Loose Ends

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173 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Hmm, very interesting on the Bethel stuff…but not from the angle most would assume.

  2. Alex says:

    “who gives a glowing estimation of Calvary Chapel’s place in recent church history.”

    Of course he does, he’s also a proponent of the Anti-Bible belief that is against 1 Corinthians 5:12 and cuts it out of the bible in lieu of judging those outside the church.

    Hey, yet another sermon that speaks to the true Belief of the Anti-Bible faux literalists. Bible isn’t to be taken seriously or literally…that’s their message.

  3. Alex says:

    I know, my bad above…appealing to the bible is like appealing to a horoscope or Nostradamus…you are free to make it mean whatever you’d like to support your particular Narrative, your particular Career and your particular Agenda.

    And that, my friends….is the Troof! 😉

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “When you train people to not question bizarre “manifestations” and fill them will false ‘”prophecies”

    Someday you all will wake up to the fact that all manifestations today are bizarre (false / phony) and all prophecies if not false are at best fortune cookies. Stick to the Bible.

  5. Bummer about Bethel.

    The Jesus Culture music is really good.

  6. I’ve been particularly blessed by the messages I receive in Panda Express fortune cookies.

  7. Anne says:

    Not to derail this thread but I woke up to this Tim Keller quote on my newsfeed posted by a mothership faithful. “The sin that is killing you the most right now is the one you are most defensive about or just completely unaware of.” First I was rather shocked they were sharing something from a Presbyterian. Second thought was how utterly fearful the thought would be if held to, that a sin one was completely unaware of could have the power to kill you. Or is killing you metaphorical for causing you suffering in this life?

    Another quote from Billy Graham that boggled my already over boggled brain -“Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one ever bothered to ask.” Sometimes it seems God already has his hands full with all the petitions that do get asked (especially for parking spaces in SoCal).

    Kind of on topic I think because both quotes illustrate how folks hear things from leaders they trust and admire regardless of biblical/theological foundation and it is easier to imagine they are hearing from God, than not.

  8. Nonnie says:

    You know what I contemplate? That I have such a contempt for so much of what Bethel stands for, yet I have such respect for our beloved Babylons Dread that posts here. He has proven himself to be a man of integrity and love, and yet he “runs” with Bill Johnson. I don’t understand it, but I know I love Dread and he is a good man. Lots of questions, but at the same time, I know the Lord can handle it all.

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I’ve been particularly blessed by the messages I receive in Panda Express fortune cookies.”
    Obviously they have more truth than pops out of any modern day “prophet’ 🙂

  10. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    I completely agree with your #8…

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Anne – I never believe quotes I see popping up in my newsfeed. I think people make them up or rip them out of their context for their own purpose.

  12. Erunner says:

    Who the heck is Jake Santilli? What the heck is with the Jade Helm thing and is Wal-Mart part of some conspiracy as the military occupies seven of our states?

    I’m seeing this on FB and it’s getting a bit out of hand.

    Are people gonna tie this into end times paranoia?

    Strange days…..

  13. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I was going to address the Jade Helm stuff, but I’ve given my pound of flesh already this week…

  14. Erunner says:

    People are quoting Chuck Norris and everything they can find to damn our president and are equating conservatives with believers and democrats with non believers. It seems to produce more fear than anything as believers lose their focus of the cross and discipleship.

    I’m all for folks speaking their political views but it seems there should be a limit. That’s very subjective so being sincere will soon replace truth for some and many believers are going to begin placing their trust in ideas and people that will shipwreck them.

  15. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    The last time one of these stories was circulating I tried to offer evidence that it wasn’t true.
    That resulted in hate mail and claims that I’m nothing but a deceived leftist.

    I passed on doing so with this one…

  16. JTK says:

    What’s the worst charismatic thing any of you have personally witnessed?

    NOT read about, NOT heard repeated.

    Bill Johnson related or not.

    Seems on point with this discussion.

  17. Michael says:

    JTK,

    Tough question as most of us don’t go to this type of church…and most of us personally witnessed the Todd Bentley crap on TV.

    Anyone of a number of local pastors here would speak of the Bethel devotees coming up here and trying to change the doctrine of churches to include guaranteed healing in the atonement and “open heavens” among other stuff that causes conflict in the assembly.

  18. Kevin H says:

    So what do guaranteed healing and open heavens even mean?

  19. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    There is a doctrine that says physical healing of sicknesses was part of the atonement and the only issue is learning how to access it properly.
    If you know the secret formula you can both heal and be healed.

    “Open heavens” (as best as I can tell) means that access to all things in the heavenly realm are more accessible to acquire…and going there and returning to talk about it is also possible.

  20. Kevin H says:

    So if one knows the “secret formula”, they are guaranteed to be able to heal others and themselves whenever they properly or faithfully follow or apply the formula?

    Open heavens – So I can go grab myself a couple more guardian angels if I want? Maybe some Seraphim and Cherubim while I’m at it? Make some new friends?

    I’d be interested if Dread decides to wade in on the topic. While I am unfamiliar with a lot of the charismatic going-ons, and some of the things that I do know of I find very strange (to be polite), I do respect his opinion. As has already been stated here by others.

  21. Nonnie says:

    Kevin H., My mom was into all things charismatic and she would go to all the speakers and soak in their cr@p teaching. She came home one day and was all excited because some woman named “Billy” something was talking about how we should all have the power to be like Adam and be able to fly and walk up walls. She said that Billy was saying that she fully expected to be able to do it sometime. I asked her if Billy would be wearing a dress when she did it.
    Mom didn’t appreciate that.

  22. Michael says:

    Dread is an anomaly.
    And a mystery.
    And an enigma.

    He is grounded in the Word and learning , yet claims this tribe as his own.
    Beats hell out of me…

  23. Papias says:

    I respect Dread to say too much on this Bill/Justin issue.

    I know that he has sided with Bethel – quite vehemently.

    Our church was across the street from Mike Bickle’s Forerunner church, so this type of language confuses me as well.

  24. Erunner says:

    As a new believer friends took my wife and I to see John Wesley Fletcher. Heard a testimony of healing, participated in a Jericho march, heard the plea for funds, and then my wife went forward for healing of her arthritis. She went down and thought she was healed. My father went the following month for healing and thought he was healed.

    My father passed 19 years ago from the same illness and my wife is now 40 years with her R.A.

    It was all a big joke. We just didn’t know.

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    Dread in the house,

    I love this article. I affirm most of it. There is no reason to feel troubled for them. This is a great step. We are all sad about Jason and I think the consensus is that he is not well. I suspect he has had a major psychotic break and is suffering many delusions. HOWEVER,

    This has uncovered a growing network of those who reject Biblical authority as final and who are having “heaven” encounters with other beings from whom they are receiving commissioning for bringing the agenda of heaven to earth. Very bizarre stuff… and it needs to be confronted with force. I know of no credible renewal leaders who support this, but I will admit that it has its genesis in the perpetuation of a doctrine of “throne room” visitations.

    This is a watershed moment in the renewal and we will have to see what the real outcomes are.

    As for Dread weighing in well I am talking to everyone who will listen within and without. This is a big deal and I helped bring it to Michael’s attention. Anyone who does not want their own house cleaned up is hypocritical by nature.

    I thought Bill Johnson acquitted himself remarkably and support his actions completely. I know this gives critics an opportunity to dance on the grave but I am confident that this will all have a salutary outcome.

    For me the MOST troubling moment was watching the video … over 2 hours in length and seeing Jason lead a 30 minute ministry time with no mention of Jesus, the kingdom or the Gospel. He used buzz words of truth freedom and love and led people in all kinds of declarations. He was shamanistic and in an altered state and no one seemed to object. Further, months passed from that video and not one public outcry has been heard. The outcry came when Jason set up shop in Redding and seduced students into his madness.

    So we have a big mess…. nothing new about that. Get a broom.

