Mount Isa Australia
Hi not sure if i'm authorised to do this, however here goes...
I recently read several books by John Bevere, "Fear of the Lord" "Hearts Ablaze" "Undercover".
I was convicted of various stupid actions I had been practicing, and got all fired up to teach such to the youth group i currently am running.
Well being a careful bloke I did a little light research on the net, and Mr John Bevere kept coming up associated with Dominionism and Kingdom Now teaching.
My dip into such matters seemed a little one sided as those 'accused' of false doctrines rarely catorgorise themselves under such headings.
Could someone help out with this? My only real theological training has been reading the Bible.
| 2004/1/22 5:05||Profile|
| Re: Dominionism|
I have attempted to read a couple of Bevere's books (but really felt no total peace about them). When I got to the one called "Undercover"- I was disturbed. It really addresses this issue of "covering"- 'who is your "covering"'? I heard this quite a bit at my old charasmatic church.
I always felt very uneasy with this 'covering' thing. I knew that Christ was my 'head' and my total covering, that I did not answer to man (although we are all servants to each other).
I found this article by Frank Viola which confirmed how I felt. The rest of the article can be found at Present Testimony Ministry http://www.ptmin.org/articles.htm
~Unearthing the Real Question Behind Covering
Let us widen the question a bit. What do people really mean when they push the "covering" question? I submit that what they are really asking is: "Who controls you?"
Common (mis)teaching about "covering" really boils down to questions about who controls whom. And the modern institutional church is built upon such control.
Of course, people rarely recognize that this is what is at the bottom of the issue. For it is typically well clothed with Biblical garments. In the minds of many Christians, "covering" is merely a protective mechanism.
But if we dissect the "covering" teaching, we will discover that it is rooted in a one-up/one-down, chain-of-command style of leadership. Within this leadership style, those in higher ecclesiastical positions have a tenacious hold on those under them. Oddly, it is through such top-down control that believers are said to be "protected" from error.
The concept goes something like this. Everyone must answer to someone else who is in a higher ecclesiastical position. In the garden-variety, post-war evangelical church, this translates into the "laymen" answering to the pastor. In turn, the pastor must answer to someone with more authority.
The pastor typically traces his accountability to a denominational headquarters, to another church (often called the "mother church"), or to an influential Christian worker. (The worker is perceived to have a higher rank in the ecclesiastical pyramid.)
So the "layman" is "covered" by the pastor. The pastor is "covered" by the denomination, the mother church, or the Christian worker. Because each is accountable to a higher ecclesiastical authority, each is protected ("covered") by that authority. So the thinking goes.
This "covering-accountability" template is applied to all spiritual relationships in the church. And each relationship is artificially cut to fit the template. No relationship can be had outside of itespecially that of "laymen" to "leaders."
But this line of reasoning generates the following questions: Who covers the mother church? Who covers the denominational headquarters? Who covers the Christian worker?
Some have offered the pat answer that God covers these "higher" authorities. But such a canned answer begs the question. For why is it that God cannot be the covering for the "laymen"or even the pastor?
Hmmm . . .
Of course, the real problem with the "God-denomination-clergy-laity" model goes far beyond the incoherent, pretzel logic to which it leads. The chief problem is that it violates the spirit of the NT! For behind the pious rhetoric of "providing accountability" and "having a covering," there looms a system that is bereft of Biblical support and driven by a spirit of control.
The one who touts his authority has no authority. Moses was meek. The men you mentioned are puffed up in their own imaginations. Whatever authority they have is human...
The pastor has no more of Jesus than you or anyone else does. It is not what you know, but Who you know and what you do with Who you know.
| 2004/1/22 5:37||Profile|
Mount Isa Australia
| Re: Dominionism|
Well thankyou. I have taken as similiar stance in recent years that "there is no hierachy in Christianity, that we are all equal in Christ" but have always recognised this was incomplete. The Bible does speak often of submission to elders and leaders. How does this fit in if the 'covering' teaching is false?
Also of interest is that you felt uncomfortable reading JB's books. A similiar thing occured with his book 'the bait of satan', though not with the others. If you don't mind me asking, what made you feel uncomfortable about what you had read?
I guess the question is can you show me from scripture why these things are so...
maybe i should buy the book
| 2004/1/22 6:27||Profile|
I do feel that we are submit on to another as brothers and sisters. If we are living a Christ-life we will automatically put others first (or at least learn to as we grow in maturity). I do feel the whole issue of elders, etc.. has gotten out of hand since the time of the early church of Acts. Yes, there will be those who are more mature and wiser and we should listen to their advice and heed it and respect it. It has nothing to do with them controlling anyone under them.
If you read some of Viola's writings - it explains things pretty well. It sat very well with my spirit. I do have to say that - yes, we are to submit to "each other"- not just one person over you like a level system or anything.
About the books- I felt to much emphasis in Satan and his power. As far as I'm concerned and as a believer full of Christ- he has no power. I am constantly battling my "self" and my flesh- and I'm sure satan plays on this. But I think he gets too much credit in alot of these books.
I guess I am am really turned off by the whole "system" of religion anymore that I don't want much to do with today's relgion. I am turned off by all the cliches and phrases. I yearn for the early Church and am grieved at how things in the church have changed down the years- with it's traditions, etc...
Wish i could be of more help. :)
| 2004/1/22 6:41||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Here is a bit more in regards to John Bevere
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=48&forum=34&start=10&viewmode=flat&order=1]Adding other speakers on SermonIndex[/url]
Read "The Fear of The Lord" many moon's ago and don't recall much to tell you the truth. Seemed helpful at the time, though I was steeped in all kinds of false doctrine back then. Wish I could be of more help also. My guess is there is probably more in depth teaching throughout this site from the messages here.
I concur with Chanin's comments.
| 2004/1/22 7:13||Profile|
Two thoughts. First, those who are called to be elders should direct those whom they shepherd to the source which they themselves have known. Jesus Christ is the door. All true elders have entered in through that narrow door. God spoke of His shepherds in the OT as men who He used to shepherd various flocks. Jesus spoke of these same shepherds in John 10. Some are hirelings, those who follow Him are the true shepherds. The mark of a true shepherd will be, "I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning." 1 John 2:14.
Secondly, I have a brother in Christ who has emigrated from Cuba. Before Christ, his family was participating in the Santoria (sp) religion. From his testimony Satan is as real today as he was when Jesus and His disciples were dealing with 2000 years ago. Do not underestimate the adversary. Job is a perfect example.
| 2004/1/22 8:47||Profile|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
| Spiritual Authority|
I saw references to Frank Viola, who is a great admirer of Watchman Nee.
Watchman Nee has this book called "Spiritual Authority" (or "Authority and Submission"), which is often abused by charismatic groups to support a "one-man leadership" system. I find that to be a terrible distortion of the original work.
I feel that this subject matter is important because the Western mind is so deeply rooted in the Enlightenment so that individualism is favoured over community. There is an overemphasis on individual choices and human rights, to the extent that all authority is abhorred and despised.
This happens both in the society and within the church. Quite often, an act of rebellion seems to be justified under the guise of "having the direct leading of the Lord." I have attended church board meetings that are not much different from the political scene--full of power struggle and lack of submission to one another.
The monastic orders used to have the spiritual discipline of submission and humility, and I think, if practiced properly, it can really do us good. After all, as Adam's race, rebellious blood flows in all of us. It's so natural for us to be rebellious (ask any parent with teenage kids), I think we need to give more consideration to the biblical meaning of authority and submission.
I guess that's why Paul has to urge believers to submit to civil authorities and acknowledge their authority as God-ordained, and to urge slaves to submit to their masters, even if they are cruel.
| 2004/1/23 5:18||Profile|
| Re: Dominionism|
I don't have an answer but I do have a question from the original question...
What exactily is Dominionism and Kingdom Now Teaching? I am familiar with the term, "Kingdom Now" but still unsure of it's meaning.
