Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘pentecostalism’

The Strong Trinitarian Statement In 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 And The Second Blessing Doctrine

Posted by Job on December 26, 2009

Actually, the context for this statement is contained within the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 3, which builds up to the last 2 or 3 verses at the end. However, for length purposes, only verses 14-18 will be considered.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Even from a direct literary interpretation with very little if any background in Christian doctrine required, this passage treats God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as being one and the same AND treats God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as being distinct. The Lord referred to in this passage is Jesus Christ. The Spirit spoken of in this passage is the Holy Spirit. Yet verse 17 specifically states “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” This can only be if Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Yet verses 17 and 18 refer to the Lord (Jesus Christ) and the Spirit of the Lord (the Holy Spirit) distinctly, not as relationships, “divisions of an egg”, emanations, manifestations or any of the other ideas proposed by those who deny God’s eternal triune nature.

Implication:

If the Lord is that Spirit, meaning that Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, then receiving Jesus Christ means receiving the Holy Spirit. To receive Jesus Christ means to receive the Holy Spirit, and therefore receiving Jesus Christ (salvation) means receiving the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. That would mean that while these gifts and fruits may not all manifest immediately but instead may manifest and develop as the believer is being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ and matures in the faith of Jesus Christ, they are still given to Christians at the time of conversion, at the time that they are placed in Jesus Christ’s body and the Holy Spirit begins to indwell them.

So the doctrine of a second blessing of the Holy Spirit? Since Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, then this “second blessing” can only mean receiving Jesus Christ a second time. How is receiving Jesus Christ a second time possible and why is this necessary? When considering your answer to this, ponder upon Hebrews 6:6, which reads:

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Where the context of Hebrews 6:6 diverges somewhat from the matter being discussed here, it is still useful for establishing that receiving Jesus Christ once is sufficient just as was Jesus Christ’s going to the cross once was sufficient. The larger context of the book of Hebrews is actually very beneficial, because that epistle makes it obvious that only one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was necessary and links the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to the one receipt of Jesus Christ by the believer. Thus, beware of any doctrine that teaches multiple receipts of Jesus Christ.

While this second blessing doctrine treats the Holy Spirit as acting separately, independently or at least supplementary to Jesus Christ with regards to the issue of salvation, Ephesians 4:7-8 says that Jesus Christ gives the gifts to the church.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

So why are these gifts (and fruits) commonly referred to as gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit as opposed to gifts and fruits of Jesus Christ? Again, from 2 Corinthians 3:17, Lord and Spirit are one! So, if the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are One and if Jesus Christ can only be received once, then how can there be second blessings, multiple blessings, multiple portions etc. of the Holy Spirit? It is so commonly accepted because saying “receive a triple portion of the Holy Spirit” sounds completely different from “receive a triple portion of Jesus Christ!” and more to the point “crucify Jesus Christ three times!” even though it is precisely what those terms mean.

Incidentally, I shall point out that the idea that Jesus Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross was insufficient and that He must be sacrificed anew again and again to provide benefits and gifts to the church is something that touches the Roman Catholic doctrines of communion and specifically of transubstantiation. Words have meaning, including the words used in doctrines. If one does not understand the meanings of the words, then one will not understand the doctrine.

So, the question must be asked: what implication does the fact that “a receiving second blessing from the Holy Spirit” amounts to “receiving Jesus Christ a second time” and then “Jesus Christ being sacrificed a second time” mean for those who adhere to this doctrine? Thank you.

Advertisements

Posted in Bible, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Meet Barack HUSSEIN Obamas’ Pentecostal Enablers: Joshua DuBois, Eugene Rivers And Leah Daughtry

Posted by Job on August 2, 2009

(To be fair, Eugene Rivers works both sides of the aise)

WASHINGTON – From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.

Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 emails from religious leaders, reporters, and government officials.

But in all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.

“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said recently in an interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”

A distinct contrast

To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process, and tamp down church-state concerns.

DuBois, a veteran of Obama’s Senate office who oversaw religious outreach for his presidential campaign, is a distinct contrast from the Republican appointees who preceded him, including the policy wonk John DiIulio, who opened the office in 2001, or Jim Towey, a former lawyer for Mother Teresa, or the cerebral Jay Hein.

Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his mother and stepfather, a minister in Nashville, Tenn., DuBois became an associate pastor of Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small, African-American Pentecostal church in Cambridge, Mass., while an undergraduate at Boston University.

“I am very clear about the fact that I am a committed Christian and my faith is important to me; it’s a central part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I am now in a role in this office … to reach out to Americans of all different religious backgrounds and folks who don’t adhere to a particular religion.”

In Washington, DuBois attends a nondenominational church that worships in a rented movie theater. He still maintains ties to the Cambridge church and to Boston, where he worked with the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, which encouraged black churches to aid at-risk, inner-city youth.

“Josh was very serious and very smart and was very concerned … as an undergraduate in trying to connect faith to issues of public policy,” said Eugene Rivers, a co-founder of the foundation and a prominent black Pentecostal leader.

In a May interview with radio host Krista Tippett in St. Paul, Minn., DuBois talked about his awakening in 1999 when New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

“It shook in me a sense that I needed to connect to something larger, to understand all the nuances in the world, both in terms of politics and also in terms of religion,” he told Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith” program.

“So that’s when I found my church and my faith and also started my political path as well.”

That political path is taking shape as his office helps craft Obama’s key speeches on religion – Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, Islam at Cairo University, for example. His office also works with various federal agencies on issues ranging from disaster preparation to the upcoming 2010 census.

Though he doesn’t dwell on his relative youth, he said he realizes the weighty responsibilities given to someone who hasn’t even reached 30 yet. “I think one of the most important things is to know what you don’t know,” he said.

In his talks to various religious groups, DuBois outlines the office’s four-point focus on economic recovery, abortion reduction, responsible fatherhood, and interfaith relations. He’s met with evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as secularists who think his office shouldn’t exist.

Religious leaders, including members of the office’s advisory council, say DuBois, like the president, is a good listener who seeks to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.

Leah Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who until recently was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, sees DuBois’ Pentecostal background informing his work.

“The kind of work that he’s doing in reaching out to people across political spectrums, across ideological perspectives, across theological perspectives, really can only be done if you’re Spirit-led,” she said. “Because it’s the same spirit of Christ that sought to reach beyond the confines of his own people.”

While DuBois’ day job is heading up the faith-based office, he also carries another title: special assistant to the president, which includes the daily presidential meditations as well as helping the first family find a church home in Washington.

Some people who have known DuBois say his workload can cause him to be disorganized and unresponsive, although they declined to have their names attached publicly to their criticisms. For his part, DuBois says he’s doing the best he can.

“We’re a federal entity that’s coordinating 11 offices with pretty key priorities. … I try to be as responsive as I can, along with my staff and others here at the White House. But there are always going to be some challenges in that regard.”

Daughtry joked that DuBois – who finds time to be a Big Brother to a Boston teenager and keep up a five-year relationship with his girlfriend – has made a bargain of sorts with God to manage his busy schedule.

“He’s attached to that cell phone like it’s another appendage,” she said. “I’m convinced he’s got some deal with God to give him a couple of extra hours a day.”