  26. Xenia says:

    I don’t have much experience with charismatic manifestations. I know I used to go up to try to receive the so-called 2nd blessing every time it was offered, and nothing happened except I felt God gave me a scorpion when I asked for a fish. I am not normally a tearful person but I always left the building in tears. (Glad that’s all over with!)

    Probably the worst thing I ever personally observed was at a CC women’s retreat. A famous CC wife decided (without consulting the women’s ministry ladies) that everyone needed the gift of tongues. So the worship team was instructed to play atmospheric music, the lights were turned down low, and everyone who didn’t have tongues was invited (manipulated, I felt) to come up and get some Holy Spirit. How was this to be accomplished? Women who claimed they had tongues were asked to partner up with a seeker and sort of wind them up. Prime the pump. Get them to say a few nonsense syllables to get the flow going. Soon, ladies were babbling and the Famous Wife announced later that X number of women received the 2nd blessing that night. That night I saw through the whole charade and never felt like God had given me a scorpion ever again. In fact, now I believe He was protecting me.

    The Orthodox do believe that there is a gift of tongues extant today but is only rarely seen and then by people who need to speak a foreign language for emergency communication in a foreign land. Rare, but happens.

  27. covered says:

    I’m glad that you are here Dread. I have learned much from you.

  28. Nonnie says:

    Agree with Covered. Dread, you are loved and respected here.

  29. Michael says:

    How priceless is it to me to see someone own the errors of their tribe and walk in love for them and respect for those who expose them.

    How many horrible blights on the church could have been avoided with men like this in every movement?

    Dread, you couldn’t do this any better…

  30. London says:

    When I was a kid, my SBC warped into “that kind of church” so I’m super sensitive to “that kind of crazy”.
    Worse (in terms of freak out factor) has got to be moaning noises and people throwing themselves to the ground like they are in a fit.
    Or when you know the person “prophesying” is just making it up.
    Unlike MLD, I don’t think prophesies and “gifts” are all fake, so when people pretend or act wacky, it really freaks me out inside and all I want to do is run out of the room.
    Im not sure why others don’t see that it’s a ruse, or how something inside them doesn’t propel them to get away as fast as possible.
    To me, it’s like something in the vote of me makes me feel compelled to get out fast!

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    A bit more here …

    Darren Wilson is a videographer who has traveled the world telling renewal stories with his videos. He wrote an amazing piece admitting that he has used Jason W and admitting that the Jason of today bears no resemblance to the man he first filmed. the interest is phenomenal …. read this http://bit.ly/1zK7GM4

    Of note is the fact that this video on Charisma online has 111,000 shares in about 48 hours. No other story comes close and I think anyone will respect what he has written.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To be clear, I do not think that gifts are fake – I think the sign gifts are fake, but people expressing gifts of mercy, and hospitality or teaching along with administration, exhortation and the like are alive and well in my church.

  33. Scott says:

    This from Westerfield’s website, from the Jason Westerfield “About” section. How would a rational person give any credence to a fellow like this after just reading the way he describes himself here?

    “… Jason has a unique multi-dimensional perceptual ability and helps people with their spiritual, emotional and relational health. He has traveled to over 40 countries and is currently working on outer space-related issues and policies for mankind’s future in space.”

  34. Em says:

    #34 oh, Lordy!

    personally, i think that all that blackness out there was just created to give us a beautiful night sky and when the Lord finishes this episode, He’ll just dissolve it all and create something new … and better … could be, couldn’t it … not impossible … 🙂

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD,

    Why are you a cessationist on what you call sign gifts? There is no effective exegesis to sustain that idea.

  36. Michael says:

    This comment from the article BD linked speaks to how many of us in the valley view this.

    posted this below, but here it is again. Bill Johnson and Bethel are the primary reason why Jason is where he is. They “created” this monster by not using any type of discernment what so ever, from the get go. Grave sucking, angel feathers, gold dust, glory clouds, sticking pennies to walls, moaning, groaning, Patricia King, Heidi Baker, trips to heaven, astral projection, and the list goes on and on and on. They have always allowed anything and everything. Bill’s message from a few Easter’s ago, “I want my knife back” had to be one of the worst. You say he’s not a “name and claim it”? Really? Have you never heard that message or read any of their “offering”s from Sunday morning? Have you never listened to Kris Vallotton’s blathering about how great we are because we are “Kings and Princes”? Have you not heard Eric Johnson talk about meeting with Bob Jones regarding the “finger reading”? Have you not heard how Kris Vallotton says that because God made man and woman, that therefore, God is both male and female? Or did you hear Kris say that Adam was both male and female before God made Eve from Adam’s side? Have you not heard Jenn Johnson describe the Holy Spirit as the Genie from the Disney movie, Aladdin? The list goes on and on and on and on. I personally just witnessed a Bethel cat “prophesying” over a guy at a store and he told the guy, since he had a dog with him, that “God sometimes lets me prophesy to people through their animals”! Yep, saw the whole thing. What about all the “prophesies” from Cindy Jacobs regarding Bethel and all the huge buildings and growth they were going to have? Guess what, that didn’t happen, and it can’t, the City won’t let them because their property is useless. What about “grave sucking”? Is that ok? There’s proof that Kris thinks it’s ok and doesn’t have a problem with it. Kris is one of the biggest false prophets I’ve ever seen but yet he’s hailed as one of their best! Redding is in the top 10 worst towns to live in, in the US, because of all the sickness, crime and low income. It was just announced that Redding is the 5th most “unchurched” towns in America! Where’s Bill and Bethel now? This town, according to them and their silly prophesies, should be the best and healthiest town in the world! But, it’s not. Why? Because they’re false and they’re not truly hearing from God the way they claim. Again, I could go on and on and on, it never stops with them. Trust me, I live in Redding and have seen all of this with my own two eyes.”

  37. Scott says:

    “Grave sucking”?

    What the heck is that?

  38. Michael says:

    Scott,

    That’s when you lay on grave sites to receive the anointing of the departed.

    What more can I possibly say?

  39. Scott says:

    OMGosh, I have NEVER even heard of such a thing!

  40. Babylon's Dread says:

    Obviously I have a very different take on some of these things but others I understand.

  41. brian says:

    Really Scott that was a big ticket item back in the 90’s when I think it was Hinn and some other Vultures use to head on down the Kathryn Kuhlman’s grave and get the anointing from her bones, what a bunch of clowns. One of the offshoots of these ghouls is the witch children of Africa where some leech pretend pastor says some kid is possessed and the relatives freak out and pound nails in the kid’s head, burn their face with acid, put out cigarettes on the kid’s back, neck, in their eye and other fun stuff. Then they kick them out and the kid starves, is raped to death etc. But if you can pay the “pastor” a few bucks he will cast Satan out of the kid. Makes me want to cry to be honest.

  42. Do you think there is a single grave sucker who has read the Bible? I remember the grave sucker stuff maybe 5 yrs ago and just rolling my eyes. People talk about Lutheran and Presbyterian churches being boring, how boring must some of these renewal churches be to have people go lay on graves for spiritual excitement?

  43. brian says:

    Actually MLD I knew one person I worked with for 20 + years that was one of the people that went to find KK’s grave and get some juice from the old gal. No kidding she was on a tour with several others and they got this idea to go see the grave and get a refill of some type. She knew the bible quite well, she could quote it out of context all the time. EZE 37 2 kings 13:21 “Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.” and other such verses.

    real fun stuff and it does one good thing, it generates income.

  44. BD asked ; “Why are you a cessationist on what you call sign gifts? There is no effective exegesis to sustain that idea.”

    I think the book of acts is a pretty good exegete on the subject. Like Moses’ fading glow so we see the miracles fade to almost non existence in the last half of the book – probably 20 yrs with practically nothing – no one being raised from the dead, no one being healed, maybe one or two demons being tossed out – heck Paul even had to swim to shore instead of being transported as Phillip was much earler.

    But I asked the last time we spoke about prophecies – who made the last prophecy that was recognized as applying to the whole Church?

  45. brian – what they knew were the passages fed to them. No one just reading from cover to cover would come to those conclusions.

    I doubt Babs takes the family out for any dead bone spiritual fill ups – he knows better.

