The Long and Winding Post…

I thought this was a fantastic article that Teddy found. From: http://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/Sword-And-Trowel/Sword-and-Trowel-Articles/Exercising-a-True-Deliverance-Ministry.

Exercising a True Deliverance Ministry – A pastoral guide to helping believers who have left charismatic circles.

from Sword & Trowel 2007, issue 3 by Peter Masters

The title of this article is obviously not meant in a charismatic sense. We offer no advice on how to cast out demons, rather on how to help true believers who have been heavily influenced by charismatic ideas, and who have come to see them as wrong. They have come away from the world of tongues, visions, prophecies, ecstasies, dancing, falling down slain, and all associated activities, and have sought fellowship among ‘traditional’ Bible-believing Christians.

These friends often have many problems, and pastors and church officers must be ready to help. Some former charismatics have made the transition so well and so speedily that one can scarcely believe they once thought and acted very differently. We readily acknowledge that some need little or no help in adapting to conservative, biblical Christianity.

Many, however, find that their time in the charismatic movement has left them troubled, unsure, and perhaps even scarred spiritually. They have wrested themselves away from a host of emotional props, and severed connections with numerous dear friends, and this has cost them much pain.

Doctrine, worship, fellowship and service now take a vastly different form. Their new environment has a way of thinking and looking at matters utterly unlike that of charismatic circles. Furthermore, in the back of the mind lies the nagging fear that these ‘traditionalists’ are indeed the cold, lifeless formalists they have been long warned about – people who have never tasted the Spirit, and who wilfully oppose his liberating power.

Broadly speaking, there are three causes for people leaving the charismatic move-ment. The first one mentioned here is the best, and most often leads to them adjusting wholly to orthodox evangelical teaching. The last two give rise to the least stable ‘converts’.

A first cause of leaving occurs when people experience some serious disappointment or disillusionment with the charismatic movement, and begin to evaluate its claims more carefully. Perhaps a relative or close friend has died and they have seen at close quarters the false promises and the failure of -healing prophecies. It may be that they have seen through some of the dishonesty and pride which stalks the citadels of charismatic activity, and have recoiled with shock.

Some years ago, for example, charismatics all over the world were shaken by the wild phenomena of the Toronto Blessing, and they turned to God’s Word in a new spirit of enquiry. Objective Bible study then caused the entire edifice of charismatic practice to crumble and fall before them.

A second cause of departure from charismatic activity is personal disaffection. While this may lead to people’s eyes being opened, it often does not. In charismatic house groups and cells an artificially high degree of emotional interdependence is fostered, and in such a climate offences can occur which drive people out. These may come over to the derided traditionalists almost as an act of protest. The real issue is one of personal disaffection, not doctrinal unease, and while these émigrés may criticise everything they have left, it may only be the outworking of hurt feelings.

Sometimes people leave because their ‘gifts’ have not been sufficiently recognised, or their own leadership hopes have been thwarted. Such leavers will probably return, if not to the same group, to another section of the charismatic camp. We may almost say that the more heated the invective, the sooner a person will go back. We certainly have an opportunity to help such disgruntled people see the real issues, and we pray that the Lord will open their eyes, but our efforts may well be in vain.

A third cause of departure which usually leads to people returning is that of a generally unstable temperament. This is not a comment on the mental stability of peo-ple, but on their inability to think clearly and to recognise foundational principles of biblical conduct. Because charismatic teaching is so subjective, experience-based, emotional and speculative, it produces this instability in certain people.

They take on a great mass of ideas and anecdotes, but possess no reliable way of verifying them. The mind trades so much in disconnected fragments, that it loses its capacity to get things in order of importance, and to judge clearly.

Helping friends in this state is almost impossible. As fast as you try to explain one matter, another dozen ideas leap into their minds. For such people, whether something is right or wrong is determined by the quantity of supporting claims which can be thrown into the discussion, not by the biblical validity of the claims. Unstable thinkers are likely to re-settle in the comfortable confusion of a charismatic group.

It is necessary to mention these last two categories because we must be ready for disap-pointment. However, the Lord is at work. Many of God’s children are being led out for wholesome and biblical reasons, and we trust that many more will be. We would like to rescue as many people as possible from the mass of mistakes that make up the charismatic movement, and from their exploitation by insincere and dishonest ‘top’ leaders.

Another caution is necessary. We should not assume that all who leave the charismatic fold are truly converted. We say this with care, for many are, but we remember that numerous people have been lured in by promises of healing, and even prosperity, rather than by the challenge to repent and yield to Christ. Once there, they have been sustained, not by doctrine, but by a diet of emotional thrills. In many charismatic meetings life is all about the feel-good-factor of entertainment and personal happiness, and the real issues of the Faith are obscured. When the Gospel is presented, it is often no more than a shallow form of ‘easy-believism’. Friendship and phenomena take the place of a real spiritual life. There will, therefore, be many who are not truly saved, and if they should leave and find their way to sound evangelical churches, their greatest need will be to hear the Gospel.

This caution must be balanced by a plea for respect for ex-charismatic people who most certainly are earnest believers. Some of these may even have been driven into the charismatic movement years ago by the lifelessness of a traditional evangelical church. There are numerous Bible-believing churches where so little is done for the Lord that one sympathises with members who defect to charismatic fellowships. They may be mistaken, but what an ordeal they have endured to keep their faith and love alive in an unenthusiastic ‘sound’ church! They have felt forced to leave that sound, but sound asleep, church. It has often been a hunger and thirst to please God which has led people (however mistakenly) into more lively charismatic churches. Their new teachers persuaded them that God wanted them to seek tongues and other phenomena, and their desire to obey God caused them to open their minds to these new experiences.

They were misled, but they were earnest, and this we must respect. They may have been more earnest than the sound fellowship they left behind.

We say this to inspire a due measure of respect for those who come back to us from charismatic groups. We, as traditional evangelicals, may have wronged them in the past through spiritual lethargy and coldness.

What are the problems or scars which continue to affect believers who have left the charismatic movement? The following pages review some of the difficulties encountered and highlight the areas of biblical teaching to be stressed by way of remedy.

TEN LINGERING PROBLEMS

1 Lordship of imagination

The first problem which may continue to trouble charismatic leavers arises from the lordship of imagination. For so many, imagination has worked overtime to create an artificial spiritual life in which God has spoken hour by hour through direct guidance and impressions. People have felt led to do this and that, and been ‘given’ knowledge of this and that. In many cases they have attributed every feeling to the direct impulse of the Spirit. They have been taught a religion very different from that of biblical Christianity, but they do not realise this.

They have been taught a system of thinking in which basic Christian beliefs are grafted on to a form of mysticism in which one may ‘know’ the touch of God, and receive in a direct, paranormal way knowledge unknowable by others. If someone is interpreting a tongue, whatever pops into the mind must be the correct meaning. For many, ordinary ideas and impressions must be elevated to ‘words of knowledge’. The list of imagined inspirations is long.

It comes as a shock to many ex-charismatic friends to learn the true biblical teaching about union with God, and the way this works. Without grasping this, they will be confused, dependent upon their feelings, and dependent upon imagined impressions sent from God.

We will need to explain, both by way of preaching and personal ministry, the ‘by faith’ passages of the New Testament, not only to explain the way of salvation, but to explain the ‘mechanics’ of our continuing union with God. We will need to explain that we do not know the Lord by any physical kind of sense or feeling, or by any other direct or ‘clairvoyant’ type of link. Human feelings are a response to what we understand. We know God by what is revealed in his Word. We believe all that it teaches of him, and we trust, and enjoy him. All our precious views of Christ and of his ways, come from the Word into our understanding, and there they are met and embraced by faith. God primarily links himself to us via our understanding and trusting response. Of course, we have much evidence, such as answered prayer, and we have assurance also, but the key link is by receiving the Word.

What about feelings? We will need to explain that in genuine spiritual experience they are stirred by way of response to what is seen by the mind. God hardly ever goes directly to our feelings. Whether the feeling is one of love, gratitude, assurance or shame and conviction, it wells up within us as the result of what is grasped by the mind.

Everything in the Christian life comes ‘by faith’, and this, of necessity, means by the understanding. If we do not think about something, we cannot believe it.

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this? We will need to teach and explain that the Holy Spirit illuminates the mind, enabling the understanding to grasp the truths of God’s Word. He never imparts to the minds of believers spiritual truths which are not disclosed in the Bible. Rather, he sharpens our minds to see the things that are scripturally revealed.

Then, when we grasp these things and receive them by faith, the Spirit frequently touches our minds in such a way that we see them with even greater clarity, and then we are lifted up in great joy and love. An old Puritan phrase calls this ‘the embrace of the Spirit’. How kind the Spirit of God is!

The key point is that all true spiritual experience must be routed through the conscious mind, and received by faith. As soon as we are able to convey this fundamental fact of the Christian faith to former charismatics, the scales fall from their eyes and they see how they have been misled by a distorted form of Christianity. They are then no longer at the mercy of imagination.

Of course we will need to assure these friends that there is much tangible evidence of God’s work in our lives. We see it in the new nature we receive at conversion, and in the countless answers to prayer which follow. We have so often been strengthened for our duties, enabled to witness, and delivered from trials in answer to prayer. We have repeatedly seen our circumstances changed by the clear intervention of the Lord. In these things we see the Lord’s hand, but only in the Word do we hear, as it were, his authoritative voice, revealing doctrine and commands.

In summary, we know the Lord by what he has said (in the Word), and this is supplemented by what he does in answer to prayer. We do not have direct com-munication from God on authoritative matters.

How different this historic, biblical teaching is from the mystical and occultist ideas which have swept into modern charismatic teaching! ‘Switch off the mind,’ they say, ‘it is an obstruction and a nuisance. Raise your hands, close your eyes, sway to and fro, launch out into the deep, let your emotions go free, let your spirit take over, repeat the name of the Saviour, speak in a tongue, and as you do so, your direct, mystical link with God will be effected, and you will feel and see according to the movement of the Spirit.’

We repeat, God speaks from the Word to the mind, which is the organ of under-standing and the palace of faith. Here are some of the great passages we will refer to as we stress the pre-eminence of faith (which naturally presupposes understanding).

‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10.17).

‘That their hearts might be comforted . . . unto all riches of the full assurance of UNDERSTANDING’ (Colossians 2.2). ‘BY FAITH ye stand’ (2 Corinthians 1.24).

‘For we walk BY FAITH, not by sight’ (2 Corinthians 5.7).

‘Above all, taking the SHIELD OF FAITH, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked’ (Ephesians 6.16).

‘BY FAITH he [Moses] forsook Egypt . . . for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible’ (Hebrews 11.27). ‘That Christ may dwell in your hearts BY FAITH; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God’ (Ephesians 3.17-19).

2 Anecdotes & revelations

A second problem which afflicts many friends who leave charismatic circles is their past trust in non-biblical sources of doctrine and comfort, such as anecdotal experiences and new revelations. Most charismatics theoretically believe that anecdotes, visions and words of knowledge should be submitted to Scripture for verification, but in most circles this hardly ever happens. (When charismatic leaders do attempt to justify their visions by Scripture, these attempts range from the superficial to the absurd.)

The problem is that former charismatics often feel a great void once they leave behind the flow of anecdotal teaching and prophetic words. Some continue to be vulnerable and ready to believe anything and everything that they read in lightweight, anecdotal items of Christian literature.

We often refer to how the charismatic movement lowers the credulity threshold of people, and so it does. The welter of anecdotes of healings, extraordinary expe-riences and revelations must, in general, be believed, or the Christian life would be a nightmare of suspicion. Some solve the problem by believing everything (however unbiblical), and others by believing everything ‘slightly’. (See problem number 10 for further comment on this.)

It is not enough, however, only to direct to Scripture, because charismatic friends have had Scripture quoted to them to justify the most bizarre things. By their indifference to any rules of interpretation, charismatic teachers have robbed Scripture of its clarity, consistency and authority. We will need to encourage a new respect and a deeper reverence and love for Scripture, introducing friends to the Bible’s own interpretative rules. They must come to take the context seriously, and to compare scripture with scripture. They must learn about the ‘analogy of faith’ concept of the Reformers, which calls us to equip ourselves with a clear mental picture of all the major doctrines so prominent in the Bible, and then to test all our ideas about the meaning of any particular passage against these.

This article is not the place to rehearse the basic rules of interpretation, but ex-charismatics need the liberating experience of serious, logical Bible study. They need to see what they have been deprived of. Then they will rejoice in a Bible that really guides – not a chaotic mystery-book which depends upon the whims of personal revelation before one may know what it really says. We must therefore give time in our teaching programme for the subject of ‘Bible interpretation for all’.

We need to point friends to books such as Thomas Watson’s Body of Divinity, where they will rejoice to find the wonderful system of doctrinal Truth which has been kept from them. This will help them to have the anchor of sound doctrine, without which they will remain at the mercy of unbiblical, human ideas.

3 Reverent worship

A third problem troubling many former charismatics is that of adjusting to a reverent form of worship. In most charismatic communities worship is primarily designed to be subjective and arousing only at a human level. To achieve this, instrumental music and rhythm are used as major ingredients. Also, worship is usually informal in character, thus sacrificing awe and reverence. It has more to do with the feelings and the body than with the mind and the soul.

Those who leave charismatic groups will find themselves either in a Bible-believing church which holds to conservative wor-ship, or one that compromises by using charismatic songs. This second kind of church will obviously not be able to teach former charismatics the glories of true worship, for it has violated them.

Hopefully, former charismatics will find themselves in sounder places where the biblical objectives of worship can be explained. We will need to point out the most fundamental of all principles, that worship is to be ‘in spirit and in truth’. This includes the idea that it is to be intelligent, and in accordance with God’s revealed Truth.

It is crucial for believers to realise that worship must be capable of being put into words (whether thought, said or sung). Nothing else is true worship.

Worship is to be objective as well as subjective; and to be rich with praise and adoration of God and his attributes and works. It is to be humble and reverent. It is to include repentance (so often absent from charismatic songs). It is not to be subjected to the competition of elaborate music and instrumentalism, so that this is enjoyed more than the spiritual worship, and people show off their skills.

Worship must never borrow the rhythms and chord-forms associated with the secular entertainment industry, and its anti-God, anti-moral campaigns. The Word of God demands an unbridgeable gulf between sacred and profane.

These are the kind of principles we must present from such Bible passages as John 4 and Revelation 4-5. Former charismatics need to see that they have had foisted upon them a fleshly, worldly, self-centred form of worship, grievous to the Spirit. Human pleasure, derived from debased worldly styles, has eclipsed true spiritual activity, and all this must now be rejected as illegitimate and harmful. Only then will they be free to enter wholeheartedly and feelingfully into genuine, respectful, thoughtful worship, with true spiritual rejoicing.

4 Visible phenomena

A fourth problem troubling many former charismatics is a continuing thirst for phenomena such as healings and prophecies. If denied these things they often feel unstirred and unassured. Such supposed proofs of the Holy Spirit’s presence have long served as a substitute for faith, and now that they have been left behind, leavers may find it difficult to live by faith.

As Christians, however, we are not bereft of evidences of God’s work within us, and it is good to help troubled friends look at these evidences. Conversion, sanctification and preservation are the greatest evidences of all.

It is even more important to train friends to put their faith in what God says in his Word. Faith grows most of all when it is exercised, first by receiving and believing the teaching of the Word, and secondly by coming to the Lord in prayer in response to all the problems and needs of life.

Former charismatics need to be encouraged to exercise sober discernment, trusting only the Word, and assigning no significance to charismatic explanations of strange experiences. It may be helpful for them to learn that the very phenomena and ‘wonders’ they once relied on occur equally outside Christian circles. They are common even among pagan cults, and are not evidences or proofs of the work of the Spirit. Even within the charismatic movement many godless (even immoral and criminal) leaders have been able to produce all these so-called signs of God’s approval and power.

Former charismatics also need to appreciate that unrecognised hypnosis and psychological influences play a great part in producing surprising experiences. In summary, we must help these friends to embrace ‘Scripture alone’ as the rule of their Christian walk, and to get great pleasure out of the wonders of the Word. As for encouragement, are not the unmistakable evidences of God’s power in sustaining and blessing our witness enough?

For the strengthening of faith, it is vital that we show ex-charismatics how to lay hold on the promises rather than to look for earthly wonders which, in the event, are a mixture of theatrical tricks and psychological effects. An excellent book to ‘prescribe’ is Thomas Watson’s little volume A Divine Cordial, also published under the title All Things for Good. Equally superb is A W Pink’s Comfort for Christians. Such works show believers how to view trials of all kinds. The Christian life is a life of faith, not a life of sight, and to walk this road must be the new aim of former charismatic believers.

5 Lack of service

A fifth problem troubling some former charismatics arises from a lack of applica-tion and commitment to genuine service for the Lord. We are saved to serve the Lord and to be at his disposal. We are intended to pull together as congregations in the work of evangelism. The charismatic scene, however, is predominantly self-serving. Certainly there are exceptions, and some charismatics engage in strenuous activity for the Lord, including compassionate ministries. But generally the situation is quite different.

