Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Powerful Testimony of Micheal Furchert

A message to the American Church at a time like this. Christian speaker and musician Michael Furchert - a former East German - gives a glance into the deceptions of Nazi Germany and while the Christian Church as a whole failed to take a stand and draws startling parallels to the Church in America. Rather than battling to get the Church back into power, we need to get the Power back into the Church.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Great Quotes!!!

These are quotes by Micheal Furchert, a Christian inspirational speaker:

Dollar Bill Can't Save Us   
      " It is not by Christian traditions and heritage that we are saved, not by "In God we trust" on the dollar bill, nor by religious reference of our politicians, not by a social culture of Christianity or a gospel of prosperity and self-fulfillment. It is by our choice to accept Salvation through Jesus Christ, turn from sin to repentance, from darkness to light, break with compromise and complacency and make him Lord of our lives. " 

"A Nation Under God" ?
" This country calls itself a "Christian nation under God", yet it is leading on the world market of pornography and drug abuse while crime and violence are soaring high. The divorce rate is higher among the Christian community than among unbelievers. Teenage pregnancies are at an all time high and sexual immorality, idolatry and superstition is sweeping the nation, even the Christian Church. More people worship materialism, self-fulfillment and worldly desires than God who created heaven and earth and gave them life. Let me say, that this country is a mission field that needs to be re-evangelisted. "  

Evil In Disguise
" Evil doesn't come as obvious evil so it could be recognized. Evil comes disguised as good so it can deceive and mislead. It doesn't come as obvious darkness so it could be feared. It comes in the garment of light so it will be marveled at and adored. Evil always disguises its true nature so it can deceive and mislead many. " 

 Society of Outward Happiness
" We're so much focused on our own rights and liberties. But the Bible says "Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me!" In a society that is so much about finding personal happiness and self-fulfillment - a sentiment resonating throughout many Christian books and teachings theses days - it is important to remind ourselves again that Jesus as called us to die to self and live our lives to glorify Him! "  

Booming Christianity vs. Solid Faith

" Has all this unlimited freedom and liberty, this booming culture of Christianity, the Mega Churches and TV evangelists, the overfilled Christian stores, the motivational speakers and all this commercialized faith and entertainment industry really helped this nation to build a strong, solid faith in Jesus Christ, bring repantance and Salvation? Or has faith only become a popularity contest of Superstar Christianty - 2000 miles wide and one inch deep?! "
"Eternal Fire Insurance"

Many people turn to Jesus to quickly get saved for only reason that they do not have to go to hell. All they want is their Eternal Fire Insurance. "Here is my signature, thanks for saving me, see you in Heaven. Until then, please stay out of my way." But there is a difference between accepting Jesus as your Savior - and following him as Lord of your life.
"Prisioners of Freedom"

"There are no barriers to faith but those we allow to be there. Communism did not keep me from following Christ. Unlimited freedom, however, with all its opportunities, promises and distractions often becomes a barrier to the faith of many. Paradoxically, some have even become "prisoners of freedom", captives of their own wrong choices and life-styles, disillusioned and without direction, heart-broken, empty and lost."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Restoring Planet Earth

Jesus said to them
, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt. 19:28)