  46. brian says:

    “brian – what they knew were the passages fed to them. No one just reading from cover to cover would come to those conclusions.” Nope she was a cover to cover reader all the time, of course she was a nutcase to but thats a different post. She took out what she wanted to justify the nonsense she was into, funny you cant do that with a math book, geology book, chemistry book, ……….

  47. If grave sucking is the real thing, then I am going to go find Mickey Mantle’s grave because I know that a little of his dead stuff would make me the ball player I always dreamed of being. O Lord help me hit the curve ball. 🙂

  48. Scott says:

    Well, I remember the Hinn/Kuhlman grave connection, however, the term “grave sucker” is something I hadn’t heard of. The imagery the term illicits in my mind is pretty disturbing.

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD

    How is that criterion valid MLD?

  50. brian says:

    I spend time at my family’s grave actually they are all buried in one plot because we could not afford new plots when family died. I would go and pray once in a while. I no longer do that but I do keep it clean.

  51. Babs, it’s good enough for me.

    Look, the gifts I pointed out as still around, anyone can witness on any given day and everyone in the Church would say that they have witnessed people doing the gifts of mercy, hospitality and all I mentioned.

    How much agreement is there about the others? If Benny Hinn were out feeding the poor, no one would doubt he was expressing some gift. Why isn’t it the same when we watch him on TV? Why are some people skeptical about what he is doing? Shouldn’t it be obvious – shouldn’t his miracle working be delivering a message to the whole Church?

  52. Bob says:

    Grave sucking?

    Now I know for sure these nut cases don’t read their bibles. It says something about being absent and present after death!

    Oh I forgot they want a curse thing, like Adam, from the ground you came and to the ground you will return, dust to dust and all that. These folks want to be dusty and fertilizer for plants. I get it now. Yep there’s a blessing in providing better food through natural fertilizer.

    John Wesley Fletcher. I haven’t heard that name in at least 30 years. Saw him at least 35 years ago in Ohio. He was a fraud then and simply made a pitch to raise money for his luxury ministry bus. Imagine about 20 years later when Benny Hinn was making a pitch to raise money for his luxury ministry jet airplane.

    These days one can go from the bus ministry to the jet ministry!.

  53. Bob says:

    I’m amazed how posters are avoiding this subject.

    I went to the linked Johnson website to watch this epic announcement and the very moment the web page finished loading Johnson’s heart and intentions became apparent.

    This was the first message:

    “Oh no, you don’t have access to this media yet. Hit the preview button and check it out. Preview Purchase”

    I did watch the preview and was amazed at the manipulation and self promotion of Johnson from the very start. I also got this deep feeling of evil and dread, here is a man no one would ever want to cross of come against.

    I then went and watched a Jason Westerfield video to see what the rumbling was all about. My next impression was neither of these men actually know God and all their show is about is the showman not the one who created the show.

    Sad.

  54. Bob says:

    or come against

  55. Francisco says:

    I just saw this clip now. Although many may not agree doctrinally with Bethel in many areas…. the pastor there should be commended for drawing the line and for doing the right thing by bringing the matter publicly after multiple attempts at private reconciliation and with witnesses have failed ( Matt 18:15-16) No doubt that the Spirit gives us much freedom in many non-essentials but we must draw the line when it comes to the nonnegotiable essentials of the faith.

    When a local church decides that it must proceed with bringing an unresolved matter before the assembly as instructed in Matt 18:17, then it must always be done only after Matt 18:15-16 attempts have been exhausted and with much prayer first. If Matt 18:17 must be carried out it must be done with brokenness and with the intent to restore the fallen brother or sister. In this specific case this young timothy that was sent out but has now gone astray. As shepherds in the local church if any brother goes astray we must fear God and gently restore with humility lest we fall. We don’t have the freedom to just look the other way as instructed in Galatians 6:1 We must never fear what others might say or fear being sued. If we keep quiet when we must speak up ,we essentially become enablers at best or worse participants in the unrepentant person’s sins. The ultimate goal is that Christ be feared and that others may fear.

    Ultimately when reconciliation and restoration is not possible, it is far better to be divided by the Truth in Love……… than united by fear and error. This said all this must be carried out with Truth and loving-kindness for His Glory.
    Peace.

  56. Papias says:

    Besides what’s already been stated about the Bill/Jason kerflaw, I have a question:

    Since Bill believes in the manifestations of the gifts, why didn’t he see Jason “going off the deep end” before now?

    Doesn’t Bill have some kind of “super-duper” spiritual discernment?

    It doesn’t take a spiritual gift to see that Jason is off now. Why didn’t Bill call sense that Jason was going to take the fork in the road?

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    Papias,

    He saw it coming, of course he did. It is well attested in the statement. Many attempts were made to recover him. The mocking tone about super duper spiritual discernment is the kind of statement that was made to me when I spoke of experiencing the gifts. I do not think you mean to be that dismissive.

    What is clear is that decisive action has been taken. None of us is privy to the whole process. That goes without saying. A serious problem stands in evidence and the future is going to be pretty interesting. Will this result in more?

    But back to your question… many people saw it coming. Jason has been very low profile for a few years and usually does not allow himself to be photographed or recorded. He has also not been in ongoing relationship to Bethel.

    His ordination is elsewhere. Bill acted because this involved Redding and BSSM students.

  58. I am surprised that someone has defined a “deep end” with this movement. You know what “deep end” is – someone going further than we would go LOL. Bill Johnson is Dr. Frankenstein – one of his creations short circuited – but he has many more out there.

    About a month ago I tried to warn of the dangers of the New Apostolic Reformation – these guys are all players – and as I said a month ago, it is the big danger in the church today.

  59. Michael says:

    I have a list of things I find problematic, disturbing, and dangerous here, but I don’t want to wear BD down.

    The elephant in the room is that of demonic manifestation …

  60. Babylon's Dread says:

    And I weighed in that MLD’s sources which I have examined are poorly done and overly exaggerated.

    For the record, I believe the grave visiting and demonstrations of overly zealous devotees are also overly exaggerated and I am sure that most of those people will one day look back at themselves in embarrassed disbelief.

  61. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am up for discussing demonic manifestations.

  62. Michael says:

    Dread,

    For me it’s a simple question.
    With all the strange manifestations that this group attributes to God, how in the world can you know the difference between what is from God and what is from hell?

  63. Alex says:

    “I am up for discussing demonic manifestations.”

    I’m game.

    It’s nothing more than the dark side of the human psyche.

    I’ve seen my step-dad look demon-possessed when he was in his violent rages. It was his PTSD and “temper problem” not a literal demon entering his body.

    It is likely metaphor. It is the human psychology that can be influenced by Sowing and Reaping principle as well as chemical imbalance that results from Sowing and Reaping principle.

  64. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    The normal tests apply.
    1. Does the spirit confess Christ
    2. Does the fruit bear it out

    As a boots on the ground participant … I have very little trouble understanding when someone is overcome by the Spirit and when they are overcome by a spirit. It simply isn’t real hard usually. And those of us who minister in that arena test the spirits to see.

    As for JW and his appearance at Declaration 2015 … our criticism of it was that in 30 minutes of ministering JW was in an altered state from time to time and never invoked the name of Jesus, the kingdom or called upon scripture for validation.

    When Jesus was announced by John Baptist it was the Spirit that John recognized but later John wavered and asked if Jesus was truly the one who was to come. That is an astonishing text. Jesus answered by proclaiming a list of works of the Spirit that were being done by him. John seemed thrown off by the lack of a political response from Jesus (IMO) as the Lord left John languishing in prison. And Jesus gave the test when he told the people

    “Wisdom is vindicated by her children”

    All revivals in America since Edwards have been attended by manifestations that repulsed people, even repulsed genuine believers. Edwards gave the test of revival in his much called upon treatise on revival but in essence Edwards said that the fruit would tell it out.

