C3 Oxford Falls recognised by community

From the Manly Daily, a great report of a local church’s contribution to the community being recognised in a unique way.

Something really good and fruitful must be happening at C3 Oxford Falls!

 

WARRINGAH Council’s top citizenship awards this year were all awarded to members of the C3 Church in Oxford Falls.

Church members scooped all of the council’s major awards including the Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

The exceptions were the 10 people who got outstanding community service awards, including the late South Narrabeen surf lifesaver Nicholas Brice and champion surfer Layne Beachley.

Josie Parata-Halo, a single mother of four, was awarded the council’s highest honour – Citizen of the Year.

Ms Parata-Halo runs the SMS Lighthouse program, which assists single mums. On SMS’s website she is described as a Christian attending C3 Church.

In a release announcing the award, Warringah Mayor Michael Regan described Ms Parato-Halo as an “inspirational character” and said her volunteer work had greatly benefited the community.

Fellow C3 member Tristian Scifo was named Young Citizen of the Year.

The 23-year-old North Manly resident has run a bi-annual leadership camp for high school students and leads a weekly support group.

The Community Event of the Year was awarded to C3-run Beyond Megafest, in recognition of the “positive education and support provided to Warringah youth”.

 Well done all!


115 thoughts on “C3 Oxford Falls recognised by community

  1. Good on them, I applaud their good deeds. But, (the verbal eraser) this is about Christ’s work in their lives, not C3. Please give honour to where honour is due….

  2. They are C3 …this is a representation of Christ’s work in, and through our C3 community! A community that is Christ centered helping the “Josie’s” of this world not only recover from a traumatic life but assisting them to discover purpose and empowering them to add value to the broader community.

    Matt 5:16 “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”

  3. @Peter,

    “They are C3 …this is a representation of Christ’s work in, and through our C3 community!”

    Rubbish. C3 is a smug, arrogant, navel-gazing, self-promoting, man-centred, money-grubbing, success-worshipping, works-based, scripture-twisting, gospel-perverting cult, and they are friends of many like-minded heretics and heretical organisations around the world.

    They dishonour and defame God, and applaud those who do likewise. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the world finds no fault with them.

  4. It was Warringah Council which honoured the church, margot, not themselves. They didn’t ask for recognition, it was just given. Perhaps you should write to the council and ask them to include Jesus in the award ceremony next time.

    As Peter says, their light is shining as far as their local council is concerned. We are supposed to have a good testimony amongst those who are outside.

    C3 Oxford Falls has been doing some excellent work in the community for a few years, and it is good that the council is prepared to acknowledge this.

    Ano,
    You might know a few things about the Bible, but you don’t know Jesus, and you don’t know the Father.

    You merely utter the words your own spiritual father would utter if Jesus hadn’t bound him up.

  5. @ Steve – I see the twitter stream going out all the time, not just about this story. I’m not looking for an argument here, but the focus is far too much on the church, rather than Christ, when there’s publicity to be had.

    This has been going on for years, and it always made me uncomfortable. You can have your opinion, I having mine.

  6. It was just a good news story in the middle of a series of heated discussions, margot.

    I don’t know why you have to be so religious about it. Why not just enjoy a good report for once, or do all good reports have to be qualified so that you’re comfortable?

  7. Besides which it is notable ad unusual for any group to scoop the pool like this. That it should be C3 OF, which cops so much flack on here, was a nice contrast to the usual posts we have seen on here over time.

  8. Steve,

    Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned, and you lack the requisite degree of sensitivity to be able to judge correctly. There’s no doubt that you are possessed of a reasonable intellectual capacity, but that is simply not what is required to understand matters such as these.

    I didn’t arrive at any conclusions by myself, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of you. I know that you are well-meaning, but you are not in any position to be able to pass judgement in this regard. Indeed, you don’t have the aptitude to be a pastor (if that is still what you are doing?) – although, to be fair, not many do. You would really be best advised to pursue a career in the world, and to learn to keep your own counsel.

  9. Besides which, I thought it was amazing that a local newspaper gave the report in a positive way without hiring Uniting Church cult ‘expert’ Bill Meulenberg to give a counter report on why the church was so into whatever he thinks they’re into these days.

    He would probably have said something which was on between what you said above and what Ano said, so this thread has it covered already! 😉

    Didn’t Bill once go to a Benny Hinn meeting with a Courier reported disguised as a cripple in a wheelchair pretending to be miraculously healed to get on stage in an attempt to ‘interview’ or confront Hinn. The reporter actually go ton stage, but when Hinn waved his hand, he went down under the power and never got to say a word to Hinn. Hilarious!

    Bill and the reporter, in their article then proceeded to claim the ushers pulled his mate over. LOL! 😀

    Critics! Where would we be without them!

  10. P.S. That would be “flak” that C3 cops

    [from the German, fl(ieger) a(bwehr) k(anone) – literally “flyer anti cannon”].

  11. Ano,
    ‘I didn’t arrive at any conclusions by myself’

    You mean you have some helpers? Do you have a special negative phrase dictionary?

    I thought you were full of the devil, but there’s no room in a place where you’re so full of yourself.

  12. Anyway, love and peace to you Ano.

    I’m sure being right all the time must be a burden to you, so I’ll leave you to it, and be on my fault-laden way.

    You’re right. I can’t do a thing without Jesus.

  13. Strange how my wanting to see Christ’s name elevated above C3, drew such a negative response from you, Steve. If that makes me religious – so be it.

    And your 6:58 comment came way out of left field. Very odd…

  14. @Margot,

    “Strange how my wanting to see Christ’s name elevated above C3, drew such a negative response from you, Steve.”

    It may be that Steve’s strong reaction is symptomatic of cognitive dissonance. He wouldn’t be the only apologist for C3 who would be suffering from that.

  15. Anyone dropping in on this discussion would just see some Christians spoiling for a fight and openly wanting to tear into each other. Quite frankly, it gives a really poor impression. Both teams effectively calling the other spawn of the devil!

    How does anyone here know whether those who have been recognised for their good works did or didn’t give glory to God, or use it to proclaim the gospel amongst their contacts, or if it was used as a focal point of worship in a C3 service to stir others to let their light shine more brightly and engage with a lost world. How does anyone know, bar a few twitter feeds, what was the response?

    That C3 OF got some mileage from this is hardly a cynical stunt, but how quick we are to lambast from a distance after a plethora of assumptions or from a perspective of no knowledge at all. If I was one of the people involved I would use every opportunity in award ceremonies and similar platforms to preach the good news. Let’s hope the word gets out there through these community service awards. Perhaps a bit of Tebowing on stage is due!

  16. Sorry to hear Tebow is sharing a stage with Kenneth Copeland in a few weeks, maybe he’ll get an opportunity to share theTruth to those poor WOF folk. 😦

    But on a more positive note, heard Tebow’s missionary dad preach a great sermon a few weeks ago. 🙂

    And sorry, but my cynicism about publicity-seeking churches (not the congregations) is well founded. 😦

  17. Margot, I can understand your comment about publicity-seeking churches taking the glory for themselves, but the Manly Daily clip above does not say that C3 attribute these folks’ actions to anything they have done. C3 is mentioned in dispatches much as any denomination might be.

    What it did spark was a series of nasty, spiteful, sarcastic exchanges that give absolutely no glory to God.

    We must not be those who ‘have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth’ (1 Tim 6:4-5).

  18. Ziebart,

    “Both teams effectively calling the other spawn of the devil!”

    I was accused of that, but in fact I didn’t respond in kind – actually my reply was quite measured, given the insulting and provocative nature of what was said. Well, it was presumably intended to be insulting and provocative, but it didn’t really bother me in the least – Steve’s blustering may be intended to intimidate, but it’s really more like being flogged with a limp lettuce. (It’s interesting to note that he accused me of arrogance, among other things. If he were still a C3 pastor, that would be a classic case of projection; if not, it’s a case of old habits dying hard).

  19. @ zeibart – if you go back to my comment at the start of the post, it was general observation AND recognition of those involved.

    Nothing malicious about that comment unless others take it to the next level..

    Now how about we all go on to the new post on Barth and play the universalism etc game AGAIN, because critiquing churches is far more dangerous than telling us what God really meant to say (because what He actually says can’t be true).

  20. well, the touch paper was lit – not pointing, just saying.

    Agreed on Barth. How can you have sola scripure, double predestination and implied universalism in the same bag?

    Off we go….

  21. I wasn’t being spiteful, zeibart. I am serious. Either Ano is full of he devil or full of himself, or maybe there’s no difference between the two states.

    Nothing he has said indicated he is filled with the Spirit of Christ.

    His personal attacks are nothing short of insensitive, indecent, patronising and arrogant. His opinion of C3, as expressed above in lurid detail, which seems to have even shocked wazza, is just wicked and totally uncalled-for, especially considering the context of the post.

    Far from an attempt at being intimidating towards Ano, whoever s/he is, LOL, I am putting it out there that this person has nothing to do with Christ. Nothing perceivable here anyway.

    And, margot, my reference to Bill Meuelenberg was tongue in cheek. I was trying to lighten it up a little.

    If you don’t think that Mark Kelsey, Pastor at C3 OF, when announcing the awards in church, didn’t give glory to Jesus, you really are stretching things, especially since, after 22 years at C3 OF, you’d have to know his nature.

    I’d be very surprised if he didn’t say something like, “Praise God, isn’t that awesome! Thank you, Jesus!” And everyone would have said something like “Amen!”

    If I was a bit strong in my response to your comments and Ano’s disgrace, it’s because I really don’t understand that kind of approach to a church or Christians being told they’ve done a good job in the community by their local council.

    Aren’t we supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice?

    And what I mean by religious is that here is nothing whatsoever which will satisfy you as acceptable about what C3OF does in the community. You had to find something to negate a good response.

    Of course Jesus comes first in all things. He is the Pre-Eminent One. But not as a weapon or a put-down in a conversation.

  22. “His opinion of C3, as expressed above in lurid detail, which seems to have even shocked wazza, is just wicked and totally uncalled-for, especially considering the context of the post.”

    It’s only uncalled for if what have said is untrue, which it most certainly is not. What if I said uncomplimentary things about Mitt Romney, who is a contender for the presidential race in the U.S.? Would it be “wicked” to do that? He is a “mormon” – that is, a member of a cult – would pointing that out be “uncalled for”?

    As for you having brought up “the context of the post”, you are simply putting your ignorance of the Bible on public display (again). It’s quite obvious that you have never read and understood this:

    “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.”

    Do you think it’s a good thing that Phil Pringle has an OAM? Whose money did he spend doing all those “good works” that brought him such worldly recognition? Did Jesus get any nice awards from the Roman emperor for his “services to the community”?

    “I’d be very surprised if [Mark Kelsey] didn’t say something like, “Praise God, isn’t that awesome! Thank you, Jesus!”

    I don’t know what he might have said about these awards, but I *do* know that he has said from the pulpit regarding giving: “There is no compulsion to give [at C3]”, and then, shortly thereafter, “We need to remember the [primacy of the] tithe”. What he meant was that there is no compulsion to give what C3 calls “offerings”; that is, to give *beyond* the 10% tithe. This is nothing less than Orwellian double-speak, and it is indicative of a conscience that has been seared with a hot iron.

    Just in case you missed that, I’ll restate it for you: C3OF preach tithing as an absolute and incontrovertibly non-negotiable requirement. They claim that the tithe “belongs to God” – and that if you withhold it, you are “robbing God” and that you are “under a curse” as a result. That is a lie. It is heresy – don’t you understand that? You claim that you read your Bible – have you ever read Galatians?

    “[…] a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”

    Tithing is law at C3OF. C3OF are clearly preaching a different Gospel from the one that Paul preached under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and if you’d read your Bible you would know what Paul had to say about that:

    “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”

    C3OF are putting a heavy yoke on the necks of those who are foolish enough to listen to them, and if they don’t repent they will be judged most severely.

    But you choose to overlook all this – to explain it away, to rationalise it – and you are therefore also tainted with their guilt that is theirs. Keep going the way you are; you are right on track to get that cardboard crown.

  23. @ anonymous – any thoughts on art galleries (and the “pastoral artwork”) in churches being promoted for sale from the pulpit?

  24. @ Greg – my comment at the top of the post….

    “margot says:
    January 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm
    Good on them, I applaud their good deeds. But, (the verbal eraser) this is about Christ’s work in their lives, not C3. Please give honour to where honour is due….”

    Next time the Manly Daily does a story on C3 members, should I send them an email letting them know that even C3 members would acknowledge it’s Christ’s work in their lives that enables them to do what they do. That even they would prefer He gets the honour, first and foremost, not C3?

    John 3:30 – even John the Baptist figured that out 🙂

  25. @Margot,

    ‘any thoughts on art galleries (and the “pastoral artwork”) in churches being promoted for sale from the pulpit?’

    I do Margot, but I’m preoccupied with some other stuff at the moment, and I think that the issue of the “artwork” deserves a considered and comprehensive comment. I’ll post something when I have adequate time to cover the subject matter properly (hopefully that will be soon-ish).

  26. @Greg,

    “Each of the C3 winners received only one nomination and were selected purely based upon the quality of information within the nomination.”

    We might ask: “By whom were these people nominated?” This is reminiscent of the allegations of Australian Idol vote-stacking by Hillsong. Tell me, did Paul enjoin any of the churches to which he wrote to nominate their people for community awards?

    “It is probably true that C3 took an active interest in ensuring that the nominations were well written and placed their people in good positions – however it is also true that any group could have done that.”

    Of course “any group” could have done that – but the “group” that is C3 is meant to be operating according to the mandate that says: “[…] go and make disciples of all nations […]” – not ensuring that their members get a mention in the pages of the local newspaper.

    And that is symptomatic of what is wrong with C3 – “they loved praise from men more than praise from God”. Why do you suppose I referred to C3 as being “success-worshipping” – do you think that maybe it’s because they worship what they see as “success”? Perhaps you are labouring under the misapprehension that my comments are ill-informed…

    Every day people are departing this mortal coil, and many of them are slipping into an eternity without Christ. Don’t you think that the church should be warning the people, rather than playing the world’s pointless games? What does God have to say about the watchman on the wall who does not raise his voice to warn those who are perishing? Do you ever think about that?

  27. Ano,
    ‘Perhaps you are labouring under the misapprehension that my comments are ill-informed…’

    Not really. I’m not labouring at all. Christ is my strength and my refreshing.

    Being Anonymous, you mean nothing at all. I’m just pointing out the meanness of your spirit and your erroneous use of scripture to justify your hatred of a church which has been thanked by its own local council for making a difference in the community.

    It is you who seems to be labouring to add mud to slime with your ongoing justification of your disgraceful attitude.

    Your religiosity is akin to the lawyers of Jesus’ day in Israel, who could always find a scripture or two to justify their anger at the goodness of God.

    I see margot is feeding you scraps also.

    I wonder what the point of commending a local church is on this blog.

    At least Bones and wazza saw the good and kept out of it, and Greg took the time to check it out and give a positive approval. Margot was begrudgingly approving, but found something just in case.

    Maybe it’s best to let you search out bad things that are happening in the Body to post up, like Lance White, and leave you to it.

  28. @ Steve – I am interested in the new approach to doing ministry. Product promoted from a pulpit, a captive market and advertising product via Facebook, twitter ” we have that special something for someone special in your life” etc etc

    View the product after the service. Not good.

  29. margot, you placed that in the hands of Ano, who is clearly antagonistic towards C3. He reminds me of s&p, actually, but is a little more articulate and very condescending.

    If you want to question these things, go ahead. Write a post we can all comment on and take it from there, but I think these issues have been done to death on this blog over time, frankly, and we should be looking at some fresh ideas, even positive contributions.

    Ano will slime C3 no matter what is said. I haven’t seen such bitterness of spirit since s&p. But even he was occasionally nice.

  30. @ Steve – I’ve seen harsher than Anon on here. It’s the anti-C3 bias that gets you stirred and that’s ok, you’re pretty consistent in that respect. That doesn’t mean you can have the final say, surely? There are C3 advocates that would agree with quite a few of the concerns discussed here. Some are simply not bloggers.

    How can you call someone bitter when they haven’t discussed their personal story here at all?

  31. margot – what Ano said:
    C3 is a smug, arrogant, navel-gazing, self-promoting, man-centred, money-grubbing, success-worshipping, works-based, scripture-twisting, gospel-perverting cult, and they are friends of many like-minded heretics and heretical organisations around the world. They dishonour and defame God, and applaud those who do likewise. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the world finds no fault with them.

    Sounds more like an insider with a chip on his shoulder to me, or a would-be discernment ministry type. That’s why s&p springs to mind.

    If he has a story worth listening to, fine, but I’m just going by what he’s written here in response to a good report of something he hates.

    Some of his personal attacks on me were just ridiculous. If he has a chip in regards to C3, what have I to do with it?

    Why don’t you ask him?

  32. @Steve,

    “Didn’t Bill once go to a Benny Hinn meeting with a Courier reported [sic] disguised as a cripple in a wheelchair pretending to be miraculously healed to get on stage in an attempt to ‘interview’ or confront Hinn. The reporter actually got on stage, but when Hinn waved his hand, he went down under the power and never got to say a word to Hinn. Hilarious!”

    I am intrigued by what you have written there:

    “[…] [the reporter] went down under the power […]”.

    You don’t refer to “the Holy Spirit” or even “the Spirit”, but “the power”.

    “power”, Steve? “power”? Not even capitalised, as in “Power”?

    What exactly do you think the “power” was? What was its provenance? The reason I ask is this: the way that you phrase it, it sounds like something demonic – like something to do with the occult. Did you deliberately choose that terminology, or was it something entirely unconscious on your part?

    Here is a quote from Benny Hinn:

    “God the Father, ladies and gentleman, is a person and He is a triune being by Himself, separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost. See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person; but each one of them is a triune being by himself. If I can shock you and maybe I should, there’s nine of them! What did you say? Let me explain. God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul and his own personal spirit body. You say, I never heard that! Well, you think you are in church to hear things you heard for the last fifty years?”

    The above quote from Hinn is why I ask you what you think “the power” is: the man wielding what you call “the power” has said that there are nine in the Godhead, not three. He was later confronted over that heresy, and he recanted, but the question remains – by what spirit is a man ministering who commits such egregious theological error?

    Perhaps we can overlook Hinn’s outrageous heresy – after all, he is very popular. Maybe we should view his ridiculous assertion as an interesting counterpoint to the modalism of T.D. Jakes. Or perhaps we should all just have a chuckle and move on – after all, you did describe the episode as “hilarious”. But I have to say Steve, speaking for myself, I really don’t think it’s a laughing matter, because those who purport to be ministers of the Gospel will be held accountable for the eternal fate of those to whom they preach.

  33. @Steve,

    “Critics! Where would we be without them!”

    I’m sure of two things: firstly, that Mike Godwin knows the answer to that question, and secondly that C3 would like to find out.

  34. Yes, of course, you’re right, Jake. He went down under the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I forgot you have to dot all the ‘i’s an cross all the ‘t’s and capitalise God references for the religious folk just in case a little demon slips in.

    Of course, the Greek was written in lower case without punctuation, but there you go!

  35. I wonder if God makes allowances for people who blaspheme the Spirit out of ignorance. There are many occasions where people fell prostrate under the power of the Spirit. The article claims that a person must always be self-controlled so the Spirit would never cause them to fall, but scripture doesn’t either declare this or confirm it.

    What it means by self-control is something completely different related to character, attitude, motives and conduct, nothing to do with succumbing to the Presence of the Spirit in such a way that your bodily functions are overtaken by his glory. Many examples exist of saints being overwhelmed by the Presence of God.

    If indeed people do fall under the power of the Holy Spirit, but critics claim it is hypnotic power, suggestive power, or, worse, demonic power, then the Spirit of God is being demeaned, and blasphemed against, a sin for which there is no forgiveness, according to Jesus.

    I have prayed for people who fell under the power of the Spirit, and there was no trickery, hypnosis or demonic activity. It was God’s Presence overwhelming people who were yielded to his Spirit. I’ve opened myself up for more flack of course, but let the truth be told here, ad not a heap of mumbo jumbo religious tripe in the guise of scholarship.

    When the Spirit of God ministers to people and manifests himself through believers, thee will be changes, and his power will be known.

    Those who doubt and cannot be bold enough to allow him free access to meetings will always have to attempt to rationalise to save their unbelieving hides, but he will touch whom he wants through whom he wills.

    I always feel more sadness than upset for people who deny the Presence and power of the Spirit, because they really do cause themselves to miss out on his Person.

  36. “I have prayed for people who fell under the power of the Spirit, and there was no trickery, hypnosis or demonic activity. It was God’s Presence overwhelming people who were yielded to his Spirit. I’ve opened myself up for more flack of course, but let the truth be told here, ad not a heap of mumbo jumbo religious tripe in the guise of scholarship.”

    Steve, I was one of those people, someone who fell under the power, no trickery, BUT the power of suggestion and common experience and the atmosphere created by monotomous music or a slow steady rhythmic beat, these are events created by good- intentioned men that achieve the desired result.

    I always feel sad when men claim the “experiences” manifesting must be God. Changed lives? How many have changed that haven’t been “slain”?

  37. And all you create is a two-tier Christianity, the haves and the have nots. The number of people even at C3, who tell me they fake it so as not offend the person doing the “ministry” – what a sad situation to find oneself in.

  38. I experience the presence and touch of the Holy Spirit. When God’s Word is read and taught, when it ministers to me and brings tears of conviction then peace and assurance. And all as I sit in my seat, not on a floor amidst chaos and disorder.

  39. Hello Margot,

    That’s a good article you’ve linked to there.

    I imagine that perhaps the woman was forced sue – her insurance company probably knocked her back since it was “an act of God” (I thought I’d throw some humour in for Steve, who seems to be in a consistently touchy frame of mind).

  40. Er, not exactly, especially in places like Indigenous communities where they’d never heard of this stuff, and there was no ‘monotonous music’ or ‘slow steady rhythmic beat’, worship, yes, but otherwise only the starry night sky, natural fire torches, desert sands and moving of the Holy Spirit.

    I once discovered I had blackened feet from standing barefoot on a slight hill which had previously been used for a fire, and was full of ash which I didn’t see in the night meeting. There I saw people move forward for prayer after the message, to be touched by the Spirit before reaching anywhere near where I was.

    This was at a place called Well 33, so far into the desert it was named for its waterhole. People were saved in that remote place, and the Spirit moved in power. The group that live there, the Kunnawaritji, which is a small clan, had never seen anything like this. The only thing which happened was the preaching of the gospel of Christ with signs following as the Spirit confirmed the Word preached. Glory to God!

    There are many other examples in different places with different kinds of people, but the point I’m making is that I don’t think you can put the Holy Spirit in a box and expect him to play the tune the way you expect.

    He is the Wind, and you don’t know where he’s going to show up next, but you can see where he’s been. We’re supposed to be like him.

    “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

  41. I think it’s possible that people in the history of the church have fallen down when prayed because they were touched by the power of God. (It’s not illogical or unscriptural that a person would FEEL or experience something physical in response to prayer or an encounter with God.

    It’s also possible that sometimes people “feel” things, or experience things physically that are because of all kinds of different reasons, but mistakenly think that what they felt was the power of God or some spiritual entity. This applies to Charismatics, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists etc.

    I personally believe that I have experienced something physically in response to prayer – it was years ago, so I’d testify in a court of law that I did, but at the same time realize it was a long time ago, I really wanted to experience something, and it was my first time in that atmosphere.

    But, I also have years of experience of being prayed for people who obviously were trying to “help” the Holy Spirit. I think that’s foolishness – but the people involved were not really trying to be deceptive.

    My simple thought in terms of “slain in the spirit” being a sign, is that it would be more of a sign if someone lying down levitated until they were standing on their feet. But you don’t see that much.

    ie. You can be in a meeting and see hundreds of people fall down, nobody healed, and in fact some get hurt falling down. So,
    seeing people fall down doesn’t indicate to me that God is moving.

    I will say that for most humans, walking out in front of a crowd to be prayed for when you see that others who are prayed for fall down, is a pretty heavy experience. In fact, for most people just walking out in front of 20 people puts them into a totally different psychological state. So, being in front of thousands when the “anointed” man who dispenses the power of God is about to pray for you and not only pray for you but “send” the power of God into your body is a pretty heady mix.

    But…..

    Let’s continue to pray for one another. I believe that our “mortal bodies can be quickened”. Let’s pray that we would know him and the “power of his resurrection” and the fellowship of his sufferings like Paul. And the “power” of his resurrection I believe can have a wide meaning. Who are we to put limits on it?

    In Asia people fall down, cry, you name it in response to holy men.
    I don’t think it’s necessarily demonic. And I of course don’t think it’s the Holy Spirit. Humans are very easily manipulated.

    As an aside, how much time do we spend praying for the people in our church.

  42. margot, your reference to the guy who thinks it is the devil who causes people to ‘fall under the power’ was revealing, and the reason for my response. It’s a blog. We make comments, others respond.

    It is telling when people deny the Presence and power of God, and, if you think carefully about it, you will have to admit that this is just as likely to cause ‘two-tier Christianity’ as those of us who say God moves in the way he wants to.

    The two ‘classes’ of Christian you refer to are created by one of them denying something is of the Holy Spirit. Only one can be scripturally accurate.

    Jesus made it abundantly clear that if you say that the devil did something which was actually the ‘Finger of God’, who is the Holy Spirit, you are blaspheming the Spirit.

    Now I think there are those who do it from a Pharisaic position of legalism, and those who do so purely out of ignorance to the truth. My question is, does God make allowances for ignorance in such situations?

    If the writer of the passage you sourced is saying the devil causes people to fall under the power, when in fact it is the Holy Spirit doing so, where does he stand with God?

    1 Corinthians 2
    1* ¶ And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.
    2* For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
    3* I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
    4* And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
    5* that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

  43. Steve,

    So your answer to my question:

    “The above quote from Hinn is why I ask you what you think “the power” is: the man wielding what you call “the power” has said that there are nine in the Godhead, not three. He was later confronted over that heresy, and he recanted, but the question remains – by what spirit is a man ministering who commits such egregious theological error?”

    Is “the Holy Spirit”.

    Really? This is the same man who claimed that there are nine in the Godhead – a trinity of trinities.

    If he had baptised someone, would he have done so “in the name of the Father[1], in the name of the Father[2], in the name of the Father[3], in the name of the Son[1], in the name of the Son[2] …”

    Honestly, that you should give such a manifestly clueless individual any credence whatsoever speaks volumes. Would you let this person teach children about God in Sunday school? Would you buy his books? Would you recommend him to others? Would you invite him to speak at a conference?

    BTW, it’s not “flack”, it’s “flak” [from the German, fl(ieger) a(bwehr) k(anone) – literally “flyer anti cannon”].

  44. Guys, I have a goal to be more succinct. I want to redo that last post.

    1. I believe it’s possible that people cry, fall down, get healed, receive physical strength – i.e. experience physical manifestations in response to prayer.
    2. I don’t believe that every physical manifestation seen in Charismatic meetings or other religious meetings is the direct result of the work of God or evil spirits.
    3. Let’s pray more.

    That’s better.

  45. Steve, I liked your post. You’ve told us that one before.
    In all seriousness ….maybe you should do some more outback evangelism?

    I have a question for both Steve and Margot.

    Steve, do you think that THERE ARE TIMES when people fall over when they either don’t need to, or just for psychological reasons in charismatic meetings?

    Margot, if you went on a missionary trip somewhere with Mark Driscoll or another reformed minister, and when people responded to the preaching of the gospel (not “prosperity” or half-baked, but the good message that Piper, Macarthur would be proud of), they feel down or had some kind of physical response, would you think that they definitely were faking it, were manipulated, or were under the control of demonic spirits?

    Both serious, non-sarcastic questions.

  46. re the topic, let’s all do more good works. Not to earn salvation, but because it’s what we are called to do, and ….well, it’s just nice 🙂
    The world needs more good works.

  47. Passion is good, but I believe Christians should watch their tone, and attitude when they criticize ministers and whole churches.

  48. It’s actually Fliegerabwehrkanone, and ‘flack’ is officially a variant, so I’ll use it just to annoy you until you get over it, Jake.

    I haven’t made any comment on Benny Hinn on this thread, Jake, except to illustrate a hilarious story of attempted deception by two journalists trying to catch Hinn out in a deception. The irony is delicious.

    The reporter, whose name I can’t remember, went along with Bill’s story that he was ‘pulled over’ from behind by two ushers, but, the truth is that he’ll know, won’t he? He’ll know that no one touched him. He’ll tell the yarn at a hundred barbies over a beer or two with his mates, but, deep down, he’ll know that Hinn never touched him, and the ushers didn’t touch him until he was already falling back. Oh my. You can fool the people, and kid yourself, but you can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes!

    I’m no big Hinn fan. I doubted his teaching doctrine long before it was fashionable to do so. His teaching on the Temple worship and the Holy Spirit was so off the wall when they were wearing light brown suits with wide lapels that I decided Hinn should give up pastoring (as he was then, somewhere in Florida) and stick to evangelism. LOL! I don’t even know why he’s still in ministry, frankly. No oversight, if the truth be known, to tell him to step down.

    I’ve written about his whacky Tri-Trinity doctrine long ago on some thread or other. Probably on a post you put up in the bad old days when C3 was the main target of this blog. Still, he publicly repented of that didn’t he, so why bring it up at all?

  49. SM,
    Steve, do you think that THERE ARE TIMES when people fall over when they either don’t need to, or just for psychological reasons in charismatic meetings?

    Undoubtedly. But you can usually tell when people are faking it. Sometimes I’ve laid hands on people and they’ve obviously faked it so I’ll ask them, politely, if they wouldn’t mind standing up, and tell them it’s not about whether they fall over or stand, but whether they receive from the Holy Spirit, and pray for them again. I’ve also prayed for people who take up a stance of resistance so that they can’t fall over. You can’t make people receive. I’m more interested in people being touched or filled with or by the Spirit. You don’t have to fall. But it’s OK if you do.

    Wesley would preach until there was a move of the Spirit. In his meetings people would cry out. Some fell. Some wept. Whitfield too had manifestations in his meetings. On guy fell out of a tree. Finney would preach directly at a resistant person until the Spirit broke through and they broke down in repentance.

    I’ve seen people on a concrete basketball court fall down under the power of the Spirit without catchers, get up twirl around in joy and fall again for long periods of time without anyone getting hurt.

    I’ve been in laces where nothing like this happened, yet God was still touching people’s lives and he testimonies were just as powerful and relevant.

    Don’t box God either way.

  50. margot, one thing we learn from scripture is that people experience the Presence of God in different ways, and it’s a mistake to categorise all experience by our own.

    If you are content to encounter God through the Word in church, and his Presence touches you in a certain way, I rejoice with you.

    But the article you placed on his thread clearly stated that being ‘slain’ in the Spirit was either suggestion, hypnosis or demonic. That was what responded to. He is utterly wrong to limit the possibilities to these three.

    It may be that on occasion a person could be influenced through suggestion or hypnosis, but I do not believe it is happening in every church meeting. In fact I would say it is a rare occurrence in a church meeting.

    Professional hypnotists have set up ‘shows’ which imitate church meetings, but there is something shallow about the way they perform, and it doesn’t actually resemble a true church meeting where the Spirit of God is moving.

    It could be demonic, but again, not generally in a church meeting. More likely in a spiritualist meeting, or actual occult gathering.

    What I have seen and experienced has been of the Holy Spirit. I have seen mass manifestation of demons in Christian meetings, especially evangelistic meetings, but that has been because the gospel has been preached, the Spirit is moving, and demons manifest prior to being cast out. That is entirely different to what the author of you piece is saying.

    I wonder if he’s ever been in such a meeting where demons cause people to go into such contortions that they appear to defy nature. Demons react to the preaching of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.

    We speak here of people falling under the power, and I read the claims that this is demonic, but it bears no resemblance to the way in which demons manifest when the Holy Ghost gets hold of them and they are about to be expelled.

    I saw similar manifestations in Howard-Browne’s meetings. Not everyone, just a few who went into strange contortions. But he never took the step of casting demons out of them. I always wondered about this. But the manifestations were not a sign of anything wrong with the ministry, more of the Presence of the Holy Spirit exposing the demons which had people bound and vexed.

    I’ve been in other meetings where similar demonic manifestations were dealt with, and people were delivered.

    So when your friend writes what he does about mere falling under the power of the Spirit and contrives to make that demonic falling, I wonder if he’s ever seen anything of the Spirit moving in power.

    And before you call this creating two tiers of Christian, which is a very weak and distracting argument, just remember the Biblical accounts of when Jesus cast out demons and those on the Book of Acts who also did so. Demons throw people around, cause them to writhe, or contort, and cry out, not to fall gently to the ground in a peaceful, restful repose.

  51. @ SM – I’m yet to hear of anything happening at events with those you mention. However having heard the preaching of the biblical gospel and their (the preacher) allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work only He can do, I guess we will just have to wait and see what eternity holds as fruit of these ministries.

    Seriously, I’m a product of the pentecostal “fall-out” that seems to be gaining momentum. One could feel lonely until the stories come thick and fast from around the world, stories from people hungry for the Word, their “experiences” in former churches not dimming their desire for good fellowship and sound teaching, and an intimate relationship with Christ.

    Steve seems to want to deny this is happening or suggest there are those who “blaspheme the Spirit out of ignorance”? That’s a mighty big call there, Steve. To even suggest that is ignorance on your part.

    The issue is, Steve, people blog here who have had very real “experiences” and now would deny they were of God – I’m one of them.

    Finney, well there’s a good reference.

    From spurgeon.org….

    “Charles Grandison Finney was a heretic. That language is not too strong. Though he excelled at cloaking his opinions in ambiguous language and biblical-sounding expressions, his views were almost pure Pelagianism. The arguments he employed to sustain those views were nearly always rationalistic and philosophical, not biblical. To canonize this man as an evangelical hero is to ignore the facts of what he stood for.

    Don’t be duped by sanitized 20th-century editions of Finney’s works. Read the “Complete and Newly Expanded” 1878 edition of Finney’s Systematic Theology, recently published by Bethany House Publishers (the unabridged 1878 version with a couple of Finney’s later lectures added). This volume shows the real character of Finney’s doctrine. (The unabridged 1851 version is now online, and it also exposes Finney’s errors in language not toned down by later redactors.)

    By no stretch of the imagination does Finney deserve to be regarded as an evangelical. By corrupting the doctrine of justification by faith; by denying the doctrines of original sin and total depravity; by minimizing the sovereignty of God while enthroning the power of the human will; and above all, by undermining the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, Finney filled the bloodstream of American evangelicalism with poisons that have kept the movement maimed even to this day.”

  52. Steve says “And before you call this creating two tiers of Christian, which is a very weak and distracting argument, just remember the Biblical accounts of when Jesus cast out demons and those on the Book of Acts who also did so. Demons throw people around, cause them to writhe, or contort, and cry out, not to fall gently to the ground in a peaceful, restful repose.”

    Well, tell that to the many writhing and contorting at Oxford Falls on many an occasion (I saw it) and have them declared filled with the spirit (notice the small “s”).

    Steve, so many people fall over because they think it’s the thing to do – I could get on the phone now to 20 people who still go there and they would say “we believe the Holy Spirit is ministering to us as we lay on the floor etc etc” . Having just had some pastor snap his fingers or blow on them and say here’s the Holy Spiirit as if He is at their beck and call….. and yes some pastors do that.

    I never deny the power of the Holy Spirit to point people to Christ but that’s not we see. Nor would I deny the operating of the gifts as God distributes them through the body as He wills. Which is why we love our church because we see this evident throughout the congregation. But we don’t see disorder or chaos.

  53. The two-tier thing is a MAJOR issue, so sad about the stories of those who never “spoke in tongues”, never “received the Holy Spirit” at altar calls, never had any manifestations, thinking their failure to experience some great emotion as evidence that God didn’t care. That God didn’t come through even though they tithe faithfully, that they didn’t get healed because they didn’t have enough faith.

    The casualty list is getting bigger and Steve, you’re in denial. As much as you can point to things happening around the world, there is another side to the story and it is coming out.

    And still I say, to God be the glory.

  54. An example of what is happening right now…

    Eder is serving in three different capacities. He helps
    to teach hundreds of people from all over Latin
    America through the online discipleship class that is
    run by the brothers in Barranco. He also teaches discipleship
    classes at La Iglesia Bautista del Salvador
    in Barranco (Lima). Finally, he is leading the new
    Ministerial Academy at the Church of the Savior.
    Brethren: May the grace and peace of God
    our Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ be
    with you all. It is a joy to be able to share
    with you how the Lord has glorified Himself
    in this time and how He has blessed my life
    by His great mercy.
    By the Grace of God, Pastor Martin Zacarias
    and I were able to travel to Colombia in
    order to teach a group of believers there. It
    was a great joy and a blessing to meet these
    brothers and sisters in Christ. I was greatly
    edified to see how the Lord had been at work
    in them, bringing them out of error and guiding
    them to the truth of the Scriptures. God
    continues to cleanse them from the same
    false teachings that I also used to believe. I
    beg for you to pray for them.
    While I was in Columbia, the Lord allowed
    me to preach in a charismatic congregation
    that did not understand the Gospel. I
    preached about the justice of God, sin, the
    cross of Christ, repentance, and faith. I give
    glory to God because the testimony of Jesus
    Christ was given in that place, and although
    many people became angry, I know right
    now of at least one person whose heart God
    opened to be attentive to His Word. I have
    had communication with this person over
    the internet and I can see that the Lord is
    working in him each day, cleansing him
    from heresies, and leading him to the glory
    of Christ. Glory to God!
    In the congregation in Lima, we have finished
    our series on Ephesians and have started
    a study of the book of Philippians. God
    also has given me the opportunity to lead
    a group from the church through the book,
    “Justification and Regeneration” by Charles
    Leiter. When that was finished, we started a
    series on the attributes of God. Brethren, I
    beg for your prayers that God might show us
    more of His glory.
    I have been given two opportunities to help
    a group of believers in the “Los Olivos”
    district of Lima, and it is truly a joy to see
    how God is teaching them. God has also allowed
    me to teach the young people in the
    congregations of HeartCry missionaries Carlos
    Marquina and Juan Pablo Osorio. I beg
    for your prayers so that we might continue
    to lead others to the glory of Jesus Christ
    through the Scriptures.
    We are also very grateful to God that He has
    allowed us to start the Ministerial Academy
    in the Church of the Savior in Barranco. All
    of the students have arrived and I ask for
    your prayers that God might conform them
    more each day to the character of His beloved
    Son Jesus Christ. Please also pray that
    He might provide everything we may need
    to glorify Him in this endeavor.
    T

  55. That last post didn’t copy and paste well, did it? 🙂

    But this is part of the ongoing and significant ministry of Paul Washer and the Heartscry Missionaries. Of course not everyone likes Paul but he’s surprisingly upfront about supernatural events that take place and the leading of the Holy Spirit in very dangerous situations in some parts of South America.

    Heard one message he preached in Alska in his own language and an Inuit woman heard the gospel in her own language by the Holy Spirit, as he spoke. That is why I’m not a cessationist.

  56. “It’s actually Fliegerabwehrkanone, and ‘flack’ is officially a variant, so I’ll use it just to annoy you until you get over it, Jake.”

    “Flieger abwehr kanone” is what I said Steve. I’m interested to hear that “flack” is “officially” a variant, since the letter “c” does not appear anywhere in the word “Fliegerabwehrkanone”. I assume that this is the result of “the American disease”, whereby common usage through ignorance leads to wide acceptance (a lot like much of our heretical theology that has also been imported from the U.S.). As also in the case of people using “begs the question” when they mean “raises the question”, and now the former is accepted as being equivalent to the latter (which it actually is not). Can you pronounce “amen” properly?

    Have you perhaps, like me, studied German? I was speaking to someone from Germany the other day, and they were very surprised to learn I had never been there: they said that I speak German with no foreign accent whatsoever. (I have also been complimented on my French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Cantonese, and Japanese, among others).

    (I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m interested in languages and also in military history; in particular WWII [that’s how I happen to know what flak is]. Did you know that the L/56 88mm on the much-feared Tiger 1 was actually adapted from a flak weapon, or that it was actually surpassed in both ballistic performance and armour penetration by the L/70 75mm on the Panther?)

  57. Hello SM,

    “Passion is good, but I believe Christians should watch their tone, and attitude when they criticize ministers and whole churches.”

    Would this apply if criticizing the whole of the jehovah’s witnesses “church”, the whole of the mormon “church”, or the whole of the spiritualist “church”?

  58. Margot, you may have answered this before, but is there ANY experience you had in your Charismatic days that you look back on as being genuine, or have you concluded that it was all false in some way?

  59. “Did you know that the L/56 88mm on the much-feared Tiger 1 was actually adapted from a flak weapon, or that it was actually surpassed in both ballistic performance and armour penetration by the L/70 75mm on the Panther?)”

    I didn’t know that, but now that you mention it, it makes sense.

    No. I didn’t know that, but it’s the last thing I expected to come up on this blog! 🙂

  60. Anonymous, I don’t consider C3, Hillsong, or Word of Faith churches to be in the same category as Mormons and JW’s.

    But, and I know I’ll probably be on my lonesome on this one …

    but, I think there are probably people who respond to God’s promptings who know nothing except a Mormon church.

    This blog is decidedly anti-Catholic, but I also think that esp in the context of Africa and Asia that there are people who turn from paganism and follow Jesus, get baptized, pray and obey the Word and are persecuted terribly. I consider them to be on my team.

    But, actually, this will probably sound like a foreign concept to all you angry Aussie battlers …..but I think it’s okay to show respect to ministers and believers of other faiths. Even on a blog.

    haven’t always been able to do it myself….
    But, I’m trying.

  61. “they said that I speak German with no foreign accent whatsoever. (I have also been complimented on my French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Cantonese, and Japanese, among others).”

    Don’t want to get your sidetracked, but tell me your secret.
    Or if you have a blog or website outlining it, let me know.

    Very few people achieve fluency like that – esp having no accent.

  62. Well, this article got quite a response! I disagree with most of what Pringle/C3 teaches regarding tithing, WOF etc. But people in C3OF got awards for their work in the community not for tithing/WOF. Good on them for the good work!

  63. ”C3 is a smug, arrogant, navel-gazing, self-promoting, man-centred, money-grubbing, success-worshipping, works-based, scripture-twisting, gospel-perverting cult, and they are friends of many like-minded heretics and heretical organisations around the world.”

    I think you must distinguish between those attending C3 churches who are clearly contented believers in Christ, engaged with their community and providing practical assistance as the outworking of their faith, and that tiny minority who might be described as above. Your comment was aimed at an entire swathe of churches containing thousands.

    Having departed a C3 congregation, I can see their errors in persisting with a model of church that is less-than whole or scriptural. Nevertheless, many honest, good-hearted folk go there and still have the spiritual capacity and maturity to do good amongst the people they live near.

    Not sure of your ‘night and fog’ line, but read ‘Batavia’ and see how far a man will descend to save his life. I suspect many of those who carried out nacht und nabel orders were motivated by a similar mindset. Possibly, in like fashion, those acting as you described above are doing so because they don’t want to be cast out from their church environment. More compassion would not go amiss.

  64. @ zeibart – I wholeheartedly agree. I have family attending (though for how long?) and a son as pastor in th movement.

    @ SM – I can say that any “experiences” I had were not real, though at the time I convinced myself they were. It was the only church culture I knew for 22 years and certainly didn’t seek what eventually caused us to leave.

  65. Thanks zeibart for your balanced response. (also Greg) I think Anonymous is a bit of a loose cannon …possibly a german one. I recall him mentioning the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ I believe in a disparaging way towards Steve. I actually think cognitive dissonance is essential for effective pastoring, not in the negative sense of a psychological disorder, but in the context of the ability to hold two opposing/conflicting thoughts at the same time.

    Pastors must embrace the challenge of dealing with two views of the one person.

    1. The way they really are in terms of behaviour, maturity, capacity and so on.

    2. And at the same time hold a redemptive view (God’s perspective) of that same life if they are to help them progress.

    It can be challenging at times especially when dealing with people that display appalling behaviour …one particular person comes to mind …however he will remain anonymous.

  66. Hello SM,

    “No. I didn’t know that, but it’s the last thing I expected to come up on this blog!”

    Yes, the long 75 on the Panther was a fearsome weapon – the muzzle velocity was so great that at ranges up to 2000m you could lay the weapon on the target with no elevation at all – the trajectory was dead flat up to that range. Scary for the blokes on the other end.

    “Anonymous, I don’t consider C3, Hillsong, or Word of Faith churches to be in the same category as Mormons and JW’s.”

    You’re quite right SM, and I will admit to a degree of hyperbole there.

    “[…] I think there are probably people who respond to God’s promptings who know nothing except a Mormon church.”

    Right again SM: I’ve actually met someone who became a Christian in a JW church – God’s arm is not shortened that He cannot save, and there is nowhere in this earth that He can’t reach. (As an interesting counter-point to this, I’ve had a JW come to my door, and it turned out that he was actually ex-C3 – which gave me food for thought about the quality of teaching and depth of true spiritual understanding that is in that place…)

    “Don’t want to get your sidetracked, but tell me your secret.
    Or if you have a blog or website outlining it, let me know.”

    It’s a funny thing – I’ve met a few Germans who have actually flatly refused to believe that I haven’t spent time living in Germany. I’ve also spoken Cantonese over the phone to someone in Hong Kong who was told by someone else “That’s [an Australian] speaking Chinese”, and they responded “No, it’s not. It’s a Chinese person”.

    Anyway, it’s apparently in the genes. My mother studied German at University in S.A., and came second in the state in the final exam – and the girl who came first spoke German as her native tongue. My father could still remember his schoolboy French when he was in his seventies, and he spent several years in his sixties studying German and Welsh (the latter of which is not for the faint-hearted). Dad was also a choirboy when he was young, and I have recently – and very belatedly – discovered that I have a gift for music (it seems that having an ear and feel for music is helpful on the linguistic side). My parents also spoke Latin and Greek between them.

  67. Anon, fascinating.

    I’ve found that people who are good with foreign languages (esp getting the accent down) are good in general at simple mimicking.
    Are you good at doing different English accents too, and simple mimicry?

    And again…getting sidetracked….sorry guys, but studying the development of weaponry during wartime is pretty interesting. The advances in science made when countries were racing against time were incredible.
    If we advanced at the same rate in peace time, who knows what we’d have now.

  68. “”C3 is a smug, arrogant, navel-gazing, self-promoting, man-centred, money-grubbing, success-worshipping, works-based, scripture-twisting, gospel-perverting cult, and they are friends of many like-minded heretics and heretical organisations around the world.”

    I also think this can have the opposite effect. If you were a sincere member of C3 who loved God, loved the Bible etc, you would probably respond to that statement saying that so many people you know aren’t like that – and thus already have people circling the wagons and dismissing you as being over the top. Just a thought.

    But I understand. People do the same thing in politics and marriage too…… 🙂

  69. I agree with BigbadBoris: “I disagree with most of what Pringle/C3 teaches regarding tithing, WOF etc. But people in C3OF got awards for their work in the community not for tithing/WOF. Good on them for the good work!”

    There have always been many great people within C3, and will continue to be. They are people with Christ present in their lives, and doctrine doesn’t have to be perfect for this to be the case, and their works are likely to be an expression of their faith, and the way that has manifested in compassion and service to others.

    I disagree with particular things that C3 teaches, but the plus side of the emphasis on positivity (whether faith or mindset), is that people will be encouraged to have a go if there is a vision they have in their hearts. This may have helped these people.

    Layne Beachley (also an award winner, who does not go to C3) is also a very positive person, and does a lot of PR work.

    *****

    I agree with Steve that we shouldn’t put God in a box. He will move where He wills and in whom He wills.

    I also agree with Margot, that:

    The two-tier thing is a MAJOR issue, so sad about the stories of those who never “spoke in tongues”, never “received the Holy Spirit” at altar calls, never had any manifestations, thinking their failure to experience some great emotion as evidence that God didn’t care. That God didn’t come through even though they tithe faithfully, that they didn’t get healed because they didn’t have enough faith.

    The casualty list is getting bigger

    Insisting that God must work in any particular way to work in the life of a person is boxing Him.

    I think a lot of things that happen are the result of sincere but wishful thinking and suggestion. But not all of them. An onlooker might not be able to tell.

    I’ve had my own experiences – not that I expect anyone to base their faith on my experiences – outside of church, in places where there was no possibility of suggestion though. Sometimes, I wonder if God allowed me to experience these things so that later, when I could have become completely cynical, I did not.

    I think a lot of the Toronto Blessing was a mixture – there was real, and not real. But my son, within the last year, at the age of six, by himself, felt God come to him in his room. He had been praying for some time that God would show him if He was real. We had not been attending any church for at least two years. My son had only ever been to childcare in church in any case – too young for a service when we attended. He’s never heard about tongues or any other phenomenon.

    But we heard his laughter when we were watching TV a couple of rooms away. We thought he was crying and went in to see what was wrong. He told us God had shown him He was real, and he’d never felt so happy in his life, so happy he could not help laughing, and that he’d never laughed like that before.

    He still talks about it – he’s told his Anglican scripture teacher at school, and wonders why God doesn’t show Himself to everyone in this way. I said God reveals Himself to us all in different ways.

    I loved the way this happened to my son who had had no chance to receive any outside suggestion or influence, and I won’t judge the experience of others.

    But I will trust the work of God in our lives, to correct and restore us where we go wrong, and encourage us when we go right, whatever our church, or situation.

  70. Great story, RP. God is good!

    The two tier thing works two ways, doesn’t it. I remember being in an Anglican church study meeting when I was first saved, having never heard of the gifts of the Spirit, tongues, prophecy, etc, overhearing a vicar, a catholic priest and a uniting church minister running down a charismatic who was planting a church in a neighbouring town, and particularly complaining about the possibility of ‘tongues and healing’ coming into the community.

    It made me wonder why these Christian leaders were running down another ministry. The vicar once told me I didn’t need to know about the Holy Spirit, when I asked him what tongues and prophecy wee all about. But hearing hem speak ill of a person they’d never met who was working for God was strange.

    I was surprised. I ended up in that charismatic church, as it happens, speaking in tongues and praying for the sick. I never felt as though I had entered a ‘second tier’ of Christianity. It seemed to be part of what the New Testament teaches, and part of who we are as believers.

    It occurs to me that there are people who never enter into some of these things for various reasons, but it doesn’t make a person any less of a believer, or another class of Christian.

