An open letter to Arnold Murray of Shepherd's Chapel

by Matt Slick
Return to Shepherd's Chapel

questionaireThe following list of questions is only meant to find out exactly what Arnold Murray teaches.  It is not meant in any condescending manner.  Instead, it is for the purpose of clarification.  1 Pet. 3:15 commands Christians to give an answer to everyone who would ask.  CARM is specifically asking Arnold Murray to give an answer. What better way is there to make a stand for what Mr. Murray considers the truth, than to respond.  We would know it was from him if he were to reproduce this list (permission is granted for that purpose) and put it on his website with the answers.  CARM will then copy it here as well and provide a link to his response.

Does CARM expect an answer?  No.  Since this has been published in 2005, CARM has not received a response.

Nevertheless, Arnold Murray as teacher of the Shepherd's Chapel, do you affirm or deny the following?

  1. The Bible
    1. The Bible is the only inspired word of God on earth. It is inerrant in the original documents.
    2. The Bible consists only of 66 books.
    3. The KJV is the only correct Bible to be used today.
    4. The Pauline epistles are the only New Testament scriptures meant for the Christians today.
  2. Creation
    1. The universe was brought into existence by God.
    2. God transcends the universe, is within it as well as beyond it, but not part of it nor it part of Him. In other words, God is separate from the universe.
    3. Pantheism: The universe is identical to God and the combined laws and forces of the universe are God. The universe is divine since God is divine.
    4. Panentheism: The universe is contained within God. The universe is a part of God, but not all of God.
    5. The universe is has been affected by the fall of Adam with the introduction of sin.
    6. God created the universe in six literal, 24 hour days.
    7. God created the universe over long periods of time.
    8. Evolution is how God brought all the animal species into existence.
  3. God
    1. There is only one God in all existence, in all times, in all locations.
    2. God is eternal. He is without beginning or end.
    3. God is a trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is co-eternal, co-powerful, and co-equal with the other two. These three persons are eternally and simultaneously co-existent
    4. God is one person who manifests himself in three forms, modes, or offices and is not three persons.
    5. God is a single and absolute person.
    6. There are other legitimate gods in the universe, but we serve and worship only one of them.
  4. Jesus
    1. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary
    2. Jesus while on earth was both God and man.
    3. Jesus was only a man and was not divine.
    4. Jesus was only divine and not a man.
    5. Jesus is/was an angel who became a man.
    6. Jesus became God during his earthly ministry.
    7. Jesus is separate from the "Christ idea."
    8. Jesus is Melchizedek of the Old Testament.
    9. Jesus presently retains His two natures; He is presently both human and divine.
    10. Jesus died on the cross, was buried in a tomb, and rose physically from the dead.
    11. Jesus retained the wounds of His crucifixion ordeal.
    12. Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross.
    13. Jesus' sacrifice was substitutionary and vicarious.
    14. Jesus is presently in heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father.
  5. The Holy Spirit
    1. The Holy Spirit is the impersonal presence and/or force of God.
    2. The Holy Spirit is a person, the third person in the Godhead, coequal with the Father and the Son.
  6. Man
    1. Man is by nature sinful.
    2. Man is by nature morally neutral.
    3. Man is by nature divine.
    4. People have the potential of becoming gods.
    5. Christians cannot be demon possessed.
    6. Christians can be demon possessed.
    7. People pre existed as spirits before coming to this world.
    8. Upon death, an individual ceases to exist.
    9. Upon death, an individual is still conscious.
  7. Satan and fallen angels
    1. Satan is a fallen angel
    2. Demons are disembodied spirits of the offspring of the Nephilim of Genesis who were destroyed in the flood.
    3. Demons are fallen angels.
    4. Fallen angels had sexual relations with women and produced the Nephilim.
  8. Sin
    1. Sin is rebellion against the law of God.
    2. Sin is improper thoughts about the divine nature of the universe.
    3. Sin is disharmony with the divine consciousness.
  9. Salvation
    1. Forgiveness of sins before God is received completely by grace through faith in Christ and His work on the cross and not by any works of our own doing.