(The seeds of this “many paths to heaven” religious inclusivism/pluralism are being sown into Pentecostalism through politics in this generation just as Billy Graham did the same among Baptists and evangelicals in the prior one, and as it was done in other movements i.e. the mainline denominations earlier in the last century. We Christians must watch and pray. By the way, we Reformed Christians shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers, as the Reformed/Calvinist state churches practically invented inclusivism, unitarianism, universalism and other forms of theological liberalism, and liberal Episcopals, Presbyterians etc. have long been religious pluralists. The Pentecostals are just following the older and more established Christian movements down the path which may lead to one world religion and one world government.)

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Questions On Many Contemporary Practices Of Spiritual Warfare And Deliverance

Posted by Job on May 15, 2009

When I first began this site – as well as its now defunct predecessor – it was primarily one devoted to spiritual warfare and deliverance based on what I had learned from reading works by such people as Frank Hammond, John Eckhart, and to a lesser degree Rebecca Brown, Frank Peretti and Derek Prince. (Now where this field is considered to be dominated by Pentecostals and charismatics, please know that Frank Hammond, considered to be one of the most influential teachers in this area, had a Baptist background, having been trained at Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.)

Now when doing research – inasmuch as web searches can be considered research! – for teachings and material to include, quite naturally I would encounter many statements by Christians opposed to spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries and ignored them, chalking it up to faithlessness and false doctrines. However, one of them did capture my attention. It did not dismiss the possibility of Christians conducting legitimate deliverance ministries out of hand, which forced me to pay attention to it.

However, this article stated that the methods  to cast out demons popularized by Hammond and fellow travelers not New Testament doctrine and did not conform to the example by which Jesus Christ and Paul cast out demons. Instead, the “Pigs In The Parlor” and “He Came To Set The Captives Free” spiritual deliverance techniques far more closely resembled accounts of how rabbis used to cast out demons as recorded in the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. This document further stated that there was a line of Messianic prophecies among the rabbis that when the Messiah came, He would not have to rely on the laborious techniques of the old covenant rabbis, but instead would be able to cast out demons with power and authority, the spoken command. See, for example, Luke 4:33-37. Also note that Paul’s example of casting out a demon was much more after the manner of Jesus Christ in Acts 16:18. And the clincher, as far as I was concerned, was the assertion that the Frank Hammond method was also very similar to Roman Catholic exorcisms! (How ironic that J.P. Moreland, upset over a friend of his having to leave a prominent evangelical post upon this friend of his converting to Roman Catholicism, stated that evangelical Christians should abandon sola scriptura, calling it “Bible idolatry“, and suggested that among other things Roman Catholic traditions on exorcisms was an area where evangelicals should learn from Catholics!)

Now having rejected all of the other arguments against contemporary spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries, this one – that it did  not conform to the example of scripture and that it was an imitation of practices of intertestamental Judaism and of Roman Catholicism – I did not have an adequate answer for. So, I decided that while I would leave the existing spiritual warfare material on the site – reasoning that they are, at the very least, better than nothing and certainly preferable to the modern evangelical trend of relying more and more on psychology and psychotherapy, fields that were largely invented by New Agers, occultists, atheists, and sexual perverts (do a little research, it’s true!) – while refraining from adding new ones until I came across more Bible based doctrines of conducting spiritual warfare and deliverance.

Sadly, I have not encountered such doctrines as of yet, and in the past year or so have focused less on this area and more on “Christianity 101”, things having to do with the basics of the Christian faith and Christian living. Perhaps when I am done with grounding myself in the basics of the faith – matters of which I was very presumptuous and prideful while being wholly ignorant and immature – it will be a good time to investigate the doctrines of casting devils out of people anew.

Still, I have continued to discover more things about the teachings of Frank Hammond in particular that trouble me. First, Hammond takes a vast array of sinful habits and behaviors and attributes them to demons. (I actually had the goal of reproducing Hammond’s “demon groupings” chart on this site and never completed it because it was so large, now I am rather glad that I failed in that undertaking.) But the more that I ponder his teachings in this area, I perceive this as not considering Romans 7. This is not to say that Frank Hammond rejects Romans 7, but I have not seen him incorporate Romans 7 in his doctrines or applications in any careful way. This is very serious, because a study of Romans 7 is vital in discerning whether activity is demonic or simply due to what Romans 7 calls “the body of sin.” Instead, Frank Hammond advocates relying on a Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons. Now how does the Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons operate, and how are we to use it in a church or ministry context? The Bible does not say, so we have to rely on the teachings of Frank Hammond to tell us. Also, where Romans 7 makes it clear that there are some battles with our old natures that Christians are going to have to deal with until we get to heaven, Hammond’s teachings claim that such merely represents failed or incomplete spiritual deliverances, so we have to return to the deliverance ministers to do still more confessions of past sins in counseling sessions and then have still more nested interlocking demon groups buried and hiding deep inside of us, demons and demon groupings that the Holy Spirit gift of discernment failed to identify in previous sessions, out. That does appear to contradict this passage of Romans 7.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Claiming that this passage does not refer to the striving of Christians against the flesh and the need of grace to overcome ignores scriptures that can be used to interpret this scripture such as Galatians 5:24-25 and 1 Peter 2:11. This doctrine makes it appear that Christian living should, save an intermittent battle or three with a demon or temptation, basically be strife and trouble free, and that any Christian who is not experiencing Hammond’s definition of “life more abundantly” is either demonized or still engaged in sin habits that need to be broken, is living under some “generational curse”, has some “demon of inheritance” or that needs to be discerned and broken, and so on.

These doctrines deny the fact that Christian life is supposed to be inherently trying and difficult … one of persecution, chastening and affliction, dying to self daily, carrying the cross or cross-life. It makes me wonder if Hammond or any of the others in his school has ever read Pilgrim’s Progress or anything similar. It also, in a style that anticipated the current Oprahesque style of modern Christianity, which allows a person to reject accountability. Where today a professed Christian who follows the New Agey Dr. Phil psychobabbleanalytical doctrines can simply blame parents, teachers, classmates, spouses, pastors, or any number of emotional or mental problems for their unBiblical behavior, the Hammond school allows a person to simply say “the devil made me do it” and profess a need for spiritual deliverance. Either way, you get to blame someone else rather than yourself, and in this way you deny your need for a Savior and for grace, because you avoid coming to grips with your true nature. Rather than seeing yourself as a wretched sinner badly in need of grace and the work of the cross to impute righteousness to you that you do not deserve and never will, you see yourself as this basically good and decent person against whom there is this grand conspiracy of evil spirits and rotten circumstances to keep the real you, an inherently good and virtuous person, from coming out.  

Either way, it encourages you to hold onto an unBiblically inflated image of yourself and blame other entities – whether human, spiritual or institutional (as Hammond does speak of “prince demons” that control institutions, and claim that Christians should go into directed warfare against them to reclaim these institutions … there goes dominionism gospel of Eusebius and Constantine again!) – for your inability to live up to your own self image, which is an unBiblical delusion to begin with. Legitimate spiritual warfare and deliverance, indeed legitimate Christianity, is concerned with casting off this self – image delusion, which is part and parcel of the old man that needs to be cast off so that we may put on the new man (Colossians 3:10Ephesians 4:24). These doctrines make it appear that the difficult process of discipleship and Christian growth and maturity, as well as coming to grips with the nature of sin and meaning of grace, are unnecessary and unproductive, as it is far better to simply declare yourself and everyone else to be demonized. 

