CAUSE FOR CONCERN? THE
"NEW CHARISMATICS" &
ANTI-SEMITISM; ARE EVANGELICALS
BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE?

By S.R. Shearer

It is spiritually chic today for evangelicals to appear pro-Jewish and pro-Israeli in their pronouncements;[ 1] pro-Jewish proclamations are widespread throughout the evangelical world - and there can be little doubt that, taken at face value, these pronouncements cannot help but lead Jews to believe that there is little to fear in this direction[ 2] from the scourge of anti-Semitism.

Typical of such pronouncements are the ones which appeared on the pages of the August 1994 journal, The Morning Star, the "Prophetic Bulletin" of Rick Joyner, one of the most popular "prophets" in today's charismatic world. Joyner works closely with John Wimber's Vineyard Christian Fellowships and such others as Paul Cain, Wellington Boone, Bobby Conner, Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, Jack Deere,[ 3] Garland Hunt, etc.[ 4]

Joyner writes, "... the wounds these people (i.e., the Jews) have received from Christians over the centuries have grown very deep. This has caused them (i.e., the Jews) to equate Christianity with the destruction of their souls rather than with salvation. This schism between the church and Israel is now being addressed[ 5] ... That Israel has now exchanged ambassadors with the Vatican is a remarkable event. Evangelicals also have a Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. However, we are still a very long way from the healing of the wounds."[ 6]

Joyner goes on, pushing all the right buttons; he writes, "There are 'replacement theologies' being promulgated in the church today that promote an arrogance towards ... (the Jews), which have caused many to stumble (i.e., Christians to stumble into anti-Semitism). These 'replace' Israel with the church in the plan of God, attributing all of the promises for natural Israel to the church ... However, as Paul made clear in Romans 11, the promises made to natural Israel cannot be revoked ..."[ 7]

With these kinds of assurances, most "old-line" evangelicals are comforted by the thought that there is little to fear from the so-called "New Charismatics;" the words that Joyner uses seem unquestionably to bespeak a sound "pre-millennial mindset," the kind which mitigates against an anti-Semitic "world view." So secure are most evangelicals in their belief that the teachings of Joyner and his associates are free of anti-Semitic implications, that many so-called "Messianic Jews" (i.e., Jews who have been converted to Christianity but who insist on maintaining the traditions of their Jewish heritage) have actually embraced these teachings with great enthusiasm. Indeed, one of the leading prophets among the "New Charismatics" is a man named Reuvin Doron, a converted Jew who is held in high esteem in many Messianic Congregations.

Certainly the "New Breed" theology[ 8] (which sounds like something straight out of a Third Reich genetics handbook) of these people is somewhat strange; their prophetic utterances somewhat confusing; and their pronouncements on the "Secular-Humanist Conspiracy" parallel in some respects the myth of the "Jewish-world Conspiracy (but then so do Pat Robertson's and many others not directly associated with the "New Charismatics") - but all in all, Joyner is surely no anti-Semite, or so it would seem.

And that being said, evangelicals can certainly give the views of the "New Charismatics" a fair hearing; after all, if evangelicals can reconcile with Catholics, and fundamentalists can adjust themselves to the "emotionalism" of their Pentecostal brothers and sisters, than surely there's room for Joyner and people like him in evangelicalism's ever expanding circle of Christian friends[ 9] - after all, Christians need every ally they can get their hands on if they're going to be successful in their effort to "take the country back for Christ and the church." Quibbling over every "jot and tittle" of Christian doctrine in the face of today's secular-humanist takeover of the country is nonsense! - or so most believe.

But "old-line" evangelicals and Jews may be making a grave mistake in not checking out more thoroughly what Joyner and his "New Charismatic" allies are really saying; they may not be so sanguine in their view of Joyner and his ilk after they do so.

