Letters may be edited for brevity.Editorial Comments are by editor Philip L. Powell (plp)
From the CWM Blog
To comment go to – http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/Find the thread (topic) and make your comment at the end of that thread.
Gathering The Faithful Remnant
There are many errors in the church. I believe that God will soon shake the church and only what is of Jesus Christ will remain. However, each one of us needs a shaking - not only for purification but also to get rid of all the baggage that has been accumulated through history via Christendom as well as evangelicalism. It is sad though that many of the 'errors' mentioned on this blog and website against Christian groups are largely based on misconceptions, false accusations, pettyfogging (sic), straining at gnats, and faultfinding. Every Christian cult believes it is a remnant of the faithful.
ED: Unfortunately the writer of this piece chose to remain anonymous. There followed a lively interaction over his/her false accusations. You can see all comments on this post here: http://www.christianwitness. org/blog/?p=21#comments NOTE: to locate the actual comment select EDIT on the menu bar then “Select All” then from EDIT search a key word or phrase.
From The Regular Mailer
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Thank you. This is the first email I have received from you. I appreciate it and would like to be on your mailing list, please – Shalom - Margaret
Floods & Flames Down Under
Hi, I saw the Danny Nalliah press release and the article about it in the Herald, and was grieved to think that the name of Christ is being brought into disrepute by this man. It's my understanding of the Bible that when God gave a message to a prophet about impending judgement, that the prophet was obligated to pass the message on so that people would have a chance to repent. But apparently, Mr Nalliah kept the message to himself and his mates, and only told Victorians after the (in his view) judgement had taken place. If God did speak to him in the dream (which I don't believe) wouldn't Mr Nalliah be guilty for all the death and destruction for not passing on the message? I too am appalled by the Victorian government's abortion laws. But Mr Nalliah does not represent biblical gospel-centred Christianity. The discussion and debate about abortion needs to keep happening. But in respect to the bushfires we need to repudiate the foolish and misguided statements made by people like Danny Nalliah, and instead, help people to find comfort in the one who Paul describes as being "the God of all comfort". God bless, Scott DONNELLAN Port Macquarie, NSW.
Hillsong & GCCC – Brisbane
Hello Philip - I read your article with interest especially when the concerned persons have not had the courage to identify themselves. I noted [that] you or the concerned have little trouble in spreading unsubstantiated murmurings. Prov 6:16 - 19 “There are six things which Jehovah hates; Yes, seven which are an abomination unto him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that devises wicked purposes, Feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that utters lies, And he who sows discord among brethren.” The Apostle Paul speaks very clearly about causing schism in the Body of Christ. It would be good for you to check the history of the Garden City Church (GCC) over the past 30 years. You may find it an interesting read. Christian Life Churches (CLC) were formed in Australia with the coming of Trevor Chandler to Australia (about 1973). He had, at one time, been an assistant to Pastor Frank Houston in NZ. Pastor Trevor Chandler was invited to lead a church in Brisbane and was never a part of the AOG system. Much later Frank Houston came to Australia and started a church in Kingscross in Sydney. These were independent of each other. But [of] the eldership of Garden City Christian Church(GCCC—an independent local church) be it right or wrong or wise or foolish, [it] is the responsibility of the GCCC eldership before God. Many Leaders are envious about Hillsong Church and its influence not just Australia wide but world wide. There is not a country that I have been in that I have not heard their music or seen their influence. There have been many attacks on Hillsong from financial structure to pastoral operation with out substantiation. The Lord has the power to build up or pull down. Let the Lord cast judgment and [let us] pray and desire to see sinners brought unto Him and His Kingdom. For your consideration - JW, Brisbane.
ED: Thank you: I have always been open about who I am and have without fear or favour expressed my views, sometimes at considerable cost. If that constitutes "spreading discord among brethren" or "causing schism in the body" then so be it. In my view it doesn't and I think I have biblical precedent for what I and CWM do. For the record I was a fellow-Bible College student with Reg Klimionok, who though not the pioneer pastor of GCCC, then called Mt Gravatt AoG (Garnet Budge was the first pastor), did in fact see a great development of that Church during his tenure as pastor. He did a good job until he opened the gates to the "faith prosperity" crowd and in the end, having fallen for their devices, linked to their false doctrine, had to flee the country for USA in the early 1980s. He also IMO made the mistake of compromising his stance against immoral and heretical "pastors" on the illusion of success in respect of Church Growth. I refer especially to Clark Taylor and CoC. When I was a pastor in UK I visited Australia and preached for Reg Klimionok in 1974. May be your historical knowledge of GCCC is superior to mine.