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new.” Then He said, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev. 21:5-6)
The end times judgments will be devastating in the extreme, and the Lord warned that if He didn’t bring them to a close at the appointed time, not a single soul would survive (Matt. 24:22). But for the sake of the elect, He will bring them to a close and when He does the restoration of Earth will begin.
I believe one of the ancillary functions of the end times judgments will be to begin the process of returning Earth to the condition it was in just after the creation.  It’s as if the Great Tribulation is the demolition phase of the restoration. This is hinted at by phrases like “every island fled away and the mountains could not be found” (Rev. 16:20) and“there was no longer any sea” (Rev. 21:1).  And speaking of the Lord’s current whereabouts,  Peter told the people, He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:21)
Comparing verses like these with the return of long life spans indicated in Isaiah 65:20, I think most of the present seas will either return to their underground origins or rise into the upper atmosphere to re-establish the water vapor canopy that once surrounded Earth (Gen. 1:6-7) and helped enable the long pre-flood lives.
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.
The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.  In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow (Isaiah 35:1-2, 7).
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.(Isaiah 41:18-20)
The mountains will be lowered, and the sea floor elevated.  Streams and rivers will flow through lands that have been parched for thousands of years. The great desserts will become verdant plains again.  The current tilt of the Earth’s axis causes extreme differences in the world’s weather and makes large areas uninhabitable. I believe this will be corrected at the time of the 2nd Coming. The axis will become upright again and the year shortened to its original 360 days. Earth will once again enjoy a world wide sub-tropical climate like it did before Adam lost it and the terrible effects of sin were loosed upon it. This is something the creation has been waiting for ever since.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21)
And this restoration won’t be limited to the Earth alone.  A massive spontaneous healing will correct all the imperfections of fallen mankind.  
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall (Malachi 4:2).The eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  The lame will leap like a deer and the mute tongue will shout for joy (Isaiah 35:7)
When the Lord returns in glory the wait will be over, and soon afterward the creation will once again resemble a lush garden. He will make her deserts like Eden, her waste lands like the garden of the Lord (Isaiah 51:3).
Some people are troubled by all this because they’re so in love with the creation as it currently appears. I remember reading about a person asking God to leave her behind at the rapture because she can’t imagine anything being more beautiful than this present Earth, not even Heaven.  People like this are limited in their thinking.  They’re basing the future on the past instead of on the promises of God.  They don’t stop to think that if the Earth is this beautiful while under a curse how much more so will it be when the curse is lifted and it’s restored to its original condition?
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:2-3).
Besides, people who think like this don’t realize that the Lord has spent the last 2,000 years “preparing a place for us” in His Father’s house. He’s not coming back to be with us here where we are, He’s coming back to take us there to be with Him where He is. The Church will no longer call Earth home but will dwell with Him in His Father’s house.  Do these folks really think that after the rapture, when we see all eternity spread out before us, we’ll be disappointed with our future and long to return to this fallen creation?
But our focus here is the restoration of Planet Earth, where Israel will once again be the most favored nation. One of the clues we get that the Kingdom Age on Earth features Israel and not the Gentile nations, or even the Church, is that almost all of its descriptive passages are in the Old Testament, and for the most part center around Israel.
From them we learn of the desert bursting into bloom (Isaiah 35:1-2), of the land being so fertile that before they can complete the harvest it will be time to begin planting again (Amos 9:13). Peace will flow like a river and the wealth of the nations like a flooding stream (Isaiah 66:12).  In Jerusalem men and women of ripe old age will sit in streets filled with playing children (Zechariah 8:4-5). And in the country side, “Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.” (Micah 4:4)
Peace will prevail in the animal kingdom as well. Predators and prey will live side by side, and their young will lie down together, all of them existing in perfect harmony with each other and with mankind again (Isaiah 11:6-8). This will be another reversal of a post-flood condition, when fear and dread of man fell upon all the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air (Gen. 9:2-3).
And so the time of restoration will have come, and in every way Earth will be like it was in the beginning. Where ever one goes there will be peace on Earth and good will toward men, like the angel Gabriel promised to the shepherds so long ago. The Lord Himself will rule, and people will come from all over the world to learn from Him.
The mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
But like it has always been, the seed of rebellion will still reside in the heart of natural man.  He’ll be given every conceivable advantage in this, his last best chance to live in peace with God.  But within a generation or two that seed will begin to germinate as the children of Tribulation survivors come of age. Some will choose to follow their parents to the foot of the cross and receive their personal redemption. But with each generation an increasing number won’t. This will happen even though Satan will be bound, the Lord Himself will be their King, and God’s Law will be their law.
You see, there is no condition or circumstance that will allow natural man with his sin nature to live in peace with God. As the end of the Millennial Kingdom Age approaches, unbelievers will vastly out number believers again, especially among the nations. When Satan is released they will rise up as one and march across the breadth of the Earth to surround the camp of God’s people and the city He loves in a final attempt to kick the Lord off the planet. But fire from Heaven will devour them, and Satan will be captured again, this time to be thrown into the lake of fire forever. (Rev. 20:9-10)
After the Millennium, God and man will enjoy a new beginning, called Eternity. We’re not given any information about this because the Bible effectively ends at the end of the Millennium.  A careful reading shows that in Rev. 20, John skipped ahead after verse six to describe the final destinies of Satan and all unbelievers while he was on the subject. (Rev. 20:7-15) Then in Rev. 21:1-27 he went back to the beginning of the Millennium to show us the New Jerusalem, and in Rev. 22:1-5 gave us a glimpse of Millennial life on Earth.  We know this because Rev. 21:1 is a direct quote from Isaiah 65:17 where the context is the Kingdom age in Israel and Rev. 22:1-2 is a summary ofEzekiel 47:1-12, also a millennial passage.
As part of the Church we’ll effectively have a head start on Eternity, as will resurrected believers from both Old Testament times and Daniel’s 70th Week. But we’ll have to wait at least until the rapture to see what it’s going to be like. All we know for now is that it’ll be the greatest adventure ever designed for mankind, and we’ll be first line when the time comes to begin enjoying it.  You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.  

