Return to "The Shepherd's Chapel and Dr. Arnold Murray" Main Page

I Found Your Site After My Dad Went Full Blast Into "the Chapel."


 ----- Original Message -----
From: "Name Withheld"
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:23 PM
Subject: Dads gone wild
I found your site after my dad went full blast into "the chapel".  My dad raised me in our very modest "old time" Baptist church located in the middle of nowhere KY(which my wife and I, with our 1yr old still attend).  I became really worried when he pretty much came out and told me I would be better off quitting church and watching Murray.  The thing that I just can't figure out is the "serpent seed" and "Kenites".  They teach so much that isn't even in the bible.  "The world that was" and all that really intrigues me, but I'm not making my mind up on anything.  I was just wondering, from your experience, what can I do to get him to open his eyes?

Thanks a bunch.

Name Withheld
Occupation Withheld
Phone Number Withheld


My First Response:

 ----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stringini"
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: Dads gone wild
Hi Name Withheld,

When I was a "full blast" chapel student there were certain passages that gave me pause because they seemed to be direct contradictions to what Murray was teaching me.  But I did not immediately turn away from the Chapel, because I really had nowhere else to go.  Murray uses flattery and suggestive questions to entice people and speak to certain needs and aspirations we possess.  He asks us "have you known that there was more to God's word than what you were being taught?" ... "You may be one of God's Elect!" That is part of the problem.  People who get involved with the Shepherd's Chapel are usually dissatisfied with the level of Christian education they are getting in traditional churches.  They are vulnerable attack because church has already failed them.

We live in a time when churches and Pastors are focused on getting as many people to church as possible and keeping them there.  Sermons are crafted to appeal to the broadest base of people.  They try to keep is simple and relevant to the modern world.  This is why preachers like Joel Osteen thrive.  There is very little substance to their teaching and the substance of their teaching is totally focused on living the modern American life in peace and prosperity.  "Boring" "complicated" or "potentially divisive" excursions deep into the scriptures are avoided.

Murray, for all his faults, totally focuses on scripture and on doctrines.  He pretends to be a "scholar" and calls his students scholars and tries to teach them how to use rudimentary tools for what he calls "deeper study."  Aside from the fact that he often misuses and abuses the tools, he is  basically picking up many zealous people who are dissatisfied with the kind of thin Christianity being offered.  I remember showing Murray to friends, they thought it was incredibly boring, I was astonished.  I think he is many  things, but never boring. I though everyone else on TV was boring.  I was 19 years old, I had this great big book in front of me, and I wanted to understand what was written in it.  I did not just want to hear another "life lesson" based on some isolated passage.  I wanted someone to take me through and tell me what it ALL meant.

Murray offered me what I wanted, and I'm assuming you dad wants the same things.  So where is he going to go?  Even if he already has doubts about Murray's teaching, he may have had doubts about what he had learned in the old time Baptist church.  It seems to me that there are always passages that give people problems because they seem  to contradict the doctrines they believe.  Now that he has had an "Education" in the scriptures, it is one thing to persuade him that Murray is a false teacher, but another to "bring him back to the fold."  All the reasons he left that church  are still really there.  Whatever he felt was lacking, whatever weakness Murray exposed.  For Example: The rapture doctrine alone.  Once you reject the rapture... I never went back to believing that, I can't, couldn't,  I reject the rapture for the same reasons I reject Murray, I believe the scriptures do not support either.

It took me about ten years from the time I started doubting Murray until I finally rejected the core of his doctrine which was still the basic framework in which I understood Christianity.  People can turn around faster, but my own experience has taught me to be patient with people the way God was patient with me.

If you want to try to help your Dad I would definitely take a scriptural approach, avoid talking about Arnold Murray or the Shepherd's Chapel.  I  would even avoid "attacking" the doctrines directly.  I would try to force him to attack and deal with the scriptures.  Make him see himself warring against the word of God.  You don't say, "The Serpent seed is wrong! Look at this!"  It is better in many cases to say, "If what you are saying is true, I have a hard time believing it because of this scripture."  And when he tries to explain you don't let him off easy.   The degree that you prepare yourself will improve your chances of avoiding him digging his heels in to resist you.

Genesis 4:17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: Who was Enoch's father?....?

Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, Who was Cain's father?....!

Chapel people love to say "Cain is not in Adam's genealogy!"  but that is inaccurate, Cain is not in NOAH's Genealogy, because Noah did not descend
from Cain, But Adam is definitely in CAIN's genealogy which is Genesis 4. Adam knew Eve and she conceived, that is simple cause and effect.  Her name was Eve because she was the mother of all living, that racial stuff is also wrong.  There is no 8th day creation, that is a misreading of the text,  there are clear contextual markers (I cover all this on the page I'm going to link below).  If the flood came to destroy the offspring of Angels then why wouldn't the Kenites be destroyed?  Wouldn't preserving them totally make the flood pointless?  Etc... I'm getting off track...

The Seed (children) of God and the Seed (children) of the Devil is a spiritual concept:

John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

John 8:39 ...They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of  Abraham.

This is the passage where Jesus goes on to say "Ye are of your father the Devil."  They are the genetic offspring of Abraham but not the spiritual  offspring of Abraham. They are the spiritual children of the Devil. That is a passage which no Shepherd's Chapel student has been able to sufficiently explain.

1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his SEED remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

I have written about the serpent seed extensively and I highly recommend you look at my page where all those writings are collected.

I think the serpent seed is the weakest point of Chapel doctrine and the best place to attack.  Make him deal with the scriptures.  There are other passages he will go to when those become frustrating, you ought to familiarize yourself with them all.

"The world that was" is basically bible-based fiction.  But since Murray is making things up about how we "stood against Satan in the world that was," you have to mostly argue from silence and from passages that suggest that our origin is our mother's womb. With the serpent seed there is so much more to attack and so much more for them to defend, so it becomes a much more involved struggle and they are forced at many places to confront contradictions from the scriptures

God bless you in your efforts, and in all spiritual blessings. If I can help you with anything further, or in clarifying any point, do not hesitate to write.

Paul Stringini

Return to "The Shepherd's Chapel and Dr. Arnold Murray" Main Page