What is the ALPHA Course?

If you’ve noticed lately, there has been a huge surge in two trends:  1.) More churches are offering something called ALPHA course programs, and 2.) the Christian “Blogosphere” is exploding with new stories about its dangers. What is the Alpha Course, where did it come from, and why are so many sounding alarm bells?

Our ministry at Stand Up For The Truth urges readers to compare everything we consume with God’s Word, seeking Him through the Bible to help you discern. To do that, we are going to take some time in this article to explore these questions and provide numerous links. We urge you to research these and consider all sides.

What is ALPHA?
The Alpha Course was started in the United Kingdom, at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in 1977, and knows no denominational boundaries. Anglicans, Methodist, Congregationalist, United Reformed, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Baptists, Presbyterian, Charismatic Fellowships, Evangelical Free Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church all run Alpha Courses. Having attracted 18.5 million guests since 1993, the Alpha Course is advertised as a non-confrontational means of sharing the truths of the Christian faith. Even Time Magazine is noticing how ALPHA has surged worldwide in 2012.

From ALPHAusa.org:

Alpha gives everyone the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The Alpha course usually meets once a week for 10 weeks, including a one-day or weekend getaway.  Sessions begin with a meal, followed by a short talk and time to discuss what’s been taught.

During the discussion, everyone is welcome to contribute their opinions and  no question is considered  hostile or too simple.  Questions might include—Is there a God? Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Courses vary in size, from one small group meeting in a home, to hundreds of people in a church. Some courses are held over morning coffee or during a lunch hour. Most are evening courses, typically lasting 2 hours.

Many say the program has been a tremendous help and that their faith and biblical knowledge has been strengthened because of the Alpha Course. The Alpha Course begins with a presentation of the gospel message, and progresses with some solid biblical teachings.

Why Christians should examine ALPHA

I’ve included a long list of links at the bottom of this article pointing out strong concerns many have, and the issue many highlight is the fact that the Alpha Course can be very different depending on the church/organization that is using it. In the hands of a solid biblical teacher, the Alpha Course can be a good way to teach doctrinal truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the hands of someone trying to push beliefs and practices that are biblically questionable, the Alpha Course can go in a different direction. Among the many more prominent leaders to endorse ALPHA are Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Tony Campolo,  Tim Keller, J. I. Packer and others.

We all need to be discerning with our eyes and our Bibles wide open, rejecting anything that contradicts the Bible. We also need to be very familiar with the beliefs of the persons teaching the course. Remember, not all teachers align with official church teachings and vice versa.

Here are some other red flags being reported:

ORIGINS: The Alpha Course was started by Nicky Gumbel and Sandy Millar at the Anglican church in London. This church was the center of the holy laughter movement in England and Europe, and has been known for services that include being “slain in the spirit” and behaviors such as uncontrollable laughter, spasms, loud animal-like noises and physical manifestations during emotionally driven services. In some cases, these elements have found their way into the teachings of this course. (Gumbel is also a member of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation.) According to the European Institute of Protestant Studies:

Now the main text behind the Alpha Course is the book Questions of Life which is attributed to Nicky Gumbel. The book carries his copyright. The man, therefore, whose teaching lies at the heart of the Alpha course not only belongs to a denomination which has tolerated error; but to a local congregation of that denomination which was responsible for the inception into this country of the Toronto Blessing, which is another great evil and error. Nicky Gumbel may be a very intelligent man, that we do not dispute, but he is obviously a man who can embrace doctrinal error.

MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL: Because of its ecumenical appeal, many discernment ministries share concerns that key doctrine is sacrificed so as not to offend some groups. For the first time, ALPHA has appointed a Roman Catholic bishop, Michael Byrnes, to its Board of Directors.  Says Got Questions:

A wide tent that is inclusive of those who hold teachings contrary to the tenets of the faith for which we are to contend (Jude 3), necessitates that the Word of God is sliced and diced into palatable portions, leading to error and following humanistic viewpoints rather than the revealed Word of the Lord. This sometimes results in the Alpha Course eventually working its way into error and ritualism, works-based salvation, and even occult manifestations. The push is for experience-driven evangelism while biblical doctrines are side-stepped or ignored.

