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Preface:  Due to some having drawn false conclusions from this page, I want to clarify something:  I do not claim, nor have ever claimed to have known Arnold Murray personally, or to have been involved with the organization down in Gravette, at any time.  Like most Chapel students, my connection to Arnold Murray was exclusively through the television broadcasts I watched, and though the cassette tapes I listened to.  Arnold Murray encourages his followers to feel that they are a part of his ministry.  I never really questioned that then, or thought much of it since, but having made so many hours of study under him I do not feel it is some sort of fraud to declare myself one of his (former) students. 

There are some that try to cast me as either an infiltrator or worshipful sycophant.  I was never either, I was just a young man with a great interest in the scriptures and for good or for evil, Arnold Murray was my teacher.  My primary motivation for attending the Passover was not to meet Arnold Murray, get baptized, or to get married.  My primary purpose was to meet other people from my area who believed as I did so that we could gather together and have bible study and fellowship.  I saw these people as God's Elect, and I wanted to meet them and spend time with them.  Which, after returning to Illinois, I did;  holding numerous bible studies over nearly a decade with other Shepherd's Chapel students from my area.

I had always taken seriously and at face value Arnold Murray's humble admonishments not to think of any man, even himself, as being anything special.  So I did not think much of him, nor much of myself, what I valued and sought was the company of other believers who lived in my area. I was somewhat surprised at the way many of his students did not follow his advice, but would line up just to shake the man's hand.  And though it was somewhat disappointing to see him tolerate people fawning over him, I did not let that turn me against him.  He was just a man, what was he supposed to do? I took him for what he was, as he often admonished on TV, "just a man," and I did not expect him to be anything more.  I believed that all that I desired of Pastor Arnold Murray could be obtained through the bible studies and books the Shepherd's Chapel offered.

Other than the taking of my vows, I believe I spoke with Arnold Murray only once, (as he was signing my marriage certificate).  I basically said that I did not know how he dealt with all the people constantly hounding him (this was the Wednesday after Passover 1995).  He replied, and I do not recall his exact words, but he said something along these lines: that he prayed and had found that God would give him the strength he needed to handle whatever was asked of him.  It seemed like a wise answer to me. I never sought anything more from that man than the instruction he made available through his broadcasts and audio recordings.  He was extremely kind to my wife and I.  All his actions towards us can only be classified as those of a very kind and tolerant nature.

My subsequent problems with Arnold Murray's ministry have arisen from purely doctrinal questions.  The only behaviors of his I question are his on-air behaviors.

Was Paul Stringini Ever Really a Student of the Shepherd's Chapel?

Ultimately, this is a moot point, because the truth or falseness of the Shepherd's Chapel's doctrine does not stand or fall on my having been a "genuine" student of the Chapel (whatever that might mean).  Their doctrine will stand or fall based on the scriptures.  My having been a student is just my history, that is who I am. That is the explanation for my interest in this subject.  That explains why I feel obligated to speak about the Chapel.  I was once a student, and I led independent bible studies where Shepherd's Chapel doctrine was taught and discussed.  So from those experiences I began to question my beliefs; ultimately rejecting them; and ultimately seeking to keep other people from becoming entangled in a ministry so leavened with false doctrine.

I once said, "I considered photographing my collection and posting a picture of it on this page; but I thought that would be a little ridiculous."  I still think it is ridiculous, but I never anticipated that people would be questioning my story, call me naive. You can also call me stupid for not realizing that this page would generate other accusations, such as that I was a hero-worshipping sycophant or a Kenite infiltrator.

I think this is because, according to some Chapel people,  I should not exist.  That is because they take the very fact of understanding and believing Arnold Murray's doctrines for a sure indication of Election.  If you agree with him you are one of God's Elect. So I can't exist.  There cannot exist someone who once sincerely understood and believed Dr. Murray's doctrines ("the truth") and then decided that Dr. Murray's doctrines were false doctrines.    Well, I do exist, and I'm certainly not the only one.

