Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Day Prayers

What Repentance?

"I AM brooding over many areas in the earth - government, economic and spiritual structures - and changing the structures of how these systems have operated in past seasons....
"There are sounds that are flowing through your blood. There are sounds that I am rearranging in the bloodlines of nations. Get in step with My harmony and the earth. I AM shaking nations into MY next order."
--Chuck Pierce[1]

It is the dominion activity of the church, especially relative to Israel, that creates the kairos moment of His return. Taking dominion of the earth should be the object of the church’s obsession.
-- Mark Pfeifer[2]

One of the most amazing aspects of the May Day event, planned in Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1, 2010, is its Official Program stating the "Prayers of Repentance for the Seven Mountains of Culture."[3] Many good-intentioned believers are being led into this event because they support its conservative political ideologies and moral overtones. They support Israel and they are against abortion. But do these folks also support the Seven Mountains of Culture Mandate? And are they fully in agreement with the esoteric theology of these spiritual warfare prayers and the Dominionist goals of the NAR leaders of the May Day event?

This May Day prayer event is linked in many ways with the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) that was launched five years ago in 2005. Ostensibly a group prayer event, the GDOP was in fact a not-so-subtle way to introduce the wacky, esoteric and heretical doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation[4] to the rest of the world, compliments of a global satellite hookup. Discernment Ministries wrote extensively about the GDOP in two key reports posted here and here.[5] Rick Warren launched his "2nd Reformation" in connection with this GDOP prayer event, and we commented at the time that

The Global Day of Prayer appears to be a chief mechanism for launching a “Second Reformation” in Christianity. The GDOP provides a convenient vehicle to transition the church from the old order to a new global order. Rick Warren is quoted as saying at the Global Day of Prayer event, “The first Reformation was about belief; this one’s going to be about behavior.”[6]

The scripted prayers for the Global Day of Prayer are similar to the suggested prayers of the May Day event. Both call for a transformation in the "spheres" (otherwise known as "mountains") of culture, and both call for a Christian cultural mandate.[7] In 2005 we analyzed these types of prayers and summarized the goals:

The dominionists teach that restoration occurs as believers serve as stewards of this world, taking back what belongs to God. Believers are to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth and enforce the dominion and authority of heaven upon everything evil. The spheres are a way to channel this mandate.[7]

This May Day event is connected to the GDOP because the prayer leaders of the May Day event are interconnected with the same leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation that brought us the GDOP. The Official Program indicates that the May Day schedule at 9 A.M. launches prayers of "Repentance for the Mountain of Religion" and for the "The Church," given by Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce and Cindy Jacobs, among others. These false "apostles" are connected with C. Peter Wagner and his International Coalition of Apostles, who believe they have a Dominion mandate on earth.

Folks, wake up! These people are the self-appointed, self-anointed "apostles" - global leaders of an aberrant cult called Latter Rain, which they renamed the New Apostolic Reformation.[9] These are the same "prophets" that brought you the Toronto and Pensacola drunken-laughing revivals where people barked like dogs, writhed in birthing pains, and worse.[10] This is the same crowd that brought us Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida, now disgraced by flagrant sins, whom they are still trying to spiff up.[11] These are the same leaders who propped up Ted Haggard. Worse, these are the same NAR "apostles" who are trying to create a "Joel's Army." Follow the links in this article and the two previous Herescope posts on this topic! And then ask, are these the type of "respectable leaders" we want praying prayers of repentance on behalf of the American church!?

Furthermore, the "Prayers of Repentance for the Seven Mountains of Culture" in the Official Program for the event indicates that these prayers are based on a recently-concocted theology called IDENTIFICATIONAL REPENTANCE.[12] We wrote extensively about this theology in a Herescope post on August 10, 2007, where we referred to it as a key tenet of Dominionism. In our report, we noted that this prayer warfare is based on the idea that a believer must repent for others' sins, including those sins done in the past by ancestors and/or those sins done corporately by a nation or group. Al Dager, in his book The World Christian Movement (Sword 2001) presents a short synopsis:

"The idea of identificational repentance is to stand in the gap as a substitute for a corporate people in order to nullify so-called 'generational curses.'

