Monday, May 21, 2012

Jesus Culture : A Concert of Idolatry

After a strange experience with an erratic Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student who baby-sat his children, Bart McCurdy of Cottonwood decided to find out for himself what was going on at Bethel.
McCurdy said he attended a Friday night service at the church, during which he saw people painting on stage, dancing and flailing around on the ground. He found their worship music unconventional when one line of the same song was played for at least 11 minutes, he said.
McCurdy said the repetitive music, dancing, painting and excessive stimuli serve to get people worked up into an emotional frenzy where they're expecting to see miraculous things.
"They come looking for that feel-good feeling, that high, for supposed miracles, supposed signs and wonders, speaking in tongues, gold dust, diamonds, feathers. ... It seems like they're just ready for it," he said.
Once, as she ran through her house frantically searching for her journals, the baby sitter told McCurdy the anti-Christ was in her house and Jesus was in hell saving people, he said. Shortly after that, she went into a trancelike state and said she felt 20 feet tall before losing consciousness, he said. The behavior made him believe she was demon-possessed, he said.
McCurdy said he regularly downloads podcasts of Bethel messages and hasn't heard the Christian gospel message taught at Bethel. His Web site,, is to educate people on what he believes are false teachings and challenge those involved in the movement, he said.
"I see Bethel and those in this movement as idolaters," he said. "They worship the 'gifts' or the signs and wonders, rather than the creator, or the savior."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pastor Rebukes False Teacher and Points Toward Christ (VIDEO)

Pastor Scott Rodriguez and “Pastor” Dayna — The Real Story

Pastor Rodriguez was kind enough to email out to a few of us the full story of the video we have all seen by now. ( if you haven’t See Below)

Here is What Pastor Scott Sent out:

Brothers, several have been asking for some backstory/context on these videos. Mrs. Muldoon set her tent up across the street from our church (it is still there until Sunday 5/20.) I received a call from one of our people that some families that attend our church were sitting in her audience. Others were there to pray and share the gospel afterwards with people leaving. They had been accosted by a young man named Devon, (the managers son) on the evening before when he overheard one of our young men talking with someone after the service about the call of Pastor being reserved for men.
I came out at the end of her Saturday night service and spoke with her, and her manager Dennis about their perspective on what had occurred. They felt that they were being heckled. I asked what they were preaching in order to get a better idea about their ministry, and explained to them that we, as a Gospel preaching church, would be extremely sensitive to a ministry that came off as strange as hers. She then claimed to be preaching the same message I described to her: that Christ came in the flesh to die upon a cross for the sins of man; that he was buried and rose again 3 days later; and that people are commanded by God the Father to turn from sin and put their faith in His Son’s finished work on the cross in order to be saved; and finally that there is no other way of salvation. She claimed that this was her message too, but that she also believed in miracles – which I agreed are still done today according to the will of God. I shared with her that if she would give me some materials to look over to her affirm her claims about her message, I would come back the next day and say a quick word to people from our Church about the need to refrain from being disruptive, disrespectful, and to hold any questions or disagreements until after her service to be voiced with her or her leaders. After some more discussion she said that would be acceptable to her.
I came back the next evening. She didn’t call me up as we’d discussed. Had she, I honestly don’t know what I would have said. I sat through about  an hour of what I’d classify as normal charismatic preaching quite off-base, but nothing overly shocking. However, there was a transition after her message into various fraudulent acts of “ministering in the “Holy Spirit” that range from her laying hands on people who would respond by gyrating, shaking, screaming, flapping arms like being in a strong wind, knocking over chairs, throwing themselves down (not falling) on the floor. She prophesied over 3 girls that she said were seated where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were, that would be getting married in June – she acted as if she knew nothing of their personal lives, but one of them was the attorney for the ministry that I’d met the night before – the other two were her friends. She said angels were there and that there could be voices of angels heard in her music because they followed her wherever she went. Then she scared a 3 year old little girl when she called her mother up – girl in arms, and began laying hands all over her body (the Mom’s).
Finally, I thought it was over, but she walked up to me where I was seated on the front row, and began “prophesying”. She said, “Young man spit your gum out and face me”. I got up (probably should have just walked out), and she began telling me how I thought I had come as a peacemaker, but was really there because God had used the hecklers to get me to her tent because He had something to give me through her. Then she went on and on saying all kinds of stuff, including that I said or thought that her ministry was a work of God, and that she was doing good and trying to help people. That was a lie. I never led her to believe any such thing. At that point I felt I needed to make it clear that I didn’t agree with her message or ministry, and that’s what I tried to do. Sadly I think it appears more as though some guy got in a prayer line or requested prayer and then seized on the opportunity – which isn’t true.
My greatest desire is to see God’s people warned, but I don’t feel I did things perfectly. Here’s why: I knew the right thing to do was to seek my Senior Pastor’s approval, but as a matter of convenience I did not. He is a man of God, and would have helped find a more godly way of approaching this, but in a moment of passion I acted and entrapped myself. Please don’t misunderstand, I believe once in the circumstance the worse thing I could have done is simply remained quiet, but I just feel as though Jesus would have done it differently. So while I stand behind my words to Mrs. Muldoon and would plead with people to flee from any ministry that replaces the Blood stained Gospel of Jesus Christ with a pursuit of miracles,  I ask forgiveness of the Lord and my brothers for any way in which I got ahead of the Spirit of God or acted independently. Finally, please know that I’m not the bold man some think I am, I’m a man who is inconsistent and struggles with the fear of man like everyone else – we all desperately need the Cross, myself included.
P.S. I don’t use face book – maybe if people know that  my wife can get some sleep.
I would Simply Say that Pastor Scott is clearly a Humble and Godly Pastor. While He may not think of himself as a bold man, I can firmly and honestly say that He showed great boldness and love for his flock. I doubt I will ever get to meet Pastor Scott in person, but I can honestly say that he has both convicted and encouraged me. I look forward to Worshiping at the feet of the Lamb with Pastor Scott one day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jesus Culture/Bethel Rebuked Again by Local CA Pastors

