Posts Tagged ‘Charismatic’
This video is from a service at MorningStar Ministries (founded by Rick Joyner) in Fort Mill, South Carolina. A Google search on “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey” quickly shows that although recently posted, it has received a lot of attention across the internet. It marks just one of the latest in a long string of “manifestations of the Holy Spirit” – which are clearly neither biblical, nor the work of the Holy Spirit, whatever the real explanation.
(Note: I am working on a higher quality video that I hope to post in the near future.)
MorningStar is a fairly well-known Charismatic ministry, particularly known for its emphasis on “miraculous healings.”
From the MorningStar website, in their statement of faith, we find the following concerning the present work of the Holy Spirit through spiritual gifts:
On the Present Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and that His ministry in and through the church by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept, acknowledge, encourage and seek all of the biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as present and vital for the church to accomplish her full purpose today.
Hebrew 13:8 is commonly cited as a proof-text that the miraculous sign gifts are still in operation today. However, this is both a misunderstanding of the verse and, I would suggest, is a disingenuous use of the verse because all Christians recognize that this can only refer to his unchanging character and not to the ministry of Christ.
Jesus’ character was the same both before and after the incarnation, yet his earthly ministry was completely different than his ministry in the Old Testament before he became a human through the Virgin Birth. His ministry in and through the average believer was significantly different before and after his crucifixion and after the day of Pentecost. His ministry after the day of Pentecost, in the present age, is significantly different than what his ministry will be during the Millennium after his return and when he will be ruling and reigning from the Throne of David in Jerusalem. Therefore, even if God were continuing to give the miraculous sign gifts today, Hebrews 13:8 does nothing to support this view.
This article is by guest contributor Larry DeBruyn, pastor of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana and the author of the blog, “Guarding His Flock.”
T.D. Jakes and Communion at ”A Table Set for Two.”
“Brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18, KJV)
In the Upper Room and to memorialize His upcoming death, the Lord Jesus took the common but symbolic elements of the bread and wine and instituted the ordinance that has come to be known as the Lord’s Table, the Eucharist, Communion, or simply, “the breaking of bread.” Luke records, “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood’” (Luke 22:19-20). Of the rite established by the Lord to be observed by the church, Ralph P. Martin stated that susequently it became “a fruitful source of heresy and confused doctrine.”  Not only was this to be the case for developing Christendom, but it is also so among churches today.
To boost attendance, congregations within the Church of England have employed the music of the rock group U2. In one congregation, a bishop presided over what is blasphemously–for it’s about them, not Him–called a “‘U2-charist’, a Holy Communion service that employs the Irish supergroup’s best-selling songs in place of hymns.”  The communion service is described:
In what is more rock concert than Book of Common Prayer, a live band will belt out U2 classics such as Mysterious Ways and Beautiful Day as worshippers sing along with the lyrics, which will appear on screens. The [nightclub] atmosphere will be further enhanced by a sophisticated lighting system that will pulse with the beat . . . 
USA Today reported that “U2-charist” worship has also come to Episcopal congregations in the United States, and likely will find its way into other denominations and congregations as well.  One worshipper, a Roman Catholic who attended a “U2-charist” at a nearby Episcopal church in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., Bridgett Roberts, age 15, remarked of her experience:
It makes you, like, warm inside. Usually at church you love Jesus and everything. But this way you can express how you feel. 
Now in a recent message, “Communion,” Bishop T.D. Jakes eroticizes the ordinance.  On a DVD presentation, he begins his remarks about the Lord’s Table as follows:
One of the most personal, intimate things you can do is to have communion. It shows who you are to Him. It expresses that you are one with the Groom, that the Bride is connected to the Groom through the blood; they have fused together and become one; that they have the same DNA; that they’ve been devined by God; that the covenant has been ratified in the blood much like intercourse signified the ratification of blood in a wedding ceremony. 
Then he continues:
When the man and the woman come together, the Bible says, ‘They shall cleave together and become one flesh.’ His body and her body, her body and his body, they become one entity which is what they were at first when God made Adam. He made one person, male and female He created them and called his name Adam. And when He got ready, He pulled her out of him. And so that’s why we have the right to come back together because we were together in the first place. (The audience stands, shouts, claps, and raises their hands.) 
