Christian Research Service
June 30, 2012
Life is full of surprises. Five years ago I would never have considered my side of the family being torn apart by hyper-charismatic deception. The true story you’re about to read is about a journey of wrestling through the morass of familial bonds, allegiance to Scripture, and trying to faithfully respond to false teaching and practices.
False prophet Rick Joyner stated in The Morning Star Prophetic Bulletin, 1996:
“Like the American Civil War, the coming spiritual civil war will also be between the Blue and the Gray. In dreams and visions blue often represents heavenly mindedness – the sky is blue – and gray speaks of those who live by the power of their own minds – the brain is often called gray matter – this will be a conflict between those who may be genuine Christians, but who live mostly according to their natural minds and human wisdom, and those who follow the Holy Spirit.”
Yes, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and other heavenly minded Blues are orbiting in dreams and visions big time, presumably following the Holy Spirit, while Grays muddle around in their own grey matter largely adhering to biblical orthodoxy. By Joyner’s definition, Blues are genuine, heavenly minded Christians following the Holy Spirit. In contrast, Grays, who may or may not be genuine Christians, live mostly according to their minds and human wisdom. You sure can see which side gets his vote and what he bases it on: dreams and visions. However, he mistakenly flips this spiritual civil war on its head. I can tell you faithfully, wherever conflict exists between the two it is because the Grays are using sanctified minds in the true knowledge of God to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3), as well as when necessary being willing to practice biblical separation: “‘Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,’ says the Lord. ‘AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN’” (2 Cor. 6:17; emphasis in the original). If there is no repentance on the part of the Blues and biblical correction has been attempted by the Grays (2 Tim 2:24-26), there can be no true unity between them. Whether it’s in a familial or church context, the Blues are infiltrating every sector of Christendom and many more will fall prey to their errors without faithful contenders of the faith. I have found it to be as difficult and as simple as that.
I also don’t “mind” saying I am extremely fond of my little grey cells, especially when they are made biblically sensible by sound doctrine, are well informed, and employed by the Holy Spirit. In an age of mindless Christianity, the NAR jettisons the appropriate use and application of God-given mental faculties. John R. W. Stott wrote in Your Mind Matters – The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life:
“Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind that God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality and cut ourselves off from many of the riches of God’s grace.”
That includes spiritual discernment! Regarding the NAR’s suspicion and aversion of the power of the mind in favor of emotions, I suggest they suffer from what Hercule Poirot, a fictional Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie, said when asked if he was busy doing detective work for the past six months: “No, the little grey cells, I fear, they grow the rust.” Rust characterizes this aspect of the NAR and so many of its adherents very well.
Let’s now proceed to my story and what eventually led my husband, Don, and I to direct Christian Research Service. It was August 5, 1994, when an unexpected event occurred. That day I felt like I was coming down with a “bug”. In and of itself, a viral infection isn’t so unusual. However, what was unexpected was that it left me bed-ridden for months, and to this day I have been chronically disabled. I eventually learned from viral disease specialists that I experienced a sudden-onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). I was also diagnosed by a rheumatologist with Fibromyalgia (FM), which predated the ME/CFS.
I’ve navigated these waters for years now and have worked through many issues raised by these illnesses, not the least of which has involved God’s divine healing. A close relative with rheumatoid arthritis and I encouraged one another through God’s Word focusing on His power to heal. She introduced me to The Healing Rooms of the Santa Maria Valley, sending me some of their materials to read. She also sent an excerpt from a book she was reading called The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens by Jim W. Goll. In the chapter entitled “Wisely Judging Revelatory Encounters”, he states:
Avoid spiritual ditches: There are two deep ditches we should avoid. First, we should watch out for analytical skepticism, which will cause us to be offended by what we do not understand. The other deadly ditch is fear (of man, rejection, fanaticism, etc.). Both of these “ditches” have a common fruit: criticism. Consider this nugget of wisdom spoken to me some years ago:
“If you can’t jump in the middle of it, bless it. If you can’t bless it, then patiently observe it. If you can’t patiently observe it, then just don’t criticize it! Do not stretch out the rod of your tongue against those things you do not understand!”
I got the message my relative was sending, tacitly suggesting I put my analytical skepticism on ice. However, I still couldn’t help but think Goll’s inane “nugget of wisdom” was ridiculous, if not a patently dangerous philosophy. Moreover, I found it presumptuous in that whatever “it” turned out to be was assumed to have merit and come from a reliable spiritual source. Whatever happened to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1)?
