Does This String of Incredible Coincidences Connect Dr. Michael Brown to the NAR?

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New Apostolic Reformation

New Apostolic Reformation

Dr. Michael Brown is trying very hard to make it appear like the New Apostolic Reformation barely even exists. He's recently completed an entire program devoted to distancing himself from the movement he doesn't think is real. In the process of describing the thing he doesn't believe exists, he ends up explaining some of the core beliefs of the movement itself... you know, the movement that doesn't really exist.

It seems that Dr. Brown fluctuates between two opposing ideas:

  • On one hand, he wants people to believe that the NAR isn't real and if you believe in it you're "chasing shadows." He ridicules NAR critics as "conspiracy theorists," which is really a meaningless smear intended to stop people from even looking into the matter.

  • On the other hand, he describes the specific ideas coming from the leaders of the NAR (primarily the late C. Peter Wagner) and he makes it clear that he doesn't agree with all of those ideas.

Here's a brief compilation video showing how Dr. Brown contradicts himself on the existence of the NAR:

In Dr. Brown's radio show he described some of the specific beliefs of the NAR and how he doesn't agree with them. While it is very good that Dr. Brown has explained why he doesn't believe in or agree with certain NAR teachings, like "Dominionism" and the NAR's idea of authoritative contemporary Apostles, he knows (and promotes) plenty of NAR leaders who hold to these very views. Looking at all the ways that Dr. Michael Brown is closely associated with the NAR, one would have to believe in a lot of incredible coincidences to think that Brown has nothing to do with the NAR.

Pirate Christian Media has done a lot of research, writing and podcasting on this issue, but Dr. Brown says that we're "not credible" because we're "unethical." Why are we "not credible?" Because he says so. Why are we "unethical?" Because he says so. This is another thought-stopping device. His gullible listeners will hear those accusations and assume they must be true. But we've provided reams of evidence to support our assertions about Dr. Brown (as well as links to more information at other websites). Dr. Brown has such a bias against Pirate Christian Media that when Chris Rice called into his radio show to ask him some tough questions about the prosperity gospel, Brown talked over him and turned off his mic because he thought he was Chris Rosebrough; check out this article to hear that story: The Brown Rice ControversyHere's a series of really good articles and videos about Dr. Michael Brown from Chris Rice's blog: Is Not Satire on Dr. Michael Brown

Here’s another article with tremendous evidence of Dr. Brown’s NAR connections: Dr. Michael Brown’s NAR USCAL Agenda to Dictate, Govern, Rule, Control, Infiltrate: Usher in New Apostolic Reformation

In this sound clip of Fighting for the Faith, Chris Rosebrough plays an audio clip where Dr. Michael Brown is pretending he knows very little about the "so-called" NAR in a recent podcast, but then in another audio clip from 2010 (seven years earlier) he sounded completely different, like he knew exactly what the NAR was and what the core beliefs were and who the primary leaders were... you know, the movement that doesn't really exist:

 

Let's take a look at the incredible string of coincidences: 

Dr. Michael Brown is published by Destiny House, a New Apostolic Reformation book company that clearly believes its purpose is to publish the "words of God" from the new prophets of God. Here's a post about an article from Destiny House publisher, Larry Sparks: "We Need to Get Weird Again"

Destiny House Publishing is a publisher that publishes Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Danny Silk, T. D. Jakes, Myles Munroe, Sid Roth, Doug Addison, Chuck Pierce, Heidi Baker, James Goll, John Crowder, John & Carol Arnott, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, Todd Bentley, Shawn Bolz, Randy Clark... and DR. MICHAEL BROWN. (What a coincidence, huh?)

Here's a brand new Destiny House book that features Bill Johnson, Lou Engle, James Goll and... DR. MICHAEL BROWN:

 

Dr. Michael Brown has no problem recommending the NAR's new Bible translation called The Passion Translation from Brian Simmons. This is not a real Bible at all, but the work of one man who doesn't know the original languages but nevertheless wrote his own version of the Bible. Adding totally new thoughts, ideas and "revelations" to the Word of God is okay with Dr. Brown (he thinks the Passion Bible is: "passionate, vibrant, powerful, and beautiful;" but admits that it shouldn't be a primary Bible):

The Passion Translation is not just a little different, it actually changes the meaning of passages to fit the agenda of the NAR. Here's an article with just a handful of shocking examples: A New NAR Bible-Drastic Differences by Holly Pivec.  Wanna see what kind of snake-oil salesman Brian Simmons is? Watch him on Sid Roth's TV Show: John Chapter 22 is Really Important (But God Won't Allow Us to Read It Yet)

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Let's talk a little bit about Sid Roth.

Sid Roth has no problem inviting the very fringe of the fringe of the Hyper-Charismatic, New Apostolic Reformation crowd onto his ridiculous and embarrassing show called "It's Supernatural." If Sid Roth can sell some books, CDs and DVDs, he'll invite anyone with an unbelievable story to come on the show and make some money. This is the worst kind of salesmanship to extract money from the vulnerable and naive. Every show sells something (a book/CD package, usually) that makes outrageous promises that it clearly can't deliver. This is what's known as fraudulent marketing. This is a huckster making money in the name of God. 

Here's an example of all the crazy promises from just one show's product:

"Also, if you buy this $39 book/CD set you will:

  • Partner with His presence!

  • Release His power!

  • Transform your world!

  • Overcome addictions!

  • Be free of anxiety, fear and compulsive desires!

  • Be delivered from mental strongholds, extreme behaviors and sexual sin!

  • You will exercise God's authority in every area of your life and destroy the works of the devil!

  • You will be encouraged to believe for whatever it is you need!

  • Obtain freedom and receive the power to overcome and end a life of struggling!

  • Put an end to depression, bad habits, sexual bondage, fear and shame!

  • Understand how to end sin at its root!

  • Receive the power to overcome accusation and persecution!

  • Walk in freedom and victory over the works of darkness like never before!"

 

Here are just a few examples of the outrageous things that regularly appear on Sid Roth's show:

Sid Roth has had most of the big names from the NAR on his show, plus some lesser known people as well.

Guess what? Dr. Michael Brown has been on his show a number of times, and they consider each other good friends who've known each other since 1984. Here's a recent show where they're selling his dieting plan:

 

Now here's Dr. Michael Brown on his Facebook wall telling everyone how excited he is to be the guest host of "It's Supernatural:"

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By the way, Dr. Brown was happy to have Jonathan Cahn on his on radio show recently, to promote another one of his (unbiblical) "I've Discovered a Secret (again)" books:

 

Here's a (very disturbing) compilation video of NAR superstars Bill & Benni Johnson, Heidi & Rolland Baker and Sid Roth:

Here's Sid Roth selling the false revival of Todd Bentley in 2008, right before the "Lakeland Revival" collapsed into humiliation and bankruptcy after the Charismatic Day of Infamy:

Sid Roth recently had Rodney Howard-Browne on his show, and promoted him as the man behind the "great revivals" of the 1990s:

 

If you're thinking, "Well, Dr. Brown isn't a money-grubbing outrageous TV host like Sid Roth, he probably just goes on Sid's program to preach the Gospel. If Dr. Brown really knew about the contradictory, unbiblical and ridiculous content on Sid Roth's show, he wouldn't have anything to do with it." 

Nope.

Dr. Michael Brown has been extremely clear about his full support and endorsement of his close personal friend Sid Roth. A few years ago Dr. Brown interviewed Sid Roth and put that interview on his YouTube channel. A listener wrote on Dr. Brown's YouTube page to gently warn him that Sid Roth wasn't trustworthy because he doesn't always tell the truth. Dr. Brown responded in the strongest possible terms that he trusted Sid Roth 100%. Here's a screenshot from that page:

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(Sid Roth is a huge NAR promoter, cheerleader and profiteer... and he's also fully supported by Dr. Michael Brown. What an incredible coincidence, huh?)

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
— 2 Corinthians 2: 17
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
— Romas 16: 18
...and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
— 1 Timothy 6: 5
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him.
— Luke 16: 13-14

 

 

Michael Brown is a big supporter of Heidi Baker. In this short compilation we hear Dr. Brown wholeheartedly interviewing and endorsing Heidi Baker and her book; then we see him he repeating the story Heidi told him about how she was paralyzed by God for seven days... she couldn't even go to the bathroom:

As one of the leaders of the Brownsville Revival (from the mid 1990s), Dr. Michael Brown says the Holy Spirit can cause staggering, convulsing, laughter, and falling:

Sounds like Dr. Brown is okay with any and all disturbing manifestations, doesn't it? (What an incredible coincidence, huh?)

Here's an interesting way to consider this issue, from Pastor Chris Rosebrough's Facebook page:

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A gigantic figure in the New Apostolic Reformation movement is Bill Johnson. Johnson was called an Apostle by C. Peter Wagner at the Todd Bentley commissioning ceremony (also known as The Charismatic Day of Infamy). In Dr. Brown's recent program he mentioned that his critics (tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists) believe that the NAR is a "Dominionist" movement that somehow seeks to "take over the world." He then went on to say that "Nobody I know believes that!" That statement by itself is problematic for Dr. Brown to say, because he always repeats that he has no time to listen to anybody's sermons. He usually refers to Bill Johnson as a solid Christian, but then admits that he really doesn't know what he teaches. This is an obvious deflection technique that Dr. Brown employs a lot.

