Shepherding/Discipleship Movement Survivor's Blog

The present-day impact of the Shepherding/Discipleship movement from the perspective of a former member of Morning Star International (now Every Nation Churches and Ministries).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Lee Grady vs. Universalism

Charisma editor Lee Grady has written a series of columns critical of the Charismatic movement lately, which on the one hand I think is very courageous on his part, but on the other I find somewhat puzzling given other affiliations he has in the movement. For example, in the December 2005 issue he writes:

It troubles me that many charismatic and Pentecostal church leaders today are not displaying the necessary backbond to label a heretic a heretic. We have become masters at soft-pedaling and inaction when the Lord requires us to confront. (6)

He then gives the example of (Bishop) Carlton Pearson, who is apparently teaching universalism, and who has been on the pulpits of several churches, including that of Earl Paulk, who is perhaps best known in discernment circles as one of the leading proponents of Kingdom Now and Manifest Sons of God theology, which teaches among other things that Christ can't or won't come back until the church wakes up and takes literal dominion over the earth for Him first. I'm actually not at all surprised that Pearson has gotten into universalism, since one of the main theosophical sources for both the Latter Rain movement and Universalism/Unitarianism is none other than Jane Leade, a 17th century English mystic who had visions right out of the Cabala/Kabbalah, in which the entire earth would be brought into unity through the rebirthed corporate Manchild and all would be redeemed as a result, including Jesus' "brother" Lucifer.

(See why bringing the church into unity is so important to these guys?)

Anyway, I applaud Grady's courage to call a spade, a spade, while naming names rather than hiding behind Matthew 18 as so many other Charismatic leaders do. Hoo-ray! However, in the same issue, another article states:

About 1,000 people took part in a special gathering held at the huge Circus Maximus in Rome. "Contrary to what most people think, more martyrs gave their lives in the Circus Maximus than in the famous Coliseum," [C. Peter] Wagner explained. "We felt we had to do some prophetic acts to call forth the power of God through the blood that was shed [my note: by the martyrs, not Jesus] and to open up the 40/70 Window for the gospel.

The participants worshiped, prayed, prophesied and formed small groups of about 10 people. Each group took communion and, in a symbolic act, spilled the leftover communion wine on the ground where the blood of the martyrs was shed hundreds of years ago.

"We felt that we were cleansing the ground with the blood of Jesus represented by the wine," Wagner said. "The blood now is redeemed and freed to open the pathway for the power of the Holy Spirit." ("Prayer Campaign for '40/70' Window Ends in Italy" 31; emphases mine)

Ewww... isn't this dangerously close to the same thing? That by pouring communion wine that comes really close to having the same power as the blood of Christ (so almost Catholic?), the ground is cleansed and the blood of the martyrs is redeemed, allowing the Holy Spirit to move through not Jesus' blood, but that of the martyrs? Who repented and came to Christ? Is this redemption without repentance, based on a twisted interpretation of Colossians 1:19-20, which is yet another tenet of universalism?

Mr. Grady, I totally appreciate your position as an insider within this movement, as editor of one of the main published voices of this movement, in how you are using it as a "bully pulpit" for the truth of the Gospel. However, I would hope and pray that you, as a member of the International Coalition of Apostles headed by C. Peter Wagner, would also confront Dr. Wagner about the same kinds of teachings and practices you called Carlton Pearson on, consider resigning your post from this group if this is unsuccessful, and also refuse to publish articles in Charisma that support positions like these. That would be truly courageous, and would send a very clear message across the bow to those who are distorting the Gospel of salvation through Christ's finished work on the Cross alone.

blessings, ulyankee


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