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15
nov

An interview with Evangelist Steve Hill

Steve Hill is the evangelist who helped to spark the revival at Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensecola, Florida on Father’s Day 1995. Over 100,000 people have responded to the Gospel in over two years at Brownsville AOG.

What prepared you for this revival?

I was saved out of the drug culture. My background has helped me as far as the soul-winning aspect.

Early in my Christian life, back in 1977, I got around David Wilkerson’s ministry. He had an academy in Texas called Twin Oaks, a two-year leadership academy. Leonard Ravenhill taught on prayer, Nicky Cruz taught evangelism. It was a school where you were held responsible for what you learned. And if you did not learn, they would kick you out.

They would teach us on evangelism and then put us in a van, drive us to the streets of Dallas to a dope party, dump us out and say, “Go into that dope party, we’ll pick you up at four in the morning.” It was just hard-core evangelism. Instead of teaching the Four Spiritual Laws, they’d say, “Get out there, learn from experience.” When we came back, we’d talk about some of the hindrances we had, the bad experiences, and what we would change about our approach. Then they’d send us out again. You know very quickly whether you’re called to evangelism.

I graduated from that school, and went into church ministry. It was when I took a group of young people to Mexico that God called me to the mission field. I went to Argentina, and the very first meeting I went to was a Carlos Annacondia meeting out in the middle of a soccer field. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. I saw fifteen to twenty-thousand people craving God. I mean, going after God.

I had Carlos lay hands on me one night, and I feel that from him came a real evangelistic anointing. I’ve had the evangelism desire all my life, but I watched him–he’s led over two million people to Jesus. At one o’clock in the morning he’s still praying with people. At two o’clock in the morning, he’s still laying hands on people. He’ll go night after night. He’s so common, so loving, all he cares about is that one little boy, that one grandpa, that one uncle that’s coming to Jesus.

I hung around that for seven years, and you absorb it.

How did you end up at Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church in London?

I read in Time magazine how God was moving. I had been to London several times, and I thought, “I’ve got to see this. I’ve got to see God moving in the Anglican Church because I can’t imagine it.” The article said they were laughing, they were falling, and I had a very critical spirit.

I went to the bed and breakfast that we stay at when I’m in London; it’s owned by a Christian couple. I asked them where God was moving, and they said, “It’s our church.” They went to Holy Trinity Brompton.

I said, “I need to make an appointment with the pastor.”

They said, “Steve, he’s the busiest man in Europe. All of Europe comes here to get prayed for by him.”

I said, “Call him up and ask if he has time to pray for a Texan.” I wanted a little private visit with this guy [Sandy Miller] to see what was going on.

I went there at two o’clock that afternoon and there was a conference going on. I walked into the stately Anglican church in downtown London right by Harrod’s, the richest area of town, and stepped over about 500 bodies, people shaking all over the place. I had seen things like that before, but I’m an evangelist, so I’m after souls. If I can’t see hundreds and hundreds of people getting saved, then I’ll leave.

The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “You don’t need to talk to Sandy Miller. Just have him pray for you.” I walked up to him and said, “My name is Steve.” He says, “Oh my, we have an appointment at three o’clock, but look what’s happened in my church.”

I went up to him, he laid his hands on my head and it was over. I mean, I went down under the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do you channel revival fire?

That’s the most frustrating part to pastors because you can only live so long in this renewal. The first week after this broke out, I spoke a message on how to benefit from a divine refreshing. The first point was get all you can get. The second one was mix vegetables with the honey. Make sure you keep your feet on the ground. And the third one was let your stall get dirty. Where there is no oxen, the stall is clean. Get out there. You’re bubbly, you’re all on fire with the Christians, but let that happen at the workplace. And that’s what they started to do. And people started pouring in.

What is the relevance of it beginning Father’s Day?

I believe that was just a real special divine appointment. We didn’t really think about that. It was just totally spontaneous. The Father, he showed up on Father’s Day the way he did, and just loved on us. And you know, everybody got back to work. They got back to work in the fields and going after God, because they felt the nearness of the Lord.

What is the most important thing God has taught you through this revival?

What I’m convinced of more than anything else is the urgency of the hour. The urgency of the hour and the necessity of right now.