Here's a quote from page 10 of the Lance Wallnau (also known as "Commander of the Millibars") compilation book (Destiny House, 2013) entitled "Invading Babylon: The Seven Mountain Mandate"

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Notice the second sentence in the second paragraph? "In simple terms, dominion theology is the idea that Christian believers are called to not only preach the Gospel and win converts to Christ but also to establish the Kingdom of God on earth." Here's another strange quote from Lance Wallnau's recent book:

When we set aside our religious agendas to make others a success, we have learned the Kingdom mindset and have become a part of the transformation movement.
— Lance Wallnau: "Invading Babylon: The Seven Mountain Mandate"

Lance Wallnau has spent over a decade promoting and teaching the Seven Mountain Mandate as if it was something from the Bible, and everyone knows this teaching as a form of dominionism. Bill Johnson is in the same camp as Wallnau, otherwise why would they have collaborated on a Seven Mountain Mandate book together? 

In this video, Bill Johnson says this: "When the kingdom of God is preached there are automatically, when the Kingdom is preached effectively, there’s automatically, miracles signs and wonders to support the message. So when the Bible says when the kingdom of God will be preached throughout all the earth and the end will come is actually stating there will be full on manifestation and demonstration of the reality of God's dominion breaking into every culture, every society confronting every illness, every part of broken humanity, that will take place before the end comes. An effective preaching of the Gospel always brings the king into the room."

He's a confusing video from Wallnau at MorningStar Ministries, talking about how Christians are supposed to be taking over the seven mountains:

Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.’
— Jesus in John 18:36

Dr. Brown thinks so highly of Lance "Commander of the Millibars" Wallnau that he had him as a featured guest on his show recently:

This "Dominionist," "Seven Mountain Mandate" teaching is prominent with many NAR leaders, including Lance Wallnau, Bill Johnson and this next guy, another close friend of Dr. Brown: Rick Joyner.

Dr. Michael Brown explains that although the (semi-fictitious) NAR believes that the "new Apostles on earth today are equivalent to the original Apostles in the New Testament," he rejects that belief and he doesn't think any of his friends really believe that either. No, Dr. Brown, you have plenty of friends that believe we're in a special new end-time season where God is giving us new Apostles who are equivalent to the (real) Apostles.

Here's a quote from the introduction of Rick Joyner's book (MorningStar, 2006), "The Apostolic Ministry"

One of the most important events at the end of the church age will be the restoration of the apostolic ministry to the church. The ministry that opened the church age will be the one that closes it. The raising up of a victorious church, demonstrating for all time to all creation that truth will prevail over lies and righteousness will prevail over iniquity, will be the completed job of the apostolic ministry.
— Rick Joyner, "The Apostolic Ministry"

Rick Joyner is at the core of the Hyper-Charismatic New Apostolic Reformation (but he's on the outer fringe of anything resembling Christianity); he was also one of the "Apostles" present for the commissioning ceremony for Todd Bentley (also known as The Charismatic Day of Infamy). Joyner claims to have trances that lead him to have direct contact with God and the original Apostles; he has written extensively about these visions in a series of best-selling books that would make probably make Joseph Smith cringe. His most popular book is The Final Quest, and it is a frightening and nightmarish story of Christians engaged in an end-times civil war where the Bible-believing Christians are killed by the "spirit-lead" Christians. It is a book of 100% new revelation that any Bible-believing Christian should treat as the worst kind of heresy imaginable.

Here's a recent video of Dr. Michael Brown promoting Rick Joyner and his MorningStar Ministries:

 

WARNING: This is (seriously) a very disturbing video of a "worship time" at Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries:

(Rick Joyner 's "ministry" is so far out there on the fringe that a voodoo ritual is considered "Christian worship," but it's also something Dr. Brown actively encourages people to send money to... what an incredible coincidence, huh?)

 

The New Apostolic Reformation, as defined by C. Peter Wagner, was the Charismatic movement that he and others originally called The Third Wave, but after the Toronto Blessing and the Brownsville Revival in the mid to late 1990's, he came up with the name New Apostolic Reformation. Wagner believed the next big revival was the Lakeland Outpouring of 2008, but it completely imploded after The Charismatic Day of Infamy, where Todd Bentley was exposed as a fraud, adulterer and drunkard. Ever since the previous "revivals" fizzled, those leaders have been trying to start a new one. They even had a new "super revival" "Light The Fire Again" (because all the other attempts to light the fire by renting stadiums and printing up fliers and building websites and producing emotionally manipulative videos and hiring emotional speakers and rock bands... had not yet lit the fire).

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Notice that it says: "We are believing God to begin anew the mighty move of his Holy Spirit that swept across the earth at the close of the last century?" That's a direct reference to the Toronto and Brownsville "revivals" (and probably Smithton, too). A bunch of the leaders from that time were having a "reunion show" to talk about the good old days and get people all worked up again. By the way, you'd have to buy tickets for this "mighty move of the Holy Spirit" ($199).

Guess who spoke at this reunion show? Yes, many of the original leaders of that "mighty move of God" that C. Peter Wagner called The New Apostolic Reformation...

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Yep, that is the one and only Dr. Michael Brown, prominent speaker at the Toronto reunion show. He's there with NAR leaders Randy Clark, Rick Joyner, John Kilpatrick, John Arnott... (What an incredible coincidence, huh?)

Speaking of John Arnott, he and his wife Carol were just recently "lighting the fire" on a special edition of Sid Roth's show:

 

There is a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation, but it is a loosely-knit movement with no official leader or official doctrinal statement. A number of the key NAR beliefs originated in the New Order of the Latter Rain movement, which had splintered from the Pentecostal movement in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Latter Rain ideas were condemned by the Assemblies of God, but they've survived and flourished in spite of that.

Here's an official statement from the Assemblies of God in 1949:

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Some of the ideas that have come from the New Order of the Latter Rain are: the passing of an anointing by the laying on of hands; new revelations and "prophetic words" for the end times generation; a new generation of "manifested sons of God;" adherence to specially anointed end-times Prophets and Apostles; and supernatural healing as normative and expected. On top of those NOLR beliefs, here are some of the ideas that most NAR leaders believe:

  • A belief that "ordinary" church growth is not good enough, we must have "revival" which is more "radical" and always involves fire of some sort.

  • A belief that supernatural signs & wonders must be the practice of every Christian (regular Christians are to be pitied because they're not "on fire").

  • A belief that the Holy Spirit is always desiring more attention for Himself, and He wants to make you do awkward, weird and humiliating stuff... because He wants to have greater intimacy with you. This same Holy Spirit can't function unless you attend manipulative "revival" conferences with speakers who yell a lot and rock bands who perform music from Hillsong and/or Jesus Culture.

  • A belief that God really wants to give us this revival, but Christians haven't done enough to make it happen. We're not "hungry" enough, we're not "desperate" enough, we haven't "surrendered" enough, we're not "willing to burn" enough. We have to keep going to the next big conference or rally because each one is "The Most Important Event of Our Lifetime."

  • A belief that we are to work toward, and expect, a "billion-soul harvest" sometime (very) soon.

  • A belief that all of these crazy ideas are valid, in spite of the fact that they are not found in God's Word.

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The Bible does NOT put these requirements on us.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

He did not die on the cross so we could run around for the rest of our life trying to "burn more" or "really go after Him" or repeatedly ask for "more Lord, more" or any such thing. On top of that, the Bible makes no mention of a "billion soul harvest," no matter how much Lou Engle yells about it as he rocks back and forth. The billion soul harvest was made up in the twisted mind of false prophet, Bob Jones.

Here's the "prophet" Bob Jones, at Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries making that "billion soul" prediction, just like he did for decades before:

This is the same "seer-prophet" that sat right next to Todd Bentley and couldn't "see" that he was a fraud:

Bob Jones, Todd Bentley, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, Heidi Baker, Randy Clark, Bill Johnson, Sid Roth, Lou Engle, John & Carol Arnott, Kris Vallotton, Chuck Pierce, Todd White, Benny Hinn, Lance Wallnau, Mike Bickle, Che Ahn, James Goll, Shawn Bolz, Cindy Jacobs... these are people who have similar beliefs and practices (and there are thousands more like them, with millions and millions of followers). There is not a secret conspiracy joining them together in a specific plot to do some horrible thing that is deeply hidden.

Nope.

These are just people who have certain theological beliefs that are similar and, we at Pirate Christian Media believe, wrong. There are plenty of true Pentecostals who also believe some of these teachings are wrong (like the Assemblies of God!), so this is not an issue of cessationism versus continuationism as Dr. Brown wants everyone to think. We believe these ideas are not supported by God's Word, and we believe that millions of people are being harmed greatly by these false teachings.

Dr. Michael Brown has made it clear that he rejects some of the beliefs of this NAR group, like the specific dominionist beliefs that most of them hold to, and the belief that modern day apostles are somehow authoritative like the New Testament Apostles. We are happy to know where he stands on these issues.

But in most other matters, it seems that Dr. Michael Brown has a lot in common with these people. He wants all of the other connections to be seen as coincidences. That's a LOT of coincidences. There could be ten more articles just like this one with more and more evidence of Dr. Brown's approval and participation in these NAR teachings. 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

— 1 John 4: 1

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

— 1 Corinthians 14: 33

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”

— Jeremiah 5: 30-31

“And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.”

— Ezekiel 22: 28

“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity
to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.”

