‘Fire It Up’ Still ‘Water It Down’…

The heretic, Matt Ford’s ministry has the NAR teachings written all over it (as the article below suggests). He now associates himself with some of the worst ministers in America. His website has been altered again to also include the prosperity doctrine ‘sow-a-seed’ paradigm. Observe the links at the bottom:

Links


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(From http://www.fireitup.com.au/ )

John Crowder is the heretic that smokes baby Jesus and ‘tokes the ghost of the most high’ and gets high on Jehovah-wana. He was the one that started this insane and corrupted movement alongside James Dunn.

Brandon Barthrop’s Red Letter Ministries is worse. Not only does he supposedly get high, whacked out and drunk on the Spirit, he promotes people to have sexual encounters with Jesus (who can forget him teaching to have  ‘bonky-bonky’or ‘pokey-pokey’ with Jesus).

If you click on the ‘Emerge Wales’, you should be familiar with the leaders face of this movement. Dave. (Don’t know his last name). He was the one to organise Crowder to come over from America to have the Christian ‘Sloshfest’ event in Wales. A media team filmed another event similar and asked some Christians and non-Christians to participate. They seemed convinced that Jesus or ‘the Ghost’ was not in it as the leaders always promoted it was.

So if you see Matt Ford in your area, know who he sides himself with. He needs deliverance if he is friends with these men and ministries.

Lastly, another email came my way from someone who should not be named. This has Latter Rain teachings throughout it’s entire message. (I shall bolden where they are emphasised.) Remember, trances are the highest and most accurate level of prophecy that is considered equal (or even greater than) scripture. So now he is starting trance-schools to gain possible recognition from the bigger ministries in the states. Here’s the message:

“Welcome to Fire It Up International Ministries.

Dear Subscriber ,

The world is about to be invaded by the Son’s of God. A generation who are not only anchored in the Word of God but filled with His Spirit and carrying His anointing to a generation that are crying out for some spiritual reality (revival).  

This ministry is carrying an anointing that will change you, equip you and accelerate you into your Heavenly promotion.

Rev. Matt has received a clear word from the Lord concerning America and Europe. Whilst he was in Hawaii in February, Matt was taken into a trance, whereby he received a revelatory download from the Father concerning this next wave of glory and activating this generation into their destiny.

Matt will be touring with some of his team and will be conducting “Trance Academy’s” in various cities and locations around the USA and UK that the Lord has shown Matt to target.

When Matt ministers, he preaches from inside a revelatory encounter with the Holy Spirit, enabling him to operate in amazingly accurate words of knowledge and wisdom.

Matt ministers in the miraculous and releases a heavy trance anointing, which raptures people in the joy and bliss of Heaven. Unusual miracles and signs often appear as he ministers in a region.

To host Matt in your area, contact Christeen and she will be in touch with you soon. August 1 through to October 31 have been scheduled for this tour.

It is time for America and Europe to be shaken and arise!

NEW MINISTRY CENTRE
We have been blessed to have our current Ministry Centre for the past 12 months. Now it is time to move into our own building.  We have finished our public meetings until further notice, so as to allow us time to transition and get everything moved and set up.

We are setting up a temporary “set” so that we can continue filming and meet with our church members each week until such time as we get fully set up. Miracle Training College will continue next week at the Rev’s home.   www.MiracleTrainingCollege.com

Trance Academy
 

Matt is writing a phenomenal school which has Biblical and personal accounts of trances and raptures. Matt carries a powerful anointing for impartation into the supernatural realm of Heaven. 

These schools will give you credit towards your Miracle Training College Degree.

To host a Trance Academy in your church, contact Christeen today.

 


Click to Watch Trance Academy Promo
Watch Video


Partner Pack’s Fire It Up Ministries

We are launching a whole new interactive partner program.  With various levels and benefits to suit the individual sower.

We are also very much aware of our “Web Based Church” which is forming and we want to be able to ofter Pastoral care and covering to those who call The Wine Barrel Home.

Partner’s will have access to Video’s, MP3’s and teaching that are not available from our main site.

$30 – $50 PCM or $500 One-time gift.
Partners Package CD/DVD and regular mailings, along with email updates.
Prayer covering and prayer partnership (monthly phone call from FIU team member)
10% discount on all www.fireitupshop.comproduct
10% discount on FIU Equipping Schools*

$100 PCM or $2500 one time gift/year benefits* include:

Partners Package CD/DVD and regular mailings, along with email updates.
Prayer covering and prayer partnership (monthly phone call from FIU team member)
15% discount on www.fireitupshop.com product
15% discount on FIU Equipping Schools*

$500 PCM or $5000 one time gift/year benefits* include:

Partners Package CD/DVD and regular mailings, along with email updates.
Prayer covering and prayer partnership (monthly phone call from FIU Senior Pastor)
Personal phone call from Rev. Matt Ford or Lawrence Delahunt during the year
20% discount on www.fireitupshop.com product
20% discount on FIU Equipping Schools*

$1000 PCM or $10,000 one time gift/year benefits* include:

Partners Package CD/DVDand regular mailings, along with email updates.
Prayer covering and prayer partnership
Monthly phone call from Rev. Matt Ford
25% discount on www.fireitupshop.com product
25% discount on FIU Equipping Schools
Receive one of the first copies of newest CD project or Book”


123 thoughts on “‘Fire It Up’ Still ‘Water It Down’…

  1. still, it does affirm me earlier claim that it was all about Matt Ford becoming a millionaire.

    In Chris Tarrant voice “Let’s play ‘Who wants to be a Billionaire?'”

    Hmm. Follow the money. Watch as Fordy’s money gurus extend the money grabbing franchise into Australia.

    Ford is such a crook, he should be arrested for fraud with his bogus Miracle School. It is just like Jesus in the temple whipping Jews out of the temple for making people pay to get access to God.

    “Come to the Miracle School, because that’s where we keep our secrets on how to get God’s Power for yourself … just cross my palm with silver.”

    Say hello to Simon Magus.

    well … now my blood is up!

    warn your friends … Ford wants to get rich in the middle of a recession with YOUR money. (Well, OK, it’s God’s money that Ford wants to steal.)

    more coffee then …

  2. Yes but the elephant in the room is that despite what you thing about people being conned, is they actually participate because for many people…..this is what they want.

    OK…for the people that have been genuinely misled I am desperately sorry, but what about the others, and what does this really say?

    What do we have to offer in that?

  3. You are correct mn.

    There are many people who want this kind of thing. The trouble is, this kind of thing is actually not of God.

    So while people might like the idea of making animal noises, falling over, and generally enjoying the high … they are not operating in God’s will for their lives.

    Look, people can whatever the blinking well like. But don’t call it Christianity because it has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus.

    It blasphemes the Holy Spirit. It makes fun of genuine godliness. It pours scorn on all who wish to worship in spirit and in truth.

    I tell you now, any church that supports Matt Ford and his ‘ministry’ will have it’s lampstand taken away.

    Shalom

  4. Comes back to honoring the Spirit and bearing witness to the one we have been called to.

    I don’t do that very at all.

    Missing RP’s comments when I look in.

    Very quiet around here…

  5. Another email got through to me from an anonymous user. I’ve highlighted the areas in bold which seems to indicate that Fire It Up is turning into a demonic, money-hungry and power-focused cult:

    Welcome to Fire It Up International Ministries.

    Dear Subscriber,

    Come On Get Happy

    You were created for JOY! Joy is one of your most powerful weapons. Your joy is connected into the blood flow of Christ and it has the power to transform the lives of people around you.

    A couple of years ago I was preaching at a country church here in Australia. As I got up to preach I had my intern put on a Winnie Banov CD, it was basically Winnie cracking up laughing with techno music. I began to teach on Holy Spirit and He started to whack people in the room. After a few minutes the Senior Pastor had them turn off the CD because the “senior intercessor” had discerned that it was “demonic joy”.

    When I minister in the glory the Lord enables me to “know” peoples thoughts, this helps me target wrong thought patterns with my preaching. I picked up on what was happening and I called all the “intercessors” to the front so that I can “bless” them. By this stage Intercessor number one has left the building and refused to come back while I was there.

    I began to exhort and bless the intercessors for their commitment to the Lord, right before I delivered them of control. They hit the floor and shook and screamed as that foul stinking rotten devil came out of them. Some were burping, some were squealling but they all said afterwards that it was a “prophetic manifestation” and “intercession” for everyone else in the room and not their own demons. LOL

    I kept preaching the Good News with lots of joy and figured I’d go hard because the chances of me preaching for the rest of the weekend was remote. After the service I was rebuked by the Senior Pastor for “demonic joy” and for prophesying people into the mission field. I was forbidden to prophesy people into the harvest field and had to prophesy them into this guys church. The worst part was that I was staying at this guys house for the whole weekend.

    The two “most spiritual” people in the church saw people that were happy and laughing as being demonic. The joy of the Lord was so offensive to their carnal. un-renewed mind that the only grid they had for joy was evil. Their idea of church was the pew warming ministry where everyone walked in unhappy and left unhappy and with a sore bum from uncomfortable chairs.

    There is a heresy going around the church that Jesus was a depressed, suicidal man of intense sorrows who never once laughed or smiled and if He did it certainly was not on the Sabbath.

    Jesus came to earth to bring us life, freedom from sin and death and serious amounts of joy. Joy is not only a fruit of the spirit it is a result of being seated with Christ in Heaven.

    A lot of churches shut down the joy when it starts to break out in a congregation. Why? Because the devil knows that if you are happy and free that you will turn from sin and that you are a real threat to his ministry. His ministry is gossip, backbiting, slander, false accusations and death. That doesn’t look so good on his business card, so he uses fellow “Christians” to do his bidding for him. They even quote scripture to defend the joy.. Jesus was a man of great sorrows…

    The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. Zephaniah 3: 17

    Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always).
    1 Thessalonians 5: 16

    You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11

    May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. Romans 15: 13

    Jesus came to set free those who are oppressed of the devil. Oppression leads to depression which leads to possession.

    What are you possessed with? Joy, Peace, Patience, Love…

    Joy is not a sign of weakness. The Joy of the Lord is your strength. He strengthens you with His joy. I’m not sure about you but if I have to live in this world I need a lot of joy to get me through. In His presence is the FULLness of joy.

    There are days where I simply can not speak in tongues because after the first word I crack up laughing. There are days where I can not pray in english, because as I start to I burst out laughing. Yet I am still praying without ceasing. When your whole life is consecrated you become the prayer offering. If the Lord chooses to keep me giggling all day, then who am I to say no. I am a willing, yielded vessel for His joy.

    This week my secretary came shopping with me. She soon realized that God likes to release a whole lot of joy at the grocery store. We walked in relatively sober and left forgetting why we went there in the first place.

    Pentecost birthed the first public drunken glory party. It overflowed from the upper room into the streets. The more time you spend in the “upper room” the more your life with go kaboom! The power and joy and victory in every are of your lives are found in His presence.

    Don’t let the devil or the church rob you of your joy!

    You were created to live in bliss, unbroken unity and fellowship with God. It’s time to get back to Paradise and eat of the 9 fruit of Holy Spirit. There’s no fruit shortage in Heaven, it’s all you can eat all the time!

