This is a blog listing notes for EGT lessons.
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Q&A With Eli Gospel Tabernacle
Some area Baptists say you’re too Pentecostal and Pentecostals say you’re too Baptist. What do you think?
I think EGT has a unique heritage that will tend to lend to those opinions if someone is sensitive toward one belief or another, but EGT is squarely Non-denominational.
You say “non-denominational” but isn’t that really just another denomination?
For some that is true, but with us, to the extent it is regulated by our bylaws, we tend to hold more strictly to the intended meaning. Rather than focusing on or contributing to denominational differences of opinion, we respect the individual. Though we may not agree on every point, we defend each other’s right to believe as they do. Everyone can publicly state their opinion one time, and a differing opinion may be offered, but it cannot be debated any further.
So do you speak in tongues, handle snakes or anything like that?
Snake handling is not a matter of doctrine. I know it is to the few who still participate in such rituals, but when you have probably 95% of –and likely more, Christians who know that was never a command and was never practiced as a ritual at any Christian gathering in the early church, it cannot seriously be considered Christian doctrine. It’s just not an acceptable expression of faith. As for “tongues”, that word is archaic and should have been corrected long ago. The correct word is languages, and in the context to which most refer it means foreign languages. Briefly stated, Scripture teaches that if you are going to address a local assembly you must do so in their common language. For us that means American. If you wish to say something in a foreign language you must have a translator. Anything else is useless to those gathered. However, Paul also said specifically do not forbid it, at least in two instances. One is when it is properly translated, and the other is if it’s a personal prayer between the believer and God. I’ll never interfere with anyone praying so long as there is no obvious effort to be heard by others. Some of us do pray in other languages, some do not. We respect each other which makes it all work together in unity.
Do you consider yourself a contemporary church or traditional?
That means different things to different people. Some of us prefer newer worship songs, some the old; and our musicians do a good job of accommodating both. We prefer to use multiple instruments, including electric guitars and drums. Our dress is casual but decent. We practice Matthew 25:35 and have coffee, water and protein bars available for our guests as they enter. I teach more than preach. I use the King James Version because of its familiarity to our area, but prefer the more accurate New American Standard Bible. So in some ways we would be considered contemporary and some not so much.
Why do we not see the Pastor’s name out anywhere so we can know who it is?
Church should never be about an individual personality but the whole. If you’ll search the word pastor, you’ll find it in only two places in the Bible. Doesn’t seem to me that it was too important to anyone then. Certainly not so much as elders and overseers.
Eli Gospel Tabernacle | 191 Ely Fork Road | Sod/Sumerco www.churchonthenet.com