Results 1 to 13 of 13

Spiritual Warfare discuss Occult practice in the "Christian" church? in the The Christian Walk forums; I have family members who attend a charismatic church in Redding, CA - it's pastors encourage the use of things like fire tunnels as a ...

  1. #1
    moselle is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    196

    Occult practice in the "Christian" church?

    I have family members who attend a charismatic church in Redding, CA - it's pastors encourage the use of things like fire tunnels as a means of worship, and they have frequent reports of strange happenings like rain showers and floating feathers in the building. The pastors also consult "seers" within their church. Lots of signs and wonders, miraculous healings, etc.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if any of this sounds like demonic activity that Satan may use to deceive church goers into believing they are experiencing acts of the Holy Spirit? Can Satan perform true miracles/healings as a means to deceive? I mean, if it keeps the crowds coming and prevents them from hearing the gospel (sound Biblical teaching is completely absent), then "mission accomplished" ?

    Any thoughts?
    Moselle
    PCA
    TN

  2. #2
    Andres's Avatar
    Andres is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6,462
    "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and departed. - Matt 16:4
    Andrew Silva
    RE OPC (currently not serving)
    Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)
    North Dallas

    My blog - Lose Your Life
    Follow me - Twitter

    He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God. - Abraham Kuyper

  3. #3
    MarieP's Avatar
    MarieP is offline. Puritanboard Senior
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,248
    Quote Originally Posted by moselle View Post
    I have family members who attend a charismatic church in Redding, CA - it's pastors encourage the use of things like fire tunnels as a means of worship, and they have frequent reports of strange happenings like rain showers and floating feathers in the building. The pastors also consult "seers" within their church. Lots of signs and wonders, miraculous healings, etc.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if any of this sounds like demonic activity that Satan may use to deceive church goers into believing they are experiencing acts of the Holy Spirit? Can Satan perform true miracles/healings as a means to deceive? I mean, if it keeps the crowds coming and prevents them from hearing the gospel (sound Biblical teaching is completely absent), then "mission accomplished" ?

    Any thoughts?
    Sandy,

    Yes, Satan performs signs and wonders to deceive people. There's not a reason to find a demon behind every bush, but I don't rule out demonic activity when considering the Toronto Blessing and the like.

    In Exodus 7-10, Pharoah's magicians are able to replicate some of the plagues the Lord sends upon Egypt.

    Matthew 24
    23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

    2 Thessalonians
    9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    MarieP
    Reformed Baptist Church
    Louisville, KY

    "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant" (Gen. 32:10)

  4. #4
    Jack K's Avatar
    Jack K is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3,630
    Yep. You can add my vote that it's possible for true miracles and healings to be taking place and it be demonic activity. Satan is tricky. But it's also very possible that people simply see what they're hoping to see. This too is the devil's work, though not "miraculous" as we tend to think of it. Part of the devil's warfare is to keep minds dull, unable and not desiring to see the truth, easily deceived and convinced of things that are not true.
    Jack K.
    PCA, worshiping with some fine Baptists in Colorado
    Gospel Teacher website
    Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids

  5. #5
    AThornquist's Avatar
    AThornquist is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,731
    Let me guess, it's Bethel Church. In fact, I will continue typing as if you have answered "yes," because I am quite certain this is the cult you are referring to. Bill Johnson, the leader there, was a pioneer in incorporating fire tunnels into "worship." The charismania at this church is worse than TBN or anything you've seen on Youtube. At the very least, it is just as bad as whatever you have seen. I definitely believe that what is manifested at their gatherings is demonic in at least some sense; it's not Christian doctrinally or in basic practice.
    What is particularly scary for my area in Northern California is that they have a church plant here and they are in the plans of merging with local charismaniac churches to create a sort of insane megachurch. You know a church has some issues when its pastor on Facebook calls the night's gathering a "runaway service" or "hard to remember since [he] was so drunk [in the Spirit]." Sigh.

  6. #6
    youthevang's Avatar
    youthevang is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    194
    @moselle, I would say that Satan performs counterfeit miracles and healings as well as portraying himself as an angel of light.

    "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul." -- Deuteronomy 13:1-3
    Joshua Parker
    Christ the King (PCA)
    Cambridge, MA
    "Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over these, but they will be priests of God and the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years." - Revelation 20:6

  7. #7
    BobVigneault's Avatar
    BobVigneault is offline. Bawberator
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,943
    Superstition is the lever by which weak demons produce the appearance of great and frightening power.

    They will make efficient use of the local superstitions and expectations of a group, village, church, whatever, and they will create schemes to fit those localities. Given the right superstitious package, the demon can scare a group to death, destruction or at least exhibit control.

    I used to believe that the economy of the demonic world was power, I don't believe that anymore, they trade and work in superstition. Our own superstition and expectations 'empower' (actually it's all an illusion) the demons. Take away superstition by teaching a Biblical worldview and preaching the Gospel and removing fearfulness and you have removed the demons ability to affect people.

    There are three beliefs regarding demons but only these first two are common:

    1. Demons exist and they are powerful and frightening, and
    2. Demons do not exist, they are explained by natural phenomena and subconscious brain functions.

    The third, and I believe Biblical response is that demons DO exist but they were greatly weakened at the establishment of the Kingdom. Any real power is gone and they must rely on misconceptions, fears and superstitions BUT that is enough. Demons have studied humans since we were created. They know our weaknesses, they know how susceptible we are to fear and that we can be controlled by it.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
    Seventy And Fourteen (blog)
    The Heartbeat of Heaven (blog)
    Spiritual Warfare (blog)
    Member, Grace Evangelical Free Church (Reforming!), Afton, WI
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?