    We love you and bless you!!

    Matt Ford.

    NEW MINISTRY CENTRE.
    We are in a great season of transition and growth. We have left our old building and are looking at possessing our own land. Over the next few months our meetings will be filmed and uploaded to video so that you can join us on-line.

    Later this year we will be moving into our new Ministry Centre. To join us on Sunday’s send us an email for directions to our new venue.

  6. The only thing Ford will understand is a prison sentence for fraud. Even then, his cult followers will be singing songs outside the prison and doing some flirty-fishing.

    I predict now that it will all go wrong and there’ll be some weird sex thing where Ford ends up with a harem of impressionable girls … and there’ll be some strange Jonestown/Waco siege where Ford ends up pretending to be the “Prophet”/bad-Jesus and plenty of Kool-Aid.

    But at the moment he just wants to be rich. The Girls will come later.

  7. I sometimes feel that in the Pentecostal world the key to success is to be crazier, freakier and more abnormal than anyone else.

    Do these people believe in what they are doing, or do they sit at home and laugh out how gullible their followers are?

  8. From Facebook:

    Matt Ford Working on my USA and Canada Tour schedule. Pensacola, Atlanta, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, California… then migrate north and arrive in Canada.

  9. Another concerned email about Water it Down Ministries. Won’t you look at this? Ford truly is close to fruitloop Vughan:

    Big Brother Mystic Monk – David Vaughan

    Dear Subscriber ,
    It’s time to make the glory global.

    Who would have thought that is was this easy to get the drunken glory on TV. While ministers are out there working hard to “take the media” for the Kingdom, Dave from Wales has drank his way into history.

    Big Brother UK contacted Dave after seeing his youtube channel and reading recent media reports about the “Drunken Glory”. Intrigued, they checked him out and whacked him in the Big Brother House.

    God wants to make our lives easy. Our sole purpose in life is to love God and love others, while getting as many to Heaven as we can. When He says He is about to do something, like take on the media, believe that He already has the victory for us and step into history.

    There’s no program or 12 step’s to “taking the mountains”, we are already on the biggest one.

    Won’t you agree with me in prayer for Dave and his wife Donna and their family. God is doing a great thing. If you want to sow into their family during this time you can do so at http://thenewecstatics.co.uk

    We love you and bless you!!

    Matt Ford.

    Trance Academy
    Matt is writing a phenomenal school which has Biblical and personal accounts of trances and raptures. Matt carries a powerful anointing for impartation into the supernatural realm of Heaven.

    To host a Trance Academy at your church in the US or Canada in August or September, contact Christeen

    These schools will give you credit towards your Miracle Training College Degree…

  10. More interesting End Times Glory Army info:

    Come On Get Happy World Tour

    Dear Matthew,

    The Church is entering into the last days glory outpouring. As prophesied by the Bible Prophets this is an Army who are filled with the Spirit and are carriers of the new wine, they are a breed of radical zealots who are abiding in the Vine and are bearing amazing fruit. They are marked by unusual signs and wonders and carry with them the anointing of Heaven which will transform and transfigure people into their Heavenly identity.

    Joel chapter 2 talks about a mountain sized barrel of wine being released in this generation, this is no diminutive mount of dirt, this is the Mountain of the Lord manifesting on the earth in such a cosmic way that millions will come into the Kingdom of God instantly. This generation is living in the revelatory Spirit of God and is having the Word of God unlocked and revealed to them as no other generation has before.

    There is a momentum in the Spirit and an anointing which is bringing forth promotion and a development of Christ like Character which will stand in this hour against the plans and purposes of the enemy. An Army who know their Commander and who know the orders. Drink, drink and drink all you can possibly drink of the finished works of the Cross of Calvary. They are manifesting the pure, Christ like Gospel of freedom from sin and living a life of perfect unity and consecration.

    A generation who lives one breath away from an intense rapture of the soul, a generation who know their God and know His Word and know His Way’s.

    During this coming season Rev Matt will touring the world sharing the Good News about what Christ has done in his life. For many years he has been a diligent studier of the Word and daily he encounters the mystic realm of Heaven, whereby he is left energized and refreshed by the glory cloud of His presence.

    Come On Get Happy World Tour

    Matt and some of his team will be in the USA and Canada from August to October and will be conducting Miracle Revival Meetings and Trance Academy’s. This is going to be an exciting time as we step out into a new level on Kingdom authority and dominion.

    Updates will be made on fireitup.com.au as often as possible as we add Cities and Venues to our Itinerary.

    We love you and can’t wait to see you at one of our events.

    Trance Academy USA & CANADA
    Trance Academy Promo Trance Academy Promo

    Matt is writing a phenomenal school which has Biblical and personal accounts of trances and raptures.
    Matt carries a powerful anointing for impartation into the supernatural realm of Heaven.

    To host a Trance Academy at your church in the US or Canada in August or September, contact Christeen
    These schools will give you credit towards your Miracle Training College Degree.

  11. Come On Get Happy World Tour – Update July, 2010

    Dear Subscriber ,

    We are totally ecstatic about the upcoming tour to the USA, Canada, UK and beyond. Pastor Matt and Lawrence will be leaving Australia in a few weeks to their first destination… America.

    Matt is planning to visit as many cities as possible during August, conducting miracle meetings and trance academy’s, these are going to be so much fun.

    September we are planning to visit Canada and the U.K and then back to America and Hawaii for October. We will be posting Matt’s full schedule on our events calendar as soon as possible.

    To host him at your church or event email or call our Australian office this week and register your interest so Christeen can work out some dates with you.

    Matt is spending the next 4 weeks in prayer for this upcoming tour and already we have been experiencing amazing breakthrough. If you would like to join our intercessory army and come into agreement with us through prayer click here.

    We are now taking enrollments for Miracle Training College 2011, details are available on our M.T.C. web.

    Over the coming days and week we will be listing the cities that Matt will be in, keep an eye out on our calendar.

    We love all our partners and friends and can’t wait to meet you all.

    Sincerely,

    Matthew Ford


    Trance Academy Promo

    Trance Academy

    The Trance Academy consists of hands on training and experience along with biblical tuition. Matt will take you on a journey studying the God encounters of biblical characters and sharing his own prophetic experiences from the last 11 years.

    We will be laying a solid biblical foundation to build your faith to enter into the glory realm for yourself. You will learn how to stay in a permanent state of biblical trance.

    Some points that will be covered:

    * Heavenly Identity, Great Faith, Anointing, Miracles, God Man, Prophets and Prophecy, The Supernatural, Prayer and Intercession, Demons and Demonology, The Activity of Angels, Ministry Gifts, Team Ministry, The New Mystics, Extreme Miracles…and many more!

    Click here for more details or to register on-line.

    Come On Get Happy World TourUSA & Canada Tour

    The Come On Get Happy Tour (August to October) consists of miracle healing meetings and Matt’s new equipping school, the Trance Academy. Call or email Christeen at our Australian office today to host Matt at your church.

    Matt is the President of Miracle Training College and oversees the Wine Barrel Family church. He is also the senior minister of Fire It Up Ministries which is called to global harvest and to the releasing and equipping of the end time Joel Army.

    This army is flooding the earth with the joy filled message of living a sin-free, sickness-free, poverty-free life through the finished works of the Cross.

    Tour dates and cities will be posted on our events calendar shortly.

    MTC LOGO

    Every believer from every walk of life is called to live in the revelation of their identity in Christ and to exercise dominion in their realm of influence. To rule and reign on planet Earth, we must understand who we are, what has been provided for us, and how to operate in the supernatural ways of God.

    We want to equip you to live a supernatural life. Your teachers are Rev Matthew Ford and Dr’s Christian and Robyn Harfouche.

    Make your plans to join us in Australia for M.T.C in 2011.

    Log onto http://www.MiracleTrainingCollege.com and enroll today!

    Partner with Fire It Up and help spread the Fire.

    Be a part of something BIG – make an eternal difference today as you help us bring the bliss of Jesus Christ to the world.

    Fire It Up International Ministries Inc

    ic about the upcoming tour to the USA, Canada, UK and beyond. Pastor Matt and Lawrence will be leaving Australia in a few weeks to their first destination… America.

    Matt is planning to visit as many cities as possible during August, conducting miracle meetings and trance academy’s, these are going to be so much fun.

    September we are planning to visit Canada and the U.K and then back to America and Hawaii for October. We will be posting Matt’s full schedule on our events calendar as soon as possible.

    To host him at your church or event email or call our Australian office this week and register your interest so Christeen can work out some dates with you.

    Matt is spending the next 4 weeks in prayer for this upcoming tour and already we have been experiencing amazing breakthrough. If you would like to join our intercessory army and come into agreement with us through prayer click here.

    We are now taking enrollments for Miracle Training College 2011, details are available on our M.T.C. web.

    Over the coming days and week we will be listing the cities that Matt will be in, keep an eye out on our calendar.

    We love all our partners and friends and can’t wait to meet you all.

    Sincerely,

    Matthew Ford

    Trance Academy

    Trance Academy Promo

    The Trance Academy consists of hands on training and experience along with biblical tuition. Matt will take you on a journey studying the God encounters of biblical characters and sharing his own prophetic experiences from the last 11 years.

    We will be laying a solid biblical foundation to build your faith to enter into the glory realm for yourself. You will learn how to stay in a permanent state of biblical trance.

    Some points that will be covered:

    * Heavenly Identity, Great Faith, Anointing, Miracles, God Man, Prophets and Prophecy, The Supernatural, Prayer and Intercession, Demons and Demonology, The Activity of Angels, Ministry Gifts, Team Ministry, The New Mystics, Extreme Miracles…and many more!

    Click here for more details or to register on-line.

    USA & Canada Tour

    Come On Get Happy World TourThe Come On Get Happy Tour (August to October) consists of miracle healing meetings and Matt’s new equipping school, the Trance Academy. Call or email Christeen at our Australian office today to host Matt at your church.

    Matt is the President of Miracle Training College and oversees the Wine Barrel Family church. He is also the senior minister of Fire It Up Ministries which is called to global harvest and to the releasing and equipping of the end time Joel Army.

    This army is flooding the earth with the joy filled message of living a sin-free, sickness-free, poverty-free life through the finished works of the Cross.

    Tour dates and cities will be posted on our events calendar shortly.

    Miracle Training College Australia

    MTC LOGO


    Every believer from every walk of life is called to live in the revelation of their identity in Christ and to exercise dominion in their realm of influence. To rule and reign on planet Earth, we must understand who we are, what has been provided for us, and how to operate in the supernatural ways of God.

    We want to equip you to live a supernatural life. Your teachers are Rev Matthew Ford and Dr’s Christian and Robyn Harfouche.

    Make your plans to join us in Australia for M.T.C in 2011.

    Log onto http://www.MiracleTrainingCollege.com and enroll today!

  12. More news from ‘Fire It Up International’ Ministries.
    Matt Ford is desperately trying to get his name heard.
    Their emails have much more of a sinister-self feel as well.
    (Just look at this banner!)

    The Come On Get Happy Tour is just days away….

    Matt is pumped and primed and ready for three months of extreme miracles and joy.

    We are adding more Cities and meetings each week.

