Tommy Tenney & the God Chasers (Part Four)
By Mike Taylor
Dying to see God
Nowhere in The God Chasers does Tenney make clear the real basis on which we can approach God in safety. It may be that he thinks that all his readers will be Christians and that he is simply taking them deeper into God.
Even so, the Lord’s people need constant reminders of the basis of their relationship with God. However, it can never be assumed that a book of this kind will not be read by unbelievers. Genuine believers may become enthused and think of this as a means of bringing people to Christ. Furthermore, who is to say what proportion of people in the professing church in the USA are actually born again?
The standards of conversion are so low, both in Fundamentalist and Pentecostal circles, that many of their adherents may in fact be only nominal ‘Christians’. Our approach to God is based on the legal transaction which took place when Jesus died on the cross at Golgotha.
God wants a relationship with human beings. But all human beings (apart from Jesus)
have sinned and so must be punished for their sin.
Their sin cuts them off from God. So in order to enter into a relationship with them, God must find a way of forgiving sin without compromising His own essential holiness.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ meets all the necessary conditions. Instead of presenting this in his book, Tenney talks about a process of transformation which confuses justification with sanctification, exactly as is done in the teachings of Dr R. Edward Miller referred to earlier. This is also a problem with Roman Catholic teaching. Tenney teaches that the only way you are going to go through that veil is through the death of your flesh. [TGC62] This death of flesh he equates with genuine repentance plus brokenness before God:
- The death of genuine repentance and brokenness before God will allow Him to draw near to you.[TGC62]
- It is death through repentance and brokenness that ushers in the presence of God and cause you to draw near to the Lord and yet live.[TGC64]
- If we allow God to take us through the complete process of repentance and brokenness without hindering or quenching His Spirit, then when the kabod, the weighty presence of God, comes among us and upon us, then we will be able to carry it without fear because we will be walking in the purity of Jesus and our flesh will be dead, covered by the blood of the Lamb.[TGC98]
- He can only come close to you to the degree you are willing to die [TGC64]
- The more of you that dies, the closer He can get. [TGC63]
- So all you need to do is die if you really want to get into His presence. [TGC80]
Here he really has things all the wrong way around. Those who come close to God on the basis of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross are led to put to death their remaining sin by the Spirit. The building of our relationship with God actually has two main parts: a foundation and a superstructure. Being justified by faith is actually the foundation of our relationship.
Without that, no progress in the Christian life can be made. However, we have to grow daily more like Christ. This process is not the foundation, but is the superstructure, which has to be built upon the foundation. The Bible calls this sanctification. Sanctification is the superstructure, whereas justification is the foundation.
The superstructure cannot bear the full weight of the building, whereas the foundation has to take the entire weight of everything built upon it. This is why we cannot start on the road to Christlikeness unless we have first been justified.
Once a person knows he has been justified, then he can start pursuing righteousness and putting to death the sin that remains in him. And as we pursue God’s righteousness, we will often find Him drawing close to us in a special way.
Nevertheless, there are dry times when we are being tested as to whether we are sincere in our pursuit of God. But as long as we keep responding positively to God’s dealings with us and obeying His instruction, we will make constant spiritual progress. As we do this, we will often experience intense intimacy with God.
But God’s coming close bears little or no relationship to our own efforts to die. Rather God draws especially near to us to encourage us before we enter the next phase of God’s dealing with us. Indeed, repentance is a response to God, not a work which we can undertake in order to attract Him to us. It is essential to remember that it is our sin which has to die, not our selves.
Our sin is put to death so that we can live in God’s presence. But entry into consciousness of God’s presence is through the blood of Jesus, not as a result of some special degree of repentance or brokenness. Furthermore, repentance is not a work which we can undertake in order to gain a special experience of God’s presence. This notion of repentance as a work is implied by Tenney in these words:
This move of God taking place across the earth has often been marked by night after night of cleansing in repentance. [TGC98]
It is not repentance that effects the cleansing. Repentance is what happens when the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. There is no fixed quota or level or depth of repentance which we have to accomplish in order to achieve cleansing or to acquire the presence of God. If that were so, our salvation, too, could be accomplished by the work of repentance, which it plainly cannot.
