By Brannon S. Howse
Independent Pentecostal pastor Bill Randles was a guest on my radio program on August 2, 2011. Bill has been warning about the gnosticism of the New Apostolic Reformation for years, starting with his book Beware of False Prophets. Pastor Randles explained that Christians united with NAR members at the The Response were praying with people who do not describe the Jesus of the Bible in their teachings.
While I am sorry The Response was ever organized, I am thankful the event allowed Christians to see that if the Church in America follows the New Religious Right and their leaders, she does so at her own peril. The Church in America cannot say God has not been gracious by giving us such a clear example of who and what we must not follow.
What is sad is that, while some self-professing Christians could not seem to grasp that this situation is about compromising the gospel for political and pragmatic reasons, the left clearly figured it out. They recognize the compromise one must accept in order to unite with false teachers:
[quote] In my coverage of The Response, I talked to a woman whose blog post critical of the NAR from this perspective was taken off the American Family Association website. The AFA and other big religious right political operatives are not interested in the heresy hunters, though; they’re interested in the bodies that NAR types bring to events like Perry’s and ultimately to the voting booth. That’s been a longstanding strategy of GOP candidates, as I reported in my book. There, even though Word of Faith (also known as the prosperity gospel) is, like the NAR and other neo-Pentecostal movements, considered problematic and even heretical by many conservative Christians, what the candidates look at is not intra-conservative theological disputes, or even the questionable ethics of some of the leading preachers, but at how many followers they have.
No doubt both the AFA and Perry’s political team, as well as the group assembled by televangelist James Robison last September and more recently in June, were making those sorts of calculations. [end quote]
The New Religious Right did not take kindly to my talking about this on my radio program and writing about it in my columns. But again, the secular press picked up on the story:
[quote] The American Family Association has taken aim at fellow religious conservative Brannon Howse over his criticism of the AFA’s recent sponsorship of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s The Response prayer meeting. Earlier this week, Jim Stanley, program director of AFA’s radio network, American Family Radio, sent notices to two talk show hosts who are associated with Howse, informing them that continued presence on the AFA’s radio network was conditioned on severing ties with Howse…
Howse heads Worldview Weekend, a socially conservative ministry which espouses similar conservative views as the AFA on culture war issues as abortion and homosexuality. However, Howse charges that religious right leaders have formed improper religious alliances with leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation such as Cindy Jacobs in order to promote a conservative political agenda. About his stance, Howse said, “Christians must defend the gospel when we believe Christian leaders are giving credibility to what the Bible describes as false teaching. About Wildmon’s concerns, Howse added, “I have avoided naming this radio network or pro-family group and I have avoided naming several of the pro-family groups hoping they would repent.”…
One of the targeted talk show hosts, John Loeffler, has decided not to continue with the AFR. Loeffler said, “I told Tim [Wildmon], ‘you may remove my show based on your ultimatum since I will not stop speaking for Brannon Howse.’” [end quote]
Sadly, my longtime friend Todd Friel informed me that he would have to cancel speaking for the 2012 Worldview Weekend event in Branson, so he could maintain his program on AFA’s radio network. I was really encouraged, though, that my friend John Loeffler was willing to stand with me even if it meant his radio program was pulled from over 100 radio stations.
A few months later another longtime friend sent me an e-mail implying that his association with me seemed to be keeping her from being interviewed by AFA. Within a few weeks, this friend ended our relationship. Shortly after that, her program began airing on again AFA’s radio network.
Now please understand, I am not complaining, I knew up front that my stand for biblical truth would cost me in many ways, and it did. I also want you to know, though, that as 2011 and 2012 unfolded, our organization grew dramatically. Yet even if it had not, that would be acceptable. God is in control, and all promotion comes from Him (James 4:10).
Throughout those two challenging years, I came to understand just how many Christians and non-Christians are watching, and make no mistake, they are aware of who is being faithful and who is compromising. My job is not to be the conscience of those who have compromised. My job is to keep studying God’s Word and what He wants me to do.
I must gracious to others as God has been gracious to me, but that does not mean I should not lovingly speak truth. Romans 8:18 is one of my favorite verses: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
The “soft persecution” you and I go through is nothing compared to what our brothers and sisters in Christ have endured for centuries in China, Cuba, and behind the former Iron Curtain. In fact, this “soft persecution” may be preparing you and me for what is to come. I believe persecution may indeed come most from a false church and that those now living in America are living in a nation under God’s judgment—a judgment that will mean an increase in false teachers and those who follow them.
The infiltration of the religious left into the New Religious Right happens because God is judging America. I believe part of this judgment includes God giving America a new generation of leaders who do not understand the worldviews and philosophies that rule the day. Why else would these pro-family leaders willfully ignore the private warnings given to them in April 2011 about partnering with the progressives, the New Apostolic Reformation, and the Word of Faith movement? Even after all the evidence and Scripture has been produced to reveal the false teachers and their equally false teachings, NRR leaders and their followers continue to justify unbiblical projects, initiatives, and relationships.
Proverbs 15:32 sums up this situation: “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.” Evangelicals lose their souls when they lose sight of their first biblical priority and immerse themselves in political and cultural entanglements which cause them to partner with people who are not biblically sound. As 2 Timothy 2:4 notes: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
An individual’s worldview is the foundation of his or her values, and those values are the foundation of the person’s conduct. If the New Religious Right had a commitment first and foremost to biblical truth, it would have never put itself in this position. One pro-family leader informed me that it was acceptable to embrace those with unbiblical theologies because the organization was not a theological organization, per se. But everyone who is not committed first and foremost to biblical truth will find themselves deceived by a religious Trojan horse filled with progressives on the attack.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.