    So I think the major test is fruit but when you are in the moment of manifestations … the major test is the testimony to Jesus…

    Bill Johnson when he publicly rebuked Jason gave the ONE word that matters. He said that Jason Westerfield had denied the “absolute sonship of Jesus” in other words that God had come in the flesh…

    It was a triumph for orthodoxy.

    Meanwhile the messes of my revival family continue to repulse other members of the family

  65. Babylon's Dread says:

    And I agree with Alex

    There is a psychological component that is testable and measurable. In the case of JW I think it is in evidence that the man is having a breakdown. It is quite possible he is paranoid schizophrenic or manic …

    The parsing of that is much harder than the parsing of holy from demonic

  66. Alex says:

    If you Sow to evil things, you will Reap evil things.

    If you Sow to more stress than the human body and mind is made to take…you will Reap health consequences that can result in suicide etc.

    If you drink too much or drug too much you can change your brain chemistry in a negative way.

    If you get into sadism (like beating naked children with wooden paddles/planks) you will Reap an unnatural desire for kinkier stuff (step-dad).

    Then there are those who are simply born with defect like Schizophrenics or Bi-Polar etc and others who have a legitimate difference in their brains…something they can’t help. Is it a “demon”? No, it is not. Properly treated, many of these folks can live a somewhat normal life, sometimes very normal lives.

    And, sometimes, regular healthy folks can simply choose to be evil and make terrible choices. We’ve seen it happen many times throughout history. The seemingly normal person with no mental health issues that just snaps one day and does something stupid and evil….though I think that is Sowing and Reaping principle as well…they were not dealing properly with something that was gnawing on them and were probably choosing to think about it in an unhealthy manner that led to a violent outburst.

  67. Bob says:

    Just push “Purchase”

    I have never met, listened to, sat under, reviewed, or challenged biblical validity of Johnson and his “House of God” (the meaning of Bethel BTW), so why is it I am the only who isbothered by the first message I get from his web site.

    Ok you all can push “Purchase” and listen to the prophet for hire.

    No I am not cynical at all just looking at the water he requires for his fruits.

    “No doubt that the Spirit gives us much freedom in many non-essentials but we must draw the line when it comes to the nonnegotiable essentials of the faith. ”

    The question really is this, Does Johnson teach essentials at all?

    Run Forest…

  68. Alex says:

    The whole “devil made me do it!” and “demon” thing is a typical cop-out IMO. It’s a crutch and an excuse.

    The whole Charismatic use of the the demonic is simply to reinforce their brand and angle and is about as legitimate and verifiable as a Benny Hinn miracle.

    Humans have a good side and a bad side. All are capable of good and evil things.

    As the old Native American proverb states: “You have a good wolf in you and a bad wolf in you…the one who dominates is the one you feed” or something like that.

  69. Michael says:

    BD,

    I believe that mental illness is manifested in this guy.
    I also believe in the reality of the demonic realm.
    It’s not an either/or it’s a both/and.

    To be honest, most of what I see from this tribe looks either demonic or completely staged.
    I do not understand how someone we know to be as well studied and grounded in the Scriptures as yourself claims this bunch to be thy brethren.

    I would flush the whole lot of them.
    But, I’m not a very nice man.

  70. Babylon's Dread says:

    Bob,

    You really are not interested in this discussion if purchasing a membership to view is going to determine your viewpoint.

    You could view the April 26 sermon by simply registering if you wanted to do so. It is a free preview.

    And Johnson is all over the web… he is not hidden

  71. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I understand it to a degree.
    That is a very expensive website both to create and maintain.
    Free market religion demands that you package your product appropriately…

  72. Babylon's Dread says:

    Well Michael,

    Who have you not flushed 😉

    I understand

  73. Alex says:

    It is one and the same and I agree that the “demonic” and mental illness is a “both”…but it’s a “both” in the sense that Gravity is a miracle.

    It’s a reality of our Universe/Multi-verse that ancient writers ascribed anthropomorphism to.

    God does not have a butt and a pecker (well Jesus maybe, but not God the father or the Holy Spirit).

    God is spirit. We put legs and feet on Jehovah in the Garden b/c that’s what humans do to try and tell stories and make sense of complex issues they can’t understand.

  74. Michael says:

    BD,

    You have a point. 🙂

    However…I maintain, and mystics have maintained through history, that when one opens up to mystical experiences the potential is always there for the demonic.
    Is this man not the “fruit” of Johnsons ministry?
    My guess is that some radically awful things happened in the wake of Westerfields meetings…why has that not been discussed?

  75. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    You are a Bultmannian genius and you should go with it and make your own cult.

  76. Babylon's Dread says:

    Let’s talk about Broderson and Stetzer as well

    I just came from my home in Mississippi. All of our family are active church members in Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian conservative circles. None of them have ever heard of Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith, Vineyard, John Wimber or the infamous Lonnie Frisbee.

    They think vineyards are for wine and chapels are for weddings. They have no idea who these Californian’s are or what role they played in recent church development.

    As for Stetzer saying CC has dropped off the map… he is correct. It has been a flash in the pan but that does not mean it will not go on to the normal growth cycle of denominations.

    I just addressed a Vineyard crowd and told them that unless they leave the 80s they will languish … in their case it means they need to stop making the culture of Vineyard to be the definition of Vineyard… But they cannot really stop being what they are.

    The video didn’t say much… I would love to weigh in on the history of CC with those guys and ask some real questions about origins and outcomes

  77. Alex says:

    The new testament’s “demon possessed” was a severe paranoid schizophrenic and the “voices” were real in the sense it was his disorder manifesting itself.

    PCP (pharmakeia) can bring on super “demonic” strength b/c it alters the human brain chemistry toward pain.

    LSD (pharmakeia) can bring on intense hallucinations and opens a person to the “spirit world”…which is really a part of human Consciousness and our Universe that we simply don’t understand yet.

  78. Michael says:

    BD,

    CC and the Vineyard have the same issue…leadership after the death of the founder.

  79. Alex says:

    Much of the “creation” narrative is a similar dynamic.

    “God made man from the dust of the ground”…a very true basic core issue.

    Carl Sagan correctly asserts that humans are essentially comprised of star dust or the dust/materials from other stars that exploded in the Universe. That’s our basic building blocks of what we are comprised of at the atomic level.

  80. Alex says:

    Hmm, interesting figure. Had to google him Dread.

  81. I watched the Bill Johnson video and did not have to sign up. It was 60 min – if that was just the preview, then i don;t have the fortitude to make it through the whole thing.

  82. Michael says:

    BD,

    One more thing.
    Johnson addressed the alleged Christological error…but didn’t comment on the rest of Westerfields bizarre bullspit.
    Why not?

  83. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    I would say that yes JW is in some way the fruit of Bethel. They would agree. Thus the “children” in this case fail. And yes when you explore spirituality of the Holy Spirit you will without question have occasion to encounter another kind of spirit.

    However, and this is seminal to me. Luke 11 is an emphatic promise that asking the Father for something holy cannot result in getting something unholy. Further Jesus constantly told his disciples to ask “in his name.” I place tremendous centrality on keeping this whole business rooted in these principles. And yet we know that other spirits seduce people by promises of power, protection and fame. So mystics are indeed at risk …

    Bill discussed the awful things that happened and you alluded to them. At the school in Bethel they had to diligently deal with students who were troubled and even as you wrote suicidal. JW fostered a mess and has done so wherever he goes.

    The Bible is clear about these warnings. It seems to me that CC has been better at the warnings part and renewal churches are better at the engaging the Spirit parts but that is simplistic.

  84. Michael says:

    BD,

    Your #85 is helpful in understanding how you view these matters…

  85. Alex says:

    “you should go with it and make your own cult.”

    No thanks, I don’t care to be Chuck Smith or Bill Johnson…and we don’t need another semi-cult added to the 9,000 to 30,000 “christian” denominations that already exist.

  86. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    @80 Yes neither of the men handled succession at all. Wimber ran off all of the real potential successors and Chuck envisioned something other than succession and/or could not bring himself to decide. I like to say that a true father tells his children who they are. You cannot have a Moses model without properly operating in this kind of fatherly oversight. So both movements fail that test.

