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Post Info TOPIC: Criticism of Pastor Jack Hayford

Lifelong Friend of the Ministry

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Posts: 259
RE: Criticism of Pastor Jack Hayford

You're right.  Nitpicking is wrong ... but excluding nonbelievers from communion is not nitpicking ... it's Biblical.
Paul instructs us to make certain that we are in right standing with God before we take part in communion because, if we are not, we "eat and drink judgment on [ourselves]" I Corinthians 11:29.  Since one can never judge the content of another's heart, it is never (in my opinion) right to "exclude" someone from Communion unless they are living in blatant sin.  However, it IS proper to warn all participants that they should search their hearts and "take care of" any sin that dwells there.
IF the participant is  (for example) living with an unmarried partner then that person needs to be told LOVINGLY, PRIVATELY AND BEFORE THE COMMUNION SERVICE that until they bring their lives into submission to the Lord's commandment concerning adultry and fornication they will be endangering their very lives if they partake. 
Read the rest of the above section of Scripture.  30: "That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have (died).  31: If we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment, 32: when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world."

"I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people." Jude 3


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Dear Robert:

Thank you for allowing me to give my side of things.

I attended my first service at The Church on the Way mid-January 1979.  I finally made it after much prodding by the Holy Spirit to "go to church on Sunday".  By the time Sunday arrived I usually had forgotten to go.  Until I met another lady with a small child who caught my attention and we became phone buddies.  This lady was a Christian and had invited me to her home Bible study group.  It was one evening after one of the Bible study sessions that I inquired about Church on the Way that she said that it was a good church and that I would love Pastor Jack.  So mid-January 1979, I finally made it.  Looking back at the events that led to my getting there, I can see the hand of God manipulating my circumstances to get me there. 

As a child I would only attend church when a playmate invited me to accompany them to their church.  Otherwise, I never went.  My background was filled with lots of information about Edgar Cayce and Jeane Dixon, poltergeists, astrology, dabbling at witchcraft, etc.
I am glad that Pastor Jack never refused me communion.  Even if I did take it innocently not understanding what it meant, if I had been excluded for not being a member of the church or not being exactly right with the Lord I probably would have not ever gone back to that church.  As it was, during the break in the activities when it was time to greet each other and form the prayer circles, I was welcomed warmly and given a hug.  I had not expected this because my opinion of church people was that they were the "chosen frozen".  After this welcoming, unjudgemental acceptance, I returned the next Sunday.  True, I did a lot of things imperfectly in the beginning.  Pastor Jack never asked us who were not Christians so anyone who was not could be excluded from communion.  Instead he would take that opportunity to invite anyone who had not prayed the prayer of salvation to do it now.  Looking back at that day, I allowed the Lord to lead me as He would and I would trust Him and follow.  From my childhood all I knew was John 3:16.  I believed in God...I also believed in the virgin birth except I couldn't understand how that could happen.  So here I am 31 years later, still a believer...a more mature believer.  During my time at The Church on the Way, I learned a lot and got many astonishing answer to prayers that were prayed in the little prayer circles during Sunday church service.  Kenneth Copeland has his value also in that he helped me understand the Abrahamic Covenant in language that a baby Christian could understand.  Pastor Jack is an excellent teacher for seasoned believers.  When I was just starting out, the Lord used Kenneth Copeland to help me learn.

I think that excluding someone from communion is petty in the short term because the greater good is that if I had been excluded in the beginning I might have been lost as a result.  It was the nurturing that kept me in church because I literally knew nothing about what to do and I know I made a lot of mistakes.  Every baby does, until they learn not to.  Our God is bigger than accidentally letting someone who is not a Christian eat the bread and drink the cup.  He knows the heart of the person and He knew my heart was innocent.  I believed in Jesus, I believed that He was the only begotten Son of God, I believed that he was born of a virgin (couldn't explain how), I believed John 3:16.  At that point in time, I had not yet prayed the prayer of salvation.  So, was I damned for that?

I thank God for Pastor Jack Hayford.  He is dedicated, disciplined and keeps his eyes on the Lord.  I know I am going to Heaven.  I have heard and read stories about it.  Whether by the harpadzo or my own homegoing I look forward to being there.  I can't wait to see the "many mansions" He has built.  He is an extravagant God.  The gemstones used will be the best in existence.

Nitpicking is non-productive.  Time is short.  WIN SOULS!

April Hunter
Tucson, AZ

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