The spiritual paths of my relative and I paralleled each other’s in so many ways that I previously had no reason to doubt her understanding of spiritual matters, yet by this time, second thoughts had started to circle the wagon. Even so, I still can’t believe how clueless I was to the hyper-charismatic way of thinking and behaving that was proliferating out there at large, and specifically in my relative and her family. That was about to change. She started dropping phrases like “Jezebel spirit,” “Five-Fold Ministry,” “soul ties,” and the like. She’d have to explain to me what they were. Meanwhile, I was reading the healing room materials, and while I questioned assertions that were made such as physical healing is in the Atonement and is for all, I was indeed open to God’s physical healing in my life. But, I also wanted to balance it with His sovereign will and purpose for me. Didn’t the Lord say to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9)?
I traveled to the Santa Maria Healing Rooms with a friend who was my prayer partner at the time. She was suffering from emphysema, and we both wanted to see what God would do. I remember sitting in the Soaking Room, trying to “soak”, awaiting my first session. I was taking in my first impressions on the one hand and on the other being genuinely open to the Lord for His healing touch. I had three healing room sessions – two in the Miracle Room and one in the Kingdom Room. I later wrote down what I could remember:
- In the Miracle Room I was told healing (in my chest) had begun and that I was to believe it no matter what I felt and to walk in the healing;
- I was told God was saying “Yes” to the word I was receiving and that I would be used in a mighty way;
- “Control” and “peace” were spoken over my body;
- Someone covered my ears and prayed I would “hear” the Word of the Lord and recognize the voice of the enemy;
- I was told God loves me;
- I was told to speak to my body parts;
- I was told the Lord said I was a lovely woman; that He’s pleased with me and that He cherishes me;
- I was consecrated with oil after the OT temple offering;
- I was told there was bondage broken and to speak rejoicing;
- In the Kingdom Room I was told I was coming into my destiny and purpose;
- I was told that Fibromyalgia is a “name” and it has to bow to the Name above every other name and depart;
- I was told the curse of my doctor’s diagnosis was broken.
While I was at the healing rooms, I purchased a number of books and brought them home; one in particular, How to Minister to Specific Diseases, listed root causes, and scripture-medical-ministry applications. The product description reads:
#1 Best-Seller! As led by the Holy Spirit, here are 67 Disease listings and how to minister to them as incorporated by the International Healing Rooms Headquarters of Spokane, WA. Special Topics include: How to keep your healing, Father’s and Mother’s Blessing, and Soul Ties. Updated August 2005 (emphasis mine)
The page regarding Fibromyalgia reads in part:
Anxiety, stress, fear, drivenness, and perfectionism caused usually in women who find themselves left alone with no spiritual headship as a covering. They must become the spiritual head by default and see themselves saddled with responsibility that they cannot cope with. (emphasis mine)
Cast out the spirit of loneliness and pour in the love of the Father.
Bind the pain and cast it out.
Command the fibrous tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and all other connective tissue to relax and function normally.
Could this “cause” be the author’s foray into channeling scripturally sounding knowledge that really has no basis in the Scriptures? I believe so. Since it’s extra biblical revelation, the assertion “as led by the Holy Spirit” is not even reliable or necessarily true. Furthermore, these claims are not the result of clinical study, so they are not scientifically proven. I personally know children and men who have Fibromyalgia who clearly don’t line up with the criteria they want us to believe. This bogus “cause” seriously minimizes this complex, painful, debilitating, chronic illness and is highly insulting to those who suffer from it.
After examining these materials, I sent them all back and asked for a refund. Over the many years of suffering with ME/CFS/FM, I’ve read a lot of material about it written by a plethora of people from all walks of life, Christian and non-Christian, including: co-sufferers; family members and care takers of sufferers; competent, well-trained medical personnel from numerous fields of expertise; researchers; and peer-reviewed medical studies/journals. Not one of them suggested The Healing Room’s misguided root cause for Fibromyalgia.
