Charismaticism: fraud, lies, arrogance and deception

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Grant Swart

Since the initial publishing of the accompanying article, significant developments have taken place within the charismatic movement, and none for the better. The deception and lies of this enormous cult have taken on far greater proportions and the claws of the heretical movement have been sunk into a much broader section of, what is seen to be, the Christian faith, with damning, tragic and devastatingly sad consequences.

Even significant parts of the Reformed church, much of which was regarded as the guardian of relatively ‘safe’, conservative and sound doctrinal Christianity, has been infected by this cancerous and Satanic movement. New Calvinism, or Reformed Charismaticism, is fast becoming the latest fad in many church circles, who seem to have become bored with upholding the truth in the Word. Increasing the support for this demonic charismania, we have international conferences, the enormous influence of multi media and “heavyweight” proponents such as John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Kevin De Young, Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, Joshua Harris and Ligon Duncan driving the deception deep into the flesh of the church.

The fact that so few church leaders are speaking out CLEARLY and without ambiguity against this deception is cause for great concern to believers. It is even worse when our spiritual leaders are prepared to support and embrace the lies, fraud, arrogance and deception of these ravenous wolves in the charismatic sphere of the church.

The subtle horror of this deception is leaving great gaping wounds on the hearts of our people. The lifeblood of the church continues to bleed away, yet the faithful know that at the core of the church, Jesus will never forsake or let slip the hands of His children, who reach out to Him in faith and turn their backs on this charismatic failure.

The sheep hear His comforting, persistent voice clearly calling and follow the steady fall of His footsteps on the narrow path. They will cling to Him through the mists of doubt, the white out snow of human will, the smoke of the shells launched by false teachers and the muddy torrents of fraudulent messages and false prophecies. They will cross unharmed over the raging currents of lies, numbing blizzards of false doctrine and driving rain of charismania. And, blinking through their own floods of tears, next to that little narrow path they will pass the excruciatingly heartbreaking blood of those who have been murdered on the wide road to charismatic doom.

While this article by KB Napier may a few years old, it is certainly still very apt. There is nothing new under the sun, beloved brothers and sisters. Nothing new.

(Ecc 1:9)  What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

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For many years, I have avoided a proper examination of this subject. Whenever I have come face-to-face with it, I have tended to say something vague, such as “You are free to believe it, but I think along different lines”. The reason was that I knew many who were ‘charismatic’, or whose sympathies lay with charismatic theology and practices.  Apart from their charismatic beliefs, they are genuinely nice people with a sincere wish to live as Believers. Some I thought were rather ‘odd’ in their beliefs, some were more-or-less ‘middle of the road’ in their theology, and some seemed to be, well, extreme. (The same can be said for others who are not charismatic – but they are a separate problem).

The emergence of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ in early 1994, however, has changed my perspective.  I have come to see that my previous silence was wrong.  Paying deference to people because I know them, or pretending big theological errors do not exist, is not the way to live a Christian life.  And for one who is called to teach the verities of God’s word, it is tantamount to living a lie and being a hypocrite.  For this reason, I now submit this Article.  Its purpose is to rectify my error of the past in keeping silent about such an important matter.  In doing so, my ‘arrows’ are NOT aimed at specific persons or churches, but at the spirit behind the movement.  Let Brotherly love continue.

Childish Things

Before I start on that road of honesty, I must state that I have found charismatic theology to be very weak, Biblically.  Some beliefs are bordering on the absurd or the ridiculous.  Some of them are outrageous. It does not matter how these beliefs ‘score’ in terms of weakness, for the whole approach is wrong. The First Book of Corinthians, chapter 13, describes what has happened.  In the Article ‘Look Past the Manifestations’ (A-00031) I refer to spiritual ‘toys’.

This corresponds with Paul’s assessment of Corinthian excesses and poor knowledge. He says that a child is bound to be childish (Gk: untaught; unskilled), but an adult must act in a mature way. Sadly, many charismatics cling to spiritual ‘toys’, preferring novelty and superficiality to a steady and deepening study of God’s word.  Thus they can easily fall into error.

As it is, we cannot know everything about God or what He thinks – so to deliberately retain unskilled or untaught ways is folly indeed! Or, as I have been told on many occasions “Yes, what you say may be right – but I believe it anyway!  That is, when confronted with Truth*, these folk may acknowledge it, but deliberately refuse to act upon it, preferring instead their immaturity.  I must admit that every time I hear such a statement it leaves me amazed. (* Even if it is not accepted as the ‘Truth’, it is a viable alternative in terms of argument).

Furthermore, when the ‘Blessing’ arrived, it began to illuminate further the errors of charismaticism.  Paul speaks of brotherly love being glad to see men acting according to God’s Truth – but not glad to see pretence, or simulation, or falsehood, or deceit (Gk)…all of which are present in the way folk respond to the ‘Blessing’.  Brotherly love (that is, agape) also enables us to bear up against such errors. So, far from displaying lack of love toward charismatics in this and similar works, I am attempting, however imperfectly, to show love toward them (re 2 Corinthians 2:4).

A Permeating Force

The title of this Article reflects the true position, as I see it, of the charismatic position. ‘Charismaticism’ is a permeating ‘force’.  It refers to the way charismatic theology crosses denominations and churches.  Its thinking affects all theological stances and changes historic beliefs. It is, then, a whole ethos rather than simply an additional form of theology.  Charismaticism is a way of life, not just something worn on Sundays, and it drives people on, almost without mercy, like a drug.  If charismaticism was based on scripture, then this could be a force for good – but the force I speak of is not good.  It is not to be desired – because it is not of God.

Satan is an excellent strategist.  His ploys and movements exactly fit the mood and beliefs of the day – mainly because they were his idea in the first place.  He and his demonic angels organise situations and ideas, manipulate men’s minds and hopes.

Thus it was that the World Council of Churches came into being.  Later, he ensured that the charismatic renewal arose, which effectively took over Christendom in the 1950’s.  It’s aim was to transform the whole church (which it has, but not for the better).  This is why a leading Pentecostalist, Donald Gee, called it “the new Pentecost”.

It is not incidental that Gee was also an ecumenist. David de Plessis, another ecumenist, used this new charismaticism as a ‘bridge’ to join the Pentecostal church and Roman Catholicism.  As an invited guest at Vatican 2 he was one of the main personalities behind charismaticism today.  Indeed, such is his influence, even now, that he has been called ‘Mr Pentecost’.

Time magazine said of de Plessis:

“No one in the twentieth century so effectively linked three of the major movements of the time – the Pentecostal movement, the ecumenical movement, and the charismatic movement.”

In the task of downgrading Christian Truth, charismaticism is aided by the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International. Committed to ‘spreading the word’ of Pentecostalism without outwardly trying to bring in new converts (to Pentecostalism), the FGBFI has had a big part in the ecumenical cause.  It has also assisted in popularising tongues and wonders. 

It works continuously at bringing together Roman Catholics and Protestants in the “unity and love of the spirit”, even though this is forbidden in God’s word, for no Believer may have union with the works of darkness. It’s work refuses to ’cause division’ by talking about doctrinal differences (that is, the Truth) and thus it makes much of experiences, signs and wonders. We can see that this is exactly what modern charismaticism does.

Another leader in ecumenical bridge-building was Archbishop Michael Ramsey. In 1957 he called evangelical belief “heretical and sectarian”. And, just like charismatics today, he said “We must avoid binding the Spirit by our stupidity and narrowness and lack of faith.” Is this not an echo of what is happening amongst the churches in the mid 1990’s, with the fresh onslaught of ‘movements of the Spirit’, such as the iniquitous ‘Toronto Blessing’?

