Categorie: English

long distance friendship

A small but precious gift from Canada!

It feels like light-years ago when I met my friend Doris. We have had a long distance friendship for many years. And there are a few small but precious pins that remind me off her, as well as my father, regularly.

I was running a Bulletin Board System (BBS) from 1992 until Januari 1, 2000. The y2k bug hit and the software wouldn’t work anymore. Apart from that, the internet had already become big. So I pulled the plug and concentrated on the internet as ministry-field. I started my first website in 1996 and it was an instant hit. Since there weren’t many Christian websites yet.

long distance friendship

Anyway – back to my friend Doris! She’s a lady from Canada and was also running a BBS. I can’t remember exactly trough what network we got to know each other. Probably the ProBoard BBS systems users network or FidoNet.

We became friends, trough the BBS-networks, and since I was working in IT and was a little more experienced with BBS-systems I answered questions she might have but above all: we were, are, both believers. So there was a lot of talk about spiritual things in the messages we’ve been sending to each other as well. In fact, that has been the main subject for years 🙂

After the BBS-systems were becoming less popular, because more and more people started using the internet, I started a website and later on my own webhosting business. My friend Doris also started a website and I have had the honor to host it for many years. After many years she pulled the plug on the website because of several reasons and we, sadly, lost contact. Until about two years ago when I found her to be on Facebook!

So, in short: we’ve known each other now for almost 30 years!

The “I Believe” pins

Recently my father passed away, in february, and my mother gave me a little pin he was always carrying on his suit. I have the same pin. As you can see it has a cross and “I Believe” written underneath. I wear it on special occasions (since that’s when I wear a suit), for example when I had to preach at the funeral of one of the members of our Bible group and at some other speaking engagements.

These small pins where a gift from my friend Doris. We have kept them all these years and have always been very careful with them. We got these pins in the early 90s from her so they’ve been with us for at least 25 years.

These pins might not have cost a fortune. For me they, however, were a token of friendship and there is no price tag you can put on friendship. That is worth more than a fortune! Now that I also have the pin of my late father it has become of even more value to me. A token of friendship from my friend Doris, that has always stayed with me, and a tangible reminder of my deceased father and his work in teaching the Gospel.

fallen angels - pastors who do wrong

Should we continue to study works by fallen pastors?

Should we not judge? Christianity Today asked several Christian leaders to weigh in on whether we should continue to study works by fallen pastors. The reason for the question was the removal of all of the books of James MacDonald from America’s largest chain of Christian bookstores, LifeWay Christian Resources.

fallen angels - pastors who do wrongLifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, decided to stop selling titles by former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James MacDonald after his termination this week, taking down all 58 of his items from its website. MacDonald has been accused of several wrongdoings over the past few years. The world-famous Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who passed away last year, has also been accused of a lot of wrong-doing after he died from a rare form o f cancer. And the list doesn’t stop there.

In fact, we find a lot of examples in the Bible of people that were considered ‘bad’ whom were used by the Lord for a specific purpose. To name a few: Moses, who killed a man. David, an adulterer (amongst other things), Peter, Paul ..

Paul wrote:

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (1 Cor. 1: 26, 27; 2 Cor. 4:7, NIV).

Broken Vessels

David had too much blood on his hands and was therefore not allowed to build the Temple. If a pastor has too much “blood on his hands”, he too can no longer build the temple, the Body of Christ, and must lay down his task as a pastor. But! That does not mean that the ministry has come to an end. Someone can still be of great use. There is, however, one important condition.

David was still allowed to serve his people as a leader because he repented of his sin. “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” (Ps. 51:9). He didn’t hide them, we still know about them today and for a good reason: so we can all learn from it!

From him the Redeemer, our Lord Jesus, was born. As humans, we judge quickly. We look at people. God sees the heart. However, if the heart is unrepentant then the legacy of a fallen leader must be wiped out. Especially if they have deliberately misbehaved and used their position just to gain personal advantage at the expense of others.

However, let’s remember the words of our Lord Jesus:
— “in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (see Matthew 7:1-5).

Should we not judge?

Should we not judge at all? Well, we cannot let sin go on. We are called to have a correct judgement (John 7:24). But we should also remember what the potter did:

“So I went to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jer. 18:3-4, NIV).

A broken vessel, or failed pottery, can sometimes still be of great use. Or even better use! It is, however, up to us if we repent and are willing to be reshaped to something that can be used.

(In response to a facebook post by CT and the comments on that)

Manipulation in the Church

John 10 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

— NOTE – This article is in English because I’m sharing it on some networks.

Manipulation in the Church

Recently I visited a church styled after the “mega-churches” because I was to go with someone to one of the services of the church they attend. My wife and I decided to go over there instead of visiting our ‘regular’ church.

