14 January 2011

Baptism Hijacked

The clip below illustrates how the satanic IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City has even hijacked the practice of baptism, turning it into a blasphemous, demonic display of the powers of the evil one. Watching this filled me with anger and sorrow. Not one baptism in Scripture is described as occurring with uncontrollable head shaking and laughter. This is not of God.

Did you know that Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, has endorsed Mike Bickle and his demonic ministry in Kansas City? Yep, right along with leaders of YWAM (Youth with a Mission), which is involved in the Emergent Church movement, and New Age, contemplative spirituality proponents C. Peter Wagner and Dutch Sheets. Oh, just to help confuse this web of deceitful doctrines and lying teachers even more..."America's Pastor" Rick Warren also has strong ties to these same individuals and organizations.

25 comments:

  1. I believe there is only one of two things happening here (others may give other choices): Either they play-act all this for attention and getting followers, or else it's demonic. With all the false teachings there, I tend to think it's the latter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, Glenn. A lot of these ministries are putting on a show, and I don't doubt that a lot of the behavior of the leaders is play-acting, or that when the crowd gets caught up in everything the power of suggestion is in force. But, like you say, with all of the atrocious false teachings at IHOP, I am also compelled to say it's demonic. Either way, Satan is ultimately behind it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let me suggest a third explanation:

    What we see here is simply people having an emotional experience and showing it in their bodies with the shaking etc. They genuinely believe that it results from the Holy Spirit, but it's actually nothing more than a product of their own minds, invariably brought on by repetitive music that induces a type of hypnotic trance.

    There is almost certainly a degree of learned behavior involved (possibly subconscious) and yes some people may fake it, but I suspect that the majority of people in situations like this sincerely (but wrongly) believe that they are experiencing God moving on them.

    So there's nothing directly satanic behind it, but of course all deception comes from the deceiver.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I agree that the bulk of the congregants are probably just deceived and worked up into a frenzy by the manipulation of the leaders, but you can't convince me that the leaders don't know better. It is the leaders who are the false prophets and false teachers, an when they are doing all the manifestations, i believe it is demonic with them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mike (formerly anonymous)January 16, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    Glenn, forgive me, but your comment doesn't really make sense. You firstly argue the leaders don't know better (suggesting that they're faking it), but then claim that it's demonic (suggesting that they're controlled by evil forces). You can't have both!

    But anyway, I have checked this whole topic out at length. As an example, I have spoken with a former pentecostal faith healer and he says that he was completely deceived at that time in his life and he genuinely believed that he was ministering healing and "moving in the power of the Holy Spirit". He now realises that he had actually become a self-taught hypnotist. The deception is very powerful because it gives the leaders wealth and status - they're not going to question what they are doing.

    [Off topic, many of those people who present false teaching and prophecy are also themselves deceived. Yes, some undoubtedly do it just for personal gain, but not all.]

    So I think your claim that "it is demonic with them" doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. What are your reasons for making it? Have you studied psychology? Why do you discount the natural explanation?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mike,

    Let me see if I can clarify. I believe the leaders are play-acting because they know what they are teaching is false. And because they are false teachers and playing with what I believe is the occult, the demonic realm assists them with their manifestations - lying signs and wonders. There may very well be some leaders who have just deceived themselves, but I believe most know better.

    My reasons for such a claim is that I have studied this field of false teachers for many years; I've actually been studying cults and false teachings for three decades.

    I have studied psychology and find it to be pretty much a false belief system in and of itself. The fundamental teachings of the psych field are from atheists and occultists, and most relieve people of personal responsibility by blaming problems on all sorts of psychoses.

    I also discount SOME natural explanations in the spiritual realm because we are told that, especially in the end times, that there will be more "lying signs and wonders" from the demonic realm. Yes, those who deceive themselves do so because they get wrapped up in the emotions of the moment - like those who are "slain in the spirit," etc. But I think there is more demonic influence with leaders.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glen, I've only time to write a brief comment but let me say that I sadly have to disagree with you completely when you suggest that we are seeing lying signs and wonders in situations like this. We are not - there is nothing here that could be considered a sign or wonder - and shaking or other manifestations are not definitely signs or wonders. All the people with "healing ministries" etc so far have simply used mind tricks to make people think they've been healed for a short time. Nothing supernatural there. The time to start worrying is when we see actual miracles occuring that defy rational explanation. Then, and only then, will we have lying signs and wonders as predicted in the Bible. But this is not happening yet.

    Why do you think that false teachers are playing with the occult and are assisted by demons? I see little or no evidence for this. Please, you say you've studied this, tell us why you have come to this conclusion.

    Also, I'm not talking about psychology as a "religion", and I have a lot in common with your views there. But psychology also involves understanding how the human mind works. Things like crowd behaviour, peer pressure, suggestion, and hypnosis are topics where psychology can very helpfully inform Christians and provide excellent explanations of what happens in many pentecostal and charismatic meetings.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mike,

    Well, perhaps I shouldn't use the term "signs and wonders" - there should be more of the supernatural associated with that term. However, I have read many, many times of their claims that the shaking heads, etc are signs of the Holy Spirit. Their use of the term "signs" is why I used the term, and if they call them signs they have to be lying signs. Many of the "healing ministries" - such as Benny Hinn and his ilk - use an occultic devise termed "slain in the spirit."

    As for playing with the occult, again Benny Hinn claims he gets his "anointing" from visiting the graves of previous heretics. Other manifestations, whether intentional or not, are very much from occultic practices originating in the "kundalini" spirit.

    As for psychology as you described, I can accept most of that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I've thought about "signs and wonders" and I'm sure the Biblical meaning of the phrase has to be miracles - primarily of the sort we see in the gospels and acts. You don't read of trivial things like head shaking in the Bible, and I don't think it's valid to call that a sign. I don't care what the false prophets say, it's not a sign in the Biblical sense. A sign is a genuine miracle such as a healing, and these are notable by their absence.

    I also have to question your view that "slain in the spirit" is occultic. It's not. It's a simply hypnotic mind trickery, a bit of a push (!), and learned behaviour. Nothing supernatural about it.

    I accept that Benny Hinn has mentioned visiting Kathryn Kuhlman's grave - yes, this could be considered occultism, but he's a bit of an exception (and how do we know he's telling the truth?). The vast majority of the false healers make no such claims and still produce all sorts of manifestations through mind control. I say again, there is nothing supernatural about the tricks of faith healers.

    I'm not at all convinced by the "kundalini" argument - my studies have strongly suggested that all the phenomena associated with the charismatic/pentecostal movements can be explained by altered states of consciousness (trance states), induced by music or preaching. These are are a purely natural product of the way our brains are wired. There may be some demonic or occult stuff in extreme cases but I wouldn't want to claim something is supernatural unless I can rule out a natural explanation.

    The thing is, Glenn, that many christians are ignorant of psychology and related topics, so they create supernatural explanations for what they observe, attributing it to either demons or the Holy Spirit. I see this in your comments.

    But Jesus said the truth shall set you free, and when I learnt what I am sure is the truth (that there is a natural explanation for manifestations etc), it all made such perfect sense that I am now free. I am no longer captive to superstition, which was very liberating indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mike,

    As noted, I think the average person is suffering from delusion, be it self-induced or by being caught up in the hype - psychological reasons, if you will.

    However, I am convinced by studying most of the leaders in "revivals" and WOF and other charismania that there is indeed a spiritual dimension behind them. This isn't superstition - the spiritual realm is real. The "slain in the spirit" manifestation is indeed mostly hype with the majority who are emotionally expecting something. But many occult religious systems have similar experiences, which leads me to believe there has to be some demonic roots, and those who are wrapped up in this sort of thing really do not teach the gospel, which leads me to doubt what they really know about Christ.

    Yes there is a natural explanation for most, but not all of these manifestations. You can't ignore the spiritual realm just because you think it is superstition.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glenn,

    I'm not ignoring or denying the spiritual realm. I am simply saying three things:

    One, where there is a natural explanation for something, we mustn't see it as supernatural.

    Two, there is a natural explanation for the vast majority of phenomena and manifestations seen in some branches of christianity.

    Three, most christians are ignorant as to the natural explanations and instead spiritualise what they see.

    It's no different to the way primitive people viewed things they didn't understand (like fire) as being supernatural. That's why I used the word "superstition".

    Why I treat your reasoning as suspect is that you say many occult religious systems have similar experiences to "slain in the spirit" (but don't say which ones - please do enlighten us so we can look them up), however you fail to mention that such manifestations can also occur in non-religious settings as well. In fact, there are atheists who can make people fall over through the right manipulative techniques. So the evidence points to a rational explanation, not a spiritual one.

    Let me categorically state that I am not ruling out the possibility of supernatural activity (including demonic), but in almost all cases, this can be discounted as the reasons are purely natural.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mike,

    I have agreed that most of that stuff has a natural explanation, but just because one CAN have a natural explanation, we mustn’t always rule out the supernatural.

    I agree that most Christians are ignorant of the natural explanations and therefore spiritualize everything they see, however, I am not in that category. I have stated that I do indeed believe most of the stuff, especially by the followers, is all just their own worked-up emotional state. But I also am convinced that most of the leaders are either faking so as to deceive people or are indeed manifesting something from the spiritual realm.

    As for other occult systems having similar manifestations, I have seen videos and reports of those practicing voodoo, as well as Hindus, Sufis and even African and South American pagans. And that fact that atheists can also make people fall over doesn’t rule them out from demonic influence - they are just as much pagan as any other unbeliever.

    Are you aware that the falling and speaking in “tongues” and other manifestations were part of the behaviors reported taking place when the Mormon temple in Kirtland, OH was first dedicated? That most likely was also just emotional, but being the belief system which originated in occultism, it is also possible there was some spiritual influence.

    So for the record, I believe the vast majority of these manifestations are from manipulation and emotional involvement. However, when it comes to the leadership especially, I think there is a very good chance that many are manifesting these things because of demonic influence.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glenn,

    I think I have to disagree with you about the leaders. Yes, some may be deliberate fakes, but most are as deluded as their followers. I don't actually draw any distinction between the two. Remember that all leaders were once followers.

    I am at a bit of a loss to understand why you feel that leaders manifest because of demonic influence but the rest just do so for emotional reasons. The manifestations are no different so why should the cause be different?

    As an example, the pastor who goes to a conference and gets "slain in the spirit" when some famous preacher pushes him over may have an experience that to him seems genuine and spiritual. He's then keen to "impart" this to his congregation and so does the same thing back at his own church. Many of his church members fall over when he lays hands on them. He may realise that he's pushing them over, he might just be enthusiastic, but he sees it as a valid way of "ministering" to people. I see no difference between the two situations - follower and leader - it's all the same.

    My view is that the falling over happens because people are in a hypnotic state and expect something to happen when they are prayed for (and they've been conditioned to expect it via a sermon full of stories of how the power of God fell on people in similar situations). The mind and body do the rest. This seems infinitely more plausible than believing that some demonic spirit is being transferred by touch.

    Let me ask you this - are you familiar with the works of William Sargant and Felicitas Goodman? Have you heard of Marjoe Gortner and seen the film about him? Have you read Dick Sutphen's paper on mind control, or Mark Haville's testimony of his time as a pentecostal healer? Note that only the last one is a christian, but they all have valuable insights into these areas.

    On tongues, I am convinced that the majority of cases of this "gift" are simply psychological and false, happening (or first happening) in a highly emotional situation. There are even pentecostals who share this view. Many linguists have studied it and concluded that it is learned behavior and is based on the speakers own language (if it was supernatural, including demonic, you'd expect it to contain sounds that the speakers don't normally use or know how to make). So it doesn't surprise me that Mormons do it, or anyone else who gets worked up, for that matter. That doesn't mean it is from the devil, though.

    Glenn, I'd also be interested to know (forgive me for asking) what your church background is. It's good to discuss these things with you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glenn, another thing. If you took a stage hypnotist to a charismatic or pentecostal meeting where "manifestations" occur, they would say that people are being hypnotised, no question about it. It wouldn't matter whether it's a Benny Hinn crusade or a service at a small church with an unknown preacher, the techniques are the same and the results are the same.

    Yes, Benny Hinn is more skilled at it, and there's a greater sense of expectation by the congregation at his meetings (an essential component of hypnosis), but numerous others do the same thing.

    Again, very few christians will have a detailed awareness of hypnotism (they're often taught to avoid it, particularly by churches that actually use hypnotic techniques!) and so will come up with a spiritual explanation. To the preacher's supporters, he's an anointed minister of the Holy Spirit, to his opponents, his powers are demonic. I believe that both answers are wrong and the real explanation is that he's just a manipulator. But in many cases the preachers and healers are sincere and deluded, the product of a church system where such false practices are accepted as part of the faith.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mike,

    Well, we can just disagree, I think.

    The top leaders are who I refer to when I say I think there is demonic influence. I don’t mean the non-discerning pastor who attends this stuff and gets hyped up and deceived. I talking about the initiators, the leaders, the Benny Hinn/Kenneth Copeland/Mike Bickle, et al people. With the stuff they teach they are heretics and most likely can’t even be called “Christian” (especially the WOF guys who don’t even know the gospel).

    Not familiar with those you named, but I am familiar with studies into brainwashing and mind control, etc by Paul Martin, Lawrence Pile, whose stuff is in my files, and others whom I don’t remember names. I am not unfamiliar with that type of psychology - hypnotism, manipulating the masses, etc. But the top dogs aren’t self-deceived in my opinion.

    I don’t buy ANY of the so-called tongues as anything other than emotional self-absorption, etc. Biblical tongues were real languages that the speaker didn’t know and didn’t learn, but were gifted to him.

    My church background: nothing until 1970 at 18, then became a Mormon, left the LDS 2 years later after learning of its fraudulent nature. Wanted nothing to do with religious matters until a year and-a-half after that when I came to Christ through the Navigators. Left service a year later and then no church except Christmas and Easter due to working on Sundays until 1988. The church I did attend was my wife’s family’s LCMS. From 1988 to 1995 attended LCMS regularly, but always found baptismal regeneration, consubstantiation, and reformed teaching (I know, Calvinists don’t consider that reformed, but they’re pretty similar) troubling so have been in non-denominational Bible churches since Dec 1995.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Glenn,

    Thanks again for the reply and sharing your brief testimony, for which I praise God.

    Since you mentioned Lawrence Pile, here's a link to an excellent article by him on this whole subject:

    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/the_emperor_has_no_clothes.html

    (He also mentions Marjoe Gortner).

    Please read the whole article, but note the following paragraph in particular:

    I have no doubt that the men and women who engage in the practices associated with "Holy Laughter" and even faith healing have no intention or even awareness of indulging in trance induction. But I firmly believe this is what they are doing, and that, while the Holy Spirit may be present in some way in these meetings, as in all meetings of believers, most of what is experienced by those who fall under the spell is merely psychological and not spiritual. The context in which the phenomena are experienced, along with the explanations given by the ministers under whose direction they occur, are largely responsible for the spiritual interpretation of them.

    I couldn't agree more!

    ReplyDelete
  17. As I read your posts and comments I can only say "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit' and do not be guilty of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. There are many things in the spiritual world we are not aware of. Many, when they do not know of something and see it manifested, are afraid and confused, then begin to condemn it. I would be careful speaking of those spiritual things of which you obviously know nothing of.

    I also agree with Glen about psychiatry. I have been to 2 and neither one did anything except place blame on others and make me relive the negative things in my life instead of forgiving those who have offended me.

    I won't go to another one! Prayer and faith in Jesus is the only 'healer' for me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't see a problem here except if your baptismal services are always quiet, without shouting and proclamations. As for shaking there are many occassions in the bible were shaking has taken place. I'm not saying that every time we see a shaking is something Lord is involved but who of you knows everything to be so sure to tag with "demonic tags" those who are different than you. Have you thought only once that your perception might be wrong? I'm coming from a pentecostal group and I don't agree with everything I see there, but I sense something is wrong when other brothers call somethings like than demonic. Do you remember that even Jesus was called lunatic by people in his time and his family. What makes you think that you know better than religious people in Jesus time. Don't be fooled, be wise and don't talk for things that you don't fully understand, just because your church has disconnected herself with these kind of churches. I'm saying this to those who are brothers in Christ, the rest may God enlighten your spirits to see that who is glorifying Christ and denying Satan can't be from the devil. Read your bible again. Be blessed in Christ alone and not in the church practice.Endrit

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Anonymous and Endrit,

    Thank you both for your comments and for visiting. Since the comment section for this post is already quite long, I’ll address both of your comments at once. While I admit that this particular video is “tame” compared to much of the shenanigans that happen at IHOP, I still perceive it to be a dangerous example of biblical baptism. And let me also say that there are many non-cessationists who I would most certainly consider my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is this over-the-top charismatic movement that relies solely on false experience and “manifestations” while completely ignoring the sufficiency of Scripture that concerns me.

    Endrit, you say that there are many instances of shaking in the Bible. Those that come to my mind were the times that Jesus was confronted with demon-possessed individuals (Mark 9:14-29, for example). Isn’t it interesting, too, that in so many encounters the demons knew exactly who Jesus was, calling Him the Son of God? Just an observation. In contrast, I see no instance of such chaos occurring within the church. The miracles and “signs” that did occur in the days of the early church were for the purposes of confirming the apostles and the truth that they were teaching, because at that time the canon was still being composed. Even still, there was never an instance of gibberish, uncontrollable shaking, “holy laughter,” being “slain in the spirit,” or any of the other nonsense or “manifestations” that we see in places such as IHOP. And now that we have the Bible, the very Word of God, to open before us, we have no need for further revelation through experiences and “signs.”

    You both warned against speaking against something which I know nothing about. Well, thankfully, I can praise God that I do not have any direct experience with these types of “church” services. No, I have not personally witnessed these abominations which are erroneously being attributed to the Holy Spirit. God’s power and God’s Spirit move when His Gospel is proclaimed. When repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is declared boldly and unashamedly, that is when people get saved, not when a man “imparts healing” on a crowd who is so emotionally worked up and brainwashed that they will respond to any order he gives.

    Endrit, you also told me to “Read your Bible again.” Gladly. Perhaps I’ll open to 1 Corinthians 14 where Paul speaks against this type of chaos and the misuse and abuse of spiritual gifts. I love to read my Bible. And that is why I choose to warn against these false teachers and practices, because they are not in accordance with God's Word.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous and Endrit:
    I HAVE personally witnesses such nonsensical behavior in three different churches I attended, and I have watched videos of services where this stuff took place. The blaspheming of the Holy SPirit is by those who claim shaking, slain in the spirit, barking, gibberish, etc are from the Holy Spirit.

    Read your Bible again and tell me where it reports such behavior as being a part of a Christian worship service.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh this is so very disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can tell by the level of ignorance in many of these posts that some of you have never experienced the Holy Spirit. There is nothing blasphemous going on there but some of these comments are in danger of this very thing you accuse them of. I have been to IHOP and know some of these people. Many are real, some are learning and some are in the flesh just like those who dwell in dead churches. IHOP'ers spend more time in the presence of God then much of the church, are well versed in Scripture and actually pray as opposed to merely being one who says he prays but really does not. I have spent weeks in prayer myself and can say in all honesty much. Let me ask you, have you ever been caught up to the throne room? I have. Have you ever been transported by the Spirit from one physical locale to another? I have, twice. Have you ever prayed for people and seen actual miracles take place right then and there? I have. All that said to say this. I consider these type of events to be a part of normal Christianity and it seems some of you thinks its of the devil. I have shaken and laughed often. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Its real wake up. Love ya, josephearl

    ReplyDelete
  23. Joseph,

    Never in Scripture does the Holy Spirit cause people to shake, break into uncontrollable laughter, or roll around on the floor without control. When Paul was caught up to the third heaven, he was humbled to the point that he did not speak about it, and his experience was, in fact, a unique experience that was not repeated for others. These events are not a "part of normal Christianity," but are rather deceptive doctrines meant to grip one by his emotions rather than allowing the objective truth of Scripture change and transform a person. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, which is precisely why many of us find these occurrences to be so disturbing. This is not what the early church looked like, and it is not what the true Church looks like today. You may indeed be experiencing these visions, yet I fear that they are not from the Holy Spirit, but from another deceiving spirit. I pray that you will open God's Word and seek Him there, resting in the sure truth that He has so graciously given us in the Bible rather than resting upon an emotional, ecstatic experience.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It seems your idea of the true church is what God calls dead. Being physically transported from one place to another is not a vision its an event. Seeing people physically healed right in front of you as you pray is not emotionalism nor is it a vision. It is normal Christianity. Jesus was specific when he said go and heal the sick, raise the dead, freely you have recieved freely give. Most churches/pastors just want money and an audience to appease their lust for the approval of men. They heal no one because they believe not the Scripture. Jesus warned us to beware of the leaven so many of you freely partake of and then try and infect the rest of the church with, it is filled with unbelief and witchcraft. I 'll take my Jesus you can have yours. Mine is the one who honors those who honor His word. I don't know who your Jesus is...
    love ya, JE

    ReplyDelete
  25. Joseph you need to keep matthew 10:8 in context of The chapter, who was jesus talking to?

    Your post does not deal what Eb said, And yes we seem to not have the same Jesus because Mine Jesus does not make people laugh uncontrollable, or make people roll on the floor, or shake uncontrollable etc...

    As for healing, I guess you never heard the placebo effect, look it up, many people fall into this category, They want healing and they believe it, if anyone says to them they are healed.

    ReplyDelete

Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.