Abstract: Firsthand experience leads to the complete rejection of the Transformations “revival” of Wagner, Pierce and their followers.
I have openly stood in opposition to the false teachings of the transformation revivalists in the past and am not ashamed to have my name attached to that position now. In fact, I have felt increasingly frustrated at not being able to publicly expose this false theology to prevent more people from being led astray by deceptive and charismatic personalities from the true doctrine of Jesus Christ. I don't really know where to begin in discussing the evolution of the C. Peter Wagner transformation revival theology as I have observed it, so if there are particular areas or questions that you would like me to address, just e-mail them to be and I will respond with what I know. I can tell you by experience, they hide behind "being slain in the spirit" or how voodoo and witchcraft were incorporated into church services.
To begin with, I guess the first question that people ask is how is it possible for Christians to get involved in false religions to begin with? From my observation, it is from two basic sources: (1) immature Christians who are easily deceived, and (2) the failure of the evangelical church to meet the spiritual needs of those Christians who are in a crisis situation and are "desperate" to access Christ Jesus for real help with real problems. In the first instance, most of the people who attend these churches and conferences firmly believe in the Bible, Jesus Christ as God's Son and the devil but can be easily deceived by powerful personalities quoting Scripture out of context.
Many are easily deceived because they have been taught to respect authorities – especially those in spiritual authority in the church. When a "prophet" or "apostle" says they are speaking the very words of God, it is easily for those who do not have a strong personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to become dependent on these "authorities" for advice. Those in authority truly "lord their authority over others." On several occasions I have personally heard Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce address groups with this proclamation, "I, by the authority of the office of the prophet, declare to you..."or in later years when they moved from the prophetic to the apostolic, they would start by saying, "I, by the office of the apostle, declare to you..." and then speak their own words as prophetic statements they have been given by God.
Heavy emphasis is placed on teaching that apostles are chosen by God and that the anointing from God on these individuals to do the work of God through the gift of apostleship is above reproach. They use the Scriptural texts of the calls of the O.T. prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah for Scriptural validity. But then they take this to apply to themselves. Obviously, under close examination, an office has no authority or power, but they point to the office of the Presidency of the US as standing by itself as a model of an office of power. Scripture is full of references to "test everything"; to "test every spirit" and to test false teachers or false prophets with the unchanging standard of truth through the Word of God.
Yet, one of the favorite Scriptures quoted by transformation revivalists – again taken out of context – that is quoted with the tone of punishment or curse for anyone who attempts to bring Biblical correction when confronting, questioning or challenging a false prophetic word, is 1Chr. 16:22 and Ps. 105:15: "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." Thus the 'touch not my anointed ones' theology has evolved into a practice that one must not criticize a prophet or an apostle for fear of the chastisement and punishment from God.
This teaching also is used when confronting prophecies that do not come true. I know of several examples where prophecies were recorded on tape and subsequently proved false because they did not come true within the declared timeline. When confronted with the reality that a prophetic word didn't come true-hence was false – the response by Apostle Chuck Pierce was, "Well, that prophecy was a little fuzzy." That began a new practice of "fuzzy prophecies." In this particular case a pronouncement was made that the church was to purchase a piece of land. When the land was purchased by someone else, the response was that this had been "a fuzzy prophecy." Again, Scripture tells us that no prophecy of God is "fuzzy" but that all godly prophetic words come true. Since then, great care has been given not to give dates or timelines so that prophecies are generic and open-ended.
A popular one is to say that "God is about to do something amazing in this place" (the name of the place changes with the location of the conference). And that "the eyes of the world will be on this city." People are not told what God is going to do and when God is going to do it because it remains a mystery known only to a select few. This has been repeated in conferences across the United States for several years. So, for example, when the ballot controversy over the Presidency of the United States erupted in Miami, Fl. last year, Chuck Pierce was quick to claim that his "prophetic word" spoken over that city some years before had come true. What was not publicized was how many other cities this word had been spoken over that are waiting for their national recognition.
The second reason that so many people fall prey to this false religion is the failure of the evangelical church to meet the desperate needs of people in real crisis. Let me explain. Bible believing Christians know that the reality of the devil, of spiritual warfare, of victory in the blood of Jesus and to stand firm in the faith" (1 Cor. 16:13) Yet when crisis comes, few Christians can offer substantial mature Biblical assistance to withstand the onslaughts of the devil other than to say, "I'll pray for you." Faced with the reality of believing in the Bible and the power of God, yet faced with the lack of evidence of that power in any meaningful way, these crisis Christians are embraced by Charismatics who will wage spiritual warfare on their behalf, bind evil spirits from attacking them and chase these demons out of town.
Desperate in faith and hope, it is easy when one is spiritually needful to rely on the spiritual strength of others. The failure of the evangelical church to show such compassion is quickly absorbed and that gap filled by the transformation revival churches. It is easy to return to a church that embraces you when the alternatives are a bit stiff, formal and impersonal. That's where church attendance begins. The techniques to maintain that attendance and control over the lives of people in these movements are based on shrewd psychology of guilt, manipulation, intimidation, fear, false hope, false powers (remember the magicians of Pharaohs court), false promises and the lure of power, prosperity, and success.
Ironically, very little is said about the cross of Christ and the sinful nature as the emphasis is on the authority Christ to "run demons out of town." People are told that if they are not experiencing success in their lives then it is the result of sin or demonic strong'Transformasie'holds. Confession of sin is almost never discussed. When my husband asked about the need for addressing sins and confessing sins, he was told that that had been taught in the previous season, that the church was in a new movement of God and that if he wanted to move on into the next movement of God, he needed to stay up with the current teaching series. But that is another topic for another time. I hope this sheds some light into how the leaders of this movement gain control and stay in authority. Let me know what other areas you would like me to address. Standing Firm in the Love and Foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ, I remain your friend, Rebecca Lindrose.