, even though it’s sometimes used loosely by any number of groups. First and foremost, it means someone who claims to adhere to the original doctrines of the Apostles as taught to them by Jesus Christ. Well and good, though most if not all who claim to be Christians would say they do so, too, Apostolic or otherwise. So, there’s more to it than this.

Additionally, when I or most others say Apostolic, they usually mean Oneness Pentecostals, or those who reject the Trinity doctrine in favor of a completely uni-personal God without division within the Godhead, Jesus being the Incarnation of that One True God. Going further, Apostolics tend to also confess the following:

  • Acts 2:38 IS the plan of salvation, that is, it’s the correct, Biblical response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is for the remission or forgiveness of sins, and is the ONLY viable water baptism option given in the Bible (i.e. it’s by immersion only, not for babies or children too young to understand the Gospel, and should never be administered in the titles Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
  • Receiving the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for salvation and will ALWAYS be accompanied by what is usually called the “evidence of speaking in other tongues”, such as occurred on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
  • Short of the above, one CANNOT be saved in this era of New Covenant faith in the Son of God.
  • Post-conversion, one MUST live a separated holy life completely devoted to God until they die in order to stay saved.
  • Modesty and personal appearance CAN be (not always) a heaven or hell issue. Much depends on various factors (agreements and disagreements abound).
  • And other topics and doctrines regarding things like church attendance, tithing, foot washing, communion, last things, and etc.

So, if you fall into this category, I am talking to you (but not necessarily about you).

And, since by now you’ve seen the title of this blog, I’ve either got you really interested, or kind of upset. You might be wondering where I’m about to go with all this. If so, then please read on, ’cause I’m going to go to the following:

In my interaction with fellow Apostolics or those who would label themselves such, I have found a dearth of people who really know Jesus. I’m not talking about knowing things about Jesus. Anyone can quote the facts. Born in Bethlehem, fled to Egypt, grew up in Nazareth, died at the age of 33, Mary was His mother, Joseph was the step-dad, and etc.

All those things are readily available and known to anyone who cares to open up the Bible.

Some can go deeper, and make connections regarding prophetic fulfillment, and so, know even more about Jesus than others. They might recognize His titles, things the Old Testament said about Jesus, and so, affirm such to be accurate. Examples might include being able to link Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 to the Passion.

I’m not talking about having this kind of knowledge. I’m talking about having true, deep, intimate knowledge about the Savior based in a living, communal, two-way, interactive relationship WITH the Lord.

That’s a large claim, I know. I do not say it is a universal claim, so please don’t think I’m looking at you when I say that (and I hope I’m not looking at you!).

There would be some who claim to have such a relationship and I would love to believe them. There’s just one thing. What they say about Jesus, how they act as imitators of Jesus, and how they treat other people–saint and sinner, alike–as emissaries of Jesus, tells a different story.

Too many Apostolics, for lack of a better word, are hopped up on being Apostolic (or Oneness Pentecostal, take your pick). They are less in love with being and acting like Jesus than they are in maintaining what they call their “Apostolic Identity” based on an “Apostolic Hermeneutic” of what they deem is true “Apostolic Doctrine” and “Apostolic Lifestyle”.

I thought we were supposed to identify with Christ as Christians and not with the Apostles as Apostolics? I thought our hermeneutic was supposed to be based on the Spirit of Truth guiding us into all truth (John 16:13), as opposed to an invented, man-made system that uses human logic and reason (usually called the Grammatical-Historical Method). I thought the Apostle’s Doctrine, as we know it to be called (Acts 2:42) is only “their’s” insomuch as Christ delivered it unto them from His Father (John 7:16 and John 17:14)?

Church, we should not be in love with ourselves so much!

So what I’m attempting to say and do here is change the way we think, speak, and act, by noting the following ways in which it seems (some/too many) Apostolics don’t know their Savior:

Jesus wasn’t a right wing, Capitalist American Republican. Nor was He a Liberal Democrat on the other side of the aisle. Apostolics who constantly bring my Jesus into their politics ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Jesus Christ is Lord and King of Planet Earth, the Son of the Creator of the Universe. He is not political, territorial, or geographically bound to the Western Hemisphere, North American Continent. Democracy and Capitalism have nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus was a Theocratic Socialist, if we even dare to label Him. He was descended from Ruth and Boaz (Matthew 1:1, 5), a picture of perfected, Godly socialism at work if ever there was one (See Ruth 2:16).

He was Jewish, of the nation of Israel, a nation commanded by the ALMIGHTY to care financially for the POOR, the WIDOWS, the ORPHANS, the LEVITES, who, for all intents and purposes, lived in the ancient equivalent of government housing, and yes, even the IMMIGRANTS, illegal or otherwise, within their borders. How? By forced and enforced government taxation upon its citizens, that’s how. What do you suppose the tithe was? It’s was God flat tax upon all members of His holy society, generated in order to SHARE the wealth of the nation with those who had less and/or had no means of acquiring more, with no qualifications or aspersions or JUDGMENTS cast upon them regarding how they ended up poor, widowed, or orphaned, and etc., or why they couldn’t or didn’t change their status. There isn’t a single verse in the entire Torah condemning the impoverished. Not one!

