Who are the Apostolic Christians?


A side issue in the Kim Davis saga is that she is described as being an Apostolic Christian, one of the many splinter groups in Christianity that differ over matters of obscure doctrine and practice. I had not heard of this group before but this article explains who they are and what they stand for.

Without getting too complicated, Apostolic Pentecostals believe “Father,” “Son” and “Holy Spirit” aren’t three distinct persons, but three different titles for one person: Jesus.

The group also believes you must speak in tongues to be saved, a practice known as glossolalia, which involves uttering a foreign language previously unknown to the speaker.

Vinson Synan, a professor of church history at Regent University in Virginia and an expert on Pentecostalism, estimates there are 15 to 20 million Pentecostals in the United States; of those, maybe 1 million are Apostolic Pentecostals. Apostolic Pentecostals claim to have a total 25 million members worldwide, he said.

Apostolic Pentecostals are the strictest of all the Pentecostal groups, according to Synan. Like most Pentecostals, they do not use alcohol or tobacco. They generally don’t watch TV or movies either. Women who are Apostolic Pentecostals also wear long dresses, and they don’t cut their hair or wear makeup. It’s called “external holiness,” he said, and it’s meant to separate its followers from the rest of the world in the way they look and act — although, he noted, men who are Apostolic Pentecostals look “like everybody else.”

COZ8I93WsAAFMEbI am not sure if Davis’s husband is also an Apostolic Christian but his get up sure doesn’t make him look “like everybody else”, unless scarecrow costumes are de rigueur for Morehead, Kentucky.

Meanwhile, according to an ABC News/ Washington Post poll released yesterday, most people don’t agree with what Davis did.

In general, 74 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say that when a conflict arises, the need to treat everyone equally under the law is more important than someone’s religious beliefs. In the specific case at hand, 63 percent say Davis, of Rowan County, Kentucky, should be required to issue marriage licenses despite her religious objections.

Among those who say Davis should be required to issue the licenses, 72 percent also favor the decision by U.S. District Judge David Bunning to jail her. That’s less than a majority of the public overall, however: Forty-five percent both say she should have to issue the licenses and support her jailing; 16 percent agree she should have to issue the licenses but oppose her being jailed; and 33 percent oppose her having to issue the licenses in the first place.

The only subgroups in which a majority supports her consists of evangelical white Protestants (61%) and strong conservatives (66%).

But not only is Davis losing in the court of public opinion, she keeps losing in actual courts of law as well. Yesterday brought the latest of such defeats but they have filed other lawsuits.

At this point, it is not clear what she and her lawyers hope to achieve with their blizzard of lawsuits, other than try and keep themselves in the public eye.

Comments

  1. busterggi says

    Sounds like she has already violated the conditions of her release by interferring with the issuance of licenses – call the paddy wagon.

  2. Chiroptera says

    Without getting too complicated, Apostolic Pentecostals believe “Father,” “Son” and “Holy Spirit” aren’t three distinct persons, but three different titles for one person: Jesus.

    Pretty close to the Sabellian heresy (also known as modalism).

    I’d suggest that people should point out that Davis’ beliefs are heretical to traditional Christianity, except I kind of suspect that most Christians don’t really understand the doctrine of the Trinity and are actually modalists without realizing that their own denominations label it a heresy.

    In general, 74 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say that when a conflict arises, the need to treat everyone equally under the law is more important than someone’s religious beliefs.

    Huh. Somehow I suspect that the Christianists are suddenly going to remember that the Constitution is supposed to protect people’s liberties despite the opinions of the majority.

    I’ve mentioned before the conservative version of rock, paper, scissors:
    If they don’t like a court ruling, they say that “unelected judges should defer to the people’s elected representatives.” When the legislature acts contrary to their wishes, they scream that the “elitist politicians are out of touch with the people who elected them.” When the majority of the people support a policy they hate, suddenly they are taking the case to court to demand that their “rights” be protected by…unelected judges.

  3. raven says

    According to Wikipedia, NoLiberty Counsel has lost most of its court cases. One of the clients lost a bunch of court cases, fled the country, and has an FBI warrant out for felony kidnapping.

    Mat and Anita Staver received $291,000 from LC in 2013. This looks a lot like an affinity group scam.

    At this point, it is not clear what she and her lawyers hope to achieve with their blizzard of lawsuits, other than try and keep themselves in the public eye.

    Staver has done this before. He usually loses in court. This actually isn’t a great strategy. By taking losing cases and losing them, he sets precedents for future cases. That are not in favor of cultist xians.

  4. Al Dente says

    The man in the picture, I suppose it’s one of Davis’ husbands, is dressed like a farmer. Growing up in the rural Mid-West I saw many men dressed in t-shirts, bib-overalls and wide-brimmed straw hats. Most of them were farmers.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    … an Apostolic Christian, one of the many splinter groups in Christianity that differ over matters of obscure doctrine and practice…

    Not to be confused with the New Apostolic Reformation, an extensive worldwide network of dominionist preachers aiming squarely at “taking dominion” over all sectors of public and private life.

  6. says

    “Without getting too complicated, Apostolic Pentecostals believe “Father,” “Son” and “Holy Spirit” aren’t three distinct persons, but three different titles for one person: Jesus.”

    That is to say, they reject all of the Ecumenical Councils, including Nicaea, and are thus (according to ancient Christian doctrine) heretics who will burn in Hell for ever and ever no matter how much “external holiness” they slather on. And oh, it is fun to say that to their faces (I’ve done it.)

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