Category Archives: Charismania

My, My, Pastor. What Big Teeth You Have.

I was reading a post on a blog I enjoy reading from time to time, m’kayla’s korner, about someone in the UK whose church became ‘Bethelized”. Now, this isn’t a word you’ll find in any dictionary, but this isn’t the first place I’ve seen it used. For a church to become “Bethelized” is to adopt the ways and practices of Bethel Church in Redding, California.

For those who aren’t familiar with Bethel Church or their practices, they are a church in Redding, CA that’s pastored by a man named Bill Johnson. They started out as an Assemblies of God church but around a couple of years ago, they voted to withdraw from the Assemblies and go it on their own. They didn’t want the restraint of a denomination keeping them from promoting some of their heretical doctrines, as if the Assemblies of God are much of a restraint these days.

This blog post, here on m’kayla’s korner, got me to thinking further about some events that’s transpired this past few weeks in my own life. As I’ve stated here before, my wife and I have been on a search for a new church for over a year. As it turns out, I guess God led us to a church within a couple of months of our searching, but we were still too hurt to recognize it. We ended up moving on from that church and looked for another six months before we realized that was where we are supposed to be in the first place.

This church we’ve chosen isn’t perfect. We would wish for some other things if it was up to us, but one thing I’ve come to learn on our journey for a new church home is that there aren’t many pastors that open a Bible and teach extensively from scripture. This church we’ve chosen does. The pastor doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t yell, and he doesn’t “impart”. He simply teaches line by line and verse by verse through each book of the Bible, the way the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to do. It’s done the same way in our children’s church……line by line, verse by verse so that as little of the pastor’s philosophies are woven into the teaching as possible.

Now back to what’s been on my mind the last couple of weeks. We still have some friends that attend our old Assembly of God church. Our old Assembly of God church along with all of the other Assemblies of God in the area have been at youth camp this past week. Each year the camp gets a themed name. This year’s themed name was “Supernatural Camp“. I thing it goes without saying just what the camp focused on this year, and it wasn’t preaching the Gospel (though I’m sure they thought that’s exactly what they were doing).

The focus was on imparting the “Fire of God” on the kids for them to take back to their local churches.

The focus of the camp wasn’t on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was on acquiring the “power” of God, the dreams, visions, the supernatural knowledge. In fact, I would go so far to say that most of these AG kids left camp and weren’t able to articulate the Gospel at all. You see, I know they can’t, because none of our former friends’ kids can.

The youth pastor of our former church was trained at another AG church who adored Bethel Church. If you was to go today to this church’s website in Irving, Texas it’s really nothing more than an idol to Bethel Church and Bill Johnson. There’s nearly as much on their website about Bethel as their own church. The sad part is that the pastor of this church in Irving, Texas is a Section Leader of the Assemblies of God while promoting a church that cast off it’s restraints from the Assemblies of God. Probably all done in a spirit of “interdenominational unity”, of course.

My wife posted on her Facebook this past Sunday something along the lines of “Something I love to hear in church on Sunday, ‘Church, open your Bibles to………’ “. I can’t count the amount of churches we went to that claimed to be Bible-centered, Gospel-preaching churches. These claims were made proudly on their websites and in their bulletins. But, you see, just because a pastor gives a 1-hour sermon on something and backs it up with several scriptures scattered from across the range of the books of the Bible, doesn’t mean it’s Bible centered. It only means they’ve used scripture to support their teaching. All those mis-contextualized scriptures makes the sermon sound so…..scriptural. But in all but one of these other churches, we never heard the Gospel presented. I’m not talking about an invitation to “receive Jesus”, but the actual death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with a call to repentance.

In other words, there are more than 60 churches within a 5-mile radius of our house (this IS Texas, ya know) and of the 20 or so churches we tried, only two preached gospel centered preaching directly from scripture. Two. By the way, the other 40 or so churches were easily dismissed from their websites. It was obvious we weren’t going to hear the Gospel in those churches.

