A Valid Question-Was it Ever Genuine?…Charismatic Post Mortem

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?(Galatians 3:1-3)

In my years as a Christian and as a Pastor in particular, I have found that it is one thing to get caught up in aberrant and heretical forms of Christianity, and another thing to come out of them spiritually intact.

I have met many people who had at one time participated in the Word Faith excess, or in hyper forms of “Deliverance”(remember “Pigs in the Parlor”?), or perhaps had deeply drank of the so called “Toronto Blessing”or Pensacola hype artistry. They have come out of it, but not necessarily intact. I know folks who now feel foolish for giving their money to prosperity preachers, or making fools of themselves in one of those “River” meetings.

These people are no longer in the error, but neither do they have a wholesome and expectant faith in Jesus Christ anymore. Some of them have become engulfed in the discernment movement, to the point where that is all there is to their faith. Others are bitter or cynical about what they went through and cannot resume a satisfying Christian discipleship.

I know many who are now hypercritical, and emphasize only what they don’t believe.Some reacted to the shallow teaching, by going into extreme Calvinism, even denying that Jesus died for everyone.

False prophets, prophecies and teachings are very destructive.These heretics and the false Shepherds who welcomed them into their churches really do damage to God’s flock! This is no light thing, and God will call us all into account over these issues.Especially Pastors, who should have guarded the flock, but too often instead they sold it out for gain of some kind.

I believe that one of the major issues that those of us who are refugees from crazy and defective forms of Christianity must face, is repentance.

It is not enough to realize you have been deceived by a Hagin, or a Hinn or an Arnott, and subsequently we despise their movement now. We who were deeply involved in those things must undergo a “Re-think”, which is part of what repentance really means. We must ask ourselves, “What was it in me that attracted me to these unbiblical extremes?”. Why did I follow teachers who taught that we are all “little gods”? Why did we want to be “the power people”, elite Christians, better and deeper than “normal Christians”?

Only by facing up to the larceny in our own hearts, that part of us which resonated with those false apostles, prophets and teachers, can we then be healed and move on in our sincere love for Jesus and belief in His Word.

Jeremiah lamented that in his days, “The prophets prophesied falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means…”, but worst of all, “…my people love to have it so! And what will you do in the end?”

Here we are at the end which Jeremiah spoke of.

The end is where those who have ravaged the church have left us. In a time where a clear minded sober and united church is needed to stand for truth and righteousness, Lou Engle and other charismatics are trying to jump start the Azusa street revival of 1906, and in the process they are prostrating themselves before Agents of the corrupt Roman Catholic church!

I couldn’t have visualized anything more pathetic when pondering the church in the last days!

One astute reader gently pointed out to me that though I  didn’t want to debate whether the Charismatic movement was of God or not, (I didn’t) she thinks I have opened it up anyway. Perhaps.

In view of all of the corruption and evil fruits that have been done on the name of the Charismatic and Pentecostal movement; false and sensual revivals, blatantly false prophets fleecing the sheep, sensual music, experienced based religion, irreverence, shallow preaching and a false “love only gospel”…etc, you all could fill in the empty slots as far as all that is lamentable which seemingly has “come out” of the movement.

I think this part of the discussion is germane to those who must “re-think” their involvement, for only reality can truly help us…the “Truth can set us free”.

I have a very simple answer to the question , “Was the charismatic movement ever of God or not?”. My first response is – what about the parable of the sower? Four seeds were sown, on all kinds of hearts. The seed was good and true, but alas the hearts were either too hard, or distracted, or deceived and finally prone to wander.

Jesus warned us that it would be like this!

It is a temptation to just deny everything we once knew as false, so we don’t have to do the work of true and deep repentance, and the further work of taking the time to seek God and His Word for discernment to separate the “precious from the vile”.

I have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit was sovereignly awakening millions of people to the reality of God and of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.He visited a secularized, commercialized, jaded  western world, and really touched many people who had drifted far  from the God of their ancestors, and ignited the flames of love, prayer, spiritual hunger, evangelism, and longing for unity.

There is no axe to grind or denominational loyalty to defend, and certainly I can admit wrong in my life, but I refuse to discount the reality I have known.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, and I know that we need His reality in our day as never before. I believe we should all seek a full measure of the Spirit and we should long for our churches to be spiritual. Cessationism is as unbiblical as charismania!

I have no doubt that Satan has raised up the Copelands, Hagins, Oral Roberts  and Benny Hinns, to discredit the idea that the Holy Spirit is vital and alive in all churches where people seek to be filled with the Spirit.

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23 Responses to A Valid Question-Was it Ever Genuine?…Charismatic Post Mortem

  1. ali says:

    I so appreciate your godly wisdom. Would appreciate your visiting z3news.com and sharing your thoughts. LORD bless. aw


  2. Sheila Doult says:

    Thank you for your letter Charisamatic Post Mortem. It is refreshing to find insight in this day on Spiritual matters and I agree with you. It is imperitive to be separated from these wolves. Jesus him self sent the Holy Spirit to his church. Have you received since you believed. I believe the Born again event regeneration and then the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are two separated events some Pastors don’t mention the baptism anymore, or ever did knowing what a mess has been done by such people as Tod Bentley and Rodney Howard Brown. However Satan will try to destroy what God has done, the true and the false. A lot of damage has been done to erode ones faith. Only The TRUTH stand. Blessings.

    • John chapling says:

      It is a blessing to us if God gives us the discernment to see these things clearly. From the beginning there have been a few, like Stanley Jebb of Dunstable UK, (and Bill R of course!), who always knew there was something wrong (or terribly wrong even), and I give everlasting thanks to God for giving me a strong foundation in Him to avoid being dragged down. The time has now come when discernment is so important, to avoid the further entanglement with anti-Christian teaching, because the same evil being who devised the worst excesses of the Charismatic Movement is still at work in the world, and much more so as he sees his time coming to an end. Bill drew our attention to the fact that we have now come to “the end” — ‘What will they do in the end” ??? We shed tears for the Laodicean apathy we now have in a world where people (think they) know better than God.

  3. Jim says:

    While I was in college in Oklahoma in the early 60s, I heard what Oral Roberts, who was then attending Oklahoma Baptist University, announced in a classroom building hallway to some of the OBU preacher boys that “You fellas can preach for peanuts if you want to, but I’m not going to do it.” I didn’t know what to make of it. There was no one I knew who could verify it, so I simply filed it away in my mind, but I wondered about it. But then, a few years later, the the pastor who married my wife and me told me that he was in the hallway when Roberts made that statement. So, watching Robert’s shenanigans and preposterous behavior as a false over the years made him a target to watch, in my mind. The guy has done so much damage. And watching the videos of him going into giggles during the Toronto Blessing idiocy made he even question whether or not he was even a Christian. (Watching all of those guys you mention in your posting has raised the same question about all of them.) Frankly, the conclusion I have come to is, I don’t think so. If I’m wrong, then I will eventually be evaluated by the Savior. If I’m right, and they never came or will come to Christ, then I will be among the Redeemed who will witness them standing before the Lord Jesus Christ at the White Throne Judgment. It is, and will be, a tragic thing because so many followed these guys and gals.

  4. Gina Nestor says:

    Dear Pastor Bill. Thank you for the timely word. For a short time, I was once caught up in the word/faith movement, but thank God for Dave Hunt and his book, The Seduction of Christianity, that led me back to the narrow way of the gospel of repentance. I could never accept the word/faith doctrine that Jesus died spiritually and had to go to hell to be tortured by demons, then be born-again in hell. Hagin, Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Hinn and all the rest of those false prophets teach that damnable heresy. I remember Dr. Walter Martin saying if you are wrong on the doctrine of God, you are wrong enough to lose your soul for all eternity. These false teachers have another Jesus and another gospel. I am afraid that many of them will fulfill Jesus’s word, when He said that many will come to Him in that day and way, Lord, did we not do many good works in your name, did we not prophecy, did we not cast out demons? And He will say, Depart from me, I NEVER knew you. How very, very sad. I weep for what has happened to the church in these last days. In saying all of that, I attest that I believe in the gifts of the Spirit. I am what one could term a moderate Pentecostal. Sadly, most of what we see today, though, is the counterfeit.

  5. Chrisaund says:

    You are right Pastor Bill, many good things came out of the Charismatic movement, it was of God I’m sure, It brought me out of a Godless background, (no religion in my family at all ever) into the glorious Kingdom of God in one moment in time I was wonderfully born again and filled with the Spirit of the Living God, all through the witness of a good man who afterwards took me to the Methodist Central Hall Manchester to the meetings of the Charismatic Fellowship, it was like Heaven on earth, and I remember it vividly, over 500 people singing in a Heavenly language of worship, I’m so glad that it happened, but you are also right about the cynicism that can in dwell in one after watching the Shepherding movement come to the Elim church that I attended afterwards, (I left it). When I hear about a “revival” now I check it out right away and most times it’s just the same old deceiving spirit come in a different way. The times we are living in now are the worst ever for the Devil’s deceit, and the great deception is here to stay looks like. If we really are in the end times then Maranatha, come Lord Jesus. Chris Saunders.

  6. Elizabeth Walker says:

    Dear Pastor Bill, Just a small postscript as you have just referred very kindly to my previous comment on your earlier post. I do take what you have said in your latest comment here, and particularly about the essential need for deep personal repentance when one has been caught up in wrong things. Perhaps I should have added previously that I am not a cessationist nor an extreme Calvinist (as you mention those things in your post) and very much believe in the work of the Holy Spirit.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Elizabeth, I actually didn’t think that about you, I just thought your question was valid and could add to the discussion, I hope you don’t mind that. Thanks for your input and Christlike manner of response.

  7. Darryl says:

    Balanced overview as always Bill.

  8. gillian Rodrigues says:

    Bill this is great ! Let’s get read of the old leaven hallelujah x

  9. Rebecca says:

    What strange days are these for so many of us who were born again in the Charistamtic/ Pentecostal churches. Our salvation true and joyfully received we hungrily accepted and digested the milk from the pulpits. I had studied the Bible for an honorary degree in Theology the Bible stories always so loved but I did not know the Word until I was born again aged 45 years after a lifetime in a dried up church finally brought into the Light by the leading of the Holy Spirit, not by any church.
    I felt compelled to go to Lakeland, why I don’t know even now, except to say I still believe God sent me there, ‘Go ‘He said ‘be brave and courageous and I will be with you.’
    I did not want to go, but I went on my own travelling from the UK and driving a hire car in Florida, I was so afraid but the Lord had said Go.
    I was amazed at the passion in the worship, I didn’t think much of Bentley, he was not why I went.
    In a line of prayer Bentley ‘prayed’ over me, two words ‘Yorkshire pudding’ foolish and irreverent. I refused to give any offering and I saw Bentley catch my eye in disapproval as the bucket went around. I heard Patricia King for the first time, strange, way out teaching that did not sit well with me
    However a few days later when I was due to catch the plane home I went to one last meeting those who were in ministry waited for individual prayer. Prayer had already been offered up to the Lord that He would keep us from any false spirit or false experience and give us only what was True and wholesome. As the prayer team came around the room I felt the palpable heaviness of Gods presence. As hands were laid on me my legs weakened and I fell to the ground while lying under the Lords presence He did not show me power or special anointing or that I was to be a ‘mighty woman of God’ No He showed me that I would suffer for the Gospels sake and that I would be His hands and feet,He showed me the Crucified Life.
    After some time I walked back to my car unable to walk upright my legs still crouched and bent.
    I knew much fruit on my return and ministered to some 300 people in prison and other places.
    I knew in my spirit that the course on Supernatural ministries was either of God or the devil and have subsequently come to see it was of the latter.
    God has called me right out of Charismatic extremes.
    But I still believe He Showed me that the Truth does indeed run alongside error.
    Yours in Christ Jesus

  10. Suzanne S says:

    Pastor Bill,
    A quick question: you referred to the Discernment Mkvement, what exactly is that. Just curious.
    I am very thankful for your postings.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Suzanne- The Discernment Movement an informal development, which is a very valid reaction to the rampant heresy and apostasy which has engulfed the Christian church over the years. Books have been written, exposes done and many have been helped by leaders such as Dave Hunt, Jewel Grew Carol Matriciana, roger Oakland and countless others to lesser or greater degrees. My only caution is that one cannot live on discernment conferences, or constant diet of valid criticism of heresy.Hope this helps-

      • Suzanne S says:

        Oh….. Very good! Any one of us can fall into that. We need to discern the times but not lose our joy as things are happening around us. We had a discussion about that with our 15 year old son. He loves the Lord, but if we were to constantly be looking for heresy we wouldn’t be enjoying our family 🙂

  11. midrashcreed says:

    Truly Bill we are part of a lost generation that’s perishing in a wilderness of its own making. Your writing in this series is the best yet and if it was in book form I’d take a crowbar to my wallet and purchase it. You really have been where I and many others have been. In December 1998 .I and a friend (whom I’d been engaged with in a bible teaching ministry with) renounced all Charismatic Pentecostal influences. The result was three to four years detoxifying in the wilderness before the Lord called my to confront another series of errors involving a certain now retired Anglican prelate.Now in 2016 I look back on this decision and regard it as one of the best taken in my life. Through reading the dictionary of Charismatic Pentecostal Movements we’d come to the conclusion that the original Azusa Street revival represented nothing more than am importation of Gnosto-Animism in the church. All that followed was a case of ‘a bad root producing bad fruit.’

    However, I didn’t fall into the opposite error of Cessationism. I still believe in and practice spiritual gifts for biblical reasons. Like you it was Hunt’s ‘The Seduction of Christianity’ that first prompted me to ask questions. Briefly, Evangelical Christianity is in a mess because on the one side you have the Pentecostals who’ve added to scripture and on the other the Calvinists who’ve taken away from it, (Revelation 22:19-19). Now many Evangelical Churches are being swept -up in what I call ‘the Multi-Sexual Revolution.’ I predict that within the next ten to fifteen years Same Sex marriages will become the norm in most American and British Evangelical Churches.No longer will it be a matter confined to the usual ‘liberal’ suspects.

    I fully concur with your comments about Discernment Ministries. They were a great help to my wife and I for a time, but now we’ve been led down a more proactive direction. Much of the material is well researched but I would caution against the more fringe Conspiracy Theory Element. A relative of my wife is having his mind destroyed by such nonsense. He’s been so obsessed with chasing the real or imagined works of the devil that he’s lost sight of both the Gospel and commonsense. Even when they contain some elements of truth, Conspiracy Theory can be a real Satanic distraction – one that is designed to make the whole idea of a New World Order and the anti-Christ look ridiculous.

    The only feasible response we have now is to strike back with the only weapon we have left ‘the gospel.’ However effectiveness in this area is conditional on seeking divine wisdom concerning the people we are called to reach out to and the strategy we must follow, (James 1:5). We must get the ‘who’s’ and ‘hows’ resolved first before embarking on witnessing to any particular people group the Lord may call us to. I did this just over two years ago and the results have been phenomenal. There has been a major renewal in my relationship with Jesus and my marriage. For that I am thankful..God can still work in these dark times, but His Spirit may take us in some very surprising directions.

  12. Rita Lindhag says:

    Awesome article Pastor Bill. I didn’t get into Copeland, Hagen or any of the so called “big gubs”n but there was a local guy named Jim Sky, a Native American. I thiught i had to feel and experience every thing allthe others were feeling, or appeared to be feeling. if I didn’t get the “touch” like they had, I felt lower than them and useless. I wanted what they had. So, that’s coveting. A sin according to God’s Word. My mind was not stayed on Him and I had no peace. (Isaiah 26:3). I had many doubts about God since I wasn’t being touched. Another sin; unbelief. I knew I was saved but they said “if you don’t get on board, the ship will leave without you”. I wasn’t reading God’s Word. Had I been, I would know that was not true. God’s Word says when I put my trust in Him, repent, and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive me and I was His child. He would not leave me. I was the one who turned my back and worshipped the words of men. So many sins and yet while I was in that movement, I really wanted God and thought I had to have Him through this teaching; Word Faith. Very much in bondage. i have repented for my part in this. I feel so free and at peace now, that God brought me out of Assembly of God. I know who I am, I know who I trust, and
    I know how lost I was, and how found I am. Praising God for that.

  13. DMarie says:

    As the Lord always has His perfect timing – a group of us were JUST discussing this whole topic last night! We were reading in Revelation, the letter to Ephesus, where they were being rebuked for ‘leaving their first love’. Personally, I can confess that I have experienced both sides of this spectrum (which has been discussed above in various posts). First, I was delivered out of ‘dead religion’ as I became born-again and full of God’s Holy Spirit. In my zeal and excitement, I was drawn (by my flesh) into wanting to be a part of something “BIG” for God. I was led astray into hyper-charismatic and seeker sensitive disobedience. When the Lord spoke into my heart CLEARLY, I was again delivered. This time, I came out of the false teachings and fad “movements” of ‘God’ – but then, in my shock and pain, was temporarily OVERLY consumed by the discernment teachings. Once again, Our Faithful Shepherd spoke to me (through that verse in Revelation), and I knew I needed to once again repent, and turn back to my FIRST LOVE, Jesus. I had to do just what you mentioned, Bill, examine my heart to see first, WHY I had fallen for the (false) ‘big moves of ‘God'”, and then WHY I was being overly consumed in what had gone WRONG within christianity. Having been within both sides of those extremes – I know that in my human weakness I chose to ‘overcorrect’ the errors that I had been previously a part of. It is only by the Grace of God which can bring us forward, teaching us to CONTINUALLY examine our hearts along the way. There IS validity of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus went to heaven to send to His Body! Those GIFTS from Him ARE for today, and SO NEEDED! (But, yet, our enemy causes them to be misrepresented and abused – as people leave their FIRST Love to ‘follow’ the (false) ‘moves’) AS WELL, the gift of DISCERNMENT is needed now more than ever! But, also, our enemy can take us in an unhealthy and crippling direction if we choose to leave our FIRST Love in order to put all of our attention onto what has gone WRONG. As we travel further and further down this NARROW ROAD that leads to LIFE, by the grace of God, our over-corrections will become smaller and smaller as we go along and mature (being conformed to Jesus’ image). As we learn from our Master, and choose to obey by loving TRUTH, His character becomes increasingly revealed to us – and by choosing to REMAIN in HIM and HIS goodness (Romans 11:22) – and forsaking any WRONG way, we are safe and will enter the Promised Land, where all things will be clearly known 🙂 May that Great Day be soon! amen

  14. What a world of information this post has provided! As I read many of the comments it described what I have witnessed these past 15 or more years in my own life. I am a pentecostal Christian with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the age of twelve years old. My heart was from that point on and still is to Follow JESUS. So much going on among others and things being taught that I have come to realize that “Work our your own salvation with fear and trembling” is the best advise anyone can receive. 🙂 Good READING and awesome essay by the minister.

  15. Onesimus says:

    Hi Bill, you said: “We must ask ourselves, “What was it in me that attracted me to these unbiblical extremes?”

    I was involved with WOF for a few years in the 80s and I’ve known all along why I got caught up in it.

    It had nothing to do with the prosperity side of things (I was always suspicious of that) or anything to do with teaching on being little gods – I couldn’t accept that either. It attracted me because for the first time faith became something real and concrete rather than a synonym for wishful thinking, or a kind of believing in something without evidence. I came to an understanding of something that the church had previously never adequately taught me.

    For the first time I understood that faith in God meant putting trust in what He has revealed of Himself and believing HIM rather than the perceived evidence of the senses or the intellect.
    The revelation of God’s word (scripture) outweighs everything else and THAT is what we ought to accept as truth no matter what other sources of “knowledge” might try to say.

    Of course – the problem with that idea is that so often our understanding of God’s word is faulty. We base so much of our understanding on isolated parts of scripture instead of considering the intended context of those parts. There is a problem because too many people know favoured parts of scripture far better than they know the God who is revealed through the WHOLE of scripture.

    And that is one of the problematical foundations of WOF practice – it is “proof-text” based. Sadly it took years for me to understanding that shortcoming. It took many years for me to realise that WOF uses the Bible as if it’s a book of spells or incantations; treating individual verses as if their words have power in and of themselves.

    Ironically, while I gained my first real understanding of faith as the result of WOF teaching, that understanding was far different to what WOF taught (even though it took a long time to realise it). Faith is not a force to be utilised to create our own reality. It is a RELATIONSHIP of complete trust with The Creator. who through the WHOLE of scripture has revealed Himself, His character, His purposes and His ways. And He has given us that revelation through real-life examples of His ongoing interaction with mankind throughout the ages.

  16. Stephanie Hinojosa says:

    Thank you Pastor!
    I know what it was about me that attracted me to that error. It was the boastful pride of life. Spiritual pride. I wanted to be like Paul or John and do big stuff and have people think I was super spiritual and better than everyone else and closer to God than everyone else. The Lord brought me to repentance and showed me my sinfulness, washed me, forgave me and gently correcting me. Now I’m learning He wants me to love Him.

    Thanks for all your posts and sermons. They are so helpful in these last days.

  17. Jennie Stimson says:

    Thank you Bill, I always love what you write but this I have to respond to, it’s well said. Go Pastor Bill!!


  18. mywordlikefire says:

    Reblogged this on My Word Like Fire.

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