Answer To Critics
In Answer to Critics
by Pastor Arnold B. Murray
I make it a policy to never mention individual denominations, groups or single out individuals by name; however since 1991 several so called "Christian Research" organizations have willingly quoted each others's falsehoods and labels, without direct research, until they are blindly printing outright lies. This has gone on long enough now that I have categorized some glaring examples of such inaccuracies to facilitate making a clear Biblical response. I am not writing this document because I seek nor want any organization's endorsement, but I wish to point out these inaccuracies for intelligent Bible students who love to study God's Word. The Shepherd's Chapel Network now has millions of serious Bible students who study daily with us. It is because I love each of you who desire a deeper study into our Father's Word that I feel I owe this response to you and especially to new students of the Shepherd's Chapel.
I also should point out to those not familiar with the Shepherd's Chapel that we are completely independent; therefore we are not affiliated with any other church, denomination or group. As a matter of record, the only group of which I am a member is with the "Chosin Few" which is a group of Korean War veterans comprised of various military factions who fought in one of the more famous battles of that war. I am very proud to have served as a U.S. Marine in this severe winter battle in which approximately 12,000 of our troops faced a massive surprise attack by an estimated 120,000 of the Chinese communist enemy. Although suffering many casualties, the Marines and our British allies inflicted far more damage to the Chinese and were able to ultimately escape (with our dead and injured) from the Chosin Reservoir where we were at a grave disadvantage. Despite being wounded I survived this war because, I believe, the Lord had further plans and a purpose for my life. I have never forgotten the discipline of the U.S. Marine Corps and the lessons learned in war. If I teach like a Marine DI (Drill Instructor) it is with love because I know first hand the value of well educated and trained troops. In fact the root word behind the word "disciples" is "discipline". The Bible frequently uses military terms to convey how we must prepare to face spiritual warfare. As Christians our ultimate enemy is not "flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, to wit we must put on the whole armour of God" (Ephesians 6:10-19).
I believe many of the inaccurate perceptions of what I teach at the Shepherd's Chapel could be resolved quickly if those interested would simply request our "Statement of Faith" which has been freely available for many years. If you have not already requested it I would encourage you to do so. But perhaps the best way to evaluate what I teach is to simply listen for a while. One thing you will quickly notice is that I like to field questions which in my opinion is a fine way for the listener to test what is being taught. Since the beginning of my Bible teaching ministry, over 50 years ago, I have always insisted on taking questions from the congregation. This important part of teaching ensures that everyone has an opportunity to ask key questions, then hear and judge the knowledge of the teacher for themselves. Now let's take a look at some of the usual points of criticism that some of these so-called "Christian Research" people seem to steal from one another in their rush to reproduce lies against myself and the Shepherd's Chapel.
The Trinity or Godhead
I teach YHVH ("I Am That I Am" and Hebrew for the Sacred Name of God), Yahshua (Hebrew for God's Saviour Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. When you speak the Truth it is the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself through you. Matthew 10:20 explicitly says "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." The meaning, of course, refers to the Holy Spirit as in Mark 13:11 which notes, "but when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do you premeditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost (Spirit)." I make no apology for teaching the Godhead in this manner, and I certainly do not need an endorsement or approval or further interpretation of my words from any man or group of research witch hunters.
Also, I have never taught that men were
little gods. It would be a lie for someone to say so. I do teach all souls were
created by our Father. A Christian that would not teach this fact would have a
big problem with Scripture. Example: Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed thee in
the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Another example: Ephesians
1:4 says, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the
Recommended additional study lectures on audio CD:
#30574, "Nature of God, El Shaddai
To say that I teach racism or practice racism is another outright lie. We have people of all races that attend and study with the Shepherd's Chapel. It is very simple to prove this statement. We televise our annual Passover meetings including video interviews of many of the thousands who attend. Order a video tape of any of these interviews and you will see people of all races which effectively documents the falseness of any charges that I teach racism (a sample of Passover Interviews is also offered at the end of this document). God's Word directly teaches that our Heavenly Father created all the races and that it was good, (Genesis 1:27-28, 31). People of all nations and races shall be in the Temple of the Lord throughout eternity (Revelation 21:22-27).
What about teaching Serpent Seed? I make no apology for teaching the Word of God. In Matthew 13, our Lord and Saviour explains the Parable of the Sower directly to His disciples. He is very explicit about exactly who the sower of the bad seed really is. Matthew 13:37-39 states, "He (Jesus) answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels."
Let no one tell you Christ was speaking in a parable here for He was carefully explaining to His disciples the real meaning of the parable He had previously spoken to the multitude. He talked with them in private, and He used language that a child could understand. Christ's teaching of the seed of the devil (or serpent) was nothing new, it was taught from the beginning of Scripture - Genesis.
In Genesis 3:15 God is speaking to the serpent, "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel." The bruising of the heel took place when Christ was nailed to the Cross. And finally, for those who still want further proof as to who the serpent really is; we read in Revelation 12:9, "and the great Dragon was cast out, that old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Now can anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear have any doubt or confusion about Satan's own seed?
Recommended additional study lectures on audio CD:
#30146, "Genesis, Chapters 1-6"
#30461, "Seed of the Serpent"
What about the use of the word Kenites? It is a Hebrew word that has only one meaning, "sons of Cain." It does not mean Judah. The word Kenite cannot be translated Judah and is never used of Judah. Anyone saying that I use the word to describe Judah is not telling the truth; it would be a lie, because I have never said this.
Recommended additional study lecture on audio CD: