What listening to Todd Bentley and John Crowder get you

First, here:

“Eisegesis” — from the Greek root word “eis,” which means “into, in, or among.” Eisegesis is the errant hermeneutic practice of reading or forcing a desired meaning into a text, by applying either an unbiblical or extra-biblical presupposition to the text. “Exegesis,” on the other hand, is the biblical hermeneutic practice of drawing the true meaning of a verse or passage from the text, by using other sound hermeneutic principles to assist in arriving at the right interpretation. Proper exegesis of Scripture requires the Bible student to set aside subjectivity for objectivity.

I would like you to meet Joshua. Joshua is a student (either past or current) of the Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry. The school is a subsidiary of Bethel Church, in Redding, CA–sadly, a hub of activity for the false spiritual movement known as the Lakeland Revival, a creation of now disgraced adulterer Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire Ministries.

And if these unbiblical influences aren’t enough, Joshua (according to his MySpace page) is apparently influenced by the likes of John Crowder. Crowder is worst known for his blasphemous teachings and practices sometimes referred to as “toking on Jesus.” Through Crowder’s wicked works, young people around the world are being taught to treat the Word of God like an empty beer bottle.

HT

Mercy Ministries (HillSong) exorcism books leaked

First here, then here.

We have to remember that this is the same group which was unable to discern Michael Guglielmucci‘s deception concerning his ‘cancer’. Now we see that they have a bit more explaining to do concerning their mental mistreatment of young women and others. This is what happens when you make the ‘worshiping’ the central part of the service, of that of the Worshiped. When you remove doctrine, there is no end to the amount of false teachings and practices that will arise.

Handbooks allegedly used to perform exorcisms on sick girls at the controversial Mercy Ministries residences in Sydney and on the Sunshine Coast have been leaked to LIVENEWS.com.au.

Mercy Ministries, which is bankrolled by the Pentecostal Hillsong Church, has previously denied performing exorcisms on residents.

The documents, obtained clandestinely by a girl who “escaped” the group’s clutches, shows counsellors how to rid ‘demons’ from girls struggling with anorexia, depression and drug addiction.

Mercy Ministries’ activities hit the headlines in March this year when former residents claimed they were subjected to exorcisms, were cut off from friends and family and had to sign over their Centrelink payments to the group.

Some of the young women say they had little or no access to the promised psychologists and other mental health professionals but were instead counselled by bible studies students whose solution to all problems was prayer.

Earlier this year the then head of Mercy Ministries, Peter Irvine, said exorcisms were not practised at the residences. Mercy Ministries has been forced to shut their Sunshine Coast residence.

“There’s no exorcism, no driving out of spirits it’s not how the program works,” he told Today Tonight’s Marguerite McKinnon earlier this year.

But the handbooks tell a different story and corroborate accounts given to LIVENEWS.com.au by former residents of Mercy Ministries.

In the handbook, under a section entitled ‘Identifying Additional Demons’ those practising the exorcism are advised to ask the demon’s name, but not for any more details.

“They sometimes talk: they may threaten the person or you. They have been know to say, ‘I am going to kill you,’ and other unsavoury phrases. Command them to be quiet in the Name of Jesus,” the book advises.

Later, the book, Restoring The Foundations, published by an American Christian group, warns those exorcising demons to be firm.

“The minister’s attitude is one of commanding,” it reads.

“He needs to be firm and prepared to press in. He does not need to be loud. (Demons are not deaf.) The ministers’ commanding attitude resembles that of a person speaking to a little “yappy” dog commanding him to go home and stop barking.

“We also want the ministry receiver to set his will to resist and then command the particular demon or grouping of demons to leave him, in Jesus’ name. This is repeated until the demons are gone.”

Later in the book, those performing the exorcism are given more complex techniques in a subheading called ‘What to do With Obstinate Demons’.

Later a list of ‘Scriptures that Demons Hate’ is provided.

“But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you,” is one such passage singled out.

The emergence of the exorcism handbook lends weight to other claims made by girls who went through the Mercy Ministries program.

Megan Smith (not her real name), who spoke to LIVENEWS.com.au earlier this year, said her panic attacks only got worse.

“I was self-harming,” she said.