This is not a coliseum, this is not a secular place, this is night after night, sinners are coming to a church. Why? They’re hungry. People are hungry and God has sent the famine. The Bible says in Amos, that God will send the famine. The famine for truth. So he’s going to do his part; we’re the feeding station. We’re the ones with tractor-trailer rigs full of food. We’re laden down with everything these people need but they come into our churches and what do they get? Nothing. They don’t get fed. They need to hear about hell. They need to hear the full gospel. But they don’t get it. God is doing his part, we need to do our part.

How do you keep track of what is taking place at the altar?

We’re seeing a thousand people saved a week, but we are very conservative with the figures. To me, when someone comes up and has backslidden, that’s a salvation. They are a prodigal. They’ve been living in sin. He came back, crawled on his face and he said, “I’m not worthy. I can’t even be under your roof.” And the Father received him. That’s why Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards preached about backslidden conditions. Our country was back-slidden. When we give that altar call, there are a lot of people that are saved for the first time. A lot of people that come down that have never known the Lord, but there are also a lot of people that are backsliders and prodigals that are coming back to the Lord.

After they come to the altar, what happens to them? How do you follow up with so many people?

There are a lot of people that are coming from out of state. I had never seen anything like this. We have fathers and mothers bringing their unsaved children from Minnesota. They bring in van loads from Birmingham and have four or five unsaved people in the van to be prayed for healing. They come down here and they get saved, and so we encourage them to get involved in the local church. We do our very best to link them with people who have brought them, or we tell them about local Methodist churches and Baptist churches. Several pastors have gleaned people from this revival. But its an unusual type of situation because so many people are coming in from other areas that it is literally impossible for us to keep tabs on everybody that is coming. But another beauty of this is that a lot of people who get saved keep coming back because this is not a one week thing. So this is also like a discipleship process.

What do you make of the physical manifestations?

The Lord is welcome in this place to do anything he wants. But there is a balance here. They receive the gospel, they receive the cross, the blood. When the manifestations come, I welcome the manifestations, but I don’t major on the minors.

This last days awakening, mark these words–I’m not a prophet, this is not a prophecy–but this is what is going to happen. This awakening is going to shake this country, the power is going to come down.

I’m also a youth evangelist, and we are dealing with a culture that may not be demon-possessed, but they are possessed by demons. They are consumed with demonic warfare twenty-four hours a day. They have seen the power of Satan at work. You watch any rock concert, the frenzy, the fire, the pull, the enthusiasm that’s there. We talk about our God, and the power of God. We sing, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” and they’re going, “Where is it?” They want to believe, but they see mom and dad are limp, weak, and they respond, “Where is the power? Mom, you’re popping valium and prozac and everything else and you’re talking about the power of God? Give me a break, Momma.” And so they come into this meeting, the punkers come in here, every age, every kind of person in the world comes into this meeting and they are hit by the power of God. Undeniably swept off their feet by the power of God and they basically by the hundreds say, “What must I do to be saved?”

Does everyone respond so positively?

There will be folks here tonight, who are skeptical and critical–they hate this revival. They don’t want anything to do with it, but they are out there tonight, and they are going to get saved. They are going to fall to the ground under the power of God, they’re going to be back next week with their friends. Why? They’re out here because they’re curious, they’re out here because Aunt Mabel was healed of cancer, they’re here for a million different reasons.

Are you overwhelmed by the historic nature of this revival?

What is phenomenal about this is the fact that when I look upon the people I see all the hunger. They come from the corners of the globe. They don’t come for the beaches. They come for this meeting and yeah, that blows me away. And I’m beginning to see how this could affect the nation. People are attracted to the fire. John Wesley said it: “I set myself on fire and the people come to watch me burn.”

 

Written by Steve Beard of Good News Magazine

14
nov

A different Gospel?

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL?
by Sandy Simpson

The purpose of this document is to bring into question a number of the teachings and actions that have recently come to Micronesia via people who have had hands laid on them by Steve Hill, evangelist of the Brownsville Assembly of God Church in Pensacola, Fl. Quotes will be used from the Brownsville meetings on Guam as well as leaders at Brownsville and the Toronto Airport Fellowship in Canada, since these movements are linked directly, and what was said and done in both cases are virtually the same.1 Their statements and works will be compared directly to Scripture.2 This is done because we, as the body of Christ, are to always test the spirits and preach as well as stand firmly in the sound doctrine found in Scripture.

