Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

June 13, 2007

I’ll Take Door Number Three.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:58 pm

Our little family of four left Michigan for California in the fall of 1978. As I was in a quandary deciding for Rome vs. Geneva in the spring of ’79, when a co-worker invited me (us) to church in June of that year it meant that I could choose neither – if I said yes to his invite. So, off to Bible Missionary Temple we went.

There’s a lot I could say about this church. But this outline correctly indicates that they held to:

  • The practice of laying on of hands to be filled with the Holy Spirit (with the evidence of speaking in other tongues).
  • The practice of laying on of hands to impart spiritual gifts other than tongues.
  • The belief Christians can be demonized and need to be delivered through the laying on of hands.
  • The belief that God has now restored all the ministry gifts back to the Church, especially the office of the prophet and apostle.
  • Divine healing is imparted via the laying on of hands
  • The concept of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David. Praise & Worship emphasized as a means to usher in God’s presence and to usher God’s people into His presence.
  • Singing in the spirit congregationally, i.e. in other tongues
  • The “song of the Lord” – a prophetic song
  • Emphasis on personal and directive prophecy
  • Women have a full and equal ministry role in the Church, i.e. women pastors, prophetesses, elders, etc.

This is not my outline but is a description of what was known as the “Latter Rain” movement. I have edited out some features that this movement was known for since I don’t believe I ever saw these features practiced or taught. What remains in this list, however, I saw or had related to me (in the demon possession case). The only objection I have to the above description is the term “speaking in tongues”. I have another phrase for it but I won’t be going into that here, since it is not my intent to launch a polemic against Pentacostalism on these specific points. There is one point above that I will address later.

Another point to note is that I had no idea that this is what this church either taught or believed or practiced – with these two exceptions which I heard our very first time there: Singing in the spirit congregationally, and the so-called prophetic “song of the Lord”.

Here is what happened. When I walked into that church, I heard the best horn band playing the best music I’d ever heard. Okay. I am exaggerating. A lot. But for a guy who used to play in bars in a horn band, I thought it was really cool that a church could give me the same feeling I used to get in bars. The next week, I showed up with my trombone and was in the ‘orchestra’ as they called it. From that point on we got even better. I’d never had that much fun playing trombone in church. And I had played often in church in Michigan, too. Both in ensembles and as a soloist. But none of that was anything like this.

What you have to take away from this is the incontrovertible fact that there was absolutely nothing about the Word of God that played any part in my returning the next week. It was entirely the music.

If this little report is a let down, you’ll have to stay tuned for the next installment where you find out what really happened behind door number three.

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14 Comments »

  1. I think the Arriola’s were drawn to LWC because of the church orchestra as well.

    Comment by Albino Hayford — June 13, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  2. “I thought it was really cool that a church could give me the same feeling I used to get in bars.”

    Comment by gospelordeath — June 13, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

  3. So this little church invented “seeker sensitive,” eh? 🙂 But they didn’t get rich and famous in the process.

    Comment by Barbara — June 14, 2007 @ 5:58 am

  4. there was absolutely nothing about the Word of God that played any part in my returning the next week.

    I assume you are blaming the church for this, but could it be your own lack of christian maturity at the time that was at fault?

    Comment by Matt S — June 14, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  5. I assume you are blaming the church for this, but could it be your own lack of christian maturity at the time that was at fault?

    I don’t remember the sermon – positive or negative- so there is no way I can affix blame, although there is no doubt I had a lack of Christian maturity. I still do.

    While I don’t remember even the slightest fragment of anything that was spoken that day, (with the exception of Jim Hoopingarner – who was standing behind me – singing “It’s Beginning to Rain”) I do remember the music – clearly.

    Keep in mind that “blaming” is not my goal here. I am (and will be) reporting what happened and I am (and will be) providing my own analysis of what happened.

    Comment by Bruce S. — June 14, 2007 @ 10:57 am

  6. once again, let Bruce tell his story without interference,this is fascinating to me.

    Comment by danielbalc — June 14, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  7. with the exception of Jim Hoopingarner

    I also have a fond memory of Mr. Hoop talking to me in great detail about his prostate problem while teeing off on the second hole at EagleCrest golf club. Memories.

    Comment by Matt S — June 14, 2007 @ 11:48 am

  8. no interfering, just interacting. I also appreciate the look at how Bruce became Bruce.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 14, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  9. last comment was me

    Comment by Matt S — June 14, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

  10. Where’s the popcorn?
    I’m on the edge of my seat.

    And then……..

    Comment by Alex — June 14, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  11. Go Bruce go.

    It’s like storytime.

    Comment by gospelordeath — June 14, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  12. I also have a fond memory of Mr. Hoop talking to me in great detail about his prostate problem while teeing off on the second hole at EagleCrest golf club. Memories.

    There’s a man who couldn’t keep a secret.

    Comment by Bruce S. — June 14, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  13. Ah, “It’s beginning to Rain” — there’s a memory of a classic Christian polka tune. 🙂

    I hope you also tell the story of the new worship leader who started up “He Is the King of Kings” and couldn’t figure out how to stop it. After 11 times around the coda and back to the beginning, he began to panic and sweat profusely. George Evans mercifully ascended the platform and ended the merry-go-round — “Oooooh, He is the King”.

    Don’t remember who that worship leader was, but I’ve retold that story many times.

    Comment by Albino Hayford — June 14, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  14. Jim Willoughby (sp?)

    And I think it was more than 11 times.

    Comment by Bruce S. — June 14, 2007 @ 2:51 pm


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