The International House of Prayer: Will Highpoint Church Jump Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire?

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. Soren Kierkegaard

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=69250&picture=flapjacks-turned-over-in-pan
Pancakes in the frying pan

In two separate instances, Chris Conlee of Highpoint Church has mentioned the International House of Prayer(IHOPKC.) On one occasion he said he had received a confirmed prophecy while visiting that group. He then claimed that he has been led to start a 24/7 prayer room leading me to wonder if he is going to have his church’s prayer ministry become associated with IHOP Memphis.

What is this all about? After I discovered that Highpoint Church listing suddenly disappeared from the church directory for the Southern Baptist Convention, I wondered if the SBC had pulled a TGC (The Gospel Coalition) move and had quietly removed the church from membership. After speaking with a few folks who should know, I have come to the conclusion that Highpoint Church may have removed their own listing from the SBC. That led me to wonder if Highpoint was going to go in a different theological direction.

It should not be a surprise to readers that some of us have suspected that Conlee will do anything to get Savage back in the pulpit since Savage is the more charismatic of the two. However, with Larry Cotton’s resignation which included a statement by him that Woodson had been the victim of sex abuse and it should have been reported to the authorities, Highpoint has a problem. Hence, the March 1st report has been delayed.

Some folks have reported that Andy Savage has been spotted around Memphis, traveling with two bodyguards. If true, are the bodyguards there to protect Savage from bodily harm or are they there to keep people from getting too close and asking awkward questions. Multiple bodyguard, paid for by the tithes of average people, are the latest symbol of prestige among the mega church crowd.

It is my guess that Chris Conlee is going to take the church in a new direction and is willing to lose some members in order to hide under a new banner. I could be wrong. However, there is no question that Conlee is rather enamored of IHOPKC. Do the attendees at Highpoint Church know the history of that organization?

What is IHOPK?C

First off, the International House of Prayer is usually referred to as IHOP. The first time that I heard the name, I wondered if it was started by some hipster who came up with an idea of flipping pancakes while preaching. So did the International House of Pancakes which expressed displeasure at the association and sued for copyright infringement. It was settled out of court and IHOP, the parachurch, started calling itself IHOPKC

So, Conlee, who appears to be on track for starting a 24/7 prayer room at Highpoint, might call it IHOP Memphis in accordance with recommendations from IHOP KC.

So,what is IHOPKC? Is it a church, a parachurch group, a school, etc. The answer is yes. According to their website:

The Lord has called us to be a community of believers committed to God, each other, and to establishing and maintaining a 24/7 house of prayer in Kansas City—a perpetual solemn assembly gathering corporately to fast and pray in the spirit of the tabernacle of David.

We are committed to prayer, fasting, the Great Commission, and to living as forerunners, spiritually preparing for the unique dynamics of the end times. The work of our ministry includes equipping and sending out missionaries as dedicated intercessors and evangelists who work to see revival within the Church and a harvest among those searching for God. We take seriously the mandate to train believers to love Jesus and others wholeheartedly, as together we go forth to preach the Word, heal the sick, serve the poor, plant houses of prayer, and proclaim the return of Jesus across the earth.

…We refer to our full-time staff at the International House of Prayer as “intercessory missionaries.” They raise their own support to work as full-time missionaries who reach out to others from a lifestyle of prayer and worship. Today, about 2,000 believers (staff, students, and interns) serve full-time, investing fifty hours per week, as they go from the prayer room to the classroom and then to ministry outreaches and works of service. Also, as those who are committed to the forerunner message, we are spiritually equipping ourselves to prepare others for the unique dynamics of the generation in which the Lord returns.

They believe that they are starting a revival which they oddly tie to David’s tabernacle. 

Around 1000 BC, King David established a tabernacle in Jerusalem and set a precedent of night and day worship before the Lord that continued at various times throughout Israel and Judah’s history. Each time this order of worship was reintroduced, spiritual breakthrough, deliverance and military victory followed.

According to Wikipedia, there is much more to this organization.

The International House of Prayer (IHOP or IHOPKC) is a charismatic Christian movement and missions organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, and the nearby suburb of Grandview that focuses on prayer and worship.[1]

It is best known for the prayer room which has run 24/7 with live worship teams since September 19, 1999, and simultaneously broadcast via its website. Doctrinally, IHOPKC is charismatic, post-tribulational, and affirms historic premillennialism.[2] IHOPKC places great importance on the practices of prayer, worship, fasting, and works of justice.[3][4][5]

IHOPKC runs a training facility which houses a Bible school, music academy, and media institute, collectively known as the International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) in nearby Grandview, Missouri.[6]

The annual Onething conference[7] has been hosted by IHOPKC since 2002 in the Kansas City Convention Center.

IHOPKC also has an unaccredited university. According to Wikipedia:

The International House of Prayer University is an unaccredited Bible college with a campus at Grandview, Missouri. As of 2010, there were 1,000 full-time students enrolled. The educational process centers on prayer.[8]

The program has included ministry training programs, a music academy, a media school, missionary training, and others.

IHOPKC also seems to run a quasi church.

People from all walks of life are welcome at Forerunner Christian Fellowship, where our desire is to grow in passion for Jesus and compassion for people. Together we commit to love and obey Jesus, to enjoy fellowship with each other, and to reach out to others in the power of the Spirit.

Interestingly, anyone can watch the 24/7 prayer room which they live stream at this link.

Central to the work of the missions base is our 24/7 prayer room, inspired by David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 23:5; 25:7), where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians were employed as their full-time occupation to minister to the Lord and serve the community. We divide the 24/7 schedule into twelve worship-based prayer meetings a day, each lasting two hours.

Scripture teaches that night-and-day prayer is deeply connected to the fullness of God’s power and purpose being released.

The organization claims that they do not govern a network of churches (think SGM/SGC)

I do not know how to interpret their claim in this matter. The SBC claims no jurisdiction over independent churches yet there are still some ties. At this point, I am a bit suspicious that there is more to this than meets the eye. Chris Conlee came back from his visits with a prophecy and a determination to start a prayer room so there is no question that there is some sort of influence which bears watching.

5. Does IHOPKC govern a network of churches?

No. IHOPKC is friendly with many in the Body of Christ across denominational boundaries and a number have been inspired by what has happened in Kansas City and have established “Houses of Prayer” in their own city. IHOPKC does not have any governmental authority over any of these churches or spiritual communities. While IHOPKC loves to serve and resource individuals and churches outside Kansas City, the leadership of IHOPKC only extends to our Missions Base in Kansas City.

So why do some people call this a cult? Why do others point out what they believe to be seriously flawed theology?

Before I begin, let me explain what I am NOT doing in this post. I am not here to start a debate on the charismatic movement. Although my husband and I are not charismatic in our faith practice, my husband became a Christian in charismatic group at Dartmouth College. Some of our close friends are involved in groups such as Assemblies of God. Just as we point out problems with both Calvinist and non-Calvinist groups, we will do the same for IHOP.

IHOPKC has just placed a staff member on leave for a 30 year old sex abuse accusation.

In a situation eerily like the Andy Savage situation at Highpoint, the Kansas City Star reported:

A former youth pastor accused of sexually abusing a Washington woman three decades ago when she was 14 has been placed on administrative leave by the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, where he now works.

The church released the following statement to the Kansas City Star:

“As a ministry we are firmly committed to the safety of all our members, especially the most vulnerable including our children and women,” Adam Wittenberg, an intercessory missionary at IHOPKC, said in an email. “In light of the recent accusations against one of our staff that took place over 30 years ago, as is typical in situations of these type of accusations, the staff member is on administrative leave while the veracity of these accusations is ascertained.”

The victim, who was molested by a youth pastor, suggested the church refer this to Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE.

The allegations came to light when Jennifer Graves Roach recently told The Modesto Beethat Tebbutt had sexually abused her in the mid-1980s. Tebbutt was a 27-year-old youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Modesto, Calif., when the abuse began.

…Roach told The Star on Thursday she was pleased that IHOP had placed Tebbutt on leave.

“I think it’s an appropriate action for any church in their situation to take,” she said.

She suggested that IHOP ask an organization called GRACE, which stands for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, to handle the investigation

Odd teachings of IHOPKC

CARM has a page dedicated to IHOPKC.

  1. Jesus cannot return until more people are praying. He is *held in the heavens” until then. Not only that, the people praying must understand that they are cherished by Jesus in the *bridal identity.*

Right now the prayer movement is growing fast….really fast! But when I say it’s growing fast instead of one percent of the Body of Christ taking hold of it, maybe 10 percent. It’s….you know it’s like 10 times bigger than it was a generation ago, but beloved as fast as the prayer movement is growing, where people are getting hold of it, still for 90 percent of the Body of Christ it’s not even on their mind. Jesus is not coming until the Body of Christ globally is crying out “Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus” and they don’t just say “come and forgive me” they are crying out in the understanding of who they are as the one that is cherished by Jesus in the bridal identity.

2. What is meant by *bridal identity?*

Rolling Stone posted a disturbing article called Love and Death in the House of Prayer in which they documented the origin of this strange belief.

….One July day in 1988, Mike Bickle was sitting in his office, reading a wedding card inscribed with a verse from the Song of Solomon. “Jesus, seal my heart with your seal of love,” Bickle spontaneously prayed. Unaccountably, he began to weep. The phone rang. A prophet had heard the “audible voice of the Lord” for Bickle: The Song of Solomon, a dialogue between King Solomon and his beloved, should become a focus of Bickle’s ministry. It eventually came to Bickle that true believers must see Jesus “through the eyes of a bride with loyal, devoted love” – they must “feel loved and in love” with Christ. Without this intimacy in worship, Christ would not return to Earth.

…Many critics, observing that IHOP recruits post-pubescent youth, have wondered where, if they are to approach their Lord as Solomon’s beloved approaches Solomon, their imaginations are supposed to go. “[Jesus] is not coming until the people of God are crying out globally in intercession with a bridal identity,” Bickle has preached. If the Second Coming depends upon “romantic communion” with Christ, and the alternative is satanic hegemony, then any error in worship should be made on the side of erotic intimacy – to lust and repent is surely better than abandoning Jesus in his hour of need. (ed. note : Bickle makes a point that bridal theology is not sexual.)

…”Very quickly, there were sensual escapades with God,” a former intern says, meaning that some people’s private imaginings turned explicit after exposure to IHOP’s “bridegroom” Christ. She says that an instructor told her, “God is using his word to kiss you.” The intern heard stories of IHOPers fantasizing about having “orgies with Jesus” and “sex with God.

3. According to Bickle, it doesn’t matter if prophecies don’t come true. In fact, some prophets have a less than 10% accuracy rate at IHOPKC and that is just fine with Bickle.

This is a huge red flag. Remember, Chris Conlee came back to Highpoint discussing that he had been prophesied over at IHOPKC. Yet, how does his know it is true? Why should any reasonable person consider listening to such prophecies? 10% accuracy? Seriously?

According to the CARM article of IHOPKC:

One of the highest criticisms of IHOP is that of Gnosticism.  Gnosticism is derived from the greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.”  Gnosticism is the idea of having “hidden knowledge” of the spiritual realm that is unavailable to others.  This knowledge comes via prophecies, visions, and dreams that God specifically gives to a certain privileged group of people  – in this case IHOP.  In fact, IHOP has their own “prophecy rooms” where one can receive “prophecies.”

…They could hear from God, and speak forth God’s words, prophesying of great events soon to transpire on planet earth. And they could have flipped a coin as to whether what God allegedly told them would actually come true. Often they didn’t come true. Some of the main prophets and/or leaders in the movement included Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner, John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane, and others…However, he was quoted as saying that the general level of prophetic revelation in the movement’s “prophets” had an accuracy level of about 65 percent. Some prophets were as low as 10 percent accurate, he said, with some of the “most mature” prophets having a rating “approaching 85 percent to 95 percent. ” (Steven F Cannon, “Old Wine in Old Wineskins: A Look at Kansas City Fellowship,” The Quarterly Journal 10, no. 4 (October-December 1990): 8.10

Here is Mike Bickle blowing off the need for accuracy be prophets. He claims that 100% accuracy was the hallmark of a true prophet only the Old Testament, not for the New Testament. Yet he does not give any Scriptural references for this supposed claim.

 

4. Bickle claims to actually come and go to the heavenly realms to have conversations with God.

Once again, this is found on the CARM website.

“I (Mike Bickle) stood there and I was at the Lord’s left hand, and it was not a dream–this was as real as life here and like I said, I don’t know that realm… He (God) was speaking so sternly to me, He said, ‘If you are impatient…you will cause great turmoil and much trouble for many people.’ I was ashamed and I was broken with sorrow that He said that so harshly to me. And then what happened is that I start falling so rapidly–I mean like–S-H-O-O-O-M, it takes about five or six seconds, and fall down to my bed, right through the ceiling–I mean it was right through the walls and things–S-H-O-O-O-M, I hit my bed and it wasn’t like an instant I was there–I had knowledge of travel for five or six seconds. Have you had that?”

According to the Rolling Stone article, it appears that Bickle is practically a commuter, traveling on a heavenly interstate.

Bickle sometimes affects to know God as he would a peer. “I heard what I call the internal audible voice of the Lord,” he has said. He claims that he visited heaven one night at 2:16 a.m., and the Lord charged him with preparing for an End Times ministry and seated him in a golden chariot that lifted off into the empyrean. At IHOP, where prophetic experiences are endemic, the mortal and divine commingle liberally.

5. God needs IHOPKC to bring about Christ’s Second Coming, to revive the church and to destroy demonic strongholds.

From the Rolling Stones article:

Bickle believes that unceasing, euphoric worship and song at IHOP and in prayer rooms across the globe, which should never close or be empty, will promote passionate intimacy with the Lord, revive the church and demolish demonic strongholds. And so IHOPers pray all day and night, through blizzards and blackouts, in hours-long sessions of mesmeric, musical worship, repeating the same phrases over and over, expecting to precipitate the Great Tribulation and the final battle between good and evil that precedes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

This is IHOP’s most alluring tenet: God needs IHOPers to effect the Tribulation and bring Christ back to Earth. “The church causes the Great Tribulation,” Bickle has preached.

6. Bickle has claimed that we will be like gods and will live on the earth. According to Rolling Stone:

Before founding IHOP, he argued that “God intends us to be like gods. God has conceived in his heart of a plan to make a race of men that would live like gods on Earth.”

7. Bickle appears to believe that, because his people prayed for the right people in government, Trump was elected and this will lead to a great harvest of souls.

I truly do not know what he is talking about here. In this article in Charisma News: Mike Bickle Believes Trump Presidency Will Open Doors for a Great Awakening in America, Bickle declared:

When orchestrating prayer for the election and the country, which would affect millions through the International House of Prayer network, Bickle asked intercessors to ask God to “send the right people to every level of government.”

“We just said, ‘Lord, please establish the right people in the right places,'” Bickle said. “When it came to Trump and Hillary, we knew that Hillary would be a disaster for us beyond measure and would set us back far. … The fact that he [Trump] emerged and beat Hillary was a great, great joy to us, and it showed the Lord’s favor upon our nation.”

…Although Bickle sees Trump more as a “reprieve” than a long-term answer for America, he does believe his election as president will open the door for a much-needed Great Awakening in the church, which will lead to a great harvest of souls.

A former intern explained why she believes that IHOPKC is a cult.

Nine years ago, an anonymous former intern wrote  Why I Believe IHOP is a Cult

As an intern at IHOP, our day to day lives were closely monitored and dictated. I was not allowed to go anywhere or leave IHOP premises without express verbal permission from a community leader except on our one day off.Our schedules started early in the morning with hours in the prayer room, then classes, then back to the prayer room. Our nights often ran late with required attendance at EGS (Encounter God Services) or any other special event Mike spoke at that we were required to attend. Sometimes we had to attend worship sets that ended at 10 pm or midnight. Sleep was minimal

…We were all given journals and told that we had mandatory writing assignments to complete. We were to record details of our IHOP prayer room times, things God spoke to us, dreams, visions, or whatever else that happened in us spiritually and then had to turn in our journals weekly to have an internship leader review/read them. In the last month or so I was at IHOP I paid particularly close attention to the fact that internship leaders ironically prayed things over me in prayer times or at the altar in the prayer room that related directly to things I had put in my journals. So what often might have seemed prophetic was the result of the information about me they already had access to.

…In the time I was there Mike often used “them and us” types of statements when referring to “the church” or those outside of IHOP. We were given a sense of being on the “cutting edge” because we were ahead of the church and were doing something new & innovative that was going to sweep the world.

..Every intern was required to listen to the 12 hours of IHOP’s recorded history on CD footage. Much of this content was heavily edited before its publication. These tapes told of “prophetic words” and signs that were given to some of Mike’s mentors (Bob Jones, Paul Cain, etc)—who were all naming him as the leader of the next “big thing” God was doing. Over and over and over again I’ve heard it said (both directly by Mike as well as from others) that he (Mike) would be the leader of a movement that “changed the nature and expression of Christianity in the earth”. Every time, all recognition points to Mike.

…Youth are pumped up at conferences and then go home to tell their parents they are moving to Kansas City to join IHOP, be part of an internship, etc. At the time, sadly, they don’t realize how much more they are giving up and leaving behind than just their families.

Rolling Stone provides\d a deeply disturbing expose on a suicide at IHOPKC. It involved what appears to be people in leadership roles who have questionable theology, psychological issues with little to no oversight.

I believe Love and Death in the House of Prayer is worth a full read but it is quite disturbing. Frankly, it had me checking Amazon to see if red flags can be bought by the 100s.The story includes questionable theology, insufficient supervision, psychiatric disorders, abuse, along with some pretty bizarre views on sexuality.

What I have left out because I didn’t have time.

  • Despite the denials of Mike Bickle, is there a tie to the New Apostolic Reformation or dominionism?
  • Who are the Kansas City prophets?
  • What is the Second Pentecost?
  • What about exorcism and demons?
  • What are the views on repentance and restoration?

Thoughts for the members of Highpoint Church

  • If Highpoint Church was a member of The Gospel Coalition and the Southern Baptist Convention, how could the leadership make such a drastic change of direction and theology?
  • Have the members of Highpoint Church been told of the significant differences in theology between the SBC and IHOPKC?
  • Do the members of Highpoint Church think that it is rather odd that a pastor could change his theological distinctives so quickly?
  • Could this all have something to do with Andy Savage?

I bet some interesting discussions will ensue!


Comments

The International House of Prayer: Will Highpoint Church Jump Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire? — 302 Comments

  1. I know about them. My neighbor is into this stuff. This is so wildly coincidental. I have just been researching them, because of my neighbor’s involvement. So strange.

  2. Yikes. Not again. I no longer feel comfortable here. I haven’t for a while now. But I really don’t now. These things work both ways. It’s a YUGE Internet. This is just a minuscule slice of it. I will not hang around someplace where I don’t feel comfortable. I’m not a masochist. A Catholic friend tried to warn me. I should have heeded her. Bye, y’all. HUG, KenF, Darlene, okrapod: If you are so inclined, you can reach me at johnpaulsteve@gmail.cim. Thanks!

  3. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    A Catholic friend tried to warn me. I should have heeded her.

    I used to attend a praise service in upstate New York when I was in college. I have no problem with Catholics or so I thought? What did I say in this post that makes you feel uncomfortable?

  4. I can share experiences with some in the “charismatic” movement, but half of the time, I run for the hills. Some in charismatic circles now are running for the hills too. A lot of these bizarre experiences like the one you see in that youtube vid don’t line up. Or any of the other infamous practices.. the maniacal dancing, Benny Hinn “slaying” crowds in the “Spirit”, etc..

    That twitchy behavior you see in some is no different than “Kundalini” experiences in Hindu/Yoga. It is the Anti-Holy Spirit. Be on your guard.

    Also, I think these churches have a few man-made tricks as well.. various things that induce trance like experiences. I see it every time. Like the dimming of lights during services.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3latP4okhU

  5. If you read *One Thing* (see what I did there?) about IHOPKC, read that “Love and Death in the House of Prayer” article. Seriously, it just exposes how terribly messed up IHOPKC is.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/love-and-death-in-the-house-of-prayer-20140121

    There is also this story from CBS News’ 48 Hours for those of you who are more inclined to video.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-the-mysterious-death-of-bethany-deaton/

    I think about Bethany Deaton occasionally and just mourn the loss of her life. If there was a sign that IHOPKC is crazycakes, what happened with her and that house full of people in her “husband’s” sub-cult should warn everyone off from that nonsense.

    As far as Chris Conlee taking his property (that’d be Highpoint Church) out of the SBC, is anyone surprised? It’s not about God, it’s about power and authority and having his own thing. It would not surprise me to learn that other SBC churches in Nashville started making uncomfortable noises about Highpoint.

    And I have to wonder if Conlee will bring back Andy Savage under the cover of a name change.

  6. I would also add that these “restoration” or “latter rain” ideologies that are in these churches is nothing but arrogance and ignorance. Many saints have experienced charisms and other miracles. Some charismatics have genuine experiences, don’t get me wrong. I know they are with God, especially when they tell me of the Spirit literally warming their hearts. St. John of the Cross talked plenty of this.. Orthodox monks have written of it, especially in context of the Jesus Prayer. It’s not a new movement. The person who thinks that is just in a bubble.