(meer…)

14
nov

A Collection of Articles on Kundalini Manifestations – Mirror

Some characteristic Symptoms of Awakened Kundalini

An excerpt from Devatma Shakti (Kundalini): Divine Power by Swami Vishnu Tirtha. This book can be ordered from Spiritual Book Service.

Some characteristic symptoms of the awakened kundalini are here given below from Mahayoga Vijãna, a treatise on the subject in Hindi by Shri Yogãnandji Mahãrãja, the author’s revered guru. They are illustrative and by no means exhaustive:-

  1. When throbbing of mooladhar begins, the whole body shakes, involuntary kumbhak (filling in of the lungs with air) starts beyond control, breath is forcibly exhaled out, without volition deep inhaling and exhaling of breath starts and the body gets uncontrollable, know then that Kundalini has awakened. You then should give up your assertion and sit witnessing what happens.
  2. When Your body begins trembling, hair stands on roots, you laugh or begin to weep without your wishing, your tongue begins to utter deformed sounds, you are filled with fear or see frightening visions, semen passes out, think that the Kundalini Shakti has become active.
  3. When your posture becomes fixed, uddiyan, jalendhar, and moolbandhas come involuntarily, your tongue reverts back or rises up towards the soft palate and the whole body becomes so active that you are unable to sit still, your hands and legs stretch out forcibly, you ought to know that the Divine power of the goddess Kundalini has come into action.
  4. When your posture becomes fixed and sight is attracted toward the middle point of eyebrows, the eyeballs begin to revolve, you get automatic kewal-kumbhak, cessation of breath comes with no effort for inhaling or exhaling and the mind becomes vacant, void of all outward knowledge, understand that Mahãmãyã the first born Shakti, the goddess Kundalini has come into action.
  5. When you feel currents of Prãna rising up your cerebrum within you, automatic repetition of Aum starts and the mind experiences waves after waves of blissful beatitude, think the Universal Mother Kundalini has come into action.
  6. When different kinds of Nãd become audible, in your spinal column you experience vibrations, feeling of bodily existence for the time being is lost, in other words you feel as if there is no body, everything looks vacant, your eyelids become closed and open not in spite of your efforts, electric-like currents seem flowing up and down the nerves and you have convulsions, know that Mahãmãyã Kundalini has come into action.
  7. When with the closing of eyelids your body falls to the ground, or begins to rotate like a grinding stone and breath comes not out, the body squatted on floor crosslegged begins to jump from place to place like a frog, or moves from place to place, or lies down like one dead, hands may not be lifted even if so desired, you feel contraction of nerves, you feel as if your life is passing away, the body undergoes convulsions like a dying fish, know that Yogamaya Kundalini has come into action.
  8. When your mind gets influenced spiritually as if some spirit has taken possession of your body and under that influence different postures of yoga are involuntarily performed, without the least pain or fatigue and you feel increasingly buoyant, and simultaneously strange sort of breathing exercises start, think that the Divine power of Kundalini has come into action.
  9. When no sooner you have sat with eyes closed than in an instant the body begins to show activity of throwing out limbs forcibly, deformed sounds are loudly uttered, your speech begins to utter sounds like those of animals, birds and frogs or of a lion or like those of jackals, dogs, tigers, fear inspiring and not pleasing to hear, understand that the Great Goddess Kundalini has come into action.
  10. When you feel vibrations of prana at different stations inside your body and feel its flow wherever you fix your attention and nerves begin to show easy jerks like jerks of electricity as if passing through them, know that the Goddess Kundalini has come into action.
  11. When all day and night you feel within your body some activity of prana and whenever you concentrate your mind, your body at once begins to shake or begins tossing and your mind remains filled with joy and bliss at all times, even when at call of nature, even during sleep you feel currents of prãna rising up in your sahasrãr and even in dreams you experience Her presence, know that the joy-inspiring Kundalini has come into action.
  12. As soon as you sit for prayers your body begins to shake and in ecstasy of joy you begin to sing hymns in tones of music charming to hear and whose composition and poetry come out involuntarily, your hands giving a rhythmical clapping, and you pronounce languages you know not, but the sound ecstasizes your mind, know that the Goddess of speech, Saraswati, has awakened into action.
  13. When you feel intoxicated without taking any drug, while walking your steps fall majestically or like one drunk and you are unable to do any other work and you like to remain mute and dislike speaking to or hearing others and you feel like one drunk of Divinity, know that your Atma Shakti Kundalini, the power of Self, has come into action.
  14. While walking, when your mind is filled with an impulse to walk faster and your feet begin to move a running, you feel your body light like air and do not feel fatigued even having walked long enough, you feel buoyant and joyful, you are not unhappy even in dreams, you can keep the balance of your mind undisturbed in all ups and downs, and you acquire an inexhaustible energy for work, know that the Brahma Shakti Kundalini has come into action.
  15. When you are in meditation you see visions divine and fall in a dreamy state of mind, have divine smells, see divine figures, feel divine tastes, hear divine sounds and experience divine touch and receive instructions from Gods, then understand that the divine power of Kundalini has come into action.
  16. When you are in meditation, future unfolds its secrets to you or the hidden meaning of scriptures, Vedas and Vedãnta shine in your understanding, all doubts vanish, you acquire an insight into the abstruse meaning of the works on spiritual science even at their first glance, you acquire strange powers of oratory and feel not the need of approaching even Brahma, the creator himself, for knowledge and you acquire self-confidence, understand then that Kundalini the bestower of siddhis (occult powers) has come into action.
  17. When seated for meditation your sight becomes fixed on the mid of eyebrows, your tongue rises up for Khechari, breath stops altogether and mind plunges into the ocean of bliss, shambhavi mudrã operates and you experience the pleasure of savikalpa samãdhi, know that subtle power of Kundalini is in action.
  18. When at morning and evening hours punctually and automatically your body becomes charged with such of the divine influences, and body, mind and prãna become overpowered by Her, know that the Goddess Kundalini is rightly functioning.
14
nov