    @84 Bill is very silent on all things critical. I really do not understand his thinking. But I know the renewal has been very keen to avoid making their fellowship center upon the conflicts, the negatives and especially they have refused to require monolithic doctrinal agreement.

    Bill spent detailed time with the students carefully going over things but not the congregation. I think they believe that less is more. They want to get on with things rather than finely parse them.

  87. Alex says:

    What each semi-cult professes they believe doctrinally really doesn’t matter. Whatever is “is”…and the many differing opinions about it won’t change it other than in our own minds and among the particular faithful that follow a particular Sect and their Gurus.

    That’s why I focus on accountability of “ministries” as well as how the leaders treat people. That’s the real-world tangible stuff that can be measured and quantified and we can make accurate value-judgments as to “good” and “evil”

  88. Alex, if you express a ‘christian’ position that is in opposition to others and if you ask others to “see it my way” then you have already established your own following, your own denomination – you are now #30,001

  89. Michael says:

    BD,

    Would it be fair to say that the renewal lacks any sort of confessional or creedal basis?
    Would it be fair to further say that this is the Achilles heel of the movement?

  90. Alex says:

    If a particular Sect’s leadership mistreats people on a regular basis…is that good “fruit” and evidence of the fruit of the spirit? Even if they have orthodox doctrine?

    Again, this is a pivot point where most evangelical leaders will contradict themselves and appeal to asterisks and caveats and context and then demonstrate a very true belief in Universalism by essentially believing that God will work it all out and be merciful to them even though a technical read of the “bible” says they are continuing in sin and headed for hell.

  91. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    That @89 eval is not too bad… how they treat people.

    But the only thing that really gets highlighted in this world is the mess ups or the people who voice grievances … cranks get the attention. I do not mean that as a personal slight. Real grievances exist but negative things do get disproportionate press in our world.

  92. Alex says:

    MLD, I don’t expect you to ‘see it my way’ and I am not soliciting you to attend my Sect or to give me money.

    I also don’t expect you to see it my way b/c I think your IQ limits your ability to understand complex concepts and to keep track of my many-years-long now conversation and rationale 😉

  93. Alex,
    If a leader of an independent organization does not force people to attend and has never made any representation as to proper accountability, why should you try to force accountability onto the situation?

    You want to be the forceful hand.

  94. Alex says:

    Dread, I disagree. The “cranks” and critics are in the EXTREME minority within the Church.

    1 Corinthians 5:12 along with Pastoral Qualifications is about the #1 example of the masses of the Church expressing a non-belief in a literal interpretation of the bible as infallible and perfect and absolute.

    The vast majority in the Christian church…INSIDE THE WALLS not outsiders….give much grace and mercy to themselves and their leaders and their sins…and spend the bulk of their time looking outward to the “evil outsiders!”

    …aka, the opposite of what the bible teaches (if you take it as literal and perfect and absolute)

  95. Alex says:

    The prophets of the OT exampled something quite different than the prophets of today.

    In the OT, the prophets looked inward and consistently criticized “god’s people”

    Today, the prophets criticize the culture and the gays and the bogeymen outside their church fortresses.

    That’s the troof and I think you know it deep down.

  96. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    The renewal certainly lacks a central creedal union. The key leaders have many disagreements. I have been privy to many such conversations with key people. There is a growing discomfort over that fact But, this generation of leaders will not solve that. Their unity is rooted in the simple centrality of Jesus and a love for revival and for the restoration of the power of God via the gifts of the Spirit to the church.

    Achilles Heel? I do not think doctrinal unity will prove to be thus though it is an issue that will likely divide the next generation. The weakness is a poor understanding of suffering and a failure to address that well. Thus, the promises will ultimately lead to a generation of disappointed people. That is my concern. That is why I always stress Word and Spirit. I think we will see children of this movement who simply do not see as much power as they heard preached and those children will be disaffected and likely return to more confessional forms of faith.

    The leaders are aware of the fact that revivals are rarely transgenerational but they probably do not share my critique.

  97. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex

    Which are you? Insider or outsider? It is often very hard to tell by what you attack.

  98. Here is what I found the most disturbing about the Bill Johnson talk. It is he that is self important and God’s word means very little.

    Bill stands at the center of the stage, all eyes on him and also had a big – I mean Jumbotron big screens on either side. Why do the peeps need to have him so visible and God’s word so invisible?

    The pastor needs to make himself inconspicuous so that God’s word can be front and center.

  99. Alex says:

    The bulk of the Action-based Sermons and example of the “church” is one of Universalism and Antinomianism….applied to the church’s Leaders and Gurus and those who profess loyalty to them.

    Then the opposite is true toward “enemies!” and Outsiders and competitors.

    I’ve observed it my whole life. It is extremely verifiable and consistent…and an expression of the church’s (in general) TRUE Belief System and Doctrine and Theology.

  100. Alex says:

    Again, it is one thing to express a belief in Gravity and the consequences of Gravity…quite another to jump off a cliff each Sunday with no parachute.

    What is your true belief?

    You don’t really believe in Gravity (in the example above)…you just talk about it (not to anyone specific, to the general “church” and leadership)

  101. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD

    @100 that was a truly Lutheran response … well said.

    Of course it is incoherent outside your tribe.

  102. Alex says:

    Dread, I’m an Insider…holding my nose.

    It’s a love/hate relationship.

    I love “Jesus” and “God”…though I don’t know for certain the truth about how it all works, but innately I know and I know good and evil when I see it (largely).

  103. Michael says:

    Dread,

    #98 is gold…how I wish that sort of honest introspection would spread…

  104. Alex,
    “The vast majority in the Christian church…INSIDE THE WALLS not outsiders”

    How can you say that? The vast majority of churches require their congregants to go to confession, to “handle their own sin” before being able to participate in the church service. To look inward at themselves and their own shortcomings … not to others and their sin.

    You know who does what you speak of??? the 2 churches you attend. LOL 😉 – 2 independent renegade churches who think personal confession in a public place in satanic.

  105. Alex says:

    Dread, I would sincerely love for you to be right (the Charismatics).

    I would love it to be that easy that someone could perform real legit miracles and prove their particular Apostleship and Authority so my internal wrestling match could end.

    But, unfortunately, “religion” and men have co-opted “God” and “Jesus”…and my lack of faith is in men and churches and Sects and Gurus.

  106. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex

    That is what I thought @104 but you are a testy and cranky family member… “holding my nose” was perfect.

  107. Alex says:

    MLD, the record of the church in dealing with known sins in their ranks is pretty awful.

    Roman Catholic Church molesting kids.

    Evangelical leaders committing adultery, child abusing, molesting kids, spending “God’s” money on mansions, Gluttony is rampant, Divorce is acceptable not to mention greed and lying etc.

    Lutherans have many of the same issues and aren’t nearly the exception.

  108. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex

    We do not see ourselves ever as “performing” miracles. We simply see ourselves as children with a Father who loves us.

    I know the showmen abound who give the lie to what I am saying but …

    I am rank and file and we now how often and miserably we fail …

    Failing Forward Dread

  109. Alex says:

    “but you are a testy and cranky family member”

    LOL, yes, that is a true statement.

  110. Alex says:

    Dread, I respect you and like you and believe you are sincere. I don’t nearly count you among the bad examples in the Charismatic Sect.

    Though I think you make some decent money b/c you’ve seemed a bit defensive when that issue comes up 🙂

  111. Alex says:

    The “outsiders!” are evil and the devil etc….but the “insiders” are “sinners in need of GRACE and MERCY! Don’t judge! God is the judge! Judge not!”

    Quite the religious game indeed….

  112. Alex says:

    I have compassion for my agnostic and atheist friends b/c they notice all the hypocrisy inside our “christian” bubbles and they don’t miss the REAL Sermons we teach and preach.

    They look at us and go, “Um, no thanks” and I don’t blame them.

