This week I had an email from a friend who is concerned about yet another round of deceptive spiritual experiences and practices that are happening both within his own church fellowship and some other Christian ministries he is familiar with. He was asking for a copy of an article I wrote some while ago about the dangers of mixture in the church.
I originally wrote the article on the back of what was happening at Lakeland – but long before the whole event had became an unmitigated disaster for the charismatic Christian world following the exposure of some of the deception that was at the core of Lakeland.
My friend was bemoaning the fact that the same sort of spiritual experiences were once again being paraded in the fellowship as if they were normal and OK. I was more than happy to send him a copy of the article and here is what I wrote back to him in my email:
“Dandelions don’t go away if you chop their heads off – the root always goes deeper and the next time they appear they can be even stronger! My heart breaks for the way so many leaders have dealt with deception in the church as if it was a dandelion on their lawn – when something goes wrong, they just chop its head off and fail to deal with the real issues, time and time again. The result is a charismatic church that has no plumb line or, even, a desire to look for one.
When spiritual entertainment has become the easy substitute for spiritual reality, we are no longer making disciples, but facilitating a church that no longer has any way of discerning the true from the false.
I pray the article helps. All you can do is hold the line for truth and integrity and constantly question those things that have no basis of either reality or scriptural validity – especially those things that become popular quickly and which soften up believers to swallow lies in the midst of truth. Deception thrives when encased in truth – the presence of truth actually deceives people into thinking that everything must be true and there is no need to test.
Scripture, however, commands us to test ALL things – not just the things that look bad – we don’t need to test those, they must just be rejected. The things that need testing are the things that under a certain light look good. I was once amazed as a child at how strong and stable the stage set of a Roman Palace looked to the audience, when seen in the blaze of the theatre lights. But when I went back stage I was shocked to see that it was made of cardboard, paste and paint. We need to learn how to look backstage in the Body of Christ.”
As I had watched the events of Lakeland unfolding on our TV screens, I was grieved at how so few charismatic leaders seemed to be aware of the dangers of what was happening, and at how so many were unquestioningly endorsing it all, as if everything that was happening was of God.
I was weeping in my spirit over the lack of discernment there was in the Body of Christ and at the same time angry with the enemy for what he was sowing into the hearts of God’s people. The God of this world truly does blind spiritual eyes – even the eyes of God’s people.
I was sitting in the apartment of a friend in Jerusalem at the time. I can’t have been very far from the actual place where Jesus had warned the disciples that in the end times people would be deceived by false prophets, false signs and false wonders (see Matthew 24). I began to scribble down my thoughts about what was happening and these turned into the article I referred to above about the dangers of Mixture in the Church.
It seems, from what my friend was saying, that the dandelions are gathering their strength again for yet another demonstration of deceptive spiritual experiences. Let’s not forget Jesus’s injunction in Matthew 24:4, “Watch out that no-one deceives you.” And let’s also learn how to go back-stage in the Body of Christ and see what lies behind what we are seeing!
If you want to read the article for yourselves, you can go straight to it by clicking on the following link: Mixture in the Church Article