Then Jakes drives home the point:
When Jesus says, ‘Take, eat. This is my body that was broken for you,’ He says, I want my body in you. (Pause . . . shouts and claps) I want my blood in you. And every time you celebrate this rite, it is a reminder that you belong to me, and I belong to you. And he said, ‘I will drink no more wine until I drink it new with you and the kingdom of God. Communion is the most romantic ordinance. Eh, Eh, Eh. (He laughs. Pause . . . the audience shouts and claps.) It is the most romantic ordinance between two lovers. 
In the observation of communion, the Bishop’s remarks are grossly inappropriate for a number of reasons.
First, why associate the ordinance with sex? Jakes heaps up sexually suggestive words, phrases and sentences—intimate; Groom; Bride; fused together and become one; intercourse; wedding ceremony; shall cleave together and become one flesh; her body and his body; (Jesus says) I want my body in you; Communion is the most romantic ordinance . . . Eh, Eh, Eh; It is the most romantic ordinance between two lovers.
The Apostle Peter warns against false teachers who, “when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure [deceive] through the lusts of the flesh” (2 Peter 2:18, KJV). Decades ago, A.W. Tozer noted that,
The period in which we now live may well go down in history as the Erotic Age. Sex love has been elevated into a cult. Eros has more worshippers among civilized men today than any other god. For millions, the erotic has completely displaced the spiritual. 
Second, to pursue the biblical mystery (Ephesians 5:32), Jakes makes it seem that the Groom and Bride are already married, when in fact the Church’s marriage to Christ will not officially take place until the future Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:5-9). As a group, Christian believers may be compared to a Bride awaiting their Groom’s return (Matthew 25:1-11). Though the one-year betrothal period in biblical culture was considered to be legal marriage (When Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant, he wrestled with the idea of divorcing Mary for infidelity, Matthew 1:18-19.), couples lived lived apart from each other during that time. That’s why as His Bride, we’re to observe the ordinance that remembers and preaches “the Lord’s death until He comes” (Emphasis mine, 1 Corinthians 11:26). The ordinance by which the Lord requests His Betrothed to remember His sacrifice on the cross for their sins ought not to be turned into something akin to a seduction!
Third, in understanding the metaphor-mystery of the Bide’s relationship to the Groom (i.e., the Church’s relationship to Christ), earthly sexual connotation regarding that relationship ought to be removed. In answer to Jews who had posed a hypothetical question about the Levirate Law to Him, Jesus responded: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30, KJV). So even when the Bride is married to the Groom, that marriage in heaven will not be comparable to human marriage on earth for at core, earthly marriage is about covenant-committment. The fact that the Church’s relationship to Christ is explained by the metaphor-mystery of marriage, especially from the perspective of the period of betrothal during which the bride and groom were separated, stands opposed to those who like T.D. Jakes, attempt to eroticize the ordinance in a earthly-fleshly and human-sensual vein.
Fourth, one must wonder what the preacher means when he asserts that communicants become devined by ingesting the elements (the bread-body and wine-blood) of the ordinance. By asserting that divine DNA infuses them, is Jakes advocating that magically transubstantiated elements possess the power to divinize communicants?  His words suggest this to be the case. According to his scheme of spirituality, the communion elements become a magical-mechanical-means whereby Christians become “gods.” By ingesting divinity, they become divinity. In the ancient church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, this process is known as deification (Greek, theosis or theopoiesis). Jakes’ bold language seems to “deliberately [evoke] the pagan language of apotheosis (humans, especially emperors, being advanced to the rank of deity) . . .” 
Fifth, in his sermon “Communion,” Jakes makes it seem as if the Lord’s Table is individual when in fact it’s communal. The ordinance is not observed between two lovers, but rather between Jesus Christ and the many who were/are His followers; initially, the original band of apostles/disciples in the Upper Room, and subsequently, all Christians who would come to believe in Him as their Savior and Lord (See John 17:20-21.). So Adolph Schlatter noted that in addition to Baptism, the Eucharist “constituted a second act that powerfully moved believers’ thoughts and desires and bound them together as a united community.” 
