Some friends of mines journey out of the charismatic and WoF movements began with reading a book called “The Other Side of the River“. Here is a brief description of the book.
There is a major doctrinal movement sweeping through the Church. Billing itself as the “River,” it promises an incoming tide of blessing but leaves in its wake tsunami-like devastation. Marked by false prophecies, unbiblical manifestations and cult-like teachings and authority structure, this latest Christian fad has wooed a generation of unwary believers and led them into a substitute spirituality.
While the Word of God has been placed on the back burner, personal experience reigns supreme amid a host of unscriptural visions and ecstatic utterances that have paved the way for a radical departure from the apostolic Christianity of the early Church. In this deeply personal account, Kevin Reeves explores the inner workings of this worldwide phenomenon.
After my friends mentioned this book at least 7 or 8 times I decided to google the book and read the reviews of it online. And when I did I found the books website which contains some really good articles. This one is a testimony by the author of the book Kevin Reeves. I have not read the book but I assume that most all of this is covered in its pages, which my friends told me was an account of the author leaving the WoF and other heretical and cultic teachings in the Charismatic movement. I pray you will enjoy and will be blessed by reading this sizable and detailed testimony containing a descent amount of quality refutation of some of these teachings intertwined with the authors experiences and good advice.
CHARISMATIC CULTISM by Kevin Reeves
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:16)
About a year ago a friend of mine attended a Sunday morning church service in a Charismatic group noted for its exuberant worship, local involvement, and passionate children’s ministry. The pastor was a relatively new to the area, middle-age veteran whose outgoing personality and dynamic approach to ministry offered hope to the town’s spiritually lagging church system. During this one particular service, the pastor read the Acts 5 account of Ananias and Sapphira. Pausing, he looked out across the congregation and, according to my friend solemnly warned, “Don’t speak against what goes on in this church. If you do—you just be careful.”
The implication to my horrified friend was crystal clear. What went on in those services was of God. Coming against or questioning any incidents or manifestations was tantamount to provoking God. And God would deal with the malcontent as He had Ananias and Sapphira.
My friend, who is a solid believer in Christ, understandably left that church and has never returned.
I believe this minister’s heart is sincere, that he desires the best for his people, and that he is a true Christian. But his promotion of Benny Hinn, TBN, and his involvement with the current “River” movement via the Brownsville Revival have left the door wide open to the same kind of control and manipulation that have become a hallmark of the aforementioned “ministries”. Benny Hinn’s now-famous Denver crusade anathema against detractors, Vineyard and Toronto preachers’ invective toward “accusers of the brethren” and “pharisees”, pastor John Kilpatrick’s 1997 “prophecy” of destruction directed at Bible apologist Hank Hannegraaf, and the multi-faceted threats and insults leveled by “River” pastors at genuine, seeking believers amply demonstrate the dictator mentality that has come to pervade their ranks.
Discerning believers are rightly alarmed by the many dramatic departures from orthodox Christianity, heretical doctrines that have come from within the Church itself. And far too often, efforts on the part of these concerned Christians have been met with stonewalling, resistance, or outright condemnation from the shepherds that are supposed to be guarding the flock.
Despite my own horrendous exposure to false doctrine and the subsequent uphill battle I fought to correct it, I am still a Pentecostal Christian who believes in the validity of the gifts of the Spirit are for today. It was with tremendous heartache that I felt the need to exit a congregation “moved by every wind of doctrine”, and this only after more than a year of concerted action to address issues that I had finally realized were contrary to the Gospel itself. My twelve year attendance and six year standing as elder did nothing to effect change. On the contrary, my credibility suffered irreparable damage within my own congregation, I became the butt of insinuation and behind-the-scenes labeling, and my many concerns were eventually dismissed from the public arena. While I desired wholesale repentance, I was basically assured none was needed. Only after a year of pleading on my part was it even agreed to discuss these issues in an eldership forum, and then only two meetings were permitted before it was unceremoniously shut down. After the first meeting’s video presentation that I gave of Toronto-style animal manifestations, spiritual drunkenness (which included men falling on top of women and all manner of carnal indecency), and a host of bizarre, unbiblical manifestations attributed to the “anointing”, it was basically decided (by everyone but my wife and I) that, because all of us had experienced some of the same manifestations at one time or another, it must have been from God. In fact, one of the leadership present even suggested that, although the video itself “made my skin crawl”, he could see that animal manifestations done “decently and in order” could conceivably be from God.