As one in the still developing mission field of online apologetics and discernment ministry here at Apprising Ministries it goes with the territory to take quite a bit of “friendly fire.”
For example, in Meet The Ordained Women Ministers Of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries’ Speaking Team I told you RZIM spokesman Rick Manafo accused me of doing a “make-up job.”
More on that another day; and then there was Ken Silva Is Too Hard On Ravi Zacharias And Joyce Meyer? where I was admonished by a fifty-something youth leader of Bear Creek Baptist Church, a Baptist megachurch:
you need to give it a rest for a while. stick to the big stuff. stop splitting these infernal hairs…you are very hard on these people.
However, as I explained to Jay Odom—the author in question—I don’t know them personally; therefore, I’m not making any comment whatsoever about them. In addition, Ravi Zacharias is not some “Christian untouchable.”
He is just as accountable to the Body of Christ as anyone else. For you see, Zacharias praising Word Faith heretic Joyce Meyer—who functions as an elder—and, thereby, validating her apostasy is “big stuff.”
As I told Odom, as a pastor-teacher it’s a part of my job to assess their false doctrine. I’m holding them accountable to God’s infallible and inerrant Word in the Bible and, hopefully, teaching others how to do the same.
So, against this backdrop I now bring you an exclusive AM video clip featuring Ravi Zacharias and Nicky Gumbel, vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), whose main claim to fame is the infamous program The Alpha Course.
The clip is from the November 20,2012 RZIM News item, which is a video of Ravi’s Interview With Nicky Gumbel From London. Apparently it was just shot as part of the 11:30am service at HTB on Sunday, November 18, 2012.
As a bit of background on Vicar Gumbel’s HTB, whom you’ll hear Zacharias praise below, I point you to Alpha male: Can Nicky Gumbel and Holy Trinity Brompton save the Church of England? by Damian Thompson.
Thompson tells us:
A simple introduction to Christianity known as the Alpha Course, devised by the parish in the 1970s and still very much the intellectual property of HTB, has now been done by 20 million people across the world…
Nicky Gumbel,…has been vicar of Holy Trinity since 2005. He didn’t invent the Alpha Course — designed as an introduction to Jesus for non-believers or lukewarm churchgoers — but it’s thanks to his nervous energy that it has spread to 169 countries.
In 1996, [Roman Catholic] Cardinal Hume invited a team from HTB to Westminster Cathedral so he could discover whether it was compatible with Catholicism. ‘That really took us by surprise,’ Gumbel told me over tea in his vicarage last week. ‘It wasn’t just that they were so enthusiastic — it was that we hardly had to change anything when we developed Alpha for Catholics.’
Actually, the bigger surprise is that HTB — which at one point in its history would have regarded Catholics as barely Christian at all — is so Rome-friendly: literally so, in that Gumbel has friends and supporters in the upper reaches of the Vatican.
‘I love Catholics,’ he says with great emphasis, and it’s interesting that he doesn’t use the term ‘Roman Catholics’, which always sounds slightly sniffy to Catholic ears… But doesn’t Holy Trinity sometimes use the Alpha Course to poach Catholics?
‘No! When they do Alpha I say to them: do not come to HTB but go back to your Catholic parish. It’s part of the Church and I love the whole Church.’ (source)
I happen to be a former Roman Catholic; and now having read The Alpha Course (TAC) materials myself, as I can tell you that there’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever that both TAC and Nicky Gumbel are sinfully ecumenical.
Now keep this in mind as you watch the clip to follow where you’ll see leading evangelical, ostensibly Protestant, apologist Ravi Zacharias tell the apostate Nicky Gumbel he actually believes that God inspired Gumbel:
Gumbel: Ravi, you’re known all over the world as someone who proclaims the truth of the Christian faith…
Zacharias: And, by the way, what you all have done in this church through Alpha; God bless you for it. Absolutely bless you for it. I don’t know if there is a place in the world I go to, but that somebody comes up and says, “it was through the Alpha Course.”
Nicky, the Lord inspired you, brought a support team around you; and may its—may it just continue to grow—because it’s brought about in a way that takes people gently step by step. We like to think of three minute conversion stories; they really very seldom happen under a tree.
One link is put into another link in place, and then, you have the Holy Spirit of God having free reign. So thanks for what you’re all doing. It’s wonderful to see the impact you have globally, too.
Gumbel: Thank you so much Ravi.
HT: SAID Radio