Most seriously, the Hammond doctrines seem to reject or distort the doctrines of original sin, the effects of the fall. They seem to create a picture where man is basically good, and all he needs to do to recover his inherent goodness and virtue is choose Jesus Christ as his Savior. Having done that, any problems or defects are not due to the exceedingly true and vile cosmic and metaphysical nature of the fall and original sin, but instead an evil spirit that is soiling what should by nature be perfect. At the very least, it in effect claims that the result of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross should have been to make us practically sinless with no need to battle and struggle in this life. Either way, Hammond’s doctrines distort or misunderstand either what the Bible says about original sin or the workings of the grace. Thus, Frank Hammond would claim that Paul was a liar when he stated in scripture that God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Paul to deal with his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:6-9). Instead, Hammond’s doctrine would have us believe that Paul was simply demonized and that confessing his sins and being rid of the root of bitterness due to issues from his childhood that left all these doors open was the solution, nothing about this “for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” doctrine that does not fit into Hammond’s view of victorious abundant Christian living!

Another thing: it is amazing how legalistic and guilt inducing the Hammond method is. It would have you believing that your mind, spiritual makeup, etc. contains this innumerable vortex of labyrinths and doors. The labyrinths are these hidden chambers that can contain a demon or three that must be entered into – with the guide of the Holy Spirit gift of discernment and aided by detailed confessions in counseling sessions – to draw the demons out. The doors are sinful thoughts and actions by which a born again Blood of Jesus Christ washed Holy Spirit indwelt believer can allow a demon or demons in at any time. So, the pruning and chastening process, the battles and temptations with sin, and the need to overcome that the Bible states that all Christians must endure are attributed to some sin (often in the past) that a Christian failed to confess, someone that the Christian failed to forgive, some “spiritual door” that is allowing demons in that needs to be closed, etc.

And this is probably the worst practical part of it. The most powerful weapon that Christians have in overcoming temptation and battling the flesh is prayer. Well, Hammond explicitly tells us not to use it, and does so in the very opening pages of Pigs In The Parlor. Hammond states that spiritual warfare and deliverance is not prayer, that praying for God to help us and to overcome in our lives issues that Hammond alleges is due to demons is at best redundant and possibly ineffective. Hammond counsels us that when we pray for things, it is our asking God to grant us something that we do not have already. But, according to Hammond, as authority over evil spirits is something that we have already through Jesus Christ, why pray regarding these matters? Praying when confronted with these issues is a way of ignoring, rejecting, even DENYING the power and authority that Jesus Christ has given you! So … when dealing with what Hammond asserts is demonic activity – which again is either discerned with the appropriate Holy Spirit gifts, or discerned through other means by those lacking this gift using methods that Hammond provides – BY ALL MEANS DO NOT PRAY! (Unless, that is, a prayer for forgiveness of sin,  a prayer to forgive someone that you are holding a grudge against, a prayer to close a spiritual door that allowed the demon in, etc.) Instead, immediately go into spiritual warfare, start binding, loosing, rebuking, and casting out! (By the way, the actual meaning of “binding and loosing” given in the Matthew 16:19 and  Matthew 18:18 that spiritual deliverance ministers often refer to should be investigated … a great many Bible interpreters state that when looking at the context of the passages in which those verses appear, they refer to doctrines, particularly the authority of apostles to establish doctrines for the church, spiritual warfare and deliverance techniques.) 

This I recall, for I was personally practicing it myself for several years. I related in  My Thorn In The Flesh how my mind is frequently assaulted by many manners of evil thoughts. I presumed this to be the work of evil spirits within and without myself, and for years applied the Hammond doctrines. I now realize that these are merely things that I have allowed to enter into my MIND as a result of all of the “entertainment” (movies, TV, music, novels etc.) in my life. Also, for years I refused to do precisely what I needed to about the problem – take it before throne of grace and cast it there in prayer – because these teachings told me not to! After all, praying, according to these doctrines, was weak, defeated Christian living … stuff for babies. (Well, maybe it is according to Matthew 18:3!) If I was to be a bold, strong, powerful spiritual warrior, a world changer on the front lines making a difference for Jesus Christ, I needed to just step out on faith and take dominion and authority over these evil spirits!

And so I did. It reached the point where it was practically automatic. Evil thought enters mind. Say “demon in the Name and by the power and Blood of Jesus Christ I bind and rebuke you and command me to leave and never return.” And so on, so on, so on … if you want to talk about “vain repetitions” then boy I was doing it. Also, so long as I was “binding, rebuking, and casting out” I had no need to humble myself, feel contrition or repentance, and beg God for help. Why? I was a spirit warrior world changer taking dominion, a spiritual He – man!

Now upon trying to discover and build “Christianity 101” these past months, I decided that just maybe I wasn’t as spiritually strong or powerful as I thought. So, I would leave the taking authority warfare to the stronger brothers and sisters, and I would resort to the milk of the weak babes, which was to PRAY. So, I battled and stopped the very many months – years in fact – of automatic “I rebuke and bind you in the …” conditioning … I really had gotten to the point where I did it on autopilot without thinking! … I would refrain myself from the “self – spiritual warfare and deliverance” and simply began to tell God that I was sorry for having or entertaining those evil thoughts and asked Him to forgive me and to shield me from those thoughts in the future. Now even before I received the response that I detailed in My Thorn In The Flesh, the results were much better … cleansing, strengthening, love, joy and PEACE where the “warfare” left me with guilt and conflict.

Now is this to say that I have never benefitted from spiritual warfare and deliverance? No. That is the main reason why I have not removed the materials from the site … my testimony is my testimony and it stands. However, though my testimony is part of my faith, it is the substance or entirety of my faith. My faith is Biblical, not experiental, and it is based on God, not on what happens to me. Had I never existed, God would still exist and His Word would still be true. So, when the time is right, I pray that God will lead me to doctrines on spiritual warfare and deliverance that are faithful to His Word and thereby honor and glorify Him

Sola Scriptura. Soli Deo Gloria. Solo Christo. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Any spiritual warfare and deliverance that does not conform to those is but doctrines of devils! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 100 Comments »

Are Signs And Wonders For Today? I Say Yes!

Posted by Job on February 17, 2009

From John Piper as recommended by PJ Miller. Cessationists, your move! 

Signs and Wonders Then And Now 

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeking An Interpretation of Acts 8:12-17 That Answers The Pentecostal Challenge

Posted by Job on February 16, 2009

A little while ago, I happened to be watching an old Lester Sumrall sermon on Christian television. In it, he used the text Acts 8:12-17 to support the classic and core Pentecostal doctrine of being filled with the Holy Spirit. According to Pentecostalism, this is something distinct from the Holy Spirit’s indwelling born again Christians. 

There is actually an Old Testament basis for the Pentecostal “filling of the Holy Spirit” doctrine. Consider most prominently the book of Judges where such figures as Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson were empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead Israel. Also, the Holy Spirit was required for Old Testament prophecy. Claiming that such figures had the indwelling Holy Spirit available to them in that dispensation is very problematic theologically, and becomes even more so when one considers that such extremely problematic figures as Balaam and Saul prophesied. 

So, the text of Acts 8:12-17 is as follows:

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Rather compelling I must say. At this point, the Samaritans in question were already baptized believers upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, they did not receive the Holy Ghost until 1) Christians prayed that they would receive it and 2) hands were laid upon them. 