By Jack Kelley (http://raptureready.com/featured/kelley/jack260.html)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christianizing Shamanism

Much of what we see in the Word of Faith movement and New Apostolic Reformation is “Christianized” shamanism. Dave Hunt warned about this growing trend in his 1985 best-selling book, The Seduction of Christianity, when he wrote:

Shamanism promises power to heal and transform through contact with a parallel universe of the spirit, from which this mysterious energy is allegedly drawn. That contact is said to be made in our minds: The thoughts we think and the words we speak become the vehicles of spiritual power. Those who accept this concept become victims of the great delusion that displaces God with self. In seeking power for self, they have become susceptible to the power of Satan. Nevertheless, even as the irrefutable evidence mounts documenting its destructive and evil power, shamanism’s popularity and general acceptance is exploding in the secular world, and in “Christianized” forms is gaining increasing acceptance within the church.[1]

Hunt warns of the occult foundation upon which a vast majority of the Word of Faith movement is based:

The mental images that one is able to picture or visualize are no longer looked upon as mere figments of the mind, but as reality created by the mind that can even impact the physical world. The intimate relationship between thinking, speaking, and seeing (and the power thereby produced) has formed the basis of occult theory for thousands of years. The metaphysical philosophy underlying Positive Thinking and Possibility Thinking as well as major aspects of the Positive Confession movement is founded upon the alleged power inherent within thoughts and words.[2]

Please understand that I am not saying the individuals and groups discussed in this chapter are deliberately practicing shamanism or sorcery. Most believe they are practicing something biblical, but clearly it is not. Dave Hunt also saw this coming:

…the terminology, while sounding biblical, promotes concepts that cannot be found in the Bible, but are found in occult literature and practice. Moreover, some of the Positive Confession leaders not only admit but teach that the methods, laws, and principles they use are also used successfully by occultists. Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate or even imply that the people of God are to use the same methods or powers as the pagans.[3]

As we will examine later in this chapter, self-professing Christians and even pastors attribute to God the New Age “law of attraction” which is elsewhere promoted by people like Oprah Winfrey.

If you’re not acquainted with some of these teachers, you’ll be amazed at what passes from their lips as Christian teaching. Take, for example, this transcript of a Gloria Copeland teaching:

Copeland—You know, you’re the – you’re supposed to control the weather. I mean, Ken’s the primary weatherman at our house, but when he’s not there I do it. And you can see what’s happening out there. It shows just like they have on – at the weather – like on the news. I mean, he’s got the computer that’s got the current weather on it and all that for flying. So sometimes I’ll hear something, I’ll hear the thunder start, and maybe he’ll still be asleep, and I’ll say, “Ken, you need to do something about this.” [Laughter]

And knowing that – but you are the one that has authority over the weather. One day Ken and Pat Boone, when we were at Hawaii at their house, and we were – they were setting outside, and there was a weather spout out over the ocean.
And that’s like a tornado, except it hits the water. And so they were sitting there and they just watched it, rebuked it, and it never did anything. One day, I was in the airplane, in the back, and my little brother was in the back with me, and Ken was up front flying. And we were not in the weather, because we don’t fly bad weather, but we could see the weather over here. And I looked out the window and that tornado came down just like this, down toward the ground. And Ken said, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. You get back up there!”

So this is how I learned how to talk to tornados. I saw this. And that tornado went [makes repeated whooping noise], even while I was watching. And my little brother was not a devout Christian at that time, and that was really good for him to see.

So you’re the weatherman. You get out there—or the weatherwoman, whichever it is, and you talk to that thing, and you tell it, “You’re not coming here. I command you to dissipate! And you get back up there in Jesus’ name!” Glory to God. That—I won’t charge you extra.[4]

My friend Justin Peters is one of the leading experts (if not the leading expert) in America on the unbiblical teachings of the Word of Faith movement. As a guest on my radio program, he responded this way to Gloria Copeland’s weatherman episode:

If this is true that Gloria Copeland and others in the Word-Faith movement can control the weather, then might we ask where she was when hurricane Katrina came into town? Might we ask why she doesn’t, right now, talk up some rain to the people in drought stricken countries in eastern Africa? It’s just, it’s absurd on its face, but this [W-F theology], unfortunately, is the face of Christianity in much of the world today.

Gloria Copeland saying that we can control the weather, and what I teach in my seminar is, “Who else does this remind you of? Does it remind you of Someone Who, one day, was in a boat with His disciples and a storm came up, and He spoke to the storm and calmed it?” The Word-Faith proponents denigrate God’s deity. They demote God to make Him look more human than what He is, and then in return they deify man to make us look more like God than what we really are. They ascribe to man attributes and powers that reside solely with God, and so they blur that distinction between God the Creator, and us, His created. That is a very, very dangerous line to blur.[5]

Another popular Word of Faith teacher is Benny Hinn, who, like many Word of Faith teachers, seems to believe that instead of man serving God, God is to serve man. Note this interchange between Hinn and Myles Munroe:

Benny Hinn—We get the mind of God about His will, we pray it.When we pray it, we give him legal right to perform it.

Myles Munroe—Yes. Let me define prayer for you in this show. Prayer is man giving God permission, or license, to interfere in earth’s affairs. In other words, prayer is earthly license for heavenly interference….God can do nothing on earth, nothing has God ever done on earth without a human giving him access….Always looking for a human to give him power of permission. In other words, God has the power, but you got the permission. God got the authority and the power, but you got the license. So even though God can do anything, he can only do what you permit him to do.[6]

God does not need our permission to do anything. Psalm 115:3 declares, “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” In Psalm 135:6, we read, “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth.” And Psalm 103:19 announces, “The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”

Jessie Duplantisis another popular Word of Faith teacher who describes a similarly impotent God:

I’m gonna say something, gonna knock your lights out. God has the power to take life, but he can’t. He got the power to do it, but he won’t. He’s bound. He can’t. He says death and life is in the power of whose son? Yours. You ready for this? You want something that’ll knock your lights out? You choose when you live. You choose when you die.[7]

When I played this sound clip on my radio program, Justin Peters had this to say in response to Duplantis’s blasphemy:

Jessie says that “God has the power to take life, but he can’t, he’s bound, he won’t.” Well, I think that would come as a real surprise to King Herod. I think that would come as a real surprise to Uzzah, who reached up to steady the ark, and God struck him dead. I think that would come as a real surprise to everyone who was alive on the face of the earth, except for eight people, in that whole flood thing. But God is the one who gives life. God is the one who takes life. And it’s just the height of arrogance to say that God can or cannot do anything. God can do whatever He wants to do… it’s the height of arrogance to say God can’t do things, and we have the power to do things that only God can do. So it’s profoundly un-biblical. If  people knew the word of God, if they would just pick up their Bible and read it and study it, so much of this would go away.[8]

But wait, as they say, there’s more. John Hagee appeared with numerous members of the New Religious Right at Glenn Beck’s 8-28 rally in Washington, D.C. Hagee was also listed on the website of The Response, along with numerous pro-family and Christian leaders. In August 2011, Hagee spoke for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage Rally in Israel. Perhaps he was returning the favor since Hagee had featured Beck as the keynote speaker at Hagee’s July 2011 Christians United for Israel banquet in Washington, D.C.

After studying Pastor Hagee for years—including attending his church service several times—Justin Peters points out that Hagee clearly embraces Word of Faith theology. For example, Hagee declared:

When you walk into a hospital room and your friend is there, a member of your family is there, you have the power to say, “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke that disease,” and the God of heaven will heal that disease, when you are right with God in heaven.[9]

The Word of Faith movement is a sister to the New Apostolic Reformation with its “prophets” and “apostles.” The NAR and WOF false teachers not only preach another gospel, but they preach philosophies and practices derived from the occult. The Church must beware of the Christian and pro-family leaders who have given these groups credibility.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's So Important About Your Local Church

By John MacArthur

What’s so important about your local church? At a time when there’s more Bible teaching than you could ever consume available through radio, television, and the Internet, why should it matter where and how you’re taking in God’s truth? What’s wrong with virtual, web-based congregations for the digital-age church? Why can’t your iPod be your worship leader, your tablet be your pastor, and your friends your fellowship and accountability?
The answer is simple: that’s not the way God designed it.
The New Testament repeatedly emphasizes the importance of local assemblies. In fact, it was the pattern of Paul’s ministry to establish local congregations in the cities where he preached the gospel. Hebrews 10:24-25 commands every believer to be a part of such a local body and reveals why this is necessary.
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
It is only in the local body to which one is committed that there can be the level of intimacy that is required for carefully stimulating fellow believers “to love and good deeds.” And it is only in this setting that we can encourage one another faithfully and biblically.
The New Testament also teaches that every believer is to be under the protection and nurture of the leadership of the local church. These godly men can shepherd the believer by encouraging, admonishing, and teaching. Hebrews 13:7 and 17 help us to understand that God has graciously granted accountability to us through godly leadership.
Furthermore, when Paul gave Timothy special instructions about the public meetings, he said, “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). Part of the emphasis in public worship includes these three things: hearing the Word, being called to obedience and action through exhortation, and teaching. It is only in the context of the local assembly that these things can most effectively take place.
Acts 2:42 shows us what the early church did when they met together: “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” They learned God’s Word and the implications of it in their lives, they joined to carry out acts of love and service to one another, they commemorated the Lord’s death and resurrection through the breaking of bread, and they prayed. Of course, we can do these things individually, but God has called us into His Body—the church is the local representation of that worldwide Body—and we should gladly minister and be ministered to among God’s people.
Active involvement in your local church is imperative to living a life without compromise. It is only through the ministry of the local church that a believer can receive the kind of teaching, accountability, and encouragement that is necessary for him to stand firm in his convictions. God has ordained that the church provide the kind of environment where an uncompromising life can thrive and His people can grow spiritually.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the fundamental institutions and functions of the church, and how they have a direct impact in your spiritual growth and your usefulness to the Lord. We’ll also look at God’s design for the church, and how that design is part of the foundation for your spiritual life.
We frequently hear from conscientious, faithful believers struggling to find solid, Bible-teaching churches in their areas. My hope is this series will help you know what to look for in a local church, and how you can be most useful within your congregation.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus Culture and Judah Smith to Join Piper, Moore, Chan and Others at Giglio's Passion 2013

Photo: Passion Conference
Photo: Passion Conference

Article By:Erin Benziger

A new year means a fresh batch of conferences. And a fresh batch of conferences means a whole new crop of questionable decisions being made by the leaders and organizers of those gatherings. To start off the 2013 conference season is Louie Giglio's Passion 2013. Held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, it will run from 1–4 January. Giglio aims this gathering specifically at young people, and according to the event's website, last year saw "more than 40,000 students and leaders from around the world" at the US event. Today The Christian Post reports that 60,000 students are scheduled to attend this week's event.

Passion targets the younger generation with such high-profile names as Beth Moore, John Piper, Francis Chan, rapper Lecrae and this year, pastor Judah Smith of The City Church in Seattle and popular Christian band, Jesus Culture.

Who Is Judah Smith?

Judah Smith has been profiled briefly here before when, in May of this year, Smith invited Word Faith teacher Brian Houston of Hillsong Church (who, incidentally, just preached weekend services at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church) to preach at The City Church. Oddly enough, New Calvinist pastor Mark Driscoll was excited about the invitation, even encouraging his Twitter followers to attend.
Judah Smith co-pastors his church with his wife, Chelsea, making the Reformed Driscoll's endorsement even more perplexing. The presence of a pastrix at The City Church ought not surprise, though, when it is considered that this church was founded by Judah's parents, pastor Wendell and pastrix Gini Smith:
The reader will note that, in the screenshot above, it states that Wendell and Gini Smith originally served under Dick Iverson at Bible Temple in Portland. According to C. Peter Wagner's book Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power, Iverson was the "founder of one of America's foremost apostolic networks, Ministers Fellowship International, out of Portland, Oregon." So it sounds as though The City Church has some rather colorful roots.

Who Is Jesus Culture?

Speaking of colorful, this leads to the concerning inclusion by Louie Giglio of the "Christian" music group, Jesus Culture. The group's website tells us that it was spawned out of the youth group at Bill Johnson's Bethel Church in Redding, California. For those who are unfamiliar with Johnson and Bethel, the following video shares some of the "signs and wonders" shenanigans that take place there, and also demonstrates some classic Bill Johnson Scripture-twisting:
Clip: http://youtu.be/lvJMPccZR2Y

Now, one could camp for quite awhile on some of the statements made by Johnson in that video, but since Johnson is not under discussion here, we'll move on. The point is, of course, that this is the church that birthed the Jesus Culture phenomenon.
The entirety of Jesus Culture's "About Us" page warrants a close examination, and will aid in understanding why Christians should be concerned that this band is being mainstreamed by men like Louie Giglio:

The choice of words in the paragraphs above is curiously alarming. The language surrounding a "new breed of revivalists" emerging is of particular interest, as such vocabulary is prominent within the New Apostolic Reformation movement.
Note also that the group claims direct revelation and instruction from the Lord Himself.
The members of Jesus Culture claim that the Lord spoke to them, revealing the characteristics of their movement (which noticeably does not include repentance or sanctification, only love and supernatural experience), commissioning them to "mobilize this new breed," and in so doing issued a mandate to Jesus Culture that cannot be ignored. Taking this to its logical conclusion, then, to question the actions or words of Jesus Culture and its members is to question God Himself.
Examination of this website further reveals that the goal of this group is to lead people into an experience or an "encounter" with God. It seems that truth may be cast aside in favor of temporary and potentially deceiving experiences.

The Music of Jesus Culture

It behooves us, then, to see just how it is that the music of Jesus Culture may lull the professing Christian teenager into a so-called "encounter" with God. Below you will witness the group leading the crowd in a repetitive mantra, followed by some singing and what appears to be tongues-speaking. The clip will close with band member Kim Walker-Smith breaking into spontaneous prayer and declaration.

Clip: http://youtu.be/UvsM4DFW-54

The repetition of the mantra "Jesus" at the beginning of the clip, while appearing to be spiritual, actually potentially could lead a person into an altered state of consciousness. Contemplative prayer, which is little more than a "Christianized" version of Eastern meditation, often encourages such a practice, as one seeks to journey inward to discover the "divine spark" within oneself. Yet, Scripture nowhere teaches this type of praise or prayer, but rather condemns the practices of pagan religions.
Also of note in the clip above is the apparent spontaneous breakout into tongues at approximately 2:30, following the singing of the line, "Heaven beckons to me." The fact that these were nothing more than gibberish and were not a known language, as per the biblical definition of 'tongues,' ought to cause concern as well.
In watching and listening to Jesus Culture, it does not take long to realize that the focus of their music and teaching is all about an experience of "God's love." Yet, without acknowledging the righteous wrath of God, His love can never fully be understood or appreciated. Unfortunately, a warm-fuzzy feeling up and down one's spine does not a true Christian make.

The "Teaching" of Jesus Culture

Jesus Culture does more than simply play music, however. It seems that, at times, various members of the group also may preach or teach. Below is Jesus Culture member Kim Walker-Smith preaching to a large crowd at the Awakening 2011 event, and offering a rather detailed account of her own personal encounter with "Jesus." This video is a bit lengthy, but the reader is urged to watch it in its entirety.

Clip: http://youtu.be/uoZRNvkwfx0

Kim Walker-Smith claims that she spoke with Jesus, that He cuddled her, and that she saw God the Father. And while she acknowledges that such visions are not regular occurrences, she nevertheless indicates that she's had multiple encounters with Him. One wonders how many people sitting amongst that large crowd left disappointed that night that they had not "encountered" Jesus as Kim Walker-Smith claimed that she had. Walker-Smith's recollection of the vision is natural, and seems to presume that everyone should experience such a thing. Yet, when face to face with God Almighty, how did Isaiah react?
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" (Isaiah 6:1–5)
And Ezekiel?
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face...(Ezekiel 1:26–28)
Moses, who we are told spoke to the Lord as a man speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11), was not even allowed to see Him in all of His glory!
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:18–23)
Not one of these men, after a brief moment of awestruck fear, "fell into Jesus' arms" as Walker-Smith claims that she did. Not one describes God the Father running around deliriously and laughing while Isaiah or Ezekiel danced around in a music box. So to Kim Walker-Smith's claims above that she has spoken personally with Jesus Christ and God the Father, I would like to offer this challenge: Prove it. And while you're at it, disprove this: God just spoke to me and told me that you are lying, Kim Walker-Smith. Don't believe me? Well, who is to say that your experience was real and mine was not?
Christian, herein lies the grave danger of such claims of personal revelation and visitations from God. They cannot be proven and they are not Scriptural. If they are to be found in Scripture, they appear to be more indicative of the deceptive angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14–15) than anything else.
Parents, if your teenager is attending Passion 2013 this week, this is the type of so-called Christian leaders to whom they are being exposed. This is the type of music that will bombard their eardrums during these four days. If your impressionable teen is wandering in the crowd of Passion 2013, it is my prayer that you will pray mightily for his or her protection.

What Happened at Passion 2012?

As a reminder, last year's Passion Conference saw the featured speakers lead the humongous crowd in a troubling display of "Lectio Divina-lite." In the post, "Biblical Silence vs. Mystical Silence and What Really Went On at Passion 2012?" the topics of contemplative prayer and lectio divina were discussed more thoroughly. The following videos of Session 5 of the Passion 2012 conference also were shared in that article.

Here is popular New Calvinist preacher John Piper:
Clip: http://youtu.be/o0zei-gHTyQ

Here we see the SBC's favorite female Bible teacher, Beth Moore:
Clip: http://youtu.be/o0zei-gHTyQ

And here is Passion founder Louie Giglio closing this session:
Clip: http://youtu.be/o0zei-gHTyQ

Of special note are the words spoken by Giglio at the close of this exercise:
How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute?
Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers)—He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”
“God spoke to me.” (long pause) Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you. (pause) Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. (pause) God spoke to you.
As was asked in last year's reporting of this event: When did Protestant leaders begin to teach that we need the Bible "plus" anything? God has spoken. He has graciously, clearly, and perfectly spoken in His Word. We have no need to be still and wait for His audible voice outside of Scripture. He has not stuttered. He has not stammered. He has not whispered. If you want to hear from God Almighty, open your Bible and read.
Until Passion 2013 commences, there is no way to know if a similar exercise will be practiced again. A live stream of the event will be provided, and those who are concerned may want to take the time to watch some of the sessions.


It is important to note that this article is not attempting to throw anyone under the guilt-by-association bus. No one is saying that, because one of these individuals will be sharing the stage with another that they necessarily endorse that other person's ministry. Of course, that does not speak to the wisdom of certain speakers choosing to participate in this event. What must be acknowledged, however, is that simply by extending an invitation to these individuals, Passion founder Louie Giglio is issuing an apparent endorsement of each one's ministry. For those who maintain that Giglio is a conservative and trusted teacher, this poses a rather complicated problem.
Evangelicalism appears to be taking broader strides toward the wide road of destruction. Compromise is rampant as numbers take priority over fidelity to Scripture. These are not small issues, dear Christian. What we are witnessing is the mainstreaming of movements that once existed only on the fringe of the "Christian" community, such as Word Faith and dangerous, deceptive "charismatic chaos." In the face of the visible church's compromise, the true Christian must stand on God's Word alone. To ground oneself upon anything else is to guarantee a certain, perhaps eternal, collapse.