  7. I have substantial experience with IHOP. It was with a local group which eventually took up the name and started a very, very small local chapter. I met some students who were from there. I played in a band with a drummer who went to KC Metro fellowship (what the church was called before they rebranded as IHOP.) I know a lot about this group and have very specific criticism due to my familiarity. Let me also say that CARM is not an accurate source of information. I would suggest you disregard what they write if you really care about truth. They are not a New Age Cult, nor are they perfect. They are like a lot of other things I have seen in the greater body of Christ. There are some very good things and some bad.
    To answer your question regarding structure, they are part of the newer denominations that have very little central authority, so each location is very independent over-all. I do not agree with everything they do nor everything taught by Bickle. I will give him credit for one good thing though. He is the only leader from the Charismatic side of the church that has publicly admitted that 80 percent of the “manifestations of the Spirit” in these churches are fake. This is a truth that I have not seen anyone else admit. I would suggest that no one be too quick to take up pitchforks and go on a witch hunt here. I have a background in this side of the church. I have educated criticism of some of the stupid things done for show by groups like this one. I am not into torching the whole thing though. I feel the same way about Calvinism as well as my best friend is one. I can answer some of the questions that Dee did not have time for if anyone is interested.

  8. If he knows 80 percent is wrong, why is he simply commenting on it then? A shepherd needs to guide the lost sheep. False manifestations are not merely false. They’re demonic.

  9. “Some folks have reported that Andy Savage has been spotted around Memphis, traveling with two bodyguards. If true, are the bodyguards there to protect Savage from bodily harm or are they there to keep people from getting too close and asking awkward questions. Multiple bodyguard, paid for by the tithes of average people, are the latest symbol of prestige among the mega church crowd.”

    Are you sure they weren’t chaperones? That would be a step in the right direction. Maybe seminaries should assign chaperones to every seminary graduate.

  10. It greatly benefits IHOP and similar groups to claim that the opposition to them is the same as opposing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Criticizing all of the charismatic movement for IHOP only helps them, so it’s a wise move to focus on only this group and their oddness.

    And the problems with IHOP are too vast for one article — it gets weirder and sadder the more you look into them. That “prophet” Bob Jones who Bickle learned so much from? He was removed from ministry for sexual abuse in the early 90s while claiming to be using his prophetic gift. Mike Bickle has claimed that all other churches are going to lead them away from certain truths — which is one of the first red flags for a cult. Their musicians are setting up a conference where those who pay a premium can receive a special spiritual impartation.

    You’d think after the leaders coerced a false murder confession out of a frightened, isolated man in the name of the Holy Spirit, people like Sam Storms and Francis Chan would want to run in the other direction. That didn’t happen. You’re allowed to say “oops” once in awhile as a decades-long leader of a church/parachurch — abusing the name of the Lord and causing an innocent young man to sit in a jail cell isn’t one of those times.

    Dee, let’s go halfsies on the red flags, it’ll save on shipping. If they keep up what they’ve been doing for the past few years we’ll need even more.

  11. “According to Bickle, it doesn’t matter if prophecies don’t come true. In fact, some prophets have a less than 10% accuracy rate at IHOPKC and that is just fine with Bickle.”

    The broken clock school of prophecy?

  12. I remember hearing that the national park service gave what people were calling David’s Tent space on the National Mall in apparent perpetuity. I heard it was in a prime locale by the Washington Monument for a while, but is now a little bit more off the beaten track. I’ve heard people talk of events there but have never gone; I definitely appreciate the heads-up. Red flags indeed.

  13. If IHOPKC embraces Highpoint, to become IHOPMemphis, that speaks volumes regarding IHOPKC.

    Savage is covered-up by Conlee/Highpoint who in turn would be covered-up by IHOPKC. Hello, predator enabling network.

  14. As a born again believer, that video of the service caused me such unease. I had known some things about IHOP several years ago but am seeing there is so much more to learn. I find it extremely disconcerting that Conlee would make this move. But then, i suppose, wolves do what they do…..

  15. Mercy wrote:

    As a born again believer, that video of the service caused me such unease. I had known some things about IHOP several years ago but am seeing there is so much more to learn. I find it extremely disconcerting that Conlee would make this move. But then, i suppose, wolves do what they do…..

    The unease is the true Spirit in you. So rejoice in that at least 🙂

    I had been invited to some of these type of places before, and when I said I “ran from the hills”, I mean it!

    OK, more like slinked out of my chair and slipped out the door. But I wanted to run.

  16. dee wrote:

    sounds like a lot of theological jumping around to me.

    Indeed. Many years ago I worked with Sam in the Dallas Seminary book store. He is a bright guy with a good sense of humor. His path theologically has been surprising to me.

  17. @Mercy; 3:48am
    At least wolves are honest predators by nature. Human animals, not so much.

  18. drstevej wrote:

    dee wrote:

    sounds like a lot of theological jumping around to me.

    Indeed. Many years ago I worked with Sam in the Dallas Seminary book store. He is a bright guy with a good sense of humor. His path theologically has been surprising to me.

    Is that Dallas Theological Seminary? Because I don’t see a big jump. They’re dispensationalists. Which is where a lot of this “latter rain” nonsense started. Even if the original dispensationalists had nothing to do with that movement.

  19. The first time I had ever heard of IHOP is when an unassuming quiet couple I knew had to drive to IHOP to retrieve their daughter and put her in a cult debriefing program. She went off to college and was recruited there. Next thing they know she is living at IHOP and totally unresponsive. That was about 16 years ago.

  20. It is important to note that Bickle/IHOP is part of the larger “Christian” phenomenon of the New Apostolic Reformation (Dominionist Christians). This includes characters like: Larry Tomczak who started Sovereign Grace Ministries, (SGM) with CJ Mahaney, Che Ahn of Harvest International Ministries (Larry Tomczak’s protege), Lou Engle of the Call who also with Che Ahn came out of SGMs, disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker who is current hocking end of the world food buckets on “Christian” TV, Rick Joyner who runs Jim Baaker’s old PTL theme park, etc, etc, etc…

    This is the another branch of what SGMs yielded.

  21. Seraph wrote:

    Is that Dallas Theological Seminary?

    Yes. DTS is dispensational but they are in no way linked to the latter rain stuff.

    From the DTS Doctrinal Statement…

    We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and miraculous healings were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit, and that the deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection (Acts 4:8, 31; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 13:8).

    https://www.dts.edu/about/campuses/chinese/doctrinalstatement/

  22. But I can see how someone in that frame of mind would jump to that.. that’s all I mean. Latter rain uses the same framework.. that we’re in the last days, and this is a period where God pours out his spirit. It gives their charismatic movement a sense of urgency and special-ness.. if you will.

  23. For the record, as I touched upon earlier, I think God has always poured out his Spirit. The church can’t exist without him.

    But then again, I’m an amillennialist 😛

  24. Jules story could be the tip of the iceberg of what savage and conlee are really up to. Crazy!

  25. @ Mr. Jesperson:

    I too have considerable exposure to IHOPKC.

    My understanding of the suicide from insiders was that it was a matter of a rogue group breaking away. Bickle actually spent a significant time teaching against cults around that time (afterwards, I believe)…I assume as a response to these dangerous split offs.

    Of Charismatic groups out there, this group does genuinely try to discipline their practice through Bible study. We might not agree with all their conclusions or uses of Scripture, but they are making the effort.

    Finally, the “quasi church” is an actual church as they understand it themselves, fyi.

  26. I agree that CARM isn’t a reliable source though even a stopped clock is sometimes correct. Its pages about Roman Catholicism might explain Catholic Gate-Crasher’s discomfort.

  27. I have noticed over the years that groups at either extreme are able to accurately describe the problems with the other extreme. Doesn’t make thier position correct but they do see the errors of the other side. It works both ways. As for me, I will call out inappropriate behaviour wherever I see it.

  28. Back when I first got involved protesting Scientology, one of the biggest disappointments I had to face was the fact that the churches and parachurch “anti-cult ministries” were simply clueless about what was going on. They spent all their time focusing on Scientology’s beliefs rather than the really bad stuff that Scientology was doing to its members and to the general public at large.

    The focus was completely on Scientology’s wackiness and not what it was doing. So there was a lot of talk about Hubbard’s teachings, and, later, using the story of Xenu and the volcanoes as a warning about the unChristian nature of Scientology, after the became better known (*cough* thanks to friends of mine *cough*). But there was no discussion of Scientology’s bad activities and lawbreaking. You won’t find a discussion of “Operation Snow White” in Christian “anti-cult” materials, for example. (“Operation Snow White” was where Scientology operatives sought to cleanse the US government files of any documents that were harmful to Scientology.) There was no discussion of the Sea Org or the Rehabilitation Project Force, about how Scientology just vacuums money from members to the point of destitution, about forcing members to disconnect from family members who are exes or even critical of the cult. None of that.

    I’ve thought about this for a couple of decades now and I think the reason why is because there are a lot of churches that engage in Scientology-lite or -like activities. We’re talking about IHOPKC; I’ve read about students going to their unaccredited school. The students are basically forced to fast at least one day a week, as no meals are served. I’m diabetic, the idea of having my blood sugar that out of whack horrifies me. Fasting should be voluntary, not enforced. Churches don’t want people questioning the money flow, which is why Scientology’s donation scheme isn’t covered, because then people might look sideways at tithes and offerings at some of these prosperity churches. One might argue that the way volunteers or young people who have raised money for a mission experience are treated poorly, rather like the Sea Org. And yes, members of churches are told to cut out those people who aren’t supportive out of their lives. I could go on and on with the comparisons.

    My point here is to say that going after a person’s beliefs is not helpful. I don’t know anyone who got out of Scientology because they were exposed to Xenu before their time. (In fact, that usually got their backs up.) What helps is showing how the organization’s *practices* are harmful. That’s why I recommended the “Love and Death in the House of Prayer” article. There was a lot of strange activities going on at IHOPKC and in Tyler Deaton’s sub-cult.

    I am personally of the opinion that posting videos about the “Kundalini spirit” at IHOPKC and other places are particularly unhelpful. The comparison is made to Hindu/Indian religious practices, the words (e.g., Kundalini, kriyas) are pulled entirely out of context and applied to manifestations taking place completely within the context of a Christian church service. The implication these guys want you to walk away with is that IHOPKC and the rest of them are involved in Hindu practices and may even be inhabited by the same demons that, in their minds, infect Hinduism.

    I am telling you from personal experience dealing with Scientologists this argument is just not going to work. And how do I know this? Because I know people who have left Scientology and are still involved in Scientology-style practices (i.e., auditing) without the rest of the Hubbard stuff. What usually happens is that after a few years they walk away from that as well, but it’s because they discover they’re not getting wins, not because they discover the dogma is false.

    And, seriously, the experiences people have in Scientology and getting out of Scientology are completely relatable to Joe Average. Look at Leah Remini’s “Scientology and the Aftermath”–it’s been an education for a lot of people. My brother, who thought I was nutso for picketing Scientology all these years has changed his mind as a result of watching Leah’s show, because she has people on who talk articulately about their experiences, not so much about the dogma.

    I realize this is a lot, but my point is that criticizing someone’s beliefs is not going to get them out of a bad situation. Pointing out how their group is treating them badly and there’s a better life outside, where one can reconnect with family and friends, have a job that pays better than slave labor working for a cult, have a family*, that sort of thing, that works a lot better.

    *One of the greatest joys I’ve had over the last several years has been seeing an ex-Scientology Sea Org guy, in for three decades, come out and become the father of a little girl. He completely dotes upon her and she is adorable. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wakes up every day and thinks to himself, “I can’t believe I have a child, it was so discouraged in the Sea Org. I am so blessed!”

  29. CARM may have its issues, but if you’re troubled by a claim at the very least they back it up with footnotes. Even then, the most disturbing issues can be independently verified outside of CARM. Reading Bickle’s sermons on the official IHOP website alone was enough to alarm me about the elitist, exclusionary rhetoric and weird teachings that should have long ago warded off other Christians.

    And as for the Deaton prayer group — it was technically a cloistered group, but IHOP’s cult talk afterwards came off as a lot of CYA. Read the RS article — IHOP does not come off as innocent bystanders and a number of the former prayer group members do not remember its “recovery” actions fondly.

  30. Erp wrote:

    I agree that CARM isn’t a reliable source

    Why do you feel this way? What have they done that questions their reliability?

  31. Erp wrote:

    I agree that CARM isn’t a reliable source though even a stopped clock is sometimes correct.

    I think this describes sites like CARM very succinctly. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of such sites around the interweb, proclaiming themselves defenders of The_Truth and spokespeople for Gods_Word protecting Gods_People from false doctrines and everything else they themselves disagree with. None of them is 100% inaccurate – it’s more or less impossible to be so – but I never take any of them seriously and I certainly wouldn’t use them as sources of information about the individuals, groups, movements and doctrines they’re attacking.

  32. Here’s some thoughts on IHOP:

    Private investigators were sent to find out what was happening to teens inside IHOP’s teen programs. Here’s their report—part 1:
    https://stopihopcult.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/private-investigator-finds-fault-in-ihop/

    Report part 2:
    https://stopihopcult.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/investigation-part-ii-on-the-inside-of-ihop/

    They concluded:
    “We can confidently state that Bickle has a power-hungry agenda, centered on the youth, wherein he profits not only financially at their expense, but derives global positioning through acts of deceptive spiritualism that are not based in Scripture….”

    “His focus is clearly on growing his army larger and larger and taking control of the political and economic free world. In his office—he was heard talking to a fellow leader and Bickle stated: “Who else can we get to team with us, I mean, who are the biggest groups out there and how do we pull them in so that we will hold undeniably more power than the government?”

    https://stopihopcult.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/investigation-part-iii-on-the-inside-of-ihop/

    And here’s this from someone who lived with Mike Bickle for years:

    “Mike…..is very deceived by his own thoughts of grandeur. Pat (Mike’s brother) and I both confronted him often times about his complete disregard for people in his pursuit of making a movement but he shunned us both for years.”

    “He has developed a marketing plan that allows him to seasonally travel out to recruit new prospects through the seminar or convention circuit where he can appeal to the young and naïve as well as the transient evangelical. I have personally heard him say numerous times wants to attract the young and naïve because they are not yet soured by the deceptions of the church……”

    “But it has always been evident from as far back as I have known them that Mike has wanted to build a Movement that would make him great in the eyes of God. He wants to be numbered with the likes of Charles Finney and John Lake. It is His sole passion and desire is to be great in the Kingdom of God and to accuse him of anything less is foolishness and an argument that can’t be won…..”

    https://ihopisnewage.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/i-lived-with-mike-bickle-and-his-family-for-several-years/

  33. @Muslin

    it’s not really meant to be helpful to them. Just helpful here, as a warning. An encouragement to use our own gift of discernment.

    I don’t really have to say it anyways. Many people dismiss it, without me saying a word. It’s mocked left and right. What it’s real harm is is that makes outsiders dismiss the church itself. And that’s the chief purpose of demons: turning people away from God. It’s makes Christians look so wacky that people laugh or get disturbed, and then it causes people to ignore anything to do with God.

    Demons mimick the acts of god, like the magicians who countered Moses with their false serpents. Even if Moses’ serpent devoured them, it still hardened Pharoah’s heart.

    Or take the word of Paul, when he even warned of the unhelpfulness of TRUE manifestations of the Spirit: “how can anyone in the position of an outsider say ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.”

    “If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?”- 1 Cor 14:17, 23

    If the true Spirit has such requirements and can possibly confuse outsiders.. how much more so the false? It’ll turn people away indefinitely. They’re REALLY think Christians are crazy… or at best, a joke meant to mock and make Youtube videos out of. :\

  34. David wrote:

    CARM may have its issues, but if you’re troubled by a claim at the very least they back it up with footnotes. Even then, the most disturbing issues can be independently verified outside of CARM.

    In which case go to the sources mentioned in the footnotes. In any case the page talks about doctrines not practices and it is the practices that make a group dangerous as Muslin points out. I note the Quakers and the Unitarian Universalists have write ups on CARM at least as critical (you may disagree with the doctrines of those two groups but the people within are far from coerced).

  35. I would agree that behavior should be in the foreground at least just as much.

    I’ve had personal experience with the Church of Christ – and they’re about the most fundamental and primitive in their Bible focused doctrine. There’s a lot of things I agree with them about. And yet I still call them a Cult.. simply because they behave like one (and more especially one of it’s offshoots, the International Church of Christ). It’s the strangest of cults really.. simply for not believing like a cult.

  36. Hah! I just saw that CARM site has an entry for the International Church of Christ right next to IHOP (they’re the only ones listed).

    I swear, I didn’t get my opinions from that. 😛

  37. Cult…

    quite frankly, every church i’ve ever been a part of (a diverse sampling) is teetering on the edge of becoming cultic, if not slipping off into cultic-ness more or less / here & there.

    like many here, having extricated myself from the institution, distance in time and space (& air quality) brings things into clearer focus.

  38. It’s a cult, and it has always been a cult. Definitely NAR/Dominionist as well. I mean, i found out about them and their weirdness in 1990, long before a lot of the more recent aberrations occurred.

    It’s a cult that uses words from Xtianity. But it is most definitely not Xtian in any way, shape or form. And never has bern. Frankly, huge swaths if “Xtianity” in the US are, imo, nit at all Xtian.

  39. About the only House of Prayer I really want to like is this place in Iraq.. I saw a vid of a preacher in Mosul after ISIS got kicked out, and how his small congregation were grateful. Assuming it was IHOP, I mean. The news vid just had “House of Prayer” by his name.

    That said, Iraq is mostly Chaldean Catholic, and they’re beautiful.. not a cult! 🙂 He should just join them.

  40. How much do you know about the International House of Prayer?

    You mean those Masters of Mighty Magick making long Incantations?

    This is IHOP’s most alluring tenet: God needs IHOPers to effect the Tribulation and bring Christ back to Earth. “The church causes the Great Tribulation,” Bickle has preached.

    Then why don’t they just one-up Jeffers and hex the Trump to start a nuclear war to fulfill Prophecy and Jump-start Armageddon? Much more direct.

  41. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Back when I first got involved protesting Scientology, one of the biggest disappointments I had to face was the fact that the churches and parachurch “anti-cult ministries” were simply clueless about what was going on. They spent all their time focusing on Scientology’s beliefs rather than the really bad stuff that Scientology was doing to its members and to the general public at large.

    THAT is Christianese Cult-Watching in a nutshell. And why a LOT of destructive not-a-cults sailed right under their radar.

    Defining “Cult” entirely by Theology and NOT by destructive/control-freak behavior.
    (Because that would be SECULAR, not GODLY!)

    Parsing Theology and Doctrine letter-by-letter while completely ignoring destructive behavior and practice.
    (Because that would be FLESH, not SPIRIT!)

    The focus was completely on Scientology’s wackiness and not what it was doing. So there was a lot of talk about Hubbard’s teachings, and, later, using the story of Xenu and the volcanoes as a warning about the unChristian nature of Scientology, … But there was no discussion of Scientology’s bad activities and lawbreaking.

    See above.
    http://i1.wp.com/www.nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/the-theologians.jpg

  42. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    You won’t find a discussion of “Operation Snow White” in Christian “anti-cult” materials, for example. (“Operation Snow White” was where Scientology operatives sought to cleanse the US government files of any documents that were harmful to Scientology.) There was no discussion of the Sea Org or the Rehabilitation Project Force, about how Scientology just vacuums money from members to the point of destitution, about forcing members to disconnect from family members who are exes or even critical of the cult. None of that.

    Because that might hit too close to home?
    (“NOW YOU’RE MEDDLIN’!”)

  43. Divorce Minister wrote:

    My understanding of the suicide from insiders was that it was a matter of a rogue group breaking away. Bickle actually spent a significant time teaching against cults around that time (afterwards, I believe)…I assume as a response to these dangerous split offs.

    Because “WE’RE NOT A CULT! THEY ARE! WE’RE NOT! WE’RE NOT! WE’RE NOT!”?

  44. Forty years ago, I worked at the corporate HQ for the other, more familiar IHOP.

    Their top management and corporate culture were nothing to brag about, either.
    (When the one German in your department starts making Auschwitz and Fuehrerbunker jokes about the top management…)

  45. Cults control and manipulate with hidden agendas.
    God loves and persuades with full disclosure.

    Even at the one-to-one relationship level, a partner may control and manipulate with a hidden agenda or love and persuade with full disclosure. In the long run, it’s heaven or hell in marriage, and yes, if one watches Dateline, sometimes a partner dies at the hand of their partner.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we – the good guys – fall for the fake, the hidden agenda at church or in relationships. Hopefully we can walk away or get a divorce and reboot.

    If Highpoint and IHOPKC are indeed controlling and manipulating, then they are on the same team from the get-go. Savage obviously is controlling and manipulating. Conlee, by his behavior in garnering applause for Savage, the same. Birds of a feather – these guys (and gals) keep finding each other. In the end, on shifty ground, they will all sink in the sand together and sadly pull down those they duped, too. But then, religion is a freedom.

    Fortunately for Jules Woodson and many others, they have seen the light, and now share that light with us. God bless these brave souls and Godspeed!