Now, it was Sumrall’s position that the Samaritans, having already believed and been baptized, already had the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that what the Samaritans received as a result of the prayer intercession and having laid hands on them was the empowering, the filling of the Holy Spirit. I find Sumrall’s position to be compelling, because rejecting it would have real implications for the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling the believer, because – and Sumrall made this a point of emphasis – the Samaritans were already baptized believers, that is born again Christians, before the incident of their receiving prayer and the laying on of hands.  

So, if Sumrall’s explanation – reasonably if not perfectly supportable by the plain reading of the text and the context of scripture – that this text refers to the filling  or empowering of the Holy Spirit and not the indwelling Holy Spirit is not correct, then does a better one exist?

Now I have seen a treatment of Acts 8:12-17 in the New American Commentary which asserted that the Samaritans received the indwelling Holy Spirit and the completion of their salvation process. Its justification of their position was plausible: that the salvation accounts in Acts never conformed to any rigid formula or pattern but instead depicted a diversity of salvation experiences, so in this case the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit by the Samaritans was delayed in order for the apostles to witness it, and thus see evidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ was not meant for Jews alone; a sign of divine approval for the Samaritan mission. 

The New American Commentary’s treatment of the issue was plausible. But was it superior to Sumrall’s? Now I have conceded that Sumrall’s assertion was imperfect. It is not based on anything that the Bible comes right out and says at any point, but instead uses some assumptions. (For instance, Sumrall did not even mention the incidents of individuals being empowered by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament; that was something that I supplied to lend weight to Sumrall’s thesis.) But the New American Commentary’s explanation is guilty of the same. If anything, it is even less perfect than Sumrall’s, because it relies on speculation to supply a reason for why things transpired the way that they did.  

As a matter of fact, the New American Commentary attempts to draw a parallel between the Samaritans in this instance and those of the Ephesians in Acts 19 to support their position. However, this is a false parallel and a completely inappropriate comparison, based solely on the fact that both the Samaritans and Ephesians had been baptized. However, the Samaritans of Acts 8 had heard and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and been baptized. Meanwhile, the Ephesians of Acts 19 had received their baptism from John the Baptist, and had not heard the gospel. The only parallel is that the Ephesians received the Holy Spirit after Paul laid hands on them, but it was that same Paul who baptized them in the Name of Jesus Christ. So even without including the Acts 19 example, the New American Commentary’s explanation is weaker than Sumrall’s, and so their seeing fit to include this incident as an attempt to strengthen their explanation makes it weaker still.

However, Sumrall’s main flaw is that Acts 8:12-17 does explicitly state that the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit upon being laid hands upon. As much as Sumrall would like for the text to say “the Samaritans were empowered by the Holy Spirit” or “the Samaritans received a second blessing”, it simply does not say it. So, the fact that Sumrall’s thesis – driven interpretation is superior to the thesis – driven interpretation of the New American Commentary does not change the fact that it is thesis – driven. Sumrall, being Pentecostal, has an agenda to use this text to support a second blessing. The New American Commentary, being written from the Baptist perspective, has the opposite agenda. (The commentary’s invocation of John 8:3 to state that the Holy Spirit comes when He chooses appears to be extremely helpful, but not only is it citing John 8:3 out of context, but as mentioned earlier, wielding John 8:3 in that fashion has real implications for the doctrine that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, and the “indwells” in that doctrine is commonly understood to be a present tense and never a future tense.) 

So, a straight interpretation of Acts 8:12-17, void of any agendas, would be useful in meeting the challenge posed by Sumrall. Otherwise, Acts 8:12-17 may well stand as a text that supports of Pentecostal doctrines. However, one should always recall that Pentecostalism was a direct outgrowth and logical extension of the doctrines of one John Wesley, who among other things taught that it was possible for a born – again Christian to lose his salvation, and furthermore was an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church (a fact for which Roman Catholics are both grateful to and proud of Wesley … see this link where the Vatican officially celebrated the 300th anniversary of Wesley’s birth; Wesley was to Protestants of his time what Billy Graham is today regarding the cult of Mary).

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Did The Pentecostal Prosperity Doctrine And TBN Cause The Financial Crisis?

Posted by Job on October 3, 2008

Foreward: please note that the Bible DOES NOT PROMOTE reckless financial behavior, but quite the contrary promotes hard work, frugality, and conscientiousness. Contrast the ostentatious wealth of King Solomon – who left God for syncretism – with Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger and lived the life of a pauper. And as for you prosperity preacher adherents, well, you wanted to be world changers, right? To take authority and dominion? Well, it looks like you did it. Your doctrines helped cause the international banking crisis that just may set the stage for the anti – Christ to come to power. By the way, sorry for picking on Palin, because TONS of black prosperity doctrine preachers have gotten behind Obama as well. You know, it makes for the perfect conspiracy theory.

All of these Council on Foreign Relations – backed preachers get on TV – especially if they own networks like TBN – or dominate the book publishing market (Left Behind) or even get mainstream publicity (like TD Jakes on the cover of Time Magazine – which ironically published this article ) which exploit the poor with false promises of wealth. Then have the same Council on Foreign Relations – connected politicians (Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Gingrich at minimum) change the banking laws, requiring/forcing banks to lend to these people. And when the inevitable economic collapse occurs (which by the way was just the result of terrible economic policy dating back to at least Reagan … remember how the Democrats AND Republicans exhorted you to go buy an SUV and invest your retirement accounts in Pets.com in the 1990s … and that speaks nothing of deficit spending and free trade deals with third world countries where people will gladly work for $5 a day) then use it as an excuse to practically nationalize the banking sector and promote economic globalism. If this WASN’T a conspiracy, it certainly played out like one. In any event, now you see how massively evil false doctrines are, and the prosperity doctrine is both false and evil.

Foreclosures: Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage? 

or “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” 

Has the so-called Prosperity Gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That’s what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God would “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, toxic expression during sub-prime boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” The results, he says, “were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers.”
Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York state, “The pastor’s not gonna say ‘go down to Wachovia and get a loan’ but I have heard, ‘even if you have a poor credit rating God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you’ll get that house, or that car or that apartment.'” Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma, “It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, ‘if you give this offering, God will give you a house. And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy.” If so, the situation offers a look at how an native-born faith built partially on American econoic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.

Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat, and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, it can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are “worthy of having more and doing more and being more.” (Sure, if you forget about the Bible says that the Holy Spirit, God the Father,and Jesus Christ are supposed to comfort and reassure us. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.

But Walton suggests that a decade’s worth of ever-easier credit acted like drug in Prosperity’s bloodstream. “The economic boom 90’s and financial over-extensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the prosperity message,” he wrote recently. And not positively. “Narratives of how ‘God blessed me with my first house despite my credit’ were common. Sermons declaring ‘it’s your season to overflow’ supplanted messages of economic sobriety,” and “little attention was paid to.. the dangers of using one’s home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations.”

With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks that some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants’ fortunes. Says Walton, “You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology.” But he predicts they will perservere, since God’s earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.

A recently posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on scriptural promises of God. But the believer’s note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. “Last Sunday,” it read, “You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace.”

And pray that the credit market doesn’t tighten any further.

Some videos that speak of the error of these doctrines.

Posted in Christianity, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Roman Catholic crossover into the Hyper Charismatic Pentecostalist movement!

Posted by Job on August 21, 2008

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Fundamentalists And Charismatics Part 2

Posted by Job on August 3, 2008

From Sharper Iron.

