<![CDATA[Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals - My Blog...On My Mind, In My Heart]]>Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:08:41 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Are you a True Apostolic Pentecostal or a Pretender?]]>Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:26 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2012/09/are-you-a-true-apostolic-pentecostal-or-a-pretender.htmlPicture
by Bishop Robert L. Morgan

I have been to Pentecostal churches and conventions where I have watched them practically break their arms trying to pat themselves on the back for being such wonderful (in their own minds) people.  The pride behind polishing their "Pentecostal" or "Apostolic" images was nauseating.  They sounded and appeared far more excited about their own organization than they were about things that mattered to the King they claimed to represent.
 
The same can be said of us when we are more concerned about our own sub-culture than the mission to which we have been commissioned by Christ.  Some of our affirming gatherings are just as offensive when the emphasis is clearly on building someone's own ministry kingdom or on our identity as a gay sub-culture.
 
We are not called to confront people with polarizing political positions.  Neither are we called to win our rights through offensive and militant means.  We aren't commissioned to build a ministry kingdom that brings glory to us or to pridefully flaunt our sexual orientation so as to deepen our segregation from the broader society.
 
I know this may not be popular but I don't care.  I know what the Word says and we are not allowed to endulge lesser priorities just because we think our ministry is special or we represent a disenfranchised community.  Of course, there will be some who read this and will take what I'm saying to the ultimate extreme of what I'm trying to accomplish, which is Biblical centricity.  We can fulfill our unique ministry to the gay community best by putting the emphasis where God says it should be...souls.
 
Nobody can "do church" like Apostolic Pentecostal people but are we soul winners?  While we are running aisles, someone is running a needle into their veins because they don't know Christ.  While we are building kingdoms, somone is building their life on the sands of false success because they haven't met the Carpenter from Nazereth.
 
If you have never someone to Christ, it's time you hit your prayer bones and ask God to help you recognize the next  opportunity to be a witness.  There is nothing like the joy of seeing a lost soul bow their knee in repentance and come up out of the waters of baptism speaking with other tongues as the Spirit fills them to overflowing.  My friends Tom and Marriane Kane work with me and were New England Catholics their entire lives.  I witnessed to them and watched God lead use their hunger to lead them to Himself.  On Palm Sunday of 2011, they drove from Ft. Myers to Tampa so that they could get saved.  They were baptized in Jesus' Name and came up speaking with other tongues!  It made me want to personally witness to every soul on the planet.
 
True Apostolic Pentecostals aren't entangled in the affairs of this life.  They are too busy reaching the lost person next to them lest they slip into eternity, forever lost without our Jesus.  Are you a true Apostolic Pentecostal or a pretender?

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<![CDATA[May 24th, 2012]]>Thu, 24 May 2012 23:55:43 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2012/05/may-24th-2012.htmlSuccess is a State of Mind
by R. L. Morgan, Presiding Bishop
 
You are building something every day whether you realize it or not.  Today is a result of what you did in your yesterdays.  Although few of us end up being and doing exactly what we envisioned when we first answered the call to the ministry, the success we anticipated is still realized albeit in a different form.
 
Jimmy and I just renovated two bathrooms and a kitchen beginning in January.  The project is now almost completely finished and is ready to be enjoyed.  It is the result of months of intense thinking, planning, demolition, buying, installing, scheduling, installation and serious daily sacrifice.  It all grew out of the vision with which the project began.  In that vision, we saw the finished product.  From the first swing of the sledge hammer, we worked toward making our mess look like what we saw in the vision.
 
God works with us the same way.  He takes us in our raw, sinful state and works to form is into the image of Jesus.  That would not be possible except for the sacrifice God made in Christ on Calvary when He died to redeem us from sin.  Just as Jesus saw in feeble, impulsive Simmon (stone), a great and mighty man of God whose name was changed to Peter (Rock), He sees us through His blood and sees what we can become in Christ.  When we fail, He just keeps working His plan.  This is why we need to be merciful to others as God works on them.  God isn't finished yet and if they truly want to be made into the image of Christ, we need to be patient.
 
Those of us who have birthed churches as a result of a God given vision, understand what it means to sacrifice heavily to see the fledgling congregation for which Christ gave His life, succeed and grow.  No matter how things look from day to day, the pastor with a vision just keeps on working toward the image God planted in his or her heart.
 
We aren't just a success when there is standing room only, although that's how we are programmed to think.  Success is a state of mind and heart even when things look bleak.  Because the vision is a product of God-given faith, success is already an accomplished fact in the pastor who knows his or her God.  The end result is as good as accomplished when faith controls our thoughts and actions.
 
The reason Jimmy and I can now enjoy the fruit of our labor is because determination coupled with sacrifice to bring into being the vision we saw "by faith" five months ago.  If you are reading this and you are possessed with a God-given vision, you are already a success! 
 
 
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<![CDATA[Change is in the Air!]]>Mon, 26 Mar 2012 22:15:15 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2012/03/change-is-in-the-air.htmlI detect there has been a change.  Something has happened in the spirit realm.  I don't claim to be a prophet nor the son of a prophet but I can perceive that something is different.  Just as things seem to be in transition climatically this year and politically in the Middle East, things in the spirit world are changing, as well.

While not all change is positive, we know that change is taking place all around us nonetheless.  What I am hoping we will do as members of the GAAAP family is, put our shoulder to the godly forces of change that the Spirit is bringing about among us and push with all our might.  We need godly, spiritual men and women who have their ears tuned to the frequency of the Holy Spirit, to help direct the church into the flow of what God is doing today.

I want to do my part.  As the leader of this wonderful family of ministers and churches, I hope to help us transition into a new day of reconciliation and bridge building that knows the difference between cooperation and compromise.  Some fear change because they are afraid of losing what has been purchased with the high price of sacrifice.  Others move too quickly into new territory without having first sent in "spies" to determine what is of God and what is not.  We cannot, must not and will not ever compromise the precious treasures entrusted to us by the Spirit, through our pioneering forefathers and foremothers.  Neither can we afford to not follow their brave example of sailing "off the map" as it were, to chart out new territory for this last day harvest.  Either extreme will hinder our progress.

It is with great joy that GAAAP has extended a hand to our brothers and sisters in RPI, trusting that those who are like minded will reach back for the benefit of the Kingdom of God.  This and other such efforts are evidence of change that is blowing in the air.  Once known for division and strife, our affirming Apostolic community is coming together for the glory of Jesus' Name to touch hearts and lives wounded, sadly, by our pettiness and dysfunction.

Change in is the air and that which is of the Holy Ghost is welcome to blow through GAAAP and bring "times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord."  Let those with ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying among us today. 

These are exciting days in which we are creating an atmosphere for revival that brings about change in us so that God can be glorified in this last day harvest.


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<![CDATA[Creating an Atmosphere for Revival: Retreat and Campmeeting Review]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2012 01:15:14 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2012/02/creating-an-atmosphere-for-revival-retreat-and-campmeeting-review.html_It's hard to know where to begin trying to relate the things that happened during Retreat and Campmeeting.  So much hard work went into hosting it and enormous efforts went into people getting to the event.  It all paid off in the atmosphere that was created for revival.  Every speaker had a poignant word from God.  The Spirit descended in one of the sessions and filled the house.  We were all refilled with the Holy Ghost as He did open heart surgery on each of us.  An offering was received for home missions in which $1,000.00 was collected for two desperate pastors.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday night was the bonfire fellowship gathering.  Many laughs were shared around the fire.  The stars were bright, the crickets loud and the temperature balmy.  Pastor Parramore provided some of the good food we enjoyed throughout the evening.  

The Campmeeting service, hosted by Pastor Lee Steele, was filled with praise and worship led by Bro. Joe Bales.  The atmosphere was filled with God's Presence which set the stage for the Word.  Pastor Tiffany Brashear, from Charleston, WV preached first.  Our hearts were both inspired and challenged.  Another offering was received and another $1,000.00 was received for the work of God!

The highlight of the evening was the much anticipated guest speaker, Pastor Randy Duncan, from Laport, IN.  He is the Chief Presiding Presbyter of the Reconciling Pentecostals International.  It is the background story behind his invitation to this event that made his presence there so important.  Several years ago, Bishop Morgan and several of the GAAAP members once belonged to RPI.  After various disagreements, a separation occurred that resulted in a long period of strained distance.  After a number of phone conversations and efforts to reach out, Bro. Duncan accepted our invitation to preach Campmeeting. Bro. Morgan asked the entire Executive Board to come forward and lay hands on Bro. Duncan before he preached.  He did a wonderful job delivering God's Word and everyone responded beautifully. 

The next morning, both Bishops met for a heart to heart talk in which issues were addressed in a spirit of transparency and forgiveness.  The reestablishment of fellowship between the leaders of RPI and GAAAP will no doubt result in sweet communion between the two organizations in years to come. 

The Retreat and Campmeeting truly set an atmosphere for revival in which hearts were reconciled and the Name of Jesus was glorified.  It was miraculous in every sense of the word.

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<![CDATA[Now THAT'S What I'm Talkin' About!]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:44:41 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2012/02/now-thats-what-im-talkin-about.html
 
Note from the Presiding Bishop:
 
How many times have we who love the work of God been grieved by rampant carnality and dysfunction tearing apart yet another relationship, church or organization?  The pain becomes especially personal when you find that you are the target of such evil schemes.  What can one do but bend your knees in prayer and plod on hoping for the promised revival in the true church.  About the time you wonder if your many sacrificial investments are worthwhile, a reminder comes along that God is building His true church and there are yet 7,000 who have not bowed their knee to Baal. Thank God for the occasional signs confirming that He is building His church and the gates of Hell really can't prevail against it!
 
That has happened for me recently.  As we have all heard, without our tests, we'ld have no testimony.  That has been demonstrated recently midst our GAAAP family.  Challenges in various places have resulted in the Body of Christ doing and being what the true church was called to do and be.
 
Consider for a moment Pastor Tiffany's church in Charleston, WV.  The last year has been horrific by our estimation but out of that situation has arisen a small army of people who met the challenge head on.  When people heard that the Charleston church needed a furnace, windows, insulation, sound system and a host of other things, God's people rallied and networked with those who could meet the need.  Offerings were given, phone calls were made and emails were sent!  Yes, sometimes even Facebook can be used for good purposes!
 
Now, despite limited earthly resources, Pastor Tiffany's church family will be shielded from the cold winter elements while the fire of the Holy Ghost falls on the inside!  Aall because All because God's church was THE CHURCH instead of being preoccupied with carnal drama.
 
Another example can be found in Bro. Stamper's Bloomington church family.  The night before their second church anniversary, a church member's home was destroyed by a fire.  They lost everything.  Once again, the test became a testimony of God's miracle working power in and through His Body.  Pastor Stamper coordinated a small army of church and community people to took an old house in desperate need of renovation and remodeled it for this man and his family.  Again, offerings from God's people and extensive networking brought about a wonderful example of the church at its best.  Instead of fighting over silly issues, the church was more concerned about representing Jesus to this needy family.  As a result, the Name of Jesus is glorified.
 
It's time the church BE the church and stop playing church.  Are we in this for ourselves or for the glory of God?  While some talk about revival, others are seeing it in tangible ways.  Revival is not emotional church services.  It is the Holy Ghost at work in the Body of Christ doing and being what the church was called to do and be!  Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! ]]>
<![CDATA[Evicting the Sacred by Ravi Zacharias]]>Sat, 31 Dec 2011 23:41:04 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2011/12/evicting-the-sacred-by-ravi-zacharias.htmlNormally, I write the blog but I thought this was worth sharing. For those of you not familiar with Ravi, I encourage you to get to know him and his writings.  Enjoy this post.  See you in 2012!

Evicting the Sacred
by Ravi Zacharias
 
To repress worship is to repress the irrepressible.
 
Everyone is a worshipper. Every person has his or her God: The only difference is that some can defend what they believe with sound reasons while others do so in a vacuum. Not only individuals but nations have their gods.
 