  113. Alex,
    “Evangelical leaders committing adultery, child abusing, molesting kids, spending “God’s” money on mansions, Gluttony is rampant, Divorce is acceptable not to mention greed and lying etc.”

    I don’t know anything about your church, but I can proudly and loudly say – YES! that is the exact reason why we all show up on Sunday morning – to confess those very sins, to hear God’s word of absolution and then to hear the law preached, condemning us and hearing the clear pure gospel showing Christ as the one who takes our sin away and then participating in his body and blood to strengthen us for the upcoming week — where we will once again commit the same sins.

    Besides the radio music, why do you go to church?

  114. Alex says:

    Is a “good” and “loving” and “merciful” God going to give us heathens a get-out-of-hell-free card for all of our sins and abuses and evils…but not them? Even though it’s largely our fault for being such terrible teachers of the Gospel in how we live and what we do?

    I don’t think so. I think we’re all pretty much Universalists in our true belief which is what we practice and do, not what we say.

    We all really believe God will be merciful in the end and extend a massive amount of Grace.

  115. Alex,
    Do any of your agnostic / atheist friends live here in SoCal? I would like to invite them to my church to come teach us how not to be hypocrites because we have never quite figured it out.

    I am so bad, I can’t even live up to my own personal standards I set for myself let alone the standards set by God.

    So, if any of your non hypocritical friends live in these parts, have them contact me.

  116. Alex,
    “Is a “good” and “loving” and “merciful” God going to give us heathens a get-out-of-hell-free card for all of our sins and abuses and evils…but not them? ‘

    He already has – he died on the cross for all of their sins – a free pass out of hell. All they have to do is believe it and receive it. FREE, FREE, FREE FREE.

    Tell your friends the Good News – don’t keep letting them cry in their beer and go to hell.

  117. Alex says:

    “He already has – he died on the cross for all of their sins – a free pass out of hell. All they have to do is believe it and receive it. FREE, FREE, FREE FREE.”

    Well, he has. And your Sect says a human has to do something to earn the Grace and Mercy…and I am not so sure.

  118. Bob says:

    Ok a lot now has been added and confronted about Michael’s thread, and that’s good.

    First let me address the pay thing.

    I watched the preview for awhile, about 20 minutes, and really couldn’t stomach the rest. It wasn’t the issues of church discipline which bothered me, it is the complete package of Johnson and his presence. I really find him to be much of what MLD said, the center of attention and not God’s word at all.

    Michael I understand the cost of doing business as well as anyone because I’ve been through many rodeos in my life and expect a few more before the end of my age. But I also know firs impressions are lasting impressions and Johnson speaks loud and clear to me.

    BD – Just so you know I subscribe to to at three sites which require members and money to get the full meal deal. So that is NOT the issue.

    One more quote:
    “love for revival and for the restoration of the power of God via the gifts of the Spirit to the church. ”

    I will not name drop but I once was involved with this Charismatic stuff rather deeply and I find that statement very offensive. Why?

    1. Those who really love God love His revival.
    2. If your are implying that His power is somehow restricted then I fell very sorry for you and any others who might feel the same way. Going to some “Christian” Shaman or course to learn His power is really barking up the wrong tree.

    I’ve got work to do, but His is in charge and on the throne!

  119. Alex says:

    “Receiving” and professing a belief is an action. It is a work, no matter how you try to redefine and spin it with your prosthetic arms analogy.

  120. Xenia says:

    MLD’s 100 as quoted by Dread: “… that was a truly Lutheran response”

    That should be every Christian’s response.

    To risk wrath, I listened to the Steve Brown (Key Life) video that was posted recently and most of it was about Steve Brown himself. His opinions, anecdotes from his life, etc. etc. There was some Jesus but it was mostly Pastor Brown. The signal to noise ratio was unacceptable, IMO.

    I find most modern preachers to be much the same. I have no patience for it.

  121. Alex says:

    …and I would take it one step further…

    Who really “believes” in the Jesus narrative…an Agnostic who consistently loves his neighbor and helps those in need out of no quid pro quo to score points with a deity….or the “correct doctrine” christian who doesn’t help anyone other than themselves.

  122. Alex says:

    I agree with X, that is an honest representation of the typical Evangelical narrative. It’s Guru-Leader-Centered and most of the evangelical churches are cult-of-personalities.

  123. Alex says:

    It’s why I stated years ago that though I probably could have been a CC pastor (have the lineage and the ability) I am weird in that I have a war inside my Conscience that wouldn’t allow me to sell out and Sow in that direction b/c deep down I know the whole thing is largely false and a form of a con and more a career choice than a sincere effort to “serve Jesus”.

    I don’t know many of the CC pastors who would continue in ministry if they didn’t get paid for it and didn’t get a following b/c of it.

    CC measures “success” by Money and Attendance…that is their stock and trade. We know what the “love of money” is…which I think is a true principle.

    CC does not measure success by the metric of integrity and faithfulness and being “Servant of All”…and neither do most of the Evangelical Sects (with some exceptions)

  124. Alex says:

    The biggest sin in the church is lying (though gluttony and greed and fornication are biggies and prevalent as well).

    False impressions is lying. Masking a desire for financial security and career and wrapping it in “I’m serving Jesus and it’s all about Jesus and HIS ministry!”…is a big lie.

    It’s largely a game and even the “good guys” play it to a degree.

  125. Alex, LOL, as I always say, you know nothing, absolutely zero about the Christian faith – but I am willing to just blame your step dad and his lack of training.

    You said “Well, he has. And your Sect says a human has to do something to earn the Grace and Mercy…and I am not so sure.” God;s grace and mercy came to me from his actions on the cross – I do nothing – they came to me… done deal

    Now the question is did I trust his action? Did I receive his gift that he already gave me?

    We came home yesterday from work and there were 2 packages on the porch addressed to my wife. They are Mother’s Day presents from a couple of the kids – their grace and mercy, properly purchased by them and properly delivered righ to my wife. Grace and Mercy right there -my wife had to do nothing. now they could still be sitting on the porch or sitting on the coffee table – but in both cases – DELIVERED

  126. Alex says:

    “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”

    and “God hates liars”–the perfect infallible absolute “bible”

    Spinning is lying as well. Reframing is lying. Masking a personal desire for fame and following and to build and cultivate a good living and retirement is lying.

    The Leadership in most churches are full of liars. Calvary Chapel is one of the biggest offenders in my opinion. It is off-the-charts in this area and is Cultural and taught and looked up to and emulated.

  127. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex

    I make less than 6 figures but close. I do make good money. I also have 40 years experience and 4 graduate degrees… so I do not feel that I am over paid at all.

    I am not testy about the matter I just do not think in a poverty manner.

    I bet you make good money too and that you believe you have earned it too.

  128. Alex says:

    Who are the big guys in your Sect?

    The Gurus are famous. They are rich. Billy Graham is worth $25 MILLION, Franklin Graham used to make $1.2 million per year now a meager $500K (that we know of).

    Raul Ries, a millionaire, makes a minimum of $500K per year. Greg Laurie, a millionaire, makes a reported well over $500K per year. Bob Coy made $500K per year, etc etc etc.

    These are the guys the rank-and-file “aspire” to be…rich and famous.

    That is the true Belief and Sermon they teach. That is the “god” they follow.

    The rest is spin and lying and bullspit and those outside the ccool-aid bubbles see it for what it is.

  129. Alex says:

    Is my position in the vast minority? Yes it is. The vast majority LOVES the dynamic and Religion described above. They love to support it. They LOVE their god-men and Idols. They LOVE them with a passion and fervor and will bite and snarl and defend their constructs and do daily.

    Doesn’t make it “right” or righteous. It’s wrong and they’re wrong, but God will probably be merciful and gracious to “all”…which is what they really believe and preach by example.

  130. Alex, I want to know more about your no hypocritcal agnostic/atheist friends.

    Do they not lie at all? none of them ever goes back for seconds at Hometown Buffet or any of the other “sins” that bother you? Have they stopped doing those or have they just given them up as standards to be followed?

