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Hi there! I am going to start off by giving a bit of a backstory, and please hear me out by reading all of this because I am in dire need right now. I grew up in a lovely home with Baptist parents who attended church every Sunday. However, I hit very traumatic times at about 7 years old, and now I am 16, going on 17, and my life is healing from the trauma of divorced parents, dealing with calling defax on my own mother for emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical abuse, hating my father for years due to my mother calling him unworthy every chance she got- only to find that my father did everything he could to make me realize he meant no harm, and all the mental issues which came with these life experiences. Shortly after turning 12, four years into my nearly 10-year real-life conflict, I found myself falling far from God. Although I had become fully saved according to the Baptist faith and believed with all my heart that God was my savior and my all at age 10, I fell far from Him only two years later. Two years later, at 12, and hardly 12 at that, I text my friend late one summer night. "I don't know that I believe in God anymore," I sent her, crying my eyes out because all I needed right then was someone to pull me back to God and say that I needed to hold on. I desperately needed someone to grab my ears and pull me up saying, "Hello!! Jesus is alive! He is alive! And He loves you more than you'll ever comprehend!" But, the reality was far from this. My friend responds less than a minute later. "I am an Atheist." My heart dropped at the message. But... strangely enough, it later was found with relief. I felt ACCEPTANCE for falling from Him! It sounds crazy because it is. I researched for a long time, mainly in the wrong places, and I found myself to identify as an Atheist. This lasted for years, all the way until a month or so ago to be frank. I am going to be 17 in July and going into the 12th grade next year, and I believe this all happened in the summer of going into 6th or 7th grade, which would have put me at 11 or 12. So for 5, possibly 6, years I have been very lost and falling blind of God. I fell into believing I was transgender, from female to male, to believing I was gay and dating a girl almost a full year. Many, many tragic things followed this initial start of trauma when my parents got a divorce at 7 years old. Now, having all that said... I still feel a strong incomplete pit in my life, this being my relationship with God. I still question my sexuality today. I believe that being abused for all those years led me to believe I was homosexual because beforehand, I never EVER questioned my sexuality. I was your typical "boy-crazy" little girl who would go to their mom after school and say, "Guess what mommy! [Enter name here] talked to me today! I was so nervous!" I can tell you confidently now that I know I am a beautiful, straight female who deserves just as much as everyone else. In my heart, I feel that. However, I hesitate to answer so confidently in person because it takes denying my past conflictions to find my true self deep within me that, yes, I am that person. For a long time I denied this person that I was because of the many times my mother would tell me that I wasn't her daughter, I wasn't what she wanted, and I was a mistake through and through. I believe truly, within my heart, that abuse can cause lifetime problems such as this. Abuse, especially that in childhood, does not just affect your personality, your social life, and your way of coping with life situations. Abuse affects your lifestyle, your beliefs, and all the critical things of yourself. I am stuck. My ex-best friend and I started talking recently. We grew up together and shortly after I went from a true Christian to Atheist, we fell apart from one another. In the past month, we found each other via social media and I have come to find, not to my surprise, that she is still very faithful and connected to God. Even when we were little and very close, I was inspired by her connection with God and trust in Him, despite our different beliefs. She was raised Apostolic Pentecostal. I was raised Baptist. However, now that we have reconnected, I have caught her up with everything that happened to me in the past years that we haven't talked. She amazes me still at her immaculate trust in God. She is now involved in leading many youth groups to teach the Bible to younger kids, as well as attending her own youth group herself. This makes me intrigued in her beliefs since I am currently not under any official belief besides that in which God does indeed exist. My mother is not much in the picture anymore, so I have free reign to explore all sorts of Christianity that I please without fear of being bashed or shunned for doing anything other than Baptism. I have been looking into Apostolic Pentecostal all day, trying to actually understand what the belief is all about compared to Baptism, since that is what I know best, and it makes so much more sense to me compared to what I grew up with. Is there anybody who is an Apostolic Pentecostal that could please help guide me and help me in understanding the beliefs? I am very intrigued by this way of praise and church-going. So please, if you read all of this, which I hope you did because it contributes so much to my reasoning behind this, and you are an Apostolic Pentecostal, please give me information on your beliefs and ways of praising and keeping faith. I am finding God again, and I do not plan on losing Him this time. Not again.
I'm a former Oneness Pentecostal, also known as Apostolics or Jesus Only; I was involved with them in London, England in the last 1980s. Would anyone like to ask me some questions about them? I've studied their doctrines for almost thirty years now. My YouTube channel (Christian Comedy Channel) has a Oneness playlist with 99 videos and my channel has well over 7 million hits.
‘I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:30, KJV). ‘ego kai ho patar ev esmen: (John 10:30: The Nestles Greek text). ‘I ((Subject)) and ((conjunction)) my Father ((object)) are ((verb 1st-person-plural)) one ((adjective)).’ (John 10:30, KJV). Oneness Pentecostals (Apostolics), and I used to be one back in the 1980s, would need to explain the use of the verb ‘to be,’ which a first person plural at John 10:30; ‘I and my Father (we) are one.’ This verse does not record Jesus as saying; ‘I am the Father,’ for such a direct claim by Jesus to be God the Father, would have included the verb ‘to be’ in the first person singular: ‘I am.’ But Jesus at John 10:30 instead applies a plural verb to both the Father and also to the Son; ‘are’ as in ‘we are,’ which is the verb ‘to be,’ (esmen) a present tense, in first person plural. This is why he specifically claimed to be God’s Son, and not God the Father himself at John 10:36; ‘Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?’ Secondly, why is the Greek neuter word ‘hen’ for ‘one’ used at John 10:30 rather than the masculine Greek word for “one,” which is the Greek ‘heis?’ This masculine word is always used in the Greek, to describe God as ‘one’ in the strictly numeric sense, and so logically it would be the only word which Jesus could use to claim that he is himself really God the Father in an absolute and literal sense. So the neuter word ‘hen,’ just means to be ‘one in agreement’ or to be ‘one in unity’ with another person, it’s used that way at 1st Corinthians 3:8, where Paul planted and Apollos watered so that were one (hen), which doesn’t mean that Paul is claiming that he was Apollos! Paul is just saying that they worked together as a team, but not that they were both the same one person! As a former Oneness Pentecostal, allow me to warn people against this error, which is sweeping through and taking over nominally Trinitarian Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches around the world. I do have a video on my own YouTube channel of me explaining this verse, however, I do not know if I am permitted to post this here, possibly the admins could help me with the rules.
I was once a Oneness Pentecostal (Apostolic), way way back in the later 1980s, I left and became a Trinitarian after I had written a tract for them, promoting the Oneness view of Water Baptism and offering £1,000 if anyone could disprove the Oneness claim that you must be baptised with the formula: Lord Christ Christ in order to be saved. I live in the south-west of the UK (Plymouth) and no longer attend any fellowship, as that would be too painful to me, but I see the main Oneness claims (i.e. that Jesus is God the Father, and that the baptismal formula is Lord Jesus Christ), taking over so many individual believers in local fellowships, which nominally are Trinitarian, but within which elders and other leaders teach exactly as they choose, which is often anti-Trinitarian! The church situation here in the UK is so bad as to be dire beyond belief, you can't even sit down and discuss the Bible with religious people, they switch off the moment you try to discuss scripture. GOD TV has had a big part to play in this.