Why I Believe Christians Should Not Participate in Governor Perry's "The Response"
Why It is NOT Just A Prayer Event
Opinion and Commentary by Brannon S. Howse
Posted: July 24, 2011
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In August of 2010 it was Glenn Beck with whom Christians were uniting for his "Restoring Honor Rally". I took a real beating from many Christians for stating that I believe that Glenn Beck, as a Mormon, is proclaiming another Jesus and another gospel and that this event would not help America but hurt America.
Even after Beck released his book, Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life in which he detailed his completely unbiblical worldview; Christians continued to defend Beck stating that he is a good Christian that is teaching truth.
Now, as we approach August of 2011, many Christians are once again jumping on what appears to be the next spiritual bandwagon; a prayer rally being hosted by Governor Perry of Texas and other leaders. The website of The Response, says the reason for this rally is because:
America is in the midst of a historic crisis. We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. The youth of America are in grave peril economically, socially, and, most of all, morally. There are threats emerging within our nation and beyond our borders beyond our power to solve.
The reason the "youth of America are in grave peril economically, socially, and most of all, morally", is because they are in peril spiritually and I believe that giving credibility to and introducing youth and adults to false teachers and their unbiblical spirituality is only going to put people in danger of eternal, spiritual peril.
I do not believe this event will aide in reclaiming the country, restoring liberty, or prosperity and it certainly will not prompt God to bless America. I believe such an event will actually hasten God's judgment on our nation.
Many pro-family groups have boycotted companies for their support of same-sex marriage. Are these same groups going to boycott their own prayer event now that Perry has announced his support for same-sex marriage in New York?
The Response, as this event is being called, is being promoted as a time of prayer and repentance. However, how can Christians and Christian leaders gather together in a spiritual enterprise, a spiritual service, with individuals that embrace a theology and doctrine that teaches a different Jesus and a different gospel? I and thousands of pastors and theologians believe that the Word of God reveals that the teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith movement and the prosperity gospel is completely unbiblical.
Worldview Weekend has been warning about the unbiblical aspect of the prosperity gospel for years. Here is a link to one of our DVDs we produced in which Dr. Ron Carlson was warning of the unbiblical nature of the prosperity gospel.
Some would try and accuse me of guilt by association. However, I do not believe those participating in The Response, and other such projects, are guilty by association but guilty by participation. I believe they are guilty of giving credibility to false teachers by choosing to unite with false teachers. Ephesians 5:11 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." 2 Timothy 3:5 says "and from such people turn away."
It appears that the religious right in America has openly embraced, for the sake of political pragmatism, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Word of Faith Movement, and the proponents of the prosperity gospel. This is not a new trend. To the shock of many, a strange coalition of religious activists united at Liberty University in 2010 and 2011.
Pastor James Robison, on his website, wrote about "supernatural gatherings" and listed "those who attended one or both Leadership Summits along with those who encouraged and assisted in bringing about the gatherings." The list included men whose ministries I have respected but also prosperity preachers I have refuted.
I fear the American church is following in the steps of the "German Christians" that eliminated their denominations and abandoned doctrinal purity in order to unite under the Reich Bishop so they might save their country. Nationalism or ecumenical patriotism, mysticism, and a lack of biblical discernment which leads to tolerance of false teaching are growing in America.
In April of 2011, I wrote an article entitled,
"Christians That Partner with False Teachers and Think They are Defending Liberty for the Sake of the Gospel are Compromising the Gospel for the Sake of Liberty."
I warned then, as I do now, that the mixing of evangelicals with false prophets for the sake of the culture war is really an offense to the Gospel. God is not dependent on us to violate Biblical principles in order to be successful at restoring righteousness. How can we restore righteousness through an unrighteous manner? How can we hope to restore Biblical principles within government when we have willingly violated Biblical principles within the church? The end does not justify the means.
God is watching and I contend that our efforts are being thwarted by God as Divine judgment for setting aside Scriptural warnings and uniting with false teachers in spiritual enterprises intertwined with our Christian activism.
When Christians compromise the gospel and unite with false teachers in spiritual and political enterprises, regardless of the political outcome, we will have lost because we gave credibility to false teachers and their false gospel. I believe this is Satan's strategy. Satan has moved his false teachers into our camp as a religious Trojan horse and Christian leaders have embraced the Trojan horse of false teachers.
One of the people listed on The Response website as an endorser is "prophet" Cindy Jacobs. Others listed on the website of The Response include Mike Bickle and members of the International House of Prayer. Scores of articles and reports have been written on IHOP for any discerning Christian to read.
