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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials.

A Response to AOG's Superintendent Wood

 Sadly, it appears that Dr. Wood has done more to validate Mormonism than he has to expose it as a dangerous and extremely deceptive cult.  By his gregarious and unabashed courting of their cooperation on social issues, he has marginalized their heresy and to a great extent elevated them to a degree of equality with Christianity.  ~Pastor C. H. Fisher, “My Response to George Wood’s Explanation of Involvement with the LDS”
BYU Campus

BYU Campus

Last week we reported that the Brigham Young University Newspaper covered an interfaith discussion in which the Mormon college invited Assemblies Of God Superintendent George Wood to speak.

For background and to update you on the latest developments, we point you to two articles that have appeared since first reporting this story:
The first is a statement by Mr. Wood himself, who has privately responded – not to our article – but to BYU’s coverage. Mr. Wood’s defenders say that his statements were made to a group of AOG leaders in a private forum, and he has not published them publicly. But you can read them at the TruthKeeper’s website, a watchman resource from Pastor C. H. Fisher. (George Wood Explains his Involvement with the LDS).  The pastor then penned his response to Mr. Wood’s explanation, which is shared below.
Before we do, some background on the key organization that we are focusing on:   Standing Together, a Utah-based organization that Mr. Wood represents as a board member. (Also on the board with Woods is Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Richard Mouw president of Fuller Theological Seminary.)
Here is Pastor Fisher’s article:
 
My Response to George Wood’s Explanation of Involvement with the LDS

While I applaud all efforts to evangelize Mormons, I do not believe that Dr. George Wood (General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God) engaged in such an effort when he spoke to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and BYU students.  I read his explanation of involvement carefully several times. In my opinion his words do not match reality.  While he claims to have been led by the Holy Spirit, the Mormons perceived his words to be favorable to the point of endorsement.  A case in point is the article in BYU’s online magazine, The Digital Universe, concluding that Dr. Woods inferred, God is playing a role in all religions and that Christians are more united than they sometimes think.  Dr. Wood erroneously stated that the release attributed the statement to him.  Instead, it was the perception of his speech by Mormons.  Further evidence of Dr. Wood’s effect on the Mormons is evidenced by Professor Andrew Skinner of the Department of Ancient Scripture that remarked, You can feel the Spirit of God with him when you shake his hand.  For one to recognize or feel a kindred spirit in someone filled with the Spirit of God, he would need to be indwelt by the same Spirit.  Dr. Wood also said of Mormon elder Jeffery Holland, His response immediately bonded my heart to him.  What impression were the Mormons actually receiving from Dr. Wood?

It is clear that what Mormons were feeling in Dr. Wood was not the Spirit of God, but a spirit of comradely acceptance, cooperation, and social ecumenism.  Dr. Wood states as much when he declares that he met with several LDS leaders and a few members of the BYU Law School and Religious Education faculties regarding common concerns: religious liberty, how to work effectively to resist the cultural and secular pressures to push persons of faith out of the public square, the increasing coarseness within secular culture and the pressure that exerts on youth; as well as issues related to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and end of life concerns.   This opportunity manifested after Dr. Wood and a number of evangelicals met in the Utah governor’s mansion for an address by a top LDS leader.  Dr. Wood goes on to state, If evangelicals, Roman Catholics, LDS and others can stand together on issues of marriage as between a man and woman, right to life, and religious freedom – our country and culture will be better for it.  That may or may not be true, but will Mormons be better for this unity by social gospel?  Will the millions of professing Christians that they proselytize be better for it?  Will the kingdom of God be better for it? To all those questions I answer with a resounding “no”.  To believe otherwise is to focus on the temporal rather than the eternal perspective.

God did not call His church to unite and consort with cults (or pagans) to save the world from the consequences of the fall.  He did not instruct us to join with diabolical people to build a better society.  He called us to expose their works of darkness and reveal the path to deliverance through Jesus Christ.  Sadly, it appears that Dr. Wood has done more to validate Mormonism than he has to expose it as a dangerous and extremely deceptive cult.  By his gregarious and unabashed courting of their cooperation on social issues, he has marginalized their heresy and to a great extent elevated them to a degree of equality with Christianity.  Many AoG members may fall victim to their evangelism as a result of this validation.  They will not be able to discern Dr. Wood’s intent.  All they will know is that he favored Mormonism with his title and office.