Indeed, some evangelicals who have taken the time to investigate a little more thoroughly have been greatly alarmed at the anti-Semitic sentiments implicit in many of the teachings of the "New Charismatics." These implications flow directly from the eschatological doctrines which the "New Charismatics" embrace, specifically that Christ cannot return until the church first subdues the world; implicit in this notion is the thought that the church must first end its divisions and unite. One prominent Christian leader puts it this way, "The church must become a church that is not splintered ... a church unified in faith - not in doctrine ... (one) ... that will be mature and able to transcend all doctrinal ... differences ... The church must gain such unity ... (that) the whole world will (have to) listen ... Before Christ can come again, the Church must take such a strong stand that the whole world will say, 'This is the voice of God speaking to us'."

The political implications behind such doctrines are massive in their importance - especially in light of the new political activism of the Christian community in this country. Secularists and academicians dismiss these implications at their own peril. And they make an even greater mistake in refusing to believe that Christians have the moxy and political strength to pull it off - to actually "take the country back for Christ and the church." Not many years hence, they may be laughing out of the other side of their mouths.

Joyner and his friends believe that God is raising up a great "Latter Day" army to rescue mankind in these "Last Days;" author and writer Jewel van der Merwe,[ 10] the wife of an Assembly of God pastor in Holly, Michigan, and an outspoken critic of the "New Charismatics," explains:

"Blow the trumpet! Hear the noise of the chariots! The chariots are leaping across the mountains! The army of the Lord is approaching! 'The earth will quake before them; the heavens shall tremble ... a great people and a strange: there hath not been ever the like'. Utterly awesome! This army is mentioned in Joel.

"This is the army that (certain) teachers and prophets are declaring that God is raising up in these days. The end-time army.

"Do you want to be a part of it? Just think, you will be able to climb the wall like men of war. Even when you fall on the sword you will not be wounded. Crowds clap and cheer as they visualize the wondrous feats they will be able to perform in the Name of the Lord! No one wants to miss God and not be a part of what He is doing! It all has such a 'spiritual' ring. The tears well in the eyes of hungry seekers as they wait for a new experience. Perhaps, even tonight the heavens will open and that 'anointing' will be poured out. There is always that expectancy that perhaps this is the time 'it' will happen ... The 'prophetic' message is that God is raising an army in these last days to execute judgment and dominion throughout the earth.

"They (i.e., the prophets and teachers) declare that the time is at hand for God to pour out His Spirit (the Latter Rain) on an unprecedented scale on the Church in fulfillment of Joel 2:28, marking the beginning of the great 'new thing' God is doing on the earth."[ 11]

Paul Cain, one of today's principle teachers of such doctrine, claims the angel of the Lord told him about all this when he was nineteen.

Bob Jones, another "seer" writes, "They (Joel's Army) will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder that has ever been in the Bible - they'll move in it constantly ... so that the glorious church might be revealed in the last days ..."[ 12]

John Wimber remarks, "With the judgment of all mankind will come this incredible 'incarnational enduement' of God's Spirit and we will see the Elijahs ... This end time army will be made of the Elijahs of the Lord God ... There will be a filling of the Temple. That is why we are prophesying and saying to you that it is coming soon ... These things ... will come. Suddenly, immediately, right-away a change - in a moment - without notice ..."[ 13]

Jack Deere states that "... this army is totally unique. This army, there's never been one like it and there never will be one like it in ages to come ... It's so mighty that there's never been anything like it before ... This is the ultimate in Apostolic government."[ 14]

Van der Merwe goes on to elaborate; she writes that the "New Charismatics" are actively pushing a belief system which prophesies that the " ... (1) the greatest revival the church has ever known (is about to occur); (2) the greatest baptism of the Spirit the Church has ever experienced (will shortly happen); (3) the greatest army (Joel's Army) distinguished by invincibility, immortality and divinity (will be raised up); (4) the greatest purging ... in the history of the church (will shortly begin)[ 15] ; (5) the greatest ministry - the Prize of all Ages (is about to break forth); and (6) the greatest miracles, supernatural signs and wonders far exceeding that of the Apostles and Prophets of old (will shortly take place)."[ 16]

And exactly where in all this is the anti-Semitism? - precisely here: the "New Charismatics" teach not only that the church must unite and subdue the earth before the Lord can return, but also that the Jews and Israel must be "saved" before He comes again - an event which can occur only after the Jews have been converted through the "preaching of the Gospel," not the single event mentioned in Zechariah.

