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As Southern Baptist, Mainline Churches Lag, Assemblies of God Booms
Christian Post ^ | 6/18/14 | Morgan Lee

Posted on 06/18/2014 11:03:20 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper

Last month, Southern Baptists reported its seventh straight year of declining numbers. Yet, even as the largest American Protestant denomination, along with many other Mainline denominations, continue to lose members, the charismatic Assembles of God has experienced its 24th year of attendance growth in the United States.

The Pentecostal denomination, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, reported an uptick of just over 30,000 in attendance from 2012 to 2013, bringing their total number of adherents to 3.1 million, up from 3.09 million.

....Domestically, the denomination credits its growth to the United States' growing Latino population, which they say make up 20 percent of their American population.

(Excerpt) Read more at christianpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: religion; truth
24 straight years of growth for the Assemblies of God.

Of course growth must not be the sole arbiter of God's blessing...but I have met many people from this denomination. They have the loving heart of Jesus--and they are not afraid of hard work to show it.

They have a good way of showing their love for God and man.

Christians of all stripes can learn from these people, I am convinced.

1 posted on 06/18/2014 11:03:20 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SoFloFreeper

Out of curiosity, I wonder what the pattern is for the Church of God in Christ, the “black” version of the Assemblies of God, formed at the beginning of the Pentecostal movement just like the AG, but during the time of segregation.


2 posted on 06/18/2014 11:09:36 AM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: SoFloFreeper

Our SBC church has grown.


3 posted on 06/18/2014 11:10:20 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: SoFloFreeper

Perhaps their concentration on Holy Spirit has been propitious. God will bless them as long as they strive to keep within His will.

I’m a very much non-tongues-speaking quasi-Baptist, but I’ve had tangible contact with Holy Spirit phenomena.


4 posted on 06/18/2014 11:11:22 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: SoFloFreeper
"Last month, Southern Baptists reported its seventh straight year of declining numbers."

The SBC is not a "denomination" but an orgaization that Baptist Churches can join if they agree with its tenents. This merely shows that fewer Baptist churchs are affiliating with the SBC.

5 posted on 06/18/2014 11:12:56 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Some AoG folks have been good friends and neighbours of mine.


6 posted on 06/18/2014 11:13:11 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: SoFloFreeper

This is simple to understand. I’ve attended services at many AOG churches across the country and they had one thing in common - fervor. These people really believe and their faith informs their everyday lives, unlike so many congregants at mainline churches where they only think of God on Sunday mornings.


7 posted on 06/18/2014 11:14:51 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne ("Don't be afraid. Just believe." - Mark 5:36)
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To: SoFloFreeper
They invariably believe one can lose his salvation and consequently call God a liar, because they do not believe they have eternal life, but only "temporary" eternal life (if that makes any sense).

Here is the operative scripture:

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made his liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:10-12)

If one truly believes the Son of God, then he has the witness (Holy Spirit) in himself. It convinces him that he has eternal life and cannot lose it, because he is no longer trusting in his works to save him, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

I've spoken with lots from the holiness/arminian crowd and they all believe that one must have the works to demonstrate salvation and that they can consequently lose their salvation if they stop believing or stop exhibiting the works. The Bible says they do not have the witness in themselves. They aren't saved. The unsaved world may refer to them as "evangelicals" or "Christians", but it's what the Bible says that's eternally important.

8 posted on 06/18/2014 11:15:05 AM PDT by nonsporting
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To: SoFloFreeper

As an adherent myself, I can say the growth is continually happening. Although to clarify, a lot of the growth is from folks from other churches leaving their denomination for a pentecostal one. Seems like most of those who leave AG, go to some sort of non-denominational church.

AG is fairly conservative and traditional. I think many who have frustrations with their church allowing homosexual ministers are finding comfort in a denomination like the AG for standing their ground against it.

Of course, the denomination isn’t without it’s own faults either. During the first 50 years, AG wouldn’t allow African-Americans to become credentialed ministers, which caused the Church of God split. This has since changed, but it has been a slow road to repair that damage. The Church of God in the United States is technically larger than the AG in the states. Internationally, the AG is huge and may be getting up there as one of the largest.


9 posted on 06/18/2014 11:16:35 AM PDT by Marko413
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To: nonsporting

That isn’t true, of course, and that makes for a spiritual Achilles heel.