    To me that is a nonsense argument created to justify a position. I have never heard a charismatic or Pentecostal leader demean a person for not speaking in tongues, only to encourage them that it is available to them.

    I understand there are groups, like the old Revival Centres, which insist that speaking in tongues is part of salvation, but that is not a general teaching, and has done harm. The essential to eternal life is salvation.

    But I do hear often of ministries, such as John McArthur, which decry the work of the charismatics and condemn their theology and mode of operation. To me they are are more guilty of creating a second tier of Christianity, if it exists, tan those who are filled with the Spirit and believe in healing. The cessationists are without doubt the most vocal of the two-tier preachers, and very much consign the charismatic to the lower echelons.

    Ironically, margot gave two examples of reformists at work when attacking Finney and annoying the charismatics of South America, with the great Spurgeon, sadly, because he was undoubtedly a great man of God, hammering Finney, basically, for not being a Calvinist, and Washer’s associates going into a charismatic church in Colombia to upset the locals and pull one poor soul out of their community by preaching reformist dogma.

    There we have a perfect example of two-tier evangelism.

    The sad thing is that we are unable to coexist and get on with the work of winning souls and making disciples in our own field without pointing the finger at one another on the basis of doctrine, when nether ‘side’ has it perfect, and both can learn from each other. I think the reformists are far more aggressive in this, and especially the cessationists.

    If only it were as simple as a visitation from God in our bedroom.

  71. ”If only it were as simple as a visitation from God in our bedroom.”

    I think it can be. For good reason, Jesus advises his followers to approach God as a child would.

    It’s like when Peter tells Wendy that she can fly. The grown-ups can’t of course – they have got beyond such ‘unbelievable’ stuff. Quite honestly, too often we intellectualise a gulf between ourselves and the one true God by making him in our image rather than allowing his image to be the making of us.

  72. Had dinner tonight with a C3 couple, who rather providentially 🙂 initiated the conversation about tongues. They are very concerned about how it’s practiced, the whole church told to pray in tongues, when they know the scriptures clearly say two or three at most and not without interpretation……out of the blue said they wanted to come to our church on Sunday.

    They have been going there as a couple for 15 years, this was the time such a discussion came up. Scales dropping off?

  73. Yes, the long 75 on the Panther was a fearsome weapon – the muzzle velocity was so great that at ranges up to 2000m you could lay the weapon on the target with no elevation at all – the trajectory was dead flat up to that range. Scary for the blokes on the other end.

    The decision by Patton and the US Army in delaying the development of the T-26 Pershing armed with a 90mm, instead of the M4 Shermans armed with a 76mm, was criminal. The T-26 would have put up a hell of a lot better show than the M4s which couldn’t even dent a Tiger from pointblank.

    The arrival of the Soviet IS-2 with it’s 122mm gun heralded in a whole new era of Soviet armour. It was more than a match for the Tigers and Panthers.

    The Panther had an excellent gun but was overengineered. It’s debut at Kursk was inauspicious as many had mechanical problems which plagued it. They would have been far better copying the simplicity of the T-34 or producing more Stug iiis and ivs.

  74. @SM,

    “Are you good at doing different English accents too, and simple mimicry?”

    Passable at different English accents, not so good at mimicry. I used to work with a bloke who had an amazing skill: he could mimic formula one cars (spitting exhaust and all), rally cars, trucks – he actually went on Red Faces and won!

    “And again…getting sidetracked….sorry guys, but studying the development of weaponry during wartime is pretty interesting. The advances in science made when countries were racing against time were incredible.”

    It’s true that many advances came as a result of weapons development: the world’s first operational jet fighter (the Me-262), radar (saved the Poms’ bacon during the Battle of Britain), sonar (called ASDIC by the British), rocket propulsion (Germany’s Nebelwerfer and V1, Russia’s “Stalin’s Organ”), the world’s first ballistic missile (the V2), radio-based navigation (Britain’s Oboe, among others), radio-guidance (Germany’s Fritz X remotely-controlled bomb), and, of course, the Manhattan project, which ushered in the atomic age.

    There are some interesting stories, like the fact that nerve gasses were stumbled upon by the Germans, who were actually trying to develop improved insecticides.

    And there were the inevitable humorous stories as well, like the time when the British were under the pump during the Battle of the Atlantic, and some bright spark came up with the idea of attempting to train seagulls to perch on periscopes, with the hope that they would then defecate on them. [In the end the U-boats were defeated by HF/DF (High-frequency direction finding) and centimetric radar (which, if memory serves me correctly, could pick up a conning-tower or schnorkel at a range of five miles). The Germans sent 40,000 men to war in the U-boats, and only 12,000 returned. Not the career for someone who wanted to live to a good old age.]

    “If we advanced at the same rate in peace time, who knows what we’d have now.”

    Yes, it seems that we are at our creative best when we are devising more efficient ways of killing each other. That’s what a fall will do for you, and it’s very sad.

  75. Nacht und nebel

    That’s a bizarre answer.

    Are you referring to Hitler’s directive of 1941 when political activists in Nazi Occupied Territories ‘disappeared’?

  76. So, margot, your aim is to what? To have good friends who attend a church you used to attend but now disagree with, or to pull them out of said church? Why? Shouldn’t we just have friends from around the Body who may have a different theology but are friends nevertheless? Why is it ‘providential’ that someone talks to you about tongues when tongues is being mentioned here? You really think God set that up so you had some ‘proof’ that you are right in your assertions here?

    Gosh, margot, all you have done is come back to roost with all the same things we’ve discussed about C3 for years on your apparent understanding this site is still about hurt Christians wanting to discuss their hurts, when, in fact, it has been mature, grown up, got-over-the-main-issues Christians discussing various theologies for at least a year. I’d have thought you would have had to have got over it (the C3 thing) by now!

    Ano the Bilingual doesn’t strike me as being a hurt Christian.

    After all he’s into Germanic weapons systems and coded messages with sinister overtones which say everything and nothing at the same time, and the announcement of his own prowess in linguistics. Sounds very healthily positive in his own world really.

    All I did was give a good report on a great church being effective in their community and being recognised for it it.

    This thread is weird!

  77. @Bones,

    “The decision by Patton and the US Army in delaying the development of the T-26 Pershing armed with a 90mm, instead of the M4 Shermans armed with a 76mm, was criminal. The T-26 would have put up a hell of a lot better show than the M4s which couldn’t even dent a Tiger from pointblank.”

    Criminal indeed. I’ve read that they lied to their tank troops, telling them that they would have parity with the German armour in Europe. There was an awful shock when they found out the truth. American armoured doctrine, of course, was based on the fact that “tanks don’t fight tanks” – that was meant to be the job of tank destroyers, and tanks were meant to provide support to infantry as a breakthrough weapon. Unfortunately they forgot to tell the Germans that…

    You are no doubt aware of the British solution to the problem, which was to shoehorn a QF 17-pounder into a Sherman, a variant they called the Firefly. The 17-pounder was an excellent anti-tank weapon, having as it did a high muzzle velocity and very good armour penetration (particularly when firing APDS rounds). The longer muzzle on the Fireflies was quite distinctive, however, and they would invariably be a priority target for the Germans in any engagement.

    “The arrival of the Soviet IS-2 with it’s 122mm gun heralded in a whole new era of Soviet armour. It was more than a match for the Tigers and Panthers.”

    The IS-2 could compete on equal terms, and had the advantage, I believe, of a very effective HE capability as well. There were some drawbacks, though: it fired a two-part round, which meant a lower rate of fire, and it only carried something like 28 rounds, since they were so big.

    The other Soviet weapon that could destroy Tigers and Panthers was the SU-152 self-propelled gun – if I recall correctly, even the HE round was effective enough to blow off an opponent’s turret. The Russians nicknamed the SU-152 “Beast Killer” because of this.

    “The Panther had an excellent gun but was overengineered. It’s debut at Kursk was inauspicious as many had mechanical problems which plagued it. They would have been far better copying the simplicity of the T-34 or producing more Stug iiis and ivs.”

    True, they rushed the Panthers into combat before they were ready. Once the bugs were ironed out they weren’t too bad, but they were vulnerable to flank shots, where the armour was thin, and they had a propensity to “brew up” if penetrated (apparently the hydraulic fluid used in the turret rotation mechanism didn’t take much encouragement to burn).

  78. You are no doubt aware of the British solution to the problem, which was to shoehorn a QF 17-pounder into a Sherman, a variant they called the Firefly.

    Yes, I believe it was a Firefly that knocked out Michael Wittman’s Tiger and killed him, though that’s disputed. What a bloodbath Villers-Bocage was.

  79. No Steve, just funny how things happen. Remember I’m not a cessationist.

    We just let them do the talking and loved seeing how the scriptures they know, answered their own questions. It was rather wonderful.

    So do all speak in tongues Steve?

  80. Bones, asa diversion for those interested, maybe you’d like to create a post on weaponry of the second world war. I’d be interested also. I’m currently reading Churchill’s history of the second world war. Fascinating.

    Margot, we’ve been down this track countless times, so you’ll know that I believe that all born-again believers are able to speak in tongues but not all do. Similarly all Christians are encouraged in the Word to pray for the sick, cast out demons, but not all do, etc, etc.

    This isn’t to say that it is unscriptural for a person not to speak in tongues, or that they are not saved, etc, etc, blahdy-blah once again for the kiddies, but it does mean they are unable to engage in a gift which is scripturally available to them. All are also encouraged to prophesy (which isn’t preaching), but do not.

    In fact many tongue-speaking Pentecostals have never prophesied, despite Paul’s admonition that we should all desire to prophesy in meetings, in order, as the Spirit wills!

    I do not know all the reasons people do not speak in tongues or prophesy, but I am interested to learn if someone knows.

    Etc, etc! 😛

  81. @Bones,

    “Yes, I believe it was a Firefly that knocked out Michael Wittman’s Tiger and killed him, though that’s disputed. What a bloodbath Villers-Bocage was.”

    I think that the current consensus is that it was most likely a Firefly that did Wittman in.

    And Villers-Bocage was indeed a shambles.

    We should probably leave the military discussions there; we’re really so far off-topic that things are getting cross-threaded now. And I still have a lot of questions for Steve, who continues to duck, dodge and weave in his imitable way.