The urgent plea to just ‘give in’ to the Spirit is not an honest plea.  It is a plea, rather, to cast aside all semblance of Truth and to rebuild the Church on pseudo-doctrine, as declared and interpreted by charismaticism (and ‘experiences’).

George Ashdown, Secretary of the Protestant Alliance, said:

“The Reformers saw the whole Catholic system as anti-Christian.  Luther and Calvin went so far as to identify the Papacy with the Antichrist* and they, like Wycliffe, Tyndale, Matthew Henry, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones and many others, saw the Roman Catholic institution as Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, vividly described in Revelation chapter 17.”

(Note:  In the Bible ‘anti’ can mean ‘substitute’, or ‘taking the place of’, or ‘against’.  One of the popes’ titles is ‘Vicar of Christ’.  This carries the same meaning as ‘antichrist’.  That is, the pope takes the place of Christ).

Of this demonic Roman Catholic system and its reliance on charismaticism, evangelist David W. Cloud has noted:

“From Rome’s perspective there could be no more effective instrument towards the agenda set forth by Rome, which is building up the Catholic church and re-establishing Catholic dominion, than the gullible, misled charismatic movement.  It is a movement which, by claiming to believe that Catholics and all people need to be ‘born again’, sees absolutely no need of warning of Rome’s wretched and blasphemous errors, or of instructing those who are saved to come out of that apostasy. Rome has found a winner!”

Some charismatics would attempt to disassociate themselves from Romanism, but such is a pointless denial, for those who run with wolves are the same as wolves.  Rome has taken charismaticism to itself and charismatics must ask the question “Why?” The answer is simple – Rome will use it and Protestant (?) charismatics, to get what it wants, world domination.

When that has been done, it will cast aside charismatics who are not fully Roman Catholic (they are already part-Catholic by their very preaching method.  See later sections).  They will be cast aside because, despite its more recent soothing statements on unity, Rome regards all who are outside of its own fold to be unsaved and unchristian.

(Quotes above taken from ‘All Roads Lead to Rome?’ by Michael de Semlyen, published by Dorchester House Publications, 1993, et al.  This book should be read by all Believers).

Overall, then, charismaticism is a tool of Satan, used to combine all manner of unbelief with belief.  This means we will see a fast moving ecumenical movement – the more ‘fresh outpourings of the spirit’ we see (coming, of course, via charismatic circles), the more we will slide down into a pit of eclectic Christo-humanism.  The more ‘outpourings’ we have, and the greater the numbers of Christians who are duped by them, the more diluted the Truth will become.

As non-charismatics are charmed into these movements, even if they attend only one meeting (which will show their underlying interest), so ecumenism will gain massive strength. Concurrently, Truth and true Christian belief will shrink and so the plans of Satan will come to fruition.  The ‘Toronto Blessing’ of 1994 has enhanced this strategy many times over.

With the dilution of Truth and the emphasis on experiences and a re-interpreted scripture, will come a denial of sources* of Truth, such as the Authorised Version of the Bible.  Unless we are careful, the AV will soon disappear forever and we will have no sure measure.  The plethora of new versions certainly brings cash into the pockets of shrewd businessmen, but these men are not behind the overall scene.  They are merely pawns in the whole strategy of Satan, whose ambitions include the removal of the AV from our shelves and minds.  Once he has achieved that, he can move very fast indeed, using regularly published newer versions to continually shift interpretations and beliefs.

Charismatics are at the forefront of calling the AV ‘archaic’ and the newer versions ‘scholastically correct’, making charismaticism more dangerous than any cult.  It is dangerous because Christians are amongst its ranks.  This is just one of the many lines of attack used by Satan. (* In a secondary, everyday sense).

What follows is an accurate assessment of the situation.  The positions and beliefs described are authentically charismatic.  To ensure that I complete my task in a proper manner, I have been assisted by one who is an ex-charismatic*. He was a church leader, trained in a New Covenant theological college and he has himself experienced several of the manifestations found in the ‘Toronto Blessing’.  He has denounced and renounced* his former beliefs and practices in favour of true Biblical faith.  Readers should seriously consider what is said, for the conclusion of what is presented here is clear – charismaticism must lead to apostasy and its beliefs must, ultimately, lead to heresy. (* Sadly, it appears that he has since returned to the things he renounced).

Necessary Definitions

Before we enter into the examination-proper, several definitions must be made.  They will serve as ‘touching-points’ and measures.  Much of what is said in these sections has been said in other Articles.

Denominationalism etc

What are denominations?  Historically, men have broken away from their churches to form other churches.  Some of them grew in strength and their members planted other churches, whose beliefs were exactly like those in the ‘mother’ church.  In time, these churches of similar ilk became denominations, with particular ‘distinctives’. That is, beliefs (such as baptism, rule by elders, etc.) that have been emphasised over other beliefs. Each denomination thinks that it has ‘improved’ upon existing denominations andtheir beliefs. 

Fundamentally, every denomination has its distinctives.  The distinctives mark out one denomination from another.  The very existence of distinctives is a sign of an unbiblical perspective. It does not matter how ‘right’ the distinctives are – for if they are the main feature of a denomination, then that denomination is automatically unbalanced in its beliefs!

As all denominations were founded in order to teach their own distinctives, this means that all denominations are unbalanced.  We cannot escape this conclusion.

Scripture teaches one Christianity and one faith.  Christian beliefs are not separate modules that can be taken out and used without reference to any other beliefs.  Doctrine is to be taught and acted-upon as a whole, not in pieces.  Denominations, however, have taken apart the unified doctrine of God and have separated one teaching from another.  The intention was to bring back to the churches certain teachings that were lacking.  That was commendable.  But those teachings became ‘distinctives’ and churches became known for them.

Thus, there were no longer ‘Christians’, but ‘Baptists’ and ‘Congregationalists’ and ‘Methodists’ and so on.  There was no longer one holy Church of God, but a multitude of unbalanced churches, such as the ‘Baptist church’, etc.  People became known not as Believers, but as ‘Baptists’ or by some other name not consistent with scripture.

Calvin taught and brought to the fore a number of excellent reminders as to what is true Christian belief.  But even his reminders eventually became yet another denomination and in some cases, some denominations split themselves even more, by adding ‘Calvinistic’ to their title. Thus, legitimate teachings were brought back to mind by Calvin but, sadly, men have taken them beyond their proper place.  They made these reminders into an ‘ism’, a separate movement.  Once this happens with any such ‘reminder’, the original impetus is lost, for the prompting of the Holy Spirit has been replaced by men’s infinite aptitude to reorganise what God has given!

The Holy Spirit speaks through His word and also through prophets.  What the prophets say must be fully consistent with God’s declared word, which is the ‘touch-point'; without it, men could say whatever they liked and no one could verify or deny it!  (We will see that this is what happened with charismaticism).

In Old Testament times, prophets spoke from God.  They reminded the people of God’s commands and requirements.  This was not a call to separate and to form distinctives based on God’s reminders. No – the reminders were given so that the people could return to the ‘old paths’, to a way of life already given by God.  Whilst His word has certainly been ‘progressive’, every new step has been consistent with the previous step…and these were always consistent with future steps. 

Thus it is that when Christ came, He exemplified and expanded what already existed.  He did not demand that people ‘come out’ from past declarations of God.  He wanted people to adhere to them!

