We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Friday, September 4, 2009

Manifestations in the Church

Robert Liichow, a former member of Benny Hinn’s circus, now has an apologetics ministry aimed mainly at the Word of Faith movement, TBN, and that sort of stuff. I previously read one of his earlier books, The Two Roots of Today’s Revival, and found it to be very well researched, so I decided to read another one, Blessing or Judgment? The Origin of Manifestations in the Church.

If you are interested in learning the origins of “holy laughter,” “slain in the spirit,” “spiritual drunkenness, animal noises and “gold teeth” found so prominently in the “revival” movement (Toronto, Brownsville, Lakeland, et al), this book has very good background research and gives an excellent, biblical critique, demonstrating the occult origins of all these manifestations.

An interesting note I have read elsewhere but found reiterated here is the fact that those seeking some of these manifestations are actually told NOT to pray in Jesus’ name: “While on the prayer team, we were instructed NOT to pray in Jesus’ name. We were told NOT to pray for the needs of the people. The only thing we were to do was touch people on their forehead and say, ‘More, Lord!’ and keep repeating that until there was an ‘impartation’ of the spirit being promoted in the meeting…Any deviation from the limited procedure would result in being removed from the prayer team, which did happen to a few individuals.”

That is bizarre! Liichow makes a very good point when he says, “We must not try to make the scriptures fit our experience. Rather, we must take our spiritual experiences to the Bible to see if they fit; if they do not, then we must abandon our non-biblical experiences.”

This is just a small taste of what Liichow has in store - this is what the book is about. Add this one to your apologetics library.

5 comments:

Marie said...

Wow! I researched and read up on this subject extensively a few years ago (as you know), and somehow I've never heard of this guy. Will check him out.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Bob has been at a few of the apologetics conferences I've attended, giving classes on the WOF movement. Last year (if I remember correctly) he finished training at seminary to become a Lutheran pastor. Has just finished his internship (they have a name for that, which I forgot). Due to lack of funding his web site has to be rebuilt so now he is doing a blog with all his old articles. You can check him out here:
http://discernmentministriesinternational.wordpress.com/

I have many of his booklets and pamplets exposing various teachers in the WOF, and they are really hard-hitting.

Marie said...

You don't have to convince me how heretical WoF is. Our women's ministry team (we're Bible study leaders) read Jay Adams' "A Call to Discernment" over the summer, and I wanted to speak for a few minutes about Word of Faith and how it's wormed its way into somewhat-mainstream evangelical teaching (without mentioning Beth Moore by name, of course). The leader agreed it would have been a good idea, but there wasn't time in order to get through our agenda. I will check out those links.

Tangentally related question: ever heard of Mercy Ministries? Know anyone who's been through their "program"? With all my research into eating disorder inpatient facilities, (Christian, integrationist, and secular), I never heard of them until a couple of weeks ago, and am horrified by the allegations. If it is a legitimate Christian operation that is helping people, I don't want to be overly-critical in my assessment. However, it seems there is real spiritual abuse going on there, and the disenfranchised think it's nouthetic counseling that's at fault.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

"Vicarage" is the term for their intership. Just thought I'd clear that up.

"A Call to Discernment" is in my library also - I found that excellent book 8 years ago. Every Christian should be required to read it.

Nope, never heard of "Mercy Ministries." Can't help you with that one. Blaming a teaching for problems of misuse is certainly common - just look at how the Bible is blamed for abuses of Christianity!

Randy said...

A call not to pray for people's needs or not to pray in Jesus' name would leave me to confused to read any more. Maybe there are good reasons for it, but they would be lost on me...