You do not often find charismatic fellowships toiling in evangelistic Sunday Schools and similar activities operated for the spiritual good of the community. You find considerable activity going on, but most of it is for the benefit of believers and for their excitement and fulfilment.

Charismatic church activities are labour-intensive in terms of instrumentalism, singing and all the practice involved. Giftedness, body-ministry, personal empowerment and so on are the all-important matters. ‘My walk…my health…my experience’ is the chief focus of life. House groups frequently constitute ‘love-ins’ where mutual coddling and sympathy are the order of the day. The ethos is that we are to be cared for. We are so important. All our energy is for us.

A believer who forsakes the atmosphere of charismatic Christianity is likely to feel painfully abandoned in a traditional fellowship. It is important that the real cause of this vacuum is understood, and we must show how life should be filled with a new kind of activity – unselfish, overflowing spiritual service for Christ.

We are forced to admit that some traditional Bible-believing churches now-adays are as bad as charismatic churches for self-serving, self-interested church programmes. Hopefully, however, ex-charismatics will find churches where the fun and pleasure of believers is not the primary objective, but rather the work of taking the Gospel to lost souls.

In these days so many labourers are needed. A new perspective and a new commitment will be the greatest help to the ex-charismatic, who will find true spiritual blessedness in this context. (The author’s booklet on the working church – Your Reasonable Service in the Lord’s Work – may help in this matter.)

6 Cessation of sign-gifts

A sixth problem troubling former charismatics is whether the gifts of the Spirit have or have not ceased. How could they possibly have ceased as the Scripture does not specifically say so? Lingering and recurring anxiety about the gifts can only be relieved when former charismatics gain a clear view of the reasons why cessationism was the view of the overwhelming majority of Christians until as recently as the 1960s. In this connection, beware of literature which warns against charismatic practices while at the same time refusing to teach the cessation of the sign and revelatory gifts.

Some writers have adopted the view that cessationism is not valid, and that instead we should judge the validity of every charismatic claim on its merits. The idea is a nightmare. From a practical point of view alone, it would take a thousand tribunals of seasoned judges sitting in permanent session to merely scratch the surface of the present scene. Claims to gifts and phenomena are to be numbered in their millions.

The truth is that the Bible is clear on this matter, and most former charismatics are very ready to examine the texts. Of course, we must help friends to see that only two kinds of gift are at issue: the revelatory gifts and the sign-gifts. All others, such as gifts of ministry and government, remain.

The writer has set out the texts teaching the cessation of the revelatory and sign-gifts in The Healing Epidemic, chapter 7 – ‘Proving the Gifts Have Ceased’. Without repeating all these texts and arguments here, it should be obvious that the sign-gifts were not intended to be permanent. They were specifically described as signs or pointers. The apostolic miracles pointed to the apostles, saying to the world, ‘these are the true witnesses and apostles of Christ, and the inspired channels of Holy Scripture.’ But now that their witness has been incorporated into the Bible, we possess the substance. The signs fell away once the substance to which they pointed was given to the Church.

It was the same with tongues-speaking. The miraculous tongues were a sign or pointer. God had said through Isaiah that the age of the Messiah would be validated by the phenomenon of gentiles preaching the Word of God to Jews. However, at the time of Pentecost, and for a short while afterward, there were no converted gentiles, and so God at first employed gentile tongues miraculously spoken by Jews. This was one of the signs that the new age, the Gospel Age, had dawned, when the Gospel would be preached in every language throughout the world. But soon the reality took over and real gentile converts were preaching the Gospel to both Jews and gentiles. Once this occurred the sign had fulfilled its duty. The reality to which the sign pointed had itself arrived, and the ‘shadow’ had given way to the substance.

This writer has found that most charismatics have been given the impression that in New Testament times healings were accomplished constantly by all believers. They are usually very surprised to hear that this is utterly contrary to the record, which shows only one case of a healing by someone not in the apostolic band – and that was the singular case of Paul healed by Ananias (at the Lord’s command).

We constantly need to make clear to ex-charismatic friends that we believe in miracles today, including healing. God can do anything, and he has promised to heal. What we reject is the notion that he channels his power through gifted miracle workers and healers. Apostles, with ‘signs of apostles’, have long since ceased, but the Lord continues to heal directly in answer to prayer (and according to his sovereign will). These are some of the issues which we need to make clear to former charismatics.

7 Prevailing worldliness

A seventh problem which frequently troubles those who leave charismatic circles stems from the degree of worldliness so often encouraged, and sometimes the level of lawlessness. Throughout the world the majority of charismatics have an approach to holiness that is quite different from anything previously seen in the history of the Christian Church. Separation from the world has little or no part in their holiness scenario. Nor (in most circles) does resistance to earthly wealth and comforts.

Affluence and pleasure are legitimate objectives. Fashion, self-expression, and close familiarity with the current pop and movie scenes are acceptable interests. Charismatic song performers look and sound just like worldly performers. The likeness is even deliberately cultivated.

Believers who leave the charismatic world will have to adapt to entirely different standards. They will have to appreciate that the Lord commands different attitudes in his people, and that the ethos of the world is offensive to him. For some, the doctrine of sanctification will sometimes need to be explained almost from scratch. A new commitment of life and stewardship will need to be embraced.

We referred to lawlessness in the introduction to this seventh point, because it is an undeniable truth that among professing Christians, charismatics are known to have by far the most cases of unacceptable behaviour. They experience the most occurrences of immorality, divorce, criminal fraud, and other serious misdemeanours.

This observation is not intended to taint thousands of more serious-minded charismatics who mortify the deeds of the body, and strive to lead lives pleasing to God. But the charismatic environment as a whole is not conducive to conscientious holiness, and that is painfully apparent.

Lawlessness may well be encouraged by the lack of repentance in the style of worship found in many charismatic churches. Services characterised by dancing, swaying, clapping, the singing of repetitive phrases to deafening rhythmic music, and working up the emotions are not occasions for genuine repentance and dedication to holiness.

There is no quietness before God; no sense of – ‘The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.’ In some charismatic circles the spiritual warfare is defined entirely in terms of challenging demons, rather than in fighting against personal sin and temptation. It is no great wonder that we have read of so many leading charismatic evan-gelists falling into immorality, and being brought before the courts for a variety of criminal offences.

It is important that we communicate to believers who come to us from charismatic fellowships that we act in all matters out of obedience to the Word, and not just from personal choice. We must show chapter and verse for every facet of our personal and church lifestyles. Christians are those who willingly conform to all the rules of the New Testament, including separation from worldliness. Only as the Spirit shows these friends the true nature of the Christian walk, will they be at peace. Many have been deprived by their former teach-ers of vast areas of Truth. These must now be embraced.

8 A Superior experience

An eighth problem likely to trouble former charismatics is a sensitive and dif-ficult one, but it must be mentioned. This will not necessarily apply to all such friends, but it will afflict some. It is the problem of pride. Charismatic teachers have probably convinced them that they have superior light and experience, while traditional Bible believers are spiritually ignorant, cold and unblessed. Many charismatic teachers adopt a boastful, triumphalistic style, encouraging a sense of spiritual superiority.

The lack of truly objective worship (which is humbling in its effect) may also contribute to pride. So also may the sense of specialness derived from the sup-posed possession of spiritual gifts. Even after leaving charismatic circles, some of this pride may stick.

All this puts one in mind of the many Exclusive Brethren who left their movement in the 1960s. They had seen that much was wrong, but unfortunately many of those who left took with them an unshakable belief that they were infinitely better taught than those in the traditional evangelical churches. Clothed with such confidence, what could they really learn? Some (but certainly not all) became misfits and serious thorns in the flesh to the churches they joined.

We shall need great grace as we try to help ex-charismatics realise that they do not tower above traditional Bible believers in spiritual understanding. We will need the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the gentleness of Barnabas as we show them that their former camp represents a radical departure from Scripture and its doctrine in many ways, and that they have much to re-learn.

It will be no use correcting just a few wrong notions. Charismatic pride rests on a dozen foundations. It is only as we knock all these away (but carefully) that the delusion of grandeur will fall, and the mind will open fully to the Word. The kindest way to do this is often by prescribing books, so that friends can think through the issues in privacy, checking the texts as they go, and calling upon the Lord for help.

9 Emphasis on fellowship

A ninth problem sometimes troubling the peace of former charismatics has to do with relationships. We have already referred to the artificially close fellowship fostered in house groups or cells. Charismatics usually excel at organising friendship-promoting activities, and this will inevitably lead to pain and loneliness when people leave.

Most traditional Bible-believing churches do not have this forced, hot-house approach to promoting friendship. They depend more on the natural process of ties forming as members worship and serve the Lord together.

Hopefully, former charismatics will find their way to churches where people are outgoing and welcoming. But it will be over time, and usually while working in some aspect of Christian service, that deeper ties will form. Real friendship is not usually manipulated into being.

We will need to extend a degree of special understanding and fellowship to those who come out of a system excessively dependent on friendship, remembering that they have probably left behind something that cannot be quickly replaced in their lives.

Another relationship difficulty may arise from the dominating, authoritarian leadership practised in many charismatic churches. If people have experienced a high degree of directive interference in their lives, some may feel lost without it. However much they may have resented it, they may still miss it. For some, this may reach ‘dependence’ proportions.

Pastors must be careful never to tell these friends what to do in personal decisions, however much they may ask for definitive direction. Always we must limit ourselves to counselling the biblical principles, and honour the individual’s responsibility to apply those principles carefully and prayerfully to the decision in hand.

10 Uncertain belief

A final problem sometimes encountered by former charismatics is that of weak and doubting belief, leading either to shallowness or cynicism. This is a product of their former intense loyalty to healings and other phenomena. The trouble arises from the simple fact that they never saw these wonderful things really happening in a certain, verifiable way. Even the miraculous signs have had to be taken on faith!

If we ask charismatic friends why the weekly run of healings never includes clear-cut, medically verifiable miracles, involving the cure of serious physical illnesses, they immediately talk about cases they know of from other churches, and which probably took place months or years ago. They seldom make any attempt to defend the regular healings of their own fellowship. This shows that within themselves they realise that these healings are more to do with charismatic culture than with reality.

A charismatic author (a doctor) once set out to validate charismatic healing in a book, and his book revealed the same tendency. To prove his case he wrote about healings that occurred years before, and in other countries. Inadvertently, he was admitting that he placed no credence on the regular healings that surrounded him week after week in his own charismatic assembly. He believed in them in a way, but not enough to use them as examples, preferring to draw his ‘proof’ from afar.

This writer has asked charismatic believers in five continents why their own local healings were either unsuccessful, or short-term, or minor, and why they could not perform healing of verifiable, major illnesses. Always their response has been to draw their confidence from healings reported from somewhere else.

The point is that charismatic friends must adopt either a stoical, unquestioning form of belief in these phenomena, or a vague, general belief. Either attitude is harmful to real Christian faith. In the case of the first, the mind closes to any new biblical and doctrinal challenge. The person says, ‘I know what I think, and am not open to further consideration.’ Such a friend must be helped to see that all our opinions must be verifiable from the Word of God. We must always be open to correction.

In the case of vague belief, the whole of our Christian walk may be damaged if we allow ourselves to believe vaguely and lightly in things we do not really see happen, and cannot be certain of. This kind of belief will infect our whole outlook. We may well develop a shallow view of many other aspects of the faith.

This undoubtedly happens to many Christians. They believe they should go to worship regularly and serve the Lord. But at the same time, like the healing miracles, the standards of God need not be taken too seriously. They are real, but they are not real. They are important, but not important.

Vague belief or light belief produces uncommitted and semi-sincere Christians, and even lawless Christians. The antidote and corrective is to help people to see that in God’s true plan for the Christian life everything is true and reliable; everythingworks just as it should.

The charismatic culture of working up miracles and signs which cannot be validated is harmful to true faith, producing either gullibility on the one hand, or submerged cynicism on the other.

God and his Word are to be taken very seriously, and believed with the whole heart. All his commands are to be obeyed; all his standards are to be diligently honoured.

These are the issues which trouble or handicap those who leave charismatic circles, and which pastors and spiritual shepherds will need to address, with gentleness, patience and understanding. They are all critical, key matters which, if ignored, will surface later, possibly with unhappy results.


225 thoughts on “The Long and Winding Post…

  1. ‘We will need to teach and explain that the Holy Spirit illuminates the mind, enabling the understanding to grasp the truths of God’s Word.’

    This is potentially a disturbing premise made by the author of this post. It links with what heretic mentions in regard to gnosticism in another post.

    In fact, scripture tells us that the mind has to be renewed through the Word. The Spirit reveals spiritual things through the spirit, not the natural mind. We need the mind of Christ, which can only come through the Spirit, not the natural man.

    ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ Rom.12:1-2

    1 Corinthians 2
    9* But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
    10* But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
    11* For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
    12* Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
    13* These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    14* But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    15* But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

    It goes on to say our mind is influenced by the mind of Christ, or, rather, we have the mind of Christ, but the key way God communicates to us is Spirit to spirit. The Spirit bears witness of the Word, and the Spirit confirms the Word.

    But our mind has to be renewed.

    We can only know the things of the Spirit when we are born again, according to Jesus, in John 3, being born of the Spirit. If the natural mind could know the things of the Spirit, we would not need to be born again, but the natural mind cannot know the things of the Spirit.

    Having been around charismatic and Pentecostal churches for many years, I dispute that here is confusion, as suggested here. Whilst they’re not perfect, by any means, in fact, most assemblies and congregations are hugely well organised and focused, quite the opposite to what is being suggested here.

    Most of the confusion is with people outside of these movements who do not know the things of the Spirit presented by charismata.

    Again the teaching presented as truth in this post is that everything must be Word based. Whilst the Word is crucial to our lifestyle, it is also true that the Word without the Spirit kills.

  2. As the author of the post is pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle since 1970, he brings a whole lot more love and biblical credibility to the body of Christ than anything you have offered here. A “safe haven” for those, who for far too long, have put up with having “their legs pulled” and told it’s all good and all God.

  3. That, of course, is a subjective opinion, and purely your own assessment, based on your own perceptions, and therefore not relevant to what is being pointed out.

    I’m sure. like all ministries, including ours, and yours, this one does some amazingly wonderful things for people.

    However, the criticism of charismatics i this post is based on what I have pointed out to be inaccurate exegesis. That is the point.

    It is not me that refutes his statement, but scripture, which you hold dear, apparently. Scripture declares:

    1 Corinthians 2
    11* For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

    The Spirit illuminates us through the regenerated spirit, not the mind. God is not a ‘Mind’. He is a Spirit.

  4. Why do pentecostal pastors have such a fear of people who wake up to the Truth and leave? What I find interesting is a lot of people world wide are becoming Reformed, some simply decide to spend time growing quietly in a newer more healthy relationship, RP being a good example, and others sadly fall away altogether.

    FL, you seem to think that you have qualifications that set you far above some of the Christian world’s highly esteemed pastors/teachers, men who are well versed in biblical languages, who are asked to be involved in producing bibles such as the NASB, ESV, etc – bibles you probably happily use. You place yourself above them because, apparently you have all the “gifts” at your disposal and they don’t?

  5. Personally, I thought there were some very good points in this article that I think Charismatics would find hard to honestly answer. On the other hand there were some silly over critical ones. And then there is the problem that some points could be leveled at all believers in Christianity by atheists.

    But the post is so long, it’s hard to know where to start.

  6. @ Churchman – I never thought I would become one of the exiles. It was so unexpected and extremely painful. It wasn’t as if we were “thrown out of the nest”, it was more like your dad found you in a drug den and dragged you out while you were still in a drug- induced coma. Waking up with very painful withdrawals but finally “drug- free”.

    Not so far-fetched as an analogy either……

  7. Quotes from some notorious charismatic preachers:

    “Believers are not to be led by logic,” he writes. “We are not even to be led by good sense” (Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Faith)

    “If you must analyze, then look at me, look at the musicians and singers, look at the congregation, look at the person to the left of you and to the right of you, and just analyze, analyze, analyze get it out of your system. Now let yourselves go: don’t even think about what you are doing, forget about those around you and what they are doing. Release your mind release your spirit and let the mighty river of the “Holy Ghost” take you wherever He wants you to go.” Steve Hill

    I’d rather be in a church where the devil and the flesh are manifesting than in a church where nothing is happening because people are too afraid to manifest anything… and if the devil manifests, don’t worry about that, either. Rejoice, because at least something is happening.” (Rodney Howard-Browne, The Coming Revival)

    “… I think you people are in danger of getting out of control. Wouldn’t that be something if we got out of control. I believe that’s where we’re headed.” Rick Joyner

  8. @ FL – the maligning more done by you because we dared to become biblically true, by looking at those same scriptures that you love to put up, back in their context and applivation and see the real Truth.

    What DO you want, FL? Do you want us all back there, celebrating error, or do you want us to just shut up and not rock the boat?

  9. @ FL -‘If you feel “insulted”, please remember all comments are a direct response to how you represent yourself. One minute you “pontificate” as if you have a superior theology to anybody else, including any respected theologian who may have been mentioned here. Then you turn around and say who YOU are is completely irrelevant!

