Posted by: Rodney Shaw | May 19, 2009

What is the greatest issue facing the UPCI?

What is the greatest issue facing the UPCI? Is holiness a doctrinal matter? Do music styles matter? What is your position on facial hair, makeup, and hair length? Do you agree with the Articles of Faith of the UPCI?

These and more questions are presented in a survey of 70 questions intended for licensed UPCI ministers. The survey can be taken anonymously. If you are a licensed UPCI minister, please consider taking the survey and passing on this information to your fellow UPCI ministers. 

Read the article: “What Do We Believe?: The Priority of Theology?”

Continue to survey

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Responses

  1. I am extremely impressed along with your writing talents as well as with the structure to your blog.
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  2. Hi to every one, the contents existing at
    this site are really awesome for people experience,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.

  3. I AM GLAD JESUS WENT TO ALL RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND NON BELIEVERS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT…HE SHOWED LOVE AND FORGIVENESS IN HIS LIFE AND EVEN ON THE CROSS…HIS TWO COMMANDMENTS SHARED LOVE FOR GOD AND MAN…YOUR NEIGHBORS! IT IS HARD TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS OURSELVES…TRY IT! PEACE & LOVE THRU JESUS OUR SAVIOUR…AND REMEMBER…IF IN THREE YEARS OF HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY HE DIDN’T TEACH IT…IT PROBABLY ISN’T AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT HE DID SPEAK ABOUT. MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE! READ THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS.

  4. To me, the biggest thing facing those of us in the UPCI is fulfilling the Great Commission. We need to get out there, and hit the streets, and take our cities. We need to think outside the box, and find ways to bring people to the truth. We need to learn to be better laborers of love with fellow Apostolics, whether from the UPCI, ALJC, PAW, another organization, or as independent. How can we win those that are in the denominal world? Don’t disregard that they have a love of God, and that they are followers of Christ. But, expound to them that there is more that they, and we, need to learn. We haven’t arrived yet.

  5. Col 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
    20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
    ——————————————————————————–

  6. Found these questions interesting. But godly standards come easiest to those who have died to self. One problem he have is pride of standard. “I THANK GOD I, I’M NOT AS OTHER MEN.” If we are truely Jesus followers we must be leading and teaching with love. This means ministery is not a job. It’s a calling. Answering to the Lord for all we do or not do. “for if a man knowth to doth right and doth not, this is sin”. We must be a right example. therefore scriipture must always be our guide. Christain=Christ like. NOT PLAYING THE PART. living it. My hope is that these points will hit there mark. Standing fast with Christ, even when it appars I’m standing alone.

  7. What a great discussion.

    It’s interesting that whenever we may make a comment that deviates from a traditionally held view we have to begin by saying we believe in standards and holiness. I think it’s safe to say that most of us do and whether I believe in facial hair or not has little reflection on our stand on holiness.

    I am personally uncomfortable with trying to teach an idea to the next generation by saying this is what we have taught for generations therefore we must continue teaching it or we will be guilty of compromise. If the teaching of particular standard is not specifically taught in scripture such as facial hair we have to understand the reason it originally came into existence. This is different from standards that are specifically taught from scripture, such as cutting hair or dressing immodestly.

    Facial hair on men is not a standard that has always been taught so we have to ask the question when and why did it start. If it was a response to a cultural change where it represented a worldly attitude then are we able to drop it when it no longer reflects that attitude. There are new attitudes reflected in outward appear today and therefore we should address those.

    If we are unable to drop an issue when it’s no longer an issue we will find ourselves with a long list of rules that are no longer relevant to the generation we are trying to reach.

    We have to be honest enough and teach our standards well enough so that when something is no longer relevant to the day, we can let it go without causing harm to the church or creating a slippery slope. Facial hair on men is one of those things.

    To compare facial hair to makeup is an illogical comparison. Eye liner and other coloured makeup are unnatural and changes the intended appearance of the person. Facial hair is natural and if God didn’t intend it to be on men He would have excluded it from design.

    But these comparisons reveal a need to distinguish the difference between clear biblical standards, which do not change, and those standards we create because of a shift in culture.

    If anything this generation is hungering for it is a biblical presentation of Christ in their culture. This means we don’t just preach the book of Acts message and forget external appearance. This would be as unbiblical as teaching for holiness standards things that are no applicable today. We have to settle the idea that there are unchanging biblical standards and there will always be culturally applicable standards that come and go based on their need. The way to determine the difference between them is one is clearly defined in the bible while the other only draws from a biblical principle, making an application to to some attitude or issue that is manifested in a certain way within our culture.

    Its easy to say something is just pride or showy. But making these excuses for a standard should be universally applied to the types of cars we drive and the size of houses we live in.

    This generation wants our culturally applicable standards to stand up to scrutiny and common sense. If they can’t we should be able to drop them and go on to something that does make sense. If we can’t do this most of us will not thrive in this great cultural revolution thats already in progress. We will continue, but not with significance and influence.

    My thoughts anyway…

  8. I’m an Apostolic Pentecostal and I believe whatever is quoted in the Word of God is what we need to set our standards to. When we face judgment day (REV 20:12) we are going to face Jesus, Bible, and the Book of Life.