I am an Indian, born and raised in India. Before I moved to the West I readily accepted the fact that during Hindu festivals the nation would be celebrating the occasion. This was understood, even though technically India is a secular democracy. But there is an underlying worldview behind the culture. Whether it was Ganesh puja or Diwali, India celebrates its festivals based in a Hindu worldview.
 
I am not a Hindu but I respect the Hindu's right to express the foundational ideas of the nation. The same applies to a Buddhist nation or to an Islamic nation. I am neither a Buddhist nor a Muslim. But I respect the right of those in these countries to express their faith during their festivals and am not offended by them
 
I am a Christian. When I came to America decades ago, I was thrilled to see Christmas celebrated and the reason for the season so obvious: the birth of Jesus Christ. Did I assume that every American was thus a Christian? Certainly not. But I expected the charitable heart of even the dissenter to allow that which has been practiced in this country historically and traditionally to continue. But alas, it is not so. In Thailand and Indonesia Christmas carols are sung in shopping centers and Christmas trees adorn airports. But in America the anti-Christian bias of silly advertisements like Bloomingdales’ "Merry, Happy, Love, Peace" reflect ideas firmly planted in midair and proclaim no reason for the season.
 
Who is offended by a public celebration of Christmas? The anti-Christian secularist who lives under the illusion that values are cradled in a vacuum. Peace and love for what? What do these terms really mean? Are they self-evident? Not by any means.
 
America may not be a Christian nation per se, but only the Judeo-Christian worldview could have framed such a nation's ideas and values: "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." No other religion or secular assumption can affirm such a statement except the Judeo-Christian worldview. But today that very worldview on which our systems of government and law are based is expelled from the marketplace.
 
Democracies that are unhinged from all sacred moorings ultimately sink under the brute weight of conflicting egos. Freedom is destroyed not just by its retraction, but more often by its abuse.
 
Is it not odd that whenever it has power, liberalism is anything but liberal, both in the area of religion and politics? We now have something called “spirituality” because people don't like the word “religion.” What does spirituality mean? It means you may believe anything you wish to believe but regarding ultimate things, "No absolutes, please." The relativism and spirituality with which our society lives have one thing in common: they are both sophisticated ways of self-worship.
It is not accidental that even as Christian values have been jettisoned, the world is economically and morally on the verge of bankruptcy. Oh, but Jesus' name still surfaces in the West. Maybe more often than any other name. Why? Because profanity still reigns. Oh yes, and God still figures in our philosophy: even when “Mother Earth” quakes and thousands die, we still blame “Father God.” The banishment of Christmas may be the anti-theists’ great longing. But they still want the gifts of Christmas—love, joy, peace and reason. Malcolm Muggeridge once opined that we have educated ourselves into imbecility.
 
What are we celebrating at Christmas? What is the message of Christmas? It is the birth of the One who promised peace, joy and love. Try as we will, we cannot realize such values without acknowledging the point of reference for these absolutes: the very person of God and his gift to us of a changed heart and will. That message needs to be heard around our world that is reeling with problems and rife with hate. For we have proven we are not fit to be God.
 
G.K. Chesterton was right: "The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult and left untried."
 
Some years ago, I walked into the Forbidden City in Beijing. It was a cold and grey January. I paused as I saw deep inside its walls a shop with the banner still fluttering, “Merry Christmas.” That which was happily displayed in the Forbidden City is now all but forbidden in our cities. A Chinese professor once remarked to me, “You Christians need to thank God for Communism, because we left the souls of our people empty, making room for the gospel.”
 
Maybe someday we will thank the rabid secularists as well, when Merry Christmas will no longer be forbidden in our cities. Exhausted and disappointed in self-worship, we may turn to God again and hear his story afresh. ]]>
<![CDATA[Thankful for Grace]]>Fri, 25 Nov 2011 16:02:30 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2011/11/thankful-for-grace.htmlWe have just celebrated another glorious Thanksgiving and now look toward yet another magical Christmas season, I can't help but be mindful of life's seasons of abundance and scarcity.  Life is unpredictable for sure and we have all known periods of blessings and challenge despite deep devotion to God and His call on our lives.




