Category Archives: Postmodern Church/Apostasy

Kong Hee apologises for ‘unwise decisions’, to begin jail term on Apr 21

Kong Hee is on his way to jail for his “unwise decision” to line his pockets with money that belonged to City Harvest Church (CHC). So Pastor Hee released an apology. Channel News Asia reports:

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee has issued an apology to his church and the public for “unwise decisions” he had made in the past.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night (Apr 19), Kong said: “I am truly sorry … I am filled with grief and regret over my mistakes and I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.”

For the rest of the story and to read Hee’s apology, visit CNA.

Now this from Churchwatch Central (CWC), a group of “churchwatchers” who have done some excellent reporting on Kong Hee and his leadership’s pilfering of church funds; likewise the church’s ties to the New Apostolic Reformation. CWC and Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith have exposed Kong Hee’s church (here) as “a dangerous cult that threatens the Christian faith and the well-being of citizens of Singapore.”

CHC Management Board reacts to Kong Hee’s sentence

“We pronounce deliverance in Jesus name. Not one night will this fair head spend behind bars.” Prophet Phil Pringle, CHC Advisory Pastor – Photo credit Churchwatch Central

From CHC Management Board, we read Aries Zulkarnain’s media release in which he states:

“We put our trust in God that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

This statement is a paraphrase of Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Sadly this scripture barely resembles the lives of Kong Hee, or his leadership. However it does reflect the lives of those who have left CHC after clearly questioning CHC’s teachings and practices.

What Zulkarnain quoted is exactly what CHC has not done.

If CHC put their faith in God, why is their founder, and his senior leaders, going to jail?

This is why things have NOT worked out for the good of CHC and why it has NOT worked for the six accused. If “God works for the good of those who love Him,” why are six leaders from CHC  going to jail?

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The Sketchy Faith Healer

Atlas Obscura shares the fascinating story of John Alexander Dowie, a health and wealth huckster who paved the way for the Benny Hinn’s and Creflo Dollar’s of today. Dowie was not ashamed of his wealth, and he lived in unabashed luxury. “Jesus came to make His people rich,” Dowie preached. Not in the “life to come,” but a “hundredfold now in this time.”

John Alexander Dowie was not America’s first faith healer—but he was the first to get rich doing it. Dowie, a Congregational minister originally from Scotland, discovered his unusual gift in 1876, when he was 29. A small girl dying of diphtheria was miraculously cured after Dowie prayed at her bedside.

A year later he launched his healing ministry. After stints in Australia and California, Dowie moved to Chicago and opened a church near the site of the 1893 World’s Fair. Sadie Cody, who was in town to see her uncle Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show at the fair, went to see Dowie about a tumor in her back. After he laid his hands on her, Cody later said, she “felt a new life” inside her. The tumor vanished, and word of Dowie’s seemingly miraculous healing powers spread quickly.

In his lifetime, Dowie claimed to cure scores of serious afflictions, including smallpox, cancer, broken limbs, and blindness, as well as lesser ailments like asthma and arthritis. Medical doctors and mainline Protestant ministers, however, dismissed Dowie as a charlatan, noting that many of the illnesses he claimed to cure were psychosomatic, while the most dramatic healings were obviously staged.

Nonetheless, Dowie’s flock multiplied rapidly, and by 1901 he had amassed enough followers to establish his own version of utopia, a biblical city built from scratch on 10 square miles of farmland 40 miles north of Chicago.

Read more: The Sketchy Faith Healer

‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

According to Christian Post (a site we do not recommend), Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, will replace the “Bible Answer Man”:

The “Bible Answer Man” radio show program with Hank Hanegraaff has been booted from Bott Radio Network over concerns regarding biblical accuracy, following Hanegraaff’s conversion into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

“We want to make sure that our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical,” said BRN President Richard P. Bott II, a member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Baptist Press.

BRN had reportedly been broadcasting the “Bible Answer Man” since the 1980s, even before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.

“We live in strategic times,” Bott told BP.

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Source: ‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

Visiting Hank Hanegraaff’s New Greek Orthodox Church

After attending a service at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen made this observation: A lost person could not walk into this church and walk out a changed man. It was literally a Pagan practice. Like a seance. Pure witchcraft was going on in this place.

Now read about Maples experience during a recent St. Nektarios church service:

One of the biggest complaints against Pulpit & Pen we get consistently is that we somehow don’t “have all our facts,” or are “misrepresenting” someone or something. I received countless emails claiming that I “misrepresented” Greek Orthodoxy in my recent posts regarding Hank Hanegraaff and that I should do more research. Well, what better way to research than to go straight to the source in person? Saturday, April 15, known as Holy Saturday in the Orthodox tradition, I along with a couple of friends went to visit St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC–the church that Hanegraaff was recently chrismated in. The service began at 11:30 pm, and was still going strong showing no signs of slowing down when we decided to leave at around 2:00 am. While we hoped to have the opportunity to confront Hanegraaff in person, being that we all had to get up early the next morning to worship the living God on Easter morning, we decided to call it a night early. However, there are quite a few things that we can take away from this experience in this church.

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Source: Visiting Hank Hanegraaff’s New Greek Orthodox Church

10 Signs of a Cultic Church

From Berean Research:

Cross Examined has a piece by Brian Chilton who asks: “How does one know that a church has the characteristics of a cultic church?” Good question.  According to Chilton, there is a difference between a cult and a cultic church and he gives some signs of cultic churches. So we want you to know what those distinctions are. We’ve included links for further study at the end that will help you grow in your faith:

#2 Personal interpretations are held to an equal or higher view than biblical truth. A good example of a cultic church would be Bethel Church in Redding, CA

A few weeks back, I was troubled to hear about a Word of Faith congregation in Spindale, North Carolina, that was guilty of abusing its members. Reports included young children being punched by the leadership while being called Satanists. Jane Whaley and her husband are at the center of these accusations. The full report can be accessed here.

Unfortunately, cultic churches abound. Just last night, a guest pastor from the Philippines spoke about particular cults in his land. He noted that one cult did not allow the congregants to open their Bibles as everything had to be interpreted by the leadership. Churches like these are identified as cultic churches as contrasted with authentic churches. Authentic churches are the body of Christ. They are the assemblies of baptized believers who fully adopt biblical principles and have the freedom to grow and develop in their relationship with Christ.

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Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy, and Patterns in the Cults

Over at Pulpit & Pen, Seth Dunn examines the claim that the man who took over the leadership of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) following the death of its founder Dr. Walter Martin has left the biblical Christian faith to become Eastern Orthodox which, ironically, is considered a cult. Since CRI is a counter-cult ministry it should come as no surprise that this has become a huge story.  Dunn writes:

With the recent defection of Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, to the Greek Orthodox religion, an examination of the compatibility of this religion with Biblical Christianity is in order. Unfortunately, such an examination is a difficult task where the Orthodox religion is concerned. According to an article published by the Christian Research Institute (CRI), “Orthodoxy is not a monolithic bloc that shares a unified tradition and church life.” Despite this, a discerning examination of Greek Orthodoxy is not impossible. Using a variety of available sources, it can be concluded that Greek Orthodoxy falls outside the bounds of Biblical Christianity and exhibits patterns common to other sub-Christian cults. The Watchman Fellowship, an evangelical discernment ministry, has identified four patterns which are common to cults. Greek Orthodoxy exhibits three of them.

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CRN posted Hank Hanegraaff’s response

Source: Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy, and Patterns in the Cults

Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

Hank Hanegraaff addressed his conversion to the Orthodox faith on his radio show The Bible Answer Man in response to a caller who expressed concern that in becoming Eastern Orthodox, Hank had left the Christian faith. Following is his response:

I am now a member of an Orthodox Church, but nothing has changed in my faith. I have been attending an Orthodox church for a long time—for over two years, really, as a result of what happened when I went to China, many years ago. I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life. And so I learned that while truth matters, life matters more, and I remember flying back from China after spending time with just common people who had adeep, intense love for the Lord, and wondering, “Was I even a Christian?”

I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ… One man, by the way, said to me, truth matters but life matters more. In other words, it is not just knowing about Jesus Christ, it is experiencing the Resurrected Christ. As a result of that I started studying what was communicated by the progeny of Watchman Nee with respect to theosis and that drove me back to the early Christian Church.

And I suppose over that period of time I have fallen ever more in love with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s sort of like my wife—I have never been more in love with my wife than I am today, and I’ve never been more in love with my Lord Jesus Christ than I am today. I’ve been impacted by the whole idea of knowing Jesus Christ, experiencing Jesus Christ, and partaking of the graces of Jesus Christ through the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. And that has become so central in my life, but as far as the statement that you mentioned, that I’ve left the Christian faith—nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact I believe what I have always believed, as codified in the Nicene Creed, and as championed by mere Christianity.