Flesh versus spirit
Tenney emphasizes a contrast between flesh and spirit:
It is true that all flesh must die in the presence of His glory, but it is also true that all that is of the Spirit lives forever in His glory. The eternal part of your being that really wants to live can live forever, but first there is something about your flesh that has to die.[TGC63]
And he speaks of the unending wrestling match between the flesh and the spirit which he thinks the reader is likely to be experiencing as a result of reading his book. [TGC63]
There seems to be some confusion in his mind between the use of the term flesh to denote humanity in its dependence upon God its Creator and the use of the term, as used particularly by the apostle Paul, to denote remaining sin.
Warfare between the flesh and the Spirit is referred to in this verse:
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:17) The context of this is the work of the Holy Spirit in producing the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the believer.
The works of the flesh described are clearly sinful activities, not the activities of humans in their capacity as beings created in the image of God. Sin is an intruder in human life; sinfulness is an abnormal state and only temporary for true believers. In the light of this it is obvious that there will be conflict between the indwelling Holy Spirit, who restores the presence of God to our spirits, and the sin which remains in us until we leave our bodies at death or have them renewed at Christ’s return, whichever is first.
The term flesh is frequently used by Paul to refer specifically to remaining sin. Special understanding of the work of the Spirit in dealing with remaining sin within us was given to Paul so that he could explain these things to the new Christians.
Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he was guided to use this particular term flesh for remaining sin. If we fail to understand this when we read the Scriptures, we can end up in the most appalling confusion. To assume that the term flesh refers in these passages to humanity as such or to the old man is highly confusing and leads ultimately to the idea that the human body is inherently evil, as was taught by the Gnostics and certain Greek philosophers.
One day our flesh, in the sense of remaining sin, will be removed from us altogether, and, after the resurrection, we who are true believers will exist in bodies of redeemed, spiritualized flesh (in the sense of dependent human nature) able to stand in the presence of God.
If we are trusting in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, then we can live in God’s presence now and enter in freely. To suggest that something about our flesh has to die before the eternal part of our being can live forever detracts from the plain Biblical teaching and introduces an alien philosophy.
Tenney’s references to the blood of Christ seem strange and contradictory:
- It’s time to lay everything aside and cover yourself in the blood.[TGC80] [Are we covered or do we cover ourselves?]
- our flesh will be dead, covered by the blood of the Lamb.[TGC98]
The Flesh a Barrier
The root of Tenney’s thinking seems to be some idea that the flesh constitutes a veil, almost physical barrier, which hides the presence or glory of God from our sight. If only we can tear aside the flesh, it is supposed, we can penetrate the realm of spirit and see into the spirit-world. He tries to parallel our flesh with the veil which was designed to keep people out of the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple.
After speaking about the high priest entering the Temple veil on the Day of Atonement, he wrote to God seekers: The only way you are going to go through that veil is through the death of your flesh. [TGC62] Accordingly, Tenney wrote:
I don’t know about you, my friend, but there’s a driving passion in my heart that whispers to me that there’s more than what I already know, more than what I already have. It makes me jealous of John, who wrote Revelation. It makes me envious of people who get glimpses out of this world in to that world and see things I only dream about. I know there’s more. One reason I know there’s more is because of those who have encountered the more and were never the same. God chasers! My prayer is, I want to see You like John saw You![TGC35]
Of course there is more than we currently know, more than we currently see and more than we currently experience. We all know that and this is nothing new.
But the barrier in our relationship with God is essentially sin. Many authentic unusual encounters with God given to God’s people are related to their particular calling and ministry. No one saint has experiences equivalent to all those related in the Bible. It is right that we get to know God more intimately, and there are appropriate prayers for this in Ephesians and Colossians. But it is very dangerous to insist that we should covet one particular type of encounter with God. In that way, we are almost telling the devil how he can con us.
If the devil knows the precise specifications of a coveted experience, he can counterfeit it as easily as anything. So our intense desire for intimacy needs to be combined with a contentment for the perfect will of God to be done in our lives. Tenney is right to say that it is good for us to experience God more intimately, but he is wrong to channel our desires along particular lines, as he does. He is wrong to imply that we are not hungry for God unless we chase after God in the way set out in his challenges and exhortations.
