Welcome back to my blog heathens and hell-bound friends and foes alike. Tonight we are starting a series that’s going to be a bit different. Unmasking Doctrine will explore the “fundamental truths” that were taught in the Pentecostal church that I am most experienced with, The Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God Church has 16 fundamental truths that all Assemblies of God Churches must adhere. Their statement of faith even says “these are non-negotiable” and so if you were born and raised in the Assembly of God church you will find these things to be almost second nature. To simplify things I will refer to the Assemblies of God as simply the AoG from here on out.
So a little background if you are unfamiliar with the AoG…
The AoG is the largest of Pentecostal denominations in the US, claiming to have over 3 million members in the U.S. and over 60 million members worldwide. Started in 1914, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the assemblies thank much of their beliefs to the Azuza street revivals, a revival occuring in 1906 Los Angeles. The Pentecostal movement itself owes their existence to these revivals. Anyway with over 13,000 churches in the US the AoG is pretty damn big. If you’d like to know more about this click here. I’ve also included this documentary if you’d like to know more about the Azusa Street revivals.
With that out-of-the-way, let’s get started…
According to ag.org the first fundamental truth is…
1.)The Scriptures Inspired
“The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.”
It then lists several scriptures from which we can find this fundamental truth:
So basically what the AoG is trying to say is that if it is in the Bible, it’s inspired by god and so can be useful in learning how to live a good life and teach us how to be the best people we are meant to be. What many in the Assemblies fail to do though is actually read their bibles. If they did they would see that much of the Old Testament is absolutely atrocious, has no real moral value, and if someone did actually live their life according to its tenets they would most likely be a psychopath.
Another thing that the AoG doesn’t tend to teach its congregants is that the scriptures used to justify this “fundamental truth” are not speaking about the New Testament at all. The new testament wouldn’t even exist until long after these scriptures were written and were not commonly accepted by all Christians for another couple hundred years. These scriptures are not referring to the Christian bible at all but are actually referring to the Old Testament, because Christianity is an off-branch of the Jewish faith.
Now what makes this even more interesting is that most Pentecostals reject the Jewish faith almost entirely believing that the church has taken the place of the Jews as god’s chosen people. Sure they will praise Israel and do anything to see that Israel succeed but this is for an entirely separate reason that we won’t be getting into tonight. Even funnier is that the Jewish faith rejects almost the entirety of what the AoG teaches.
The Scriptures Are True?
So if these scriptures were referring to the old testament claiming that it is inspired, true, and good then we must accept a few things.
- The Earth is Young.
- Snakes used to walk and talk.
- The Earth is flat
- The stars are either angel eyes or lights glued to the firmament.
- The firmament exists…
- We owe all pain, suffering, hard work and death to eating a piece of god’s fruit.
- Millions of people took a two-week journey that lasted over 40 years.
- Millions of people traveled for over 40 years without leaving a trace of evidence.
- A donkey talked to its owner.
- The devil and god made a bet over just how bad they could make one mans life.
I could go on but for brevity I’ll just state that the Old Testament is absolutely chock full of bullshit, bullshit that owes much of itself to older faiths that existed centuries before the books of the Old Testament. Going through the Old Testament is a lot like reading a book of Mother Goose’s Fairy Tales with slightly more murder, rape, and other awfulness.
Probably the most damning evidence against the claims of divine inspiration is just how wrong much of the old testament was about the physical world that we live in. Either it wasn’t divinely inspired or god is incredibly stupid. He doesn’t understand how rain works, doesn’t understand that space exists, doesn’t understand how animals get stripes, doesn’t understand the wind, doesn’t understand the evolution of language, doesn’t understand chromosomes or genetics, germs, reproduction, or a plethora of other topics. If this being does exist you wouldn’t trust it to make ramen on your stovetop let alone worship it for how wise and awesome it is.
Scripture is Good?
The second of this “fundamental truth” is that the scriptures are all for our good. Maybe they aren’t all true but maybe the inspiration comes in the form of character building ideals. So lets look at the things you have to accept as good and inspiring.
- God takes no personal responsibility.
- Slavery is divinely ordained.
- Beating your slave as long as they don’t die is fine.
- Selling your daughter into slavery is economic.
- Murdering disobedient children is cool.
- Stoning homosexuals is great.
- Burning Witches builds character.
- Murdering folks in a neighboring town is amazing.
- Sacrificing your child is cool if god ordains it. (Before you say he didn’t let Abraham follow through with it, I’m not referring to Abraham or Isaac)
- Killing an entire city because someone touched a magic box is completely reasonable.
Once again I could go on but I think you can see by just these examples that not all scripture is good and it definitely won’t build our character. We have a place for people who adhere to these types of things, it’s called prison. If you knew anyone who actually followed any of these things you’d run the opposite direction, luckily enough this brings me to my last point.
The Bible is Divinely Inspired….except when it’s not
What makes this first “fundamental truth” so hilarious is just how much of the Bible the AoG actually doesn’t follow. Mixed cloth is fine even though prohibited, gluttony is practiced by almost every evangelist and yet it is also prohibited, tattoos and piercings are common among the youth and young adults even though these are abominations to god. Eating a rare steak is cool, eating pork is cool, shellfish is cool, rabbit is cool…if there is one thing that congregants in the Assemblies are good at, its cooking anything and everything that moves.
This isn’t really an issue with just the AoG, Cherry picking is rampant in the Christian tradition, it’s the only real way that you can continue saying that the scriptures are all true and all good. I also realize what the argument against me will be, they will claim that I am also cherry picking but here’s the difference. They are the ones claiming that it is all inspired and good, if I can find one example where it isn’t inspired or good then it nullifies their initial claim.
Think of it like this:
A man has 100 cows and he claims that all of the cows are black. If I can prove that even one of his cows is white he can no longer state that they are all black. He could still say that most of his cows were black but the claim that they were all black would be untrue. Well, the AoG is saying the opposite, that the entire bible is white and I’m saying, no…look at all of the shades of grey and all the truly dark scriptures that I have found. Your claim is untrue and this is why.
False information is harmful….but don’t take my word for it…
To continue on to part 2: click here:Unmasking Doctrine #2: One True God