By Brannon S. Howse
Reason #5 follows naturally from Reason #4. If someone is not saved, then he or she necessarily is serving the devil, not Christ. In John 8, Jesus declares there are only two camps—either His or Satan’s. You’re in the camp of God the Father through faith and repentance, or you are at enmity with God, under God’s wrath, and in the camp of Satan. There is no middle ground. This is why Word of Faith, NAR, and Roman Catholic people can unite. In a way, they are already united under the devil.
At this point in our discussion, it’s important for me to offer a significant side note. The people we are talking about are not the enemy. They are our mission field. At one time, all of us were in the devil’s camp, whether we knew it or not. Then, as we understood our sinfulness as the Holy Spirit revealed our sin to us, we did as 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 says: “Godly sorrow produces repentance unto salvation.” We had godly sorrow that produced repentance unto salvation, and we were grafted into the family of God.
We’re no longer in the camp of Satan, but we need to be gracious because we were once as they still are. While we can take a stand that is sometimes confrontational, we need to be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves as we reach out and share the Gospel with them.
This approach is especially important because the influence of Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation teachers is showing up in startling places. Even secular sources are taking note of the success of these movements. The July 2011 issue of Business Insider, for instance, said that the Word of Faith/New Apostolic Reformation movement is the fastest growing movement inside Christianity “that you’ve never heard of.” And sadly, many denominations embrace aspects of the Word of Faith, even if they are subtle about it. For instance, LifeWay bookstores, run by the Southern Baptists, sell a lot of Word of Faith and NAR garbage. Beth Moore is one of their headliners, who has been published and popularized by LifeWay and its subsidiary B&H Publishing Group. So we can’t just write this off as “those crazy Word of Faithers” or “that weird group called New Apostolic Reformation.” Their bizarre and unbiblical theologies have worked their way into some of our Protestant denominations.
My friend Justin Peters speaks all across the country about this because the Word of Faith/NAR is growing so rapidly, morphing into different forms, and showing up in denominations like Evangelical Free, Southern Baptist, and other evangelical denominations that traditionally had stopped these false teaching at the gates. Justin’s message is popular because a lot of pastors want to protect their flocks from this. At one speaking engagement in a Pennsylvania church, for instance, a lady stayed the whole day for his entire seminar, and at the end of the day she came up and told him:
[quote] Justin, I want you to know that at the beginning of today’s seminar I did not like you very much. And I really wasn’t all that interested in coming to this seminar, but I decided I would to see what you’re saying. . . . But I want you to know at the end of the day, I now realize that what you are saying according to God’s Word is true that what these men and women are teaching when it comes to the Word of Faith and the New Apostolic Reformation—Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Jessie Duplantis, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Paula White—that what they’re teaching is not biblical, and I want to thank you. [end quote]
I have also received emails from many people who have been a part of the Roman Catholic Church, New Apostolic Reformation, or Word of Faith, and then they came out. Many admit they had not been believers but didn’t know it. Then when they did come to Christ through faith and repentance, the Holy Spirit gave them spiritual eyes to discern and reject these false teachings.
Because in God’s sovereign mercy, some will be saved from these falsehoods, and it is crucial that true believers share the Gospel, clarify biblical truth, and untwist the scriptures these false teachers use. For years, Worldview Weekends was primarily a seminar-based organization, going to an average of 25 to 35 cities a year (in one year, 50 cities as we put on conferences). So I’ve seen firsthand the value of providing clear teaching on biblical worldview. It’s a joy to see the “lights go on” when people grasp the truth. In 2006, we began to transition to a global radio and television network so we could reach the world instead of just Americans through U.S.-based conferences. Our computer technology department has observed that since 2013 we have had audiences in 120 nations.
Whether through seminars or our growing online presence (now the focus of our ministry—at worldviewweekends.com), the Holy Spirit convicts people of the truth. They receive Christ as Lord and Savior and often email Worldview Weekends with their testimony. Many have come out of the Mormon Church, the New Age Movement, Church of Rome, NAR, or Word of Faith and are grateful to finally know the real Jesus of the Bible. This is why the work of Worldview Weekends is not simply an intellectual exercise; we are contending for the faith. It is genuine spiritual warfare to set people free from the lies of the evil one by revealing biblical truth!
As 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We are called to test the spirits of false teachers and reveal the truth to those who will listen and be saved.
Copyright 2015 ©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.