Yoga and New Trends in Christianity

‘Kneel to yourself. Honour and worship your own being. God dwells within you as You.’ Swami Muktananda, Hindu guru

‘I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing.’ Paul the Apostle

At a New Age fair, where I was helping with a Christian witness, a young man told me that he rejected all religious systems. He said that he was discovering god as a force within himself and so finding harmony with all created things. When I told him that he was in fact following the ancient religious system of Hinduism, he said angrily, ‘I don’t like Christians telling me what to believe,’ and walked off.

This brief conversation highlighted the conflict between the eastern religious world view now being accepted by many people in the West, and the biblical world view now being rejected. According to Biblical Christianity the basic problem of humanity is our sin nature which causes us to break God’s laws and thus separates us from God who is holy. The solution is to invite God into our lives through repentance and faith in the Gospel message: that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself through the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Before we take this step of faith, God is outside of our lives. After doing this He is inside our lives, dwelling within us by the Holy Spirit.

According to Hinduism the problem of humanity is not a moral one, but one of a lack of knowledge. God already dwells within us, but we do not know this. We have lost contact with our innate divinity through becoming entangled in the material world and being limited by our rational finite minds. The solution is to discover the ‘god within’ through experiencing a higher state of expanded consciousness. It was evident from the huge numbers of young people attending the New Age fair that this idea is far more attractive to many today than the traditional Christian view. New Age devotee Miriam Starhawk has written, ‘The longing for expanded consciousness has taken many of us on a spiritual journey to the East and to Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist concepts. Eastern religions offer a radically different approach to spirituality than Judeo-Christian traditions. Their goal is not to know God but to be God. In many ways these philosophies are close to witchcraft.’ (Yoga journal May 1986).

How does Hinduism claim that one can experience an ‘altered state of consciousness’ leading to discovery of ‘godhood’? Over thousands of years it has developed numerous techniques to manipulate human consciousness in order to bring this about. These techniques are called yoga. According to a Hindu saying, ‘There is no Hinduism without yoga and no yoga without Hinduism.’ Yoga therefore can never be seen solely as a means of gaining physical exercise, reducing stress or as a medical therapy. Some of the methods used by yoga are as follows:

Hatha yoga: Physical and breathing exercises

Body postures (asanas) are intended to immobilise the whole body. Practising them will enable the body to become completely motionless and hardened in fixed positions. Meditation words (mantras) serve to immobilise the consciousness. Mantras are usually the names of gods used for worship. Symbolic body movements in yoga are designed to close ‘all nine doors of the body’, so that no sense perception from the outside penetrates into the mind. When all outer sensation is shut off the body itself will create sense perceptions of an inner kind, an inner light, an inner sound, an inner smell, and an inner pleasure.

