Profile of William R. Cunningham
My name is William R. Cunningham and I am not the average "go to church on Sunday" type of Christian. Because of this, I, along with other such people, tend to stand out when it comes to ministry leadership or involvement. The experiences that I have had with ministry leaders have shown me that these leaders, and those in the future, should know as much about me as they possibly can. I am a man with certain skills, abilities, potential, and thinking processes. I do not go along with the flow unless either the flow is inconsequential and/or the flow is in accordance with the word of God.
Because of my nature of things pertaining to God and church (and life itself) and past experiences in the church, I have set forth to write a profile about myself. The purpose of this profile is to provide ministry leaders basic information about my "religious psyche". I have found that talking does not work because either people forget or they dont listen and thus take me for granted thinking I will flow like many others (not all are flowers). This document contains basic yet crucial information about what I believe and my position on certain things.
The following are some basic facts about me.
The following describes me in the realm of religion, church, God, etc.
Calling on my life
I have a definite calling on my life. God has anointed me to do a particular task in the Body of Christ. I can summarize the calling on my life as following:
Showing people, through the medium of teaching, how to obtain a personal relationship with God the Father thus creating a liberated and empowered people to do and be all that God wants of them.
Overall, I am considered to have the spirit or calling of a teacher. God has raised me with the spirit of one who instructs for the purpose of enlightening others to the truth. This calling was first realized by a former pastor of mine: The late Reverend Effie Blumentoe. She first prophesied that I would be a teacher who would be responsible for training teachers, pastors, and ministers. A prophet in my youth also prophesied the exact same thing on my life. Pastor Blumentoe also prophesied that I would be the pastor of my own church and various family members would be there with me in leadership positions. I must add that I am not pursuing these things. I am currently doing what God calls me to do at this moment. My life is not directed by prophecy but by the voice of God on a day-to-day bases.
It appears to me from the past and my conviction in this matter that the major operation of my calling is in the church, that is, the religious community. I am highly sensitive to the bondage that religion places on people thus causing them to become ineffective and not do and be all that God wants of them. My calling is to be involved in freeing these bound Christians from their religious bondage. There is of course the thrust to preach the Gospel of Christ to the non-believer so that they would come to Christ and be reconciled to God. However, I am very sensitive to the bondage placed on God's people by religious organizations, especially churches.
My mother told me about God when I was a child of about six or seven years old (to the best of my recollection). I believed her and enjoyed a fellowship with my heavenly father and Jesus Christ ever since. Keep in mind that I was a child and didnt know all of the details concerning God and Jesus Christ. I just knew who they were, in a general sense, and began to communicate with them. I used to stay up late at night and meditate. I used to talk to God when all was quiet at about 12:00-3:00AM or so. God became my best friend.
Some time later I began to read my Bible. However, my Bible training really got off to a start when I attended the Bible study classes of the late Pastor Effiie Blumentoe. She forced us to know God for ourselves. She told us to eat and digest the word of God. We had to think when we answered questions in her classes. We were forced to understand what the Bible said instead of regurgitating text book type answers to Biblical questions. I can still trace much of what I know now to one of her Bible study classes.
Another important step in my spiritual development came when I began to listen to other ministers on the radio and television. In particular, I listened to Kenneth Copeland, Wayne Momblow, Kenneth Hagan, Charles Stanley, Joyce Meyers, and R.W. Shambach to name some of them. After some time though God told me to stop listening to them and study for myself what I had learned from them. This proved to be a very important step in my spiritual development because I learned how to verify and discover Biblical truths for myself. This taught me to rely on the Holy Spirit for answers instead of solely depending on men and women for revelation.
Teaching also proved to be an extremely important part of my spiritual development. I taught at a few of the prayer meetings at the church I grew up in, the New Saint John Baptist Church. I made great leaps in acquiring Biblical truths for myself when I began to teach the Sunday School lessons because I had to study and learn the material for myself. As a matter of fact, I was the superintendent of Church education and eventually prepared all of the Sunday school curriculum. I was well prepared for this because I was already accustomed to learning the word of God for myself.