EXPERIENTIAL/NEW AGE MYSTICISM:  Another concern many ministries have is the mystical connection to the experiential type of worship popular today. In the hands of some teachers, this will be a red flag. As researcher Erin Benziger reports on Do Not Be Surprised,

In the Personal Freedom Outreach article “The Alpha Course – Final Answer or Fatal Attraction?” the author indicates, “Gumbel unashamedly is trying to move people into esoteric experiences, altered states of consciousness, self-hypnosis and mindless emotionalism and then tell his followers it is all of God. Gumbel uses “God’s words” to move people toward the ultimate end which is hysteria, loss of control, and mindlessness.”

Gumbel himself has stated that the purpose of these weekends is to expect and experience various types of odd manifestations and loss of control of one’s own body.  This loss of control seems to directly contradict the God of the Bible, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33. In fact, I would challenge Gumbel to present Scripture in defense of this loss of bodily control as a necessary effect of the Holy Spirit upon the believer.

INCOMPLETE GOSPEL: Still other discernment ministries report that the gospel, the Jesus, the God and the Holy Spirit of the ALPHA Course are either different or very watered down versions of what Christians will find in their Bibles. According to the The Christian Research Network Journal , there are six major differences between the program and Scripture:

  1. The God of Alpha is not the God of the Bible. …it does not present us with the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible. … It simply fails to tell us anything we need to know about God.
  2. The plight of man in Alpha is not as serious as in the Bible. … Alpha does not use strong terms and leaves us rather unclear about where we stand. As one follows its argument, sin is more to be seen in the way we have ‘messed up our lives.’ … For all the gravity of sin, Alpha never allows us to feel too bad about ourselves. It never permits us to see ourselves in God’s sight. That is a big omission. (Just a personal note here: I have watched one of Gumbel’s “teachings” and was astounded to hear him refer to sin not as sin, but as “mistakes” that we may make. The depravity of man is downplayed terribly. I can only assume that this is one of the “non-threatening” tactics of Alpha. But without a full realization of man’s absolute and utter disgusting sinfulness, one can never come to full repentance before the throne of God.)
  3. The Jesus Christ of Alpha is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. … despite having part of the course titled ‘Why did Jesus die?’, it is unable in the final analysis to answer this question.
  4. The love of God in Alpha is not the love of God of the Bible. … The God of the Bible is love but it is love that is seen in His willingness to save sinners. … without the context of God’s holiness and absolute perfection, the meaning of love is lost to us.
  5. The Holy Spirit of Alpha is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible. … Alpha’s “Spirit” appears to work in ways that lie outside the confines of Scripture. Whoever it is that people are ‘introduced’ to at the Alpha Weekend, it is not the Holy Spirit. But whoever this mysterious guest is, he is equally at home with the ecstatic gatherings of New Age enthusiasts and non-Christian religions alike.
  6. Conversions in Alpha are not like the conversions in the Bible. … More often than not it is an emotional experience about the love of God but without any understanding of holiness or the need to be saved from our sins. … For all its efforts, Alpha does not help us to know God. It does not describe the true and living God for us. It does not diagnose man’s condition accurately enough. … it is unable to supply us with the ‘good news.”

As I end this article, it is important to acknowledge that many people who have enjoyed the ALPHA Course will wonder why we are reporting others’ criticism of a popular program that offers hope and knowledge of something so good: Our God and savior, Jesus. After all, some churches are using this model without the Nick Gumbel videos, instead using their own teachers to bring biblical truth to their students. That said, as with any red flag you have, it helps to ask questions and not immediately jump to wrong conclusions when you hear the word “ALPHA.”

Please know also that there is no joy in sharing information that is negative, but we are commissioned by the very words of the Bible that we are to test all things, knowing that in these times there will be a spirit of confusion that is not our Holy Spirit, and that many millions will follow the wide gate rather than the narrow path Jesus tells us of.

There are many more people who have done extensive research over years of time into the ALPHA Course, and some of there articles are below. We welcome your thoughts as you discern what you’ve learned.