For the Church, this means that we must live out the whole counsel of God.  Simple as that.  We are not to produce distinctives. If certain teachings are ignored by some, it is up to those called to do so to remind them of this failure, and for those who are reminded to repent and to go back to the unified word of God.  At times this does not happen and if the failures are very serious, then it is right for those with conscience to separate from their erring Brethren.  BUT NOT TO FORM A DENOMINATION OR DISTINCTIVES.  The object should be to live out the whole counsel of God, NOT to emphasise one or two teachings over all others.

What has happened in charismatic churches?  Firstly, we should distinguish charismatic churches and charismatic-type churches. The former teach and practice the full theology of what is ‘charismatic’.  The latter are influenced by charismatic theology, but they may be other denominations or independent churches (who also have their own distinctives).

‘Charismaticism’ is the influence or movement of thought that binds the two together, providing the bridge between diverse and often heretical groups (Roman Catholic being the biggest and better-known).

Teaching on the gifts was missing from the churches.  Concerned men properly reminded others of this fact.  But it did not stop there, for the reminder quickly led to yet more distinctives.  Local churches were founded upon these distinctives and so we had ‘charismatic’ churches.

Today, there are denominations that are wholly ‘charismatic’. The principle of denominationalism is that certain distinctives are taught, which always mean others are not taught, or are given low priority. Either way, there is an imbalance.  As charismatic-type churches veer toward charismatic teachings, so they, too, become even more unbalanced than they were before.

The effect of charismaticism, generally, has been to concentrate on the gifts and to minimise solid Biblical theology (exemplified by top Toronto Blessing leaders).  As with the Pharisees and other Jewish sects, charismatic denominations and churches have so emphasised their distinctives, that they have gone beyond the spirit of Truth.

A massive edifice has been built, like a modern Tower of Babel (the figure is appropriate) and it is nothing like what God has said in His word.  This is not peculiar to charismatic denominations and churches – it is rife throughout the churches, independent or not. The answer is to get back to the whole counsel of God and to remain united in all the Truth, not in distinctives.

Contextual and Universal Validity

This has been mentioned in A-00031, but there is a need to go over its concept.  The concept can apply to any set of beliefs,whether of the world or of Christianity.  It means that an apparent anomaly exists – that something can be both true and false at the same time!  The anomaly, however, is an illusion, for something is either true or it is false.  Only a Buddhist can unite the two as one!

If something is Contextually Valid, it means that it is true only within the sphere of itself.  When that ‘something’ is compared to an external environment or other claimed authority, it is either consistent with it, or it is not.  So, for example, a local council may introduce a bye-law.  To the council and the local population, the bye-law will seem to be valid.  But, all local laws in a country are subject to statutory laws.  That is, laws created by the ruling government.  If the new bye-law is not consistent with, or opposes, statutory law, then it cannot be maintained.

Thus, in its own context (i.e. its own council’s mind and the will of the local people), the bye-law is ‘valid’.  But, when exposed to a ‘higher’, more universal, law, it is not valid at all.  The bye-law had Contextual Validity but not ‘Universal Validity’. What seemed to be acceptable in the smaller context was not acceptable in the wider context.

A paranoid schizophrenic can often build his own inner-world, which is, to him, very real – more real than anything outside of his own mind.  So, if, say, he ‘believes’ a person living next door to him is a secret agent about to kill everyone in the country, he will act accordingly.  This can lead to him killing an innocent man and wreaking havoc in the community.  He will have constructed a plausible and coherent life-style, consistent with his false beliefs, but inconsistent with the outside world.

In such a situation, he is convinced of his rightness and that only he is telling the truth.  But, when compared to the wider context – that is, reality – his ‘truth’ becomes a falsehood.  His perceived ‘truth’ is at odds with the actual truth.  Thus, what is contextually valid to him is, universally, invalid.  In other words, it is a lie!

In Christian terms, the application is as follows:

All Christians, in all ages and of all nations, have only ONE standard and touch-point.  It is the Bible.  Without it, we may easily believe and enact whatever we wish and whatever seems good in our own eyes.  The Bible, then, is our only actual measure of all things.  It is God’s word, actually and always.  Whatever we do, or say, or think, must therefore be consistent with that word. God’s word is our ‘Universal Validity’.

What we do in our own small corner of the vineyard is ‘Contextual Validity’.  Somehow, the two must match. If they are incongruous, then one of them must alter.  And it is always our own idea of validity that must alter!  Every time, without question.

If, for example, we believe (as many do) that Jesus Christ was not God incarnate, but was merely a good man, we can convince ourselves we are right.  We may evolve a package of beliefs that appear to support our assertion and so, to us, our beliefs are valid (this is what JW’s do).  But they are valid only in their own context.  The context, however, is also a lie, so in essence the ‘truth’ we maintain is actually a lie.  It is a lie because once it is compared to the greater, absolute measure, it fails to match completely.

If the Universal Validity is taken to be the total Truth and the ultimate touch-point and measure of all things, then all things must match it.  If something does not match it, then it must be rejected as being false, a lie. In Biblical terms, we have no option. God is always right.  We have the propensity for lies and cannot be trusted to be always right.

In the case of charismaticism, God’s word is always right. If what charismaticism says does not match what God says in His word, then what charismaticism says is automatically wrong, a lie, and must be rejected.  If what it says is not ‘Universally Valid’ (that is, consistent with God’s word), then it has no validity at all and can be cast aside as a lie.  This is because whatever is not of God is of Satan, even if men construct the lie. We will see that charismaticism is a lie – it does not match scripture.

Freedom and Choice?

Linked with the matter of validity is one’s ‘choice’ of theology.  Are Christians free to choose their theology?  Can they choose between various (conflicting) ‘interpretations’?  Indeed, are Christians ‘free’ in any real sense?  What is meant, Biblically, by being ‘free’? 

We find that only the angels and Adam and Eve had a form of ‘free choice’.  That is, real freedom to choose to do either right or to do wrong.  But even though they had this ‘free’ choice, it was bound by God’s law, which stated that they must obey Him!  God is never unconditional toward men or angels.  Thus, although Adam and Eve had virtual ‘free’ choice, they did not have ‘freedom’ in the normally accepted sense of the word.  If they did have it, they could not have been punished!

After Adam and Eve sinned, all human beings were born in sin.  Scripture tells us that the unsaved are unable, in God’s eyes, to choose between right and wrong. This is because they do not have the freedom to do so.  Rather, they are bound by sin and by Satan.  People may do what is humanly ‘good’ but this is never acceptable to God.  He only accepts as ‘good’ whatever He saysis good…and everything we do outside of the Lord is sin!

An unsaved sinner, then, is incapable of doing true good.  This means that everything he ever does in his lifetime is deemed to be evil by God.  It is evil because he is unsaved and does not possess a new life, made acceptable to God.

There are serious ramifications.   If a man is incapable of doing good, then he is totally unable to seek what is good or what is true.  We are told this in scripture. If he is incapable of choosing good, he is also incapable of choosing to accept God!  And this brings us into direct conflict with charismatic teaching – that a man may ‘choose Christ’.  No man may choose to be saved.

We can continue this very brief study of freedom, by saying that if a man may not choose to be saved, but that charismatic preaching says that he can do so – then charismatic gospel preaching is inherently false. If a man, hearing the ‘gospel offer’ to ‘accept Christ’, walks to the front, raises his hand, etc. and then ‘prays the prayer’…is he saved at all?  No, he is NOT, if he believes he has ‘chosen’ the Lord!  This may easily explain the high ‘drop-out rate’ of the products of Arminian campaigns, etc.

