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Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Counterfeit Revival || Jesus Culture
Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. Leaders of this Counterfeit Revival, such as Rodney Howard-Browne and John Arnott, have peppered their preaching and practice with fabrications, fantasies, and frauds, seemingly unaware of the profound consequences. Many of the followers who at first flooded into Counterfeit Revival "power centers" have become disillusioned and have now slipped through the cracks into the kingdom of the cults.
John the Apostle warned, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). This warning is particularly relevant today, as Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. This paradigm shift is what I call the Counterfeit Revival.
Prophets of the Counterfeit Revival claim that a bloody civil war is going to polarize the entire Christian community. On one side will be those who embrace new revelations. On the other will be those who obstinately cling to reason. One "prophet" went so far as to say, "God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth....In twenty years there will be a totally different understanding of Christianity as we know it."1
Some of the most recognizable names in the Christian community are endorsing this paradigm shift with little or no reservation. The appeal is so staggering that churches on every continent are now inviting their people to "experience" God in a brand new way. It is now estimated that seven thousand churches in England2 alone have embraced the Counterfeit Revival. And with each passing day the numbers are escalating dramatically.
Sardonic laughter, spasmodic jerks, signs and wonders, super apostles and prophets, and being "slain in the spirit" are pointed to as empirical evidence of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The form and function of the church are being so radically rearranged that even the secular world has taken note.
Time magazine, in an article titled "Laughing for the Lord," pointed out that Anglican parishes across England today bear a greater resemblance to "rock concerts" and "rugby matches" than to Christian worship. The article says that sanctuaries throughout the world are littered with bodies as "supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions and strangest of all, laugh uncontrollably."3 Newsweek, in an article titled "The Giggles Are for God," reported that people in churches worldwide were jerking spasmodically, dancing ecstatically, and acting like animals. The article reported that this behavior by Christians has already spread from Canada to "roughly 7,000 congregations in Hong Kong, Norway, South Africa, and Australia, plus scores of churches in the United States."4
Newspapers from the Orlando Sentinel to the Dallas Morning News have written stories on what is termed the "fastest-growing trend within Christianity." According to The New York Times, this trend promotes an "experiential" Christianity that "promises an emotional encounter with God" manifested by "shaking, screaming, fainting and falling into trances."5
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