The local newspaper of Redding, California, home of Bethel Church's Jesus Culture, reported the following:

A group of north state pastors will hold a conference this weekend in response to what it says is a diversion from the Bible and its core teachings by some local and national organizations, including a prominent Redding-based revival church.
Organizers of the first Sufficiency of Christ Conference said the event will encourage adhering to more orthodox messages of Christianity, rather than sensationalism, personal experience and so-called "signs and wonders," promoted by, among others, Bethel Church.
"Within Christianity, within Christendom, within America, there's just a bunch of silliness going on," said Bart McCurdy, of Cottonwood, who helped organized the event.
He said large, popular churches have drawn followers using costumes, music and emotional connections rather than focusing on the life of Jesus and what's written in the Bible.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jesus Culture is "Not Christian" & "The Work of Satan" : John MacArthur

John MacArthur is the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in California. He is one of the most widely-recognized Bible teachers and commentators in America. 

In October 2011, he addressed a group of pastors at The Shepherd's Conference. One message was on his view of the New Apostolic Reformation. 

Jesus Culture/Bethel Church, and their teachers, are key figures in the New Apostolic Reformation. The following is an excerpt from MacArthur's remarks. At the bottom is a link to the full audio message, from October 23, 2011.


"What's going on today is the opposite, attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. That's what's going on. Attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. Satan is alive and at work in deception, false miracles, bad theology, lying visions, lying dreams, lying revelations, deceptive teachers who are in it for the money and power and influence. Satan is alive and well and the work of Satan is being attributed to the Holy Spirit, that is a serious blasphemy just as attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit is a serious blasphemy.

I couldn't even begin to give you all the illustrations, you have enough of them in your own mind. You can turn on your television and see any litany of them that you would choose. And in order to give credibility to all these things, all these lies, they attach them to the Holy Spirit as if it's a freebie, as if there's no price to pay for that kind of blasphemy.

The latest wave of this, I'll just give you one illustration, the latest wave of this that is gaining traction and has entered into the sort of national news is a new form of Charismania, bringing reproach on the Holy Spirit called the New Apostolic Reformation, NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. It is not new, it is not apostolic, and it is not a reformation, by the way. 