Sixth, for believers, the attraction of the Lord’s Table is the work He already accomplished for us. The ordinance’s focus is upon Jesus’ past death. It’s all about remembrance, not romance. The Lord ordered, “This . . . do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). The Apostle Paul twice repeated, once for the Bread and then for the Cup, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). As Washington D.C., abounds with granite memorials remembering those who died in the cause for our and other nations’ freedom—the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, etc.—so the elements are taken in the memory of the One who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, He who died for our spiritual freedom. The church must not allow sensuality to undermine her spirituality. The Table of the Lord must not be turned on its head to impress others of being some sort of bacchic rite (Bacchus was the Roman ”party” god.), something that for reason early Christians called their meetings the Agape, or Love Feast (See 1 Corinthians 11:20-22), pagan stoics accused them of. After all, communion is about redemption and reverence, not romance! 
To conclude this presentation dealing with an aberrant, even abhorrent, treatment of Communion, A.W. Tozer may be quoted again. He wrote:
Now if this god Eros would let us Christians alone I for one would let his cult alone for the whole spongy, fetid mess will sink some day under its own weight and become excellent fuel for the fires of hell. But the cult of Eros is seriously affecting the Christian church. 
For reason that the cult of Eros will not leave Christians alone in this wired world of the Internet and is therefore affecting the church, this pastor is forced to issue a public disclaimer of what T.D. Jakes has made “Communion” out to be. The Eucharist should not be eroticized. 
 Italics mine, Ralph P. Martin, “Lord’s Supper, The,” The New Bible Dictionary, J.D. Douglas, Editor (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962) 751.
 Jonathan Petre, “Hymns replaced by U2 lyrics at church,” ReligionNewsBlog.com, January 30, 2007. Online at: www.religionnewsblog.com/17326/hymns-replaced-by-u2-lyrics-at-church.
 Gary Stern, “Episcopal ‘U2-charist’ uses songs in service,” USA Today, October 26, 2006. Online at: www. usatoday.com/life/music/2006-10-25-u2-churches_x.htm.
 Bishop T.D. Jakes, “Communion,” The Potter’s Touch. Online at: http://en.sevenload.com/videos/FBdNHJu-20090419-Communion. Video transcribed from minutes/seconds 16.04-19.55.
 A.W. Tozer, “The Erotic Is Rapidly Displacing the Spiritual,” Renewed Day by Day, Daily Devotional Readings, Volume I, Compiled by Gerald B. Smith (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1980) May 13 reading. I thank my friend Pastor Robert C. Gifford for bringing Tozer’s devotional to my attention.
 As regards Jesus’ statement, “This is My body” (Luke 22:19; Compare Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; 1 Corinthians 11:24.), R.P. Martin notes: “There is no ground for a literal equivalence as in the doctrine of transubstantiation. The copula ‘is’ is the exegetical significat as in Gn. 41:26; Dn. 7:17; Lk. 8:11; Gal. 4:24; Rev. 1:20; and in the spoken Aramaic the copulative would be lacking, as in Gn. 40:12; Dn. 2:36; 4:22. The figurative, non-literal connotation ‘ought never to have been disputed’ (Lietzmann).” See Martin, “Lord’s Supper,” 750.
Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1804-1872), a German philosopher who believed the Christian faith was a “dream of the human mind,” and therefore was no friend of the faith, especially the Roman Catholic, wrote of the elements: “The wine and bread are in reality natural, but in the imagination divine substances.” See his, The Essence of Christianity, George Eliot, Translator (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004) 245.
To explain the sense of “is” in the sentence, “This is My body,” a seminary professor once took a picture of his wife out of his wallet and said, “This is my wife.” So, “The bread becomes under His [Jesus’] sovereign word the parable of His body yielded up in the service of God’s redeeming purpose (cf. Heb. x. 5-10); and His blood outpoured in death, recalling the sacrificial rites of the Old Testament, is represented in the cup of blessing on the table. That cup is invested henceforward with a fresh significance as the memorial of the new Exodus, accomplished at Jerusalem (Lk. ix. 31).” Martin, “Lord’s Table,” 750.
Indeed, as the Apostle put it, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7b, KJV).
