Category Archives: A. Edwin Wilson

FUQ: “Frequently Unanswered Question”

Update (March 31, 2011): Still no reply from anyone in the “kingdom believing” camp. One individual did email that soul salvation was indeed conditional, but that it was entirely by grace. Unfortunately, that statement is contradictory.

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I’m often criticized for “attacking” Chitwood or Wilson or Faust, etc., but few who offer this criticism are willing to answer this one, very simple question:

Regarding “soul salvation,” is the soul EVER unconditionally saved by grace through faith?

Chitwood plainly states that the soul is NEVER unconditionally saved by grace through faith, and he goes great lengths to make this point (article link). Some will argue that “soul salvation” does not apply to eternal salvation, but to gaining or losing rewards in the millennial kingdom. That sounds fine, but, if the soul is NOT PRESENTLY saved by grace, will it EVER be saved by grace — unconditionally? I believe this is a fair question, though I doubt any will offer a reply. The consequences would be too unpleasant.

If my critics say, yes, the soul is ULTIMATELY saved UNCONDITIONALLY by grace, then “soul salvation” (as taught by exclusionists) is total nonsense. If my critics say, no, well, now they admit that salvation is not by grace at all, but by works. Typically, my critics want to occupy a sort of middle ground. Such ground does not exist. Either the soul is saved UNCONDITIONALLY or CONDITIONALLY — it can’t possibly be both!

I ask my critics that, before they post a comment or send another contentious e-mail, answer the question: Is the soul EVER unconditionally saved by grace through faith?

I patiently await your replies.

Advocates of “Hamitic curse” to speak at WOK conference

Each has spoken at the “Word of the Kingdom” conference before, so this is not exactly “news.” Arlen Chitwood, Royce Powell and Jim Brooks are again scheduled to speak at the annual conference, which is hosted by Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida (see link). Both Chitwood and Powell advocate the “Hamitic curse,” the idea that blacks are biblically cursed; Brooks hosts sermons (including Chitwood’s and Powell’s) on it. In the past, the conference has featured African speakers, and its organizer, John Herbert, has spoken against racism. He did, however, state that he was unsure about the curse.

See the following:

Kingdom seekers split over race issue
Chitwood and others respond to Wilson’s racial diatribe

Editorial note: Several have asked why I continue to report on the matter. Fact is, people within the “Word of the Kingdom” movement continue to advocate the curse. It can hardly “go away” if new voices continually speak for it.

Kingdom preacher Royce Powell taught that “darker race people” are cursed

Royce Powell, a speaker at last year’s “Word of the Kingdom” conference at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, preached, in a 1984 sermon, that the “darker race people, the black people” should not serve in positions of leadership or intermarry with other races. His definition of “darker race people” also included Egyptians, Middle Easterners and people of the “East Babylonian” area.

Efforts to reach Powell, directly or through intermediaries, over the last year have been unsuccessful.

In a recorded sermon, hosted at Calvary Bible Church’s website,[1. The date, 1984, is embedded in the digital file; http://www.calvarybiblechurchtn.org/audio-sermons/royce-powell.html] Powell taught that “the scripture tells us that the race [Noah’s descendants] was divided into three categories,” and explained that “Ham and his descendants were destined or were biblically assigned the place of being a servant of servants unto his brethren.”

Powell’s 1984 sermon:
[audio:Powell-The_Three_Sons_of_Noah.mp3]

Powell is a prominent and revered “kingdom” preacher, who succeeded A. Edwin Wilson as pastor of a church in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the early 1980s. Wilson, deceased in 1989, was an avowed segregationist, preaching and writing about the evils of integration through several decades of his ministry. His essay, “The Sons of Noah,” outlines theological grounds for the separation of the Body of Christ along racial lines.[2. From the Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson]

In the sermon, “The Three Sons of Noah,” Powell divided the world’s races into three categories: Canaanites or the “darker race people,” Shem or the “Nation of Israel,” and Japheth (traditionally whites). He added that efforts to unite these races were the work of Satan. “The ‘Canaanite’ is cursed… to be the servant of ‘Shem’ and ‘Japheth’,” explained Powell.

His comments on race mirror Wilson’s considerably.