Now, if a man is ‘saved’ (i.e. NOT saved!) in this way, what credence can we place on charismatic claims that such folk have been given ‘spiritual gifts’?  This is not a far-fetched query, for Roman Catholic charismatics are enthusiastically accepted as being equal in terms of salvation!  And if such folk are not saved and yet are said to have spiritual gifts – what of claims that they bear spiritual fruit?  Obviously, each one of these claims, by Biblical definition, MUST BE FALSE!

Who, then, has absolute freedom of choice (or ‘free will’)?  No-one – not even God.  Free will is a fallacy.  Even God cannot act outside of His own laws and commands.  Now, if even the Creator is bound by His own laws and we, as human beings, are told that we have ‘freedom in Christ’, then ‘freedom’ must mean to think, speak and act within God’s stated laws.  It also means that we may choose to do either evil or good, whereas an unsaved man does not have this choice at all.

For a Christian, then, ‘freedom’ is to act in perfect accordance with God’s stated precepts.  That is, there is freedom only in restriction. Those who do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, are not actually free, but are bound by their own sinful desires…the more they do, the less they are free! Add to this the same man’s inability to do good even if he says he wishes to do so, and we have a man who is a slave to sin.

If we now refer back to contextual and universal validity, we can see that ALL unbelievers AND those Christians whose beliefs and/or actions are not consistent with scripture, have only a contextual validity to their lives.  Thus, they are living a lie and are not doing what is good or right. (‘Right’ being whatever God says is right and true).  The most potent fact in all this is the charismatic tendency to preach self-choice of salvation.

This is why charismatic churches are always ‘doing’ and are always trying to ‘find new ways to bring in’ people.  It is as though they are trying to ‘help’ the Holy Spirit to save people! (This is actually preached by charismatics throughout the world).

Observation and Interpretation

We all observe things, and we all interpret things, including scripture.  However, both observation and interpretation can be affected by individual perception.  That is the problem area! (It is also a problem for scientists, who struggle between what is observed and what they think those observations mean.  It is a fact that many scientists accept evolution theory to be true; if they base their own work on this theory, then their interpretation of their own work is completely false).

An interpretation can be either valid or invalid, true or false.  It is not necessary for something to be deliberately made false, for it to be false or invalid.  Something is either true or false inherently, not because we say so.  The safest way to interpret something is to allow it to interpret itself.  Where there is no such self-interpretation, then we must either not provide our own ideas, or we may provide an opinion.  But an opinion is valid only if we say it is an opinion.  When an opinion is passed off as being a proven fact, then it becomes a lie and invalid.

Charismatic theories are all opinions dressed as Biblical fact, but without Biblical support. Charismatics have observed (in scripture) the existence of, say, gifts, but instead of relying solely on scripture to interpret them, they invent their own interpretations to explain them. They then manufacture what they refer to as ‘gifts’, according to their own invented interpretation.

Thus, in their own small world, everything makes perfect sense (contextual validity).  But when put under the spotlight of God’s word, they are senseless (there is no universal validity).

Charismaticism goes beyond making ‘genuine mistakes’ – it is now blatantly anti-scripture, as it ignores or rejects what God says and replaces it with extra-Biblical theories, mixed with much that is true.

The Toronto Blessing

Charismaticism began as an ‘odd’ notion.  Today, it is starting to show its true colours.  The larger the following of an error, the bolder become its leaders and the more open become its heresies.  One preacher asked “Why are we calling this the ‘Toronto’ Blessing, when God gives His blessings everywhere?”  He said that he had been to a number of ‘Blessing’ meetings; in the first one, the people appeared to have a ‘real’ blessing and experienced ‘real’ phenomena.  But after that, people faked the experience.  Nevertheless, this preacher was still willing to look for what was positive and ‘of God’ in the whole movement.  In other words, like so many others who are afraid to speak against this charismatic evil, he approves of it and condones it, despite its obvious error.  He does not question the ‘Blessing’, but merely says that God can bless anywhere, not just in Toronto.  Thus, like others, he is deluded.

The Toronto Blessing is no ordinary error.  With this movement, evil hangs in the air.  It can be sensed from afar.  Even when I watch ‘Blessing’ meetings on video, evil exudes from the screen.  I see some who are either possessed or oppressed actively by demons.  It is so obvious that I want to shake the leaders by their shoulders until they, too, can see what is so crystal clear. The Toronto Blessing has been the catalyst to begin a new work of Satan, who set it up in the first place.

This strange movement is more potent than any other I know of.  It fascinates men, women and children, who are being drawn by the singing of the Sirens.  Although the dangers are so painfully obvious, they ignore them because of the phenomena and the perceived ‘fruit’.

Concerned Christians wonder how so many of their friends can be so quickly deluded, after possibly years of being true Believers. Let me be blunt here.  Those who are truly faithful will not fall so suddenly! It is a fact that the majority of people who call themselves ‘Christians’ are NOT Christians at all.  And of those who are left, the majority are superficial and have little true love for the Lord.  They have virtually no Biblical knowledge, no sound doctrinal beliefs based on inner faith and certainly no understanding. How do I know?  I see it, hear it and feel it – and I was myself a part of it!  For years I have warned of this superficiality – today, this superficiality has been breached, as easily as a pin bursts a balloon.

Large numbers of Believers are virtually non-starters in the race we are all to run.  They have become saved – and have then sat down!  Over the years they have imbibed the language of true faith and they have given a good outward show of spiritual respectability.  But now, Satan has removed their skin-deep appearance to reveal what is really underneath – a sham!

The Toronto Blessing is the start of something historically big.  It will not fade away.  Years of charismatic falsity (often rooted in sincerity) have made sure of its success.

A Prophecy

I will here repeat a prophecy I made in the 1980’s – that Christians will separate from Christians.  The larger number will also join with unbelievers and they will all condemn and oppress the smaller number.  The larger number will actively oppose the few, and will constantly harass and attack them.  They will follow a delusion, whilst the smaller number will remain and become stronger in faith.

This prophecy is now coming to pass and I wish this statement to be on record as a public testimony to the warning being repeated in the year 1994.

A ‘Hidden Agenda’

The effects of the ‘Blessing’ are greater than the phenomena.  They are like ripples on a pool, ever moving outward.  This so-called ‘movement of God’ produces Believers who display contempt and bitterness toward those who do not fall to the same delusion.  They openly deride Christians who are critical, becoming angry and even hateful.  This is to be expected and it will get far worse.

Those who refuse to follow the deluded are already being shunned and persecuted.  One leader told me that all the pastors in my area will shun me if I do not listen.  I was told that I will be ‘left out in the cold’ if I continue in my opposition to the ‘Blessing’.  What a very strange thing to say?  And how can they justify bitterness and anger?  Does the Holy Spirit produce this anger and hatred? Of course not!  It is Satan who is determined to crush the revolt!  It is a sure sign of his involvement.  God produces LOVE for the Brethren, NOT hatred or ridicule!  Wake up, friends!!

Leaders are telling followers that critics of the ‘Blessing’ are NOT CHRISTIANS, or they are ‘heretics/fanatics’. Yet, our only fault is that we insist on examining the movement with scripture, exactly as we are commanded to do by God.  No Believer should fear such an examination.  If they do, then it only illuminates the false spirit behind their beliefs.

