Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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7/13/2014 4:12 pm  #81

Re: What other spiritual leaders/pastors have to say

No answers, communication, dialogue so far?

Reposted from website "The Church of Wells - Discerning The Church of Wells"

Mack Tomlinson --  An authority on Rolfe Barnard
Baptist pastor, revival historian, who personally knew men who knew and preached with Barnard.

The Church of Wells also claims Baptist evangelist Rolfe Barnard as one of their heroes and has his picture on the home page of their website. As one who has been familiar with the life and ministry of evangelist Rolfe Barnard for years, as well as personally knowing men who knew and preached with Barnard, it is grievous to see the Church of Wells using Barnard’s name and sermons to promote their error-filled cause. Barnard would condemn their entire group and its practices. But they misrepresent Barnard on their website when they say of him: “who though he was ‘termed’ a Baptist, stood against most of the Baptist conservatism of his day.”

By making such a statement, the Church of Wells is clearly trying to make Barnard look like he was not a Baptist, implying that others were only “terming” or calling him a Baptist. In other words, this group is distancing themselves from anything called by the name of Baptist and is trying to distance Barnard himself from that heritage. Such a presentation of Barnard is certainly revisionist history that is not accurate or honest.

The fact is that Barnard was always a Baptist unashamedly, having been educated in a Baptist college and seminary, and served all his ministry as either a Baptist pastor or evangelist, conducting the majority of his entire ministry in Baptist churches. My friend Ernest Johnston, who has written the only existing biography on Barnard, reveals this in his work on the great preacher. Barnard did expose and preach against that which was compromised in Baptist churches, but he did not distance himself from being a Baptist, as the Church of Wells falsely represents him. Barnard did not say to others, “I’ve been termed a Baptist, but I’m really not one.” The simple truth is, that is what he always was and he did not shy away from that identity. The Church of Wells evidences their dishonesty and/or ignorance in presenting Barnard as they do.

In fact, to put all such pictures of Ravenhill, Barnard, John Bunyan, Spurgeon, and other godly giants from Christian history on their website is to give the impression that those men from the past would condone and approve this church group. The truth is, none of the men in history they show on their website would be in agreement with the Church of Wells. The Church at Wells cannot claim them because those men would not agree with or worship with the Church at Wells. If the Church of Wells leaders were genuinely holding to the truth and walking with God, they would not do this. But they do so to build an image of historic orthodoxy when, in fact, the group is anything but orthodoxy. Every person who knows about the Church of Wells ought to avoid it, as would C. H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Rolfe Barnard, and Leonard Ravenhill.


9/10/2014 3:10 am  #82

Re: What other spiritual leaders/pastors have to say

The Reformed Baptist Trumpet. Volume 4 Nos. 3-4 July-December 2013, pp. 8-22

Review and Critique:
“Go Stand Speak” and the Contemporary Street Preaching Movement

Jeffrey T. Riddle

“Street preaching” appears to be growing in popularity, especially among many young evangelical and revivalistic-influenced Calvinists. One mark of its rising popularity is evidenced by the release of a recent video, Go Stand Speak: The Forgotten Power of the Public Proclamation of the Gospel.

In this essay I will be offering a review of the video but also taking the occasion of this review as a jumping off point to explore and critique the contemporary “street preaching” movement.

The “Go Stand Speak” video defends and encourages the practice of “out of doors, public proclamation” or “in-your-face” street preaching. It is produced by Eric Holmberg of the Apologetics Group, a media ministry which has released, among other things, the popular video Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism and Pat Necerato of “Go Stand Speak,” a parachurch evangelistic ministry.

There is no question that Jesus and the apostles often conducted public ministry in the “open air.” One thinks of Jesus teaching his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7) or of Peter preaching at Pentecost (Acts 2). There is also no question that Christian ministers have conducted open air ministries at various points in the history of the church. One thinks of Whitefield and Wesley, for example. The question is whether or not the type of street preaching advocated by those within this movement is wholly consistent with the Biblical and historical practice of “open air” ministry. We must ask, in particular, whether it is fitting to encourage men to engage in public preaching in any context who have not been ordained as ministers and office bearers approved and sent out by the local church.