Related articles:

  1. The Dangers Of The Alpha Course The Alpha Course is a course that has been used by many as a way to attempt to introduce the false doctrines and practices of the Third Wave into mainstream …
  2. The Alpha Course: Is It Bible-Based Or Hell-Inspired? (Part 1 of 3) The Alpha Course is sweeping through this nation, crossing the denominational divides, and spreading across the world with great rapidity.
  3. Do Not Be Surprised…: The Alpha Course Compromise  It was my research into the dangers and deceptions of the Alpha Course that led me to begin this blog. As I studied not just Alpha, but many of the deceptions …
  4. The Alpha Course – Final Answer or Fatal Attraction? The Alpha Course originated in the United Kingdom at Holy Trinity Brompton Church – an Anglican church in London – through curates Nicky Gumbel and …
  5. What’s Wrong with the Alpha Course Lighthouse Trails Research has added the Alpha Course to its…
  6. What is the Alpha Course? www.gotquestions.org What is the Alpha Course? What is the origin of the Alpha Course? Is the Alpha Course biblical? the Alpha Course eventually works its way into error and ritualism, works-based salvation, and even occult manifestations. The push is for experience-driven evangelism while biblical doctrines are side-stepped or ignored  Some teachers have used the Alpha Course to teach “kingdom now” theology, which is also called “dominionism” or “triumphalism.”
  7. Burning Bush – A BIBLICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE ALPHA COURSE  So, what are the errors and dangers of the Alpha course? The Alpha Course Presents Another Gospel. The Alpha course, though teaching some truths, has …
  8. Lighting The Way Worldwide: Dangers of the Alpha Course  Below are some research links to explain the dangers of the “Alpha Course.” This course is being embraced by seeker-friendly venues in the …
  9. Spiritual Research Network, Inc. – Alpha Course   Alpha Course | A closer look at the … The Dangers of The Alpha Course – Sandy Simpson · The Gospel According to Alpha …

 

 

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27 Responses to What is the ALPHA Course?

  1. MJ says:

    Our Church has run several successful Alpha programs over the years with well trained christian leaders available in each of the small groups. Bibles are used. Alpha is a great way to answer basic questions about the Christian faith that so many people seem afraid to ask because perhaps they have just been going through the motions of what they were raised with, or never had been offered a chance to know Jesus before.

    Great hospitality. A chance to talk about Jesus Christ. Alpha is a starting point for many, and is a good program.

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  2. Ron P says:

    Interesting comments – we have successfuly run the ALPHA course many times. and found none of the objections noted to be valid. Those reportedly endorsing the program are supect in themselves, but that does not negate the course, which was written as an intrroductory course to the Christian life. Those that deny the power and presence of the Hoy Spirit use terms such as "mystic", "altered state" to place in question the chracteristics of God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit described in the treachings in ALPHA.

    Do we believe God heals today?
    Do we believe the the Holy Spirit can be manifest in a person today?

    Of course there are abuses – we all need to be discerning of thise things that are in contradiction to the Word of God. All of us in ministry are resonsible to error on the side of safety while allowing God to be God (Romans 12:1-2)

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  3. Conni A says:

    We have been running the Alpha Course since 2002 and in 2007 began reading various articles posted on several different discernment sites. We really struggled as to whether we should continue using Alpha or not. In the end, we decided to continue using the program. While Alpha has its weaknesses, we use it specifically as a starting place on building relationships and answering questions about Jesus. For us, Alpha is only the "go, therefore" part of Matthew 28:19, 20. The "and make disciples, baptizing and teaching" is where we address the deeper theological weaknesses of the Alpha Course by providing strong, accurate biblical teaching AND by continuing with the ongoing building of relationships with the people who are still searching, still wanting connection with us and those who are new to the faith. It is in this stage that we are able to correct any wrong beliefs of the Triune God and His statutes.

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  4. Widemouth says:

    Alpha Course Tape 11 – 28 minutes in

    The Alpha Course Instructor – Nicky Gumbel says, quote “Did you know that Jesus had evil thoughts.” – This statement is not biblical. Show scriptural proof of this statement

    Is Nicky Gumbel preaching about a different Jesus? Lets compare his comment with scripture.

    Prov 23:7
    7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
    KJV

    Nicky Gumbel’s preaching compared with scripture shows a Jesus with sin. An unpure Jesus who could not be the spotless lamb that died for our sins and our ultimate salvation.