I won't bore you with the details of my own woes in the valleys of my life but having had your own, you understand how painful and lonely they can be.  By the same token, we've all known sunshine on the mountain top where the glory is bright and the fellowship is rich.




I recently turned 51 and I am at a place where I can look back once in a while and consider the lessons of life.  It seems to me it's comprised of a series of barren deserts, lush valleys, soaring mountain peaks and broad rivers all of which must be traversed by the Christian pilgrim in order to reach the golden shore.  For a while we walk where the path is soft and strewn with flowers.  With something as simple as a phone call or doctor's report we find ourselves scaling mountains covered with thorns.




Not only must many of us live out our own Christian walk trying to maintain our discipleship at a level befitting the years we've walked with the Lord but ministers of the Gospel have to do so in the glaring light of public scrutiny.  We aren't afforded the luxury of privately navigating our difficulties like someone on a pew with no responsibilities in the church.  Sermons still have to be preached, songs need to be played and sung, hospitals need to be visited all the while appearing to be the model of spiritual fortitude.  




What makes the difference for the saint or preacher struggling with the issues of life while trying to walk with the Lord and even minister to others?  What helps us reach down on the inside and find the strength and resolve to keep going when we are at the end of ourselves?  Simply, grace.  




The grace of God makes up for our lack and insufficiency.  It's more than going through the motions, which I have done when I didn't access the grace of God.  It's putting one foot in front of the other...by faith until we move into another season of refreshing.  So, struggling saint or weeping preacher, press on toward the mark.  Don't be weary enough in well doing that you give up.  On some challenging days, your most heroic action might be to lift a shoulder off the ground so as not to be counted out of the fight.  This in itself is a testimony of grace to others even though you may not appear to be the Olympic champion on the outside.  God sees your heart.  He knows your hurt.  He understands your questions.  Let grace do it's work when you have no more to give.




I will close with the words of a beautiful old song.

"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater.  He sendeth His strength when the labors increase.  To added affliction, He addeth His mercy.  To multiplied trials, his multiplied peace.  His love has no limits, His grace has no measure.  His power has no boundaries known unto men.  For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.  





Thank God for grace!          




Robert L. Morgan


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<![CDATA[Truth, the Foundation of Our Fellowship!]]>Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:54:08 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2011/10/truth-the-foundation-of-our-fellowship1.htmlEvery month that I write this blog, I search my heart to find nuggets that might minister to the reader the way they ministered to me.  Therein lies a problem.  We're different, with different experiences, needs, backgrounds, etc.  So how do I connect with a reader when so much diversity gives us such a braod frame of reference?  It's by maintaining the touchstone of truth that unites a diverse people around the essentials. 

The New Testament church certainly was a diverse bunch and the Apostles of our Lord found a way to connect with God's people despite the cultural differences among them.  The leaders of the early church persisted with great passion in calling the regenerated people of God to hold fast to the gospel that had been entrusted to them, that had redeemed them and that they were expected to share with others. 

It is said that the Moravians gave us the following powerful quote: "In things essential, unity.  In things non-essential, tolerance.  In all things, charity."  The church would do well to abide by these wise words.  Especially in our polaraized culture today, it isn't a task for the faint at heart.  Just trying to get everyone to agree on what is essential and what isn't would be monumental.  While there is room for interpretation on many Scriptural topics, we unite uncompromisingly around the central themes of the Bible.  For us as Apostolics, there is no room for debate on the One true and living God revealed in Jesus Christ.  We will not yield on the subject of holy living for Spirit filled people.  We remain unmoveable on the Peter's precription for sin's remedy in Acts 2:38.  We will not waver on the integrity of the Bible as God's Word, the essentiality of the cross, the second coming of Christ, the healing power of Jesus' Name, speaking in tongues and a literal Heaven and Hell.  As affirming Apostolics, we will forever contend for the unconditional love of God that pours out the Spirit upon all flesh, without exception.  

Part of the problem today that we as ministers face today is the amazing amount of rancor present, much of which easily surfaces in an election year.  Lord have mercy, we can't even play video games without playing Angry Birds!  The diversity of our nation is reflected in the diversity of our churches.  The spectrum is often very wide on the political, religious, social beliefs of our people. 

