Living Hope Christian Assembly Hamilton, Ontario Canada
About Living Hope Christian Assembly on 1045 Garth St. Hamilton, Ontario
A. Bible Study Cell groups in homes midweek:
1. Using small group Bible study cells where a group of Christians meet in a home and invite non-Christians to learn, predates both Living Hope and G12 "Cellular Vision" of César Castellanos.
2. This simple and effective format has been used by many churches.
3. However, the pyramidic organization of a Head Pastor over 12 and 12 etc. is non-biblical. The church of the Bible featured a plurality of equal elders, none of which were higher or lower in rank or authority than the other.
B. False doctrines taught and practice by Living Hope Christian Assembly Hamilton
1. The head Pastor and leaders are directly inspired by God as prophets and claim direct illumination from the Holy Spirit. While this clearly happened in the first century, it does not happen today. Bible prophets wrote Bible books, made major predictions that came true for the entire world to see. 1 Cor 13:8-12.
2. Slain in the Spirit is a non-biblical practice where a leader causes a person to fall backwards and lay paralyzed on the floor. No one in the Bible was ever thrown backwards by the power of God. There are examples of being thrown forward to the ground by the Holy Spirit, but these were the enemies of God at the arrest of Jesus as a condemnation warning, not a blessing. Slain in the spirit is practiced my many non-Christian pagan occultic Eastern and African religions today where the observer cannot see any difference with what is practiced in Living Hope Christian Assembly.
3. Tongue speaking as gibberish. The 12 apostles spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) but they spoke real human languages. The Bible said that when the revelation of God was complete (around AD 100) that tongues would cease: 1 Cor 13:8-12. Tongue speaking today is actually music not language. Studies have been carried out examining the phonic sounds of a sample set of prolific tongue speakers. It was observed that each person made a finite and fixed number of sounds that were repeated exactly in organized strings. It became clear, that each sound was like a key on a piano and the tongue speaker created music, not language. It became 100% clear that tongue speaking was not language and did not have its origin in the Holy Spirit. It was further observed that the number of “note” each tongue speaker “played” were dependent on their imagination and creativity and ethnic background. Those tongue speakers who spoke non-English languages (second and third languages) sounded far more authentic, than those who spoke English only.
4. Mandatory 10% Tithing: Tithing is an Old Testament Jewish practice that is abolished by Christ at the cross. (Col 2:14) Tithing is forbidden in the New Testament: 2 Cor 9:7. The early church practiced freewill offerings where each person decided for themselves, between them and God, what they would give each first day of the week: 1 Cor 16:1-2.
5. Communion four times a year: The church in the Bible and historically up to the 1800’s practiced weekly communion: Acts 20:7.
6. Women pastors: Women pastors are forbidden in the Bible: 1 Tim 2:11-12. Pastors (also called overseers and elders) must be married men with believing children among a long is of other requirements. 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9. This checklist of qualification categorically rules out women as pastors, preachers etc. and was the historic practice in the church up to the 1800’s. Today churches throw all the Bible rules out the window to be culturally and politically correct.
7. Salvation by faith only without and before repentance, confession and water baptism: The church in the Bible taught that you cannot be saved by faith only (Jas 2:24) but that you needed to believe in Jesus (Mk 16:16), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confess the name of Jesus (Rom 10:9-10) and be immersed in water for remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16, 1 Pe 3:21). All of this is ignored for their direct from the Holy Spirit “feeling oriented” salvation practiced by many denominations of contradictory theology.
I. History of Living Hope Christian Assembly on Garth St. Hamilton, Ontario:
A. Historically, head Pastor Bob Leach, was once affiliated with Ministers Fellowship International
Application for membership in “Ministers Fellowship International” (MFI). As you can see, you must agree with a human, man-made creed even when it contradicts the Bible at several places:
1. Have you read the doctrine statement [Statement of Beliefs] of the MFI leadership team? Today, the doctrinal statement of Living Hope Christian Assembly is essentially identical to that of MFI.
2. Do you have any questions with the basic doctrine [ie. As listed in Statement of Beliefs] the leadership team agrees on?
3. MFI as an organization does not ask every pastor to hold the same doctrinal stance on everything, however we should agree on the basics [ie. The Statement of Beliefs].
B. Additionally, Living Hope is a cell-based church that was originally connected with the worldwide autonomous G12 movement of César Castellanos. Leach’s first introduction to the cell concept came from the International Charismatic Mission in Bogota, Colombia. The Living Hope Christian Assembly website once said, “We at Living Hope believe in a life-giving God who, in the foundation of His creation, created cells. These natural cells are the foundation of life, growth, and health. In the spiritual world God is using the same principle to reproduce His spiritual life through His Church.”
