14 Comments

Down the Rabbit-Hole I Go Again…


Is it me? Be honest…

But am I the only one who finds it strange that Charisma, which promotes itself as a ‘Christian Magazine’ which shares “prophetic commentary and teachings for charismatic and Pentecostal Christians”, posts an article which is filled with joyful overtones because “Judaism is experiencing a revival in Russia?”

NOT Christianity, but Judaism.

See article here

I did leave a comment, little that it will accomplish, but for goodness sakes! Aren’t we suppose to be toiling in the fields to bring others to Christ…and rejoicing when one comes to the Lord, or doesn’t that matter any-more: A revival of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism, guess it doesn’t matter at Charisma, as long as you’re getting “revived”.  They’ll rejoice with you!

Forgive the small rant…you’d think I’d be use to falling down rabbit-holes by now.

14 comments on “Down the Rabbit-Hole I Go Again…

  1. You are just NOW coming across evidence that convinces you there is serious error in this movement?

    This is exactly the kind of thing I and several others of the reformed persuasion were warning about by commenting on discernment blogs like yours last fall when the conference was held. In return I clearly recall receiving what could fairly be described as ridicule and condescension that I would dare to maintain that the gifts of the Holy Spirit as defined by charismatic churches and leadership was faulty and greatly in error.

    The main argument at the time was this idea that the charismatic movement itself calls out the “few and rare fringe elements” in the group, and all is well in the charismatic camp. “How dare they call a conference to call us out! We police ourselves” they cried.

    Lets face a simple fact here: you simply cannot get more “mainstream” charismatic than Charisma magazine. It has been the foremost face and voice of the charismatic movement for many decades. It is demonstrated time and time again that there is serious error at the very heart and core of this movement, not just a few rotten apples on the fringes.

    JD Ellis

    • JD, forgive me but i can’t for the life of me understand how what you’ve written pertains to this post.

      I’m sure not going back into battle-mode over the contents of John MacArthur’s conference, but please–tell me, what does the fact that many Christians believe the gifts of the Spirit are still operating today, have to do with this magazine article, in which we’re to rejoice over JUDAISM having a revival in Russia.?

      If it’s about anything, it’s about the ignorance of the “We love anything and everything to do with Israel or the Jews” movement–commonly known as Christian Zionism–or the two covenant theology many dispensationalists adhere to.

  2. You posted an article calling it a “rabbit hole”, denoting confusion, I believe, that Charisma magazine would post what is clearly and rightly as stressed in your article, unbiblical and promoting of false doctrine.

    The connection from this article to charismatic error as discussed at the conference is clear, and there is not the slightest stretch involved to see it:: Charisma magazine is published by Steve Strang, a figurehead by any valuation in the charismatic movement, well known in charismatic churches worldwide. A daily column contributor and a leading face of the editorial slant of the magazine, is Dr. Michael L. Brown. Without even the slightest possible honest dispute, it was Dr. Brown who was on the front lines of the attacks against the Strange Fire conference for what he claimed to be ITS DOCTRINAL ERROR, and a smearing of the charismatic movement.

    There is an established section of Charisma magazine called “Stand With Israel”. This blog section contains the most pro-Zionist stances I have seen anywhere. Readers are invited to read this daily section, and will readily see this. You posted an article likening the publication’s article to a “rabbit hole”, expressing shock that this magazine would post what is, as clearly and rightly stressed in your article, extremely unbiblical. Why would this be confusing in the least, when its just more of the same charismatic ideology the Strange Fire speakers were chastised for calling out?

    If this is not about Charisma magazine, then my error. Your writing certainly led me to believe you were perplexed at how this magazine which calls itself “Christian”, could publish such an erroneous article. The truth is that on a daily basis this publication prints equally erroneous material of all kinds under the charismatic banner. In fact I have a standing open challenge to anyone in my circle of social media who can refer me to any issue, past or recent, of this magazine that does not contain serious doctrinal error.

    You state: “please–tell me, what does the fact that many Christians believe the gifts of the Spirit are still operating today, have to do with this magazine article?” No, I don’t believe there is any need to drag open the Strange Fire controversy today, but I’m optimistically guessing by this comment that it would follow that if you wrote a piece about serious doctrinal error you found in an article in a flagship periodical of the MacArthur organization, you would apply the same standards and reject any connection with the conference and its teachings.