In my opinion, the interfaith (another term for ecumenism) agenda of Standing Together, the group Dr. Wood associates with, is no different than what the heretical Emergent Church is engaged in. The vision of Standing Together is: Advancing Biblical Unity and Spiritual Transformation in Utah.  In their values section, they state: We affirm that there is one Church in Utah that meets in various locations.  When churches love and pray for one another, our witness for Christ is credible and effective.  Unprecedented unity will contribute to healthier local churches and transformed lives by the thousands.  Spiritual Transformation is a pagan system of beliefs and practices that is invading Christianity at an alarming rate.  It has been touted by New Age and professing Christian leaders as the bridge that unites all religions.  They also claim to have a biblical basis for what they call Interfaith Dialogue, but the link was inactive.  It is clear from the Scriptures that God wants us to evangelize the lost properly, not to assemble with and form alliances with them. He commands us to expose the unfruitful works of darkness, not gloss over their heresy and sins with warm bonding words of empathy and communion.  A true interfaith dialogue begins with distinguishing the difference between light and darkness.  Such a dialogue must present the Gospel of Christ Jesus that calls people out of darkness into His marvelous light.

In closing his response, Dr, Wood commended the Mormons for their kindness and respect. He also presented a statement by Pastor Ray Smith who commended him for speaking in their language (Story, Faith, and Family). Their language? I must inform Pastor Smith that true Christians have the same if not greater affinity for story, faith, and family. In fact, true Christians have a much better quality of faith because our God is the true and only God. We have a better family because true Christains love our wives as the true Christ loves the church. We have a better story, the greatest story ever told, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Mormonism is an example of delusional obeisance to a heretical con artist and one of the worst family men in modern religion, Joseph Smith.  Further, I could not under any circumstances agree to uniting with them on the issues of religious liberty when they hold millions captive in spiritual bondage. I could not in good conscience join them on issues of morality when they have no compunction about spreading a deadly deception that has resulted in multitudes entering eternity unsaved.  To do so is an indication of how weak and non-discerning many professing Christians have become.

In conclusion, I believe that it is obvious the Holy Spirit was not involved in this event.  After two years of involvement with Mormons, Dr. Wood has made some dear friends, bonded with LDS leaders, won their respect, and incited them to believe that they have achieved one of their major goals, acceptance by mainstream Christianity.  One could hobnob with a group of atheists in the same manner, speak at their conference, and leave them with the same impression.  It all adds up to one thing, i.e., there was no conviction by the Holy Spirit at that meeting.  However, Dr. Wood claims that he was led by the Holy Spirit.  I find it difficult to believe that a group of people immersed in great darkness, deceived and most likely possessed by demons, would feel comfortable, accepted by, and a kinship with the Holy Spirit.  I also doubt that the Holy Spirit would pass up an opportunity to convict such a group of their lostness and bondage.  Conviction is the primary work of the Holy Spirit.

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment: (John 16:8 NKJV)

Although sinners may feel a Christian’s love, acceptance, and compassion for them, they will also feel conviction.  I do not believe that it is possible to be anointed by the Holy Spirit without sinners being convicted.  Further, I do not believe it is possible for a Spirit-filled believer to speak to a group of deceived and delusional sinners without his or her words being anointed unless the believer has somehow quenched the Holy Spirit.  If ones agenda is to gain respect, cause people to feel comfortable and accepted, and to establish a bond of friendship and communion, there will be no conviction in that one’s words.  In fact, that agenda is carried out by thousands of Christian preachers every Sunday morning.  Some of them, such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Judah Smith, and other pastors of mega churches, are masters of speaking without a hint of conviction.  They convert a great number of followers, not of Christ, but of them.  Accolades from sinners after one speaks are the hallmark of a dead message, enticing words of man’s wisdom, lacking the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power.