We knew this church from about 20 years ago, when we were regulars there for about 6 months. We were visiting it back then when looking for a church, after the leadership of the church we had been with for many years were in a bitter schism and we didn’t want to be a part of that. We were also a little curious about how this church had developed over the years.

Back then, there were about 400 people – we didn’t become members of it, because we were asked to help starting (another) small, local, church (that has now, sadly, ceased to exist). But also because we didn’t feel comfortable about some of the teachings and “church growth”-system they were using.

It has now grown into a church with over a 1,000 members. So yes, it seems the ‘system’ did work. They have a huge new building. Popular, loud, worship music. A music team with great musicians. A light show on the stage, even including smoke machines. You might know the setting. As if you were stepping into some kind of pop concert. A lot of the music made me remind the music of U2’s “Unforgettable Fire” album, btw (lot’s of delay on the guitar, reverb and so on) and Coldplay’s musical style. In other words: aiming at the 20-40 years age group. We also noticed there were hardly any elder visitors. I guess they all left and it’s not difficult to see (or hear!) why.

When it was time for the preacher to speak we were notified he was ill, and was replaced by a lady who would speak (..). The preaching was on a level that reminded me of Sunday School teaching. Very simple message and worse than that: it was at certain important eras rather  incorrect in explaining the Biblical passage she was talking about.

During the speech I had a feeling she was clearly planning to work towards an end conclusion. My host whispered at a certain point to me: “Oh, beware, the money talk is next now”. And yes, she did: “money for the new building”. They want to buy (instead of renting) the building. They need about 900,000 Euro for this they said (but when I checked the site, the annual budget is lot’s more) and she started talking about how “sinful” people spend their money and how they should use it “for the glory of the Lord”, started talking about tithing and “go beyond that!”. That sounds like Pope Leo X’s indulgences to me: “give your money and you’ll be cleansed of your sins”… Or, as we see these days: prosperity teachings. “Give to be blessed”.

After she finished speaking, the collection and prayer was announced. During the prayer I noticed something. The music. There was music playing during prayer. Not only very distracting for me but there was something else going one. When she was praying for certain things, even before she did, the music started to become louder, or more emotional (certain chord phrasings). Or, at certain times, it was very soft.. the prayer time lasted at least 15 minutes.

Clearly the conclusion must be that the prayer, and the music that was ‘supporting’ it, was carefully planned and rehearsed. Not spontaneous prayer or prayer that was led by the Spirit. As a musician (and having been in youth- and church leadership for dozens of years), I recognized what was happening: manipulation of the flock by influencing the emotions. To move them to a certain point in their behavior and thinking which they would otherwise not have been willing to do if their thoughts were not “guided” that way..

When I walked out the building I felt very disappointed they had ended up being a group that was manipulating people in such a way. Focused on money. Focused on emotion. On influencing the emotions and thoughts of visitors. And everything clearly planned in advance.

It made me also feel more or less angry: the fact it was all prepared in advance, planned. Even the music that ‘guided’ the prayer. As if we, as the visitors and members of the church, were only there to be scammed out of our money. This was what we were afraid of about 20 years ago but hoped it would never come this far. We saw the early signs back then and left.

Now — you might think “but it’s all for the Glory of the Lord” so it’s all good! You might even think some “smart tactics” are allowed to achieve this. But is it? Is it for the Glory of the Lord?

Churches like this have a paid-for staff. They have, for example, paid-for “building managers”. Cleaning crew. Pastors. Some of the elders in churches like this are full-time, paid-for, staff… They all depend on the tithing and “special offers beyond that”. Their financial planning is based on that.

I was hoping to go to a service that would at least be building me up somehow, spiritually. Allowing me (and my wife) to have a good time in the presence of the Lord. Instead, we came home and felt empty, betrayed, deceived.

The sad thing is, there are so many churches that operate like this one – they just copied the model of others. They made me remember the church of Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) and it saddens me so many people are going there thinking they serve the Lord (and in their hearts, many do, no doubt about that!) but in the meantime they are (in my opinion) like puppets on a string, victims, of manipulation and bloated greedy leaders.

These leaders are not shepherds. They “climb in by another way” – they don’t play fair. Be aware!

 

Klokkenluider uit de Charismatische beweging spreekt…

Na zeven jaar medewerker te zijn van The Elijah List, op Evangelisatietoernee te zijn geweest met Tod Bentley en de “4e Golf” van de Charismatische beweging van binnen en van buiten te hebben leren kennen besluit Kevin Kleint de beweging te verlaten.

Kleint is niet afkerig geworden van de Charismatische beweging, maar stelt als ‘klokkenluider’ vragen. Vragen die beantwoord moeten worden in zijn ogen… daarnaast onthult hij een aantal zaken.

Hij schrijft over Todd Bentley onder andere:

The bottom line is this … Todd Bentley is a money maker. He’s flamboyant, edgy, very entertaining and controversial …. ALL of those traits will draw an audience. And if you have an audience, they will come to the $100 conferences and buy the $20 books and CD’s. It’s really that simple.

If Todd was a minister with no tattoos, a small following and a more traditional preaching style, you would be amazed at how quickly he would be swept under the rug and forgotten about.

Kleint heeft zijn ervaringen hier gedeeld: https://www.honorofkings.org/
(zie onder “Elijah List Testimony – How I Worked 7 Years to Deceive You”)

Holy laughter and Gold dust?

(A  response to a post at the “Friends of the Messianic Corner”)

When Rebekah agreed to marry Isaac, Abraham’s servant adorned her with gold and jewels. Genesis 24:53 (NKJV)Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.Isaac symbolises Jesus. Rebekah represents the bride of Christ and the servant symbolises the Holy Spirit, preparing the Bride for the coming of Jesus, the Bridegroom from Heaven.THIS EXPLAINS THE MYSTERIOUS APPEARANCE OF GOLD DUST AND PERFECT PRECIOUS STONES WHICH GOD SUPERNATURALLY CAUSES TO APPEAR AS GIFTS TO SOME CHRISTIANS IN OUR GENERATION.

I left the Charismatic movement behind me when it was still in the ‘3rd wave’ and must say i’m glad i did. What we see those days in the 4th wave like the ‘gold dust’, Crowder’s movement, ‘holy laughter’, ‘holy barking’ and so on does not glorify the Lord. Why? Well,..

1. it’s not Biblical. You can only give it some Biblical “credibility” by explaining things from a certain assumption like the original writer does when he says “Isaac symbolises Jesus. Rebekah represents the bride of Christ..” – this is not sound Biblical teaching. It’s *assuming* something or even worse: “making it up”. Never in the whole Bible we see a thought like this confirmed; it’s not to be found in it. So based on this assumption, it’s a nice thought i agree, you start assuming that the ‘gold dust’ is somehow related to this. But if you apply the proper hermeneutical principles on what you’re claiming here, it will not hold up;

2. claims about “gemstones ”, “gold dust”, “golden teeth” and so on have all fallen flat when researched by objective researchers. This has been tested in the Netherlands and other countries. We have a preacher in the Netherlands who has been “shaking gold dust from his Bible” and he is even supported by some very influential Evangelical leaders. When his ‘gold’ was tested by two laboratories it was proven to be worthless plastic. Does God give his believers worthless plastic?

This whole “gold dust” thing started back in Brazil, do some googling and you’ll find out the truth about it. There never ever was any real, true, gold ‘manifested’.

3. it doesn’t add to our personal believe in God, nor does it bring the unbelievers to Christ but in fact the 4th wave is the thing that allows more and more people to ridicule Christians! Does God want the world to make fun about his Children or about Himself or does he want the world to know the truth: that He is coming again soon and will judge the unbelieving world? So, what’s more important – having our own little “gold dust parties” or spreading the truth and bring people to Christ? This whole thing is nothing more than people concentrating on themselves and their own feelings and not reaching out to the world;

4. finally – look at the lives of the men leading this movement. I only have to mention one name, or two… they lead unholy, greedy, lives. Todd Bentley, for example. He’s one big fraud. Even his ‘biker gang’ history is a fraud. We know how he ended up and still he’s backed up by some of the most influential 4th wave leaders like John Arnott from Toronto.. Mind you I don’t want to point a finger, but doesn’t the Bible clearly state we have to watch our leaders and how they end? The leaders of the 4th wave show no spiritual progress, don’t lead into spiritual progress – as far as I’m concerned they are clowns and frauds.

There’s so much to learn from the Lord, by his spirits guidance, why on earth should we be occupied by these “lower” and earthly “manifistations”? In the end, they won’t help us deepening our faith. In fact, they will only draw us backwards since we will be jumping from wonder to sign and from sign to extatic utterances and so on without growing spiritually. That’s why I’m glad I’ve left the movement and went on – if I hadn’t done so, I’d still be doing that and wouldn’t have grown and learned as much as I’ve done in the past 20 years.

So, whats my authority? Am I an authority on this? Therefore I’d like to let someone else, a world-wide recognized formal leader of the pentacostal church tell the truth,… David Wilkerson, he’s been a life long, respected, leader and has been a great example in- and outside the movement. Listen to people like him!

Video: http://youtu.be/dvoAGEZf-nI