By Brannon S. Howse
In September 2011, Phil Johnson posted an article called “Pornographic Divination.” In it, he exposed Mark Dricoll’s preaching about spiritual warfare. Unless Phil had provided the actual video of Driscoll’s sermon, I am not sure I would have believed what I was reading. Driscoll told those in the audience that some of them had such a gift of discernment it would include having visions of things that had happened in people’s pasts.
I played the audio of Driscoll’s shocking comments on my radio program, and the phone lines lit up. Here is a partial transcript of what Driscoll said:
[quote] Some people actually see things. This may be gift of discernment. On occasion, I see things. I see things. Uh, like I was meeting with one person and they—they didn’t know this, but they were abused when they were a child. And I said, “When you were a child you were abused. This person did this to you, physically touched you this way.”
He said, “How do you know?”
I said, “I don’t know. It’s like I got a TV right here. I’m seeing it.”
He said, “No, that never happened.”
I said, “Go ask him. Go ask him if they actually did what I think they did and I see that they did.”
They went and asked this person, “When I was a little kid did you do this?”
And the person said, “Yyyyeah, but you were only like a year or two old. How do you remember that?”
He said, “Well, Pastor Mark told me.”
I’m not a guru. I’m not a freak. I don’t talk about this. If I did talk about it everybody’d want to meet with me and I’d end up like one of those guys on TV. But some of you have this visual ability to see things.
Um, uh, there was one woman I dealt with. She never told her husband that she had committed adultery on him early in the relationship. I said, “You know—” (she’s sitting there with her husband). I said, “You know I think the root of all this—I think Satan has a foothold in your life because you’ve never told your husband about that really tall blonde guy that you met at the bar. And then you went back to the hotel. And you laid on your back. And you undressed yourself. And he climbed on top of you. And you had sex with him. And snuggled up with him for a while. And deep down in your heart, even though you had just met him, you desired him because secretly he is the fantasy body type.” I said, “You remember that place; it was that cheap hotel with that certain-colored bedspread. You did it—you had sex with the light on because you weren't ashamed and you wanted him to see you. And you wanted to see him.”
She was just looking at me like—
I said, “You know, it was about ten years ago.”
“I see everything.”
She says—she looks at her husband. He says, “Is that true?”
She says, “Yeah.”
“He was 6'2", blonde hair, blue eyes?”
Some of you when you’re counseling you will see things. I mean you will, you will literally have the gift of discernment to see things. I can’t explain it. It doesn’t happen all the time.
Sometimes your counselee, they will see things. Ye—eh—there’s pa— I found this with people—ok, now let me—I’m gonna ask the demon questions. You tell me what they say.”
“They don’t say anything.”
I say, “What do you hear?”
And they say, “Nothing.” They say, “But I’m seeing stuff.”
“Oh, oh, well tell me. What’s that?”
“I’m seeing—you know when I was little my grandpa molested me. I didn’t know that.”
I said, “Well, let’s not assume it’s true. Go ask your grandfather.”
Grandpa says, “Yyyeah, when you were little I molested you.” Grandpa was assuming they’d be too young to remember. So he’d only molest grandkids up to a certain age. But they saw it.
It’s the supernatural. It’s, it’s, it’s the whole other realm. It’s like the Matrix. You can take the blue pill, you take the red pill. You go into this whole other world. And, and, and that’s the way it works.
So I say—tell me everything you hear, tell me everything you see. And sometimes I see things, too. I see things, too. I’ve seen women raped. I’ve seen children molested. I’ve seen people abused. I’ve seen people beaten. I’ve seen horrible things done. Horrible things done. I’ve seen children dedicated in occultic groups and demons come upon them as an infant by invitation. And I wasn’t present for any of it, but I’ve seen it visibly.
Upon occasion when I get up to preach I’ll see—just like a screen in front of me—I’ll see somebody get raped or abused and then I’ll track ‘em down and say, “Look, I had this vision. Let me tell you about it.” All true. One I had—I was sitting in my office at the old, uh, Earl Building. This gal walks by. Nice gal, member of the church. This is when the church was small. And it’s just like a TV was there and I saw the night before her husband threw her up against the wall, had her by the throat, was physically violent with her.
