Archive for the ‘Doctrines of Demons’ Category

Spiritual Adultery

[Note: This article is an adaptation from Chapter Five of the book, Charismatic Captivation.]

It is absolutely vital for every minister to understand that the context and sphere of his shepherding is limited primarily to the spiritual. While Fivefold ministers may occasionally be able to proffer some inspired or experiential counsel and advice even regarding natural matters, their foremost calling and enablement is to feed, care for, lead, and guide the sheep of God’s Flock spiritually and in relation to spiritual matters, not so much natural affairs.

We (ministers) are charged by God with the responsibility to feed His sheep spiritual food, to care for them with the spiritual wherewithal of the Holy Spirit, to lead them unto the one and only true Rock of their Salvation and Provider, Jesus, and after the pattern given us by the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4;  Ps. 23) we are to guide them "in the paths of righteousness," which is, the Way, Truth, and Life of Jesus.

When a minister routinely goes beyond the God set, albeit, invisible, boundaries of his calling and purview of authority, which is the limitation of the spiritual realm primarily, and habitually interlopes into the natural, physical realm, interposing his own will in the ordinary private matters of his followers’ lives, he is engaging in unsanctioned usurpation and illegitimate authority. In the process, he also leaves behind his legitimate duties, responsibilities, and sanctioning from God as an under shepherd, as well as his effectuality.

To take it a step further, a minister who engages in this sort of imposition and usurpation has essentially taken on the role, totally illegitimately, of the husband/father/head of those households and families over which he has imposed his authority; for, as the Scripture delineating true "spiritual covering" (1 Cor. 11:3-16) indicates, the role of headship (i.e., government or leadership) of a household or family in the natural, has been assigned by God to the husband/father of that house.

Another term for this illegitimate interloping and usurpation into another man’s domain of authority is—spiritual adultery.

Now to some this attribution will seem to be overkill and a bit melodramatic. Yet, in light of Scripture, it is neither. This is precisely what leaders who engage in these practices are engaging in—spiritual adultery. Allow me to explain.

God said the head of every woman is her husband, and every woman, at least every Born Again woman, has a husband, even those who are widowed, divorced, or never‑married. Born Again women who for whatever reason do not have a human husband with whom they are living, are joined to and one with the Ultimate Husband, Jesus Himself (1 Cor. 6:17), the effectuality and efficacy of which fact is determined by the degree of each unmarried woman’s acceptance of and faith in that fact.

When a person other than the legitimate husband/head of a house invades the sanctity of that household by illegitimately interposing his own will and authority upon the woman of that house, that constitutes spiritual adultery. No person, man or woman, including ministers, is authorized to intrude into a household in this fashion.

It is with regard to this very sort of illegitimate authoritarian "home‑invasion" that one particular New Testament passage alludes and admonishes with especial attribution to the "last days" in which we are now living:

But realize this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble—hard to deal with and hard to bear. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self‑centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate (greedy) desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffers), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] treacherous (betrayers), rash [and] inflated with self‑conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it—their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession. AVOID [ALL] SUCH PEOPLE— TURN AWAY FROM THEM. FOR AMONG THEM ARE THOSE WHO WORM THEIR WAY INTO HOMES AND CAPTIVATE SILLY AND WEAK‑NATURED AND SPIRITUALLY DWARFED WOMEN, LOADED DOWN WITH [THE BURDEN OF THEIR] SINS, [AND EASILY] SWAYED AND LED AWAY BY VARIOUS EVIL DESIRES AND SEDUCTIVE IMPULSES. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so THESE MEN ALSO ARE HOSTILE TO AND OPPOSE THE TRUTH. THEY HAVE DEPRAVED AND DISTORTED MINDS, AND ARE REPROBATE AND COUNTER­FEIT AND TO BE REJECTED AS FAR AS THE FAITH IS CONCERNED....BUT THEY WILL NOT GET VERY FAR, FOR THEIR RASH FOLLY WILL BECOME OBVIOUS TO EVERYBODY, as was that of those [magicians mentioned]. (2 Tim. 3:1‑9, A.B.)

