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Monday, July 25, 2016
Date Posted:
4/6/1998

Contents
Pope in the USA
End of 1000 Years
EU Gender Directive
Religious Hatred Bill
Vatican Beatifies 500
‘Swamped’ By Catholics
EU Regionalisation
Why Some Churches Grow
Baroness Paisley
Eastern Orthodox?
'We Are Church'
The View from Brussels
The Counterfeit
Jail German Christians
Pope 'Deeply Sorry'
Hostile Demonstrations
Illegal Immigration
'The need for reform'
Film 'The Beast'
Christians in N. Korea
The Dictatorship Bill
Jerry Springer Bombs
Magdalene Hysteria - 1
Times Are Changing
Da Vinci Code?
Glorious Revolution
Not All Bible Is True
Lifting the dark veil
Confronting Corruption
Can We Trust The Bible
Religious Salesmen
Anglican Leaders, Mary
'Hail Mary' Anglicans
New Edition of the AV
World Anglican Leaders
World Is Not Happy
Ends Justify Means?
Young People Today
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Harlotry Of Rome
The Pope’s Black Print
The Popes At War
Deepening Apostasy
Speech to Orangemen
Statement by Paisley
Protest Letter
Confession-Box?
Apology / Inquisition?
Scottish Parliament
LWF - IV
LWF - III
LWF - II
NATO
LWF - I
Buries Resurrection
Washington Post
Ethnic Cleansing
Decency Died
Billy Graham
Treatment in Ireland
Mass Murderer
Religious Freedom
Rome Express
Alpha - III
Alpha - II
Alpha - I
Pilgrims' Folly


The Alpha Course: Is It Bible-Based Or Hell-Inspired? (Part 1 of 3)


The question therefore arises concerning the Alpha Course: Is it Bible-based or Hell-inspired? Does its teaching rest solidly and squarely upon the authoritative rock of Holy Scripture or does it teach error in the name of Jesus?
Rev. Paul Fitton

The Alpha Course is sweeping through this nation, crossing the denominational divides, and spreading across the world with great rapidity. From its inception in 1991 when approximately 600 people attended the 4 existing courses it has steadily grown in popularity to the extent that in 1996 some 250,000 people attended an estimated 5,000 courses. The estimated figure for those attending this year is in the region of 500,000 persons.

The Alpha course is therefore being adopted by more and more churches as the years pass by. It knows no denominational boundaries - Anglicans, Methodist, Congregationalist, United Reformed, Elim Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Baptists, Presbyterian, Charismatic Fellowships, Evangelical Free Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church: all run their Alpha Courses.

If the Alpha course continues to advance at the present rate its teaching will eventually permeate into the majority of churches, and influence the greater part of people who in this land claim to be Christian.

If the Alpha course is a faithful declaration of the Gospel of Christ and instructs people in sound Biblical doctrine then it can only be a mighty influence for good, but if it is not a faithful declaration of the Gospel, and if its teaching is not rooted in sound Biblical doctrine then it will be an awful influence for evil.

The question therefore arises concerning the Alpha Course: Is it Bible-based or Hell-inspired? Does its teaching rest solidly and squarely upon the authoritative rock of Holy Scripture or does it teach error in the name of Jesus?

1. REASONS WHY THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD EXAMINE THE ALPHA COURSE

They think that all that matters is that a person teaches and does things in the name of Christ. Such a belief is wrong. There are many today who would question the right of any believer to dispute the teachings of another who professes to be a Christian. They think that all that matters is that a person teaches and does things in the name of Christ. Such a belief is wrong. If we examine the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount, we discover that the false prophet preached, and prayed, and performed great signs and wonders in the name of Christ. He deceived the people in Christ's name and the tragic result was that both the false prophet and those that heeded him were to be cast out of the presence of God on the day of Judgement Matthew 7:15-25.

It is the Christian's duty to test the teaching of others even when they teach in the name of Christ. Isaiah 8:20 states: "To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak" - notice the communication here: it refers to the thoughts of one being communicated to another - "if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The Christian is taught by God to test the utterances of another. To check the words of those who speak and teach to see if they are in accord with the Book - the Word of God.

