Eyewitness Account of the Rodney Howard-Browne Madison Square Garden crusade.
The most disturbing report we've seen is the eyewitness account of Jackie Alnor of Eastern Christian Outreach, Inc. (http://www.cultlink.com), and Calvary Chapel of the Lehigh Valley, who attended the July 9th meeting. Jackie wrote (in a recent message to Ed Tarkowski's e-mail forum):
"Just a quick comment on this 'Religion Today' article that was obviously written by somebody who didn't attend the crusade. I am currently writing a news feature about the event for the upcoming Christian Sentinel. I was there Friday night... and Madison Square Garden, which could hold around 20,000 people had a mere 2,000 at best. I asked one of the crusade representatives how many showed up the night before and he responded, 'Well only a couple of thousand, but we're expecting it to increase as we build up to it a couple of weeks from now.' And ALL the people in attendance were obviously RHB fans already pre-programmed to jump up and down, do a dance, and wave their arms during music before the messages even started. We could count the un-reached, un-churched street people attending (those who stayed seated during worship) on one hand. So, don't believe everything you read."
Our sincere desire is that all "8,653" people were really saved, but these shell-game numbers, Howard-Browne's distortion of the gospel, and our understanding of human nature all leave ample room for doubt.
We suspect that if all the "decisions for Christ" in the last few years claimed by the various River Revival and World Christian Movement organizations were added up, they would easily exceed triple the world's population. We find this an especially amazing accomplishment in light of the number of people who are already sufficiently Christian, in the judgment of the leaders of both of these strongly ecumenical "new paradigm" movements. Ralph Winter, head of the U.S. Center for World Mission, whose "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" course has significantly paved the way for the establishment of the false church, made the following strange statement in 1996:
"[D]on't you see? Nothing can be more important than figuring out why more than half the human race is still not Christian -- and we are not even making progress!" [Ralph D. Winter, Editorial in the September-October, 1996, issue of Mission Frontiers: The Bulletin of the U.S. Center for World Mission]
Although we have tended to look at The River Revival and The World Christian Movement as two separate movements with a few common features, it is becoming increasingly clear that they are two sides of the same coin. In addition to currently sharing a handful of key leaders, the two movements share the same root (gnosticism), the same initiators (including the late John Wimber, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, and Paul "David" Yonggi Cho), the same doctrinal foundation (demonization, dominionism, strategic-level spiritual warfare, unificationism, etc.), the same short-term goals (watering down the gospel, Nicolaitanism, ecumenism, a new reformation, etc.) and the same ultimate goal. Both movements have been working as change agents to carry a resurrected Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God belief-system into previously uninfected evangelical churches and ministries.
As leaders of church and parachurch organizations have been laying aside "nonessential" doctrine to work together in the cause of domestic and international missions, while adopting the highly effective (or so it seems) "new paradigm" techniques of church growth and management, a "Fourth Wave" is breaking on our shores. Are some of us selling our birthright for a bowl of stew?
"If the Bereans of old tested Paul by the Scriptures, then Rodney Howard-Browne must face the same test -- and he fails it. We must have both doctrinal teaching and scriptural example to support a practice within the church, and there is neither for this phenomena. There is much about laughter in the Bible: the scornful laughter of unbelief (Gn 17:17, 18:12-15; 2 Chr 30:10; Neh 2:19; Jb 12:4; Mt 9:24, etc.); the laughter of joy (Gn 21:6; Jb 8:21; Ps 126:2; Eccl 3:4, 10:19; Lk 6:21); derisive laughter by God (Ps 2:4, 37:13, 59:8; Prv 1:26) and by the godly (2 Kgs 19:21; Jb 5:22, 22:19; Ps 52:6; Is 37:22) -- but nothing like this new Howard-Browne fad. Nowhere does Scripture teach that laughter is a sign of a work of God in the heart; or of the infilling of the Holy Spirit; or that it is conducive to holy living. Nor is there any example of anyone producing laughter in others to a godly end. This is not to say that a simple believer trusting God may not receive a blessing by God's mercy and grace at one of these meetings ... in spite of Howard-Browne. Generally, however, the experience is one of manipulation and misplaced expectation without edifying biblical teaching, and may lead to deeper spiritual delusion and disappointment." [Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon, The Berean Call, October 1994, page 4]
"In 'Vengeance is Ours' by Al Dager of Media Spotlight, he documents the false teaching that those who are critical of or who oppose the 'New Wave' of God's Spirit are either possessed or oppressed by a 'Jezebel spirit,' or are into witchcraft. He quotes Rick Joyner: 'This is the year when the Lord starts to bring down the spirit of Jezebel. He will begin by calling her to repentance. Those who have become vessels for this spirit and do not repent, will be displayed as so insane that even the most immature Christians will quickly discern their sickness... The source of witchcraft against us may not be the obvious satanic cults or New Age operatives. It can come from well meaning, though deceived, Christians who are praying against us instead of for us ([pp.] 149-150). Rodney Howard-Browne gave this 'prophesy' last year at New Life Center: 'Do not compromise. For if you compromise, you shall not only lose the anointing that I placed upon you, you shall lose your life.'" [T.A. McMahon, "Experience-Driven Spirituality," The Berean Call, May 1995, page 4]
The following Howard-Browne quotations were compiled by Alan Yusko (http://www.prophezine.com/search/database/Issue80/is80.3.html)
and were included in his article "Touch Not the Devil's Anointed!" [published by Bob Lally in PropheZine #80]:
"I'd rather be in a church where the devil and the flesh are manifesting than in a church where nothing is happening because people are too afraid to manifest anything... and if the devil manifests, don't worry about that, either. Rejoice, because at least something is happening." [Rodney Howard-Browne, "The Coming Revival" (1991), page 6]
"Stop praying now and let the joy bubble out your belly. Joy. Joy. Joy. Don't pray! Laugh!" [Rodney Howard-Browne, as quoted by Al Dager, "Holy Laughter" (1996)]
"One night I was preaching on hell, and [laughter] just hit the whole place. The more I told people what hell was like, the more they laughed." [Rodney Howard-Browne, in Charisma magazine, August 1994, page 24]
Howard-Browne names numerous people, calling them "great men of God." Among them is William Branham -- an anti-Trinitarian. [see Rodney Howard-Browne, "The Coming Revival", page 13)
"I'm telling your right now," [Rodney Howard-Browne] hissed, "you'll
drop dead if you prohibit what God is doing!" Dramatically he gestured
toward the crowd [at Melodyland Christian Center, Anaheim, CA, 1/17/95]
and warned them
that those like me, who would dare to question that what he was doing was of God, had committed the unpardonable sin and would not be forgiven in this world or the next." [Hank Hanegraaf, "Counterfeit Revival" (1997), page 22]
"I tell them never to preach salvation, because they're suggesting people get saved," [Rodney Howard-Browne] said. "I'll guarantee anybody, I'll give them a congregation of 1,000 people and tell them to get up and suggest all they want and see what will happen." One of the other pastors cut in on the interview to say he read the story of Ananias and Sapphira to his church the other night and everyone ended up on the floor laughing. "One night I was preaching on hell," Howard-Browne said, continuing, "and it just hit the whole place. The more I told people what hell was like, the more they laughed, and when I gave an altar call, they came forward by the hundreds to get saved." "Then," I replied, "as to what you're preaching on, it's almost irrelevant what you're saying." He nodded. [Julia Duin, "An Evening with Rodney Howard-Browne," from the Newswatch column of the Christian Research Journal, Winter 1995, page 43]
David and Linda Liben
Delusion & Apostasy Watch News
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day will not come, except
there come a falling away first..." 2 Thes. 2:3