Dr. Wood apparently believes that he was led by the Holy Spirit to spend two years with an Emergent group currying the favor of the LDS.  But remember, this is the same Dr. Wood that invited a New Age guru, Ruth Haley Barton, to speak at the General Council. He is the same AoG leader that promotes Spiritual Formation and its deadly heresy Contemplative Prayer.  It is the same Dr. Wood that supports Emergent heretic Rick Warren.  This is the Dr. Wood that engineered and ensconced into the AoG an ecumenical agreement with the Roman Catholic Church.  Now he joins with an ecumenical/interfaith group to socialize with and give validity to Mormonism.  In my opinion, Dr. Wood is in lockstep with the Emergent Church Movement and will continue to carrying out what he believes is God’s agenda to turn the AoG into the largest New Age denomination in the world.  His clever response will be sufficient for individuals that need only the skin of a reason to continue supporting him.  For the ones that discern by the Holy Spirit, it falls well short of an adequate explanation.

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13 Responses to “A Response to AOG's Superintendent Wood”

  1. I don't have the time to go point by point, but I simply don't agree with your perspective. (I'm a Christian and former Mormon).

    September 29, 2013 at 4:58 PM Reply
  2. Please explain a couple of points JANIS# – As a Christian who has witnessed to Mormons in the past I was aghast that other Christians were getting standing ovations from Mormons.
    I am not seeing any Mormons leaving the Mormon teachings as result of these Interfaith/ecumenical lectures. I see the inherent danger of these speakers lifting up the Mormons present as they tip-toe around the myriad of false teachings failing to point out who God is and who Jesus is… Without those sorts of thing defined showing they serve a false god and false Jesus – how have they preached the Gospel?
    How have people like Woods, Dr. Land and even Ravi Zacharias helped to bring the true light to this darkness? How have they not made themselves accomplices to violate some of the clearest Bible verses such as:
    Ga 1:8-10 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

    If I start seeing some of the false angel Moroni statues being torn down then I will concede they are right. Today I see the Mormons believing they have succeeded in mainstreaming with these men of leadership in essence validating their faith. That could easily trip up other Christians in theirs thinking there is nothing wrong with Mormonism AKA for The Church of Latter Day Saints.

    What they have done is worse than dangerous in my humble opinion.

    September 29, 2013 at 11:53 PM Reply
  3. Sheldon #

    Many of us out here in Discernment World are trying to discern why the original posting about Dr. Wood was taken off of your Facebook post. Any thoughts you could share with us?

    September 30, 2013 at 3:02 AM Reply
    • Quite frankly the comments section was getting caustic. I can put it back, but the only way to get rid of those embarrassing comments was to delete it for now. I did have to suspend a few people from commenting further.

      September 30, 2013 at 3:05 AM Reply
      • Sheldon #

        I get it how it works. Thanks Mike!

        September 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM Reply
      • Marie #

        I also would like the opportunity to question the reason why we do not see Mr. Sid Roth's promotion of the mystical "soaking/comtemplative" article and podcast. The LORD delivered my soul out of this false religious system filled with lying signs and wonders that are deceiving the elect.

        And I too, had a vision of a jesus, and it is amazing to me how this jesus looks different to various people as there is no consistancy. Sometimes this jesus has blue eyes, other times he has brown eyes, long hair, short hair, medium brown hair, dark brown hair…..please understand my point….this is NOT our Jesus from the Bible, but another spirit presenting himself as an angel of light.

        The elect are being deceived and when you call a spade a spade, all of that peace, love, and harmony, turns to anger, spiritual elitism, name calling, whispering and slander…..and ultimately, they will hate you for standing up for the Biblical truth.

        September 30, 2013 at 11:34 AM Reply
        • Marie, the podcast hasn't moved, but the article has been updated because just yesterday, Mr. Roth double-downed on this promotion of the soaking prayer. You are right in that so many are being deceived, and to say nothing will only make the problem worse.
          Here is the link to that article:
          http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/10/dangerous-s

          October 1, 2013 at 8:58 AM Reply
          • Marie #

            I am very sorry. Thank-You for your response and for the attention given this matter.

            May God be with all of you there at Stand Up For The Truth.

            October 5, 2013 at 12:56 AM
  4. Here are the thoughts I respectfully submit for everyone to consider.