  82. @Steve,

    “Bones, asa diversion for those interested, maybe you’d like to create a post on weaponry of the second world war.”

    Would that be a new post, or should it actually be an entirely new blog?

  83. @RP,

    “He still talks about it – he’s told his Anglican scripture teacher at school, and wonders why God doesn’t show Himself to everyone in this way. I said God reveals Himself to us all in different ways.”

    When my son was three years old, he told me “A daddy-man came into my bedroom and hit me on the head [indicated a tap with fingers on the forehead] and put fire on my head”. That was interesting, to say the least.

    I have a friend to whom Jesus first appeared when she was four years old. He told her to sit down at the piano, because He was going to give her a serenade. She sat down as told, and began to play – even though she had never learnt any piano. Her mother came into the room to see what was going on, and was quite nonplussed.

    I put it down to innocence, and also the fact that young children have not yet been educated or socialised out of what is otherwise an innate and quite normal spiritual awareness. It’s a shame that we lose that as we get older, and it makes me think about the tenderness and care that Jesus showed for little children.

  84. margot,
    The two-tier thing is a MAJOR issue, so sad about the stories of those who never “spoke in tongues”, never “received the Holy Spirit” at altar calls, never had any manifestations, thinking their failure to experience some great emotion as evidence that God didn’t care. That God didn’t come through even though they tithe faithfully, that they didn’t get healed because they didn’t have enough faith.

    I think that’s a perception based on emotion. I understand it’s implications, but what can a person do who understands the ministry of the Holy Spirit as given in the Word of God?

    Should we not preach or teach on tongues, the Promise of the Spirit, healing, deliverance and all the other issues which may or may not affect people who are not impacted but feel they should be, indeed hope they will be but are not?

    What is a preacher to do? Qualify a meeting by saying there are some who will not receive so this is only for those who will? How silly! That negates faith before we begin. Of course, that would make no sense to a reformist, but it does to anyone who preaches the full gospel.

    Did Jesus see every person he ministered to change? No! Did some who were originally followers leave him? Many, actually. Out of thousands he ministered to in the flesh, with miracles, signs and healings, only 500 or so remained in the first congregation.

    Hundreds left when he preached on the bread and blood. His own disciples wobbled at that one. In fact, even they left, all but John and His mother, when he was arrested.

    The gospel often offends.

    What kind of preaching are you proposing? A watered down gospel, which is powerless in its content and effect.

    So, then, after it is watered down, as in some churches, indeed the first church I attended, for fear of offending some, and we don’t speak on the baptism with the Spirit, or speaking in tongues or healing or deliverance, as on some ‘contemporary’ megachurches today, in case some do not receive, what of those who would have received and believed had we preached on those things? What of those who will be filled with the Spirit? Will be healed? Will be delivered? What of those, pray tell?

    I’m sorry to remind you of this, but Jesus makes it clear that some people are healed because of their faith, some are delivered because of their faith. Others are just healed or delivered because God moves in them through the faith of the minister, or the gifts of the Spirit. Others are healed or delivered because of the faith of a friend or a mother, or a father.

    Faith is the key to many things. In fact the just shall live by faith. If a Christian person is not healed is that evidence they have no faith. Of course not. They had faith to be saved, so they have faith. But some do not have faith to be healed. Why? It could be a number of things, including the sad fact that they have been taught by false teachers that healing is not for today. Blame those charlatans for that one.

    Do all get healed? No! Why? I don’t know, yet, who does, God does, but should we stop preaching for healing? Never! Should we respect the rights of those who will not believe, or not receive? Yes, of course, because there could be any number of reasons why they are not healed, or filled or delivered.

    Does it prove that healing is not for today? Of course not. It proves only that some people have not been healed, filled or speak in tongues. Do we give up on them? Never! Do we condemn them? Never ever! Do we pray for them? All the more!

    Do we have compassion on them? Increasingly so! Do we comfort and encourage them? Always! Do we stand with them through their trial? Constantly! Do we hurt with them? Painfully and agonisingly and prayerfully with them and for them!

    The charges are mere emotional criticism. A cry for help from people who have no answers to this one but what they have already given, and prayer. They are understandable charges, but not deserved. I do not know a single minster who condemns people for not being healed, filled or delivered. I know they exist, but not in the circles we frequent.

  85. Ano, you are obviously not s&p if you have children, but you have commented here before, haven’t you? One clue you gave (fig leaf correction) indicates you were the one using multiple guises recently. Am I right?

  86. Steve, the recent multi-personality inputs were from a distinctly foul thinking/writing character. Anon has not displayed those credentials.

    As to receiving healing – isn’t the onus of faith almost entirely on the prayer, rather than the receiver? After all, many cases of revival, new limbs and demon castouts were conducted by Jesus and the apostles on those who were either dead or unsaved. James 5 is clear that the prayers of a faithful man avail much in combating sickness, not the faith of the recipient.

    With this in mind, it would be a clear sign that someone was faith-filled if they were healing people. It’s why so many pastors (and TV evangelists in particular) love to claim many healings from their ‘ministry’. The sad fact is, the vast majority aren’t healed because the one praying is not filled with faith, but then in a twisted way says that it’s not the fault of the person receiving if they have such little faith for their healing, implying totally that it really is their fault – twisted. That’s why WOF is so emotionally dangerous.

  87. Zeibart, there is clear scripture which tells us, from Jesus own words, that the faith of the person made them whole – i.e. the woman with the issue of blood, “Woman, your faith has made you whole!” The Centurion, about whom Jesu said he had not seen such fait in al of Israel, and told that, according to the faith of the Centurion, his servant would be healed. Others too.

    Others were raised from death, so yes, their faith could not be involved, so gifts of healings, working of miracles and special faith on the minister through the Holy Ghost must have been in play to some degree. Others were prayed for with the prayer of faith as in James 5.

    Some were healed through cloths and the shadows of Apostles, by the word of healing being spoken over them, by the power of God being present to heal. A number of ways, as i pointed out, but, nevertheless there are times when faith is required.

    That is not to say a person is to blame if they are not healed. Only God can tell this unless a word of knowledge or wisdom is forthcoming through the minister, in which case one would expect that the Holy Spirit is about to release the gifts of healings or working of miracles.

    The idea of WoF is to spend many hours with people teaching them on healing and building faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. I don’t see a problem with that. Jesus told even his disciples off for having so little faith they could not deal with a demonised boy. How many times did say to them “Ye of little faith!” So, yes faith for the prayer and faith for the receiver. The Word and the Spirit.

  88. @Ziebart,

    “The sad fact is, the vast majority aren’t healed because the one praying is not filled with faith, but then in a twisted way says that it’s not the fault of the person receiving if they have such little faith for their healing, implying totally that it really is their fault – twisted. That’s why WOF is so emotionally dangerous.”

    You are quite right Ziebart, that sort of conduct on the part of the one praying is reprehensible beyond words; it is a travesty. The reason for the deflection of blame is that those who are praying are not true shepherds – they care only for themselves, and not for the sheep. They are moving in pride and fear of man, and they want to see their endeavours succeed for the sake of their own reputation, rather than seeing the will of God done. They don’t have a heart for the suffering at all.

    How would you characterise such behaviour? I would say that it is “man-centred” and “success-worshipping”. Not only that, it is a cruel, cold and calculating act that totally obscures the compassion that God has for the sick, and thus by implication it defames the character of God.

  89. Oh, well your cynicism must have come form somewhere, through some experience. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen, regrettably.

    But you seem to have some expertise on all of these issues, or, at least, plenty to say about them.

    Tell me, Ano, out of curiosity, would you consider yourself a cessationist, or not?

    Do you believe God still heals people today, or has healing ended? Can you explain, if so, when you believe healing ended ad why?

    If you are not a cessationist, how do you say Biblical healing is to be administered to the sick, diseased and dying? What part does the believer, or minister, have in the process, and what part does the receiver have?

    Is faith important to healing, and if so, whose faith, and why?

  90. I do think there are a couple of streams of behaviour re healing and faith etc, so you do get those who will not condemn the person who isn’t healed, but you also get those who will spend time coming up with elaborate reasons why that person may not have received healing – or whatever else they are praying for.

    People are always looking for reasons why God has or has not given various things to various people. They read things into things and use it to support or disprove various theologies.

    Steve mentioned Revival Centres – I remember them – they were definitely on the more extreme end of these things. I think at the time – I was in C3 – I thought of them as a cult.

    There may be genuine healings and answers to prayer, particularly in response to the prayers of individuals for one another, but when it becomes a show then I think we see more of what Zeibart describes:

    ith this in mind, it would be a clear sign that someone was faith-filled if they were healing people. It’s why so many pastors (and TV evangelists in particular) love to claim many healings from their ‘ministry’. The sad fact is, the vast majority aren’t healed because the one praying is not filled with faith, but then in a twisted way says that it’s not the fault of the person receiving if they have such little faith for their healing, implying totally that it really is their fault – twisted. That’s why WOF is so emotionally dangerous.

    In scripture, so many healings were also illustrations of the greater healing that God does in us – restoring not only physical sight, and physical hearing, but our spiritual eyes and ears. When Jesus healed the sick, he was prefiguring what he was going to do by healing the sin of the human race. By his stripes – we are all healed – of our sin. The consequence of sin is death. In Christ, we now receive eternal life.

    So this is one reason some believe these things have ceased today; their prefiguring role is no longer needed as Jesus has now done all these things for us.

    For the same reason, others believed that signs and wonders would always accompany the gospel, to illustrate in the same way that Christ did, the far deeper eternal work that He has done for us, and to prove the power of God is real.

    The purpose of miracles, apart from the compassionate gift that each one is, is to demonstrate God’s power on earth in a way that people will understand – but not all will understand, and they did not all understand two thousand years ago. The purpose is not to build an audience, a church institution, or a congregation. And certainly not to make money, or raise a man’s status.

    So where we see people putting on a show, with all the trappings of a show, and then find that many who were apparently healed, were not; a distinct lack of proof over time; then we see the modern version of Simon the magician at work. This doesn’t mean the real thing doesn’t exist, but the more work man puts into it, to make it happen, I suspect the less likely it is to be real.

    And I think there are some who have started off OK, with right motives, and even real demonstrations of power, who have since lost their way.

