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).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Every Nation and Azusa Street Centennial Youth Convocation

Several days ago I read this on

Thousands of people from around the world will come to Los Angeles, April 25-29th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Asuza St. revival. I have been privileged to be apart of the steering committee for the youth convocation on the final night, April 29th. We hope that many of you can attend and experience this historic event.

I filed this in my mental "follow up later" file. Yesterday I was on the phone with a friend of mine who is a former Maranatha member, and he brought up the Azusa Street Centennial.

"Oh, oh, oh!!! That's right!!! I forgot to tell you, Rice Broocks is on the youth convocation steering committee!"

Now, I've seen the Azusa Street Centennial
main site, plus as a subscriber to Charisma I've read the ads and such. The January issue of Charisma lists all the keynote and workshop speakers... it's a mix of people from the Word-Faith, classical Pentecostal, New Apostolic Reformation, and charismatic movements. Some, like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, etc. I personally consider aberrant teachers, and some would say I'm being overly kind here. But there are also representatives from mainline Pentecostal denominations including the Church of God (Cleveland) and the Pentecostal Holiness church, which ironically don't really trace their history just to Azusa but further back to Appalachian revivals arising from both the Wesleyan and Baptist traditions. Either way, there's quite a bit of information out there on who is involved with the main program.

But my interest here isn't in the workshops geared to middle age stodgies like me, but in the youth convocation.

This on the
youth website (emphases mine):

Join with thousands of spiritually hungry young men and women from across the world as they converge on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena to seek God for a fresh Pentecost for themselves and their generation. From 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday April 29, the entire energy of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement will be focused on the emerging generation. The highpoint of the Convocation will be a call for those willing to commit themselves as living sacrifices to the cause of the Gospel. As young men and women respond to this call, the Centennial Ministry Team, 300 key Pentecostal/ charismatic leaders from around the world, will lay hands on them for a once - in - a - lifetime impartation that will transfer the flame of Pentecost to the next generation and will launch a radical army of young warriors into the next century of Spirit-filled witness.

Ok, other than Rice Broocks, who else is involved with the Centennial Ministry Team? Who exactly are these "300 key Pentecostal/charismatic leaders?" For as the apostle Paul warned Timothy:

Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin. (1 Tim 5:22; NASB from Biblegateway)

Biblegateway also crossreferences this verse to Ephesians 5:11 - Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them [. . .]

(Which by the way, is one of the verses guiding my blog as well as my FACTNet posts.)

Now, I would assume that by inviting as many youth as can fit into the LA Memorial Auditorium and then laying hands upon them, that these 300 key Pentecostal/charismatic leaders are personally responsible for whether or not they are working in accordance with 1 Tim 5:22. I would say that it would be pretty tough to do, but that's really their call, not mine. BUT what about the youth? Who is going to be laying hands upon them? What are they going to be sharing in themselves? What exactly is this "
activation" (see button) and "once-in-a-lifetime impartation" going to entail, which sounds more like something that Bill Hamon would say (or even the New Age?) than the general overseer of the CoG? One would hope that it really will be the Holy Spirit flame of Pentecost. But without knowing who these 300 leaders are going to be (one can guess, but we don't really know since the Centennial Cabinet hasn't been publicly announced), one won't really know who is going to be sharing what with whom, huh? Certainly those who attend the Centennial Assembly, a similar event scheduled immediately before the Youth Convocation, won't know:

In all the events of the Centennial, a conscious effort will be made to glorify God rather than to lift up personalities. Consequently, emphasis on individuals will be kept to a minimum in advertising materials and, in the Centennial Assembly at the Coliseum, no speakers will be announced ahead of time.

All I know about is one. And I do know about a previous, similar event that this leader presided over at the Every Nation World Conference in July, 2004 - I've posted a transcript on FACTNet some time back on the "What does Every Nation Mean" thread - the talk by Jim Laffoon was titled, "To Reach and to Rule." I won't post an extended quote here but I invite my readers to PLEASE take ten minutes or so to read the transcript and prayerfully consider it. It is not a call to Biblical discipleship imho but a call to literally take over the world, and using our youth as the army to do it. Rice Broocks then helped close out the talk by inviting Jim Laffoon to lead the audience of youth in a prayer "sealing" them as if in Revelation:

