Alex Himaya, Ronnie Floyd, and Strange Things
Ronnie Floyd recently announced the members he has named to participate in the Committee of Committees, chosen to nominate the committee members who will actually do the nominating of leaders of various positions in the SBC for 2016. Sounds like a drawn out process, right? It is, and it begins with this committee of origin. As recently published on Pulpit and Pen’s web site, the SBC’s governing authority has managed to secure the procurement of their leadership of choice for as long as they like. It basically works like this; you make a name for yourself by having a large enough church to make some noise, you turn a blind eye to corruption in the SBC, and you blindly and unabashedly support those currently in leadership, while belittling and admonishing any critics. That’s how you get in. To stay in, the system is rigged so that the leadership gets to choose the next leaders, but by making it look like it’s a democratic system. But when you only have corrupt leaders nominating others who desire the same status and are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk, there is no room for change within the system.
Chosen as one of the two leaders of this committee is Dr. Alex Himaya, the founder and senior pastor of the 5500 member mega-church theChurch.at in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Formerly, he was the youth pastor at Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas, where his companion, Ronnie Floyd currently serves. Himaya is a rising star within the Southern Baptist Convention for a number of reasons, one being that he is credited for growing his congregation from just a couple hundred members, to over 5500 in just a few years. The focus on church-growth is by far the dominating factor if one is to gain notoriety and status within the SBC these days. Nevermind what message you preach from the pulpit, what set of beliefs you hold to, or what you stand on as your final authority for doctrine in your church, as long as you have a large enough crowd to stand in front of you and cheer, you can now hold a leadership position within the denomination. And that’s exactly what’s happening in front of us.
Dr. Himaya has a deep Egyptian heritage, and has a number of relatives still living in Egypt. His father, a Coptic, moved to the States where he met his mother and settled. While Himaya’s parents attend a Baptist church in Louisiana, his father apparently doesn’t understand the difference between the Coptic religion, and Christianity, as he still attends a Coptic church in Shreveport. And apparently neither does Dr. Himaya. In an article on his church blog he posted on Feb. 16, in reference to the beheading of 21 Coptics in Egypt, he states, “Christians from all over the world should stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ in light of this atrocity. These believers were innocent lives taken by one of the most brutal terror networks in world history.” So by referring to adherents to the apostate works-based Coptic religion as “brothers and sisters in Christ,” and “believers,” he seems to be insinuating that he believes their religion to be a valid expression of Christianity. Now someone with as much heritage in Egypt and the Coptic religion, I have no doubt that he knows exactly what Coptics believe. And as a Southern Baptist pastor, he should also know what the true Gospel is. But instead of taking this tragic opportunity to share the truth, he takes a weak ecumenical stance that appeals to the world, rather than glorifies God.
He seems to affirm this position in other statements he has made as well. Though I admittedly have not read it, nor do I have any interest in reading it, he has written a book titled Jesus Hates Religion. In a video promo he did on the book, set to a background of ear tickling emotionally driven music, he speaks of the necessity of the Church to get rid of what he calls “man made religion…put in place by denominations…and just preach the Gospel.” While there is some merit to be said about that, based on the aforementioned expressions he made about Coptics, I can’t help but think that he thinks the same way Andy Stanley does, about watering down doctrine, and just taking the social gospel to people.
In an article he wrote on Fox News, he tells a story about how he met someone on an airplane, and had a conversation about God and Christianity with this person, without revealing that he was a pastor. He went on to talk to this person for over an hour, and eventually told him who he was. From this experience, he gets that Christians have a reputation of turning people off from conversation about God, because they are “judgmental and religious.” He says:
The best way to stop a conversation short is by being judgmental and “religious.” By that, I mean we come off as confrontational and condemning, rather than relational and loving.
In other words, what he’s saying here is, and I loosely translate, “Rather than taking people the Gospel by exposing their sin, and calling them to repentance and faith alone in Christ alone, we should just love on them, and treat them, as we do the Coptics, like brothers and sisters.” What Himaya doesn’t seem to understand is that unless ones sins are exposed, their is no need for a savior. You can’t go up to someone, and tell them you love them, and tell them you think they are just a wonderful person, and the path you are on is just dandy, and expect them to come to a realization that they need to turn and repent. It doesn’t work that way. The natural man is turned off to the Gospel. The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18). But we must do it anyways, because to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. In other words, without it, you can’t be saved. But Himaya thinks that’s too judgemental, and we should take a softer approach.
As if his unwavering ecumenical stance wasn’t enough, he also seems to be caught up in a cult-like Derek Prince “curses and demons” spiritual warfare thought system. In the following video, Dr. Himaya leads his congregation in what he refers to as a prayer, but really more of a self declaration, on casting out and defeating Satan. At one point during the seance, he leads his congregation to speak directly to Satan.
“I now renounce all ancestral and genetic ties, back as many generations, on my dad’s side, on my mom’s side, as far as you need to go God,” he leads his congregation to repeat at one point. This generational demon casting nonsense is the typical drivel you come to expect from people like Derek Prince and the New Apostolic Reformation. Himaya appears to be closely associated with Peace in the House Ministries, who adhere to the same nonsense as Prince. PHM links to Dr. Himaya’s Spiritual warfare videos, as well as Joe Allbright’s, as their main source of resources for their demon-casting ministry. PHM’s explanation for their ministry is:
Peace in the House Ministry (PHM) is a Christ-centered, intensive prayer ministry designed to expose and remove both our iniquity and the iniquity of our ancestors from our lives. Iniquity is defined as a lifestyle, good or bad, that is outside the will of God. PHM is a sanctification tool to help Christians consistently walk with Jesus in freedom.
They base their ministry resources on the teachings of Himaya. That says a lot. Also, according to this excellent article by Johnny Ellis, he tells of a personal experience he and his family had attending Himaya’s church. According to Ellis, Himaya recommends a book by Joe Allbright called Liberating the Bruised, and points out a few of the questionable teachings of Allbright’s work. Among those teachings, and of great concern are the idea that Christians can have “multiple personalities,” that come about from traumatic experiences and that some of their “personalities” can be saved, while others aren’t. One must undergo a series of deliverance counseling in order to be “completely saved.” I highly recommend the article by Ellis for more information. I find it absolutely astounding that a Southern Baptist preacher can get away with promoting this type of material. And what is the fascination with circles among these people? We have more and more Southern Baptists and evangelicals heading this direction, but this seems to be the downhill slide we are going under our mystic president, Ronnie Floyd.