The Church today has been swept by winds of apostasy. These aren't gentle breezes: they're raging hurricanes that tear apart everything in their path. Bizarrely, however, huge numbers of Christians seem to be oblivious, either of the winds themselves, or of the damage these winds cause.
Apostasy is the abandonment of faith, and the apostasy we're talking about comes in the form of both individual and collective abandonment of the true Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether it's unbiblical practice ("laughing" revival, being slain in the Spirit) or heretical doctrine (denying the Trinity, preaching the "authority of the believer"), apostasy is deadly.
Hank Hanegraaff, tireless researcher of cults and un-Christian teaching within churches, chronicles one of the strangest manifestations of contemporary apostasy in his book Counterfeit Revival. Though it's a few years old now, the content remains relevant as there are still millions taken captive by the lies of "revivalists" like Rodney Howard-Browne, Todd Bentley, John Arnott, Patricia King, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, etc.
What is this apostasy, and who are these apostate ministers? None other than the hyper-Pentecostal movement that attracts so many with its apparent piety, emotionalism, and promise of earthly success in all things. But what's really going on at these mass meetings, and what's really being taught?
With immense documentation and logical proof, Hanegraaff answers both these questions in-depth, showing why these practices and teachings are so dangerous. He is gracious but firm, using as his standard the Word of God and not his own feelings or any so-called empirical proofs.
There is some disturbing content in Counterfeit Revival, mostly in the form of descriptions of services led by the likes of Arnott and Howard-Browne. If you haven't been exposed to things like holy laughter, being slain in the Spirit, false prophecies, people falling to the floor and shaking or barking like dogs, be prepared to encounter them here.
We'd caution not to read Hanegraaff's book out of sheer curiosity, however. These counterfeits to the true Gospel are very real, and are leading many well-meaning Christians astray, as well as many outside the faith. Counterfeit Revival ought to be read prayerfully, and with the intent of lovingly bringing others within the cover of true Christian fellowship and worship.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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