    2. Justification is the state of being declared righteous in God's sight and is received solely by faith.
    3. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation, but is a mandatory practice for Christians.
    4. Water baptism is necessary in order to have one's sins forgiven.
    5. Water baptism must be done "in Jesus' name."
    6. Water baptism must be done "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
    7. Water baptism is not for today.
    8. Salvation can be lost.
    9. Salvation cannot be lost.
    10. Salvation will result to all people who have ever lived.
  10. Resurrection
    1. The resurrection of Christ was physical. In other words, Jesus rose from the dead in the same body He died in.
    2. Jesus was not raised physically, but spiritually. In other words, Jesus' physical body was not raised.
    3. Jesus was raised physically, but ascended into heaven spiritually, not physcially.
    4. Jesus is presently a man, yet also God, in bodily form.
    5. The Resurrection of the believers will be bodily. That is, they will be raised in the same bodies they die in, though the bodies will be glorified.
    6. The resurrection of the non-believers will be bodily. That is, they will be raised physically and cast into eternal hell.
    7. There is no physical resurrection of the believer. The believers are raised in spirit bodies, not their physical bodies.
    8. There is no physical resurrection of the unbelievers. They remain unconscious and/or are utterly destroyed so as to not exist.
  11. Death and Judgment
    1. When a Christian dies he immediately goes to be with the Lord.
    2. When a Christian dies he does not exist anymore until God "remembers" him and resurrects him.
    3. When a person dies, he ceases to be conscious.
    4. When an unbeliever dies, he is annihilated.
    5. Unbelievers who are annihilated are raised spiritually to face judgment and then are annihilated again.
    6. Hell is an eternal place of conscious torment.
    7. People are conscious after death even though separated from their physical bodies.
    8. All people are annihilated after death.
  12. Eschatology
    1. There will be a literal 7 year tribulation period before the millennium.
    2. There will be a literal man known as the antichrist who opposes God.
    3. We are in the millennial reign of Christ right now.
    4. We are not in the millennial reign of Christ right now. Instead, Jesus will return to establish a literal 1000 year reign on earth.
    5. After the millennium, a new heavens and a new earth will be made and eternity will begin.
    6. The rapture (that Christians will be caught up together in the air to meet the returning Lord Jesus) is the future occurrence where the Christians are caught up into the heavens to be with the Lord.
    7. The rapture (that Christians will be caught up together in the air to meet the returning Lord Jesus) is a false doctrine.
    8. Matthew 24 and most, if not all, of Revelation was fulfilled around 70 A.D.
  13. Miscellaneous
    1. The charismatic gifts have ceased with the closing of the canon.
    2. The charismatic gifts have not ceased.
    3. God works primarily in dispensations throughout history.
    4. God works primarily in covenants throughout history.
    5. Saturday is the proper day of worship.
    6. We are free to worship on any day of the week.
    7. The flood of Noah was worldwide.
  14. Particulars related to Shepherd's Chapel
    1. There was an earth age prior to this age with pre-Adamic humanlike creatures.
    2. Our spirits preexisted before coming to this world.
    3. Being born again is to enter into this body from a spiritual body of another age.
    4. Eve had sexual relations with the serpent and produced Cain.
    5. The descendents of Cain are called the Kenites.
    6. Adam has sexual relations with the serpent.
    7. Salvation is found only in the Shepherd's Chapel's teachings.
    8. Shepherd's Chapel teaching is the proper and most correct teaching of any church.
    9. There are many people who are saved who are not members of Shepherd's Chapel.
    10. In Matt. 13, the parable of the wheat and the tares, are the first ones taken, taken by the antichrist?
    11. Satan is the tree of knowledge in Genesis.
    12. There are certain Old Testament Kosher laws that should be observed today.
    13. Interracial marriage is sinful.
    14. Interracial marriage is not sinful.
    15. The Kenites are the tares of the parable of the wheat and the tares.
    16. America and Britain are the lost tribes of Israel.
    17. Arnold Murray is one of God's true teachers on earth today.
    18. The apostasy spoken of in 2 Thessalonians already occurred?




About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.