I posted a response a few weeks ago about Christalignment and destiny card/Christian Tarot Cards nonsense that was going on. I did not say much about it because I think I had said about everything I needed to say. I felt that telling people to ministering to Wiccans was foolish. Seven sons of Svica come to mind.
I knew that the heresy hunters would go nuts about it. I also know that I had serious concerns myself. If history proved to be right, everyone would jump to asscucations without actually understanding the issues. Well, that happened just as I expected.
One thing I did not know was the founder of Christalignment was on my friends list for Facebook. I just saw a guy that posted something about the whole mess defending it and did not connect the dots until later than he was the leader of the ministry everyone was talking about.
Now, I could have got to the bottom of this if I really wanted to. I could just call up people at Bethel Redding and got names and contacts but to be honest, I really did not care about it that much. I voiced my concerns about the ministry to Wiccans and moved on.
Since I posted my concerns about it, Bethel Church has officially responded as well. Here is their statement.
A Discussion with Christalignment
First of all, I found the people connected to the ministry to be very straightforward with me and they understood my concern. I was not throwing bombs at them but I was seriously concerned about people ministering to Wiccans as I have seen people really hurt trying to walk in levels of the anointing they really did have. I saw this first hand when we did outreaches to the Burning Man many years ago with IHOPKC.
They told me very clearly that everyone that does the ministry to the Wiccans are very well trained and have been spiritually and theologically trained to minister to their issues.
The following is what I was told by them (and I have no reason to question it)
We never take untrained people with us into events. Our guys are experts in deliverance.
While I am not a fan of these Destiny Cards concept, my main concern was making sure people were not getting the crap knocked out of them spiritually by new age spirits and Warlocks. I see the cards as a tool and it seems that they use it as one of severals ways to open the door to preach the gospel of the Kingdom with miracles following.
As far as the theology behind it, I did not even try and understand it. Christalignment is doing the best they can with what they know and they are from all appearances Charismatics. Having said that, I have no reason to believe they are classic Pentecostal so that discussion is pointless.
What about the topless images ?
I have seen them as have many people. I might have a different point of view having been to Burning Man several times for prophetic evangelism and ministered to the new age movement in Kansas City. I realize that you have to come at these people much different. How I would minister at Burning Man is NOT how I would minister at General Council of the Assemblies of God. I do have to admit that I questioned the wisdom in some of the images I saw.
However, being topless and even nude at these parties in the middle of nowhere is not completely uncommon. In fact, I have seen it myself. I did not take part in it as no one, in their right mind, wants to me naked! (Trust me on that) However, it is standard in these parties for women be nude feeling “free” (in their concept of the word).
Azusa Report would not have done it or been part of it due to our holiness standards as Pentecostals. I would have taken a sanctification position on the matter. However, Charismatics are not as strict on that issue and they tend to focus on being “all things to all people that they might win some” to quote Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
As I see the issue, it is something Christalignment need to take before the Lord and get His direction about it. I am not the Holy Spirit and I am not going to tell some casual friend on Facebook that I only know through mutual contacts how to run his ministry.
Contextual Evangelism matters
One point that I would also like to make is that they are based in Australia, not the United States. While the Australians are very similar to us in many ways, there is some major differences culturally. If you don’t believe me, watch their face when you show that you are armed on the street!!!!
I respect Brian Houston and Hillsongs. However, they would not have the success they have seen in the United States. That style of Pentecostalism just would not work outside of Southern California and New York. (Hillsongs does not even try and plant in the Bible belt for this reason) In the same way, the cultural divide of the people is ever bigger.
The fact remains that Australians overwhelming supported gay marriage. If America was faced with a vote on the issue, it would end with rioting in the streets! I do not think it is out of line to assume that Australia is much more liberal than most Pentecostals living in the midwest and deep south of America.
My point is while this behavior is weird for us and seems completely unacceptable, we are looking at it as someone that is in the bible belt of America, not someone that is wrestling with extreme liberalism. There is no question this type of outreach would be a complete failure in Cleveland, Tennessee or Springfield. However, the same would be true if we went to Melbourne with Jimmy Swaggart and singing Enemy’s Camp!