Nobody likes being disappointed. We don’t like hearing we’ve been misled by a false teacher. We don’t like hearing we tossed money to the service of something not of God while thinking God wanted us to do it. We appreciate the word of warning and thank the one who provides it. Which sometimes leaves us thinking that the one providing the warning can be trusted. Well it’s sort of a double disappointment when hearing that someone who helped stop the work of a pimp is running a cult. This is the case with Ole Anthony and his Trinity Foundation. While he’s called out pimps and exposed them for the benefit of us all, he’s running a cult and this can’t be ignored.
While there is momentary disappointment when hearing someone is false. We should look beyond that and be joyful that the Lord willed that we would not remain deceived. Likewise, while I’m greatly disappointed with the deeds of Ole Anthony, I praise God that I learned the truth. And I will share the warning with you. Our Lord Jesus Christ desires that we trust Him, not put our hope in men. This is why I never provide a “good guy” list despite repeated requests from frustrated saints who want to know who they can trust and I tell you to not even place your trust in me. Even the guys I put on my own mental “good guy” list could disappoint me. This includes Ole Anthony, who was someone I felt was really a good and great man, but he has disappointed me. In the past I’ve recommended Anthony to people and now wish I never had. Trust the Lord Jesus, read the scriptures, pray and let the Holy Spirit lead you when it comes to who you receive spiritual instruction from.
There’s lot of ground to cover regarding Ole Anthony. So a lot will just be bullet points and other references. There’s so much information, I considered doing multiple posts, but I’ve decided to put it all in one and simply try to remain brief regarding the things I mention here.
For you who would like to read an entire book about why Ole Anthony is a cult leader and his Trinity Foundation is a cult, you can consider the book titled I Can?t Hear God Anymore. It is written by someone who lived on the inside and her husband was one of the top men in the Trinity Foundation.
The Dallas Observer got hold of that book and did some major checking, given they are right there in the town where the Trinity Foundation is based. They found about a dozen witnesses, former members of the Trinity Foundation who affirm what is in the book. So the rule for rebuke noted in 1 Timothy 5:19-21 is satified in multiples. The newspaper made a LARGE article about their findings and all bullet points below are from information in their article titled The Cult of Ole.
Anthony says he was taken “into the heart of God,” with light coming from everywhere. He had an overwhelming sense of peace and joy. He left time. When he became aware he was sobbing, Anthony prayed, “God, if you are real and what this guy is saying is true, then this is what I want, and I don’t care what it is going to cost me.”
Nothing in particular noted about Christ in that. I’ll just say I’m not buying Ole’s “heart of God” story.
In a speech, he set a Bible on fire, saying it was only “words about the Word.”
Of course, like any cult leader Ole claims if you listen to him, he’ll tell you his magnificent revelations of things he’s found in scripture that nobody else knows 🙄 .
“Ole absolutely believes you can get from the Old Testament everything you need to know about Christianity,” Stephen says.
Resting on just old covenant scripture results in legalism and that’s a feature of most cults. Including this one. I’ll detail this more later.
As that memorable summer came to a close, Anthony began pressuring Duncan, a gifted student, not to return to UT. The only school mentioned in the Bible, he said, was for the Pharisees, religious hypocrites.
While Ole feels you can get all you need studying under him. Never mind the collective body of knowledge that might be found at a university. And many who shun university’s ignore the apostle Paul’s time teaching at a school, Acts 19:9. Many who are against anything like a seminary try to spin that verse, but it proves hypocrites were not the only ones making use of a school. With Ole, this is just another example of him twisting scripture to try and isolate people into his group.
The article mentions that Ole Anthony “insists” he’s been never been sexually immoral since accepting Christ. Given there are SO MANY who claim otherwise, Anthony should have been rebuked long ago given 1 Timothy 5:19-20 and even excommunicated given 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. Trinity Foundation members are cheering while they have a dictating leader who is continually sexually immoral. As the apostle Paul notes, they should be be mourning and doing all they can to remove Anthony, until Anthony repents, 1 Corinthians 5:2.
Not surprisingly, those who challenged Anthony would get a trip into the “hot seat” back when the technique was used.
One couple in the group had taken in someone Ole did not tell them was a crack addict and they were endangered when the addict wielded a butcher knife in their kitchen.
Antony’s refusal to marry some people for reasons outside of scripture, shows he’s about as deceived as many other false teachers that he exposes. Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3.
Anthony’s group runs a form of private Christian commune, which is noted in various scriptures, however it’s interesting to see such done today in America. Given unlike the early church, there is no persecution here and Christians in America can freely make a living and give as they desire. Usually churches in America that honestly help poor saints can help their fellow saints who have needs without a commune design, given America is so full of opportunity and free of any major persecution of Christians. Some members of the group do have their own homes that they never sold into the group. Some work within the group and others do not. Some commit to live a life of poverty and others do not.
The group encourages people to observe many mostly old covenant feasts. Within the group these celebrations are kept rather legalistically it seems. That link from their web site mentions “…a pulsating cycle of seasons and celebrations ordained by God” and that they feel they have found “the lost links between the Jewish feasts, the New Testament and the life of the Spirit.” However, to be caught up in feasts and the legalism of the Trinity Foundation is to do a giant SKIP over scripture directed towards the church, such as Colossians 2. Which is exactly why most Christians don’t bother with such, because for the Christian the focus is Christ, not some feast that took place before the Lord made atonement for our sins. But the Trinity Foundation is observing Yom Kippur, the Jewish “day of atonement”. This and similar actions by pulpit pimps is false and it has been noted why in several previous posts.
