Los Angeles, California
| JESUS As "LOVER"??|
Has anyone experienced anything like this?
JESUS As "LOVER"??
-by Andrew Strom.
What does the term "Passion for Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that whole Christian movements are now using it to mean a kind-of "eros" love for Jesus - a 'passion' for Him similar to what an earthly husband and wife have for each other? (-From the word "eros" we get the word 'erotic'). And what does the term "Intimacy with Jesus" mean to you? Would it surprise you to learn that many are now using it to mean sensual "eros"-type encounters with Jesus with Him as the Bridegroom and them as the 'Bride'?
You may think that such unscriptural practices must be out on the "fringe" somewhere. Surely they cannot be part of mainstream Christianity? Well, look around you, because this stuff is now everywhere. I live very close to one of the world's largest and most influential prayer centers here in Kansas City - and it has been a major source of this type of teaching for many years. And now it is all around the world. At this center you will find hundreds of young men and women who will tell you about being "ravished" for Jesus, "kissing" Jesus and 'swooning' in His arms, etc. Their entire understanding of "WHO GOD IS" and their relationship with Him is being shaped by this teaching. -And it is an utter twisting of Scripture.
Why is it important to have a right concept of "WHO GOD IS"? Why does it matter so much? Well, this one thing shapes every- thing else about our faith and our relationship with the Lord. At the
heart of a lot of cults and deceptions is a fundamental mis-apprehension of the true character and nature of God - ie. "Who He is - How we approach Him". It really does affect EVERYTHING.
Now, imagine that there is a new doctrine that re-invents our very understanding of God - a doctrine that sweeps the world and catches up many young people. So, is this new doctrine based
on a careful exegesis of the New Testament, you ask? -No! To your surprise you find that it is largely based on "spiritualizing" the SONG OF SOLOMON. Yes, that's right. An entire re-inventing
of our relationship with God based not on the New Testament, but on Solomon's lovestruck poetry about the body and breasts and comeliness of one of his 700 wives. -Wonderful poetry to be sure,
but what kind of basis is that for such a drastic change in our basic beliefs?
(So is there no benefit to be gained from an 'allegorical' understanding of the Song Of Solomon? -Certainly there is! Hudson Taylor and others used it this way. But that is not the point I am making. The real issue is this:- Should we re-invent our entire understanding of "Who God is" and how we approach Him - to fit in with a tiny book of semi-erotic poetry from the Old Testament? Should this become our dominant understanding of God?)
As history shows us again and again, to the equal degree that we lose our grasp of the real character and nature of God - to this same degree we will lose genuine Christianity. You cannot have the true New Testament Faith if you have lost the true New Testament Jesus. -Which is why it is so serious when people say that in the West today we have invented a kind-of "American Jesus"
to suit our self-centered, "me"-focused lifestyle. They point out that today you mostly hear of a Jesus who exists to make you "happy" rather than holy, a Jesus who is always a "friend" but never a Judge, a Jesus who does not any longer hate sin or demand repentance, but only wants you prosperous and 'blessed'. This is a Jesus that utterly suits our selfish Western mindset, but is found nowhere in the Bible.
And the new "Jesus As Lover" doctrine is just another twist in the ongoing tale of modern Christians distorting the character and nature of God.
Does Jesus love us? Of course He does - more than words can tell. And are we to love Him? Of course! -With all our heart, mind, soul and strength! But does this mean that we are to approach Him with a sensual "eros" love, like some sexual adolescent schoolgirl, "swooning" and smooching with our 'lover' Jesus? Is that what God's love means? Are we to exchange 'agape' for sensual "eros" and act like Jesus's "girlfriend" here on earth? (-Men as well as women?) God forbid!
Of course we know that in Scripture the corporate body of Christ (particularly at the end of the age) is described as the "Bride" of Christ. But isn't it obvious that this is talking about the 'CORPORATE' Body - not individual Christians? Are we each to become Jesus little "girlfriends" here on earth - or is it the "WHOLE BODY" that is to one day be the Bride of Christ? -Clearly it is the latter.
The effect of this doctrine on young men is particularly distressing. To describe it as "effeminate" is quite an understatement. As it is, the modern church is already known for being an "anti-masculine"
zone, with its flower displays, pink walls, mauve carpets, emotion- laden music, etc. A lot of commentators point to this when discussing the low attendance of men in our churches. But this
new doctrine takes this theme to undreamt-of depths.
Can you imagine zealous praying young men who relate to Jesus (ie. another MALE) as a "lover" whom they kiss and 'swoon' over? Can you imagine what happens when this becomes their basic
approach to God? -And this is just the beginning of the gender- bending weirdness that is starting to become "normal" in this movement. (Some are in such deception that they even have experiences of "Jesus" kissing them on the mouth, etc. The movement itself warns against "sensual encounters" but their very teaching leads directly to this kind of thing. Deceiving spirits
are always super-active in this kind of environment. Where do you think the famed 'incubus' and 'succubus' originate from?)