— Lamentations 2: 14

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

— Matthew 24: 2


Here are a few really helpful videos from Chris Rosebrough addressing this issue:

Here's a great resource with a lot of information about the history of the New Apostolic Reformation and its origins in the New Order of the Latter Rain: What is the NAR?

Here's a gigantic article that Dr. Brown probably hopes you never read: Dr. Michael Brown Ruins His Credibility on His Own Facebook Wall, Then Deletes All the Evidence

Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

The Charles Finney Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Pelagianism & Evangelical Manipulation

Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) was the father of "Revivalism" in America, the most prominent preacher of the Second Great Awakening, and in many ways the father of modern Evangelicalism in America. He is often considered the predecessor of American Evangelists/Revivalists like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. He was a successful lawyer who became a Christian as a young man and decided to use his considerable powers of persuasion to begin preaching, in spite of having little theological training.

 

If you've ever heard a preacher give an impassioned, emotionally manipulative sermon that ends with an irresistible plea to come forward and somehow make a decision to become a Christian, you've witnessed the lasting impact of Charles Finney. If you've ever felt that the church was ineffective in building God's Kingdom and what we really need is a big 'ole revival, you've been influenced by Finney. 

In overly simplistic terms, Finney was guilty of a form of "Pelagianism," which means he over-emphasized man's free will so much that the sovereignty of God (and God's ability to save) was virtually ignored. Finney believed that Christians could accomplish God's work by simply using their determination, so much so in fact, that he practically left God out of the equation:

 "A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term "miracle” — something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else. When mankind become religious, they are not enabled to put forth exertions which they were unable before to put forth. They only exert powers which they had before, in a different way, and use them for the glory of God. A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means." -Charles Finney, (Lectures on Revival, Lecture 1, 11)

Worse than that, was Finney's unorthodox view of the atonement of Christ. Finney didn't believe in the substitutionary atonement, instead he believed that Christ's death on the cross was simply demonstrating obedience to God. Since Jesus was obedient enough to go all the way to death on the cross, we should do likewise. Christ didn't so much accomplish something on the cross (pay for our sins) as He was setting a good example for us to follow. This alters the meaning of the Gospel completely! This view of the atonement is usually called the "Moral Influence" theory. Not only did Finney believe that the "moral influence" theory of the atonement was the chief way of understanding the cross; he explicitly denied the substitutionary atonement, which he said:

"assumes that the atonement was a literal payment of a debt, which we have seen does not consist with the nature of the atonement ... It is true, that the atonement, of itself, does not secure the salvation of any one" -Charles G. Finney (Systematic Theology p.217).

If you've ever felt worn out and frustrated by the "do more, try harder" version of Christianity, this shocking news about Finney's beliefs might help you to understand what has gone wrong in much of American Evangelicalism. 

 

The following articles and videos are from various writers, theologians and pastors who all agree that Charles G. Finney had a number of very questionable beliefs, and it would do the church much good to carefully consider how Finney's ideas contrast with Holy Scripture. 

The Disturbing Legacy of Charles Finney by Michael Horton

Charles Finney’s Influence on American Evangelicalism-Exposing Charles Finney's Heretical Teachings by Bob DeWaay

Charles Finney's Influence on American Evangelicalism Radio Broadcast with Bob DeWaay

The Pelagian Controversy by R. C. Sproul

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part one) by Richard Belcher

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part two) by Richard Belcher

Charles G. Finney: Heretic or Man of God (Part three) by Richard Belcher

Finney: The Aftermath by Monte E. Wilson

A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing: How Charles Finney's Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement by Phil Johnson

Charles Finney The Father of American Evangelicalism lecture by Jeremy Rhode

Walther Versus Finney by Dr. Tom Baker

Charles G. Finney: How Theology Affects Understanding of Revival by Iain H. Murray

The Heresies of Charles Finney (Part one) by John Cereghin

The False Teachers: Pelagius by Tim Challies

  Charles G. Finney: How Theology Affects Understanding of Revival

 

Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

A New Years Thank You Note from The Evangelical Industrial Complex

 

We would like to take a moment and thank the untold millions of Christians out there for their unwavering and mindless commitment to our Christian celebrities, perky conference speakers and megalomaniac pastors. Thank you so much for refusing to take your head out of the Evangelical sand over the past year! 

 

Because of you and your unquestioning support, we can continue to invent new catchphrases and slogans every few years in order to sell more conference tickets, books and assorted merchandise. Our marketing people are working tirelessly behind the scenes to invent yet another profitable product disguised as "Christian literature." But let's not stop here, there's still plenty more we can do.

Working together, here's just some of what we can accomplish in the New Year:

  • We can continue to crank out motivational speech mediocrity with mega-church appeal; with all the theological depth of a one-day-only, self-help workshop run by teenage shopping mall food court attendants.

  • We can transform the transcendent and Holy God (who spoke the entire Universe into existence) into your personal assistant, life coach and dream interpreter. He doesn't mind at all!

  • We can normalize heterodoxy and heresy, and turn sound doctrine into the exception-not the rule. Remember, we determine orthodoxy; your job is to happily go along with us. You're AWESOME!

  • We can give lip service to the Bible while continuing to ignore much of what it actually says. Better yet, we can take a half verse and slap it on a coffee mug and it'll sell!

(By the way, 74.87% of our gross sales come from good old reliable Jeremiah 29:11. In this business we call it "the verse that pays." We could probably sell dirty sox if they had Jeremiah 29:11 printed on them!)

 

  • We can give lip service to those great pioneers of the faith (Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, etc.) while continuing to ignore much of what they actually said. Heck, nobody buys their crusty old books anyway!

  • We can continue to prop up and defend our growing staff of professional hype-monsters, marketing hacks and bloviating young egomaniacs with pastoral visions of grandeur. "Is he a pastor or is he a rock star?" As long as he can move product, who cares!!

 

  • We can continue to produce and market pulsating soft-rock musical drivel with a convincing level of polished sincerity. Moms and dads, do you think that these fresh-faced young musicians are the kind of people that should be dating your sons and daughters? You do? Good! That's all we need to sell more units and increase royalties!!

  • In order to continually provide you with "Positive and Encouraging Music That's Safe for Your Family" we have a long list of theologically vapid, yet attractive hipster musicians waiting in the wings; ready to replace the next Christian superstar who wanders into sexual indiscretion, biblical confusion or pitchy vocal problems. (You're welcome!)

 

Thanks again for all of your support! Let’s make this year even better than market analysis is currently predicting!

(By the way, if anyone has another runaway best-seller like The Prayer of Jabez, The Shack, Jesus Calling or maybe even a slightly provocative exercise DVD, please contact us so that we can buy the copyrights and send you appropriate compensation. Thank you, The Legal Team.) 


Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

Bill Johnson: The Presence of God or Demons in Church?

Here’s a detailed (and disturbing) video of the false teaching from Bill Johnson’s popular YouTube video called “Presence of God by Bill Johnson


Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

A Parable About Ignorance in the Church (And Some Solutions)

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Imagine that you've never heard a piece of classical music.

                                                                        Ever. 

You never went to a concert, or even saw one on TV. Now also imagine that you knew absolutely nothing about all the instruments in an orchestra, and you couldn't tell a flute from a tuba or a violin from a piano. Also imagine that you know nothing about the history of classical music throughout the centuries or any of the great composers. Maybe you've heard a few of their names, but you have no idea who they were or what they did.

But now imagine that you and all your friends (who also don't know anything about classical music) were sitting around watching TV one day and you randomly came across a classical performance on PBS for just a few seconds while switching channels; and imagine that you only saw the conductor waving his arms around for those few seconds.

That's all you saw. 

Now, what if someone asked you "how familiar are you with classical music being performed by an orchestra?" and you answered "I know all about it! Me and my friends saw that guy waving his arms around on TV." 

Would you really know very much about classical music? Of course not. But you insist: "I saw that guy on TV waving his arms around! Don't tell me I don't know about classical music!" And you might add: "and all my friends saw it, too!"

Sorry, but you and all of your friends don't really know what you're talking about! And until you get a lot more information, you're going to remain ignorant of classical music being performed by an orchestra. (And you'd be missing out on a lot!)

 

 This is, very sadly, an illustration of where a lot of Evangelicals stand in regard to Christianity. They're ignorant of their faith's history, its leaders and its key doctrines, and they often believe that any study of theology is inherently bad; which is kinda like saying "I don't care about notes-I only care about music!" or "I don't care about ingredients-I only care about food!"

Yet they believe they know all about their faith based on a guy (their favorite pastor, evangelist or author maybe) "waving his hands around," so to speak. Worst of all, they don't even know very much about the very Word of God that can teach them. The Holy Spirit should be teaching them through the Word of God, but He's been replaced by a bizarre, mystical "genie in a bottle" who requires rock bands in order to "manifest himself" and who always demands more and more attention. Or the Word of God has been reduced to a self-help guide and a handbook of “leadership principles.”

And to make matters worse, these very Christians are gleefully unaware of their own ignorance. They believe their pastor really knows what he's talking about. Why? Because he said so! And all of their (church) friends think so, too!

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I know about this topic, because I was one of these ignorant Evangelicals, and I'm very glad to be leaving their ranks. Not because I want to be smarter, but because I want to know the truth about my faith and my God.

