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The Way of Cain - Page 14

New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us?

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The Toronto Blessing: ''Ministry Time.''

Many person's objections to the movement have focused exclusively on its mystical practice called the ''Toronto Blessing,'' but the Toronto Blessing is only one aspect of the movement, and should not be separated from the theology that produced it. There are churches heavily involved in the theology who do not practice the Toronto Blessing (or do not practice it openly), so it is not enough only to watch for it.

As pointed out, though the movement is grounded on the Latter Rain theology, it contains people with a hodge-podge of belief systems. The mystical ''Toronto Blessing'' is the glue -the common experience- that bonds them all together.

Partying with God

A few years back, the supposedly restored prophets started prophesying that God was ''throwing a huge party for His church.'' Many bizarre practices came into being as their churches ''partied with God'' and pathetically feeble doctrines have been improvised to rationalize these new man-made traditions.

Drunk with the Spirit

It is taught that the Holy Spirit is ''wine,'' and worshippers are to imbibe Him to become ''drunk in the spirit.'' Participants are urged to let go of self-control and give themselves over to emotional experience, without questioning or trying to understand it with the mind. The church becomes a chaos of revelers without inhibition, carousing in their spiritual drunkenness- reeling, falling, and slurring their words just exactly as if they were drunk with alcohol.

Worshippers jump and dance themselves into a frenzy to their worship music, just like pagans do. Losing their ability to control their behavior, they fall to the floor (''slain in the spirit''), and roll around or become paralyzed and unable to get up (''carpet time''), laugh uncontrollably (''holy laughter''), impersonate barnyard animals, roar like lions, shriek, shake, twitch violently, go through lewd motions of having sex or giving birth (symbolic of ''having a love affair with God'' or ''birthing a new ministry''). Some are overcome by desperate agony, shaking and sobbing uncontrollably.

This is the ''Toronto blessing'' which has since spread from the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church, which made it famous, to countless other churches, across the world. Some churches try to practice it within limits, others allow complete abandon - and a frightening ''violent edge'' is described by witnesses.

The manifestations have become well-known for preventing reading of the Bible - mocking laughter and animal sounds break out in the congregation and those trying to read the word as well. And this 'ministry time,' as it is called, is becoming the focal point of church services, pushing out the teaching of the word. (Rom 8:6, 8.)

In a paper written by Mike Bickle and Mike Sullivant, symptoms which would seem to be signals of a nervous breakdown are described instead as evidence of the Holy Spirit's filling:

''shaking, jerking, loss of bodily strength, heavy breathing, eyes fluttering, lips trembling, oil on the body, changes in skin color, weeping, laughing, drunkenness, staggering, travailing, dancing, falling, visions, hearing audibly into the spirit realm, inspired utterances [prophesying], jumping, violent rolling, screaming, ..inability to speak normally...''

''But the fruit of the Spirit is ...self-control,'' Gal 5:22

''And they came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind,'' Mk 5:15

''and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.'' Ro 8:7

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