    Pensacola
    Alabama
    Georgia
    California
    Hawaii
    Kelowna
    all in August, Matt’s Sept and Oct itinerary will be finalized shortly.

    For all the info and to register for an event log onto http://www.fireitup.com.au

    Sincerely,

    Admin Team

  13. FL,

    yes please, post some more good testimonies.

    However … don’t dismiss warnings about people like Matt Ford. He’s a wolf.

    Shalom

  14. I am an atheist but I loathe this crooked shyster. I will be very happy the day his little empire crumbles. Don’t take the focus off him for a second. I made a comment on one of his Youtube videos the other night, saying what a crook he is, and he deleted it and blocked me in seconds, although I note there are comments from Christians who remonstrate with him on his practices. However if a secular person calls him a crook, he’s obviously very touchy. I did the same thing again on two other accounts (I suppose I was being a troll) and the same thing happened. I observed that it was good that he was sober enough to be fixated on his YouTube Channel. You’re going down, Matt. You’re an evil creep, making money out of a lot of unhappy misguided people. I’ll be shouting ‘Shaka Televoonda’ the day I see you on TV in handcuffs.

  15. There is defently a Red Flag brought up in my spirit about this man! i have been a penticostal for years and have been in the moving of the Holy Ghost with signs and wonders. even saw demons cast out and people being set free . witnessed healings from God. And all i see here in his viedos are not what I know my God to do or to act. Let alone the younger are not listening to warnings from elders that are even in the penticosal relm. They must be being taught to not listen or something only God knows , But i know that if Gods people will come to Him and ask Him anything and beleave it will be done. So let us all join and ask the real God of Heaven and Jesus Christ to take care of ours. and to put a stop to this mess that is happening. a stop to the mockery of God. In Jesus name . For God to take away the confusion that he is causeing. and to reveal His truth to even this man Matt. and for God to bring him to his knees in repentance and asking God to forgive him before it is to late. dont let this that is going on in his viedos to cause you to think that the penticostals are this….. The Holy Ghost is real not fake!’
    i know that the word says that there will be a great falling away in the last days but lets dont let it be us or our children or our church members where we go to church lets draw near to God and we will if we have asked Jesus to forgive our sins and to come live with in our hearts , and do what we can to walk Holy before God and He will help us and keep us

  16. When we see these red flags we are to pray and be aware of what is going on around and with us all. I beleave that the anti-christ will use the word of God to confuse the child of God so we have to hear from God on all matters i just know that God never changes so if God never changes neather does His word and neather does the Working of the Holy Spirit! God doesnt have to use different things to win the lost or share the gospel of Jesus Christ ,cause its the same Holy Ghost that draws us to the Father anyway

  17. ” observed that it was good that he was sober enough to be fixated on his YouTube Channel.”

    That was funny. I’d say Matt can sober up pretty quickly when he wants too.

    For the Christians – I note that it says to be “filled with the Spirit”, not “drunk with the Spirit”. Making being filled with the Spirit being synonymous with being drunk is just silly.

    (To base a whole doctrine and super weird lifestyle based on the Day of Pentecost allegation of being drunk, and then the Ephesians command to not be drunk with wine but he filled with the Spirit”, is the theological stretch of the century.

    On the other hand, for some people being able to make money, , travel the world, be on stage, and be famous, by acting drunk, is probably a really attractive proposition.

    Beats working for a living I suppose.

  18. Just read over that again.

    Trance Academy?
    Miracle Training College?

    Well this is all either real or not.
    If it’s real, then I can understand why people would want to be drunk and go into trances and experience God.

    If it’s not real, then what are the possibilities?
    (a) Matt Ford is mentall ill.
    (b) Matt Ford is simply carried away and as an over excitable imagination.
    (c) Matt Ford is deliberately deceiving people for money and/or fame.

    Or is (d) (A little bit of all of the above) a possibility.

    But it’s certainly an interesting time to be a Christian.

    I personally don’t want to wear the label of Pentecostal or Charismatic anymore. They terms encompass too much nonsense.

  19. I believe the correct term is “charismaniac”.

    I posted previously that I knew one of the leaders, (not Frank Manhattan) but another gentleman who had some serious problems with women at C3.

    This is a potentially dangerous “ministry” for young vulnerable women to attend – not just because of the flaky experiences etc. I’m not usually this public but “buyer beware”.

  20. I just looked at some John Crowder stuff.

    Speechless.

    Teddy and others, if you want to look at where Christian groups with weirdo leaders can go, do a bit of reading about David Berg and the Children of God – now The Family. See how they started and how demonic they ended up. Scary and sad.

    I assume John Crowder doesn’t get to speak in many churches. Please tell me I’m assuming right.

    Is it rude to say that some people are probably just mentally ill?
    (Or will someone comment that it’s wrong to judge.)

    I understand people who think this site and groupsects is too negative, but the young people who come on and say that seem to think that a true Christian will never warn anyone about anything! Maybe the biggest lie of Satan in this generation is that Christians must never question anything or dare say that anyone is wrong.

    If none of the ministers of major churches won’t stand up, then I guess it will be left to the bloggers?

  21. John Crowder’s book “The New mystics” is sold at Koorong. I actually complained to the Koorong manager about their selling that product and/or being handcuffed to these kind of people on Judgement Day.

    His response was “this is what the pentecostals want to buy”!! Should have kept the emails, made for ineresting reading. They have 22 copies just at their Ryde alone. http://orders.koorong.com/search/product/view.jhtml?code=0768423503

  22. Really, I honestly thought John Crowder was a non-Christian mocking Christians. The guy tries to suck up the power from John Alexander Dowie’s grave! What kind of people give him offerings so he can fly around the place doing all this weird stuff.

  23. Churchman: “I assume John Crowder doesn’t get to speak in many churches. Please tell me I’m assuming right.”

    He has spoken around America (Drunken Glory Tours) and places around the world (Check out ‘The Jesus Trip’ on youtube). He also goes to Wales for services (Sloshfest).

    He came to Australia prior to Matt Fords ministry starting up down here. Crowder spoke at a few churches in Sydney, including C3 Burwood. At C3 Burwood, the church was split into three parts – the Crowderite’s; the what-the-hell-ites; and the rebuke-ites. It wasn’t pleasant at all as JOhn Crowder was singing through the mic, “I’m siiiiinging in the rain!”.

    Corwder preached also up at the New Earth Tribe at Byron Bay. That place has not been the same since. That used to a fantastic ministry. Now Phil Mason, who runs the NET, is into gnostic teachings beacuse of Crowder’s influence. (I’ll show you from website if it’s still up!)

    When Crowder left, Matt Ford saw what certain people wanted and became what certain people wanted. (He was in America at the time, at Lakeland then doing some training at Bentley’s supernatural school. Links still may be around with that information on his bio.)

    He came back some time with Crowder either ministering or leaving and started planting churches where he thought people wanted his antics. He ‘planted’ a church of his up at Terrey Hills, not far from C3. It was about this time we let ‘them’ speak here on SP02. (Them being Franc Manhattan.)

    That conversation was rather insightful. I tried to manage it in a way I thought was appropriate. But as you can see, I seemed to blow it pretty bad.

    There’s a bit of background for you.

  24. He claims to be able to levitate and astral travel, and suggests people should be able to walk on water, like Jesus. I badly want to see him fail. He’s a scam-artist. I don’t believe he even knows the Bible – watch him give a ‘sermon’ and his attention to scripture is almost negligible. I’m an atheist so it shouldn’t bother me I guess – but I get so annoyed that people actually fall for his crap. His current three month trip to America was paid for by a donor. A fool and his money…

  25. Thanks Specks, that was interesting. TVDude, I WAS actually wondering if anyone knew what this guy was like as a person. I mean before or when he isn’t drunk or sloshed or whatever.

    I’m going to throw this out there as my minority view. I don’t think the behavior of many of these people is demonic. It’s just silly. I could act drunk like that anytime if I wanted to. Come to think of it, I remember doing it as kids drinking soft drink for fun.

    But someone out there will no doubt say that
    1. I shouldn’t judge or hate on others.
    2. What am I doing for the gospel?
    3. Some people are getting saved through it.

    So, in the end, life goes on in the Charismaniac world.

    Bentley, Crowder and Ford. I still prefer the original Three Stooges.

  26. If Matt Ford is making comments that might encourage people to walk on water to prove their faith – saying they ‘should’ be able to, then he is heading into dangerous territory, especially when combined with being ‘drunk’.

    This happened in 2006:
    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51760

    I don’t think its the only time I’ve heard of someone drowning in a misguided attempt to walk on water.

    But some would still say the guy didn’t have enough ‘faith’.

    Specks, I agree with you re the behaviour of the Crowderites/Fordites. I imagine some are responding to the group behaviour and just letting themselves get caught up. I don’t think God will abandon those who are really seeking Him, and in time they’ll see the truth of it. Hopefully not in too long a time, and hopefully without too much damage.

    It’s awful that some of these people must think this kind of thing represents the God of the Bible, then if they reject it, they think they are rejecting the truth of Christ, when they’ve barely encountered it.

  27. Sorry guys, I’d prefer not to go into details on a public forum other than to say that not everything that Matt says happens in his meetings actually do happen the way he says

  28. last year there was a huge craze of people walking on water. remember watching a youtube video where someone ‘was walking on water’ and everyone was cheering.

    i didn’t believe it though, but it looked real.

  29. I think he’s an atheist – but don’t worry – when it comes to the matter of Matt Ford, we’re all on the same side!!

  30. Ce4or’s comment about the Matt Ford video:

    Ce4or: “A prime example of Australia’s lack of mental health facilities”

  31. Most of the people who watched it think he’s nuts. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’ll slip up one day and plainly expose himself to all for the fake he is. And I will help him to do so as much as I can 🙂

    Shaka Televoonda Buhkerrrrk!

  32. As if he hasn’t slipped up already!

    He is such a laughing stock he makes Bozo the clown look tediously boring.

  33. “not everything that Matt says happens in his meetings actually do happen the way he says”

    You mean he didn’t actually levitate in Bible College…?

  34. This post is actually more of a “sending out an SOS”. (I was a teenager when Sting was big).

    “not everything that Matt says happens in his meetings actually do happen the way he says”

    I am genuinely sad. It’s one thing when someone who comes across as crazy is like this, but actually, it happens all the time.

    I’ve been in meetings, literally, watching the same things and then heard preachers talk about it. Not crazy men with bad reputations, but genuinely good people. But, if I were to give an account of what happened it would simply be different. And if I were in a court of law, or had to sign an affidavit, I simply couldn’t agree with the preacher’s account.

    Recently, I heard a very, very wonderful preacher (loves Good 100 times more than me, is totally well respected with no scandals), talk about a time years ago in a service when he said
    “this guy was literally picked up in the air and thrown back three rows. It was the most supernatural thing I have ever seen”. I was at that meeting and was right there. Bird’s eye view. The man did not “levitate”. There was no force that supernaturally raised him off the ground. It just didn’t happen.

    And if you think about it, if it did happen, and if Matt Ford really did levitate in bible college, then it really is the most supernatural thing that has probably ever happened since bible days.