Some Reflections on the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movements, Part 2

by SharperIron at 12:00 am July 28, 2008. 263 views. Filed under: Charismatics, Pentecostalism

Note: This article is reprinted from The Faith Pulpit (January 2001), a publication of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary (Ankeny, IA).

Read Part 1.

by George Houghton, Th.D.

III. Some Observations and Comments

1. The teaching common to all of these groups, which states that all of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit in New Testament times ought to be observed and practiced by Christians today, is definitely unbiblical. The supernatural sign gifts were intended by God for the Apostolic Age and were designed to be temporary. It is not the purpose of this paper to deal exhaustively with the Bible passages which support this view, but if it is true, we should not be taken in by contemporary experiential phenomena—no matter where they are found. The Bible must be our standard.

2. What does the Bible really say about tongues-speaking?

First, there are not very many passages which actually mention it. Mark 16:17-18 lists some historical phenomena experienced by the early Christians, which demonstrated the validity of their message. Acts 2 narrates the occurrence at Pentecost, Acts 10 describes the conversion of the first Gentiles, and Acts 19 describes the conversion of the disciples of John the Baptist. I Corinthians 12-14 presents Paul’s corrective message to a carnal church abusing spiritual gifts.

Second, other than the Corinthian passage, tongues-speaking does not appear to have been a regular, ongoing occurrence.

Third, tongues-speaking in the Bible seems to have involved actual languages. Acts 2 describes the phenomenon in the following language: “Every man heard them speak in his own language” (verse 6), and “How hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (verses 8-11). When the Gentiles in Acts 10 experience this phenomenon, Peter likens it to precisely what had occurred at Pentecost (10:44-48). In I Corinthians, Paul seeks to establish guidelines for the proper use of spiritual gifts. When dealing with tongues-speaking, he states that its purpose is to be a sign (14:22), and he bases this statement upon an Old Testament passage (Isaiah 28:11-12) where the Lord told the nation of Israel that He would use “men of other tongues and other lips” (I Corinthians 14:21) to “speak” to them—”yet for all that will they not hear Me.” This is a reference to God’s disciplining His people by means of the pagan Assyrians. As E. J. Young says in his commentary on the book of Isaiah, “The thought then is that God will speak to Judah by means of people who speak a language different from that of the Jews” (Vol. II, 277-78).

Fourth, tongues-speaking was designed to be a sign to the nation of Israel that God is now accepting Gentiles who trust in Him (I Corinthians 14:22). As such, tongues-speaking was only in operation during the decades immediately following the Messiah’s coming to earth. Tongues-speaking certainly served this purpose when Jewish Christians had to decide if the Gentile Cornelius and those with him would be accepted by God (Acts 10:44-48).

Fifth, some spiritual gifts clearly were intended by God to be temporary and not permanent. Apostleship, for example, is a part of the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:19-20), and an apostle had to be one who had been an eye-witness to Christ’s earthly ministry (Acts 1:21-22; I Corinthians 9:1; 15:8-10). Some would even say that Paul was God’s replacement for Judas, and that the number of authentic apostles is limited to twelve (see Revelation 21:14).

Sixth, I Corinthians 13:8-10 tells us that spiritual gifts related to revelation would be temporary and would cease once completed revelation had been given.

In light of the above-mentioned survey of biblical evidence, we believe that the New Testament spiritual gift of tongues-speaking was intended by God to be temporary, operating in the foundational stage of the church before the completed revelation of Scripture had been given. Therefore, when someone asks how we explain the present-day phenomenon, it seems to us that the burden of explanation rests with the tongues-speaker. We may not always know what it is, but we do know what it is not.

3. The so-called Charismatic phenomenon is an experience which adapts to a wide spectrum of doctrinal views, including those of some of the cults (The Shakers and Mormonism, for example), Roman Catholicism, and others. This adaptability certainly ought to make those Charismatics with more traditional evangelical convictions think twice before joining others who differ widely with them regarding the teachings of God’s Word. Genuine Christian experience will always be consistent with what God has told us in Scripture.

4. The Charismatic experience has been used by some to lead people into the Ecumenical Movement. David DuPlessis has documented this trend from its early stages in his book, The Spirit Bade Me Go. Ecumenical cooperation has taken place on the local level as well as on the national and international levels because of the Charismatic Renewal Movement.

5. Some who support the tongues movement have said that speaking in tongues is an experience which changes one’s Christian life, giving one the power to live victoriously. Yet this is neither the teaching of the Bible nor the experience of believers in New Testament times when it was observed within a local church context, namely in the Corinthian church. Victorious living is possible because of Christ’s death and resurrection and is appropriated through yielding to God (Romans 6:1-13)—not through a Charismatic experience. And the Corinthian church where tongues-speaking had been so evident was characterized by carnality (I Corinthians 3:1-4).

Related to claims for the charismatic experience is the term “full gospel,” used by many who support it. How offensive this is to the Bible believer who by genuine trust in Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins (I Corinthians 15:1-11) has heard the complete gospel! That wonderful message is not lacking because no tongues-speaking occurred. The great Bible passages on salvation do not ever ask us to seek a tongues-speaking experience (John 3:16-18, 36; 5:24; Romans 3:21-28; 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; etc.).

6. We recognize that seeking a Charismatic experience may be the result of genuine longing for spiritual reality on the part of some very earnest people. This, of course, does not make it right, but it does serve as a good reminder to us to make certain that what we teach, how we live our lives, and how we express our love for Christ are biblically balanced. Sometimes a nearly exclusive emphasis upon intellectual content which does not reach down into the reality of a person’s life may be the problem. What is the solution? The answer is not found by joining the Tongues Movement nor by de-emphasizing sound Bible doctrine. The answer is to present in our churches and in our own personal lives an aggressive and vibrant Christianity that isn’t afraid to reach both head and heart—to show piety and tenderness, as well as ( not instead of) teaching doctrinal content from God’s Word. And we aren’t really helping the charismatic person unless we can show him from our lives and from the Scriptures that seeking an experience is not the ultimate solution. The solution is found in understanding what God’s Word teaches, yielding to the Spirit’s control in our lives, and living out the victory that is possible because of the death and resurrection of Christ on our behalf.

Bibliography

Much has been written in this area, and the materials listed are only a few of these works. Some of the listed works are older and may not be in print. Some who critique the Word of Faith aspect of the Charismatic Movement may still accept basic Pentecostal theology, so the reader needs to read with discernment.

Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, Editors. Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Regency, 1988. An excellent resource volume covering many aspects and personalities within the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movements, written by people who are favorably disposed toward those movements.

Joseph Dillow. Speaking in Tongues–Seven Crucial Questions. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975. Well worth finding and studying.

Thomas R. Edgar. Miraculous Gifts: Are They for Today? Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1983. A good treatment of the major issues involved in evaluating the present-day movement from a biblical perspective.

Robert G. Gromacki. The Modern Tongues Movement. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1967, 1972. A classic work surveying and evaluating the tongues movement from God’s Word.

Hank Hanegraaff. Christianity in Crisis. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1993. A well-researched critique of the Faith movement (”Health & Wealth,” “Name It & Claim It” theologies).

Hank Hanegraaff. Counterfeit Revival. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1997. A critique of the revival phenomenon characterized by the Toronto Blessing and Pensacola Outpouring movements.

John F. MacArthur, Jr. Charismatic Chaos. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. Deals very well with the doctrinal and practical aspects of the tongues and healing movements.

