What is Now on the Horizon in a Church World Without David Wilkerson, Dave Hunt, and Chuck Smith
by James Jacob Prasch
Jan 27, 2014
Collapse of the mega churches and beyond.
In 2008, several months before the sub prime crisis, I publicly shared a teaching called “Everything That Can Be Shaken” which was promptly filmed and recorded in the USA ,and UK and placed in the public domain. I, of course, make no claim to being a prophet and I regard those who do make such claims concerning themselves to be are either false ones or just plain religious crackpots. I was not the only person to issue such a predictive warning and was probably not the first. I was just one voice among various others that I am now aware of (but was not at the time) who believed the Lord was warning us that a financial crash was coming that would impact the church, including major supposedly Evangelical churches.
Being perfectly honest, although most were wrong or missed the signals, I learned after the crash that at least one major secular economist (ironically an Israeli American) predicted the crash by purely intellectual deduction and market analysis, when other popular economists got it wrong in their economic forecasts. Thus, I am hardly setting myself up as a prophetic voice in the classical sense although I did stand by what I believed the Lord revealed to me and to certain others. The warning was soon vindicated by the events that transpired.
However, I also predicted that faithful ministries would not be shaken and some would even in God’s grace experience increased financial provision, not as a reward but as a resource to finance the furtherance of the true gospel. In this age of so many false gospels, funds are needed for missionary work and Christian charity at a time when heretic money preachers are prostituting God’s Word to build their own religious financial empires instead of His Kingdom. It is those churches and ministries who are built on Christ alone, on the basis of His Word, that will not be shaken because they cannot be.
We had already witnessed the overnight collapse of what had been the world’s largest ministry, the PTL Club due to heresy, immorality, and financial corruption. We saw the collapse of the world’s largest evangelistic and music ministry of Jimmy Swaggart into a shadow of its former self due not to only immorality, but the religious hypocrisy of publicly hanging other preachers for a sin he himself was into. We saw the counterfeit revivals of Toronto, Pensacola, and Lakeland fizzle into little nothings in a maelstrom of scandals and decline once the religious hype they called “anointing”, the entertainment they called “worship”, the mysticism they called “spirituality”, the clich © based manipulative psychologized babel they called “doctrine”, and the kundalini yoga they called “manifestations” were over.
Once the fanfare was gone, the deluded subscribers to such seductions moved on to the next freak show. With the crash of 2008 however, a new phase of decline would be inaugurated. It culminated with the demise of the world’s first mega church, positive thinking guru Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, into 58 million dollars in debt. Other mega churches such as serial divorcee Paula White’s ‘Church Without Walls” followed, after she was photographed proudly walking down the Via Veneto in Rome holding hands with Benny Hinn.
Meanwhile the growth of Internet TV cut into the satellite monopoly of TBN and Paul Crouch (exposed for paying hush money to a former employee threatening to reveal an alleged homosexual tryst with Crouch which was disclosed in the secular media). More recently, his wife, Jan, was filmed in an inappropriate embrace of a bearded younger married man in the parking lot of their Florida theme park, where he played Jesus at the Holy Land Experience. Their own grand daughter exposed their financial shenanigans publicly. This and other shakings are but the beginning. More are coming.
From Rick Warren’s alignment with worshipers of other gods, to his marketing driven agenda copied from unsaved business consultants, such as Peter Drucker, to his public reversal on same sex marriage California Proposition 8 (openly claiming he never supported it when, as is documented, he clearly did) to Emergent church patriarch Brian McLaren performing the same sex marriage for his son to his son’s husband (it was McLaren and Warren who forwarded Dan Kimball’s book ‘ The Emergent Church’), the trend continues. We have even witnessed the fundamentalist icon John MacArthur teaching that people can worship the anti-christ, worship the image of the beast, and take the mark of the beast and still get saved and go to heaven, in open and direct defiance of Revelation 14: 9-11. The spiritual, theological, and moral rot has gone even further still, and as Jesus warned in these last days, will continue to do so, which is why the merchants of the rot, such Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren oppose Christians studying eschatology and prophecy, even though Jesus reiterated His command that we remain alert and be watchful in the Olivet Discourse.
As the persecution of Christians in Moslem countries and the mass driving of Christians out of the Middle East gains crueler and crueler momentum, we have seen the unbelievable hypocrisy of Lynne Hybels, Gary Burge, Stephen Sizer, Colin Chapman, Tony Campolo, and Lucy Winkett, attempting to organize Evangelicals against Israel. Israel is the one country in the Middle East actually protecting the rights and safety of Arab Christians. As the genocide of believers in Jesus rages from Syria to Iraq, to Egypt, to Nigeria and beyond, to say nothing of the plight of Christians in Saudi Arabia and Iran, these hypocrites single out Israel for its self defense against the very radical Islam that is murdering Christians internationally, despite Israel having the best human rights record, best women”s rights record, and best Christian rights record in the Middle East. This too, is but one more symptom of the final apostasy.
Now however, I believe the Lord is prompting me to make a further statement. Ten years ago I publicly stated that America was in grave danger of going the way of Great Britain, which bequeathed the USA its Evangelical heritage, but was now post-Christian and Neo-pagan (apart from Northern Ireland which is running on the inertia of its Christian past and has been scarred by a generation of sectarian hatred and murder). Church attendance in the UK of all denominations, both believers and non-believers is very low (under 10 percent except in Northern Ireland) and lower still (around 2 percent) in most of Western Europe. Islam, New Age groups and cults are growing whilst religious clowns pushing one spiritually abject and doctrinally bankrupt gimmick after another are flourishing. From Australia”s sexual and financial scandal-ridden Hillsong to Steve Chalke’s denial of the substitutionary atonement of Christ and endorsement of same sex marriage, false movements are ridiculously trumpeted as paths to revival. The idiotic antics of Wendy and Rory Alec’s “God Channel” (better re-christened “the Godless channel”) and Howard Condor’s Revelation TV, continue to mislead the gullible, scripturally ignorant, and undiscerning.
In Great Britain, after Martin Lloyd Jones, G. Campbell Morgan and FF Bruce went to be with the Lord, there were no more scripturally based leaders in the UK Evangelical church, only theocratic politicians, false teachers and false prophets and other such self aggrandizing religious opportunists and silly old bible distorting promulgators of error, such as the late annihilationist and ecumenical proponent John Stott. The hucksters took over and the unlearned and naive followed. Now faithful Christians in the UK meet either in independent churches or in homes, avoiding mainstream Evangelicalism as it is no longer scripturally Evangelical.
Thus, 10 years ago I stated openly that the USA was on the precipice of the same decline. I saw what happened to Christianity in Britain once Martin Lloyd Jones, G. Campbell Morgan, and FF Bruce departed to be with Jesus. Such men may not have been perfect but they loved Jesus and taught the truth as others, such as Clifford Hill, David Noakes, the late Stephen Gardener, (to a degree David Pawson) and a few more, tried to warn what was happening and what was going to happen as a result. Compromised Ecumenical fads like Alpha courses failed miserably as homosexual and lesbian ordination, same sex marriage, and inter faith religiosity continued to make headway unabated in the Church of England whilst supposed Evangelicals, like John Stott, Sandy Miller, Nicky Gumbel, and George Carey stood by, saying and doing nothing (except when they acted to make matters worse). I advised my fellow American believers what was going to take place once Dave Hunt, David Wilkerson, and Chuck Smith were no longer around, just as it was in the UK when G. Campbell Morgan and Martin Lloyd Jones were no longer around. Well, now Chuck Smith, Dave Wilkerson, and Dave Hunt are no longer around, will good men rise up or will they cower and remain silent forfeiting the battle for America’s spiritual future to Satan? If they do that, how good in the eyes of God can they really be?
The author of ‘The Shack,” William P. Young, openly denies that Jesus died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin. Yet Gayle Erwin, author of “The Jesus Style,” wrote a cover endorsement for this evil book written by a self confessed rejecter of the gospel. This is sick and perverted. The charlatans are running wild while too many pastors who know better say and do nothing to protect the Lord’s sheep from these wolves. Will America now go the way of Britain now that Chuck Smith, Dave Hunt and David Wilkerson have gone home to their reward? In fairness, some like Chuck Smith’s brother Paul Smith and a few others like him, are trying to take a stand, but where are the pastors?
One thing is absolutely certain – no place in the New Testament affirms nepotism as a model for church government in Ecclesiastical polity. When someone inherits leadership, donated money, and theocratic power not on the basis of any gifting or calling of God on their lives, but on the basis of who they are married to, the end result will not be good because it cannot be. The spiritual and doctrinal decline will be followed by moral decline and, ultimately, numerical and financial decline ensue. The Crystal Cathedral may have been the first mega church to exist and the first mega church to collapse. But it will not, however, be the last.
The Lord is indeed coming. Will the Son of Man find faith on earth? In fact, He will find at His second coming exactly what He found at His first: a faithful remnant, and that remnant is here now to prepare the way for His return. It is not here to hide in a bunker.