What is the Shepherd's Chapel?

by Matt Slick
Return to Shepherd's Chapel

Shepherd's Chapel is an independent Church in Gravette, Ark, which is the product of a man by the name of Arnold Murray.  Arnold Murray is an avid Bible teacher with a radio and television ministry found on over 200 TV stations.  However, what Arnold Murray teaches in many areas of theology is his own brand of Christianity.  In fact, it is not Christian at all in at least one very important essential: he denies the doctrine of the Trinity.  Instead, Arnold Murray teaches the heresy known as modalism, that God is one person who takes three forms where the Father became the Son who became the Holy Spirit -- depending on the situation.  Also, Shepherd's Chapel teaches what is called the Christian Identity movement.  This is the belief that the British and, therefore, the Americans and Canadians, are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites, the 10 lost tribes.  This later doctrine is very often used by militia groups to support racist ideologies.  It is no surprise, therefore, to find that the Shepherd's Chapel's against interracial marriages.

Mr. Murray goes through the Bible verse by verse adding his own interpretations, using the Strong's concordance to support his position. Those who do not understand God's word, and those who have very little biblical training are easily swayed by the pseudo logic and Greek word explanations Murray uses to support his positions.  He sounds knowledgeable, so people think he is.

Arnold Murray is often very condescending on his television show.  He generically berates people who disagree with him and expose his errors.  He sometimes displays annoyance and condemnation with critics who disagree with his particular doctrines such as the Serpent Seed teaching which says that Eve had sexual relations with the Serpent and produced Cain and Cain's descendants, which are the offspring of Satan called the Kenites, are in the world today working against God.

One of the things I've noticed when dealing with people who follow Murray is that they are very often just as rude and condescending as he is.  They, like their teacher, regularly call others liars, deceivers, idiots, losers, etc. I've received numerous emails from his followers who are quick to insult and condemn. Apparently, Arnold Murray's style is rubbing off on his followers.

I would like to add that obtaining specific information from Shepherd's Chapel is very difficult.  I have gleaned as much as I could from their website, from reading other websites about Shepherd's Chapel, and from going over the newsletters from Arnold Murray. The statement of faith at shepherdschapel.com is woefully lacking in definitive doctrinal descriptions of the Godhead, Jesus, his physical resurrection, baptism, and more.  I believe it is this way on purpose so as not to reveal too much of his aberrant teachings.

A list of the Shepherd's Chapel teachings is most revealing.  I strongly recommend that Christians and non-Christians alike stay away from this pseudo-Christian group.





About The Author

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