It is like Grape Nuts, it's not grapes and it's not nuts, it's like Christian Science, it's not Christian and it's not scientific. Well the New Apostolic Reformation isn't new, it isn't apostolic and it isn't a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. 

Peter Wagner, the Kansas City prophets, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, and on and on and on it goes. In fact, this is exploding so fast that they have a 50-state network that are now involved in this.

This is a new kind of a Charismania, it's sort of on steroids. One writer said it's Charismania with shots of adrenalin. And here's what their basic claim is, that the Holy Spirit has revealed to them that in the year 2001, we entered into the second apostolic age…in the year 2001 we entered into the second apostolic age. 

What does that mean? It means that the long-lost offices of New Testament prophet and New Testament apostle have been restored, that the Holy Spirit has given the power of prophecy and the power and authority of an apostle to certain people in this generation of the church since 2001.

It seems very odd to me that the Holy Spirit would give that to people whose theology is unbiblical and totally aberrant. I'm pretty sure the Holy Spirit wouldn't authenticate Paul's teachers, so we know it's not the Holy Spirit. But that's what they claim. But the Holy Spirit gets blamed for everything. This is just the newest one.

For example, they have authority equal to the Apostles. They have the same power the Apostles had through the Holy Spirit to do miracles and to exercise that power and they've had it since 2001. Some of them fall into the prophet category, some of them fall into the Apostle category, they speak what the Holy Spirit reveals to them with the same authority the Apostles have. 

This authority and this power has been demonstrated in the world because one of the Apostles stopped mad cow disease in Germany, so he claims.

The Movement is marked by super excess ecstatic, bizarre behavior. Emotionalism ran amuck, all kinds of crazy revelations, behaviors. 

Peter Wagner is the father of this, as he has been involved in all kinds of other aberrations through the years, including starting the Church Growth Movement which gave life to the pragmatism movement which as we know is so ubiquitous. Their influence has been growing and recently jumped into the political realm, and I'll tell you how.

There was a couple of weeks ago, a few weeks ago now, a prayer breakfast in the city of Houston that you may have read about. It was an event sponsored by the New Apostolic Reformation and their leaders and the guests and the main speaker there was Rick Perry, who is a candidate for the Republican Party for President. 

At this event sponsored by the New Apostolic Reformation, two pastors were leading in this event. They are apostles. They have been given apostleship by the Holy Spirit. They called Rick Perry's office, as governor of the state of Texas, and told him that the Lord had revealed to them through the Holy Spirit that Texas is the state that God has chosen to lead the United States into revival and godly government and Rick Perry is to play a key role. And at that event, these two apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation Movement, laid hands on Rick Perry and prayed over him. 

They claim that God speaks directly to them specific instruction…specific instruction. And if people fail to listen to this divine revelation that comes through them, there will be more earthquakes, more terrorist attacks and worse economic conditions.

However, if we listen, good things will happen because they gave us an illustration of that because they were the ones who gave a little bit of rain to Texas after the draught. I mean, if you didn't know better, you'd think somebody opened the back door of the nut house.

One of these Apostles says the Democratic Party is controlled by Jezebel and three lesser demons. They see demons in public places. They engage in confrontation of these demons and they do it with elaborate rituals, branding irons, stakes and plumb lines. They've gone all over the state of Texas pounding stakes into the ground, branding certain things and claiming every county in Texas for God. 

One of them says, and I quote, "We are called to world dominion." They have gone to every Masonic Lodge in Texas to cast out the demon Baal because the demon Baal controls free masonry.

They had a meeting in 2009 in Houston. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Jezebel was visible. They saw Jezebel. Actually a woman named Alice Patterson, one of these Apostles who has written a book called Bridging The Racial and Political Divide which sounds like a political book, published in 2010. She said that she saw Jezebel and Jezebel lifted up her skirt and when Jezebel lifted up her skirt, this is a quote, "She exposed little Baal, Asheroth(?), and a few other demons who were small cowering, trembling little spirits only ankle high on Jezebel's skinny legs," end quote.

This is in a book called Bridging the Racial and Political Divide. And this is all attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit who is revealing all these things.
Now you know where this all comes from. This is again attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. I don't know what Rick Perry knows or doesn't know about all of this, you know, in a campaign year, you take the prayers from anybody especially if you're not sure what this is all about. 