Sean Morris is given a significant presence in the video. An internet search reveals that Morris is part of a small independent church in Wells, Texas (The Church of Wells) that has been accused of some cult-like practices (e.g., some parents in Arkansas have accused the church of brain-washing their adult daughter; local media reported the death of a young child in the church while the church leaders prayed for the child’s healing and resuscitation, resulting in questions about the whether or not the child received proper medical care; postings on the church website offer “rebuttals” to those who have criticized the church [mostly family of church members]; and critics have posted online attacks of the church, etc.). I do not have enough information to judge these matters and indeed the most righteous, godly, and faithful churches in a community are often the most maligned by outsiders and non-Christians. The prominent role given to such a seemingly young and untested man as a spokesman for this movement, however, raises questions about discernment by the video producers.

"The first question is whether or not the type of ministry advocated in this video rests on a solid Biblical foundation. Does the Bible mandate the necessity of the type of “in-your-face” street preaching advocated in the video?"

Is there ground, however, to challenge the assertion that Jesus provides the model for contemporary “street preaching”? I believe there is.

When those in the “street preaching” movement say that Jesus was a street preacher they are saying that Jesus went out into public places without invitation or following and indiscriminately called on disinterested persons passing by to listen to his preaching and to become his disciples. To paraphrase the “Go Stand Speak” speakers, he did not wait for anyone to come to him, he went out to them. Is this, however, an accurate picture of the public ministry of Jesus in the Gospels? We will examine the presentation of the ministry of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke to evaluate this claim.

Notice the following:
First, Luke emphasizes that Jesus began his public ministry not by indiscriminately preaching in the streets or at non-religious public gatherings (musical concerts, athletic events, pagan temples, dramatic performances in the amphitheater, horse races in the hippodrome, market days in the agora, etc.) but in the Jewish synagogues of Galilee. The first note of Jesus’ public ministry after his baptism and temptation is found in Luke 4:15: “And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” As is often the case with Biblical narrative, this first description proves programmatic for that which follows. 
The center of Jesus’ early public ministry is the Jewish synagogue and not the pagan temple or marketplace (cf. Luke 4:16-21, 31-33, 42-44; 6:6).

Second, Luke also emphasizes Jesus’ exercise of his public ministry in private homes and in other locations where his primary focus is on instruction of his gathered disciples, though persons in need often come or are brought to these gatherings seeking interaction with Jesus. Luke 4:38-39 provides the first example of this as Jesus goes from the synagogue into Simon’s home where he heals Simon’s mother-in-law. In Luke 5:17-26 the Evangelist records how a paralytic man was lowered on his bed through the roof of a house where Jesus was teaching. The man was placed “into the midst before Jesus” (5:19). In Luke 5:29 Jesus goes in to the house of his newly called disciple Levi where he shares a meal with other invited tax collectors and sinners. Jesus eats in the home of Simon the Pharisee, when a sinful woman anoints his feet (7:36-50). He enters the home of Mary and Martha and teaches (10:38-42). He breaks bread on the Sabbath day and teaches in the home of one of the chief Pharisees (14:1, 7, 12). Along these lines, it is interesting to note that when Jesus sends out the twelve and the seventy, he does not instruct them to enter the marketplaces but homes (see 9:4-6; 10:5-7; note that the seventy were only sent into the “streets” of the cities where the gospel was rejected in order to shake the dust from their feet, 10:10-11; 14:1). After the synagogue, it seems that the private homes of disciples and others where both disciples and invited non-believers gathered was the most common venue for the exercise of Jesus’ ministry and the ministry of those he sent out.