    According to the Word of God – Thoughts are sin

    Prov 24:9
    9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
    KJV

    Gal 5:19-21
    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, *wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 **Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    KJV

    * Wrath, anger, indignation, vengeance.
    NT:3709
    orge (or-gay'); from NT:3713; properly, desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy,) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: KJV –

    **Envy
    NT:5355
    phthonos (fthon'-os); probably akin to the base of NT:5351; ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite): KJV –

    1 John 3:15
    15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    KJV

    Note: In 1 John 3:15, he who "hates" his brother is called a murderer; for the sin lies in the inward disposition, of which the act is only the outward expression.
    (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

    1 John 5:17
    17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

    Jesus is Sinless

    1 John 5:17-18
    17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
    18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
    KJV

    Heb 9:28
    28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
    KJV

    Heb 4:15
    15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    KJV

    2 Cor 5:21
    21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    KJV

    Zeph 3:5
    5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
    KJV

    Consequences of Unrepented Preaching of False Doctrine
    Heb 4:12
    12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    KJV

    Rev 22:18-19
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    KJV

    Deut 4:2
    2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
    KJV

    Rom 16:17-18
    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    KJV

    Responsibilities of the Overseer of the Church regarding False Prophets

    2 Cor 2:17
    17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
    KJV

    2 John 7-11
    7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
    8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
    9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. KJV
    Titus 1:7-15
    7 For a bishop* must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
    8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
    9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
    10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
    11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
    12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
    13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
    14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
    15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
    KJV

    *NT:1985
    episkopos (ep-is'-kop-os); from NT:1909 and NT:4649 (in the sense of NT:1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):
    KJV – bishop, overseer.
    (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

    2 Peter 2:1-4
    2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
    3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
    4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
    KJV

    Deut 13:1-5
    13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
    3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
    4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
    5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. KJV

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  5. nan johnson says:

    I cannot believe some of these negative comments. I have been involved in this ministey thru our church and in the prison. The word of God becomes real in a very non threatening invironment. Nicky Gumbel presents the true gospel in a format that is easy
    to grasp as it applies to our eveyrday experiences and reinforces the fact that we are loved by God and that he has a plan for our lives. Many people have been impacted by this biblical message. Don"t believe the nonsense about it being deceptive.Where that is coming from is beyond me.

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    • Mooser says:

      NA JOHNSON, THERE IS ONE TRUE WAY. one!!!!!!! There is not one true way and another, or one bast way and second best way. No!!!!! tHERE IS ONE! i MEAN, one!!!!!!

      gET RIGHT WITH gOD, THE one!!!!! He commands us to destroy Alpha…..

      Wait a minute, how do we know that "Alpha" isn't a Scientology front?

      Like

    • Ally says:

      'Non threatening environment'? Since when would any environment BE threatening. The cross however is an offense, and the threat of eternity in Hell shows we need a saviour. THATS the good news.
      'Easy format'? Well the gospel is already laid out simply in the Word of God. Check it out if you don't believe me.
      'God has a plan for your life'. Yes. His plan is we turn our back on sin and follow Him. Please read Jeremiah 29:11 in context with the verses around it. God is speaking about Israel's captivity in Babylon.
      Have you ever told ANYONE at your alpha courses that they are a sinner? That they have offended a Holy God? Or have you just told them how much God lives them and wants to bless them with this amazing plan He has for their lives?

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  6. Mooser says:

    The only reason you can find any error in the "Alpha" program is because you are using the wrong Bible. Get an accurate Bible, and you will see that the Alpha program is the top, it's the Colosseum! It's the top, it's the Louvre Museum.

    But if you want to work with SATAN to destroy the Alpha program, go ahead, I can't stop you. Buit I know Somebody who caN!

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  7. RAHAM REED says:

    I DONE AN ALPHA COURSE IN 2002 AND I FEEL A CHANGE I FEEL THE CROSS OF JESUS N THE CHURCHES ARE WRONG I FEEL THEY ARE IDLES

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  8. D v aguiar says:

    I am amazed at how the early church grew as it did ! No alpha course, no christian week-end seminars, no NIV- ESV-NLT, etc. Just regenerated people who knew they were unworthy of GD's love , who understood who they were and how HIS MERCY saved them. Scripture is very clear, you can't be healed if you don't know you are sick. I am very conservative but I have more faith in the HOLY SPIRIT than do charismatics because the SPIRIT is the one who convicts the soul not the flesh.We are to speak forth the truth and allow the Spirit to do the rest. We are not here to make friends with the world and all it's GD haters. We are here to make disciples through the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT by proclaiming the GOOD NEWS of sinners(YES I USED THE WORD SINNERS,SORRY IF THAT OFFENDS YOU) who I also was and how GD has done the work of salvation if only we would believe.

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  9. Windi says:

    How interesting, have you ever been in any alpha course?