  10. At this point, it needs to be soundly declared that we receive the Holy Spirit in full at conversion.

    So every time you say without the Spirit, who are you talking to, unbelievers?

  11. Why not do yourselves and everybody else a favour, and stick to the issues rather than the personalities or entrenched views of those personalities?

    I’m sure every lurker knows well and truly the entrenched position held by individuals by now after all these years.

    Why not surprise every one and actually openly and honestly stick to the issues even if starting from opposites, without the petty (and not so petty) insults?

  12. When I say ‘without the Spirit’, I am talking about the discernment of the Word. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    We receive the Spirit at conversion, yes. The outpouring of the Spirit is empowerment as witnesses. Jesus spoke of the Spirit being with us, in us and upon us.

    The Spirit reveals the things of God to our spirit. They are not discerned by the natural mind. The things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural mind. Our mind must be renewed.

    The Word transforms our mind. In fact, being doers of the Word brings change. Our spirit was converted at the new birth, and made alive to God. Our mind was not. It is going through a process of change.

    Psalms 119
    130* The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

  13. I absolutely agree with the article – his insight and loving care in ministering to ex-charismatics is truly insightful. Had we known about his ministry we could have visited while we were in London during that turbulent time. Fortunately we met a minister later who had the same insight and was a great help.

    Of course the charismatic church is growing! They are getting what they want, themselves as the centre of the universe.

  14. ‘Of course the charismatic church is growing! They are getting what they want, themselves as the centre of the universe.’

    Which is a very telling statement, and not all true.

    I don’t have a problem with much of what the author says, and it is worth listening to, although not all accurate, and very subjective. As chuchman pointed out, the article is far too long to be effective. I pointed out a difficulty in his basic doctrine of the Spirit. It could be misrepresented.

    Many charismatic churches have, for some time, had a positive effect on the Body of Christ, and opened entire communities to the gospel. It is not helpful to tar everyone with the same brush because there are those in error.

    There are Anglican churches which teach error, but that doesn’t place every Anglican in the same boat.

  15. “I pointed out a difficulty in his basic doctrine of the Spirit” – in your opinion, you are pentecostal, he is not.

    You have the Holy Spirit, he has the same Holy Spirit.

    The article is too long? So is the Sunday paper but we read it at our leisure – take the time to do the same with the article and try to catch the heart of the problem here.

    CHRISTIANS ARE LEAVING. Why?

    We need to stop burying our heads in the sand and acknowledge the present day pentecostal movement is not even true to its own foundations.

  16. Not my opinion. I showed it from scripture. What more do you want? Did you bother to read why it is misleading to leave out the truth of the new birth through faith in Christ bringing us into the Spirit, the truth that the Spirit reveals himself through our regenerated spirit, and it’s not enough to just say we need to teach on the illumination of the mind? The mind is fruitless without the new birth. Yes or no?

    Perhaps you don’t think it’s important, but what if TDJakes had said that the key teaching is that our mind is illuminated by the Spirit?

    Christians are leaving evangelical churches also. Why? Many are migrating to charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Why?

    Unsaved people are coming to Christ. Why?

  17. Alright then … that’s about enough of that.

    Let’s just narrow down the focus a little. We can debate endlessly a specific phrase here or there in the article. It’s boring. Stop it right now. It is a pointless game of one-up-man-ship.

    What is true?
    People are leaving dead, cold evangelical churches that are ‘sound’ and joining ‘lively’ charismatic churches.
    People are leaving charismatic churches and joining sound bible churches.
    People are coming to faith for the first time.
    People are abandoning the church altogether.

    In the western church, there is no genuine revival anywhere.
    Not since the Welsh Revival in 1904 … and that didn’t last.

    Where is ‘revival’ happening? I hate the word revival.
    Paul called it Colonizing for Christ. Where is the Lord establishing his colonies of the Kingdom?

    China … Sudan … Nigeria … Arabia … Iran … Iraq …

    Muslim and Communist Countries. In fact, anywhere that believers are being martyred for Jesus.

    …………………………….

    So, while it might be entertaining to have a public argument on this blog about who is right, the main issue is not that this church or that church is right/wrong but that the western church as a whole is wrong. It is too comfortable and too lazy. It is more concerned with itself than the society within which it operates and indeed has no sense of urgency with it’s evangelism.

    If you were witnessing to people knowing that it might cost you your life, it would transform your preaching, wouldn’t it?

    If you thought that you had maybe 2 days to get your friend to Christ before they arrested you and executed you, you would rush to get the message to them. Wouldn’t you? Or maybe you would hide your light under a bushel? One thing you wouldn’t be is lukewarm.

    Whether lively or conservative, all western Christians are lukewarm compared to the first martyr, Stephen. We all are.

    Isn’t it time we grew up?

  18. @ Bull – no argument there. But (verbal eraser :))these comments are attached to an article on how to minister lovingly to ex-charismatics.

    There are a few of those here. Hopefully the article will give comfort to those who have left, an understanding they are not alone, and even more comfort in knowing that they are not the ones with the problem.

    The article is one I will be printing out and handing around to those who need to see it – the MANY who are walking in confusion as a result of their experiences.

    By the way, remember this is NOT Reflection Room – all stories or articles posted up here are going to be contraversial in some respects. Look at the header – “Signposts, where will the church of today be tomorrow”

    @ Bull – why not post an article that is applicable to evangelism. This article is not the one to address that…..

  19. “…People are abandoning the church altogether…” – Bull

    Yes. Just like I have.

    Teddy, RR is allowed to be controversial but I’m not interested in pursuing particular individuals or organisations. Though they may provide good examples sometimes. I’m more interested in the overall picture or practice. Or in difficult questions.

  20. There is truth in this article, but it was also clearly predicated on its own doctrinal positions and cultural positions. He tried to be balanced, but it still seemed biased. There are other views on various things it talked about that can also be arrived at using scripture, and some things that were downright just cultural.

    The part on worship for instance.

    It is crucial for believers to realise that worship must be capable of being put into words (whether thought, said or sung). Nothing else is true worship.

    Worship is to be objective as well as subjective; and to be rich with praise and adoration of God and his attributes and works. It is to be humble and reverent. It is to include repentance (so often absent from charismatic songs). It is not to be subjected to the competition of elaborate music and instrumentalism, so that this is enjoyed more than the spiritual worship, and people show off their skills.

    Worship must never borrow the rhythms and chord-forms associated with the secular entertainment industry, and its anti-God, anti-moral campaigns. The Word of God demands an unbridgeable gulf between sacred and profane.

    Honestly! This is getting legalistic in a cultural sense. The organ was once known as the devil’s instrument, and many of the ‘reverent’ traditional worship songs were the musical expression of their time. I think he goes too far here, and is not justified in scripture.

    Some of the extremes he is objecting to are right – but it’s not necessary to go to the other extreme.

    Also:

    He mocks charismatic cell groups etc for focusing on caring for one another:

    ‘My walk…my health…my experience’ is the chief focus of life. House groups frequently constitute ‘love-ins’ where mutual coddling and sympathy are the order of the day. The ethos is that we are to be cared for. We are so important. All our energy is for us.”

    He then says, “we must show how life should be filled with a new kind of activity – unselfish, overflowing spiritual service for Christ.”

    Why does he unscripturally imply that caring for one another is not unselfish spiritual service for Christ? We are to be known for our love for one another. This is to be a sign to non-believers.

    This does not prevent us from doing other good things for unbelievers; it gives us a healthy base from which to do those things.

    Whatever the church, if people are not cared for, if it does not become like a spiritual family for them, why would people stay? When we lose things for Christ’s sake – mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, houses, friends etc – we are supposed to inherit far more in this life. How else is this to happen if it is not a result of the loving family of fellow believers, opening their hearts and homes to one another?

    It is possible he may not have meant these things in the way they came across to me, but nonetheless, that is how they have been expressed. And if in the matters of worship and caring for one another he has contrasted an unscriptural alternative, it is no less possible that he has done the same in his approach to the more ‘spiritual’ matters he talks of. But these are all spiritual matters.

  21. Pastors must be careful never to tell these friends what to do in personal decisions, however much they may ask for definitive direction.

    This is one of the points he made that I strongly agree with. Helping people understand biblical principles is one thing; even then, they’d better be very, very careful. Extending those principles into some situations or their own opinion on other matters and teaching that definitively, is going well beyond scripture sometimes.

    It is so, so dangerous for pastors (or anyone) to tell someone else what to do in personal decisions. People have to make decisions for themselves or they will not become responsible. I’ve come across the odd pastor giving direction in highly personal areas which were simply his opinion, and it has really done damage with people’s walks.

  22. “We referred to lawlessness in the introduction to this seventh point, because it is an undeniable truth that among professing Christians, charismatics are known to have by far the most cases of unacceptable behaviour. They experience the most occurrences of immorality, divorce, criminal fraud, and other serious misdemeanours.”

    I wish he’d cite some statistics here.

    We have numerous examples of charismatic televangelists publically failing in a moral sense. (Hey, they fail all the time when they appeal for money in order to obtain answered prayers.)

    But we also have numerous examples of other ministers and leaders in traditional church settings failing morally; they are just not usually as high profile.

    My own ex-minister was one, for offenses relating to an underage teenage girl. He was married with 3 kids; his kids were the age of the girl he exploited.

    There is a private school near me, run by a protestant church, where several teachers have been convicted of sexual abuse of the boys there, back in the 1980’s. It’s known now, because the victims are old enough to speak out. There were the laundromats; the children’s homes; anywhere that the powerless were put under the powerful who were trusted to look after them with no transparency.

    There are so many examples, that I think holding one group up as worse than another across the board, is like ignoring the speck in your own eye. Pride comes before a fall. No church group is immune. Some are just more obvious than others. Sometimes, being obvious is less dangerous.

  23. “My own ex-minister was one, for offenses relating to an underage teenage girl. He was married with 3 kids; his kids were the age of the girl he exploited. ” – me, above

    And this ex-minister was one of the most outspoken against Pentecostals at the time. It was all from the devil according to him. Well, so it seems, was he.

  24. “Most traditional bible-believing churches do not have this forced, hot-house approach to promoting friendship. They depend on the more natural process of ties forming as members worship and serve the Lord together”.

    @ RP – referring back to your point about charismatic cell groups, and the needs of the group, I found myself connecting that to his point about “forced, hot-house friendships”. Very much the experience we had when our original, very close, D-group was broken up by the “powers that be” (it’s my way or the highway attitude). Became very controlling and eventually we were longer part of any group.

    Now we have friendships formed at church that seem so much more natural and easy-going.

  25. I wouldn’t call it a forced, hot house approach to promoting friendship, but neither would I regard home group friendships as the same as real friendships, necessarily. It is true that cell groups are there to provide people with a smaller, closer setting in a large church, where they might otherwise not establish that more intimate group. It is true that they don’t always work, and frequently real, lasting friendships are not formed. It still takes time, and it might take a few groups before you find one where you meet people with the right click for a lasting friendship to develop. Real friendships certainly can’t be programmed.

    I have some friends still from C3 home group days under Phil Pringle, but they were also people that I knew outside the home group setting. This seemed to be the big difference. I learnt pretty early on there that home groups were for support up to a point, but real friendship had to occur outside those groups for it to last.

    Like many people, when I first arrived there I took home group friendships at face value, and did become disillusioned about that after a couple of years. But there were at least opportunities to meet people, and you could switch groups easily back then if it wasn’t working in whatever way you wanted it to. It wasn’t as tightly controlled.

    This was still a vast improvement on my ex-Anglican church, which was very cliquey, and where I discovered I had zero real friends outside a group setting. They were not even friendly, just pursuing their own agendas. This was one of the reasons I left, as a young person.

    I was lonely there. When no one shows any kind of interest in you whatsover, after a couple of years, the idea of ‘fellowship’ is a joke. When including you is done out of duty, and not because your company is of value, or when you become aware that you have no value to them, then why go back? One of the differences between my dysfunctional ex-church and C3 was the friendliness I encountered at C3 when I first joined, and the fact people would actually ring you and include you.

    I was shy back then. I was probably boring. I don’t blame anyone for being uninterested in me at the Anglican church. But I was the same shy and boring person at C3 to start with, and they still bothered to look out for me. These people were very kind and inclusive. I will always appreciate that, even if not all friendships were real, long term ones.

    It’s my impression that at C3 though, the way cell groups were done changed a lot over the years.

    When I first arrived, you could join whatever one suited you, whether you based your choice on geography or joining a group that you already had friends in, or on having a particular leader. It was very free, really, and had little involvement from on-high.

    I know that in recent years, they became so much more controlled. I am under the impression that groups were organised along the lines dictated by the powers above.

    For example, a good friend of mine had successfully lead large home groups for many years. Despite their successful track record, their group was split up into separate groups for male and female by those at the top. Even though group members didn’t want to move on, they had to. This was sad, since many of these people were single, and it was one place they could enjoy the company of the opposite sex in a safe and non-stressful way.

    Also, in the early days, groups could come up with their own studies, whether it was working through a book, or one leader preparing studies, or group members taking turns. Of course there would have been a vast and inconsistent variety of stuff being studied, but in my experience, it worked well enough for each group. You could leave a group if it didn’t suit. Sometimes you’d go for the fellowship and endure the study. But nothing was forced.

    It was only after I left that notes were handed out and groups had to follow that curriculum.

    I preferred the freedom of the early days.

    At my next pentecostal church, we also did not have notes given to us, and we formed our own home groups, which weren’t compulsory. Sometimes these were more social than involving any teaching, especially for those of us looking after young kids.

    I left my women’s group because the content of the studies was really not my thing at that time. (Joyce Meyer and Purpose Driven. Aaargh!) But that was due to the leader’s choices, and the fellowship with the women was great.

    My last home group, the one where study was not possible, had real friendships. Two years after leaving that church, I still have friends gained in that group.

    That church was healthy for a long time, with good quality teaching. So good, that we used to get visitors from Anglican churches with charismatic leanings at times. And some of our members used to visit them from time to time. My old church even rejected the Toronto Blessing, because the minister in charge ‘discerned’ that it was not OK. People had to visit elsewhere to participate. They weren’t thrown out for doing so – their freedom was respected. But the minister drew a line at what he allowed in.

    It was very different from my C3 experience. One of the hard parts about losing a church like that, is that they are not easily replaced by either a pente or a traditional church.

    One of the good things that has stood the test of time from that healthy environment is the lasting friendships.

    Your (Teddy’s) experience about your C3 homegroups has been backed up to me by what I’ve heard from friends off this blog. I learnt pretty early on at C3 not to assume that people who I only saw in a home group were really friends in the same way that my good friends are.

    But I’ve also experienced them working very well, with the resulting friendships being very real. Maybe that was because no one took away our freedom as a congregation to organise them for ourselves; they were not imposed on us. There was more room for things to occur naturally, or as the Lord drew various people together without the imposition of some kind of official line of control.

  26. I have friends from my small group at C3 that I am still close to 10 years after leaving C3 and moving away from Sydney and 15 years after our group disbanded and was integrated into other groups. We are in touch constantly and pray for and encourage each other regularly. To mock small groups as this guy does is disingenuous and just shows that his bias towards any group that isn’t Anglican is based more upon prejudice and less upon actual evidence. According to the logic of another thread here on SP02 I could easily consider him to be a false teacher.

  27. Something to be bring to the discussion – there were at least 6000 Anglican churches in England that were duped by the “Toronto Blessing”. We attended Holy Trinity Brompton about 6-7 years ago where this seemed to proceed from. A woman staff member from there had gone over to Toronto Airport church and came back with that now discredited “blessing”. I still have newsletters from Holy trinity with the whole story reported.

    In the last 4-5 years as we did our personal research, we came across many testimonies of the destructive impact this had on people attending those churches in England. Just thinking about it today, I’m wondering whether this has something to do with the above article (dated 2007) and the need to minister to those people?

  28. @teddy

    “Read the article in context.”

    I did. The author hates the charismatic church and makes no bones about it. In the absence of real evidence he relies upon the occasional bitter person’s testimony and his own prejudices. It’s a rubbish article, but that’s fairly normal for this blog.

  29. Good God!

    I just waded through this heap of anti-charisma pap, and the deeper into it the worse it became!

    This, amidst a series of denialist statements, uninformed guesswork, innuendo, and false claims, including a stupid section on the rules of worship, which completely missed the fact that Charles Wesley used the popular tunes of his day, and William Booth the popular instruments of his day, to very successfully spread the gospel, and the claim that all Christian music must include repentance, not direct worship of God, took the prize:

    ‘6 Cessation of sign-gifts
    A sixth problem troubling former charismatics is whether the gifts of the Spirit have or have not ceased. How could they possibly have ceased as the Scripture does not specifically say so? Lingering and recurring anxiety about the gifts can only be relieved when former charismatics gain a clear view of the reasons why cessationism was the view of the overwhelming majority of Christians until as recently as the 1960s. In this connection, beware of literature which warns against charismatic practices while at the same time refusing to teach the cessation of the sign and revelatory gifts. Some writers have adopted the view that cessationism is not valid, and that instead we should judge the validity of every charismatic claim on its merits. The idea is a nightmare. From a practical point of view alone, it would take a thousand tribunals of seasoned judges sitting in permanent session to merely scratch the surface of the present scene. Claims to gifts and phenomena are to be numbered in their millions. The truth is that the Bible is clear on this matter, and most former charismatics are very ready to examine the texts. Of course, we must help friends to see that only two kinds of gift are at issue: the revelatory gifts and the sign-gifts. All others, such as gifts of ministry and government, remain.’

