One of the current issues I’m trying to alert you to here at Apprising Ministries is an increasing charismania running along a parallel track with mainstream evangelicalism’s lust for corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM); and it becomes an especially deadly spiritual cocktail when imbibed together.
For example, CSM and hyper-charismatic practices form the base for the spurious theology of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) as taught by NAR false Apostle-Prophet Mike Bickle and his spiritually corrupt International House of Prayer (IHOP). Now consider Francis Chan Declares “I Love Mike Bickle Of IHOP”.
Then there was John Piper And Stephen Venable Of IHOP Together At Linger Conference; although we have since seen Stephen Venable Out Of Linger Conference, though no one seems to know why. Or, if they do, they aren’t letting anyone know as attempts to contact Linger reps have been unsuccessful.
Leaving that aside, the contemporary evangelical landscape is so littered with people claiming God personally told them this or that John MacArthur would feel it necessary to come out with his Strange Fire book and conference evaluating “the doctrines, claims, and practices of the modern charismatic movement.”1
And as I’ve said, the charismatic excesses just don’t get any more excessive than IHOP’s Strange Fire. Even so, we witnessed respected charismatic theologian Dr. Michael Brown Say Friends Mike Bickle And Lou Engle “True Men Of God”. The dominionism of the NAR is now closer to your church than you may know.
Then there’s the postmodern form of Calvinism known as New Calvinism (NC), which tries to marry Reformation theology with Counter-Reformation spirituality. Take for example Acts 29 Pastor Matt Chandler On Being A Reformed Charismatic and Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinist Contemplative Spirituality.
Four Ways ‘New Calvinism’ is So Powerful
- Old Calvinism was fundamental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture. New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.
- Old Calvinism fled from the cities. New Calvinism is flooding into cities.
- Old Calvinism was cessationistic and fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinism is continuationist and joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
- Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them. (source)
Since point number 3 is our concern here, I’m going to ignore the broadbrushing of “Old Calvinism.” NC leaves the door open for continuing revelation from God in addition to His Word in Holy Scripture. Following I’m going to give you a couple of examples concerning Matt Chandler, who is widely respected well beyond NC circles.
The first comes from the December 5. 2013 Life Today TV program of James Robison, which airs on the TBN network.3. You’ll hear Robison welcome Chandler back to his program and ask the Acts 29 president how he feels. As Chandler answers he lays out the Word a friend says God told him to tell Chandler:
We had received a word from a good friend of mine really even before I got sick, that the Lord was going to take us through a bit of a journey. So really, through all of it, we just kind of done what Paul told Timothy to do which was to hold fast to the prophecies concerning him. So that’s what we try to do…
I totally misunderstood what [my friend] was saying to me when he said it because we were leading the church into some transition that we knew it needed to go through. We knew there were going to be some guys on staff that weren’t going to like that and we were probably going to lose some very talented, gifted godly men on staff. So, I was just praying and fasting, going “Okay, Lord. Is this what you’d have us do? I don’t mind turning the ship but I don’t want people flying off of it while we do it.
So I went to this launch with just a friend of mine who said, “Hey, the Lord has told me that he’s going to circumcise you and through that circumcision he’s going to make you the father of many sons.”
So, I mean I wrote it in my journal and started praying, and just tried to test it. I left that lunch thinking: the Lord wants me to make these changes on how we’re structured. So I tried to boldly lead into those and had a seizure and never even got to address those until three years later. But yeah –
So, I had misread it. Really, it was during chemo. I was laying on our bathroom floor in our master bedroom/bath and then I remembered his word and I was going, “Oh my gosh! That’s about this! It’s not about that!”
So that’s when it hit me. I think that’s when I started going, “Okay, I think the Lord is going to heal me.” And just tried to keep that anchored in my heart, which hasn’t always been easy. (source)
It’s not my point in this article to argue any inherent problems with what Matt Chandler has just said. Instead, what I felt led of the Lord to do is simply provide the evidence and documentation for this recent event. There’s no doubt that the above is considered by Chandler and Robison as a prophecy originating with God.
As I close this, for now, I’ll point you to the video clip below which features Bob Hamp. Just so you’ll be aware, Hamp would have us know that he works “for a large non-denominational charismatic church in Southlake, Texas.” and in addition Hamp informs us he’s also “in charge of what we call Freedom Ministry.”4
It’s important to note here that the church Bob Hamp works for is the hyper-charismatic Gateway Church (GC) headed by the rising Word Faith prosperity preacher Robert Morris. As a matter of fact Hamp is listed there at GC as “Executive Pastor, Pastoral Care Ministries (AKA Freedom Ministry Guru).”5
Ok, so you may wonder what this has to do with Matt Chandler; I’ll tell you. In the clip to follow Bob Hamp will talk about a friend who, at the very least, was a friend at the time the incident happened. I spoke with Hamp a couple of years ago and I asked him if the friend that he’s talking about was Matt Chandler.
Hamp told me that it is. As you’ll hear, the story involves a time where this friend receives some direct revelation from God and then what happens subsequently as the men act upon it. Whatever their relationship may be now, both of them were attempting to learn together how to hear the Lord’s Voice speaking outside of Scripture.
Looking at them today, each would seem to have heard God tell them to go on very different paths. As I said, Matt Chandler is the president of the Acts 29 Network once headed by Mark Driscoll, another reformed charismatic now on yet another path, while Bob Hamp has drifted into Word Faith fables and teaching dominionism.
Based on the highly subjective nature of someone claiming to receive direct revelation from God, we have real reason to be concerned here. You need to understand that this issue surrounding claims of continuing revelation, and what is to be made of it, is one enemy forces are right now advancing into the mainstream of Christendom:
- REFORMED CHARISMATIC NEW CALVINIST MATT CHANDLER
- MARK DRISCOLL AND PORNOGRAPHIC DIVINATION
- BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER LEAD LECTIO DIVINA-LITE AT PASSION 2012