Reuven Doron explains: "The very nation (Israel) that once gave birth (to the church) now is in need to be birthed by another (so that Israel - acting together in consort with the church - can usher in the Return of Christ). Who will provide it? (i.e., Israel's re-birth) ... This premise of spiritual revival still hinges upon the rising and completion of the ministry of the prophetic 'Son of Man" (company - i.e., the "New Breed," Joel's Army, etc.) who is to prophecy the life-giving Word of God. Today the Lord is calling forth a Son of Man Company to corporately prophecy and speak to Israel's lifeless, hopeless white bones until the vision is completed ... the church is birthing Israel."[ 17]

Expanding on what Doron has said, Rick Joyner explains, "The Jews have historically represented the greatest test for the gospel ... In a sense, Jews are the 'acid test' of our message. Until the church comes to the spiritual stature where she provokes the Jew to jealousy, we have not yet attained to what we have been called. The Jews were 'hardened' to make them the hardest to reach. In this way, they have become the barometer of humanity, reflecting the overall condition of the state of man. When the gospel is preached that grafts the 'natural branches' back into the tree, the church and Israel will then be able to reach the whole world. This is why Paul said that the gospel should be preached 'to the Jew first'. This was not just out of favoritism, but because the Jew represents the greatest challenge of the gospel, and one which we must have ...

"Even so, our relationship to the Jews is not meant to be a stumbling block, but a stepping stone ... The final joining together of both 'into one new man' ... resulting in the healing of all spiritual and cultural wounds. When the church and Israel have been grafted together ... the time of the restoration of all things may (i.e., will be permitted) begin ..."[ 18]

The implications which flow out of this kind of thinking for "unconverted" Jews are obvious and very menacing - so much so that Van der Merwe writes in alarm and some astonishment at the naiveté of the Messianic community, "It's ... hard to understand how ... Messianic Jews are being deceived by this teaching today."[ 19] Taken to its logical conclusion, it opens up the Messianic Jews' unconverted brethren to all sorts of calumny and defamation. Van der Merwe continues, "If history is anything to go by, it would be fair to say that should Israel (and Jews in general) fail to fulfill the ("New Charismatics') ... prophetic view of (things) ... (they) will again be blamed and accused of continued stubbornness and indifference. Again ... (they) become the 'scape-goat' for reckless and irresponsible theological views."20 And those who in the Messianic community embrace this kind of thinking may someday find themselves being forced to put guns to the heads of their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Indeed, pride may actually be propelling some Messianics in this direction - of becoming the anti-Semitic toadies of the New Charismatics, of being willing to pull the trigger of the gun aimed at their unconverted brethren.

And the reason behind the pride? - the growing belief in some Messianic circles that they - not necessarily the present, physical Israel currently ensconced in the Middle East - are in fact the "real Israel of God;" that they, together with the church - maybe even more than the church - are the ones chosen to preach the "End Times Gospel," thereby ushering in the new era and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The irony in all this is enough to satisfy even the most twisted humor of the anti-Semites - indeed, it's enough to make Himmler role over in his grave with laughter! - Jews killing other Jews, all in the name of Christ. And one shouldn't make the mistake that such a thing is as far-fetched as it might now seem - after all, many of the people the Messianic Jews are getting themselves mixed up with hold to an unshakable belief in a system of thought which directly or indirectly holds the Jews - at least unconverted Jews - responsible for the "Secular-Humanist Conspiracy" [Please see our article, "Pat Robertson, Illuminism And The New World Order."] The last time such people came to power, they ended up trying to stomp out the conspiracy by exterminating the whole Jewish race.