  46. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    It is important to note that Bickle/IHOP is part of the larger “Christian” phenomenon of the New Apostolic Reformation (Dominionist Christians). This includes characters like: Larry Tomczak who started Sovereign Grace Ministries, (SGM) with CJ Mahaney, Che Ahn of Harvest International Ministries (Larry Tomczak’s protege), Lou Engle of the Call who also with Che Ahn came out of SGMs, disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker who is current hocking end of the world food buckets on “Christian” TV, Rick Joyner who runs Jim Baaker’s old PTL theme park, etc, etc, etc…

    i.e. The Holy Republic of Gilead, with its Commanders (them) getting marching orders from Angels like they were Familiar Spirits.

  47. Lydia wrote:

    The first time I had ever heard of IHOP is when an unassuming quiet couple I knew had to drive to IHOP to retrieve their daughter and put her in a cult debriefing program. She went off to college and was recruited there. Next thing they know she is living at IHOP and totally unresponsive. That was about 16 years ago.

    CULT.

  48. JDV wrote:

    “According to Bickle, it doesn’t matter if prophecies don’t come true. In fact, some prophets have a less than 10% accuracy rate at IHOPKC and that is just fine with Bickle.”

    Don’t these same guys like to recite Leviticus regarding everyone outside they’re little clique of Anointed True Prophets: “And if what they prophesy does NOT come to pass, thou shalt know they are a false prophet and shall stone them with stones…”?

  49. David wrote:

    It greatly benefits IHOP and similar groups to claim that the opposition to them is the same as opposing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

    “If you question what I say to you
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  50. You might be in a cult if…

    – Your leader’s prophecies must be spell checked first.
    – Special music is performed by the leader’s eight wives.
    – The parking lot has designated spaces for aliens.
    – Fatigues must be worn at the church retreat.
    – The sacred writings are kept in a three-ring binder.
    – The church motto is “In Bob We Trust.”
    – Services are canceled because the rattlesnake got loose.

  51. This wouldn’t be the first time a church has changed directions theologically. Covenant Life Church, the former flagship of Sovereign Grace Ministries, started out as a charismatic church back when it was known as TAG. As another commenter noted, Larry Tomczak was a co-founder. But CLC, and SGM, moved in more of a Reformed direction after Tomczak’s departure about 20 years ago.

    Frankly, I would be surprised if Highpoint indeed leaves the Southern Baptist Convention and affiliates with IHOPKC. IHOPKC is considered a controversial group even among its fellow charismatics. However, I suppose anything is possible these days.

  52. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/may/cover-story-inside-popular-controversial-bethel-church.html

    Here in California we have Bethel Church. They have basically taken over the town of Redding. I have a friend in the School of Ministry who is perfecting her steps in her “prophetic dance” class.

    Thirty years post-college, it distresses me this stuff is still around. My college town had a church that was into extreme shepherding, hyper-discipline, “amazing” signs and wonders. It self-imploded when parents realized that, instead of going to class, their students were out “ministering” or up all night praying. I also found out that some of them were involved in all kinds of sexual antics.

    People want “spiritual extreme” but they don’t want to put the work in to study the Bible or serve their fellow human beings. Self-levitation seems like more fun.

  53. Mention is made of CARM in the above main article.
    Is this organization the same one that touts the iron-clad apologetic arguments of Matt Slick (whose own daughter converted to fundamentalist atheism)?
    Anybody in the know?

  54. Seraph wrote:

    That twitchy behavior you see in some is no different than “Kundalini” experiences in Hindu/Yoga. It is the Anti-Holy Spirit. Be on your guard.

    Or it could also be the individual working him/herself into a frenzy and cutting loose, like “Shaking Stacy” at Lakeland. Both Occultists and Christians are real quick with the Supernatural explanations, going there first in lieu of checking for any natural ones.

    And too many (like me) were Denounced as SAY-TANN-IC! when we showed any hint of nonconformity. (“DEEMONS! DEEMONS! DEEMONS! SHEEKA-BOOM-BAH! BAM!”)

    There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.
    — C.S.Lewis, Preface to The Screwtape Letters

  55. Linn wrote:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/may/cover-story-inside-popular-controversial-bethel-church.html

    Here in California we have Bethel Church. They have basically taken over the town of Redding. I have a friend in the School of Ministry who is perfecting her steps in her “prophetic dance” class.

    Thirty years post-college, it distresses me this stuff is still around. My college town had a church that was into extreme shepherding, hyper-discipline, “amazing” signs and wonders. It self-imploded when parents realized that, instead of going to class, their students were out “ministering” or up all night praying. I also found out that some of them were involved in all kinds of sexual antics.

    People want “spiritual extreme” but they don’t want to put the work in to study the Bible or serve their fellow human beings. Self-levitation seems like more fun.

    Oh how I wish Christianity took over towns in California..

    But that’s not exactly how I imagined it.

  56. 5. God needs IHOPKC to bring about Christ’s Second Coming, to revive the church and to destroy demonic strongholds.

    Doesn’t that make IHOPKC and Bickle REAL IMPORTANT?
    What would GOD ever do without them?

  57. Linn wrote:

    Here in California we have Bethel Church. They have basically taken over the town of Redding. I have a friend in the School of Ministry who is perfecting her steps in her “prophetic dance” class.

    I know a guy from Redding.
    Years ago, I asked him about Bethel Church.
    His response?
    “That Cult?”
    He went on to tell me some really WEIRD stories about Bethel Church types — nothing supernatural, just destructively-weird behavior.

  58. @ drstevej:
    Actually, DrSteveJ, let’s reword that into proper Jeff Foxworthy phrasing:

    If your Leader’s prophecies must be spell checked first – You might be in a Cult.
    If special music is performed by the Leader’s eight wives – You might be in a Cult.
    If the parking lot has designated spaces for aliens – You might be in a Cult.
    If fatigues must be worn at the church retreat – You might be in a Cult.
    If the Sacred Writings are kept in a three-ring binder – You might be in a Cult.
    If the church motto is “In Bob We Trust” – You might be in a Cult.
    If services are canceled because the rattlesnake got loose – You might be in a Cult.

  59. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    That twitchy behavior you see in some is no different than “Kundalini” experiences in Hindu/Yoga. It is the Anti-Holy Spirit. Be on your guard.

    Or it could also be the individual working him/herself into a frenzy and cutting loose, like “Shaking Stacy” at Lakeland. Both Occultists and Christians are real quick with the Supernatural explanations, going there first in lieu of checking for any natural ones.

    And too many (like me) were Denounced as SAY-TANN-IC! when we showed any hint of nonconformity. (“DEEMONS! DEEMONS! DEEMONS! SHEEKA-BOOM-BAH! BAM!”)

    There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.
    — C.S.Lewis, Preface to The Screwtape Letters

    I say it’s supernatural because I’ve experienced the supernatural as well. It’s kind of habit now to assume it.

    But maybe you could say I’m offbase too 🙂 But I’m hardly in a frenzy myself. It’s not like that for me. Something else.

  60. …Youth are pumped up at conferences and then go home to tell their parents they are moving to Kansas City to join IHOP, be part of an internship, etc. At the time, sadly, they don’t realize how much more they are giving up and leaving behind than just their families.

    Just like all those Muslim Youth who were pumped up by ISIS Websites to move to the wanna-be Caliphate to join ISIS’s Real True Islam and strap on the suicide bomb vest…

  61. @ drstevej:

    you might be approaching the cultic if…

    -your speech cadence changes on Sunday mornings when talking with others at church

    -your walk cadence changes on Sunday mornings when walking with others at church

    -your facial expressions are not your norm on Sunday mornings when interacting with others at church

    -your don’t challenge questionable things but keep sweet at church

    -you have no friends outside of church except for acquaintances

    -you have no time for other activities or relationships outside of church

    -you feel you have no desire nor need for other activities and relationships outside of church

    -……

  62. Muff Potter wrote:

    Mention is made of CARM in the above main article.
    Is this organization the same one that touts the iron-clad apologetic arguments of Matt Slick (whose own daughter converted to fundamentalist atheism)?
    Anybody in the know?

    One and the same. For some good reading on CARM and Matt Slick, first read this: https://mmoutreach.org/wim/2008/09/06/public-statement-regarding-matt-slick/. Then do a search of “schatz” on the CARM site. Also look at what Slick believes from his site. He is a 5-point Calvinist and a complementarian.

  63. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Defining “Cult” entirely by Theology and NOT by destructive/control-freak behavior.

    Christianity can be all Talk and no Action. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fly in Eternity, where what we do – action – for the least of the least is the bottom line.

    Talk focuses on the Bible, endlessly parsing – from “… worship in Spirit and Truth…” to all Truth and no Spirit. They can say they are against child abuse or domestic violence but when it happens in their church, what do they do about it?

    However, the Charismatics’ version of Spirit seems a click off. Going into a trance is not the Spirit, as the Bible recounts. The Spirit is God in action and we can’t fake God Himself.

    Gladys Aylward was faithful in both. Aylward lived by the Truth, did what was right, acted on what the Spirit called her to do, and then she experienced practical miracles that helped others. No trances.

    Max, here at TWW, refers to Refusers – those who refuse the Spirit of God.

  64. A favorite quote of my (burned-out preacher) writing partner, from one of the Desert Fathers:

    “The time will come when men will go Mad. And they will lay hands on the sane among them, saying ‘You are not like Us! You must be Mad!'”

  65. As to the video of the young women giving their testimonies twitching and jerking… I find it very interesting that supposedly the Holy Spirit now jerks everyone around like a meth addict. Working with meth addicts for several years myself, I could have sworn the first girl was on meth until I continued to watch the others respond in like fashion. Since these type of groups walk by sight, not Bible Faith, I suppose some meth addict came in one time and they “discerned” the jerking to be the HS so all the impressionable youths jumped on board with the show. So sad that parents are not reading their Bibles and raising kids to do the same. Simple daily reading and asking God for wisdom will solve so many of these issues.

  66. There is a big problem going on here in this comment section, and also in the original post. There are some legitimate issues brought up along with some total nonsense due to jumping to judgment too quickly and with a handful of data in hand. I am glad that some of the commenters have seen that CARM is a trash site of people who quickly label other Christians as “Cult followers,” “false prophets” and “false teachers.” Satan is called the one who is “the accuser of the bretheren.” Sites like this model him as they no longer care about what is gossip, conjecture, half-truths or outright false accusations.
    The problem I have with Dee on this one is a question of blatant hypocrisy. She has battled with people who are just like CARM. Men who call themselves “grenade throwers” and “Team Pyro.” This is a very bad attitude to have and very un-Christlike. In this case by promoting CARM as a legitimate source of truth, Dee has turned around and sided with one them acting just like the very ones she has rightly criticized. We all have to watch for pride, and especially those who are watching and exposing evil. I said this before and I will say it again, Jesus is the only one who wears a white hat. The rest of us are fallible and wearing grey hats. We cycle in and out of doing good and evil. That is why there is grace and why we have to confess our sins and make things right. Dee and Deb mean well and I suspect so does Mike Bickle and other leaders in Kansas City. I am personally neither for any of them, nor against them. I want what is really Truth, what is really Jesus to be what happens. I am for what is true from God’s point of view and I realize that this is not a quick or easy thing to grab ahold of. It requires both patience and humility.
    I suspect the problem here is that this site produces material not when there is actually something that is solid that needs to covered, but on a regular M-W-F basis. This produces a situation where a post must be written about something rather or not it is ready. IF there is nothing worthy then something questionable is thrown together and published like it is gold. This practices dilutes the overall quality of this blog and opens it up to legitimate outside criticism. The nature of my criticism of this blog and KCIHOP is really, the same. In both cases things that are not real end up being promoted. This is why I have significant reservations about both of these things.
    We are called to love our brothers in Christ, not to judge them prematurely. If we fear God and believe that we will eventually answer for every careless word we speak or write on a blog, then we should work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” I am also speaking to myself here as I am just as fallible as anyone I have questioned online.

  67. You assume everyone who proclaims Christ is a brother. And therefore people should just cower from every criticizing what are clearly destructive practices. From the beginning of the church, they warned of those WITHIN the church. From Judaizers, to Marcionites and Gnoticis later. And Jesus himself used examples of people calling him “Lord” at the Last Day, and that he would ignore them.

    I hear you about working our salvation out with fear and trembling.. but not fear and tembling of others. Fear and trembling of God.

  68. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Seraph wrote: “That twitchy behavior you see in some is no different than “Kundalini” experiences in Hindu/Yoga. It is the Anti-Holy Spirit. Be on your guard.

    Headless wrote: “Or it could also be the individual working him/herself into a frenzy and cutting loose,”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    or it could be the Holy Spirit, and a human body not used to the dunamis explosive power of HS, combined with a human mind not used to what is happening & not knowing exactly what to think about it but observing what others are doing.

    we are part spirit, made of the same stuff. when the Holy Spirit is present (which comes and goes like the wind, apparently), are we to expect that we will feel never feel anything? that our body/mind/soul/spirit will remain stoic & unmoved?

  69. I find CARM’s Got Questions section quite good (and I have served as a moderator for them in the past on their forum).

  70. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    In this case by promoting CARM as a legitimate source of truth, Dee has turned around and sided with one them acting just like the very ones she has rightly criticized.

    I had not paid much attention to CARM before today. After doing a bit of digging this morning I have to agree with you. That sight is very much a mixed bag – it teaches a very narrow and fundamentalist version of Christianity. I also dug a bit into IHOPKC and agree with Dee’s assessment of it. IHOPKC does indeed look like a cult.

  71. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Seraph wrote: “That twitchy behavior you see in some is no different than “Kundalini” experiences in Hindu/Yoga. It is the Anti-Holy Spirit. Be on your guard.

    Headless wrote: “Or it could also be the individual working him/herself into a frenzy and cutting loose,”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    or it could be the Holy Spirit, and a human body not used to the dunamis explosive power of HS, combined with a human mind not used to what is happening & not knowing exactly what to think about it but observing what others are doing.

    we are part spirit, made of the same stuff. when the Holy Spirit is present (which comes and goes like the wind, apparently), are we to expect that we will feel never feel anything? that our body/mind/soul/spirit will remain stoic & unmoved?

    You can feel something.. and I mentioned a common experience real charismatics and even medieval saints mentioned. But it has nothing to do with this Benny Hinn nonsense.

    It’s one of the few things where I spotted charismatics, Orthodox, and Catholics had experience with. It should tell you something (and not the charismatics like we’re talking about.. it’s these people who are the harshest critics of these weirder manifestations and are grieved it came into the Pentecostal movement).

  72. I should point out another red flag for a supposed charismatic church: they’re almost always preaching a prosperity gospel too.

  73. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    In this case by promoting CARM as a legitimate source of truth, Dee has turned around and sided with one them acting just like the very ones she has rightly criticized.

    I had not paid much attention to CARM before today. After doing a bit of digging this morning I have to agree with you. That sight is very much a mixed bag – it teaches a very narrow and fundamentalist version of Christianity. I also dug a bit into IHOPKC and agree with Dee’s assessment of it. IHOPKC does indeed look like a cult.

    I agree with your assesment, Ken. CARM is not a site I would go to for their theology. Yet they accurately describe the errors of some. IHOP is a cult.

  74. I didn’t know anything about NAR until reading it in this very thread..

    “Third Wave of the Holy Spirit”

    Seriously? Is this like the Riot-Grrrl equivalent of gospel dispensations?

  75. They’re post-millennial. Well, that’s different for these movements.

    Apparently IHOP isn’t, so maybe they aren’t associated.

  76. Glad to hear about them. I don’t know a lot about Protestant history, outside the broad strokes and the Reformation.

  77. Top Ten Signs You are a Calvinist
    10. The guys at reformerware.com give you a bulk pricing discount.
    9. Your home group leader locks you in a closet during the Bible study.
    8. You spend the entire fall semester on a verse by verse exposition of Romans 9 in your Sunday School class… Your kindergarten Sunday school class.
    7. You spend lots of time on ebay searching for a signed 1st Edition of Calvin’s Institutes.
    6. Your spouse wakes you at night from a bad dream, and says you were mumbling, over and over, “Infra or supra?! … Infra or supra?!”
    5. You react angrily when someone mispronounces “Lorraine Boettner.”
    4. Your eyesight failing, you go to the doctor and he diagnoses “presbyopia.” You assume this is Latin for “reading too much Reformed theology.”
    3. On the weekend of your wedding anniversary, you book a romantic trip for two to Akron, Ohio for a Ligonier Ministries Conference.
    2. Your time on the throne is now spent reading The Heidelberg Catechism.
    1. When a family member buys you an iPad for your birthday, you storm out of the room in a rage when you learn that it is NOT pre-loaded with the Geneva Bible Translation App

  78. @ Mr. Jesperson:
    Wow! We are also told to be discerning. When a multitude of sources warn about a ministry, take note. When lives have been destroyed and lost, take note. As to CARM, it’s the granddaddy of apologetics research and is always a good starting point.

    Criticisms of IHOPKC go back at least two decades. My personal opinion is that doctrinal discernment is strongly lacking in today’s church.

  79. You also might want to look into the founding of IHOP and the influence of Bob Jones (not the same Bob Jones of BJU) on Mike Bickle.

  80. Lydia wrote:

    Lottie Moon starved to death giving her food to starving Chinese. Some incredible saints have gone before us.

    Perhaps, but there are conflicting stories about her. I feel sure you probably know more about this than I do, but for the sake of other readers I want to post this link.

    Whatever else can be reasonably believed, it is surely the experience of all of us that missionary stories can get perhaps somewhat altered in the telling sometimes, so IMO the proverbial grain of salt is a good idea.

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/lottie-moon-the-facts-and-myths-about-her-life-cms-18369

  81. I’ve always had reservations about Mike Bickle and IHOP. I attended a church and had many friends (still have some) that were heavily involved with the 24/7 Prayer/Bride Paradigm. I’ve listened to many IHOP sermons and sat in prayer rooms more hours than I can count. I’ve questioned some of their teachings and was disturbed by the influence of Bob Jones on Bickle and IHOP. Listening to Bickle’s interview with Strang about Trump, confirms I was right in my assessment that something is wrong with Bickle.

  82. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    Let me also say that CARM is not an accurate source of information. I would suggest you disregard what they write if you really care about truth

    I sued their site for the quotes that they had, not for the opinions of CARM.

  83. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    He is the only leader from the Charismatic side of the church that has publicly admitted that 80 percent of the “manifestations of the Spirit” in these churches are fake. This is a truth that I have not seen anyone else admit. I would suggest that no one be too quick to take up pitchforks and go on a witch hunt here.

    When false prophecies are not only allowed, but are covered up with stupid interpretation of the Bible which Bickle uses, it is time to call it out. Truth matters and fake stuff should not be tolerated.

  84. Mercy wrote:

    I had known some things about IHOP several years ago but am seeing there is so much more to learn.

    I am in the same boat. There is much more I need to read and learn about this.

  85. drstevej wrote:

    Indeed. Many years ago I worked with Sam in the Dallas Seminary book store. He is a bright guy with a good sense of humor. His path theologically has been surprising to me.

    I know a guy who used to attend my Sunday school class. Now he is an elder at The Village Church. I wonder if he has to renounce his formerly evil ways.

  86. Lydia wrote:

    She went off to college and was recruited there. Next thing they know she is living at IHOP and totally unresponsive.

    There are a number of these stories and I hope to write about a few at some point.

  87. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    It is important to note that Bickle/IHOP is part of the larger “Christian” phenomenon of the New Apostolic Reformation (Dominionist Christians)

    It seems to me that he tips that way. He denies it on his website(FAQ section) but I am not sure I believe him.

  88. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    I do not agree with everything they do nor everything taught by Bickle. I will give him credit for one good thing though. He is the only leader from the Charismatic side of the church that has publicly admitted that 80 percent of the “manifestations of the Spirit” in these churches are fake

    Do you have a link for this statement?

  89. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    I’m familiar with Schatz’s work. She’s done a huge amount of work and critical thinking with regard to women in ministry and I applaud her for it.

  90. Forrest wrote:

    Yet they accurately describe the errors of some. IHOP is a cult.

    I agree. I rarely, if ever, quote them. But, in this instance, they had some great quotes from IHOPKC. Let me tell you how this works with me. I write a post after reading a ton of stuff and talking to lots of people. Then, after I jot it all down, I see what is missing. In this instance, I needed some sourced quotes. CARM had them. I found them not be going to CARM directly but arrived there after Googling certain things.

  91. drstevej wrote:

    I find CARM’s Got Questions section quite good (and I have served as a moderator for them in the past on their forum).

    I do find their sourced info helpful. I tend to use their quoted stuff.

  92. I have known several people from IHOP and they were constantly pressuring people to come to their services. I do not believe only theology makes a cult, though I do believe most cults have faulty theology, most stemming from leader worship. IHOP’s theology certainly includes a huge dose of leader worship.

    But I also believe that there’s a lot of people that don’t have orthodox Christian theology who aren’t in a cult (would include most of the world). What makes a cult a cult is the amount of pressure they place on individuals to conform to the leader’s wishes and to recruit more. IHOP certainly does that. Bickle tells students to drop out of college, work for free at IHOPKC, and stop contacting their parents because IHOP is ushering in the end of the world.