Having encountered various individuals in healing room ministries, I noted several things with increasing alarm while in the midst of my learning curve. One was when I asked a few questions in a session about the Toronto Blessing/Holy Laughter Movement. It led to a lively debate in which the movement was heartily defended by the prayer team leader. Another occurred while talking with a self-proclaimed “11th hour worker” who told me in Word Faith jargon that I was snared by the words of my mouth. She claimed I needed to speak life, laugh, and get hilarious, which would send the enemy into derision. In talking with other such women involved in various healing room ministries, I quickly learned how many are so-called “pastors” – a biblically untenable role for a woman! How can they not see their own root cause for Fibromyalgia applies to women “pastors” who take on spiritual headship when they DO NOT qualify biblically as elders to do so?! (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)
My prayer partner went back to The Healing Rooms of the Santa Maria Valley numerous times. Each time she brought various individuals for initial and repeat trips with her for physical healing, such as one elderly lady with macular degeneration. I eventually asked her if she or anyone she’d taken to the healing rooms was ever healed. She simply answered, “No.”
My experiences at The Healing Rooms of the Santa Maria Valley did not result in my being “healed instantly by a miraculous touch from God,” nor did I receive “healing progressively over a period of days, weeks or months.” Rather they served as a “heads-up” to another deceitful aspect of the hyper-charismatic renewal spreading like wildfire. My relative eventually was trained and served for years in a healing room ministry for physical and “inner” healing.
Discussions with my relative became increasingly strained for both of us. It became more and more apparent to me that she was departing sound doctrine. She was beginning to see I couldn’t affirm the new direction she was heading, and a boundary was put forth that I was not allowed to discuss doctrine with her. In view of where this left us, I began to go into research mode. I just couldn’t understand someone so seemingly grounded in the faith blithely jumping into the world of false prophets, teachings, revelations, healings, etc., with both feet as if nothing was seriously amiss. It was completely mind-numbing.
Providentially, the Lord is always so gracious and good! He directed Don and me to a weekend discernment conference being held in our area. We attended and met with the conference speakers, learned a lot, and were greatly encouraged. As it turned out, we needed that encouragement and those ministry contacts more than we could ever have imagined.
By the end of that same weekend we received a call saying my relative’s two teenage daughters had an audio testimony online called “Taken to Heaven.” (It was online for a long time, but has since been removed.) Their pastor interviewed them about an experience they shared together. The girls described at great length and in great detail being slain-in-the-spirit with uncontrollable laughter when guardian angels entered their bedroom and spoke to them. They described a chariot ride to heaven, and while there each of them met with Jesus and married Him in separate wedding ceremonies. The youngest said she saw the following prophets sitting in the first pew waving at her during her marriage ceremony to Jesus: Heidi Baker, Kim Clement, Benny Hinn, Charlie Robinson, Patricia King, Kathy Walters, and Bobby Conner. They described Jesus giving them a tour of the nations and speaking to them about marketplace evangelism. They were personally commissioned for ministry by Him, and the eldest also described meeting Queen Esther. Their guardian angels even appeared to them after their trip to heaven.
I ask you: How does one respond to this kind of thing in a family? I have never disbelieved the girls had some kind of mystical experience, but I have always questioned the source as being from the Holy Spirit. We were deeply grateful to the Lord for preparing us for this shock, and for providentially using various discernment ministries to help us, including Christian Research Service (CRS).
During this time, my relative and her family were involved with The Father’s House in Stockton, CA. Much like The Elijah List website, this place is a revolving door of false apostles, prophets, teachers, revivalists, evangelists, you name it. One of their regulars was a false prophet named Chad Taylor who my relative allowed her teenage children to minister alongside. I ended up writing an exposé about him entitled “Chad Taylor: A ‘New Breed’ Pied Piper” that was featured on the CRS website. Sadly, the warning was to no avail where it came to my relative and her family.
Last year the director of CRS was led to step down. Rather than see the website go offline, we stepped in last July 2011 to keep it going. Since then, albeit slowly, we have redesigned the site and have added a broader scope of material to help build up the body of Christ in these deceptive times. It is our fervent hope and prayer that CRS will continue to bless those who seek to follow our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Again, I say life is full of surprises. In this story, I’ve shared a few of Don and my trials involving health, family, and spiritual deception. Trials are not unique but common to many, especially those who love the Lord, who have been called according to His purpose. Indeed, we can and should rejoice, entrusting every outcome to God:
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4:12-14).
Praise be to God; and praise Him for the engaged, sanctified little grey cells that play a vital role in the amazing journey of discernment.