I believe we need to do two things as effective leaders in today's angry and divisive climate.  First, reduce the anger that polarization often brings.  We do that be teaching people how to disagree agreeably.  Second, we need to preach truth as never before and thus "contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints."  This is accomplished by proclamation and practice.  Preach it and live it! 

Our touchstone for connecting God's people to Him, to each other and to us as their leaders is the essential truth of God's Word that forms the basis for our fellowship.  Without that, GAAAP will dissolve into the majority of affirming religious movements who circle the wagons around inclusion and not the Word of God.  The Lord hasn't called us to be radically inclusive.  He's called us to be Biblically inclusive.  It's the only way we can be faithful to the Lord's mandate to take truth to al the world and make disciples of them until He returns and it's the only way we can maintain the hard won distinctives that makes GAAAP so uniquely special among affirming movements. 

Remember, speak the truth in love for that is the one characteristic that will draw the worlds attention to our Lord and Savior.  "...in all charity!"

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<![CDATA[Truth, the Foundation of Our Fellowship!]]>Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:54:07 GMThttp://www.gaaap.net/2/post/2011/10/truth-the-foundation-of-our-fellowship.htmlEvery month that I write this blog, I search my heart to find nuggets that might minister to the reader the way they ministered to me.  Therein lies a problem.  We're different, with different experiences, needs, backgrounds, etc.  So how do I connect with a reader when so much diversity gives us such a braod frame of reference?  It's by maintaining the touchstone of truth that unites a diverse people around the essentials. 

The New Testament church certainly was a diverse bunch and the Apostles of our Lord found a way to connect with God's people despite the cultural differences among them.  The leaders of the early church persisted with great passion in calling the regenerated people of God to hold fast to the gospel that had been entrusted to them, that had redeemed them and that they were expected to share with others. 

It is said that the Moravians gave us the following powerful quote: "In things essential, unity.  In things non-essential, tolerance.  In all things, charity."  The church would do well to abide by these wise words.  Especially in our polaraized culture today, it isn't a task for the faint at heart.  Just trying to get everyone to agree on what is essential and what isn't would be monumental.  While there is room for interpretation on many Scriptural topics, we unite uncompromisingly around the central themes of the Bible.  For us as Apostolics, there is no room for debate on the One true and living God revealed in Jesus Christ.  We will not yield on the subject of holy living for Spirit filled people.  We remain unmoveable on the Peter's precription for sin's remedy in Acts 2:38.  We will not waver on the integrity of the Bible as God's Word, the essentiality of the cross, the second coming of Christ, the healing power of Jesus' Name, speaking in tongues and a literal Heaven and Hell.  As affirming Apostolics, we will forever contend for the unconditional love of God that pours out the Spirit upon all flesh, without exception.  

Part of the problem today that we as ministers face today is the amazing amount of rancor present, much of which easily surfaces in an election year.  Lord have mercy, we can't even play video games without playing Angry Birds!  The diversity of our nation is reflected in the diversity of our churches.  The spectrum is often very wide on the political, religious, social beliefs of our people. 

I believe we need to do two things as effective leaders in today's angry and divisive climate.  First, reduce the anger that polarization often brings.  We do that be teaching people how to disagree agreeably.  Second, we need to preach truth as never before and thus "contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints."  This is accomplished by proclamation and practice.  Preach it and live it! 

Our touchstone for connecting God's people to Him, to each other and to us as their leaders is the essential truth of God's Word that forms the basis for our fellowship.  Without that, GAAAP will dissolve into the majority of affirming religious movements who circle the wagons around inclusion and not the Word of God.  The Lord hasn't called us to be radically inclusive.  He's called us to be Biblically inclusive.  It's the only way we can be faithful to the Lord's mandate to take truth to al the world and make disciples of them until He returns and it's the only way we can maintain the hard won distinctives that makes GAAAP so uniquely special among affirming movements. 

Remember, speak the truth in love for that is the one characteristic that will draw the worlds attention to our Lord and Savior.  "...in all charity!"

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