Third, though Luke does present Jesus conducting an “open air” ministry, particularly as he travels, it is not the kind of street preaching advocated by this movement. Jesus is sought out by the multitudes in public places where he ministered to them. Contrary to the view of contemporary “street preaching” advocates, the model of Jesus’ ministry in public places in Luke is not so much of him going out to raise a crowd, but of the crowds coming to him and seeking him.... The general picture we get of Jesus in the Gospels is not that he went out into public places to preach and teach indiscriminately to otherwise disinterested passers-by. On the contrary, the picture we get is that people were drawn to Jesus or that they brought others to him. In other words, we might say, contrary to conventional “street-preacher” wisdom, Jesus did not go to them, but they came to him. 

Once in Jerusalem, Jesus taught the people and preached in the temple (cf. 20:1; 21:37-38). Though the temple was a public place, it was also clearly a designated place of worship and religious activity. In Jesus’ temple teaching, his purpose is not to address otherwise disinterested crowds but to interact with the various religious leaders, like the chief priests, scribes, and elders (20:1-2; 19-22), and the Sadducees (20:27) who have come to the temple for religious and spiritual purposes.

Does Jesus’ reference to proclamation from the rooftops in Matthew 10:27 and Luke 12:3 justify street preaching? This passage is cited several times in the “Go Stand Speak” video. A look at the context of this saying by Jesus, however, raises serious doubts as to whether it might be rightly applied at all to street preaching.

In Matthew 10, Jesus is instructing the twelve disciples. In v. 25 he says that if his opponents have accused him of being in league with Beelzebub, they will make similar charges against his followers. He continues to tell them that things which are hidden will one day be uncovered (v. 26) and what has been heard “in the ear” (i.e., privately) will be preached upon the housetops (i.e., publically). The point seems to be that the nefarious deeds and motives of Jesus’ opponents will one day be exposed publicly (“upon the housetops”).

This is perhaps even clearer in Luke 12 where Jesus begins, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (v. 1). It is the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that will one day be made publicly known. It will be “proclaimed upon the housetops” (v. 3).

Is “street preaching” an obedient response to Jesus’ command to love our neighbor? The exegetical context of the Great Commandment teaching by Jesus does not appear to have evangelistic activity as its primary focus and application. The Great Commandment is Jesus’ summation of the two tables of the Ten Commandments (cf. Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-37). To love God is to fulfill the first table of the moral law. To love one’s neighbor as oneself is a fulfillment of the second table of the moral law. The latter is the summation of how Jesus’ disciples are to interact with their fellow human beings (whether Christians or non-Christians). 
Certainly the most good we can do to our fellow man is to point him to Christ. We must, however, use scriptural means to achieve that end. Appeal to the Great Commandment is not then an obvious justification for any proposed particular method of evangelism (e.g., “in-your-face” street preaching).

First, it has implications for the doctrine of the Biblical means of grace. It suggests that the simple method of preaching that occurs in the gathered congregation—which appears to be the Biblical pattern— is not an effective enough means to be used for evangelism. Rather than simply inviting, calling, and bringing unbelievers into the gathered church worship services where they might sit at the feet of Christ and listen to him as his minister preaches (cf. Eph 4:20-21), it says we must alter our means by going out to unbelievers. Rather than enhancing the esteem of preaching, one wonders if this does not in fact demonstrate a lack of confidence in preaching, much the same as that reflected in contemporary emphasis upon “personal evangelism” or “counseling” in lieu of ordinary preaching in the church’s Lord’s Day worship among the assembled saints.

...this movement raises concerns related to ecclesiology. Some advocates of street preaching seem to urge any and all Christians to take to the streets to engage in public preaching. The Bible, however, teaches that preaching is not a universal obligation of all Christians. Not all Christians are to be public preachers and teachers. Aptitude to teach is a special capacity given to the church’s teaching elders (cf. 1 Tim 3:2; 5:17; Titus 1:9). It is their special calling and responsibility to preach and teach publically. Part four (“The Man, the Message, the Method”) of the “Go Stand Speak” video gives a list of the qualifications for the street preacher, largely borrowed from Spurgeon, including things like having a good voice, being adaptable, and having a large heart. What it omits is the requirement that the preacher be called by God to be an elder or set part to this task by a local church. Unbridled advocacy of street preaching runs the risk of laying guilt upon men not called to preach and worse yet sending out those who have not been called and who, thus, are not qualified. This makes the faith vulnerable to compromise and to the adaptation and infiltration of false teaching and practice.