    Here’s another source: https://www.pitch.com/news/article/20562880/former-ihop-member-explains-why-he-left-the-church

  93. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    In this case by promoting CARM as a legitimate source of truth, Dee has turned around and sided with one them acting just like the very ones she has rightly criticized.

    Good night! I just used some sourced quotes which I found by Googling. This is not an endorsement of CARM just like using quotes by atheists means I am endorsing atheism. I bet CARM would not endorse me either. But, they may find some info that I present in a post truthful and helpful

    I am now off to church. I go on Saturday evenings and am grateful to have found a conservative Lutheran church which I can wholeheartedly endorse!!!

  94. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Then why don’t they just one-up Jeffers and hex the Trump to start a nuclear war to fulfill Prophecy and Jump-start Armageddon? Much more direct.

    I got my own mojo hex goin’ (prayers to the Almighty) that there are sane men in the senior officer corp. who will refuse the chief’s orders to arm and launch.

  95. dee wrote:

    I know a guy who used to attend my Sunday school class. Now he is an elder at The Village Church. I wonder if he has to renounce his formerly evil ways.

    I can’t even count the number of friends I’ve had who went whole hog into New Calvinism and turned into robots spouting John Piper. Several of them were close friends. Other close female friends of mine married someone they thought was a good guy and he turned New Cal and because abusive and controlling. Some of them are still in those situations.

    That’s probably why I’m here on TWW…

  96. dee wrote:

    I go on Saturday evenings and am grateful to have found a conservative Lutheran church which I can wholeheartedly endorse!!!

    Lutherans rock. Missouri Synod?

  97. dee wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Yet they accurately describe the errors of some. IHOP is a cult.

    I agree. I rarely, if ever, quote them. But, in this instance, they had some great quotes from IHOPKC. Let me tell you how this works with me. I write a post after reading a ton of stuff and talking to lots of people. Then, after I jot it all down, I see what is missing. In this instance, I needed some sourced quotes. CARM had them. I found them not be going to CARM directly but arrived there after Googling certain things.

    I have done the same. There is some good info to be found in many places, not all of which always have everything right.

  98. ishy wrote:

    I have known several people from IHOP and they were constantly pressuring people to come to their services. I do not believe only theology makes a cult, though I do believe most cults have faulty theology, most stemming from leader worship. IHOP’s theology certainly includes a huge dose of leader worship.

    But I also believe that there’s a lot of people that don’t have orthodox Christian theology who aren’t in a cult (would include most of the world). What makes a cult a cult is the amount of pressure they place on individuals to conform to the leader’s wishes and to recruit more. IHOP certainly does that. Bickle tells students to drop out of college, work for free at IHOPKC, and stop contacting their parents because IHOP is ushering in the end of the world.

    Here’s another source: https://www.pitch.com/news/article/20562880/former-ihop-member-explains-why-he-left-the-church

    These are good indicators for cults. Behaviour is a much better indicator than theology.

  99. Forrest wrote:

    There is some good info to be found in many places, not all of which always have everything right.

    Paul get’s it right.

    ACTS 17:11 “Now these [Berean] 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.

    Comparing all teaching with Scripture is the noble path.

  100. @ Forrest:

    I find it amusing that the person in the article is Blaise Foret, Forrest (Foret, Forest, Forrest).

  101. Forrest wrote:

    Here’s another source: https://www.pitch.com/news/article/20562880/former-ihop-member-explains-why-he-left-the-church

    I spent some time looking into the accuracy of the IHOP Prophetic History (as does Blaise Foret in the Pitch article) several years ago. It became clear to me that there was a lot of manipulation of the “facts” to make the prophecies fit what really happened. This was one of the issues that ultimately caused me not to become involved w IHOP as many of my friends did.

  102. Forrest wrote:

    I find it interesting that you should visit and post on TWW for the first time in order to defend IHOP the first time they are called out.

    If you type the following in google:

    site:thewartburgwatch.com jesperson

    … you’ll find quotes from Mr Jesperson going back at least until 2015. You can type site:thewartburgwatch.com 'nick bulbeck' as well if you care for some light entertainment. It’s a standard search facility that google provides. The point is that Mr Jesperson is not a first-time commenter.

    Moreover, I entirely agree with him that a website declaring itself to be about exposing false teaching (to be fair, those were not his exact words, which referred more specifically to carm) is ipso facto a voice to be taken with a big pinch of salt. Quite frankly, many of them would probably be fundamentalist cults if only their founders had the charisma to get people to follow them.

    I first encountered TWW by accident while doing some background research on Marq Driskle. I can’t even remember what specific article was current here at the time. if TWW had been another heresy-spotting site, I’d have moved on and forgotten all about it. But it’s not; it’s not even, quite frankly, about calling out behaviour as distinct from doctrine (though even that is an important distinction). It’s about giving a voice to people who’ve been silenced.

  103. dee wrote:

    Seraph wrote:
    I’m an amillennialist

    I am, as well.

    I, too. Or, rather, it’s not that I Am An Amillennialist, but I believe the 1000-year period referenced in Revelation and nowhere else in the Biblescriptures is
     Not a literal 126,230,400,000-second period of time, and
     Not a matter upon whose precise interpretation christians should bite and devour one another as though the existence of God himself depended on it.

    Something I’ve noticed about heresy-spotters, though, is that The_Millennium is a big shibboleth for many of them.

  104. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I know a guy from Redding.
    Years ago, I asked him about Bethel Church.
    His response?
    “That Cult?”
    He went on to tell me some really WEIRD stories about Bethel Church types — nothing supernatural, just destructively-weird behavior.

    Here is a landmark article on Bethel. It’s pretty long, but very well researched:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/meet-the-young-saints-of-bethel-who-go-to-college-to?utm_term=.fpLqm6z9QD#.hoVAyPEg1k

    They practice something called “grave sucking.” It’s where you lay on the grave of a miraculous Christian to “assume their mantle.” Wayne Jacobsen did an excellent podcast about them as part of his The God Journey podcast

  105. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I first encountered TWW by accident while doing some background research on Marq Driskle. I can’t even remember what specific article was current here at the time. if TWW had been another heresy-spotting site, I’d have moved on and forgotten all about it. But it’s not; it’s not even, quite frankly, about calling out behaviour as distinct from doctrine (though even that is an important distinction). It’s about giving a voice to people who’ve been silenced.

    There are a whole lot of churchfolks who have been in the church for a VERY long time who’ve seen fads come and go; watched one movement after another flow through the church; witnessed the best and worst of Christianity; and through it all, not rejected Jesus. Those folks believe the church MUST do better in regards to protecting the vulnerable in its midst.

    It’s one thing to speak out in the midst of a congregation or denomination, where one or two voices can easily be ignored or marginalized or, in the worst cases, traumatized. It’s another thing to meet in a community where collectively we can demand that the church live up to its calling. A place like TWW can be, and I believe does, allow those one or two voices a safe place to say, “I see this happening and it’s not ok.”

    I believe that’s why so many in church leadership are freaked out by these online forums. The unholy misuse and abuse of power that has crept into the church, is being challenged.

  106. dee wrote:

    I wonder if this is because he received his Masters of Divinity from the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

    MABTS is not one of the official SBC seminaries. I believe the SBC Ministers directory is compiled from info submitted for the SBC Churches directory (via Annual Church Profile form or online church profile update)

    I guess whoever caused the church listing to be yanked did not think/know to do so to the minister listing too.

  107. Ricco wrote:

    They practice something called “grave sucking.” It’s where you lay on the grave of a miraculous Christian to “assume their mantle.” Wayne Jacobsen did an excellent podcast about them as part of his The God Journey podcast

    It’s not just “they” who practice grave-sucking. It’s Bill Johnson’s (the pastor of Betherl) wife who leads the practice.

  108. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I am personally of the opinion that posting videos about the “Kundalini spirit” at IHOPKC and other places are particularly unhelpful.

    I don’t know anything about the woman who made that video, except that she also had a video about the Jezebel Spirit, which causes her to lose credibility in my eyes.

  109. Lydia wrote:

    Lottie Moon starved to death giving her food to starving Chinese. Some incredible saints have gone before us.

    Well intentioned I’m sure, but still rather extreme and counter productive.
    I’ll look for my heroes elsewhere.

  110. Robert M wrote:

    shibboleth

    Yes, I took a look at that myself.. I was the one who posted the Kundalini vid, but that Jezebel one was off to me. I only posted her Kundalini vid became it was a decent summary. Many are talking about it, but the better vids are up to an hour long. Kind of like what people are saying about CARM here. “Stopped clock” and all that 🙂

    Re: submission to authorities, etc.. I see the value in submitting to a hierarchy, but partly what brought me to the orthodox teaching is that their authority are ecumenical councils, not individuals. Bishops have been easily dismissed throughout the centuries. It’s why they also broke from the bishop of Rome.. the original authoritarian (Rome still does have a lot of the councils and truth in their tradition, but the papacy is a red flag.. and I think many are seeing it now themselves). I believe ecumenical councils are the binding and loosing of God working through the churches of many regions. And even if that should be discarded, then what won’t? A multi regional model hashing out issues with much prayer and discussion, some of which took 20 years or more. That’s the best the world has come up with so far.

    So I don’t want to be a “rebel”, but I’d never submit to one teacher either (or two or three even heh).

  111. Oops I quoted “shibboleth” in that above post. Sorry. I was going to comment on the millennial views, but changed my mind and somehow kept it in my post.

  112. ___

    “A U.S. Treasury agent can spot a counterfeit from ten feet away…”

    hmmm…

    Q. Why?

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the individual following Jesus may honor God, and be perfect before him, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    The biblical instruction: Pray without ceasing requires no 501(c)3 religious organization or institution to carefully and successfully perform.

    When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come…

    Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, or because of the individual who brings wicked religious 501(c)3 devices to pass; those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth…

    Buyer beware. Counterfeits at large…

    “Good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade.”
    -Wm. Shakespeare (1)

    ATB

    Sòpy

    (1) Pompey, ‘Measure for Measure’, I.2.195
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jdyto5rf0HU

    ;~)

    – –

  113. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    I am also speaking to myself here as I am just as fallible as anyone I have questioned online.

    I remember your insightful comments years ago on Throckmorton’s site if the same jesperson, your use of Spock as an aviator worked for this trekkie. I believe you proved your mettle on the front lines, I believe it was with the Voice of Martyrs. I for one value your input here.

  114. Ricco wrote:

    They practice something called “grave sucking.” It’s where you lay on the grave of a miraculous Christian to “assume their mantle.” Wayne Jacobsen did an excellent podcast about them as part of his The God Journey podcast

    For real huh? Medieval superstition through and through.
    It’s always astonished me how otherwise sane and rational adults get reeled into this off-the-rails voodoo.

  115. When someone appeals to “our human fallibility” to defend destructive practices, I know I’m seeing a shill. O woe is dejected me.. who am I to denounce this?

    And you guys wonder why I wrote about original sin in that other thread. 🙂 It just encourages this behavior further.. and predators love to exploit it the most.

  116. Robert M wrote:

    she also had a video about the Jezebel Spirit, which causes her to lose credibility in my eyes.

    Do you know how many times in the nine years of blogging that I have been called Jezebel or of having the spirit of Jezebel? Frankly, I tend to laugh myself silly.

  117. Well, atheist or someone even more sinister.

    Headless Unicorn Guy must be rubbing off on me. I went for the naturalistic explanation, for a change 😛

  118. singleman wrote:

    This wouldn’t be the first time a church has changed directions theologically. Covenant Life Church, the former flagship of Sovereign Grace Ministries, started out as a charismatic church back when it was known as TAG. As another commenter noted, Larry Tomczak was a co-founder. But CLC, and SGM, moved in more of a Reformed direction after Tomczak’s departure about 20 years ago.

    Frankly, I would be surprised if Highpoint indeed leaves the Southern Baptist Convention and affiliates with IHOPKC. IHOPKC is considered a controversial group even among its fellow charismatics. However, I suppose anything is possible these days.

    Che Ahn was a key leader at TAG and SGM and he is now considered one the main NAR “apostles” especially after the passing of C. Peter Wagner. Larry Tomczak passed through the Pensacola “revival” and now calls himself an “apostle”. Many of SGM leaders referred to themselves as “apostles” including Larry and CJ. While CJ led SGM to the Reformed camp, others like Larry Tomczak, Che Ahn, and Lou Engle are full on NAR Dominionists. If you consider the world wide political power of the NAR this is actually the scarier outgrowth of SGM. Yes the SGM sex scandals are awful; but, the NAR scare me no end.

  119. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    singleman wrote:

    This wouldn’t be the first time a church has changed directions theologically. Covenant Life Church, the former flagship of Sovereign Grace Ministries, started out as a charismatic church back when it was known as TAG. As another commenter noted, Larry Tomczak was a co-founder. But CLC, and SGM, moved in more of a Reformed direction after Tomczak’s departure about 20 years ago.

    Frankly, I would be surprised if Highpoint indeed leaves the Southern Baptist Convention and affiliates with IHOPKC. IHOPKC is considered a controversial group even among its fellow charismatics. However, I suppose anything is possible these days.

    Che Ahn was a key leader at TAG and SGM and he is now considered one the main NAR “apostles” especially after the passing of C. Peter Wagner. Larry Tomczak passed through the Pensacola “revival” and now calls himself an “apostle”. Many of SGM leaders referred to themselves as “apostles” including Larry and CJ. While CJ led SGM to the Reformed camp, others like Larry Tomczak, Che Ahn, and Lou Engle are full on NAR Dominionists. If you consider the world wide political power of the NAR this is actually the scarier outgrowth of SGM. Yes the SGM sex scandals are awful; but, the NAR scare me no end.

    Why do you fear them? I looked them up earlier and it doesn’t look like they have any real power. Not any that was taken seriously even when they did have some adherents with power (Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann).

    They don’t even know what the office of apostle even is, so that’s another reason to not fear them. They’re another in a long line of ex-Protestants who preach a “restoration” of something, because they become from an equally broken tradition that said that things “restored” don’t exist anymore. The Holy Spirit never stopped.. like he’s some couch potato that just slept for 2000 years. And Apostles and Prophets didn’t cease existing. We celebrate St. Patrick’s day as we speak.. the old church calls him the apostle of Ireland. And church history has plenty of examples of prophecies made.

  120. one of the little people wrote:

    It’s another thing to meet in a community where collectively we can demand that the church live up to its calling. A place like TWW can be, and I believe does, allow those one or two voices a safe place to say, “I see this happening and it’s not ok.”

    How did the church get to the place where feedback is a bad thing?

    In engineering: “Feedback loops take the system output into consideration, which enables the system to adjust its performance to meet a desired output response.” It’s the only way to reach a desired outcome.

    The church has talent, brains, gifts, and experience walk through the door every week yet denies opportunity. What institution or system on earth exists like this, except the church?

    Two words: Feedback loops.

  121. @ dee:
    They actually have a “supporting bible verse.” I don’t remember the reference. It was something about someone putting on Elisha’s mantle and doing a miracle or something.

    Context matters. You can’t just pull a verse from an ancient text and directly apply it to today. That isn’t how biblical interpretation should work

  122. one of the little people wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I first encountered TWW by accident while doing some background research on Marq Driskle. I can’t even remember what specific article was current here at the time. if TWW had been another heresy-spotting site, I’d have moved on and forgotten all about it. But it’s not; it’s not even, quite frankly, about calling out behaviour as distinct from doctrine (though even that is an important distinction). It’s about giving a voice to people who’ve been silenced.

    There are a whole lot of churchfolks who have been in the church for a VERY long time who’ve seen fads come and go; watched one movement after another flow through the church; witnessed the best and worst of Christianity; and through it all, not rejected Jesus. Those folks believe the church MUST do better in regards to protecting the vulnerable in its midst.

    It’s one thing to speak out in the midst of a congregation or denomination, where one or two voices can easily be ignored or marginalized or, in the worst cases, traumatized. It’s another thing to meet in a community where collectively we can demand that the church live up to its calling. A place like TWW can be, and I believe does, allow those one or two voices a safe place to say, “I see this happening and it’s not ok.”

    I believe that’s why so many in church leadership are freaked out by these online forums. The unholy misuse and abuse of power that has crept into the church, is being challenged.

    Thank you Nick! I really needed to hear this sentiment!

  123. JYJames wrote:

    one of the little people wrote:

    It’s another thing to meet in a community where collectively we can demand that the church live up to its calling. A place like TWW can be, and I believe does, allow those one or two voices a safe place to say, “I see this happening and it’s not ok.”

    How did the church get to the place where feedback is a bad thing?

    In engineering: “Feedback loops take the system output into consideration, which enables the system to adjust its performance to meet a desired output response.” It’s the only way to reach a desired outcome.

    The church has talent, brains, gifts, and experience walk through the door every week yet denies opportunity. What institution or system on earth exists like this, except the church?

    Two words: Feedback loops.

    As I said, it started with the bishop of Rome.

    And then almost everyone who ever called out Rome for their own abuse of power secretly just became little popes themselves. Some against the other.

    And the doctrine of original sin also is used as a tool to make many feel dejected and unable to question. For if you are guilty of “Sin” in the abstract, you’re unreliable in totality. People don’t get measured on their actual lives this way.

    You have to be brave and throw that out and say “No, I DON’T con people or act like a control freak” etc.. Or whatever abuse you see. If you’re not guilty of it, DON’T MAKE yourself magically guilty of it. You are guilty for specific things. I, for one, have problems with lust.. I fully admit it.. even living a celibate life. I know I have to be patient and humble with others who struggle with it. But I don’t have to feel guilty about everything under the sun. I’m not bragging or proud when I say I don’t do some things. They’re just facts.

    And now when you have a whole body of believers who have their strengths and weaknesses and can speak on some things and not others, all the better! But it isn’t going to happen when people put on false humility and needlessly flagellate themselves.

  124. Imagine if our judicial system had “original sin” or something like it, that kept the populace in a dejected state.

    Because it actually did happen outside the church at one time. Think of ancient China or Egypt. With their god-emperors and lack of juries.

  125. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    Bill Hardesty wrote:

    singleman wrote:

    Why do you fear them? …

    Dig a little deeper?

    Well, just give me one example that’s affecting you. I only heard about them yesterday.. and frankly, I barely care beyond the Wikipedia article. They sound like goofballs to me. And I live an isolated life, so I doubt they’re going to be knocking at my door anytime soon.

    But I care if you yourself are in fear. We don’t know each other, but that’s not good. We shouldn’t even be afraid of ISIS, let alone people like this.

  126. Seraph wrote:

    Why do you fear them? I looked them up earlier and it doesn’t look like they have any real power. Not any that was taken seriously even when they did have some adherents with power (Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann).

    My church split because of the NAR coming in. You may be lucky enough not to have been influenced, but they have a whole lot more influence than you realize. They have made a lot of inroads into Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The Assemblies Of God denomination has been impacted. They claim they have no fomal organization, but the reality is they are a pyramid scheme with money flowing upstream to the top apostles. Our pastor, who was in sin, and was confronted by every member of the board of elders, was able to solidify his power and keep his position because an apostle from HIM (Ché Ahn) came and declared the pastor as apostolic and the elders without the proper authority to correct him. The entire elder board and almost every one of the ministry leaders stepped down and left the church because of this. Almost all the famous names in the Prophetic Movement (who have influence over millions of followers in many churches and denominations) are NAR. Heidi Baker and Bill Johnson are two of the more famous NAR folks, but there are a whole lot more. They are also tight with many of the evangelicals in the current administration.

  127. Seraph wrote:

    a whole body of believers who have their strengths and weaknesses and can speak on some things and not others, all the better!

    The art of the Open Forum, where Ivory Towers that squelch feedback, are considered.

    And then there is feedback. Here at TWW, in any case. We don’t have to spray paint graffiti in public restrooms when a leader goes off the rails.

  128. OK, fair points everyone. Like I said, I’m isolated.. I’m not even a Protestant. I kind of came on this site on accident, but it’s good to learn from others.

    I’m actually watching a documentary that slightly relates to this.. and it kind of shocks me.. and amuses me at the same time. In the Council of Nicaea, St. Nicholas of Myra (he who has been related to obesity and red suits these days), actually got so fed up with Arius that he got out of his seat at one point and punched him. 😀

    Constantine then booted Santa Claus out of the great Council (luckily, Athanasius was still there to make the right argument). Constantine, as honored as he is, was actually just a soldier and new Christian, and knew nothing of the church.. he wanted compromise. Not so the saint! But he might’ve went overboard.

  129. @ one of the little people:
    It is also probably worth noting that Rick Perry the current Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) is a Dominionist. The DOE is in charge of nuclear weapons stewardship (even if Rick Perry had to be informed of this after his appointment to this post). This scares me no end as does most blatant ignorance. There are many examples of NAR/Dominionist influence on our country; but, those with an interest should do some research. It will have more meaning if this topic is of interest.

  130. I’m against the doctrine of “dominionism” as it is currently known and against the people who teach it, but I do want Christians influencing society. Why wouldn’t I?! Especially when it comes to abortion and usury.

    But then, even on those, I only agree with them on abortion (which is still a great thing). But they are usurers otherwise.. of the worst kind, where they think God approves of it or something. Their zionism doesn’t help matters. They dispensationalists who think God has two separate “people of God”. So it’s hardly a “dominion of the church” as far as I can tell.