But it isn’t the worst fault there could be with a Christian body.


10 posted on 06/18/2014 11:18:53 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I do recall that when the World Vision organization announced they were going to accept sodomites who claim to be married as employees, the Assemblies of God IMMEDIATELY issued a memo to their churches (independent though they are) urging them to STOP GIVING to the organization.

In other words, the A/G took a stand for the Word of God. Very bold and yet very comforting.


11 posted on 06/18/2014 11:22:55 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: chajin

I was writing my post as you asked this, see my earlier comment on some of the CoG differences. Fundamentally, both are pretty similar in what they believe. In terms of how each denomination expresses outreach, AG focuses a lot on overseas missions, while Church of God works more with the local community. In that way, Church of God is larger than the AG in the US, but worldwide AG is huge.

I don’t think any merger would happen anytime soon, but the relationship between both denominations has improved significantly.


12 posted on 06/18/2014 11:23:42 AM PDT by Marko413
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To: nonsporting

Yeah, I am on your side of that debate. Which is a debate between fellow Christians.

My point is not to bash them for where their theology goes wrong. I was trying to applaud them for where they do it right.


13 posted on 06/18/2014 11:24:14 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SoFloFreeper

That particular roaring lion got told to scat. Baptist reactions were doubtless similar.


14 posted on 06/18/2014 11:29:55 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: nonsporting
They invariably believe one can lose his salvation and consequently call God a liar, because they do not believe they have eternal life, but only "temporary" eternal life (if that makes any sense).

That's kind of an unfair way to put it. It's more the idea of this, God will never forsake you, but YOU can choose to forsake Him. If you get saved and then later change your mind and renounce Jesus, the AG says you have then lost your salvation. It's not calling God a liar because God never did anything different. You yourself are making the choice to turn the other way.

15 posted on 06/18/2014 11:30:03 AM PDT by Marko413
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To: SoFloFreeper

Don’t be too excited take a look at where the growth is coming from (this is in the article)

“Domestically, the denomination credits its growth to the United States’ growing Latino population, which they say make up 20 percent of their American population.”

So a bunch of ILLEGALS coming to the US find a comfy home with the Assembly of God church. Just how special is that?


16 posted on 06/18/2014 11:30:17 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: SoFloFreeper

One can believe in fervor AND in salvational permanence.

The “trick” is in seeing that it really is all of God. Both classic Calvinism and classic Arminianism fall short because they either discount God’s view or God’s power. The telling point to me is that both would turn the gospel from Good News to Good Luck. That is out of biblical character.


17 posted on 06/18/2014 11:32:42 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Marko413

And then the question immediately arises as to how much of a move needs to be made.

It is also out of biblical character. When nobody can snatch them out of Jesus’ hand that really is nobody.

God will never enter into a salvation that He has seen will not finish.


18 posted on 06/18/2014 11:35:21 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Nifster

We could wish all illegales would be devoted Christians; then they would be far less trouble than they are.


19 posted on 06/18/2014 11:37:04 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: nonsporting
They invariably believe one can lose his salvation and consequently call God a liar

As a Lutheran who believes that salvation cannot be lost, I would cut them a break, on two levels.

First, if I think that I can lose my salvation, but I can't lose my salvation, then I have not lost my salvation: all I have done is made myself worry about something that I do not have to worry about. As the Scripture says, if we disbelieve (apisteo), God still believes (pisteo), because He cannot deny Himself.

Second, the Bible tells us what it takes to be saved: confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) AG people confess Jesus as Lord and Christ, and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. If they do this, they are saved, and cannot be un-saved, even if they think they can be.

P.S. I worshipped in a Word of Faith church for years, until God called me back into working for the LCMS. I am where God wants me to be, but I miss the power and presence of the Holy Spirit that was palpably available every time I worshipped in the WOF church. Barring a miraculous intervention, it will never happen where I am now.

20 posted on 06/18/2014 11:37:47 AM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: SoFloFreeper

It is a process of change. It is Christian evolution


21 posted on 06/18/2014 11:37:56 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Dr. Thorne

“....at mainline churches where they only think of God on Sunday mornings.”

.
And that is bad?

Do you think that there are other entities that could even come close or compete with God’s holiness and importance?


