I thought this article by J. Lee Grady of Charisma magazine was worthy of note, especially considering many of the posts here at Cerulean Sanctum on charismania:
The New “Revivals” and a Warning…Standard
I mentioned last week that Todd Bentley was once again talking about revival, this time at Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries, and as an extension of the “revival” happening at Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer. The juxtaposition of Bentley (plus his mentor, Bob Jones) , Joyner, and Bickle should give us all pause. It’s the old Kansas City prophets group that John Wimber rebuked—but with a new poster boy.
The following has been posted elsewhere by Christians who long for genuine revival and who support the genuine charismata. All of us are concerned that the real presence of God that comes through the baptism of the Holy Spirit is increasingly mimicked in charismatic circles by “something other.” The fruit of the modern charismatic/prophetic movement has been increasingly rotten, and people who are concerned need to test the spirits, rise up, get out, and speak out.
This is hard for me because I have many friends involved in groups that stream from or into what used to be the fringes, but is now the mainstream, of the charismatic/prophetic movement. The unwillingness of the movement as a whole to test all things sold as “of the Holy Spirit” (when even the most simple discernment tests fail) leads me, more than ever, to believe that the words of Jesus questioning whether He will find faith when He returns are the most prophetic, and frightening, words of all.
Andrew Strom, a former name in the prophetic movement, dropped out of the movement back in 2004 after coming to grips with the rotten fruit he was seeing and how what was being pitched as revival did not square with historic interpretations by great Christians of the past who viewed genuine revival. His warning has been making the Web rounds, and I reproduce it here.
Stay sober and awake.
KUNDALINI WARNING by Andrew Strom
I just saw the video of Rick Joyner announcing that Todd Bentley is back ministering every night at Morningstar in North Carolina and now they have so-called “revival” manifestations eerily similar to Lakeland. They also announced that they are streaming these big meetings every night on their new TV channel – and they are greatly promoting the whole thing.
Now I am a tongues-speaking Pentecostal myself – but can I ask a simple question here please? What kind of “spirit” was it operating in the Lakeland revival – when the leader and main focal-point of the meetings (Todd Bentley) was having an adulterous affair behind the scenes? Was it truly the “Holy” Spirit that was anointing something so sensual and unholy? And now that Todd divorced his wife and married his mistress – are we supposed to welcome him back and this “anointing” with him? What is going on here? Rick Joyner has been warned very specifically by high-level ministries not to do what he is doing now – bringing Todd Bentley back into the limelight. And yet it seems he does not care. Apparently the “manifestations” are all that matter.
So what exactly are these ‘manifestations’ if they are seemingly at home in such an unholy environment? Are they from God at all? (I am talking here about the violent “jerking”, uncontrollable laughter, bodily contortions, drunkenness, ‘portals’, strange “angel” encounters, etc.) Why do we not see such an ‘anointing’ in the Bible? Why aren’t Jesus or the apostles promoting these manifestations if they really are true Revival? Why instead do we see these things all the way through the New Age and Hinduism, etc? Do we not realize that many false religions have their own version of “laying on of hands” that results in these very types of manifestations? This ’spirit’ is not in the Bible – but it is all the way through Kundalini-type Hinduism! Don’t you think this should alarm us?
WHAT is KUNDALINI?
If you search for Kundalini and Shakti on the Internet, you will find that multitudes of people in the New Age and Eastern religions still experience these powerful manifestations. Often this is with the help of a Guru, who touches them on the forehead so that they can experience a “Kundalini Awakening”.
As researcher Robert Walker wrote in 1995:
“The meetings which mystic Hindu gurus hold are called ‘Darshan’. At these meetings devotees go forward to receive spiritual experience from a touch by the open palm of the hand, often to the forehead, by the guru in what is known as the Shakti Pat or divine touch. The raising of the spiritual experience is called raising Kundalini? After a period when the devotee has reached a certain spiritual elevation they begin to shake, jerk, or hop or squirm uncontrollably, sometimes breaking into uncontrolled animal noises or laughter as they reach an ecstatic high. These manifestations are called ‘Kriyas’. Devotees sometimes roar like lions and show all kinds of physical signs during this period. Often devotees move on to higher states of spiritual consciousness and become inert physically and appear to slip into an unconsciousness…”
And as the guru Shri Yogãnandji Mahãrãja wrote: “When Your body begins trembling, hair stands on roots, you laugh or begin to weep without your wishing, your tongue begins to utter deformed sounds, you are filled with fear or see frightening visions? the Kundalini Shakti has become active.”
In China there is a popular Kundalini-type movement called ‘Qigong’. When a Chinese Qigong spiritual master spoke in the USA in 1991, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that many in the crowd began to experience “spontaneous movements”. The master told his audience, “Those who are sensitive might start having some strong physical sensations – or start laughing or crying. Don’t worry. This is quite normal.”
When you see videos of these “kriyas” or other Kundalini-type manifestations, you would often swear that you are watching a modern “Impartation”-type church meeting. (And I say this as someone who believes strongly in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I just don’t believe in “alien” anointings infiltrating the Body of Christ! There is a big difference between Kundalini and the real Holy Spirit).