  131. one of the little people wrote:

    Ché Ahn himself

    https://insightswithbillyvee.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/my-experience-with-nar-leader-che-ahn-of-harvest-international-ministries/
    Experiences with Ché Ahn. The post is a few years old, however, the final comment is recent:
    John Gravallese Says: 2.23.2018
    “I met Che Ahn when I graduated from WLI, I sensed something in him that was not Christ like and I believe he knew it. My pastor introduced me to him but he moved on and did not acknowledge me.
    “Also, taking the courses from WLI, my spirit was continuously disturbed but went ahead anyway. This is the 2nd time I stated that.
    “I recomend to all when you listen to them speaking or prophecying to ask God for revelation. I am discovering allot of false statements that do not line up with Gods word.”

    Spirit + Truth

  132. Seraph wrote:

    Why do you fear them? I looked them up earlier and it doesn’t look like they have any real power. Not any that was taken seriously even when they did have some adherents with power (Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann).

    Ah, dominionists! I refused to vote for Ted Cruz in the primary because of that. He’s a Seven Mountain Dominionist, like his father. You can even find a clip on YouTube with Daddy Cruz praying over him and anointing him to run to be our nation’s King. Creepy.

    Now Michelle Bachmann… I had heard she was Lutheran, not NAR. Did she join NAR later? I had thought she had stopped being Lutheran at some point and went to some other church instead.

    Hadn’t ever heard what Sarah Palin was/is.

    We always pine for Christians to run for office, but sometimes I think it’s better that we don’t get what we ask for. So much weirdness….

  133. Seraph wrote:

    You know, I could be wrong about the Zionism? Someone feel free to correct me.

    Well, even if I were an atheist, I’d still feel compassion for Jews. A very real Holocaust did happen, and they were scared to live any longer among people who hated them.

    Then again, I also understand that mass immigration of random people flooding into your homeland would be distressing. It upends your culture, squeezes you out of your homes, creates unemployment, etc.

    Which is why I find supporters of mass, unchecked, illegal immigration to the US to be amusing when they’re anti-Zionist as well. Like, make up your mind? Just saying, you know. At least Jews were running from a Holocaust and pogroms. I can’t say the same for most illegal immigrants to the US. Most are running from lousy economies, which I feel for. But, it’s not quite as dire.

    The thing with Jews is that they’ve always behaved as their own nation (often spurred by keeping Kosher, etc.), even while dispersed. This has created much suspicion from the host nations, which gradually builds up into discrimination and outright hatred of these foreigners. It’s understandable that they would need their own home somewhere where they can be their own nation/people without having to be afraid of displeasing their hosts.

  134. @ Clockwork Angel:
    I am done (writing) now Dee and I am sorry if I have brought politics to your blog. I am a daily reader, and this was the first topic that struck a raw nerve. Again, I apologize because I know you do not wish politics on your blog.

    It is just hard (if not impossible) to fully define the NAR without politics entering the discussion.

    Sorry.

  135. @ JYJames:

    Oh I have my issues with Ché Ahn, but it was his number 2, Mark Tubbs, who did the most damage to my church.

  136. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    You know, I could be wrong about the Zionism? Someone feel free to correct me.

    Well, even if I were an atheist, I’d still feel compassion for Jews. A very real Holocaust did happen, and they were scared to live any longer among people who hated them.

    Then again, I also understand that mass immigration of random people flooding into your homeland would be distressing. It upends your culture, squeezes you out of your homes, creates unemployment, etc.

    Which is why I find supporters of mass, unchecked, illegal immigration to the US to be amusing when they’re anti-Zionist as well. Like, make up your mind? Just saying, you know. At least Jews were running from a Holocaust and pogroms. I can’t say the same for most illegal immigrants to the US. Most are running from lousy economies, which I feel for. But, it’s not quite as dire.

    The thing with Jews is that they’ve always behaved as their own nation (often spurred by keeping Kosher, etc.), even while dispersed. This has created much suspicion from the host nations, which gradually builds up into discrimination and outright hatred of these foreigners. It’s understandable that they would need their own home somewhere where they can be their own nation/people without having to be afraid of displeasing their hosts.

    It’s not that I don’t feel compassion. But I also feel compassion for the people being hurt in the here and now. The news doesn’t report it enough, but Arabs are suffering all the same. And if that isn’t enough, Christian Arabs specifically aren’t treated much better along with them. A time is coming where there may not even be a very big Arab Christian population in Israel (I mean the Catholics and Orthodox who are in the famous holy sites. This goes without mentioning Israel and Lebanon’s historical enmity — Quite a few people in Lebanon are Christian. Yet many were freedom fighters in these conflicts. Same with Egypt in the wars in 60s. Do you know the Egpyptian Coptic Christians have a tradition of Mary appearing on a building after being defeated by Israel, comforting them? It lifted their hearts at a time, when they felt wronged.

    Don’t be fooled by the supposed camaraderie of Christians and Israel. Israel only likes the Evangelicals in America who are Zionists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBRxt5ufnGg

  137. ^ sorry for the bad language in that vid btw.. but I hope people at least seek and weigh what she says.

  138. Another, more sober one on just the camps people live in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBRxt5ufnGg

    It’s sad that I have to rely on radical leftists to paint the picture, but it is what it is. It’s Christians who should be standing up for people, but a lot have been in the dark because of Zionism. While people simply ignore what Orthodox and Catholic Christians say in the East. Like they’re all Arab stooges and too sympathetic to Muslims or something. :\

  139. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    I find it interesting that you should visit and post on TWW for the first time in order to defend IHOP the first time they are called out.

    If you type the following in google:

    site:thewartburgwatch.com jesperson

    … you’ll find quotes from Mr Jesperson going back at least until 2015. You can type site:thewartburgwatch.com ‘nick bulbeck’ as well if you care for some light entertainment. It’s a standard search facility that google provides. The point is that Mr Jesperson is not a first-time commenter.

    Moreover, I entirely agree with him that a website declaring itself to be about exposing false teaching (to be fair, those were not his exact words, which referred more specifically to carm) is ipso facto a voice to be taken with a big pinch of salt. Quite frankly, many of them would probably be fundamentalist cults if only their founders had the charisma to get people to follow them.

    I first encountered TWW by accident while doing some background research on Marq Driskle. I can’t even remember what specific article was current here at the time. if TWW had been another heresy-spotting site, I’d have moved on and forgotten all about it. But it’s not; it’s not even, quite frankly, about calling out behaviour as distinct from doctrine (though even that is an important distinction). It’s about giving a voice to people who’ve been silenced.

    Thank you for the correction and info, Nick. I see now that Mr Jesperson has been an occasional poster here for a few years.

  140. Forerunner Christian Fellowship used to be Metro Vineyard. I visited a few times when I was a kid and teen. It was a pretty standard Vineyard church back then. In 1999 when the prayer movement was ramping up I visited a prayer service they had. I also went to one of their first conferences in Kansas City. They were already doing the bridegroom stuff – they had a wedding arbor they held up and invited people to walk through to commit themselves to Jesus.

    More of the history: https://www.pitch.com/news/article/20612797/return-of-the-prophets

  141. dee wrote:

    Ricco wrote:
    They practice something called “grave sucking.” It’s where you lay on the grave of a miraculous Christian to “assume their mantle.
    That is so interesting. Did you know that Beeny Hinn used to visit the gravesite of Katherine Kuhlman to get her anointing? We wrote about Benny Hinn in our early days of blogging. That man is nuts. http://www.apologeticsindex.org/9937-benny-hinns-graveside-anointing

    It might not be the same thing but I once spent time on “The Flagstone of Forgetfulness” in the Glenveagh National Park in Donegal where Saint Columba is said to have slept before leaving Ireland for Iona. It was an awesome experience as thunder and lightning rolled round the mountains while the field stayed dry. Maybe there is something in Celtic spirituality that we currently lack.

    http://www.megalithicireland.com/Lacknacoo.html

  142. One of my favourite movie quotes is from Laurie Latham’s character in the 1997 blockbuster “Volcano”.

    There’s no history of anything till it happens. Then there is.

    When a paedophile or other predator targets a church, that is exactly what it is. When the church leadership colludes to close ranks and protect that predator, that is exactly what it is. ISTM that there is no unbroken sliding scale leading from “being an imperfect person” to the deliberate choice to sacrifice a human being for one’s own pleasure, power, wealth or status. At a certain point, there is a fundamental disconnect (I’m tempted to use the mathematical/astrophysical term “singularity”).

    On the other hand, it is – to my mind – more problematic to dismiss behaviour on the grounds that it “seems weird”. Judaeo-Christian history is replete with examples of weird happenings, from voices out of burning bushes and plagues of frogs, floating axe-heads, people walking on water, people teleporting out of sight, numberless trance-induced visions of multi-headed monsters fighting each other, so-called “prophets” walking around naked for years at a time or lying on one side eating food cooked over cow-dung for a year; the list is almost endless. Peter himself was clearly a false apostle, as his “vision” of unclean animals proves – it was completely unscriptural. Very many events recorded as history in scripture had little or no precedent at the time and certainly could have been described as flaky or weird. Both Jesus himself, and the early church, were so described.

    “Weird” is a highly subjective term, especially for adherents of a religion that claims we’ll all be raised from the dead one day in the future, and in some way live for ever without sorrow, loss or lack. The fact that I, or any other Wartburger (or any other human being) find something strange or discomfiting doesn’t make it either right or wrong. A Christianity cleansed of all its “weirdness” is a pretty hollow shell.

    One final point for this comment, which is already quite long. A number of folk on this thread have noted, or quoted, on this thread about exaggeration in claims of the miraculous. For instance, a “prophet” or “healer” may actually perform no better than chance, but the odd occasions where they get lucky are reported and given undue prominence. Or perhaps one or two genuine, life-giving, uplifting miracles do occur, but again, one or two become “many”, and then “hundreds”, or a healing becomes a full-blown resurrection. True: but remember, allegations of weird and/or extreme behaviour also get exaggerated. There’s a good example in the the article cited by Ricco above. It’s quite long, but worth reading. It contains two versions of the same story: one in which a boy suffering a severe asthma attack died because Bethel-ites prayed over him rather than calling 911, and the other (from one of said Bethel-ites) in which the Bethel-ites did indeed pray for him, but after calling 911. This, if true, still doesn’t make his death any less tragic. Still there’s a big difference between a group of people failing to heal someone on the one hand, and actually contributing to his death on the other.

  143. Seraph wrote:

    Imagine if our judicial system had “original sin” or something like it, that kept the populace in a dejected state.
    Because it actually did happen outside the church at one time. Think of ancient China or Egypt. With their god-emperors and lack of juries.

    Some years back, and in light of the fact that two of my grandchildren were adopted from China, I sent off to Great Courses, then known as The Teaching Company, for a course in the history of China. It was a looooong course with literally hours of academic level lectures. I came away with an altered concept of China and an altered personal evaluation of Western Civ development as compared with China.

    I am not going into some discourse about it, but before one becomes too critical of what went on where and when either there or here it helps to take a more birds eye view of the development of human civilizations as our species grew in numbers and technologies and governing styles and military ideals and in what we variously valued most in our development of civilizations.

  144. okrapod wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    Imagine if our judicial system had “original sin” or something like it, that kept the populace in a dejected state.
    Because it actually did happen outside the church at one time. Think of ancient China or Egypt. With their god-emperors and lack of juries.

    Some years back, and in light of the fact that two of my grandchildren were adopted from China, I sent off to Great Courses, then known as The Teaching Company, for a course in the history of China. It was a looooong course with literally hours of academic level lectures. I came away with an altered concept of China and an altered personal evaluation of Western Civ development as compared with China.

    I am not going into some discourse about it, but before one becomes too critical of what went on where and when either there or here it helps to take a more birds eye view of the development of human civilizations as our species grew in numbers and technologies and governing styles and military ideals and in what we variously valued most in our development of civilizations.

    I’m part Thai.. my family owns a house in Thailand. I know enough. It isn’t China, but next door.. and the Siamese people come from there originally. And if things ever went bad in the States, I’d happily live over there. I have high hopes for being close to China. They’re coming to Christ.

    I’m talking about their history of emperors and absolute monarchy. Nothing more.

  145. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    One of my favourite movie quotes is from Laurie Latham’s character in the 1997 blockbuster “Volcano”.

    There’s no history of anything till it happens. Then there is.

    When a paedophile or other predator targets a church, that is exactly what it is. When the church leadership colludes to close ranks and protect that predator, that is exactly what it is. ISTM that there is no unbroken sliding scale leading from “being an imperfect person” to the deliberate choice to sacrifice a human being for one’s own pleasure, power, wealth or status. At a certain point, there is a fundamental disconnect (I’m tempted to use the mathematical/astrophysical term “singularity”).

    On the other hand, it is – to my mind – more problematic to dismiss behaviour on the grounds that it “seems weird”. Judaeo-Christian history is replete with examples of weird happenings, from voices out of burning bushes and plagues of frogs, floating axe-heads, people walking on water, people teleporting out of sight, numberless trance-induced visions of multi-headed monsters fighting each other, so-called “prophets” walking around naked for years at a time or lying on one side eating food cooked over cow-dung for a year; the list is almost endless. Peter himself was clearly a false apostle, as his “vision” of unclean animals proves – it was completely unscriptural. Very many events recorded as history in scripture had little or no precedent at the time and certainly could have been described as flaky or weird. Both Jesus himself, and the early church, were so described.

    “Weird” is a highly subjective term, especially for adherents of a religion that claims we’ll all be raised from the dead one day in the future, and in some way live for ever without sorrow, loss or lack. The fact that I, or any other Wartburger (or any other human being) find something strange or discomfiting doesn’t make it either right or wrong. A Christianity cleansed of all its “weirdness” is a pretty hollow shell.

    One final point for this comment, which is already quite long. A number of folk on this thread have noted, or quoted, on this thread about exaggeration in claims of the miraculous. For instance, a “prophet” or “healer” may actually perform no better than chance, but the odd occasions where they get lucky are reported and given undue prominence. Or perhaps one or two genuine, life-giving, uplifting miracles do occur, but again, one or two become “many”, and then “hundreds”, or a healing becomes a full-blown resurrection. True: but remember, allegations of weird and/or extreme behaviour also get exaggerated. There’s a good example in the the article cited by Ricco above. It’s quite long, but worth reading. It contains two versions of the same story: one in which a boy suffering a severe asthma attack died because Bethel-ites prayed over him rather than calling 911, and the other (from one of said Bethel-ites) in which the Bethel-ites did indeed pray for him, but after calling 911. This, if true, still doesn’t make his death any less tragic. Still there’s a big difference between a group of people failing to heal someone on the one hand, and actually contributing to his death on the other.

    I’m not saying it’s weird, for one. I’m saying some of these things aren’t from God.

    And I have experiences with the Spirit myself. And the biggest critics of these post-“Toronto” movements are charismatics themselves. We don’t care if it’s “weird” or not. We care if it’s from God.

    Like I said earlier, Pharaoh’s men also challenged Moses with their own “serpents”. But only Moses’ staff devoured theirs. But to Phaeroah’s eyes, just the fact that they produced serpents was enough for him, and his heart was hardened.

    Just because someone may be doing something supernatural doesn’t mean it’s right. And it’s exactly what Satan always does to people from God. He pretends as God. He won’t be in your face about being “Satan”. He’ll pose as the angel of light. He’ll produce near-facsimiles like magician’s serpents. “That even the elect might be deceived”.

    At the same time, the fact that Satan is so hard working in these circles gives me hope. There’s enough good people there that he’s chipping away and targeting them. But if a church is completely sterile, and doesn’t believe in the Spirit working in their lives, and only takes pride in the mind of humans, then these places are practically in the bag already. There’s no reason to work his deception because they already deceive themselves.

  146. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    The DOE is in charge of nuclear weapons stewardship (even if Rick Perry had to be informed of this after his appointment to this post).

    You shouldn’t believe every poorly sourced article you read in the papers

  147. Seraph wrote:

    You know, I could be wrong about the Zionism? Someone feel free to correct me.

    Well, may I gently offer some ‘correction’ of what seems to be the direction of what you are saying. There is among the theological debates within christianity a difference of opinion that only partly shows itself in the current issue of ‘zionism’. I think it is misleading to narrow the ideas down to simply ‘what about the land of Israel’ itself. That is the tip of the iceberg when seen from a theological position.

    If we just see the political aspects, or for that matter the humanitarian aspects, then we miss some of the deeply rooted theological aspects. That would be a mistake, since ‘religion’ is a huge motivator of people even beyond politics and common sense.

    Again, I am not ‘going there’ since this is not the place for this discussion. I am merely saying that ‘the discussion’ is out there and has importance for christians far beyond the issue of eretz israel.

  148. @ okrapod:

    While I am it let me say that some statements by the current Pope, and I am assuming by the RCC itself (I am not sure what is ‘official’ and what is not) do bring attention to the relationships between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. That would be the religions themselves, not just the people groups who practice the religions. I get the ‘feeling’ that he has more to say perhaps but is being careful in what he says, at least in this issue.

    The reason I mention this is because he seems to recognize the inter-related concepts and not just the political and humanitarian ideas involved. IMO it is at least some of these concepts that make people willing to literally risk their lives in this troubled area of thinking and acting.

  149. okrapod wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    You know, I could be wrong about the Zionism? Someone feel free to correct me.

    Well, may I gently offer some ‘correction’ of what seems to be the direction of what you are saying. There is among the theological debates within christianity a difference of opinion that only partly shows itself in the current issue of ‘zionism’. I think it is misleading to narrow the ideas down to simply ‘what about the land of Israel’ itself. That is the tip of the iceberg when seen from a theological position.

    If we just see the political aspects, or for that matter the humanitarian aspects, then we miss some of the deeply rooted theological aspects. That would be a mistake, since ‘religion’ is a huge motivator of people even beyond politics and common sense.

    Again, I am not ‘going there’ since this is not the place for this discussion. I am merely saying that ‘the discussion’ is out there and has importance for christians far beyond the issue of eretz israel.

    I’m having trouble figuring out what you’re correcting me on (I’m totally open to hearing, but you’re being vague and/or abstract in what you want to say). I’m not sure what wider issue you’re talking about. I only asked for correction on Israel, because the NAR people are said to be post-millennial. In which case, they may believe in only one covenant for all people, and thus, not Zionists.

    As for Israel, it is in fact the humanitarian concern that only stands out for me. I’m not going to side with theft and murder. And the only reason a Christian could be fooled into doing it is because John Hagee or their Scofield bible taught them that there are “two covenants”.

    There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, neither Jew or Greek, male or female.. and it was this way for the majority of Christianity’s history. I pray and take a lot of joy when a Jew comes to Christ..and I learn a lot from them. But nothing about my faith tells me I should ignore injustice. It’s sad that this isn’t obvious in evangelical circles.

  150. I don’t believe in prophecy. If these men & women were so prophetic then they would be winning the powerball lottery for Jesus or some such thing.
    I believe Conlee is attempting to consolidate power by claiming that his “vision” is from God. If he can dupe the congregation into that, he’s going to be harder to remove. And a congregation that gave Savage a standing ovation is primed for prophecy.
    One of the commenters above mentioned this was MO at their church.
    Conlee has all the personality of a wet sponge (and that’s an insult to cleaning products everywhere). He needs help while Savage is off charge.
    Anyways, I have a prophetic vision that the family will be eating pancakes this morning.

  151. Jack wrote:

    I don’t believe in prophecy. If these men & women were so prophetic then they would be winning the powerball lottery for Jesus or some such thing.
    I believe Conlee is attempting to consolidate power by claiming that his “vision” is from God. If he can dupe the congregation into that, he’s going to be harder to remove. And a congregation that gave Savage a standing ovation is primed for prophecy.
    One of the commenters above mentioned this was MO at their church.
    Conlee has all the personality of a wet sponge (and that’s an insult to cleaning products everywhere). He needs help while Savage is off charge.
    Anyways, I have a prophetic vision that the family will be eating pancakes this morning.

    I’d take heed myself, but I just disagree on this being a “new thing”.

    St. Kosmas, in the 1700s, taught that the Ottoman rule in Greece would end (it finally happened the next century).. but he still prophesied the persecution would come back. So if he was right about one thing, I’d at least consider the other.

    “The Turks will leave, but they shall return and will come as far as Hexamilia. In the end, they shall be driven away to Kokkina Milia. Of the Turks, one third will be killed, another third will be baptized, and the remaining third will go to Kokkina Milia.(Kokkina Milia was a region which the imagination of the enslaved Greeks placed in the depths of Asia Minor and beyond. It is there that they hoped to push back their oppressors, i.e., where they originally came from.)”

    He also said foreign brethren would be the ones who drive back the second wave of Turks (many assume this to be Russia..but who knows). “A foreign army will come. It will believe in Christ, but it will not speak the (Greek) language. Have a cross on your forehead so that they know that you are Christian.”

    He predicted many strange things though.. just nothing about pancakes 😛

    “You will see in the plain a carriage without horses which will run faster than a rabbit.”

    “You will see people flying in the sky like blackbirds and hurling fire on the earth. Those alive then will run to the graves and shout: “Come out, you who are dead, and let us who are living in.”

    “The time will come when people will speak from one far place to another, for example, from Constantinople to Russia, as though they were in adjoining rooms.”