 John A. McGuckin, “Deification,” The SCM Press A-Z of Patristic Theology (London: SCM Press, 2005) 98.
 Adolf Schlatter, The Theology of the Apostles, Andreas J. Köstenberger, Translator (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998) 47.
 The sense of the Greek noun “remembrance” (anamnesis) is to remember again “in an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to mind.” See W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr., “Remembrance,” An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984) 946-947.
 Tozer, “The Erotic.”
 See also Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “Evangelicals: Emergent and Erotic,” Guarding His Flock.com. Online at: http://guardinghisflock.com/2009/06/08/evangelicals-emergent-and-erotic/#more-3.
Postscript: I want to thank Mrs. Gaylene Goodroad, a member of Franklin Road Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, for drawing my attention to Bishop Jakes’ internet sermon.
The following is an article by John MacArthur, which recently appeared on his Shepherd’s Fellowship website.
(By John MacArthur)
I don’t watch much television, and when I do I generally avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). For many years TBN has been dominated by faith-healers, full-time fund-raisers, and self-proclaimed prophets spewing heresy. I wrote about the false gospel they proclaim and the phony miracles they pretend to do almost two decades ago in Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. See especially chapter 12). I had my fill of charismatic televangelism while researching that book, and I can hardly bear to watch it any more.
Recently, however, while recovering from knee-replacement surgery, I decided to sample some of the current fare on TBN. From a therapeutic point of view it seemed a good choice: something more excruciating than the pain in my leg might distract me from the physical suffering of post-surgical trauma. And I suppose on that basis the strategy was effective.
But it left me outraged and frustrated—and eager to challenge the misperceptions in the minds of millions of unbelievers who see these false teachers masquerading as ministers of Christ on TBN.
I’m outraged at the brazen way so many false teachers twist the message of Scripture in Jesus’ name. And I’m frustrated because I’m certain that if these charlatans were not receiving a large proportion of their financial support from sincere believers (and silent acquiescence from Christian leaders who surely know better), they would have no platform for their shenanigans. They would soon lose their core constituency and fade from the scene.
Instead, religious quacks are actually multiplying at a frightening pace. One thing I discovered to my immense displeasure is that TBN is by no means the only religious network broadcasting poisonous false doctrine around the clock. The channel lineup I receive includes at least seven other channels whose schedules are filled with false teachers and charlatans. There’s The Church Channel, Daystar, GodTV, World Harvest Television (LeSEA), Total Christian Television, and several others. Some of them feature blocs of family television programing and a few fairly sound teachers who provide moments of escape from the prosperity preachers. But all of them give prominence to enormous amounts of heresy and religious claptrap—enough to make them positively dangerous. And TBN is singularly responsible for kicking that door open so wide.
The continued growth and influence of TBN is baffling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the thick aura of lust, greed, and other kinds of moral impropriety that surrounds the whole enterprise. A long string of scandals involving notable charismatic televangelists between 1988 and 1992 should have been sufficient reason for even the most credulous viewers to scrutinize the entire industry with skepticism. First came the international spectacle of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s moral, marital, and financial collapse. That was followed closely by the revelation of Jimmy Swaggart’s repeated dalliances with prostitutes. Shortly afterward, an episode of ABC’s Primetime Live exposed clear examples of deliberate fraud on the part of three more leading charismatic televangelists. Those incidents were punctuated by a score of lesser scandals over several years’ time. It is clear (or should be)—based on empirical evidence alone—that preachers promising miracles in exchange for money are not to be trusted. And for anyone who simply bothers to compare Jesus’ teaching with the health-and-wealth message, it is clear that the message that currently dominates religious television is “a different gospel; which is really not another” (Galatians 1:6-7), but a damnable lie.
TBN is by far the leading perpetrator of that lie worldwide. Virtually all the network’s main celebrities tell listeners that God will give them healing, wealth, and other material blessings in return for their money. On program after program people are urged to “plant a seed” by sending “the largest bill you have or the biggest check you can write” with the promise that God will miraculously make them rich in return. That same message dominates all of TBN’s major fundraising drives. It’s known as the “seed faith” plan, so-called by Oral Roberts, who set the pattern for most of the charismatic televangelists who have followed the trail he blazed. Paul Crouch, founder, chairman, and commander-in-chief of TBN, is one of the doctrine’s staunchest defenders.