“I was cutting my arm with anything I could get my hands on – scratching with anything from my nails to paper clips.

“I never really had a problem with self-harm beforehand. When you tell them about self-harming they said I was trying to get attention and I was taking their valuable time away from girls with real problems.”

Finally, she was subjected to an exorcism.

“The counsellor gave me a list of different demons – demon of anger, demon of unforgiveness, demon of pride, there were lots of them and I was told to go away and circle the demons I had in me or around me,” said Smith.

“I was really scared… they cast demons out of me, one by one, and they became quite excited and animated during the process, and spoke in tongues.

“It was the counsellors and myself and they put their hands on me and started praying one by one for each of the demons that were on the list to be cast out of me.

“After each demon was cast out I had to say ‘I confirm the demon of X has been cast out of me in the name of Jesus and is unwelcome to return.’

“The whole time I was there, all I heard was that I’m demonic.

“Even after the exorcism, when I had the next anxiety attack, I was told that they had already cast the demons out, so therefore I was obviously either faking it, or I had chosen to let the demons come back, in which case I was not serious about getting better.

“They kept telling us that the world can’t help us, professionals with all their ‘worldly qualifications’ can’t help us, only Mercy could because only they have God’s power.

“So when I was kicked out for being ‘demonic, unable to be helped, not worth a place at Mercy’ and because I had taken too long to pray to become a Christian… it left me worse than I had ever been before in my life.

“They told me I would never get better now because I had blown my chance. I started cutting my arms and wrists more than ever, with their voices echoing in my mind as I did it.”

Suicidal and self-harming after being removed from the program, which she now thought was her only hope, she went to see a “proper psychologist to prepare me to go back to Mercy to help me fit in better.”

“The psychologist had never heard of them but told me to stay away from them… that person helped me more in the 40 minute session – really listening to me and understanding me.”

via EXCLUSIVE: Mercy Ministries exorcism books leaked > National > LIVENEWS.com.au

Sid Roth – Mind Control

Sid Roth is a ‘Messianic Jew’ with his own television program. We have previously examined some of his statements and statement concerning him to reveal that his doctrine is false. In this video, Sid begins to speak about ‘speaking in tongues’. I will not discuss the idea of cessationism, either the merits (none) or refutation thereof (many), but I will discuss Sid’s take on the tongue talking.

Whatever we do, or claim to do, must be done in the light and shadow of the holy Scriptures. If we claim to speak in tongues, it must be measured, and not exceed, the Apostles.

Nor will I mention that the pray that Sid gives power to (starting about 3.24) is not found in the Bible, nor in the Apostolic or Church Fathers, nor in the Reformers. I will not mention that along with Sid, the people who stress this easy beliefism usually do out of some net gain for themselves.

No where in the Bible do you just get to say a prayer (here) and of course, for Sid, you don’t even really have to believe completely. I wonder what parts you can leave out? Anyway, the topic of this post is not Sid’s Messianic Judaism, his take on the supernatural, or his easy beliefism that does not require a belief. Instead, it is ‘mind by pass’ style of tongue talking.

It starts at the 6.45 mark when he wants you to say another prayer for this Yeshua of his to fill you with something. He wants you to ask for a language to speak to God. He says that we have to make up a language – but it will not be made up. He says that we need a mind pass, to speak this language as humanly possible. Again, he wants you to use what ever comes out of the mouth – this mind pass. He wants you to speak so fast that it is gibberish. And of course he gives you examples. He then gives a few examples – soft examples – to back up the need for speaking in tongues. I cannot find the scripture that says ‘if we speak in tongues we praise God well’. His third example is

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.  (1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV)

He, of course, added a wee bit of leaven – in that he says these mysteries cut the devil off. Although Paul did not condemn speaking on tongues, he did condemnt the focus on, which Sid seems to promote (1st Corinthians 14.19).