The ironic thing is that a lot of the people who are into this doctrine claim to be "seeking Revival". They really think that this is the kind of 'intimacy' that God desires. It is greatly influencing the modern 'Prayer' movement, the Prophetic movement and the 'Worship' movement (-which explains the recent rash of songs with "Song of Solomon" type themes: "I kiss you with the kisses of my mouth", "Take me into your chamber", etc).
I find their talk of "Revival" particularly ironic, because I have studied Revival for many years, and I am aware that all the old Revivalists prayed to a God who is very different from what is being presented here. -And their understanding of "WHO GOD IS" was utterly crucial to their obtaining Revival. They prayed to a God of holiness and majesty and awe - a God of glory who hates sin, yet sent His son to die for sinners.
The God that the old Revivalists prayed to was the "throneroom" God that Isaiah described- "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple... And one
cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Is 6:1-5).
This is the "throneroom" God who is described again in Revelation chapter 4 - where we are told that the four beasts cry, "Holy, holy, holy" day and night without ceasing, and the 24 elders cast down their crowns before His throne - over and over again. It is "HOLINESS" that is the chief characteristic of God! No other characteristic is ever repeated three times together in the Bible - let alone over and over, day and night! -"HOLY, HOLY, HOLY."
And actually, the full title of the book of Revelation is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ". So in other words, it is a 'revealing' of who Jesus is and what He is really like. And when John (the 'beloved' disciple) first sees the glorified Christ in Revelation 1, we are told that such is His terror-inducing holiness and glory that John fell at his feet "as though dead." -This is the true Jesus - as He really is.
In every true Revival, it is the God of majesty who reveals himself. For Revival is the "Glory of God" coming down. It is His very 'throneroom' presence coming down amongst men. The God of Revival has always been a God of holiness - a God of great glory. This is who we have for a 'Father'. Thus, even His children should approach Him with awe. And if we do not pray to this God, then we should not expect Revival at all. -That is one of the basic lessons of Revival history. -We must pray to the 'RIGHT GOD' if we are going to see true Revival.
Incidentally, the 'Bride of Christ' in Revelation is described as a 'holy city' - a "new Jerusalem" coming down from heaven. (Rev 21). So it is clearly a 'CORPORATE' entity that exists at the end of the age. -Not some individualized "girlfriend of Jesus" in the here-and-now.
It is a very serious thing to tamper with our understanding of 'WHO GOD IS' and how we relate to Him. In a lot of ways it is like preaching "another Jesus". -It really is that bad. If you hear phrases
today like 'Lovesick for Jesus', 'Bridal Paradigm', "Bridal intimacy", "Wooing", 'Romancing', "Kisses of our mouth", 'Fascinated', etc, then you can be pretty sure that you are being exposed to this
deceptive doctrine. I believe it is serious error, and I urge you to flee from it as far as you can, my friends. Please forward this to anyone whom you believe may be influenced by this doctrine. Feedback welcome! Our email- firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you all.
| 2006/3/30 8:44||Profile|
mountains of Pa.
| Re: JESUS As "LOVER"??|
so who or what,and where is there website? on this info on this doctrine?
| 2006/3/30 9:06||Profile|
Los Angeles, California
Andrew Strom's (the author of the article) website is - [url=www.revivalschool.com]www.revivalschool.com[/url]
The website to the IHOP (International House Of Prayer) and Mike Bickle who have(according to Andrew) start this "cotton candy" "lover" Jesus and are spreading this nonsense across the country is - [url=http://www.fotb.com/]http://www.fotb.com/[/url]
| 2006/3/30 9:42||Profile|
With all due respects, I think I'd read Hudson Taylor's, Richard Wurmbrand's and Watchman Nee's commentaries on the Song of Solomon, which all three I've had and one for over 20 years, before I'd read some young person's opinion.
I don't believe in this "kissing - hugging" Jesus thing, but you don't undo one bad teaching by inventing your own new thing.
To stick "eros" anywhere near comparing our relationship with our Kinsman redeemer is pushing it just a bit too far.
This article scares young folks away from that relationship we "do" in fact have with our God and Christ. That intimacy that is pure and Holy and comes no where near eros yet is as Eph 5 says, Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
I must be getting old.
| 2006/3/30 10:17|
| Re: IT IS NOT COTTON CANDY...IT IS WAR.|
This is ridiculous. Andrew Strom is a person that used to be involved in the movement (if that is what you care to classify it as) he is now bent on proving it wrong. He has totally misused the verbage and the context to which he so crudely put the term "jesus's little girlfriends" to. I feel like this is a bully statement typical of someone in elementary school and one who needs a courageous young lad to punch him in the nose for.
