And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power. - 1Corinthians 2: 1-5 (ESV)
The above link is to a recent devotional about the heretical movie Holy Ghost. One observation from the movie that the Director Darren Wilson kept emphasizing is this religion versus relationship lie. That the detractors of his movie are just some old crusty religious establishment folks who need a revelation of the Holy Ghost. That people who criticize this movie are trying to "put God in a box", as the movie claims. The box of course they are trying desperately to mock and avoid is what we Christians call the Bible. It is called sound doctrine. It is how people get saved.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1Timothy 4: 16 (NIV)
Well it seems the movie has garnered some well deserved skepticism and critique. Darren Wilson has decided that any attention is good attention when you are selling something so he has decided to try and answer what he thinks are some of the common criticisms. Within his answers however, lie the problem all over again. Here is his link:
In here Wilson has identified three areas he tries to address and each one contains glaring problems. The first area criticism is why the Gospel was not presented in the film. Wilson believes that the portion of the film at the Korn concert showed Todd White presenting the Gospel, including "at length the saving work of Jesus, the need to repent of your sins and the need to have a relationship with Christ." If you have seen this movie you know this is simply untrue. It certainly was not "at length." Far more time was spent on the magic tricks in Salt Lake and the guitar concert in India. That aside, pulling people off of a rock concert line, using the star of the band they are going to see, and making them repeat a prayer they cannot possibly understand, is not presenting the Gospel. Is sin mentioned? Barely. Is repentance mentioned? Yes. Joel Osteen mentions both in his "sinner's prayer" offering too and it saves just as many people - none. I can barely blame Wilson here because when you look at the people he associates with, you see where he forms this theology. I have to conclude that to Darren Wilson, this is the Gospel. To drag some teenagers off of a rock concert line and make them pray without having them truly understand what they are praying for. From this Wilson article:
"Many people, it seems, prefer their gospel to focus on God's coming judgment and therefore want to push people to repentance right there on the spot. I much prefer to focus on God's love for people, and the offer He is making to save them from their sins and His desire for relationship with them. I prefer to let the Holy Spirit convict them of their sin (which is what the Bible says He will do, by the way), and am fully confident that He will do what He says He will do. I think many people simply don't trust God to do God-type things in people's lives and hearts, so they feel the need to do it all themselves. This, in my opinion, is a mistake."
Pay close attention to the language he uses. "Their Gospel" and "I prefer to focus on." There is only one Gospel beloved. There is not my version and Darren Wilson's version. It is because of God's love that He did not want us to suffer His wrath. You cannot pretend you are "focusing on one" when the reality is you are ignoring the other. Without a serious understanding of your position as a sinner destined for hell, you cannot repent, period! The Holy Spirit cannot convict us of something we are unaware of. It does not work like that.
The second criticism is that the Salt Lake City scenes are all about experience and that what Jamie Galloway and Will Hart were doing was the same things mediums do. Here is the first portion of Wilson's logic:
"First, this was the beginning of the film, and I wanted to knock over some religious pedestals right off the bat. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 says, ""and my speech and my m message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. It is my belief that God is to be loved, worshipped, obeyed, and believed in, but He must also be experienced."
Herein lies a large part of the problem. I will skip over the obvious false argument he relies on regarding "religious pedestals." This exposes why this film and the false brand of Christianity Darren Wilson sells is so dangerous and wrong. He quotes from verses 4 and 5 in 1Corinthians 2 to make his point. This is the entire crux to him for this movie. That God is to be experienced. That those old religious types just want to cling to their doctrine but we go out and experience the Holy Spirit. Because even Paul said here that his own message was in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. So that our faith would not rest in wisdom but in the power of God. Except one little problem. That is not what these verses mean. This is why context is always crucial. The key verses today include the entire context of what Paul was saying. Did Paul say that he resolved to know nothing but cheap parlor tricks and psychic strategies? No. did he say that he resolved to know nothing but an experiential Christ? No. Paul said he resolved to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. You know what that is Darren? That's the Gospel. It is the opposite of experience. It is doctrine. You know why Darren? Because experience is subjective. It changes from person to person. In Salt Lake City we saw Jamie and Will use the same schemes that fake mediums use. Throw out as much information and see what the person reacts to. Now they were pretty good at it. Better than Todd White pulling the other leg down in the "grow the shortened leg" trick.
What Paul is saying in the key verses is the opposite of what Darren Wilson ripped verses four and five out of context for. Where is the demonstration of the Spirit's power found? In Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul did not want to distract from that with using his own wisdom or persuasive words. What were Jamie and Will doing the entire time in Salt Lake? Persuading. Paul is reminding us here that we do not need the parlor tricks, human wisdom, or persuasive words because the true power of the Spirit is found in the Gospel. God is to be experienced but He is experienced through the other items Darren so casually mentions. We experience God through worship, faith, obedience and by loving Him. What Holy Ghost sells is the notion that experiencing God is separate from these things. That it is something we can freelance on our own. I might add here that Darren Wilson leaves out the most important way we can experience God and that is through His Word! I know that flies in the face of his experiential theology and the goals of this move but that is exactly the point. You cannot "experience" God if you dismiss His Word as "religion" and abuse it as he did here. Do not forget that there are other spirits out there fighting against us:
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. - 2Corinthians 11: 14-15 (NIV)
When you play around with the experiential side of spiritual warfare and you leave the Word of God behind, you end up like the Seven Sons of Sceva in Acts 19. What this movie encourages is simply dangerous.