The whole issue is not the application of tongues, but where they come from. According to Sid, there are a made up language that we have to speak fast, bypassing the mind (is that possible?) in order to get out. Instead of Sid, the Bible actually says something different – that tongues comes from the Spirit of God. Now, whether you believe that they are foriegn languages or that they are the tongues of angels, or both, one has to admit that it not due to a trick of the mind.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4 NKJV)

Vincent says,

Utterance (ἀποφθέγγεσθαι) Used only by Luke and in the Acts. Lit., to utter. A peculiar word, and purposely chosen to denote the clear, loud utterance under the miraculous impulse. It is used by later Greek writers of the utterances of oracles or seers. So in the Septuagint, of prophesying. See 1st Chronicles 25:1; Deuteronomy 32:2; Zechariah 10:2; Ezekiel 13:19.

It is not by our power that we do or would do – nor the Apostles – such things.

And again,

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God,  who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit  intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NRVS)

Sid, again, proves himself a tad bit false.

Sid Roth’s (False) Messianic Vision: An Appearance By the Archangel Michael Walters

I posted on Sid Roth a long, long time ago, and yet he is constantly being viewed. As a matter of fact, my original post is third in Google’s search for Sid Roth. Not only is that pretty cool in of itself, but more people have a chance of seeing the truth about Sid when they go looking for a lie.

via Sid Roth’s Messianic Vision: An Appearance By the Archangel Michael Walters

Kathie Walters and Sid Roth ministered at a conference in North Carolina in mid July. The following is Kathie’s report from the Saturday night meeting where Sid spoke.

This is the vision I had Saturday night when Sid was speaking — I had a glimpse of an angel with some blue on him.* But behind him I suddenly saw the biggest angel I have ever seen. He was golden and he had huge wings. This is first time I have seen an angel with wings like that. I almost got off my seat and under the chair. It was the Archangel Michael.

Amazing that she knew automatically that this was Michael, especially since this ‘vision’ is starkly different than Ezekiel’s (Chapter 1).

Each God-appointed ministry or church has an angel who is appointed over it. There are other angels involved in that work of course but there is one who will be appointed over it and the other angels work in the ministry under the main angel. These angels are different from the ones who are appointed to minister to us personally.

Michael is the only angel to have had the affairs of a nation in his charge. (Daniel, chapters 10 and 12), yet no where else do we see a named angel who has affairs of a nation. In Revelation, which is where Kathie is sure to go refers to the seven angels of the seven churches, yet it takes more than a cursory examination to understand exactly what is meant by this, or else you mind end up with patron saints, guardian angels and Sid Roth. From Barnes,

(a) The word “angel” is employed in the Old Testament to denote a prophet; that is, a minister of religion as sent by God to communicate his will. Thus in Hag_1:13 it is said, “Then spake Haggai, the Lord’s messenger (Hebrew: angel, מלאך יהוה  mal’ak Yahweh – Septuagint: ἄγγελος κυρίου  angelos kuriou, in the Lord’s message unto the people,” etc.

(b) It is applied to a priest, as one sent by God to execute the functions of that office, or to act in the name of the Lord. Mal_2:7, “for the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” – מלאך יהוה צבאות  mal’ak Yahweh tsebaa’owt – that is,” angel of the Lord of hosts.”

(c) The name prophet is often given in the New Testament to the ministers of religion, as being appointed by God to proclaim or communicate his will to his people, and as occupying a place resembling, in some respects, that of the prophets in the Old Testament.

(d) There was no reason why the word might not be thus employed to designate a pastor of a Christian church, as well as to designate a prophet or a priest under the Old Testament dispensation.

(e) The supposition that a pastor of a church is intended will meet all the circumstances of the case; for:

(1)    it is an appropriate appellation;
(2)    there is no reason to suppose that there was more than one church in each of the cities referred to;
(3)    it is a term which would designate the respect in which the office was held;
(4)    it would impress upon those to whom it was applied a solemn sense of their responsibility.

Kathie is wrong, of course, but she might be more careful if she or Sid had read Galatians (or any of the Bible, really)

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV)

Let’s get back to Kathie,

There had been a lot of interference in the Spirit in the meeting and a wrestling. I know that intercessors were praying all over on Saturday night, and they didn’t even know what they were praying for. When I saw Michael, then I realized why the strong spiritual resistance to Sid.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places – the Apostle Paul

As I saw Michael suddenly come, I knew in my spirit that God was calling Sid to signs and wonders in Israel. During the daytime the Lord kept saying to me: “The Jews require a sign and they will have signs, and many healings and miracles.” The Messiah, Yeshua, the Deliverer, the Healer, and the restorer, the forgiver of sins, will demonstrate His power in Israel in signs and wonders.