It’s a sad state of church affairs out there. I guess I was in for a shock just how complacent God’s people have become. Oh sure there’s a lot of hollering and screaming in churches all across America every Sunday, but that doesn’t equate to line by line, verse by verse Gospel centered preaching. The infection is only getting worse as churches like Bethel, and IHOP, and Morningstar among a growing tsunami of other self-promoting ministries take their heresies worldwide.

So if you’ve become a frog in a pan of water on a stove, I can’t advise you to run from your current church. What I can advise, however is to search your heart, search out God, and search out the whole council of God’s word, the Bible, and see if you’re sitting under a self-centered, empire-building wolf…….you might just have become so used to your surroundings that you’re failing to realize your about to be eaten.

Most of all, be a Berean and hold every minister of the Gospel accountable for every word that comes out of their mouth. Remember, Luke called the Bereans noble for holding the Apostle Paul accountable.

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Filed under Charismania, Christianity, Church, Life, Pastors, Televangelists

Rest for the Weary Soul

28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matt 10:28-31, ESV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt 6:25-34, ESV)

One of the hardest things for me to learn and come to understand in my walk with God is His sovereignty in all things. I’m not there yet…not even close. But as time goes on, I’m coming more and more to rest and trust that God is in control of ALL things. That includes the good and the bad.

If I was to ask any one of my Christian friends and family members if they believed God was in control of all things, without a doubt all of them would say “Absolutely!”. Yet as with all words, they come cheap for us. A man can tell his wife he loves her all he wants, but if she knows he’s cheating on her with another woman, his words mean nothing. The same works when we say we believe something about the character of God, yet our actions belie it.

We wrestle with demons in our house. We command sickness out of our house. We fight, strive, wrestle, battle, command, take authority, plead, cry out, and try to grab ahold of the altar and shake it till God comes out. We spend so much time trying to get God to do our bidding that we never learn to trust Him and walk in peace and humility before God.

I spent far too many years searching for God’s “voice” and not enough time just trusting in God to take care of me just as He does sparrows and lilies. I wanted God to tell me about bible college, my job, which church to attend, and a whole lot of other difficult decisions. I would pray and listen. Never did an answer come in the form of a “word”, a “dream”, a “feeling”, a “prophecy” or any other thing people are chasing after these days. It seemed like everyone else was “hearing” from God, but He never seemed to speak to me.

I broke down and became angry at God because it seemed He was talking to everyone else and not me.

It’s taken some time for me to learn what the New Testament really teaches about the character of God. Once we are saved we are His. We are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ. Never will he leave us nor forsake us. We are now slaves of Christ. He is our master and no ultimate harm will come to us.

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Matt 12:38-39, ESV)

Jesus taught that to be constantly seeking signs from heaven was to be someone who didn’t trust in God and the promises in his written Word, the Bible. If one day we see something spelled out in a cloud, or a street sign named the same as a person we’ve been praying for, or even the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast. Thats all they are. They aren’t signs from God. And even if they were, so what. Everything He promises is written down in His word. He promises us nothing more. Anything else is divination, which is no different that reading tea leaves or tarot cards.

As we live our daily lives we can trust Him to provide all that we need. If sickness comes our way, whether we live or die, we do so for the Lord. If we lose our job, He’s promised in the verses above that we won’t go without food, clothing, or shelter. If one day we are brought before a council and asked to deny Jesus Christ or be burned at the stake, we can also rest assured He will provide for us there, too.

We’ve become so infected with the “prosperity gospel” far too many of us Christians have come to think there’s always good that will come out of everything here on this earth. But I have news for you, it doesn’t always turn out so good here on Earth. Sometimes people lose their heads, die of cancer, are crucified, or are burned to death for the sake of Christ. It’s happening all over the world as I type this. 

Our lives are not our own. They belong to Christ. We are to love Him and obey his written word, the Bible. We are to seek Him through prayer and to yield ourselves to his word daily. In this manner things will work out the way He wants them to. It’s just not always the way we want them to.