If you don’t like that, get it over it. Believe your Bible, not your socio-political economics.

Jesus didn’t dream the American dream of wealth, health, and prosperity in order to build a legacy for the next generation. Jesus was a man of sorrows who wept in anguish for the people He came to save. He didn’t dream a dream. He died a HOMELESS, PENNILESS, broken man (2 Corinthians 8:9, noting that the word “poor”, as it describes Jesus, in Greek, means to beg or be a beggar), who was, in life, totally dependent upon the financial support of others for His daily needs (See Luke 8:1-3). It was a cruel death He died, one by which He suffered an excruciating agony at the hands of a corrupted civil government who didn’t want Him competing with their Caesar (Note: “excruciating” from Latin refers to the pain one experiences during crucifixion or as one is being crucified).

Jesus didn’t judge a single sinner as unworthy of the Kingdom of God, unless you count all the RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES, the HARD-HEARTED PHARISEES, the DECEIVED SADDUCEES, the INDIFFERENT SCRIBES, the KNOW-NOTHING THEOLOGIANS, and PAT-A-CAKE SYCOPHANTS who cowed down to the CORRUPTED PRIESTHOOD (Luke 20). They received nothing but a pronouncement of “Woe unto thee…” (Matthew 23)

Jesus wasn’t some “wild at heart” rugged individualist into being the modern, archetypal male who’s into leadership seminars, sports teams, social networking, corporate power plays, and whatever else (some) Apostolic men think are essential pursuits.

Jesus was part of a group-based, oral culture that ate every meal together, that sang and danced together, that suffered and rejoiced together, that even had men sharing beds together (Luke 17:34), not because of some improper ungodliness, but because they all loved and cared for each other so much, no one would have to suffer an aching back from sleeping on the floor or upright in a chair when room could otherwise be made. Food was shared without a second thought (John 6:9). They even drank from the same cup (Matthew 26:27)!

This is nothing like so many Apostolics I’ve known or met.

I am not advocating sharing your bed tonight, or letting me drink from your cup. I know we are of a different time and culture. It’s not automatically wrong that we differ in some ways. That’s not the issue.

The issue is one of constant condemnation offered up by so many self-professing Apostolics for those of us who consciously reject the socio-economic, political ideals of our modern, anti-christ (I said it!) American culture and way of life. We reject it out of hand because we know and remember our Savior, who said this:

“My Kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36).

We reject it because Christ’s personally chosen apostle, Paul of Tarsus, teaches us to:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

We reject it because Christ’s own brother, who was martyred at the foot of the temple for affirming that his half-brother was and is the Savior, revealed to us that if:

“…ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:14-18).

We reject (while still appreciating God’s blessing on our nation for what it is: HIS blessing) any notion that we should be eternally tied to a world, a system, a set of cultural values, or any identity whatsoever, that willingly, appallingly, rejects our Savior from being King and Lord Over All.

We are citizens of New Jerusalem first and only. We pass the time of our sojourning here in fear, knowing we are but pilgrims and strangers (1 Peter 1:17 and 1 Peter 2:11).

We don’t love our lives, even if it costs us the ultimate price (Compare to Revelation 12:11).

Jesus doesn’t wear a suit and tie. He doesn’t buy designer, square-rimmed glasses. He doesn’t quote someone else’s commentary on His own Word. His face is not on our money, and never should be (Mark 12:17). He doesn’t belong in slogans, on T-shirts, and never once ought to be name-dropped by politicians pandering for votes, hedonistic rappers and/or other musicians crediting Him for their satanically achieved awards, nor even by so-called Apostolics who can’t do anything but blast their own blood-bought, Spirit-sanctified brothers and sisters in the Lord because they aren’t politically, culturally, economically, or socially acceptable to the mainstream, popular, claiming to be but never actually living as, the REAL CHURCH.

Am I fired up?

Or is the Word of the Lord a fire in my bones and I cannot forbear?

I leave you with this: The Lyrics to “My Jesus” by Todd Agnew. Ponder and prayerfully consider: Which Jesus, my dear Apostolic, do you follow?

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He’d prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I’m tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I’m not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like you Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!

If you want to listen to the song, go to the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q68yMJ8Y7E

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~ by votivesoul on 10/30/2013.

3 Responses to “Apostolics Who Don’t Know Their Savior”

  1. Well I see what you are saying and have thought that way for a long time about the “Apostolic” movement.

  2. I am Michael The Disciple on the AFF Forum. I have been enjoying reading on your blog for a few days now.

  3. Hi, Michael. I figured it was you. Thanks for coming by. I’m glad you find the articles enjoying. Peace and God bless. 🙂

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