Vacation season is wrapping up in Florida as school time is revving up for another year. In the wake of the summer holiday cessation, something else is starting to rev up in the sunshine state … the continuationist healing parade of spiritual charlatans.
While the enemy, we know, is pervasive, persistent, and always on the prowl, his upcoming performances will be particularly focused on the sandy edged shores of the Florida peninsula.
Benny Hinn. Reinhard Bonnke. Bill Johnson. Todd White. Lou Engle. These are but a few of the brand-name spiritual schemers aiming to descend on Orlando in December. It’s not like Orlando doesn’t have enough trouble, you’d think. We’ve written recently on the apostasy in – believe it or don’t – the First Baptist Church there. Yeah, an SBC church engaged in behavior that would make these Christmas-time Florida quack visitors proud.
The Jesus Conference has a nifty, spiritual-sounding ambition accented with appealingly thick Christian-ese lingo…
“The heartbeat of the Jesus Conference is simple – experience Jesus in a life-changing way. We want the Glory of God. Encounter is what we are after. America and the rest of the world is in desperate need for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.”
Umm. I’m thinking of a single word … NO.
No, no, no. God doesn’t work that way. Faith doesn’t work that way. Bluntly, this isn’t Christianity … even remotely. Perhaps if these spiritual fraudsters would actually seek Truth (John 17:17) instead of “experience” and “encounters,” they’d understand. But, really, we can’t expect these agents of emotionalistic deception to care about truth. The real shame is that undiscerning multitudes will buy into their charlatanry and cough up the cash to buy a warm-fuzzy in an exciting -though thoroughly false – “Jesus experience.” (Ananias & Sapphira … Acts 5:1-11 … yeah, just popped into my head. But I’m just thinking out loud …)
“We want the Glory of God.” Well, I’m gonna make sure to stay away from Orlando during this lapostasy-palooza. Don’t want to be around anyone thinking they’re gonna wrestle glory from our Sovereign God. Silk suits and sparkly televangelist bling will be the extent of the glory these hurlers of heresy will apprehend. Of course, those paying to attend will be helping them get even more of such “glory.”
“Seating Is Limited. Register Today.” (and please, don’t forget to submit, via the secured form, your $75 registration fee. God’s miracle is waiting … but you gotta pay up to pray up and receive the blessing with these fellas!)
If you’re in Florida and just can’t wait til December for clown-time in mouse-land, you can catch another festival of falseness in Jacksonville. August 26-27 will find such maestros of faithless malevolence as Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel Kolenda, Michael Koulianos, and the “I raise the dead” Todd White at another stop on the “Use Our Encrypted Credit Card Form For Instant Miracles Tour.”
These fake faith healers will be, for $55, at your beck and call for the Fire16 Conference. We can be sure, of course, that none will dare go near Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital located only a 15-minute limo ride from the site of the venue, a site where one would not be surprised to see the “earth open its mouth” and swallow them up. Happened to Korah’s ilk, you might recall. (Numbers 16:32) Obviously, another event for the discerning to avoid.
So, if you’re coming to Florida AND you’re an authentic, Scripture-devouring believer (you are “abiding” there, aren’t you???), you can note at least these two events to avoid on your fall/winter peninsular itinerary. Skip the nonsense and enjoy a heresy-free holiday.
Go sit on a beach and apprehend the truth that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) Go see a mouse or something, Gospel tracts in hand. And if, by some quirk of providence, you find yourself near one of these venues of deceit, spread those Gospel tracts thick, wide, and with joyous vigor. There’ll be plenty of “condemned already” (John 3:18) folks who need to hear the truth.
As for the deceivers on the dais and those who simply refuse the Truth? Well, we’ve been told about them …
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. 1 Timothy 4:1-2
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[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]