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Devotional - Jesus Culture & The End Result Of False Teaching

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. 1Corinthians 12: 7-11 (NLT)

    The things of God are not a game beloved. Christianity is not something to be massaged into something we can market and sell. Theology matters. Doctrine matters. While some of the poor theologies and false teachings seem to not be a big deal we often do not see the end result. We do not see the discouraged seeker never returning to church because their "seed" never produced a "harvest." We never see the believer fall back into a lifestyle of sin because of the hyper grace message. We certainly never know who was led into a false relationship with a false Christ, through a false teacher. Every now and again though we can see a moment in time that reveals the dangers the Bible warns us about over and over again regarding false teaching.

    The latest trend in popular Christian music is known as Jesus Culture. Targeted mostly at youth, Jesus Culture roams the country putting on conferences where their brand of worship is mixed with dominionist preaching, false theology, and a dangerous misunderstanding of Scripture. As the church becomes more enamored with the world the increasing lack of discernment leads to leaven such as Jesus Culture spreading throughout the body of Christ unchecked. We tend to look at what is against God with a wink and nod.

    I present the key verses today as the backdrop to understand what God has said about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which is the gift of healing. The first thing we see is that a gift is given to every believer so that we might help each other. So the first lesson is that the gifts are given. They are not earned like some spiritual merit badge. They cannot be taught as if some cheap parlor trick. We further see that not everyone has all of the gifts - that to one person God may choose to give one gift and to another He may choose a different gift. The second lesson is that it is the Holy Spirit that decides to whom He will distribute which gifts. He alone decides and these Scriptures cannot be clearer. Yet despite this you still have heretical churches operating heretical schools designed to "teach" the supernatural gifts of God. Bethel Church in California is one such church, as they operate the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Some excerpts from the BSSM website:

    "BSSM is a Holy Spirit driven ministry school where students learn how to live in the Kingdom of God and extend its borders through a supernatural lifestyle."

    "When the students take their supernatural ministry into the community, it gets pretty wild and exciting!"

    "The academic instruction at BSSM is unique because it is taught by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers - not by professors or theologians."

    Right, can't have messy theology gumming up the works! I bring BSSM and Bethel Church up because that is where Jesus Culture comes from. That is their home church who launched their ministry. Bethel is run by Bill Johnson, who discredits himself regularly. Johnson has claimed the spirit has manifested in his church through gold dust, gemstones, angel feathers, and even glory clouds. Johnson and the Jesus Culture leaders believe in a heretical gospel of dominionism, where the church is supposed to take dominion of the earth in advance of the second coming of Christ. They teach an over sexualized Jesus, which can be easily discerned from the lyrics of their songs. They further teach what they have learned from Bethel and possibly BSSM - that the signs and wonders and gifts can be imparted. Even though clearly, the key verses teach us differently. This following clip is disturbing and represents the end result of such heretical teaching:

    I hope the severity is not lost on anyone viewing this clip. Taken at the Jesus Culture "Awakening" event in Chicago 2011 we see a wheelchair bound man, clearly paralyzed. He is surrounded by attendees of this event who proceed to lay hands on this man and pray for his healing. These are mostly kids who are simply acting out what they have been falsely taught. God has obviously been removed from the decision making process as they all seem to think they have the gift of supernatural healing. The ringleader, who does not appear to be anyone official, throws around Scripture as if it works without the Holy Spirit. The result then is this poor man is then carried around through the crowd his face turning beet red from the fruitless effort, only to return to his wheelchair while he hears the braggadocios ringleader, devoid of the Holy Spirit of God dare to praise this as a miracle! When I first watched this I was taken back to the story of the Seven Sons of Sceva:

    A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. - Acts 19: 13-16 (NLT)

    This is the end result of playing church. When you operate outside of the realm of proper doctrine you operate without the Holy Spirit. When you operate without the Holy Spirit you end up like the Seven Sons of Sceva, or like the wannabe healers in this Jesus Culture clip. There is a cost associated with such recklessness beloved. The main worship leader for Jesus Culture is Kim Walker and her "testimony" alone should send supernatural shivers down your spine and be enough to convince you to never follow this movement. Here is the testimony she proudly tells kids at these major events:

    Note please that these two events she describes are not dreams - they are waking visions. She feels scared when "Jesus" is approaching her. She "collapses in His arms." She admits to feeling in between the natural and this "vision." Jesus turns into a "Stretch Armstrong" doll and starts laughing maniacally. The second waking vision is even more disturbing. Jesus wants her to "come away with me." She claims that Jesus was begging her to ask the other question and she then is whisked away to the throne room of heaven itself! Now standing in the presence of the Father we are led to believe that God ripped out a piece of His heart to mold a little Kim Walker to dance for Him. God then pulls Kim into His heart where there is a mold of her waiting for her to fit into. What is wrong with this picture? Actually there is very little right. When the Apostle John saw the glorified Jesus he collapsed as if dead! Isiah said woe is me I am a man of unclean lips! And what about the assertion that she was actually in the visible presence of the Father?

    The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” - Exodus 33: 19-23 (NLT)

    We can safely conclude that the testimony of Kim Walker is false. For it to be true, God would have to violate His own Word. I am willing of course to take Ms. Walker at her word that the events happened as she stated they did, which leaves only one other alternative:

    But I will continue doing what I have always done. This will undercut those who are looking for an opportunity to boast that their work is just like ours. These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. - 2Corinthians 11: 12-15 (NLT)

    The reason why her testimony sounds so demonic is that the visitation was demonic. Once again, when you fool around with the things of God sometimes you do not realize what you invite. The spirit realm is very real. The demonic forces arrayed against us in the heavenlies are very real. You cannot run around like the Seven Sons of Sceva with a handful of religion, the name of Jesus, and no real relationship.

    We are raising up a generation of churchgoers who think that this is their best life now, the worship is all about them, and who think that the gifts of the Spirit are as tradable as the baseball cards they once collected. Satan has many fronts on which he attacks us and in the case of Jesus Culture he gets two for the price of one. He gets to attack our youth and our worship. Forty years ago we were singing about how great thou art and today we sing how much You love me. That difference should be palpable to believers. Forty years ago we sang about how worthy the Lamb was and today it is about the blessings we deserve. But preacher I like the songs! That is a carnal argument, not a spiritual one. But preacher - you are too judgmental! Aren't we all supposed to unified and sing kumbya? Let's put an end to this false perception as well.

    It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” - 1Corinthians 5: 12-13 (NLT)

    We are most definitely supposed to judge sin, evaluate fruit, and expose any false teaching! The Bible warns us over and over again. Yet we keep seeing a church trading in discernment for a unity that is not based on Jesus Christ. Throughout the years I have come to realize that the cries of judgment are the first line of attack when the person cannot use the Bible to defend their position.

    What matters are the people who fall prey to the wolves, not the wolves themselves. The people that matter are the people taught that waking visitations in the throne room of God are radical instead of reverent. The people that matter are the people falsely taught no respect for the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit in distributing HIS gifts. The guy who matters is that poor man in the wheelchair being prayed over by 100 sixteen year olds and still going home paralyzed. We cannot have schools to teach what only God is in charge of. They may be selling the church a culture but it has very little to do with Jesus.

    Reverend Anthony Wade - November 2, 2013

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