Charismatic Laughter – Part 2 of 2
What Kind of Spirits?
The spirit of anti-christ will appear to be Christ. As the serpent beguiled Eve, believers are seduced by “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:3,4).
The “Holy” Laughter move-ment, like the Mormon movement, developed through a boy who had an experience from a god. Rodney Howard-Browne says he prayed, “Either You come down here and touch me, or I will come up there and touch You.” :”(Dager, ibid. p. 2.)”: He will one day meet the God of Isaiah on bended knees (Phil. 2:10)!
You can’t trust demons. John Wimber gets doctrine from demons! He says some demons have bodies etc. because the demons told him. :”(Cloud, Special Issue, p. 38.)”: Wimber admittedly does not know if the encounters taking place in the Vineyard movement are from God or the devil. In fact, he says “there’s nothing in Scripture that supports these kinds of phenomena.” Surely you would expect the head of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship that popularized this movement to go to the Word and test the spirits whether they are of God (1 John 4:1)! No. Wimber says, “So I feel no obligation to try to explain it.” :”(Dager, ibid. p. 4,5.)”:
Howard-Browne’s proof that this is the move of God is that when he leaves it doesn’t stop. :”(Dager, ibid. p. 3.)”: People, think! The blasphemous recrucifixion of Christ in the Mass does not stop (Heb. 9:28; 10:10)! Rock music, the occult, and Satan’s effort to destroy this generation does not stop! The aberrations in the Church at Corinth did not stop because Paul left; they stopped because the Apostle confronted them with 1 Corinthians. By the time he wrote 2 Corinthians, they stopped.
A study of demonology reveals that demons interact with the mind, the emotions and the flesh. God deals with us primarily in the spirit. A 1994 article of Charisma quotes Rodney Howard-Browne as saying, “One night I was preaching on hell, and laughter just hit the whole place. The more I told people what hell was like, the more they laughed.” The Great White Throne judgment and the horrors of hell are no laughing matter! The works of the flesh and Satan’s devils mock the Word of God and interrupt the scriptures. Could a man alone get so many people to fall for such Satanic mockery? People are responding to the powers of darkness. The attitude changed toward Bible messages about God, sin, morality, growing in grace, and the Church.
$IGN$ AND WONDER$? One wonders why this group bothers to use the Bible at all. The focus is reduced to “will it sell?” Jesus Christ’s command to “Go ye into all the world” becomes “Come to our meetings!” A “new zeal for evangelism” is a zeal to draw other people into a the same religious aberrations. The idea of evangelizing people is to zap them. :”(T. Tillian, ibid.)”: The substitute is a cheap “go-with-the-flow” message.
Howard-Browne blusters how at the age of twelve, “The voice said these words to me…Your mom will not be home today.” :”(Fisher, ibid., p. 14.)”: Are we talking about the experience of some super-saint or of one involved with clairvoyance? People are encouraged to let go of their doctrine and clear their minds of biblical objections. He says, “The only way you’re going to understand what God is doing is with your heart.” :”(Dager, ibid. p. 5.)”: (Check your brain at the door!) Beloved, God warns that your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9)! The Bereans used their minds, searching the Scriptures even to check out real preachers of integrity, the Apostles! God commended them (Acts. 17:11; 1 Thes. 5:21). Without the principles of the Word of God, how are we to see through the deceptions, the complex issues, the false Jesus, the false gospel, and the false Spirit (2 Cor. 11:4)?
In a movement so theologically poverty-stricken, real preaching is very rare! Preaching is reduced to silly shallowness, subjectivism, and spiritual hype. Scriptures are jerked out of context to legitimize the experience (smart devil)! Charisma magazine admits that the pulpit becomes irrelevant. The whole blasphemous circus makes “the word of God of none effect” (Mark 7:13). :”(Dager, ibid., p. 12.)”: A sign of demonic activity is demonstrated by the irreverence, ignorance, intimidation, brainwashing techniques, fundraising games, and overall hypocrisy. This Charismatic phenomena departed from the Headship of Christ, the authority of Scripture, the mission of Bible evangelism, and Bible education. Now it’s all a joke to them!
Some pastors recognize the sham but they never rebuke the sin. The cowardly shepherds pet the wolves as the wolves eat the lambs!
What Kind of Revival?