John Bevere was just at a church in my home town. I heard the services were great but if there is truth to this concern mentioned by AhmedBenNoyel I would like to know.
| 2004/1/23 6:19|
Mount Isa Australia
Well, all i seem to have established is that there are a few people in the same boat as me.
| 2004/1/29 4:10||Profile|
Here is something I found:
""Dominionism" is a militant post-millennial eschatology ("doctrine of end times") which pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the church as the only means through which the world can be rescued; only after the world has been thus "rescued" can Christ return to "rule and reign." (Some dominionists see the seizure of the earth as the result of "signs, wonders, and miracles;" others picture it as the result of military and political conquest; most see it as a combination of both.)
Al Dager writes, "Some two decades before Pentecostalism found its way into the (mainstream) denominations (i.e., the Episcopalians, the Catholic Church, etc.) as the 'Charismatic Renewal', it experienced a new surge of experience-oriented theology within its own ranks. It was from this neo-Pentecostal experience - what came to be called the 'Latter Rain Movement' - that Charismatic Dominionism sprang. The more prominent leaders of that movement blended Pentecostal fervor with teachings that the Church was on the brink of a worldwide revival. That revival would result in a victorious Church without spot or wrinkle ... (which) would inherit the earth and rule over the nations with a rod of iron." Dager explains that at the core of the dominionist mindset is "a ... premise ... that when Adam sinned, not only did man lose dominion over the earth, but God also lost control of the earth to Satan. Since that time ... God has been on the outside looking in, searching for a covenant people who will be His extension or expression in the earth to take dominion back from Satan ..." [Dager, Vengeance Is Ours, pgs. 43-44. ]
The basic dominionist model is as follows:
-The world is plunged into a time of political and spiritual crisis, one which threatens the world with chaos and the church with destruction.
-The Lord brings revival to the church.
-This revival results in the end of the church's divisions and the rule of the "apostles and prophets."
-The "Gospel of the Kingdom" is preached to the whole earth which leads to the conversion of Israel, the conquest of the world, and the judgment of those who refuse to convert.
-The Lord returns.
Jewel van der Merwe of Discernment Magazine, elaborates; she writes that the "New Charismatics" are actively pushing a belief system which prophesies that " ... (1) the greatest revival the church has ever known (is about to occur); (2) the greatest baptism of the Spirit the Church has ever experienced (will shortly happen); (3) the greatest army (Joels Army) distinguished by invincibility, immortality and divinity (will be raised up); (4) the greatest purging ... in the history of the church (will shortly begin);1 (5) the greatest ministry - the Prize of all Ages (is about to break forth); and (6) the greatest miracles, supernatural signs and wonders far exceeding that of the Apostles and Prophets of old (will shortly take place)."2
The dominionist model, however, is at total variance with the older premillennial model. The premillennial model pictures:
-The world is plunged into a time of spiritual and political crisis.
-The church is apostatized.
-The apostatized church unites with the anti-Christ and seizes control of the world.
-A great tribulation breaks out against those Christians who refuse to become a part of the apostatized church, resulting in their persecution and finally their destruction - after which the anti-Christ, who had at first appeared as the champion of Israel, turns on Israel to destroy her.
-The rapture occurs for those Christians who "remain," and Christ returns to bring judgment on those who had destroyed Israel and persecuted those Christians who had refused to be apostatized.
[This model is essentially the model of Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, with the exception that Lindsey postulates that Christians will be raptured out of the world prior to the beginning of the persecution of the anti-Christ. Premillennialists are divided on the point of the rapture; some argue that the rapture will occur before the tribulation, some say during, and some say afterwards - but the essential elements of the rest of the model remain.]
It should also be noted in this connection that in the dominionist model, the church is the "main player," while in the premillennialist model, Christ is the "main player."
*Personally, I think we need to get our focus off of ourselves, the Church, etc...stop whining and just focus on Christ and living a Christ-like life.
~In His love, Chanin
| 2004/1/29 5:45||Profile|