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Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | Comments (19)

by Justin Peters

One of the common criticisms of the Strange Fire conference held this past October was that the speakers (this writer included) painted all charismatic Christians with the same broad brush by lumping them in with the extremes of the Word-Faith/N.A.R./Dominion movement.  Charismatic theologian, author, and radio host Dr. Michael Brown on the eve of the conference posted an open letter to Dr. John MacArthur stating that he “attributes the extreme errors of a tiny minority to countless hundreds of thousands of godly leaders worldwide.”[1]

From this statement it is apparent that Brown does indeed recognize that there are “extreme errors” in the charismatic movement.  Not to worry, however, because those who propagate such error constitute only a “tiny minority” of the mighty charismatic army.

I’m not a social media guy but a few of my more technologically astute friends alerted me to a tweet from Brown dated January 2, 2014 in which he stated that he “just recorded five wonderful TV shows with Benny Hinn.” 

Benny HinnReally?

With this tweet, Brown unwittingly proved two of the basic points of the Strange Fire conference: 1) False teachers and charlatans are not the “tiny minority” in the charismatic movement but rather the norm and  2) There is a shocking and rampant lack of discernment within the charismatic ranks.

Brown is considered by many to be one of the “clear thinking” charismatics.  He is one of the movement’s leading theologians and intellectuals.  He is one of the heavyweights of charismaticism.

Benny Hinn is one of, if not the most widely recognized personalities of the charismatic/Word-Faith movement.  He is the world’s most famous (or infamous depending upon your point of view) faith healer.  He attracts large crowds domestically, but the crowds at his international crusades are staggering, often numbering in the hundreds of thousands.  Hinn has been doing “ministry” for some 35 years and in that time has taught some of the most jaw-dropping heresies, offered dozens of demonstrably false prophecies and has made some of the most outlandish claims imaginable:

  • Claims he healed every patient at a hospital in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada[2]
  • Claims his father was the mayor of Jaffa, Israel.  He wasn’t.
  • Of his critics said, “Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun, I’d blow your head off.”
  • Has threatened even the innocent children of his critics.
  • Claims Kathryn Kuhlman visits him from the dead and claims to get an anointing from the tomb of Aimee Semple McPherson.
  • Claimed to have video of Jesus walking around in one of his meetings.  When asked to show the video his staff said that it had been “misplaced.”
  • On Dec. 31, 1989, Hinn went into a “trance” and said that God was giving him (in real time) prophecies about major events in the then upcoming decade of the 1990s.  “God” said these events would include the collapse of the American economy, the East coast being ravaged by earthquakes, a female elected as president, Fidel Castro’s death in office, the rise of a “short man dictator,” the Rapture of the church, and the destruction of the homosexual community in America “in ’94 or ’95, no later than that” – with fire.  This is by no means exhaustive of Hinn’s false prophecies, it is just all he managed on this particular night.
  • Claimed that God told him by divine revelation knowledge that there are actually 9 members in the Godhead.
  • Claimed the Holy Spirit told him that women were originally intended to give birth out of their sides.
  • Claimed that when the Red Sea parted the water froze and it was actually ice that crushed the Egyptian soldiers.
  • Claimed that as a young man he was in his room talking to the Holy Spirit.  When called to supper by the “woman of the house,” he said, “…as I was about to leave, I felt someone take my hand and say, ‘Five more minutes.  Just five more minutes.’  The Holy Spirit longed for my fellowship.”[3]
  • Lives in a $10 million parsonage[4] and is known to stay in hotel rooms costing upwards of $10k per night.  He flies in a private jet and is well known for his lavish spending and opulent lifestyle – all funded by donations to his ministry.
  • Teaches all of the standard Word-Faith doctrines such as Positive Confession, the Little gods doctrine, the Spiritual Death of Jesus (SDJ) doctrine, and guaranteed health and wealth for the believer.
  • Seed-Faith theology is a staple in Hinn’s teaching.  He promises people that if they “sow a seed” (translated, give him money) that God will give them a “harvest.” 
  • Claims to have a department that verifies all of his healings.  I have spoken with a former employee of Hinn’s who says that not only are the healings not verified but that such a department does not even exist. 