I had an extremely limited understanding of Christianity, but I didn't even know it. I thought I was hearing about solid, Biblical Christianity, but in fact, I was only hearing about the American, Arminian, Revivalist, Semi-Pelagianist tip of the pragmatic Protestant Evangelical iceberg. I thought I was going to a "New Testament-styled" church, but it was actually an outgrowth of a number of movements from only the past 200 years or so, and we were impacted even more by recent teachings from just the past few decades. Now if those various Christian movements from the past 200 years had really "improved" or "purified" Christianity (as they claimed), I had no way of really knowing because I was inside that movement and it was all that I knew. Once I stepped outside of the movement and studied what came before it, I could actually see things more clearly and I could compare the teachings of a pastor or church against historical, Biblical Christianity. It was like a (very) cold splash of water to my face. Or more like a slap upside the head that I'm still recovering from. But now that I know much more about all of this I'm very glad to be where I am.   

I write about this because I wish nothing more than for all my Christian friends (and everyone else who reads this) to experience something similar in their own lives. I'm so much more at peace and so much more confident in my faith because of what I've learned. As I've learned to see both Law and Gospel in the Bible, I'm not so confused anymore. And I'm excited to learn more everyday-literally!

The thing that really concerns me, is that a lot of Christians, especially as they grow older, are getting tired of pat answers and shallow catch-phrases from pastors who are operating from within the self-contained bubble of “Pop Evangelicalism.” After so many years of shallow answers they start to give up… and then just tune out. They gradually stop attending church and whimper away; but a new crop of younger faces (usually with children in tow) show up to replace them. They'll buy into the shallow catch-phrases and pat answers, but only for a while. And then the cycle begins again. After 10 or 20 years of therapeutic "life-lessons," un-Biblical "success strategies" and unfulfilled "prophetic words" they'll eventually whimper away, too. No amount of cool videos, hip new logos, "relevant" messages or rock bands will fool them anymore... they're done

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Please, don't let that be you!

If you can relate to this, here are a few ideas that might help you:

First of all, maybe you just need to spend more time reading the Bible. Duh, right? But, seriously, many Christians don't even read God's Word. So just get started. Read entire books, too; don't just skip around to a favorite verse here or there. The New Testament epistles are all pretty short-that might be a great place for you to start if it's been a while. Remember, the real meaning can only be understood properly in context, so reading a whole passage will always help you understand the meaning better.

I don't recommend The Message or The Passion Translation (they're not really Bibles-they are paraphrases of the Bible that sometimes sounds pretty neat, but many times are just plain wrong), but I do read the New Living Translation sometimes (which uses very easy, modern language); otherwise I mostly read a more accurate, but readable, translation like the NASB, ESV, NKJV or the original NIV. For further study, I really like The Lutheran Study Bible. Also, the Reformation Study Bible, the ESV Study Bible, and the NIV Study Bible have tons of helpful content (these are just a few of the excellent study Bibles available).

I sort of went overboard on buying these…

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Secondly, here are three great programs (and a couple YouTube channels) that have helped me to leave the foggy land of the Evangelical Industrial Complex (although there are a lot more websites and programs to recommend). All you have to do is listen to them.

Seriously, just start listening ASAP!

Fighting for the Faith

This podcast is from my buddy, Chris Rosebrough. As he says, "don't listen with an open mind, listen with an open Bible." This show is a little like Mystery Science Theater 3000; he plays sermons by the "Super Pastors" and interrupts/corrects them using correct interpretive methods (and he usually ends up ripping their bad teaching to shreds). I'm amazed at how much I've learned from this one podcast. I'm sure I've learned more in just 2 or 3 years of listening to this, than in 30 years of sermons. I am not exaggerating. Now that I'm occasionally on the show it's even better. (That was a joke)

 

The White Horse Inn

"Know what you believe, and why you believe it!" This ministry has been slugging away for over 20 years, trying to teach Christians about the Bible, the Reformation, and why we need another one. You can also find a lot of their shows archived on YouTube here. I love this show, and I don't know where I'd be without the things I've learned here! The people on this program also do an excellent of demonstrating what it’s like when people from different denominational traditions talk together respectfully about their differences, and about the Gospel message that draws them together.

 

Critical Issues Commentary

This is a simple radio show that features the excellent teaching of Bob DeWaay. Bob has tackled a lot of the topics that most Christian shows wouldn't touch. And he's taught me a lot! I've listened to many of his half-hour shows over and over again, just so it can all sink in (and correct the confusing stuff I used to believe). He has also published a lot of excellent (and short) articles on the same topics as the radio shows; I often print these off (they're even available in PDF form) and give them to people.

 

Ryan Reeves YouTube Channel

 This is a great collection of videos about the history of the Christian Church and it's theological development; plus they are presented with a pretty neutral viewpoint. Done in a narration/documentary style, most of these are around 30 minutes or so. I've listened to many of these multiple times, because they're so interesting and well done. Reeves is a Professor with a PhD in Historical Theology from Cambridge; basically, he's giving away college lectures for free!

 

Bruce Gore (Church History) YouTube Channel

This is similar to the Ryan Reeves channel, but these are videos of actual lectures given at Mr. Gore's (very fortunate) Sunday School class. He's an engaging teacher, and the lectures have extensive notes and photos to follow along with. There are many other lectures on his channel (Bible studies, Lessons in Philosophy and more), so be sure to check out all of the content there. This is another amazing free resource!

 

This is just a start, but I hope this helps! (I originally wrote this article before I was a part of Pirate Christian Media, so be sure to check out the many great programs and blogs to be found on this site)


Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

The Gigantic Problem Beneath the Really Big Problem

Dear Fellow Christian,

Let's be brutally honest, you've got a difficult road ahead of you. You no longer live in a culture that tolerates Christian beliefs very much, you've got secularists and atheists breathing down your neck, and you're loosing your sons and daughters to the surrounding pagan culture at an alarming rate. There are a lot of things that the Evangelical church is struggling with at this point in history. In the many attempts to remain effective, relevant, and frankly, to try and stay ahead of declining membership, many churches have adopted a solution that is making things even worse-they're throwing gasoline on this raging fire.

Here at Pirate Christian Media we are constantly trying to sound a warning to the church: "You are way off course-you're in great danger!!" is the message we often proclaim. We provide evidence and convincing proofs. On "Fighting for the Faith" Chris Rosebrough plays (and then carefully critiques) hour after hour of sermons from the biggest and most popular pastors in the world. These sermons are terrible. These pastors are using the Bible as a prop-they often don't even read it at all. These pastors are clearly misusing God's Word to say whatever they want to say-to get what they want to get. The proof is abundant and it's overwhelming. If you haven't listened to Fighting for the Faith I expect you to read the previous four sentences with great skepticism. Fine. Listen to a couple dozen episodes and come back to this when you're done (and presumably queazy). 

Having enough proof of the false-teaching is not the problem; in fact, it's not even very hard to prove these "super-pastors" are misusing God's Word. Anyone who simply reads their Bible can see what's going on most of the time. So yes, there's a Really Big Problem in the church: False-teaching is the new normal in many mega-churches. Google any list of the "Biggest Mega-Pastors in America" and you'll notice how just about every single one of them has been exposed as a false-teacher on Fighting for the Faith (and some other good podcasts and blogs, too). All sorts of false-teaching is also the norm in many best-selling "Christian" books that are published by "Christian" publishers, and things are really bad on "Christian" television. False teaching is the new normal and it's everywhere, but that's not the Gigantic problem.

The Gigantic Problem is that you're being systematically convinced that sound doctrine is the problem.

You're being told, over and over again, that we need to skim even more lightly across the surface of Christianity and "just love and accept each other no matter what we believe; after all, isn't that what Jesus is all about?..." Churches, pastors and Christians that refuse to take a stand on the meaning of God's Word are not helping anyone-they're making things worse. When they go along with this confusing idea of doctrinal ambiguity, they're throwing gas on a dangerous fire.  

This strange new version of Christianity can only be passed off to a church that has rejected God's Word. And make no mistake about it: The American Evangelical Church has abandoned God's Word. It almost never comes right out and says so, but it has. But that's why it's so hard for most Christians to see what's right in front of them: everyone assumes that everything is Biblical and, therefore, everything is okay. Almost never do these false-teachers come right out and proclaim their abandonment of the Bible, because that would set off alarms and they would lose their audience. So a very thin facade covers up a very obvious and overwhelming issue: False-teaching (of many varieties) is the new normal. And the thin facade covering up this obvious false-teaching? Often, it's just the use of the adjective "Biblical." As long as a false-teacher sticks the word "Biblical" in front of their twisted teaching, most people smile and nod in agreement. 

I truly wish more people would say things like:

  • "I wonder if what this guy is saying is really Biblical?"

  • "I wonder why this pastor sounds exactly like a motivational speaker with Jesus tacked on at the very end?"

  • "I wonder if this teacher is being accurate with the text? It seems like he's inserting his own meaning into what the Bible says."

  • "I wonder if this guy is just proof-texting the Bible to make it say what he wants it to say?"

  • "I wonder if this lady really knows what she's talking about-she talks so fast I can't even keep up with half of what she's saying! I'm gonna check my Bible and test what she's saying."

  • "I wonder why this supposedly 'new and better' version of Christianity never existed for all of church history... until now?"

  • "I wonder why this guy always hears a 'fresh new word from God' at exactly the same time as his latest book comes out?"

  • "Isn't it a strange coincidence that this pastor suddenly changed his view about an important issue and adopted the exact same viewpoint of the surrounding culture?"