Would the Lord stand against Paul’s writings?

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  (1 Corinthians 1:22-25 NKJV)

Of even contradict something that He Himself has said?

“Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!’ or “There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, “Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or “Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. (Matthew 24:23-28 NKJV)

He condemned the need for signs and wonders in John 4.48, so why then would Christ use them now?

Again, we return to Paul, who like Christ, foretold of the End when signs and wonders would accompany the Man of Sin.

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NKJV)

How do people believe?

Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NET)

So then, it is not what is seen, but what is heard, how else could it be called faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)

Minnesota Report issues short guide to Sarah Palin's connection with Joel's Army

Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media. » God’s Army: A short guide to Sarah Palin’s extreme religious worldview.

Media coverage of Sarah Palin during the run-up to her debate with Democratic counterpart Joe Biden has focused increasingly on her apparent ignorance in matters of policy and public affairs, and understandably so. But it’s an open question whether all the things Sarah Palin doesn’t know are really more disturbing than the things Palin believes she does know as a function of her religious faith — a militant (and, where real-world politics are concerned, militaristic) evangelical creed that sees it as the task of committed Christians to ready the way for Jesus’s earthly return and subsequent thousand-year reign.

From her stance on abortion and her inquiries about book-banning to her appearances as governor of Alaska at religious events and her earmarks for faith-based projects in Alaska, Palin has clearly injected religion into her view of governance, much to the excitement of religious conservatives. But what are her beliefs, exactly? What do the words used to describe Palin’s background mean?

The Minnesota Independent offers the following glossary of key terms and people to attempt to get a picture of Palin’s religious background. Asterisks in the text identify terms that appear elsewhere in this mini-glossary.

First, though, this Bruce Wilson video from last month is the best available introduction to religion Sarah Palin-style, though it will probably make more sense to the uninitiated after reading the glossary.

Palin’s Churches, Thomas Muthee, Witchcraft and The Third Wave.

Assemblies of God: The world’s largest Pentecostal* denomination with over 60 million adherents, AoG follows four central tenets: salvation through Jesus Christ, baptism in the Holy Spirit, divine healing and the second coming of Christ. Followers believe that speaking in tongues is an integral part of the baptism in the Holy Spirit process and is considered a gift from God. Historically, AoG was a pacifist denomination, though over time it has become one of the most avidly militaristic strands of Protestantism.

PALIN CONNECTION: Palin attended Wasilla Assembly of God from the time when she was 10 until six years ago, a total of 28 years.

Character Cities: According to In These Times, the “Character Training Institute is working to build evangelist Bill Gothard’s vision of a First-Century Kingdom of God — one city, one state, one school board, one police force and one mind at a time.” The movement is based on a reconstructionist view of Christianity, which holds, among other views, that the separation of church and state are the cause of social ills. CTI hosts conferences and encourages cities to adopt “character resolutions” through the CTI-affiliated International Association of Character Cities (IACC).

PALIN CONNECTION: As mayor, Palin reportedly attended at least two IACC conferences and took that information to the Wasilla City Council.

Dominionism: A school of thought, prevalent within Pentecostalism, premised on the belief that Christians must take control of the world’s governments and its resources to set the proper stage for Jesus’s return to reign over the Earth.

PALIN CONNECTION: While Palin was speaking at her former church, the Wasilla Assemblies of God, the pastor encouraged believers to pray for an Alaska that could be a home to Christians during the End Times: “I believe Alaska’s one of the refuge states, come on, you guys, in the last days. And hundreds and thousands are gonna come to the state to seek refuge.”

End Times: Many Christian sects are waiting for the return of Jesus, or for an apocalypse in which faithful Christians are saved and everyone else burns. Many, including Pentecostals generally and the Assemblies of God in particular, believe the End Times are occurring in the current generation–and have maintained as much for over 100 years. For purposes of most discussions, it’s closely akin to Millennialism*.

PALIN CONNECTION: Palin has been a part of End Times discussions both on stage and off with the pastors of her churches. A longtime associate of Palin’s told Salon that she believes that the end is coming soon. “She looked in my eyes and said, ‘Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.’”