Since 1993-4, I believe a foreign spirit has been allowed to invade the church – first through Rodney Howard-Browne’s ministry – then Toronto, then the Prophetic movement (which I was part of at the time) and on into Lakeland and many other ministries and movements. I urge people now to “test the spirits” just as we are commanded to in Scripture. Do not let just anyone lay hands on you. This is a powerful spirit and it has the backing of a lot of big-name ministries. In fact, these men and women are the very ones responsible for allowing it to spread right through the body of Christ. And one day they will be answerable to God for doing so.
We are specifically warned in the Bible that the Last Days will be a time of “seducing spirits,” false prophets, ‘lying signs and wonders,’ and that we always need to watch for “angels of light” masquerading as the real thing. Why does the modern church not take these warnings seriously? Aren’t we living in the very days that the Bible warns about?
Right now I need to do something that I have never done in such a way before. I have never before published a list of ministries or movements to watch out for. But this time I have to. This sickness has gone on long enough. I urge you to cut yourself off from the following ministries and their tainted “anointings” my friends. Even though some of these people say “good things” at times, it is simply not worth having any involvement with them due to the tainted anointing that they endorse or minister in themselves. Here is the list-
(1) Todd Bentley.
(2) Rodney Howard Browne – the so-called “Holy Ghost Bartender.”
(2) Rick Joyner or anyone connected with Morningstar Ministries.
(3) John Arnott & any connected with TACF (The “Toronto Blessing”).
(4) Peter Wagner of the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ who claims to be head of a worldwide network of ‘apostles’ – who publicly endorsed Lakeland and will soon preach at Toronto TACF alongside other “false anointing” advocates.
(5) Mike Bickle and IHOP Kansas City (-I lived nearby for over two years – and know how much they are into all this stuff. Mike Bickle promotes it in his book).
(6) Bob Jones – the Kansas City prophet whose ministry is utterly tainted by it all.
(7) Patricia King and anyone else from ‘Extreme Prophetic.’
(8) John Crowder & anyone connected with “Sloshfest.”
(9) Bill Johnson of Bethel church, Redding – who says some good things but publicly endorsed Lakeland and promotes the “false anointing” very strongly behind the scenes.
(10) Heidi & Rolland Baker of IRIS Ministries – who do good work amongst the poor in Mozambique – but who have also carried and promoted this tainted anointing for years.
(11) Randy Clark, Wes & Stacey Campbell, and other key figures from the “Toronto blessing.”
(12) The Elijah List – and almost anyone featured on it.
Of course there are a huge number of lesser-known preachers and ministries who carry or endorse this Kundalini-type “anointing” around the world. But I have concentrated here on the most influential that I know of. It really is an enormous issue in the church. I urge anyone who is a supporter of any of the above ministries to really check them out thoroughly. If you find (as I have) that they carry or endorse this false Kundalini spirit in the church, then please stop supporting them in any way – and whatever you do, don’t let them “lay hands” on you!
I am putting everything on the line to be “naming names” like this. But I believe it is that serious. How on earth did we get to the point where “kriyas” just like Hinduism are spreading through the church?
The election is over. The dust has settled. My thoughts follow.
A Battle of Truths
My church is doing a worldview series featuring The Truth Project from Focus on the Family. I’ve seen one installment so far, and I must say it was excellent. I look forward to viewing the rest of the teachings.
We adjourned for discussion afterwards. As the meeting was the day after the election, the talk rapidly shifted to the results. A strongly prolife church, most of us were disappointed with the election outcome. But I reminded everyone we are also an almost exclusively white, penturbian church.
What many white evangelicals who are strongly anti-abortion have not been able to see is another strong truth that drove record numbers of black voters to the polls. In many ways, this election pitted battling truths: The long, grim shadow of abortion in America against the longer, grim shadow of slavery and its hold on the black American psyche.
In the end, the election of a half-black president forever ends “The System.” It’s the culmination of the civil rights movement. It puts to death a long nightmare for American people of African descent who have never truly been able to close the door on what happened to their ancestors.
And white Evangelicals can’t see this racial triumph as a win. But then again, how can we since we were never on the receiving end of 400 years of prejudice?
I’m strongly anti-abortion. I was a part of Operation Rescue. I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve argued strongly here and on other blogs that the baseline for any Christian voter must be prolife because anything else is barbarism and anti-God.
I noted a couple posts ago that I’ve been getting nonstop email from Christians about the election and the abortion issue, plus other issues, that have driven people into a frenzy.
I have a response.
And here is where it gets tricky.
You see, for all our talk, we Evangelicals had an opportunity in 2000 to throw our weight behind the most prolife candidate ever to run for president. No one running that year ran a stronger prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution ticket than did this candidate. He had been appointed to high office by the king of the conservative movement, President Ronald Reagan—an imprimatur if there can ever be one in conservative ranks—and is regarded by many as one of the smartest men in politics. He was a leading Republican contender for president that year, finishing a strong third in Iowa in a packed GOP field. When the first set of GOP debates was held, most pundits agreed that he not only won the debate but blew the other candidates away.