    Otherwise, they too are hypocrites and have passed the initiation test to get into my church.

  131. Xenia says:

    I was thinking about sermonizing.

    We’ve been members of 3 different EO parishes over the years.

    Two were pastored by cradle Orthodox priests. They almost never talked about themselves in their sermons, which were based entirely on the Scripture readings of the day or on the Liturgical calendar. We’ve been at our current parish for 4 years and the pastor only referenced an episode from his life one time. I remember being surprised because it was such an anomaly.

    The third priest was a convert from Evangelicalism, where he was a pastor. He talked about himself all the time in his homilies and in personal counseling. I think it’s a hard habit to break.

  132. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    No doubt the big guys in my sect are wealthy… comes with the territory in the free market church. There are some of them that do not live wealthy but they have money.

  133. Actually Alex you are in the vast majority of people who point the finger at the church and mock God.

  134. Michael says:

    The average church in America still averages less than 100 people…closer to 75.
    That pastor is not making bank…he’s treading water .

  135. Alex says:

    What is the point? The point is that the small guys in the many Sects look up to the Big Guys that are rich and powerful and they worship at those alters. You see it in every Sect and at every Pastor’s Conference.

    That is what you preach, that is your sermon to those who are paying attention. That is your Doctrine and your Belief System.

    You admire money and fame and butts in seats and that is the System you participate in and support and endorse and attend and promote etc. (to the general audience)

  136. Alex says:

    The 75-100 person CC pastor totes the Brand and attends the Conferences and tells his congregation that those are the men to be admired etc. and that those are the “more spiritual’ leaders in their Sect.

    Don’t deny it b/c I have the direct evidence that that dynamic is real and true.

  137. Alex says:

    Every Sect has that dynamic.

    The little guys are little b/c they aren’t special and don’t have the gravitas and the spirituality and aren’t as anointed as the Big Guys. That is what you teach and preach by example…all of your Sects.

    It’s the TROOF and ya’ll know it.

  138. Alex says:

    And, what is the TRUE teaching and doctrine of your Sects and Gurus?

    Well, it is this:

    Success is measured in numbers…salvation scalps, attendance, notoriety, fame and money (and size of building, it’s like pecker-measuring to Pastors and Gurus).

    When these Gurus and Idols of yours earn their success b/c they are more special than the other many lowly small-church pastors…how is that success rewarded? More money, bigger salary, more perks…just like a CEO of a worldly corporation.

    Show me ONE Big Pastor Guru of any Sect that when successful takes less money and uses the influx of money from giving and/or tithing to help more people instead of helping himself?

    Rick Warren is about the closest I can find with his reverse tithe thing…but even so, he is a multi-millionaire.

  139. Alex says:

    I know it offends…and it should. Well, if the Jesus Narrative has any truth to it that is…

  140. Bob says:

    Alex:

    OK I think everyone gets your complaint and maybe mine, but in the end what we do about it is really what defines us.

    I don’t buy what these men sell, but I find being an “ODM” or heresy chaser does nothing at all. If I am haven’t taught one thing except how much I hate these guys, nothing has moved forward, the kingdom hasn’t advanced and people are still suffering and dying in lonesome pain.

    The best part about BD (even if doctrinally and theologically wrong) is this, he acts on and helps people advance and be a apart of something. The Johnson’s of this world do the same. They build up and help others become more than just a potato chip TV watcher of life.

    So with all you “correct” ideas how do you, or I make a difference? Even Simon Wiesenthal, the greatest Nazi hunter ever, took the time and did not let his passion for justice destroy him. He brought something to the lives of those around him. One of the best books I have ever read was his; “The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness.”

    I wrote, “Run Forest…” But to what?

  141. brian says:

    IM guilty of pointing my finger at the Church a few times, on this and two other blogs mainly here and a few posts on my facebook. But I am very careful or try to be how many posts, how long, what tenor etc. Just like at church, I kept my prayer requests down to say two or three a year, granted that is five times too many, but that is another post.

    MLD “Actually Alex you are in the vast majority of people who point the finger at the church and mock God.”

    I have been accused of that a few times as well, I will admit I have prayed, rather loudly God would kill me, to no avail, thank goodness. But I would have loved to have come back to the Church, not now way to much pain and cognitive dissonance but I hope to return at times. No MLD I for one just want some peace. I dont expect it but it is something I wish for.

  142. Babylon's Dread says:

    Bob,

    “Their unity is rooted in the simple centrality of Jesus and a love for revival and for the restoration of the power of God via the gifts of the Spirit to the church.”

    I do not believe there was even the slightest hint of an attack on others in my statement which was an attempt to dialogue with direct questions.

    I am very aware that others here and throughout the body love Christ. I am also aware that the power of God is not restricted to the means of charismata, I was answering the question of the basis of the unity of these people. I was not commenting negatively upon any others.

    We can have a nasty debate if you like, I have done so before but this was not it.

  143. Alex says:

    Bob said, ” I find being an “ODM” or heresy chaser does nothing at all. ”

    Agreed, the ODM’s focus on doctrinal issues and theories…which is like trying to nail a block of jello to a concrete wall.

    My focus is on deconstructing the Sectarian Boxes and Sectarian Gurus…b/c those have become “god” and Idols to folks…and they are not “God” IMO. They are actually Anti-Christ in many ways.

    The Church Abuse stuff IS quantifiable and Accountability is necessary in all Power Constructs b/c one thing I am certain of: Mankind left unchecked does bad things and unchecked Power corrupts.

  144. Bob says:

    BD

    Nothing to debate. I believe you made your position quite clear.

  145. Alex says:

    Bob said, “So with all you “correct” ideas how do you, or I make a difference?”

    Yes, very much so.

    I study Rhetoric.

    Rhetoric is powerful.

    Rhetoric and “Winning the Argument” is when Societies and Cultures “change”…Consensus Principle in action…one of the pillars in my Belief System. It’s how things work.

    Slavery was “good” and “righteous” at one time. Then it wasn’t. Etc etc etc.

  146. Alex says:

    So, it may take the rest of my life deconstructing the Current Views in evangelicalism…but like the power of erosion…a little at at time…the Consensus will change.

    I’ve already seen some incremental change in just 6 years of blogging and social media activity.

  147. Alex says:

    One thing I shared here early early on….”Get up and walk over and move the Mountain”

    Sowing and Reaping Principle

    Consensus Principle

    ….part of things as they are.

  148. Alex says:

    I’ll make some prophecies (not really, but the stuff will happen):

    It will continue to be come much less “cool” to be a Mega-Pastor Rich Celebrity…the heat will continue to be turned up on these guys and folks will ask questions and shaming will take hold and there will be changes in this area over time, until the few remaining will be viewed as even more hucksters and charlatans than they are today.

    The “church” will continue to make widespread changes structurally to address Child Protection Policies. It’s changed quite a bit in the last 6 years. Many many more churches have these policies in place now and there is a healthy Fear that wasn’t there even 6 years ago.

    Finances in churches and non-disclosure will continue to change toward a direction of more transparency both voluntary and involuntary.

    “Churches” will become more Accountable both voluntary and involuntary through combination of shift in Consensus as well as governmental pressures.

  149. Alex says:

    Another prediction:

    The evangelical conservatives and YEC Rapture crowd will continue to lose support and in 10 years their influence will be greatly diminished as social media and communication allows for the Truth to come out and previously naive folks start to ask questions…and they will continue to discover the answers…and those answers don’t square with the “Answer in Genesis”

  150. Alex says:

    So, Bob, I strongly disagree with a defeatist mindset. There has been a lot of change and influence and stuff happening in the last 6 years, and I’m excited about the remaining years I have left in this existence to help influence that Change.

  151. Bob says:

    Alex

    What defeatist?

    My main point is what will you and I do to enhance and enrich the lives of those around us? Are you simply into deconstruction or will you build and equip people to live long and productive human lives?

    Not complicated at all.