    There you have it. The manifestations of the Spirit have ended! When? Since they are his manifestations! They are of his nature. Not ours! Is the Spirit dead? Is God powerless? Has he stopped working through his people?

    Cessationist teaching is anathema. It i another gospel, and should be shunned utterly.

    And the claim that healing and prophecy are wrong. What an insult to God and to his gospel.

    The rest of this article is no better. He is a hater, not a lover. He says things very nicely, and seemingly out of concern, but he hates charismatics, and thinks they are all dumb, deceived and dangerous. He needs to repent.

    I’m sorry I had to read this stuff, really! But now I know what some evangelicals think of fellow charismatic Christians. Very sad! Very ignorant. Very unloving.

  30. Love truth, hate error – when the church operates in the truly biblical giftings given for the edification of the Body, I will be one happy ex-charismaniac.

  31. Sorry, teddy, but his cessationist teaching is abject error, and not substantiated anywhere in scripture. He needs to repent. Love truth, hate error yes, but if you love this you love error.

  32. I’m not a cessationist, I believe in a totally sovereign God, He can gift whoever He likes as HE wills. BUT the stuff going on in most churches today is simply out of order and not biblical.

  33. @teddy

    “the stuff going on in most churches today is simply out of order and not biblical.”

    Prove it.

  34. barking like dogs and clucking like chickens … “tokin the ghost”

    “I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the BAM!”

    trance dancing

    “slain in the spirit” … in the Bible they never ended up on their backs, but on their faces!

    True Biblical Slain in the Spirit means having Peter as your pastor and lying about your offering!

    Anyway, Teddy is absolutely right. Most of the stuff going on has nothing to do with the Spirit at all. The burden of proof for any spiritual activity is not on those who deny it but those who promote it … is it in the Bible? No? Then don’t do it!

  35. @Bull

    OK, let’s play the “semantics” game here. “Most”? Really? I will grant, there are some things that are way off (tokin the ghost is sickening), but “most”?

    “is it in the Bible”

    Tongues – YES!
    Prophecy – YES!
    Visions – YES!
    Miracles – YES!
    Discernment – YES!
    Healing – YES!
    Slain in the spirit – YES! although this is a man-made term not found in scripture. The experience of it is mentioned several times however:

    “… that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)

    Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then when He said to them. “I am He,” – they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)

    “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)

    “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.” But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:6)

    “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3-4)

    “So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23)

    “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.” (Numbers 22:31)

    “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 43:2-3)

    “Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4)

    Your comment “they never ended up on their backs, but on their faces” is disingenuous. Front, back, sides, it doesn’t make any difference what direction they fall, the fact that they DO fall is the key.

  36. @Glittergirl

    “were you involved with the whole RHB laughing movement. If so, what was your take on it?”

    Yes I was. I got hit big time with the laughter thing. It absolutely changed my life! Before that day I was a weekend Christian and working in a job that was soul destroying (working close to the emergency services and seeing human tragedy on a major scale – things that people shouldn’t see to be honest). When I got hit all of my anger, bitterness, hardness and lack of empathy was replaced with an incredible love for God and for others. That’s how I know it was of God. The devil wants to draw us away from God, not to Him. If what happened to me was demonic I would have continued on the destructive path I was already on. The barking and cow noises were strange, and I do believe that there was a lot of “flesh” involved, but it revolutionised the church worldwide.

  37. @ Tvd, thanks for your reply. I’m still unsure what to think of it all as there are so many differing opinions and experiences. I was there thru it all but never felt anything but really was desperate to. Other friends were like me but others were significantly affected. It wasn’t a great look for the church though, especially all the running around and disorder.

  38. Bull, everything you posited as evidence is fringe works, and not mainstream charismatic. Have you spent much time in charismatic churches? My experience is that they have a very strong teaching element, and the ministry side of it is an important part of what takes place, but not the sum total. Charismatics have always spent much of their time listening to tapes, then cds and dvds, now podcasts, because of their hunger for the Word.

    Many people in the 70’s and 80’s had to leave evangelical and catholic churches because they were so scathing of those who were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues, which was the beginning of their journey into charismata. I thought this had largely been dealt with until now, but it seems that there is a revival of that terrible bigotry towards charismatics. What a shame!

    Cessationists aren’t so much talking about barkin’ or tokin’, neither of which I have actually witnessed, which shows they are no mainstream charismatic at all, but more about the manifestations and gifts of the Spirit being ended, which is anathema.

    The author even makes the dopey claim of hypnotism. I thought the Body had gotten over these issues, but, tragically, there is groundswell of bias which seeks to break any fellowship which has been developed over the last 20 years.

  39. The whole RHB thing is a massive step back to pagan idolatry for the church …

    People now hooked on experiences rather than discipleship.

    I am sick to death of all that rubbish. I can’t stand it. If heaven is going to be like that, I don’t want to go.

    Grow up TVD, get a real life rather than hypnotic suggestion at best, demonic deception at worst.

    What is the most successful lie? Making people believe that black is white, that darkness is light and Satan is really an angel of light.

  40. @Bull

    S”on their faces in fear and reverence rather than on their backs laughing”

    Unlike you I am not scared of God.

    “Grow up TVD, get a real life rather than hypnotic suggestion at best, demonic deception at worst.”

    You obviously didn’t read my answer to Glittergirl. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. You can hate that stuff all you want. No skin of my nose.

    A question by the way, have you decided to take over 5point’s mantle as the angry, abusive, law-loving religious nutter?

  41. Have you ever heard RHB teach, Bull? Or are you only interested in the phenomena? He is a standard Bible teacher, and spent hours in his revival meetings teaching. He did not touch a soul during teaching times. He just preached the Word. The manifestations went on apart from the teaching. He never forced a thing. The manifestations were genuine, and touched many people for the better. Wesley and Whitfield both had manifestations in heir meetings when they preached, as did Finney, and others. When will you get the point that the Holy Ghost can and will do extraordinary things in meetings when and if he chooses, and usually uses a human vessel to distribute his glory?

    ‘I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’

    ‘For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.’

    ‘Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient– in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.’

    ‘God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?’

  42. TVD:

    “Slain in the spirit – YES! although this is a man-made term not found in scripture. The experience of it is mentioned several times however:

    “… that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)

    Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then when He said to them. “I am He,” – they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)

    “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)

    “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.” But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:6)

    “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3-4)

    “So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23)

    “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.” (Numbers 22:31)

    “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 43:2-3)

    “Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4)

    And you call yourself a Christian after such a mangling of God’s Word? Wow! That was truly awful TVD! I thought you could handle scripture better than Pringle, TVD. You proved to me I was wrong.

  43. @S&P

    “And you call yourself a Christian after such a mangling of God’s Word?”

    Explain to me how exactly I have done this please.

  44. Kipling: “He is a standard Bible teacher, and spent hours in his revival meetings teaching.”

    Don’t mock bible teachers Kipling. He is not even close to the standard of a bible teacher.

    His famous error: “We are not drunk as you suppose”. While a spirit of stupidity, chaos and error swept his church, that same spirit entered him and twisted God’s word. He did not discern the serpent spirit in his own meeting. To call him a teacher is just a smear on good bible teachers in God’s church.

  45. Won’t fight you over RHB. It would be pointless. Your anger shows through. Buttons have been pressed which should be left alone.

    I take it you agree with the cessationist teaching, which is the basis of the post you put up, and the main argument against charismatics. You obviously concur that healing is only granted on a sovereign (random?) basis and not through believers, as he states, and that we no longer need Apostles, for which he gave no scriptural basis, but clearly stated that it must be taught.

    Do you also agree that, ‘it is an undeniable truth that among professing Christians, charismatics are known to have by far the most cases of unacceptable behaviour. They experience the most occurrences of immorality, divorce, criminal fraud, and other serious misdemeanours’?

    What a shameful indictment of fellow believers. And how much evidence does he cite? Nil! He just makes a completely erroneous sweeping statement as if it must be fact because… well, these are charismatics, after all!

    Is that what you think, too? Are evangelicals, because they are so holy, any better on the whole?

    Can you explain what on earth he means by this statement: ‘Lawlessness may well be encouraged by the lack of repentance in the style of worship found in many charismatic churches’?

    Lack of repentance in the style of worship? Do we not worship God? Is our worship directed towards our need, or towards the very God whose grace saves us?

    And do you agree with his claim that ‘the charismatic environment as a whole is not conducive to conscientious holiness, and that is painfully apparent’? Where is his evidence for this claim? Another baseless statement out of kilter with truth or substance.

    I’m disturbed that there is a revival of bigotry towards fellow believers, and I’d like to know where it is coming from. Who has initiated this, and why?

  46. Charasmartass, why is the charismata not a part of the gospel?When dod signs adn wonders stop accompanying the preaching of the gospel? When did the work of the Spirit, who confirms the Word with signs following, end? Did not Jesus say he would be with us until the end of the age? If the manifestations of the Spirit are indeed of the Eternal and Never Changing Spirit of Almighty God, and he divides severally as he wills, to profit withal, why are they not as important to the ministry of the gospel today as the Word of faith which we preach?

    I already put this up for you earlier, but…

    ‘I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’

    ‘For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.’

    ‘Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient– in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.’

  47. @Kipling, thanks that was all very interesting, but I too am disturbed that there is a revival of bigotry towards fellow believers, and I’d like to know:

    1. what is the Gospel

    2. how is the teaching cessationism “another gospel”?

    Thats all….

  48. If you don’t know the connection between the gospel and the Spirit, here’s starting point for you: the gospel is good news of glad tidings…

    “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

    “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

    “And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

    Hope that helps!

  49. If you say the Spirit has ceased healing, delivering and raising the dead you are preaching another gospel, since Jesus said these signs will follow the preaching of the gospel.

    If you say the Church is not to follow in the anointing of Christ to do what he did in preaching the gospel, including freely giving what they had freely received – the gospel message, healing and deliverance, you are preaching another gospel.

    If you say that miracles which accompany the preaching of the Word have ended, you preach another gospel.

    That is all I will say on it, because you have another agenda for sure, and I can’t be bothered with arguing with you, since it will be unproductive.

    My concern is with the degree of divisiveness being promoted here towards charismatics, most of whom are decent, God-fearing, Spirit-filled Christians who love God with all their hearts and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

    It is very sad to see such lack of heart towards fellow believers. That’s all!

  50. Kipling, answer this. Is Todd Bentley a representative of Jesus Christ or Satan? I know which he is and I am interested in whether you know which he is.

    I believe you have idealised the charismatic church and painted it as being far healthier than it is. The charismatic church delights itself in the icing on the cake of pursuing manifestations of the Spirit but for its own prideful self-aggrandisement but it lacks the cake itself of sound and consistent Biblical teaching on which church meetings should be built.

    And don’t start lecturing me about how God doesn’t need the Bible to convert people – that he could convert somebody alone on a desert island without access to a Bible. Be that as it may, the point is that we DO have the Bible and it is more than important.

    Anyway, answer me about Bentley and then I’ll know whether your opinion is worth anything.

  51. @Kipling – I do think that God can heal and perform miracles. We pray and leave it to Him to heal us or perform the miracle. I don’t necessarily believe that people falling all over a building and laughing uncontrollably is a miracle though. There must be order, otherwise any sensible person visiting a church with people laughing and clucking would walk away. This doesn’t show them Christ. Loving one another does, as would a miracle of healing.

    I remember RHB 15 years ago in C3, and was very disturbed by what went on as were other members of the church (although many others also enjoyed the whole experience). When you see one of the senior minister’s wives running around clucking like a chicken you have to have some question about what is really going on. RHB may have some good things to teach but while I was at that crusade, the only teaching we received was on giving and laughing. Maybe he’s moved on from that now.

  52. Glittergirl – I would have been present in one of those meetings too. I went with an open mind – it was long before I came to the conclusions I’ve come to today, and I had nothing against RHB. I was pretty disturbed by it as well. Didn’t know anyone else at the time who was. My friend was angry with me for wanting to leave the service early; it made me feel ill. My friends experience and mine had nothing in common.

  53. “As chuchman pointed out, the article is far too long to be effective.”

    @Teddy and Just dropping in”,

    Sorry for not making myself clear. I wasn’t trying to point out that the article was too long to be effective. The length of the article is not a problem for me. It’s just that the length and all the points covered make it too difficult and laborious FOR ME to comment on it in it’s entirety.

    From pentecostal doctrine to home cells and worship styles, there is just too much in it for me to comment on. So my original opinion stands. I’ll just add that there are things going on in some streams of the Charismatic world that were not once part of the Pentecostal scene, though the author of the article would have problems with both.

    One example, the accusation of worldliness. Old time Pentecostal were anti movies, current fashions and many things in a much stricter way than more conservative evangelicals and mainline denominations back in the day.

    So the article is fine – though I have problems with several points, but we could start arguing about everything from “laughing” to home cells.

    Hard to stop myself from getting started, but I’ll just say that I have had some great times in a home meetings or whatever you want to call them. And I could probably have some good times with meeting on a regular basis in a home with a bunch of Calvinists.

    (I don’t really want to be put in a home group arbitrarily and then be split up etc etc in the way it is done in highly structured situations. But …. I admit I have a problem with being told what to do!)

  54. I’m probably different to some others here in that I don’t think your experience of “laughing” is unbiblical. I can think of no scripture at all that would say that a person laughing for ten seconds or ten minutes in response to experiencing the Holy Spirit is impossible.

    Having said that … I’ve been in meetings where people are laughing and thought it was crazy. And I don’t see a biblical precedent or basis for Christians gathering on a regular basis and laughing uncontrollably for extended periods.

    And my personal opinion after seeing it several times in person and on youtube is simply that people are being silly. Not demonic, just … for want of a better word…playing around.

    I liked your testimony though.

  55. @ teddy – interesting reading, I don’t know alot of the “out-there” ministries, I found it hard enough over the years to listen to most of the American preachers C3 brought out. It certainly is a worry though and they seem to be multiplying!

  56. @Specks

    Are you going to give me an answer or not? I think I deserve an explanation after what you accused me of specks.

  57. TVD: “Explain to me how exactly I have done this please.”

    Quite frankly, it looks as though you copied and pasted those verses from Phil Pringle’s book ‘Moving In The Spirit’.

    I actually was in the process of answering half of these and then deleted my response. You look them up you lazy scripture-slinger. Then you can tell us what you find.

    I find it amazing that none of them that fell on their face, used their hands, arms or legs to prevent themselves face-planting.

    That’s what the God does. He slays people and gives them a face plant. Nice! 😀

    Clue: Find out what it means when Jews ‘fell on there face’.

  58. Here’s another clue.

    Let me record all the people who ‘face-planted’ in the bible because they were ‘slain in the Spirit’

    Genesis 17:3 “And Abram fell on his face.”

    Number of face-plants: 1

    Genesis 17:17 “Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed.”

    Number of face-plants:: 2

    Leviticus 9:24 “When all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”

    Number of face-plants: 900,002. (poor estimate)

    Numbers 14:5 “Moses and Aaron fell on their faces.”

    Number of face-plants: 900,004

    Numbers 16:4 “And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,005

    Numbers 16:22 “And they fell upon their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,007

    Numbers 16:45 “And they fell upon their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,009

    Numbers 20:6 “And they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,011

    Numbers 22:31 “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he … fell flat on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,012

    Joshua 5:14 “And Joshua fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,013

    Joshua 7:6 “And Joshua … fell to the earth upon his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,014

    Judges 13:20 “The angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife … fell on their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,016

    Ruth 2:10 “Then she fell on her face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,017

    1 Samuel 20:41 “David … fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,018

    2 Samuel 9:6 “He fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,019

    2 Samuel 14:4 “She fell on her face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,020

    2 Samuel 18:28 “And he fell … upon his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,021

    1 Kings 18:7 “He [Obadiah]… fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,022

    1 Kings 18:39 “He … fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 900,022 (Israel est. 2,000,000 (poor estimate) + 450 Baal Prophets)

    1 Chronicles 21:16 “Then David and the elders … fell on their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,472 + (12 elders? 1 David?)

    Ezekiel 1:27-28 “I saw … the appearance of his loins… And when I saw it, I fell upon my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,486

    Ezekiel 3:23 “Behold, the glory of the Lord stood there … and I fell on my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,487

    Ezekiel 9:8 “While they were slaying them … I fell on my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,488

    Ezekiel 11:3 “Then fell I down upon my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,489

    Ezekiel 43:3 “I fell upon my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,490

    Ezekiel 44:4 “Behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,491

    Daniel 2:46 “King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,492

    Daniel 8:17 “I was afraid, and fell upon my face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,493

    Matthew 17:6 “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,493

    Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,494 (Even God face-planted!)

