Thursday, September 8, 2011

History of the Jesus Culture Deception

Note: This book was published in 1995, before Bethel came to the forefront of the Word Faith movement.  

It is all the more remarkable how:

a) true its insights and warnings thoroughly chronicle the roots of the false teaching and practices of the Jesus Culture Conferences;
b) stern the warning is to those who are under this deception because:
c) this deception may, as the author argues, be a judgment upon them from God Himself.

The scriptures repeatedly warn of a huge departure from the faith which was once and for all delivered unto us by the apostles. They speak of a day when men would be swept away from faith in God by
a tremendous delusion. Even more amazing, is the fact that the source of that delusion would be God Himself, as a judgment on those who wouldn’t “receive the love of the truth.” The time has now come for those of us who have considered ourselves to be “spirit filled” and “full Gospel” and in some cases, even “cutting edge” Christians, to begin to take these warnings seriously.

Who do we think we are, anyway? Are we above deception? Are the biblical warnings of the delusion only applicable to those in obvious cults, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, or are
they for the elect?

Why I Write
The current “renewal” or “revival” that is being promoted by people like Rodney Howard Browne, the Toronto Airport Vineyard, and others, actually has the potential of taking people’s eyes off of the God of the Bible and turning them to sensual manifestations and mystical experiences. Unless some leadership is offered and discernment is applied, I predict that many of God’s people will be hurt,
disillusioned and even made shipwreck of their faith, as a result of this “Mystical Revival.” And to make matters even worse, all too many shepherds and leaders do not know whether to join, oppose, or ignore the growing movement. This lack of confident principled leadership has thrown God’s flocks into much consternation.

Many high profile ministries have endorsed this move. Unfortunately, peer pressure will sweep in many of the undecided. This book is written to challenge some of the prevailing notions, and to offer a different perspective to the public discussion. It is our desire to stimulate afresh, the vigorous Berean spirit (Acts 17) in the family of God.

Roots of the Renewal
This sensual revival has not just suddenly appeared out of the blue, however. Nor have these occurrences spontaneously burst out within the past year, as some would suggest. The idea that many have, is that it is like Pentecost which, suddenly, came with a rushing mighty wind. In the same way, people are being empowered by this intoxicating spirit. Rather, I would like to demonstrate for you
that people have been preconditioned for this “move” for at least 40 years now, whether those involved realize it or not.

The true roots of this revival go back to the now discredited New Order of the Latter Rain and Manifested Sons of God movement of the late 1940s and 1950s. Though the Assemblies of God denounced these movements as heretical then, they seem to have had a resiliency. The ideas that they have spawned have continually cropped up over the years, perhaps with different emphases or diverse names for concepts, but holding virtually the same erroneous premises.

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