But this is just one illustration of the aberrations that continue to be placed on the back of the Holy Spirit as if these are things that He is doing. It is such a frightening, frightening form of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
There are other forms of it, but that's just the latest one that's in the media."

Click here for full transcript and the audio of the sermon:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jesus Culture: Definition of a "Cult""

In this post, we will be giving a clear definition of the word "cult," which we have applied to Jesus Culture, Bethelism, and its related teachers and ministries because it qualifies to meet this definition in all respects. These have been addressed extensively in many of the posts, articles, videos, and research in this blog. The full reference for the FULL ARTICLE is here.

Cult: A Theological Definition
Alan Gomes in "Unmasking The Cults" -- part of the 16-volume Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, of which he is the editor -- provides a theologicaldefinition of the term cult from an orthodox, evangelical Christian point of view.
I - The Origin of the Word Cult
Our English word cult comes from the Latin word cultus, which is a form of the verbcolere, meaning "to worship or give reference to a deity."

Cultus was a general word for worship, regardless of the particular god in question.

The Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Bible, uses the word in the general sense of worship, regardless of the deity in view. For example, in Acts 17 it is used both of the worship of false gods (v. 23) and of the true God
(v. 25).

The word is also used in Christian Latin texts that speak of the worship of the one true God.

It is understandable, then, that the word cult would naturally be applied to a religious group of people, but this general meaning is too broad for the present purpose.
II - The Preferred Definition of a Cult
Throughout this book we will be using the word cult in a very specific, precise way.
  1. The Preferred DefinitionA cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible.
  2. Key Features of the Preferred Definition
"A cult of Christianity ..."

A cult is a group that deviates doctrinally from a "parent" or "host" religion; that is, cults grow out of and deviate from a previously established religion.

Although the focus of this book is on cults of Christianity, non-Christian religions (e.g., world religions) have had cults arise from them as well.

Cults of Islam include the Sufis and the Nation of Islam. While these groups claim to be Muslim, they deviate fundamentally from the teaching of Islam, from which they are derived.

Cults of Hinduism include Hare Krishna, Self-Realization Fellowship, and Vivekananda.

I have deliberately chosen the expression "cult of Christianity" in preference to the term "Christian cult."

Phrases such as "Christian cult" or "cultic Christian group" are confusing because they send mixed signals.For most Christians, the word cult refers to a group that is non-Christian. Therefore, the expression "Christian cult" is an oxymoron.The expression "cult of Christianity" makes a clear distinction between Christianity and cults as well as highlighting the derivative nature of cults.

"... is a group of people ..."

One individual with unorthodox views does not constitute a cult. An individual with unorthodox theology is a heretic, but he or she must gain a following before we can meaningfully speak of a cult.

Some cults are quite small, having only a handful of followers, while other cults number into the millions.

Some cults that have started with very few members have grown into the millions (e.g., Mormonism), while others that at one time had significant followings have become all but extinct (e.g., the Shakers).

"... claiming to be Christian ..."

It is important to make a distinction between groups that claim to be Christian and those that make no such profession.

For example, it would not be meaningful to speak of Islam as a cult of Christianity since it makes no claim to be Christian.Indeed, Muslims are generally anti-Christian. Islam is a world religion that opposes Christianity, but it is not a cult.Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, however, do qualify as cults of Christianity because they claim to be Christian -- indeed, to be the only true Christian group on earth.

Note: A group that admits it is not Christian is not somehow innocuous simply because it is not a cult of Christianity.

All belief systems and worldviews that deny the gospel are false, and therefore lead men and women away from the true God of the Bible.

The point is that not all false belief systems are wrong in the same way: Cults are false in their claim to be true representations of Christianity, while avowedly non-Christian religions are false in their denial of Christianity.

The distinction between cults of Christianity and openly non-Christian belief systems is not merely academic. On a practical level, one approaches a member of a cult differently from a person who is hostile to the very notion of the Christian faith.

"... who embrace a particular doctrinal system ..."

