Who is Arnold Murray?

Arnold Murray (died 2014) was the "pastor" of a church called the Shepherd's Chapel which is based in Gravette, Arkansas, with over 200 television stations carrying his ministry. Mr. Murray presented himself as a Christian scholar, called himself "Dr.", and said he was an ex-marine who served in the Korean War where he was wounded.  Unfortunately, proof of his doctorate degree is not available.  He also refuses to provide any documentation regarding his scholastic achievements.  In fact, getting any information on Mr. Murray is very difficult.  He was rather private about his personal history and refused to provide much biographical information about himself. Also, it isn't necessary to have a doctorate to be a good teacher of the word of God. But since he referred to himself as "Dr.", it would be if he would have verified his credentials.  No such verification has manifested from him.

Mr. Murray stated that when he was young he attended many different churches and that he has incorporated some of the teachings of these different churches into his current theology. Again, these different churches are not mentioned anyone on his website.  Were any of them non-Christian cults?  What is their denominational affiliation?  We want to know because we want to find out what his theological background was since it might explain where he got some of his aberrant theological ideas.

Mr. Murray, or Pastor Murray, as his followers call him, taught a brand of theology that has many problems. Mr. Murray denied the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as the existence of hell and the rapture.  He stated that Eve had sexual relations with the devil and that this union produced Cain.

When watching his television show it became quickly evident that he was bit condescending to those whom he claims were misled, something that seems to have rubbed off on his followers. He justified this approach by stating that he was in the Marines and learned how to "teach his troops" with discipline.  It seems his approach lacked the humility and grace of the Holy Spirit which was manifested when he threatened someone with a 9mm handgun who disagreed with him.  In addition, it seems that he has made a false prophecy as is documented by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, a secular religious analysis organization.

Mr. Arnold Murray also frequently referred to the Christian identity movement which teaches that the British and, therefore, the Americans and Canadians, are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites the 10 lost tribes.  He taught that the Jews in Israel are really descended from Cain who was the result of sexual intercourse between Eve and Satan.  Murray also taught that all people had a pre-existence in spirit-bodies before they were born here on earth.

Mr. Murray supported his off-base theological positions by interpreting verses in light of his pre-conceived ideas, sometimes stripping biblical verses of their context.  He also selectively appealed to the Strong's concordance, cited what Greek and Hebrew words mean, and wove his theological positions into the text.  In reality, all he did was try to justify his ideas through his unsound interpretive techniques.

I recommend that you stay far away from Shepherd's Chapel.





About The Author

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