This weekend, I received an email from a dear sister from Ghana, Africa that broke my heart.
Kevin, thanks for your posts on your experience with the Elijah List. I am a West African and recently I made a decision to leave my church that I stayed with for 10 years (a WOF/Prosperity church).
The Lord began to remove the scales from my eyes a couple of years ago, and finally I moved out just about 3 months ago.
But my heart aches for Africa, especially West Africa, where so many churches have actually received so many false doctrines, that you can’t even clearly tell exactly where they stand … but one common denominator is the love of money. You will find, in the same church, NAR and Dominionism, New Age, and a lot of proliferation of the “prophetic”, with various aspects popping in here and there.
I found very resourceful sites such as yours and others (DeceptionBytes.com, IllBeHonest, etc) and really got to understand the whole dynamic. Unfortunately, I must say that there is almost nothing on the wolves devouring folks here in Africa (I think I saw stuff on TB Joshua). But most of the time people in Africa have easily fallen victim to the American wolves, because there is virtually no research done to ascertain their ministry. Though denounced in America, they now flood in Africa (where they are still received like kings and queens) and are moving into minor cities, where people are likely not to have internet to fish them out.
I am also healing from so much spiritual abuse, dealing with anger both at myself (for having fallen for it), spiritual abusers and wolves. This has translated into me being so careful about everything to the point of even questioning the intercessory group I belong to. I don’t know how to verify if this movement is not part of the Dominion/NAR network.
I have a question for you. Is it OK to feel so skeptical about everything after an experience of big spiritual deception? I find myself so anxious every Saturday evening as I think of where to go to church. I have visited a couple of assemblies and I realise I scrutinize everything.
Would you advise that i stay away from churches to spend time alone with the Lord and read the bible in order to heal before even going to any new church?
Is it OK if, together with my husband and our 3 kids, we have our own little worship service at home for a while? Please share your experience in that regard with me.
Thank you for your precious advice.
Here is my reply to her. I understand that it may go against what many “regular church go-ers” may believe, but quite frankly, I’m not concerned. I understand that the True Gospel is spreading in Africa, but I also know that a tainted, poisonous “gospel” has been introduced by the Western church and has poisoned the people with expectations of prosperity, position and a “tolerance” for syncretism. It makes me ill to know that I was part of that deception when I went to Uganda with Todd Bentley.
You would be SCRIPTURAL to scrutinize everything after your experience! The bible says:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them].”
If something doesn’t match up to the Word, and the impression that you are getting doesn’t set well in your spirit, you have the RIGHT to question it based in the authority of the Word. The bible also says to “test the spirits”.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
I’m not sure if the your church is affiliated with the false prophetic ministries that the American House of Prayer movement is connected with, but it might be. Any ministry on the Elijah List links page ( http://www.elijahlist.com/links.html, http://www.elijahlist.com/links2.html) are ministries that you need to beware of. That isn’t to say that some of the people (like Heidi Baker) don’t have good hearts, but they are aligning themselves with a group of people that are destined for destruction. (Matthew 7:15-23)
I repent with brokenness for the polluted gospel that my country has given to Africa! Please forgive us! The gospel that we have introduced to Africa is flawed at it’s core. Yes, Jesus is our Savior and the virgin birth, the Blood, His Death and Resurrection are key elements of the Gospel (never let anyone convince you otherwise) …. but the context of the scripture and the emphasis of certain verses over other verses have twisted the message that our Father wanted us to have.
I haven’t gone to an “organized church” for close to 9 years now, and it was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. For these 9 years, my wife and I have taught our children the Word on Saturday and Sunday morning, apart from the “church atmosphere”. They have grown by leaps and bounds in their faith, as opposed to their peers who are more concerned with the world than with the things of God. So, YES YES YES, I would advise that you teach your children from home and LIVE OUT an example for them. They will see your victory and they will see your love … then they will follow in your steps.
My only word of caution to you would be to STAY with the Word and don’t get tempted to return to prior religious practices. I know in many areas of Africa “ancestor worship” is pretty common … I’m not sure if it is for Ghana. Anyways, STAY founded on the Word … all of it! Both the Old and New Testament are just as important … remember, God did not divide up the bible into “Old” and “New” testament … man did that. God did not divide the bible up into sections, chapters and verses …. man did that. Follow the WHOLE Word.
If you have ANY QUESTIONS at all … PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask me. I will do my best to give you a scriptural answer.
With much repentance,