Basically in doctrine, Ole Anthony is in agreement with false teachers in many respects. Holding reverence for the faded away old covenant day of atonement is to treat the sacrifice of Christ as if it was of no effect. See the links above. As is noted in Hebrews 6, we cannot and should not attempt to reconstruct the work of atonement that came through the Lord Jesus Christ. To claim observance of a dead form of atonement puts the Lord’s sacrifice to open shame! We know this now from scripture and that is why Christians don’t continue practicing such things today. But if you think you can get it all from the Old Testament, you continue in legalism. Ole Anthony is lost in a form of heresy, by continuing in something that is not for Christians well after we know the truth from a full canon of scripture.
Here is a really good review of Wendy Duncan’s book, that features efforts by the blogger to contact the Trinity Foundation directly, I Can?t Hear God Anymore (Resource Review). It includes information about how Ole speaks against personal prayer. This goes directly against Matthew 6:6 and how Christ mentioned you can’t defeat some demons without prayer Mark 9:29. Read if for yourself. It appears Ole Anthony is not just against personal prayer, but possibly against ALL prayer. Ole strips saints of one of the MOST POWERFUL TOOLS GOD GAVE TO MAN!
Here’s a message board discussion about Anthony and the group, that features lots of other references, Ole Anthony and Trinity Foundation a “cult”? – new book. The references include mention of a response from a member of Trinity Foundation to Wendy Duncan’s book and her husband Doug Duncan responds on that message board to that.
Here’s another blog post about Anthony and it appears some former members chimed in if you read the comments, The curious ministry of Ole Anthony.
The Dallas Observer found that Ole Anthony is a BIG TIME LIAR about his past. Check out their other article, The Man and the Myth. Some of what you read about him in the first Dallas Observer article linked above is NOT EVEN TRUE!!!
Perhaps all the pain medication Antony takes has something to do with some of his issues, but regardless, this man has no place in church leadership, or any group leadership, he should not even lead a group of Boy Scouts.
The Dallas Observer did a number of interviews with Ole Anthony and produced some of the talk in this other article The Thorn in Their Side. Ole sort of likes Oneness heretic TD Jakes, although he’s against Jakes’ prosperity angle.
The following is from Charisma Mag, the same publication that often features the worst of pulpit pimps on their cover, but they note some things worth reading about this matter.
Critic of Televangelists Comes Under Fire
I guess now is a good time to mention, the Trinity Foundation has done a lot in exposing some who are false and has helped many people in their work. But what they’ve got going on in their own camp is a sad sight. False doctrine can’t be ignored, even when it’s someone who has helped many.
But did you notice in that article the words “She could have gone a lot further,”, which means there is even more about this cult that we don’t know.
This year, the Dallas Observer put up a post on their blog about Anthony and more findings about him. Like all other links here, it would be best to read this in full.
Sometimes You Feel Like a Cult, Sometimes You Don’t
The blog post also mentions how The Dallas Morning News has been silent on this issue and that several members of the Trinity Foundation work there.
In doing some other research of archived news stories, I found some items that show that Ole Antony’s doctrine is off. Things that I guess many of us never noticed or never took note of in the past. Take for example, on May 9, 1998, NPR radio program “NPR Weekend Saturday” had a discussion about the Trinity Foundation, where the NPR reporter noted:
BURNETT: Anthony is the undisputed leader of this unconventional Christian community. Some call him rabbi, though he draws his eclectic self-taught theology from several religious traditions.
Trinity members celebrate Jewish holy days and liken themselves to 1st century Christians.
Notice, Antony’s theology is some pot of gumbo he tossed together.
The Apologetics Index mentions this quote from an issue of Dallas/Forth Worth publication D-Magazine’s article on Ole Anthony titled “The God Thing”.
He came to believe, with the rabbis, that Torah was the only Scripture, and that everything else in the Bible, including all of the New Testament, was merely commentary. He had become, as he was jokingly called at Temple Emmanuel, ”our Christian rabbi.”
He has dumped the authority of scripture in its fullness, to be in agreement with people who deny Christ. This departs from the truth of all scripture, that is noted in 2 Peter 1:16-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Romans 16:25-27. With a view like Anthony’s, you can’t do anything but make a cult rooted in old covenant law.
If you are disappointed reading this post, trust me, it was far more disappointing hearing that Ole Anthony is false, doing the research to check out the claim and having to relay the warning to you. Again I say, take comfort in knowing you were not continually deceived regarding him. Strive to hold on to Christ and keep your trust in Him, not men. Maintain a firm zeal for Christ and doing as He commands, because you don’t want the Lord to find the spot on you that is noted in Revelation 2:1-7.
update 10/15/2007 11:35AM: Regarding prayer, I wanted to add, the London based publication “The Independent” did an article about Ole Anthony and the Trinity Foundation on September 6, 1998 named “IN THE NAME OF GOD”. In this article that mostly lauds Ole for his work, it also notes an instance where Ole took no issue with prayer.
But then, without warning, Ole slides from his chair on to his knees. “Help me out here, guys, I am falling apart.” In an instant, everyone is on the floor touching each other and praying with Ole. Praying for Ole. Because Ole is very obviously in direst pain. At his shoulders is Gary Buckman, one of his founding partners who by day is a construction contractor. As Gary prays for Ole, he touches his back and neck with olive oil from a small bottle. The rest watch – and they cry.
So it’s OK for Ole to pray when Ole is in pain and solicit prayer from others, but he’s telling others it is selfish for them to pray alone or on their own behalf? Isn’t that hypocritical?
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