Based on the anointings which Queen Esther had to endure before spending time with the king, Tenney teaches that the anointing is to enable God to like us: The purpose of the anointing is not to make man like you, but to make the King like you. [TGC41]
This does not relate to anything in the Bible at all.
The true purpose of an anointing from God is to enable us to represent God accurately. God does not want us to convey a wrong idea about His character and purposes. It is quite misleading to suggest that the anointing is to enable God to like us.
He also teaches that there is a contrast between anointing and glory:
Anointing empowers the flesh – you preach or sing better. Glory flattens flesh![TGC88]
A true anointing from God enables us to accomplish things supernaturally and also brings out gifts which we would have used if we had never been involved in Adam’s fall. On the other hand, a true anointing from God actually inhibits the expression of behaviour patterns which we have acquired as a result of our fallen condition. Another way of stating this is that if we try to operate in terms of such corrupt behaviour patterns, God will either hide His anointing or remove it from us until we repent.
Any true anointing from God is a vehicle for the communication of His glory. If a claimed anointing is different, then it cannot be from God. Therefore, the idea of a two-stage doctrine involving a transition from an anointing to a manifestation of glory makes no sense in terms of true spiritual reality.
Outer court or inner court?
Tenney’s approach to Scripture seems to reduce it to a mere signpost pointing to God’s presence somewhere distant, it being our job to follow the clues as in a treasure-hunt. In reality the Bible is itself actually a conduit or conductor of the presence and power of God.
Another image would be that of the outer court of the Jerusalem Temple. The Bible, in Tenney’s teaching, would be seen as simply the outer court, which we have to leave behind in order to enter the Holy of Holies where God really dwells. However, the Scripture itself is the Holy of Holies in which God lives and is the place where the truly born-again believer constantly renews his encounter with God. Our need constantly to reexperience the joy of knowing God drives us back again and again to His written Word.
6. A HIDDEN AGENDA?
Inevitably the sceptical reader of Tenney’s writings is concerned as to the longterm outcomes of the God Chasers movement. Perhaps a clue to this is provided by the following observations.
Tenney seems to have links with many of the people and centres associated with the River Revival, as it has come to be known.
- Ché Ahn, Senior Pastor, Harvest Rock Church, Pasadena, California; [TGCix]
- Frank Damazio, Pastor of City Bible Church, Portland, Oregon. He is linked with Bible Temple, Portland, where Dick Iverson is based; [TGC102-06,110]
- Claudio Freidzon, Pastor, King of Kings Church, Buenos Aires, Argentina, whose church was a major centre for ‘Toronto’ phenomena in Argentina; [TGCvi]
- Bishop Joseph L. Garlington, Sr, pastor of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh (CCOP), Pennsylvania, in addition to being worship leader and recording artist, who has visited John Arnott’s Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) and been ‘Toronto’d’ there.[TGCix] As can been on the CCOP website, both Violet Kiteley and her son Pastor David Kiteley, both Latter Rain Endtime Restorationists, have given ‘prophetic words’ concerning CCOP and the worship center there. Interestingly, CCOP has a Trinitarian statement of faith. 39
- Ken Gott, Revival Now!, Sunderland, whose church has been a major centre for ‘Toronto’ phenomena in the UK; [TGCv]
- Cindy Jacobs, Co-founder of Generals of Intercession, who has strong links with C. Peter Wagner; [TGCv]
- Robert (Bob) Weiner, Founder of Weiner Ministries Int. and Maranatha Publications. [TGCvi-vii]
He is also a popular speaker at Brownsville Assembies of God Church, Pensacola, as can be seen on his video From the Anointing To the Glory.40 Then there is his obvious endorsement of John Wimber[TGC114] and Dr R. Edward Miller, as has been seen.
