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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Since the time of Simon the magician there has always been a relentless surge for the miraculous. (Actually in the days of Jesus many loved following him just for fish and bread). Simon in his day was a local celebrity. He was a magician of sorts, and had mesmerized the locals with his arts. And they had given him the title “The Great Power of God”. And he loved it. He basked in his reputation and fed off the admiration and respect he received. I bet he would have made it big time on the talk show circuits around Jerusalem.
Speaking of circuits, a local pastor recently found a signs and wonders tent pitched up right near his church. Pastor Scott Rodriguez did what every pastor ought to do in this kind of situation:
Brothers, several have been asking for some backstory/context on these videos. Mrs. Muldoon set her tent up across the street from our church (it is still there until Sunday 5/20.) I received a call from one of our people that some families that attend our church were sitting in her audience. Others were there to pray and share the gospel afterwards with people leaving. They had been accosted by a young man named Devon, (the managers son) on the evening before when he overheard one of our young men talking with someone after the service about the call of Pastor being reserved for men.
I came out at the end of her Saturday night service and spoke with her, and her manager Dennis about their perspective on what had occurred. They felt that they were being heckled. I asked what they were preaching in order to get a better idea about their ministry, and explained to them that we, as a Gospel preaching church, would be extremely sensitive to a ministry that came off as strange as hers. She then claimed to be preaching the same message I described to her: that Christ came in the flesh to die upon a cross for the sins of man; that he was buried and rose again 3 days later; and that people are commanded by God the Father to turn from sin and put their faith in His Son’s finished work on the cross in order to be saved; and finally that there is no other way of salvation. She claimed that this was her message too, but that she also believed in miracles – which I agreed are still done today according to the will of God. I shared with her that if she would give me some materials to look over to her affirm her claims about her message, I would come back the next day and say a quick word to people from our Church about the need to refrain from being disruptive, disrespectful, and to hold any questions or disagreements until after her service to be voiced with her or her leaders. After some more discussion she said that would be acceptable to her.
I came back the next evening. She didn’t call me up as we’d discussed. Had she, I honestly don’t know what I would have said. I sat through about an hour of what I’d classify as normal charismatic preaching quite off-base, but nothing overly shocking. However, there was a transition after her message into various fraudulent acts of “ministering in the “Holy Spirit” that range from her laying hands on people who would respond by gyrating, shaking, screaming, flapping arms like being in a strong wind, knocking over chairs, throwing themselves down (not falling) on the floor. She prophesied over 3 girls that she said were seated where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were, that would be getting married in June – she acted as if she knew nothing of their personal lives, but one of them was the attorney for the ministry that I’d met the night before – the other two were her friends. She said angels were there and that there could be voices of angels heard in her music because they followed her wherever she went. Then she scared a 3 year old little girl when she called her mother up – girl in arms, and began laying hands all over her body (the Mom’s).
Finally, I thought it was over, but she walked up to me where I was seated on the front row, and began “prophesying”. She said, “Young man spit your gum out and face me”. I got up (probably should have just walked out), and she began telling me how I thought I had come as a peacemaker, but was really there because God had used the hecklers to get me to her tent because He had something to give me through her. Then she went on and on saying all kinds of stuff, including that I said or thought that her ministry was a work of God, and that she was doing good and trying to help people. That was a lie. I never led her to believe any such thing. At that point I felt I needed to make it clear that I didn’t agree with her message or ministry, and that’s what I tried to do. Sadly I think it appears more as though some guy got in a prayer line or requested prayer and then seized on the opportunity – which isn’t true.
My greatest desire is to see God’s people warned…
Yup, Scott we should tell whoever is drawing people away from the gospel what Peter told Simon the magician, “may your silver perish with you… your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” These side show ministries that come and draw multitudes and fleece young unsuspecting believers of their money and livelihood are clouds without rain. They damn many to hell in the long run. We need more pastors who can teach sound doctrine and point out the wolves when they come preying.