And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. - 2Corinthians 11: 14-15 (ESV)
I was perusing Charisma News this morning because, well, so you don't have to. There was so much serious going on this week that it just seemed weighty. I was wondering what bit of heresy or NAR dominionist blather I would be contending with when I looked away from my computer screen momentarily. When my eyes returned their gaze to the screen the juxtaposed screen shot made me chuckle to the point I thought I would share it with you. It is the picture for this devotional on my website. These are the top five stories on Charisma News this morning and it is a microcosm of why Charismania is so off the rails and why no one takes the church serious anymore. The bottom left is the same every day. It is a link to the daily Strang Report, named after the founder and CEO of Charisma, Stephen Strang. Mr. Strang is a rabid dominionist who uses his platform to try and convince Christians and churched folk everywhere to vote Republican. The advertisement to the right of this is for the con man, Jonathan Con and his latest con-job, "The Harbingers of Things To Come." Cahn is an even more rabid dominionist than Strang as he teaches that America is under covenant with God, which it most certainly Is not. Replacement theology aside, it is mildly amusing that this advertisement is apparently a month out of date as it proclaims this will only be in theaters on May 12th and 19th!
The more amusing part of the screenshot was above these two items. There were three stories linked above. The one on the left declared prophetically, "Get on your shoes for a season of acceleration." Despite the poor English, as it should have read "Get your shoes on", here was the prophetic "onesie" for the day! God is apparently going to accelerate everyone! Or everyone who reads Charisma News. Or maybe everyone who puts their shoes on. Either way, the "prophet" describes God showing him a deflated balloon and audibly telling him to get ready for a second wind because there is a hyperinflation of my Spirit coming to the church. Yes, beloved we all remember with childhood wonder the balloon animal portion of the Sermon on the Mount, don't we? This is an absurd false prophecy, designed to scratch itching ears. Sure, we all want a hyperinflation of the spirit of God to come to our church but why did God remove His spirit to begin with? What did the church do to deserve this second wind?
On the far right is the second absurdity - the orphan spirit! Beware the orphan spirit! Learn how you can destroy this made up spirit in your life too! We all remember when Peter was casting our orphan spirits in the Book of Acts, don't we? The funnier thing is when googling orphan spirit there were multiple links and stories from the four corners of Charismania. Who knew? Now, the article inside tells of a harrowing story that a woman had gone through early in life facing homelessness. Certainly not making fun of the adversity she faced and overcame. I am just saying that it is not an "orphan spirit." Charismania has a habit of over-spiritualizing everything and seeing a demon behind every bush. Sometimes a bush is a bush. Sometimes a challenge is just life. By spiritualizing our failings or problems, we externalize them and find another source to blame. We are not victims of happenstance or spiritual warfare all of the time. If I find myself weighing too much it is not because of a "Twinkie Spirit." It probably means I have eaten too much. Needing deliverance from cupcakes is not really a spiritual matter. Sure we can pray for better resistance to what trips us up and fast and pray for help when temptation comes but just because I understand that everyone in the church is not meant to filthy rich - that does not mean I suffer from a poverty spirit!
Now, the part that made me chuckle about these two articles is the one that sat in the middle of them declaring - "How the Bible Teaches Us to Discover Truth." Now I agree of course that the bible is absolute truth but the fact that this title sat in between the Orphan Spirit and the Acceleration Prophecy I just found amusing on many different levels. Then I clicked on it and discovered it was written be renowned false teacher, Mark Virkler. It was then I realized that even in my pause for amusement, there was still heresy to correct. It appears that Virkler's point here was not to establish the bible as absolute truth but rather to promote the Bethel teaching that relationship is better than scripture. I am just going to highlight two horrendous portions of this article:
"The Pharisees thought they would establish the truth by studying the Scriptures. Jesus rebuked them and said they needed to actually come to Him to receive the truth (John 5:39-40). Truth is not a book. Truth is a person (John 14:6). "Revelation encounters" change our theology (i.e., our understanding of the words of Scripture)." - Mark Virkler