Redefining the churchLike Rick Joyner, Tenney believes that God is currently redefining the Church of Jesus Christ. In his instructions on how to seek God’s presence, he stated:
You need to forget who’s around you and abandon the normal protocol. God is in the business of re-defining what we call church anyway.[TGC64]
As God redefines the Church, it is highly likely that the Church that emerges from the cloud of His glory will look very different from what you and I think the Church should look like. This will happen because God is repossessing the Church and drawing it close to Him.[TGC150]
Very few would question the need for changes, but the notion of ‘redefinition’ seems to be linked to the River Revival and the suppose restoration of Endtime Apostles and Prophets to the Church. The confidence that this will without doubt take place is based on the dubious assumption that the kinds of phenomena which have occurred at Toronto Airport Church and at Brownsville Assemblies of God Church, in Pensacola, Florida, are irrefutable descents of God’s glory.
This move of God
Tenney refers to past revivals as moves of God, so adopting terminology popular at the time of the Latter Rain Movement (1948-52) and still used today by its spiritual heirs:
A lot of hungry church leaders today are reading everything they can find about past moves of God.[TGC95]
Like other supporters of the present-day River Revival, he believes that God is currently doing a ‘new thing’ in the earth. This he refers to as a move of God. This stereotypic phrase occurs in a number of passages:
- This move of God taking place across the earth has often been marked by night after night of cleansing in repentance.[TGC98]
- That is exactly where the Church is at this crucial moment in time: We have reached the point in this move of God where we are trying to transport the glory back to where is belongs.[TGC93]
Tenney goes on to ask whether we are willing to pay the price to see this accomplished.[TGC93]
‘Religious spirits’ condemnedTenney introduces the concept of religious spirits to discredit people who do not follow his pied-piper approach to God: Religious spirits must preserve where He’s been at the expense of where He is![TGC20]
It is certainly a serious problem for any local church if its members live in the past and are not seeking the Lord for themselves. There is little doubt that if most members of a church do that, that church will die. But this is not a ground for introducing the concept of religious spirits. This seems akin to a cultlike manipulation of people to shame them into conformity with the God chasers agenda.
It is easy to invent labels to ‘demonize’ one’s ideological opponents. Identifying a particular group of people and then attributing their behaviour to religious spirits is certainly an instance in which unwelcome human behaviour is publicly discredited by being attributed directly to demonic spirits.
Because the analysis of Church problems in The God Chasers seems valid, people are beguiled into accepting the God Chasers paradigm as a way of achieving the intimacy with God that He wants.
The God Chasers diverts attention from the believer’s established relationship with the Lord and replaces it with a pied-piper search for God’s Manifest Presence wherever it may appear.
The God Chasers, perhaps unintentionally, replaces the believer’s intimacy with God by a self-centred pursuit of spiritual experiences, encouraging believers to abandon their commitment to their local church.
The God Chasers turns the Bible into a mere signpost to God’s glory rather than a living conduit of God’s glory. Believers are, therefore, encouraged to seek spiritual experiences outside of the Scripture instead of in and through the Scripture.
The God Chasers discourages the stringent discernment of experiences according to Biblical criteria.
The God Chasers encourages toleration of psychological methods to induce spiritual experiences.
The God Chasers promotes a unity of people on the basis of experiences divorced from Scripture rather than on the basis of a shared Biblical faith and the new birth by the Holy Spirit which issues from obedience to the Gospel.
People who are seriously following God have deep longings to experience the closest possible intimacy with Him and to see His power at work. I certainly do.
Those who feel similarly will understand the meaning and purpose of Tommy Tenney’s quest.
However, the intensity of our desire for God must not render us mindless. This is one reason why God, who understands us perfectly, has ordained that intense spiritual experience be mediated by His written Word. This pursuit keeps both our minds and our spirits active. The Deceiver constantly seeks to exploit believers’ longings after God by perverting them for his own purposes. It is certain that he has active agendas to this end in this generation. 41
ENDNOTES:1. The God Chasers: ‘My soul follows hard after Thee’ (Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA, 1998). 2. http://www.ladistupc.org/admin.htm, p.1 – accessed 28/12/2000. He has also authored at least three books:
- Secret Power Sources - (Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA, 20/7/2000) – coauthored with his son, Tommy Tenney;
- The Main Thing … Is To Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing (Pentecostal Publishing House, Hazelwood, MO, 10/1993);
- Pentecost – What’s That? - (Pentecostal Publishing House, Hazelwood, MO, 1991).
