Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A most horrific tweet




I've just recieved a email message containing Bill Johnson's latest tweet. I think my email client has great discernment.




I've always said that Bill Johnson is simply Tulsa recycled. And the argument is not new; I remember Haginites, back in the 70s, expounding the rhema word over the logos Word. In Tulsa-speak, the logos Word is the written Word of God, the rhema word is some sort of contemporary prophetic word. We don't hear these terms today, now, to some, the Bible is called "stale manna" and a prophetic word is a "fresh word."

For the record, I don't despise prophecy. I believe that God speaks today, and that He speaks into my daily affairs. I expect His guidance.

I've heard (and experienced) too many testimonies of God leading one to speak to this person or pray for that person to ignore His present involvement in our lives. But the rhema word does not establish doctrine, it does not set the rules for living and dying, it does not change the conditions for salvation, it does not set dates for the return of Jesus, and it never contradicts what is contained in the Holy Bible. The rhema word is subordinate to the logos Word.

And please note that when we set up the either/or argument, that is a false premise to start with. We don't have to choose. We get to have the written Word, which we esteem highly, AND God's daily guidance, which we test against the written Word.



Some may dismiss this tweet as just a bunch of twaddle, but I've run this past a few lovers of the Word (who are also Pentecostals) and the horror on their faces was most revealing. Some were seasoned saints, others babes in Christ. Johnson's message is not unclear; it does not need further explanation. It is simply disgusting.

Once we start down this slippery slope, apostasy is not far off. As expressed by one disciple of Johnson, the phrase "the wisdom of men" in 1 Corinthians 2:5 refers to Holy Scripture. Can you see where this is going?

"And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my
speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in
demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."


I'm stunned. And so would be the early church Johnson speaks of and with whom he wants to identify.

Contrary to Johnson's assertion, the early church DID have Holy Scriptures. And how they loved them. Let's take a look at a few quotes from their Bible:

"Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee."

"I will delight myself in God's statutes; I will not forget His Word."

"I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes."

"O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

"Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold."

"My son, attend to my (God's) words; incline your ear unto my sayings. Let them (the scriptures) not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart."


I dunno, it sounds like they valued the scriptures. The above quotations are things that believers in the early church embraced, recited, taught, and probably had memorized.

But don't take my word for it. We sent a "man on the street" to conduct a few interviews with those in the early church, and here's what the believers had to say:

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

"Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

"That we who first trusted in Christ (the early church) should be to the praise of His glory, In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise."

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word."

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

"Wherefore comfort one another with these words (New Testament scripture)."

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."

"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy (recorded in the New Testament), and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. "

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Selah.

15 comments:

  1. Yes, Johnson is stating a false dichotomy perhaps pushing for a Hegelian dialectic.

    It is quite sad that an individual would misconstrue I Corinthians 2:5 in this way. It may be telling in regards to which spirit said individual is actually led...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's a fresh revelation from Bill Johnson:

    "Did you know that Jesus was born again? "

    Audio at 33:48

    http://ewenhuffman.podbean.com/2009/12/23/jesus-is-our-model-sermon-of-the-week-20-dec-09

    Oh, wait, that's Tulsa as well...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is horrific indeed. Just for the record, I am also pentecostal but I stand aghast at what this man is saying, or should I not be surprised that he is simply saying out loud what so many of these false teachers are actually thinking?

    Quo vadis, some would ask. Into the days of Noah, I would say (Matt 24). In fact, we're already there.

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  4. i do not like the ultra-charismatics and i do not buy their nar/dominionism but i agree with bill johnson on both of his remarks.

    when the fundamentalists start focusing the scriptures as the final word, they should remember jesus' retort to the scribes and pharisees--the scriptural experts--in mt 22:29 and mk 12:24, "you know neither the scriptures nor the power of god."

    as far as bill's other remark, rev 1:5 states that jesus is the firstborn of the dead. we, his disciples, will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. highrpm,

    I like the ultra-charismatics.

    The scriptures themselves state that the Word IS the final word. But maybe you find that reasoniing circular.

