“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:20-21
To the leadership, my friends, and other members of the church I left, as well as those of all other churches that hold to NAR teachings while receiving and deceiving millions.
I know how much you love your ‘testimonies’, so I have a really good one for you. A testimony about how the good and faithful God I love and serve opened my eyes and removed me from the clutches of the deception, lack of discernment, and false teachings of a movement that has invaded the worldwide church on a massive scale, and which you are a part of.
It has been about four years since I left your church. When I decided it was time to walk away, I was a mess. I just wanted to forget what had happened and move on. But in the time that has passed since then, I have gained courage of conviction. I have recently re-read the email correspondence that had passed between us, and I realized that I still stand by everything I said back then. And I firmly believe, now more than ever, that what you are a part of is dangerous, deceptive, and not biblical at all, despite your claims of living ‘authentic New Testament Christianity’.
Yes, let’s talk about that. About how you use this term to discredit churches that hold to certain ‘traditions’ or ‘structures’ that you think is beneath you. How you use this term to place yourselves up on a pedestal and look down on those whom you regard as ‘lukewarm’ because they sing age old songs – just like we all believe the words of an age old book – and worship in an orderly way like the Bible instructs. I’m sorry, but I fail to see how you are adhering to ‘authentic New Testament practices’ when you’re in hysterics, shaking on the floor to the very contemporary music of Hillsong and Bethel, surrounded by all your technological advances, big screens, and coffee bars, and all the other comforts of modern convenience that you manage to accumulate around you. Although it sure is a whole lot of fun and I have to admit, you had me fooled there for a while. I was really starting to climb up that ladder to sit there with you because I’m sure the view is amazing. But thankfully I could never quite manage to get there, and these days I actually find it rather insulting that anyone can claim to be living ‘authentic Christianity’ just because they belong to a certain kind of church.
My view is this: I am a God fearing Christian who seeks to understand, uphold, and live according to the teachings, instructions, and warnings of ALL scripture, although I mostly fall short and need to repent. I have no idea how the Apostles in the book of Acts truly lived, apart from that which is made absolutely clear in scripture. And seeking after a truly authentic apostolic life and experience would be completely unattainable, because I currently live in 2017.
One of your elders’ wives once told me that you were ‘Charismatic’, but when I later called you this, you strongly denied it. You said you were a ‘New Testament’ or ‘Apostolic Household’ church. There seemed to be confusion even among yourselves about what you actually are. But yes, you were right. I see these days they call it the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’. And before you tell me what a good thing that is, just go and do a little bit of research. And by research, I do not mean go ask your leaders and overseers, because clearly they don’t have a clue what they are a part of either. Unless they do, in which case they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
In order to refresh your memory, and for the sake of others reading this, let me recall some events that led to my departure. My skepticism only really started with the ‘gold dust’ incident. Walking into church with a friend one day, two women came up to us to chat. One of them was the wife of one of your pastors/elders, and she very excitedly and animatedly told us how the ‘spirit had been moving’ in a certain meeting, because the people had seen ‘gold dust’ on their hands. This was the moment I really thought ‘Huh? But where is that in the Bible?’ And later I wrote to you and asked you this question, and asked you what it meant. You admitted that no such thing was written about in the Word of God, but that some people believed this ‘gold dust’ was a physical sign of the presence of God or the Spirit. And then you admitted that, biblically, it might actually rather even refer to a sign of condemnation because of the golden calf that Moses ground to powder and made the Israelites drink, and that we actually should not seek after signs. Which is all good and biblical, but yet you displayed a complete lack of concern over the fact that people in your church, even those close to leadership, openly believes and spreads such things, and the issue was dismissed.
From this point on my skepticism only grew and I started to notice all the little things that does not line up with scripture. But the problem is that they are actually not little at all. They only seem that way because they are hidden by just enough of a deceptive veneer to make them seem little. They are actually monstrous icebergs in a whole ocean of deceit. For instance, it is easy to dismiss the ‘manifestations of the spirit’ thing when someone is interpreting a verse of scripture about ‘being filled with the spirit’ or ‘being drunk in the spirit’, while you are sitting under the cloud of false teaching. But when you realize that these kinds of ‘manifestations’ are actually completely absent in scripture, and had been completely absent in the church until only a couple of years ago, that is when you sit up and take notice. And then when you realize that during all that time it had actually been present in the occult and Eastern mystic religions, that is when you start opening up a whole can of worms. That is when you get up and walk out of a meeting before the end, leaving behind some dear friends who are violently convulsing on the floor, and shaking in fits of ‘holy laughter’. That is when you walk out of a large WOF centre from a Jesus Culture ‘revival’ concert, feeling like you had just walked out of the depths of hell, and all the while absolutely hating yourself for having such feelings and for questioning ‘the work that God is doing through the moving of His spirit’. And you’re asking yourself ‘Is this really the God that I know?’, but still you are convinced that the problem lies with you because you are ‘not open to the spirit’, because that is what you’re being told over, and over, and over again. And then you get pushed, and pushed, and pushed to get baptized so that you can also ‘receive the spirit’, and you’re left scratching your head because you had thought that because you were already a believer, you had already received the Holy Spirit, but the word ‘obedience’ gets thrown at you over, and over, and over again. And this is when you start to see the indoctrination above the doctrine.
After all this I was so confused and felt that I just could not be a part of it anymore, and I wrote to tell you that. You were reluctant to see me go and encouraged me to share my concerns and said that you would be willing to change things if someone showed you that they were not scriptural. That was encouraging to me, and I wrote down all of my concerns in an email to you. And there were many – practically all of the teachings and practices that makes up the NAR was present in your church to some extent or other, as well as many equally dangerous Word of Faith teachings. You then requested that we meet to discuss all of it, to which I agreed. At the meeting you denied half of my concerns, even saying that you did not know of anyone in your church who believed the ‘gold dust’ thing. Really? And the rest you justified with your interpretations of scripture. But when I mentioned that to you, you told me that talking about interpretations was “treading dangerous ground”. And that was basically where we left it, with the intent to meet again to discuss things further. However, during the entire meeting, you kept going back to asking me if the reason I was questioning things was because someone in the church had hurt me. I denied that because it was honestly, 100 percent, from the bottom of my heart, not the reason. But you had set a very clever trap, which I stepped right into, and realized it too late.
Afterwards I wrote to you again and told you about an incident where my feelings had in fact been hurt. And yes, maybe that was an issue that needed to be dealt with, but it was not THE issue. I only told you because I thought it would help you to see what THE issue was. I only told you to make you see how a person telling me that they “firmly believe depression comes from the devil” might be a damaging and destructive thing to say to someone, because you promote something called ‘spiritual warfare’. But then you made it all about my hurt and the offence you thought I had taken to that statement, which you said needed to be dealt with first, before you could answer any more of my questions. But I see that was just your way of getting out. And I don’t deny that it was something that needed to be dealt with, and I would have been more than willing to have you walk that road with me, but all I was asking for were your answers before your therapy. All I needed was for you to show me why you think that what you believe, preach, and practice, is biblical. I just needed to know that we do serve the same God, and follow the same Jesus, and have the same Spirit, before I could accept your particular brand of hope and healing. That is not being divisive or avoiding the issue. That is called discernment. That is testing the spirits. But you were unwilling and/or unable to provide me with any substantial answers. Instead you preyed on my hurt and my weakness, and used it to set your trap, so that you could be the ones who avoided the issue. This leads me to believe that, despite the deceptive façade, you actually have no idea who you are or what you believe, and you are carried about by every wind of doctrine. If this was not so, you would have had no problem answering all the questions I had first, despite any other issues that might have been present.
So that is why, four years down the line, I still believe and have become absolutely convicted of the fact that Satan has already infiltrated the church and is deceiving even the elect. He is perhaps even already well on his way to setting himself up in the house of God, and proclaiming himself to be God, just like the Prophets and Apostles of old warned us about so long ago. But you do not want to listen to them. Instead you gather around you a great number of your own ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ to say what your itching ears want to hear.
Now I know that you will still believe that I am doing this from a place of hurt, and I probably won’t convince you otherwise. But I can assure you that is not the case. Yes, I was offended, and it did hurt to leave behind people who had become close friends, and I did get angry because you refused to properly deal with my questions and concerns. But I am doing this from a place of deep despair at what I have seen in a congregation that calls themselves a church of God. Despair at the way you are deceiving people, just like you are yourselves deceived. I am doing this because if I know these things and I do not speak up, if I do not warn others about this, then I also play a part in this deception, and in their destruction. And the last thing I ever want to be a part of is leading anyone astray. We are called to do the opposite, to lead people to the truth. To the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the crucifixion. To the truth of losing your life in order to gain it. To the truth of taking up your cross and facing persecution. A Jesus that just wants to make everyone happy all the time, is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. A Jesus that just wants to ‘bless’ you all the time, is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. A Jesus that only wants to heal all your aches and pains all the time, is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. It is a Jesus that has been manufactured by men who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
I can assure you that I am anything but a ‘lukewarm’ Christian. Do I believe in great healings and miracles even in this day and age? Absolutely! But I believe that God will heal and do miracles any way, at any time, and in any place of His choosing. I do NOT believe in a God who only uses certain churches, and certain revival movements, and the praying and laying on of hands from certain people to do His work and advance His Kingdom. That is a form of godliness, but denying its power. That is denying the sovereignty and power of God. Does God work through people, use people, and call people to do His work? Absolutely! But I do NOT believe in a God who ‘anoints’, ‘appoints’ and ‘activates’ people to ‘raise up armies’ and ‘awaken generations’ in order to conquer the world, because that is not scriptural. Jesus did NOT teach us to pray “Yes Lord, yes Lord, please activate us to raise up armies in your name, yes Lord.” No! He taught us to pray “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Again, you will not believe this, but I also do this from a place of love. I do not want you to be deceived. I do not want you to be caught up in this lie. I honestly believe that one day you are going to wake up, look around you, and say “What have we done?” I just pray that day will come sooner rather than later. I truly want you to have the abundance and fullness of life in Christ that comes with the truth of the Gospel. And that is NOT that He will give you everything your worldly little heart desires. But that He will give you joy and contentment through His spirit. No, not occult-like ‘manifestations’, not the ‘more Lord, more’ ‘experiences’ and ‘encounters’ that you so desperately seek under the influence of places like Bethel. But real, true joy, and a song in your heart, and all of it despite the hardships and afflictions that you will face because of Him. That is what I want for you, and for all believers, because I really do love you.
Your sister in Christ
P.S. This letter is about the personal experiences I had in a specific church, but it is not meant as an attack on any one individual or church. It is just the way I am choosing to tell my story, and for my own peace of mind to say some things that I did leave unsaid, and to finally close the chapter. I also write it as a testimony, and as a warning to anyone involved in the overall Charismatic/ NAR / WOF movements. It does not require, and was not written to elicit, a response from anyone, although you are welcome to respond if you want.
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