Alpha Program = Apostasy?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Caretaker, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Caretaker

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    May 20, 2002
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    I do not know the Alpha Program, and do not know anyone who has gone through the Alpha Program. I would be cautious in regards to any program which unites the RCC, Anglican, with mainline Protestant Churches, for the program must by necessity be diluted for the sake of inclusion under such a broad umbrella. Just a few perceptions:

    1) There should be a “nursery” where new believers can learn and be mentored in, “This We Believe and This is From the Word Why We Believe This”.
    2) The movement is extremely ecumenical thus the salvation and justification in Christ alone is probably diluted. The emphasis is upon numbers but I worry about substance.
    3) The Alpha Program seems to have ties to the Toronto Blessing and certain extremities of the Charismatic movement
    4) With the emphasis on the Charismata, the experiential could take precedence over Scripture
    5) With the emphasis of inclusiveness, new Alphas could be led into cultism.

    There are many links and resources on the web page.

    The Alpha course is a ten week practical introduction to the Christian faith. It is designed primarily for non-churchgoers and those who have recently become Christians. It was established at Holy Trinity Brompton twenty years ago and there are now more than 5000 Alpha courses all over the UK and overseas.
    from the official Alpha website

    Meant as a non-threathening introduction to the Gospel, this course, based on ex-atheist Nicky Gumbel's books, is used by churches around the world.

    The Alpha program calls for congregations to rethink their approach to evangelism. Instead of offering church-based community events or services that might expose nonbelievers to a congregation, Alpha instructs leaders on how to use an invite-your-friends model to stimulate interest in Christian doctrine.

    ''We don't try to get people who are not interested,'' Gumbel says. "The reason they have an interest is not because they have an interest suddenly in Christianity, but because of what happened to their friend on the previous course."

    The Alpha system at first blush seems overly simplistic. The acronym stands for: A—Anyone interested in finding out more about the Christian faith; L—Learning and Laughter; P—Pasta (eating together gives people the chance to know each other); H—Helping one another (small groups are used for discussion of issues raised during the lectures); A—Ask anything. No question is seen as too simple or too hostile.

    However, Alpha, in the hands of skilled church leaders, has succeeded in many cases in turning faithful churchgoers from an inward focus on church work to an outward focus on evangelistic outreach through relationships, networking, and invitations to Alpha events. In Gumbel's words, Alpha stimulates a ''virtuous circle'' that spreads outward, allowing churches regularly to break into new networks of unchurched, unevangelized people.
    Source: The Alpha-Brits Are Coming , Christianity Today, Feb. 9, 1998

    The growth of Alpha worldwide is remarkable. In l991, the first year for the course anywhere, four classes were conducted. By 1995, 2,500 classes were taught and last year, that number reached 6,700. By the end of 1998, officials and leaders with the Alpha Course estimate as many as 1 million people worldwide will have completed the course.

    Some of the objections to this popular course include
    • that it has a decidedly Charismatic point of view,
    • that the course was created by England's home of the Toronto Blessing Movement (and thus exposes Christians and non-Christians alike to all the excesses - including unbiblical teachings and practices - of that movement)
    • that the course may be too easily adapted by non-Christian movements and/or cults of Christianity:
    Gordon Lewis, a senior professor of theology and philosophy at Denver Seminary, applauds Alpha's methods and much of its content. Yet he wishes Alpha emphasized salvation through grace alone, and the Bible as the only inerrant Word of God.

    ''I am concerned that the Catholics could add tradition, the Mormons could add the Book of Mormon, the Christian Scientists could add Mary Baker Eddy, and the Seventh-day Adventists could add Ellen G. White,'' Lewis says.
    Source: Adaptable Alpha Course Draws Praise and Worry , Christianity Today, Nov. 12, 2001


    Could this program be a precursor to a one-world religion, by training diluted followers rather than prayer warriors steadfast in the faith?

    One thing which just came to mind, is the emphasis upon the working of the gifts of the spirit, without being stablished in the Word. Those that place more credence upon charismatic experience, even when it contradicts scripture could be setting themselves up for great deception, when one comes with great signs and wonders.

    2 Thess. 2:

    1: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
    2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
    3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
    5: Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
    6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
    7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
    8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders ,
    10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    With the Anglican and RCC involved then a strong Amillenianism could enter-in, the teaching that all events are spiritual and that the church is the Righteous Reign. Looks like a broad "umbrella of apostasy and heresy.

    A servant of Christ,
  2. Johnv

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    Oct 24, 2001
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    I think that's a little extreme. I don't lnow too much about the Alpha program, but it's not intended to take the place of local doctrine, local autonomy, or local anything. Are we so afraid of being "associated" with Catholics and Anglicans that we won't have anything to do with anyone who has anything to do with them? If so, then we should also refer to Boy Scouts and Alcoholics Anonymous as being apostate.
  3. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Dec 4, 2003
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    You got to be careful about being INCLUSIVE of people!!!

    We wouldn't want to be too much like Jesus!!

    ;) ;) ;)

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