  91. Good reply and questions Steve. We have to consider “according to your faith be it unto you”. A person receiving prayer for healing may be so connected to their preexisting condition that its hard for them to receive unless they are helped. I believe this is the responsibility of the minister – to cooperate with God in such away that they can help a person disconnect from a physical reality of sickness and connect with a spiritual reality of a healed body.

    Whilst this can happen in a moment of time (i’ve seen 100’s healed instantly) it also can be a journey of faith where the Word of God concerning healing, or anything for that matter, must become more real then our past experience. This is the source of most conflict, the reality of our past experience pitted against the reality of the experience available in the Word.

    The tendency by many is to develop a theological construct that accommodates their experience, whilst this may be a source of comfort it can also be at the expense of opportunities for healing that exist. These opportunities need to be apprehended and can only be apprehended by those willing to take the risk of possible failure, however without ‘stepping out’ the impossible is not possible.

    We should never bring the Word of God down to our level of experience, let our experience be elevated to His Word for our lives.

  92. @RP,

    “The purpose of miracles, apart from the compassionate gift that each one is, is to demonstrate God’s power on earth in a way that people will understand – but not all will understand, and they did not all understand two thousand years ago. The purpose is not to build an audience, a church institution, or a congregation. And certainly not to make money, or raise a man’s status.

    So where we see people putting on a show, with all the trappings of a show, and then find that many who were apparently healed, were not; a distinct lack of proof over time; then we see the modern version of Simon the magician at work. This doesn’t mean the real thing doesn’t exist, but the more work man puts into it, to make it happen, I suspect the less likely it is to be real.

    And I think there are some who have started off OK, with right motives, and even real demonstrations of power, who have since lost their way.”

    That’s an excellent post, RP.

  93. @Peter,

    “I believe this is the responsibility of the minister – to cooperate with God in such away that they can help a person disconnect from a physical reality of sickness and connect with a spiritual reality of a healed body.”

    Welcome to the new age.

    The responsibility of a minister is just as his title suggests: it is to minister to others, including ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick. Go and read about Smith Wigglesworth.

  94. ”How would you characterise such behaviour? I would say that it is “man-centred” and “success-worshipping”. Not only that, it is a cruel, cold and calculating act that totally obscures the compassion that God has for the sick, and thus by implication it defames the character of God.”

    There must be a small number in this camp, but the majority of Christian leaders are just going over old ground because they could never face up to saying publicly, ‘I’m not flowing in the power of the Holy Spirit right now for all manner of reasons, so I’m standing down and shutting up the ministry shop.’ That’s even if they recognised the fact.

    With millions of dollars and the livelihood of thousands at stake, that’s simply never going to happen. Of course, the upshot is that all these ichabod ministers and their grand shows keep up a facade that the public, enthralled by the cult of personality, continue to lap up without question. The Golden Calf gets recast every day in a multitude of ways amongst our mainstream churches.

  95. Ziebart,

    “With millions of dollars and the livelihood of thousands at stake, that’s simply never going to happen. Of course, the upshot is that all these ichabod ministers and their grand shows keep up a facade that the public, enthralled by the cult of personality, continue to lap up without question. The Golden Calf gets recast every day in a multitude of ways amongst our mainstream churches.”

    Couldn’t have put it any better.

    The fact that dollars are involved and that livelihoods hang in the balance is the nub of the problem. What it essentially boils down to is that ministers have a conflict of interest: should they care for the sheep, or should they feed themselves? Many of these ministers would be all at sea trying to earn a living in the world, and those who are clearly struggling on in the flesh rather than moving by the Spirit make for a pathetic sight.

    Ultimately, of course, those who choose to feed themselves at the expense of their flocks will run afoul of God, as Ezekiel pointed out when he spoke of such men:

    “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.”

  96. zeibart,
    the majority of Christian leaders are just going over old ground because they could never face up to saying publicly, ‘I’m not flowing in the power of the Holy Spirit right now for all manner of reasons, so I’m standing down and shutting up the ministry shop.’

    Well, zeibart that would be true if it were solely down to the minster, wouldn’t it?

    But if he strongly believes it is God who heals and not himself, then why would he need to stand down? Rather he should get down – on his face before God, because if he is aware enough to recognise that he has fallen short, he should also know that he can repent and God will revive him.

    Surely he would have to take a good look at himself in regard to why God called him, and for what, and determine whether his spiritual tanks are full enough for him to carry on, and if he was prepared to get right down and repent on his face before the Almighty until he knew without question that he was empty of himself and filled with the Spirit.

    Most ministers have been in this place, and it is in the place of desperation before God when we miss him or have spent too long away from him that we separate ourselves from the work of the ministry, and from everything to do with the church and rekindle the flame.

    Because every bona fide minister knows they can do nothing without Christ, but with him all things are possible.

    Giving up the church isn’t the issue or the solution. Giving up he flesh is.

  97. Anon, excuse me while I yawn. Thanks for the enlightenment, so to speak, on what it means to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m sure it all make sense to so many now.

    Wigglesworth, Bosworth, Lake, Kenyon etc.. yes read them all son.

  98. @Steve,

    “Tell me, Ano, out of curiosity, would you consider yourself a cessationist, or not?”

    No, I’m not a cessationist. Such theology is for those who want a God made in their own image: a God they can understand and whom they can control. They have a form of Godliness, but they deny the power thereof.

    “Do you believe God still heals people today, or has healing ended? Can you explain, if so, when you believe healing ended ad why?”

    God still heals people today. As long as there are sick people to be healed, His healing will be available (although things might get a bit iffy during the Tribulation).

    “If you are not a cessationist, how do you say Biblical healing is to be administered to the sick, diseased and dying? What part does the believer, or minister, have in the process, and what part does the receiver have?”

    There are various ways, as you are aware: prayer for the afflicted, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, sometime repentance from / renouncing of sin. There are also some more esoteric means, and of course God can heal sovereignly as well.

    Ultimately, God controls all things, and can bring about whatever results He desires by whatever means He chooses. We should be listening to the Holy Spirit and remaining obedient to all His promptings. That is the key issue.

    “Is faith important to healing, and if so, whose faith, and why?”

    Not always – there was a man who was healed by Jesus, and he didn’t even know who Jesus was:

    ‘”So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick [your mat] up and walk?”

    The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.’

    That’s a clear case of God healing sovereignly, as is His prerogative.

    In instances where God is intent on healing, He graciously provides faith in such measure as is required and to whomever it is necessary. Faith is the gift of God, it is not a bar that we have to jump over by mustering up the little strength that resides in our puny fallen frame.

    As to the importance of faith, it is simply the way that God often does things. This is to His glory; as it is written:

    “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.”

  99. @anon: I loved hearing those stories about your son and the other child, Anon. It is encouraging, seeing the faith of children, and the simple way in which they trust God. We make it all so complicated, and it is at times, but it does not have to be at the heart level.

    My son has been taking his children’s bible to read at school, in their free reading times. One of the teachers told him he shouldn’t be reading the Bible. He was a little upset – he reads it because he wants to, and has a hunger for the stories. I told him he could take whatever book he wanted – Enid Blyton, which he loves, or whatever – it didn’t have to be a bible, but he insisted that was what he wanted. So we had a chat about the way people will criticise us for our faith at times, and how that’s to be expected, and how not everyone will share our faith, and that we don’t condemn them for that either. It’s good that he is pursuing what he wants, despite what others think at times.

  100. @Peter,

    “Wigglesworth, Bosworth, Lake, Kenyon etc.. yes read them all son.”

    Last time I read about Wigglesworth ministering to the sick it brought me to tears.

  101. @RP,

    “One of the teachers told [my son] he shouldn’t be reading the Bible.”

    Can you hear that chipping sound? They are making another millstone in heaven…

  102. Some have made Kenneth E Hagin the ‘father’ of the word of faith ‘movement’, even some of his followers, but it is clear the faith message goes farther back than Hagin. The Bosworth brothers predate Hagin, and their message was essential faith preaching and teaching, which Hagin certainly borrowed from. But they were influenced by others before them. None of these things are new.

    Discernment ‘ministries’ like to regurgitate their theories amongst one another at the expense of genuine research because they’re too lazy, in my opinion, to track influences for themselves.

    Most anti-Hagin work is based on a thesis by a graduate of Oral Roberts University which claimed he was the father of the faith movements influenced by E W Kenyon, but he borrowed from the Bosworths, Wigglesworth and many others. He had a photographic memory, could quote huge passages of scripture verbatim and was often accused of plagiarism, which may have some substance, but goes to show he could not have been the ‘father’ of any movement. What he did was popularise the message of faith and simplify its theology.

    The thesis concluded that, because Kenyon once attended a college which included New Thought spiritualism, he was, therefore a spiritualist and new scientist, and his doctrine must ne gnosticism. People still quote that tripe today, having never researched Kenyon’s story, just swallowing the inaccuracy of a college student who has never apologised for his error, even though it has been exposed as untrue.

    Kenyon went to the school, which was essentially a drama school, but to study drama, not New Thought. In his books and magazine articles he refutes New Thought and Christian Science on many occasions. He was in that college at a youthful age having backslidden from the holiness movement of the day, but spent less than a year there, before being revived in a meeting which brought him into contact with the Baptists, for whom he became a minister, having had an encounter with God.

    Kenyon’s teachings on the Holy Spirit lacked the power of charismatic teaching because he never said anything about being baptised with the Holy Ghost, or speaking in tongues, but his work on the love walk, healing, new creation and righteousness influenced many faith ministries because of its simplicity and clarity.

    But he could never be said to be the father of the movement, only an influence in certain areas, and certainly not New Thought or gnosticism.

    It was men like Wigglesworth who spoke about the baptism with the Holy Spirit, healing and the gifts, which launched great interest in the Holy Spirit.

    And the Bosworth brothers were what I would consider pure word of faith preachers and teachers, totally Biblically based, and holding huge healing and evangelistic rallies long before the Healing Revival of the 1940s and 50s.

    Sadly many of the opponents of what is considered word of faith (but isn’t) today do not bother to do their homework and add the names of TV evangelists, like Jakes, and Hinn, who couldn’t hold a candle to the Bosworths in regard to this message, as if Jakes or Hinn are in any way representative of the message.

    In short word of faith as we know it has been hijacked by the ‘discerners’ and they have muddied the waters so much it will never be clarified again.

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