This so-called revival does not come through preaching the Gospel, but through laughter. It spreads through testimonies, audio tapes, and laying-on-of-hands rather than in response to the preaching of the Word of God. The Apostles always clearly spoke God’s Word calling for repentance from sin; while the laughter phenomena has little talk of holiness. Revivals of the past were conducted in an atmosphere of great reverence, a holy awe for God, and a deep conviction of sin! There was never irreverence, hilarity, lack of control, or giddy “partying” and “fun.” :”(Tricia Tillin, “The Toronto Phenomenon: Is it of God? How Can Christians Decide?” Discernment, [July-Sep. 1994], p. 4.)”: A woman “went to church and lit a candle to Mary, and as she did, she burst out in holy laughter.” :”(David W. Cloud, “Happy Hunters Ministering Holy Laughter, O TIMOTHY, 1994, p. 3.)”: This whole thing is the three dollar bill of the fruit of the Spirit! Revival is biblically associated with weeping and a spirit of longing before the Lord. Laughter is often connected to scorn and arrogance, not reverence (Luke 6:25-26; Jam. 4:8-10; Ec. 2:1; Rom. 13:12-14; Gal. 5:19-26). Such “revelries” are to be expected from the self-seeking pleasure-lovers of the last days (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
Rodney Howard-Browne’s meetings are characterized by the self-indulgent works of the flesh. The circus atmosphere is best described by, “Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?” :”(Joseph R. McAuliffe, “Dominion Work,” Chalcedon Report, Dec. 1994, p. 15.)”:
The satanic “happy trips” vary from: the abandonment of all reason, being stuck to the floor, crawling under chairs, giggling fits, full-blown guffawing, stamping feet, screaming, banging heads on walls, raving, uncontrollable bedlam, yelling, pros-tration, twitching, shrieking, irrational laughter, howling, flapping the hands, jungle noises, emotional pandemonium, shivers, tingles, the “slaying-in-the-spirit,” screaming, “vomiting-in-the-spirit,” belly laughs, rolling on the floor, spasms of laughter, shallow elation, being struck dumb, incoherence, minds blanking out, an inability to stop, shouting, intoxicating sensations, ranting, unintelligible babblings, ecstatic trances, hands waving, the laying-on-of-hands, incessant laughter, women flopping on the floor, hooting, speaking in tongues, weakness, delirium, hysteria, temporary paralysis, barking as dogs, staggering as drunks, cackling as chickens, falling, muteness, immobility, revelations, muttering, strong impulses to do the irrational, ripping off clothes, gibbering, shaking as palsy, dancing, groaning, mumbling incoherently, the inability to drive home, and utter chaos!
The same laughter is reported in the lunatic asylums. :”(Tricia Tillin, Discernment, p. 1.)”: Such roaring and growling were common in the Babylonian religious festivals, orgies of drunkenness, immorality, and judgment (Jer. 51:37-40). The gospel counterfeit is bizarre, foolish, and devilish! Engaging another spirit for worship and devotion is idolatry.
The phenomena of the meetings finds a parallel in paganism, Eastern religions, and in the occult. Following the meetings people have reported demonic oppression, suicidal feelings, loss of faith, exhaustion, and emotional disruptions. :”(Dager, ibid., p. 1.)”: The mysticism is as the contacting of spiritual powers, the visualization, the inner-healing techniques, meditation, ecstatic prayer and trance conditions leading people into demonic experiences? :”(Tillin, Mainstream; Dager, p. 16.)”:
Christians have found that when the manifestations are rebuked they stopped. :”(Tillin, Discernment, p. 2; Tillin, Mainstream.)”: Put on your spiritual armor and fight back!
What Kind of Anointing?
Are Christians given a “brand-new” anointing from God? Check it out! The Old Testament anointing was already fulfilled by Jesus Christ, the Anointed One! Jesus anointed us by sending the Holy Spirit to abide in us. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you…” (1 John 2:26-27).
What Kind of Response?
First-time visitors to the laughter excesses are generally distant and skeptical. Discerning Christians will recognize an inner-witness to alarm them that this is not of God! The uneasiness and skepticism ought to be a sufficient warning to leave! Given time the subconscious barriers will break down. “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19b). Get out!