Conservative Evangelical Christians had the opportunity to put this man into the White House, but they ultimately rejected him in droves in favor of George W. Bush.
That man is Alan Keyes.
And Alan Keyes is black.
You see, we Evangelicals had the chance to elect the first black president AND the most prolife, profamily candidate to ever run for the office. In one fell swoop, we could have dealt with both battling truths that came to the fore in the 2008 election and possibly kept the radically pro-abortion Obama off the national scene and out of the presidency. We could have brought about genuine healing for our nation on two different and very worthy fronts and done so on conservative terms.
Didn’t happen, did it?
Instead, we threw our allegiance behind what has proven to be the most impotent presidency since Jimmy Carter.
So, if we white Christians are asking for repentance from black Christians who voted for Obama because he was black (thus rejecting an anti-abortion platform in favor of a racial one), how are we repenting for failing to support the candidacy of Alan Keyes when we had the opportunity?
Think about it.
Which leads me to my next point.
The Republican Party has done next to nothing for born-again Christians…
…yet we continue to mindlessly suck at its teat. For all our talk of supporting righteousness and foundational American truths, how is it that so many Christians in this election voted slavishly for a man who was soundly repudiated by us same Christians just a few years ago for being nominally Christian, nominally Constitutional, and in bed with Democrats to the point of having his party allegiance questioned?
If we were so interested in supporting prolife, profamily, pro-Constitution Christians, and if all of our prophetic “words” really lined up with what we say we believe, then Christians would have voted as a block for Chuck Baldwin and not John McCain.
Our rhetoric doesn’t line up with truth very well, does it?
No, the devotion to the GOP continues to not only bite us but show us as not all that dedicated to our principles.
Many people were shouting that it’s all about the Supreme Court justices, and that principles begin there. Yet the GOP’s record of getting conservative justices on the court who ultimately act like real conservatives has been dismal. So why the sudden idea that putting another Republican in office (especially one with a history of dancing with the center-left) would change this trend?
We look like sheep in the end. And not the Lord’s sheep, but GOP sheep. Baa on all of us. It’s the old case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
There’s a reason we’ve been fleeced:
Politics is not the answer and never has been
Cal Thomas says it well:
Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: Should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?
Read the entire piece: “Religious Right R.I.P.” (If you’ve been a reader of Cerulean Sanctum for long you’ve already read most of Thomas’s comments, but I want them to come from someone else.)
The only “Change We Can Believe In” is Jesus Christ. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats offer real change. Anything or anyone else that gets billed as change is a lie.
If want to to see our land healed, then we do what Jesus Christ told us to do in the Great Commission: We make disciples.
Because a nation right with God only comes about through the transformation of human lives by Jesus Christ. And that happens when you and I do the one thing so few of us care to do.
Politics is easy. It takes very little to put up a sign in our yard announcing our choice in candidates.
Evangelizing the world is much tougher, especially in a post-Christian West that has been inoculated against the Gospel by Christians who talk a good faith but who live it haphazardly. Heart change only comes, though, when Christians stop talking about evangelism and actually start doing it. It’s when our walk matches our talk. When our rhetoric matches the Bible and is lived out before the world, then people might sit up and take notice. We have to stop dedicating so much time to erecting our individual kingdoms and spend more time working with the Lord to build His Kingdom His way.
I have a word that is not so much prophetic as it’s just common sense: If we don’t get back to doing the Great Commission and tending to the least of these, then four years from now we’ll have the same old Christian pundits and “prophets” claiming that 2012 is “the election to end all elections.” As the great pundit Yogi Berra said, it will be déjÃ vu all over again.
God help us if that’s the case.
One last comment…
Distracting voices only get us off our mission
As much as the loss of this election has taught some of us Christians a lesson, I hope those infatuated with the modern prophetic movement learn more than anyone.
Fact is, almost every “prophetic word” that I heard about this election was wrong. End of story.
McCain didn’t win. It didn’t come down to Ohio. Palin proved to be a nonfactor. In fact, it wasn’t about any of the things I heard coming out of any of the typical sources for “prophecy” that cluttered my inbox. If there was a massive failure anywhere in this election, point a finger at the prophetic movement because it could not have been more off on nearly everything it said.
It is high time charismatics stopped listening to the self-proclaimed prophets out there. The real prophets of God don’t mess around with this political garbage. Instead, genuine prophetic utterance calls people to repentance, to the Lord, and to the Christ-ordained work of the Church.
But that’s not flashy. It doesn’t allow people to get comfy in some pseudognostic in-crowd, either. It’s simple stuff, the whisper that carries the voice of God when the earthquake and storm do not. We charismatics have got to be more discerning on all these “words” or else we are going to be perpetually tossed around like ragdolls on a rollercoaster by our so-called prophets.
It’s time to purge the house of God, folks.
If we truly want change, God-honoring change, then it begins in our own hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit. And there’s only one way to get that change, too. We should know the way by now.