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  10. John Fot says:

    I believe that everybody deserves a chance to hear the message that God has for his people, and be saved..
    Times have changed and people don't want want to be told what to believe or how to live their lives and the term "bible bashers" is often used to describe people that try to evangelize to them. Alpha is an evangelical
    tool that allows us to share the gospel with people that would not normally be in a place or prepared to hear it.
    People invite friends , we have a meal and watch a DVD and discuss what we watched . The material discussed is simple and basic and true to the bible . It needs to be so it wont overload the participants , but gives them enough info to keep going and to discover more for themselves , either in church or through a life group or through a bible study group.
    To critisize Alpha as something that is bad and teaching false doctrines is wrong .
    It may not be perfect to every Christian but it is a starting point for people to get saved, and that has to be a good thing .

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  11. Marie says:

    With all due respect to born again believers in Jesus Christ alone, several of us attended the entire Alpha course study and found it to be embedded with mysticism. Case in point, during one session, we sat in a circle and the leaders came around and layed hands on us calling God, the Holy Spirit, down on us so we would begin "speaking in tongues." This is called "baptisim in the Holy Spirit" in pentecostal/charismatic churches and if an individual does not begin to "speak in tongues" than their judgement is that "you are not saved or born of the spirit." This came out of their Alpha course teachings……..and it literally shipwrecked the faith of several individuals attending this study as they were led to believe they were not saved, and this is an abomination to our LORD.

    Based on my experience attending this course with good friends, I would not recommend this to anyone due to Nicky Gumbel's ecumenism, the mysticism embedded throughout the course (a false understanding of God, the Holy Spirit), and the outright abuse of church leaders in telling people they are not saved if they do not speak in tongues, particularly when they are calling down spirits from heaven.

    We are to expose the unfruitful works of darkness and it is not wrong to call "the alpha course" a false doctrine. Please follow the Word of God, our Scriptures, and not Nicky Gumbel, for only Jesus has the power to save, not any man. Amen.

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    • godsfingers says:

      Be careful. In another article here someone in RT answered my question about Simon Majus being saved claiming he really wasn't because Peter and James would later come and lay hands on them to receive the baptism Holy Spirit with tongues but they refused to lay hands on Simon Majus so he wasn't really saved when he believed. He, then, went off away from the faith back to his sorcery. That was the answer according to RT dispensationalism, not Pentecostals ( I don't necessarily agree the Pentecostal doctrine either).

      It's a chicken/egg thing. Paul and company laid hands to get folks baptized in the Holy Spirit and at Cornelius house they were baptized before Peter finished speaking and got water baptism ( a separate baptism) after the fact.

      Like

  12. Cherie c. says:

    And Marie, sometime we must look at where we are standing to see unfruitful works as well. And I do not mean you, I mean where we are standing and how. Oh, and I will be banned from here shortly.

    your sister in Christ Jesus
    Cherie c.

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  13. Nations-prof says:

    Every apostle, the disciples, Paul, the house of Cornelius, all spoke in tongues. Read the book of Acts and notice that there were visions, trances, prophetic utterances, and miracles, Has the Holy Spirit been relegated to only “convicting of sin?” Not to downplay that part of his ministry, but a gospel without power is a weak gospel indeed. Fear of emotion, a dour countenance, and legalism is NOT the Christian life. Jesus himself said, “39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (Jn 5:39)

    A tortured dispensationalism is the culprit that has robbed believers of experiencing God. Believers must “experience” the living God. Read the Bible to see what happened to sinners and believers when they met and experienced the living God. Some shook, fell down as dead, wept, cried aloud (might sound like an animal noise to some) spoke in tongues, walked-leapt-and praised God, were moved instantaneously from one geographical local to another, cast out demons. laid hands on others, gathered from house to house, to name a few. Lastly, I hope to broaden your view of Jesus through the following scripture found in Luke 10:21…

    21At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

    A word study of “rejoiced in spirit” will yield the fact that Jesus laughed, jumped and twirled in a circle because the seventy-two had returned. What had they done that caused Jesus to manifest such great joy? Luke 10 yields the answer: 17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.19″Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20″Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

    So, beloved ones, meet the Living God, receive forgiveness of sins, be filled with the Spirit-speaking in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, cast out demons, heal the sick, trample on serpents and scorpions and all the power of the devil, study the scriptures, and reject attempts that try to limit the power of the Living God to “three songs, offering, sermon and an altar call.” All those are OK, but there is much more to knowing Jesus, walking in the Spirit, and boldly entering into the throne room of the Father through the blood of Jesus.