I once talked to a yoga teacher who became a Christian. He said that he did not teach his pupils anything about Hinduism to begin with, but simply taught them the techniques of yoga. They then experienced things that they could not explain and he interpreted their experiences in such a way that would lead them deeper into the Hindu philosophy of discovering god within yourself.

Japa Yoga: The mechanical way of salvation

Japa is the repetition or chanting of a mantra which is usually the name of a Hindu god. One example of this is the Hare Krishna movement which chants the names of Krishna and Rama. I once had a conversation with a young man selling Hare Krishna books in London. As soon as I questioned his basic philosophy he began chanting ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama’ after which all meaningful discussion became impossible.

Transcendental Meditation (TM), taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, has become one of the most well known forms of yoga in the West. In TM the meditator learns first to forget the rest of the world and to concentrate only on the mantra (usually a short word, a name of a deity such as Ram or OM). Then he forgets the mantra too, transcending all thoughts and feelings. After several years of meditation one is said to attain ‘god consciousness.’ In this state it is said that one can even communicate with birds, animals, plants and rocks. The final state is ‘unity consciousness’, in which the devotee perceives the oneness of himself with the universe. This is ‘liberation.’

Kundalini Yoga: Salvation through the ‘Serpent Power’

Hindu psychology teaches that the ‘kundalini shakti’, or serpent power, lies at the base of the spine. Normally the kundalini lies dormant in most human beings, but when it is awakened it arises and begins to travel upwards. In its journey from the base of the spine to the top of the head it passes through six psychic centres called ‘chakras’. When it passes through a chakra it kindles various psychic experiences and energies. When it reaches the sahasrara, or crown, one attains power to perform miracles and to achieve liberation. The most influential guru who preached kundalini was Swami Muktananda. He labelled it Siddha (perfect) yoga, for it is the only yoga in which the aspirant does not have to do anything. He just surrenders to the guru and the guru’s grace does everything for him.

In an article published previously in this magazine (October 1995), Robert Walker described what takes place in kundalini yoga: ‘Few Christians realise that for thousands of years gurus have operated with gifts of healing, miracles, gifts of knowledge, and intense displays of spiritual consciousness as they stretch out and connect with a cosmic power which, though demonic in origin, is very real. The meetings which mystic Hindu gurus hold are called ‘Dharshan’. At these meetings devotees go forward to receive spiritual experience from a touch by the open palm of the hand, often to the forehead, by the guru in what is known as the Shakti Pat or divine touch. The raising of the spiritual experience is called raising Khundalini. The practice is quite intricate but is brought on by Shakti Pat in conjunction with the repetition of mantras or religious phrases and by holding physical positions for a long time. After a period when the devotee has reached a certain spiritual elevation they begin to shake, jerk, or hop or squirm uncontrollably, sometimes breaking into uncontrolled animal noises or laughter as they reach an ecstatic high. These manifestations are called ‘Kriyas’. Devotees sometimes roar like lions and show all kinds of physical signs during this period. Often devotees move on to higher states of spiritual consciousness and become inert physically and appear to slip into an unconsciousness when they lose sense of what is happening around them. This state is called ‘samadhi’ and it leads to a deeper spiritual experience.’

The role of the Guru in granting liberation

The role of the guru in the liberation of a devotee is described differently in different sects. Generally speaking the guru’s task is only to teach the technique of achieving liberation; the devotee has to achieve liberation by practicing the technique on his own. Some sects however teach that at initiation the guru takes the karma (action) of a disciple upon himself. According to the law of karma, each man has to take the consequences of his good and bad actions. For this he has to be continually reborn into the world. But if the guru (out of love and grace) takes the karma, the necessity of a rebirth vanishes, and one attains deliverance from the bondage of reincarnation. Therefore it is believed that without the guru’s grace, one cannot be saved. Devotees generally claim blessing, peace and a sense of union with god as a result of the guru’s ministry. Clearly something supernatural happens, often with miracles taking place. There is however no lasting blessing, peace or real union with God.