But it is now getting worse.  Kenneth Copeland, a charismatic leader, has said that God will likely kill people who refuse to accept the ‘Blessing’!  It is but a very short step from expressing such a thing and acting it out.  Remember, Karl Marx said that communists must kill religious believers if they did not embrace the communistic ideal.  He said it in a book, whilst he lived in far-away London.  But, a short while later, Believers (and those with religious beliefs) were put into slave camps and put to death. Hitler did not hesitate to butcher innocent people, after receiving ‘authority’ to do so from the pope.

Throughout the centuries, Jesuits and Benedictines have sought out and murdered Believers and all who stood in their way – and they continue to do so today.  Roman Catholic leaders know that if they pronounce a curse on someone, it will have the desired effect.  They have such a stranglehold on people that the mere threat of excommunication is sufficient to make them do as they are told.

In charismatic churches everywhere, leaders are all-powerful.  They do not tolerate dissent and demand total obedience*. Followers have sold homes and moved when they are unsure it is what God wants them to do.  Yet, because leaders demand it, they have done it.  Followers are told that to disobey leaders is equal to disobeying God and that they will receive punishment if they do not do what they are told.  Disobedience to leaders, or disbelief in teachings, is proof that the person is not saved.  No wonder followers are afraid to speak out!  (* If not by word, then by attitude and ethos).

Can the reader see why I say that Copeland’s statement is not far removed from action?  People are already filled with fear and will not act against the wishes of the leaders.  If those same leaders call on them to pray against fellow Christians (who dissent), then they will inevitably do so, or risk being branded an unbeliever and shunned.  If those same leaders then called on them to actively oppose others, they would do so.  If they told them to be violent toward others, they would do so.  This is not far-fetched friends – it is within the realm of immediate possibility, for it is evidenced in the dynamics of the group.  Watch and wait.  Be diligent and be careful.

At the Right Hand of God?

Who is at the right hand of God, even now?  Yes, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  However much charismatic leaders preach this truth, they believe something else in their hearts.  They are telling people that God cannot save the world on His own, but He needs us (that is, charismatics) to help Him!  Of course, in order to help God we must first of all listen to the leaders and obey them. 

In saying this, they are setting themselves at the right hand of God.  God does not need anyone to ‘help’ Him to save others. Charismatics also say that they want to present the world (saved) to Jesus in the year 2000.  This statement makes me feel sick to my stomach.  It is such a wretched thing to say!  It is also what the Roman Catholic Church is saying.

Certain watchmen suggest that the whole charismatic scene was founded and is being led by Romanist infiltrators.  I find this easy to believe, given the history of Rome and of its soldiers – mainly Jesuits and Benedictines.  But even if this is not true, the effects are the same, as charismatics lead millions to Rome, in joint ventures of ‘faith’.  An antiChrist is one who stands in the place of Christ. The pope fills that position…and so do many charismatic leaders, increasingly so.  I am being blunt because the times demand it.

Not In OUR Church!

Some charismatic leaders who read this Article will shout in triumph “These things may be true in certain churches – but they are not true of ours!”  Do such men really think their disclaimer makes a difference?  It does not alter what has been said in any way.

It is a truism that the further away from the original source something is, the weaker its likeness tends to be (this is a generalisation).  Thus provincial Toronto Blessing-ism tends to be a watered-down version of the full horrors seen in, say, the USA.  Nevertheless, charismatic churches are all of the same spawn! They have the capability and the willingness to do the same things.  They are like accidents waiting to happen.

It is just a matter of time before the charismatic churches that are now relatively ‘normal’, enter more fully into the excesses of the wilder elements, because they share the same spiritual DNA!  The only solution is for these ‘weaker’ charismatic churches to come out of charismaticism and PROVE their adherence to scripture.

EXAMPLES OF CHARISMATIC BLASPHEMY AND LIES

It is not the main purpose of this Article to examine charismatic theology in detail, but to give a broad perspective.  What follows is a list of blasphemies and lies taught and practiced by charismatics generally. They have been authenticated by an ex-charismatic leader. In order to be brief, they are enumerated:

1.

“There is a strong strain of teaching on ‘character development’ in (charismatic) churches.  The usual phrase used was ‘God can drop a gift on anyone, but character takes time and perseverance.”  However, this is negated by the insistence that there can be an instantaneous change of character through a ‘critical experience of the Spirit’ e.g. the giving of fruit of the Spirit.  The attitude is that God can give a “quick-fix” to one’s character.

In scripture we find that the fruit of the Spirit is not instantaneous, but is progressive, the change in character being directly related to our obedience.  Charismatics, however, act as though we can be made perfect in one stroke of a divine magic wand, with little or no spiritual obedience.  Thus there is also the idea of instant sanctification.

This is quite consistent with the general attitude of charismatics, who see ‘fruit’ as being instant, regardless of one’s personal lifestyle or beliefs and actions.  This is also seen in Toronto Blessing and similar meetings, where instant gratification takes the place of discipline and ‘running the race’.

There is the concept that we have no responsibility, and so the onus for sanctification, etc., is placed solely on God.  We do not do anything.  Whilst most leaders do not verbalise these ideas, they state it in their teaching and activities, and they expect others to follow.

2.

Much is made (especially in the Toronto Blessing) of “manifestations of the spirit of joy”, but “nothing is made of the spirit of self-control, faithfulness and all the other fruit of the Spirit.”

3.

‘Creative anointing’.  All manner of things are being handled ‘creatively’, from prayer to worship (charismatics are completely ignorant about both), church government to preaching, etc.  As has been said in other BTM material, “clever ideas masquerade as being ‘led by the Spirit of God’ “.

Leaders think up fabulous ways to boost converts, spark interest in their churches, etc.  But the ways of God are rejected, such as straight preaching.  In other words, they replace what God wishes to do, with their own meager ideas.

4.

.“Know you better than you know yourself”. Many charismatic leaders take on a total-control persona, where they claim to know people better than they know themselves.  Of course “this is by divine insight”.  This is also found in non-charismatic churches, although it is not so pronounced.

A number of reasons can be cited for the existence of this attitude of superiority. For example, the inevitable non-hands-on way in which Christians just sit back and let the ‘leaders’ do all the work; the refusal to ‘get involved’ in theological statements and claims; the refusal to object to faults and errors by leaders; the acceptance of what leaders say without examination, etc.

Also, people who act as ‘leaders’ (who include pastors) are not called of God to hold office; the leaders who think they know better than God, etc.

5.

“Laughing at your wallets”.  Why not?  After all, they laugh at everything else!  This means that if we experience tight financial situations, all we need to do is to literally take our wallets out of our pockets, look at them, and laugh!  This is to be ‘positive’, thus bringing (good luck?) God’s providence back to us, in the form of money.  This is prevalent in Rodney Browne meetings.

There can be many versions of this thinking – essentially, these people believe they can drastically change their earthly finances simply by claiming money from God. Of course, if they get the money, they assume it is from God and act accordingly.

6.

“Obey your leaders”.  I remember when one deacon asked the group (I was amongst them) if they would obey him totally.  This was a Baptist church, but already there were indications that it would turn charismatic – which it subsequently has.  I said that I would obey those in authority so long as they were doing the will of God.  The deacon was rather angry at my response and the rest of the group were shocked!  That, friends, is group dynamics.

should then have reacted by recanting and obeying, as happens in charismatic churches!  This is what happens in charismatic churches today – pressure is brought on those who show the slightest sign of questioning the leadership, or what is taught.  “This is the hub of a lot of present day teaching.  This obedience, however, is to cover every aspect of your life.  I was… asked to trust the leader with my entire life and if I did not, this would be seen as an act of gross disobedience.”  Readers should also read BTM literature that deals with the role of pastors (as opposed to ‘leaders’).