  152. 1/3 of the Bible is prophecy, dreams and visions. So we can’t just throw all that out the window. There will always be weird people doing weird things. That doesn’t prove anything. The existence of counterfeit prophecy doesn’t prove that God has stopped talking to us.

    Question—If prophecy was real, why doesn’t God give us the winning lotto numbers?

    Probably because God actually loves us and wants what’s best for our lives. Prophecy is God speaking to us—what we need to hear—NOT what we want to hear. Prophecy doesn’t mean that we can just magically see into a crystal ball and see anything in the future that we want. Prophecy is God as a loving father—giving us the info that we need.

    Case in point—look at how many people in the Bible were warned in a dream. The wise men were warned to take a different route home. Joseph was warned to flee before the danger came, etc.

    If you study history—there’s plenty of real life examples of people that God gave that gift to. For example—Harriet Tubman who is about to be honored on our $20 bill. Study her life and you find that she walked and talked with God like a person talks to a friend.

    History records her as one of the most successful conductors on the Underground Railroad. The truth is that the best bounty hunters in the country were chasing her. They laid ambushes for her. But they never caught her because the Holy Spirit would show her where the ambushes were. According to multiple eyewitnesses, there were times that the Holy Spirit would tell her to change direction. She did only to frustrate those that had been lying in wait.

    During the Civil War, she ran covert ops behind enemy lines. She led Union troops on successful raids that eliminated booby traps and freed people. After the Civil War, when she was asked how she had been able to complete so many high risk operations in hostile territory, she replied “Wasn’t me, was the Lord! I always told Him—I trust You. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me and He always did.’”
    (Sarah Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, p. 35, published in 1869)

  153. I don’t agree with most Christian definitions of prophecy. I think prophecy in the Bible always spoke to the heart of God and where God was working. Sometimes that meant future prophecies, but the point was never whether or not someone could tell the future, but whether or not God’s people were seeking the heart of God at that moment.

    I also think the Bible has shown over and over that humans are not really capable of interpreting prophecy until after it has come true. So I don’t think anybody should really go believing what someone says just because they say that God spoke to them. Jesus said stuff to people plainly during His ministry and they still didn’t get it.

  154. ishy wrote:

    I don’t agree with most Christian definitions of prophecy. I think prophecy in the Bible always spoke to the heart of God and where God was working. Sometimes that meant future prophecies, but the point was never whether or not someone could tell the future, but whether or not God’s people were seeking the heart of God at that moment.

    I also think the Bible has shown over and over that humans are not really capable of interpreting prophecy until after it has come true. So I don’t think anybody should really go believing what someone says just because they say that God spoke to them. Jesus said stuff to people plainly during His ministry and they still didn’t get it.

    People are required to test initial prophecies after the fact. If it’s proven true, then the prophet should be heeded elsewhere.

    “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” – Deut 18:22

    But if everything was only supposed to be perceived after the fact, then even our Lord’s prophecy was worthless (which it wasn’t). He predicted the destruction of the temple and warned his followers to flee beforehand. They did. And the rest of the Jews, and the destruction they experienced in AD 70, was so enormous it’s still talked about to this day.

  155. I visited there once, almost 20 years ago, when it was still a fairly new thing, but it was disappointing. Maybe it’s gotten bigger and grander in the last two decades, haven’t been there in a generation, but to me it was just a glorified, tacky, strip mall church in the dumpy part of town with mind-numbing, repetitive music and people coming and going in a steady stream. Not like I think it would be a good thing if it was grander and looked like the erstwhile Crystal Cathedral or Joel Osteen’s monstrosity in Houston, I hate the glitz and glamour that passes for Christianity in some circles, it’s just that even back in the 90s and early 00s, people were talking about this big, new thing, the IHOP, and when I saw it, I thought, “meh”.

    By the way, even way back then Mike B gave me the willies. Not John Piper willies where screaming alarms were going off and red lights flashing, but still, the willies.

  156. Another great example from history is Joan of Arc. God showed her what to do to save her people. God speaks to everyone—even though many refuse to listen.

    Everyone reading this right now has heard God’s voice. We call it our intuition, gut feeling, etc.

    There’s a reason that Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. IF you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in…..” Rev 3:20 (CEV)

    “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today IF you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts….” Heb 3:7 (BSB)

    There’s a really big IF on whether we want to open the door when Christ knocks.

    Anyway—if anyone wants to read more on this subject there’s some fascinating books such as:
    The Veil by Blake Healy
    I Believe in Visions by Kenneth Hagin

  157. with all the talk about taking correct info from a questionable source and if that’s ok to do, well it reminded me of my own life, so I am going to be open and vulnerable here; Our family has attended and our children have grown up in patriarchal churches.( not anymore) Anyone who knows me knows I have a gift from God in raising children. All 9 of my kids are serving the Lord , now into their adult years, all use the gift of hospitality that they grew up watching and participating in with me. They are all evangelistic and 2 are on the mission field. BUT a good mother does not always make a good wife and in that I have failed. My pastor at our independent Baptist church told young families not to take ANY council from me because my husband was not the head of our family. So I have learned that as frail humans in need of much grace, sometimes we hit it spot on and other times we mess up, so I for one can take the good and leave the bad and I am saying all this because I have learned a lot from short video clips from questionable people but I did not even know they were questionable at the time, I just read my Bible every day, ask God for wisdom, love others , speak the truth He has taught me and if God chooses to use a donkey to save someone ….welllll….

  158. I am a charismatic, in that I have at least one spiritual gift, such as is discussed in I Cor 12. Am no longer a part of the Charismatic movement, because I don’t trust people in it based on past experience.

    I’m very, very close to a person who has the gift of prophecy. This person would never give a prophecy for self-aggrandizement, had never taken the stage to bask in the glow of her “status”, never promotes herself, never goes on tour, works quietly, serves people. She’s never made a penny from a prophecy, and wouldn’t take a penny if you offered it–or a million dollars. Her prophecies have never benefited her personally, usually they make life tougher for her, because people usually don’t want to hear what God truly has to say to them.

    If you call her a “prophet”, her face will compress a bit and she’ll say “God gives me prophecies sometimes, but I don’t know if I’m a prophet.” If you ask this person for a prophecy, she’ll often tell you: “You don’t want a prophecy, you just want me to tell you what you want to hear, if the Lord has a prophecy for you, it will turn your life upside down.” Often she’ll say “I don’t have a prophecy for you, God’s telling me nothing.”

    She gives specific prophecies, doesn’t speak in vague generalities, doesn’t “read people’s mail”, give cold reads, play mentalist games and other cheap sideshow tricks. She doesn’t stand on a stage and put her hands on the heads of a long line of desperate people who are complete strangers to her and give every last one of them a “prophecy”, then rake in the love offering.

    Mike Bickel wouldn’t know what to do if he ever met up with a true prophet like her who just serves Jesus and goes about serving people, one who who doesn’t care to be part of anyone’s show. For she doesn’t have a batting average, when she says the Lord told her something, you can bank it, it’s so. This has been the case going back decades. I have seen it, experienced it. Every time, without fail. And this true prophet, no one other than the people she has served have ever heard of her. Mike Bickel would probably hate her if he ever met up with her—either that, or run in terror.

  159. Law Prof wrote:

    I am a charismatic, in that I have at least one spiritual gift, such as is discussed in I Cor 12. Am no longer a part of the Charismatic movement, because I don’t trust people in it based on past experience.

    OK. Which one?
    (As long as it isn’t TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES…)

  160. ishy wrote:

    I don’t agree with most Christian definitions of prophecy. I think prophecy in the Bible always spoke to the heart of God and where God was working. Sometimes that meant future prophecies, but the point was never whether or not someone could tell the future, but whether or not God’s people were seeking the heart of God at that moment.

    Unfortunately, today “Prophecy” means See-the-Future Fortunetelling instead of the original “Speaking for God/What God Wants Said”.

    Another legacy of John Nelson Darby & Hal Lindsay?

  161. Jack wrote:

    I believe Conlee is attempting to consolidate power by claiming that his “vision” is from God. If he can dupe the congregation into that, he’s going to be harder to remove. And a congregation that gave Savage a standing ovation is primed for prophecy.

    They already worship the Pastor/Prophet/Superapostle; all that’s needed is to change the object of worship to the new Pastor/Prophet/Superapostle.

  162. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    I am a charismatic, in that I have at least one spiritual gift, such as is discussed in I Cor 12. Am no longer a part of the Charismatic movement, because I don’t trust people in it based on past experience.

    OK. Which one?
    (As long as it isn’t TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES TONGUES…)

    Not just one, two, maybe three, hard to say, I said “at least”. It’s hard to say because sometimes God does something through you that seems a one-off but clearly falls within the gifts described in I Cor 12, such as a word of knowledge or discerning of spirits, but that aren’t a regular part of your experience. Does that mean you have that gift? And yes, one of them is tongues.

  163. Seraph wrote:

    As for Israel, it is in fact the humanitarian concern that only stands out for me. I’m not going to side with theft and murder. And the only reason a Christian could be fooled into doing it is because John Hagee or their Scofield bible taught them that there are “two covenants”.

    Christian Zionism, AKA Anti-Semitic Zionism:

    Israel is back in The Land (“IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”) and thus Can Do No Wrong. And criticism of Israel or lack of enthusiastic support is Rebellion Against God and Prophecy. But once the Tribulation and Armageddon kicks off, they are expendable and will be destroyed and cast into Eternal Hell for rejecting Christ when His feet stand once more on the Mount of Olives. (“IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”)

    The Israelis and the Jews — like You, Me, and everyone else, just expendable pieces to move about on the End Time Prophecy gameboard (“IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”), Nothing More.

  164. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I don’t agree with most Christian definitions of prophecy. I think prophecy in the Bible always spoke to the heart of God and where God was working. Sometimes that meant future prophecies, but the point was never whether or not someone could tell the future, but whether or not God’s people were seeking the heart of God at that moment.

    Unfortunately, today “Prophecy” means See-the-Future Fortunetelling instead of the original “Speaking for God/What God Wants Said”.

    Another legacy of John Nelson Darby & Hal Lindsay?

    I’ve seen both, the foretelling and the speaking for God. I swear both are real. The person I described above has done both. Again, true prophets exist, but they’re like the prophets of old, seldom seeking the limelight. Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., they were nothing like these pinkie ring, Gulfstream Jet types, they didn’t promote themselves, they were thrust into the role, and many of them were killed for it.

  165. okrapod wrote:

    If we just see the political aspects, or for that matter the humanitarian aspects, then we miss some of the deeply rooted theological aspects. That would be a mistake, since ‘religion’ is a huge motivator of people even beyond politics and common sense.

    What about if we just see the End Time Prophecy Checklist, nothing more?

  166. Seraph wrote:

    But if everything was only supposed to be perceived after the fact, then even our Lord’s prophecy was worthless (which it wasn’t). He predicted the destruction of the temple and warned his followers to flee beforehand. They did. And the rest of the Jews, and the destruction they experienced in AD 70, was so enormous it’s still talked about to this day.

    You seem to misunderstand what I said. I think humans are mostly too dumb to interpret prophecy correctly. That doesn’t mean that prophecies don’t exist or there aren’t correct prophecies.

    Jesus was the only human that ever lived that truly understood what would happen in those prophecies. Do you really believe anyone beside Jesus knew how that prophecy would happen?

  167. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Unfortunately, today “Prophecy” means See-the-Future Fortunetelling instead of the original “Speaking for God/What God Wants Said”.

    Most people today who announce they have a prophecy are seeking to gain power and influence (and other things), not surrender their lives and desires to God, which is always what God asks of us.

    Conlee might have a lot to gain by partnering with IHOPKC. Nothing screams “fake prophecy” more than “I had a prophecy about my ministry that will continue to make me powerful and rich.”

  168. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Another legacy of John Nelson Darby & Hal Lindsay?

    Don’t forget the lass Maggie MacDonald and her end times visions in 1830.
    She was the one who got Darby to trip the steel ball bearing down the first ramp so to speak. From there it gathered more and more mass (Lindsay, Papa Chuck, Chuck Missler, the list goes on…) until its inertia became unstoppable in many fundagelical circles. So much so that to question it is considered a form of heresy in those tribes.

  169. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What about if we just see the End Time Prophecy Checklist, nothing more?

    Then we have a problem. However, those who are still at the stage of learning to color between the lines might enjoy that.

    But what about if we listen to the Pope talk about ‘the Abrahamic religions’ and note his apparent attitude toward Islam and try to see how that idea might play out as far as the attitudes of the RCC play out. Or how about if we read NT Wright and the idea that Christianity is part of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant-that we are (read between the lines) more a part of the ancient promises to Israel (and possible others?) than we sometimes like to think. And what about if we listen to some ideas in some areas of messianic Judaism (those who disavow the idea that what they are is Christians) and we ask ourselves what that means in the larger picture. And what about when we listen to those who are taking another look at both the historic Jesus and at Paul and bringing up some ideas that may have been lost in centuries of anti-semitism.

    I think that end times fascinations and check off lists are child’s play compared to some actual theological concepts that ‘your’ guy and ‘our’ guy and lots of others are currently looking at. Personally, I think they seem to all be on to something.

    But, helicopters do look like huge insects with faces, so I am not going there. Seeing that I know someone who is currently on active duty with a combat helicopter brigade, then it does raise some ‘weird’ ideas from time to time; helicopters I mean, not the people in the brigade. So, if the people want crayons and end times coloring books, let them. It is actually probably better than thinking that God has lost control of everything.

  170. Law Prof wrote:

    “God gives me prophecies sometimes, but I don’t know if I’m a prophet.”

    True, because the gifts in Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, & Eph. 4, aren’t really an office, IMHO, but presented as gifts – in practice.

  171. Lydia wrote:

    Clockwork

    Sorry I did not mean to offend. I was just interacting with someone and swapping info on politicians into dominionism. Or so I thought. I think it’s good to know when a “Christian” politician is actually in a creepy cult.

    For example, I personally like Michelle Bachmann, but if she’s associated with NAR, I’d like to know so I can revise my opinion.

  172. Law Prof wrote:

    – I’ve seen both, the foretelling and the speaking for God. I swear both are real.
    – seldom seeking the limelight.

    I’ve seen both, too.
    No one I’ve seen practicing the gifts of the Holy Spirit is self-serving. The two could not co-exist. Self-serving would extinguish the gift.

  173. ishy wrote:

    Most people today who announce they have a prophecy are seeking to gain power and influence (and other things), not surrender their lives and desires to God, which is always what God asks of us.

    The public figures, the fakes.

    There are those who practice their gifts as God leads them but they don’t make headlines.

    Maybe someday when the church in under persecution there will be headlines, such as the examples of Hebrews 11.

  174. Avid Reader wrote:

    1/3 of the Bible is prophecy, dreams and visions. So we can’t just throw all that out the window.

    Interesting. Good point.

    And, thanks for sharing about Harriet Tubman. Excellent. What a testimony!

  175. JYJames wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    “God gives me prophecies sometimes, but I don’t know if I’m a prophet.”

    True, because the gifts in Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, & Eph. 4, aren’t really an office, IMHO, but presented as gifts – in practice.

    That’s right. I call her a prophet because when she does speak and indicates it’s from the Lord, it’s always so. Never fails, again, going back multiple decades. She seldom does that, though, months or years go by between these prophecies, in many cases she won’t tell you anything unless you ask. What she has is a gift, not an office.

    MOD: removed duplicate text. GBTC

  176. Law Prof wrote:

    Her prophecies have never benefited her personally, usually they make life tougher for her, because people usually don’t want to hear what God truly has to say to them.

    I can’t say what gifts people do or do not have but why is God giving prophecy to some and not speaking directly to the person directly? Why can’t he/she/it (as creator and master of all) talk to a person in their vernacular straight up? Why can’t he say to a predator that maybe abusing a child is not a great idea? He will discuss the middle class plans of middle class people while a child cries for the pain to stop.
    I’m sorry for getting harsh but I’m not getting the divine plan. Maybe because I’m not chosen.

  177. okrapod wrote:

    But, helicopters do look like huge insects with faces, so I am not going there.

    I see we are both familiar with The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay.
    Are you also a Survivor as well as a Veteran?

    “Huge insets with faces…” Remember the American military custom of Nose Art — including painting Sharkmouths on fighter and attack aircraft from WW2 on? (Like a recent 1/72 Huey Cobra build of mine…) Anything with a chin intake or chin turret in American service has sported a Sharkmouth at one time or another.

  178. Jack wrote:

    I’m sorry for getting harsh but I’m not getting the divine plan. Maybe because I’m not chosen.

    I don’t know about chosen, because I am not a calvinist. But, maybe you are getting harsh because you are talking about harsh things. What decent human being would not be harsh about this sort of thing?

    So let me throw out a few ideas, specifically related to what you are saying. First, I think that if God has said something to the whole creation of humanity then He does not need to repeat it individually to each person for the person to (a) get it and (b) be held accountable for acting accordingly. Like, he does not have to tell people to quit abusing a child if He has already laid down instructions for parenting-inherent and natural parenting and not just ‘the bible says’. Even animals know when to leave the baby alone lest something awful happen to them in the form of mama animal. Who needs to tell people that?

    A whole different issue would be why does God not make it stop? That gets into free will, and that bothers me a lot. I don’t know why.

    God does talk to individuals in understandable terms, and also and mostly in ways that do not even include words. Ask the VP who got ridiculed for saying that on TV just recently. Ask those of us who, according to said VP, experience that with apparently that being the norm. And all the time I was thinking that my own experience of divine communication was aberrant.

    And in my observation it is not the middle class who have any edge on talking to and hearing from God. Could it be that you are hanging out with the middle class mostly and that is why you mention that?

  179. Muff Potter wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Another legacy of John Nelson Darby & Hal Lindsay?

    Don’t forget the lass Maggie MacDonald and her end times visions in 1830.

    Whose description sounds as much Trance Channeling as Prophetic Visions.

    (Years ago, I got turned into a pile of rocks on one Yahoogroup for making that analogy.)

    She was the one who got Darby to trip the steel ball bearing down the first ramp so to speak. From there it gathered more and more mass (Lindsay, Papa Chuck, Chuck Missler, the list goes on…) until its inertia became unstoppable in many fundagelical circles. So much so that to question it is considered a form of heresy in those tribes.

    “Considered”?
    IS!

    It wasn’t until I burned out and left for the Post-Fundagelical Wilderness that I heard of ANYTHING else.

    We’re both SoCal. You in the Inland Empire, me in the OC. You remember how much Papa Chuck DOMINATED Christianese AM airwaves, how There Could Be No Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel. Even to this day in this area “Non-Denominational” or “Christian” without any modifiers means Calvary Chapel Clone.

  180. Seraph wrote:

    But if everything was only supposed to be perceived after the fact, then even our Lord’s prophecy was worthless (which it wasn’t). He predicted the destruction of the temple and warned his followers to flee beforehand. They did. And the rest of the Jews, and the destruction they experienced in AD 70, was so enormous it’s still talked about to this day.

    I ended up with the conclusion that a lot of Revelation has “multiple fulfillments”, echoes and parallels. And that Rev also states patterns in human behavior and history that repeat over time.
    * My example of this being the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, with an additional cautionary fable for those into Messiah Politics in the REAL First Horseman, the unnamed Man on the White Horse.
    * And just a year ago I came across an interpretation of Mystery Babylon as corrupt economic system, The Beast as corrupt political system, and The False Prophet as corrupt religious system, all tending to work in sync. And a dead Lamb confronts this triad and speaks Words of Truth that disintegrate them as if they never existed.

  181. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I see we are both familiar with The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay.
    Are you also a Survivor as well as a Veteran?

    Nope. Hal’s stuff came along way after my formative years. By the time all that got popular my brain was already set up like concrete so I just looked at it like any other sci fi. But I did read Late/Great at the time. It was not all that convincing as far as I could see.

    I’ll tell you about the dreaded future. We all live and then die, mostly not having done all we hoped or wanted to do. And, we none of us can prove either the existence or non-existence of God. Like Nick says, I hope that helps.

  182. Law Prof wrote:

    Not just one, two, maybe three, hard to say, I said “at least”. It’s hard to say because sometimes God does something through you that seems a one-off but clearly falls within the gifts described in I Cor 12, such as a word of knowledge or discerning of spirits, but that aren’t a regular part of your experience. Does that mean you have that gift? And yes, one of them is tongues.

    Problem with TONGUES is that everybody can’t wait to jump on that bandwagon and tongue away. To the point that they become the ONLY gift and Only Those Who Tongue are REALLY Saved. (And there’s a lot of showing off involved — highly-visible and spectacular.)

    I remember when I was on the fringes of Pentecostalism, when asked “Which Gift of the Spirit do you want?”, I was the only one who said “Wisdom” — the command control over all the others. Everybody else? Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, and Tongues.

  183. Bill Hardesty wrote:

    @ one of the little people:

    It is also probably worth noting that Rick Perry the current Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) is a Dominionist. The DOE is in charge of nuclear weapons stewardship (even if Rick Perry had to be informed of this after his appointment to this post).

    Nuclear Arsenal — the Eighth Mountain of the Seven Mountains Mandate?

    After all, nothing says POWER like nukes.
    “WE HAVE NUKES! WE ARE STRONG!”
    — any New Testament Trekkies remember the source of that filk?