    But I submit to you, that these things many times – most of the times, don’t actually happen the way they say.

    What depresses me, is that before my very eyes, very, very well meaning men of great reputation for character and biblical knowledge have given testimony of supernatural occurrences, that I know -just didn’t happen. Maybe that shouldn’t bother me, but it does. Deeply.

    Following links from this page took me eventually to look up Little Pebble. Read the site and read about the man and his sayings, and i literally come away with a headache because of the insanity of it all. It’s baffling that a man like that can have so many followers who give him money -give him their lives.
    Even in Japan, there is a Priest connected with him, whose disciple?/groupie?/sex partner claims that she was supernaturally impregnated and bears Little Pebble’s twins – who have been in her body for over 2 years!
    It’s madness.

    Why does all this depress me so much? Because I have dear friends who I love very much and in many ways respect who think I am a Charismatic Christian, to whom I really don’t want explain that I just don’t believe in most of what is said to be miraculous.

    My conclusion is that most of what is claimed to be the work of the Holy Spirit is simply in a few cases, the misguided claims of some who are mentally and emotionally stable, and in the majority of cases, the mistaken testimony of very good sincere people who love God and desperately want to believe that God is supernaturally at work in the own personal lives and surroundings.

    So, yes, I have seen people cry, laugh, get happy, be inspired, fall over, say oink oink while seemingly drunk, jump up and down, flap their heads and legs around, appear to be “giving birth to a new ministry – complete with labor pains”, you name it.

    But it would be nice more things that you could say “Wow. That had to be God”.

    And I’ve seen fads and movements come and go, until it’s all getting progressively sillier. There are more mega churches than ever before, and the Pastors of such are richer than ever before, but on the other hand, there are less people going to church in the US than before the rise of the mega churches.
    And our countries see levels of crime and sin that were unthinkable before. I don’t see it working the way everyone says it is.

    By the way, it’s not this website that makes me depressed. It’s the websites and youtube videos of the people in question. In other words, it’s the primary source material (their own words and actions, not the allegations) that is the most damning evidence.

    I called myself churchman for no real reason, and I love the Church – Christians, but churches are driving me bonkers! Literally.

    I don’t want to call myself emergent or emerging (don’t even know the difference), and I am happy to visit churches of all kinds – from pentecostal to totally orthodox. But these days I get more out of just talking with a Christian friend, praying, talking about the Word, listening to podcasts (even the wackiest people say some good stuff). and reading the thoughts of Christians on sites like these.

    So I’m not really a good churchman at all. I need help, and I need a new name. In the end though, I’m a Charismatic at heart. I love good songs that are singable, and I believe passion is good. Instrumentation doesn’t bother me as long as the musicians and song leaders are happy to be out of the limelight and sometimes shut up. And I want to pray more and believe God and see Him healing and touching people.
    But I am really, really sick of all the garbage and nonsense and financial and psychological shenanigans -and things that just aren’t real, and not true.

    I hope someone gets this message in a bottle. But I also think it should be thrown away. Non-charismatics won’t understand me, and I’m too afraid of hurting the Charismatics I know to tell them what I think in person. I really hate hurting people.

    So, do I need to see a psychiatrist? Because I think I’m probably just crazy.

  35. Uh – churchman – you are NOT crazy. You have ethics and morals and a healthy skepticism about supernatural claims. You also seem to be familiar with how the power of suggestion, memory glitches and ‘Chinese Whispers’ go into making some powerful (but false) anecdotes about various supernatural claims.

  36. Churchman, you said the other day that you agreed with a lot of what I say. Well sometimes reading things like what you wrote above, I feel a bit like your female twin. Reading that kind of summary makes me want to weep because everything you’ve said is true.

    When I started dealing with all this, I actually asked my doctor to refer me to a psychologist to help me deal with my depression and crisis of faith. I couldn’t get an appointment in the end. But it did get a lot better eventually.

    Anyway, here’s a list of reactions I had:

    1. Grief resulting in depression.
    2. Anger, especially realising the extent of it all.
    3. Feeling like I was going mad, to question everything and be so depressed by it all.

    Later, as I began working through lots of Christian thinking from other parts of the church I felt:

    1. A sense of relief and freedom;
    2. A sense of joy that Christ is with me through this all and intense gratitude that none of these things reflect him, so my faith in Him alone has not been challenged;
    3. Grief and anger again – from time to time, as different things come to the fore; usually situations I hear about.
    4. Astonishment sometimes – like when 2 years after leaving a church, I was dissed in the main sermon! Not that I cared!

    There are a huge number of Christians out there now who don’t go to any church. Their numbers are growing for all the reasons you and I identify with. They are all part of the church in my view. There are also good churches in my view.

    There are millions of Christians who can see that the emperor has no clothes, and who wince whenever people claim to represent Christ yet misrepresent to great publicity. Somehow, God has all this in hand, because the church has seen renewal without ceasing over the centuries, and all this has happened before.

    I think as long as we question everything and trust in Christ, in the end we’ll be OK.

    I just wish other people in these churches would trust Christ enough to question.

    I heard Ayaan Hirsi Ali – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayaan_Hirsi_Ali – on TV the other day. She said the Islamic extremists tend to come from environments where submission and obedience are stressed, and questioning is strongly disouraged or not allowed. (Because its not submissive or obedient. She said that ‘Islam’ means ‘submission’.)

    I couldn’t help noticing the parallel with the doctrines being emphasised in some of our megachurches. It makes it all the more important that Christians encourage other Christians to question. It is vital, whatever our questions are about, and no matter how painful the process is.

  37. Churchman: “By the way, it’s not this website that makes me depressed. It’s the websites and youtube videos of the people in question. In other words, it’s the primary source material (their own words and actions, not the allegations) that is the most damning evidence.”

    I’ve been aware that sometimes Bull gets down because of certain things. I’d be interested to note if he does because of the same reason as you do or because of different reasons. I was about to suggest to you to have a break from SP02 if it was giving you depression. But I’m glad it’s only the church that is getting you depressed. (Did that sound right?) 😀

    I’ll be trying to find more funny articles or Anecdote Inspirations for Signposts02 in the future. We do need to hold onto the things that are good. And I’ve been praying to God where SP02 should be going too. His answer seemed to be ‘More life’ in a hopeful way. We can be a light! We can be a hope to people with Christ being so IN us!

    I shall be taking this challenge on personally too.

  38. RP: “Anyway, here’s a list of reactions I had:

    1. Grief resulting in depression.
    2. Anger, especially realising the extent of it all.
    3. Feeling like I was going mad, to question everything and be so depressed by it all.

    Later, as I began working through lots of Christian thinking from other parts of the church I felt:

    1. A sense of relief and freedom;
    2. A sense of joy that Christ is with me through this all and intense gratitude that none of these things reflect him, so my faith in Him alone has not been challenged;
    3. Grief and anger again – from time to time, as different things come to the fore; usually situations I hear about.
    4. Astonishment sometimes – like when 2 years after leaving a church, I was dissed in the main sermon! Not that I cared!”

    I think this list is worth starting a new thread on, with you expanding on what people may go through RP so that they may not feel alone with what they feel. I know a few C3ers and Hillsongers who would benefit from that greatly. Hopefully some Fordians too.

  39. S&P: re the video you posted: the moth-eaten beard makes me feel ill. Might have to parody him on YouTube – always looking for new fodder – thank you 🙂

  40. I left Dr Whatsit a few words of wisdom. I see he prophesised an earthquake in Chile in Jan 2009 by telling the Chilean congregation ‘He will shake you’. You gotta love it when profits… I mean prophets predict earthquakes on fault lines. An earthquake happened a year later. Give the man a medal.

  41. RP and S&P, here’s a list of my reactions:

    1. Disappointment
    2. An understanding that unless a church/ministry/leader was within my own circle of influence there was nothing I could do to change that church/leader so why bother wasting time and energy trying to change them
    3. A realisation that talking to sympathetic and like minded people can be really cathartic but getting angry and slagging off churches/ministries/leadership is futile and really only hurts myself
    4. Prayer is an awesome thing!

  42. TVdude – I left rather than try to change anything. On sites like this one, I like seeing doctrines challenged in an accessible way, by people who’ve come from or understand the Pente environment.

    I am not interested in trying to change the churches themselves, from the inside or the outside. It was clear to me right from the start that that was not going to happen.

    The churches are right that culture tends to be defined by the leadership. The leadership have too much at stake to be likely to change, short of a Paul style encounter. Their doctrines are like addictions. They are heavily dependent upon them for their ability to continue to function in the way they know.

    God tends to bring about change by starting something new, or reviving something that’s been forgotten, and usually people leave the institution of the day for that to happen. He also tends to give us over to what we want. It’s fairly clear what they want.

    For those of us who leave, even starting something new is not an answer in itself, though its another obvious alternative. Usually the mistakes of the past are repeated in some form. Sometimes we become just like the thing we react to. It’s sometimes all we know.

    I think of these sites as providing something for people from these environments to discover, once they start seeking. For me its not about catharsis. That is part of the process for many people though, which I respect. There was some of that for me; I think that’s passed.

    I’m sometimes angry at things I see, but I’m not bitter and I don’t live in a state of anger.

    I do think that we might have some small responsibility to put something out there though. People in our past shoes who start seeking can then know they are not alone, and that its OK to question. One’s faith can survive the process. God is much bigger than these churches. Plus, someone really has to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Those to whom its relevant will find us.

    I also think its important not to just ‘slag off the people’ or even the ministries. At the same time, we have to call a spade a spade if no-one else will. The ministries expose themselves by what they say. That’s why I think the transcripts are helpful.

    There can be no growth if everyone thinks the same way. Ultimately, this leads to indoctrination, not real, living faith. But it is a real challenge to learn to deal respectfully with our differences. I think its one that God expects us to rise to.

  43. Hi TVDude. I’d be interested if you wanted to elaborate upon your list of responses.

    Ie. you say you have been disappointed. Are you disappointed in the same way as we are with the state of Pentecostalism in Australia today? When you see Fords, Warrens or Sumralls pitches, are you disappointed that they bend the scriptures for what seems like a monetary gain. Do you see manipulation in this, and are you disappointed? Phil Pringle admitted in the last video we saw on this blog that their fund-raising vision was somewhat in conflict with their vision to welcome new people into the church. Do you have any concerns about that?

    I believe you said you were still in contact with many of the leadership at C3? If so, then you have at least a voice to raise with them. Do you express concerns at the direction they are going? How do you deal with the disappointment at what could be while still fellowshipping with these leaders?

    Thanks, I would be very interested in your take on this. You might be critical of our approach, but I’d like your perspective on how you would deal with this.

  44. Hi wazza2. Some great questions there. I’m not sure I can answer your questions adequately but I’ll try to answer as best I can.

    Yes, I am disappointed with some aspects of Pentecostalism around the world at the moment. But I have found that getting angry about it only affects me and doesn’t make a lick of difference to that person/church/ministry. If somebody chooses to place themselves under the kinds of teachings you guys abhor that is up to them. Why allow it to bother you? As I said, the only person it’s hurting is you. I prefer to spend my time changing my own world and speaking into the lives of those within my circle of influence. It’s true, I do call most of the leadership at C3 friends, but they are not the kinds of relationships where I can express to them the direction I believe they must go with their teachings and beliefs. And it would do me no good to force my opinions onto them.