This just scratches the surface with Hinn.  Benny Hinn literally meets each and every biblical criterion as to how to discern a false teacher.  If Benny Hinn is not a false teacher then someone needs to explain to me what one is because I do not know.  If he is not a false teacher then the term truly has no meaning.

When Dr. Brown tweeted that he had recorded five television programs with Hinn, many called him out on this and rightly so.  Once the critical tweets began to mount, Brown realized he had to address the burgeoning controversy and said:

We’ve traveled in different circles over the years. Simple. And I don’t watch Christian TV.

This is stunning.  Absolutely stunning. 

Undoubtedly realizing that he had created quite the theological dust-up he attempted to defend himself by claiming ignorance of Benny Hinn.  Ignorance?  Of Benny Hinn?   A man in Brown’s position claiming ignorance of Benny Hinn would be tantamount to an Olympic swimmer claiming ignorance of Michael Phelps or for a high level employee of Microsoft claiming ignorance of Bill Gates.  Hinn is one of if not the most widely recognized individuals in all of “Christianity.”  He is a charismatic rock star and with a ministerial track record spanning over three decades Hinn is a well known commodity.  There have been numerous exposés done on Hinn (leave it to the secular media to police the charismatic movement because it will not police itself) documenting his repeated lies, financial improprieties and fallacious healings.  I cannot get inside the mind of Dr. Brown, but this claim stretches credulity in the extreme.

More tweets came in questioning his discernment.  He then muddied the waters even further by tweeting:

Perhaps I did exercise discernment?  Perhaps I know things others don’t and have reasons for what I do?  Is that possible?

Well, yes, that is certainly possible but it seems to be hopelessly incongruent with his tweet shortly before in which he claimed ignorance.  Additionally, Brown’s book Authentic Fire was written as a response to MacArthur’s book Strange Fire.  If Brown by his own admission does not watch Christian television, how is it that he can refute Strange Fire which deals in large part with the content of Christian television?  Further complicating matters is that within the pages of Strange Fire, which Brown presumably would have read in order to offer a critique - or should have, is considerable information documenting Hinn’s lavish lifestyle, blatant heresies, and bogus claims of healings.  If he did indeed read the book which was released in late October 2013, then from it alone he would have had more than enough information to be well informed before his taping with Hinn on January 2, 2014.

Not only have I studied Benny Hinn and the Word-Faith movement at an academic level, but I have also personally attended numerous meetings and conferences of prominent Word-Faith leaders such as Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Rod Parsley, Jerry Savelle, John Hagee,  Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  I have attended 15 of Benny Hinn’s “Miracle Crusades” and have seen first-hand the devastation that Hinn leaves in his wake.  What the television cameras won’t show you is that in the back are dozens and dozens of sick, crippled and dying people.  Parents bring in their sick and dying children in vain hopes of them being restored.  At one of these crusades I spoke with a young couple whose 6 month old baby girl was dying (she was hooked up to a portable oxygen tank and had a feeding tube inserted into her stomach).  At another I spoke with a mother who told me that her 5 year old boy who she had in a little stroller was born without a brain; he had only a brain stem which kept him breathing and his heart beating.  These are not outlying cases.  Tragic scenes such as this can be found at every one of his meetings.  Hinn confidently asserts that it is always God’s will to be healed and that healing will come to everyone present as long as they have enough faith.

And give enough money.

At every single crusade which I have had to endure, Hinn takes up the “love offering” just before the “healing” begins.  “If you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly. If you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully,” says Hinn.  The not-so-subtle insinuation is that if you have cancer, or if you have a sick or dying child, then you had best dig deeply.  The bigger miracle you need, the bigger seed you had better sow.  And so the poor, the desperate, the sick, and the elderly sow their seeds.  Pictured is a woman I met at the most recent Hinn crusade I attended in 2011.  She is with her son who, a few years prior, skied into a pole.  She sowed her seed.  But the only one who reaped a harvest was Benny Hinn.

This is the man with whom Michael Brown just had fellowship.  This is the man with whom he just broke metaphorical bread.  This is the man to whom he just gave credibility.  This is the man to whom he just gave his implicit endorsement.  This is the reason the Strange Fire conference was so needed.