Joel’s Army: A movement that uses militaristic rhetoric to encourage youth to establish a wholly Christian world–to convert all people in preparation for the return of Jesus. In the words of Pastor Todd Bentley, its leading figure, “An end-time army has one common purpose — to aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion. The trumpet is sounding, calling on-fire, revolutionary believers to enlist in Joel’s Army. … Many are now ready to be mobilized to establish and advance God’s kingdom on earth.” Adds John Crowder, author of The New Mystics: How to Become Part of the Supernatural Generation, “Everyone born after abortion’s legalization can consider their birth a personal invitation to take part in this great army.” The movement’s name is taken from the Book of Joel, in which a plague of locusts–God’s metaphorical army–descended upon and destroyed a sinful nation.

PALIN CONNECTION: Her occasional church, the Church on the Rock in Wasilla, sent its youth group to “The Call,” a training movement for Joel’s Army.

The Juneau Christian Church youth center called the “Hub” that Palin attempted to secure grants from the state of Alaska to fund describes itself in many of the terms used by the members of the Joel’s Army movement:

“Our name speaks our purpose. At ground zero we have a vision to develop youth that are marked by purity, passion, and the presence of God. This vision exists to create young people that will carry groundzero as a movement, not just a meeting. ground//zero is not a place, it’s not a time, but it is a movement transported by people that will impact this generation with a message that instills hope and a purpose. The movement meets Wednesday nights.”Several pastors at churches that Palin has attended have connections to prominent pastors that advocate the Joel’s Army movement, especially the Church on the Rock.

Master’s Commission: A replacement for college studies for young Christian adults. The program is international in scope and focuses on prophetic gifts, prayer, evangelism and scripture reading. Its emphasis is one- to two-year “discipleship-training program dedicated to making Disciples of Christ that will usher in the last day’s revival.” Example: the Master’s Commission in St. Cloud, Minnesota, says “There’s a prophetic voice calling out for the Army of God to arise in signs, wonders, and power. Isn’t it time to see what you and your God are made of?” The Master’s Commission programs are often led by prominent pastors in the Joel’s Army* movement.

PALIN CONNECTION: As governor, Palin spoke at the Master’s Commission graduation ceremony at Wasilla Assembly of God. It was the speech made famous by her statements about God’s plan with Iraq. The Master’s Commission of Wasilla has five components: Berean School of the Bible (work toward being credentialed with Assemblies of God), Scripture Memory (hiding God’s word in our hearts), John Bevere Curriculum (Under Cover and Bait of Satan), Francis Frangipane (In Christ’s Image Training), Steve Thompson (developing and operating in prophetic ministry).

Millennialism: The belief that some great transformation of the world and of history is drawing near. In a Christian context, it refers to the belief, per the Book of Revelation, that Jesus will return from the dead and, with his faithful flock, rule the earth for a thousand years. Christian millennialists vary in their attitude toward politics and wordly engagement; see Pre-millennialism/Post-millennialism entry below.

PALIN CONNECTION: See End Times entry above.

Pentecostalism: The fastest-growing strand of Protestantism in the US and around the world, Pentecostals are now thought to number over 500 million–roughly one in every four of the planet’s two billion or so Christians. (There’s a 2006 Pew Forum study about its growth in 10 select countries around the world here.) Pentecostalism is also the only major Protestant movement born in the United States. Though its theological roots are complicated, it arose in part from Calvinism, and specifically the Methodists’ 19th-century Holiness Movement. Two key founding figures were Charles Parham of Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas, who in 1901 hosted a prayer meeting at which one follower began “speaking in tongues,” the first recognized instance of that phenomenon, and a minister named William Seymour who founded the first major Pentecostal outpost in Los Angeles in 1906, the so-called Azusa Street Revivial.

Early Pentecostalism was remarkable in part for its against-the-grain egalitarianism in matters of race and gender. Seymour and many of his early Azusa Street followers were black, and women also featured prominently in its prayer meetings and its evangelizing. It was a poor people’s movement, and tended toward left-populism in its view of the world. As the movement grew, it became markedly less inclusive, and the period of Pentecostalism’s explosive growth around the world in the past generation-plus has been marked by a very conservative turn on the part of American Pentecostalism.