  • "If it's so important for me to emotionally experience the "Presence" of God, why didn't Jesus or the Apostles ever mention it? Why is the church now sounding like the New Age movement??"

Most of the time people don't want to believe bad news-especially bad news that seriously affects their whole view of the world. But when there's really bad news they really don't want to believe it. Having to admit that your favorite pastor/author/teacher is wrong is just too hard for many people to accept. But one's feelings about reality should never be a cover-up for reality itself

Something is true because it's actually true-whether you like it or not.

Something is false because it's actually false-whether you like it or not. 

And...

Something is Biblical because it's actually Biblical, whether you like it or not... no matter what some slick, over-paid and overly-confident pastor might say, even when he's in an expensive and emotionally manipulative video full of half-truths, careful editing and compelling music. 

The Bible makes it ridiculously clear that sound doctrine is vital and essential. It's not just a nice hobby for theologians and Bible nerds. Jesus made it ridiculously clear that we should watch out for false teachers-He warns us to not get mislead by them. Then the Apostles did the same thing. But a lot of people are ignoring Jesus and His Apostles (who wrote the New Testament) and following the teachings of men (and quite a few woman, too).

  • If you listen to many of these super pastors, you'd think there were all sorts of Bible verses instructing us to skip God's Word and follow whatever our pastor says-especially if he seems really sincere (and can muster up tears at the conclusion of his sermons).

  • If you evaluate the modern Evangelical church, you'd think there were lots of Bible verses telling us to "make it up as you go-as long as your heart is sincere and you seem to be getting results."

  • If you read many of the Christian best-selling books you'd think that the Bible says: "Listen for your own personal messages from God, because this Bible isn't really good enough."

  • If you believe the new normal, you'd think that the Bible teaches everyone to navigate this life, and all of eternity based on our feelings, thoughts and personal experiences, because "God just wants us to be happy."

  • If you believe the new normal, you'd think that the Bible is a success guide to help you achieve the American Dream (and maybe improve your sex life).

  • If you believe the new normal, you'd think that the Bible says, "listen to the most popular and convincing false teachers, because even though they twist God's Word, they have some good things to say, too."

  • If you believe the new normal, you'd think that the God of Scripture, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny reside in the same realm; along with the ability to "speak things into existence" and "discover your Destiny" so you can "become a Champion!"

  • Here's an entire article full of things that aren't in the Bible (but you'd think they were).

Underneath these really bad ideas is the gigantic bad idea that "doctrine doesn't matter-doctrine is the problem." Doctrine is just another word for teaching. The Christian Church gets its teachings from the Bible, and the Bible demands that we adhere to sound doctrine. You cannot bypass the Bible and "just follow Jesus." Sorry, but Jesus never taught that, the Apostles never taught that, and God's Word-The Holy Bible-does not teach that. Does this sound legalistic to you? That's probably because of all the bad doctrine (bad "teaching") that you've received. God demands sound doctrine (good "theology") because He wants you to know the Truth. Remember, the Truth can set you free-but it has to be the Truth. 

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’
— John 14: 6,7

Think about it: Doesn't it make sense that God would want us to know what's true and avoid everything that's false? And if God has given us His Word, shouldn't we listen to it-instead of the teachings of mere men? The very Good News is that God Himself has intervened into human history and given us His Word; and His Word tells us about the amazing and shockingly Good News that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, who died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

Now here's something you really need to read (I dare you to read through the entire page):

Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know!

Here's another article that might add more clarity to this topic:

Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs

Here are a couple of videos that provide convincing evidence of the fallen state of the church:

Church of Tares: PurposeDriven, Seeker Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order

The Real Roots of the Emergent Church

Here's an interview with Dr. David Wells on Issues, Etc.: 

The Decline of American Evangelicalism

Here is a recently completed survey of the Evangelical landscape that shows how confused Christians are:

The State of Theology

Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

Bill Johnson Accepts Full Responsibility for Raging Fires in Redding, CA

Note: This article is satire, and it is meant to take Bill Johnson's bad theological ideas to their logical (and ridiculous) conclusion. It is not my intent to make fun of the terrible difficulties that people face because of the Carr Fires; my hope is that the obvious false doctrine of how "we are in control" will be revealed in this crisis. God have mercy on us all. -Steven Kozar

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In a brief press conference at the Redding, CA fire station, Bethel Senior Pastor Bill Johnson said, "It's all my fault and I will correct these errors as soon as possible. Unlike God, I'm in control. Please just give me a little more time to speak a rainstorm into existence. Thank you, no questions." After he finished Pastor Bill ran out the door saying to his assistant "Where's my Aston Martin?? Bring it to me now! I can pray while I'm driving..."

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Bethel Co-pastor and self-proclaimed "Reformer," Kris Vallotton, could not be reached for comment, since he was out of town giving a prophetic workshop...

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Bill Johnson doesn't think we need to "deal with unanswered prayer," so why is he not simply praying the fires away?

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Bill Johnson claims that it's our commission "to rule the earth," so why doesn't he lead by example and make the fires stop?

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Bill Johnson says that too much knowledge will hinder our obedience, so why doesn't he demonstrate his unwavering obedience (and lack of education) and put out the fires?

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If it's true that God "wants to use us to do the impossible" why doesn't Bill Johnson demonstrate this principle right now and put out the terrible fires in his own town?

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Bethel is the place that claims to encounter God all the time, which means they should have lots of power, so why don't they demonstrate all that power and make the fires stop?

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The Lord does whatever pleases him,
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths.
— Psalm 135:6
But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.
— Psalm 115:3
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
— Romans 11:33-36
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
— James 4:13-16

The Gospel message is all about God rescuing us from sin and death-it's about Jesus Christ dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. The Gospel message is not about us "becoming the Gospel," trying to take dominion over the earth, and "declaring and decreeing" that God must do whatever we want Him to do. -Steven Kozar

The following video is what happens when Word of Faith teaching is really taken to its logical conclusion by someone who seems to believe it; the fire doubled in size within 24 hours of this video:

 

The marketing geniuses at Bill Johnson's publishing company, Destiny Image, sent out this advertising email on July 31, 2018:

Here's an article from Bill Johnson on August 10th as the fires continue to ravage California:


Matt Chandler, Francis Chan with Hillsong, Jesus Culture at Yet Another Conference

This is yet another New Apostolic Reformation Big Event that you must attend, because you'll never be the same... it's gonna change everything... this is the Together Conference for the Together Generation!

Experts are currently trying to determine if the "Together Generation" is really just a new incarnation of the "Pepsi Generation."

Here's the Together Manifesto, which is not a manifesto at all, but simply a loose cluster of vague ideas that sound good to the ear of the gullible, especially if they're said in a cool video:

"Something needs to shift.
There is a better way than outrage
or apathy.

In the middle of you/me/us/them
stands Jesus.
He was snubbed by politicians
and the religious.
He drew the ordinary, the misfit,
the freedom-craver,
calling all into mercy, justice,
and action.
So what if I moved closer?
Away from walls that isolate,
toward Jesus and the world
around me.

I want to influence, to build bridges,
to take risks.
I will choose to listen and seek
to understand.
I will love, especially those
who are not like me.
I am part of the radical middle—where
we meet at Jesus from every side.
And we’re on the move."

Now here's the cool video where this pseudo-doctrine can be more emotionally manipulative:

 

For some reason these two guys are speaking at this event (along with NARpostle Brian Houston, Banning Liebscher, Sammy Rodriguez, Priscilla Shirer and others):

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Even though this event is still a few months away, "Together 2018" has done one thing very well already-they're promoting this thing with unabashed confidence. Rarely have such ideals been promised so confidently by an event that surely cannot accomplish any of this stuff:

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Wow, they got some good ad writers churning out the catchphrases. So, this day-and-a-half event is not actually an event-IT'S A LIFESTYLE. That's not even a cohesive idea. Heck, that's not even a cohesive sentence! Well, this is from the people who claim that they are: "part of the radical middle—where we meet at Jesus from every side. And we’re on the move." (This is a meaningless word salad, but they copied that last line from Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia.)

There is a glimmer of hope in all of this: it appears that the guy who used to always say "Did I do that??" on that old TV show is one of the guest performers:

Tye Tribbett (guest performer at "Together 2018")

Tye Tribbett (guest performer at "Together 2018")

Stay home and save the travel expenses. Read your Bible. Go to church. Nothing to see here... just another large group manipulation exercise.


The User's Guide to Postmodern "Emergent" Christianity

     Step one is essential: "Get in the loop!" What does this mean, you ask? Well, this thought pattern is almost everything you'll need to stay clueless within the confines of Postmodern Christianity. Once you start thinking this way, you'll never get out of "the loop." It goes like this:

     "Mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental people are bad, and whatever they believe is instantly invalidated by the fact that they are judgmental, narrow-minded, angry and mean. I get to decide if, and when, they are mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental."

     Once you're safely in this loop you won't need to carefully consider the truth claims of another believer with their precious little Bible verses. And, thankfully, you'll never have to learn anything about the theology and creeds that have been passed down for almost two thousand years. Remember, there are still old-fashioned Christians who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and they are mean, angry, narrow-minded and judgmental. These dinosaurs want to conduct church the same old way and cling to antiquated beliefs that are out of step with today's social climate. You can easily ignore these people if you're "in the loop." Before you know it, you will have completely dehumanized them and it won't even faze you that you've been the judgmental one all along! 

 

      To follow step two, say something like this: "That may be true for you, but it's not true for me." In days of old, this was only used for superficial matters, like one's preference of Mary Ann over Ginger. But nowadays this simplistic catch phrase serves a vital new purpose: it enables anyone to ignore God's Word with impunity. It used to be that a Christian couldn't just go around rearranging and reinterpreting the Bible, but now it's easy! You may substitute similar catch phrases like "I just feel like it's not wrong for me" or you can even quote that great Bible verse: "What is truth? asked Pilate..."

      Step three, in case you haven't already figured it out, is this: Don't take the Bible very serious at all, just give it lip-service. I know, I know, this sounds extreme, but remember this is Postmodern Christianity. Postmodernity is a belief system that says that no belief system is true. It's absolutely certain that nothing is absolutely certain. The Bible is full of absolute truth claims, that's why it's so exclusive, hateful and out-of-date. However, you will still need to make reference to it on occasion, so it's good to have some overly simplistic proof-texts handy. "Thou shall not judge" is the all-time most popular proof-text, so feel free to use it as often as you want. Just remember not to read the entire passage in the actual Bible, otherwise you'll see what Jesus really meant. You can even misquote it like this: "Who are we to judge?" or "Only God can judge-that's not my job!"

 

      The Bible has clear rules about what is right and wrong, so you will need to avoid all of that. Remember, people generally hate God's rules, so you need to stay on their side; instead, make those Bible thumping "traditional" Christians seem like the real problem, i.e. they're bad because they think they're better than anyone else. You must ignore the fact that true Bible-believing Christians don't think they're better than anyone else, they are simply pointing to the unchangeable truth of God's Word as the only ultimate authority. Furthermore, the Gospel itself is only "Good News" because Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins... and we couldn't even have sins unless we were guilty of breaking God's commandments... and since God Himself gave us His commandments we are clearly guilty and in need of a Savior.... do you see how this all falls apart if you start reading the Bible? You'll just turn into a regular Christian-ugh!

     Instead of that, keep it simple and just say something like "I believe the way of Jesus is love" or "I believe God just wants everyone to be happy in their own way." Nobody's going to argue with that, right? For more ideas on how to misquote God's Word, just listen to any interview with Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones or any of the hip new emergent leaders. With a good dose of sincerity and direct eye contact (plus some emotional background music), you can say almost anything in the name of Jesus!

     Finally, when in doubt, always prefer ambiguity over certainty and truth. Ambiguity is the magic glue that holds Postmodern Christianity together. What does this mean? I don't know, what do you think it means? Is it possible that the ambiguity of uncertainty is really just the context from within which our sense of community can emerge? I don't know, I'm just asking the question, because the beauty of relationship reveals itself through the self-discovery process, as we all find personal meaning collectively and individually. I'm not saying that anyone's version of truth is right or wrong; I'm just asking questions so that a dialogue can be established. Maybe there's a better way, a way where all of our collective narratives can form a cohesive, yet multi-faceted story. Maybe this new meta-narrative can lead us to a place where fear and hatred will be replaced by mystery, beauty, and ongoing book sales. A place with well-attended conferences and substantial speaking fees, a place of extensive radio and T.V. interviews and, ultimately, a regular guest position with Oprah. We must dream. We must hope. We must never reach any conclusions.

(See how easy this is?)

 

Now get out there and confuse everyone! You can do it!! 


Here's a great episode of Fighting for the Faith to help you understand Postmodernism better: A Beginner's Guide to Post-Modernity

Check out this article (with a TON of links) from the Berean Examiner: Postmodern Christianity's End Game?

For a serious look at the "Emerging/Postmodern" church, please watch this extensive video:

For an extensive and serious understanding of Postmodernism please listen to this audio book from Professor Stephen Hicks:

(Thanks to the folks at Pyromaniacs for the memes)

Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

 

 

Assertions and Assumptions are NOT the Foundation of the Church

Assertion: (noun) a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason:
Without providing any evidence, he made an assertion.

Assumption: (noun) something taken for granted; a supposition:
She didn't check the facts to see if it was true, she just made an assumption.
 

Have you ever received one of those ridiculous emails that claims you are the recipient of a multi-million dollar fortune from somebody in another country? But in order to claim your money you have to send a smaller amount of money to the complete stranger that sent you the email? Emails like this rarely fool people, but they work just enough that different versions of this scam re-emerge from time to time. 

  • The scam emailer is making an assertion. ("I'm telling the truth-really! I've got millions of dollars to give away-trust me!!")

  • The scammer hopes that the recipient will make an assumption. ("This email must be true, I believe it and will send the money")

The reason these scams don't work most of the time is because the assertion is obviously not true and most people do not assume that it is.

Much of the bad teaching going on in churches has both of these aspects. The pastor/teacher is making assertions and the people listening are simply assuming those assertions must be true. It looks something like this:

  • The pastor/teacher makes an assertion, often quite vigorously; he says it with confidence and emotion or he even claims it came directly from God Himself.

  • The people listening make the assumption that this pastor must be telling the truth. Why would he lie? He's a super nice guy, or he seems very sincere, or he went to some college somewhere... there's a million reasons why people assume they are being told the absolute truth.

Christians often use catch phrases that appear to be true, and the more often these phrases and ideas get repeated the more often they are assumed to be true. Popular pastors often have memes with their own sayings that are nothing more than mere assertions-usually meant to make people feel good.

For example, the following Joel Osteen memes look nice and sound good, but if you click through and read them all, you'll see that they don't say anything Biblical:

All of those sayings are making assertions ("You're gonna do something great and it's right around the corner," etc.) and these assertions are largely derived from a non-Christian, man-centered viewpoint.

  • These assertions are very appealing because they tell us what we want to hear, so...

  • it's no wonder that many people assume they must be true.

If you understand the Word of Faith movement (with some Positive Thinking along side), you'll see how these sayings stem from that belief system.

Now let's click through the ideas expressed in the following memes from Bethel church, where Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton teach:

These memes express a type of mystical, gnostic belief system; really, the only thing they share with Christianity is the use of some similar Bible words and phrases. Notice how the mystical "Yoda" meme actually seems to fit in? A portion of the New Testament was written to combat the gnostic beliefs that were an ongoing threat to the early Church. Here's a basic Christian definition of gnosticism (from the Pirate Lexicon): "Gnosticism is an early heresy which replaced the Gospel with a demand for secret knowledge. Gnostics claimed the only way to be saved was for the spirit to be liberated from the material order, which they considered evil. Elements of Gnosticism remain in modern churches (i.e. personal revelation, secret knowledge and mystical experiences)." Like the previous assertions made by Joel Osteen, these assertions put man at the center of our faith, but on top of that, they denegrade the use of thinking, reasoning and the objective, written Word of God.

This doctrine teaches that doctrine is bad. This teaching teaches that teaching is bad.

This belief says that God wants to be known internally and subjectively through a personal mystical experience. In this religion, He shares His miraculous power only with those who demonstrate the most extreme intimacy, passion and surrender. This has more in common with pagan mysticism and gnosticism than Christianity, but because these assertions are rarely tested, too many people make the assumption that they must be Christian and they must be true. 

Now for a striking contrast, here are some assertions from God's Word:

Titus 2:7-8  “...in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”

1 Thessalonians 5:21  “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good...”

1 John 4:1  “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

2 Timothy 1:13-14  “Hold fast (retain) the pattern of sound words (doctrine) which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”

2 Timothy 3:12-17  “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4  “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter."

1 Corinthians 16:13  "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."

Jude 3  “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”

 

  • Notice how these Bible passages teach the importance of sound teaching? And this sound teaching does not come from inside of us; God's Word is independent from us.

  • Notice how these Bible passages teach us to examine everything carefully, and test things? Nowhere does Scripture tell us to mindlessly accept a doctrine from a self-described "prophet" or new "apostle;" instead, we are to be very skeptical of the teachings of men.

One of the fascinating moments captured in the book of Acts is the very brief mention of Paul and Silas visiting the Jewish synagogue in Berea. Acts 17: 11-12 says, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek woman of high standing as well as men."

The Bible encourages us to be like the Bereans, who "received the word with all eagerness, and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

  • We should never just believe the assertions that somebody makes, we should examine the Scriptures to find out if it's true. Period.

  • We should never just assume something is true, instead, we should examine the Scriptures to see if something is true. Period.

God has given us His Word.

He didn't "sort of" give us His Word. He didn't give us His Word with a bunch of exceptions and exclusions, and cause us to become dependent on new "prophets" and "apostles." And He certainly didn't give anyone permission to add or subtract from his Word.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
— Ephesians 2: 19-22
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
— Matthew 7: 24-25
And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.
— Jonathan Edwards

Here's an article that explains the false assertions in the messed up church:

Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

Kris Vallotton: "We Shouldn't Confess Our Sins to Each Other"

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Bethel "pastor" Kris Vallotton thinks it would be wrong to confess our sins to each other, because that would "create a culture where we are always looking for what is wrong with each other." Instead, Vallotton says we should look for the "goodness, the GODness, the gifts that God has given us."

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
— James 5: 16

Kris Vallotton says that sometimes his group of disciples had to invent sins because they really didn't have any sins to confess that week. While it is not necessary to spell out the specifics of our sins, we should always be willing to "confess our sins to one another." Kris Vallotton teaches a twisted form of theology that believes "we just don't know how good we are." Check out this article and video to learn more: The (False) Gospel According to Moana.

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
— 1 John 1: 7-10

Here is one of the things that Jesus instructed us to ask for in the Lord's prayer:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
— Matthew 6: 12

Why would Jesus want us to ask for forgiveness? Doesn't Jesus want us to look for the GODness in each other??


Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

We Remember: The Charismatic Day of Infamy, June 23rd, 2008

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It's the ten year anniversary of June 23, 2008: "The Charismatic Day of Infamy," but you are NOT supposed to know about it (or even talk about it). 

If everyone knew about what happened on this day (and stopped making excuses for it) a whole bunch of false teachers would put their tail between their legs, pack up their bags and go home. The "New Apostolic Reformation," the "Signs and Wonders Movement," the Hyper-Charismatic Movement (whatever it's being called at the moment) should not even exist. 

Here's a video showing part of what happened on live television that day:

The "Super Apostles" were so proud of themselves that day; they could hardly believe that they were even gathered together at the same place. C. Peter Wagner (who does the official "commissioning" here) is the man who made up the name "New Apostolic Reformation" and then appointed himself God's leader of it. Other important "Super Apostles" on stage were Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner, Che Ahn, John and Carol Arnott, and the Super Star of the whole, messed up day: Todd Bentley.

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These men were all gathered in Lakeland, Florida, to officially "commission" Todd Bentley to become part of the "Super Apostle" club. This is what the founder of the New Apostolic Reformation, C. Peter Wagner, said:

"I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to you, Todd Bentley:

  • Your power will increase.

  • Your authority will increase.

  • Your favor will increase.

  • Your influence will increase.

  • I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry.

  • A new life-force will penetrate this move of God.

  • Government will be established to set things in their proper order.

  • God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error.

  • New relationships will surface to open the gates for the future!"

  • And rainbow-colored unicorns will spread golden pixie-dust and shift the atmosphere!! (Okay, I made up that last sentence...)

But within two months Todd Bentley's "revival" completely fell apart and these men were proven horribly wrong; they were proven to be false prophets on television for all the world to see!

  • Todd Bentley was having an affair with a woman from the church and abandoned his wife and children.

  • He was also found to be a fraud who couldn't provide any evidence for his claimed "healings" on national television.

  • And, it was revealed that he was showing up to these "revival" meetings drunk, as he went on stage and told elaborate stories about raising people from the dead, kicking people in the face and having regular contact with an angel named "Emma."

Here's Bentley telling the audience to call down angels at the Lakeland "Revival:"

 

 

ALL of these "Super Apostles" claim to hear directly from God and claim to have special "powers" and "anointings." They claim that they are part of a new and better church-not like the old, stuffy Bible-focused churches. They claim to "move in the prophetic" and some even claim to be "seers" who can predict the future. Rick Joyner claims to go to heaven on a regular basis-he evens claims to talk to the original (real) apostles, and he claims they wish they were him! Why didn't God tell any of these people the truth about Todd Bentley?

They were 100% wrong about Todd Bentley, and they were clueless about it! They stood up on that stage like blathering buffoons, talking all about how great Todd Bentley was, and all about the great things that were going to happen. Stacy Campbell even went through the trouble to hiss like a snake as she violently jerked her head back and forth, while she "prophesied over" Todd Bentley:

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A few years later, Todd's new wife (the woman he had an affair with) showed that she could hiss and shake her head, too.

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C. Peter Wagner should have tried to disband this New Apostolic Reformation, but he didn't; instead, he made excuses for what happened. Rick Joyner and Bill Johnson should have admitted that they don't really hear directly from God, but instead they decided to take Todd Bentley under their wing and tried to "restore" him to ministry. You can read more about this (and see more videos of the entire bizarre "commissioning") here: Grace to You.

These men and woman have all proven that they do not know what they're doing.

They do not know what they're talking about.

They do not rightly handle God's Word.

They do NOT speak for God.

 

 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

— 1 John 4: 1

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

— 1 Corinthians 14: 33

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”

— Jeremiah 5: 30-31

“And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.”

— Ezekiel 22: 28

“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity
to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.”

— Lamentations 2: 14

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

— Matthew 24: 24

Lastly, it needs to said that not all Charismatics and Pentecostals are in agreement with the leaders in these videos (The NAR leaders). They've fought against the ideas in "The New Apostolic Reformation" and they are to be commended for that. Unfortunately, their voice is largely being drowned out by the much more prominent and popular leaders who've declared themselves the Super Apostles. God help us all to be faithful to His Word, and to ignore the teachings of men.

Here are few more articles about this event:

Here's recent case where Todd Bentley claims to be raising the dead with absolutely no proof: My Phone Conversation With TMU RE: Bentley's Resurrection Claim (Audio)

Here are some things the Super Apostles do NOT want you to know: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know

"Smart phone prophet" Shawn Bolz and Todd Bentley together at "Azusa Now" in April 2016:

Here's a recent video showing Bill Johnson endorsing his good friend Todd Bentley:

Stupid Pastor Tricks-How You're Getting Fooled

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The Juvenilization Category of Tricks: 

  • The "Turn to your neighbor and say..." trick. Mr. Mega Pastor, we are no longer in the second grade, and we shouldn't be treated as such. This is just a way to force people to agree with you.

  • The "end every other sentence with AMEN?!" trick. Amen is not a question. You are putting that word at the end of your sentence because it forces people to agree with you, as they shut down any critical thinking.

  • The "make your church look like a children's TV Show" trick. Mr. Mega Pastor wants his followers to revert back to adolescence in order to instill obedience. But just how far will he go as he belittles his audience? How about this far:

                         Or how about this far:

                          Or how about this far:

  • The "my expectations of you are so low that I'll repeatedly insult your intelligence in order to hold your gnat-like attention" trick. Mr. Mega Pastor thinks most people are pretty stupid and need to be treated as gullible spectators. Worse than that, he thinks God needs the church service to be an adult pre-school in order to accomplish His will on earth.

  • The "listen to me repeat a catchphrase as if it were a Bible verse" trick. Because he needs these people to remember something, but he just can't seem to fit an actual Bible passage into his frantic yet meandering 45-minute speech...

 

The Cult of Personality Category of Tricks:

  • The "we started this church in our living room 6 years ago and look at what God has done!" trick. You bought a mailing list, hired a graphic artist and a web designer, you mailed out a slick postcard to 10,000 people that made promises & claims that your church can never deliver, but you're giving all the credit to God? Don't blame this thing on God.

  • The "aw shucks, can I just talk about myself for a while longer?" trick. You are trying to act humble but it's only working on the truly gullible.

  • The "our church is really great, and just in case you don't know how great it is, I'm gonna talk about it some more" trick. Why is it so important to continually prop up your church? You're not a pastor, you're a salesman making a pitch.

  • The "I don't have time to read the Bible, but I've got time to talk about sports/TV shows/personal stories/jokes/useless drivel..." trick. Everything that happens in your sermon is by your design, and you're deciding to cut out God's Word to make more room for yourself.

  • The "here's a really catchy name for my new sermon series that I'll keep repeating (I hope it gets me a book deal)" trick. We get it: without a new book you've got nothing to sell at the merchandise table when you go on the speaking circuit.

  • The "we are just so blessed and honored to have Pastor Whoever He Is with us today!" trick. And if you suck up to him enough, you'll get a speaking invitation at his (much larger) church.

  • The "watch me do that dramatic... pause... just like Rob Bell or Andy Stanley" trick. This is just cheap theatrics, and you've cheapened the house of God by pretending to be profound.

  • The "let me show you how cool and relevant I am while I pretend that I'm not trying to be cool and relevant" trick. Again, this only works on the truly gullible. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren't you Mr. Mega Pastor? (And Mr. Cool Music Guy on the worship team, maybe you should look into joining a cover band to satisfy your need for attention.)

  • The "let me brag about my luxurious lifestyle in front of the struggling people who paid for it" trick. You're not setting an example of success, you're taking money from people who will never live out the fantasies you sell them in the name of God.

 

The Super Spiritual Category of Tricks:

  • The "I hope you don't notice that I'm just making up this prophetic utterance" trick. If you want people to believe that God is speaking through you, shouldn't you construct sentences that actually mean something? How ridiculous can these "prophetic words" get? This ridiculous:

  • The "this is gonna be the year of acceleration! (or breakthrough, or increase, or visitation, or whatever...)" trick. Don't worry, after you make your New Year's proclamation you've got 11 months of useless blathering to distract everyone from your vague, yet false prediction.

  • The "I can make outlandish claims without any authentication" trick. Why does every supernatural event that you mention occur in some remote country... without cameras?

  • The "my Bible fell open and this is the verse that God showed me" trick. Wait a minute, is this a Christian church service or a tarot card reading??

  • The "I had my sermon all planned out but God gave me something different at the last minute" trick. Wow, we've never heard that before...

  • The "something REALLY big is coming... (eventually)" trick. How many decades have to pass before you finally cancel this ambiguous, confusing and useless "word from the Lord?"

  • The "healing service that's actually just a guy telling stories about all the healings he supposedly did somewhere else" trick. Lucky for this guy, the people who come to get healed are usually so desperate and confused they stay the whole time anyway. When they don't get healed they often blame themselves, too.

  • The "watch me talk very very fast, as if the sheer quantity of my words equated to Godly wisdom" trick. I suppose if you slowed down everyone could see that you're not really saying anything.

  • The "shift in the atmosphere" trick. Is this the Christian Church or an episode of Ghost Hunters?

  • The "Holy Spirit Tourette Syndrome" trick. Really? That's supposed to be the result of the Holy Spirit??

 

  • The "don't put God in a box" trick. This is how you turn the sovereign God of the Universe who has revealed Himself in His Holy Word into your own weird little creation.

  • The "Law of Attraction" trick. Well, if you don't want to preach the Gospel from the Bible, I guess you might as well steal ideas from Oprah...

  • The "God spoke to me, so you pretty much have to believe whatever I say" trick. Don't worry, hardly anyone will notice that this is exactly how all cults get started.


Check out the new and improved: The Messed Up Church website!

A Corporate Pilot Tells the Truth About Jesse Duplantis (and Kenneth Copeland)

Jesse Duplantis and Kenneth Copeland are two of the biggest Word of Faith teachers in the world. They both expect their gullible followers to buy them numerous private jets "for the Lord."

Here's a video from a pilot who is very familiar with the world of corporate jets, who tells the unvarnished truth about these clowns:

Podcast Interview With Marcia Montenegro: "One Thousand Gifts" Review

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In this episode of the podcast Steve talks with Marcia Montenegro about the very popular book "One Thousand Gifts." 

Here is Marcia's article (with more links) that we used as an outline for this podcast: "One Thousand Gifts" Christian Answers for the New Age

Here is another helpful article from Bob DeWaay: Romantic Panentheism: A Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Here's an episode of Fighting for the Faith where Chris Rosebrough talks about Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" book: Mystical Estrogen

 

Andy Stanley's "Aftermath" Series: Rejecting the Bible to Foster Faith?

(The "aftermath" of this sermon series should be the complete rejection of Andy Stanley's heretical teaching) 

(The "aftermath" of this sermon series should be the complete rejection of Andy Stanley's heretical teaching) 

In Andy Stanley's latest series, called "Aftermath," he suggests that Christians can unhinge their faith from the Bible while attaching their faith to the historically reliable resurrection of Christ (which is something we learn about from the Bible). Along with propagating doubt in God's Word, Andy Stanley is teaching a modern version of Marcionism, which is an ancient heresy that eliminates the Old Testament. Here are some recent articles that explain this in greater detail:

Andy Stanley's Modern Marcionism by Wesley Hill

Moralistic Therapeutic Marcionism by Rod Dreher

Marcion and Getting Unhitched from the Old Testament by Kevin DeYoung

 

Here are some direct quotes from this truly bizarre and confusing "sermon" series:

Jesus’s most devout first-century followers never owned a Bible, never read a Bible, they couldn’t have read the Bible if there was a Bible because most of them couldn’t read and there was no Bible to read. And yet, these men and woman turned the world upside down, they’re the reason we’re here today worshipping Jesus but they never held a Bible because there was no Bible until the fourth century. Why are you so quickly persuaded to walk away from faith because of a book that didn’t exist when Christianity began?
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 1, April 14, 2018
In order to remain irresistible, I noticed something we needed to address. And it had nothing to do with how we do church, it had everything to do with how we talk about the Bible, and specifically what we point to as the foundation of faith, which for most Christians, unfortunately, is the Bible.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 1, April 14, 2018
Many of you-I’m in this group-we were raised to believe that the foundation of our faith is the Bible; that as the Bible goes, so goes our faith, and if some of it’s not true then none of it can be trusted; it’s a house of cards.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 1, April 14, 2018
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It only took about ten minutes into the first sermon for Stanley to dismantle the authority of the Bible and give high praise to the sincerity and intelligence of atheists like Sam Harris, but then he spends the rest of the "sermon" talking about the ministry of Jesus and the early church while quoting from the Bible. But the obvious question should be: why is he using the Bible at all? 

Here is an excellent podcast from Matthew Garnett that carefully dissects the flawed and dangerous content of the first sermon, which was called Aftermath Part 1: Stand Alone:

Andy Stanley: "Christians Created the Bible" In Layman's Terms by Matthew Garnett

 

Here are some more direct quotes:

The first-century Christians had a very different kind of foundation for their faith than many of us have. Many of us were raised to believe that the foundation of our belief is the Bible, but they didn’t have a Bible, the Bible wouldn’t come until the early fourth century. What they based their faith on was an event-specifically the resurrection of Jesus, and this should be the reason we choose to follow as well.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
When Paul’s eyes were opened he had extraordinary clarity around the incompatibility of the Old and New Testaments.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
The Bible teaches that God mostly loves Jews AND the Bible teaches that God loves everybody; they are two incompatible covenants.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
I’m telling you, you take Old Testament values and imperatives and you mix them with New (Testament values and imperatives), you end up with a mess, and you end up with a message that unnecessarily drives people away from the Gospel. And once upon a time this wasn’t all that big of a deal, because once upon a time nobody knew that much about the Bible and they couldn’t find out much about the Bible unless they went to a library, but now everybody is one click away from whatever information they need to dismiss their faith, including your children and grandchildren.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
(On the public display of the Ten Commandments:) Jews aren’t for this, and it’s their law. You don’t see Jewish groups saying ‘We need the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn!’ Jewish people are like: ‘It’s over, it’s over...’ and the Christians are like: ‘No! It’s not over, we wanna keep it alive!’ And the Jewish people are like ‘I don’t think you’ve read it carefully.’ Cause they’re smarter than us about THEIR scripture.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
The gig is up. The truth is out there. We can’t hide anymore. So let me be super honest: We can’t hide behind the Ten Commandments anymore because everybody has discovered that the Ten Commandments aren’t the only commandments; the Ten Commandments are the table of contents for the whole Jewish law.
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 2, April 21, 2018
Originally in my notes I was gonna put a screen up here that said ‘In other words that means thou shalt not obey the ten commandments,’ but I knew someone would take a picture of that and it would define me for the rest of my life, so I’m not gonna put that up there...
— Andy Stanley, Aftermath Part 3, April 28, 2018

Here is a terrific video from Chris Rosebrough reviewing Andy Stanley's third sermon in the series called Aftermath Part 3: Not Difficult:

 

This latest series from Andy Stanley is not much different than some of the other disturbing things he has been teaching for years. For much more information see: 

The Andy Stanley Cornucopia of False Teaching, Fast Talking & Postmodern Ambiguity

Enter at Your Own Risk: The Fire Tunnel "Encounter Gospel!"

Do you feel that Church is not enough? Are you bored with the Bible? What you need is to directly contact God in a sorta creepy, yet experiential way. That's right, it's...

THE FIRE TUNNEL!!

(Click the GIFs to see more)

Make sure the hypnotic and emotionally manipulative "praise" music is cranked up and prepare to get zapped!

If the chaos, confusion, and scariness remind you of a haunted house, then you KNOW it's a movement of God! You can FEEL it!! 

Here's a fire tunnel at Bethel, where they've got a "prophetic puppet," which Bethel sells for $100. If the puppet isn't weird enough, there's also a guy biting people on their necks.

This is from Bethel "pastor" Seth Dahl, who is selling this prophetic puppet on the Bethel store (we posted this article about it in February, 2016):

In summary: Fire tunnels are a terrific way to spread germs, spirits, demons, weirdness and puppets (if you've got $100).

 

We hope this was helpful in your pursuit of the Encounter Gospel, but if you need more information:

The Fortune-Telling "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

The Hypnotic Worship "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

The Creepy, Drunk and Weird "Encounter Gospel" GIF Gallery!

Here's a related, serious article:

"Not Feeling It"-The Gospel for Everyone Else

Gallery of Cultish Comments: The Benny Hinn Display

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This begins a new series of posts on Messed Up Church! 

After interacting with people on social media (mostly Facebook and YouTube) it's become painfully obvious that plenty of the "Christians" who are making comments are more like cult-members than anything else. When the bad doctrine of a false teacher is pointed out, these followers feel compelled to step in to defend their revered leaders. Most of the time this becomes a demonstration of how poorly they've been taught, how Biblically illiterate they are, and how confident they are in their foolish thinking.

Let's take a look at how Benny Hinn's followers react to a YouTube video of a brief TV news segment where Costi Hinn is interviewed. In this video, Costi gently refutes the "prosperity gospel" of his uncle, Benny Hinn. Here are some comments against Costi; you'll notice that I lost my temper and decided to confront some of these people, after getting so many horrible comments:

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Note: This next comment should be taken seriously, since it comes from Eden Menastrees:

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Here is what it looks like when Benny Hinn followers try to defend him:

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This next guy was really on a roll...

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Although this video has plenty of comments displaying subjective, unbiblical, feelings-based thinking, the following comment is a really shocking example of delusional, cult-like thinking: 

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Stay tuned for further displays in The Gallery of Cultish Comments!


Podcast Interview with Robert Bowman Jr. "The Word-Faith Controversy: A Fair Critique"

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In this podcast Steve talks to Christian author & apologist, Robert M. Bowman Jr. about his book "The Word-Faith Controversy." Does the Word of Faith movement really have its origins in the New Thought movement, or is there a more accurate way to understand this gigantic movement?

Bowman clears up some misunderstandings and over-simplifications that other Christian discernment ministries have perpetuated, based on incomplete research. If you are trying to understand the New Apostolic Reformation, you need to hear this podcast.

The Word of Faith Cornucopia of False Doctrine

The Institute for Religious Research

Robert Bowman's book is easy to find used; (www.abebooks.com is often the best place to find used books) 

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