7.

“See what you can prophesy out of that…”.  Members are given an assortment of scriptural texts to read.  Then they are “told to ‘prophesy’ from them (led by the Holy Spirit, of course)”.  What utter nonsense and what a total disregard for Truth and the way of the Holy Spirit!  This is no better than the ‘lucky dip’ method of choosing texts to control our daily movements.

8.

“Gifts are under our control”.  God gives us gifts and we are to reach to God to get them.  Once we have gifts we can control their use.  This is exactly what Roman Catholic priests claim when they enact the mass!  There is no difference in thinking; the idea is the same – we can control God.

9.

“Let’s speak in tongues – now”.  In ‘worship’ (?) the ‘worship leader’ gives a predetermined signal when he wanted people to speak in tongues!  (so much for the spontaneity of the Spirit!).  For example, he will “flap his tongue up and down with his finger”  This sign was also “given to the musicians who were leading the people in (Holy Spirit led) worship”.  Again – men controlling God.

10.

“Creation of ‘atmosphere’ through ‘prophetic playing’, re Elisha and the minstrel.  This is something strongly emphasised throughout the movement.  Now it seems to be a lot to do with producing an hypnotic effect on the people.”  Music certainly plays a big part in charismatic life.  As is silly dancing by girls who have inner yearnings to dance on a stage!

11.

“Never question a leader”.  To question a leader is “tantamount to rebellion.  You must never question a leader – just accept what he says as being right” even if you know he is wrong.  People who question are taken aside and angrily warned that they invite severe consequences if they dare to question a leader in future.  Some have ordered members to sell their homes and to move to other parts of the country.  No reason is given, except that leaders believe (or, rather, ‘feel’) God is telling them to do so.  The results of this have been devastating as people lose home and job and then quickly go downhill to poverty.

This is what under girds the present refusal of charismatic Christians to openly state their fears and anxieties about the Toronto Blessing.  If they dare to be critical, this is taken to be rebellion and a sign of their backslidden – or unsaved – state. So they remain silent…. silence being a handy weapon used by charismatic leaders.

Leaders tell ‘disobedient’ members who question them, never to do so, because it undermines their supposed authority in the eyes of the church.  I have heard this same excuse paraded by non-charismatic pastors, who angrily demand total allegiance.

12.

“Leaders decide what is right and wrong”.  If members want to know if something is right or wrong, they go straight to the leaders for their ‘divine’ opinion.  They do not go to scripture!  This is a continuous process covering every aspect of a person’s life, e.g. “Is it okay to marry so-and so?”“Should I take this job?”“May I live in that area?”, etc.  The list is endless.

The more one hears of charismatic beliefs and practices, the more they resemble cults. “When I disagreed on the issue of shepherding, I asked the leader if I could agree to disagree.  He said no, that I had to agree with him.”

13.

To be a ‘catcher’ (of people falling backward) is to “be in the anointing”!!  Where is this in scripture?  Where is it even hinted at?

14.

In an effort to maintain their untenable position regarding tongues, charismatic leaders have invented a Greek word not found in scripture – xenolalia!  They use this instead of the true Biblical words ‘glossa‘ etc., (as in glossalalia).  Xenolaliais used to mean an heavenly or angelic language, not understood by men except by special revelation! We have noted elsewhere that charismatics disregard Biblical meanings for words and substitute their own meanings, as they see fit.  This is unacceptable.

15.

Key phrases and beliefs include: “Rule”, “government”, “authority”, “filled with the spirit”, “moving in the anointing”, “more of God”, etc.  Note that these have no real Biblical counterparts, or if they have, they are typically misused or abused.

16.

Leaders constantly examine the lives of members and judge them accordingly. What they then pronounce is final/law.  This replaces the Holy Spirit within all Believers and His rule over their lives.

17.

Majority teachings are correct.  Whatever main leaders teach is always correct, and is followed by minor, local leaders, without question.  It is then passed on down the line to everyone else.

18.

Those who do not believe in the charismatic “baptism in the Spirit” are barred membership.  Like tongues, it is held to be a ‘proof’ of salvation.

19.

Disagreement with the leaders’ interpretations of events and scripture leads to disfellowship.

20.

“Leaders can be very unfeeling in certain things because of their constant sense of ‘rightness’.

21.

“Spiritual mathematics – if you do X then you will always get Z.  If you don’t get it, it is always down to your lack of faith”!  This is the ‘name it and claim it’ teaching – linked with the health and wealth movement.  All part of the same charismatic road show.

22.

Many leaders believe we can live “sinless days”, because of an improper understanding of sin and the state of Man before God.

23.

Talking over matters – doctrinal, practice, family, work, etc., – was thought to be ‘divisive’ and ‘gossiping’.  This teaching is another weapon used to maintain silence and the non-discussion of views.

24.

“Shepherding – everything is laid open to the leaders; nothing is private. All major decisions must be taken by the leaders, inducing total dependency on them. This is taught and encouraged by the leaders themselves”.

25.

One Christian was told by a leader – that is “counsel by the Holy Spirit” (meddling??) – that he “must not preach”. When the leader was asked “how he knew it was the Holy Spirit, he was dumbstruck that someone should dare to question him.”  These leaders are charlatans and frauds!  How dare they constantly claim to speak for the Holy Spirit in things that are not their concern?

26.

.If disobedient (to the leadership), a Christian is watched over until he ‘falls’. The fall, of course, is due to his disobedience and gives a degree of satisfaction to on looking leaders.  Thus these same leaders pray and watch for, my own downfall, as I blatantly speak against them!

27.

There is very little interest in major doctrinal issues, but much concentration on minor and secondary issues.  This much is obvious when one considers the preaching of charismatics, their church programmes, and teachings on gifts and fruit.

28.

“Moving house.  Friends of my sister moved six times in three years through ‘counselling’ by their leaders.  If you don’t move, you are badgered into doing what the leaders say by the phrase ‘you will miss out on God if you don’t’.  This is spiritual blackmail!”  How can folk be so naive?  How can they submit to men who are so plainly acting without authority?  Fear!  Bad teaching.  Wanting to be accepted.  There can be many reasons.

29.

Recent teachings speak of cursing Christians and Christians being demon-possessed.  This ties in with statements made by famous charismatic leaders, who show bitterness toward those who do not accept their teachings, and also the statement made by Kenneth Copeland that those who deny the authenticity of the Toronto Blessing will probably be killed by God!

30.

“Leaders cause great financial stress to many”.

31.

“When dealing with people, leaders always bring up their past and past sins and failures in their ‘counselling’, but it is always cleverly justified.”

32.

“Shepherding is predominantly personal counselling, a kind of ‘spiritual psychotherapy’.  Sometimes, they take you back to childhood experiences to explain apparent character defects shown today.”  Those who have a knowledge of psychology will be able to testify to the dangers inherent in this ‘amateur psychiatrist’ role!  Beside, it is simply not Biblical, nor is it guided by the Holy Spirit.

33.

“A friend of mine felt bitter toward his pastor after something he had said.  However, he later was struck by his sinfulness and went to the pastor to seek forgiveness.  After thinking about it, the pastor refused to forgive him.  He said that he would wait a while and would withhold his forgiveness, until he felt the person had repented and was ready to receive his forgiveness”!  No comment!

34.

“The mind control is quite vast.  I was told that I’d have to unlearn much of what I had been taught in the mainstream churches – it gives them a clean slate to work on.”  This is cult procedure.

35.