3. Ibid., pp.1-2. Thetus Tenney is a regular contributor to the magazine SpiritLed Woman and a member of its advisory board. She has recently authored a book Prayer Takes Wings (Regal Books, Gospel Light Publications, Ventura, CA, 2/2000). SpiritLed Woman is published by Strang Communications, a multi-media communications company which claims to be focused on spreading the name and fame of Jesus throughout the world through the mass media. The company was founded in 1975 by Stephen Strang, is based in Lake Mary, Florida, and publishes the following magazines: Charisma & Christian Life, Ministries Today, New Man, SpiritLed Woman, Christian Retailing, Inspirational Giftware and Vida Cristiana (in Spanish). Interestingly, the Strang Communications Statement of Faith includes this sentence: We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (http://www.strang.com/wwa/mission/index.htm - accessed 2/1/2001)
4. Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity: Gregory A. Boyd (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992), p.228.
5. The Other Pentecostals: J. Lee Grady (from Charisma & Christian Life Magazine, 6/1997), see: http://www.rickross.com/reference/upci2.html, p.3 - accessed 28/12/2000. 6. Quot. in ibid., p.5.
7. Ibid., p.4.
8. Ibid., pp.4-5.
9. Quot. in ibid., p.4.
10. Secret Power Sources (Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA, 20/7/2000). Perhaps significantly this book is commended by Gerald Coates. 11. http://www.godchasers.net/Bookstore/Books.html, p.4 - accessed 28/12/2000. 12. Another account of this incident is as follows:
The podium was split into two pieces that were flung toward the congregation in different directions, landing 6 or 7 feet apart. The base and top were unscathed, but the middle was severed. The congregation was stunned. Tenney gave several altar calls, and people kept coming forward - some falling in the Spirit before they reached the altar area. Fifteen and a half hours later, at midnight, the meeting ended. There was no earthly explanation for what the people had seen … . L ater, the pulpit manufacturer was informed of the incident. The firm denied there was any way the material could ever split as it did - along a diagonal jagged line. If the podium had been subjected to extremely high pressure - more than 50,000 pounds per square inch, for example - it would have shattered into tiny splinters like glass, the manufacturers said. But they insisted the material would never split by natural means the way it did that Sunday morning at Christian Tabernacle. The two broken pieces were first kept in the church office. But a steady stream of curious people vying for a glimpse of the broken podium forced church officials to relocate the pieces back in the sanctuary.
Houston Pastor Says God’s Power Split His Pulpit in Half: The unusual display at Christian Tabernacle has caused a stir at the Pentecostal church: James H. Rutz, in: Charisma & Christian Life (Strang Communications, Lake Mary, FL, June 1997), see: http://www.charismamag.com/jun97/cu197106.htm - accessed 2/1/2001).
13. Quot. in ibid.
14. Thy God Reigneth: The story of Revival in Argentina: R. Edward Miller (World Missionary and Prayer Fellowship, Fontana, CA, 1964); Cry for Me Argentina. (Brentwood: Sharon Publications, 1988). World M.A.P. Fellowship is currently based in Burbank, California, run by Ralph Mahoney. It used to be a centre for distribution of tapes Latter Rain influenced ministries and still produces a monthly magazine World MAP Digest concerning the spread of Latter Rain style ‘revival’ in so-called Third World countries. Its board of reference includes such familiar names as: John Arnott, Frank Damazio, Jack Hayford, Marilyn Hickey, Dick Iverson, Freda Lindsay (wife of the late Gordon Lindsay), Bill McCartney, Bob Mumford, Pat Robertson, Carlton Spencer, Stephen Strang, Stephen Sumrall, and Robert (Bob) Weiner. This organization is one of C. Peter Wagner’s contacts for anecdotes for use in his books to support his agenda.
15. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.8; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.11.
16. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.8; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.12.
17. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.9; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.13.
18. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.9; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.13.
19. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.10; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.13.
20. Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), pp.10-11; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), pp.13-14.
21. Quot. in: Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.11; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.14.
22. Quot. in: Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), p.11; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), p.14.