The stark reality, contrary to the hue and cry from Michael Brown and so many others in the charismatic movement, is that the “extreme errors” are not just coming from a “tiny minority” fringe within its ranks.  The errors are extreme to be sure, but they are coming from and they represent the majority within the charismatic movement. I have been to countries in Europe, South America and Africa and can state with tragic confidence that Word-Faith theology (along with Roman Catholicism) is the face of Christianity in most of the world today.  Word-Faith theology was born in the United States of America  and networks such as TBN, Daystar, INSP, The Word Network, etc., etc. have exported this theological poison to the rest of the world.  And now, indigenous prosperity preachers who have learned the tricks of the trade from watching these networks are fleecing their own flocks even in the poorest of countries.

We regularly hear on the news that the Islamic terrorists are not true Muslims.  They represent only a tiny minority of an otherwise peaceful Muslim population.  Some commentators have rightly pointed out that if this were the case then there should be a legion of “moderate” Muslims vociferously speaking out against the radical fringe denouncing them as not true Muslims who have hijacked Islam and distorted the message of its prophet.  And yet, with very rare exception, the only thing heard from this supposed vast majority of peace-loving Muslims and their imams is silence.  Similarly, if the Word-Faith/N.A.R. proponents are but a fringe of the charismatic movement, then there should be a legion of charismatic leaders vociferously calling out Hinn and others of his ilk as the charlatans for which they are.  Charismatic leaders should be shouting from the rooftops that such false teachers have hijacked Christianity and distorted the message of its King.  And yet, with rare exception, the silence from charismatic leaders is deafening.  No, it is not a fringe.  It is mainstream.   It is reasoned and thoughtful charismatics like John Piper and Wayne Grudem who are, sadly, the charismatic fringe.

I tell people that if they want to get an idea of the state of “Christianity” today, all one has to do is turn on Christian television.  All Christian television is is a function of the basic law of Supply and Demand.  Whatever the demand is, that is what Christian television will supply.  So, when we turn on Christian television what do we see?  Solid expositors who study to show themselves approved rightly dividing the Word of Truth?  Hardly.  We see an endless parade of prosperity preachers who do nothing but tickle people’s itching ears.  We hear a cacophony of prosperity preaching emanating from charlatans who exploit the poor, the sick, the desperate, and the widows for personal financial gain.  And the most egregious error and what should be of gravest concern to us is that the Gospel is distorted and God’s Name is blasphemed.

I called in to Dr. Brown’s radio program, Line of Fire, on Friday, January 3 to express my concerns regarding his appearance with Benny Hinn.  He said that he was aware of some controversy over Hinn but that he had never investigated it and that, if true, he would discuss it with him.  It is my hope that he does investigate who this man is and what he teaches.  It is my prayer (literally) that God would grant Benny Hinn and the myriad of Word-Faith preachers genuine repentance.  I, along with the other speakers at the Strange Fire conference, would love nothing more than to wake up one day and see that the Word-Faith preachers have renounced their teachings and practices thereby rendering future conferences such as it completely unnecessary.  

In closing, I want to state unequivocally that I am not at all lumping Michael Brown in with false teachers like Benny Hinn.  However, when he, in violation of clear biblical instruction not to do so (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:11; Titus 1:9), fellowships with false teachers he gives them a level of credibility that they do not deserve, enlarges their following, and exposes even more unsuspecting and undiscerning people to these wolves. 

For more from Justin Peters, go to www.justinpeters.org.


[2] Hinn made this claim in his book Welcome Holy Spirit on page 233. His claim was roundly refuted by hospital staff.

[3] Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit, pg. 56.

[4] This was in 2003 dollars according to a documentary done by the Canadian Broadcasting Company entitled “Do You Believe in Miracles?”



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#1  Posted by Curtis Urquhart  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 5:01 PM

Right on, Justin!

Reading "Strange Fire" now. I had to fight not the throw the book through the window when I was reading about Hinn. Sick and perverse!

#2  Posted by David Dameron  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 5:04 PM

Well written and right to the point.

#3  Posted by Jim Souza  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 7:33 PM

Justin... thank you so much for this article - My wife and I were at the Strange Fire Conference and thoroughly enjoyed the time of ministry and encouragement. Your article is an excellent example of the dangers that lurk in the church when sound doctrine is abandoned and lines of distinction between truth and error are blurred and ignored.

#4  Posted by Joe Meyer  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 8:03 PM

Boom!

#5  Posted by Philip Lee  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 8:06 PM

Thank you for this Dr. Peters. Sadly I can tell you that you can add Asia to the list of continents where Word of Faith teaching is becoming the norm.