  45. @ TVdude – What would you do if you had family still there, even in leadership? Knowing the teaching is not scriptural, that they are torn between choosing community/security – so much more that can’t be said here.

    Would you be bothered? And yes, it does hurt.

  46. Thanks TVdude… I agree there is a lot of truth in what you say. In one sense we all have a choice in the kinds of teachings we place ourselves under. We all have a responsibility to check them against the Bible and against common-sense. In this sense if we are deceived then it is our own responsibility to find the truth and to remove ourselves from wrong teachings. I have heard this view from leaders.

    I’d like to suggest another way of looking at the issue. Another sense, perhaps no less valid, but not to deny the truth of the above view. In this sense when we come to faith we are quite child-like. We are told that we cannot trust “worldly knowledge” we cannot “lean on our own understanding”. We are not “mature in the faith”, and therefore we must learn from the leadership. We are then taught, as new children, new ways of living. Some of these are very good, biblical and helpful. But some of them are just the opposite. When someone who is unemployed is told that they need to tithe on their dole-cheque, when poor bible college students are continually told that they need to give over and above the tithe, how are these people to evaluate these teachings biblically and rationally? They are continually told not to lean on their own understanding. They are told to be child-like.

    In this sense it would be like asking an abused child why they continue to put up with the abuse. The child knows no other way. He is told that the world outside is barren and cold, he is told that he needs to be in “the house” He is told that if he does not have “covering” he will be in danger.

    Real children cannot evaluate these ideas rationally. They cannot tell if they are being manipulated, and we dont expect them to. We dont put all the responsibility for the problem on them, at least until they are mature. We take a dim view of people who exploit children. In the same way I’m suggesting we should take a dim view of those who exploit the spiritually new-born.

    Now like any argument based on analogy this argument has the weakness that it can be attacked by pointing out the many differences between child abuse and spiritual abuse. I also apologise to anyone who has been through child-abuse and feels that I am trivialising it by comparing it in this way. However I invite you to ponder on the comparison.

  47. teddy, it is entirely up to them whether they continue to stay in leadership at that church, not you. If they are choosing community/security even though they acknowledge that the teaching is unscriptural that’s their prerogative. I have friends who are in the same position. They don’t agree with the teaching, but don’t want to give up their “privileged” position in the church. Nothing I say can make them change their minds, in fact reminding them of that fact would probably strain our relationship, so I keep my mouth shut and pray that they will listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I understand it hurts teddy, but they are responsible for the choices they make.

  48. wazza2, I understand the analogy you use regarding those who are young in the Lord, but even those who get saved as youngsters end up adults eventually. It is unfortunate that many christians check their brains at the door whenever they enter church, but every adult has the God-given right to make their own decisions. If they chose not to use that right and continue to place themselves under bad teaching that’s their right. Let me ask wazza, why does that bother you? Obviously you are someone who has expressed that right to disagree with teaching that you believe is unscriptural but what difference do you think you can make by being angry that others don’t exercise that same right?

  49. TVdude – the problem is that when you are deceived, you dont have a choice. Its not as if someone holds up a sign and says “which do you want to choose – the unbiblical teaching which will exploit you spiritually and financially, or the biblical teaching which leads to freedom?”

    If it was presented like that, then of course you would choose the correct teaching. But it is not presented in that way – and that is the essence of deception.

    So I dont think it is adequate to say that everone has the right to place themselves under bad teachings. Very few people would choose to do that if they had all the correct information at their disposal and were not being emotionally or spiritually manipulated.

    I am not at all angry that people do not exercise that right. I think its understandable and I was, and probably still am to an extent, in that same situation. I am grateful especially to the original signposts blog for showing me some of the faults in theology and the pitfalls of pentecostalism. Especially helpful was the presence of Christian leaders who were not afraid to call a spade a bloody shovel. If you are in leadership I would suggest it is your responsibility to do the same.

  50. And what if we as parents, bring our young children up in these churches, the only church life they have ever known? We didn’t know we were being deceived – it was the only church life we knew as well. Our now`adult children are still there – we’ve done a runner and confusion reigns!

    Conversations falter as soon as doctrine or even church is mentioned. Lots of love still but emotionally a deep, deep pain even when we have the understanding of God’s sovereignity in all this mess.

  51. wazza, every Christian does have a huge sign placed in front of them – it’s called the Bible. Every Christian has access to the Word of God. It is entirely up to us to read His Word and allow His Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. In short, there is no excuse for anyone to remain ignorant or under false teaching. Unfortunately many Christians don’t read God’s Word or take the time to study what the Word is really saying, and instead rely solely on their leaders to gain revelation for them. But that’s their right.

    I am in fact in leadership wazza. I am the Senior Pastor of a Pentecostal church with about 60 members. I do call a spade a shovel regularly, but in such a way that I am not putting anyone down causing division amongst the body of Christ.

  52. teddy, the answer is not to mention doctrine or church! You will cause irreparable damage to your relationship if you continue to try to force them out of the church they are in. I suggest that you continue praying that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their error. But God is a gentleman, He will not force them to make that decision. It is entirely up to them to either ignore God’s leading and remain where they are or listen and make the move. Ultimately teddy, your relationship with your family members is so much more important that where they choose to worship

  53. Specks, there is no need to change anything about this website for me. What I have been going through started decades ago.

    Unfortunately I’ve been in some weird churches overseas as well, simply because they seemed like the best place to be at the time.

    And I am probably different to many here. I joined a charismatic church when I was young, and had questions right from the start. There were lots of things that I didn’t agree with – tithing, that Jesus was going to come back in the 80s/90s, that everyone who fell over was slain etc. Just it was lonely back then not having people who saw things the way I did. Sometimes mega charismatic churches may be easier than smaller churches where the Pastor gets to know every conversation1

    I like the articles here. And if I ever thought this site wasn’t good for me, I just wouldn’t read it. On the contrary, I worry that my cynicism or negativity would hurt anyone here. Which is why I’d be happy if you deleted all of my comments. I live overseas and don’t speak English much, so this is like my way of conversing with peers.

    Good people here who obviously love God. Again, feel free to delete any posts.

  54. “It is entirely up to us to read His Word and allow His Holy Spirit to reveal the truth”

    Thats true, but it takes quite a bit of time to get there. Its difficult to just pick up the Bible as a new Christian and interpret it correctly.

    A friend of mine (not a Christian) described how he started to read the New Testament, beginning at the start :

    Matthew 1 : ” …
    2Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; 3And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; 7And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; 8And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; 9And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; 10And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; 11And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

    12And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; 13And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; 14And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; 15And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; 16And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ”

    He said “I got to about the fourth begat, and I couldnt go on”. I suggest that we are all reliant on teaching and interpretation of the Bible from early on in our Christian walk.

    It is the primarily the responsibility of the teacher – not the student – at this stage to ensure that their teaching is biblical. Because an incorrect or manipulative interpretation will stay with the Christian for many years. I will be the lens and framework through which they read and interpret the Bible for many years, perhaps the rest of their lives.

    Statistics show the most people do eventually see through the manipulative teachings – the churn rate at megachurches is quite high. I think the average stay is about five years. Some of these people will have gone on to Christian teaching they feel more comfortable with, others will have rejected faith altogether. But that dosent negate the harm that has been done to them, or the responsibility of the teachers for this harm. It is not enough to say that they can choose eventually, or they can read the Bible for themselves.

    As far as putting people down goes, I agree that we go to far down that road on this blog. We should try not to put people down when we criticise the theology. We should not make assumptions about the motives of leaders, but we should condemn manipulation and deception in the strongest of terms.

  55. @ TVdude – we don’t “push” church or doctrine although initially it was discussed very seriously. We had to give a reason for our leaving to both PP and family, and very sound ones at that. Tears shed on both sides with family.

    They couldn’t argue biblically against us at the time but what it seems to boil down to is force of personality (PP’s) where doctrine and leadership are concerned. And that’s where we are now and I find that very disturbing. Of course we pray for them, and there’s obviously times where things are said on both sides that can’t be ignored (typical family!!). A few words written here can’t demonstrate the absolute love and respect that’s still at the heart of our family.

    Funny thing though, while we were still at C3, church and doctrine were great dinnertable conversations, stimulating, challenging, argumentative and very much enjoyed. I miss that.

  56. @ Churchman – I wouldn’t delete a single word you’ve written. Thankyou for your transparent honesty and being part of this “motley crew/crue”!

  57. Thanks Teddy.

    TvDude, hang in there with your church. Regardless of the attention that mega churches get, the majority of Christians in the world are in churches of less than 100.

    And for all the talk of how much Pastors of mega churches are CEO’s deserve great salaries, there are plenty of Pastors (and their wives!) who are have more physical and emotional demands on them that those in bigger churches.

    And it’s much harder to ignore the hard cases!

    Bless you.

  58. wazza I agree entirely with what you are saying here – “an incorrect or manipulative interpretation will stay with the Christian for many years. I will be the lens and framework through which they read and interpret the Bible for many years, perhaps the rest of their lives”. One of the main things that I teach at my church is how the “lens”, or “glasses” we wear govern the way we view God and the way we interpret scripture. If we think that God is a vengeful God or that He punishes us by giving us sickness or grief, then we will interpret scripture according to that belief and live our lives accordingly. But when we take the time to study what His Word says about His character, that He is always and only good, then our previous lenses are replaced by new lenses. But once again it is beholden upon us to study His word for that revelation.

    I have to make a point here regarding what you say about mega-churches. By lumping all of them into the one basket you do them all a great disservice. I have spent some time with Joseph Prince in Singapore and his church is definitely different to many of the “western” churches that we are used to and his love for God and his passion for teaching the body of Christ about God’s grace is incredible, and I have a great deal of admiration for him and his church. We need to be careful that we don’t resort to massive over-generalisation when criticising larger Pentecostal churches. I have been in many small churches that are much worse in their attitudes and the way they treat those in their congregations. I have heard some really disgusting stuff preached from the pulpits of churches with less than 20 members, and seen some incredible manipulation taking place in mainstream congregations as well. The pente’s certainly don’t have exclusivity in this!

    Teddy, that is definitely sad to hear what you and your family have gone through, and it is very easy for me to make these statements because I don’t know you or your family, and I definitely don’t know the full details of what has happened, but let me assure you I do know what you are going through. My sister’s husband is an atheist, and he has persuaded my sister to abandon her own beliefs and turn her back on Jesus and the church. But rather than cause division between us and them, we don’t “go there” whenever we get together. My sister is an adult, and it pains us to see her turn her back on God. but ultimately it is her choice, and by us continually bringing it up every time we see her, it will cause her to not want to visit us ever again. I’d rather not talk about it and just enjoy her company. She knows what she is doing is wrong, but it is entirely up to her to choose her own future, not ours. I’d suggest it is the same for your family members. Once again it still comes down to their choice to remain under the C3 leadership.

    And let me just encourage you, try and find doctrine you both agree on and talk about that!

  59. Yes, I agree with Teddy – “@ Churchman – I wouldn’t delete a single word you’ve written. Thankyou for your transparent honesty and being part of this “motley crew/crue”!”