23. See: Thy God Reigneth (op. cit.), pp.44-56; Cry for Me, Argentina (op. cit.), pp.51-65.
24. Thoughts on R. Edward Miller and the Peniel Revival teaching: Char Stucki, in Discernment (Discernment Ministries, Lapeer, MI, March-April 1999), see: http://www.discernment-ministries.com/Articles/MarApr.htm - accessed 2/1/2001. Punctuation has been corrected and grammar slightly clarified.
25. How to Receive the Holy Ghost: J.T. Pugh (Word Aflame Press, Hazelwood, MO, 1989), p.57. Word Aflame Press is a UPC imprint.
26. Ibid., p.58.
27. Ibid., pp.58-59.
28. Ibid., p.60.
29. Ibid., pp.59-60.
30. Ibid., p.60.
31. Although the popular name for these states is Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs), States of Altered Consciousness (SACs) is a more accurate description of what they are. The term SACs (or ASCs) is sometimes used in a broader sense to embrace certain temporary products of special operations of the Holy Spirit. However, these arise unsought. This is quite different from using techniques which are known to induce states of mental passivity which open people up to invasion by deceiving demonic spirits. Any intentional induction of SACs is, therefore, dangerous and will inevitably lead to occultic experiences. It is important to realize that occultic experiences can occur in Christian meetings and in the context of Christian ministry, if the appropriate conditions are present. It is no spiritual defence simply to ‘use’ the name of ‘Jesus’ or to resort to formulæ as a kind of protection. Noe of us is immune from deception in this area, which is why we walk carefully and listen to the criticisms of other brothers and sisters in Christ, not dismissing them out-of-hand merely because they seem ‘less spiritual’.
32. The Tozer Pulpit, Volume 2: Ten Sermons on the ministry of the Holy Spirit: A.W. Tozer. Compiled by Gerald B. Smith. (Christian Publications, Harrisburg, PA, 1968), p.42; When He is Come: [When He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth:] A.W. Tozer (1968; Send the Light Books, Bromley, n.d.), pp.49-50.
33. A Letter from a Reader in South Africa: Yvette Hoffman (Discernment Ministries, Lapeer, MI), see: http://discernment-ministries.com/Articles/aletter.htm - accessed 2/1/2001.
34. The Tozer Pulpit, Volume 2: Ten Sermons on the ministry of the Holy Spirit: A.W. Tozer. (op. cit.), p.105; When He is Come: A.W. Tozer (op. cit.), p.123.
35. Houston Pastor Says God’s Power Split His Pulpit in Half: The unusual display at Christian Tabernacle has caused a stir at the Pentecostal church: James H. Rutz, in: Charisma & Christian Life (op. cit.).
36. Complete Jewish Bible: An English version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament). Translated by David H. Stern (Jewish New Testament Publications, Clarksville, MD, 1998), p.1521.
37. The Tozer Pulpit, Volume 2: A.W. Tozer. (op. cit.), p.116 - my italics; When He is Come: A.W. Tozer (op. cit.), p.137 - my italics.
38. The Tozer Pulpit, Volume 2: A.W. Tozer. (op. cit.), p.116; When He is Come: A.W. Tozer (op. cit.), p.137-38. 39. http://www.ccop.org/beliefs.html - accessed 10/1/2001. 40. From the Anointing to the Glory (videogram), (http://media.godchasers.net/anointing.ram - accessed 28/12/2000).
41. After reading The God Chasers, I asked the Lord to show me what was going on. It is important that sincere believers test everything, including, of course, the conclusions which I share below.My understanding as a result is that a concerted attack on the Evangelical church is under way by the kind of spirits that are behind some forms of Roman Catholic mysticism. This may facilitate the absorption of the most seemingly radical forms of Evangelicalism into Roman Catholicism. For example, people who are used to the presence of these spirits in their worship meetings will be taken by surprise when the atmosphere of certain Roman Catholic meetings seems strangely congenial and familiar. Their response will be amazement that they had been afraid of Roman Catholicism for so long. If we are allowed to worship God in the same way, they will think, why should we not thrown our lot in with Roman Catholicism? Capitulation to this ‘authority’ of the Pope may be made to appear a natural progression rather than a radical break with orthodox Christianity.
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© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.