With the advance in the teaching of spiritual authority in the last 50 years, there has sadly been a lack of teaching on responsibility that comes with it. This has partially caused a great divide between the privileges of church officeholders and their level of accountability. There are now a few leaders that have come to acknowledge they have gotten it wrong about recent events. That is a great step, a step that has been late in the making but a great start none-the-less.
Admitting you were wrong about the election, the coronavirus, what God was doing, how he views racial injustice, how God told us to treat immigrants, our duty to the poor, honor vs obey, and a bunch of other things is a good first reaction. Unfortunately, part of being wrong about these things has caused many to question if there really are prophets and apostles in the church today. If we search the Scriptures, it looks like we have been playing church more than being the church.
Charismatic and Pentecostal leaders, your integrity will be known by your efforts to clean up this mess. But before you can do that you have to come to the understanding of what the mess is and your role in causing it. I hope each of you that has been getting it wrong this season have come under some accountability to discover what made you unfaithful to Holy Spirit. You can’t attribute those words to God’s nature and be following Him at the same time.
Restoration to the true ministry of Holy Spirit is possible but will need to be overseen by an elder. I believe God can turn this around but it is going to take honesty and accountability. Whatever the plan is for your restoration, these five tasks have to be included:
Find out how many churches you divided with your false prophecies. I am a guy with a small church in south Florida. I have lost good people because they believed your lies instead of the guidance of their pastors. I lost good people. I lost family members. People chose you and the words you made up instead of the words of the people who nourished their souls, watched over them when their family was in trouble, and met with them to hear their hurts. They lost that because you told them that is what God wanted. They lost their churches and we lost them. What will you do about that?
Find out how many people died of Covid-19 because they trusted you. Right now there are people who are dead because they followed you. You didn’t get it wrong about coronavirus, you caused people to die. You caused families to suffer terrible financial and emotional destruction. Churches lost their pastors. Families lost their loved ones. Businesses were destroyed. And we are not even counting the number of followers who languished in sickness. Health and governmental leaders were not trusted because you gave false prophecies. How do you clean that up? How can you possibly repair that damage? What led you to be so careless about people’s fate?
Find out how many racists you empowered and emboldened. You put your name and office behind an unashamed racist. If you don’t believe that you are still under the delusion that caused the above false prophecies. Because of you there are large groups of Christians that believe that it is Marxist to want the government to stop murdering black people. Your words emboldened people to hate immigrants in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. You made it ok to hate, be suspicious, listen to and spread slander, and be conformed to the worst instincts of the unredeemed. How will you put the White Nationalist genie back in the bottle? How will you walk back the hatred you empowered in the church? How will you heal the divide you deepened between your white community and the people of color? How will you repent of the racism you have displayed?
Find out how many people now worship the idol you promoted instead of the living God. God chose Cyrus, the Persian ruler to be God’s instrument to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity. Cyrus was a shadow of Jesus. You gave Jesus’ mantle to a man. That’s like Old Testament level false prophet type stuff. People fly a man’s name over their cars, houses, on their head, and unfortunately in their hearts. They did it because you told them that was God’s will. You told them that people who did not follow this man would suffer God’s wrath. What is wrong with you? Why would you do that? What level of false spirit did you entertain to miss such foundational blasphemy? How will you destroy the idols of our day? How will you win these people back to Jesus?
Find out how many people are following your lies instead of Jesus. I know the word lie is abrasive. But whatever is not the truth is a lie. The charismatic church has been too soft on this. The truth is people believed your lies instead of the Jesus of the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. This is probably the easiest to fix. Tell people to go back to their churches they left because of your words. Tell people they should have been wearing a mask and believing the science all along. Tell people how wrong you were not to condemn racism in our government. Tell people that they should have never followed a man instead of Jesus. Make sure they know you are talking about following you. Then tell them they should have never followed a politician instead of Jesus. When you see the crowds leave and follow the idols you set up you will really see the damage you caused.
Don’t search your heart for how this went wrong. Following your heart is what got us all into this mess. My advice is to find a Pentecostal academic to sit under.1 Someone who embraces the Baptism of the Spirit and the Word of God. Get some real theological education because you have been a mess with that. STOP MINISTERING until you figure out the answers to the above questions. Seriously. You have to get a grip on the damage your ministry has caused. This will be painful but it is necessary.
The Church is beautiful and self-healing because the Holy Ghost is in her. She survived the Romans, the Ottomans, the Communists, Radical Islam, and humanism. She survived all these with damage, she will survive the damage you caused as well. Take time to discover deep repentance and forgiveness offered to the repentant by Jesus. Learn to be a servant instead of a king. Find the way of Jesus.
I would suggest Dr. Chris Green, Dr. A.J. Swaboda, Dr. Mark Chironna, Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns, Dr. Antipas Harris, Dr. Amos Yong, and Dr. Mark Cartledge. There are a bunch of others but that is a quick list.