    In respect to the pharisees- we should not seek to know just the power of God, but also his Word. Again, this is not an either-or proposition.

    >as far as bill's other remark, >rev 1:5 states that jesus is the >firstborn of the dead. we, his >disciples, will follow.

    Really? I missed that part starting at "we his disciples..." in Revelation 1:5.

    ReplyDelete
  6. will,

    how do you define ultra-charismatic? would you say bill johnson is one?

    "The scriptures themselves state that the Word IS the final word." book chap verse, please?

    sorry, will, neither/nor does not express mutual exclusion,as does either/or. e.g., "either john or mary may go" expresses mutual exclusion. neither john nor mary may go expresses mutual inclusion. in both mt 22:29 and mk 12:24, jesus is telling the scribes and pharisees that they do not know the scriptures and they do not know the power of god.

    iyo, do the two phrases, mt 1:25 (kjv), "firstborn son" and rev 1:5 (kjv), "first begotten of the dead" mean the same thing?

    is bill johnson saying, birth #1: jesus exited mary's womb. birth #2: jesus exited the grave. (gee, i am dizzy from reasoning in circles.)

    one more question, off subject. where does the "closed canon" doctrine come from?

    ReplyDelete
  7. So many questions. Time is limited today, but let me start.

    1. How would I define ultra-charismatics? That's a good question- you were the one to coin that term. I love ALL charismatics and was heavily involved in the precursor to today's apostolic/prophetic movement for most of my adult life.

    Bill Johnson is interesting, in that he really is Word of Faith but running in the same circles as TACF, Bentley amd Wagner.

    He claims that he is a 5th generation pastor, but I would suppose that generations 1 through 4 would differ with him on many things. His father, for instance, does not attend Bethel, yet I believe still lives in Redding.

    2. ""The scriptures themselves state that the Word IS the final word." book chap verse, please"

    The article has plenty of scriptures that, in the whole, point to this concept. To pull out a single verse would be proff-texting, but if I had to choose a few, I would select 2 Timothy 3:16 (every scripture..)

    3. I'm not sure what the doctrine of the "closed canon" is, however I do believe that the NT scriptures were delivered by those meeting the traditional definition of apostles. If you are suggesting that what passes for the prophetic (at best 66% reliable according to Bob Jones) is equal to scripture this could be a very interesting discussion indeed.

    4. "iyo, do the two phrases, mt 1:25 (kjv), "firstborn son" and rev 1:5 (kjv), "first begotten of the dead" mean the same thing?

    No, especially since Matthew 1:25 suggests first born, but only in the context of the fact that Mary was a virgin. Of the many popular and reliable translations, only KJV/NKJV uses "firstborn" so I would not read too much into that.

    5. "is bill johnson saying, birth #1: jesus exited mary's womb. birth #2: jesus exited the grave. "

    If Bill johnson is saying that the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead is being "born again" then he is using a different definition of born again for Jesus than the one we apply to sinners.

    And if we try to make them the same, then when a converted born-again sinner is resurrected from the dead, would that sinner then be born-again-again?

    Agreed; Johnson's logic is enough to make anyone's head dizzy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many questions. Time is limited today, but let me start.

    1. How would I define ultra-charismatics? That's a good question- you were the one to coin that term. I love ALL charismatics and was heavily involved in the precursor to today's apostolic/prophetic movement for most of my adult life.

    Bill Johnson is interesting, in that he really is Word of Faith but running in the same circles as TACF, Bentley amd Wagner.

    He claims that he is a 5th generation pastor, but I would suppose that generations 1 through 4 would differ with him on many things. His father, for instance, does not attend Bethel, yet I believe still lives in Redding.

    2. ""The scriptures themselves state that the Word IS the final word." book chap verse, please"

    The article has plenty of scriptures that, in the whole, point to this concept. To pull out a single verse would be proff-texting, but if I had to choose a few, I would select 2 Timothy 3:16 (every scripture..)

    3. I'm not sure what the doctrine of the "closed canon" is, however I do believe that the NT scriptures were delivered by those meeting the traditional definition of apostles. If you are suggesting that what passes for the prophetic (at best 66% reliable according to Bob Jones) is equal to scripture this could be a very interesting discussion indeed.

    4. "iyo, do the two phrases, mt 1:25 (kjv), "firstborn son" and rev 1:5 (kjv), "first begotten of the dead" mean the same thing?

    No, especially since Matthew 1:25 suggests first born, but only in the context of the fact that Mary was a virgin. Of the many popular and reliable translations, only KJV/NKJV uses "firstborn" so I would not read too much into that.

    5. "is bill johnson saying, birth #1: jesus exited mary's womb. birth #2: jesus exited the grave. "

    If Bill johnson is saying that the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead is being "born again" then he is using a different definition of born again for Jesus than the one we apply to sinners.

    And if we try to make them the same, then when a converted born-again sinner is resurrected from the dead, would that sinner then be born-again-again?

    Agreed; Johnson's logic is enough to make anyone's head dizzy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. will,

    thanks for your answers. i appreciate you taking the time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow. I am passing this to everyone in my old church I can, which is in BJ's network.
    Of course they had the book, they WROTE it! And now we who know better than them are gonna toss it aside for the 'Spirit' as if the Spirit is in contradiction or competition with what He did before? Pure nonsense! and the slippery slope is unveiled now for all to see. Once the Scriptures are devalued, then the 'Spirit' will really be whoever can shout the loudest, cleverest aphorisms.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dave,

    I just happend to be pondering the nature of contemporary prophecy on my drive to work this morning.

    Old school says propehcy is FORTHtelling - you know encouragement and/or rebuke. It is always subject to the Word, and if genuine, unctioned by God.

    Contemporary propehcy is more often FOREtelling. The bible describes these words as men pleasing and ear tickling. And by contemporary practices they can lay out God's "strategic plans" or establish (new) doctrine. Accordingly they are untestable by the Word.

    So here's what I was thinking- a good "prophet' is basically a good poet. Someone who can turn a phrase. It's really not that hard. start with a basic concept, like "I hear the sound of____." Throw in a few words of warfare, something about mountains and the river, and you are ready for publication on the Elijah List.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Does Mr Johnson not understand that the Holy Spirit gave them the "book"? I never understand these word versus Spirit teachers.

    I know many who are so enamored with BJ they will somehow accept this statement, thus paving the way for tossing the "book" aside. They cannot reject this message without rejecting him, so they'll 'sort of' accept it, numbing themselves to discernment.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bill,

    I just found Bill Johnson's quote in I Corinthians 2:14 used in the manner your Johnson disciple used it. The "foolishness" is the "wisdom of God" through the "crafts" of music, song, art, etc as Bob Jones spoke of in his "New Sword of the Spirit" from a couple years ago:

    “A reformation has begun. And at the heart of the great move of the Spirit is the transformation of the people of God as they discover their true identity and purpose. Great purpose elicits great sacrifice. Up until this time, many of our agendas have failed. Our attempts to make the Gospel palatable have had a serious effect on the world around us. The world longed for a message they could experience. Yet many believers have simply tried to make the good news more intellectually appealing. This must stop! The natural mind cannot receive the Spirit of God (see 1 Cor. 2:14). The wisdom of God is foolishness to men. It’s time to be willing to appear foolish again, that we might provide the world with a message of power that delivers, transforms, and heals. This is true wisdom. It alone satisfies the cry of the human heart.”

    - Dreaming with God

    This "purpose" sounds not unlike Warren's 'purpose driven' stuff.

    Craig

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  14. It becomes necessary to distance yourself from the authority of scripture when you know it will ultimately reveal your idolatry. And no one likes that ;)

    People desire to submit to the God (or the god) they love. The question is, what god does Bill love?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post. I remember seeing this tweet and being disgusted also. My church is currently right into BJ and teaching his "school of the supernatural". While I'm quite alarmed by what is being taught and am researching the word of faith movement heavily. It is very dangerous when the Word of God is devalued and people are subtly discourage to read it.

    ReplyDelete

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