I have alluded already to the fact that these false concepts of "spiritual covering" mixed with the "absolute submission" concept makes for an extremely poisonous and potentially lethal rue, which almost invariable eventuates into various forms of authoritarian abuse that frequently entails some kind of illicit sexual exploitation. This, of course, by Bible‑defini­tion, is physical fornication and sexual adultery, which obviously is utterly sinful and damning, not to mention the horrendous natural and spiritual consequences such abominable abuse and exploitation engender.

Nevertheless, though it may be hard to imagine, the fact is that in these situations where leaders illegitimately interlope into the private affairs of their followers, usurping the role of the husband, even in those cases in which no physical fornication and sexual adultery have yet occurred, the "spiritual adultery" that has been committed is even more heinous and abominable and will produce even graver consequences, both spiritually and in the natural.

The reason spiritual adultery of this nature is such a grievous offense to God is that it is His authority, albeit, intermediated in the case of the married woman by a human husband, that is being usurped.

The true spiritual Husband is Christ, and it is His betrothed that is being assailed when one of His sheep is abused and exploited. Thus, spiritual adultery carries with it an even greater judgment than sexual adultery for the unrepentant offender.

Abhorrent as it is, that these Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines and practices constitute spiritual adultery, there is yet another offense they abet that in terms of gravity may even surpass spiritual adultery. In addition to spiritual adultery, adherents and practitioners of this false theosophy are also fostering and participating in "spiritual idolatry" as well.

To read an explanation of the spiritual idolatry aspect, click here.

The Perilous Path of Doctrinal Deviation

Doctrinal deviation, degeneration, and denigration is a perilous path leading not to genuine unity of the Spirit, as posited by its propagators, but rather disunity with the Spirit, apostasy, perdition, and ultimately hell itself!

Not All Unity is of the Spirit

Not all unity or unanimity is a good thing or a God-thing. The first would-be world dictator, Nimrod, exercising supernatural leadership abilities, was able to cajole the entire population of the world into coalescing under his rulership in complete unanimity and to participate in the building of a tower dedicated to his worship that would reach into heaven. But it wasn't a God-thing, in fact it was an anti-God thing, and He personally came down and confused the language of the people, with the result that they could no longer be in unity, and thereby brought a halt to the building of the Tower of Babel.

King David also learned the hard way that unity/unanimity among the people is not always a God-thing, nor does it affirm God's approval of your plans; rather God killed David's chief armor-bearer, which cast him into a several month long cavernous depression and despondency.

Anyone who ever heard much of the teaching messages of the late Kenneth Hagin undoubtedly heard him tell the story of how his calling to the pastorate of a church regarding which he told the Lord that he would only accept the congregation's call if the vote was 100% in agreement, and that he was basing his prayer on the story of Gideon and the "fleece" he put before God. The result was a hard lesson learned. The congregation voted 100% in agreement, but it took him two years to finally resign the church because, he would say, both he and his wife and the church got fleeced! Unity of the people did not equal unity with God; it never was God's will for Hagin to pastor that church. All the human unanimity involved did not modify or affect in any way the will of God.

"The unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" is a good, Godly, Scriptural, righteous, and worthy objective, but what trips up many in the church today in their journey to apprehend it is the faulty thinking that "unity of the Spirit" is unanimity among people, or in the case of the church, believers, and in the case of "Full Gospel" or Pentecostal/Neo-Pentecostal churches, Spirit-baptized believers. In fact, that mindset is the premise of modern "seeker-friendly" concepts that may sometimes result in human unity, but does not infer or indicate unity with God. "Unity of the Spirit" is NOT people in agreement and walking in lockstep with one another. Rather, "unity of the Spirit" is being in agreement with GOD! It is a Holy-Spirit-inspired and orchestrated concord or agreement that is based on the foundation of the Word of God rather than the whims and opinions of men. Thus, the roadway to "unity of the Spirit" cannot possibly be the spiritually perilous path of "doctrinal deviation." (more…)

True and False Unity (Part 3)