Citing Old Testament prophecies, Powell asserted that it was wrong for the United States to “force” modern-day Israel into political agreements with the “Canaanites,” presumably Arabs and Palestinians. (Powell’s use of outdated and outmoded racial appellations makes it difficult sometimes to identify which ethnic groups he is mentioning.) “One of the ways that Satan has tried to destroy the nation of Israel is not only through war but through devising a plan to intermingle the races,” Powell stated. “And that won’t ever work. Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, says, does — that won’t ever work.”

He explained that when races intermingle, the order of the universe is upset. For this reason, “Canaanites” should not assume positions of leadership, for this is equally offensive to God, explained Powell. “I just say that to be biblical,” he defended.

At one point in his sermon, Powell endeavored to explain why Jews are apparently so economically savvy. “The Canaanites taught them,” he explained. The shrewdness of Jews in business, Powell added, is not a positive quality; instead, the Jews should have avoided contact with the Canaanites. This is “why the Lord Jesus in two instances… cleansed the temple… he was ridding the temple of trafficking and the trading,” Powell preached. “He won’t allow that.”

It is not known whether Powell continues to maintain these views, but “Word of the Kingdom” churches have for the last year been promoting his sermons, including “The Three Sons of Noah.” In 2010 Powell spoke at a “Word of the Kingdom” conference hosted by Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida. In reply to inquiries, a church worker there directed KingdomExclusion.com to Powell’s sermons at Calvary Bible Church’s website, saying the sermons were highly esteemed. Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos, California, also provides a direct link to that site at its home page at CornerstoneLosGatos.com.

Radio preacher Arlen Banks is featuring Powell’s sermons on his radio show.

“I have prayed about doing this for over a year now so, I decided to start 2011 off right,” wrote Banks at his website, TheKingdomoftheHeavens.org. He began posting the sermons late in 2010. “The responce (sic) has been great.”

Though KingdomExclusion.com has been unable to reach Powell, directly or through intermediaries, an “R Powell” recently posted a review at Amazon.com defending Wilson’s controversial book:

I originally received a copy of the Select Writings of A Edwin Wilson from the Editor, Arlen Chitwood in the early 8o’s, and have referred to it many times over the years for additional insight when I taught a bible class. I recently decided to re-read the book in full and found new insights in the Word of God. So impressed with its content, I purchased two additional books as gifts for my pastor and my sister, who pastors a church in Chicago.[3. http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Writings-Edwin-Wilson/dp/B001LOHSOU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294522891&sr=8-1]

(Previously, I had posted a review criticizing Wilson’s pro-segregationist views.)

KingdomExclusion.com first mentioned Powell’s “The Three Sons of Noah” in a posting dated January 9, 2010, and began sending inquiries that same month to various leaders within the “Word of the Kingdom” movement. None of the inquiries has been returned. In that same span of time, advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” have begun to vigorously promote Powell’s sermons. It is not known whether they agree with his racial views.

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Powell’s sermons at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, preached in 2010, can be viewed here:

Genesis 19 (link)
Isaiah 11 (link)

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“Word of the Kingdom” — heretical and racist

Having studied this teaching since 2005, I can only conclude that the “Word of the Kingdom,” as taught by the late A. Edwin Wilson and Arlen L. Chitwood, is heretical, and that aspects of the teaching are even racist. I do not make these statements lightly. These are harsh findings to be sure, but I must speak plainly.

Heresy —

Chitwood openly states that salvation is not entirely by grace, that it is not unconditional. Only the spirit of a person is saved by grace unconditionally; the soul is saved conditionally. This, Chitwood states directly: “The salvation of the soul, unlike the salvation of the spirit, is conditional” (The Salvation of the Soul, pg. 13 — emphasis Chitwood’s). This statement is antithetical to the gospel, which states that salvation is not by our own doing, but by grace alone.

The apostle Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

I have written Chitwood several times regarding his assertion that “soul salvation” is conditional, and his responses have been less than satisfying. While spirited, Chitwood ultimately declined to explain how conditional salvation accords with the Free Grace movement, which he claims to champion. I’ve also spoken with Roel Velema, who has translated a number of Chitwood’s works into other languages, about this matter. Velema plainly asserts that “soul salvation” results from human action, though Velema attempts to place this working of salvation within the context of free grace. I’ve spoken with countless others, all of whom decline to assert that the soul is saved entirely by the blood of Jesus.