Also for the record I do know about the links between Frank Houston (FH) and Trevor Chandler and I do know that the latter actually formed CLC and that FH used the name to form CLC (NSW) and what I wrote about the way FH got alongside of bona fide AoGs in Sydney and eventually took over their assets by some legal manoeuvre is correct. This of course had nothing whatsoever to do with the CLC set up by Trevor Chandler.
Now having hopefully established a level playing ground I am happy to discuss matters further with you. I agree that ultimately those in management position at GCCC must accept responsibility for their decisions. I am sure you are right that many "leaders" may be jealous about Hillsong's popularity. Hillsong has done extremely well as a corporation. However in things spiritual and ecclesiastical we are told to "judge all things" and to "try the spirits". In our small yet growing fellowship here in Brisbane we have a number of disillusioned former adherents and/or members of AoG including some from GCCC.
When David went against Goliath and his brothers criticised him for so doing he pleaded his cause. All of the issues relating to that famous battle do not apply to this case, but nonetheless I plead my cause and I take my stand. I am happy for my position and my view to be widely publicised and I am open to discuss it with anyone, including your good self. God bless you and thank you very much for writing to me. If you reside in or near Brisbane you are most welcome to visit us at CWM-Fellowship, incognito or otherwise any time.
(Addendum – This is an ongoing correspondence, some of which we may publish if the author's agreement is obtained or it may be transferred to the CWM blog see also pp 2, 21 & 31 in this issue of CETF.)
From Bob: Philip - The accusations you bring against Christians who have a different perspective than you - have absolutely nothing to do with being a follower of Jesus. The word 'heretic' means one who causes division, not one who holds a different doctrinal or theological viewpoint to your own. The attacks, allegations, and judgements you make are indeed inspired, but not by any spirit which is holy. How very sad.
ED: I engaged “Bob” in a very long exchange of mostly “short” emails. He steadfastly resisted identifying himself much like “Anonymous” on the above blog. Maybe they are the same person. Here's one of my emails to him with his email address. Feel free to drop him a line.
Bob email@example.com: Thanks - Hope we can catch up somewhere as per the attached TOUR itinerary, notwithstanding your attempts to "judge" my motive and thence to make false accusations against me. I have NO idea where you live so maybe it will be impossible to meet plp.
- http://www.worldnetdaily.com - [This applies to WorldNetDaily but was addressed to CWM and to MORIEL] Has this site become Christian tabloid rubbish? The amount of nonsense articles about Obama is unbelievable!
ED: A number of people have expressed concern about some of the articles emanating from WorldNetDaily. While we have previously quoted from some of its sources, of recent times we have simply filed most of their stuff in the "wait and see" basket. Any concerns that you have about WorldNetDaily should be addressed to them not to CWM. I cannot speak for MORIEL but I would assume that something similar may apply. Because we may support some of the articles from a particular source does not mean that we support all that may emerge therefrom. God bless and thank you.
Jacob Prasch responded on behalf of MORIEL to the effect that he had engaged WND in a back and forth email exchange in which he had warned them that they would discredit themselves by some of the things they have been publishing.
Brother Powell, It would be a great help to be able to pass on the info. Below is the desperate cry for a sound Church. Thanks for your help. God Bless. Keith Malcomson - IRELAND
Hey Keith, How's everything going? Just a quick email to ask if you've heard anything from that pastor about a church in Perth. We've been here for nearly a month and have visited one church near where we live twice but it seems more fleshly than anything and it's one of those feel good churches, If you could get any info we would much appreciate it, even if you could just find out a name. Hey and do you have any idea when next year you will be starting a School of Christ over here? Hope to hear from you soon. God bless. Tara
ED: Recommended Churches are on our CWM-Fellowship website at - www.cwmfellowship.org - Click on "Churches" on top menu bar. One is listed in PERTH there. In addition we can recommend another which is not yet listed but is safe and sound that you can recommend to your friends: Ian & Ruth Adkin, WATERFORD WA 6152
CWM – Link Churches & CONFERENCE
Dear Phil and Kath, Blessings to you. Have received your CETF via email. Tremendous. Just wanted to say, Keep up the good work! I'm writing from Argentina where I have been in ministry since 7 April. Will return to the USA, May 19. Things have seemed to go well. Esther is still in the USA, one of the few times she has not been with me (another time was when I last saw you folks). Talked with her earlier today. Esther and I have always wanted to drop in on your camp meeting some year, and it would be a joy to do so in August; but after the journeys here to Argentina and, hopefully, finishing book, I think it will be difficult. Some time I would love to meet my fellow Americans such as Bill Randles and Jeff Whittaker. In your list of cooperating churches here in the USA, I notice one I am personally acquainted with: Destiny Christian Center in Huber Heights, Ohio, (Dayton, Ohio), where Eric Smith is pastor. I've spoken for Eric, and Esther and I have had lunch with him and his wife a couple of times. Wonderful man. When you come to the USA, be great for you to speak for Eric if you happen to be anywhere near Ohio. May our Lord's gracious anointing continue to be yours.