Hanegraaff recited the Nicene Creed and then concluded:

In other words, I am as deeply committed to championing mere Christianity and the essentials of the historic Christian faith, as I have ever been.

Articles that come from different perspectives:

Evangelical Apologist Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, Leaves the Christian Faith?

Research:

Why Write About the Orthodox Church?

“We need to write about the Orthodox Church because it has a membership of over 200 million people worldwide and because it claims to be the only true Church on earth. When any such claim is made involving so many people, it is necessary to  research and write about such a group and compare it to scripture.”

What is the Eastern Orthodox Church and what are the beliefs of Orthodox Christians

“The Orthodox Church claims to be the one true church of Christ, and seeks to trace its origin back to the original apostles through an unbroken chain of apostolic succession. Orthodox thinkers debate the spiritual status of Roman Catholics and Protestants, and a few still consider them heretics. Like Catholics and Protestants, however, Orthodox believers affirm the Trinity, the Bible as the Word of God, Jesus as God the Son, and many other biblical doctrines. However, in doctrine, they have much more in common with Roman Catholics than they do with Protestant Christians.”

Source: Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

Rick Warren: Thinking Like A Pagan And A Theology-dissing Jesus

From Berean Research:

Before you get started on Bud Ahlheim’s blog post, head over to our White Paper on Rick Warren, quickly browse our list of concerns, then return to Bud’s piece because you’ll want to know what this man is currently up to.

Because Rick Warren has been dubbed “America’s Pastor” and is held in high esteem by the clueless media as well as pastors who have bought into the purpose-driven model of doing church, it’s important to follow his career path. Since Berean Research makes an effort to closely monitor his comings and goings, we can report without reservation that “America’s Pastor” is not only a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he’s a leader of the pack.  Too harsh, you say?  Again, take a glimpse at our research, and then come back to Bud Ahlheim’s must read report….

 

Remember how Jesus, when He came to earth as the Incarnate Son Of God, actually became a vile, depraved sinner so that He could adequately reach sinners in a relevant way with His Truth? Or that time the thrice-denying Peter answered Jesus’ thrice-offered query, “Do you love me?” in the negative, but only so he could do effective ministry among Jews who didn’t love Jesus either?  Or how about that story of the post-Damascus Road Paul who decided to forsake his apostolic calling and return to living as a self-righteous pagan so that he could reach pagans with the Gospel?

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The Irrelevant Christine Caine … A Dingo Ate My Legacy?

Ed Stetzer is a prominent evangelical with considerable credibility.  But when it comes to spiritual things Stetzer has shown time and time again that he lacks discernment.  If he had an ounce of spiritual discernment would he spend his valuable time interviewing Word of Faith pastrix Christine Caine regarding her new partnership with Wheaton College, a Christian institution?  Not surprisingly Ed Stetzer did just that.  In a piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Bud Ahlheim addresses the Stetzer-Caine interview and Caine’s baffling arrangement with Wheaton. He writes:

In Revelation 2:20, Christ chided the church of Thyatira in no uncertain terms.  “I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.”  Today, though, it isn’t just a single church tolerating just a single “prophetess;” it’s a large swath of the evangelical church embracing a legion of false teaching sirens, none of whom are actually named Jezebel.

One, in particular, is Christine Caine.

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An Open Door Closes – Jan Markell

An Open Door Closes - Jan Markell

“We expect the postmoderns and the religious Left to distort truth, but in the last 20 years, evangelicals have been in the forefront of discouraging believers on these topics. I will now name some names that will cause many to unsubscribe from these emails. I am not attacking these individuals. I am just reporting on what they say.”

When I began Olive Tree Ministries years ago, I ministered in hundreds of churches, home fellowships, women’s groups, and even some men’s groups. Every week I would pile my small vehicle with a 12-string guitar, sound and audio-visual equipment, books, and a map, and head toward destinations large and small. My audiences were enthusiastic as I shared messages focusing on Bible prophecy, Israel, Israel in prophecy, Christ in the Passover, Jewish evangelism, and current events.
 
I could not keep up with the demand. I could have ministered 5-6 times a week. This was more than a decade after Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.  That book opened the eyes of a lot of people and caused them to want more insight. Many thought end-time issues were irrelevant until John Darby in the 1800s. The one-third of the Bible that referenced prophecy was for real and could no longer be ignored. It was for today.
 
If church pulpits didn’t want me to talk about it, then I was invited to classes and retreats sponsored by churches from every denomination.
How Times Have Changed
Today about 90% of these doors have slammed shut. It is not just indifference, it is outright hostility towards topics that a few years ago generated great enthusiasm. Yes, there are small pockets of interest that remain but opportunities continue to shrink.