Doctrinally, Pentecostals believe that biblical truth is literal and inerrant. They also believe that Christians who have experienced the salvation of Jesus Christ contain the Holy Spirit, and that speaking in tongues, faith healing and prophecy are manifestations of the spirit. Organizationally, Pentecostal denominations are much less hierarchical than more conventional Protestant denominations, and many theologians believe the resulting flexibility to tailor appeals to local populations has been a factor in their success.

PALIN CONNECTION: Four of the churches that Palin has attended in Alaska–Wasilla Assembly of God, to which she belonged for 28 years; Juneau Christian Church, which she has attended as governor; Wasilla’s Church on the Rock, which she attended for about one year before becoming governor of Alaska; and Wasilla Bible Church, her regular church since leaving Wasilla AoG in 2002–have roots in Pentecostalism.

Pre-millennialism/post-millennialism: A theological distinction that has great importance to the intersection of religion and politics. Author and American religious historian Jeff Sharlet offered this straight-to-the-point definition in a Minnesota Independent interview about his book on elite American fundamentalism, The Family, back in June: “What pre-millennial means is that you believe in the Rapture. If you believe in the Rapture, you believe that Christ is coming back any day. Maybe tomorrow. And once he’s back, he’s going to rule for a thousand years. If you’re post-millennial, you think that Christ’s not going to come back until you’ve established a worldwide Christianized government for a thousand years. A thousand-year Reich of fundamentalist Christianity.”

PALIN CONNECTION: Jeff Sharlet again, this time from a second MnIndy interview: “I think her instincts are theocratic. We saw that in the book [banning effort]. That’s essentially an authoritarian thing, especially if you look at the books she wanted to ban, one of which was called Pastor, I Am Gay, which was written by a local Christian conservative pastor who took a gentler approach to this. So there’s another level to this. It’s one thing to censor a book; that’s frightening enough. It’s an even more frightening thing to try and censor your neighbor, to try to put tape over the mouth of someone who lives right next to you and is a conservative Christian himself. That shows a real attention to detail that one finds in figures such as Stalin. I think there is a Stalinesque streak to her personality.”

In addition, several witnesses attest that Palin, then mayor, tried to have books removed from the Wasilla library. In addition, her church at the time, the Wasilla Assembly of God, was engaged in a movement to ban LGBT-oriented books from the library. The Assemblies of God have a long history of attempting to ban books, stealing books so they remain out of circulation or hosting ritual book burnings of materials that they find offensive.

Third Wave of the Holy Spirit: One of numerous terms used to describe a large and growing militant evangelical movement to which even theological scholars have paid little attention. (Other terms commonly used: New Apostolic Reformation, Joel’s Army*, Manifest Sons of Destiny.) As a scholar at the Talk To Action website writes in an invaluable survey, “The Apostles of the Third Wave believe that they hear directly from God, and have a divine mandate to form a new worldwide global church for the end times.  The Third Wave leadership’s greatest vitriol is directed toward those church-going Christians who are not open to the new visions and prophecies.”

Third Wave devotees believe, along with many other End Times* enthusiasts, that Jews must rebuild the Temple in Israel as a condition of end-times prophecy, and some further believe that Jews must be converted to Christianity to realize God’s plan. (The pastor of one of the churches Palin has attended–Larry Kroon of Wasilla Bible Church–has endorsed Jews for Jesus, and the head of Jews for Jesus has spoken at his church.) The Third Wave stresses an “active God” who works through Christians in the form of supernatural “gifts” and miracles such as speaking in tongues, faith healing and prophecy. The First and Second waves dealt mainly with speaking in tongues only. It has been condemned by the General Council of the Assemblies of God since 1949.

PALIN CONNECTION: Three of Palin’s churches have at least some involvement with Third Wave through regular guest pastors or pastor associations. Wasilla Assembly of God, Palin’s church for most of her life, has very strong connections to the movement.

Thomas Muthee: A self-proclaimed evangelical “bishop” from Kenya, Muthee is the minister who in 2005 bestowed upon Palin the now-notorious anti-witchcraft blessing that has made it into heavy rotation on YouTube (video’s here).  An exemplar of one of the many Pentecostal strains to take hold in Africa, Muthee was previously best known for claiming to have rooted out the cause of crime and hardship in a village called Kiambu: a witch named “Mama Jane.” Muthee assisted townspeople in ousting the woman from Kiambu.