    Be blessed and rejoice, and again I say rejoice.

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  14. GLB says:

    I find the negative comments of the author offensive and untrue. I have taught the ALPHA program twice and both times the Holy Spirit has used the course to lead someone to faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Those people were then assimilated into the Reformed church of which I am a part.

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    • Janet V says:

      I find the Alpha course–the ecumenical, hyper-charismatic, mystical nonsense that it is–offensive and untrue. Check again, God's Holy Spirit has nothing to do with this counterfeit thing.

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  15. JT- john tancock says:

    If you do not believe in gifts of the Spirit today or in baptism in the Spirit, don't attend or run an Alpha course!! I've run since 1985 a number of foundation course, alphas course ( slightly modified) and the only people who had issues with it were christians who simply didn't believe some of the basic biblical material in it. Apologetically alpha is better than almost all similar courses. If one believes the work of the Spirit is essential for a normal Christian birth then it's the best. If acts 2(Pentecost) acts 8 (Philip and Samaria) acts 10 cornelius and acts 19 ( JB disciples) are mystical new age experiences then to be biblical one has to have them!!!

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    • Julie says:

      The Alpha Course is ecumenical (rather irreverent and blasphemous) nonsense and the "spirit" in it is not the Holy Spirit, but rather a "familiar spirit." Avoid this nonsense at all costs.

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      • godsfingers says:

        What's a familiar spirit?? Is that in the Bible????

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      • tonibrown64 says:

        A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Lev 20:27

        11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
        12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deut 18:11-12

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  16. arielreliable says:

    Looking at comments, I see things like 'non-threatening' and 'non-confrontational'. The Gospel is threatening, the Gospel is most definitely confrontational. The Gospel threatens one's worldview, it threatens one's self-righteousness. The Gosepl confrontssin, the Gospel confronts the sinner. Thereis NO non-confrontational way to share the 'truths of the Christian faith', because the world, hates Jesus. Some folks will be on the attack simply because someone is a Christian, you don't even have to open your mouth. The wordl is adverse to the Gospel. We are not to be sharing the 'truths' of the Christian faith, we are to be sharing the Gospel, sharing the 'truths' comes afterone is saved and is being made a disciple anyway.
    If it's NOT confrontational (I do NOT mean arrogant, judgemental or spiteful) it is NOT the Gospel. So these 'plus points' are in NO way valid arguments. They are actually the reverse of the action convicting of sin.
    The fact that it is ecumenical in nature and can be 'adapted' for use by ANY belief sytem including cults really says that there are no solid truths in the course, it's all negotiable.
    If this for non-believers, why, as one commented. were people laying on hands so non-believers could speak in tongues?
    Did I miss something?
    It was designedby Nicky Gumbel, a known heretic. So it starts on that false foundation.
    It is experiencial, rather than based strictly in scripture, just ADD that little extra in there.Not a solid basis for biblical teaching, as it is subjective.
    There are 'mystical' principles woven throughout. One commenter writes "…Those that deny the power and presence of the Hoy Spirit use terms such as "mystic", "altered state" to place in question the chracteristics (sic) of God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit described in the treachings in ALPHA…"
    That is a broad statement and full of holes. I for one do not deny "the power and presence of the Hoy Spirit" yet there is a very big difference between the Holy Spirit and mystical practices. It is very easy to place a group into an altered state in a matter of minutes. Even easier still, when people seek the altered state and work it up themselves. This is called a counterfeit. The charactersitics of God are revealed quite clearly in scripture, so what people are actually placing in question, is, why do these teachings, these manifestations NOT line up with scripture?
    john tancock equates the action,movement and manisfestation of the Holy Spirit, with the mystical 'experiences' in the course and says we must have them. Except the two are not the same.
    Preach the Gospel, let the Holy Spirit convict of sin, righteousness and judgement. Then make disciples. You don't need the teachings of an heretic nor the manifestations of a familiar spirit to do that.

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  17. arielreliable says:

    Why? It never even posted and it's deleted?

    Like

  18. Diltin Cowlings says:

    Even if you have taught this and not seen the harm, consider the arguments raised by this author, using the Scripture as your guide. Scripture is the only true barrier protecting us from error – one ignores Scripture at their own peril.

    Like

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