We must above all be very careful as to what the "Bride of Christ" means to God. If there is such ignorance to this subject; those addressing it should tread very lightly. Think about it... the Bride of Christ is THE GIFT that the Father God will give to His Son Jesus at the end of this age...complete with a great wedding ceremony. To belittle this into simply a corporate affair with no personal meaning is foolish at best and very scary when considering who we are trifling with...which of course is God and His gift. To turn this bridal concept into a "heavenly sex fest" as implied by Andrew Strom is even worse...but IS NOT THE CASE AT THE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED KANSAS CITY IHOP. Granted it is no easy concept to grasp...especially for a guy...especially with all the sexual peversion so prevelant in our society and all society's of the world today. But just because we do not understand fully...don't close the door on a view that may sound different than what you are used to. The one you are used to, though comforatble; may be DEAD WRONG.
I challenge any and all who read this thread/post to go to the ihop.org website which is the site to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and do their own research as to the Godliness or lack there of of this organization.
Specifically go to the site and on friday, saturday (7 pm CST) and sunday(10 am CST) go to the media tab...then to watch tab and follow the leads to the live webcast which are free and you will hear Mike Bickle speak to what God has put on his heart over the past 30 years. Also many downloadable notes/messages from the past available as well. This man is full of integrity and LIVES the life that is base on the beattitudes or sermon on the mount. Great strides are being made currently in spreading this concept to many tried and true organizations who are seeing the benefit in and embracing a "crying out to the Lord...night and day". This place is different...this place is after Gods heart for this day and age.
Is this place perfect? By no means...does it need more brotherly love in the true sense...absolutely. But as is quoted by Ravenhil and used as a signature by so many on this forum...(and i of course cannot find the exact quote at this time) but it goes like this..."give me one man who will teach the body to pray and then we will have revival" (someone know the exact quote?
Any way this is what the ministry is based on night and day prayer....and has been doing so for over five years...24 hours a day 7 days a week...growing from a small number to now having thousands involved to one extent or another.
The other big thing this ministry is based on is end time judgment of the Body(purification) and the world. Trust me this is presented in truth and is not lace with any "eros" or erotic peversions as it is being accused of by Andrews disortation. It is hard, cold and bloody but Just coming from the Judge of All, even as it is presented by the scripture.
I have spent time looking into this andrew strom and find him to be lacking in love but very big on slaughter of people in the body. I believe he is venting his own percieved or even actual "hurt" he has encountered through his personal walk in his messages to the Body. He is dangerous in my opinion.
So there it is the big decision once again...who is right. I challenge any to not go by someone elses hearsay but by experience/knowledge and above all TRUE DISCERNMENT (which is always a trick if any are honest) from God as to judging others in the Body which I am very much for if done with the agenda of God in mind and not a personal agenda.
I also have been involved and participated in (still do) the Forerunner School of Ministry at the IHOP in KC. I have spent the past 40 years looking for what is real and true in the Body. Mike Bickle's revelation on the Love of God and the end times has convinced me that this is a great place to be...again perfect?----NO!
This is what we as chrisitians are so good at...being overly critical of that which we have only very limited knowledge of.
I quote this in response:
"IT IS NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS; NOT THE MAN WHO POINTS OUT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES, OR WHERE THE DOER OF DEEDS COULD HAVE DONE THEM BETTER. THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST AND SWEAT AND BLOOD; WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY...WHO KNOWS THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS; WHO SPENDS HIMSELF IN A WORTHY CAUSE; WHO AT THE BEST KNOWS IN THE END THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHO AT THE WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO HAVE NEVER KNOWN NEITHER VICTORY NOR DEFEAT. Teddy Roosevelt---From the cover page of Wild at Heart by John Eldridge (great book by the way:))
When Andrew Strom gets the Body praying to our Father, pleading for His mercy, grace and justice to be over us and the nations of the world; to the tune of thousands of prayers going up ALL THE TIME. Then maybe he can critique someone like a Mike Bickle who through obedience to Gods call on his life has done so.
I was originally planning to send more posts later on this...but no arguing/discussing matters until you research the Godliness of each ministry yourself. So this is the last of my posts on this thread. (i hope)
The Asbury revival which is big news to many on this forum is tied to this IHOP...not to Andrew Strom. The Director of the Forerunner School of Ministry, Allen Hood has his Doctorate from Asbury. His Bio is very interesting having come from a "dead" Methodist Seminary prior to being led by God to Asbury. Aslo Mike Bickle is extremely interesting...as he preached against the flowing of current day Holy Ghost gifts prior to his life changing experience. This said to peak your interest in getting to know those you may be shooting down.
| 2006/3/30 11:13||Profile|
Whoops!---I forgot...Annie i really like your take on doing the research thorugh tried and trusted Saints of the past like those you listed. Thanks for the balance.