PALIN CONNECTION: Muthee laid hands on Palin when she announced her run for governor of Alaska at the Wasilla Assembly of God. He asked God to protect her from witchcraft. He also said, “Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan. Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”

“Young Earth” Creationism: A belief that God directly created the Earth in a period of seven days at some point between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Among the many contradictions of geological fact involved in this belief is the conviction that humans and dinosaurs once coexisted on earth.

PALIN CONNECTION: Associates of Palin say they heard her confess her belief in young earth creationism. According to their account, Palin said not only that dinosaurs and humans had walked the Earth at the same time, but further claimed that “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks.”

Steve Perry contributed research to this story.

From the Bible that is rarely read: Sirach 15.9

Simply a thought…

A hymn of praise is not fitting on the lips of a sinner, for it has not been sent from the Lord. For a hymn of praise should be uttered in wisdom, and the Lord will prosper it.
(Sir 15:9 RSV)

I have made no bones about enjoying the Orthodox Study Bible, and this is one of the reasons why. While reading Acts 16 today, I came across a cross reference pointing to Sirach 15.9 as well as Luke 4.43.

Now as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. She brought her owners a great profit by fortune-telling. She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. (Act 16:16-18 NET)

We have a great man of God, Paul, preaching to the sinners in Thyatira concerning Jesus Christ. He meets a possessed slave girl, who was a fortune teller. She exercised great supernatural powers. We can draw the conclusions to the false prophets today, but in reality, the slave girl was little more than an astrologer. We cannot deny that her power was real. Even in the days of Irenaeus, in his first book of of Against Heresies, tells us a man with the ‘familiar spirit’. These people who entertain such spirits are condemned in the Old Testament and to be stoned.

Their entire being is fifthly – from head to toe. The slave girl had to be rid of the spirit before being allowed to speak of God. The same is said of the demonic filled people in the gospel.

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. (Luk 4:40-41 NKJV)

Chrysostom says at this point,

“But in what follows, And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak, mark the humility of Christ, who would not let the unclean spirits make Him manifest. For it was not fit that they should usurp the glory of the Apostolic office, nor did it become the mysteries of Christ to be made public by impure tongues.”

No, to how does this apply to us? First, I know of a man, a pastor, who allows anything on the pulpit area. He knows of the truth, having preached it for decades, and having required from those that purport a gift of God some standard of holiness. Now, I when I sat under the man, if that was such a thing then – for I did not know what that truly meant – he would allow others of similiar doctrine to minister, but the doctrine was similiar and the standard well measured. Sometime ago, his wife fell disastrously ill, soon dying of cancer. His nature of anger quickly overtook him and he essentially ran off those that would disagree with him.

A few years ago, by way of mutual acquaintances, I learned that he has erased his standard of holiness as well as allowed the discontinuation of doctrinal preaching. He allowed those with very dissimilar doctrines to creep in, to lead those songs of praise, to overtake the leadership of the congregation to the point where it is nothing of which I remember from my younger days.

I have to think that Sirach was indeed wise when he wrote these words, uttered in inspiration. This is not to mean that a sinner cannot repent or call upon God, but to stand in the holy place and sacrifice to God while remaining a sinner would be wrong to allow. The Church is a holy place. To me, it is not merely a place to go to on Sunday morning, but the central part of the Christian life. It is the Church house where we celebrate a birth, a death and marriage. It is where we can gather support for a rough week ahead. It is like the Tabernacle of old, the place where we can seek the face of God.

The Church house is the place where we bring our sacrifice of praise, our holy hands, our shouts of joy. How dare a sinner intrude to offer a sacrifice and thus make a mockery of God. To think the sinner holy enough to offer sacrifice to a holy God while they think themselves without need of that very same God, still finding themselves stained by corruption!

We must make room always to allow the sinner a place of repentance, but this is the only sacrifice from the sinner that God accepts. The alter of this sacrifice must never be closed, but to allow the sinner to offer a song of praise to God and to rejoice in that sacrifice is make the holy unholy.