Please keep doing what you do to inform the church of this dangerous teaching and equipping us to combat it.

#6  Posted by Russell Aubrey  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 9:34 PM

The thoughtful among us know Hinn for what he is, but Justin didn't address or speculate as to why so many are still fooled by him. I suppose that the desperately ill will seek with desperate measures anyone who claims to be able to heal all manner of diseases. Still, if he has been a phony for so long, one would think - realistically and rationally - that the word would have gotten around to most, if not all by now. So can anyone speculate or guess as to why it hasn't? It's just baffling to me.

#7  Posted by Manuel Jr. Reyes  |  Tuesday, January 07, 2014at 11:19 PM

Justin ("Martyr") Peters had the guts to stand on Truth. That reminds me of what Apostle Paul said that people will listen to ear tickling preachings. Well done faithful servant. God bless you!

#8  Posted by Curt Schultz  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 4:53 AM

I am grateful to God that He has raised up men who will speak the truth even in the face of opposition. It is just like Satan to raise up "ministers of righteousness" (false ministers) and call them brothers and deceive as many as he can. It makes the task difficult. Sometimes, weeding through this junk is like trying to walk fast through knee high mud. Keep telling the truth and let the Lord decide and divide as He will. Thank you for your faithfulness and thank God for people like John Macarthur, Phil Johnson, Steven Lawson.....The list is small but mighty in Christ

#9  Posted by Nancy Almodovar, Phd  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 7:12 AM

Greetings Justin,

Don't know if you remember me but we spoke on the phone back in 2008 regarding my book "A Modern Ninety-Five" which I interviewed you for some info on. Well, I must say I enjoyed this article. You had my rapt attention and encouraged me yet again to fight the good fight of faith and contend for that faith handed down to us. As a woman on the apologetic field of battle it is one of my joys to teach and train other women. Many of them read your blog and are greatly encouraged. So, thank you.

You had me on your side the entire article until the last paragraph. You called Mr. Brown a fellow believer and that he was wrong on charismatic (and rightly so for that is indeed a heresy not just error) but you took no account of his semi-pelagianism. As a formerly ordained AoG Int'l minister (which i've since had un-done b/c women are not to be ordained), I can attest that the arminian gospel is NO Gospel of Scripture. History teaches us that it is "at best error and at worst heresy" (conc. of the Council of Dordt.). I would hope that God grants Mr. Brown repentance not only of his charismatic heresies but also the arminian (remonstrant) heresy and that by God's gracious Holy Spirit, He would convert him to the True Gospel which we are to contend for.

The origination of charismatic and it's pentecostal parental beliefs are steeped in arminianism and semi-pelagianism (and in some cases straight up Pelagian heresy). It is therefore crucial that we fight this fight at all levels, not just the continuational/cessational battle but the battle for the Gospel of Free Grace through Justification by Grace alone through Faith alone based upon the Sovereign Election of our Omnipotent God.

I know your personal battle is against the tricks of these charlatins but i pray you would also consider that their non-gospel, which Paul says is anathema, is the true root of their heresy and errors.

nancy

#10  Posted by Ariel Sabio Galamgam  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 8:37 AM

Sir Philip Lee said it so right in his comment above that the "Word of Faith" teaching has already reached Asia, & also in the Philippines, in particular. If I remember it correctly, Benny Hinn has already visited the Philippines once on the late 90s or early 2000. TBN is also aired on almost all local cable networks in the country.

If there is Strange Fire Part 2, it could be a good case, with some similarities & uniqueness to what Pastor Conrad presented his case for Africa. If my memory serves me right, there are also some "local" version of Benny Hinn here in the Philippines.

Having said all of those, Pastor Justin, I am truly edified by God through your ministry! Blessings on you Sir!

#12  Posted by Scott Frederick  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 9:31 AM

I have a lot of respect for Justin Peters and Dr Brown.

I also have a longing in my soul for those prodigals living in error, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Dr Brown took the opportunity to reach millions of those who watch the Benny Hinn show. Many will come to the truth through the Word shared on those broadcasts, and will find more, including the criticisms of the WoF movement, prosperity teachings, hypergrace teachings, homosexual marriage, etc.