Check out Count Zinnzendorfs prayer house of Germany, and Cumgall of Bangor Ireland...the Celtic prayer movement...look at the results!
| 2006/3/30 11:17||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Interesting article. I think it does a fair job of balancing an awe and reverence for the Lord with an understanding of our close union with with Him individually and corporately.
I have had experience with some ministry that included what they call a "bridegroom fast" where they mourn in "lovesickness" for the purpose of "experiencing" more of divine Love. Seems to be really over-emphasizing emotional experiences. I have done some Bible study on fasting, especially in Isaiah 58, and find different purposes for fasting than this "experience" they seek. Again, as in all things we need balance.
This article scares young folks away from that relationship we "do" in fact have with our God and Christ.
Dear Sister, how did you come to this conclusion? How many young folks that you know have been scared away?
| 2006/3/30 11:29||Profile|
I saw this on Andrew's site and have been thinking this morning on what he said and I'll limit my comments to my own heart and what I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me.
The word "eros" as far as I could tell is not located in the New Testament Greek. What I fear more and it's happened at times in my life where I fixated on sentiment (i.e. an emotional response) of some sort. I viewed the love of Jesus through a prism of sentiment.
The fruit of this type of belief in my own heart was that I may have had many tears but my heart didn't seem to change. There was an old secular song some years back entitled "Hooked on a Feeling" and I was hooked on a sentimental view of God.
That's how I view this article. The love of God is completed in us as we mature in Him and submit ourselves to Him. It's reflected in how I treat my brother and my sister and whether or not I keep his word. It's shown in whether I actually lay down my life for others. The agape love is a consuming self-sacrificing love that we want to pour out simply because we love Jesus and want to be obedient to Him. There's no sentiment attached to this type of love, although obviously we will have emotional responses at times to things.
Here's the word love in 1 John from the Authorized Version and it's stirring to me that it was very practical and not emotional.
1Jo 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
1Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1Jo 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1Jo 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
1Jo 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jo 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1Jo 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jo 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1Jo 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jo 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
May we all be consumed by the love of Jesus to forsake the world and all of our ways and simply follow Him.
| 2006/3/30 11:46||Profile|
Los Angeles, California
May we all be consumed by the love of Jesus to forsake the world and all of our ways and simply follow Him.
Well said - and as usual Habakkuk3, I believe you have brought much insight and balance to this issues. Very good post brother!
| 2006/3/30 12:04||Profile|
"I have had experience with some ministry that included what they call a "bridegroom fast" where they mourn in "lovesickness" for the purpose of "experiencing" more of divine Love. Seems to be really over-emphasizing emotional experiences."
Fasting in this sense is to give up fleshly pleasure's even necessity's for a time...such as eating. When we "conquer" our flesh in this way our spirit man is strengthened and able to not really get closer to God (we are positionally by legal rights of the Blood) but able to remove the distractions imposed on us humans by the very needs of keeping this flesh alive.
I have started a thread on a more precise presentation of what fasting is (as taught me at IHOPS Forerunner School of Ministry...but written in some personal experience and thoughts)
The name of the thread is "Fasting to be Full"...it seems that some have looked but none have left there thoughts on fasting...not sure if it is the fault of a poorly written thread or lack of interest in the body towards fasting or intimidation based on a lack of working knowledge of fasting itself. (this is a poorly disguised plea for someone to start a discourse on fasting from my thread:))
you also said this in your response:
"This article scares young folks away from that relationship we "do" in fact have with our God and Christ.
Dear Sister, how did you come to this conclusion? How many young folks that you know have been scared away?"
I can speak from my heart and maybe touch upon what this sister meant. When I was young the only relationship I could think of with God was that of a mean, judging super being in heaven waiting with a hammer to knock me on the head every time i did something wrong or sinned. Needless to say I grew up with an extreme sense of the law being highlighted...(a legalistic Baptist background...which could fill pages)
Mike Bickle's revelation of the Love of God as shown specifically through the life of David is but another step on the path God has cleared for me to get a better understanding of His love. It by no means and in NO way undermines the fact the He is Most Holy, Most to be Feared and most to be Awestruck by. It does in fact just help get rid of all the MAN MADE crap (sorry for lack of a better word) that has been placed as a filter between Gods Love for me and the way I am able to process it or grow in (as in become a more mature christian).....So you hopefully can now see why Andrew Stroms words could lead a young immature christian or non-christian to even be interested, to a place of fear and wanting to run from the kind of God that is percevable as you read in-between the lines of his "message" or "warning" to the Body.
p.s. I said I would stay off this thread...it is hard as it is near to my heart.
| 2006/3/30 12:15||Profile|