C. Understanding the G12 "Cellular Vision" of César Castellanos of Bogota, Columbia
1. In 1991, César Castellanos’ prayer for church growth was answered when he received the “extraordinary revelation of the Principle of Twelve.” He explains that “God removed the veil from my mind and I received the model that is now revolutionizing church growth. God validated the model by reminding me [of] the way Jesus had worked with His twelve disciples.”
2. Responsibilities of head Pastor: A pastor is to train twelve people from his congregation in the G12 strategy; this group will be “the pastor’s twelve.” Next, each one of these twelve must go and do likewise by choosing twelve disciples of their own who will, in turn, seek twelve more disciples via home cell groups, giving preference to “those who are most successful in producing fruit…”
3. Responsibilities of Cell Leader: Each leader has three main responsibilities. The first is to meet once a week with his or her own leader (to whose group of twelve he or she belongs); second, to direct his or her own weekly cell group; and third, to meet with his or her own twelve disciples once a week. Once a leader has his or her twelve, he or she will have to help his or her twelve to each select their own twelve, until the number of people under him or her reach 144 subordinates (with the leader at the top of the pyramid). At that point, the leader no longer directs his or her own cell group, but continues to supervise his or her own twelve to assure that all is running correctly.
1. This is the basic model of organization used by Living Hope Christian Assembly on Garth St. Hamilton, Ontario.
2. Today, Living Hope Christian Assembly has broken all public associative ties with “Ministers Fellowship International, MFI” and the “G12” movement of César Castellanos. But don’t let that fool you because the theology and organization is essentially the same before they “went into the closet” to hide their roots, organization and theology from the public. Today, the website of the Living Hope Christian Assembly is stripped of all association, theological statements of faith “What we believe” and simply says: “Our Connect Groups (C Groups) meet bi-weekly in homes around the city”. What was once called a “Cell Group” is now redefined as “Connect Groups (C Groups). As rose by any other name is still a rose.
II. STATEMENT OF FAITH of Living Hope Christian Assembly: (from their website, now removed)
Theology is essentially identical with the MFI doctrinal statement and several statements are identical word for word. Other statements have been modified to fit the G12 concept.
Creed of Living Hope Christian Assembly in their own words:
A. Living Hope Christian Assembly is an inter-denominational church, believing in:
1. The verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. II Tim. 3:16
2. The existence of the eternal Godhead who has reveal Himself as one God, existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinguishable but indivisible. Matt. 28:19
3. The creation of man in God's image, man's test and fall as recorded in Genesis, man's total spiritual depravity, and man's inability to obtain divine righteousness. Rom. 5:12,18
4. The all-sufficient atonement of God's only Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary and who is very God and very man. Luke 1:26-35
5. We believe Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, and personally appeared to His disciples. I Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 4:25
6. We believe in the bodily ascension of Jesus to heaven, His exaltation and personal, literal and bodily coming again the second time for the Church. John 14:2-3; I Thess. 4:13-18
7. We believe in the salvation of sinners by grace, through repentance and faith in the perfect and sufficient work of the cross of Calvary by which we obtain remission of sins. Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:25
8. The necessity of water baptism by immersion in order to fulfill the commands of Jesus. Matt. 18:19
9. We believe in the Spirit-filled life, a life of separation from the world and perfection of holiness in the fear of God as an expression of Christian faith. Eph. 5:18; II Cor. 6:14; 7:1
10. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience subsequent to salvation, with the scriptural evidence; namely, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. Acts 2:1-4; 8:14-17; 10:44-46; Gal. 3:14-15
11. We believe in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit as enumerated in I Cor. 12-14, as manifested in the early church.
12. We believe in the healing of the body by Divine Power, or Divine healing in its varied aspects as practiced in the early church. Acts 4:30; Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 12:9; James 5:14
13. We believe in the Table of the lord, commonly called Communion of the Lord's Supper, for believers. I Cor. 11:28-32
14. We believe in eternal life for believers, John 5:24; 3:16; and eternal punishment for unbelievers. Mark 9:43-58; II Thes. 1:9; Rev. 20:10-15
15. We believe in the reality and personality of Satan and eternal judgment of Satan and his angels. Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10-15
16. The ministry of the laying on of hands for blessing, dedication, confirmation, and impartation of spiritual gifts. I Tim. 4:14
B. In addition to these basic fundamentals we also hold that:
1. The biblical form of church government is a plural eldership with a senior minister, who qualify on the basis of spiritual life, character, domestic life and rulership ability. (I Tim. 3)
2. The church of Jesus Christ is the last instrument that God is using to extend His kingdom prior to the second coming of Christ. (Eph. 3:10; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1; 20,22)
3. The local church is completely autonomous, that is, it is self-governing, self-supporting and self- propagating in its mature state.
4. Every believer in Christ must be subject to God’s authority in a specific local church for spiritual protection and long-term fruitfulness. (Heb. 13:17)
From Living Hope Website, Garth St. Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Seek and you will find the truth