A major impact to my spiritual development occurred when I attended Victory Christian Fellowship in Newcastle Delaware for about two years. I was fed up with the church I grew up in because of the pastor there. I also became very apathetic towards church. I didnt believe in church as it exists today (I still dont for the most part). I believe my stay at Victory was to "de-junk" me of the religious garbage that was infecting me. I gained a new perspective of church that I never had. I should also say that my relationship with God never was in danger. Church and God are two separate things to me since I learned about God long before I became active in church. However, Victory gave me a fresh perspective on church.
It was also while attending Victory that God released me to teach Biblical truths publicly. God released me to teach the word to anyone anywhere in the religious community. This is important because I had been praying for years and asking God when I would be ready. He would always tell me that I was still in training. After a while I stopped asking until I couldnt contain my desire to teach. I then had a meeting with Pastor June Austin of Victory and she induced a release to teach. God has opened many doors since then and has continued to reveal more and more of himself and his word to me as I pursue truth. While at Victory I also enrolled in their Biblical studies program and finished the courses: Liberty in Christ (Righteousness), Healing, Faith, New Testament Survey, and How to study the Bible.
In about 1995 or so God instructed me to get formal Biblical education. This was profound to me because I was against the concept of Bible college. That is, I had a problem with the fact that people spent thousands of dollars to learn the word of God. I learned later that Bible college is more than Bible study but includes history, theology, and much more that enhances the study of the Bible. The cost of Bible college therefore can be justified in those terms. However, I still believe that Bible study resources and instruction should be available to all who wants it.
After much searching and examining of different schools, I enrolled into the Masters Degree program at Trinity Bible College and Seminary. The only instruction that I had from God was for what I call "raw data." God wanted me to obtain basic facts for Bible study and not necessarily instruction on various topics. Trinity first recommended that I enter the Masters Degree program for Pastoral studies based on the information that I initially gave them (which was basically my vision of a Christian resource center). I declined to enter that program after weighing their suggestion with what God told me. Instead I asked more questions and discovered their Masters of Theology program which I enrolled. It turned out to be much more than I ever expected.
To this day I vigorously study the Bible along with Church History, various forms of theology (systematic, dogmatic, and integrative for example), and topical studies. I have written numerous study guides on many topics. For example I have written study guides on faith, prayer, stewardship, forgiveness, various books of the Bible, and Trusting God to name a few. I have written over sixty study guides and outlines on various topics including "How to Study the Bible."
I rely heavily on my own personal Bible study which includes the interaction with other Christians and ministers. I do not accept any teaching unless it can be verified by the scriptures (in proper context). I have learned to trust God for revelation and to respect those who have different views or input for my own edification (and I hope I have the same impact on others).
I served in various positions in the church. The following is a list of my church activities.
The following describe my beliefs about major topics in the religious community. I will not try to show why I believe what I believe in this document. I am only going to state what I do believe. However, all of my beliefs come from much study of the Bibles scriptures along with the examination of other documents pertaining to history and theology. That is, my beliefs are based on scriptural truths. I must also say that I am in no way claiming that what I believe is absolute truth and that I am 100% correct. I open myself up to anyone who can show me my errors and help me to correct them. At this time here is what I believe.
I was challenged once by a person in Virginia to see if I really believed what I said I believe about things. We entered a dialogue and I saw for myself that my belief system, right or wrong, is founded on facts and not just loosely accepted dogma. I also saw from my dialogue with this individual that people often take scripture out of context to support their presuppositions or dogma. They quote scripture to prove something and the scripture has nothing to do with what they are trying to prove. I noticed the same practice coming from the mouth of many preachers and pastors.
I believe that the study of the scriptures in light of its historical and cultural context will reveal Biblical truths. That is, I believe the scriptures will interpret themselves if we study them correctly. Here is what I believe.
Purpose of the Church
The church is the body of Christ. The places that we go on Sunday mornings are not the church. They are buildings and the like that the church go to meet. I do not believe in the law of 100% church attendance. I believe that church is of great benefit to the believer because of the level of fellowship that is available and the teachings, corrections, and comforting that accompany this fellowship.
I believe that the purpose of the church is to spread the Gospel of Christ and to edify the members. We all have the commission to preach the word and to make disciples of all nations. This is the calling on the church as a whole. Each member of this body, the church, has his/her own specific function. Some are teachers, exalters, helpers, etc. However, we all work together to spread the Gospel so that the unbelievers can become reconciled to God.
I do not believe that 100% church attendance is a type of requirement for Christians. I have not read any Biblical text that would support such a teaching, which is common in many church organizations. I believe that a persons regular attendance in church should be encouraged for the sake of their own edification and not demanded as though it was a commandment from God.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking In Tongues
I believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is very misunderstood in the church. I think that their is too much emphasis on it rather than on Christ and the reconciliation of man to God. Many people seek to speak in tongues instead of seeking the Kingdom of God.
I believe that the Holy Spirit comes on everyone who is saved according to the teaching of John. We have all been anointed by the Holy Spirit that we have received. I believe that people are endued with power for particular tasks that they have been ordained by God to do. I do not believe that speaking in tongues or any demonstration of a power from God is the sole purpose of this baptism of the Holy Spirit. The manifestations of the Spirit are many according to Paul and I think their is too much emphasis on the Charismatic.
I do believe in speaking in tongues but in a different aspect then what is commonly taught in church. I believe that tongues are two fold: Speaking in another earthly language (French, Spanish) other than your natural language or speaking in an unintelligible language when one speaks in the Spirit to God. The former is self explanatory and the latter I will explain. I believe that English and the other languages on the earth are tied to the earth. They are means that we use to communicate. However, God does not speak English necessarily. God is not bound by language. He is a Spirit. Therefore, if we speak in the spirit then we may begin to speak in a language that is not bound by earthly systems of speech. We may begin to speak in a tongue (language) that no one understands.
I also believe that most tongue speaking that goes on in many churches is unscriptural. Paul instructs us to interpret when one speaks in an unknown tongue. However, this rarely happens. Tongue speaking in the Charismatic community seems to be a way to demonstrate how spiritual one is. This was the same problem that Paul faced with the Corinthian church. Paul encouraged prophecy because of the level of edification of the entire body as opposed to the probable personal edification of tongue speaking without an interpreter.
Tithing and Giving
I dont believe in the tithing law that is taught in most churches. The Bible does not support this law for the New Testament church at all. As a matter of fact, the tithing law that is taught in many churches today is not even consistent with the tithe that God commanded in the Old Testament. The tithing law today is a requirement placed on the Christian so that men can build their kingdoms and live a good life.
Most of the money that is collected in churches are not used for what the tithe of the Old Testament was used for nor what the money collected during the early New Testament church was used for. The church's tithing law is simply wrong and is very ungodly which oppresses Gods people causing them to be much less capable of doing what God wants them to do. There is a lot wrong with the tithing law the churches place on Christians. See my study guide titled Tithing, Giving, Sowing and Reaping" for a detailed study on this topic.
If we took the time to help each other then there wouldnt be as many people in need today. Instead we give our money to churches so that salaries can be paid and luxuries obtained. We forfeit Gods will to honor our parents by giving to the church. We neglect to help our neighbor, which God commanded, because we feel as though we have fulfilled our obligation by tithing. We should spend more time giving to meet the needs of the people instead of giving to meet the needs of a minister or pastor who is trying to build a Kingdom.
I believe that God has the power to heal and that he heals today. I cant claim to understand all of the mechanisms of healing but I do believe that healing is for today. I do not believe that healing is a magical concept. I believe that there is more to it then just to believe that you receive. I believe that there is an inner trust that we must have in God to effect healing.
I also do not believe that healing is always associated with a miracle. I believe that healing can come from the hands of a doctor, proper diet, exercising and proper nutrition, and other such things. I do not believe that evidence of my faith in God is to abstain from medical attention. I think that we sometimes seek the spectacular and miss God. I believe that healing comes by the power of God and not simply or exclusively by our faith. Our faith must be in God in order to effect healing. However, there is a teaching that promotes personal faith for healing among other things.
I believe that Jesus Christ was born, was crucified (died), and was raised from the dead by the power of God. I believe that Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God by faith. I believe that salvation is for everyone who would respond favorably to the Gospel of Christ. I believe that those who do not receive salvation will spend eternity separated from life (God).
I believe that the only way to be saved is belief in Jesus Christthe acceptance of the Gospel. I do not believe that salvation is dependent on living a sinless life, church attendance, tithing, or any other man-made rules and regulations. I believe that there is much more involved with salvation then dying and then going to heaven. I believe salvation provides a way for us to fulfill Gods purpose for us. Salvation exhibits Gods love for humans since he could have turned his back on the earth after the fall.
I believe that there is only one way to be saved or born again. The only way to salvation, that is reconciliation with God the Father, is through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to the father. Jesus died so that we wouldnt have to. Jesus paid the price for our sinful nature and by accepting Christ we become "saved."
I believe there is a heaven and a hell. I do not believe in the simplistic hell. I do not consider hell to simply be a place where people who were not saved burn forever. I believe hell is more like a place where the presence of God is non-existent. I believe hell is where fulfillment is nowhere to be found. I believe hell is the place where desires are not realized and we burn with the passions of self never able to accomplish or satisfy self. I believe there is no love nor life in hell since love and life are of God. Hell is a terrible place!
I believe that there is a hell. However, the existence of hell is unimportant to me because it doesnt concern me. I have been saved and I will not experience hell. Also, I dont believe that hell should be used as a scare tactic to get people saved.
I believe that there is a heaven and a hell. My view of heaven is not finite because I have never really examined it thoroughly in scripture. What I do believe is that heaven is where God resides, though his presence is everywhere. Heaven is where all Christians will eventually go and live eternally with the father. Heaven is fulfillmentthe rest that was promised to us.
Once Saved, Always Saved
Once saved always saved is a very controversial topic. There are some who believe that you can loose your salvation and there are others who believe that you can't. Which opinion do you believe? Who is correct? The word of God is always the standard for all truth. Therefore, what does the Bible has to say about "once saved always saved." Consider that we had nothing to do with our salvation, that is, we cannot save ourselves or earn our salvation. We simply believed the Gospel and was saved by the power of God: The working of the Holy Spirit (See 1 John 3:23). Salvation is a free gift from God and not a reward for something we did. Therefore, if you had nothing to do with receiving salvation, what can you do to give it away or lose it? What keeps you saved? We are saved by the Power of God. I propose that we cannot loose true salvation since we did nothing to acquire it except believe. We are born new with a new Spirit. The Bible gives no unsaved stage nor does it imply that we can loose salvation once it is acquired.
There is one area of "Christianity" that salvation is possible to loose. A person who is supposedly saved by works through the decrees of religion can indeed loose their salvation. Note that the salvation that they acquire is not true Christian salvation that was provided by Jesus Christ when he died and rose from the dead. The salvation of religion is a salvation of works. It is based on your success in fulfilling rules and regulations. For example, one religions group may say that if you can stop smoking, stop drinking, go to church every Sunday, respond to the altar call then you are saved. This salvation is a salvation of works and is typical of religion.
Therefore, if you stop following the rules and living up to the standards of your religious protocol then it would seem reasonable to conclude that you would loose your religious salvation. Remember that this salvation is not biblical salvation and has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. This type of salvation is a rule based works based salvation which is dependent on what you have done and not what Jesus has done. True salvation in based on Jesus Christ. Religious salvation is based on man's ability to save himself or herself.
No. The salvation that we want is the salvation that Jesus Christ provided. This salvation is based on Jesus Christ and not works. Works are involved in true Christian salvation but it is a result and not a prerequisite. We cannot save ourselves. We can only be saved by Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ has not indicated in the Holy scriptures that there is something that we can do to be unsaved. So I believe, based on these evidence, that salvation, the salvation of Jesus Christ, cannot be lost.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. He is the son in the sense that Jesus Christ received his spirit from God and not as a result of the normal operation of human birth. Jesus Christ was without sin because he did not have a sin nature. We sin because of the sin nature perpetuated in humans. Jesus spirit came from God. Jesus Christ was a real person which can be verified by historical research. He was not a myth as some suppose. He came that we may have life. He caused the intersection of Gods realm with our natural realm. His birth was a miracle (virgin birth) and his resurrection was a miracle.