Ernest Pickering. Charismatic Confusion. Decatur, AL: Baptist World Mission, 1976. This pamphlet and the next one listed by Dr. Pickering are excellent (yet brief) resources which any Christian leader ought to have on hand to give to those who want to understand the tongues movement from a Scriptural perspective.

Ernest Pickering. The Gift of Tongues: What the Bible Says about Speaking in Tongues. Vol. 4, #4 in the ABWE Insight Series. Harrisburg, PA: Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, 1985. An excellent (yet brief) resource.

Merrill F. Unger. New Testament Teaching on Tongues. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1971. A fine treatment of the tongues issue.

George W. Zeller. God’s Gift of Tongues: The Nature, Purpose, and Duration of Tongues as Taught in the Bible. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1978. A thoughtful and careful survey of what the Bible teaches about the gift of tongues.
George G. Houghton, Th.D., serves as Senior Professor, Vice President for Academic Services, Academic Dean at Faith Baptist Bible College Education. He has the the following degrees: B.A., Bethel College; B.D., Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary; Th.M. and Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served in the following ways: Faculty, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1967-73; Faculty, teaching Bible, Theology, and History subjects, Faith Baptist Bible College, 1973-; Academic Dean, Faith Baptist Bible College, 1982-; Vice President for Academic Services, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, 1986-.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , | 17 Comments »

Kentucky Snake Handling Pentecostals Arrested

Posted by Job on July 12, 2008

Note how the article wrongly misidentifies these practitioners of false doctrines based on wrong interpretations given by a criminal and an adulterer as “fundamentalists.”

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25651899/

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

CHARISMATICS NOW CLAIMING TO BE ABLE TO FORGIVE SINS!

Posted by Job on July 11, 2008

From Soli Deo Gloria: Watch This: SINS FORGIVEN IN THE THIRD WAVE

This is the New Breed, those who believe they are the Churches future: What do you think, can we forgive someone’s sins? I posted this under the thread about Lee Grady’s recent commentary, ‘Can We Avoid a Charismatic Civil War?’, but want to include the link here as well. This is a very serious reply to Lee’s commentary written by Dan at  Cerulean Sanctum blog; The Coming Charismatic Civil War. Read it if you have the time, for what Dan is talking about includes what you’re seeing in this clip which is being taught to people attending these New prophetic and Supernatural  Schools of Ministry.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Why Does J. Lee Grady Of Charisma Magazine Want To AVOID A Charismatic War?

Posted by Job on July 9, 2008

I am going to quote Grady’s post in full below because it looks like when he puts a new entry up it overlays the previous one.

Some leaders say the controversial Lakeland Revival is forcing us to choose sides. But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement.

It’s been more than 10 years since charismatic prophet Rick Joyner predicted in his popular bookThe Final Quest that believers would experience a Civil War in the church. Joyner’s book, based on a series of visions he says God showed him, describes in graphic detail a turbulent conflict that redefines Christianity as we know it.

Other charismatic leaders have echoed this theme since Joyner’s book was published in 1996. They have predicted that our movement will be divided between “Blues” (those who constantly live in the supernatural realm of dreams, visions and miracles) and “Grays” (those who rely more on their intellect), and that the Blues will win and usher in true revival as champions of the Holy Spirit’s power.
 
Even in early 2008, before the Lakeland Revival erupted in Florida in April, some charismatic prophets were declaring that a great rift would divide those who believe in “the glory realm” and those who have a more conservative, left-brained approach to their faith. When God TV began its nightly broadcasts of evangelist Todd Bentley’s healing meetings in Lakeland, the Civil War prophecies reappeared overnight on hundreds of blogs and e-mail blasts.
“Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine.”

I’ll admit I was not paying too much attention to these Civil War predictions 10 years ago. But I was jolted into reality in May after I wrote an online column in which I raised honest questions about some of Bentley’s teachings and techniques. Even though I celebrated his passion and zeal, and praised God for the healings that were reported in Lakeland, I was immediately branded a revival critic and banished to the Gray camp.

 I became the bad guy because, by asking questions, I was “relying on my intellect.” To those in the Blue camp, my skepticism made me an enemy of the Holy Spirit and all things supernatural—even though I believe that all the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today!
 
I tried to laugh this off at first. Surely, I imagined, my Christian brothers and sisters do not really think it is wrong for a Spirit-filled believer to test the spirits (which we are instructed to do in 1 John 4:1), discern truth (see 2 Pet. 3:17) or evaluate prophecies and angelic encounters (see 1 Cor. 14:29, Gal. 1:6-8).
 
But now I realize that some people really want a war. They want the charismatic movement to split right down the middle. They imply that all those who do not embrace 100 percent of the current movement in Lakeland are “old wineskins” that cannot be used by God in the coming revival.
 
I can’t even describe how much this hurts because I love people on both sides of this conflict. I love the Blues and the Grays, along with every other color in the body of Christ. I refuse to believe that God is trying to split us. Division is the devil’s work.
 
I want to plead with everyone in our movement to reconsider the whole Civil War scenario. Instead of rattling sabers and stockpiling gunpowder, maybe we need to take steps in the opposite direction:
 
1. Let’s accept one another. The apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthians because they exalted certain gifts above others. He reminded them that every member of the body of Christ plays an important role, and that no individual part—whether eye, hand or foot—functions on its own. He rebuked this elitist attitude “so that there may be no division in the body” (1 Cor. 12:25, NASB).
 
Most of us already acknowledge the importance of supernatural gifts of healing, prophecy, tongues and other demonstrations of God’s power. But in our zeal to recover these gifts, let’s not isolate those whose primary functions may be mercy, giving to the poor, teaching or intercession. We should cherish every spiritual gift—not just the sensational or the exotic.
 
2. Let’s admonish one another. Christians have not always been the best models of conflict resolution. When tension gets high we either avoid it (usually by saying nothing and hoping the problems go away) or we overreact (by childishly picking up our marbles and playing somewhere else). But the Bible tells us to work things out in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.
 
In the case of Lakeland, there are some doctrines and methods that have come under intense scrutiny. Heresy hunters are having a field day as they toss their grenades and label everything in Lakeland demonic. But because I embrace Todd Bentley as my brother in Christ, I must take a higher road even if I don’t agree with his prayer methods or his claims regarding angels. Anything I say, even if it is corrective, must be said in love (see Eph. 4:15).
 
Thankfully a group of leaders from various charismatic camps (both “Blues” and “Grays”!) are discussing the contentious issues surrounding Lakeland—and biblical confrontation is occurring. I trust this process will result in correction where it’s needed, apologies when necessary and more humility on all sides of the debate.
 
3. Let’s pray for one another (see James 5:16). Jesus prayed that we would be one. There is no record of Him praying that we would split over doctrine. So why in the world would any of us hope for a Civil War?
 
Please pray for Bentley—and for the leaders who are speaking into his life during this season. And pray that the church will not only experience genuine spiritual revival but also true unity. Let’s work out our differences, support one another’s ministries and focus all our efforts on one common goal: To tell a lost world about the love of Jesus.

