Pulpit & Pen reported recently on the movement within the church to practice cold readings as an evangelism technique. We showed you how Shawn Bolz, a New Apostolic Reformation false Apostle practiced cold-readings as a method to suck people in and garner support for his false prophecies and witchcraft. What’s worse than practicing witchcraft and idolatry is doing it in the name of Jesus.
Today, I bring to you another false teacher who is gaining popularity. His ministry is popping up in cities around the country. He isn’t the typical megachurch pastor preaching heresy to crowds of tens of thousands of people as you would expect to see in this series of false teachers. He is a “street evangelist.” I put that in scare quotes not because street evangelism isn’t a thing, but because he doesn’t actually evangelize.
Evangelism is Jesus’ way of using His people to make disciples. This requires going out into the world to give people the gospel–the whole gospel–and to call the lost to repentance and faith in Christ. Jesus said “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)” Simply put, the gospel is that God is Holy, man is sinful, God is wrathful and just and requires punishment for our sin, yet God is loving and merciful and provided a sacrifice to take the punishment we deserve in His Son Jesus Christ.
However, Kyle Martin has turned evangelism into something completely false, denying the power of the gospel to save, and applies a method of evangelism that appeals to the flesh. His ministry, Time to Revive, practices cold readings to draw people’s attention into the false gospel he intends to give them.
According to Wikipedia, cold reading is:
a set of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums and illusionists (readers) to imply that the reader knows much more about the person than the reader actually does. Without prior knowledge, a practiced cold-reader can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and reinforcing chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses.
In the video below, you can see Kyle Martin using this exact same technique as he speaks to a young man. He pulls out his phone and begins a cold reading technique, saying “this is the guy from Minnesota. I was given a word last night it’s been weighing on my heart to share. It was one word, up. Does that mean anything to you?” Of course, “up” is a broad word and can mean anything. Obviously, this could mean nearly anything to anyone, yet this doesn’t stop the young man who is being taken advantage of by Martin to clearly fall for this tactic and begin reading a few verses of Scripture with him.
Martin proceeds to tell the young man to read Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” followed by Martin stating, “everyone’s got problems.” Martin downplays sin here to “everyone’s got problems.” Sin is not merely a “problem,” it’s our death. God hates it and it must punish it. Sin is rebellion against God, who He is and what He commands of us. Not having enough money for a meal or having a place to sleep is a “problem.” But let’s be clear, it is not our “problems” that cause us to fall short of God’s glory, it is our sin.
But I digress, Martin then asks a group of people with him to “talk to God” and “receive a word of encouragement” from Him for the young victim being fed a false gospel, claiming that the Bible says to “just relax, let me do it for you.” They all then proceed to stand around and practice more vague cold readings. Martin then tells the young man,
The bible says, Rusty, today you can determine the rest of your future by literally saying ‘Jesus, I want you to help me as I work at Burger King. I want you to help my at getting my career or my G.E.D. I want you to help me to get into a construction job. I want you to help me with my anger.”
This is works righteousness. God does not “help” people with their “sin problems,” he solved it at the cross. Unless you believe and repent, you will not see the kingdom of God.
He then enlists his children to coax the young man into “accepting Christ” and repeating the “sinner’s prayer.” Sadly, this young man is being sent off with a false hope in a false gospel. He clearly has no understanding of who God really is and how God sees him.
Kyle Martin is a false teacher and his ministry needs to be avoided at all costs.
For a thorough critique of this video, see below:
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