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Society for Pentecostal Studies 2012-13 President Paul Alexander is seen in this public Facebook photo speaking at the society's annual conference held March 21-23, 2013, at Seattle Pacific University. (Photo: Facebook/Society for Pentecostal Studies)

Society for Pentecostal Studies 2012-13 President Paul Alexander is seen in this public Facebook photo speaking at the society’s annual conference held March 21-23, 2013, at Seattle Pacific University. (Photo: Facebook/Society for Pentecostal Studies)

By Jeff Walton (@JeffreyHWalton)

The Christian Post has published an article about the unfolding Paul Alexander controversy within the Society for Pentecostal Studies and the Assemblies of God. Assemblies of God Superintendent Dr. George Wood responded here, while incoming SPS President Dr. Lee Roy Martin released a letter to SPS members here.

Below are my comments to the Christian Post regarding the 2013 SPS presidential address:

“My coverage of Alexander’s address to the society is based upon his orally delivered address, which I was personally present for. During this address, Alexander at times expanded upon and varied from his prepared statement. I stand behind the accuracy of the quotes.

“It is interesting to learn that [Incoming SPS President] Lee Roy Martin heard an address about peace, justice and gender while apparently forgetting about the sexuality/LGBTIQ issues and liberation theology that featured so prominently in Alexander’s presentation.

“[SPS Executive Director Lois] Olena is correct that ‘The president’s address is not what takes the society in a direction.’ However, Alexander was not acting alone. He and the other SPS executives are trying to steer SPS in a new direction. As evidence for this, I cite the SPS executive committee endorsed proposal to change the society’s constitution to remove the ecclesial link to the World Pentecostal Fellowship and in its place there would be no required affirmation of faith.

“Olena speaks of SPS’s faithfulness to the church by pointing to ‘ecclesial connections and responsibilities.’ SPS executives supported the effort at this annual meeting to remove all ‘ecclesial connections and responsibilities.’ These changes were voted down.”