 J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

People, this is how detached from reality we often get as Christians. First of all, the problems with Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity did not begin with Todd Bentley, and it won’t end with him. Look, there isn’t anything that Bentley is doing now that people like Benny Hinn haven’t been doing for DECADES. Second, the Crouch family has a global television network. Hello! Third, you have TONS of charismatic and Pentecostal movements in Asia, Latin America, and Africa that are syncretizing Christianity with local animist and pagan religions. Fourth, you have charismatic and Pentecostal Christians in the west that are going ever so closer to joining up with the Roman Catholic Church. (And speaking of the Crouches, they are paving the way for African and Arabic charismatics to join up with Islam, and the Roman Catholics are working on joining up with Muslims as well so that is a strange east – west thing going on there coordinated by the Vatican.) Fifth, you have the massive broad apostasy in the Word of Faith movement that asserts the deity of man while marginalizing or outright denying the deity of God. Sixth, there are the charismatics involved with the Center for National Policy and Council on Foreign Relations that are using their doctrines to ready the Christian world to support the new world order of anti – Christ globalism. So yes indeed, Todd Bentley is just a small part of what is going on, which is why I have not dedicated any real attention to him. 

Now I respect Grady as being a sincere fellow who wants Pentecostalism to be biblically based, and uses his forum to fight that battle. But he seems not to understand that with all of the documented heretical movements – to speak nothing of the scandals – that have dogged the Pentecostal movement FROM ITS VERY BEGINNING, choosing to go ahead and fight some battles so that you can separate the offenders (that is true Christians that are rejected by the world) from the pretenders before the world. This gives Grady an excellent opportunity to follow the example of Moses in Exodus 32:26 and say “Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me!” We Christians need to see who are the Levites are that will stand up and be saved, versus those who will not: the bull worshipers are that will either outright support the apostasy, and who are the fence sitters that will watch the battle hoping to join the side of the winner. 

By using his position of influence to make this call, Grady can A) identify himself as being on the Lord’s side and B) make it publicly known that there are leading charismatics that care about sound doctrine and right practice. B) is particularly important because the born again charismatics need to know that there are good Christians in their movement whose fellowships they can join and pastors they can follow. But saying things like “But I don’t believe God wants to split our movement” … first of all if the charismatic movement is real it is God’s movement and not his, and a plain reading of the Bible knows that God WANTS apostates driven from His church. Second, his saying “I don’t believe God wants” … what, he isn’t SURE? He hasn’t received a revelation from the Holy Spirit? He doesn’t have a clear understanding from reading the Bible on what do do? If either is the case, then why speak? Why not be silent until he is sure that he is speaking for God and God is speaking through him lest the words that he speaks reflect the desires of his own flesh (or the desires of Satan as it were, and since Satan is the prince of this world the desires of the natural man and the desires of Satan are going to line up more often than not). 

I have to say that a great deal of Grady’s column seems to be straight from “the church of judge not” and the chapel of “touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm.” (All he lacks is a “sex sells especially in the church” reference and a “John Hagee slaughter every Muslim man and woman and rip up all their women with child so Jesus can come back” speech to make him 4 for 4.) I mean, his saying that we should pray for these false preachers … Grady is perfectly aware that the Bible says that we are not so much as bid apostate preachers God speed! 

So what is his agenda? I honestly wonder if Grady fears that a split in the Pentecostal movement would be bad press, and harm the group’s respectability in the eyes of the public and respectability in the Christian community, and Grady is willing to abide the doctrines and practices of a bunch of neo – gnostics, spiritists, and occultists just to keep his movement respectable and influential. If that is the case, then the call “who is on the Lord’s side, let him come to me” has already been made, and Grady has already chosen his side.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA SPENDING FATHER’S DAY AT AN APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF GOD MEANS!

Posted by Job on June 14, 2008

All Hussein Obama needs to do to win this thing is to start talking about black illegitimacy and cultural dysfunction in a serious way. Seriously, THAT IT ALL HE HAS TO DO. Funny that the Wall Street Journal, a major organ of the globalist elite – which really has not attacked Obama in any serious way, which is curious as even Fox News’ “attacks” on Obama have been silly stuff like “terrorist fist jab” and “Michelle Obama is Barack’s baby mama” that are more likely to make people vote FOR the guy than AGAINST him – has not attacked the fellow either. But what has the Wall Street Journal done? Well Juan Williams, who like Barack HUSSEIN Obama whose ancestors are not from America and JUST HAPPENS TO BE THE LONGTIME TOKEN BLACK LIBERAL VOICE ON FOX NEWS, has penned this Father’s  Day piece bemoaning the illegitimacy problem, including in the black community: The Tragedy of America’s Disappearing Fathers

One day, in a juvenile facility near his home in Jersey City, a 15-year-old black boy pulled him aside for a whispered question: Why did he write in “Somewhere in the Darkness” about a boy not meeting his father because the father was in jail? Mr. Myers, a 70-year-old black man, did not answer. He waited. And sure enough, the boy, eyes down, mumbled that he had yet to meet his own father, who was in jail.

Obama family at new Chicago church for Fathers Day. First time out since quitting Trinity United Church of Christ

WASHINGTON–The Obama family has a tradiiton of going to church on Fathers Day; that’s what Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic nominee told Jimmy Kimmel when he taped an interview with the talk show host on Friday. But the Obama family quit Trinity United Church of Christ a week ago, in the wake of divisive comments by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger. Where to go? This Sunday, the Obamas leave their Kenwood home on a landmark block on Chicago’s South Side to attend church at the nearby Apostolic Church of God, 6320 Dorchester Ave.

But Obama will have to work on Fathers Day. Obama will “speak about the responsibilities we have as fathers and parents to help our children achieve their dreams,” his campaign said. Parental responsibility is a theme Obama has sounded before.

Last February, in Beaumont,Texas, Obama drew wild cheers as he told a mostly African-American crowd that parents need to shape up, turn off the TV, help their kids with their homework and stop letting them grow fat eating Popeyes chicken for breakfast.

“It’s not good enough for you to say to your child, ‘Do good in school,’ and then when that child comes home, you got the TV set on, you got the radio on, you don’t check their homework, there is not a book in the house, you’ve got the video game playing,” said Obama.

FOOTNOTE: Dr. Byron Brazier, a minister at the Apostolic Church of God, ran as an Obama delegate from the seventh congressional district in Illinois.

LINK to Lynn Sweet column about Obama using bully pulpit in Texas telling parents to shape up and cut out the Popeyes.

I always felt that all Al Gore had to do in order to beat George W. Bush in 2000 was to talk about illegitimacy. A lot of people do not remember this about Gore, but the guy was a “conservative family values Democrat” along the lines of Gary Condit during most of his career in the House and Senate … the Gores are the ones responsible for the little parental advisory stickers on rock and rap music CDs. Just like all John Kerry had to do to beat George W. Bush in 2004 was talk about Bush’s connections to Saudi Arabia OR challenge him on getting Usama bin Laden. The fact that neither Gore or Kerry did EITHER made me question whether either guy really wanted to win – or was supposed to win. If Obama does not start talking about black illegitimacy, all it will mean is that McCain was the guy selected by the various groups that both candidates AND Hillary Clinton are meeting with (Bilderbergs, Rothschilds, Soros, CFR, et al) to occupy the White House. My current theory: if these folks choose McCain, it will be to continue the warfare against CERTAIN MUSLIMS in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for the next four years. If these folks choose Obama, it will mean that they have decided to be conciliatory towards CERTAIN MUSLIMS. Of course, that means that Obama will be used to wage POLITICAL and CULTURAL war against CERTAIN CHRISTIANS. What sort am I speaking of? Brother IndependentConservative has one example: Legal Persecution of Christians in the West Has Begun.. Sword At The Ready has another: Biblical message now criminalized – Penalties created for those who criticize homosexuality. And I recall one of my first posts on this site when it was created last year: Here It Comes: The First Law To LEGALLY ENCODE CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN AMERICA