The only people who actually get rich by this scheme, of course, are the televangelists. Their people who send money get little in return but phony promises—and as a result, many of them turn away from the truth completely.
If the scheme seems reminiscent of Tetzel, that’s because it is precisely the same doctrine. (Tetzel was a medieval monk whose high-pressure selling of indulgences—phony promises of forgiveness—outraged Martin Luther and touched off the Protestant Reformation.)
Like Tetzel, TBN preys on the poor and plies them with false promises. Yet what is happening daily on TBN is many times worse than the abuses that Luther decried because it is more widespread and more flagrant. The medium is more high-tech and the amounts bilked out of viewers’ pockets are astronomically higher. (By most estimates, TBN is worth more than a billion dollars and rakes in $200 million annually. Those are direct contributions to the network, not counting millions more in donations sent directly to TBN broadcasters.) Like Tetzel on steroids, the Crouches and virtually all the key broadcasters on TBN live in garish opulence, while constantly begging their needy viewers for more money. Elderly, poor, and working-class viewers constitute TBN’s primary demographic. And TBN’s fundraisers all know that. The most desperate people—”unemployed,” “even though I’m in between jobs,” “trying to make it; trying to survive,” “broke”—are baited with false promises to give what they do not even have. Jan Crouch addresses viewers as “you little people,” and suggests that they send their grocery money to TBN “to assure God’s blessing.”
Thus TBN devours the poor while making the charlatans rich. God cursed false prophets in the Old Testament for that very thing (Jeremiah 6:13-15). It’s also one of the main reasons the Pharisees incurred Jesus’ condemnation (Luke 20:46-47). It’s hard to think of any sin more evil. It not only hurts people materially; it deludes them with groundless hope, deceives them with a false gospel, and thereby places their souls in eternal peril. And yet those who do it pretend they are doing the work of God.
That’s not all. Almost no false prophecy, erroneous doctrine, rank superstition, or silly claim is too outlandish to receive airtime on TBN. Jan Crouch tearfully gives a fanciful account of how her pet chicken was miraculously raised from the dead. Benny Hinn trumps that claim with a bizarre prophecy that if TBN viewers will put their dead loved ones’ caskets in front of television set and touch the dead person’s hand to the screen, people will “be raised from the dead . . . by the thousands.”
Ironically, one doesn’t even need to be an orthodox Trinitarian in order to broadcast on the Trinity network. Bishop T. D. Jakes, well known for his rejection of the Nicene creed in favor of oneness Pentecostalism, is a staple on TBN. Benny Hinn has repeatedly attempted to revise the doctrine of the Trinity in novel ways, notoriously teaching at one point that there are nine persons in the godhead.
And yet evangelical church leaders typically show a kind of benign tolerance toward the whole enterprise. Most would never endorse it, of course. They may joke about the gaudiness of the big hair and tawdry set decorations on TBN. Ask them, and they will most likely acknowledge that the prosperity gospel is no gospel at all. Press the issue, and you will probably get them to admit that it is a dangerous form of false doctrine, totally unbiblical, and essentially anti-Christian.
Why, then, is there no large-scale effort among Bible-believing evangelicals to expose, denounce, refute, and silence these false teachers? After all, that is what Scripture commands church leaders to do when we encounter purveyors of soul-destroying substitutes for the true gospel:
The overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain (Titus 1:7-11).
Those who remain silent in the face of such grotesque lies may in fact be partly responsible for turning people away from the truth. Consider the testimony of William Lobdell, religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who once considered himself a devout evangelical Christian, but after doing a series of investigative reports on the moral and doctrinal cesspool at TBN; then “finding that his investigative stories about faith healer Benny Hinn and televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch appear to make no difference on the reach of these ministries or the lives of their followers, he [gave] up on the beat and on religion generally.”
All those who truly love Christ and care about the truth have a solemn duty to defend the truth by exposing and opposing these lies that masquerade as truth. If we fail in that duty because of indifference, apathy, or a craving for the approval of men, we are no less guilty than those who actively spread the lies.