In the meantime:

But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thes 4:10-12, ESV)

We can trust that He’ll guide our steps, make level our paths, care for our body and needs, bring us the relationships we need, and place us just where He wants as we seek Him and trust Him quietly and patiently.

It’s hard for me, too. But believe me, it’s okay to stop the striving……now if I can only walk it out too.

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Whether ’tis Nobler In The Mind…..

I should be working rather than writing this post. But  that’s one of the advantages of working from home…..I can make up the hours later this weekend. Besides I can’t get the subject of this post off my mind as it’s far too disturbing.

I was making the rounds of my usual blogs this morning and ran across the following video clip of Stacey Campbell at some sort of youth conference. I guess I had no idea she was targeting the youth specifically now.

I first saw  Stacey Campbell when I was watching the Todd Bentley “ordination” in Florida a couple of years ago. In one of the most bizarre demonic manifestations I have ever seen, she “prophesied” over Todd Bentley. Yes, I said demonic. And I guess I’ll say it again, this thing she does is demonic and “snake-like”. Pure and simple. There is not a shred of scriptural evidence her behavior is from God, and to the contrary, due to the complete lack of the Gospel and the focus on “signs and wonders” is quite un-biblical.

I have to confess, I haven’t watched this thing all the way through. I can’t. It gets me too worked up…..and sick. I guess I’m only commenting on this video because of some recent events in my life where people I know have slowly began to re-involve themselves with this “circle” of people Stacey Campbell runs in.

Nevertheless, here it goes……. I’ll be quick about it.

1) (0:15) What exactly is a “corporate impartation” and where is that found in the Bible? I realize God “corporately imparted” gifts in the Book of Acts, but exactly where does it say we are to focus our church services on them? And where are we to seek and pray for “corporate annointings”?

2) (0:40) Yes, Stacey, we are to be “doers of the word”. Through humble submission, we are to go and make disciples and preach the Gospel. The Gospel is the death, burial, resurrection of Christ and repentance and forgiveness of sins. It is NOT signs and wonders. It is NOT a “prophetic” anointing. It is NOT focus on ourselves.  It is ALWAYS the death, burial, resurrection of Christ with repentance and forgiveness of sins. Always. And IF Christ chooses to perform signs and miracles, so be it. Never, at all, are we to be seekers of a sign. We are only hear and believe the Gospel.

3) (0:57) “Preach the gospel with signs following”….No, Stacey, WE preach the gospel (see above) and IF Christ chooses, signs will follow. We don’t force them.

4) (1:15) This personal prophecy….Where does this even have a biblical basis? How is this guy to know whether what they are saying is true? He doesn’t. This is clearly a “prophecy” designed to tickle the ears of others. The lady says “leave the crowds behind, leave the friends behind…”. This guy is being set-up for a shipwreck. If he goes forward and begins to have relationship problems with lifelong friends, he’ll see it as a “sign” from God, rather that his own stupid behavior. I myself have been there, done that, and actually have a couple of t-shirts to prove it.

Up to this point in my life I’ve witnessed hundreds of these personal “prophecies” and in many of them I knew the people they were given to.  It was all hogwash. Over and over again I’ve seen this stuff turn out to be untrue, yet these people speak as if it’s the very words of God.

These “prophets” all have an out. If their words don’t come to pass, they blame it on the receiving person’s faith or obedience, not their own “prophetic anointing”.

5) (2:15) what can I say here…..Other than demonic.

10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11Now 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. (Acts 17:10-11, ESV)

It’s considered noble by God to dig into the written Word and find out if these things are true. It’s considered noble to hold a “prophet” accountable to the written Word. It’s considered noble to obey the written Word. It’s noble not to fall for every word delivered from a “prophet’s” mouth.

Take a quick perusal on the internet. Search out the names of your favorite “prophets”. Research it and check their behavior back to the exact written word. Not the teachings of your favorite evangelist or the latest  book, but the exact written word of God….the Bible.

Run, folks, while there’s still time.

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