"In essence, it is to identify oneself with a corporate group of people to confess that group's social sins (e.g., I'm a white man who killed an Indian and stole his land). This is the basis of the Reconciliation Movement." (p. 125)

How did this particular heresy come about? We explained its history:

C. Peter Wagner, chief "apostle" of the New Apostolic Reformation, lists "Identificational Repentance" as one of the "10 Major Prayer Innovations of the 1990s," which includes "Strategic-level spiritual warfare," "Prayer evangelism," "On-site praying," "City transformation," "Commitment to the land," and "Spiritual mapping," among others. This list is basically a compilation of the new prayer-warfare doctrines that were promulgated during the 1990s....

C. Peter Wagner cites "Identificational Repentance" as one of the key "New Spiritual Weapons" for advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. In other words, "identificational repentance" is a useful tool for Dominionism. Wagner believes that in these last days "God has provided the Body of Christ with some new spiritual weapons which will help us penetrate the darkest realms of the Enemy." Undergirding Wagner's ideas about spiritual warfare is the erroneous doctrine that Jesus' work was not finished at the Cross, and that Jesus "has delegated His Church to continue the [war against Satan]" here on earth. Another key component of this new doctrine is the idea of "Corporate Sin." A corollary heresy teaches that nations are entities (beings) that can corporately experience salvation, and a related heresy teaches that the land itself is spiritual and in need of redemption. These heresies can be found in various traditions of pagan mysticism, but they are not biblical.

The May Day crowds will be praying to "Invite God back into" our land. And they will be confessing the corporate sins of America. But are these people who will be standing at the Lincoln Memorial that day truly guilty of these sins they will be confessing? Probably not! The real sinners won't be standing there confessing their sins. And that is the problem with Identificational Repentance. This faulty group-prayer theology is based on the idea that the church can transform or redeem the culture, but it does not teach the simplicity of preaching the Gospel of Salvation. Rather it attempts by political action and/or psycho-social means to change the worldview of a secular or pagan society and shape it into a so-called Christian culture. As we summarized it in one post:

Make no mistake about it: the "cultural mandate" to "redeem cultures" (or whatever other terminology is used) is a re-work of the old "Social Gospel" movement of the 20th Century.[15]

There are additional concerns about the prayer theology undergirding this event. Note this webpage: http://www.mayday2010.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=59. Here we learn that "Deborah Fritch, Lite the Fire Ministries; Becca Greenwood, Christian Harvest Int’l and Melinda Richardson, Kingdom Concepts are co-chairing the prayer committee for this gathering." Who are these women and why have they been put in charge of the May Day prayers? One can visit their websites and learn about their controversial theologies and ministries, which are obviously very enmeshed with the agenda of the NAR:
  • Deborah Fritch of Lite the Fire http://www.litethefire.org/. Her e-mail is given as the key contact person for praying for May Day prayer support. Her ministry is committed to seeing the "Torch" of non-stop prayer go into every sphere of society (mountain) as part of its work on the "Seven Mountains Strategy,"[16] and says its role is "we are here to connect God's army together."[17]
  • Becca Greenwood of Christian Harvest International has written a book Destined To Rule: Spiritual Stragies for Advancing the Kingdom of God which is plugged as "Discover your right as Christ’s ambassador to exert power over the enemy and usher forth spiritual & social transformation."[18]
  • "Prophetess" Melinda Richardson heads up Kingdom Concepts http://kingdomconceptsinc.net which is linked with Chuck Pierce's Glory of Zion,[19] and believes in his brand of "declaring and decreeing" type of spiritual warfare prayer.[20]

The May Day event, like the Global Day of Prayer, uses a format of scripted public prayers that contain doctrinal messages embedded in them. While one might agree with some of the prayers, other prayers are mixed in that contain the new doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation. Can you spot the heresies behind these prayers? Are you able to agree with the beliefs of these NAR prayer agents? Will you have the discernment to recognize the prayer language of apostolic Dominionism, even when it comes in the guise of fervent patriotism? We urge those who are supporting this event to carefully investigate our past two reports here and here in light of today's post. It isn't too late to withdraw your support of this controversial event. Further reading on this topic is suggested below the footnotes.

