I need to begin this post with a few qualifiers. I am not a Pentecostal or charismatic. I have been formed in a Christian denomination that is intertwined with the history of Pentecostalism in Canada. I have very good friends and loved family members who attend, are even ordained in, PAOC churches.
I am an Anglican priest, serving in the Diocese of Algoma in Sudbury Ontario Canada. I need to say that for three reasons. First, because it means I really don’t have an axe to grind over the US political scene. That scene does interest me, but it does so from a distance. (Politically, in Canadian terms, I am an old fashioned Red Tory. Which in US terms, I think, makes me a Blue Dog Democrat–but I’ll let any American readers comment on that.) Second, it means I have a kind of complicated political life. Most of my parishioners and practically all of my clergy colleagues tilt center-left; I tilt center-right. For both reasons, no one should call what follows a hit-job on Republicans.
The third reason I mention my church and national affiliation is to highlight that I do come to what follows as a theological matter with ecclesiological and political significance. There is no hidden agenda. It’s all on the surface.
I would be very grateful for Christians other than me or my friend, Greg Metzger to do something. But they need to be particular Christians. I am an Anglican; Greg is a Roman Catholic. That means the people who need to hear what we are saying aren’t listening to us. I am calling on people from Pentecostal and Charismatic backgrounds, or from backgrounds with sufficient overlap with those movements. Neither Greg nor I have a terribly large profile, either. So, I’m calling on people from those or similar backgrounds who have a higher profile than ours.
Here is what I am calling you to do:
For the sake of the Gospel, you really do need to name the New Apostolic Reformation, C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Sam Rodriguez and Harry Jackson as false teachers, who are not simply an embarrassment, but are actually doing great harm to the Body of Christ.
Not because they like Republicans. You may or may not find that problematic. Like I said, though, that’s not a debate that interests me at this juncture. You need to call them out on their false teaching because it is false.
I’ll give you a specific example: The Queen of Heaven “demon.” Among the more bizarre beliefs: this demon has had sex with the emperor of Japan; this demon lives in an ice castle in the Himlayas; Wagner’s and Jacobs’ prayers to overthrow this demon resulted in the death of (among others) Mother Theresa, who–like many Roman Catholics–worshiped her in the guise of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord.
So, what’s worse: that this is just plain dumb on its face; that it exults in the death of a woman who was, quite simply, an example of Gospel living, that it impugns the finished work of Jesus, who on the cross won the victory over sin death and the devil; who was shown to be the Victor by his resurrection and glorious ascension; that there is simply no biblical warrant for any of this (not even the encounter between Daniel and Gabriel comes close); that it comes within a whisker of inciting or justifiying violence against those who might demur?
I find it particularly alarming that folks like Rodriguez and Jackson get almost entirely positive coverage on the pages of Christianity Today, to say nothing of Charisma, which seems to know no end when it comes to the promotion of foolishness.
Please, will somebody say something?