...though we might grant that Whitefield and Wesley did preach out of doors, we should also recall that they did so primarily when establishment church buildings were closed to their use. We should also keep in mind that the Methodist movement eventually developed and opened its own meeting houses and chapels for their gatherings. It appears that the type of "in-your-face" face” street preaching being advocated in the street preaching movement today came into prominence primarily with the revivalism of the 19th century. Even then, it likely was not always what some might imagine today. Spurgeon, for example, in his Lectures to My Students advocates “open air ministry,” but it should be kept in mind that he did so while addressing students in his ministerial college. Even Spurgeon did not see the call to preach as universal among Christians but limited to those called by God and ecclesiastically sanctioned for public ministry.

One is left to ponder whether the contemporary street preaching movement reflects more the spirit of the revivalistic age than the spirit of the apostolic age.

Lastly, one might also raise practical and even ethical concerns about the contemporary method of “in your face” street preaching. Some have recently made this a “free speech” issue, challenging various local laws against public disturbance. No doubt there is an increasingly hostile stance against traditional Christianity by many secularists. When the apostles were told to stop teaching in the name of Jesus, they did indeed reply, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). We must ask, however, whether the absolute prohibition that the apostles faced against teaching in the name of Jesus is really parallel to the prohibition of preaching in busy shopping centers or on street corners. Again, what of Paul’s admonition that Christians live quiet and peaceable lives?

One wonders, in fact, if some street preachers do not revel in the notoriety of experiencing some “persecution” for their public preaching.

Paul taught that Christians were to submit to governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7), and Peter taught that however commendable it was to suffer “for righteousness sake,” believers should not suffer for “evil doing” (1 Peter 3:14, 17).

Is it really right to take a captive audience at a train station, subway, or bus stop and essentially force them to listen to preaching? Would we feel the same level of tolerance if we, our children, or our fellow church members were unwillingly forced to hear Muslim, Mormon, or Wiccan teaching while going about some necessary activity in public life?

...there is precious little evidence that Jesus or the apostles went out into the public streets and attempted to gain an audience with otherwise disinterested passers-by. Contrary to contemporary street preacher wisdom, it appears that Jesus did not so much go out to the people (to draw a crowd) as much as the people came to Jesus (in crowds).

Please read the full review, linked at the top.

Admin note: "...the church leaders prayed for the child’s healing and resuscitation..."
No, they didn't. Based on their own testimony and statements:
a.) They didn't know the baby was ill. So they would hardly pray for "healing."
b.) The baby died "in a matter of minutes." 
c.) RESURRECT, not "resuscitate." Raise from the dead. 
“...when that child died, we believed that it was God’s will to raise her." --Sean Morris.
"...if God so desired, He could hear our prayers and raise her from the dead." --Daniel Pursley
But they did notice that the infant was cyanotic, lethargic, slept through the night, and didn't nurse.


10/06/2014 2:03 am  #83

Re: What other spiritual leaders/pastors have to say

From Caution to Clarity
By Rick Henderson
August 12, 2013

NOBLE-MINDED (Biblical Discernment)

There is no command in the New Testament to lovingly dialogue with false teachers. There is no command in the New Testament to ignore false teachers, nor to leave it to God to judge. There is no command, example nor encouragement in the New Testament to discern truth or the trustworthiness of a teacher by the way we feel. There is no command, example nor encouragement in the New Testament to discern truth or the trustworthiness of a teacher by appealing to the Holy Spirit or prayer. Throughout the New Testament we are commanded to evaluate every teacher, how they act and what they say, against Scripture alone.  Consider why the Bereans were praised in Acts 17.

