No Apologies Round Two

"Few if any recent generations could sit with a Bible in one hand and their newspapers in the other and see the fulfillment of prophecy, but for us it’s almost routine." Jack Kelly

Friday, August 12, 2011

Spirit Filled, But is it Holy?

From Strong's Greek Dictionary:  from the Greek word apophtheggomai, meaning:
to enunciate plainly, that is, declare- to say, speak forth.

Music is powerful and is something that effects our emotions and feelings. It's no wonder that people are able to memorize song lyrics a lot more than memorize written words or, concerning the church, remember sermons. Some people in ministries and churches don't realize that the teaching they are giving, or receiving over and over again as they allow the song to repeat in their minds and by singing the words, are often more memorable than the Pastor's message. 
Some people in the Emergent, Apostolic Reform, Purpose Driven, Best Life Now type churches, no doubt, know all too well that these kinds of worship songs are memorable and take the focus away from empty messages.

In some of the churches I have been to in the past, I have noticed that much of the modern praise and worship music is too repetitive.  Even on the radio, some of the songs are short, yet sing the same few verses over and over again.  I have to wonder, with the focus on spirituality and the new ideas that church must be more of a feeling, or experience, than a lesson,  this newer form of praise and worship tends to send a person into a trance-like state, which clearly is unBiblical and occult in it's technique. The lyrics to much of the music used today in churches is simple, touchy feely, feel good about yourself, and some are even unBiblical in their message. Take this song for instance, written by Kathy Riss, wife of Dr. Richard Riss an apologist for the Third Wave movement (more on that later).

I have, thankfully, never heard this song- but you tell me, is this Biblical?

The Drinking Song
If you feel too serious and kind of blue, I've got a suggestion, just the thing for you! It's a little unconventional, but so much fun, That you won't even mind when people think you're dumb! Just come to the party God is throwing right now, We can all lighten up and show the pagans how Christians have more fun and keep everyone guessing, Since the Holy Ghost sent us the Toronto blessing! I used to think life was serious stuff; I didn't dare cry, so I acted kind of tough  'Til the Spirit of God put laughter in my soul, Now the Holy Ghost's got me, and I'm out of control! Now I'm just a party animal grazing at God's trough, I'm a Jesus junkie, and I can't get enough! I'm an alcoholic for that great New Wine, 'Cause the Holy Ghost is pouring, and I'm drinking all the time! Now I laugh like an idiot and bark like a dog, If I don't sober up, I'll likely hop like a frog! And I'll crow like a rooster 'til the break of day, 'Cause the Holy Ghost is moving, and I can't stay away! Now I roar like a lioness who's on the prowl, I laugh and I shake, maybe hoot like an owl! Since God's holy river started bubbling up in me, It spills outside, and it's setting me free! So, I'll crunch and I'll dip and I'll dance round and round, 'Cause the pew was fine, but it's more fun on the ground! So I'll jump like a pogo stick, then fall on the floor, 'Cause the Holy Ghost is moving, and I just want MORE!

Kathryn Riss

This song was used at the Toronto “Blessing”  (more on this as well a little later) meetings. It sets people up for unbiblical and even demonic oppression to sing such a song as this! To think this song could represent anything Christian, shows how far away from true Biblical literacy some of our modern churches have come.  This kind of music is and has been chanted over and over in many of the modern "charismatic" churches, and again, is meant to draw people into a mystical, spiritual experience, which some modern emergent and evangelicals think is necessary to experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit in a deeper way.  Hog wash!

When comparing such music and ideas as this, with Bible scriptures, it is clear, that some of the things experienced by people at meetings such as the Brownsville Revival, Toronto Blessing, International House of Prayer and others are anything but Biblical.

I know a few folks who believe these are legitimate, Spirit filled meetings, and my bringing this up may get me into hot water with more than a few of these precious folks, but I can't be quiet on this.  I pray they will not feel that I am attacking them personally, or their way of worshipping.  I know there are different ways to worship, and many of us do so in different ways, yet all love the Lord.  My fear is, knowing how easily disguised the occult can come into one's life, some godly people may not even realize they've been deceived and led into occultic practices where they are in the spirit, but that spirit is no way Holy.
I am only trying to "test" the spirits here, and ask that people discern for themselves to see if there is anything in the church which is not Scripturally sound.   I know many people, well meaning, and again, who love the Lord, but believe that when someone must be able to speak in tongues, a gift of the Holy Spirit, in order to at least  be fully experiencing the Christian faith.
Speaking in tongues, Biblically, does NOT include such things as barking like dogs, crowing like roosters, clucking like chickens, rolling in the aisles laughing or shaking uncontrollably, hopping like frogs, flopping on the ground or hooting.   Notice in the Book of Acts, chapter 2, on the day of Pentecost:

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another,  What  meaneth  this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
For these are not drunken,as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:4-18

Now, is there anywhere which the people who were anointed by the Holy Spirit barking, flopping or clucking?  Did we miss something?  I don't think so.  These people were speaking in tongues for sure, as many of the foreigners recognized their languages!   Some did believe these people were drunk, as they didn't understand, they were most likely locals who knew these people and spoke only the same local language.  Peter quickly explained that they were not drunk, and the foreigners agreed, saying they were able to understand their own languages.  The Holy Spirit was speaking through these people, giving the gift of tongues, because there were so many people in Jerusalem for the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit used these local  believers to tell the Gospel in languages all the people could understand!  In this way God was glorified.
Any gift the Holy Spirit gives, if it is really the Holy Spirit, Glorifies God.  God was glorified the day of Pentecost because hundreds of people from all over the known world received the message that day- the message of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
There is no way a person, or people, acting in such ways as described as the norm for such gatherings as the Toronto Blessing, can be glorifying the Lord in front of unbelievers.  They act as if they are out of control, yet the Spirit of the Lord is One who helps us have control over our actions, and words.

Wrapping this up for now, lets look at 1 Corinthians:
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Corinthians 14:21-26

Right in the first part of these verses, it says, "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.."   It clearly says that those who speak in tongues are for nonbelievers, such as those visitors to Jerusalem at Pentecost,  not like those at the Brownsville Revival type displays who, in most cases, make even believers uncomfortable- but how can unbelievers get the message of Christ by people barking liked dogs and rolling around on the ground?  Simply put, they can't- and it is any wonder why unbelievers think Christians are crazy with those kinds of antics.

Those last verses bare repeating (Italics mine): Let all things be done unto edifying.  Edifying the Lord Jesus..
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. Let one interpret, so unbelievers can understand the One who they are edifying...But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. If no one can understand what barking means, and no one can interpret clucking, please people- be quiet! 

People who claim to be believers-  need to spread the Gospel in such a way as to Glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus, to an unbelieving world.  You who Love Jesus, need to utter, declare the Hope of Christ in such a way as those who are lost will understand His love for them, that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that no one should perish, but all have everlasting life.

More later on The Toronto Blessing, the Third Way, International House of Prayer,  and the Response call to prayer by Texas' Governor, and Presidential Candidate, Rick Perry.