I believe in and covet unity among believers—wholeheartedly. I grealty prefer unity over disunity, harmony over disharmony, accord over discord, concord over controversy, agreement over disagreement, amity over animus. There are numerous Scripture passages stating God's desire for unity among the Brethren. Genuine unity of the Spirit is vital to the Body of Christ in order to accomplish the purposes and plans of God on Earth. Unfortunately, however, the notion of unity that many in the Church today have been indoctrinated with is not true unity at all, but rather a convoluted counterfeit that is used by some unscrupulous and unaware leaders as a subtle mechanism of manipulation aimed at predomination for self-aggrandizing purposes. (more…)

Bishops and Apostolic Succession

In the 1980s a spiritually perilous trend began developing in the Neo-Pentecostal realm, which was the human appointments of certain leaders into the supposed office of "bishop" by groups claiming " Petrine apostolic succession." This vogue has become especially popular and common in an increasing number of so-called Neo-Pentecostal "networks" that have emerged since the 1980s, comprised of affiliated though purportedly autonomous churches. One prominent Neo-Pentecostal organization1 in 1982 formed what it called "The International College of Bishops," comprised of ecclesiastical leaders upon whom the organization had conferred the title of "Bishop," which they purported positioned the conferees in the bimillenial hierarchical system of bishops of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) supposedly leading back in unbroken "succession" to the Apostle Peter, who the RCC regards as the first "Pope."

This trend has developed despite the irrefutable fact that no such "office" or "position" is established anywhere in Holy Writ (The Bible), but rather in fact is undeniably antithetical and subversive to the governmental offices God has established in His Word, namely, the Fivefold Ministry Offices (Eph. 4:11). Nowhere does Scripture establish or even vaguely support the notion of a spiritually efficacious "office" of bishop or hierarchical lineage of ecclesiastical surrogates appointed by Christ, the supreme Head of the Church. (more…)

The False Doctrine of Absolute Submission

Dr. Steven Lambert, author of Charismatic Captivation

At the zenith of the Charismatic Movement in the 1970s, a pseudo-movement that came to be known as the Discipleship or Shepherding Movement emerged. That purely humanly-devised campaign was led by an alliance of five ministers who employed their influence to rapidly proliferate in the emerging Charismatic Church a collection of doctrines related to authority that were patently hyper-authoritarian. In sum, the unscriptural teachings posited and promoted a multi-tiered, pyramid-shaped system of governance that conveniently positioned these five ministers at the apex of the pyramid. Coincidentally or not, the multi-level paradigm these teachers proposed mirrored the multi-level marketing models that were exploding upon the scene across the nation at the time in the business world. (more…)

Spiritual Idolatry

Though the term is a fairly familiar one within the context of the church and Christianity, few people really understand what spiritual idolatry is, meaning its true nature. In this article we are going to consider the matter of spiritual idolatry and what it is from a Biblical standpoint.

To merely call idolatry "sin," though it certainly is, somehow seems an extreme understatement, for it is the ultimate affront unto God. Yet, arguably, it is the most pervasive sin of all today among professing believers. Contributing to the prevalence of idolatry within Christendom, no doubt, is the common perception by many that idolatry is something that occurs only in underdeveloped, far-away, foreign lands, or that it is something relegated mostly to ancient civilizations of past ages, while nothing could be further from the truth. (more…)

The Thin Line of Leadership (Part 2)

The main focus of the initial installment of our discussion was the matter of hyper-authoritarianism in general and how easy it is for the most principled spiritual leaders to cross over the "thin line of leadership" between leading and lording, discipling and dominating, coaching and coercing, to operate in "foul ground" without even realizing it. In this part, we begin turning our attention to some of the whys and wherefors of ecclesiastical predominance.

Of course, as was pointed out in Part 1, there is nothing new about authoritarian abuse by spiritual leaders. In any age, there is no shortage of unscrupulous religious dictators bent on self-aggrandizement facilitated through personal kingdom-building purportedly "in the name of the Lord." Nevertheless, while it is not indigenous exclusively to our time, due perhaps to the move toward organizational ecumenicism commonly referred to today as "networking," there is little doubt that it is more widespread than ever before, to the point that sadly the term, "ubiquitous," now applies. Unfortunately, today there is little difference between the ecclesiastical and the secular realm with respect to corruption. And, after no small number of years of studying this phenomenon, I have concluded that the primary cause is nothing more sophisticated than base greed fueled by the oldest and most powerful human propensity which God Himself testifies is the ROOT of ALL evil — "the love of money." (more…)

The Thin Line of Leadership (Part 1)

There is a very thin line between leading and lording, discipling and dominating, coaching and coercing. So thin is the line, it is at times and in certain scenarios nearly indistinguishable.