Acts 17:10-12 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.  Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.  Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

It would seem that they wanted to believe the Gospel, but would not allow themselves to believe until the Gospel message was validated by Scripture. That is staggering. They were actually commended for with holding belief until verification. Let’s choose to be noble-minded. That means, even if we disagree, we are guided by our best attempts to understand Scripture and evaluate teachers and truth claims by that understanding.

False vs. False Teaching

Some teachers say things that are false and some teachers are false.  here is a difference. If we can’t tell the difference we are likely to be hard-hearted, sentimental, cynical or deceived. I once mistakenly referred to Benjamin Franklin as a former president. I once wrongly attributed a psalm of Asaph to David. I once heard a pastor mistakenly say, “In the day of the Lord’s erection,” instead of resurrection. That was funny!  Each of these are examples of false things said in a sermon as if they were true. Does that make me or the other unfortunate pastor false teachers? Of course not.

Some people teach a view of salvation that is known as Calvinism.  Some teach a view that is known as Arminianism.  These camps disagree and sometimes strongly.  We really only have 3 options with this type of disagreement:

  1. One is right and the other is wrong. 
  2. They are both wrong.
  3. They both have a mixture of truth and error.

Which one’s mixture is heavier on error is a long standing debate. But lets assume that one side is all wrong. Let’s assume that a pastor from the wrong side teaches his view of how salvation works. Is he a false teacher? For many, the answer to this question is not so obvious.

In the New Testament some examples of false teachers are those who:

  • Present a different gospel. 
  • Teach salvation through works or the law.  
  • Deny the deity of Jesus.
  • Deny the physical incarnation of Jesus.
  • Deny the resurrection of Jesus.

What all false teachers share in common is that they undermine, reject or redefine the promise of the Gospel.  They undermine the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Back to the Calvinists and Arminians–they disagree on why people believe the promise of the Gospel, but they don’t disagree on what the promise is. I suggest that a false teacher is and only is one who undermines, rejects or redefines the promise of the Gospel.

Is Any Preacher, Teacher or Pastor Anointed?

NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Pastors and teachers are either true or false.  They are not anointed.  There were people in the Old Testament who were anointed. They were generally prophets or kings. They were God’s representatives. Standing against them, when they spoke for God, was equivalent to standing against God.  Consider the unfortunate events of the youths who insulted the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 2.  But the anointed of God were not beyond reproach.  Remember that the prophet Nathan rebuked David for his sins of adultery and murder in 2 Samuel 12.  This only happened sparingly and entirely in the Old Testament (with the exception of Jesus and John the Baptist).

Anyone who claims an anointing is ascribing to themselves and their words something that is never uniquely ascribed to any disciple, apostle or New Testament author.  This description is not used to elevate a single person, act nor utterance in the New Testament (with the exception of Jesus and John the Baptist). This is Christian speak, derived from the Old Testament. Teachers who use this term to describe themselves or their teaching are misguided at best and manipulative at worst. This puts listeners in an inferior position that tends to come with unquestioning adherence. That is neither good, nor biblical.

That being said, it is true that all believers are “anointed.”

1 John 2:27  As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

What this means is that all believers in Jesus have the Holy Spirit in them. But that is never what a teacher means when he or she claims an anointing on themselves, their ministry or their message. Followers of Jesus do have spiritual gifts, but that is not the same thing as anointing. Spiritual gifts are abilities that the Holy Spirit empowers in all believers for the good of His church.

Romans 12:3-8  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Some teachers have greater, larger or wider impact. That is not anointing. That is a combination of a number of factors, not least of which are determination, hard work, capacity and the choice of the Holy Spirit to particularly empower a particular person for a particular time. If that happens it does not elevate the teacher over others. That is not anointing. That is grace.


Develop noble-mindedness and biblical discernment by studying the Bible well. Then you can tell the difference between teachers who say something false from those who are false teachers. Finally, no one is anointed. All Christians have spiritual gifts and no one is more important than another.

About Rick Henderson
Happy husband. Proud father. Friend of Jesus Christ and desperate to introduce him to others.


11/29/2014 4:10 am  #84

Re: What other spiritual leaders/pastors have to say


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