Why is the “Word of the Kingdom” heresy? Because it asserts that the soul is not saved ultimately by the blood of Jesus, but that the crucifixion of Christ only initiates the possibility of soul salvation.

Key articles at KingdomExclusion.com —
1. Chitwood: Salvation is not entirely by grace
2. Kingdom believer claims to be unsaved
3. General objections to the teaching of Arlen L. Chitwood

Racism —

Here, I must stately positively that not all advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” are racists, or that they all avow segregation. That is simply not true. Many participate in mixed fellowships. However, most advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” continue to champion the Hamitic curse, which is the underlying theology of religious segregation. The late A. Edwin Wilson wrote and preached extensively on segregation, and his works are promoted by “Word of the Kingdom” advocates today. This is intolerable, and shameful.

Even more disturbing are the apologetic comments from advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom.” Ralph Alley, called an elder at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos, California, wrote that Wilson’s segregationist views were “acceptable in some circles,” though he did indicate that Wilson’s teachings on race were “problematic.” Other advocates have gone steps further. Chitwood wrote two articles recently affirming the core of Wilson’s racial views, and Arlen Banks, a radio preacher, even asserted by e-mail that certain races should not intermix. He did not, however, take issue with congregations already mixed.

The unwillingness of advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” to disavow the Hamitic curse entirely stems from two concerns: (1) their understanding of eschatology and (2) Wilson’s role in establishing the “Word of the Kingdom.” First, so-called “kingdom seekers” believe fundamentally that Old Testament curses extend into the modern age and culminate at the millennial kingdom. They do not appear to question why they believe in the Hamitic curse (there is no evidence of it in scripture), but hold to it as an unquestionable gospel truth. Second, Wilson founded the “Word of the Kingdom” and he was steadfast in his opposition to integration. He maintained these views from the 1950s (possibly earlier) to the early 1980s. Unable to accept that Wilson was garden-variety racist, advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” advance that the Hamitic curse is biblical, though misunderstood and sometimes misused by modern theologians. Even Chitwood asserted that some people use the teaching in “racist” ways, but he does not explain how the teaching itself is not racist. Nor does he care to.

No believer in the “Word of the Kingdom,” to my knowledge, has disavowed the Hamtic curse — though some claim to be uncertain about it.

Why is the “Word of the Kingdom” racist? Because it demeans people of African descent, and undermines the unity of the Body of Christ by asserting that Christians of different races should not, ultimately, mix.

Key articles at KingdomExclusion.com–
1. Is Arlen Chitwood a racist?
2. No accountability among kingdom seekers
3. Race hatred and the Word of the Kingdom
4. Chitwood and others respond to Wilson’s racial teachings

“R Powell” endorses A. Edwin Wilson’s book

An “R Powell,” possibly Royce Powell who succeeded A. Edwin Wilson in pastoral ministry in the 1980s, has written a review of Wilson’s book at Amazon.com, endorsing the text. Here are his comments:

I originally received a copy of the Select Writings of A Edwin Wilson from the Editor, Arlen Chitwood in the early 8o’s, and have referred to it many times over the years for additional insight when I taught a bible class. I recently decided to re-read the book in full and found new insights in the Word of God. So impressed with its content, I purchased two additional books as gifts for my pastor and my sister, who pastors a church in Chicago.

As far as the review that Mark Adams wrote, it it appears his reviews on any Christian writing were mostly negative. — source

I have endeavored several times to contact Powell through various intermediaries, but have thus far been unsuccessful. If “R Powell” is Royce Powell, then these comments shed important light on the racial views of contemporary advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom,” which Wilson founded. Powell spoke last year at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, and his sermons are promoted by the Los Gatos branch of that movement.

One sermon in particular deserves attention, for in it Powell avows that certain races shouldn’t intermingle. The title of that sermon is “The Three Sons of Noah” — direct link to mp3 file: http://www.calvarybiblechurchtn.org/images/powell/100_The_Three_Sons_of_Noah.mp3 — it is found at this page.

There seems to be a concerted effort to defend the reputation of the late A. Edwin Wilson, who advocated segregation through the 1980s. Radio preacher Arlen Banks reposted Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson after having pulled the text from his website over concerns that some of the content was not appropriate. Banks later disavowed those concerns. John Chitwood, Arlen Chitwood’s son (Arlen edited Wilson’s book) also posted a review at Amazon.com, saying Wilson was not a racist.

As regards “R Powell’s” assertion that my “reviews on any Christian writing were mostly negative,” I can only reply that I do not regard Wilson’s book as a Christian writing.

Is Arlen Chitwood a racist?

There are those who will argue that the very question is a statement. But, truthfully, I am not sure of the answer. And that’s what bothers me.

Chitwood is esteemed as a man of God, a teacher of truth, a prophet of his age; yet, he actively teaches that blacks are cursed. In the 1980s, he edited and promoted pro-segregation texts. What are we to make of this? Shall we say that his actions speak for his character? As Chitwood is unwilling to clarify his views, directly refusing to answer questions from KingdomExclusion.com, we have only his actions and published writings to consider.

Continue reading Is Arlen Chitwood a racist?

Kingdom preacher claims Satan is “using preachers”

Radio preacher Arlen Banks writes in a series of blog entries that Satan is “using preachers and prominent figures in the Church” to deny essential aspects of the gospel, adding that there is a “very subtle false teaching in every denomination.”[1. http://thekingdomoftheheavens.org/2010/11/18/the-word-of-the-kingdom-part-4/] The accusatory nature of these remarks is breathtaking, considering a chief complaint among followers of the so-called “Word of the Kingdom” is that they have been unfairly disparaged, even complaining that they are being persecuted. What is one to make of a teacher who unabashedly claims that the majority of Christian ministers are really just tools of Satan?

Word of the Kingdom preacher reposts racist book

Radio preacher Arlen Banks has reposted a book promoting segregation. Banks previously offered Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson in digital form at TheKingdomOfTheHeavens.org, but pulled it after it was revealed here that the late preacher taught that blacks were inferior to whites.

At the time, Banks maintained that Wilson was “wrong” to say that Ham committed immoral acts because he was black.[1. See http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1041]

“I disagree with Wilson’s speculation of Ham being black, but he was entitled to his opinion, whether it was wrong or right,” wrote Banks in the forum at KingdomExclusion.com.

Banks reposted the book last week.

In the 1950s, Wilson founded a teaching called “Word of the Kingdom,” which maintains, among other things that salvation is conditional. Though not widely known, “Word of the Kingdom” is promoted by Christians who typically identify themselves as baptists.

Wilson maintained in sermons and articles throughout four decades that blacks were cursed by God; he taught that integration was a work of Satan. Wilson’s racial theories mirrored those of many in the South in the mid-1900s.

In a 1973 sermon, Wilson preached:

Generally speaking, around the world, what’s the hour and the day that manifests the strongest evidential segregation? It’s on Sunday, and what time? Eleven o’clock. That’s particularly true in what area of the world? … Bible Belt? What is the capitol of the Bible Belt? … Chattanooga is the capitol of the Bible Belt, you know it is. What other city in the world has Bible taughting (sic.) schools like this city? No place but the Bible Belt that have it. Now why is the eleven o’clock hour in Chattanooga the most segregated time and place in the world? There is a reason for it. Because in a majority of the pulpits you’ll still find the word of God.

Selected Writings was published in 1981, and reprinted as late as 1996. Digital copies have been available at various sites promoting the Word of the Kingdom, including Arlen L. Chitwood’s site, LampBroadcast.org.

Chitwood edited Selected Writings.

The book has been promoted continuously by pastors connected with the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship franchise, though Pastor John Herbert, of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, said previously that he would not adhere to Wilson’s teachings on race. Still, several speakers at a conference sponsored by Herbert’s church teach that blacks are cursed.

In e-mails to the publisher at KingdomExclusion.com, Banks has defended Wilson, saying that the late preacher was a godly man. “A. Edwin Wilson is not a racist,” Banks wrote last July.[2. See http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1391]

However, speaking of the curse upon blacks, Wilson wrote that it “involved [the] general inferiority of the Hamitic race, and a special condemnation to the lowest degree of servitude. This curse consigns the Hamitic race to a position of national and personal servitude until the time of restitution of all things.”

Banks offers Wilson’s book at two sites he maintains: TheKingdomOfTheHeavens.org and AEWilson.org.

For Wilson was an honourable man…

A great injustice has been done to the late A. Edwin Wilson. In the last year, several individuals removed digital copies of The Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson from their websites. Among these I can name Arlen L. Chitwood, who had long intended to remove the book from his website, but did not realize that it remained “orphaned” among some pages of his website, LampBroadcast.org,[6. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=366] and Arlen Banks, who removed it because he felt Wilson was wrong to have taught that Ham “violated” Noah, his father, because Ham was black.[5. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1041]

Sadly, these individuals removed the text after I had exposed Wilson’s teachings to the general public. I bear the fault. My actions, my tenacity, led to the removal of Wilson’s book from their sites. Somes other souls, however, remained steadfast. When I called upon them to remove the book (on moral grounds, not legal) they refused. Among these I can name Calvary Bible Church and Schoettle Publishing Company. There are others still, but their names escape me for the moment.

The “injustice” I speak of is the resulting difficulty the general public now has accessing the book. How will they know what sort of man he was. I must now speak, for Wilson was an honorable man. The general public should know that Wilson taught that:

Christ never abolished slavery.[1. Chapter XV, p. 3, of the electronic edition of “The Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson”.]

“And Wilson was an honorable man.”

The general public should know that Wilson taught that…

Integration, of which we hear so much today, is an effort to take two or more parts and fuse them into one, to integrate the colored race and white race through marriage, amalgamation, and assimilation, and to reduce the two groups (colored and white) to one group. Anyone who knows God’s plan and purpose concerning the human race can see the hand of Satan behind all this. His supreme desire is not the integration and fusion of the colored race with the white — he is looking forward to the day when the nation of Israel shall be integrated and fused with other nations, and then all of God’s prophecy concerning Israel’s restoration and elevation to the head of the nations shall fail of fulfillment and God will have been proven to be false. Satan is thus hoping to continue his reign over the souls of men.[2. Chapter XV, p. 3, of the electronic edition of “The Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson”.]

“And Wilson was an honorable man.”

The general public should know that Wilson taught that…

This curse [upon black people] also involved general inferiority of the Hamitic race, and a special condemnation to the lowest degree of servitude. This curse consigns the Hamitic race to a position of national and personal servitude until the time of restitution of all things (Zech. 14:21).[1. Chapter XV, p. 4, of the electronic edition of “The Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson”.]

“And Wilson was an honorable man.”

I call particularly upon Arlen Banks (for I know his heart) to repost The Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson to TheKingdomOfTheHeavens.org, so that people might know what sort of man Wilson was. Please, do us this justice, Arlen.

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Footnotes:

The curse of the “Word of the Kingdom”

A “J Kirk Donovan” lately commented here that “the breaking down of national and ethnic barriers, in not only the US but the world, is contrary to the Scripture’s teaching.” As typical of the disciples of A. Edwin Wilson, he declined to provide scriptural evidence. The reason is obvious: there is no such scripture.

Therefore, it is ironic that those who teach the “Word of the Kingdom” often accuse “mainstream” Christianity of rejecting the Bible.

Should not the case of A. Edwin Wilson serve as a warning? That perhaps the “Word of the Kingdom” — steeped in race hatred and bigotry — is flawed? (How is it possible that they can listen to Wilson’s sermons and not blanch? How is it possible that they can read “Selected Writings” and not be sickened?)

Let us review:

1. They teach that salvation is conditional. — Where is this found in scripture?

2. They teach that so-called carnal Christians will be judged in the millennial kingdom. — Where is this stated?

3. They teach that Christians are the “unbelievers” of 2 Cor. 6:14. — Paul calls Christians disciples of Satan?

4. They teach that blacks are cursed. — Again, where is this stated?

The ungodliness of the so-called “Word of the Kingdom” is breathtaking. It is quite appalling. It is not simply a “perspective,” as some are apt to say, but a complete rewrite of scripture. These disciples of Wilson and Chitwood seek to make Christ’s “Yes” a “No,” and his “No” a “Yes.”

That any of them should apologize for Wilson’s racial teachings is evidence enough against the so-called “Word of the Kingdom.” The teaching has now become a curse.

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Postscript: I have been accused, unjustly, of attacking a “godly” man. Well, listen to this man’s sermon (1973):

[audio:A-Edwin-Wilson-1973-04-18.mp3]

Are these the words of a godly man?