  184. Becky wrote:

    Forerunner Christian Fellowship used to be Metro Vineyard. I visited a few times when I was a kid and teen. It was a pretty standard Vineyard church back then. In 1999 when the prayer movement was ramping up I visited a prayer service they had. I also went to one of their first conferences in Kansas City. They were already doing the bridegroom stuff – they had a wedding arbor they held up and invited people to walk through to commit themselves to Jesus.

    More of the history: https://www.pitch.com/news/article/20612797/return-of-the-prophets

    I’m sure HUG knows this, but there’s a whole Christian Alt-Rock album based on the disaster that happened at Metro Vineyard. Bickle was involved then, made a few concessions about being prideful & kicked out the main perp, but then continued on with rebuilding his IHOP empire.

    You should certainly check out LSU’s The Grape Prophet for an allegorical story (Grape Pickers = Vineyard) about the pre-IHOP years of Bickle and his mentors — I’m sure the kids going to IHOP have no idea about the part of their history.

    If you’re pressed for time, listen to “The Fold,” “English Interpreter of English” and “She Said” for highlights. It’s disturbing, it’s not at all happy, and unlike most of what gets labeled “Christian Rock,” it’s really good.

    https://lsunderground.bandcamp.com/album/the-grape-prophet

  185. Seraph wrote:

    I’m actually watching a documentary that slightly relates to this.. and it kind of shocks me.. and amuses me at the same time. In the Council of Nicaea, St. Nicholas of Myra (he who has been related to obesity and red suits these days), actually got so fed up with Arius that he got out of his seat at one point and punched him.

    Church Councils in history were more akin to knock-down-drag-outs than the cleaned up Pious Plaster Saint versions that ended up in the official histories.

    Constantine then booted Santa Claus out of the great Council (luckily, Athanasius was still there to make the right argument). Constantine, as honored as he is, was actually just a soldier and new Christian, and knew nothing of the church.. he wanted compromise. Not so the saint! But he might’ve went overboard.

    You forgot Constantine as POLITICIAN, Seraph.

  186. one of the little people wrote:

    My church split because of the NAR coming in. You may be lucky enough not to have been influenced, but they have a whole lot more influence than you realize. They have made a lot of inroads into Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The Assemblies Of God denomination has been impacted.

    From internal evidence, Seraph is EO.
    While the EOs have their problems, NAR infiltration is not one of them.

  187. okrapod wrote:

    I’ll tell you about the dreaded future. We all live and then die, mostly not having done all we hoped or wanted to do. And, we none of us can prove either the existence or non-existence of God. Like Nick says, I hope that helps.

    You’re right on the money okrapod.
    With each new wheeling of the constellations through the seasons I can see that my end is certain. It has convinced me all the more, that of all the commodities allotted to the children of men by the Almighty, time is the most precious.

  188. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    a lot of Revelation has “multiple fulfillments”, echoes and parallels. And that Rev also states patterns in human behavior and history that repeat over time.

    Great insight, here, HUG.

    BTW, I also speak in tongues, but never in public. Back when I read about this in the Bible, one day in my office, I asked and God answered, I believe. However, it’s a prayer language between God and myself. I’ve run it through Google Translate so I now know what language and what I’m saying. It’s quite simply beautiful, personal, between God and myself, and never a topic for assessing or impressing, anyone.

  189. Jack wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Her prophecies have never benefited her personally, usually they make life tougher for her, because people usually don’t want to hear what God truly has to say to them.

    I can’t say what gifts people do or do not have but why is God giving prophecy to some and not speaking directly to the person directly? Why can’t he/she/it (as creator and master of all) talk to a person in their vernacular straight up? Why can’t he say to a predator that maybe abusing a child is not a great idea? He will discuss the middle class plans of middle class people while a child cries for the pain to stop.
    I’m sorry for getting harsh but I’m not getting the divine plan. Maybe because I’m not chosen.

    Maybe God is speaking to all sorts of people all the time, including people who abuse kids, and maybe they’re just not listening because couldn’t give a dam* what God says and don’t give one rip for the kids they’re hurting. But maybe there are some people will listen to God, and are willing to do what He says, even if it comes at great personal cost.

    And who said anything about middle class plans? Don’t play straw man, Jack. How do you know that the person I spoke of above wasn’t once herself a child crying for the pain to stop, a child who’d experienced poverty, multiple parental divorces and sexual abuse, a kid who told me she cried herself to sleep every night for six straight years—and God spoke to her as a kid, and she came to know Him, and He healed her and He hasn’t stopped speaking to her for over 30 years now? In fact, Jack, that’s exactly what happened.

  190. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Not just one, two, maybe three, hard to say, I said “at least”. It’s hard to say because sometimes God does something through you that seems a one-off but clearly falls within the gifts described in I Cor 12, such as a word of knowledge or discerning of spirits, but that aren’t a regular part of your experience. Does that mean you have that gift? And yes, one of them is tongues.

    Problem with TONGUES is that everybody can’t wait to jump on that bandwagon and tongue away. To the point that they become the ONLY gift and Only Those Who Tongue are REALLY Saved. (And there’s a lot of showing off involved — highly-visible and spectacular.)

    I remember when I was on the fringes of Pentecostalism, when asked “Which Gift of the Spirit do you want?”, I was the only one who said “Wisdom” — the command control over all the others. Everybody else? Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, and Tongues.

    Well, you chose wisely there, because wisdom’s the best thing.

  191. As much as I spoke in support of charisms, tongues aren’t even part of my experiences very often. I’m really not sure, tbh. My first dramatic experience of the Spirit was like a well gushing with praise.. but my mouth couldn’t word it.. my mind understood, but my mouth was ubncontrollable. But it’s not babbling! It is the Spirit giving us utterance, when we can not.

    St. Theresa of Avila was one of the best that describe something similar for me.

    —–

    “In the midst of these experiences that are both painful and delightful together, our Lord sometimes gives the soul feelings of jubilation and a strange prayer it doesn’t understand. What I’m saying seems like gibberish, but certainly the experience takes place in this way, for the joy is so excessive the soul wouldn’t want to enjoy it alone but wants to tell everyone about it so that they might help this soul praise our Lord. All its activity is directed to this praise. Oh, how many festivals and demonstrations of the soul would organize, if it could, that all might know its joy! . . . The devil cannot give this experience, because there is so much interior joy in the very intimate part of the soul and so much peace; and all the happiness stirs the soul to the praises of God.

    Oh, what blessed madness, Sisters! If only God would give it to us all. And what a favor He has granted you by bringing you to this house where, when the Lord gives you this favor and you tell others about it, you will receive help rather than the criticism you would receive in the world.

    […]

    May it please His Majesty to give us this prayer often since it is so safe and beneficial; to acquire it is impossible because it is something very supernatural. And it may last a whole day. The soul goes about like a person who has drunk a great deal but not so much as to be drawn out of his senses.”

    – St. Theresa, Interior Castle, 1577

  192. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    one of the little people wrote:

    My church split because of the NAR coming in. You may be lucky enough not to have been influenced, but they have a whole lot more influence than you realize. They have made a lot of inroads into Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The Assemblies Of God denomination has been impacted.

    From internal evidence, Seraph is EO.
    While the EOs have their problems, NAR infiltration is not one of them.

    I love all of my family in Christ 🙂 But no, I know nothing of the NAR. You guys are the first I’ve heard it from. But I’ve heard of Dominionism.

  193. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I ended up with the conclusion that a lot of Revelation has “multiple fulfillments”, echoes and parallels. And that Rev also states patterns in human behavior and history that repeat over time.

    I too have seen this HUG.
    It makes the most sense.
    Much more so than the guys who take a sharpie to Scripture, make heavy black dots connected with heavy black lines, and then say that if you (generic you) don’t agree, well then, you don’t ‘believe’ the Bible.

  194. I agree with that too.. which is why I embraced “a-mill”. I don’t claim to know much beyond that though. A lot of the end times stuff is a great Mystery, but there are types and symbols throughout that can apply to much church history. “Nero” may be the beast 666, but at the same time, even the epistles of John say there are many antichrists.

    And there are many tribulations, obviously. To say there’s one great tribulation is almost harmful, in fact, and turns attention away from our brothers and sisters in the here or now.. or learning about brothers and sisters who suffered in the past. That’s a lot more helpful than some supermarket fiction books that these end times people seem to push out, like their cupcakes.

  195. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    @ Seraph
    Latter Rain did not come from Dispensationalism.

    What is it then?

    Just the fact that they call themselves “latter” is pre-millennial at least. And it’s hard to seperate the dispensationalists from premills. Next to impossible really.

    It’s especially noticeable to see it combined with many Messianics..who both use the Dispensationalist views on Israel and combine it with their “last days” views on charismatic gifts.

    On NAR: I just found out that Ted Haggard was the earliest big figure in the movement.. but some want to hide that.

  196. Actually it’s funny that I quoted Teresa of Avila above.. because she was both a Jew and a Catholic mystic with charisms… in the 1500s.

    No need for all of this “latter” stuff or special dispensations.

  197. JYJames wrote:

    Madame Guyon

    Yes.. Sad that she was imprisoned for such a thing. It’s true that some traditions weren’t always looked on correctly in the past, but they still existed. It’s kind of the same deal with Orthodox heseychia (which some Catholics mistakenly thought was quietism too).

  198. Jerome wrote:

    dee wrote:

    I wonder if this is because he received his Masters of Divinity from the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

    MABTS is not one of the official SBC seminaries. I believe the SBC Ministers directory is compiled from info submitted for the SBC Churches directory (via Annual Church Profile form or online church profile update)

    I guess whoever caused the church listing to be yanked did not think/know to do so to the minister listing too.

    Interestingly, though, Mid-America Baptist Seminary is located across the street from (megachurch) Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. Bellevue donated the 35 acres that MABTS occupies. Bellevue’s pastor is Steve Gaines, who is also President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Steve Gaines has been embroiled in his own controversies regarding knowingly employing sexual predators at Bellevue.

  199. okrapod wrote:

    Like Nick says, I hope that helps.

    Strictly speaking, it’s I hope this is helpful or IHTIH. But it’s not a hill I’d die on.

  200. Dee,
    See Rachel Tabachnick’s scholarship on Bickle or the first chapter of my book on the NAR. Bickle definitely participated – and continues to participate in – the NAR. I’d also just point out that with the NAR, it’s important to remember that people aren’t members of the NAR. They are participants in the movement. The New Apostolic Reformation is an organizational philosophy, not an organization (sure you know all this anyway

  201. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Strictly speaking, it’s I hope this is helpful or IHTIH. But it’s not a hill I’d die on.

    Didn’t we do this before about something or other? Did I not say something before and you disavowed suicidal intent? There seems to be some disquiet in my memory bank about something or other. Thank God I did not actually use quotation marks or even now we might be reading in the news….

    For both our sakes I will not reference you in the future, so we can put this to rest now. I really did not mean any offense; I just thought that you had a good idea there. Sorry.

  202. Seraph wrote:

    And I have experiences with the Spirit myself. And the biggest critics of these post-“Toronto” movements are charismatics themselves. We don’t care if it’s “weird” or not. We care if it’s from God.

    Just because someone may be doing something supernatural doesn’t mean it’s right.

    I think we’re all agreed that we want to know whether something is from God or not. The reason behind my comment was that, much more often than not over the last 20 years, I’ve seen this judged subjectively – if it feels discomfitingly unfamiliar (“flakey”, “weird”, or whatever adjective one chooses) then it “can’t be God” or it is “clearly demonic”.

    I think that many outward manifestations, especially the standard fare of falling over and shaking that has become popularised post-Toronto, are simply learned behaviour. That is, they are neither of God nor of satan – they’re not supernatural at all. They’re either deliberately put on or, more likely, psychosomatic. I’ve been around UK charismatic (I use the label for want of a better) circles for over 30 years now and the standard approach to “getting someone baptised in the spirit” is to stand around them praying loudly in tongues (which may or may not be genuine) until they do likewise. In those circumstances it’s often much easier just to make a silly noise to keep the crowd happy than it is to stand up to group pressure and say, nothing’s happening here – would you all please go away?.

    I will say this much for Bethel: I respect them at least for grappling with the truly hard verses of the new testament. It’s one thing to claim to be counter-cultural by opposing homosexuality, and/or abortion, and/or women. None of those things is all that counter-cultural, really, given the enormous political power of the evangelical right wing in the US. But the verses that say things like, as the Father sent Me, I send you and as He is, so we are in this world and whoever believes in Me will do the things I do are much more challenging. At least Bethel haven’t taken the easy way out and declared that those passages “obviously” don’t mean what they say.

  203. okrapod wrote:

    I really did not mean any offense; I just thought that you had a good idea there.

    None taken! Reference away… 😉

  204. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    And I have experiences with the Spirit myself. And the biggest critics of these post-“Toronto” movements are charismatics themselves. We don’t care if it’s “weird” or not. We care if it’s from God.

    Just because someone may be doing something supernatural doesn’t mean it’s right.

    I think we’re all agreed that we want to know whether something is from God or not. The reason behind my comment was that, much more often than not over the last 20 years, I’ve seen this judged subjectively – if it feels discomfitingly unfamiliar (“flakey”, “weird”, or whatever adjective one chooses) then it “can’t be God” or it is “clearly demonic”.

    I think that many outward manifestations, especially the standard fare of falling over and shaking that has become popularised post-Toronto, are simply learned behaviour. That is, they are neither of God nor of satan – they’re not supernatural at all. They’re either deliberately put on or, more likely, psychosomatic. I’ve been around UK charismatic (I use the label for want of a better) circles for over 30 years now and the standard approach to “getting someone baptised in the spirit” is to stand around them praying loudly in tongues (which may or may not be genuine) until they do likewise. In those circumstances it’s often much easier just to make a silly noise to keep the crowd happy than it is to stand up to group pressure and say, nothing’s happening here – would you all please go away?.

    I will say this much for Bethel: I respect them at least for grappling with the truly hard verses of the new testament. It’s one thing to claim to be counter-cultural by opposing homosexuality, and/or abortion, and/or women. None of those things is all that counter-cultural, really, given the enormous political power of the evangelical right wing in the US. But the verses that say things like, as the Father sent Me, I send you and as He is, so we are in this world and whoever believes in Me will do the things I do are much more challenging. At least Bethel haven’t taken the easy way out and declared that those passages “obviously” don’t mean what they say.

    Agreed on that 🙂 It’s not helpful to ignore these passages. Jesus sending one out “as he was sent” I would say is the definition of an Apostle (I mean, the literal meaning of Apostle is “one who is sent”). And not just the 12.. we have the history of the 70 sent.. as well as Mary Magadalene and other close followers who would have spread his message (the old title for her is Mary Apostle to the Apostles.. because Jesus sent her directly from his tomb to proclaim the good news). There’s a lot of miraculous lore surrounding them outside the bible.

    This is also why Paul was accepted as an Apostle as well out of nowhere, because they couldn’t deny that our Lord still sent him post-ascension). Many of the great missionary saints in the church also had the distinction being called Apostles. Like St. Patrick. And they did have many miracles surrounding them, if one wants to believe the stories. But this is is for the purpose of missions, not to glorify any particular saint. Yet when God builds a church, I don’t think it’s always necessary. The focus on an apostle shifts to other leaders.

  205. Law Prof wrote:

    And who said anything about middle class plans? Don’t play straw man, Jack. How do you know that the person I spoke of above wasn’t once herself a child crying for the pain to stop, a child who’d experienced poverty, multiple parental divorces and sexual abuse, a kid who told me she cried herself to sleep every night for six straight years—and God spoke to her as a kid, and she came to know Him, and He healed her and He hasn’t stopped speaking to her for over 30 years now? In fact, Jack, that’s exactly what happened.

    Ok. I was referring to my own experiences with “prophecy” so as you say in court “strike that from the record, your Honour”.
    Seriously, I offer an apology isofar as I made a judgement without evidence.

    I believe that you believe your friend has a prophetic gift. I believe that your friend believes she has a prophetic gift. So no one is lying.

    But I can’t believe that God (if there is one) would intervene in such a way, giving a message to someone for someone else.

    Why would he not warn the engineers of the flaw in the bridge that collapsed in Florida or at least put the idea into someone’s head to close the street when the crack appeared?

    And yes there apparently was an engineer that spoke up but then the cascade is people used their will not to listen. But then I counter that at that point God said “screw it, I got better things to do” and left it at that?

    The bridge likely collapsed due to a flaw, cancer is screwed up dna, a predator makes a choice to abuse.

    I don’t see a divine plan but a need to investigate the bridge, invest in cancer research & prosecute the predator to the full extent of the law. That’s up to us.

  206. okrapod wrote:

    And in my observation it is not the middle class who have any edge on talking to and hearing from God. Could it be that you are hanging out with the middle class mostly and that is why you mention that?

    The middle class thing kind of struck a nerve. But it doesn’t negate my argument entirely. Most people i’ve seen treat God as a divine slot machine. Pray and pull the lever. If it goes your way, you win.
    Problem is everyone focuses on the hits, not the misses.
    Kind of like prophecy.

  207. Jack wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    And in my observation it is not the middle class who have any edge on talking to and hearing from God. Could it be that you are hanging out with the middle class mostly and that is why you mention that?

    The middle class thing kind of struck a nerve. But it doesn’t negate my argument entirely. Most people i’ve seen treat God as a divine slot machine. Pray and pull the lever. If it goes your way, you win.
    Problem is everyone focuses on the hits, not the misses.
    Kind of like prophecy.

    Well, I never did anything like that, for one. I posted some prophecies of St. Kosmas, to illustrate this tradition of prophecy, who was in the 1700s. He was a teaching a Greek populace who had been brutalized by Muslims for 3 centuries. Because the “great” Church in the West were full of knuckleheads, killing each other from the Reformation onwards. And before, had a Crusade (the 4th Crusade) that weakened Constantinople and the whole East, because “Christians” from the West ransacked their lands and raped their nuns.

    I hate to sound harsh, but my point is that these people know nothing of slot machines, but great suffering. Something the West is only finally getting a taste of, as seen by the current age fear of Islam.

    Kosmas came at a time to prophesy about actual things that matter to people longing for more than slot machines from God.. of great wars and geopolitics and the future of technology even. And so far, he hasn’t been off-base. Which makes me cautious.

    I would agree though, if some “prophet” is telling you God wants you to have a new truck or something… Even moreso when he says “If you donate to me, God will bless you tenfold” 😛

  208. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I think we’re all agreed that we want to know whether something is from God or not.

    This is important, and the spiritual gift of discernment helps. As Christians we desire to be a part of what God is doing in our midst.

    Side note: on a travel site, I just learned about the Scotland midge and when to travel in the Highlands.

  209. Jack wrote:

    Most people i’ve seen treat God as a divine slot machine. Pray and pull the lever. If it goes your way, you win.
    Problem is everyone focuses on the hits, not the misses.
    Kind of like prophecy.

    First I have to ignore the prophecy issue, because I am not into prophecy nor do I travel with a crowd which is into prophecy (meaning charismatic sort of prophecy) so I have no experience with what people do or do not do or think or do not think relative to current day prophesying.

    But as to prayer, frankly I think you have the facts somewhat distorted or else overlooked.

    First, we are instructed, encouraged, commanded to pray about everything and all the time, and in fact in scripture we are ‘blamed’ if we do not as in *you don’t have because you don’t ask; you ask and do not have because you ask amiss*. I pray about everything because if I ‘do no have’ I don’t want it to be because I did not ask. Now, of course there are more nuances and conditions to that, but the principle of asking is clear enough.

    Second, of course people tell it when they have an apparent answer to prayer which is what they hoped would happen. It is a form of thanksgiving. Sadly, for some it is self recognition as in look what a great pray-er I am. What sort of person would go around cataloguing and proclaiming what all they wanted but did not get? The latter would open them to accusations of asking for things they ought not be asking for (wanting in error) or else accusations of being impatient, or not trusting God to do the right thing, or else thinking that God owed them an explanation, or even lying about having ‘prayed’ about something or accusations of not persevering in prayer.

    So who would do that? Unbelievers certainly might, and why not because they don’t believe in prayer in the first place, not the same way believers do-or so it seems. Those who are mad at God might do it, be they a believer or not, if they want to bad mouth either prayer or God or both, in retaliation for something God did or did not do which makes them mad. And, strangely enough, those who believe that God has no mind of his own and only/ only/ only ‘moves’ in response to prayer might do it.

    The basic understanding between believers and God goes like this imaginary? conversation.

    God: “I am God; you are not.”

    Person: “But…”

    God: “There are no ‘buts’ on this basic issue.”

    Person A: “I can see that. I will try to do it Your way, but You do know this is not just foolishness and a stumbling block but sometimes even looks like pure insanity. Nevertheless, count me in. Like some of Jesus’ followers said long ago ‘where else are we going to go?’.

    Person B: ” No. You gave Yourself away with that statement, and You can’t fool me. I see what You are up to and it is no deal. These other people may fall for that, but not I.”

    God to person A and person B: “Your call, but either way “I Am That I Am.”

  210. Jack wrote:

    The middle class thing kind of struck a nerve. But it doesn’t negate my argument entirely. Most people i’ve seen treat God as a divine slot machine. Pray and pull the lever. If it goes your way, you win.

