October 2010

The New Prophets: "We Can Do The Same or Greater Things Than Jesus"

C. Peter Wagner is widely regarded as the man responsible for the New Apostolic Reformation which gave rise to the self-proclaimed prophets and apostles like Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Jim Garlow, Lance Wallnau, Rick Joyner, Chuck Pierce, and the other Dominionist/7 Mountain advocates who are slowly working their way into the Religious Right mainstream.

For months, I have been trying to hammer home the point that when these activists refer to themselves as "prophets" and "apostles" on par with Jesus, they mean that literally.

And just to drive home that point, here is audio of Wagner speaking during the Generals International webcast earlier this month as he explains how, through the Holy Spirit, people like himself can perform miracles that outshine even Jesus Christ himself:

The Holy Spirit was the source of all of Jesus' power during his earthly ministry. Jesus exercised no power of or by himself. We can do the same or greater things than Jesus did because we have access to the same power source.

And so the whole ministry of Jesus from the beginning to the end was a ministry of the Holy Spirit through Jesus' human nature. And that is why, when you think about it now and think about what I've just said, we can believe that Jesus said "he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also, and even greater works than these will he do because I go to my Father, I go to my Father and send the Holy Spirit."

So we now have the Holy Spirit, we have the Holy Spirit and when we're filled with the Holy Spirit - which is absolutely essential, we've got to be filled with the Holy Spirit - but when we're filled with the Holy Spirit we can move into ministries such as the Reformation Prayer Network and we can pray for the transformation of our neighborhood, we can pray for the transformation of our city, of our state, of our nation, of our government mountain, the family mountain, the arts and entertainment mountain, the education mountain, the business mountain.

We can pray for all these mountains with power because we have that power that Jesus had and it's up to us to be in a place where we're open to release that power of the Holy Spirit so that His name will be know and that His kingdom will advance.

This is the theology at the heart of the New Apostolic Reformation which is slowly infiltrating the Religious Right with the rise of people like Lou Engle and behind the Dominionist/7 Mountains ideology that Christians must gain control of every aspect of cultural power.

Wallnau: Islam, Gays, and Abortion Are Attacking America From the Gates of Hell

We have been writing a lot about the rise of the Dominionists like Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs within the traditional Religious Right movement and paying close attention to the influence of Seven Mountains theology, which is the idea that Christians are called upon to gain control of the seven key aspects of culture (government, media, business, education, etc...) in order to unleash God's kingdom on Earth and bring about the return of Jesus Christ.

One of the key proponents of this Seven Mountains theology is Lance Wallnau who, thank to Jim Garlow, has become more involved in the political aspects of the Religious Right movement through Garlow's Pray and ACT effort.

Earlier this month Cindy Jacobs and Generals International hosted a three hour webcast that featured Wallnau, as well as New Apostolic Reformation godfather C. Peter Wagner, during which Wallnau laid out how Christians are supposed to gain control over these mountains through both "overt" and "covert" means .... and those little upside-down horseshoe things floating above the 7 mountains on the white board represent the gates of Hell though which same-sex marriage, abortion, and Islam are attacking America:

You go all the way down into the family mountain. Now you've got family and you've got same-sex marriage being fought. What's up with that? Well, it's another one of these hellish blocking of truth here, bringing through the gate a belief system that whatever form of sexuality you're into is legitimately, constitutionally protected.

Well, while you're doing that, through the religious gate here you've got Islam invading the United States. So you've got your homosexual activity, your abortion activity here, Islam coming in, you've got a financial collapse - all of this, to those of us who are Christians, is an apocalyptic confirmation that when you remove God from public discourse, when you don't line up your thinking with kingdom principles, you inevitably hit an iceberg like the Titanic and you go down.

We want to be able to bring kingdom principles and values into every one of those spheres, realizing that the kingdom can move both in the over proclamation of truth and in the covert instruction of principles.

So here's what I'm saying: believers need to start to move into the high places where they're going to come up against the gates of hell. We will, I guarantee you, come up against the gates of hell because when a believer comes into these high places, he comes head into - boom - the principles that are working there. And when you hit a wrong principle, listen to me, when you hit a wrong principle you hit a principality.

And when you hit a principality and you succeed in that conflict, watch what happens, you open up a portal, you open up a pathway so that light can come in. And this is exactly what we need now - we need Heaven to come invade Earth and bring, through portals, new leadership.

And if you are impressed by that presentation, The Oak Initiative is hosting a "Power Communications Seminar" with Wallnau, Rick Joyner, & Jerry Boykin later this month that you can attend for the bargain price of $900.

Bachmann Wants to Reduce Fed Gov't To Its "Original Size"

Despite the fact that she generally has no idea what she is talking about, Rep. Michele Bachmann is planning on holding weekly classes on the Constitution for new members in the next Congress.

