Explaining megachurch scandals

In researching my recent posts on charismatic theology, contemporary Christian worship music and so on, I came across the fact that yet another serious sex scandal has hit the New Apostolic Reformation movement, this time involving the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and its leadership. Whatever else this shows it demonstrates that holding the (claimed) longest prayer meeting in history, not counting Count Zinzendorf’s famed Moravian one, doesn’t of itself guarantee the integrity of a ministry: as in most things spiritual, as well as in the world, the devil is in the detail.

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Another song for you

Here’s an old but remixed song I’ve just uploaded to YouTube.

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The fashion for passion

The Charismatic movement is notable for the fashions through which it regularly passes, both in praxis and vocabulary, and as I noted in my piece on the Christian music industry, that is reflected in fashions in the subject matter and vocabulary of worship leaders and their songs.

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A biblical view of gathered worship

Towards the end of the last of my three part critique of Charismatic theology, I sketched out the idea that the Bible teaches a fundamentally different view of Christian worship. This approach, were it better understood in Evangelicalism, would probably have prevented the disappointments of Charismatic teaching long ago. David Peterson’s Engaging with God examines this in a very thorough, and biblical, way, which I think is worth summarising here. You do, however, need to be aware that I can only hint at the extensive scriptural evidence that Peterson brings to bear, so you’ll either have to take my word for it or buy the book!

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Posted in Politics and sociology, Theology | 2 Comments

Christian Nationalism and Colossians

Christian Nationalism is a slippery term, which seems mainly to have been coined by the progressive left to implicate Christian support for Donald Trump (both amongst Evangelicals and traditional Catholics) in imaginary attempts to impose a theocratic tyranny. Pope Francis has condemned it as a desertion of the gospel for ideology, but it would seem that his own ideology aligns pretty closely with that of the secular left, supporting multiculturalism, mass immigration and liberal re-definition of the faith itself.

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Far-Right Now (the single)

Still on a musical theme, here’s a bit of satirical fun I’ve just put up on YouTube.

Enjoy it until the thought-police come round to get you.

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Sample simony

There’s a really annoying historian on the occasional archaeology TV series Digging for Britain, who, whenever there’s an item on an ecclesiastical site, manages to interview some librarian to show cynically how it was nothing but a cash-cow for money-grabbing churchmen. It happens every time he appears, it seems.

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O Absalom, my son, my son!

The result of a year long consultation by the Baptist Union came out this week, in the form of a statement by its council. It arose after a few Baptist churches lobbied for a change in the Ministerial Recognition Rules to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages. What is noteworthy is that the Council, after deep consultation and consideration, concluded that the rules should not be changed – making British Baptists the first major denomination of which I am aware to have bucked the LGBTQ+ bandwagon.

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Towards critical thinking on Charismatic theology (3)

My conclusion from the thought experiment in the last post is that what we actually see in the Church nowadays is more consistent with Pentecostal/Charismatic theology being profoundly mistaken than with its being correct. I base this on the fact that after, 120 years, the churches are not settled comfortably into Charismatic doctrine and practice, but are still chasing the rainbow and wondering why they never reach its end. The extreme example of this is, of course, the Word of Faith variants promising to bring heaven down to earth in ever more dramatic ways, but instead producing a pattern of financial acquisitiveness and irregularity, spiritual and sexual abuse, blatantly false prophecy, and elementary stage magic claiming to be greater works that Jesus’s own.

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Towards critical thinking on Charismatic theology (2)

If you’re a member of one of the hyper-charismatic megachurches, the very idea of applying critical thinking to the theology around spiritual gifts and related matters is anathema, as it implies a lack of the faith that enables believers to heal any and every disease as Jesus did – except that they never can. Even the super-apostles have to fake leg lengthening on an industrial scale to inflate the numbers.

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Posted in History, Politics and sociology, Theology | 5 Comments