All those people, in error. Now having a chance to hear sound Biblical teaching and listen to other great teachers like Justin Peters because of Dr Brown using conflict to create dialogue.

I see the opportunity to evangelize and teach more people through the prayerful choices Dr Brown has made, rather than the sit at home, document the errors, and complain style of others.

One cares about the souls of these people. The other cares about being right. Time to eat some grain on the Sabbath....

#13  Posted by Donald Cramer  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 9:37 AM

What amazes me is how pastors from all denominations quote from these false sheep. Then when I read and share something like this, I become the uninformed, and need to learn the truth.

#15  Posted by Cameron Buettel  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 12:05 PM

Nancy, I have to say that it brings me great joy that you were able to see that the rampant Pentecostal/charismatic willingness to appoint female pastors is a blatant violation of clear biblical teaching. In a movement where so many female pastors would rather justify themselves with feminist philosophy, I am glad to hear that you chose to obey Scripture instead.

Having a charismatic background myself, I have to agree that most charismatic churches are steeped in pelagianism or semi-pelagianism. Charles Finney’s gospel of human decisionism casts a large shadow over most of their gospel preaching. A few exceptions, however, have appeared in recent decades such as the Sovereign Grace movement which has seen many charismatics embrace a Reformed understanding of the gospel and God’s sovereignty in salvation. While they may not have reformed far enough, groups like Sovereign Grace have certainly represented a shift in the right direction.

But Michael Brown does not fall into that camp and he certainly wears his Arminian theology as a badge of honor. While Arminian theology, when carefully thought through, leads to the heresies of universalism and open-theism, there are many Arminian preachers and members of their churches that reject universalism and open-theism because they love the Scriptures but have not yet fully explored the issues. And I do not mean to say that in a patronizing way—harmonizing Scripture on these issues challenges many Christians. Without knowing Brown’s heart, and recognizing his rejection of such heresies, Justin Peters has erred on the side of charitability in acknowledging him as a brother. It is what we certainly hope to be the case.

Nonetheless, the charitability we extend should not loosen our commitment to pursue the truth. And Justin is applying plenty of pressure where it needs to be applied.

#18  Posted by Link Hudson  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 1:27 PM

One theme at the conference is that Charismatics are responsible for cleaning up their own movement. Are Charismatics a 'movement.' The term 'Charismatic' was used to include Pentecostals, and even the Oneness folks, the way John MacArthur used the term.

Do Charismatics think of themselves as all being part of the same group with Benny Hinn? I know there are a lot of Pentecostals, a group I'm more familiar with, who would not point to Benny Hinn and say "That's what we believe." Maybe the new Reformed evangelicals are more cohesive and more close knit. Even so, isn't it a bit inconsistent to condemn Charismatics for not cleaning up their own movement when there are people who hold to the basics of Reformed theology who don't believe in the bodily resurrection?

During the conference, John MacArthur also said that a movement included Roman Catholics and all their doctrinal error had to have something wrong with it. Methodists and Pentecostals could make the same charge. Many RCC thinkers and Calvinists have had 'Augustinian' thought when it came to predestination. Jehovah's Witnesses are cessationists, and any movement that would include the Jehovah's Witnesses and all their theological error must also have a problem with it.

When it comes to prosperity movement error, are preachers responsible to name names and address the error if they happen to be Charismatic? What unites believers, the label 'Charismatic' or faith in Christ? Who are more closely related spiritually out of this list: a Charismatic false teacher purposefully trying to preach money out people's wallet, a Charismatic preacher who is born of the Spirit who self-sacrificially takes up the cross daily, a conservative Reformed churchman in Southeast Asia who worships idols during the week and worships his ancestors, and a conservative Reformed Bible believing Christian who is skeptical of spiritual gifts? The two who are born of the Spirit are brothers.

If a pastor sees some kind of error attacking the flock he is responsible to tend, he should address it. Does that mean he has to research preachers in other movements who he doesn't associate with who are not effecting his flock, even if they happen to hold to a particular point of doctrine in common (belief in spiritual gifts).

#20  Posted by Kato Vik  |  Wednesday, January 08, 2014at 5:02 PM

Thank you for great work in Christ.

I have lived in China for soon four years now. What uneducated and poor Christians here love to hear about is miracles. It is almost impossible to get through with a "God heals and leads through Providence" view. The breeding ground for a wide spread Faith Heal movement is dangerous strong. All that can be translated into Mandarin is most welcome.

Before I was a Charismatic. Then a pastor gave me a MacArthur Study Bible for free. Now I hate my past and wasted years. The Strange Fire conference helped me to get rid of more Charismatic residue. This way of thinking really sticks deep and hard to get rid of.

There is no excuse!

#21  Posted by Jacob Faircloth  |  Thursday, January 09, 2014at 2:52 AM

Try not to despise your past, rather use your weaknesses to enhance the truth and validate the debate to others who have been distracted by these deceitful corporations. The truth will allow opportunity to help others learn the way of your newly found strength.

God puts us all through tribulation so that you can learn how help others that get trapped by the same lies that tricked you. The Apostle Paul continuously writes about his failures to enhance the truth. He says I am the chief sinner so listen up! After he exposes his weakness, Paul leans in to Christ to establish clear truth and solid validation for his sufferings. You were exposed to the sin to strengthen your armor and establish the means to crush the debate by embracing the truth. If I am to convince other drug addicts that Christ is the only way, then I know by exposing this past weakness of mine, it immediately becomes my strength through sympathy of their current struggle. Be strong through Christ he is using you now because you have experienced religious deception. Don't beat your self up! Go out and save others because you can relate best to the situations that have taken them away from God's truth. Grace be with you all. Be strong in Christ and support each other through love and encouragement and by this the Body of Christ will strengthen in places that seem to have all together lost hope.

None of my years were wasted they were established by the Heavenly Father to beat me into submission. As I submit to Jesus I know he now is using me and all I have been exposed to as means to help others. The Lord your God does not make mistakes he strengthens his Army with soldiers who have been hurt by the enemy. He saves you in hope that you will help others submit to him.

#22  Posted by Denise Grimes  |  Friday, January 10, 2014at 8:01 AM

Good article. I'd go a bit further with regard to Brown. I think Scripture says it all:

2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

According to v. 11 God counts Brown as guilty of the SAME wickedness as Hinn precisely because Brown not only greets the man, but promotes and endorses Hinn and his pulpit. Therefore he too, is to be just as rejected as the false teacher he welcomes. It is THAT serious to God.

As Spurgeon rightly said:

There are some with whom we should have no fellowship, nay, not so much as to eat bread; for though this conduct looks stern and hard, it is after the mind of Christ, for the apostle spake by inspiration when he said, "If we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

According to modern efficiency he ought to have said, "Let him be kindly spoken with in private, but pray make no stir. No doubt the thought was original, and we must not question his liberty. Doubtless, he believes the same as we do, only there is some little difference as to terms."

This is treason to Christ, treachery to truth, and cruelty to souls. If we love our Lord we shall keep his words, and stand fast in the faith, coming out from among the false teachers; nor is this inconsistent with charity, for the truest love to those who err is not to fraternise with them in their error, but to be faithful to Jesus in all things.

End quote.

#23  Posted by Denise Grimes  |  Friday, January 10, 2014at 1:10 PM

Kato,

I also come from the Charismatic movement. I grew up in it.

It is precisely because of my years in the Charismatic movement that I now treasure the absolute authoritative Scripture. Once a person is set free from spiritual bondage, their love for the Truth increases and continues to grow.

While I wouldn't want to go back to that garbage heap, I am glad I went through it. God never wastes our trials (look at Joseph in the OT or Job or David). It humbles us and it makes us stand strong in the once-for-all-delivered-to-the -saints Faith. It does takes time to unlearn wrong doctrine but God is faithful in doing that. You're right--much can linger but God will reveal where it does and correct us by His Word and His Spirit. For those that were once deceived, we cling to the Truth all the more tightly.

We know the cost of error.... and of Truth.

Praise God for His power and sovereign hand! May He use us to sound the warning and exhort others to stand firm in The Faith.

#25  Posted by Michelle Lesley  |  Thursday, January 23, 2014at 1:36 PM

Thank you for this wonderful article, Dr. Peters, and GTY. It inspired a recent blog article of my own. Ignorance is no excuse for any pastor, and we folks in the pew need to keep up as well:

http://michellelesleybooks.com/2014/01/16/keep-on-keeping-up-five-issues-christians-need-guidance-about-from-our-pastors-part-1/