We are now in the days of 2 Peter 3:3: The mocking and scoffing generation as to end-time events. We are in a time when Israel has been so maligned that even within evangelicalism, she is seen as an “apartheid occupier” more than God’s Chosen People. Anti-Israel sentiment is global. Anti-Semitism is raging. Entire denominations are engaging in the Boycott, Divest, Sanction Movement that harms Israel economically.

If I were to still make my living by visiting churches across America tapping into these very same topics, I would be out of business.
 
How Did This Happen?
I’ve reported on Pastor Tom Hughes’ excellent article before about church indifference to eschatology. He pastors the Calvary Chapel 412 Church in San Jacinto, CA.  Tom writes that many pastors refuse to touch the topics of Bible prophecy and Israel because (1) They don’t understand it; (2) They fear offending members; (3) They are concerned about scaring people; (4) They fear losing the tithes if they talk about end-time events; (5) They are afraid of being identified with the “loony fringe” such as Harold Camping.

Consequently, 90% of our church pulpits today are totally silent on the good news that the King is coming. 

 
The Cry of the Young: Social Justice!!
 
As a young person, I loved these topics. Bible prophecy ignited my spiritual life which was slipping into complacency. My trip to Israel at age 30, plus my Jewish heritage, allowed me to have an all-new worldview that was actually Israel-centric because the Bible is Israel-centric!
The Pre-Trib Research Center has an excellent article written by Dr. James Showers on the eroding evangelical support for Israel.  He addresses one major area that is problematic: Young people are more troubled by injustice than they are inspired by Bible prophecy. They perceive some injustice and consider the “occupation” of the Palestinian territories. They have bought into the propaganda that Israel is an abuser of the Palestinians. I will list the Pied Pipers who have taught them this in a moment.
He suggests that the old adage that we support Israel “because the Bible tells me so” is over.  As a result, there is a trend among younger people to leave the evangelical nest previous young adults occupied to fit into their new postmodern worldview. Postmodern/Emergent leaders only reinforce this as across-the-board they are anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam.
 
He accurately states that young adult evangelical events such as the Justice Conference, Empowered 21 and Catalyst have become pulpits for pro-Palestinian groups to come in the name of peace and blame the lack of peace on Israel. The Justice Conference emphasizes Leftist politics and features the likes of Marxist Cornell West. The annual Catalyst event will not have one Israel-friendly or prophecy-oriented representative.
 
Evangelicals Who Influence
We expect the postmoderns and the religious Left to distort truth, but in the last 20 years, evangelicals have been in the forefront of discouraging believers on these topics. I will now name some names that will cause many to unsubscribe from these emails. I am not attacking these individuals. I am just reporting on what they say.
Popular blogger Tim Challies wrote back on January 31 that there are seven “false teachers” in the church today. One category of false teacher he labels as “the Speculator.” He says that, “Today, as in every age, the ‘Speculator’ obsesses about end-times and somehow his failed predictions dissuade neither himself nor his followers.”
 
Dr. John Piper wrote in 2002 and again in 2014, “Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping the covenant with God. Israel has no divine right to be in the land of promise when she is breaking the covenant of promise. For now, the people are at enmity with God in rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, their Messiah.”
Lynne Hybels, wife of Willow Creek’s Bill Hybels, has been an outspoken proponent of Palestinian issues and a prominent critic of Israel’s wall of partition. This was built some years ago to stop the slaughter of innocent Israelis by the Palestinians. She states, “I believe that the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and the continuing blockade of Gaza is a violation of human rights; as such, it deeply harms the security, freedom, and dignity of both peoples.”
First, she states she is both “pro-Israel and pro-Palestine,” but then she suggests there be a one-state solution. She is deceived thinking that the Palestinians want to live in a peaceful co-existence with Israel. Her one-state solution would only be for the Palestinians. Hybels softened her tone after a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.
Pastor Brian Brodersen, son-in-law of Calvary Chapel’s founder Chuck Smith, recently told Calvary Chapel pastors to avoid the “gloom and doom” of eschatology. Calvary Chapel may be the last denomination in the world that has maintained an eternal perspective with an emphasis on end-time issues. Now they are encouraged to dump the topic and cater to younger people.
Pastor Rick Warren writes in his Purpose Driven Life book, “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. Jesus said in essence, ‘The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that.’ If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” (See pages 285-286)
Author and columnist Jim Fletcher reached out to Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He asked him about his views on eschatology and Israel. Moore declined and later blocked Fletcher on Twitter.
I have previously written that the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, states often on his call-in radio program that God’s Chosen People are only Christians. He says God is not a land-broker and suggests Israel does not belong to the Jews. Hank says the Rapture is “nonsense” and is forced into the biblical text. His listeners have had a nearly 30-year diatribe of error in these areas. Many have been turned off on these issues for life.
Space does not permit me to quote many other leading evangelicals and evangelical organizations who take negative positions on these topics. World Vision is just one organization that has been anti-Israel for decades. They were recently caught funneling their humanitarian funds to Hamas though they denied it.
Postmoderns and The Religious Left
 