[Rice Broocks] We’re about to close. But I want Pastor Jim to pray a prayer. It says in Revelation that there’s this conflict that the church is called into. Here in this struggle that many theologians and… again, we’re not wanting to get sidetracked into end-time debates and scenarios and speculations, but… it seems when you look at the popular theology it’s all about leaving this planet and somehow that there are nations that will be reached after the church is gone, and there’s these elaborate speculations and themes and charts, yet that’s probably the greatest gamble in history. To gamble away the fate and the souls of men and women, for many times, a preoccupation with Western convenience and comfort. But in this battle of Revelation, in this struggle where the revelation is of Christ, and His rule and His authority, there was a moment when he said, “Seal my bondservants on the forehead, seal them.” [. . .] I just want you Pastor Jim, just where you know where that passage is specifically, but just to pray, and let’s ask God to do a miracle, even as Jesus said I prayed, guarded them that I did not lose one. I’m just praying that this ceiling, this… just in the minds and in the hearts, so many images, so many thoughts, that it’s going to be a miracle for us to do what he’s talking about. So Pastor Jim, go ahead.

[Jim Laffoon] There in the book of Revelation, where it talks about the mark of the beast, whatever that is, it talks about those that had the name of their Father written on their foreheads. They were sealed with that. The Lamb stood on Mount Zion, “Father come now, write your name upon our foreheads, as we meditate on your word, as we confess your word, as you transform us, let your name GLOW on our foreheads!” God I pray that you would SEAL this generation! You would SEAL us with discipleship! SEAL us with accountability! SEAL us with family! SEAL us with your word! Filling us with your LOVE and your GRACE and your POWER. And as you seal us, keep us, give us the wisdom to be inserted into every area that affects culture, that we’re trusting your sealing, your blessing, and your help.

The talk in general, including the part about the current generation being birthed to rule with an iron scepter, comes right out of Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God theology. These theological roots of Maranatha, Every Nation, and various other streams in present-day churches made me recall some excellent and well-researched articles by Tricia Trillin about the "overshadowing" and "sealing." She writes,

A more recent, but associated nightmare is the possibility of a visible sign, a mark, appearing on the bodies (foreheads?) of those who believe they are the "anointed overcomers" of the New Order. Alternatively there may be strong pressure to join an elect number of believers who have received a spiritual sealing or mark of God in the forehead. All this will be explained later in the article, but for now I just want to say that this most dangerous and blasphemous sign must be avoided at all costs!

I am unable to go to the Azusa Street Centennial. However, I will be praying that the Lord's will be done, and that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth prevails. I pray that those born-again children of God in Christ Jesus, particularly our precious youth, who are already sealed* by the power of the Holy Spirit Who indwells all believers, do not accept any other "seal." Even if my concerns turn out to be unwarranted, I don't believe that's a bad prayer to pray.

*Ephesians 1:13-14 & 4: 30; 2 Corinthians 1:22


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3:18 PM  
Blogger Jon Moseley said...

It is you who are wrong. The Bible clearly and unmistakably says what Jim Lafoon preached.

SO you are arguing with God... not because any person stands in for God in anyway.

NO... because the Bible clearly says what you reject.

So stop arguing Satan's case. If you have a problem with God, then go talk to God about. (I disagree with God all the time in prayer, and eventually God will sort me out I expect.)

It is pathetic that your idea of sliming a church is to disagree with the Bible. (That is YOU are disagreeing with the Bible.)

6:15 PM  
Blogger Jon Moseley said...

It is really disgusting that you people are trying to deceitfully disguise theological disagreements behind ad hominem, deceitful attacks on individuals.

If you disagree with what a church or minister believes, STAND UP LIKE A MAN OR WOMAN and be HONEST about your views.

Let us discuss Biblical truth honestly and sincerely, not through deceitful tricks as you are doing.

How do you propose to criticize a church for being unbiblical if you yourself are being unbiblical?

6:17 PM  
Blogger Jarko said...

Can you help me with finding out the name of the music band that performed at Azusa Street Centennial? They are latino christian band, and I would love to get their CD. Sooo, what's the name of the group?

Thanks, Jaro

7:19 AM  
Blogger Jarko said...

Can you help me with finding out the name of the music band that performed at Azusa Street Centennial? They are latino christian band, and I would love to get their CD. Sooo, what's the name of the group?

Thanks, Jarko

7:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jarko, it was very likely The Katinas. They are or were at one point part of Every Nation. They are very good.

1:00 PM  

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