“Different ‘keys’ were offered to deal with various parts of life – health, wealth, etc.  If these ‘keys’ did not work, it was always due to your own lack of faith”.  This is formula-faith – Arminian.  It is consistent with the general Arminian outlook within charismaticism.  It is mechanical humanism, not spiritual life.  Thus charismaticism is of works not of faith.

36.

A person can gain ‘righteousness’ by doing what leaders say. For example, if a man prayed in public, then he was deemed to be “going on with God”. Different people had different things to complete, which were always determined by leaders. Once they had completed them, they gained in righteousness!  Some had to begin singing a chorus, others had to speak in tongues or interpret, another had to prophesy, etc.  One Christian called this “paying our spiritual indulgences” to the leadership!

37.

“The outward manifestation of ‘spirituality’ is vital in meetings.  Worship is necessary, not so much in worship to God as in self-gratification in ‘moving in the gifts’. Some leaders say from the front that one cannot worship God sitting down, because ‘sitting down on the outside is a sign of sitting down on the inside’!  Thus posture gave signals as to one’s spiritual condition!” Again, this is a religion of works, where mechanical, outward acts replace (not prove!) spirituality and faith.

38.

One of the strangest things that happens is what could be called ‘creative prophesying’.  This is when some members feel ‘led by the Holy Spirit’ to prophesy certain things ‘into you’, to create something within you that was not already there.  This is similar to the act of creation, when God said ‘Let there be light’.”    This is neither prophecy or Biblical.  It is part of the ‘name it and claim it’ game.

39.

“People are forced to live up to the unreal expectation levels of the leaders.  Thus heavy burdens and loads are put on people all the time, promoting a performance-based system of behaviour.”  Psychologists would recognise this as excellent behaviour-modification – just as rats are stopped from certain behaviours by receiving electrical shocks! That is, the rat changes not because it inwardly wants to, but because it wishes to avoid being ‘punished’.

As a pastor, I can guide and counsel, but I cannot (and will not) force people to act in various ways. If a person does not do, or does, certain things, he must do so willingly and with his heart. Otherwise, he thinks one thing and does another – which is hypocritical.

God tells us that the thought is as potent as the action, so even when a person is forced to comply with the leader’s wishes, if he harbours the thought of doing it, he remains as guilty and nothing has changed.  If anything, the leaders are thus making people become hypocrites and they heap problems up within the church by running them underground.

40.

When leaders say “I feel such and such” it is held to be equal to being “of God”.  The mere fact that a leader says “I feel” is taken as sufficient ‘proof’ that it is ‘God’ talking. Members receive it as such and act upon it, whatever it is. If a leader “felt” something then it was equal to being a “word of the Lord” (also called “insights”). Insights are often wrong, but nothing is ever said about these failures, nor are they evaluated.

In one example, a leader “felt” that 40 people would be saved during the visit of a well-known evangelist. This was“confirmed” by his wife (making it all equal to a ‘prophecy’). Only nine people were saved (assuming that the word ‘saved’ is used in its proper way), but the leader did not say anything about his wrongful prophecy. It was not mentioned because a leader must not be said to be wrong.

In the same way, many charismatics say they are ‘doing well’ in their spiritual lives when, in fact, they are doing very badly. But they do not say anything because leaders insist that they are doing very well!  So, in essence, everyone knows the leader was wrong and that his ‘prophecy’ was not of God – but no one actually says it to his face!  This occurs in the hothouse atmosphere of the Toronto Blessing.

41.

People are often ‘encouraged’ (forced) to do things by the leaders. When this involves big decisions, such as selling a house (because of being told to do so by leaders), people are regularly put into bad financial positions.  Many suffer real problems because of this submission.

42.

“The grip of these churches is amazing.  When I left – and others feel the same way – I thought my very salvation was in jeopardy because I no longer fellowshipped with them.  It is automatically assumed, by clever teaching, that there is no salvation outside this kind of church, and that one cannot fulfil God’s will outside them either.  This is why so many will not speak out – for fear of losing their salvation!  There is no freedom at all and one lives under the cloud of spiritual blackmail.”

43.

People are told never to reflect on anything about the church and its government, activities, etc., but to simply accept everything at face value, without question. That is exactly what JW’s are expected to do!  The principle is the same.  For that reason alone I would never make a charismatic – I think for myself!!  I only wish charismatics had the courage to do so themselves.

44.

Because of this complete obedience and submission, whole congregations have been “led” (by the Holy Spirit) to dance a conga around the meeting hall!  This has been known to occur many times.

45.

“At one time, there was a lot of flag-waving in meetings, as a sign of ‘great victory’.  To echo BTM’s question – what are these churches going to do next, to top what they have already done?”  Indeed, once one crosses over what is normal and what is a taboo, one is ready to perform anything, no matter how ridiculous or horrific it may be.  There is great danger in this facet of charismatic life.

46.

“Looking back now, I can see that the leadership displayed a very subtle form of arrogance in their dealings with people.  Mind control is very strong; enormous claims are made regularly, but there is very little fruit to back them up.  Very, very, often the opposite of the ‘declaration’ or ‘confession of faith’ is experienced in the cool light of day, but it is always somehow justified through clever massaging of scripture.  ‘Declaration’ and ‘positive confession’ are ruthlessly drilled into each member; anything critical – whether constructive or destructive – is immediately rejected”.

(Note: added, early 1995:  Tony Higton, a well-known charismatic leader, admitted these things to be true.  He said that leaders had made fantastic promises for many years, but nothing happened, so the Toronto Blessing was almost conjured up to help get them out of their mess!)

47.

If leaders say something is ‘fruit’ then it becomes so, even if it does not follow what scripture says. The fact that it fits the interpretation given to it by a leader is sufficient for it to become a ‘fruit’!  Whatever leaders say is enough of an authority. Scripture is thus of secondary importance and it will be silently ignored if a leader contradicts it. There is no such thing as personal judgement, discernment or obedience directly to God, only to the leaders. (Note: This is one reason I reject the claim to ‘fruit’ – what charismatics mean by ‘fruit’ is not what scripture actually says!).

EDITOR’S COMMENTS

The evidence above, given by one who was himself a leader in charismatic circles, corresponds fully with what is already known generally, and with what this writer has discovered from a variety of sources over many years.  Without doubt, we can say that:

(a).

Charismaticism is not of God, but is a fraudulent movement. It carries all the marks of a cult, with a remarkable stamp of Roman Catholicism about it.  The end justifies the means is paramount. There is much mind-control and the use of fear as a weapon.

(b)

Charismatic ideas of sin, salvation, preaching, living, doctrine, etc., are mainly unbiblical and owe more to sin and to Satan than to God.

(c)

True Christians must stand and be counted and must be willing to help Christians within the movement to come away. This should be done actively and openly.  Do not pay regard to charismatic leaders who may claim that such is unchristian – they may ‘own’ their members, but they do not own you!  Also, take opportunities to speak against charismaticism, for it is an evil system with vast potential for doing harm.

(d)

Charismaticism is a part of Satan’s end-time strategy.  It is also a ‘cover’ for Roman Catholic growth.  Much of it is based on Romanistic concepts and principles.

(e)

Some claim that charismaticism was covertly invented by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, as a way of bringing ‘heretics’ back to the fold.  This is plausible, but I cannot personally attest to it, yet.

(f)

I know of no charismatic who uses an AV Bible.  There is widespread use of the corrupt NIV.  Those who use the AV are called ‘archaic’, or are spoken of in derogatory terms.  Pertinently, RC’s prefer the NIV over all other versions (but for use in so-called ‘Protestant’ churches).  Charismaticism is the single most powerful tool in the unification of all religions, including the cults and occultism.  Remove the false signs, wonders, preaching and the oppressive structure of charismatic churches and only a shell is left.  It is only a carrier of a hidden agenda, not a Christian movement.

No doubt many charismatics will disclaim what has been said here. They will assert that their own particular church is not like the example described.  These pages speak of the general picture, not of particular churches.  However, those who are within charismatic circles must come out from them, before they are engulfed in the same heresies and Satanic ploys.  If a charismatic church does not employ the same tactics as are shown in this Article, but nevertheless uses Arminian preaching, then it is already badly tainted.  If it uses ‘strong’ leadership ideas, then it is already well on its way to being captured by the wider charismatic error. You can have gifts and use them without the need to be part of a distinctive and separate church called ‘charismatic’!

For non-charismatic churches I offer the following:

Do not deny what scripture clearly teaches – that ALL Believers have spiritual gifts; ALL Believers must display spiritual fruit, because these are the proof of their salvation and obedience; the gifts are NOT dead (or, salvation itself would be dead). The Holy Spirit is spirit and we ought to live in the spirit every day of our lives!  Charismaticism has stolen our legacy – we must now take it back.

A man at an airport was overheard boasting to his wife of his good fortune in buying a ‘genuine, solid-gold Rolex watch’ for only £4, off a street trader near a beach on Tenerife!  Those who have bought the charismatic tinsel and bluster will find the ‘gold’ rubbing off very quickly. That is why leaders are so eager to keep everyone in line; that is why they insist on holding continuous ‘testimony’ meetings to maintain interest.  Do not be fooled, friends.  Do not be tempted to open the box charismatic leaders have put ‘God’ in – for if you do, you will find it is full of worms!

__________________________________________________________________________

Full permission received to use the works of  Dr Barry Napier and we thank him. 

Dr Barry Napier

Copyright © 2013 Christian Doctrine from Bible Theology Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

Dr Barry Napier 

Founder of Bible Theology Ministries

This article and more can be viewed at http://www.christiandoctrine.com/

Article Charismaticism by  Dr Barry Napier originally appeared here : http://www.christiandoctrine.net/doctrine/articles/article_00034_charismaticism_web.htm

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11 thoughts on “Charismaticism: fraud, lies, arrogance and deception

  1. What an incredible article. I cringed inside to read it as my dh and I came out of a charismatic church after 25 years! I too tried to contact my former pastor after a year and he wont respond. I promise we werent ugly but finally spoke up and mentioned demonic masonic symbols on the wall of the church, etc etc. This really gets a hold on you- the author has returned to the charismatic movement. The deal breaker is the KJV. We intend to hang onto it like pitbulls! So good to know we are not alone out here. kindest regards daz

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  2. Thank you for having the courage to post this article. One thing that stood out to me most was the author’s (and your own) willingness to call these movements (charismatic, but I will include emergent, purpose driven etc.) cults. For this is exactly what they are. I am happy to justify my view in more detail, but won’t bore you with a long post unless you want one!

    Keep up the loving discussion everyone…Christians need to know the truth, and the inherent spiritual dangers facing them. While none of us like to have to admit we are wrong (well, not usually!), if you are reading these articles and are involved in a church that is straying, please listen to the warnings of caring Christians such as Grant and Elmarie and take action! We want as many saints as possible to join us in the eternal life to come!

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  3. Just one more thought to share on this topic…I am often struck by how my non-Christian (or lasped) friends and family members can see with great clarity the terrible mess the church visible in in these days. They are revolted by the worldliness of mega-churches and their pastors, and even more so by the awful so-called ‘Christians’ they see on TV preaching health and wealth. They often express that if they were to go to church, they would only want to attend a traditional one like mine. What a great witnessing opportunity this can provide!! In fact after a couple discussions about this very topic, one dear family member took his kids to church on Good Friday recently, having never done so before…to a church I had identified for him as ‘doctrinally safe’. It is soooo exciting to see the Lord’s hand at work, and this is something we can all gain encouragement from as we remember who is really in charge! Blessings in Christ Jesus.

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  4. I have 25 years experience within the charismatic circles. I will say that there are a lot of sweeping generalities in this article…a lot of extreme statements that it’s all this way or totally that way. That just wasn’t my experience. It’s much more complicated than that…and therein lies the difficulty. Many of my dear friends are still of this persuasion…they are sincere lovers of The Lord. To say that anyone in the Charismatic Movement is not a true Christian…it’s just not that black and white for me…not that simple. I am praying and asking The Lord to show me His Truth in all these matters. I appreciate the work you do on this site. Thank you.

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    • Susan
      Thank you for commenting here.

      There certainly are generalities in the article, and they are there through necessity. This being as a result of the fact that, as you have rightfully said, Charismaticism is a complicated false religion.

      Over time, there have been “new” deceptions added to the whole system. By necessity again, it will continue to be that way. If it were not, the reason for the magnetism of the Charismatic deception would be far too obvious, and the truth would be clear for its followers to discern. New, exciting ways and false experiences is what it is all about, to keep advocates of the system interested and entertained. For that reason “new” false prophecies and “new” practices, signs and wonders have to be added all the time, making it seem very complicated at first glance, and followers simply capitulate and accept the system. The “experiences” and “life improvements” offered, and the active participation required within the Charismatic movement, keeps seekers flocking to through the doors.

      I agree with you that, because of the fact that God saves those whom He will by means of His Grace through faith in His Son, there will surely also be those caught up in the web of Charismatic deception, whom He will draw out of it into His Perfect light. Because of that, and because of Truth in the Word, they cannot remain in that false movement. There have been so many to whom this Grace has been given, and God will continue to do so according to His will. We are thankful for every one of them, as the Lord adds to His church.

      In light of what I have said, and in reference to your friends, the article in question made the following points:

      Paying deference to people because I know them, or pretending big theological errors do not exist, is not the way to live a Christian life. And for one who is called to teach the verities of God’s word, it is tantamount to living a lie and being a hypocrite. In doing so, my ‘arrows’ are NOT aimed at specific persons or churches, but at the spirit behind the movement.”

      “I must state that I have found charismatic theology to be very weak, Biblically. Some beliefs are bordering on the absurd or the ridiculous. Some of them are outrageous. It does not matter how these beliefs ‘score’ in terms of weakness, for the whole approach is wrong. The First Book of Corinthians, chapter 13, describes what has happened.”

      There is no grey area when it comes to saving faith or the Truth of God’s Word. Truth is absolute, otherwise it cannot be truth. Truth cannot be somewhere between itself and the lie. Truth is either black, or white. One is either saved by Grace, or one is not saved.

      I appreciate your comment. Grace to you.

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  5. Hi Grant and Elmarie,thank you for this excellent article on the dangers of the charismatic movement from someone who is well aware of its pitfalls.having spent over three years attending a Pentecostal Church.although I am not sure that some of people you mentioned in the so called “new Calvinism movement ” are polluted by it. I regularly listen to Tullion Tchavidjion , Mark Dever, Sinclair Ferguson , and others but have not picked up any charismatic teaching in there messages , but would really like your thoughts on this matter.STUART Jones

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  6. Pingback: New Calvinists , Reformed Charismatic’s Names Features on Rick Warrens list of Recommended Pastors | For the Love of His Truth

  7. Pingback: THE GOSPEL COALITION: THE “NEW CALVINISM’S” ATTACK ON THE BIBLE AND ITS EPISTEMOLOGY | For the Love of His Truth

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