Indeed, church leaders commonly cross the divide without even realizing it, and are much chagrined upon discovery of their transgression. Moreover, many find themselves alternately on one side or the other of the line at different times. For the majority of sincere, upstanding, and ethical ministers, transversing — or transgressing, as it may be — the line is altogether unintentional, and when they suddenly find themselves on the wrong side, they cannot remember when, how, or even why the misstep occurred. Unfortunately there are also ministers not of this upright ilk, who intentionally and indeed unabashedly leap over the boundary line to operate in "foul territory" as their habitual modus operandi. (more…)

The Fallacy of Personal Pastors (Part 2)

The adulterated concept of "spiritual covering" itself is problematic enough. Yet, its negative effect is increased by the fact that it is the predicate for several other, related elements of error comprising the heretical Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines and practices, one of which is the matter of "personal pastors." Indeed, this element has been the basis for at least as much excess, errancy, and authoritarian abuse as the others discussed in this series of articles concerning those doctrines and practices. To those who employ these practices for sordid purposes or with less than pure motives, the perverted concept of "spiritual covering" is sanction for a most insidious kind of unauthorized personal domination and control of their subjects under the auspices of this very delusive and destructive version of "personal shepherding." (more…)

The Fallacy of Personal Pastors (Part 1)

The adulterated concept of "spiritual covering" itself is problematic enough (for more on that subject, read the previous two posts). Yet, its negative effect is increased by the fact that it is the predicate for several other, related elements of error comprising the heretical Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines and practices, one of which is the matter of "personal pastors." Indeed, this element has been the basis for at least as much excess, errancy, and authoritarian abuse as the others discussed in this series of articles concerning those doctrines and practices. To those who employ these practices for sordid purposes or with less than pure motives, the perverted concept of "spiritual covering" is license for a most insidious kind of unauthorized personal domination and control of their subjects under the auspices of this very delusive and destructive version of "personal shepherding." (more…)

The Myth of Spiritual Covering (Part 1)

"Spiritual covering" as theorized by the Discipleship theosophy is an absolute MYTH. No semblance of the Shepherding teaching version of "spiritual covering" exists anywhere within the pages of Scripture. "Spiritual covering," in the vein it is presented by proponents and propagators of these hyper-authoritarian teachings, is an outright deception! It is a complete fabrication concocted by the originators of these fallacious doctrines as a supposed pretext for facilitation of entirely self-aggrandizing objectives of subjugation, domination, and control. (more…)

Identifying Hyper-authoritarian Doctrines and Practices

Hyper-authoritarian doctrines and practices have become cemented into the foundation, fabric, and functions of many churches and even whole denominations or networks of churches. The problem has become so widespread that it is almost pandemic in Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal churches. But, the reason these scripturally-condemned doctrines and practices have been able to proliferate and endure is that they have been going on so long that the present generations of church-goers in these ecclesiastical groupings have been reared in these cultures where domination and control by church leaders is the norm and are accepted as being normal. The purpose of this article is to define hyper-authoritarianism and identify the practices that are hyper-authoritarian in nature.

Hyper-authoritarianism is predominance or psychological control imposed by spiritual leaders upon their followers or congregants with respect to not only their involvements within the church or ministry, but also regarding the personal and private matters of their lives. Ministries and church-groups practicing this illegitimate domination employ various means and degrees of psychological indoctrination and coercion to compel congregants to subject and conform their personal activities, behavior, and affairs of their lives with the leadership-prescribed standards, rules, expectations, and corporate goals of the church or ministry. The purported pretext for the imposition of this scripturally-prohibited religious governance is an adulterated concept of ecclesiastical authority. Promulgators and practitioners adamantly claim that the mechanisms of manipulation they employ are a perfectly Scriptural system of "discipleship" in fulfillment of the role and responsibility of spiritual leaders to "make disciples." (more…)

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