    Luke 5:12 “A man full of leprosy… fell on his face.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,495

    Revelation 7:11 “All the angels … and the four beasts … fell before the throne on their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 2,900,495 + (144,000 sealed) + (4 (or more?) angels) plus… Um…

    Revelation 11:16 “The four and twenty elders … fell upon their faces.”
    Number of face-plants: 981,622,968,,900,442,800,572,000 + (24 elders)

    I have noticed something peculiar about face-planters and God.
    Nations face-plant and all of heaven face-plant before God!

  59. @Specks

    That’s your argument?!!!!! You call me those names and then you provide me with multiple scriptures SUPPORTING my argument? That’s just downright BIZARRE, and that says a lot considering the refuse that is regularly vomited here! I don’t understand you specks, I really don’t. I know you hate Pringle and C3 with a passion, but this clutching at any straw, no matter how minute, to make you feel justified for your ungodly hate-filled attitude, is getting really old, and slightly pathetic to be honest.

  60. It should be obvious to an honest person that the above cases of people falling on their faces is quite different to the weekly “slain in the Spirit” scenario.

    Anyone who has been in Charismania for years knows what it’s like to be pushed and rocked and knows the preachers who are worse than others.

    And we also know the ones in church who are always falling over. But in the old days people were just a little bit more nervous about talking about it – especially if they knew a Pastor might hear about it.

    The biggest need in the Church is for Pastors to wake up, grow up, fess up, and man up. (or woman up…).

  61. The post was too obviously biased in my view, including regarding some cultural things as scriptural things. But I also agree that the scriptures about falling on their face does not describe being slain in the spirit. Not at all. It is one step further than people falling to their knees. They were prostrating themselves before God, an attitude of fear, awe and prayer. These were expressions of an extremely strong emotional response to God’s presence, expressed physically.

  62. @ TVD, That wasn’t my argument. I made that clear at the beginning.

    The above was a mere clue so you can get off your own ass and do your own research on the matter. You clearly spouted someone’s teaching without knowing what you are talking about. Do your own research.

    I’m not your mother.

  63. @specks

    I know exactly what I am talking about. The manifest presence of the Holy Spirit is a subject I have studied and taught on for many years, so do not presume to lecture me or patronise me. Until you can show me evidence of your own theological credentials and experience in teaching and preaching the gospel and your experience studying the move of the Holy Spirit in the church throughout history, I will reserve the right to call you ignorant.

    As I said in my OP, being “slain in the spirit” (a man-made term I will most certainly concede) is real. And as you have proven, there is ample scriptural evidence to support these occurrences, both in the scriptures I provided and the scriptures you provided. I experience it regularly. When the Holy Spirit manifests His presence when I am praying or being prayed for, I cannot stand. I fall in a heap, sometimes face-first, sometimes backwards, sometimes to my knees, and sometimes I just crumple. The same goes for the people I pray for.

    As for your statement re Phil Pringle, you most certainly do hate the man. Your hatred drips like treacle from every word you write about him. There is not one shred of love, forgiveness or grace in your heart towards the man. Deny it all you want, but every word you write about him here proves beyond any doubt your feelings towards him and C3.

  64. “I know exactly what I am talking about.”

    No you don’t. You said:

    “As I said in my OP, being “slain in the spirit” (a man-made term I will most certainly concede) is real. And as you have proven, there is ample scriptural evidence to support these occurrences, both in the scriptures I provided and the scriptures you provided.”

    That was not ‘ample evidence’ towards your argument. As RP rightly said, “They were prostrating themselves before God, an attitude of fear, awe and prayer. These were expressions of an extremely strong emotional response to God’s presence, expressed physically.”

    “The manifest presence of the Holy Spirit is a subject I have studied and taught on for many years, so do not presume to lecture me or patronise me.”

    Then I really feel sorry for you wasting all those years. I also feel really sorry for your plebs.

    “Until you can show me evidence of your own theological credentials and experience in teaching and preaching the gospel and your experience studying the move of the Holy Spirit in the church throughout history, I will reserve the right to call you ignorant.”

    I got them all right – but you probably wont believe me. You can call me ignorant – but you’re the one I’m laughing at.

    You can’t even interpret basic scripture! You proved your narrow-mindedness by saying, “And as you have proven, there is ample scriptural evidence to support these occurrences, both in the scriptures I provided and the scriptures you provided.”

    First you have an encounter with a spirit and then you secondly shape and interpret scriptures based on your experience. Very dangerous!

    No serious teacher of God’s Word would do that! You obviously do not take the position you hold over your congregation seriously. You need to repent and have your opened open.

  65. With respect, it seems like TVD allows experience to trump sound theology at every turn. It’s a no-win discussion when people decide to take that position.

    It’s addictive too, experience- based “theology”. I remember people turning up at RHB meetings just for that, and where are some of them now? Following Matt Ford.

  66. I should word that differently, they didn’t turn up for sound doctrine, they wouldn’t get that from RHB. But they were loving the unbiblical disorder and threw themselves into deep dillusion.

  67. @specks

    You’re really not a very nice person, are you? I have been giving you the benefit of the doubt, because apparently, according to you, we knew each other at C3. If we did in fact know each other, and I am relying solely on the fact that you said we did, I am surprised that I ever gave you the time of day, so to speak, because if you went around speaking to people like you just did to me, you would have most certainly been asked to leave, and I would have been the one holding open the door. I had, I guess naively on reflection, been hoping that perhaps, because of our past association, something I said might just make you reassess your attitude towards the people in the church THAT YOU ATTEND EACH WEEK (just wanted to highlight that so that those others reading can have no doubt of your motives), but instead you take a strange pride in your deceit and lies.

    You believe that you are somehow “saving” people from the “evil pentecostals” and from the “heresies” of Pringle, Houston and Osteen. I really feel sorry for you. You have the ability to help people specks. You write well, and your quest for truth is admirable. It’s just that instead of truth, you are fixated on your desire to destroy Pringle and C3 but sadly you cannot see that you are actually destroying yourself.

    Now, just so you don’t think I am trying to evade your dodgy reply, the bible tells us that in God’s presence no-one can stand. In an act of worship before God, the Old Testament prophets fell down prostate because they could not stand in the presence of God. It is most definitely an act of worship, as RP says, and in some instances in the scriptures it was a voluntary action, but more often than not it was involuntary, in that they simply could not stand in His presence.

    So, are you going to pick on every little jot and tittle in my reply again, or are you going to concern yourself with the weightier things? (my veiled reference here to the pharisees is intentional BTW)

  68. The question what basis is there to show that falling face down as per Scripture is the same thing as being ‘slain in the Spirit’.

    No one has stated a biblical and factual basis for this.

  69. @mn

    Are you that religious that you’d dismiss something as incredible as falling down under the anointing of the Holy Spirit just because some people fall backwards rather than forwards? That’s nutter territory, to be honest.

  70. @Joey

    “TVD it is possible to hate what someone is saying or doing AND not hate the person at the same time….”

    Absolutely! But I suggest you go back through the posts that specks has written and count how many times specks has called Phil Pringle vile names. That is not love. That is hate. Not two ways about it.

  71. @TVD having been prayed for countless times over the years, I must say I never went down totally wiped out, although I did fall down often. Looking back there were amazing worship times in the early days and the experience of it all, being prayed for I did fall down but could get up immediately. My dad however who was in a denominational church would come along sometimes, go out for prayer hoping to be slain but nothing ever happened. He was a bit disappointed by this, but it didn’t stop him asking for prayer.

  72. @ TVD – Apart from demon-possession, where is the biblical precedent that came out of the so-called “Toronto Blessing” when a “drunken party” was preached rather salvation – where, when it hit our shores and C3, the experience was given a higher authority than scripture.

    This is what you seem to be giving precedence to, as well.

    Someone manifested in such a manner in a college group at C3OF years ago (I was there, it was awful to see), and when Ps Phil Taylor was called in to deal with it, his reaction was “it’s demonic”. Someone else made the decision that it wasn’t, and put that person in a ministry capacity.

    When encouraged to manifest the so-called “glory” by yelling “fire” (PhilPringle), they would run around the church with great fear and horror on their face as everyone laughed.

    That person to this day suffers from severe depression. Spent some time with that person recently and it was one of my sadder days.

  73. @ Glittergirl – I would go out for prayer too, and wondered what was wrong with me because I didn’t fall over, same with my husband. Know better now.

    Many times particular pastors would try to push us over or blow on us (go figure :)) or snap their fingers as if the Holy Spirit was their’s to command.

    Other times some sweet person (usually Helen Macintyre or Richard Forsyth) would gently touch your shoulder and pray (in English) the most comforting prayers.

  74. @glittergirl

    I have prayed for many people who haven’t been slain in the spirit. It doesn’t make the prayer any more or any less effective, and the same goes for those who have fallen. I dont know definatively why some fall and some dont, but anectdotally I have found that generally the people who don’t fall, can be more often than not “over-thinking” the whole process of falling over.

  75. Unbelievable nonsense and arrogance. I guess you had to start your own church to be allowed in a pulpit with that attitude, let alone have you lay hands on people. What a legalistic ……….!

  76. Hi TVD- if being slain in the Spirit is really from God then shouldn’t even over-logical, overanalytical people in the congregation also be overcome by His might and for His glory?

    And amongst those in your church who you see regularly come up the front for prayer ministry and fall in the Spirit – do you see them change positively afterwards and for the long-term e.g. overcoming major personal sin and growing in self-control?

  77. I’m wondering why people today believe that God would authenticate aberrant theology with such “signs and wonders”? And without a doubt, TVD, you have proved beyind a doubt you have some seriously aberrant theology.

    The bible is silent on about being “slain in the spirit”, apart from Jesus’ words “I am” causing the soldiers who came to arrest him in the garden, to fall.

    It’s just become such a common practice in the pentecostal movement, nobody questions it.

    TVD sees it as a validation of his “many years of study”? And how long where you at C3 doing something else?

  78. I’ll make it clear TVD. I can treat you as friend but I wouldn’t go to your church just in case I am seen endorsing your ministry.

    Nor would I want you to lay hands on me. You don’t fear God in the slightest with the way His Word. Of course I will call you ignorant of scripture when you abuse it like that. The scriptures offer life and revelation to who God is… and you treat the scripture so poorly in the process.

    That is detestable. The Spirit in me feels incredibly yucky when I see men mangle God’s word out of ignorance. You are one of them. You really need to repent and consider stepping down from your position until you are capable of leading and teaching your congregation responsibly.

  79. TVD directionality is irrelevant and not the point I was making.

    Read it again and take off the blinkers.

    Or I’l restate it as:

    The fact that you believe there is a connection to being ‘slain in the Spirit’ in 20th and 21st C fashion, and people falling face first before kings as they did 20 and 30 centuries ago does not mean it is the same thing.

    You are making a connection you have not established a basis for.

    I am not saying it isn’t true. I am saying you have not biblically and factually established it is true – you have not established it and there is no connection other than your assertion.

  80. There are other instances where the PRESENCE of God impacted on men. The guards at Jesus’ tomb when the an angel of the Lord caused them to become like dead men, Saul on the road to Damascus.

    A proper response to His majesty, vs their sinfulness.

    TVD, you are representing yourself as an especially “anointed” individual in that Benny hinn sort of way. Same bad theology there too.

  81. ” but anectdotally I have found that generally the people who don’t fall, can be more often than not “over-thinking” the whole process of falling over.”

    There friends is one of the biggest problems in Charismania. How many times have you heard something like that? And that is why lots of people will end up just falling over anyway, especially when they know the preacher really wants them to fall over, is almost bending them over, there are catchers just waiting, the preacher is saying “here it comes, here is its….just receive it now….etc etc”. Sometimes the easiest thing to do to save your reputation and that of the preacher is to fall over.

    Otherwise, well, everyone knows that you are probably “over-thinking”…and there isn’t much worse than that in the church today. Who would have thought that thinking was such a terrible thing?

    “if being slain in the Spirit is really from God then shouldn’t even over-logical, overanalytical people in the congregation also be overcome by His might and for His glory?”

    That’s a question that most people don’t think of Joey. See a line of 10 people fall over and people want to talk about the great power of God that must have been evident (and really unfortunately ….how powerful and anointed the “man of God” who prayed or threw his suitcoat or yelled “fire” must be). But when a man or woman who just “over thinks…?” and decides not to fall over unless they can’t help it..(which is the way most humans live their lives right..? – it’s called “standing”…), it’s curious that God just didn’t have enough power to knock over someone.

    No, the saddest thing is being in a meeting where everyone is so convinced that God is knocking everyone over and tickling them so much that they just can’t help giggling or rolling around, but the whole time the person who really needs a touch from God is left alone wondering what’s going on.

    But again, the worst thing that has happened in the church is this idea that it is wrong to think, when our real problem in the church and outside of it is that we don’t do enough thinking.

    TVD, thinking is good. I’m actually hoping for a revival of thinking. Maybe it could be the next big move of God….?
    Imagine that. Christians thinking!

  82. Ever wondered why Benny Hinn tells everybody to hold hands when he says the Holy Spirit is going to fall?

    And the look on the faces of those who “fall over” and break chairs, lose wigs etc and look embarrassed? 🙂

  83. Now you’ve got me …..

    Would any of you with children encourage your children not to think? Would anyone be happy if their kids came home and said they joined a religious group where the guy out the front was telling people not to think too much, not to analyze, but just let themselves go….especially when the offering back comes around?

    No, that is what sane people warn young people about. Thinking saves lives. It stops people from getting ripped off from conmen, and stops young girls from falling for the latest sleazebag.

    We need more preachers who encourage their young people to use reason, study, read Proverbs, see the value of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Not just to get together and giggle and pretend they’re drunk. We have more “supposed” miracles and power and demonstrations than ever before, we have the richest preachers in history, the largest megachurches, more booksales and private jets owned by preachers and yet the church has less influence than ever.

    We need to stop playing silly buggers. (Sorry, I can’t think of a better word). But how will we do that when the so called men of God and Pastors are the ones leading everyone into nonsense.

  84. “Ever wondered why Benny Hinn tells everybody to hold hands when he says the Holy Spirit is going to fall? And the look on the faces of those who “fall over” and break chairs, lose wigs etc and look embarrassed?”

    I don’t wonder anymore. And I’d join you with champagne …but isn’t it a bit early?

    Never met you Teddy, but now I have this interesting image of a well-to do, sophisticated Sydney Calvinist lady sipping champagne from an elegant glass…..

    Probably a view of the harbour…..?

    Cheers.

  85. “Saul on the road to Damascus….”

    Teddy, i guess we can be all thankful that Saul wasn’t thinking too much or being too over analytical, or he would have stayed on the horse…

    Then again, maybe there was someone there saying, “Don’t resist it Brother Saul…just receive it…that’s it… okay, someone get ready back there to catch him…”

  86. @joey

    “if being slain in the Spirit is really from God then shouldn’t even over-logical, overanalytical people in the congregation also be overcome by His might and for His glory?”

    No. I have seen an entire room of people get hit by the anointing yet two or three people stand around looking at everyone with contempt (they were Anglicans – far too spiritually superior to engage in such antics!) It is very easy to choose not to get hit. I remember very early on in my walk, when I was new to the whole charismatic scene begin to get hit and then forcibly stopping it because I didn’t want to “embarrass” myself in front of everyone.

  87. @specks

    “You really need to repent and consider stepping down from your position until you are capable of leading and teaching your congregation responsibly.”

    And when you have the “runs on the board” ie preaching and seeing lives changed for the positive, leading a growing and vibrant church and expressing through your words and actions the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then I will listen to you. Until then, your disgusting rants and raves will just reinforce my opinion of you as being just another small-minded hater with an over-inflted sense of his place in the world. And the same goes for teddy too. A more hateful woman I have never met.

  88. Wow!! That’s sooooo humble! Are you sending out anointed hankies?

    Those Anglicans, I guess they were just a little too discerning to enjoy the benefits of charismania? Or they didn’t “have” the Holy Spirit?

    You know, that same Holy Spirit we receive full and complete at conversion? Even Anglicans! Those ones who head off to Madagasgar and Mongolia and Africa and Haiti to serve the Lord!

  89. Yes, that’s me – hateful and sinful and needing my Saviour daily but still He died for me.

    I’m not going to steal His Glory…….because I can’t.

  90. @teddy

    “Yes, that’s me – hateful and sinful and needing my Saviour daily but still He died for me.”

    When we become born again we are made new creatures, the old has passed away, and the new has come. If you believe you are a wretched sinner who needs the saviour daily, you are crucifying Him every day. You obviously don’t know what it means to be born again. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me. You show no signs of being made new. Are you really saved?

  91. Naughty anglicans ….

    TVD, how do you know they were looking at everyone with contempt? And how do you know they thought they were spiritually superior?

    So, you think that “the anointing HIT” everyone who wasn’t Anglican, and only the Anglicans were tough enough to resist the knockout punch of the anointing? Anglicans are tougher than I had thought.

    So all the rest of the people who were “hit” were what? Charismatics? Maybe, just maybe, the non-Anglican Christians wanted to fall down?