  152. Alex – your ‘Rhetoric’ is laughable and contradictory – I cannot believe you do not see it. You my friend are an evangelical enabler
    1.) You and your family attend the very evangelical churches that you ‘Rhetoric’ about & against.
    2.) You may say that you have found the exceptions – but if you cannot convince even your own pastor Bob Caldwell to remove himself from the CC abusive brand / franchise – then his association just gives credence to the CC way and your attendance does the same. “If Alex can like his CC why can’t I accept mine on face value and like mine as well.
    3.) Bob Caldwell was very prominent at last year’s SPC – right there on stage with the old time abusive boys … twice.
    4.) The same is true with Eagle – the founder is still the main guy all these years and is independent looking to no one but himself and his lackey board (because we know from your ‘Rhetoric’ that it can be no other way in an evangelical church.)
    5.) You first need to deconstruct yourself.

    Look Luther, although his intent wasn’t to ever form a new church, still did not return to the RCC while he was deconstructing it and in fact had done such a good job, he was kicked out of the church he was no longer associated with. Obviously you are still breast feeding on the evangelical church – you are the very one who needs the deconstruction – you can’t even make the break.

    Go my friend and ‘Rhetoric’ yourself. 😉

  153. Michael says:

    Bob,

    I’ve actually had a lot of off line interaction with Alex.
    He and I have huge doctrinal differences, but your question is based on online perceptions only.
    This is what I have seen.
    His kids adore him.
    He keeps all his businesses running and employs people, thus is a blessing to his community through his vocation.
    I’ve known him to reach into his own pocket to help those in need.
    I believe Alex’s story and the stories of his brothers.
    On that basis alone, Alex has overcome great odds to be a good father and a businessman in his community.
    That is construction, not deconstruction.

  154. Em says:

    it seems to me – dunno – that Alex sees the solution to church, as we know it, is to blow up the building, rather than clean the house… kind of like ISIS over there blowing up their history?

    not sure that Christianity will lend itself to deconstruction… i’m not sure that what we have was not God-given, even if not well kept up… there’s danger here of thinking that we are smarter than we are… IMNSHO

  155. Michael says:

    Em,

    The faith once delivered will always be just that.
    How we practice that faith and what we connect with it has been deconstructed and reconstructed many times.
    I also believe we need to make major changes…and those changes are already happening.

  156. Muff Potter says:

    Michael @ # 155
    This is precisely why I still visit your blog. You have a willingness to dialogue with those who don’t believe as you believe rather than trying to ‘blow up their Mosques’ so to speak.
    I also gotta agree with Alex that mega-biggie-fundagelicalism will fade away just as the so-called ‘Great Awakenings’ did before in our religious history as a Nation.
    I am also of the opinion that the ancient liturgical traditions such as those found in MLD’s and Xenia’s religions will survive and thrive as they have always done.

  157. Michael says:

    Muff,

    Thank you.
    I do believe the corporate model church is in trouble…and the ancient ways will continue to be new.

  158. Anne says:

    IMO -Deconstruction is more like the tearing down one sees in restoration rather than in demolition or destruction. Getting back to the original forms that remain under all the added – on constructions that often hide the original beauty and simplicity.

  159. Babylon's Dread says:

    Great Awakenings in American history do not fade they reform.
    Christian traditions generally recognize two
    Social historians recognize up to four… I go with them

    Each awakening came with a work of the Spirit that fostered division and conflict. Each had heretics, most fostered cultic expressions, all birthed new practices that mainstreamed. History will tell us. No doubt the ancient and liturgical traditions will continue, but I think the radicals will flourish as well. Market appetites will change but continue.

    Wisdom’s children will prevail

  160. Em says:

    i do see the wisdom shown by both Xenia and MLD – what Anne described, i think… and possibly that is what BD says “will prevail?”

    from where i sit (not from where i ‘stand’ 🙂 ) it seems to me that all the forms that the organized variations on The Faith have taken reflect the social structure in the times that birthed them… some strong personality at the front pointing the new and real way to take The Faith – it is, more than likely, what God wills for the time and place – dunno… what will come next?

    for me it is fascinating to contemplate that every corruption that the Anti-christ or the anti-christs bring into the Faith, attempting to gain control, to eliminate the Holy Spirit’s work over the centuries, have not diluted those real fundamentals of God’s plan of redemption, the core that Christ seekers (as opposed to the religiously inclined) respond to

    it is a mistake to think that man can devise a pure interpretation of The Faith and then go out and convert others to it … while we can learn, instruct and encourage others, a human cannot devise a pure interpretation of The Faith and put it out there for all to follow – growing in Christ is done one on One … IMHO

    gad, what a plethora of words… oh well

  161. brian says:

    “Finances in churches and non-disclosure will continue to change toward a direction of more transparency both voluntary and involuntary.

    “Churches” will become more Accountable both voluntary and involuntary through combination of shift in Consensus as well as governmental pressures.”

    Alex we will just have to disagree, after 35 years in the industry I have come to know one true eternal truth and it has nothing at all to do with Jesus but of a much more powerful god, Money. This god is hungry and it takes no prisoners and it will always and in every single circumstance always win, always.

  162. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em

    Well said, the prevailing that I spoke of was a quote of Jesus in Matthew 11. It was the promise that Jesus gave “Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” when he acknowledged that both the austerity of John and the liberty of Jesus had offended them all… but God would vindicate wisdom in her outcome.

    I do not know who will prevail but I know that which is of the wisdom of God is secure

  163. Bob says:

    Thanks Michael I appreciate that testimony about Alex. I know we all have online personas, and quite often by choice.

  164. Em says:

    brian, you just said ‘a mouthful’

  165. Alex says:

    Michael, thanks.

    I over-thinked Bob’s question.

    Bob, those things Michael said are true plus a lot of other stuff that I don’t talk about. I just do it regularly as part of who I am. We help a lot of local charities and we help people inside and outside our biological family and we don’t expect anything in return and we do it with money we didn’t make soliciting it from others to give “for Jesus”

    The most important thing is I provide material and emotional support for my kids and will ALWAYS be there for them and will help them navigate life as long as God gives me time in this existence.

  166. Rob says:

    I am a Redding “native”, this “Church” (compared only in context of scientology being a church) has managed to sink its roots into the community and at a scary rate. I have had the unfortunate experience of meeting many orthodox members and there is one unmistakeable characteristic any sober and sane person immediately notices and that is the “Automaton” like personality. I have yet to meet someone that attends these “kool-aid” revivals without it, and anyone that knows california is aware of the numerous cult movements that stemmed in our golden state. Everyone, Mr Jim Jones started out innocent enough but this phrase even though political seems to say it best and “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” …………. ANYONE KNOW THE MAKE OF CAR BILL JOHNSON OWNS????? IT SURE WAS NOT A “DETROIT” PRODUCT!!

  167. Babylon's Dread says:

    The make of car?

  168. Josh The Baptist says:

    Kia?

  169. Siggy the Terrible says:

    Michael

    Serous question
    For what reason(s) do you hesitate to call out the supernaturalism of Bethel and the like as apostate?

    I ask because I don’t find in any part of the bible where the Holy Spirit leads us into practices which border on demonic, occultic practices, which Brothel and Joel’s Army and NAR proponents et al do, leading to Westerfield’s outright madness. I had a bit of experience with this bullspit growing up and I can tell you with certainty it is apostate.

  170. Michael says:

    Sig,

    Words mean things.
    Apostate means that one has turned their backs completely on the faith once delivered.
    The supernatural is as much a part of the faith as the Bible, which is chock full of supernatural occurrences.

    I have seen people come out of Bethel and reform their theology.
    Thus, they were not apostate.

    When Todd Bentley hit the scene, nobody railed against him harder than I did.
    I do not endorse Bethel, indeed, I find Bethel and it’s teachings to be odious.

    However, I choose to be careful and precise as I can with my words.

    The objective when dealing with any aberrant group is to persuade them of their error, not damn them to perdition.

    I find blanket condemnations of a sect to usually be for the benefit of the egos of those who judge, not the ones caught in error.

  171. Siggy the Terrible says:

    Thx for your kind reply, Michael

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