  9. After reading some of these comments (especially the comment by Douglas Brown) it is easy to see why Catholics, Muslims and other false religions are so fervent about their man-made beliefs. Many UPC members (and some non-UPC members) are no different. Douglas Brown points out how God is the same yesterday, today and forever and then makes the comment that he fears facial hair. What!?!?!? God never said anything about a man needing to be clean shaven. Are we supposed to shave our legs and chests too? I have just as much Bible to tell you that it’s a sin for a man to have a hair chest as you do to tell me it’s a sin for a man to have a beard. Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.

  10. well i am not trying to defend the upc on this subject, but no body ever born with moustache or beard,what would you do if you were a woman seeing you getting moustache and beard,you will shave because it does’nt fit you.
    On the other hand the upc have done that as a manner for the ministers to be a good model in holiness standard,more or less we dont need a beard or moustache to do what? to show off, or we want to look a bit like those in the world having the pride of having moustache or beard.

    well i was just trying to make a point, because i dont believe we should make debates about that,we always want to love Jesus the more.

  11. What is the sin in wearing a Beard or a Mustache?It as no association to seduction and vanity as the eye-liner and most make-up . God even instructed the Jewish People to keep beard. We should teach standards we can back from the scripture and not just the traditional emblems of our movement. Such a twisted message ultimately destroys our purpose of teaching the proper Holiness standards.
    I can show you a lot of clean living people ho wear beard. Just look at the Amish, Are you living very separate from the world than them?
    I sincerely love the Amish people. They are a modestly dressed always, yet the wear beards.

  12. Hi Rodney. Thanks for this post. This is indeed an interesting development. I’m not UPCI but I have preached in some of their churches. My personal stance is that we must stick to the ‘apostles doctrine’ and abandon all ‘issues’ that are contentious and a non requirement for salvation, as in Acts.

    ‘Issues’ comes from religion, not Jesus. In fact Jesus said about the woman that had issues she was bleeding to death, and so it is when any body or church preaches things not essential to eternal life.

    Just a thought and by the way thanks for a fabulous blog site and ministry.
    Paul.

  13. I am a believer in modesty but I think the biggest problem is that 99 percent of our focus and energy goes into what ‘we’ do and what ‘we’ wear and how ‘we’ look, instead of what ‘He’ has done. If appearance was all that mattered, the pharasees would have been praised buy Jesus instead of rebuked. If we could work on our relationship with God instead of just our works we would be better off.

  14. praise God i believe we need to keep our holiness standards because i stand by them and i do see how they have set me apart and have kept me from the temptations of the flesh , but one thing i wonder about is it is hard to explain beards when there is not a biblical stand against beards well praise the lord and keep the unity.

  15. How’s the survey process coming?

    God’s church needs a new General Council on these matters… unfortunately, there would be no feeling or unity or harmony, but rather egos and pride. “My church is much more ‘successful’ than yours, so you should listen to me” or “I have years of experience…”, etc. Paul defended his credentials often, but we must contend for unity and be honest when looking at who we are. It’s okay to strip away what’s not God, and press to pursue holiness, which ought not to be cheapened by coming to our minds first and foremost as dress appearance. What a travesty! This is just a fractional byproduct, or implication, of what holiness consists.

  16. There is nothing wrong with facial hair. I am Black and holiness . I preach holiness but there is no Bible backing a concern like no facial hair. Bro Bernard does a good job in explaining this issue in his Book on practical holiness. Several Pentecostals took a stand against facial hair in the 60’s as a revolt to the hippie drug sex culture which was using facial hair as an emblem of rebellion. Yet it does not always and in all cultures carry the same implication.
    Jesus wore facial hair. The Jewish people of the Bible were instructed to do so. William Seymour the Apostle of 20th Century Pentecostalism wore facial hair, and many others
    I believe it is time we do a better job teaching our standards emphasizing the relevant and abandoning the irrelevant such as no facial hair since it has no direct connection to morality.

    Katte

  17. I believe that the greatest thing we are a facing is a lack of loving God and a spirit of mediocrity and complacency. Settling for less to please the world. Catering to sinners, when we should be catering to God. Striving to be as much like the world as possible, when we should be striving to be as much like God as possible. Being more concerned about what people think, then about what God thinks. A lack of prayer life!!! I believe that if we worked more on our spiritual lives, we wouldn’t be struggling with so much worldliness. As the song says, “The things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

  18. Bro. Shaw,

    I feel that one of the greatest problems is that fact that we are willing to sacrafice our Standards that we have lived by for so long just to accomidate those who do not hold true to what has been taught for generations. I understand that the Church must not be stuck in the dark age and must move forward in the 21st Century, but I also understand that God is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. If God remains the same shouldn’t his principles? I fear the facial hair, make up, cuting of women’s hair, and etc. It has been my experience that when you make a small compromise like a beard or a little eye liner it opens up all the other areas of worldy things and then little by little you compromise more and more until the end when you are just like every other person around you. The Bible says to come out and be separate. I am afraid that the UPCI is starting to look a little like the others….I have been in many UPCI churches and felt the Holy Ghost and know that the UPCI still has the ability to have church and wage war on the enemy, but that will become more and more a thing of the past as our churches become more and more Charismatc as time goes on, unless the Church starts to hold onto the fundemental Holiness Standards that have been taught to tehm by their elders. I have been to churches where the music is so old that you wonder if you are standing in a Church that was founded at Azusa and then I have been in services where I wonder if I am at a Rock Concert and then other services where I thought Hillsong was performing a Charismatic Concert. While we move into the 21st Century, I believe that we must hold fast to the things of God that we know will get us to Heaven. It is not time to wavier in our walks with God.


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