    TVD, I think sometimes you forget that a lot of the people you are talking to here, have been there and done that. And do you realize that in your posts you are basically saying that the reason people don’t get “slain” is because they are over thinking, look at others with contempt, feel “spiritually superior”, or don’t want to embarrass themselves. You don’t see that if you share that with people as a Pastor, most insecure people are definitely not going to want to stay standing.

    It’s like the stage hypnotist saying that very intelligent people go under hypnosis easily.

    The danger with all this is that there are so many people who end up being honest with themselves about their “slain” and other experiences, and then start doubting everything. Which is one reason pentecostal churches have such a large turnover.

    Anyway, I think I’ve said enough on this issue. Just remember TVD, I speak as a person who has seen decades of altar calls and people falling. (And of course I have spoken with the people afterwards). I suspect that some of your own parishioners might talk to you very differently if they could talk to you anonymously like here on the internet.

    After hearing your explanations for why people don’t get slain, I can understand the reluctance of people to be honest about doubts.

    Which leads me to think that the more info and sharing of experiences there is on the internet, the more churchgoers will not feel so easily intimidated by the confident preaching and explanations of preachers.

  92. So you no longer sin daily, never have an evil thought? We sin daily and we sin much. What planet are you living on?

    Of course we are new creations, but even Paul acknowledged his sin nature!!

    Romans 7:15-24 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord So then,I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature, a slave to the law of sin”

    And you’re a pastor? Years of study?

  93. @teddy

    There is a difference between having a sinful nature and being a wretched sinner needing to be saved every day. It’s Christianity 101, but judging by your comments, you must have missed the bus that day.

  94. “A more hateful woman I have never met.” “You show no signs of being made new. Are you really saved?”

    ouch.

    Guys, this is getting rough. And I probably contributed to the atmosphere without meaning to. Sorry if I did. I don’t take back anything that I wrote, but none of it was meant in a bad spirit. So, peace guys. TVD, I know you honestly and sincerely believe in what you are doing. Bless you. I obviously disagree with you, but I know you a serving God with a good heart.

  95. “needing my Saviour daily ”

    Last word. Me too! And I probably need Him more than you do Teddy!!

    hmm .. Wish 5P were here give a few soft words and act as peacemaker…. 🙂

  96. @churchman

    “So, you think that “the anointing HIT” everyone who wasn’t Anglican, and only the Anglicans were tough enough to resist the knockout punch of the anointing? ”

    They weren’t “tough enough”. They were just being typical Anglicans who think that if it isn’t in the Book of Common prayer then it’s demonic. Remember, I got saved in the Anglican church. I spent 16 years being indoctrinated about the “evil pentecostals” and my teachers at Moore College were even more direct. I can see an Anglican from a mile off because they have the same sneering look of disgust at anything remotely Holy Spirit-led that every Anglican I have even met has. Just look at teddy. She’s a prime example of the spiritual superiority that is force-fed from the pulpits of most Anglican churches.

    “And do you realize that in your posts you are basically saying that the reason people don’t get “slain” is because they are over thinking, look at others with contempt, feel “spiritually superior”, or don’t want to embarrass themselves.”

    Absolutely. If I didn’t believe that wasn’t the case I wouldn’t have said it. I’ve been there, my wife has been there, my family have been there. The only reason I say that it is anecdotal is because there is no scripture to prove it. In the same way that there is no scripture to prove the trinity.

  97. @churchman

    ” I obviously disagree with you, but I know you a serving God with a good heart.”

    I have no problem with disagreement. I’m a big boy. I can handle it. What I don’t like is sanctimonious nobodies telling the pastor of a church that he should give it all up because his teaching differs from the latest calvinist guru’s website drivel. I have no problem with you churchman. You have always been civil, as has joey, and for that matter FL. The rest, however….well, I’ll say no more. Needless to say, I don’t lay awake at night worrying about what SP, teddy and 5point think of me, but I do often pray for them with a real concern that the blinkers will be taken off and that they will see God for who He truly is and not the invention of long-dead theologians who gauged God’s goodness by their own experiences.

  98. Funny that – I was in a pentecostal church for 22 years and have been in an Anglican church for 3 years.

    The issue of spiritual gifts has come up and been discussed and taught at length in context at our new church , not discounted at all, only that they be in order.

    So tell us TVD, are you keeping the law perfectly?

    Your views are bordering on cult-like by the way. Like the KJV-only people and churches who don’t believe you are saved unless you “speak in tongues”.

  99. TVD, yeah, I can understand how you might feel.

    “I’m a big boy”.

    You are, and you have the right to get upset. But I think you can be an even bigger man.

  100. Thanks for your prayers TVD, God must be answering them.

    I have never felt more secure as a Christian since coming to a knowledge of His Sovereignty, His eternal security, His choosing me in Him before the foundation of the earth, that I can rest at night knowing my life is in His hands and nothing or nobody can take me before His perfect time. All this wonderful revelation came after leaving C3, and before I became a member of an Anglican Church.

    Those “long-dead” theologians are the ones remembered for their acknowlegment of a truly sovereign God. Will you be acknowledged and remembered for the same reasons?

    So you got “saved” at an Anglican Church? How did that happen if they don’t have the Holy Spirit?

  101. For what it’s worth I was never an Anglican, never had contempt for Pentecostals, or thought they were of the Devil.

    And I have no bad feeling towards Pentecostals, Charismatics or Anglicans. But, that is starting to make me feel really unusual!

  102. @ Churchman – you would have enjoyed our 4 Anglican, 6 Pentecostal/ charismatic, 1 atheist Australia Day gathering. It goes without saying Who we had in common, and who may yet have the other, if we could only see if there was an “e” for elect on his back! 🙂

  103. I was ‘saved’ at a High Anglican church; confirmed in a Sydney Anglican church (by the Archbishop no less); baptised in my next Pente church; and subjected to a healthy congregation with good teaching in a Pente church that was really charismatic evangelical – a kind of half way house. Shame that it changed. It is possible to have the best of both worlds without rejecting everything from either one out of hand. In fact, it’s great when you get both good teaching AND charismatic gifts used scripturally.

    I was very lucky. There are a few friends like myself who left. Whilst I gather informally now (and intentionally – not sure if you will know what I mean by that), others joined various other congregations when the culture had changed. It hasn’t been easy for anyone to find that combination again. Hard for the Pente’s who miss the worship (and it wasn’t a big stage show at our old church; no amazing singers or musicians; they just did their honest best); hard for those seeking decent teaching that is consistently good over time.

  104. @teddy

    “Those “long-dead” theologians are the ones remembered for their acknowlegment of a truly sovereign God.”

    That’s why they are considered by myself and many to be false teachers.

  105. So who is worthy of consideration in your grand scheme of theology TVD? I’m sure it’s not just the bible, otherwise there wouldn’t be “product” for sale at your church/ website.

  106. Then explain why you are at such odds with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James etc.

    Because they clearly acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

  107. “I remember very early on in my walk, when I was new to the whole charismatic scene begin to get hit and then forcibly stopping it because I didn’t want to “embarrass” myself in front of everyone.”

    Yes TVD I felt like that several times during very charismatic services as well and I always fought against it. The whole spiritual environment did not feel “safe”. People appeared to be losing control of themselves. I did not want to do the same.

    At other times I felt God was there and there was genuine praise and order at the same time – no charismatic chaos at that AOG church or at one of my women’s groups. A good acquaintance actually whinged that she thought that AOG church was too quiet!!!!

  108. Nope. Not playing that game. If you won’t prove it then I take it that you can’t. I’m not wasting my time to give you an easy out of something you can’t answer.

  109. TVD – you won’t “play” because it’s an unwinnable argument. No matter how many scriptures showing His sovereignty anyone puts up, you would just refute them, because of your very low view of who He is.

  110. Wow! Hasn’t everyone been busy while I was away for a while. I was born Presbyterian, baptized in a baptist church, 25 years at C3, and now after sad personal circunstanes spend some time in an Anglican church. Nothing like what you describe TVD. Have never seen a prayer book used there and they have worship like c3 used to be like 15 years ago. I haven’t encounter any superiority, in fact the minister is an incredibly humble man. They have times of listening to what God is saying to you, and if you want to share this you can.

    Obviously things are changing there from what you went through and I guess that’s what alot of people who visiit and comment on this site would like to see happen in pente churches, so they are not too out there, places where you can bring the unchurched without them feeling it is too strange, that they are after your money etc etc.
    churches.

  111. I wonder if TVD’s a ‘big boy’ because he slays people in the spirit? Are we questioning your ‘spiritual authority’ TVD?

    It makes perfect sense why you don’t like us questioning this issue.

  112. @specks

    “Are we questioning your ‘spiritual authority’ TVD?”

    I have the same spiritual authority as you. Every believer has spiritual authority. Some of us just operate in it.

  113. There is incredible presumption and wordly impatience at C3 whereby Phil Pringle is always looking to stir up the latest revival of the Holy Spirit in his church when things seem to be at risk of appearing dull.

    Phil Pringle represents himself as somebody who is fully in tune with God and fully aware of when the right time to move is and isn’t. However this is false. He is impatient and he is not led by the Holy Spirit. When dealing with difficult cases in his church – people who have deep-seated problems which have solidified over ten to fifteen years, he has proven himself incapable of leaving their development in the hands of God and has decided to do what he considers best which has actually caused harm rather than healing.

    C3 is a place full of enormous pride, hypocrisy and presumption and it is all the result of one man, Phil Pringle. He puts the message out that he is an anointed man of God who can be trusted and who can discern the most delicate and difficult things. Yet when he finds problems which are not solvable by man, he resorts to having his team put messages out like:

    “We’re not mind-readers, you know. If you have a problem, tell us about it, otherwise we might not be praying the exact right thing for you.”

    OR

    “Faith without hints is dead”, which generally gets a laugh from the congregation but which is the opposite of real faith because it is saying that unless you give somebody a clue about what you need, you won’t receive it regardless of however much faith you have.

  114. Well, if someone has to have spiritual authority,TVD, it may as well be you – after all you are the one declaring God’s lack of sovereignty.

  115. Psalm 95:6 – Until you bend the knee to our sovereign Lord and Saviour along with the rest of His children.

  116. Even the pagan King Nebuchadnezzar could acknowledge God’s sovereignty……

    Daniel 4:35 “And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What hast Thou done?”

  117. Or does your bible say…

    “And all the inhabitants of the earth EXCEPT TVD are accounted as nothing , but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth EXCEPT TVD; and no one EXCEPT TVD can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What hast Thou done?”

  118. @TVD – when you refer to spiritual authority are you talking a personal authority “because I am a christian I have the right to name it and claim it and take dominion over the Enemy’s strongholds”, the church pastor “rank” system (yes I am an army wife) or the type that takes authority over a person’s sinful nature as this website suggests?
    See http://endtimepilgrim.org/spiritauth.htm

    I like this quote:
    “This is the greatest power! No conqueror who ever lived, no warrior who ever fought, and no king who ever reigned has had the power to rule the heart. Natural authority may have power to control others, but only the spiritual authority of God’s Spirit can control our hearts. Spiritual authority grows, not in having a church, but in laying down your life for others. In this context, an elderly widow who seeks only to serve others may have more spiritual authority than any other person in her church.”

  119. “Hard for the Pente’s who miss the worship (and it wasn’t a big stage show at our old church; no amazing singers or musicians; they just did their honest best); ”

    Actually, what I miss and still like is having singers and musicians who are off to the side – ie, not spread out on stage in front of everyone like they are entertainers. It’s been my good fortune to play alongside some really amazing people – but I always felt it was great to just be worshiping with the congregation. Which is why I have a problem with many things in the original article above. I don’t think people realize how many things have changed in pentecostal/charismatic churches over the years. I know to anti-pentecostals, the movement was bad from the start, but I have lots of good memories. There was less worldliness, more humility, less entertainment etc. Met some mighty fine God-loving people.

    @RP – confirmed by the Archbishop? That explains why you are so good!

    btw, to a non-Anglican, the high church/ low church thing really intrigued me. Still not sure I understand it. Are there high church people that would never go to low church..? and visa versa? Forgive me ignorance.

  120. Teddy, this might surprise you, but I was listening to a Joel Osteen podcast and he talked a lot about the sovereignty of God.
    Maybe he’s been reading your posts. 🙂

  121. @churchman

    “confirmed by the Archbishop? That explains why you are so good!”

    As was I! Way back in the late 70’s. Can’t remember his name though.

  122. TVD, the Archbiship was a busy man it seems! I’m feeling very second class at the moment….I wasn’t even confirmed!

    Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me! 🙂

  123. It was ‘Archbishop Donald Robinson’.

    “http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/life/resources/donald_robinson_selected_works/”

    “…I welcome these books, which record and celebrate some written ministry of Donald Robinson, formerly Vice-Principal of Moore College, Bishop in Parramatta, and Archbishop of Sydney…”

  124. It was ‘Archbishop Donald Robinson’.

    “http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/life/resources/donald_robinson_selected_works/”

    “…I welcome these books, which record and celebrate some written ministry of Donald Robinson, formerly Vice-Principal of Moore College, Bishop in Parramatta, and Archbishop of Sydney…”

    Here is an article tracing the change in Sydney Anglicanism from Archbishop Donald Robinson through to Archbishop Peter Jensen. It briefly describes all the political factions involved… it is amazing how familiar they are!

    http://www.lectionarystudies.com/parish/anglican18d.html

    It is also a response to TVDude – the Anglicans are really not so dependent on their prayer book these days, as a result of Jensen’s priorities.

  125. @RP

    “the Anglicans are really not so dependent on their prayer book these days, as a result of Jensen’s priorities.”

    That’s good to know. It’s funny, I can still quote verbatim the Apostle’s creed from the Book of Common Prayer – I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary etc etc!

  126. And what’s wrong with that – it’s an acknowledgment of faith. I say and mean it, my goodness, we dare say the Lord’s Prayer too.

    My pentecostal friends told me the other day, they pray the Lord’s Prayer every night – they would love to have that opportunity at church.

  127. I should say my C3 friends – not to make any division, they are committed Christians (who acknowledge God’s sovereignty).

  128. @teddy

    Did I say there is something wrong with it? My point is, after reciting it verbatim each Sunday from the Book of Common Prayer I can still recite it almost 30 years later.

    “My pentecostal friends told me the other day, they pray the Lord’s Prayer every night – they would love to have that opportunity at church.”

    The reason why it may not be recited at church is because it was a pre-cross prayer. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we don’t need to ask for God’s Kingdom to come, we don’t need to ask Him to forgive our sins, He has already delivered us from evil, and He has already given us our daily bread. That’s why Jesus’ last words on the cross were “it is finished”.

  129. That is the most outrageous thing you have ever said. You are proving day by day just how heretical you are, deceiving people in your church, bringing no comfort except with whatever “vain imaginations” come out of your mouth to mislead them.

    The Lord taught that prayer as a pattern, not be “recited” meaninglessly.

    Philippians 4:6-7 declares, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Get out of the pulpit.

  130. TVD’s list of “vain imaginations”……

    1. God is not sovereign.

    2. God does not kill.

    3. God did not cause the flood.

    4. Women should not suffer pain in childbirth.

    5. The Lord’s Prayer and its application no longer
    apply to the daily walk of a Christian.

    6. …………

    7. …………..

    8. …………….

  131. @teddy

    “The Lord taught that prayer as a pattern, not be “recited” meaninglessly.”

    You obviously didn’t attend your beloved Anglican church before the 1990’s did you? Every week we recited, word for word, the prayers from the Book of Common prayer. The entire congregation would drone in repetition of what the minister was reading, like mindless brain-dead robots. It was the most uninspiring, boring service every week. You could tell that no-one was actually listening to what we were saying, just repeating it verbatim in a distinctly mono-tonal voice. So, do not presume to correct me in this teddy, because you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Now, to address the rest of your “response”. I didn’t say we don’t need to pray. At all. I said that the Lord’s Prayer is not relevant because what is asked for in that prayer has already been established. Christianity 101. But, as I have already established, you obviously missed the bus that day.

    Teddy, you are so ignorant of the things of God and His Word. SO Ignorant! Do you actually READ the bible, or do you just google keywords to support your latest belief system? Maybe you just rely on your calvinist spiritual guru’s (false teachers) to tell you what to believe. I think it’s time you got down off your spiritual high-horse and began to use you brain instead of blindly repeating the calvinist mantra. THat way your opinions might begin to mean something.

  132. These views of yours are worthy of finding a place alongside Matt Ford and John Crowder in “The Museum Of Idolatry” or on Fighting For The Faith’s “Fractured fairytales” – any audio/video available for download or can I just “google”? 🙂

    No, it’s not “my place” to correct you. God’s Word is clearly doing that.

    Just wondering how you attained sinless perfection before God sovereignly takes you home, when even late in his ministry Paul calls himself the chief of sinners.

    2 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I AM the worst.”

  133. @teddy

    Read Hebrews 9 and 10 and then get back to me. Here’s a hint – “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:12

  134. @teddy

    ““The Museum Of Idolatry” or on Fighting For The Faith’s “Fractured fairytales”

    If your “appeal to authority” is these losers, then you have a real problem!

