Is anyone familiar with 'Vineyard' churches?

Background:
My wife and I are evangelical Protestants and have been so all our lives. We raised our kids that way, also. I am learning more about Catholicism and considering it. My wife isn’t so keen on it, but that’s another topic.

Topic at hand:
Our youngest son moved to a different city about 3 months ago for a job and now attends a good friend’s ‘Vineyard’ church there. He has known this friend from college and we approve of him as a well-grounded young man. Our son says he likes this ‘Vineyard’ church and that it is nothing to be concerned about. However, his news caught me off-guard because I had never heard of ‘Vineyard’ churches before. Our son is 24.

I realize it would fall into the ‘Protestant’ category of Christian denominations, but I was just curious if any of you are familiar with Vineyard churches or knew anything about their beliefs. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything off-the-wall that his mother and I should be concerned about. I will do some Internet searches on it in the meantime.

As always, I appreciate your input if you happen to know anything about this. :tiphat:

All the experiences I’ve had with them have been good. John Wimber is on my good guy list. I am not sure you are going to get any sort of unbiased discussion about them on a Catholic forum, particularly one devoted to the sort of apologetics that dissects Protestant practice and belief.:smiley:

That is not to say that they are without controversy. But their controversies have been nothing I’ve been around and only know about third or fourth hand and the ones I knew of really didn’t impact or interest me. As I said, my own experiences with them have been good.

The Vineyard Movement or Association of Vineyard Churches actually has a lot in common with the Assemblies of God. The Vineyard started in the 1980s as an off-shoot of Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel (which itself was an off-shoot of the Foursquare Church whose founder Aimee Semple McPherson started out as an Assemblies of God evangelist).

They are charismatic, believing in the continuation of the charismatic gifts (like tongues, etc.) but they reject the belief of an initial evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Vineyard was begun by John Wimber who described himself and the Vineyard Movement as “Empowered Evangelicals” and the “radical middle” between Evangelicalism and classical Pentecostalism.

Thanks for the info, Tomyris and Itwin. Much appreciated. My son seems to like it and feels at home there, but I just wasn’t sure of the doctrine taught. He told me not to worry, but like Ronald Reagan once said, I like to trust but verify.

Thanks for the reassurance that it wasn’t a kooky cult or something. :thumbsup:

For more information you should be able to find the church’s webpage. They usually have a link to their teachings.

While the Calvary Chapel movement was moving away form Pentecostalism the Vineyard movement was back towards it. I am not sure how much of the Calvary Chapel style of teaching the Bible in order rather than by a series topical sermons they retained.

I was once involved in a precursor to the Vineyard movement, and was turned off by the obsession with end-times teachings, and other Mormonish characteristics. I returned to Rome. My foundation was not that great, but I could recognize wrongness.

What? You mean we, who hang out here, might ever want to dissect Protestant practice and belief?

Actually I just try to restrain my fellow RC posters, who secretly want to dissect Protestants. :slight_smile:

I went to a vineyard fellowship church for about a year. I think that their membership model is kind of weird. Basically if you go to a bible study for six months you are a “member”, but not in any way I have seen in any other church I have been in. Basically I didn’t think being a member had any meaning.
They are middle of the road charismatic. Which is to say that they aren’t blowing horns during worship or prophesying during the sermon or speaking in tongues regularly. They do preform faith healings and prophesying and corporate prayer for members and speak in tongues sometimes.
I am not exactly sure how their leadership is setup but women definitely hold high positions in the church

I stopped going for a few reasons. They had a rotating group of preachers and only one of them was really good. I had 2 friends who went for healing and when they were not cured my friends felt like the church members implied that they did not have enough faith. I also had a friend who went a few times and they told him not to come anymore because they believed he had a bad spirit with him. Lastly they kept the eucharist at the entrance to the worship hall, and children would come by and grab handfuls of crackers without any discipline from their parents. This was the proverbial straw for me. Such irreverence for the eucharist is not acceptable to me.

I worked with one of their churches in Ecuador for a month and it was an amazing experience though.

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