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

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]