Founder: Darwin Fish
Headquarters: Moodys, OK
Membership: Approximately 50
Origins: Approximately 1993
Practices: Standing out in front of various Christian Churches with signs condemning that church as a false church. Writing against various teachers.
Teachings and quotes from "A True Church": The church affirms the 66 books of the Bible, that God is all-knowing, and eternal. Affirms the Trinity but says that the Holy Spirit is Seven Spirits. It affirms the deity and two natures of Jesus. In order to properly represent this church, following are a list of quotes and statements from the group. Some are underlined by CARM for emphasis.
- "Being saved = coming to the knowledge of the truth."1
- "Jesus is the only One who gives the knowledge it takes to be saved . . . That knowledge is faith in His word . . . His blood is only applied to those who have this knowledge."2
- They state that God is plural as God the Father, Jesus the Son of God (is both divine and human), and the personhood of the Holy Spirit. However, they state that the Holy Spirit is plural in who He is (as God is plural in who He is) . . . describe this one Holy Spirit to be Seven Spirits." 3
- "Contrary to popular opinion within the false Christian world (2 Timothy 3:1-5 & 4:3), God [the Father] is a man, as Exodus 15:3 plainly declares." 4
- "Scripture teaches that the Son of God is a man, both before the incarnation . . . and after."5
- "Man looks like God (1 Corinthians 11:7), for the Lord Himself is a Man (e.g. Genesis 32:22-30), actually, two men (John 8:17-18, Daniel 7:9, 13, Genesis 1:26)."6
- "The Son of God humbled Himself and became a man (not that He wasn't already a man) in the person of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5-11)."7
- The Church is the body of all believers and is not a particular congregation but is comprised of members worldwide.8
- "Christmas is an ungodly pagan holiday."9
- Affirms salvation by faith.
- Affirms the existence of fallen angels and Satan.10
- Affirms a future resurrection.
- Affirms a future 1,000-year kingdom of Christ's rule.
- Affirms the eternality of Hell.
- A True Church states that if you commit suicide that you go to Hell. 11
- A True Church condemns many as false teachers. Some of the more notable ones are Jack Hayford, Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ), John MacArthur (gracechurch.org), John Wimber (Vineyard Churches), Billy Graham 12
- "If you are involved with the kind of Christianity that views the "church of Christ," or Billy Graham, or Rick Warren, or Joel Osteen, or James Dobson, or Pat Robertson, or John MacArthur, or Tony Evans, or Greg Laurie, or Charles Stanley, or Chuck Smith, or Fred Price, or J. Vernon McGee, or Charles Blake, or Chuck Swindoll, or Gene Scott, or Harold Camping (Family Radio), or John Piper, or T. D. Jakes, or David Jeremiah, or Charles Spurgeon, or Dave Hunt, or David W. Cloud, or Perry F. Rockwood, or Neil Anderson, or Robert Schuller, or Jack Hayford, or Benny Hinn, or Miles McPherson, or Ray Comfort, or Jim Cobrae, or Chuck Colson, or C. S. Lewis, or Pope John Paul, or Hank Hanegraaff, or Paul Chappell, or any of the like (or any of the likes on "Christian" TV or radio) as godly men, you are not saved." 13
Biblical Analysis: A True Church exhibits harsh judgments on just about everyone who does not agree precisely with their interpretation of Scripture, which has numerous problems. It also teaches doctrinal regeneration, the error that you must have correct doctrine in order to be saved. This is a false teaching. We come to know the truth because we are saved. We don't know the truth in order to become saved (1 Cor. 2:14, Rom. 3:10-12).
There is a great deal of confusion on the essentials and non-essentials of the faith, and atruechurch mistakenly requires non-essentials as essentials.
They use poor exegetical methodology when looking at the Bible. For example, on their FAQ page it says,
"Q9. Are you saying that you have to do more than just believe on Christ's death and resurrection to be saved? Yes, you need to believe in Christ Himself (John 3:16), not just what He did. Jesus Christ is all of the Bible, the word of God (Revelation 19:13; Hebrews 4:12-13; James 1:21; Matthew 4:4). Your trust must be in God's word, because that's who Jesus is (John 1:1, 14)." 14
Notice that the answer isn't clear. The question asks is there more to do than having faith in Christ's death and resurrection to be saved. Atruechurch says that there is more to do: "believe in Christ Himself." Notice how it differentiates between faith in Christ's work and Christ Himself. But, to have faith in Christ's work IS to have faith in Christ. Atruechurch erringly nitpicks on word meaning, fails to understand the regenerative work and calling of God on a person, and creates false nuances of doctrine knowledge and practice that must be observed in order to be saved.
In Question 11, it asks,
"What if a person believes in Jesus and trusts Him with their life, but has some theological issues wrong? What if they have misinterpretted some Scriptures? Do you believe that person will still be saved?" The answer is "Being saved = coming to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4; John 14:6; Hebrews 10:26). Therefore, theological error is greatly diminished in true salvation. Anyone whose theology characteristically contradicts Scripture is lost (1 John 2:4). They do not believe in Jesus, no matter what they claim. They do not have God (2 John 9)."15
Such an answer would cause a person to be confused and fearful, wondering if he might not be saved because he doesn't have a close-to-perfect understanding of doctrinal details as prescribed by this group. This is very dangerous.
CARM recommends everyone to stay away from this church. It is dangerous.
- 1. atruechurch.info/faq.html question 11.
- 2. Ibid. Q12.
- 3. atruechurch.info/statement.html re: God.
- 4. atruechurch.info/lordisaman.html
- 5. atruechurch.info/lordisaman.html, II. Two Men?
- 6. statement.html, Man.
- 7. Ibid. Salvation.
- 8. Ibid. The Church.
- 9. atruechurch.info/ourside.html
- 10. statement.html, Angels.
- 11. atruechurch.info/mischome.html, Suicide = Hell!.
- 12. atruechurch.info/falseteachers.html
- 13. atruechurch.info/savednot.html, ephasis added
- 14. atruechurch.info/faq.html
- 15. Ibid.