Please keep in mind that there is NO WAY that Turkey would be considering joining the EU had the European Union not totally cast off its Christian heritage and culture. Not that I advocate making Christianity worldly through heritage and culture, but still for outsiders that know nothing of the true spiritual nature of Christianity and HAVE BEEN LED BY THOUSANDS OF YEARS EVERYONE RANGING FROM POPES TO CRUSADERS TO RELIGIOUS RIGHT DOMINIONISTS INTO FALSELY EQUATING CHRISTIANITY WITH GOVERNMENT AND CULTURE BECAUSE MIXING GOVERNMENT AND CULTURE IS A KEY FEATURE OF OTHER RELIGIONS I.E. ISLAM, JUDAISM, AND HINDUISM AS WELL AS OTHER IDEOLOGIES LIKE DEMOCRACY AND MARXISM, the “Christian nation” thing is offputting. But you know that the rest of the world associates Christianity with white people, capitalism, imperialism/colonialism, and traditional European culture and values. Electing the son of a Kenyan Muslim whose false Jesus Christ promoted abortion, homosexuality, Marxism, and universalism would fulfill the dreams of the Harlem renaissance writer that rejected Christianity for Marxism Langston Hughes. This fellow wrote “Goodbye Jesus Christ” (see a commentary at John Piper’s SeeingGod.org on the fellow and his departure from Jesus Christ for black history month), and then penned this Marxist vision for America: Let America Be America Again. (Please realize that like all of W.E.B. Du Bois “Harlem Renaissance” cronies, Hughes was a mere Marxist propagandist, a fact that you will never hear in public schools or in the mainstream media.)

So, Obama’s visiting theologically conservative black churches – including that of James Meeks and Byron Brazier … the media lumps him into the same category of Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger despite the fact that Meeks is actually a conservative evangelical – may be laying the groundwork for HUSSEIN Obama to stake out socially and culturally conservative positions for the black community similar to those of Bill Cosby that will please all but the most extreme elements of the left. And if the extreme elements of the left, the “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and the “marriage oppresses women and children” crowd (yes these people actually do exist … see

Father’s Day really is the most disgusting thing imaginable. Mother’s Day started out as a women’s anti-War protest, but there is no even slightly justifiable reason for Father’s Day, other than stuffing more commodities that no one wants down the exhausted and overstretched maw of the American people. Hideous! Lets all work for and look forward to the destruction of the Family, Private Property and Irrational Religion.

  on this post) and Obama will actually appear moderate, which is what he needs to win the election. It would be his, well, “Sister Souljah moment.” So keep an eye on the campaign. If this does not happen, then McCain will win and Christians can expect the U.S. to fight directly and by proxy more wars in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and around the world which will result not only in more violence but more inflation, poverty, and economic insecurity. But if it does happen, Obama will win, and a full push to make Biblical Christianity basically illegal will commence. That is why I say that Christians should vote for NEITHER, because the result would be voting for Stalin or Hitler.  

Posted in Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breaking Christian News Is A Broken Source For True Christianity By Promoting Todd Bentley!

Posted by Job on June 9, 2008

This really does break my heart. One of my main sources for relevant Christian news is BreakingChristianNews.com. I say “relevant” because a lot of what they provide is either hard to find “beneath the headlines” types of stories, or things directly related to areas like faith healings, testimonies, Christian persecution, Bible prophecy, and opposition to abortion and gay rights. Along with Worthy News, their story selection and news perspective seemed to reflect the very mindset that I was trying to promote on this website, and for that reason content from Breaking Christian News was regularly featured and promoted on this site. Now, however, I am going to be forced to view the people, content, and worldview of Breaking Christian News differently. Why? Because they are fervent supporters of the evil of Todd Bentley. See below.

“I say, you have nothing to lose but your sickness. If the doctors can’t help you, why wouldn’t you give God a chance?”

FOUNDING EDITOR’S NOTE: I debated whether or not to even link to this MSNBC story. It was well done, but the secular media feels, as is normal, the obligation to post both pro and con arguments toward this revival or any news story, honestly. One can’t blame that approach as they are not there to “fan the flames” for the Church . . . at least not yet. So in order for them to be considered “news,” they have to find someone on most stories who say “My take on this is that it isn’t good.” (words to that effect). So it is with mixed feelings (mostly good) that I post this story. The summary was well written by our own Teresa Neumann with Breaking Christian News. As many of you link to the story from MSNBC, I would encourage the reader to remember what Jesus’ response was when His strange healings were happening and John the Baptist was stuck in prison. “Are you the ONE?” He was asked, “or should we look for another?” Jesus’ response was simple and direct: “. . . So He replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.'” Luke 7:21-22 (NIV) – Steve Shultz, BCN.

(Lakeland, Florida)—MSNBC has published yet another report on the Lakeland Revival, or the “Florida Outpouring,” which began on April 2 with healing meetings conducted by evangelist Todd Bentley at Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. 

The report explains how the meetings have “outgrown four venues, including a local convention center that seats roughly 7,000. Now,” the report states, “they meet under an air-conditioned tent that can accommodate 10,000 on the grounds of the local airport. Organizers estimate that more than 140,000 people from at least 40 nations have attended meetings here.” 

The article, coming from a secular outlet, explains to readers their interpretation of some of the charismatic manifestations that go in the meetings, such as people being “slain in the Spirit” when they are prayed for. The article also predictably interviews critics of the revival to which Bentley responds, “I don’t have time to debate whether revival is happening or not. I don’t have time to nitpick the reasons why God might not be moving.”(Photo: Courtesy Loren Brown)

On a positive note, people who have been healed through the Lakeland Revival were cited. Examples include a man who testified to being healed of multiple forms of cancer by watching the meetings on the Internet at home and plans to have his oncologist document his healing, and a wheel-bound Arkansas woman healed from injuries sustained in an accident three years ago.

Bentley’s method of receiving donations caught the reporter’s attention as well, with it being noted that his meetings are free of charge and that other than the typical passing of white offering buckets each night four hours into the service, they have only asked for money once.
Fresh Fire spokeswoman Lynne Breidenbach says the offerings have covered their enormous operating costs and have not contributed to a significant infusion of cash for Bentley or his ministry. Bentley himself is quoted as saying he “welcomes media attention and scrutiny because the ‘outpouring’ is a work of God and he has ‘nothing to hide.'”

The prologue to this story by the founding editor of Breaking Christian News is amazing. They actually considered not running the story because MSNBC’s actually allowing someone to voice concerns that what is going on there may not be biblical offended them! And when you consider that Jesus Christ and His apostles took on and OVERCAME all challengers instead of trying to silence people and cover them up, you see precisely how far from the Bible these people are! But I am telling you, this is why these people do not want to see challenges to Bentley. As you can see below, these folks have ample reason to try to shield this fellow from Biblical scrutiny. But we all know that things that are done in secret will come out into the light. People, you can do all you want to try to protect Bentley now, but the truth is going to come out and be dealt with on judgment day. That is what you ought to be concerned with. Why? Read Revelation 2 and 3 people! Judgment starts with the church! So, you people that are twisting yourselves into pretzels defending abominations, have you given any thought to when the day of the Lord comes, what is going to happen to you for not only supporting but failing to speak out against this?






 

Posted in abomination, Christianity, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: