I attended an Alpha course once. As I sat through three of its eight teaching episodes I couldn’t help but think of the “Coexistence” bumper stickers one sees occasionally on cars. In fact the whole enthusiastic description of the course by its promoters as being one that avoids doctrinal issues that sometimes differentiate one denomination from another suggests the same problem that bumper sticker does.
Don’t get me wrong. Anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith should attend it; but do so cautiously. Why? Well, the Alpha course has a reputation (which I confirmed by attending) of presenting a God a bit different from the one in the Holy Bible.
For instance Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is shown to be a one dimensional god of love. Oh, He is about love but he’s also a god of reason, order and above all justice and righteousness. He has a fiery wrath (see 2 Kings 22:13; Job 21:20; Psa. 7:11; 79:6, 90:7; John 3:36; Rev. 14:8-10; Rom. 1:18, 2:8, and dozens of other texts) filled attitude towards sin and he will deal with the unrepentant sinner that has died and is ushered before Him in a most decisive and eternal manner.
Alpha doesn’t stress the spiritual state of man as he really is- sinful to the core in every part of his heart, will, emotions, body, memory, conscience, etc. (See Romans 7:18). It doesn’t point out that being in an unrepentant state we are essentially sons and daughters of the Devil, sharing the very same sinful nature (See John 8:44) with hearts “full of evil” (See Eccl. 9:3) that hate God (See John 3:20; and Matt. 6:24).
It doesn’t teach that the only way to eternal salvation was made possible by the Christ’s purchasing it for us on the cross and that man isn’t forgiven and justified until he repents and believes (See Acts 10:43, 13:38, 16:31, 26:18; I John 1:9). That means we must bow before Him in this world, confess to being sinners, repent and invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds then live the rest of our lives as if we meant it, a process known as “sanctification.”
I say again, those interested in the Christian faith should partake of it but verify if everything it presents is in the Holy Bible. If it isn’t make that visit your very last! If it is then let it start you off to a true fellowship with the one, true savior of the world. Then join in the life long race of faith in the Christ. Find and attend a church that without apology makes teaching His scriptures – ALL of His scriptures – verse by verse, its primary duty.