22 posted on 06/18/2014 11:43:14 AM PDT by 353FMG
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To: HiTech RedNeck

what nonsense....devoted Christians don’t break the law to show how devoted they are...And I can guarantee you that those churches for the ‘immigrants’ don’t run in English


23 posted on 06/18/2014 11:45:02 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: bert

my tagline please


24 posted on 06/18/2014 11:45:16 AM PDT by trillabodilla (For I am the LORD, I change not; Malachi 3:6a)
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To: Nifster

Ever hear of a time sequence?


25 posted on 06/18/2014 12:00:19 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 353FMG

The complaint is alleging that “some other” people do not associate consciously with God during the rest of the week.

That is not official at ANY Christian denomination I have ever heard of.

Broad brushes have a way of smearing the holder.


26 posted on 06/18/2014 12:02:19 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: nonsporting

I’m not sure you are describing the AOG. That sounds more like the Church of Christ. I’m in a non denominational church right now, but I’m sure most would describe it as some form of AOG and we believe once saved always saved. We believe in salvation through Grace and understand that we all fall short. Church of Christ OTOH, believe you can lose your Salvation and must somehow keep earning it.


27 posted on 06/18/2014 1:02:31 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: SoFloFreeper
One thing left out of the article is the losses in mainline churches, including the SBC, is the acceptance of gay marriage. There was recently a story about a megga SBC church in California that just dropped out of the SBC due to a pastor changing his mind about homosexuality when his son confessed his. He went to the church and spoke for an hour and the church discussed and voted to keep him and quit the SBC. Go to Youtube and search "How I changed my mind on homosexuality". If you Google "gay Deacons", you will get 2 churches in Texas that have done that in the last few years.

Everyone already knows what has been happening to the Robes and Incense churches. I wouldn't be all that concerned about falling numbers but more staying out of a church with "Ichabod" over the door.

28 posted on 06/18/2014 1:12:46 PM PDT by chuckles
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To: SoFloFreeper
Assemblies of God Heresies

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/assemblies_of_god.htm

29 posted on 06/18/2014 1:19:22 PM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Prov1322

ping!


30 posted on 06/18/2014 1:21:38 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

yes and that isn’t even close to being on point....other than that have fun


31 posted on 06/18/2014 1:26:45 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: SVTCobra03
Assemblies of God Heresies

Your link also calls Catholicism and Lutheranism cults, so.... not much use to me.

32 posted on 06/18/2014 1:47:00 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: Nifster

You don’t even have the ability to take a hint.


33 posted on 06/18/2014 2:06:39 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: trillabodilla

The changes are wrought by men, not by God.


34 posted on 06/18/2014 2:07:39 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Albion Wilde

“I’ve got a p-u-u-u-u-re religion and dontcha tell me otherwise!”


35 posted on 06/18/2014 2:14:17 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

gee pot kettle black


36 posted on 06/18/2014 3:25:12 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: chuckles

I think the article did mention that, didn’t it?


37 posted on 06/18/2014 3:33:17 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: HiTech RedNeck

It’s hard to see how you inferred that from what I wrote, but knock yourself out.


38 posted on 06/18/2014 5:05:47 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: Albion Wilde
Got it! TY!

I see the so-called "heresy hunters" are busy-bodying themselves already on this...

39 posted on 06/19/2014 4:44:41 AM PDT by Prov1322 (Enjoy my wife's incredible artwork at www.watercolorARTwork.com! (This space no longer for rent))
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To: Prov1322; Religion Moderator
I see the so-called "heresy hunters" are busy-bodying themselves already on this...

I spent a great part of last week's online FReeping defending the Catholic church from FReeper bigotry. Same thing goes on here for/against the Mormons, or the Catholics against the Protestants, etc. It's sad, really. This is the one place we should be learning from one another and striving for unity in spirit in spite of the doctrinal differences, as we all have a common enemy.

40 posted on 06/19/2014 8:11:25 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: Albion Wilde
The Religion Forum provides a place for conservatives - who agree politically - to air their differences theologically.

Posters who do not wish to see Religion Forum posts, do NOT use the "everything" option on the Free Republic browse option list. Instead, they should browse by "News/Activism." When they log back in, the browse will reset to "everything" - so they must be sure to set it back to "News/Activism."

41 posted on 06/19/2014 8:17:01 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Great post; thank you!


42 posted on 06/19/2014 2:10:36 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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