As you know by now, we at Truthinator’s Blog are conducting interviews with notable people around the world for the purpose of gaining insight from their knowledge and experiences. The names are kept secret because we are not trying to impress you with our list of notable friends & acquaintances. This is about the information only.
We must also say that the opinions and/or beliefs of this or any other interviewee do not necessarily represent the views of Truthinator’s Blog, its employees, or volunteers. Please be edified…
Truthinator: Please begin by giving me a few lines of biographical information.
Guest: My first memory of church was when I was four or five years old. My family went to a community church nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains. The church was a community church, not associated with any denomination, but it was extremely charismatic. There I was introduced to doctrine that would take me many years and great heartache to overcome. Mercifully, God was with me and was patiently leading and protecting me as He led me out. I thought it was normal to speak in tongues, see visions, receive angelic visitations, demonic visitations, and spiritual manifestations which presented themselves physically, i.e. twitching, shouting, fainting, etc. I was taught these things followed those who believed. As I grew up, I didn’t realize it until much later, but this essentially separated the church into the haves and have nots. The haves were the ones who had all the visions, spoke the most tongues, had the most revelatory knowledge. The have-nots, of which I was one, had none of those things, but earnestly sought for them. The mind-set created by this type of dynamic resulted in people seeking gifts and manifestations and not repentance or Scriptural knowledge. I was taught that you were a spiritual powerhouse and blessed by God if you have these experiences. What that did to the spirit and mind of earnest seekers is put the notion in our heads that since we weren’t speaking in tongues or being slain in the spirit, we were out of favor with God. This causes great heartache and pain. It also perpetuates an endless cycle of striving to be accepted by a god who is not the God of the Bible. It was utter and complete deception. Thankfully, as I grew and began reading God’s Word, my eyes were opened, not just to Biblical truth, but to the deception I was raised in. Since then, I’ve been researching and reaching out to others in the hopes I can be an instrument the Lord can work through to steer others away from this deception.
T: What do you think has changed most in evangelical Christianity since you became a Christian?
G: That’s a tough one. I believe the biggest change I’ve seen personally is the church’s acceptance of sin. This change is heartbreaking to watch. If I had to track this to its roots, I would say the main culprit is man’s rejection of God’s Word as the sole source of spiritual truth.
T: The evangelical mainstream today seems to care more about social interaction and enjoyment of the here & now than about Bible truth. True or false?
G: True. What’s sad is that the flip side of that coin is rejection of the great commission to reach the lost. We are building a church full of lazy believers who are culturally driven. They are not sharing the gospel, they are inviting the lost into the church and entertaining them. They don’t preach law and grace, they preach self-entitlement and self-esteem, which is the exact opposite of preaching repentance. Instead of preaching the substitutionary atonement, they preach feel-good sermons that exalt the hearers, while they are still dead in their sins. There is no life-giving power to their words. No saving power in compromise. The worst thing you can tell a sinner is that they’re special and they deserve to be happy. They need their hearts broken. They need to be broken before Him. They need the cross and Christ crucified preached to them on a regular basis. Without Jesus Christ, there is no life.
T: What is “relevance” in light of the Bible’s teaching about the relationship of God’s people (the body of Christ) to the world. Is the modern day church getting it right by seeking to be like the world in order to reach it? How relevant to the world must one be to be effective in ministry? How relevant to God must one be to be effective in ministry?
G: Relevance is a slap in God’s face. We were never asked to be culturally relevant, we were asked to be Christ-like. It seems pretty clear cut.
T: What do you think about the Emergent Church and its impact on American youth? Where will the EC lead America? What does the impact of the EC do to those involved in missions? What impact will it likely have on the unreached people of the world?
G: The Emergent Church has led its followers into a man-centered faith. When a church, or movement, is flawed from the outset, it has no hope of ever being blessed by God or grounded in spiritual truth. Any faith not centered on Christ Jesus alone is faith built on sinking sand. It will not have the strength to stand against the winds of the world, and it will never present you fully justified before God because there is no emphasis on repentance and cleansing through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Emergent Church, from its very inception was based on a lie… it’s focus being on the culture.
T: Do you think the church in America is in danger of reuniting with Roman Catholicism? Why or why not? Do you think the “New Perspective on Paul” is a tool for reuniting with Catholicism?
G: If we believe Scripture, there will be a merging of theological views under a religion that will be acceptable to the world. A one world religion. Not only do I believe the church will unify with Roman Catholicism, but I foresee the church unifying with WOF, Catholicism, Dominionism, Emergent Church, and more. The direction the church is going is a troubling one in that when you begin to teach tolerance, as they now do in the church, that tolerance begins blurring denominational lines, and eventually lines between religions, bringing them all under the umbrella of unity.
T: Is it beneficial for people like James McDonald to host gatherings such as the Elephant Room where people of very different perspectives laugh, chum it up, and simply ‘agree to disagree’? Does this have the danger of giving a stamp of approval to some people with really bad theological beliefs? Why or why not?
G: When James MacDonald invites people like T. D. Jakes and Steven Furtick under the banner of brotherhood, it presents a problem. The problem is that he is extending the right hand of fellowship, as well as his affirmation, to people who preach false doctrine. If doctrine doesn’t divide us, then what does? It was important enough for Paul to warn the Ephesian elders to be on guard. It was important enough for Jude to urge us to fight for the faith. It was important enough for Jesus to warn, “See to it that no one deceives you.” in the 24th chapter of Matthew. How can Christianity be true if there is no firm and set doctrine? No firm truth that we can know? Additionally, how can that doctrine be true if preachers are contradicting one another theologically? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Everyone? Clear as mud, right? It sets a dangerous precedent in the church that says doctrine isn’t important. Without sound doctrine, there is no hope of spiritual nourishment in truth.
T: According to research findings by Barna and others, Americans are becoming increasingly more selfish and worldly as time passes. Do you agree? Why or why not? Is this change (if you agree) acceptable?
G: I wish I could say Barna’s findings surprise me, but truly, they don’t. God has been removed from almost every avenue of society and privatized. This whole-scale rejection of God leaves us looking to man for wisdom, knowledge, protection, salvation, etc. That’s setting the bar pretty low. When American society tells God they no longer want Him, the only result can be spiritual and moral decay.
T: Why do you blog? How long will you continue to blog? I blog because I can. That doesn’t sound like a deeply spiritual answer, does it?
G: After being delivered from Charismatic deception, I spent years in research. I wanted to know how far this had spread, how it got started, how far would it go? After years of compiling data, I had to tell someone. I had to vent. I never knew if anyone would listen, but as long as I got it out, so to speak, I thought I would feel better. That’s when I started blogging. I never expected the following I have achieved, and truly, I credit hunger for that. There were times I thought about slowing down a little bit, but then I would get e-mails from people who simply wrote to say, “I know what you’re saying is true. Please don’t stop. It’s just a relief to hear someone saying it.” That’s when I saw there were a lot of people out there just like me who were grieved over what they were seeing, and just like me, it grieved them that no one seemed to see it or speak against it. Now I know there are others, and as the days grow darker, many, many more are starting to speak out. I say, God bless them! It’s a truth war we’re in, and we need more soldiers on the battlefield lobbing shells into the enemy camp. There’s room for more out here.
T: Lastly, I have to ask you about John Crowder and the New Mystics. In your opinion based upon what you know about such things, are these guys likely to be real (in their own minds) or are they just comedians with no regard for God who take money from gullible people? How can folks like this make a living as “preachers” in America?
G: I don’t know if I can explain myself clearly here, so please bear with me. In 2008, around the time of the Lakeland Revival, John Crowder’s popularity seemed to take a surge. The mysticism spread by Todd Bentley and his handlers caused interest in the supernatural within the church to hit an all-time high. Suddenly, he and Benjamin Dunn went from being on the fringe of Charismania to being a little more accepted. Their popularity surged for a time. With the collapse of Lakeland, Crowder’s popularity seems to have waned a bit.
Is John Crowder real? Only God can judge Crowder’s motives and intent. That judgment is above my pay scale. If I had to tell you my initial suspicion on the subject, I would say yes. He is for real. He truly believes what he is teaching. I suppose I’ll stick to that point of view until proven otherwise. Crowder is a good example of extreme charismatic theology and spiritual blindness.
T: Thank you for participating in the Truthinator Interviews.