    TVdude, you asked wazza2:

    “But I have found that getting angry about it only affects me and doesn’t make a lick of difference to that person/church/ministry. If somebody chooses to place themselves under the kinds of teachings you guys abhor that is up to them. Why allow it to bother you? ”

    I know you haven’t asked me. But this is something I have pondered.

    In leaving the church institution completely (!!! – not just C3 – at least for the time being) – I have asked myself why I keep coming back to blog about these issues. After all, I could just move on and try and forget the whole thing. What is it to me, now that I’ve rejected it?

    I was not mistreated, had no personal traumas, got on well with all my fellow congregation members and had a good relationship with my pastors whom I’d known personally for a very long time. The only thing that caused my husband and I to leave was our strong disagreement with what was being taught and its consequences in our church culture.

    It would be easy to leave it all behind and ignore it, pretend its irrelevant to me now and turn my back on the injustice being preached in Christ’s name, in the name of ‘moving on’. Perhaps it would look better to other people.

    But who gives a damn about that.

    I care that these lies are being preached in Christ’s name as though they are truth.

    They are lies. They are not the good news. Jesus told us to preach the good news.

    Christ is misrepresented. They give people a substitute, not what they are looking for. They exploit people and enslave them, but Jesus came to set the captives free.

    I love Jesus. He is truly wonderful. We speak so that others might be set free, if they are looking or listening.

    It matters very much, because Jesus died to save us. Of course we care. God is love, and his love is in us. Particularly when we have so many relationships with people there over time, and can’t just dismiss those people as unimportant. They all matter. They deserve better, even if they can’t see it themselves yet. Christ did not die so that they should be exploited and manipulated and have brothers ‘rule over’ them.

    They are part of the church, with us, and just because we aren’t in the same building doesn’t mean we should think of them as not being a part of us, and care about what they are taught.

    I hate reading personal attacks on ministers and think it does little to help the situation. It just tends to alienate those we’d like to help if they stumble across it, in my view. I do distinguish between judging a person though and disputing what they say.

    There are many other evil things in this world. These kinds of manipulative teachings are not as harmful to most individuals as those things. But this is the thing that I have experience of, that I know, and so it would be remiss of me not to give people the chance to discover that Jesus loves them independently of all the garbage they are told they need to do for Him.

    There are other blogs that discuss what we do, but not many with an emphasis on these Australian movements in pretty ordinary, every day, accessible Pente language.

  60. RP, I have always enjoyed reading your contributions to this blog. You are the ice to S&P’s fire! I respect what you have said above, but I ask you, and I am not trying to be disrespectful here, apart from leaving the whole church thing, what else have you done about it? Have you tried to become a positive influence to counter what you believe is wrong in the church? See, I believe that if we have a particular view about something we need to be able to back it up with actions. There are definitely christians out there that are being used, deceived and manipulated, but we need to be able to give them something more than “mega-churches are evil and C3 is a gnostic cult”. We need to show them the truth in God’s word, otherwise we become, like Paul said, a sounding brass or a crashing cymbal – all complaints and no answers.

  61. Having said my piece I will leave it there. It is not my intention to hijack this thread or this blog. I realise I should not have said anything about Matt Ford in my original post way above either. I posted late at night and was a little miffed at something I’d found out that day that he’d said to a friend of ours that wasn’t good. I should have heeded my own advice and kept my mouth shut! Blessings everyone.

  62. @ TVdude – We were once part of a really good discipleship group at C3, good in that five couples became very close and ministered to one another apart from “church”. Things were discussed and prayed over that would never have gone beyond that circle. There was a great trust, took 10 years to reach that degree of relationship. (Other groups started doing what we were doing too, it was quite unique)

    Then came the big shift, part of that “visionary” plan for the church. No more lay pastors, just connect group leaders that couldn’t be trusted with a shopping list, let alone spiritual or personal matters. Our group was told to break up and as our pastors (one of the 5 couples) were on staff they were left with no choice.

    Jump forward 10 years, and that group of friends no longer existed as a unit. That support system no longer provided, no safe haven. Just doing “church”, waiting for the next new thing, be it “the vision” or conference or Rise and Build etc.

    Jump forward another 2 years and we begin to start seeing things never seen before, the veil was lifting. We are gone. No regrets except for family.

    I’m on FB and speak occasionally with some of the original discipleship group. One was somebody who went through a “deep, dark night of the soul” experience and had they not been part of that small intimate circle, never would have discussed things, had the support and comfort needed to make it through. There are good memories of our C3 experience but it’s only as part of that group, more like a church than the “church” we all attended.

    The sad thing is that group was not there for our “dark night”, some have left C3, others attend only occasionally, and this is becoming an epidemic among our age group. What kind of under-shepherd (who claims to “hear” directly from God) does the church have, that brings this sort of fracture about?

  63. teddy, we probably know each other :). I was at C3 when this connect group shake-up occurred. It was a difficult time for many people. My wife ran a group and she was told it must disband. Fortunately the group she ran had been going outside of the church before it became on “official” C3 small group, so she continued to hold the meetings but without “endorsement” from C3. I was on staff when this all occurred. I was also, as a staff member, expected to run a connect group. … so I declined!

    In all honesty it was pretty much a snap decision from PP after he’d seen the successful connect group model in Bogata. Initially it took all of us by surprise, but I could see some merit in PP’s vision for what he wanted to be achieved in these new groups. It took a few years for the teething problems to be settled, but from what I hear, the groups are now going quite well.

    I also had a similar experience to you with the members of our other small group. We are all still friends, even though I only see them all once a year at christmas time when we travel down to Sydney for an end of year BBQ. I have precious memories of those times in the small group.

    I understand what you are saying about “the dark night of the soul”. We stood with several of our friends in our small group and helped them through difficult times. But, in all honesty, helping our friends during hard times shouldn’t just be restricted to small group meetings. Surely you should have be able to get together outside of your connect group times to pray and encourage them. Why would it require an official small group meeting to get together with friends?

  64. TVD: “But God is a gentleman, He will not force them to make that decision.”

    I really have to disagree there. He can be, but often He accomplishes what he wants done. Look what He did to Adam, Pharoah, disobedient Israel, Jonah, Ananias & Sapphira and the Apostle Paul.

    Jesus in the temple wasn’t gentlemanly, nor was the God who wiped out the Egyptians, Phillistines, Amorites and Canaanites. He can be a gentleman, but His character should not be defined by cookie-cutter mindsets. But because of your mindset toards God in that way, you would be very respectful to those around you in love.

    I see God as justice and truth. As a result, my perception of Him will also weigh out how I behave. I’ve noted that at C3, I focus on his acceptance, gentle, human and soft side so my persona changes and I am just like everyone else there. I let what is said in the moment affect me when I get home.

    Churchman: “Again, feel free to delete any posts.”
    I like it raw on Signposts02, unless the person is banned or people want their comments removed, all remains for all to see. 🙂

    That’s what I loved most about the original Signposts. In people’s honesty, I saw different character’s emerged and I fell in love with the odd online identities. Lionfish and Lance intrigued me the most with their witty comments.

    Wazza: “As far as putting people down goes, I agree that we go to far down that road on this blog. We should try not to put people down when we criticise the theology. We should not make assumptions about the motives of leaders, but we should condemn manipulation and deception in the strongest of terms.”

    I’ll take not of this. It’s pretty hard not too. I’ve said before C3 monitor what people are saying about them online. They are are of Signposts02. I’ve heard leaders react to my articles. Sometimes Pringle accuses bloggers for their criticisms and cynicisms. He’s demonised them and has said that they can’t be trusted.

    When I made the claim about C3 being a ‘gnostic cult’ I asked someone to see Pringle’s reaction the following Sunday night. Well he was angry like a dog, making hand gestures as though grabbing testicles in the air, shouting how bloggers have no balls. Coincidence? This kind of behaviour rattled my friend. They were disturbed by his conduct. I wonder how many others were.

    I’m in a position to go two ways. The more I push buttons on Signposts02, the more extreme he seems to get. I’ve wondered this more then just a few times after the services.

    TVD: “I have spent some time with Joseph Prince in Singapore and his church is definitely different to many of the “western” churches that we are used to and his love for God and his passion for teaching the body of Christ about God’s grace is incredible, and I have a great deal of admiration for him and his church.”

    I consider him no different to the Western church preachers. I think he is more subtle and therefore more dangerous. I find he flatters too much. There is a fine line between flattery and encouragement. Whatever sermon I’ve listened to of his has been either about hype, flattery, shallow teaching, special revelation or the tithe (sprinkled with words like ‘grace’ or ‘Jesus’).

    TVD: “RP, I have always enjoyed reading your contributions to this blog. You are the ice to S&P’s fire!”

    I do indeed love RP for her contribution here and being my polar opposite. She is a wonderful person also off the blog. We’re all nothing like what we are on the blog. We have great times!

    TVD: “There are definitely Christians out there that are being used, deceived and manipulated, but we need to be able to give them something more than “mega-churches are evil and C3 is a gnostic cult”.”

    True. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to contribute an article anyone, I’ll post it up. I’ve tried to do transcripts, but they’re quite exhausting! If people can help write them to that would be greatly appreciated.

    I don’t need any more emails saying ‘Can you please transcribe this video SP on this pastor?’. I’d put them on Signposts02 if you did them yourselves. I do work and have a family to look after you know.

    TVD & Teddy: Were you both in ‘undercurrent’ connect groups? I couldn’t find one at the time a C3.

  65. Back to the loopies like Ford. New Life Church is associated with churches like this. As well as Wellspring, Jubilee, Dayspring and New Earth Tribe. There are others. But they seem to be related with these Burn 24/7 events. They all seem to show signs of spiritual manifestations and signs of the ‘supernatural’.

    I just found the blog of a guest speaker that visited New Life. Is this a disturbing report?

    Sydney Missions report May 2008 – Accessing Heavenly realms
    Sydney – Accessing Heavenly realms

    We had a good time in Sydney. I was preaching to a small group on Friday night but the real assignment was for the Sunday night service. I was with New Life Baptist in manly. The Church are very hungry.

    So Friday night we spent time sitting in a circle and I was teaching from Colossians, Hebrews and from history; showing how the timeframe is speeding up and talking about not being able to receive the fullness of Christ because of human tradition and systems of the world. Afterwards, we went spontaneously into a ministry time. It was amazing I simply stood up and BAM the Lord started moving on people. Highlights had an older Mexican looking man saying with watery eyes “humbery humbery” (or something of the sort). We kept listening to him to and eventually he put his hands near his mouth and with desperation on his face and with broken English he said “hungry, hungry.” Tears streaming down his face; he was very hungry for the Lord.

    Sunday Meeting

    On Sunday I preached on heaven being open and the Father wanting us to come in. I taught for over an hour, but people seemed to be there in the Spirit for it. When we started going into the ministry time, the congregation stood and received for about 30 min. I worked with them teaching them how to receive. The ministry time just kept building though. I prayed for a few people. Then it broke out!
    I saw many of the signs of the Kingdom in the one meeting. A Mormon walked in off the street and got saved during the ministry time. A Buddhist started receiving and eventually came up for prayer. He got hit so he just stayed in the anointing. I prayed for him but was unaware he was Buddhist. He loved it and sat under the power for about an hour.