Connections to contemporary Christianity

Today we see that the ‘guru’ mentality is being accepted by some Christian groups in which it is required to submit to authoritarian leaders who are said to provide the believer’s connection to God and who cannot be questioned. Often these leaders’ authority is reinforced by demonstrations of spiritual power causing people to fall to the ground, laugh uncontrollably and generally behave in a way which resembles an ‘altered state of consciousness.’

An audio tape produced by Hank Hanegraff, author of ‘Christianity in Crisis’, features actual recordings of well known American preachers getting crowds under their spell to repeat, mantra like, the serpent’s lie, ‘I am god.’ Those who resist or object to these new trends are often ridiculed as narrow minded legalists or Pharisees, warned that they will miss out on God’s blessings or even threatened with death and damnation.

Christians alert to the deceptions of the end times should not be intimidated into accepting uncritically all that they are told at highly charged meetings by preachers with apparently powerful ministries. We should question any manifestation which is not to be found in scripture, especially if it connects to yoga and Hinduism. These spiritual forces do not bring liberation and union with God, but bondage, deception and alienation from God. In his book ‘The Dust of Death’ Os Guiness has described the invasion of eastern religious ideas well;

‘The subtlety of eastern religion is that it enters like an odourless poison gas, seeping under the door, through the keyhole, in through the open window, so that the man in the room is overcome without his ever realising that there was any danger at all.’

Looking at this issue from a prophetic point of view we see that yoga is a force which is helping to bring together religious devotees of different backgrounds, since its techniques can be superimposed on any religious system including nominal Christianity and Islam. As such it is helping to unite the religious world in the coming one world religion described in Revelation 17, ‘Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.’ The defence we have against all this is to be found in a true faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the one way to a true relationship with God, who has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

 

14
nov

The ravers who get high on God

The ravers who get high on God

Raving the night away ... but these revellers are only high on the power of God

Raving the night away … but these revellers are only high on the power of God

By DAVID LOWE

Published: 21 Jan 2010

WILD-EYED and out of control, the clubbers flail wildly to a booming beat.

With sweaty clothes clinging to their backs, some people even pass out.

While this could easily be mistaken for a dodgy booze and drug-fuelled party, there is something very different about Sloshfest.

The revellers are party loving Christians who don’t drink or take drugs — but say their euphoria is down to the power of God and their seeming drunkenness due to “God-ka” and the “yum rum of Heaven”.

Last weekend around 600 people attended the annual rave-like event — where no alcohol or drugs are available — at the dowdy Dolphin Club in Barry Island, South Wales. Now in its fourth year, it attracts visitors from alternative churches around the UK.

 

Organiser ... David Vaughan

Organiser … David Vaughan

Sloshfest organiser David Vaughan invited me along to experience the religious revolution first-hand.

The 38-year-old from nearby Pontypool is a former drug-user who makes no apologies for painting God as a party animal who wants to win over youngsters with supernatural highs.

Bizarrely, David greets me at the door wearing a monk outfit — he is joined by dozens of dancing pirates, an Abraham Lincoln, a unicorn, winged fairy and a court jester draped in Christmas lights.

After leading me to a quiet room away from the madness, David says: “This behaviour and message is bringing liberation to a world that doesn’t want Christianity as it has been.

“People are looking for something relevant to them. If you like to party, drink and take drugs, our advice is, ‘Don’t drink Vodka, drink God-ka’.

“There is no greater high than the Most High. When you come into God’s presence there is an intoxication that is overwhelming.

“It is filled with life and brings you to another level of joy unspeakable, liberating you from fears and inhibitions you find in the world. It is a blissful sense of liberty.

“This isn’t offensive to the Lord, but it is to the religious folk who attend a dead organisation.

“Heaven is going to be wild. God will show up and be the life of the party. We want to see fun coming back into the Church.”

Christians who claim to get high on the Holy Spirit and drunk on Heaven’s wine have caused outrage in the USA.

Dozens of complaints about blasphemy have been posted on YouTube videos of the movement’s best-known advocate, John Crowder.

The former alcoholic, whose fans are dubbed “Crowderites”, is at Sloshfest and typically slurs through sermons about “smoking the Baby Jesus”, being “whacked out” and “tokin’ on the Holy Ghost”.

Event organiser David reveals God guided him to establish Emerge Wales, the group behind Sloshfest, which calls itself “A rising supernatural movement in the UK who are burning for Jesus”.

 

Drunk on the 'yum rum of Heaven' ... Sloshfest partygoers

Drunk on the ‘yum rum of Heaven’ … Sloshfest partygoers

He says: “From around the age of 18 I got into drink and drugs. I’d take speed, acid, amphetamine and smoke cannabis every day.

“Three years later I went to a church in Newport with a friend who’d reformed and I realised Jesus had plans for my life. I gave myself to him and that ripped out the desire for drugs and alcohol.

“I began praying and studying God’s word and remortgaged my house to devote myself even more.

“We set up Emerge Wales four years ago because, globally, spiritual eyes and ears are opening. God wants us to enjoy his wine and embrace the spiritual realm.

“Jesus changed my life dramatically and now I work for him to spread his message and love.”

Back in the main room the party is pumping, with dry ice, airhorns and dazzling disco lights adding to the debauched atmosphere.

 

Crowd-pleaser ... Ben Dunn

Crowd-pleaser … Ben Dunn

A middle-aged woman calling herself Pinky Pirate dashes to the front and grabs a microphone.

The crowd screams with delight as she shakes uncontrollably and bellows: “It is such a wild fire. It is a fierce wild fire. It is untamable and undomesticated.”

Even bigger cheers are reserved for talented American singer Ben Dunn who takes the stage for a set of high-octane Christian tunes.

Amid the chaos a woman dressed as a pirate queen crawls past muttering. Strangely, despite no sign of alcohol or drugs being consumed, she and many other worshippers look spaced out, with red, puffy eyes and a vacant stare. Standing up, she shakes my hand and slurs: “I’m Mrs Jesus. I love my husband.

“He makes me so happy. I love him but I’m a bit drunk.”

At a lunch break I make a beeline for the woman, who now appears sober as she helps herself to the salad buffet.

Jesse Reid is a singer and actress from Maidenhead, Berks, who admits she once found this worship distasteful.

The 30-year-old says: “Five years ago this would have been so offensive to me. It can seem shocking if you’re not used to it.

“I had an operation which went wrong, followed by three years of ill health because my system was smashed. During that time I got really close to God — I felt him dwelling in me in an almost physical sense.

“When I’m worshipping I know I look absolutely insane, but that’s how I’m affected by my heavenly daddy.

“The pirate costume shows I’m involved in stealing back his treasure. We’ve been robbed of lots of good stuff and it’s time to take it back for God.

“All over the world there are Christians dressing as pirates to show he is their compass, Jesus is their captain and the Holy Spirit is the wind in their sails.

“Of course we all like to drink the yum rum of heaven, too.”

 

Ecstatic worship ... revellers dress up for Christian party

Ecstatic worship … revellers dress up for Christian party

In 2005, John Crowder wrote The New Mystics, a religious book promoting Sloshfest-style ecstatic worship and mystical Christianity.

His ideas appealed to people like David Vaughan around the world and a second volume, The Ecstasy Of Loving God, followed last year. While John holds no official position within the movement, his influence is undeniable — both books are selling at the Sloshfest memorabilia stall.

John will feature in a fascinating new documentary called The YouTube Prophet, on Current TV at 10pm on February 22.

 

Before addressing the lively Welsh crowd, the 6ft 5in David Blaine lookalike tells me he became a Christian after a Godly experience on LSD.

John, 33, from California, says: “I was a party guy at college and became an alcoholic within the first year, sometimes downing up to 36 beers in a single day. I also did recreational drugs and during an LSD trip in a bar I had a profound encounter with God. I knew that if I went to sleep that night without changing my ways, I would surely die.

“When I sobered up I stopped doing drugs and became devoted to Jesus.

“Now I want people to see that church isn’t dour and dreary. It is an awareness of the mystical, fun and joyful nature of God.”

Moments later John is on the stage encouraging the crowd to enjoy the “love fest” and drink their fill of God’s wine.

Outside, a curious passer-by peers through a steamed-up window. Chuckling, he shakes his head and says: “Looks like one hell of a party.”

14
nov

Sloshed in the Spirit? It’s time to get sober

Sloshed in the Spirit? It’s Time to Get Sober

Tuesday, 27 October 2009 10:51 AM EDT J. Lee Grady Newsletters Fire In My Bones
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Getting “drunk in the Holy Spirit” has been a popular concept in some churches. But is it biblical?

A few years ago a traveling charismatic minister from the West coast passed through Florida to conduct a series of renewal meetings. I’d never heard of the guy, but the rumor was that he carried a “special” anointing.  It was unique, that’s for sure-especially when he took the microphone, slurred his words as if intoxicated and leaned to the left of the pulpit as if he were about to fall over. Then, in between some bizarre spasms, he would shout what sounded like “Walla walla bing bang!”

His message didn’t make sense. But if he had just said “Ding Dong Bell” or “Yabba Dabba Doo” over and over, some people in his meetings would have run to the front of the room and swooned, even though he never opened his Bible during his message. They wanted what this man claimed to possess—an anointing to become “drunk in the Spirit.”

“Let’s put the childish things behind us. It’s time for us to grow up and sober up.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual intoxication has been a trend in charismatic circles for a while. Some respected preachers, citing Acts 2:13, defend the concept that Christians might feel drunk when they are filled with the Holy Spirit (because the early disciples were accused of being drunk when they spoke in tongues). This teaching led to lots of disorderly conduct in revival meetings—including nosebleeds, bruises and more serious injuries.

Some people began to manifest what looked like seizures during renewal services, and the bizarre behavior was defended as “manifestations of the Spirit.” Some pastors even encouraged wobbly saints to find “designated drivers” if they felt too drunk to operate a vehicle when it was time to go home. Meanwhile, some worship leaders introduced “Holy Ghost drinking songs” that encouraged people to slosh around in the joy of the Lord while uncorking more of His new wine.

The spiritual drunkenness craze led to other charismatic fads, including an infatuation with angels, an obsession with golden dust and the strange teachings of John Crowder—a confessed “new mystic” who compares the infilling of the Holy Spirit to smoking marijuana.

Crowder, who is planting a church in Santa Cruz, Calif., this fall, sometimes calls his meetings “sloshfests” and refers to himself as a bartender for God. He teaches that God wants all Christians to be continually drunk in the Holy Spirit—and he provides resources to help you do just that, including an electronica recording that will help you, in Crowder’s words, “trance out,” and a teaching that encourages stigmata and levitation.

I’ll let the theologians sort out all the obvious reasons why Crowder and other “new mystics” are treading on dangerous ground. Meanwhile I have a less complicated concern. With all of this emphasis on Holy Ghost intoxication, did anybody notice that the Bible clearly commands us to be spiritually sober?

If soberness wasn’t mentioned in the New Testament, then I wouldn’t be beating this drum so loudly. But I find numerous references, from both Peter and Paul.  “But you, be sober in all things,” is Paul’s admonition to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:5, NASB). He tells the Thessalonians, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation,” (1 Thess. 5:8).

Peter hammers the same point. He wrote, “Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13) and “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” (1 Pet. 4:7).

The soberness here is not primarily a reference to abstaining from alcohol (although it’s worth mentioning that believers who drink will find it more difficult to obey these commands). To be sober can be defined “to show self-control,” “to be sane or rational,” or “to be free from excess or extravagance.” A sober Christian knows the heights of God’s inexpressible joy, but he is never ruled by emotions, passions, lust or any other category of temptation that has the power to dull the spiritual senses.

When I look at the state of our nation today, and consider our spiritual challenges, it’s obvious the last thing we need are Christians who are so sloshed in emotional euphoria that they can’t pray intelligently and work diligently.

This is not a time for God’s people to be incapacitated. We need to be thinking, planning, strategizing, researching and building—all using the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. Yes, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit like never before—but He is not going to fill us so we can act like giddy freshmen at a frat house keg party. Let’s put the childish things behind us. It’s time for us to grow up and sober up.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. You can find him on Twitter at leegrady.

14
dec

1 Cor. 1:9 Mat

Korte overdenking door Jos Snoep van Bible League

God is getrouw, door Wie u geroepen bent tot de gemeenschap van Zijn Zoon Jezus Christus, onze Heere. (1 Kor. 1:9)

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