Baffled in Boise

by | May 31, 2002 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones


Several months ago I was asked to speak at a charismatic conference in Idaho. I had never met the evangelist who was sponsoring the meeting, but people were raving about his zeal and spiritual gifts. They poured on the accolades: “He’s so anointed. He has a powerful prophetic ministry. His preaching is so stirring.” I was eager to meet this guy, thinking that perhaps we might write about him in Charisma.


When I got to Boise, however, I learned that this evangelist had decided not to attend his own conference. He sent word that “revival had erupted” in the small Southern town where he had been visiting the previous month.
The couple he had appointed to run the Boise conference tried to do damage control by assuring confused conferencegoers (some of whom had traveled from France and Nigeria) that the meetings would continue.


Something smelled fishy. I felt betrayed, and I could sense that God was not pleased that so many trusting people had been misled. After probing some more, I discovered that this evangelist–the one who was so “powerfully anointed”–was wanted by the police in another Western state for failure to pay child support to a previous wife.


I don’t know what baffled me more, that this man could stand in a pulpit without a guilty conscience or that so many sincere people could be deceived by his crafty excuses. I came to some conclusions after returning from Boise:


1. We must value character above the anointing. We charismatics are champions of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, but we must not allow our yearning for miracles to trick us into embracing cheap substitutes. Just because a man or woman can whip a crowd into a frenzy doesn’t mean God is impressed with the sermon. If a man lacks integrity in his personal life, no amount of “anointing” can overcompensate.


We’re on dangerous ground when unsanctified church leaders start winning applause for their healing gifts, their prophetic accuracy or their ability to make audiences swoon. In the apostle Paul’s guidelines for church leaders in
1 Timothy 3, only one out of the 15 qualifications listed has anything to do with spiritual anointing (“able to teach,” v. 2). Everything else in the list deals with character. That’s because miraculous power gifts are hollow without the fruit of Christlikeness.


2. We must insist on accountability. In many segments of the charismatic church today there is a resurgence of the lone ranger spirit. A growing number of these self-appointed mavericks insist that in order to be “free in God” they don’t need to submit to any man-made form of church discipline. That’s tragic because any true leader knows that he must surround himself with wise counselors and friends who care enough to get in his face and confront sin when necessary.


3. We can’t tolerate flagrant sin in leadership. People in the pews share the responsibility for the craziness we see in the church today. We would have fewer con artists and unrepentant adulterers in our pulpits–or on Christian television–if church folks weren’t supporting them. What we need to do is change the channel, vote with our feet and send our money elsewhere.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Kingdom Economics: Choosing a Better Way—God’s Way

Kingdom Economics: Choosing a Better Way—God’s Way

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its third and final estimate of second quarter GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and its PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index). Since core (less food and energy) PCE is one of the Fed’s preferred measures of...

Orthodox Jew: The Miraculous Return of the Red Heifer to Israel

Orthodox Jew: The Miraculous Return of the Red Heifer to Israel

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 4 Seconds American Airlines flight 146 touched down at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on time, arriving from New York’s JFK airport as one of the dozens of flights that arrive in Israel from the US daily. While a regularly scheduled flight, among...

Brother Andrew Was My Hero

Brother Andrew Was My Hero

When Andrew van der Bijl was a young man, doctors told him he was “too weak to travel” because of his chronic back pain. That advice seems absurd now, when we look back on the life of this legendary evangelist who came to be known as “Brother Andrew.” After he started...

Messianic Rabbi: The Last Words of Moses, Yeshua—and You

Messianic Rabbi: The Last Words of Moses, Yeshua—and You

As I get older, I find myself reading the Bible and seeing the text as if I was wearing a different pair of glasses. I am not talking about the fact that as I have gotten older, I have actually had to start wearing glasses. I am speaking more of the way I view the...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Revivalist: The Significance of the Hebrew Fall Feast Season

We have just entered a new Hebrew month called Tishrei on the Jewish calendar. As we proceed on this month in the celebration of the fall feasts of the Lord, it is vital to know the holy days and...
Elvis Presley’s Charismatic Faith on Display in New Book

Elvis Presley’s Charismatic Faith on Display in New Book

A new book called “The Faith of Elvis Presley” explores the spiritual side of the iconic “Heartbreak Hotel” singer, asserting that Elvis was a devout Christian who prayed for the infilling of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. The author, Billy Stanley, whose mother...

Joseph Mattera: 7 Traits of the Sown Life

Joseph Mattera: 7 Traits of the Sown Life

Paul said he was a "drink offering." This meant that he offered his very life, spirit, soul, and body, to the Lord and to His church as a "living sacrifice" (Num. 15:4-10; 2 Tim. 4:6; Rom. 12:1-2). He also said he not only "spent" but "was spent" for the gospel (2...

Pin It on Pinterest