On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" -- Mark 4: 35-40 (ESV)
It is the sin that is older than mankind itself. It is the sin that caused God to cast Lucifer out of heaven along with a third of the angelic host. Satan then used that same sin temptation to lure Eve into the fall of man. The devil doesn't change his playbook much because he does not have to. Man inherently wants to be God. The problem is the job is filled and the throne is occupied. Lucifer wanted to ascend to His throne. He convinced Eve that she too would be like God, knowing good and evil. Essentially those who refuse to place their faith in Christ have decided to be their own god. So it has gone for millennia and will continue to go on until Jesus comes back. This simple concept can be easily applied to every false teaching infiltrating the church today. The prosperity gospel for example, ignores the teachings of Christ regarding money and the love thereof, thus insisting that we know better. One of the perks of being your own god is you set your own rules. The word faith heresy literally usurps the power of verbal creation from God! People like Creflo Dollar, Myles Munroe, Paula White and Joyce Meyer all teach that we are in fact "little gods." So it should come as no surprise that the various Charismatic heresies such as the NAR, false signs and lying wonders as well as the aforementioned word faith all are based heavily in this age old sin. One of the underlying facets of the teaching is a false authority paradigm. Structured like a traditional pyramid scheme, the Charismatic church, purpose driven and seeker friendly growth theories all rely upon this scheme. At the higher levels it has to do with spiritual abuse and bullying. It also provides cover for false teachings in that you are propped up by the "authority" you sit under. One example is the wildly false prophetess Jennifer Leclaire is under the "covering" of false prophet James Goll. Leclaire in turn sells her covering to newbie false prophets for a paltry $400 per year. The teaching at the lower levels however deals with instructing the average Christian that they have godly authority that is contained nowhere in Scripture. When that authority does not amount to expected change -- people are hurt and damaged. So let us reason together as we review this line of faulty thinking as displayed in a recent article by John Burton, linked above, entitled: "A Powerful Strategy of Freedom: Don't Bother Jesus."
"I love listening to sermons, and then listening to the Holy Spirit as he develops further revelation for me. My pastor delivered a powerful sermon this morning here in my home town of Branson, Missouri. This article, while different than what I heard this morning, is a result of God's anointing on his life and on the teaching he brought." -- John Burton
I normally would gloss past this clear enough opening except for the misuse of the word anointing. This is a core misunderstanding within charismatic circles and it plays into the abusive authority paradigms they wield. For example, recently I had someone I have known for ten years email me to say I had an "antichrist spirit" speaking out of me because I had chosen to speak against "God's anointed." The anointed preacher in question is rabid heretic Joyce Meyer. The anointing in biblical terms was reserved for would be kings. Yes there are some verses in the New Testament that refer to being anointed but first of all, it is not reserved for one special group of Christians:
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. -- 1John 2: 20 (ESV)
The "you" in this verse are believers, not preachers. The anointing is one of understanding, based upon the indwelt Holy Spirit and the fact that He leads us into all truth, contained in the Word of God. Now, even though the anointing in New Testament terms refers to the unction of the Holy Spirit there are those set aside for the teaching gifts. It is not incorrect to state that they have a teaching anointing. My former pastor clearly had an anointing for evangelizing for example. That does not mean however that they are elevated above the congregation because of this anointing and in fact should result in more humility rather than authority. Modern day Charismania has morphed the anointing into some mystical state of being that is simply not supported in the Bible. Preachers and teachers of the Word are due double honor and will be held to a higher standard of judgment. It is a sobering burden to bear, not some catapult for exercising authority over people. Burton continues:
'"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40) When I consider going to God with my issues, concerns, troubles, needs and other personal trials, I first ask myself a question. Is God going to respond to me by asking, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" It's quite possible that I should not bring my issue to God at all.' -- John Burton