Letter of Withdrawal

Posted Posted in African American, Bishop Blake, Black Churches, COGIC, Denominations, General Assembly, Pastoral Letters, Pastors and Clergy, Uncategorized, What is Sin?

New Cathedral

128 West Hamilton Street, Lincolnville, S.C. 29485
Ministry Line 843-871-6848 Fax 843-821-6148 Email: mynewvisioncenter@gmail.com
Dr. Edward Lee Johnson, Sr.-Pastor

 

To: COGIC constituents
From: Edward Lee Johnson, Sr.
Re: New Vision Cathedral Inc. COGIC withdrawal and South Carolina certificate of incorporation

Date: 11/18/2016

It is with much spiritual conviction that I submit this letter to you. I cannot continue to support an organization that I truly believe that its leadership is not following basic biblical ethics and spiritual values. I left home at the age of 17 in 1972 for the military as a backslidden teenager who grew up in my parent’s church. A year and a half later I got arrested by the Holy Spirit at a party while smoking pot and drinking with my friends. I was actually in El Paso Texas at the time when God saved and called me into ministry in 1974. I was transferred to Germany that same year after preaching my first sermon at Calvary in the month of July. When I got to Germany, I couldn’t find a COGIC church so I attended the Church of God Serviceman Center in Nuremberg, Germany.

For an entire year I cut my spiritual teeth in a ministry with a White pastor and predominately White congregation. I develop such a great relationship with my pastor—when he took his family vacation with his wife and two small children for an entire week in England, he took me along and I spent the week with them. When I returned home in1975, I became extremely active with my dad at Calvary. The greatest struggle I had early on was the cultural differences between what I experienced in Germany versus being back home in a COGIC church. In fact, when I would preach, people told me I sounded White. I shared that with the late Bishop H. J. Bell who became our Bishop in 1976; and he said to me, “Well brother Ed you have to blacken up your preaching a little.” What he really meant was that I needed to learn how to whoop like Black preachers. He obviously saw something in me that I couldn’t see at the moment because he appointed me to be the Jurisdictional Secretary around 1977, and Associate Pastor of Friendship in 1981. Although I objected to a lot of things that Bishop Bell did—I was too naïve to confront him. That was then—but I’m not that novice in ministry anymore. I believe that the course that I have taken in my ministry over the past 20 years is that “good fight of faith” that the Apostle Paul taught about, “follow peace with all men…”. The foundation that I received from my father’s ministry has kept me on the straight and narrow through the worst of my spiritual test.

I said all of that in order to help you understand my reasoning for relinquishing my ties with the current COGIC structure. I honestly believe that the leaders have taken the church completely away from the principles in which Bishop Charles H. Mason built it. The corruption didn’t start with Bishop Blake—but he has taken things off the rails just like President Obama did by glorifying immorality in a way that no other president in my lifetime has done. For the past 40 years I struggled in my heart about the cultural differences as well as trying to make sense of the denominational division among churches. I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t some kind of working relationship with like minded Christian organizations for the benefit of our communities; and especially White and Black Pentecostal. As the Holy Spirit began to teach me how all the division got started among denominational churches within the body of Christ —He also gave me a real passion to work with churches outside of the COGIC box.

We use scriptures out of context to justify ourselves like, “touch not my anointed” and “let the wheat and the tare grow together”. If you know anything about the anointing, you would know that a man with the practices and culture like Charles Blake is NOT anointed. And, as for the wheat and the tare parable—go back and read (Matthew 13:36-43) the explanation of the text. Jesus said that the field is the “world” and not the church. If you say that you cannot touch the tare in the church in an attempt to justify openly corrupt and vile people serving in God’s church—then any application to spiritual discipline taught by Jesus and the apostles will not be applicable in any church setting. Of course homosexuals, whoremongers, liars, backbiters, people who are full of hate etc practicing a vile lifestyle, should be allowed to exist in the field “world,” but not in the church. That’s the whole meaning of going into the highways and hedges to preach to sinners. If our gospel be hid—it is hidden from those that are blinded by sin. The purpose of the gospel is to transform the sinner into a saint. If our gospel be compromised—we will all be punished by God as wicked servants in the judgment. And, some weak pastors will have their works burned up even though he or she may scarcely make it into the kingdom.


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FORGIVE

Posted Posted in African American, Bishop Blake, Black Churches, COGIC, Denominations, General Assembly, Pastoral Letters, Pastors and Clergy, What is Sin?

Pastor Solomon L. Williams

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The word forgive represents a principle of Christianity that has (in some instances in the C.O.G.I.C.) been over shadowed by pride. Pride is demonized to the extent that it prohibits a person professing to be a Christ like individual experiencing the evolutionary nature of God in his or her life when born again. The Bible says “…that pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16.  Also…”Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov.16:18. Why is it so hard to tell a person I am sorry. Please forgive me, and mean it. The Bible says “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the Well- advised  is wisdom.” Prov.13:10.

We do not have to look very far to see the pernicious effects of a confused church that is not spiritually unionized. It leads to “physical proximity without spiritual affinity.” It gives us a church where we are physically desegregated and spiritually segregated, where elbows are together and hearts are apart. It gives us special togetherness and spiritual apartness. It leaves us with a stagnant equality of sameness rather than a constructive equality of oneness. Therefore, our topic leads us to an analysis of “hypocrisy” of righteousness.

Most hypocrites do not see their own sins. They have actually deceived themselves. Despite being guilty of terrible sin, they continue their religious activities in the belief that God accepts them. They believe they are good enough and do enough good works that, in the final analysis, God will never reject them. No matter how deeply sin is rooted in their lives, they still believe they are acceptable to God. They are convinced that they are eternally secure. Throughout the Bible God has much to say about hypocrisy and false religion. “Now I beseech you, brethren, Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which we have learned; avoid them. 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.” Romans 16:17-18.

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Was Jesus Silent on Same Sex Relationships?

Posted Posted in African American, Bishop Blake, Black Churches, COGIC, Denominations, General Assembly, Pastors and Clergy, What is Sin?

 

Christ TeachingWas Jesus Silent on Same Sex Relationships?

By: Elder Steve Jamison

There are those in the church today who hold the belief that Jesus was silent on the subject of homosexuality. They go so far as to say, since he made no direct comments on the subject, the church cannot take a firm stand against it. Many are using this seemingly gray area to suggest that Jesus was pro homosexual. After all, if this were such a taboo subject, why would Jesus not personally address it? This concept or doctrine is becoming very popular among younger Christians. In addition, many traditional Christian leaders deem the subject too controversial, and avoid it altogether. Their willingness to avoid the issue has created a vacuum, allowing the proliferation of misinformation, causing many well-intended seekers to reach the wrong conclusion.

However, to say that Jesus himself never addressed the issue of homosexuality is erroneous. Jesus thoroughly addresses the matter in Matthew, chapter, 19. In the third verse, the Jews sought to trip him up, by asking him a question steeped in controversy. “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” There were opposing teachings on the subject; some believed you could divorce your wife for any reason, others held to the more traditional reasons, i.e., fornication or adultery. In the next verse Jesus did what we should do in all matters of controversy, he took them back to Gods original purpose of the male female relationship…

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