As anyone who’s been following my blog knows I’ve been highly critical of Ronnie Floyd and the SBC’s 2015 Annual Meeting theme, “Great Awakening.” I believe the Southern Baptist Convention has spun out of control under current president Floyd, and is heading downhill faster than ever. Ronnie Floyd is no stranger to questionable practices and teachings, and has been exposed for his mishandling of Scripture to teach Robert Morris’ first fruits tithing heresy, as well as ties to a New Age ministry that practices a borderline form of witchcraft, known as prayer circles. He also endorses New Ager Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, which also promotes an unbiblical form mystical prayer.
Awakening America Alliance exists in order to provide a broad umbrella under which the body of Christ in America can unite together in seeking a contemporary spiritual awakening. Awakening America is issuing a wake-up call for revival in the church and a Christ awakening in the nation by utilizing unified activity, various forms of media, and highly visible events, as well as encouraging collaboration together in prayer, fasting, and God-inspired action to impact the nation’s non-Christian population.
What exactly is a “Christ-Awakening?” Notice the methods described here that are used to achieve this “Christ-awakening;” unified activity, various media, highly visible events, collaborative prayer, fasting, God inspired action? First, I want to talk about this method of collaboration together in prayer. While prayer is a great thing, and I highly encourage biblical (one-way) prayer to God, Ronnie Floyd is known for promoting unbiblical forms of prayer. First off, one of the sponsors of this event was OneCry Ministries. I have talked about OneCry before. OneCry is a branch of Life Action Ministries, that promotes chalk circle prayer, and two-way prayer involving “being quiet,” “waiting,” and “listening for that still, quiet voice.” . Note the following paragraph excerpted from a workbook put out by OneCry:
It’s a challenge OneCry is issuing to men, women, teens, and even children…It involves a simple piece of chalk. With this piece of chalk, we kneel to draw a circle around ourselves and then look to heaven expectantly, praying, “Lord God, send revival, and begin it right here in this circle!”
This unbiblical form of worship is eerily similar to the prayer circles that Mark Batterson teaches in his book, the Circle Maker, also endorsed by Ronnie Floyd. Nancy Leigh DeMoss, leader of OneCry Ministries traces this practice back to British Evangelist, Gipsy Smith. Note what Byron Paulus, head of Life Action Ministries says about Smith:
Rodney “Gypsy” Smith was born in a tent, raised in a Gypsy camp, and never attended a day of school; yet he influenced millions of people for God through his powerful preaching. Not exactly a recipe for success . . . unless we take our eyes off of everyone else (refuse to compare), step inside a chalk-drawn circle, and say, “Lord, I need revival!”
In 1999, Ed Tarkowski published a four part study on the use of prayer circles within the charismatic and apostate church. He traces the practice back to paganism and witchcraft. Note what Tarkowski says about the origins of Prayer Circles:
The PRAYER CIRCLE is not found in Scripture. It’s origin is not from the word of God. But, from this Witch’s web page of definitions, we see the primary place of the Prayer Circle:
“Q. What form does the practice of Witchcraft take? The form and context vary from group to group and between each ritual, and may run the gamut from elaborate ceremony to spontaneous ritual to simple meditation. Generally the practice is to consecrate a sacred space, the “circle” and then work magic and worship the Goddesses and Gods within it according to the forms agreed upon by that particular group of Witches.”
“CIRCLE: Sacred space wherein all magick is to be worked and all ritual contained. It both holds ritual energy until the witch is ready to release it, and provides protection for the witch.”
“You also need to understand the basic structure of rituals. Casting circles, calling quarters, invoking the Goddess and God, raising and directing energy, grounding and centering and closing the circle.”
In many cases, the people themselves form the circle and are the circle, and they are “invoking God and/or the Goddess” when they stand to form it. But the circle is where the spirit passing himself off as the Holy Spirit manifests in bringing about the consciousness on spiritual unity.