Joyously, John Anderson – AG – USA.
Dear Christian friends, I came across this amazing article in a British newspaper: As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article5400568.ece) Paradoxical to say the least! Pray that Matthew Parris will pursue the logical conclusion of this kind of statement and become committed to God personally: "As a former atheist, I truly believe that the whole world, including Matthew Parris, needs God."
WHAT NEXT? Dutch 'atheist' pastor - http://www.eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=2861
What will theological liberalism invent next? This “pastor” is in a Protestant amalgamation of a Lutheran and two Reformed denominations. Part of the article reads:
Hendrikse gained attention with his book published in November 2007, in which he said that it was not necessary to believe in God's existence in order to believe in "God".
The Dutch title of the book translates as, Believing in a God who does not exist: manifesto of an atheist pastor. This is an example of “the suicide of the church” http://www.albertmohler.com/blog.php Sincerely in Christ, Spencer Gear – Hervey Bay - QLD
Easter – Pagan or Christian:
We have received the latest issue of CETF and have been reading part 2 of the articles on Easter with interest. As it is an issue that our Home Church has often discussed, I have forwarded the 2 articles on to our pastor, who will look at preparing a letter or article in response. Thanks for the work you're doing - we appreciate your willingness and ability to look at issues from "both sides". Kind Regards – JM - Mitcham, Vic, Australia.
Jacob Prasch may find it interesting that I preached "first fruits" on resurrection Sunday, using 1 Corinthians 15 as my principal text! Many of my "high church" friends always chide me because our church doesn't do all of the traditional "Christian observances" (mardi gras, ash Wednesday, lent, Maunday Thursday, etc.). It has given me many opportunities to introduce my Gentile brothers to their true roots in Messiah through the original feasts. Don't worry, Niles hasn't gone "Galatian", but our people have truly been blessed by being taught about where they really came from, and also seeing how apostate Rome influenced the world through its anti-chirst and anti-semitic replacement theology - Shalom and G'day – Jeffrey L. Whittaker, pastor.
ED – Jacob Prasch has indicated that he will write a responsive article to the two published. As editor I welcome this sort of interaction as being part of the Berean principle and procedure. We have a follow up letter on EASTER which will appear, God willing in the next issue of CETF.
Coming Evangilical Collapse or Is Christianity Rising?
For years we at CWM have been warning about the erosion taking place within Christendom through the actions of evangelical liberalists and Pentecostal perversions. So what will be the outcome? You may care to look at the following links and form an opinion.
IS EVANGELICALISM COLLAPSING - http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/my-prediction-the-coming-evangelical-collapse-1
IS CHRISTIANITY RISING - you might be encouraged by this story from the UK of a Muslim woman who became a Christian: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5907458.ece
Toronto - Resign Vineyard Pastor Comes Clean
Dear CWM - I just read what you had archived about Toronto in your last newsletter. What that former pastor admitted was correct, but it is even more serious than he realized . In 1971, I was fooled by "holy" laughter too. I was a Bible school student at the time. The school president laid his hand on the small of my back and I fell to the floor laughing. Somehow God gave me enough presence of mind to analyze my experience by comparing it to other times when I had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit. As I laughed, I wondered why I did not feel the same joy I felt when I was born again in 1966. I felt that same joy on other occasions when God met me in some wonderful way. But the time I fell down laughing, there really was no joy at all. In fact, I felt rather “blah”. Because that experience did not do anything for me, I did not try to impart it to others afterward. I continued to think it might have been from God because so many people I knew said so, but I had reservations. During the 1980's, I sort of forgot about it. When news reached us about Toronto in 1995, I had a gut feeling that something was wrong. We asked a pastor we knew what he thought about it after he visited Toronto. He said they had no reverence. That was good enough for me to reject it, but I had a gut feeling there was more to learn. A couple years later, I read a book by Robert Liichow about it. His book is entitled Two Roots of Today's Revival.He showed how the manifestations in Toronto were identical to those in Kundalini Yoga and the Shakers. I later learned the Hopi Indians also experienced identical manifestations during one of their rituals. The Hopis also called it Kundalini, even though they never knew anyone from India. Robert Liichow's wife experienced Kundalini fire when Mucktananda laid hands on her while she was in his cult before finding the Lord Jesus as her Saviour. She not only laughed, but also roared like a tiger. On Robert's first web site, he said there are 7 stages of Kundalini possession. In the first stage, the inductee falls down laughing.In the second stage, they sound like an animal. In the third stage, they act like an animal. In the fourth, they see blue lights wherever they are. I forget what happens in the 5th and 6th stages. When they reach the 7th stage, they think they have be come a god . What happened at Toronto began in Word of Faith (WOF) circles. I have a cassette tape from Hank Hannegraaff, which has 5 WOF preachers on it claiming they have become gods. They include Benny Hinn, Ken Copeland, John Avanzini, Morris Cerullo & Jim Jones. Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, He will never perform a miracle to confirm a lie [as though it were truth]. Thus, the power behind their miracles is the spirit of antichrist. I did a lot of repenting and renouncing when I learned these things. I've even been able to minister deliverance to a few others, but most deceived people won't listen to me. It takes a lot of prayer to break thru that blindness to help others. Thanks for your efforts to help such people. They are prisoners of war, so we need to do all we can to rescue them. Maranatha, Rev. David Scott, New Zealand.
Todd Bentley - False Miracles
Philip: Last year I did an expose in WORLD magazine about Todd Bentley. At that time, I asked the Bentley organization to provide me a list of names of people who had been healed. They eventually gave me a list of 13 names, but only after I had filed my story. So, I've just been sitting on that list for about a year. A week or so ago, I got curious about the 13 people on the list, so I started calling them all. Some of them had claimed to have been “healed” of major things, such as cancer, and some of relatively minor things, such as flat-footedness. Well, I haven't gotten through to everyone yet, but of the 10 I have gotten through to, 2 of them have since DIED of the disease they were supposedly “healed” of. At least 2 of them were not even healed at the Bentley event, but merely gave their “testimony” of a previous “healing” at the event, and the Bentley people started claiming those healings as their own. In several cases, the disease recurred. I'll be writing the story over the course of the next few days. I'll make sure you get a copy when it is finished. Warren Smith – Charlotte – USA
Warren: I'd love to read your article with a view to re-publishing it with your permission - all things being equal. This topic was posted on our CWM blog with the result of my getting in touch with the man who was supposed to be healed of Stage 4 metastatic Cancer. You can find the topic at http://www.christian-witness.org/blog/?p=16 - Please Provide the Medical Evidence for the Healing of the Man with Stage 4 metastatic Cancer July 5, 2008 – 1:45 am. We created quite a flurry of Comments on our blog at the time. I can't readily put my hand on the emails that passed between us. His name was Roger Rodriquez. He verified that he had improved in health following his being "kicked" by Todd Bentley but did not go so far as to personally claim to be healed. When things turned sour on TB, in respect of "immorality", Roger went to earth and failed to respond further to my email inquiries. I wonder if you managed to contact him and what he now says about the matter. I have copied Bene-Diction in on this email, whom you may know and who will be able to inform you better about this Roger. I interacted with "Bene" over this issue. He is a very good man and totally honourable and reliable
Hi Philip: Not a problem. His name is Roger Rodriquez - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Warren: I found Roger Rodriguez's initial comment at New Leaven (California blog). http://newleaven.com/2008/07/04/did-todd-bentley-knee-or-kick-a-man-in-the-stomach-to-heal-him/
Roger and I corresponded a bit. I posted what he gave me (his pic, story etc). RR wrote saying he was a friend of Roger. There is also a comment at New Leaven from someone claiming they took him to Lakeland. Here is what I have at BDBO [website]. http://tiny.cc/BZZo2
RR: July 2008
"I can verify that Roger is the person in the video. I know Roger personally. If you have any questions e-mail me." TC at New Leaven also had a comment to say he was Roger’s friend.
I wrote Roger when Lakeland was over, there was no reponse. If you follow up, I'd like to know if he was a shill, is dead, alive... Regards, BD.
ED: It is disturbing and disappointing that so called Christian leaders continue to promote Todd Bentley and his “revival” notwithstanding his having been exposed as a philanderer who is now divorced and remarried. There is overwhelming evidence that indicates TB's “miracles” were bogus. We at CWM believe that the deception associated with the Florida Outpouring is linked to the Vineyard Toronto and the AoG Pensacola scams and that the prominent promoters of those deceptions should publicly repent to remove the scourge from their respective “movements”..