Apr 17, 2006

A/G Dismisses Pastor for Protesting Abuses

Hear my voice, God, in my complaint. Preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the noisy crowd of the ones doing evil; who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrows, deadly words, to shoot innocent men from ambushes. They shoot at him suddenly and fearlessly. They encourage themselves in evil plans. They talk about laying snares secretly. They say, "Who will see them?" They plot injustice, saying, "We have made a perfect plan!" Surely man's mind and heart are cunning. But God will shoot at them. They will be suddenly struck down with an arrow.
Their own tongues shall ruin them. All who see them will shake their heads. All mankind shall be afraid. They shall declare the work of God, and shall wisely ponder what he has done. The righteous shall be glad in Yahweh, and shall take refuge in him. All the upright in heart shall praise him!
(Psalm 64 World English Bible)

The politics of the A/G were bad when I was in college, but they continue toward ungoldiness. They have a part of their constitution that says they are to "shun" dismissed ministers (all A/G members are supposed to be bound by this). I think that sounds very WatchTower-ish. May the SBC move away from this trend and not toward it!

Pastor Contends AOG Officials Dismissed Him for Protesting
Power Abuses

By Jim Brown
March 15, 2006
(AgapePress) - A longtime Assemblies of God pastor says a godly district superintendent in the
denomination was unjustly forced to resign his position in New York because top church officials
simply did not like his style of leadership. In addition, the pastor claims that he too was dismissed
for questioning the handling of the ordeal.
In mid-December 2004, Assemblies of God General Superintendent Thomas Trask convened an
emergency meeting of 21 New York presbyters, in which Superintendent Saied Adour was asked
to agree to 14 restrictions on his ministry or else resign. When 68-year-old Adour surprised Trask
by accepting the restrictions that would effectively strip him of all his duties and powers, the
presbyters voted 17-3 that he resign.
In addition, Adour says he was offered a monetary bribe in the form of enhanced severance pay if
he resigned. But Ray Barnett of Amsterdam (New York), a pastor in the denomination for 23
years, has called attention to the fact that no formal charges were ever leveled against Adour for
moral, ethical, legal or doctrinal failure.
"It is simply incongruous with the very meaning of a voluntary resignation if 20 men are going to
vote [on whether a minister must] resign," Barnett asserts. He says the action by the New York
Presbytery violates the denomination's constitution and bylaws.
But after he criticized the treatment Adour received, the veteran Assemblies of God pastor says
he was dismissed by the denomination. And the minister contends that similar abuses of power
by the denominational leadership have occurred across the United States.
The Assemblies of God "once were a very godly organization," Barnett says. "I do not believe that
is entirely the case [anymore], though it has many godly ministers and missionaries." The minister
believes the church has an opportunity to correct itself, and hopes this will happen.
However, if this kind of abuse of power "goes unchecked and uncorrected," Barnett notes, "I think
the Assemblies of God has no other option except to go the way [of many other denominations],
which is into complete backsliding over apostasy."
Dennis Brewer, Sr., an Assemblies of God elder and attorney with the American Center for Law
and Justice in Texas, says there is an "epidemic" of officials in certain Assemblies of God districts
declining to accept resignations, favoring instead "a kangaroo trial and conviction to punish the
local pastor that dares buck the 'Sanhedrin'" of church leadership.

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