    Probably the highlight for me was two young men (say early 20’s) both of which have been conservative and I dare say scared of the Holy Spirit. They were not coming near me – but of the young men at the Church talked to them – and then signaled for me to come over. I honestly thought one of the two was a Toronto person if you know what I mean. He was shaking violently hysterically laughing on and off between exuberant praise etc. The other guy was kneeling down, and I began prophesying softly that God was doing a Holy thing with him so just stay there. As I was saying that he began to weep – quite amazingly. Later I found out neither of these guys had ever felt God and had been trained to keep away from “all that stuff.” Then when I was talking to them about it later the man who had be weeping (and had the reddest eyes you have ever seen) said, “I felt his love! I felt his love!” He was exclaiming that he had studied the word and done bible college but never knew that he was loved. Probably he did in his mind – but feeling the love of the Father is a different thing.
    When asked about how he was weeping at times and then burst into joy he added “Oh yeh – I was weeping because of the Love, but I was laughing because of righteousness!” Apparently, as people got saved or delivered in the meeting they both started laughing hysterically.

    We had a man baptized in the Spirit. We had healings. I am believing for more reports of significant healings coming through. One woman had a lump. I told her to go and check it and it had halved on the spot. She said she was definite it was much smaller. But as yet the lump is not fully gone. We had some people delivered of sexual and physical addictions.

    After 3 hours of meeting people were leaving the meeting. Then we had signs of glory pour out. And this amazed me. The pastor had a few gold dots on his face and I think many people saw it, but I for one was not going to say anything because the whole gold dust phenomenon can be, for lack of a better word “flaky.” Excuse the pun.

    However, at the same time there is a real sign and wonder take place. Anyone who has any doubts: See this video from Joshua mills: Sapphire Glory and Supernatural Oil in Phoenix, Arizona .
    So Tim (one of their youth) and I are looking at the pastor. And suddenly right before our eyes – his right side of his face starts getting covered in Gold and Emerald green dust. Right before our eyes! We both started going nuts, then the glory fell heavy (this happened after 3 and a half hours of meeting, and again we had glory outpouring). WOW.
    We had power – in that people were going out heavy under the Spirit. We had one Brazilian man (who is very open to the Spirit) get hit by the power of God. He began bolting backwards under the anointing all the way down the aisle and ending up under the power at the other end of the Church.
    That amazed me. I know it happens, but I haven’t seen it as clear as this before my own eyes.

    So, enough from me. How about you hear it from the youth Pastor at the Church, who is very experienced in the glory himself:”

    The Youth Pastor of New Life seems to be called ‘Epeli’. He says below:

    “Dude, i am still blown away at the move of God and how marvelous and powerful sunday nite was. The glory of the Lord displayed its beauty with such power that the guys at church will never forget… I told you that will be a day of history and it will spread all around..We have never seen our pastors son Luke just shaking under the power of God and speaking in tongues.. Greg didnt even know that and then Daniel his son just went on the floor, thats another shocking thing for Greg to hear. He said wot Luke spoke in tongues? hehe and Daniel went on the floor? I am like yea.. he goes he wish he has seen it himself. I mean Jesus is cool and my Brazilian friend was just crying at the back. She told me she doesn’t even know wot happen to her. She just couldn’t stop crying so much. She doesn’t even come to our church cause she goes to hillsongs. One of the guys came crying to me saying Epeli, I have been saved since 5 and men i went bible study and Sunday school all my life and why didn’t this happen back then… He was just crying saying this is unbelievable.. cause before that he went to pray for his friend and he said i am not ready for this and then his friend who is a new Christian and also first time shaken in the glory turned around and prayed for him and bam the guy just felt on the floor and wept the whole time hehe.. God is good.. We will updated you with more later on… Thank you so much for coming and you are welcome to church anytime bro… I hope to see you soon again. Maybe in Melbourne… love ya and regards to all… Epeli.

    Check out the Florida revival – its going nuts.
    Hey, also the Florida revival started about 6 weeks ago and they are having up to 15000 I think at the meetings. It started from 600 people. The healings are ridiculously dramatic. Just go to google and type Florida Healing Revival. It has now spread to Kansas City and Albany Oregon. We (a whole bunch of youth from Vic and South Aus) have just sent a young man there to receive and bring back. Nonetheless, the majority of impartation is happening across the web. Go here to receive across the net:
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/great-florida-healing-revival

    http://www.alight.net.au/blog/sydney-missions-report-may-2008-accessing-heavenly-realms

    Great! More spiritual loopies in our own back yard! This Shannon guy sounds dangerous! Especially if he looks up to people like Joshua Mills! (Lance reported on him at his blog!)

  66. @ Specks – it was a long time ago. We were there 22 years (joined in 1986) and that particular discipleship group started about 1988?

    @ TVdude – of course we saw each other outside the group, that was part of it’s uniqueness, the official time was once every 6 weeks at a different home with bible study, prayer, food, wine, more wine and then some more! No body wanted to leave (we were too drunk?) 🙂 We were like a real family, there when needed at any time.

    That group model from South America, wasn’t it called G12?

    http://www.letusreason.org/latrain24.htm

    I remember thinking at the time of the big “shake up”, that this model works because South American churches normally operated under a Catholic priest (he who must be obeyed) so the spiritual mentality could accept this new approach/leadership model down there.

    Try this approach in Australia and it’s “no way, mate!” Our culture simply doesn’t take too well to that style of leadership. The Aussie attitude of “no one’s going to tell me what to do!”

    I don’t agree that the new method worked at C3, it was years before the rumblings settled, and that was probably when there were enough “new christians” to feed into the new system and maintain it.

  67. That’s a really interesting article about the G12, well worth the read – especially this…..

    “This is where I am really concerned about G12. Castellanos and other writers about this cell church model begin to spiritualize and distort meanings in texts that include numerical significance and then teach that there is some Gnostic-like interpretation to their usage. Then they package their belief and sell it to the churches through books and conferences using their large numbers and mega churches as the validation that their interpretations must be from God.

    Far worse is the case of G12 where this “revelation” is alleged from God and it is proposed that because Christ chose 12, then we also ought to follow in His footsteps and then we will receive the numerical release or breakthrough that we haven’t had yet.. This causes us to trust in a formula rather than the Lord to build His church and worse it changes what Jesus actually said. He never told us anywhere in the Scriptures that there was something of a pattern of 12 to follow for disciple gathering. He never told His apostles to do this and neither do we see them surrounding themselves with 12 in the Book of Acts or the epistles.

    These are considerations we must look at. Consider also that, if we insist that Jesus was giving us a special model based on the number 12, then we must also emulate His choices of disciples. Think about it. If we are to accurately use Christ’s selection as a guide for our ministry then every G12 pastor and cell leader should choose 11 faithful followers (actually Hebrews), several poor men, at least one with a scandalous profession (tax collector Matthew), and a devil.

    Don’t forget that last one. Jesus said “Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?’” (John 6:70). Jesus actually selected a “devil” who we find out as the story unfolds for us, is His traitorous betrayer (Luke 6:16) and the son of perdition (John 17:12) who would have been better off had he not even been born (Matt. 26:24;Mark 14:21). And don’t forget, you yourself as the leader should be a messianic deliverer. That’s if we are to have a strict adherence to Christ’s discipleship ways. It’s clear that Christ’s ministry was unique in many ways and this is just one of them. There is no evidence biblically that we should pour secret meaning into His methodology. The significance of 12 or 70 or any number is known to God and, regardless of what Castellanos claims, is not revealed to us as any pattern for today.”

    @ TVdude – I would suggest that when PP sees a new “method”, he just has to try it. He ran with his own version of Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life (Now)”.

    Wonder what’s coming up next?

  68. Teddy, what you describe in your old Connect group setting is what I believe we are meant to discover in our relationships with one another in Christ. Obviously not every single relationship, but that kind of safe place is very important.

    It is not something that can be programmed, though it is possible that it may come about when some people meet up through a program or church. It comes about when God brings us together in relationship, however it is we meet. The things that are held together by those relationships are what I see as functioning parts of the real church.

    It is sad when they are not respected, or when they begin to threaten the outside structure in some sense. If they stop of their own accord at some time, then that is part of their organic nature, but to be torn apart by decree from outside is tragic.

    Very sad to hear what you describe.

  69. I remember hearing from a friend when this connect group thing happened too. I knew someone who had a thriving group of 30 that they tried to stop. I think they kept doing things in some kind of form, though not the entire group, because it was so patently ridiculous.

    In my time in C3OF, the home groups (this was before they were called ‘connect groups’) were where the church had the most impact on me. The worship time in my early home groups was amazing – we even had someone give their life to Christ one night in that setting. The leaders gave their own talks on things they felt God had shown them that week. We practised using various spiritual gifts in a private setting, and developed confidence in that area. We ministered to one another. I am not critical of those times at all. They were wonderful. It was fresh and people could learn to move as the Spirit led them. A lot of people who later pastored churches came out of those early home groups. Tithing etc wasn’t part of that side of church life. Looking after one another and encouraging one another was.

  70. “RP, I have always enjoyed reading your contributions to this blog. You are the ice to S&P’s fire! I respect what you have said above, but I ask you, and I am not trying to be disrespectful here, apart from leaving the whole church thing, what else have you done about it? ” – TVDude

    I like the fire and ice analogy. (Quite like George RR Martins unfinished series, too – I wish he’d get on with it and finish it off.) Specks and I approach things differently at times but have the same passion for the church. I think there is a balance there, and recognise that sometimes his way is needed – and he is the administrator! – just as that at other times, my way might be helpful. God made us both the way we are, and here we are working together. I think God has his reasons! Its just two parts of the same body working in tandem. One without the other might not work as well in this context. We are honest with one another, and don’t try to control one another. God will do as He likes with the combination.

    We don’t try to individually own this blog; it is very much a community of people due to its uncensored nature, so it can change character and focus overnight sometimes.Everyone here helps define the character of this place. We may all have a slightly different ‘vision’. We have multiple authors, who come from different places in the church. Wazza, Greg the Explorer and Heretic all have authorship privileges as well as S&P and myself. From time to time we all use them.

    **********

    “…apart from leaving the whole church thing, what else have you done about it? ” – TVDude

    Good questions.

    When I left, that question was part of my thinking. I disagreed with my church leaders, but respected their diligent work and wasn’t going to try to undermine what they were doing. I believed that as God spoke to individuals in their walk with Him, they would come to their own conclusions about it all over time. It was not my job to try to force anyone to see things.

    For me, an important part of the leaving process was not to start anything new. It is about losing my religion. We meet regularly with friends, and we do pray, but there is no format. Also, we’ll no doubt do other things in time. What we do for now to help, is maintain our relationships with people, which is what we would do anyway regardless, so we are available if people we are relationally connected with start to ask questions.

    This has happened. We have been able to offer some support to people going through their own traumas related to the issues we discuss here. Not necessarily a lot, but we are there. For one or two people, there is an opportunity for private catharsis, and they can then move on.

    We don’t tell anyone what to do, because only the Lord can do that. It’s not what I’m called to do. And I’m certainly not called to be a pastor and start my own small church up.

    Nope, the main thing I did to help was maintain this blog. It’s actually what I felt called to do at the time, for better or worse. It was like a baby that needed to be nurtured, but not for me to take ownership of. Eventually I handed it over to S&P as I couldn’t keep up with the time it took.

    There are plenty of alternative churches for people to try if they get sick of megachurches, or the doctrines they preach, megachurch or not (my ex-church was not a megachurch). How do I know what God wants for a particular fellow human being? They have to seek His leading for themselves. That is part of maturing as a Christian. Telling them what to do would interfere with that process.

    So the way I help is just to put stuff out there on the internet. It might be a mustard seed, but God will bring those to it who are seeking. He is the One in charge of bringing about change; we just do the little bits we can and trust Him to move others in the body to do their bits. He creates the overall picture.

    In my church environment, I was deemed unworthy to be a leader of any type, due to my lack of religious approach to a number of matters. (Due to my different doctrines from the new leadership.) Even my suggestions for things at times were written off in seconds without any real consideration. That’s not why I left; I had no hard feelings, and no desire to lead anything anyway.

    It’s ironic now that although no one would ever have heard my voice in my church environment, through the internet I have spoken with vastly more people about these things. I have also spoken with many more friends, and am so much more comfortable speaking freely now.

    So blogging is my minor work to do something, but I believe God does the real work in people’s hearts. We just put something out there that might help in the process.

  71. TVDude – have you read any of James Thwaite’s books about ‘The Church Beyond the Congregation’ or the church in creation? They are quite good for shedding light on aspects of moving forward as well, regardless of what kind of church people attend or not.

  72. RavingPente said “We may all have a slightly different ‘vision’. We have multiple authors, who come from different places in the church.”

    Can I be your pet atheist? I’m still lurking waiting for some more dirt on Matt Ford. It’s because he’s such a liar and is busy hooking vulnerable people in and taking their money. I am convinced he is not even a Christian – I think he’s a non-believer with absolutely no ethics cashing in on what he sees is a way to achieve guru status and make lots of money. I want him to be stopped.

    I watched one of his ‘services’ that was broadcast on line back in April. He’s a typical wanna-be guru. He makes the merest passing reference to the Bible… heads towards it… then gets sidetracked by a whoop or a holler… and veers away. He has catch phrases which he trots out frequently to make himself sound vaguely Christian – ‘the finished works of the cross’, ‘Calvary’, ‘anointing’ and that’s about it. You’ll rarely get a Bible verse out of him. Ironically, in his latest video (in which he was in Hawaii), he read about a verse about ‘not being drunk’ and managed to keep a straight face. He deserves props for that.

  73. Oh – and he’s also a racist. In one of his recent videos from America, he’s sitting in a church with a couple of other dudes, and a little black kid runs past. Ford says something like, ‘God left that one out in the sun a bit too long’ or something. I’ve downloaded it – I’ll include it in a Ford parody video eventually. And then there was the comments about people with the tea towels on their heads with bombs strapped to them, apparently ‘everywhere’ on the streets of Australia. This is despicable from a self-proclaimed ‘prophet’. I don’t know why I still manage to be surprised and disgusted at antics like his.

  74. @ Roz – you can be our pet atheist, and TVdude can be our “clayton’s” FL (can’t put the whole name or the comment won’t be posted) because he’s not as unrelentingly critical as our former FL was towards this blog.

  75. Hey Roz. If you find anything written on him, post it on this thread. If it’s a video you can post it here.

    But if it’s video, please quote him and the time he said it, jut in case it is taken down.

  76. Teddy, please don’t mention he-who-must-not-be-named. I’ll only get emails from him to remove comments that looks as though they might defame his alias.

  77. @ Roz – a good site for researching the wild and wacky world of Christendom is……

    http://www.alittleleaven.com/

    “The Museum of Idolatry” with over 1500 artifacts of apostacy! You’ll find even Matt Ford has made a place for himself here. A great place for an atheist to spend a lazy sunday. 🙂

  78. Roz, you and your opinions are very welcome.

    We used to have an atheist here some time ago, but he must have lost interest.

    TVDude’s arrival is good timing as well.

  79. “often He accomplishes what he wants done. Look what He did to Adam, Pharoah, disobedient Israel, Jonah, Ananias & Sapphira and the Apostle Paul. Jesus in the temple wasn’t gentlemanly, nor was the God who wiped out the Egyptians, Phillistines, Amorites and Canaanites.” Interesting. So what’s the devil doing then?! Firstly, it was Adam’s own sin that had him and Eve expelled from the garden. It was his sin that brought caused the fall, thereby bringing sin and death into the world that God had called good, and it was satan that tempted Eve. Why was that God’s fault. Secondly, the children of Israel were unaware of the power of Satan and only knew of him as God’s adversary, not as the author of lies and as a lion seeking whomever to destroy. The authors of the Old Testament were writing out of a position of ignorance of the character of God. The Jews believed that everything good and everything bad came from God. They had no idea that the devil was behind evil. As for those times when it was written that God would “kill”, or “harden hearts” if you closely study the idioms and figures of speech you will find that in every one of those cases the tense of the expression is permissive, rather than causative. In other words, God had allowed those things to happen. Not only that, but when read in context you will see that in every single time something like that is written God had forewarned or pleaded with them to turn away from evil and do good. I suggest S&P that you spend some time studying “figures of speech” in relation to the bible.

    I could go on, but in the interests of time, and owing to the fact that I have to leave for work in 30 minutes I will leave it there. I can expand on what I have written at any time if you’d like S&P.

    RP, I haven’t read that book. I tend not to read other people’s methods for running churches. I don’t want to emulate how anyone else does church, I only want to do church the way God tells me to.

  80. TVD, you kind of took me out of context there. I was responding to your comment ‘But God is a gentleman, He will not force them to make that decision.’

    It was Adam’s sin that got him in trouble. To look at it from a Godly gentleman’s perspective, He came to them and clothed them. But they still had to face the consequences of their sin.

    What I was saying was that often God wasn’t gentlemanly. The devil wasn’t my focus in that discussion.

    We can discuss it now though: I somewhat agree with you with your above comment.

  81. Yes God is a “perfect gentleman” TVdude… That’s why he ordered the deaths of infants in the Old Testament yes?
    Clearly the work of a refined and groomed gentleman, no doubt about that.

    This is the kind of recurring BS I expect from a pastor – oh wait, you are, you admitted as much! No surprise then.

  82. Roz, I’m interested in how an athiest gets so interested in Matt Ford. Have you met him, or were you a church goer at one stage?
    Just wondering because Matt Ford is not really that famous.

    Though I could understand if his youtube videos went viral for reasons he didn’t envisage.

  83. I can’t remember where I first saw his video: I sub to a number of atheist blogs – it was probably one of those. I took ‘special’ interest in him because he’s an Australian, and because I find him supremely objectionable. He’s a scam-artist. He gives Australia, Christianity, religion and human beings a bad name. It also irks me in the extreme that he has tax-free status for his church and his bible college. He does no good for humanity whatsoever. Nothing at all – and he is laughing at his ‘flock’ and at society in general. He is no better than the average tarot card reader or two-bit psychic – only THEY don’t get tax-free status for dispensing hocus-pocus.

    I am an ex-Christian but it’s been a very long time since I lost my faith. Ford just pushes all my buttons.

  84. Hey Blah-blah, are you an ex-church goer too?
    Just wondering also. You seem pretty anti-pastors so I was thinking maybe you’ve had some experience with them.

  85. I feel for you blah-blah to have such a depressing perception of who God is. Do you mind me asking if you are born again?

  86. Signposts02 is getting much more interesting now! I can’t wait to here some of your opinions.

    BTW Blah-Blah, I read your comment on Groupsects, “Most of you guys on here are just full of shit anyways. Especially you Specks. Lamenting the state of C3 and pissing and moaning about Pringle while still going there”.

    You’re welcome to comment here. On Signposts02 we’re pretty raw in dialogue. We can discuss your comment here, now if you want, or some other time.

    Your views may change on the matter once you talk to me what it is I actually do there.

  87. “It also irks me in the extreme that he has tax-free status for his church and his bible college.” – Roz

    I’d like to see these tax rules being reviewed. It seems too easy for just about anyone to set up something and take advantage of it.

    At the same time, I’d hate to see legitimate work that is helpful to people, especially to the wider community, losing its tax exempt status.

    There has to be some kind of standard to measure things against. Who would decide on that though?

    I have wondered if some bible colleges are set up at least partly to gain tax exemption status for donations to church building funds, where the main building is really for worship, not education. If the government has decided that places of worship should also have tax exempt status for donations then fine, but if ‘schools’ are becoming a loophole for other things that weren’t intended for inclusion (eg: campaigns to build worship buildings), then that should be looked at too.

    As you say Roz, it brings Christianity into disrepute.

  88. @ Teddy – thanks – that site looks to contain some meaty stuff! I’ll bookmark it and check it out 🙂

  89. If people are saying wwwwwoooh and shaking and flipping around like fish because the Holy Spirit is making them do that, then who am I to say anything. But if they are doing that for any other reason, then guys, if you are reading this – stop playing silly buggers!

    I would never have wanted to see my mother carrying on like that at church. Seriously, you have to think about the mental health of your children.

    these people are nuts. It’s simple.

    Paul was knocked off his horse. He didn’t go woow and feel a little tipsy, and think okay, I’ll be more open and not question this..etc etc. And it says in the OT that the priests couldn’t stand to minister. They couldn’t have stood up if they tried! That’s the difference. It’s not like a few of them got it, and started “manifesting”, and the guy next door was a little closed minded. No, they couldn’t stand to minister.

    Just do some research on hypnotism. Anyone can do just about any kind of weird behavior if they want to.

  90. “Just do some research on hypnotism. Anyone can do just about any kind of weird behavior if they want to.”

    Much agreement – the power of suggestion is an amazing thing. If you can, watch a programme made about 6 years ago by the wonderful British mentalist/magician Derren Brown. It’s called ‘Messiah'(should be on YouTube). Don’t let the title put you off. His purpose is to show how the mind can be manipulated by the unscrupulous/unwise.

  91. I like Derryn Brown. Saw a series of his. One episode he ‘converted’ people, then unconverted them. It might have been the Messiah thing, or a similar one. The professional minister was the only person to entertain reservations about Brown after his positive demonstration of ‘evangelism’. Other experts in their different fields didn’t question him.

    Here is a link to a blog where the instant conversions are shown, plus a worthwhile quote.

    http://iwforums.com/showthread.php?p=133137

    The quote describes what happened and some of the techniques Brown used. These techniques probably show up in some of our churches. The more showmanship, the more likely, in my view.

  92. I’ve seen a lot of the Derryn Brown videos. Very interesting.

    The power of suggestion is amazing. Whether it’s one on one, in a crowd situation, or on a cultural level.

  93. I believe the power of suggestion and hypnotism is heavily rooted in the demonic. Those people left more violated and demonised them without them knowing. There would be an even smaller chance then ever for them to believe in God now.

  94. seen that already. i was actually laughing with him on this one. Thanks for posting this up anyways.

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