So this is the page where I take you on a trip down memory lane back to when I was young and foolish and an avid student of Dr. Murray. I still have very mixed feelings about this, these images bring back memories, I really liked Dr. Murray (I certainly did not "worship" him as some Chapels Students have suggested).  I did not think of the man above that which is fitting.  After the first few years of study, I had begun to question some things.  But I did not expect the man to be perfect so I continued to respect him for years after I stopped actively studying with him.  I still liked him on a personal level. My general respect for him and adherence to many of his doctrines waned only slowly over the course of several years after I stopped actively supporting the Chapel.  What really turned me was when I finally received the Holy Spirit, my understanding was revolutionized, and I completely abandoned any of his false teachings I still clung to.   I now strongly disagree with many of his critical doctrines and his pet wisdom, and people ought to know the truth about where I came from. 

When I had studied with Dr. Murray intensively for about five months (four hours a day) I began to teach Shepherd's Chapel doctrines to other people, (as I continued to study with Dr. Murray).  I counted myself reasonably adept at "documenting" the Kenites and the "World That Was" as well as other things I considered important such as the truth concerning the "Rapture," and other things.  I led independent bible studies in which these doctrines were promoted (with varying degrees as my faith in the different doctrines waned) for over ten years (until about 2005 to be exact, the year the Holy Spirit was given to me).

Below you see two pages of handwritten notes which I distributed to people circa 1994 in and around Harper Community College in order to spark interest in the doctrines which I felt people needed to be instructed in, and which I now reject.  Click on the images to see full size versions of "The World That Was, God's Children, & Angels."


This was what I thought was important, this was what
I wanted people to know about.

Regarding the photo below:

None of this is intended to give you the impression that I was anything more than student of Pastor Murray.  I was a stranger to Arnold Murray, but the point is that his public ministry was well known to me. And as additional proof, (lest they question if the young man in the picture is really me!)  here is a short clip of the video with pastor Murray saying my name.

Any rumors that my wife and I were divorced or separated are not true.  We grow stronger together, every day, and I love her very much.  The photo below is from our wedding day, Wednesday, April 5th, 1995.

How many Shepherd's Chapel students have been married in front of Dr. Murray's desk?  Doubtless hundreds and hundreds, so it was no big deal, but I think most of us had something in common.  We got married at the Chapel because we loved him and we loved his teachings, I really didn't have another minister I was willing to let do the job, and I happened to be at the Passover in Fort why not?   This picture is not meant to make you think I was personally close to Dr. Murray.  He does this for lots of people.  He's a nice guy like that.  I'm only posting this to demonstrate that I was student enough to want to have Pastor Murray marry me to my wife. 

I did not expect people would think this wedding was part of some dark scheme to "infiltrate" his organization, which is ridiculous.  Neither did I expect to be accused of loving him "too much," (as a sycophant) or of desiring some sort of preeminence at the Chapel.  It is all ridiculous. 

My father brought me up to hate the sort of hero-worship common today.  Even my critics should be smart enough to see that I am not the kind of person who worships other men.  They often accuse me of having delusions of my own grandeur.  If I have an internal motivation for what I do, it has always been that I have aspired to do great things on my own, and that I believe that God has revealed truth to me.  And the truth of that revelation will be revealed in God's time.  And so acting with the conviction of  my conscience, turning one soul away from false doctrine to the truth is a very great thing in my eyes.  It is out of my zeal for what I believe the truth is, that I do all the things that I do, including subjecting myself to the threats and insults of men who are void of the Spirit of God, and for no other reason(s).

No matter how nice he was; I am loyal to Jesus Christ, and to Jesus Christ only.  I will not overlook his false doctrines and corruptions of the scriptures.  I am duty bound to mark this man as one teaching doctrines contrary to those we have received from the Apostles.  And though I doubt Arnold would like me much for the words I have written against his ministry, his followers ought at least respect me as a man who is following his conscience (as many do).


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