The Truth:

The sad fact is that great opportunities to present the message of the Gospel of Salvation are being lost. Precious time is being wasted on these esoteric prayer shenanigans, while those who need to hear the message of the Cross are dying in their sins. Those who truly need to hear a message of repentance, salvation, and hope aren't being witnessed to. Discipleship isn't happening. Rather, all of these prayer antics and hullabaloos, decrees and declarations, marches and meditations, and covenants and manifestos are clogging up the works, taking up precious time and resources of the church, and fooling people into thinking they are doing something "spiritual." It is a false gospel that preaches that the culture/nation can be changed rather than focusing on the lost who will perish in Hell if they do not repent.

The message of Jesus is salvation, and this message is for the individual believer. It is only by ministering the WORD and the preaching the message of the Gospel of Salvation, of Christ's atoning death for our sins on the cross, that we will reach those who are perishing. And when the lost are truly saved and born again, their lives will change, and this is when the miracles begin to happen, and when the culture around them begins to be positively impacted by the salt and light of their changed lives.

"They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:5-6)

1. Chuck Pierce is a leader of the May Day event. Chuck Pierce's "prophetic utterance" (the reader is supposed to understand that this is an utterance directly from God), "New Harmonies, New Sounds, and a New Army Rising in the Earth!" The Elijah List, November 18, 2008, bold in original: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/html/textonly-111808-Pierce
2. This is a key document explaining the theology that undergirds the 7 Mountains Mandate, which are a modern revision of the Coalition on Revival's "sphere" documents from the 1980s. Mark Pfeifer, "The Dominion Process: Theology of Reclaiming 7 Mountains" http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=41538&columnid=4347
3. "A Cry to God: May Day 2010: May 1st - Lincoln Memorial: For A Nation In Distress," Official Program: http://f2a.org/mayday/MayDay2010Program-Color.pdf
4. A full resource page explaining the history and personnel of the New Apostolic Reformation can be found here: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/newapostolic.html
5. See the first report http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLMayJune_2005.htm and the follow-up here: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm
6. Ibid, http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm
7. See this post: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/07/cultural-mandate.html
8. http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm
9. Pastor Bob DeWaay, "The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation," http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue103.htm
10. See Ed Tarkowski's excellent 1990s article series on the laughing "revivals" beginning here: http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/corpchr1.htm
11. See http://www.morningstarministries.org/Groups/1000040651/MorningStar_Ministries/Media/VIDEO_Todd_Bentleys/VIDEO_Todd_Bentleys.aspx and http://www.elijahlist.com/words/html/textonly-021710-Joyner.html
12. See http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/08/identificational-repentance.html
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid.
15. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/07/redeeming-cultures.html
16. http://www.litethefire.org/7_mountain_torches
17. http://www.litethefire.org/vision
18. http://www.christianharvestintl.org/
19. http://kingdomconceptsinc.net
20. http://kingdomconceptsinc.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=54

For further reading, see the previous two posts on this topic: "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism: It is not about FREEDOM, it is about DOMINION" http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/coalescing-of-christian-right-with.html and "R&R Revival and Revolt: The Tea Party's Strange Bedfellows and What They Believe" http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/04/r-revival-and-revolt.html
Also see this archived Discernment Newsletter, which explains the "spheres," which are now called "mountains" -
If you are unfamiliar with the history, beliefs and personnel of the New Apostolic Reformation, see Deception in the Church's NAR webpage:
For key background reading, read Al Dager's book on the history of these "sphere" mandates:
Vengeance Is Ours: The Church In Dominion, available here: http://home.etcable.net/hestervanboven/products.htm