Leading Church Exits Vineyard

National board questions Anaheim pastors’ “spiritually implausible” reasons for disassociation.

The “mother church” of the Vineyard movement announced Sunday that it is disassociating from the charismatic denomination.

The division isn’t theological, pastor Alan Scott told Vineyard Anaheim, the California congregation he and his wife, Kathryn, have led for four years. There aren’t any big disputes over the direction of Vineyard USA. No personal grievances causing a rift.

It’s just that the leaders of Vineyard Anaheim believe that God is guiding them to leave the denomination their church helped start. So they are leaving.

“We don’t really understand why,” Alan Scott said in a recording of a Sunday service obtained by CT. “I wish I really could sit before you today and say, ‘Here are the six reasons,’ ‘Here’s our issues,’ ‘Here are our grievances,’ or whatever. … We don’t always know what’s on the other side of obedience.”

A spokesperson for the church declined to speak to CT and pointed to an official statement posted on its website. The statement says the decision is “our best effort to respond to the distinct calling on our church at this time, and a desire to say yes to the Spirit.”

National Vineyard leadership is not so sure that’s the Holy Spirit speaking.

John Kim, a New York City pastor and member of the Vineyard USA board of trustees, writing to the church leadership on behalf of the board in a series of emails obtained by CT, described the statements as “spiritually implausible.”

“Do you understand this lightning-fast, seemingly unaccountable process as having been subject to biblical standards of discernment?” Kim wrote.

According to Kim’s emails, …

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