  8. #8
    AustinW is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,197
    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    Superstition is the lever by which weak demons produce the appearance of great and frightening power.

    They will make efficient use of the local superstitions and expectations of a group, village, church, whatever, and they will create schemes to fit those localities. Given the right superstitious package, the demon can scare a group to death, destruction or at least exhibit control.

    I used to believe that the economy of the demonic world was power, I don't believe that anymore, they trade and work in superstition. Our own superstition and expectations 'empower' (actually it's all an illusion) the demons. Take away superstition by teaching a Biblical worldview and preaching the Gospel and removing fearfulness and you have removed the demons ability to affect people.

    There are three beliefs regarding demons but only these first two are common:

    1. Demons exist and they are powerful and frightening, and
    2. Demons do not exist, they are explained by natural phenomena and subconscious brain functions.

    The third, and I believe Biblical response is that demons DO exist but they were greatly weakened at the establishment of the Kingdom. Any real power is gone and they must rely on misconceptions, fears and superstitions BUT that is enough. Demons have studied humans since we were created. They know our weaknesses, they know how susceptible we are to fear and that we can be controlled by it.
    I tend to think along these lines as well. By the way, nice Latin under your username.

  9. #9
    BobVigneault's Avatar
    BobVigneault is offline. Bawberator
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,943
    Thanks Austin, it was the first thing I learned as an altar boy. My grand mother taught me that it should be clean 'sub ubi'.

    Quote Originally Posted by austinww View Post
    By the way, nice Latin under your username.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
    Seventy And Fourteen (blog)
    The Heartbeat of Heaven (blog)
    Spiritual Warfare (blog)
    Member, Grace Evangelical Free Church (Reforming!), Afton, WI
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?

  10. #10
    moselle is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally Posted by AThornquist View Post
    Let me guess, it's Bethel Church.
    Yes - they moved half-way across the country to attend Bethel. My sister now works for one of the pastors. At first I looked into it, because - hey - they moved half-way across the country...but the more I listened to the free online weekly sermons, the more confused, and then downright disgusted I became. How could they shovel such garbage into the mind of my sister and her husband and two small children? And then I started hearing about the weird stuff...

    They are generally well-read - my sister has read books by John Piper and says they LOVE the Westminster Confession. I can't reconcile it in my head. It's like they are saying, we love nutritious and delicious food, but mostly love to eat from our neighbor's maggot-infested trash? Can they be so blind? Except as Marie posted - God has sent them delusions that they would believe a lie.

    I keep praying that God would somehow use her new job to show her the truth and remove the blindness from her eyes.
    Moselle
    PCA
    TN

  11. #11
    sastark's Avatar
    sastark is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    3,188
    Moselle, my dad is a Presbyterian minister in Redding, CA. I know of Bethel firsthand. My dad is currently preaching a series on the topic of "False Teachers" aimed directly at the anti-christian teachings coming out of Bethel. I strongly encourage you to tell your sister about my dad's church. If she LOVES the Westminster Confession, then there is no better place for her to be on a Sunday morning in Redding.

    My Dad's church's web site is: Grace Presbyterian Church of Redding,California
    Seth Stark
    Member, Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Springfield, IL (though I live in Decatur, IL)

    (Formerly Ruling Elder, Communion Presbyterian Church (ARP), Irvine, CA)
    M.A. Science and Religion, Biola University
    The Ruling Elder Blog
    LIKE The Ruling Elder on Facebook!

  12. #12
    SemperEruditio's Avatar
    SemperEruditio is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,601
    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    Demons have studied humans since we were created. They know our weaknesses, they know how susceptible we are to fear and that we can be controlled by it.
    El diablo sabe mas por ser viejo que por ser diablo

    Quote Originally Posted by moselle View Post
    They are generally well-read - my sister has read books by John Piper and says they LOVE the Westminster Confession. I can't reconcile it in my head. It's like they are saying, we love nutritious and delicious food, but mostly love to eat from our neighbor's maggot-infested trash? Can they be so blind?
    People "love" a lot of things. I've read sections of WCF to people who are dead set against the DoG and they loved what they heard. I suspect that, as with most charismatics of which I was one, they have switched off the old grey matter. All that WCF and whatnot is academic but when the "spirit" shows up none of that matters because he is going to have his way... The other thing is charismatics are able to compartmentalize their spiritual stuff from what they read or vice versa. The reality is that when they read, because their foundation is weak, they are reading based on their weak presuppositions and do not understand...

    Most who claim to believe in God's word will also say they love the WCF but I don't buy it unless they are in a confessional church. Loving the WCF and yet attending a circus show is not understanding the WCF and ultimately not understanding the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by moselle View Post
    Except as Marie posted - God has sent them delusions that they would believe a lie.

    I keep praying that God would somehow use her new job to show her the truth and remove the blindness from her eyes.

    I thank God everytime I read situations like these that he pulled me away before things got ridiculous. I also pray that I am able to gently and with love speak to those about these things in a dialogue which plants a seed. God is!
    Frank
    Under Care
    City of Hope Church
    P.C.A.
    Maryland

  13. #13
    moselle is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    196
    Quote Originally Posted by sastark View Post
    Moselle, my dad is a Presbyterian minister in Redding, CA. I know of Bethel firsthand. My dad is currently preaching a series on the topic of "False Teachers" aimed directly at the anti-christian teachings coming out of Bethel. I strongly encourage you to tell your sister about my dad's church. If she LOVES the Westminster Confession, then there is no better place for her to be on a Sunday morning in Redding.

    My Dad's church's web site is: Grace Presbyterian Church of Redding,California
    Thank you! I'm so glad to hear of a "beacon in the fog"!
    Moselle
    PCA
    TN

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72