Jim Fletcher also writes about leftists like Shane Claiborne. Fletcher writes, “Typically pro-Palestinian activists like Shane Claiborne portray Israelis as Nazi-like oppressors of the downtrodden Palestinians. It’s all a toxic stew of political and religious claptrap designed to turn more Millennials against the Jewish state.”
Every other year the patriarchs of the religious Left such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, as well as ardent anti-Israel speakers and writers such as Wheaton’s Gary Burge and the U.K.’s Stephen Sizer, gather at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference for a solemn assembly of Israel-bashing. Lynne Hybels is also a frequent speaker at this pretty shameful event.
Emergent Church leaders are far more interested in yoking with Rome than considering the things to come or looking at Israel-related issues. This is preparing them to receive a counterfeit Christ.
Dispensationalism Declines
 
Eschatology and pro-Israel sentiment have always found a home within Dispensationalism. Twentieth Century teachers John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler, Mark Hitchcock, Ron Rhodes, Dave Reagan, Thomas Ice, Ed Hindson, and many more, have educated millions.
 
The rise of Amillennialism, Preterism, Dominion/Kingdom Now Theologies — and what often comes with them, Replacement Theology — are crowding out Dispensationalism. Dr. Jim Showers says, “Dispensationalism has become a dirty word in many corners of Christian higher education.”
Showers continues, “The next generation of ministry leaders, at best, sees no value in studying future prophecy and, at worst, views it with disfavor or as something to be avoided entirely.” He suggests even those who hold to Dispensationalism and a Christian Zionist view of Israel, born out of a literal interpretation of the Bible, are distancing themselves from these topics.
At a time in history when headlines are at best maddening and bleak, the very theologies that make sense of them are declining in favor of theologies that fill pews and offering plates.
This ministry encourages you to tell the inconvenient truth as it concerns our times no matter how unpopular it makes you. God will honor you some day.
But the conclusion here is that the days are gone when
to be an evangelical Christian was nearly synonymous with being pro-Israel and pro-prophecy. It’s a new day and not a happy one. Yes, the Bible states that Israel will be on her own someday (Zechariah 12:3), but watching the process unfold remains heartbreaking.
In spite of this, the King is still coming, stage-setting signs are escalating, a trumpet is about to sound, the Church will vanish, and the hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen will be heard in the distance.
Let your voice be heard!

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Shocking News: Steven Furtick Goes Full-On Prosperity

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen shares what’s going on with prophet-pastor Steven Furtick:

If it isn’t enough that Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation, the multi-campus megachurch in Charlotte, NC is a habitual twister of the Scriptures for the purpose of self-promotion and egotistical gain, it’s now abundantly clear that he’s gone full-on Prosperity Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel is a false gospel that teaches that God promises to all believers who have “enough faith” a long life of good health and extraordinary wealth. Never mind that the proponents of this false gospel are regularly afflicted with various calamities, including death. Recently, Eddie Long, one of the most notorious proponents of the distorted gospel of health and wealth died after a long battle with cancer. Then you have others, like Jan Crouch, who died unexpectedly. Perhaps their faith failed them? Perhaps they did not ask therefore they did not receive?

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Why calling Rick Warren a ‘General’ is significant

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research responds to the question many in the Christian community are asking: How do I know if my church is part of the New Apostolic Reformation?  Here’s what she says:

What’s in a name? When the name and title of “General” is used in a church leadership context, it’s a rank that ought to be a red flag for you.  After reading this article, I hope it will be in the future.

First, the photo. Hillsong’s Brian Houston posted this on his Facebook profile:

The rank title in this case may be easily dismissed as nothing more than just a friendly term of endearment. But did you know that “General” is code word for Apostle within the New Apostolic Reformation movement?

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