And she said, “That’s it, I’m telling the pastors.”
And he said, “If you do I’ll kill you.” He was a very physically abusive man.
She was walking by, and I just saw it. It was like a TV. And I said, “Hey, come here for a second.” I said, “Last night did your husband throw you up against the wall and have you by the throat, physically assault you and tell you if you told anyone he would kill you?”
And she just starts bawling. She says, “How did you know?”
I said, “Jesus told me.”
I call the guy on the phone: “Hey, I need you to come to the office.” Didn’t give him any clue.
He comes in and I said, “Dude, what’d you do to your wife last night? Why’d you do this? Why’d you throw her up against the wall?”
And he gets very angry. They’re sitting on the couch and he says, “Why did you tell him?”
I said, “She didn’t. Jesus did. Jesus did.”
. . . And there are some people that have real gift of discernment, and I’m not saying I’m a hundred percent always right with it, but some of you are going to
have the gift of discernment, and you need to—you need to learn to grow in the use of that gift. And sometimes people will hear things. Sometimes people will see things. [end quote]
Part of the problem here is that Driscoll dwells on the demonic while we are called to focus on what is godly:
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Who, then, is imparting these images to Mark Driscoll? What Driscoll is saying sounds similar to the kind of images Word of Faith heretic Kenneth Hagin claimed to have experienced. Driscoll alleges that he sometimes has these visions while preaching in his church.
John MacArthur addressed this issue in Charismatic Chaos: “Hagin claims God miraculously transported him out of church on Sunday, right in the middle of the sermon. Worst of all, Hagin was the preacher delivering the sermon.”
Hagin had described his “revelation” this way:
[quote] Suddenly I was gone! Right in the middle of my sermon, I found myself standing along a street in a little town fifteen miles away—and I knew it was Saturday night. I was leaning against a building, and I saw this young lady come walking down the street. About the time she got to where I was standing, a car came down the street. The driver pulled up to the curb, sounded the horn, she got into the car. He backed out, turned the other direction, and started out of town—and suddenly I was sitting in the back seat!
They went out in the country and committed adultery. And I watched them. I was still in the cloud. Suddenly I heard the sound of my voice, and the cloud lifted. I was standing behind my pulpit. I didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t know what I had been saying, so I just said “Everyone bow your head,” and we prayed. I looked at my watch, and…I’d been gone about fifteen minutes in the cloud.
While I was shaking hands with people as they went out the door, this young lady came by. I said, “We missed you last night.” She said, I was over in ______” (and she named the little town). I said, “Yes, I know.” [end quote]
Whether it is the revelations reported by Driscoll or Hagin, I find nowhere in the Scriptures that, after the apostolic age, anyone receives visions and revelation from God. There would be no reason for it because the Word of God is complete according to Jude 3, Revelation 22:18-19, and 2 Timothy 3: 16. Scripture is all we need in order to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Many self-professing Christians have become rip-out artists. They are great at ripping Scripture out of context in order to justify unbiblical theology and often an unbiblical lifestyle. Numerous people have emailed Joel 2:28 to me to tell me their dreams and visions that include extra-biblical revelations are viable today. There is, however, a serious problem with their interpretation. Joel 2:28 describes something that happens during the tribulation to the house of Israel alone, as it refers to “your sons and your daughters”:
"And it shall come to pass afterwards that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your younger men shall see visions."
The word “prophesy” in this verse means to speak forth truth contained in God’s Word. It is not referring to an ability to predict the future.
Many people who take Scripture out of context have bought into what is called replacement theology. This is the belief that when the Word of God speaks of Israel in the New Testament it really means the Church. However, this false idea has caused many to believe they will also receive dreams and visions.
Whether they know it or not or intend to our not, I believe Piper, Keller, Warren, Schuller, Bickle, and Driscoll give credibility to incredibly destructive and unbiblical teachings. These are teachings that in many ways are rooted in the goals and objectives of those who desire a counter-Reformation leading back to the extra-biblical revelations, experiences, mysticism, ecumenicalism, and social justice of the Church of Rome and her Maryknoll Jesuit Order.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.