I wonder if she'll teach these freshmen members of Congress what she told WorldNetDaily's Burt Prelutsky, which is that they should be trying to get the federal government back to its "original size":

Q. If, with a snap of your fingers, you could change anything about America, what would it be?

A. Reduce the federal government to its original size and constitutional limitations and to restore the 9th and 10th amendments.

Of course, the population of the United States back when the government was at its "original size" was just under 4 million - it is now over 310 million.  For that matter, Congress only had 26 seats in the Senate and 69 seats in the House and met in New York City.

But, according to Bachmann, it would be a dream come true to see our government reduced to the size it was back when the country had only thirteen states.

Brownback Called Upon to "Formally Denounce" Lou Engle

Over the last few days, we've been noting that Sam Brownback's ties to Lou Engle have become an issue in the race for Governor in Kansas, with Brownback at first refusing to comment but eventually addressing the issue by trying to downplay the relationship and distance himself from Engle's views.

As we noted yesterday, that is easier said than done, as Brownback has had deep ties to Engle and his Dominionist associates for years and has played a lead role in turning their religious concerns into public policy.

So now Brownback's opponent, Tom Holland, is calling on him to not merely voice vague "concerns" about Engle's unspecified views, but to "formally denounce" Engle once and for all:

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland is calling on Senator Sam Brownback to denounce Brownback’s former roommate and confidant, controversial anti-gay preacher Lou Engle ...

“I am calling on Senator Brownback to formally denounce Lou Engle – not just “some” of his statements – but his entire message of violence, hate and bigotry. Lou Engle sounds a lot like Fred Phelps. But the difference is unlike Fred Phelps, Lou Engle lived with Sam Brownback in Washington D.C.,” said Holland. “It’s time Sam Brownback stops brushing this issue aside, and make a denouncement on par with the nine year relationship that preceded it.”

Holland is right: Brownback lived with Engle for several months and has had a relationship with him and the various "prophets" and "apostles" with whom he associates that has lasted for year, so he cannot simply say he has "concerns" about "some" of Engle's views and hope that that settles it. 

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Christine O'Donnell did not have a very good showing in last night's debate and then lashed out at the GOP for abandoning her.
  • But Rob Schenck wants her to win because the Senate needs more regular guys and gals.
  • Justice Sam Alito says he won't be attending the next State of the Union address.
  • Richard Viguerie and Morton Blackwell will host an "election night victory party for 350 conservative and Tea Party activists on Tuesday, November 2, at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia."
  • Speaking of Viguerie, he and Brent Bozell came out in opposition to the death penalty.
  • Bill Keller says he is getting death threats.
  • Gary Bauer's Campaign for Working Families PAC says it will spend more than $1 million on ads targeting 10 Democrats.
  • Finally, Robert Knight will be joining Cliff Kincaid for America's Survival's "Unmasking the Progressives' National Conference."

Phyllis Schlafly: Muslim Cleric

This person is generating outrage:

A leading Muslim cleric in the United Kingdom said that it is "clearly" impossible for men to rape their wives, and it should not be considered a crime.

Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, told the human rights Web site Samosa, "Sex is part of marriage. In Islamic Sharia, rape is adultery by force."

"So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape," he continued. "It is reprehensible, but we do not call it rape."

Sayeed also claimed many married women who allege rape are lying.

By contrast, Phyllis Schlafly says that "by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape" and Republicans are proud to receive her endorsement while Religious Right groups give her James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit:

Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?

I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do.

Sam Brownback: The Dominionist's Man In Washington

In our post yesterday on Sam Brownback finally acknowledging his long relationship with Lou Engle, we noted that Brownback sought to downplay it by claiming that they only worked on human rights issues:

Brownback, of Topeka, said he worked with Engle on adoption by the U.S. Senate of official statements of apology to Native Americans and African-Americans. He said the Native American statement became law.

"Those were the substantive items," Brownback said. "It's all been about human rights and helping people live better."

Now, as anyone who knows anything about Engle and his associates realizes, every move they make is aimed at unleashing revival here in America and ultimately establishing God's kingdom on Earth ... and that is exactly what was at work in these two cases.

If you jump ahead to the 4 minute mark of this video of Sen. Brownback on the Senate floor discussing the apology for slavery, you will hear him talk about a "kettle tour":

This "kettle tour" was organized by Engle associates Dutch Sheets and Will Ford in order to create a "'synergistic agreement' that will release a multiplication of power for spiritual breakthrough" and Brownback played a key role in the tour when it came to Washington: 

The idea for what is being called the "Kettle Tour" was birthed during a conference last March when Sheets spoke about the joining of the present generation's prayers with those of the past to form a "synergy of the ages."

Will Ford, an African American conference attendee from Euless, Texas, shared a powerful story about an old kettle that had been passed down through the generations from his slave ancestors.

"My ancestors would be beaten if they were caught praying," Ford explained, "so they'd wait until everyone was asleep, sneak into the barn late at night, turn this pot upside down on some rocks, and get underneath it to pray where they wouldn't be heard. Although they didn't believe they would see freedom in their lifetime, they prayed for the freedom of the next generation."

When Ford heard Sheets speak about the "bowls of incense," which contained the prayers of the saints from all generations, mentioned in Revelation 5:8, he said he realized his prayers were being united with those of his slave ancestors.

Ford agreed to travel throughout New England with Sheets and a team of people, taking along his "prayer kettle" as a symbol of what God desires to do in this nation.

"God is connecting all the ages to heal history," Sheets told the prayer participants in Washington. "We must come into agreement with the prayers of past generations in order for God to fulfill His purposes for this nation."

Pointing to a significant movement of repentance and reconciliation between races, genders, and denominations that has already taken place in the last few years, Sheets believes God is now desiring a "synergistic agreement" that will release a multiplication of power for spiritual breakthrough.

"The church has been so disjointed that we haven't been able to accomplish what the Lord wants to do through us, but we're moving into a season in the body of Christ where I believe over the next five years there's going to be more joining together of the church than in all the 2,000 years leading up to this."

At the Washington prayer gathering, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., told those present that in all the history of the country nothing has happened but that it happened first in prayer.

"We've made it up the mountain a long way, but we have to make that final assault on the peak," Brownback said. "We can make that final leap to the top, if we stay on our knees."

The same goes for the apology issued to Native Americans - it was considered "a requirement of the Lord for the healing of this land" and once again Brownback played a key role in transforming the religious concerns of these self-proclaimed apostles and prophets into public policy:

[On] January 15, 2003 Dr. John Benefiel, Chairman and Mobilizing Apostle of OCOP, along with Dr. Jay Swallow, Dr. Neigel Bigpond, Jim and Faith Chosa, Gabriel and Vi Medicine-Eagle, Jean Stephenson, Sandy Grady and Mike and Cindy Jacobs met with Senator Sam Brownback in Washington, D.C. Dr. Benefiel explained to the Senator the curse brought upon our nation because of the 381 covenants the United States Government broke with the Native Americans. The Senator repented to the Native Americans right then and there. As a result of these events, Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 37, (which will provide a formal apology from the United States Government to Native Americans), was written and is currently on General Order in the U.S. Senate awaiting a full Senate vote ... [Dutch Sheets] said the starting of the 50 State Tour could not have happened until what happened in D.C. took place with the broken covenants and the repentance of Senator Brownback.

And here is Brownback being introduced by Sheets at the 2007 The Call rally in Nashville where he officially apologized to several Native Americans for the actions of the federal government and asked for their forgiveness.  He then issued a similar apology for the treatment of African Americans which he delivered to none other than Harry Jackson before finally bringing his own daughter out on stage and asking her for forgiveness for the 40 million abortions that have taken place in the wake of Roe v Wade:

Engle, Sheets, Jacobs and other are all key leaders in the dominionist movement and Sam Brownback has had a deep relationship with them for years, often serving as their man in Washington and joining them for various events and even living with Engle for several months at one point ... so his recent claims that he doesn't really have any contact with them and has "concerns" about their views is, quite literally, unbelievable.

Fischer Claims to Oppose Bullying While Attacking the "Deviancy Cabal" Which Is Killing Gay Students

Yesterday Bryan Fischer dedicated ten minutes of his radio program to expanding upon his column blaming gay groups for suicides among young people in which he said that "if we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students."

I have edited the segment down and I think it provides a perfect example of the utter incoherence of Fischer's anti-gay agenda in that he starts off by saying that if schools just taught the Ten Commandments there would be no bullying problems, then declares that defending God's word about homosexuality is not bullying and points to Carl Paladino as proof of what happens to those who dare to speak the truth, and then concludes by attacking the "deviancy cabal" for "brainwashing" students into declaring a "disordered sexual preference" and holding them responsible for suicides just as anyone who pressured kids into drug use would be guilty of their deaths:

If we were still inculcating Judeo-Christian principles in our public education system, we would not be having nearly the problem that we currently have this because of the classic Judeo-Christian values of courtesy and kindness, civility, respect for human beings that are made in the image of God. It's time for us to go back to introducing our students in our public eduction system to the time-honored standards that are found in the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the New Testament.

We have got to understand that speaking the truth about homosexual behavior is not bullying and it's not harassment, as much as the deviancy cabal wants it to be. I mean seriously ladies and gentlemen, they want to punish speech, they want to punish, intimidate anybody who would dare open his mouth and express criticism of homosexuality. Think of what happened to Carl Paladino, the way he has been landed on like a falling safe by every homosexual activist group in the world for daring to speak the truth about homosexuality.

I want to suggest that homosexual activists are not wholly innocent in these tragedies, in these horrible suicides by these students. Now realize that homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they have to recruit; it's the only way to swell their numbers. We, the sexually normal, we can be fruitful, we can multiply, we can fill the earth. Homosexuals cannot do it, they're incapable of procreation which is one of the reasons we should never sanctify those relationships with the term marriage or even domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Now part of the agenda of groups like GLSEN ... is to urge students at younger and younger ages to come out of the closet and declare a disordered sexual preference for themselves. so you've got sexually confused young people - and again, they're trying to push this down into kindergarten, they're trying to get this brainwashing into students of all ages even starting in elementary school - and what they're urging them to do is self-declare as homosexuals before they are mature enough to make any sort of rational decision about sexual matters.

So I'm suggesting that adults that pressure these students to declare a disordered sexual preference when they're too young to know better, that they share some culpability for those that take their life, just like an adult encouraging a young student to experiment with injection drug abuse - we would say to that adult, you share some culpability for what happens in the life of that student.

Vander Plaats Tries to Downplay AFA Backing of Iowa For Freedom

Yesterday, religious leaders in Iowa held a press conference to decry the role that the American Family Association in playing in running the Iowa For Freedom effort to remove three Supreme Court justices over their ruling in favor of marriage equality: 

“I believe that as a person of faith I am called on to aide those who are oppressed, abused and bullied — just as Jesus did,” said the Rev. Tom Capo of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist. “And when I hear any faith-based organization — whether it is called the American Family Association, Iowa for Freedom or IowaPastors.com — that calls basically for revenge against our Iowa Supreme Court justices because these justices made one decision that these groups don’t agree with, a decision to allow one group of people to have the civil rights that they deserve, I wonder if they are considering if they are living loving messages of faith that all the world religious speak of: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Help those in need or in pain. Help those who society shuns. These are the messages of my faith.”

The groups aren’t preaching that message, according to Capo, but are attempting to “manipulate us using fear.”

Rabbi Todd Thalblum, leader of Temple Judah in Cedar Rapids, agrees that “the voices of hate are out in force” and encouraged all Americans to return to the country’s “founding principles of equality and respect.”

“We are, each of us, a representation of God on this earth, and this makes us equal,” Thalblum said.

“History has shown us that where ever hate speech has been allowed to fester, violence and aggression are not far behind,” Thalbulum said. “The Jewish people know this all too well as do many, many other minorities both in this country and across the globe. We should never make our decisions based on a rhetoric of hate, rather we should let that what is just and right be our guide.”

Bob Vander Plaats, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, responded by claiming that the AFA was merely one supporter of many:

“The only thing I’m going to denounce is activists judges on the supreme court that’s used to make law, govern law and amend the constitution, and usurp the will of the people, and the will be the message today all the way until November two,” Vander Plaats says.

He says he believes the people of Iowa will have their voice be heard and will vote “No” on the three justices. The Interfaith Alliance says the A-F-A is an “extremist group, with a radical agenda, and a record of hate.” Vander Plaats says the group is one of many supporters of Iowa for Freedom.

He says Newt Gingrich supports the effort, Iowa Congressman Steve King supports the group and Vander Plaats says he’s not going to take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of their comments, nor should they take credit or responsibility or accountability for any of his comments.

But as the Iowa Independent reports, Vander Plaats' claim is complete nonsense: 

But in fact, according to documents filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Iowa for Freedom is not a separate entity, but simply the name given to AFA’s Iowa campaign. The group’s attorney told the state, “It is anticipated that all source funds for the Iowa for Freedom will come from AFA directly and that no other individuals or organizations will contribute specifically or directly for the campaign.”

As The Iowa Independent reported Wednesday, AFA has spent about $85,000 in Iowa in hopes of swaying Iowa voters not to retain three state Supreme Court justices that appear on the November ballot. According to Bryan Fischer, AFA’s director of issue analysis for government and public policy, the group will spend $200,000 on the effort.

...

While Vander Plaats downplays AFA’s contribution, AFA has done little, if anything, to hide its involvement with the retention campaign. Each page of the Iowa for Freedom website is marked as being “paid for by AFA Action Inc.,” the political arm of AFA. Advertisements generated by Iowa for Freedom are clearly marked as being “paid for by IowaforFreedom.com, a project of AFA Action Inc.” The West Des Moines address provided below the disclaimer is to a mail box at a UPS Store. In addition, e-mails sent by Vander Plaats on behalf of Iowa for Freedom dating back to August bear a similar disclaimer that the group is a project of the AFA. The website does note that AFA Action is a 501(c)4 organization, and that no contributions are tax-deductible.