A group must hold to a set of religious doctrinal beliefs (e.g., about God, sin, salvation) to qualify as a cult.

A group that makes no religious statements whatever -- even if eccentric in other respects -- is not a cult.For example, imagine a lodge whose members dress up each Thursday evening in moose antlers and lederhosen. The lodge president calls the meeting to order by blowing on an enormous curved horn. After reading the minutes from the previous week, members play a rousing fame of bingo for two hours. The meeting closes with the lodge anthem ("a moose is kind, thrifty, and cheerful to everyone he meet"), and the members return home. Now, if our imaginary lodge makes no statements about God, sin, salvation, the afterlife, etc., then such a group is not even a religion, much less a false religion or cult. [Gomes notes, though, that some lodges are religious, such as the Masons]In saying that the group embraces a doctrinal "system," this does not mean that the system must be highly complex, sophisticated, or thorough.

The complexity of cultic beliefs systems varies from group to group.

For example, the Watchtower Society espouses a relatively comprehensive system of doctrine, while the Children of God are less systematic and comprehensive in their belief system. Both groups, however, hold a belief system, and one contrary to the Christian faith.

"... taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization ..."

Some cults, such as the Children of God, the Unification Church, and the Branch Davidians, look to a strong, authoritarian "prophet" as the source of truth.

In other cults, authority resides in a group of leaders or an organization. For example, the Jehovah's Witnesses claim that the Watchtower Society's Governing Body is the "faithful and discreet slave," who dispenses "doctrinal food in due season."

"... which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith ..."

"Central doctrines" of the Christian faith are those doctrines that make the Christian faith Christian and not something else.

The meaning of the expression "Christian faith" is not like a wax nose, which can be twisted to mean whatever the speaker wants it to mean.

The Christian faith is a definite system of beliefs with definite content (Jude 3).

Certain Christian doctrines constitute the core of the faith.Central doctrines include the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith. These doctrines so comprise the essence of the Christian faith that to remove any of them is to make the belief system non-Christian.Scripture teaches that the beliefs mentioned above are of central importance (e.g., Matthew 28:19John 8:241 Corinthians 15;Ephesians 2:8-10).

Because these central doctrines define the character of Christianity, one cannot be saved and deny these.

Central doctrines should not be confused with peripheral issues, about which Christians may legitimately disagree.Peripheral (i.e. non-essential) doctrines include such issues as the timing of the tribulation, the method of baptism, or the structure of church government. For example, one can be wrong about the identity of "the spirits in prison" (1 Peter 3:19) or about the timing of the rapture and still go to heaven, but one cannot deny salvation by grace or the deity of Christ (John 8:24) and be saved.

Cults deny at least one central doctrine of the Christian faith.

Denial of even one central doctrine is enough to make the belief system cultic.

Cults typically deny more than one central doctrine.This is hardly surprising since one's interpretation of a particular doctrine affects other doctrines in the system. For example, if a group denies that people need salvation from sin, it is also likely that it redefines Christ's atoning death on the cross accordingly.

Some cults explicitly deny central doctrines of the Christian faith.

The Jehovah's Witnesses vehemently deny the doctrine of theTrinity (see their widely circulated booklet, Should You Believe in the Trinity? which argues against the doctrine).

Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of The Way International, wrote a booklet entitled Jesus Christ is not God.

Other cults implicitly deny central doctrines.

Some cults give the impression of orthodoxy, but have so redefined terminology that the doctrine is orthodox in name only.

For example, Mormons speak of their "Heavenly Faith," as do Christians, but their Heavenly Faith is really an exalted man, not the God of the Bible.

"... as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible ..."

Some cults add to the revelation of Scripture. They may do this through prophecies or by adding new books to the Bible.

The sixty-six books of the Bible are the only truly inspired writings from which one may derive Christian teaching.

These constitute the canon, meaning "rule or standard," against which all doctrines must be measured.

The canon is closed, meaning that no additional books may be added to it. The faith has been "once for all entrusted to the saints"
(Jude 3).

The above information is from Alan Gomes' book "Unmasking The Cults" -- part of the 16-volume Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, of which he is the editor.

Are You Really a Christian? Repent & Believe (Paul Washer)

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