OPEN LETTER to WAGNER, JOYNER...
by Andrew Strom
I write this as a tongues-speaking, Spirit-filled, prophesying believer.
Dear Rick Joyner and C. Peter Wagner,
I will do my utmost to avoid disrespect in this letter. But I cannot avoid the hard questions which must be asked.
I hope my comments here are not construed as "arrogant". This is certainly not my intent. But I'm sure you have heard the news by now that the tide has turned in what you call your "Civil War". I'm sure you have heard that the Lakeland meetings have dwindled,and the "big tent" has been abandoned in favor of the 700-seat Ignite church once again. I'm sure you have heard that your man Todd Bentley's meetings in England have been cancelled, and that respected leaders even within your own movements have found vast evidence of falsehoods,fraudulent claims, manipulation and hype of the most blatant kind. The news of it is worldwide. It is not just ABC Nightline. It is your own people saying these things.
I'm sure you have heard the news that has even shocked and saddened me -that the British press is calling Bentley "A US child sex offender turned church minister who tries to cure cancer victims by kicking them" - and that 79% of Britons polled want to keep him out of the country. Where is the glory to Jesus in this? How could Todd even set foot in England under such a cloud? Sirs, if this really were a 'Civil War', aren't you living in Gettysburg?
Mr Wagner, I am sure you are aware that because of your open endorsement of Todd Bentley, numbers of your own ICA 'apostles'(some very well-known) are already planning an "alternative"network without all your 'Dominionist' trappings or NAR hierarchies.Sir, they are leaving. Are you sure you were right to endorse the Lakeland movement in the very face of your own apostles like that? Wasn't this one of the most crucial tests of your leadership? Sir,if your discernment is such that you could get on a stage and openly endorse one of the most deceptive movements in the history of the church, then - with all due respect - should you really be heading up the apostles of the entire Charismatic world? Are you aware that you have greatly endangered God's precious sheep all around the globe?
And Mr Joyner, are you conscious of how terribly the Prophetic movement has deteriorated on your watch, sir? As the most influential 'father' in that movement, why have you stood by while the "New Mystics" have taken over - with their gold dust, their portals, their 'orbs', their drunken jerking, their strange "angel" encounters and 'visualization' techniques, etc? In fact, why have you actively encouraged and participated in these very things yourself?
Isn't it true that Bob Jones has been a big mentor for you in these things, just like he was for Todd Bentley? Wasn't it Bob Jones who taught you how to "visualize" your way into the 'Third Heaven',Mr Joyner? Isn't Bob Jones one of the major hidden influences behind your ministry? Where do you get your visions? How do you write your books? How can we ever again trust the "angels" that you see? Sir, what were you thinking - to openly endorse the"New Mystics" as you did with Todd Bentley? Did you not see that it could end so badly?
We all know what Bob Jones said when he stood on the stage with Todd Bentley in front of the whole world:
BOB: "I released my angels to him... this man from Canada asked for my angels; this Wind of Change is most powerful. Except for the arch angels, this 'Winds of Change', this is the most powerful angel..."
BOB TO TODD BENTLEY: "As I watch you, you VIBRATE. You know there are two portals, clockwise and counter-clockwise.When you vibrate you close demonic vibration. Counter-clockwise vibration is demonic. The vibration is healing. Does it seem peculiar?"[He waves his hands]... "I’m releasing it to you."
A very basic question here: Is there anything even remotely biblical about any of this?
Mr Joyner, since Bob Jones is your major mentor, and since you stood on the stage and openly endorsed that whole movement, I guess we have to assume that this is the kind of "Prophetic" that you now represent? Isn't that fair to say, sir?
And now I need to ask some questions of my colleagues overseas:Isn't it true, my friends, that almost every deceptive fad or heresy of the last 25 years has come out of North America? (ie. The USA and Canada)? And hasn't it been growing worse and worse?
When I travel to Africa I find deadly "Prosperity" teaching rampant in the most poverty-stricken of nations. When I travel to Europe I find them bombarded with flakey 'prophets' from the States. When I travel to Australia I find them enthralled with 'Mega-church-Itis' imported from the USA. In every way, North America has become a source of utter pollution, sickness and compromise -both in the church and the world. And I believe God wants to put an end to it.
Personally I love Americans. I lived there for four years, and I have many dear friends in that part of the world. But I do not believe that God is going to allow this pollution to spread any longer.
Why do leaders in Australia or Europe think that their movements must be led by Americans? What nation is most of this pollution coming from? Why do African leaders allow sick money-grubbing telecasts from the USA to be beamed to their people via satellite?Why are any of us allowing any of this garbage? When are we going to stand up and cry, "ENOUGH"? When are we going to cut off this pollution - not just for ourselves - but for the sake of God's precious sheep? Why should we be led by America if they are leading us into deception?
Should North America even be allowed to lead the worldwide church any more?
And finally, let me return to Mr Joyner - who once intimated that it is time to "drive" out those who want to "test the spirits" in the church. Sir, let me say to you that indeed the time has come to drive a particular spirit out. It is the spirit of rampant "Charis-mania".And sir, I have to say with all due respect, that your very own movement strikes me as the primest of prime places in which to start.
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