    I still cling to a perhaps misguided hope that this one simplistic and valueless idea which you continue to perpetuate by inference can finally be laid to rest and given the burial it deserves: the notion that if you were AGAINST Strange Fire it places you alone in a special group of Christians who believe that the Holy Spirit operates today. And if you were FOR Strange Fire, then you have stigmatized yourself to stand apart from the rest of Christianity by believing that the Holy Spirit is inoperative today. I have a rather large library of books, and I don’t have a single volume that states that the Holy Spirit is inoperative today. I personally know of NO ONE who believes this.

    JD Ellis

    • JD, i don’t believe anyone (during our previous long discussion) ever denied that there are wacko’s out there who call themselves charismatics. What confused me in your above comment, was it seemed you were using this idiotic message at Charisma magazine to say ‘aha! told you!”…as in all who believe in the gifts of the Spirit being in operation today, could be classified as in the same boat as those who run Charisma.

      Anyway, leaving that behind and getting back to the topic at hand;

      There is an established section of Charisma magazine called “Stand With Israel”. This blog section contains the most pro-Zionist stances I have seen anywhere.

      I agree…though i’ve read a few others which are just as bad. The Jerusalem Connection is one. I don’t understand these people or what their ‘thinking’ or reasoning is in posting an article such as the one we’re discussing. Are they so convinced of the Jews being saved in a different way, other then coming to Christ, that they can rejoice in the fact of Judaism flourishing in Russia? Or do they believe Judaism is ‘another way’ to salvation?

      Steve Lumbley (from Apostasy Watch) posted this same article at facebook today and i couldn’t believe some of the comments left by Christians. Steve must have had 30-40 comments left under his post, and many of them argued with other commenters who had written that no one comes to God but through Jesus Christ. In other words, they saw the idea that Judaism was having a revival in Russia as (apparently) a good thing! I do feel like i’ve fallen down a rabbit-hole when i read stuff like that…and this article. I begin to doubt that these people not only don’t know the very basics in the word of God, but don’t know Jesus at all.

      As i posted under Steve’s article on this topic, this confirms what i’ve thought for some time: Christian Zionism (and many branches of dispensationalism) stands in the doorway, blocking the entrance to Jesus Christ, for many Jews. Christian Zionism is a ‘stumbling block’ which masquerades as biblical Christianity.

      The fields are white for harvest, and here many of us are, rejoicing because a religion that can save no one, is flourishing…

      May God show mercy

    • JD – just a note. This Israel idolatry is not confined to the charismatic wing of the church. As PJ mentioned I had lots of comments supporting Israel and Judaism and few of them came from charismatics. Most of those commenting on my page would call themselves non charismatic evangelicals. This is a result of dispensational teaching that has worked it’s way into the mainstream.

  3. Thanks Steve and PJ for your clarifications. I do tend to over-categorize at times.

    If there was kind of an “a-ha, I told you” tone to my comments, it was probably there because of all the accusations that were levelled at the Strange Fire speakers, and this position was taken by many non-charismatics as well. You know, the idea that no conference was even needed, because as we all were supposed to believe that the charismatics always call out the extreme excesses, and police their own movement, enforcing sound doctrine.

    This deception I took pains to point out last fall, (under a torrent of opposition, which I gladly endured, by the way), was going to be soon proven to be false. The dust hadn’t even settled after Strange Fire when undisputed general and commander-in-chief of the “what a disgraceful conference” dog-and-pony show, Dr. Michael Brown, was appearing on Rick Joyner’s broadcasts. He was asked how this jived with his solemn declaration that his movement called out abuses. He declared Joyner to be a real man of God in his estimation. In the same breath he added that he also included Cindy Jacobs as a great leader of the movement and someone to be admired.

    In addition, he considers Mike Bickle in this group. Bickle got my attention recently when he (in a refreshing burst of honesty), declared that 80 per cent of what passes for real demonstrations of Holy Spirit power in charismatic settings are false and come from the human imagination.

    That wasn’t bad enough, but weeks later Dr. Brown made five consecutive one-hour appearances on Benny Hinn’s TV show which is broadcast to 20 million viewers worldwide. Needless to say, Dr. Brown kowtowed to Benny unabashedly, with nothing but admiration and flattery. Not a single word to call out any of Mr. Hill’s (I refuse to call him “Reverend Hill”) heretical antics for the past 30 years.

    Adding more fuel to the fire rather than quelling it, Dr. Brown very unwisely chose to defuse the justifiable outrage at the Benny Hill fiasco by first claiming not to be familiar with Hinn’s ministry. If true, this would make him the most uninformed Christian leader in all of church history. If not true, (and he later tried to hedge his bets on this take), it simply makes him one of the most undiscerning popular Christian leaders of our times.

    So I meet you halfway in that non-charismatics all engage in basically the same doctrinal error as charismatics do. I part ways in what seems to be your (PJ and Steve’s) portrayal of it just being a few fringe whackos who do the damage, and the movement is otherwise on firm doctrinal ground. The leadership is what is foul in this movement, not just the obvious lunatics we see on YouTube.. Any movement that has tainted leadership is tainted by imputation and trickle-down. Some few individuals may retain discernment ability to some degree, but they are doing so more in spite of their charismatic affiliations than because of them.

    But it cannot be otherwise. The leadership will always be tainted, because the doctrine is unsound. Neo-Pentecostal charismatic teachings as a doctrinal movement were basically unheard of for 1900 years of church history, except for a few aberrations like the Montanist movement in the fourth century. I guess suddenly God revealed to some guy in Wichita in 1900 what His Word has to say about the workings of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, when everyone before had just missed this completely. (sarcasm intended).

    Many are convinced that the apostolic powers are still with us, but this is not borne out in reality. People simply don’t get healed today by having an apostle’s shadow cross over them, by touching an apostle’s handkerchief, or even by the flashing of Benny Hinn;s Nehru jacket on a fawning crowd of followers.

    And then there’s the whole angle of the hypocrisy demonstrated by the charismatic leaders that really struck me while thinking back to last fall. All the leaders pointing fingers turned out to BE the abuses and excesses THEMSELVES. But I could write a volume in itself simply on the Pharisaic sanctimoniousness that was played out..

    So how is this relevant to the blog article being discussed here about converting Russians to Judaism? The Charisma article clearly demonstrates that the error comes from charismatic LEADERSHIP, not the people in the pews. Its probably not going to happen, but I would love to see a Strange Fire conference every year. As long as this error has such a stronghold, it is biblical to combat it. Charismatic leaders think that MIGHT makes RIGHT. 100 million professing Christians can’t be wrong. Or can they?

    Thanks for the opportunity to debate these important issues.

    All blessings in Christ,
    JD

    • You know, the idea that no conference was even needed, because as we all were supposed to believe that the charismatics always call out the extreme excesses, and police their own movement, enforcing sound doctrine.

      And many who believe that the Spiritual gifts continue to be in operation today, do just that. In my experience on the internet i have seen this time after time. No legitimate born again Christian who denies cessationism wants to be lumped into the fringe groups which we see participating (and encouraging others to participate) in some of the outlandish practices from the likes of a Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, Cindy Jacob’s, etc.. These outlandish practices are not only NOT biblical but they mock the Holy Spirit of God. Those of us who have witnessed the true Gifts being in operation understand this is satan’s goal: to mock God’s work and His Spirit.

      But this comes as no surprise, or it shouldn’t; for there have always been those who have mocked the Spirit of God, to their own detriment. The Word warns of such men, just as it warns (in the last days) there would be those who DENY the power of God, which is (on earth) manifested through/by the Holy Spirit.

      So I meet you halfway in that non-charismatics all engage in basically the same doctrinal error as charismatics do. I part ways in what seems to be your (PJ and Steve’s) portrayal of it just being a few fringe whackos who do the damage, and the movement is otherwise on firm doctrinal ground.

      Sorry to read that JD. What i won’t do is reciprocate by saying i believe all those who hold to a cessationist point of view (most of the Reformed group) are elitist snobs who divide the body of Christ and criticize that which they know nothing of: namely, the power of God. That would be unfair and not how the Word tells us to judge.

    • Cessationism is not the belief that spiritual gifts don’t exist. At least I took the time to learn what the opposing side teaches. It is apparent you have spent little time examining the cessationist viewpoint that you are so adamant about opposing.

      I’ll donate five hundred dollars to the charity of your choice if you can show me where, either on your blog or mine, I ever said the Holy Spirit gifts are not active today. Better still, I’ll extend that offer if you can show where reformed doctrine (doctrine which emerged from the reformation) teaches this. Its so unbiblical to claim this, that’s its very disappointing that people involved in Christian discernment today need to misrepresent the other side so dramatically in order to support their position.The key underlying premise of Christian biblical discernment is to properly represent the other side’s views.

      JD

    • JD, you are just itching for an argument, aren’t you….but you’re not going to get one here.

      Cessationism: In Christian theology, Cessationism is the view that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophetic utterances and faith healing, ceased being practiced early in Christian Church history….

      And that my friend, is exactly how i used the term in my comment;

      And many who believe that the Spiritual gifts continue to be in operation today, do just that. In my experience on the internet i have seen this time after time. No legitimate born again Christian who denies cessationism wants to be lumped into the fringe groups which we see participating (and encouraging others to participate) in some of the outlandish practices from the likes of a Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, Cindy Jacob’s, etc.. These outlandish practices are not only NOT biblical but they mock the Holy Spirit of God. Those of us who have witnessed the true Gifts being in operation understand this is satan’s goal: to mock God’s work and His Spirit.

      Attempting to belittle others, and failing (“At least I took the time to learn what the opposing side teaches”) even when you disagree upon an issue–in this instance, the use of the Spiritual Gifts being for today’s church or not, is not the way to get your point across. It’s ugly JD.

      End of conversation…

  4. I know I rant about Glenn Beck, but here’s the thing about his network. I have learned that if a theology, thought, or personality from the “Christian” world comes on his show, there is something wrong with it. John Hagee has been on his show and Glenn supports his Zionism as Hagee supports Glenn. I listen to GB’s radio show so I know who is suspect out there.

  5. I left two lengthy responses in your comment section which expressed my feelings about the charismatic movement and never expressed anything toward you or Steve of a personal nature. .

    I am completely unaware of it if you, or Steve, consider yourself members of the charismatic movement. If that’s the case, my apologies. Perhaps I should have seen that you were charismatic because you based your article on your “surprise” that Charisma would print this article.

    I have known Steve for years and never heard him, (or you) use the term charismatic to describe himself, so I thought it was fair game and not personal at all to express how I felt about the movement.

    I think this took a deliberately personal turn when to my surprise you decided to call reformers “elitest snobs who know nothing about the power of God” knowing full well I am reformed. You are aware of that. I have stated it numerous times, so there is no doubt in my mind about the personal nature of your intent in saying that.

    It my comments about charismata make me belittling and ugly, when I didn’t even know you were charismatic, then what kind of statement is made when something like that is done willfully and with full knowledge of making the attack personal?

    • I think this took a deliberately personal turn when to my surprise you decided to call reformers “elitest snobs who know nothing about the power of God” knowing full well I am reformed.

      nope, did not. jd you need to read comments more closely…

      what i said was i WOULD NOT reciprocate by responding in that manner.

      if anything has upset me about this thread it’s the fact of it being taken totally off topic.

      While i understand (or should after 7-8 yrs running a blog) social networking, and love it actually for it gives people an opportunity to connect, discuss topics of interest, etc. i am aware that many times threads can ‘go off’ into other directions, away from the original post–and u know what? sometimes thats ok. some of the best discussions can come about by a topic being ‘taken elsewhere’. perhaps a reader ‘really’ has a question of importance (to “them” personally) which has nothing to do with the topic at hand, or a need which they are seeking help for, and requires being addressed, but, when (for none of those reasons or no good reason) a topic gets hijacked, yes, it bugs me.

      This for me personally, was an important topic–the fact that judaism is being applauded at a website on which 100’s of thousands of readers gather to read; many of them possibly young believers just starting out on their faith-walk. and it’s not only charisma mag which is celebrating the growth of judaism. the hebrew-roots movement, along with dispensationalist-christian zionism is a blatant heresy within america’s churches today–and i personally believe it’s growing; if not growing, its at the least becoming bolder….more public.

      This is important. it’s something all christians ‘should’ be standing together against, for it has the potential to send those who follow it, out into eternity, forever lost.

      There is a growing christian population in america today which is beginning to see judaism in the same light as christianity. I see it every day; this does not surprise me, for i have noticed over the years a steady (and growing) stream of believers who embrace both: equally. and this should concern every born again believer in the west.

      As far as being ‘charismatic’…i don’t know what you or anyone else means by that term anymore. and really don’t care. yes i believe the gifts are still in operation today, no, i don’t believe all who claim to be operating in the spirit really are, so if in your estimation that means im a charismatic, then so be it. Don’t care, for people are being led astray in many more ways then just by the “i take daily trips to heaven” crowd. There are more subtle deceptions ‘out there’ jd…. discernment is needed to recognize it. No discernment is required to recognize the wackos.

      Perhaps a conference is needed for the more subtle forms of deception…for it’s easy to point out problems everyone is already aware of. Think that’s called ‘beating a dead horse’.

    • (just realized your last comment above hadn’t posted JD, sorry. kinda made my reply above sound like i was talking to the invisible man, ahaha!)

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