Here is a link to a few articles on IHOP.
My friend Justin Peters has done an excellent job documenting the unbiblical teaching of the Word of Faith movement and prosperity gospel. Below are some links to short video clips for you to review.
Entering into spiritual services or enterprises with false teachers is a clear violation of God's Word. Thus, how can God bless the church in America and our nation when Christians and Christian leaders are in direct disobedience to God's Word?
How can Christians and Christian leaders repent of sin while participating in an event that in and of itself is something for which to repent? To repent means to turn from sin. I believe Christians that participate in The Response with false teachers need to repent for their unbiblical event that ironically is calling for repentance.
Some of the individuals that have endorsed this rally include C. Peter Wagner. Here is a link to a video of Mr. Wagner installing Todd Bentley as "Prophet". I notice that Mr. Wagner's name and picture have been removed from the website, but I have a print-out of the website when it contained his name and picture. Why was his name and picture removed? At the 6:43 mark of this video of Todd Bentley's installation service, a man is introduced as Che' Ahn. It appears that this is the same Che' Ahn listed on the endorser page on The Response website. Here is a link to a video of Todd Bentley introducing Che' Ahn to talk about the prophetic wave. If you are not aware of Mr. Bentley click here to watch a report on him by Nightline.
Another friend of Mr. Bentley is Rick Joyner. The video clips on the internet of some of the services, that are reportedly hosted by his ministry, raise many questions. Here is an article by Rick Joyner on restoring Todd Bentley to ministry. Sadly, pro-family leaders are appearing on a broadcast with Mr. Joyner.
Months ago I reached out privately to some of those participating in this event, even before the rally was announced. I called to plead with them not to join in a spiritual enterprise or service with those participating in the New Apostolic Reformation and the Word of Faith Movement. I gave them documented proof of the unbiblical teachings of those in the NAR and Word of Faith movement.
Some of my calls were returned and some were not. Thankfully a few Christians have reviewed my research and the research of others. Some Christians have conducted their own research and have told me they will not participate in The Response or promote it. Sadly, others continue to make excuses for how we are not in agreement with the theology or doctrine of all involved in The Response, but are just uniting for prayer.
2 Corinthians 6:14 does not provide a stipulation that says it is acceptable to unite for the purpose of "just praying" with false teachers or those that embrace unbiblical theology.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2 John 9-11 also does not give us an out to partner with false teachers if we are "just praying".
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Are those participating in this event even aware of the reasons that the NAR and Word of Faith proponents give for praying? The reasons are completely unbiblical. Do they know that the Jesus many of them describe is not the Jesus of the Bible? Thus, how can true Christians unite in a prayer service with those who are not committed to the same Jesus or the same gospel?
Do not be shocked at the excuses and justification that supporters of this event will circulate in order to avoid obeying the clear cut mandate of Scripture.
The lack of Biblical discernment, research, knowledge, and commitment to the authority of the Word of God has given the church leaders that are weak theologically and doctrinally. Thus, they embrace anyone's call for revival in hope the revival will produce greater liberty and prosperity. I contend that it will take persecution for the church to see Biblical revival. Our Christian brothers and sisters in China know of what I write.
I believe The Response, and other such events, are giving credibility to false teachers and their pagan spirituality that is laying the foundation for a false revival. The late Vance Havner put it best when he said:
I am more afraid of false revival than of no revival-a false revival with a false gospel, false evangelists, false converts, false joy. It will seem so genuine that it would deceive, if possible, the very elect. Many church leaders will endorse it. Other good people will be afraid to oppose it for fear that they might be fighting against God.
I have been warning in my new DVD series, Religious Trojan Horse, that I believe the religious right in America has been infiltrated by false teachers who seek to use the credibility of Christian leaders in order to give themselves credibility. This has resulted in Christians accepting false teaching that they would have otherwise rejected.
I believe that many American Christians will allow their commitment to reclaiming the country, reclaiming Congress, lowering taxes, and defeating the progressives trump their commitment to the Biblical mandate declared in 2 Corinthians 6:14, as well as the mandate of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Christians are commanded in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 to expose every high and lofty thing lifted up against the principles of the Lord.
American Christians should not and cannot rate success on whether or not we "reclaim America." Our success or failure must be based on whether or not we have been faithful servants of the one and only true God and have earnestly contended for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
2 Peter 2:1-2 further reveals the need for Christians to guard themselves, and the flock, from the deception of the religious Trojan horse:
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed (2 Peter 2: 1-3).
I am reminded of Acts 20:28-31 which declares:
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
I am very much aware that the majority of self-professing Christians in America have succumbed to a form of Christianity that is anything but Biblical. Therefore, I know that much of what I am writing and warning about will be met with hostility. I am also aware that there will be those that will attempt to marginalize and characterize me because they cannot marginalize my message that is deeply steeped in the Word of God. Charles Spurgeon put it best when he said:
We shall not get back a strong race of Christians till we get back such a sturdy band of outspoken men as dare their reputation, if not their lives, upon the unvarnished testimony they give to the Truth they know, the Truth as it is in Jesus, the Truth as it burns in their own hearts and fires their tongues, the Truth as it commends itself to every man's conscience in the sight of God!"- (1903, Sermon #2854)
I am thankful for some pastors in Houston that have sent me e-mails telling me that they will not participate in this event. One pastor of a large church in Houston e-mailed me the following after reading our warnings about The Response.
I'm praying for you. Thank you for bringing this out. I had planned on promoting the event until your stuff came out…Thank you for doing your homework…Stay committed to being the "voice crying in the wilderness."
My friend and one of our columnists, Tommy Ice wrote a book back in 1988 on the unbiblical teachings of the Latter Rain movement that has given rise to the Kansas City Prophet Movement and now the New Apostolic Movement. Tommy has written a series of columns on this movement that are posted on our website.
Tommy sent me the following e-mail this week from a Pastor, Dr. Robby Dean of West Houston Bible Church. Pastor Dean has given me permission to include his letter which he sent to the members of his church and to 50 pastors so they might warn their churches. In his warning this Dr. Dean wrote:
…the delegation of the administration of this event, called, "The Response," (http://theresponseusa.com/), is to a Christian group with ties to what is in my opinion, one of the most radical, fringe, quasi-cultic groups I have ever investigated. In my view, Response organizers have been exceptionally foolish in designating this a "Christian" event. The most distressing fact is that this event is being run by people from the International House of Prayer (IHOP) which has its roots in a movement called the Kansas City Prophets, which in turn was associated with the Vineyard churches founded by the late John Wimber. In the late 1980's I conducted more than two thousand hours of research and personal interviews with key leaders in the Vineyard movement as part of independent studies courses in my doctoral studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. In January of 1989 I attended a "Spiritual Warfare Conference" at the home Vineyard church in southern California. I was there when Paul Cain, one of the most extreme, cult-like leaders of this movement and one who himself taught his own brand of heresy, was first introduced to the Vineyard congregation. Cain became very influential in the life of Mike Bickle who was then pastor of the Kansas City Fellowship. In October of 1990 Dr. Thomas Ice and I interviewed the pastoral leadership of the Kansas City Vineyard, the so-called Kansas City Prophets, a now defunct ministry. Bickle went on to become one of the founders of the International House of Prayer. Our critique of this movement was published in Biblical Perspectives, a bi-monthly newsletter Dr. Ice and I published at that time (see links below-unfortunately we only have a couple of these available electronically). The Director and Program Coordinators for "The Response" are Luis and Jill Cataldo, both on the staff of the International House of Prayer.
One of the key heresies of the Kansas City prophets, which is also at the core of the thinking of the IHOP movement, is based on a misuse and abuse of a passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, Joel 2:15-16. This passage is at the core of a heresy which calls upon present day Christians to fulfill a passage that has nothing whatsoever to do with modern events. In their view this passage is twisted to be call for spiritual elites, the so-called "Joel's Army," to take over the United States and then to purge it and bring in a Christian kingdom. Unfortunately, in a display of theological naiveté, Gov. Perry was duped into using this passage as the rationale for his call to a Day of Prayer: "In the spirit of the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, Verses 15-16, I urge a solemn gathering of prayer and fasting. As those verses admonish: "Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly... Gather the people, consecrate the assembly...". This is what happens when theologically uninformed politicians get duped by advisors whose religious agendas are not obvious. Few Christians are even aware of this movement, its heretical theology, and its political agenda. Governor Perry is not the only one who has been taken in by their pious duplicity.
On the basis of all my research into IHOP, I cannot, on the basis of the Word of God, endorse this event. Further, I must strongly encourage my congregation, and indeed all Bible believing Christians, to not participate in this event… Prayer is important, prayer for a nation is important, political leaders who recognize this are vital to our national health. But a right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. The end never justifies the means!! The way the Texas Day of Prayer is being administered is wrong and foolish, therefore the entire event is tainted. Rick Perry has let the wolves disguised as sheep into the hen house.
Please pray for the Christian leaders involved in this event and that they will even at this late hour withdraw from this rally under Biblical conviction and speak boldly against the philosophies of men that are not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
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Thanks for the information and other resources
I was wondering about Rick Perry and you've given me the information I needed to know - thank you!
I just want to share that Jacob Prasch also talks about some or many of these apostate "christians" in his new books, 'Shadows of the Beast' and 'The Dilemma of Laodicea'. Jacob has a little different view of the timing of the rapture which some may disagree with. However, he's very bold about standing up against apostasy and he appears very knowledgeable about the history of the Church.
|Posted On: 08/15/11 10:59:45 PM
||Age 0, CA
I was looking and I found
My wife and I were looking for a Bible-based church that was free of personal stories, politics, liberalism and rock music flowing from the pulpit. We a found a CMA in a nearby town and knew we were in a place where we needed to be the first time we attended. Look-up a Christian Missionary Alliance church near you and try attending a few times to see if you find what you need and want to put your time and effort into.
|Posted On: 08/02/11 08:31:42 AM
||Age 0, OH
Not hitching my wagon to this event
Brannon, thanks again for sounding the alert for us all. We have alerted our pastor of these flapjacks (IHOP) organizing this event after we saw in our church bulletin of this live feed. He said he'd keep his finger on the "off" button if he saw anything wrong, but our family made the decision to not attend this at our church..period. The *falling away* would have to be enticing, not something dumb--the way our economy is today, many Christians might join an "army" without checking out its background. Heaven help us.
|Posted On: 08/01/11 08:04:18 AM
||Age 0, AR
One name told me RUN
One person who was selling Perry's event told me all I needed to know about what was going on..... GLENN BECK. This guy is so deep into the New Age Movement, it's not even funny. And what is so disheartening is that his fans follow him and talk about him like he is a modern day prophet.
|Posted On: 07/30/11 11:40:45 PM
||Age 0, VA
Good bible church in Loveland, co or Coffeyville, ks
We are full-time rv-ers. Does anyone know of a biblically sound church in the following areas: Loveland,co; Coffeyville, ks and las Vegas, nv? Thank you so much! Noel
|Posted On: 07/29/11 04:14:27 PM
||Age 0, CO
Only Truth Needed
I pray that God would continue to richly bless you and your family. I have been blessed to see you in Indianapolis a couple of times and can't wait until you come back again. It is obvious really that when you hear truth it matches up with Gods word and your spirit will bear witness with it if you know the truth. I certainly don't need to pray about this as the people in the Title Where can We go? they just heard the truth that Brannon has shared backed up with Gods word now I just need to obey God's word.
|Posted On: 07/27/11 04:22:26 PM
||Age 0, IN
Thank you. I pray your work and research will reach many and open their eyes, but remember what Christ said about taking up the cross. I pray it will not be to heavy for you. You have done what God has ask of you and given the information. If it is not received it is not going to be held to your account. Most of us would never know what you have shared with us and I believe God will bless you for all you do.
|Posted On: 07/26/11 10:57:29 PM
||Age 0, FL
WOAH! I was wondering where the devout and versed were hiding!! I'm no biblical scholar, but I know there wil be a great falling away and it will NOT look like what we always thought it would look. I noticed the absence of scriptural reference in and around the Response thing. Thanks!!
|Posted On: 07/26/11 07:46:33 PM
||Age 0, TX
Where CAN we go?
I am an Assembly of God product, married for over 30 years to a Catholic man. We have attended many churches over the years. I personally feel very comfortable at IHOP as do some of my friends. When I hear of the encouraging words that Christ is coming soon, I am excited in my walk with Him because it life is what life is and there is a great light at the end of the tunnel. I do not think of myself as elite nor do I think Mike Bickle or anyone else as elite, tho, I did not know all the background you have presented. You have brought something for me to pray about. I do love Jesus and all I can do is talk to Him about it. We just have to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I will study the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit lead me. Thank you for your concern and trouble.
|Posted On: 07/26/11 07:44:42 PM
||Age 0, KS
Thank you for being a "watchman"--it is not an easy job. There is little discernment left and when you give the warning backed with proof, people still don't "get it" or maybe they just don't want to understand it. It is easier just to go along with the flow. The church has become weak and there are few left who want to stand on God's truth. Thank you, that you do wish to do so. I thank the Lord that our church has a young 29 year old pastor who does stand strong and I pray that the Lord will help him and you to remain steadfast.
|Posted On: 07/26/11 04:51:25 PM
||Age 0, IL