I also find it interesting that he notes that the people themselves can form the circles. This form of prayer circling is a common practice found in the Catholic Church. It is a form of “collaborative prayer” in which people believe that by standing in this circle, and holding hands, that their prayer is somehow amplified, and God is more likely to answer it. This sounds exactly like what Ronnie Floyd is trying to promote with his unified, “extraordinary prayer” campaign.
And what is this “Christ Awakening” that they are referring to? Well, I have researched this term extensively, and I keep getting lead back to the New Age idea of awakening the “Christ Consciousness.” Christconsciousness.info describes the term like this:
Awakening Christ Consciousness is an application of a powerful interdisciplinary understanding of a technology of creativity interlinked through a common set of information to create health, wealth, inner satisfaction or whatever we desire to create
Almost sounds Word of Faith doesn’t it? That’s because the charismatic Word of Faith movement within the Church carries these unbiblical ideas and beliefs from the New Age movement, and mystic religions. Jude 1:4 says most people won’t notice these things creeping into the church:
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
New Age Roman Catholic, Roma Downey and husband Mark Burnett were also participants in this conference. Downey, who is endorsed by SBC President Ronnie Floyd, has a troubling and growing influence within the Evangelical Church. Her unbiblical television miniseries, A.D. The Bible Continues, has been widely accepted within the Church. Roma Downey is a proponent of the Seven Mountains heresy, in which she believes that we can regain control, or dominion, over God’s Kingdom by regaining control over these seven cultural “mountains of influence.” One of the “mountains” she is purporting to take control over currently is the Arts and Entertainment mountain. Why is a professing Roman Catholic, who openly adheres to New Age beliefs and practices, speaking at an Evangelical Conference? Is this the “unified activity” that Awakening America Alliance is referring to in it’s “purpose” statement?
Further on AAA’s page, there is a blog post titled “Peace with God.” This blog post is a MUST READ. I can’t repost the entire blog here, but I will summarize it. It’s a blog that says it’s taken from the 4 Steps to Peace (with God) website. It is basically outlines a set of four steps you need to follow to become saved. Sin and repentance are brushed over, and no mention of man being dead in trespasses and sin. No mention of the depravity of man, but basically just an outline of God’s “love” and a simple repeat-after-me prayer to pray, then you can be saved.
So AAA is promoting a unity between unbelievers and believers, around weak and even false Gospels, utilizing unbiblical, borderline pagan witchcraft forms of prayer, to “awaken” our souls into a “new” consciousness, and the President of the Southern Baptist Convention is taking part in this activity? Why? Because it’s right in line with Ronnie Floyd’s beliefs and agenda. As I reported before, Ronnie Floyd’s theme for the 2015 SBC Annual Meeting is the “Great Awakening.” Floyd is noted for saying:
For the sake of our nation and the spiritually lost around the world, it is time to humble ourselves before God. For this, I plead with all Southern Baptist pastors, missionaries, laypersons, denominational leaders, churches, denominational entities, conventions, colleges and universities; from student to adult, regardless of age, vocation, or status. As we come to God in humility and repentance, entering into this special season of extraordinary prayer, we plead with God for spiritual revival personally, revival in the church, and the next Great Awakening in the United States.
As you can see, Floyd has every intention of uniting the visible Church, regardless of denominations, conventions, etc., in order to promote a cultural social Gospel that will see them take moral “dominion” over America. It’s sad to see that so many of our sound pastors and leaders have fallen victim to this spiritual attack brought into the Church by the New Age movement, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent. Sadly there are very few who see the danger, and are vocal about it. Ronnie Floyd should not be promoting anything Roma Downey does, he should be calling her to repent of her idolatry, and turn to Christ alone as her savior. There does need to be an awakening, but not an awakening like is being promoted here. Our Evangelical pastors and leaders need a good slap in the face, and wake up to the dangers around them before it’s too late.
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” – 2 Peter 2:20-22
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