Sadly, we must warn our local audience about an event coming to a church in Neenah, Wis., where past speakers have included Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Joshua Mills and many others. We take no pleasure in sharing this information, but do so with a heart of love and alarm for those who will be exposed to a dangerous teaching.
More on that in a moment. First, you’re probably asking, what makes these teachings and teachers so dangerous? They talk about Jesus, don’t they? The answer is yes, they sure do. But if you compare their teachings to the Scriptures (which must be your sufficient authority), you’ll find that God’s Word and their teachings are many times opposite, in spite of verses and the name of Jesus being sprinkled into their presentations.
As well-intentioned as they are, these folks are part of a huge and growing conservative dominionist movement called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), that you ought to learn about.
Back to the local event: July 17-19 a visiting “prophet,” self-described apostle Doug Hogan, will be in the Fox Cities on his whirlwind tour of “holy laughter,” being slain in the spirit and amazing predictions for congregants. Hogan is known for sharing his tales of raising a couple of hundred people from the dead (actual death – not spiritual), through his Freedom Ministries, with a vision of “winning Mexico and the world for Jesus.”
What will you experience if you go? Here is the testimony of a man named Brian who attended one of David Hogan’s performances:
There were only a few minutes devoted to reading and teaching from the Scriptures, that is, if you count the time Hogan was distracted from his preaching by episodes of uncontrollable laughter (called “holy” laughter by many Charismatics). He didn’t seem to have any problem with the interruptions, though, nor did some in the congregation who found it amusing. At first it surprised me that there were people who didn’t find Hogan’s bizarre behavior offensive. I then remembered that there exists “Christians” who don’t place the premium on God’s Word that they should. It was troubling to know that I was sitting among some of them. Hogan’s lack of respect in reading from the Scriptures was tolerated because he wasn’t invited to the church to teach from God’s Word. The church marketed him as a healer, not a teacher. He was invited to put on a show. A show that was said to be inspired by the “Spirit.”Occasionally those people who came in contact with him would fall backwards into the arms of “catchers” who would then help these “slain” onto the floor where some remained for a long time (much to the excitement of some of the younger onlookers).
Another woman named Gail writes of her experience with Hogan:
When David was asked “who should the checks be made out too”, he said “leave it blank” but was corrected by one of the church officials. I found that strange. He did very little teaching, read portions of about 3-4 scriptures and said he had prepared a teaching but wouldn’t be giving it. Said he was feeling very aggressive. He started out the meeting saying he didn’t like or trust any of us and didn’t care what we thought about him. He introduced his wife but would not give her first name because he didn’t trust us. Weird. He spent most of the time making us feel bad and boasting of the miracles at his hands and the places he would be teaching, that of course seemed more important than him being with us.
What do David and Gail get for their testimonies? Accusations and attacks from deceived Christians, mostly. And if you try to stand up for biblical truth against false teachers, you will too. Says Brian:
Over the years many people have slandered me with the accusation that I do not believe in the power of God. Often they will try to demean me with words like, “How many people have you raised from the dead?” Were it God’s will for me to raise the dead back to life then that is what I would be doing. Instead I am led to help others heal from the damage false teachers like Hogan leave in their wake.
We are called to warn and provide resources. It’s up to you to help spread the word in order to snatch Christians away from the deceptive flames of this.