Yesterday, I turned on the TV and turned to a local station in my area and the show that was on was Shepherd’s Chapel. Arnold Murray is the pastor of this church, though I would call it a cult. I talked to the station director just to let him know about the man, because the director is a very good man that I respect. I was told that due to FCC rules, if they carry one, they have to carry them all. I understand that with government involved, but, I wanted you all to know about him so that you do not get wrapped up in watching him or listening to what he has to say. I already have a family member who is wrapped up in this guy’s teachings, so, that being the case….here are some things about Arnold Murray of the Shepherd’s Chapel that many do not know.
He predicted that the war of Armageddon will start on June 8-9, 1985 in “a valley of the Alaskan peninsula.” We know this did not happen. We also know what God says of those who prophecy in His name as laid out in the Bible:
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
First and foremost, this makes Arnold Murray a false prophet. No matter if all his other teachings were spot on, a child of God should have nothing to do with him, and he never deserves a place in a pulpit again.
He presents himself as a Christian scholar, calls himself “Dr.”, and says he is 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.
One of the several false doctrines of the Shepherd’s Chapel is the teaching that all people had an existence prior to being here on earth in what is called the first earth age. This aligns with the “gap theory” which tries to make the Bible conform to evolution versus it truly being created in six 24 hour days just as Genesis, in its plainest reading says. These theories are what attacks the foundation of the Bible and causes it to lose its authority not only in the secular world, but with professing Christians as well. The Shepherd’s Chapel teaches that we were created in the first earth age, a time before the fall, where we existed in the form of soul bodies. The problem with this is that there is no Biblical support for this position. In fact, the Bible contradicts this soul-body idea.
Two additional distinguishing and erroneous doctrines of the Shepherd’s Chapel are known as the Serpent Seed doctrine and the Kenite doctrine. These are intimately related. The Serpent Seed doctrine is the teaching that in the Garden of Eden, the serpent (the devil) had sexual relations with Eve. The result was that she bore Cain. The descendents of Cain are called Kenites. Abel, however, is the result of Adam and Eve having relations.
Arnold Murray, the pastor of the Shepherd’s Chapel, is the primary advocate of these doctrines which he adamantly teaches and which his followers have adopted as Biblical truth.
The Shepherd’s Chapel denies the doctrine of the rapture which is the teaching that upon the future return of Christ those Christians who are alive will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air. Accepting or denying the teaching of the rapture does not affect one’s salvation. It is a doctrine that can be believed or not without any affect upon a person’s position in Christ. Unfortunately, Murray’s teaching is rather harsh regarding the rapture. He states that the rapture is a false doctrine (Newsletter #193 – Nov, 1994) and that many who believe in the rapture will be deceived into worshiping the Antichrist (Newsletter #205, Nov. 1995). At one point Mr. Murray stated that 95 percent of the churches that teach the rapture will accept the antichrist as the savior (Newsletter #116, June 1988). Such statements are simply not sustainable from a biblical perspective.
The next problematic issue with this church is its denial of the Trinity. The Bible teaches that there is one God in three persons: Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Shepherd’s Chapel teaches modalism, the idea that God is one person who took different forms or modes. The Christian church long condemned modalism as contrary to sound biblical theology.
The Shepherd’s Chapel is at best a very aberrant Christian church and at worst, a cult. Is denial of the Trinity enough to make a group non-Christian? Yes it is. If Murray continues to deny the Trinity, that God is three distinct persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then this would cast great doubt upon Murray as a proper Bible teacher.
He regularly calls others liars, deceivers, idiots, losers, etc. Murray is full of quick, condescending remarks about anyone who disagrees with him. Unfortunately, it is rubbing off on his followers and this is particularly troublesome since there is a recording of him pulling a gun on someone who disagreed with him in a teaching setting. This is not showing grace, mercy, and love that Jesus Christ Himself preached.