    1. This article is written by a blogger. This is an opinion w/much speculation. He goes as far as to say that all Mormon's are demon-possessed. Also states that he is sure (even though he wasn't there) that the Holy Spirit was not at this meeting.

    2. The original BYU article was written by a Mormon reporter. It was solely his interpretation of what happened….from a Mormon point of view.

    3. We still don't know EXACTLY what Dr. Wood said. Again, speculation.

    4. We don't even see Dr. Wood's response on this site alongside these other articles. There is a link at the top of this story if you didn't already read his comments.

    5. I've yet to see one hard fact that would show wrongdoing on Dr. Wood's part except for the clear fact that he accepted the invitation of BYU to come & speak. If accepting that invitation was wrongdoing, then we shouldn't listen to any of the Apostle Paul's teachings since he stood in the Roman council in Athens and spoke to hundreds of heathens (Acts 17:16-34). Being around sinners doesn't make us sinful!

    My point, and I hope someone listens, is that at best all the discussion about this topic on this site & on Facebook is gossip…..and at worse it's breading disunity & division. As a pastor in this community I challenge everyone of us to be careful that we don't make it our goal to find fault in everyone because imperfection is in everyone. Nobody has perfect doctrine/theology. Nobody is always getting it right.

    If more Christians would stop trying to find fault in others and simply spend their energy correcting the fault in themselves, we'd stop attacking each other and instead turn our attack on the real enemy, the devil.

    Thank you for listening.

    September 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM Reply
    • Sheldon #

      Thank you Mark! This whole story has not been handled in a professional manner (and I think that's even been admitted from those doing the handling, except not publicly as far as I know). Yet, all that we continue to see on this story is more opinions, gossip, shunning, and hell-condemning "chum" for the "Christian" sharks to feed upon and devour. It is very disappointing when the full story is purposely not shared and corrections are not made publicly from the one's who first shared this information. However, I do believe in God's discerning Spirit as well, and believe that most believers can discern what is being done here and will eventually be led to act through the changing of their radio dials and through the deletion of websites from their favorites. Praying for you and your ministry Mike and Amy! Respectfully, Sheldon Miles

      October 2, 2013 at 4:17 AM Reply
      • lyn #

        Sheldon,
        perhaps you could provide us with the 'whole story' so we may see the error of our ways. Show us where Dr. Wood exposed the false teachings of the Mormons, and then I will repent and ask all my comments be removed.

        October 2, 2013 at 4:21 AM Reply
      • Sheldon, if we have reported something inaccurate, please let us know.

        We reported what the BYU Newspaper said, Mr. Wood's own explanation (as far as we can tell, it might be from him), and a response from a pastor who – like many Christians – is VERY concerned by what Mr. Wood has to say about why he was there and the mission of his group, "Standing Together." We mean no disrespect to the organization or even to Mr. Wood. The affiliation with BYU that his Standing Together organization has is something we do need to take into question though. Unfortunately Mr. Wood's explanation only creates more questions and confusion among the followers of Christ, and communicates to the Mormon students that they have no need to repent or come out of a false religion. After hearing his response, can you say that you are satisfied with the way Mr. Wood handled this?

        I know that you expressed a desire that we reported Mr. Wood's side of the story initially, but there was no side to be had. Many people asked him to respond, which he finally did – privately to other AOG pastors which we have linked to.
        Furthermore, he stated that Dr. Al Mohler was also going to speak at BYU, but there is no evidence of this anywhere. If anyone needs further questioning, don't you think you should be asking Mr. Wood, rather than thrashing the people who report the story?

        October 7, 2013 at 5:29 AM Reply
  5. Jeff #

    Here's a few scriptures I want to share.
    Romans 14:12
    Ecclesiastes 11:9
    Ecclesiastes 12:13
    James 4:17
    1 Corinthians 5:12,13
    2 Corinthians 6:14,15.
    God will judge all of us one day. If a Christian is sinning are we suppose to stand by and let them keep on sinning. If a pastor is sinning should we let him keep on sinning and watch him drag his congregation down?
    I'm glad someone will take the time to let us know what so called Christian organizations and preachers are doing or not doing in this country and around the world.
    God says we will be persecuted for our beliefs.

    October 1, 2013 at 3:11 PM Reply

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