Perhaps, just perhaps, there is good reason for Jews to fear their converted brethren - at least those Messianics who have become involved with the "New Charismatics." The ADL and other liberals may be right on this one - but they're probably right for all the wrong reasons.

And "old-line" evangelicals can't be let off the hook either; they too will also bear a great deal of responsibility if a new Holocaust breaks out in the service of this perverted theology! Why? - because in their over-arching concern to "take the country back for Christ and the church" they have allowed themselves to be blinded to the true message of the Lord Jesus Christ, becoming at the same time "bedfellows" with people who hold views inimical to sound Christian doctrine.

On That Day - when it finally comes, and it will - we'll see who was right: those who stood against the "Political Christianity" which is being pushed today throughout country; those who were not afraid to name names in speaking out against it, or those who today refuse to speak out against what is happening in the name of "Christian Unity."

FOOTNOTES

  1. And there should be no mistake about it, many of those who are so engaged are very sincerely and honestly motivated.
  2. i.e., from the evangelicals.
  3. Deere is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary; Deere has openly broken with many of the teachings of Dallas - and jokes about it; as a result, there has been a tendency among many pre-millennialists to dismiss Deere's "New Breed" teachings (see "Bob Jones, John Wimber, and the Vineyard Christian Fellowships."). Nonetheless, it appears that Deere's teachings are beginning to have an influence in more conservative evangelical circles, leading many "old-line" evangelicals to give Deere's concepts a more serious hearing; this tendency is all the more important in light of the movement of "old-line" evangelicals and charismatics towards one another in the new cultural war to "take America back for Christ and the church." More about this in upcoming issues.
  4. For example, the same bulletin advertises two conferences in which all these "prophets" are scheduled to appear; the first conference to be held is scheduled for the end of September, 1994 entitled "Mobilization: To put into action or use. To organize people and resources to bring into readiness for immediate active service. To become organized and ready for war;" the second is scheduled for the first week in October entitled "Strategy: The planning and directing of large-scale military operations. Maneuvering forces into the most advantageous position prior to actual engagements with the enemy." The site of both conferences is the Grand Assembly Hall at the New Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, Jim Bakker's old headquarters which has been cleaned up and taken over by several new evangelical organizations.
  5. Rick Joyner, "Confronting the Last Enemy" in The Morning Star Prophetic Bulletin, August 1994, pg. 5.
  6. Ibid., pg. 5.
  7. Ibid., pg. 6.
  8. Please see "Bob Jones, John Wimber and the Vineyard Christian Fellowships."
  9. Friends which in recent years have come to encompass the Mormons, the Moonies, etc. - people who, like the evangelicals, are motivated along conservative social and cultural lines and therefore have allied themselves with the evangelicals in the Cultural War currently tearing the country apart. Without a doubt, war certainly makes for "strange bedfellows."
  10. Van der Merwe sees the movement as exceedingly dangerous, but one which is, nonetheless, gaining growing numbers of new adherents throughout world-wide charismatic circles - both Protestant and Catholic.
  11. Jewel van der Merwe, Joel's Army, (Holly, Michigan: Discernment Newsletter Publications, 1991), pg. 1.
  12. Visions & Revelations, Fall, 1989.
  13. John Wimber, Docklands [England], October, 1990.
  14. Joel's Army, Vineyard Ministries International, 1990.
  15. And there are not just a few who have remarked on the similarity between the phraseology that is being used here and the phraseology that was used in the Third Reich.
  16. Op. Cit., Van der Merwe, pg. 1.
  17. "The Mystery of Israel and the Church" in The One New Man by Reuven Doron.
  18. Op. Cit Joyner, pgs. 6-7.
  19. Ibid., pg. 37.
  20. Ibid., pg. 39.

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