It is the Christian's duty to examine the teachings of those who purport to teach in the name of Christ, to examine the doctrine and teaching of others to see if they are founded and fixed upon the Scripture.

II John 10: "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed." It is also the duty of the Believer having examined the teaching of another in the light of Scripture to reject anything which is not sound in doctrine. Nowhere does the Bible teach that the Christian is to embrace error. Rather the Bible teaches that the Christian should recognise error and then reject it absolutely. II John 10: "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed." Sound doctrine, Biblical doctrine, doctrine founded upon and substantiated by the Word of God is the only basis for fellowship. Any doctrine not found in the Bible must with those that teach it be rejected.

It must also be reproved. It is one thing to recognise error, another to reject it and yet another to reprove it. Eph. 5:18 - "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." Once more we are reminded that error, falsehood must not be received but rejected by the Child of God. Now notice the final words of the verse: "[…]but rather reprove them". Error, false doctrine, false practices, false teachers must not only be recognised by examining them in the light of God's Word, and rejected by every true believer, but the Christian must then reprove them - speak out against them, declare that they are wrong.

These, then, are the Scriptural reasons for examining the Alpha Course. Believers have a duty to test everything that is taught in the name of Christ by the Word of God. They have a duty to recognise that which is error, reject it as being error, and reprove it, that is, speak out against that error.

2. THE ROOT FROM WHICH THE ALPHA COURSE IS DERIVED

Whenever a movement or doctrine is examined it is always important to trace it back to its roots. The Lord Jesus Christ declared in Matthew 7:18 - "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Similarly we can say that if a stream is contaminated at its source then the pollutant will be in the river and all who come into contact with that river run the risk of being contaminated. It is therefore essential that at we trace the Alpha course as far back as possible.

The Anglican Church has embraced the error of the mass even though one of the Thirty Nine Articles denounces it as a "blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit". The course is formally attributed to Nicky Gumbel, Curate of Holy Trinity, Brompton. Immediately this information should cause us great concern. Holy Trinity, Brompton is an Anglican Church. The Anglican Church as a whole has tolerated error for a very long time. Long before the ordination of women became an issue there were very serious doctrinal, and moral issues that the Anglican Church never addressed and certainly never dealt with in the light of Scripture. The Anglican Church has embraced the error of the mass even though one of the Thirty Nine Articles denounces it as a "blasphemous fable and dangerous deceit". It has permitted ungodly men, men who have no knowledge or experience of the rebirth, to minister. It has defended homosexuals among the clergy despite the Bible's condemnation of such practices. It has tolerated men who have denied the virgin birth, the resurrection and ascension of Christ. We say this because if Nicky Gumbel were the spiritual man he and others claim him to be he would not be a curate in the Church of England. God calls men out of apostasy, not into it.

Let us, however, concentrate on Holy Trinity, Brompton. It was there in the early nineties that the 'Toronto Blessing' first showed its ugly and ungodly head in Britain. In fact, Nicky Gumbel was one of the leading lights in the propagating of this evil in this land. Now I have not the time to deal with the Toronto Blessing at this time, but I can assure you that it will be dealt with on another occasion in the will of God, and shown to be the evil that it is. Suffice it to say: the Toronto Blessing is not the work of the Holy Spirit.

Now the main text behind the Alpha Course is the book Questions of Life which is attributed to Nicky Gumbel. The book carries his copyright. The man, therefore, whose teaching lies at the heart of the Alpha course not only belongs to a denomination which has tolerated error; but to a local congregation of that denomination which was responsible for the inception into this country of the Toronto Blessing, which is another great evil and error. Nicky Gumbel may be a very intelligent man, that we do not dispute, but he is obviously a man who can embrace doctrinal error.

We must carefully consider what is taught in the Alpha course because ... it is the teaching of Nicky Gumbel. Now we cannot condemn the Alpha course simply because the man behind it attends a particular Church. Nevertheless the fact that he can tolerate doctrinal error in the Church of England, and not merely embrace the doctrinal errors of the Toronto Blessing but actually support and propagate its errors, should cause us concern and alarm. Everything he holds to cannot he substantiated by the Word of God. Therefore we must carefully consider what is taught in the Alpha course because on the whole it is the teaching of Nicky Gumbel.

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