  135. Hmmm…… “being sanctified”? Sounds like an ongoing process. Have you attained perfection yet, because unlike the Apostle Paul, you no longer “sin”?

    Does the Holy Spirit ever convict you? Because if He is, you are sinning.

  136. ”The reason why it may not be recited at church is because it was a pre-cross prayer. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we don’t need to ask for God’s Kingdom to come, we don’t need to ask Him to forgive our sins, He has already delivered us from evil, and He has already given us our daily bread.”

    TVD, Seriously, that is the most unusual thing I have heard in a long time. Interestingly enough, I have come to appreciate and see the importance and depth of the Lord’s Prayer more recently than I ever have before.

    I am honestly bewildered by your statement. But, I’ll think about it. Just never heard that idea before. And I thought I’d heard everything.

  137. @teddy

    Are you really that unknowledgable about what Jesus did for you and for all mankind that you can ask such ridiculous questions? Basic, basic stuff – “Behold, the lamb who was slain who TOOK AWAY (past tense here teddy) the sin of the world”. Jesus atonement IS NOT an ongoing process. He became our sacrifice ONCE AND FOR ALL FOR ALL TIME!! If we keep having to be sanctified every day, we are crucifying Jesus all over again! We HAVE BEEN MADE RIGHTEOUS (Romans 5:12-21). I sin every day, as do you and every other Christian on the planet, but GOD sees it no more! It is as if we no longer sin! Because the old, sinful nature has been put to death, and we are new creatures in Christ! Celebrate it teddy, instead of wallowing in the awful slime of the man-made theology that we are all worthless creatures who don’t deserve to be saved. I suggest you stop listening to the refuse that is called “theology” on those stupid websites you revere and instead go back to the source – the Word of God – and find the truth out for yourself.

  138. @ churchman – some good commentary on the purpose of the Lord’s prayer…

    “The Lord’s Prayer, or more accurately, the Disciples’ Prayer, is not a set group of words to repeat. It is fine to recite it, as we recite many parts of Scripture. It is certainly fine to memorize it and to rehearse it in our minds and meditate on it in our hearts. But it is not so much a prayer in itself as it is a skeleton which believers are to flesh out with their own words of praise, adoration, petitions, and so on. It is not a substitute for our own prayers but a guide for them.

    In fewer than seventy words we find a masterpiece of the infinite mind of God, who alone could compress every conceivable element of true prayer into such a brief and simple form-a form that even a young child can understand but the most mature believer cannot fully comprehend.

    Another indication of the prayer’s divine comprehensiveness is seen in the seemingly endless schemes by which it can be outlined. When outlined from the perspective of our relationship to God, we see: Our Father showing the father/child relationship; hallowed be Thy name, the deity/worshiper; Thy kingdom come, the sovereign/subject; Thy will be done, the master/servant; give us this day our daily bread, the benefactor/beneficiary; forgive us our debts, the Savior/sinner; and do not lead us into temptation, the guide/pilgrim.

    From the perspective of the attitude and spirit of prayer, Our reflects unselfishness; Father reflects family devotion; hallowed be Thy name, reverence; Thy kingdom come, loyalty; Thy will be done, submission; give us this day our daily bread, dependence; forgive us our debts, penitence; do not lead us into temptation, humility; Thine is the kingdom, triumph; and the glory, exultation; and forever, hope.

    In similar ways the prayer can be outlined to show (1) the balance of God’s glory and our need; (2) the threefold purpose of prayer: to hallow God’s name, bring in His kingdom, and do His will; and (3) the approach of present (give us this day our daily bread), past (forgive us our debts), and future (do not lead us into temptation).

    Those are but a brief sampling of the ways in which Jesus’ magnificent diamond of prayer may be cut.

    The purpose of prayer is seen more in the overall thrust of these five verses than in any particular word or phrase. From beginning to end the focus is on God, on His adoration, worthiness, and glory. Every aspect of true righteousness, the righteousness that characterizes God’s kingdom citizens, focuses on Him. Prayer could hardly be an exception. Prayer is not trying to get God to agree with us or to provide for our selfish desires. Prayer is affirming God’s sovereignty, righteousness, and majesty and seeking to conform our desires and our purposes to His will and glory.”

  139. @churchman

    “I am honestly bewildered by your statement. But, I’ll think about it. Just never heard that idea before. And I thought I’d heard everything.”

    That’s ok. Do go and think about it. Read God’s Word about what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Find out what parts of the bible apply to post-cross gentile believers and what parts don’t. You will find that much of what is taught, especially in mainstream religion, is either man-made theology, or is pre-cross teaching aimed specifically at the Jewish people or the Pharisees of Jesus day or His disciples, and more often than not this teaching cannot apply to us as post-cross gentile believers.

  140. @glittergirl

    “Does that mean we don’t ask for help regarding temptation”

    What does the bible say about this? We know that satan is the tempter. He tempted Eve in the garden, he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and he tempts us. So what do we do when tempted?

    1 Peter 5:8-9 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. RESIST HIM, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

    James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

    Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ”

    Do any of these scriptures tell us to ask God to help us avoid or deal with temptation? NO! Each one tells us that WE need to deal with temptation by resisting the devil, by staying strong in the Lord and submitting to Him. God doesn’t need to help us in our temptation because He has given us the authority and the power over the devil to resist him ourselves!

  141. @ TVD – do you ever get convicted by the Holy Spirit? do you ever ask for forgiveness for something that you may have done wrong?

    Do you ever tell your wife you’re sorry? Just wondering?

  142. @ glittergirl – 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also that you may be able to endure it.”

    Temptation, sickness, sin, is our common denominator.

    What does TVD do with James 5:14-16

    “Is any among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over thema and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will rasie them up. IF THEY HAVE SINNED, THEY WILL BE FORGIVEN. THEREFORE CONFESS YOUR SINS TO ONE ANOTHER and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”

    Now that clearly show there are acknowledged sinners in the congregation “post-cross” who are encouraged to confess those sins “post-cross”.

    TVD is starting to sound quite wolfish.

  143. “Wolfish” in the sense of that wicked question asked way back in the Garden of Eden……….

    “Did God really say that?”

  144. @Teddy

    “@ TVD – do you ever get convicted by the Holy Spirit? do you ever ask for forgiveness for something that you may have done wrong?”

    There is a difference between being sorry and asking forgiveness. When I sin I most certainly am sorry and will tell God that. Do I ask forgiveness? No, because I have ALREADY been forgiven – past tense. Do you think that God wiped away all our sins when we become born again only to restart the ledger so to speak? NO!! Jesus died to eliminate sin once and for all for all men for all time. We don’t need to continually ask forgiveness because we ARE forgiven. Does this give us therefore a lisence to sin? Not at all! We must resist sin wherever possible, but even when we do stuff up God isn’t demanding us to plead with Him to forgive us. He already has

  145. I get that we are a new creation in Christ and therefore our hearts are now good in Him and in Him alone – many don’t – but I don’t get your separating the Lord’s prayer out as being pre-cross, and your reasoning for asking to being spared from temptation or testing.

    Yes I get we have to resist the devil and temptation etc as adults etc, but how does that equate to not asking – as Christ instructed us to?

    More explanation is required than an assertion that ‘oh that was to the Jews and the Pharisees and its not relevant’. That statement by implication means we can disregard anything Christ said without further DETAILED explanation – something you have not ever done on this blog despite numerous promises.

  146. Regarding the Lord’s Prayer:

    I have never heard the view before that we should not pray it today.

    I mentioned previously that I’ve enjoyed reading most of
    Dallas Willard’s book, ‘The Divine Conspiracy’. In it, he spent several pages looking at the Lord’s Prayer in depth, as a pattern for prayer. He gave an example of a paraphrase for it – not a reinterpretation, but a result of thinking about the scripture and rephrasing it in our own words.

    Here is his paraphrase (please note: not a replacement for the original, but an example of how we might use the scripture to deepen our own prayer life sometimes):

    Dear Father always near us,
    may your name be treasured and loved,
    may your rule be completed in us-
    may your will be done here on earth in
    just the way it is done in heaven.
    Give us today the things we need today,
    and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
    as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
    Please don’t put us through trials,
    but deliver us from everything bad.
    Because you are the one is charge,
    and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
    which is just the way we want it!

    eg: the last line is a paraphrase of ‘Amen’.

    This might not suit everyone – we all have different ways of speaking. But you get the gist.

    How this prayer cannot be relevant, I do not understand, whether it is straight from scripture, or meditated upon or used as a pattern for our personal prayer at times.

    TVDude – I also believe that we experience God’s Kingdom to an extent today – in so much as He lives in us and we submit to Him. But there is much of the world still to experience the arrival of His Kingdom. And of course, the return of Christ will be the ultimate fulfillment of this.

    As I write this, it is clear to me that many of our beliefs about God’s Kingdom, sovereignty and salvation will affect the way we view this prayer.

  147. mn

    I have been posting for the last few days from either my iphone or my office computer without access to any study materials or bible programs. When I get home tonight I will go through the Lords prayer to show you what I am on about

  148. TVD says …..”You will find much of what is taught, especially in mainstream religion, is either man-made theology, or is pre-cross teaching aimed specifically at the Jewish people or the Pharisees of Jesus day or His disciples, and more often than not this teaching cannot apply to us as post-cross believers.”

    Galatians 3: 26-29 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    What is in the water up there on the central coast? Kool Aid? I hope it’s not catching, I have family up there!

  149. Does anyone see something amiss with TVD’s
    “theology” – that God gave TVD an insight into scripture that was missed by the Body of Christ for the last 2000 years?

    That God gave this knowledge to TVD but we and all the rest of “post-cross” christianity (and those darn dead theologians) somehow missed the mark?

    I’ve been literally walking/sliding around the house shaking my head, as I wallow in my slime of sinfulness!

  150. TVD: “We must resist sin wherever possible, but even when we do stuff up God isn’t demanding us to plead with Him to forgive us. He already has.”

    1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

    1:8 That sure sounds like christians still have to admit that we are sinners despite being saved by faith in God.

    1:9 That verse is telling us we still sin and will sin – present and future tense used!

    It also doesn’t sound like we should automatically assume that God has forgiven us and will let us get away with our sinfulness no matter what we do either.

  151. @joey

    “IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    Exactly. And that’s what we do when we become born again. And when we become born again our sins are forgiven and we are made righteous.

    Did you know by the way, the word “confess” here means ” to agree with”? The word says that we were sinners, and we confess (agree with the word) when we come into relationship with Jesus.

    “It also doesn’t sound like we should automatically assume that God has forgiven us and will let us get away with our sinfulness no matter what we do either.”

    No it doesn’t appear to. But there are plenty of others that are much clearer:

    “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25

    “My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

    “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

    “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

    “for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:28”

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor 5:17

    And, as I said previously, this is not a license to sin. It just takes away the guilt and condemnation that the devil throws at us when we do sin.

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus …” Romans 8:1

  152. @teddy

    According to your “logic” regarding us being neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, we should be tithing, because if we are all the same, and the jews had to do it, then we gentiles should too.

    See, doesn’t really work does it?

    “What is in the water up there on the central coast? Kool Aid? I hope it’s not catching, I have family up there!”

    Following on from your “wolf” jibe, you’re barking up the wrong tree here!

  153. I might have to start the ‘Lords Prayer’ thread. Once again this topic has been derailed.

    I’d be interested to comment on this as well.

  154. “There is a difference between being sorry and asking forgiveness. When I sin I most certainly am sorry and will tell God that. Do I ask forgiveness? No, because I have ALREADY been forgiven – past tense. Do you think that God wiped away all our sins when we become born again only to restart the ledger so to speak? NO!! Jesus died to eliminate sin once and for all for all men for all time. We don’t need to continually ask forgiveness because we ARE forgiven. Does this give us therefore a lisence to sin? Not at all! We must resist sin wherever possible, but even when we do stuff up God isn’t demanding us to plead with Him to forgive us. He already has”

    For a TVD quote, which are almost always without exception, heterodox at best or heretical (by virtue of being a TVD quote) – there is some half decent theology in that….

    BTW – there is absolutely nothing wrong with praying the Lord’s prayer every day – its a good prayer….

  155. @ PP – and here’s a random welcome back quote….

    “Calvinism is not fatalism. Fate is meaningless cause and effect. Predestination is meaningful cause (God) and effect (salvation).”

  156. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. The whole point of me running SP02 was so people can post interesting articles on where the church was going. It’s clear that I have an interest where the wayward churches are going, while people like Greg, Wazza and Bull have their world in other settings.

    I’ve asked contributors if they’d like to be authors so that SP02 can see other faces to Christianity so that SP02 itself wouldn’t be so controversial.

    But now the Signposts communty can live on without me now since Lance has Groupsects and RavingPente and Heretic run ReflectionRooms. If I go the community still lives on. I simply didn’t want this community to disintegrate to nothing on the web which is why I took the position after RP said she had enough.

  157. And considering all the crap that I’ve had to endure from people like TVD or others who like to play games, or others who like to slander, threaten or play games with me via email… I just don’t need it anymore.

    It just gets tiring. And you really get to see how absolutely pathetic the church has become. There are pastors, leaders and teachers going to hell and the average Joe doesn’t care.

    What’s worse is that people like TVD or FL can be tricked by he devil himself and they’d defend the serpent! When people state the facts to these peoples face, they are proud of their blindness and become so hypocritical and religious. These men are dangerous and sending people to hell due to their pride and arrogance. I cannot call them ignorant. They’ve heard the alternative.

    And now because I dare actually call them out, watch them shoot me down. C3 is a gnostic cult. There is enough evidence if you just listen to the Phil Pringle and watch how manipulative and controlling he is.

    Now let the slander come against me. Let these false accusers (who deny actual fact and evidence) accuse me in their arrogance why I am so wrong and they are so right. If not that, watch them twist scripture, put on a false sense of humility or play the game where they are Daniels in the lions den, playing the martyr ‘for the glory of God’.

  158. And yeah… 5PS did have his toll on here.
    I guess I should ask the question.

    Who wants to run SP02?
    Who is keen to give it a new face?

  159. @Teddy. Liked that quote. The Lord’s Prayer is a masterpiece. I think in a mission setting it’s one of the first things people should learn. So much truth – practical and theological. It’s a beautiful prayer that can be used as the structure for a prayer time, and can be prayed verbatim alone or with others. Deeming it irrelevant as it’s precross is bizzarre in my opinion.

    @TVD. Do you realize how unusual your stance is? Not only thousands of years of Christianity but also current Charismatic thinking? So you have the democratic right to teach your view but remember that you are pretty much alone.

    @specks. Yeah this could be another thread.
    And you would have to be very brave, masochistic or crazy to run this blog! 🙂

  160. “Everything has its season.”

    And THAT was the word I got from God when I first became administrator so He could let me know that I shouldn’t hang to this like I was a pastor to a building.

    Do you know how many times he warned me about being too possessive about running SP02?

    He has been in this all. He’s saved my neck a few dozen times, I must say.

  161. @ Specks – I have a problem with WordPress but can continue to send articles to you to post up?

    Especially the one already sent “God is Great, God is Good” as an encouragement.

  162. specksandplanks, good on you for deleting that post. I read it and it wasn’t worth the pixels it was written on.

    No reply sought.

  163. Check out what scholars and Christian researcher are now writing on the prosperity movement. They are lining it up with cults and occult-like practice.

    I will do a post of one person in particular who has done so – Hank Hanegraaff.

  164. Last week PP talked of having Logos Bible Software at his disposal. It begs the question, then why doesn’t he use it? When it’s so easy to invalidate most of his claims through that same Bible software.

  165. OK, well, I’ve given you four blog opportunities now, three of which you’ve erased, to remove your evil claims about me, and you have, by your actions, made it clear you will continue with your abusive remarks, so I’ll take it as persecution, and hand it over to the Lord. He can deal with it.

    But, wait…

    I’ll give you one more chance with this. I’ll meet with you anywhere in Sydney next time I’m there, with witnesses if you like, and ask you personally to desist from your spurious claims.

    I can’t offer any more than this. It is the Bible way to deal with offence, and I have to say, that your remarks are offensive, so I’d like the chance to deal with the offence Biblically.

    I’ll ask you, face to face, to desist from accusing me of being a devil-supporter and defender, because I know you can’t show just reasons for making this assertion.

    If you remove this opportunity you are way beyond scriptural behaviour.

    We’re not playing games here, s&p, this is serious.

    And the Lord will vindicate me, I know.

  166. This is off topic, but actually really on topic in terms of the future of this blog.

    Gal 5:13ff

    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

    1 Cor 3

    Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
    Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.

    Two comments: The gifts of the Spirit may be optional, but the fruit of the Spirit is not. If we do not exhibit on a daily basis love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control we are not living as God has told us we should. If the other stuff is there – yes we may be a new creation with a good heart, but it is sin.

    All the crap will be burnt – that is a good thing, but not an excuse.