    We’re holding hands here, Jack. Most people I’ve seen within evangelical circles treat God that way also. And the prizes from that slot machine might be wealth, health, popularity, or, in the case of so many leaders of the church, narcissistic supply upon whom to vent the rage of the leaders, way too many of whom are vicious, vindictive eight year old children in adult bodies. Thing is, many times God just isn’t that into health and wealth and popularity, and He’s sure not into manipulative leadership and abuse. The actual word from the Lord to any given person might just as likely be: “You’re going to be hated by your friends and neighbors”, or “My grace is enough for you, you don’t get a healing”, or “You’re going to be put in irons and thrown in prison”. God said every one of those things to people, either to prophets or through prophets.

    Jack wrote:

    Problem is everyone focuses on the hits, not the misses.
    Kind of like prophecy.

    The person I described above in the post to which you responded doesn’t have misses, because this person is not about promoting herself, and she doesn’t speak unless God speaks to her. She is not a perfect person, there was only one of them, but one thing she doesn’t do is put God’s name on her whims.

    The problem with Mike Bickel’s theory is, how could you ever trust a prophecy from a prophet if the batting average was about 65%, and as low as 10%? And given the nature of many of these prophecies, how vague they are, and the willingness of people to engage in post hoc rationalization to make the prophecy work out, seems to me many of these prophets are no better than darts at a dartboard. That’s not God.

  211. JYJames wrote:

    Side note: on a travel site, I just learned about the Scotland midge and when to travel in the Highlands.

    Running with the theme, that is a very useful thing to learn about if you’re thinking of travelling to the Highlands. On damp, windless days in July and August, the Highlands are the Eighth Circle Of Hell.

    At dawn on a breezy day in May or September, though, they are among the most captivating places anywhere on planet earth.

  212. Jack,

    You’ve been making some interesting points and asking great questions. To me it sounds like all your comments were respectful. That you were thinking through this from a purely logical standpoint. That’s how I think too. Sometimes pure logic sounds a little harsh so I’m asking the group here to understand that.

    I’d like to finish our logical analysis with just a few more thoughts—if that’s ok. You brought up a good question—why didn’t God warn the engineers about the bridge?

    Well—I agree with Okrapod that God shouldn’t have to keep repeating Himself over and over. God put warnings in the Bible for our good. God shouldn’t have to send an angel or vision to remind us of anything already written inside the Bible.

    Thousands of years before modern building safety codes were written—the Bible taught the need for safety measures in construction. That builders are responsible for making sure that accidents don’t happen.

    For example:
    “Whenever you build a new house, put a railing around the edge of the roof. Then you won’t be responsible for a death at your home if someone falls off the roof.”
    Deut 22:8 (NOG)

    Is it God’s fault when people drop the ball on building safety codes? There’s a part of us that wants God to intervene when people make bad choices. Yet free will wouldn’t be free will if God can override our choices anytime He wants. That’s the hard part of this world. Understanding that we can’t delegate to God the responsibilities that God has delegated to us.

    You asked another great question—why would God speak through a prophet, why not speak directly to us?

    Well—you are right that God wants direct communication. The problem is that we don’t always listen. Yet God loves us enough that when we close our ears to His voice, He will send other people to try to reach us.

    My humble opinion is that the whole purpose of these spiritual giftings is to help others. We’ve been talking about how Harriet Tubman had a gifting that enabled her to do a really dangerous job of rescuing other people. That involved a high level of risk. One mistake and she would have been caught and brutally punished. So God gave her a spiritual gifting to help her overcome the crazy amount of opposition that she faced—such as never having had the chance to receive an education or even learn to read. Yet she dared to ride the trains that displayed her wanted poster.

    God first spoke to her through prophetic dreams—telling her to run away while she was still trapped in bondage herself. Those dreams gave her the courage to leave, when she didn’t have any money. No map. No food. Not even a way to travel other than walking by foot. So she had to travel many miles by night, then sleeping during the day. Think about how hard it is to walk many miles when you’ve never had the chance to learn anything about the outside world.

    On that journey she had to rely on total strangers for help. Again that’s where the gifting helped her. She was able to discern who to ask and who not to ask for help. After she finally made it to freedom, she got a job and was just enjoying a normal life when she heard God telling her to go back and free others.

    Years later she described that in her own words, saying:

    “Long ago, when the Lord told me “Go, free My people,”
    I felt like Moses.
    I said, “No, I can’t. Get some better educated person.”
    But He told me, “I want you.”
    Then I decided that as long as I live, I would do what He told me to do.”

    The rest is history.

  213. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem with Mike Bickel’s theory is, how could you ever trust a prophecy from a prophet if the batting average was about 65%, and as low as 10%? And given the nature of many of these prophecies, how vague they are, and the willingness of people to engage in post hoc rationalization to make the prophecy work out, seems to me many of these prophets are no better than darts at a dartboard. That’s not God.

    Sheep of height #1: “God moving powerfully”

    We were in a small group meeting locally a few months back, and at some point we prayed for a lassie there who has a particular, specific, long-term health condition. She wasn’t healed, then or subsequently. But she insisted that “God moved powerfully” when I prayed.

    No, he didn’t.

    Sheep of height #2: Naff “prophecy”

    At the end of a Sunday morning meeting last year, an older laddie in the congregation came up to us and, without preamble, announced that the Holy Spirit had spoken to him about us. God’s called you for a purpose, he said; and furthermore, wait on God’s timing. Ironically, for someone who claims to have sensed something interesting about us in the spirit, he hasn’t spoken to us other than briefly since.

    “Let prophecy be weighed” – well, that wee horoscope weighs nothing. It’s vaguely true, but no more, of every person who’s ever lived. Wartburgers will be aware that God has not called me and/or Lesley for any non-generic purpose whatsoever.

  214. I wouldn’t even have found Christ without a prophecy. I was involved in gangs and drugs and general delinquency.. got kicked out of schools, and the only one who took me in was a little Catholic school. I was so terrible that I even stole from these nuns at their bake sale there. Yet one day the quietest nun took me to the classroom at random.. real old lady, and I don’t know who she was or what she taught.. She gave me a rosary and said God was coming to children soon.

    And my life turned upside down (or right side up, rather) within the year. I won’t go into all the detail, but it was small miracle. Please be happy 🙂 At least a dozen people I hung around with are dead or in prison now. I don’t know why God had mercy on me, but it started with that nun.

    If you think people come to Christ simply by being cajoled into it by some egghead apologetic teacher or some other form of intellect-focused teaching, you’re mistaken.

  215. Seraph wrote:

    If you think people come to Christ simply by being cajoled into it by some egghead apologetic teacher or some other form of intellect-focused teaching, you’re mistaken.

    Yet at the same time, you cannot afford to denigrate or reject the intellect. The ability to think is also a part of being human, and I have seen the “Holy Nincompoop” too many times, where you have to REJECT everything to do with thinking or reason to be Saved (like Mohammed al_Ghazali’s influential Incoherence of the Philosophers in Islamic theology); and if you don’t, well, the Holy Spirit will burn it out of you.

    In a Socratic dialogue I read once by Calvin Miller(?) between John Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C.S.Lewis, “Lewis” makes the point “Divine Wisdom may not agree with human wisdom, but should not flatly contradict it”, i.e. human wisdom/understanding is a subset of Divine Wisdom/Understanding, NOT a completely separate set. To do so (like al-Ghazali did in Islam) is to set Faith against Reason to the death.

    “Intellect-focused teaching” and “the Holy Nincompoop” are funhouse-mirror reflections of each other, equally out-of-balance in opposite directions, identical in hatred of the other. Like Communism and Objectivism, or Hookup and Purity Culture.

  216. Law Prof wrote:

    Well, you chose wisely there, because wisdom’s the best thing.

    But there is a serious side effect:

    You watch the dog returning to its vomit, the sow returning to her mire, and the burnt fool’s bandaged finger going right back into the fire over and over and over and over until the urge to choke the stupid out of them just gets overwhelming.

  217. @ Jack:
    Jack, I can understand completely what you are saying. I could not understand why God would tell one person to tell another person if that other person was a believer. God speaks directly to the Spirit in a believer. I think much of what passes for Christianity is pure hogwash.

  218. @ one of the little people:
    I am continuing to reflect on the themes discussed inthese two specific pots, I think there really is somthing here…. In my fundamentaist background, personal piety was very important, but as I think about it, it was mostly vertical… while how we interacted with each other was important, it was mainly w/r to how that effected our personal piety, and how it made my school look, for of course we add the “true way”. How we felt, were treated was secondary…

  219. Seraph wrote:

    What could cause a man to piledrive someone in a pancake house?

    It’s the logical conclusion of a doctrinal dispute in which the antagonists are stuck in the same physical space. At a guess, they were arguing over whether maple syrup is a theologically sound replacement for the more biblical honey.

  220. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Well, you chose wisely there, because wisdom’s the best thing.

    But there is a serious side effect:

    You watch the dog returning to its vomit, the sow returning to her mire, and the burnt fool’s bandaged finger going right back into the fire over and over and over and over until the urge to choke the stupid out of them just gets overwhelming.

    You sound like Solomon, that other guy who asked for wisdom, and then probably wondered why he’d ever asked for it.

  221. Mercy wrote:

    @ Jack:
    Jack, I can understand completely what you are saying. I could not understand why God would tell one person to tell another person if that other person was a believer. God speaks directly to the Spirit in a believer. I think much of what passes for Christianity is pure hogwash.

    It’s kind of like this, some people, even ones who are believers, aren’t listening to God very clearly, because they’re distracted, immature, overwhelmed and busy, not well-developed in the area of hearing from God, have blind spots (we all have them), or any number of other reasons. How many times in your life, in a purely natural, non-supernatural sense, have you had a friend or loved one who came to you and said, “Hey, I don’t think you’re seeing things clearly…”? Of course we all have. Why would we think that such a thing coming from another on behalf of God would be hogwash? If God sends someone to them to help them out, seems a pretty natural and logical way of dealing with it.

    That said, I, too, think much of what passes for Christianity is pure hogwash, and much of what passes for prophecy is also.

  222. Jack wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    And who said anything about middle class plans? Don’t play straw man, Jack. How do you know that the person I spoke of above wasn’t once herself a child crying for the pain to stop, a child who’d experienced poverty, multiple parental divorces and sexual abuse, a kid who told me she cried herself to sleep every night for six straight years—and God spoke to her as a kid, and she came to know Him, and He healed her and He hasn’t stopped speaking to her for over 30 years now? In fact, Jack, that’s exactly what happened.

    Ok. I was referring to my own experiences with “prophecy” so as you say in court “strike that from the record, your Honour”.
    Seriously, I offer an apology isofar as I made a judgement without evidence.

    I believe that you believe your friend has a prophetic gift. I believe that your friend believes she has a prophetic gift. So no one is lying.

    But I can’t believe that God (if there is one) would intervene in such a way, giving a message to someone for someone else.

    Why would he not warn the engineers of the flaw in the bridge that collapsed in Florida or at least put the idea into someone’s head to close the street when the crack appeared?

    And yes there apparently was an engineer that spoke up but then the cascade is people used their will not to listen. But then I counter that at that point God said “screw it, I got better things to do” and left it at that?

    The bridge likely collapsed due to a flaw, cancer is screwed up dna, a predator makes a choice to abuse.

    I don’t see a divine plan but a need to investigate the bridge, invest in cancer research & prosecute the predator to the full extent of the law. That’s up to us.

    No need to apologize.

    As for saying you just can’t believe God would speak to person A about what’s going on with person B, I don’t know why you think that. I don’t see how your arguments fit that conclusion—it’s a non-sequitur, IMHO, I don’t think you’re connecting the dots. You’re mixing it up with an argument against a God who would allow bad things to happen in the world. That’s a totally different debate.

  223. Seraph wrote:

    What could cause a man to piledrive someone in a pancake house?

    YouTube has a LOT of smartphone footage of fights in both sitdown and fast-food eateries, so apparently they’re popular locations for impromptu WWE events.

  224. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    At the end of a Sunday morning meeting last year, an older laddie in the congregation came up to us and, without preamble, announced that the Holy Spirit had spoken to him about us. God’s called you for a purpose, he said; and furthermore, wait on God’s timing. Ironically, for someone who claims to have sensed something interesting about us in the spirit, he hasn’t spoken to us other than briefly since.

    Exactly the sort of vague prophecies I was always hearing when running with those groups. “called for a purpose” (of course, no kidding, that’s in the Bible) “wait on God’s timing” (of course, makes perfect sense, what exactly does it mean?) And people will get a good feeling inside and think God moved greatly. If I’ve heard those general pronouncements once, I’ve heard them hundreds of times. It’s never verifiable, always vague, usually feel good pablum. Typically, when it’s specific, it’s wrong. The last time my wife and I were approached by a “prophet”, the rather gaudy lady said “Don’t fear, don’t you know I am a prophet of God?” (she raised her arms and voice significantly when she said this. Then she laid her hands on my wife’s midsection (she was pregnant with our sixth child at that point) and prophecied over the baby and told us “I know you’re worried, but it will all be alright, she will grow up to be a servant of God.” First point is, what mother and father aren’t worried about a child in utero? Second, who doesn’t want their child to be a servant of God?

    The last point and punch line was, the “she” ended up being named “Matthew”, so the prophet couldn’t even get the 50/50 thing right.

  225. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    What could cause a man to piledrive someone in a pancake house?

    It’s the logical conclusion of a doctrinal dispute in which the antagonists are stuck in the same physical space. At a guess, they were arguing over whether maple syrup is a theologically sound replacement for the more biblical honey.

    Hah..now I understand.

    On a sidenote… Maple syrup is serious business. I watched a documentary recently on Canada, where all kinds of crime and theft surrounds it. I had no idea how much money was at play.

  226. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It’s the logical conclusion of a doctrinal dispute in which the antagonists are stuck in the same physical space. At a guess, they were arguing over whether maple syrup is a theologically sound replacement for the more biblical honey.

    Just as I’d suspected.
    Another theological Heep of…….er..ah… Sheep of Height, I mean.

  227. Law Prof wrote:

    No need to apologize.

    As for saying you just can’t believe God would speak to person A about what’s going on with person B, I don’t know why you think that. I don’t see how your arguments fit that conclusion—it’s a non-sequitur, IMHO, I don’t think you’re connecting the dots. You’re mixing it up with an argument against a God who would allow bad things to happen in the world. That’s a totally different debate.

    The apology was heart felt. I don’t know you or your friend. Whatever my opinion or belief, I don’t doubt your sincerity.

    It is the same God so I disagree it’s a non sequitur. If he’s intervening by way of speaking to one person then the rest of the argument stands.

    I’m going to stop here by saying that I respect your point of view but an understanding of any divine will is beyond me.

    I do appreciate the conversation though. It’s always conscious raising to take in all points of view.

  228. Mercy wrote:

    Jack, I can understand completely what you are saying. I could not understand why God would tell one person to tell another person if that other person was a believer. God speaks directly to the Spirit in a believer. I think much of what passes for Christianity is pure hogwash.

    Thanks! I think a lot of our conversation in this thread is very relevant to this post. While some who engage in prophecy are sincere the act of telling someone that there is a message from God for them can be manipulating. Most christians want to do the right thing and I think this is how charlatans like Conlee and his ilk leverage that.

  229. @ Avid Reader:
    Thanks for the analysis. Definitely some words to reflect on. I don’t know a lot about Harriet Tubman but faith can certainly drive one to do great good. Whether her inspiration was directly from God or not I can’t say but there’s no denying her faith was sincere.

  230. okrapod wrote:

    But as to prayer, frankly I think you have the facts somewhat distorted or else overlooked

    Thanks for the insight. When I was a Christian I was uncomfortable asking for things outright. My prayers were more towards asking for strength in adversity. Asking for what I need not what I want.

    As a general note, not all doubters are angry with God or immature or “not listening”. In my case there’s no church abuse or evil pastors in my background. I’ve read the bible, koran and book of Mormon ad well as studies in Buddhism and Hindu. I’m not narrow minded or bitter. I’ve come by my doubts honestly.
    I think the danger in Prophecy or even tongues is that it can make those who don’t get blessed feel horribly left out. These feelings can leave a person ripe for manipulation.
    To those who believe but don’t get one on one counselling from God, i’d say “don’t worry” your perfectly normal. As another revered philosopher’ Jiminy Cricket once said “let your conscience be your guide”

  231. Jack wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    But as to prayer, frankly I think you have the facts somewhat distorted or else overlooked

    Thanks for the insight. When I was a Christian I was uncomfortable asking for things outright. My prayers were more towards asking for strength in adversity. Asking for what I need not what I want.

    As a general note, not all doubters are angry with God or immature or “not listening”. In my case there’s no church abuse or evil pastors in my background. I’ve read the bible, koran and book of Mormon ad well as studies in Buddhism and Hindu. I’m not narrow minded or bitter. I’ve come by my doubts honestly.
    I think the danger in Prophecy or even tongues is that it can make those who don’t get blessed feel horribly left out. These feelings can leave a person ripe for manipulation.
    To those who believe but don’t get one on one counselling from God, i’d say “don’t worry” your perfectly normal. As another revered philosopher’ Jiminy Cricket once said “let your conscience be your guide”

    That’s not a good attitude to feel left out. How do you feel in relation to the truly miraculous.. like the saints in the scriptures? Do you feel left out there too, or is it only when people are immediate?

    What if I told you that those who experience the miraculous think you’re even more blessed?

    “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jn 20:29

  232. I should also point out that tens of thousands of Israelites saw the miracles in Sinai and God still cast them off. 🙂

  233. Jack wrote:

    To those who believe but don’t get one on one counselling from God, i’d say “don’t worry” your perfectly normal. As another revered philosopher’ Jiminy Cricket once said “let your conscience be your guide”

    This is pretty much my credo now too. When I was a Lutheran (I’ve left the religion) people at my Parish used to order tee-shirts emblazoned with:

    Luther is my Homeboy

    Now I’d like to get one that says Jiminy Cricket is my homeboy.

  234. Seraph wrote:

    That’s not a good attitude to feel left out. How do you feel in relation to the truly miraculous.. like the saints in the scriptures? Do you feel left out there too, or is it only when people are immediate?

    What if I told you that those who experience the miraculous think you’re even more blessed?

    “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jn 20:29

    I don’t feel left out because I don’t subscribe to either prophecy or tongues. I also don’t believe the bible is literal so when it comes to the scriptures I’m not sure they happened exactly as written.
    That being said you’ve brought up some great points in your comments. Thanks for engaging.

  235. Jack wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    That’s not a good attitude to feel left out. How do you feel in relation to the truly miraculous.. like the saints in the scriptures? Do you feel left out there too, or is it only when people are immediate?

    What if I told you that those who experience the miraculous think you’re even more blessed?

    “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jn 20:29

    I don’t feel left out because I don’t subscribe to either prophecy or tongues. I also don’t believe the bible is literal so when it comes to the scriptures I’m not sure they happened exactly as written.
    That being said you’ve brought up some great points in your comments. Thanks for engaging.

    Hah. Well, I won’t bother you anymore with this then. Take it up with Christ. 🙂

    That’s not a judgement. I just didn’t realize what level of unbelief I was encountering. I feel stupid now.

  236. Seraph wrote:

    That’s not a judgement. I just didn’t realize what level of unbelief I was encountering. I feel stupid now

    Why feel stupid? You didn’t say anything stupid. I have an opposing viewpoint but we probably agree on more than you realize. You’ll find a lot of differing views here.

    Anyhoo, think of me what you will…I do what’s right without any expectation of an otherworldly reward and so far Christ hasn’t seen fit to chat with me about it.

    Peace out.

  237. Jack wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    That’s not a judgement. I just didn’t realize what level of unbelief I was encountering. I feel stupid now

    Why feel stupid? You didn’t say anything stupid. I have an opposing viewpoint but we probably agree on more than you realize. You’ll find a lot of differing views here.

    Anyhoo, think of me what you will…I do what’s right without any expectation of an otherworldly reward and so far Christ hasn’t seen fit to chat with me about it.

    Peace out.

    I feel stupid about assuming and coming in your direction as if you were like me (more or less traditional). I thought you simply didn’t believe in modern miracles.. not looked at scripture itself with skeptical eyes.

    It is good that you do what’s right! I hope I do same. But Christ is also more than what’s right. If that was all, he wasn’t any more special than Hillel.. who was also a rabbi decades before Jesus, and also taught many of the same principles of love. Or Gamaliel, who’s well known just beyond being Paul’s teacher. Jews also know of him well, just like Hillel. The Jews to this day hold both men up as giants in their modern rabbinic faith… yet God destroyed their temple, just as Jesus predicted. There’s something far more at stake than ethics.

  238. We were a part of Kansas City Fellowship (church where Kansas City Prophets originated) and present when the rise of the prophets began. There are so many problems with this church. Kansas City is full of believers who’ve been messed up and confused by their influence. Back when Jeff Tietz wrote his Rolling Stone article, I had such hopes that it would go further in closing it down. Alas, it’s a revolving door of youth desiring authenticity and mission. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.

  239. JulieP wrote:

    Alas, it’s a revolving door of youth desiring authenticity and mission.

    The same sales appeal ISIS makes to the same target market within Islam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *