I’ve been attending a small country church these last couple months where the people are friendly and the messages were uplifting. I got to know the pastor and his family intimately by spending time with them in their home and even helping out with the kids.
During these last few months, I would pick up on certain things the pastor said that didn’t sit well with me, but I ignored them due to my fondness for him. I was quick to defend him and give him the benefit of the doubt when my husband raised a concern about the ‘teachers’ he was listening to. I figured he watched Mike Murdoch as research as to what not to do. Then I asked him what he thought of Benny Hinn and Paula White he had nothing but nice things to say about them. When he spoke of everyone having ‘power within them to manifest the Holy Spirit’ and that it was ‘his job to bring out that power in everyone’, I let that slide too. The majority of his sermons were focused on the power of healing and how he had that power, and gave examples of how he just knew about people’s ailments – I let that go too. I let a lot of things go all because of my personal feelings for him as a pastor but tonight, I got a wake-up call.
He had a guest pastor speak tonight and the entire 45 minutes were filled with error. I mean one thing after another – I couldn’t keep track. Here’s a brief list….
He lead a tent ‘revival’ the other day and the Holy Spirit was there because everyone was screaming and jumping for joy, everyone felt filled with the Spirit because of this joy. It was a party with 600 people jumping out of their skin with joy. True revival isn’t about emotionalism or increased church attendance (something else he talked about).
True revival is God-centered! It is realizing the great gulf between our sin and God’s holiness. Isaiah 6:5 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
True revival is Godly sorrow for sin and repentance. Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessings, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
1 Th 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;…
He talked about ‘declaring’ whatever you want from God. He talked about the power of your words. (word of faith)
He said that you might not receive God’s “anointing” if you sit in the back of the church. But if you sit near the alter, God is always there. Plus it’s easier for him to impart the anointing because he can reach you better.
He said the “name-it and claim-it”, “blab-it and grab-it” people is something we need to emulate.
He gave praises to a pastor who was leading a revival in Florida with “fresh fire.” He didn’t give his name but it was obvious he was speaking of Todd Bentley.
He said Jesus died so that we can be physically healed. No, He died to prepare a way for us to be free of the bondage of sin through Jesus’ blood.
He gave a warning that if you are ever in a church and the pastor makes you feel bad about yourself, or what you do, that it’s from Satan. Conversely, if ALL of the messages are designed to uplift, encourage, and make you feel better about yourself, that it’s of God.
These are only a few examples but there were many more. During this entire time, my pastor was nodding his head in agreement with everything he said. Although my pastor was never quite this vocal about his beliefs, it was clear that he was in 100% agreement with him.
So later, he asked those to come forward who needed healing. Two people went up. He told them to repeat after him and proceeded to pray to Satan to bind him and the two ladies repeated what he said. He was also ‘declaring’ that God heal them and again, they repeated it. I remembered the last time he was there – he went to everyone individually and prayed for them at the end of the service and I didn’t want him to approach me, and ask me to repeat after him, and pray to Satan, and make demands on God so…..I quietly got up and walked out.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t angry. I was, and am, very sad about this because I know that I cannot attend a church that is so steeped in error. I’m sad because I feel like a friendship is lost.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
I saw the ‘red flags’ but I ignored them because I went by MY feelings. I see this now.
I kept thinking of this verse: Rev 18:4..Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, ..
While this is in the context of Babylon falling in the end days, I think it has a broader application in coming out of churches who teach the sin of heresies. We are to flee all manner sin and I think this situation applies.
I learned a valuable lesson tonight and that is not to be biased in anyone’s favor if they go against the Word of God. I learned that I am susceptible to following my own feelings and emotions. Although I’m saddened by these events, I am eternally grateful that the Lord has opened my eyes tonight. Praise Jesus!!!