I believe that there is a God and that He is the creator of all. God has complete power and ability over all creation. He sees everything (omnipresent) and has complete knowledge of everything (omniscient). I believe that God is greatly expressed by love. His nature is that of love. God is actively involved with all of our lives by the activities of the Holy Spirit and His written word. The evidence of God can be seen in the cosmos, in nature, by miracles, and our everyday changed lives.
I believe that the Holy Spirit comes from God and is the same substance (spirit) of God. It is as thought God extends his presence to us by the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person in that he is not a force that hovers waiting to be activated. I believe that the Holy Spirit leads us to truth. I believe that he reminds us of what we learned. He is our teacher and the anointing of God.
I believe that the Bible is the message or the word from God. It reveals the will of God and presents us with evidence of him and his kingdom. I believe the Bible is the standard by which all Christians should live by. I agree with Timothy in that the Bible is the inspired work of God that profits us in our doctrine and correction. The Bible equips us to do the work of the Lord according to his will and pleasure. The Bible is the written record of truth. The Bible is the standard by which all doctrines, ideals, teachings, and opinions should be measured against.
I believe that true faith is totally relying upon and having confidence in God and that he will do what he said he will do. Faith is to believe God unconditionally. However, faith must be based on fact. We can only believe God for something that he has said. We cannot believe God for something if he has not made it available to us. We can only find his provisions by examining his promises in the Holy Bible. What God said can only be determined by the specific provisions in his word and what he has promised us individually (provide for the vision he has given you for example).
I believe that the general faith message taught in the churches today is unscriptural. We live in a "name it and claim it" and a "believe you receive" Christian culture. There is rarely any talk of God and his word in churches today. Much of what is taught centers around acquiring the new home, new car, new job, husband, etc. For example, Mark 11:23-24 is usually quoted to support the "believe you receive" mentality. However, they always omit verse 22 which says to "Have faith in God." I cant believe God for anything if he has not promised it to me. This doesnt mean that God doesnt want us to have a nice home, car, etc. What it does mean is that we have to determine what God has established for us. That involves a whole lot more then just believing you receive. It involves work, research, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, the examination and correction of your motives just to name a few things.
I believe faith is acquired by experiencing the trustworthiness of God more and more as time goes on. I believe that we learn to trust God. We trust him to do what he says and we see that he does it. We trust him more the next time and so on and so on. We learn to trust God. Faith is knowing that God will do what he says he will do and acting on that confidence. Faith is more then believing God for things. It is simply to trust him to do what he says. It is a lifestyle.
The following is more detailed information about me.
I am an Information Technology professional. I manage computer networks, build computer systems, develop web applications and websites, in addition to client application development. I am the systems administrator for the company that I work for. I also own and operate my own technology company called, Reggie's PC Resources.
I am a seeker of truth. My primary prayer is that God would show me more truth each day. I believe that the key to knowing truth is to know more of God (have more revelation of Him). I believe that the absolute truth is God himself. I am adamant about Bible study and the acquisition of truth. I am totally against the current church organization because of the untruths that are taught in the name of Jesus. I find that the average church binds the Christian instead of pointing in the direction of the liberty associated with the Spirit of God.
I hold that the Christian should obtain a personal relationship with God the father. I believe that the Christian should study the Bible regularly and obtain more truth regularly. I believe that the Christian should learn to rely on the Spirit that is within accompanied by the fellowship of other saints as opposed to the dependency on the church organization (distinguishing from the church, the body of Christ).
I protect vehemently what God has given me. I protect the ministry that God has placed in me from the dogma of the church organization. I refuse to be consumed by any mans teaching unless the teaching is synonymous with the teachings of the scriptures (in such a case it is not the mans teaching but the teaching of the Bible). I have learned recently that I cannot submit to anyone or any organization if it negatively effects what God has given me. I have learned that I cannot submit to anyone or anything that would take me away from the truths that God has given me so far.
I am literally a man after God. I am a man in pursuit of truth. Truth is God. I pursue God each day believing that He will reveal more of himself to me.
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