The spiritual man judges all things (1 Cor. 2:15). Conscious self-control of the mind and body is a genuine mark of God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 14:23,40; Gal. 5:22-25; 2 Pet. 1:5-7). Die to self-desire, and test the spirits objectively by scriptural TRUTH! Know the Scriptures! Nothing of God will contradict Scripture. The whole idea of God contradicting God makes Him a LIAR! Watch out! Satan is the LIAR (John 8:44)! Our only defense is to not accept anything which cannot be validated in God’s Word (John 17:17) and by the Spirit of TRUTH (John 4:23).
All Third-Wave, Word-of-Faith, Signs and Wonders, and “Holy” Laugher Charismatics should pray! “Lord Jesus, I have been tricked by false teachers. I repent! Forgive me for following false doctrine
What Kind of Unity?
Many of the nationally-applauded, crusade-speaking, book-writing, TBN-appearing heroes of the Charismatic Movement preach or cooperate with a false gospel. They are busily advancing serious doctrinal defections from the faith.
David Cloud, the editor of O TIMOTHY attended The North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelism with press credentials. About 40 denominations from 50 nations and roughly 200 speakers joined forces in Indianapolis for the 1990 conference. Participating were Jack Hayford, John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner, Karl Strader, James Robinson, Bob Weiner, Charles Kraft, Paul Cain, Larry Lea, Charles and Francis Hunter, and Charismatic Roman Catholics.
Larry Lea babbled, “Bubbly-ida bubblyida hallelujah bubblyida shallabubbly shallabubblyida kolabub-blyid gloooooory hallelujah bubblyida.” No dictionary in the world will back up his LYING “tongue”! A nun gave a message and also spoke with a nursery “tongue.” Obvious sin (1 Cor. 14:34)!
The lessons included such staggering heresies as:
- baptismal regeneration, (one who is “baptized regard- less of age is ‘born again’!”)
- the gospel is “Jesus Christ is Lord!”
- knowing “Mary” personally!
- a Litany to Mary, (the “Refuge of sinners…conceived without original sin,”)!
- praise for purgatory!
- Mary is important in evangelism!
The unity statement read, “We will accept one another as brothers and sisters in our one Lord Jesus Christ…Among our churches, denomi-nations, groups and ministries, there may have been times of tension, opposition and conflict. We wish to put these times behind us, by the grace of God. In view of the call we all have from the Lord to enter into this relationship for common work, we want to express our mutual personal respect and our respect for one another’s ministries. We will speak well of one another and support one another whenever possible.” :”(Cloud, Special Issue, p. 20.)”:
Oh the sorrow of a false hope when poor religious people stand before the Great White Throne! What pitiful leaders who banded together and robbed them of their sense of need! How could an honest evangelical sign such a statement? The Gospel is a true essential of the historic Christian faith! The Charismatic preachers compro-mised with the doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1-3)! World evangelism by the year 2,000? A false gospel leads a lost and dying generation straight to hell!
What man on the earth personifies real Roman Catholicism? The pope is the leader! He “bears such titles as ‘His Holiness,’ ‘The Vicar of Christ,’ ‘Holy Father,’ and other names which can only be claimed by the Almighty Triune God Himself. Pope John Paul II brought together leaders from most of the world’s heathen religions in Assisi and had them pray with him for peace in the world — praying to the god of fire, to the god of the big thumb, to the god of Allah, to the gods Shiva, Ram and the other pantheon of Hindu gods, to the gods of the rivers and sky and trees! John Paul II is so infatuated with the false Mary of Catholicism that he visits the Mary shrines in each country he visits, and embroidered on his garments are the words in Latin which mean ‘Totally yours, Mary.’ John Paul II, in speaking to the World Council of Church leaders last year, said that ‘we have been incorporated into Christ through our baptism and thus we are already one in baptism'” :”(Cloud, Special Issue, p. 10.)”: What an admission! “One” with the apostate World Council of Churches!
Coach Bill McCartney attends a Vineyard Church. He and his pastor are deeply involved with the Promise Keepers. Many spiritually hungry men who honestly want to do right attend to seek encouragement. The Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper quotes Jack Hayford saying, “Redeeming worship centers on the Lord’s table. Whether your tradition celebrated as communion, Eucharist, the Mass, or the Lord’s supper, we are all called to this centerpiece of Christian worship.” Hayford is an interesting orator. His chameleon approach is clever, but unacceptable. The center for Christian worship cannot include recrucifying our Lord or transubstantiation. This unity embraces what is disgusting to Almighty God! Jack Hayford is nurturing apostasy and spreading that from thousands of men into the churches! We are not all one and the same as inferred! This kind of ecumenical unity-at-any-cost plays right into the hands of the anti-christ!
The March for Jesus, 1995, was promoted under the banner, “Together for the Gospel.” Special speakers preached beforehand that the march is a signs and wonders kind of warfare. The promotional endorsement page pushed unity, quoting ten leaders including John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner, and Jack Hayford. How could godly Christians even consider endorsing this kind of togetherness? God’s commands are so strong about both defective doctrine and false prophets! When is it right to identify with another gospel (1 Cor. 11:4)? We need to ask, “Is it time to march with their team or is it still right to walk with God?” The problem is so clear! “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
The Lord often rebuked the religious majorities. Some say, “How can it hurt? I don’t march for Wimber; I march for Jesus!” The sincere zeal to take a visible stand for Christ is an honorable motive. Christian friend, please do not react emotionally or be offended. The issue is this; are you willing to examine what God says about this kind of unity? Real champions of the faith do not follow crowds! God’s man, Elijah, stood apart from the false prophets. Where would you draw the line on linking arms “across denom-inational barriers”? God rebukes the toleration of apostasy in any form!
You may say, “Oh, but I like these warm people! I like the Pope! I like Jack Hayford!” That is not the point. Do you love Jesus? Jesus firmly stated, “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23). Will you< follow the TRUTH?
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of TRUTH, is come, he will guide you into all TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me” (John 16:13-14a). A Holy Spirit centered movement is not of God. Neither is unity outside of the “the Word” and “the TRUTH.”
“Such doctrinal confusion, my friends, has nothing to do with Christ’s prayer in John 17. Seven times in that prayer the Lord Jesus referred to ‘the word’ and ‘the truth.'” :”(Cloud, Special Issue, p. 8.)”: Jesus’ prayer will be answered when the redeemed of God gather from every nation on the earth (Rev. 7:9). Be sure, the Holy Spirit of world evangelism is the Spirit of “TRUTH” (John 14:17; 15:26; 17:6).
What Kind of Revelation?
How important is “Thus saith the Lord” to you? Will you hear from a false teacher or from God? We are to expose false teachers, not join them.
“Doctrine” safeguards the flock. “Tears” mark the seriousness of defective doctrine. The devil wants to get false teachers into the church (Acts 20:28-32; 2 Tim. 3:16).
Unity that lacks doctrinal purity is not of God. “Mark” and “avoid” those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to true “doctrine.” They may sound good, but they serve their own belly (Rom. 16:17-19).
We are to separate from immoral Christians (1 Cor. 5:9-13).
We must not unify with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).
Some believers at Galatia joined the renegades. Adding, sub-tracting, complicating, and corrupting the gospel is fearfully wicked. Perverters face condemnation (Gal. 1:6-9)! God means exactly what He said!
We must separate from the program of the unsaved. Expose them and oppose them! Show them to be guilty (Eph. 5:10-13).
We are to separate from fellow Christians whose behavior is contrary to TRUE doctrine. Censure them (2 Thes. 3:6-15)!
False “doctrine” is divisive. “Withdraw” and “flee!” The divisive are the false teachers, not the separatists. False teachers may be exciting and eloquent; but they are conceited and ignorant. We are not asked to make the judgment about their character; God already has! The teaching results in strife. Such teachers often cut down, intimidate, and judge. They gain wealth from religion (1 Tim. 6:3-5, 11).
Like Hymenaeus and Philetus, the babblers destroy people’s faith. “Depart” (2 Tim. 2:16-19)!
In the last days, the “corrupt” and “reprobate,” like Jannes and Jambres, appear godly while they resist TRUE “doctrine” (2 Tim. 3:5-10).
Those with “sound doctrine” will want to deal with “deceivers,” stop their mouths and follow God’s directive to “Rebuke them sharply!” Don’t be timid (Titus 1:9-13).
“Reject” divisive Christians who foster ideas contrary to Scripture. “Heretick” comes from the word schism. Our divisions come as error is introduced. Inclusivism allows heretics to win control of the group, then to force cooperation toward apostasy. In the end accepted heresy excludes a biblical position and whole groups of churches fall into condemnation (Titus 3:10-11).
Those who leave the LIE, turning to TRUTH, may discover old friends preaching love to all the world will turn to persecute them (1 Pet. 4:4).
“Love” does not overlook bad doctrine! Betrayers pose as biblical teachers. No base of operations or encouragement is permitted to be given to them (2 John 6-11).
“Contend” or fight for “the faith,” our body of TRUTH (Jude 3)!
Any erring church indifferent to integrity and holiness, needs to remember that Jesus is prepared to do battle against it (Rev. 2:14-17).
Believers are responsible to “come out” from apostasy (Rev. 18:4)!48
Should our “great work for God” be to “unify the churches” or “usher in the Kingdom?” No! That is just human reasoning. No nation ever impacted the world like America with all of the denominational diversity. The countries that honor a unified religion are ever prone to fall into apostasy!
What Kind of Obedience?
The logic that we should all fellowship since we will in Heaven is gravely dangerous. The “do-gooder” unity-seekers redefine and reduce the scriptures until little of substance is left. Godly New Testament believers resisted all pressure to patronize false teachers, seek association, accept their sponsor-ship, increase their numbers, send them converts, add to their prestige, follow them around, invite them to open in prayer, or obliterate all important distinctions! When does anyone involved with the great ecumenical conferences, crusades, or marches rebuke false teachers (Titus 1:13)?
Be faithful! Too many “follow Jesus” for the sensational; but when it comes to His unpopular teachings, they are not supportive (John 6:60)! As Bob Ketchum once said, Find out where Jesus Christ stands on any issue; then go there and stand with Him!
What Kind of Conclusion?
Non-Charismatics are not total strangers to a sovereign God who performs miracles. For years they stood back, not impressed with what is passed off as tongues and other sign-gifts for this period of the Church. Far too many Charismatics totally disregard the clear instructions for the functioning of gifts!
Charismatic friend, clearly no church, family, or Christian functions with perfection on this side of Heaven. Thankfully, you can find churches that are very intent on glorifying God by obedience to His written Word. They are often small; but they are faithful and firm. Is God’s concern first of all for purity or for size? It is for purity (Rev. 2-3)! Size does not assure God’s approval. The danger for dishonor is greater with size (2 Tim. 2:20).
You may have been saved in a Charismatic Church or been a member for years. You have found help there. I do not write to dishearten you. I write with love and concern. “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Pro. 27:5-6).
The charismatic role-model, the Corinthian Church, was guilty of tolerating quarrelsomeness, carnality, immorality, improper lawsuits, the violation of Christian liberty, insubord-ination of women, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, indecency, pride, divisiveness, ignorance of spirituality, confusion about spiritual gifts, and disorder.
Pentecostalism started through a group with very serious doctrinal perversions in 1901.49 Pentecostalism gave birth to the Charismatic Movement in the 1960’s. The grand-children are the Signs and Wonders50 and the Word-Faith Movements of today. The Oneness Pentecostal cult came from a Pentecostal revelation. The Pentecostal and Charismatic movements are young but large. The twisted and extreme theology is where the radical growth appears to be taking place.
The movement is in trouble when the ones held in such high esteem leave the TRUTH. It follows that someone is a deceiver and someone is being deceived. As demonstrated, this movement is easy prey for Satan’s LIES. Why shouldn’t Christians ask, “What could possibly be next?” Beyond all of the religious excitement is alarming evidence of great theological poison!
Can we rationalize that it is acceptable to remain in a church, as the Roman Catholic Church, because some Protestant churches turned from the TRUTH? No! We know the Mormon god has problems with changing his mind! The Bible God is very clear and He has not changed His mind; you get out of every church that abandons the TRUTH! “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).
I urge you to prayerfully read The Charismatics, by John MacArthur. Search the Scriptures, and think through your whole theological background. I pray God will help you find the way.
In a day when the Church and the New Age are steadily merging into one force, beware! Everyone of us needs to recognize the danger of drift. Many churches lost their moorings! Any kind of church that has left the TRUTH is to be avoided. Sadly, many discouraged victims of a shallow Christianity have left the Church to join the cults!
Let’s pause and ask ourselves, “What kind of a conclusion awaits at the end of life’s journey?” Do we want to hear Jesus say, “Well done!” or “Well, you’re done”?
“The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19)