  167. @mn…

    I agree with you of course. I am trying to move on, but, without any provocation, s&p wrote the following at 6.35 pm, Feb. 5:

    ‘What’s worse is that people like TVD or FL can be tricked by he devil himself and they’d defend the serpent! When people state the facts to these peoples face, they are proud of their blindness and become so hypocritical and religious. These men are dangerous and sending people to hell due to their pride and arrogance. I cannot call them ignorant. They’ve heard the alternative.’

    That is unacceptable at any level. Especially without recourse to reply.

    It is an extraordinary and a very serious indictment of my ministry, character, and family. I deny it absolutely.

    I dont suppose you’d think much of it if 5PS said the same of you.

    He needs to remove the remarks.

  168. Go away you deceitful man! It’s been about 130 times now I’ve banned you.

    I’ve NEVER given out your name anywhere on here. You’ve let many people know through your comments that you are a C3 pastor and many people did there research before me and found out who you were.

    In the beginning you weren’t with C3 – but you decided to join the movement the entire time you were blogging here – also disagreeing with their views on things. Who knows for what reason you joined them. You even made this clear in your dialogue on Signposts02 a long way back.

    As a result you’ve aligned yourself with a movement that is a gnostic cult that is DESTROYING people. All you’re doing is defending a stupid alias!

    You have done so much damage on here. And your continual presence is incredibly disturbing. The fact that you keep coming on deceitfully actually condemns your actions more then it does me. As a C3 leader, I am amazed C3 is actually tolerating your behaviour on Signposts02. They need to know that a pastor from their movement is not making them look good.

    You have demonstrated to me continually that you can’t be trusted. And C3 leadership can’t be trusted. You honestly expect me to trust you among the vipers?

    I’m serious – go away!

    Repetition might help make you get this – go away!

    Now let me emphasize – GO AWAY!

    And just in case you still haven’t got it – go away!

  169. That’s it. I haven’t even bothered to read in full the last couple of posts. I am deleting all links with this blog.

    I have had a gutsful of people who call themselves Christian justifying each other reaming fresh orifices in others who are Christian.

    There is nothing else to be done.

    See you in heaven when all the dross has been burnt up.

  170. FL: “It is an extraordinary and a very serious indictment of my ministry, character, and family. I deny it absolutely.”

    But no one knows who FL is in real life.
    I’ve never said his name.

    All anyone knows is what he has said about himself and what others have said about him. Now this is what I say about him. I have never mentioned your name.

    You are an alias. Why defend it?
    It means nothing. Go away and make a new one.

    Your ministry is safe.
    Now go away.

  171. There is a reason why FL came on.

    See you mn. I enjoy your comments on here.
    Have a good life. Thanks for contributing what you have to Signposts02.

  172. specksandplanks, I don’t know whether you should keep this website going or not, because obviously it depends on what you want since you’re the one putting in all the effort. I do think that you are making a positive impact and effecting change which has been hard-fought and a long time coming due to the pervasiveness of the problems in the church that you describe on this website.

    What I want to ask you to please consider is if you would end up terminating this website because of one person, being FL. In my opinion, that would be very unfortunate and would be a poor reason for terminating this website. I think that it is exactly what he would want.

  173. I was giving TVD some kudos earlier for the recognition that God’s pardoning for sin was past present & future, but then I read back the thread a bit and found this:

    “The reason why it [the Lord’s Prayer] may not be recited at church is because it was a pre-cross prayer. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we don’t need to ask for God’s Kingdom to come, we don’t need to ask Him to forgive our sins, He has already delivered us from evil, and He has already given us our daily bread. That’s why Jesus’ last words on the cross were “it is finished”.

    Yep, that stuff is genuine TVD bovine schatology – what is really strange though is that it has almost a hyper-calvinist flavour???

  174. @PP – TVD comes to this blog having decided that none of us understand the finished work of the Cross.

    If one were to look closely at his church you will probably find it’s a woman who contributes to the major preaching schedule (his wife) – that being said, in churches like that, the extra-biblical revelation is quite common.

  175. @specksandplanks and other contributors to this blog wondering if exposing churches or false preachers are all worth the effort:

    *John Bunyan, of Pilgrim’s Progress fame, was variously accused of being a witch, a Jesuit, a highwayman, having a mistress, and having whores and several illegitimate children……

    *John Sung has been called rude, stubborn, a poor family man, and China’s greatest evangelist……

    ‘Ill-natured, wicked, mistaken – deserves punishment . . . ’ wrote the West Indian press about James Ramsay, a sensitive Christian who had inflamed public decency to intolerable levels. He was guilty of the ‘absurdest prejudice,’ roared men in England. Ramsay had published a book suggesting that the slave trade was wrong. Earlier this parson had had the gall to insert into the service a prayer for the conversion of blacks. The church was outraged. Some stalked out. The Churchwarden presented a formal protest against Ramsay’s ‘neglect of the parish’.

    Whitefield and Wesley, acclaimed leaders of a revival that blazed through Britain and America, were bludgeoned by allegations with the graciousness of a meat-axe. Whitefield’s first sermon was said to have driven fifteen of his hearers insane. Bishop Lavington published a blistering attack upon the Methodists, accusing Whitefield of horrendous sins. It so confused the author of Whitefield’s obituary that he penned two portraits. One was of a saint and the other of a rogue. The revival leaders were blasted from every side. Wesley’s wife broke into her husband’s cabinet and stole correspondence which she doctored to appear he had been unfaithful to her. It poisoned many. Toplady, writer of Rock of Ages, believed her. Even on his death-bed he summoned strength to affirm he still despised Wesley…..

    http://www.net-burst.net/book/c11.htm

  176. TVD – calling my acts being ‘evil, low’ acts in regards to exposing your ID… I never once exposed your identity! In a discussion, I am very sure you informed the Signposts community that you were indeed a pastor. Most definitely sure. Many had a discussion about your credibility.

    In this particular post, I mentioned that you should step down because of your inability to handle the bible effectively – and you accuse me of exposing your identity.

    It was only because of people on here talking about your pastoral abilities that I joined in. I am very confident that I did not give your name to anyone.

    However, others figured out who you were. I’m surprised how cluey people are on here.

    Please inform me exactly what it was that I or someone said, that makes you think that I exposed you.

  177. This is what TVD has said of himself on Signposts02. You’ve told us your identity. Not me. What did I expose?

    TVD: “I believe the motivations of many posters here is the same. Their intent I believe is to harm or hurt or uncover wrongdoings in the church, placing themselves in judgement above it. Using your “logic” then, they are false teachers too. I have myself been labelled a false teacher by these people, without one of them knowing me, my heart, my intent, or having even heard me preach.”

    From: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/god-calling-and-name-calling/#comment-17502

    TVD: “No, its just that you can’t fit me into your little “evil pente pastor” box and you are completely confounded.”

    From: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/diploma-mills-and-doctorate-dils/#comment-16877

    TVD: “I got saved and spent the first 10 years of my Christian life in the Anglican church. Bought into the whole “tongues are of the devil” rubbish, burnt my secular records on a huge church bonfire, made fun of the pentes, and basically wallowed in self-righteousness. Then one weekend I went to a local pente church with my girlfriend and fell in love with their freedom, their enthusiasm and their expression of their love for God. I left the Anglican church for good after that and embraced the pentecostal style of worship. I eventually moved to the Northern Beaches and attended CCC (as it will always be known to me) at Brookvale. Eventually I became a staff member and stayed there for about 16 years. I left Sydney 10 years ago and now pastor a church of around 200 awesome people with my wife.

    My social circle consists of old friends from CCC, my work colleagues, my family and members of my church, so, while I come across many types of doctrines and beliefs, I have to say I haven’t yet come across such dogmatic belief systems as I have seen here, hence my earlier statement. As for my beliefs, they are here in various places on SP02”

    From: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/diploma-mills-and-doctorate-dils/#comment-16868

    People have debated you credibility as a pastor due to your flaky theology. I say you should step down since you deny ‘God is Sovereign’. But you call yourself a Christian. What generally defines a convert to Christianity is the confession both on the lips and in the heart, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’.

    But you boldly claim the opposite unashamedly on Signposts02, ‘God is not sovereign’. I don’t know one person yet who hasn’t reacted to your statement.

    From:
    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/the-big-debate-free-will-or-no-will-calvinism-vs-arminianism/#comment-15088

    And:
    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/the-whole-earth-is-philled-with-this-pilth/#comment-16439

    As a result, I can safely assume MANY do question your position as a pastor and what you are doing in such a position. You are responsible for the state of God’s people and their spiritual, emotional and mental health. One thing that assures us, comforts us and keeps us anchored in our faith is that God is our rock and anchor. These are symbols of His Sovereignty. What are you doing behind the pulpit preaching about a god that makes people go, ‘Jesus is not Sovereign’?

    Your god does not sound like the God of Christianity. If there is anything that I have exposed is your denial of this foundational truth to Christianity. Others seem to have done this as well.

    “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” John 8:31

    “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” 1John 2:24

    “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” Isaiah 61:1

    “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2Peter 2:1

    “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign/Master and Lord.” Jude 1:4

  178. @mn, I really like your posts. Too bad you are leaving.

    @FL and TVD. Guys, I don’t understand you. This is not a rebuke because I know you won’t receive it, and I have no relationship to you, but, here are my thoughts.

    This is Specks blog. It’s not CNN or Time magazine. You haven’t been named. So what is your problem? Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, you name it. These guys have been named and accused of all sorts of things on any number of blogs. I don’t see them outraged and spending time on blog defending themselves and fighting. If you were the Pastor of a church and I knew who you were I wouldn’t go, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone go – not so much for your theology, but the way you respond to criticism. You are Pastors! If you are as called as you say you are and as spiritual and biblically literate, I would expect you to act bigger than what you are. You’re acting like a couple of kids in a youth group. Come on. Is this what Pentecost was for?

    Second. If you are Pastoring churches of over 100 people than good on you. But, how do you get the time to worry about a blog and do all this fighting? Apart from your personal prayer time and bible study, then your prayer and study in preparation for messages, don’t you have counseling or visitation? I’m sure you probably have people with heaps of problems, and others who have no problems but would love to have time with you.

    (Incidentally, there are many people with jobs who never get to see a Pastor like some of the problem people with more time. Maybe you could go and see them at work or after work?).

    And if you church is all healthy, prospering and okay, then why not “do the work of an evangelist”? Anyone in your town that hasn’t heard the gospel? Instead of getting steamed up about this blog, why not walk down a street you’ve never been to and knock on some doors?

    In other words, get over yourselves! Do you really think this is the work of the Lord? Is this the work God has called you to?

    If you are miffed by being told this and think I should do the same you are right. BUT, you guys are Pastors!!! You are the guys who should have more love than anyone on here. More strength in the face of opposition than anyone. More joy. I grew up thinking that Pastors in Pentecostal churches were men of God – on a higher level, something that in the future I wanted to be. But you guys (and I won’t go into your hyper radical doctines not accepted by almost all streams of the church) come across as schoolgirls. (No offense to schoolgirls).

    I dunno.. Am I funny in expecting more from Pastors who think they are so beyond the normal in power and theological knowledge?

    I don’t agree with Specks, I’m not a Calvinist, and maybe I spend too much time on here. But, I’m not responsible for hundreds of people as a Pastor. I think you owe more time, energy and prayer to your people than to defend your alias on a blog.

    PS, I have no idea who you are, and am not interested. But if you are really Pastors, then you don’t have to be a theology expert to suggest that you go busy yourself with Pastoring.

    If you kept answering the allegation and criticisms here with love, grace, logic and biblical proof, you could have done a good service for C3 or whatever churches you represent. Very unfortunate.

    We normal Christians need to grow up and get better. But you Pastors should be showing us the way. It should take more than a couple of Calvinists and the moderator of a blog to get you so upset.

  179. @churchman…

    Thanks for your comments. I’ll take them on board.

    My initial response is that I don’t mind criticism where it is warranted, and I’ll earnestly apologised when and where I need to, as everyone here would know, or defend my position if I am convinced I’m right to pursue it, but unjust accusations of a serious nature are not the same. The bogus accusation specks made is that I am devil led, defend the devil, and lead people to hell! I have asked him to remove this slur, that is all. Is that not reasonable?

    That’s not the same as discussing doctrine and having a disagreement. I’m happy to engage people in a frank and open way on these issues, as anyone who is an honest regular here will attest, but foul slander is not something we are to engage in as Christians. I have never slandered him.

    I have given specks ample opportunity to remove his remarks, but he has refused. I told specks that I forgave him for his words, but he conveniently cut those comments out, and left those which show more frustration with his falsehoods.

    This is not Specks’ site. He is the current moderator, and has changed it considerably. It was a mixed community of which I as a member until he went for the C3 jugular, before which RP looked after it sensibly, until Specks began to rule roost. I was the main contributor for at least a year before being turfed off.

    Specks is showing all the signs of being a wolf within C3. He is anonymously highly critical and scathing of the oversight, and of the church. He is actively at work removing members there. He is sowing discord amongst the brethren.

    In this regard, if you want to discuss pastoral care, it is also the work of pastors to expose wolves and deal with them, to defend the flocks of Gd, and to care for them by taking on the lion and the bear and the wolf. “Take heed to yourselves and to the flocks of God, for grievous wolves will enter in…”

    However, I have repeatedly said I do not comment here as a pastor, a representative of any organisation, or in any official capacity. These views are my own.

    What I do and when I do it is entirely between me and the Lord, and I am satisfied that I do what is required to serve those I am involved with. We can all do more, and we all fall short, but that is not from want of effort on my part. I comment here, in part, because I care about the flocks of God as much as any man, and see some injustices which should and will be challenged.

    Finally, since none of the people targeted here are readers of this blog, how can you say they would not respond if they ever did come here? I am surprised specks has got away with some of the things he has said. Many times he has come close to defamation, and even crossed the line. I actually spent much of my time warning him about this, since he seems to be careless at times, but that is his choice.

    Would you rather I let a person continue in error, or point out that it is ungodly to conduct himself in the way he does, especially against his own?

    Oh, one more thing. Specks claims that he shares the same pastors I do, in which case I am defending the very people he openly but anonymously despises and despicably accuses, his very own leaders. I don’t mind taking flack to deflect people’s attention from them. It’s called armour-bearing in some circles.

    Specks’ loyalty, frankly, sucks!

  180. FL: “In this regard, if you want to discuss pastoral care, it is also the work of pastors to expose wolves and deal with them, to defend the flocks of Gd, and to care for them by taking on the lion and the bear and the wolf.”

    A pastor defends the flock Facelift. You don’t – you’ve given them to the wolves. What kind of pastor does that to their sheep?

    I’m probably pulling your sheep out of the wolves den.

    Between you and TVD, I can’t help but think that when I’ve said I’m leaving, you two really bring out your guns again.

    You leave first – THEN I’ll go. I can imagine you two wanting some saint-like glory for knocking down a goliath-like ogre.

    I’ll be on until you leave. It aint over yet.

  181. I’m not your enemy, specks. The devil is, and his minions. And the flesh. And sin.

    You brought me into this, and it’s in your power to change it by removing your comments. The fact is, you actually believe what you said. Unbelievable, really.

    TVD and I have merely become targets because we don’t support your stance against C3 and PP, and have consistently called your bluff. That’s all.

    You didn’t answer our earlier questions regarding your credentials for rebuking PP. You have made the assertion he should be better qualified to lead a church. Using your own standard, how are you theologically qualified to rebuke an elder?

  182. Specks … we need to talk. I’ll email you later.

    FL, I think you are in essence correct on the point that the blog has been focused on one thing … almost to the exclusion of all others. I am not in a position to impartially or partially judge the quality of the basic critique of C3 although I can comment of the relative orthodoxy of Phil Pringles’ published comments and sermons.

    PP is quite far from established Christian Orthodoxy, even Arminian Orthodoxy. I won’t comment further on this. We would likely disagree, and that is not the point I want to make here. Leave that for another time.

    We, as part of the Sp02 community need to be able re-balance the topics and general level of debate. I think S&P has done a terrific job but has been on the receiving end of quite a lot of emails etc as he is very close to the main topic of interest for himself, his church and this site.

    The question for anyone who takes it on, assuming S&P wants to just be a contributor is to count the cost in terms of time and energy. S&P is a main contributor in terms of topics and debates, so when there is an argument between himself and others, it is very difficult for him. If he bans the person for being abusive or cutting too close to the edge, then he is accused of being partial in his judgment.

    So rather than S&P closing the blog down, someone else, who is seen to be fair (hopefully) could step in to the background and take on that admin stuff.

    The moderator could then stifle and abusive people and we could have a more genteel atmosphere which would be much more conducive to debate.

    I am NOT volunteering for the role. (yet!)

    I need to count the cost in terms of time and energy before I could even ask my wife!

    Shalom.

  183. I’ve sent the “moderator?” a new article perhaps to bring the focus back on the nature of God in light of Job. There are undeniable facets of suffering as part of our walk and as much as TVD may like to bring extra-biblical revelation, it doesn’t hold a candle to God’s revealed word and the reality of “taking up our cross”.

  184. @FL

    I thought your response to my comment was very well presented and said in a great spirit.
    Impressed.

Comments are closed.