THE NEW COVENANT WATCHMAN
Keeping an Eye on Pseudo-Christian Groups, Issue 1
The purpose of this page is to keep a close watch for signs within Christendom of satanic infiltration and false doctrine.
1. Bill Bright of “Campus Crusade for Christ International”
Has recruited help from Roman Catholic, charismatic extreemists and thousands of Muslims who say they have seen ‘Jesus’ in visions but who are remaining Muslims. Has paid homage to Buddhist investor John Marks Templeton and New Ager Prince Philip of England.
NEWS ITEM TELLS OF BRIGHT IN SHADOW OF VATICAN--
LONDON, MAY 8, 1996 -- “Dr. William R. "Bill" Bright, president and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International and one of the most vigorous Christian evangelists in the world, was presented today with the 1996 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. The presentation was made by H.R.H. Prince Philip in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Today's presentation will be followed tomorrow, Thursday, May 9th, with a public ceremony in Rome at the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the first Christian building opened in Rome, founded by St. Callistus in the year 217. The ceremony will be chaired by Edward Cardinal Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.”
What makes me suspicious of Bill Bright is the ‘Muslim Connection’ because I have met a Muslim who claims to believe in Jesus and has seen visions of him. I spent many hours talking to him on two occasions in Bergen, Norway, and had absolutely no doubt by the time our interviews were over that he was possessed by a New Age demon. The ‘Jesus’ he believed in dealt with crystals (a popular New Age toy) and also commanded him to offer a sacrifice of an animal in the basement of his home to demonstrate his ‘love’ for ‘him’.
What Christians must urgently realise is that not all ‘Jesus’’ are the true Jesus of Nazareth and that not all supernatural spiritual manifestations are the Holy Spirit. There are many counterfeit ‘spirits’ in the churches, missions and crusades. Discerning them is essential if Satan is not to completely triumph in the charismatic churches.
2. Benny Hinn of “World Outreach Center, Inc.”
One of the most prominent successful charismatic evangelists of our time who began as a Greek Orthodox, was schooled in Catholicism, and then met Christ in a dramatic way. He came ‘off the rails’ when he met crypto-New Age evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman in Pittsburgh, was cured of a stuttering problem, and received supernatural healing powers that are masquerading as the ‘Holy Spirit’ and deceiving millions.
Though he is undoubtedly a sincere Bible-loving Christian there can also be no doubt that he is influenced by New Age spirits who empower his ministry. I have detected mystic Hinduism and Yoga in his teaching. Nine members in the godhead is a start, and he teaches that the way to fulfill Romans 12:1-2 is to eat oatmeal, yogurt, and a banana a day-- NO meat. Even his head movements and his hand gestures are distinctly Hindu-Indian. There are many who believe that he is a Catholic Jesuit plant in the charismatic movement.
Most denominational churches maintain either a congregational form of church government, a Presbyterian form, or an Episcopal form of running their churches. These three terms should not be confused with the denominations that bear the same names because other churches of different names share the same styles of government.
The congregational form of church government is an American invention and appeals to our American sense of democracy. Basically, the congregation as a whole makes all decisions in these churches by voting on matters of importance and appointing committees from its ranks to run the daily operation of the church. Most Congregational, Baptist, Pentecostal, Brethren, and non-denominational churches are organized in this fashion. The congregation votes on hiring a pastor, votes on how to spend the money, and on anything else of importance. Although democratic people like the idea, congregational forms of church government often wind up at best causing the pastor to be directed by the sheep he is supposed to lead, and at worst reducing the pastor to a hireling.
The Episcopal form of church government, used by Episcopalian, Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, and Methodist churches (to name a few) is controlled by a church hierarchy which may have differing names. Basically, there is a bishop, or someone of similar stature if called by a different name, who oversees the churches, appoints pastors to pulpits, sets policy, and guides the vision of the local congregations. Unfortunately, this style of government, which grew out of European monarchies, leaves little freedom for the local pastor or congregation to follow the leading of the Spirit.
The Presbyterian form of church government, which is typical in Presbyterian and Reformed churches, puts the decisions of church polity in the hands of a select group of elders (the "presbytery") who are appointed in various different ways, depending on the church. These elders are over the pastor, who in turn is over the congregation. The problem here too is that this system puts the God-appointed leader, the pastor, under some of those he is supposed to lead.
New Covenant Christian Local Colonies are organized differently. Church government at the New Covenant Church of God is very simple, not a complex bureaucracy, committees and sub-committees are essentially non-existent. Basically, at NCCG we believe that the pastor is responsible for the local colony, responsible to hear from God, and responsible to feed and love His people faithfully. Elders are appointed to help the pastor care for the spiritual needs of the congregation, as are deacons to help the pastor care for the material needs of the church.
The Bible teaches that we are to test all teachings (1 John 4:1,6), expose those teachings that are false (Eph. 5:11), confront and rebuke the false teachers (Titus 1:9,13), and then separate from those who persist in false teaching (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10), lest in the end, we are disqualified for service (2 Tim. 2:20,21), or worse yet, we are identified with the false teachings and the false teachers themselves (II John 10,11).
This page was created on 5 February 1999
Last updated on 5 February 1999
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