Those who refuse to learn from the past…

In light of the past few videos that I have posted I thought it might be a good idea to revisit what Dutch Sheets had to say about the leadership of the Charismatic movement and their lack of discernment. When will they stop making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s like watching a bad Christianised version of Groundhog day.

) We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in
an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even
try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts,
charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can
prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended
to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes
they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the
person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in
the Church have become no different than the world around us in
our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has
contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to
undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to
become influential leaders—even to lead movements, allowing
them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack
of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms.
We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing
gullible sheep. When a spiritual leader we’re connected with
violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other
accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply
to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to
let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in
this regard. For this lack of discernment, and for employing and
passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the
Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

2) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement
and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall—
all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of
the spin—we’re no different than Washington, DC. Every time
another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the
dancing begins. It seems that no one bears any real responsibility
except the man or woman who actually commits sin. Incredibly,
we even blame “revival” itself—the pressures, attacks, weariness,
the “revival is messy” argument, etc., saying it is responsible for
the failures. This is disgusting. Those of us on boards of fallen
leaders, those who helped give them a voice, put them on TV,
published and endorsed their books (yes, I have), etc., are not
exonerated simply by saying we don’t condone the wrong behavior
or that we didn’t know. We’re supposed to know. I don’t believe
anyone is expecting perfection from us—I know I’m not. We’re far
too human for that. But we are expected to have enough humility
to look the world and those who follow us in the eye when we miss
it and say, “we were wrong and we are sorry.” Our careless
accountability has caused the body of Christ to be spiritually
raped and abused. It has produced disillusionment and brought
immeasurable reproach to our God and cynicism to His message.
Concerning Lakeland, what was called the “greatest revival since
Azusa Street” has become possibly one of the greatest
reproaches. We, the leaders of the charismatic church, are
responsible. For not accepting and acknowledging our
responsibility, for caring more about our own reputation than
Christ’s, I repent to God and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

3) Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly
inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical
accountability. For those on Todd Bentley’s board who had
previous knowledge of his marriage problems and said nothing, it
was more than a mistake—it was reckless, foolish, and
irresponsible. For those on the stage the night of his aligning and
commissioning who knew and said nothing—ditto. For those there
who didn’t know, my question is, “why didn’t you?” You were
trusted to know. That is one of the purposes of public
commissioning and the purpose behind the concept of
endorsement. I’m not trying to point the finger; I’m endeavoring to
get us to be honest about our failures—we have serious credibility
issues. Have I ever laid hands on, commissioned or endorsed
anyone without adequately checking them out? Yes, but you
better believe I’ll be more careful next time! And we must not
single out Lakeland. We’re all guilty. What about the leader in my
city who ran with some of the leading spiritual fathers in our nation—
sincere and good men, I might add, and not all “charismatic”
leaders—who sang his praises and helped build his stage—all
while he was doing drugs and having sex with other men? But we
shouldn’t blame only the high profile cases—what about those of
us who unknowingly have had adulterers on our staffs or appointed
elders that turned out to have compromise in their life? Sounding
familiar yet? This is so epidemic that every member of the body of
Christ stands guilty—what pastor or leader did you follow that
turned out to have sin issues? What ministry did you support that
was unworthy? There is plenty of blame to go around. The big
question becomes not “who do we blame” but “how do we fix this
mess?” Leaders can live in sin—adultery, homosexuality, financial
wrongdoing, drugs, etc.—for years without it being realized. They
can offer completely unacceptable lifestyles for the body of Christ
to follow and still keep their TV programs and lavish lifestyles. In
the name of grace, compassion and forgiveness we have lowered
the standard so much that often there isn’t one. We have bought
into the lie that true discipline is “shooting our wounded.” We have
made a mockery of biblical restoration, making “ministry”—not
healthy individuals, marriages and families—its ultimate goal. The
fact is, integrity matters. No, we don’t need legalistic, pharisaical
standards, but we must have standards. For this lack of biblical
accountability, I repent to God and I ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

4) We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype,
sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This
has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders—
gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of
God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom-
centered churches and ministries; competition rather than
cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t
understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without
discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel;
prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the
Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical
of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give
him. For this compromise in the way we build, for giving the
Church watered down wine, commercial Christianity, a flashy but
weak Church and hype disguised as anointing, I repent to God and
ask forgiveness of the body of Christ. Galatians 6:1-5 is an
appropriate reference with which to end this statement: “Brethren,
even if a man caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual,
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to
yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens,
and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is
something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each
one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for
boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
For each one shall bear his own load.” NAS

My passionate prayer is that God honors this repentance — I
believe He led me to do it and therefore, will—and uses it to begin
a process of cleansing and healing for all of us. In order for the
coming great awakening to bear maximum fruit we must have both,
as well as a course correction that sets us on a path of wisdom
leading to life. There is no doubt that past moves of God have been
aborted, ended prematurely and contained error or heresy that
have wounded, if not destroyed, many. The healing revival of the
40’s and 50’s, the charismatic movement, discipleship movement
and Jesus movement are all examples. My heart is to help shape
a movement, the fruit of which will last for decades — better yet,
forever. And I have great expectations for us—I am not a cynic.

.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Those who refuse to learn from the past…

  1. Diane S.

    Since this declaration was made by Dutch, has anything changed as a result?

  2. We need to pray for this voice! Take heed lest we fall along with him. He speaks for the majority of the church in my estimation when it comes to a need of repentance.
    ~BJ

  3. Idenificational repentance does not seem to have any merit when people repent on behalf of an unrepentant nation, and I’m not sure it works any better with an unrepentant charismatic movement.

  4. jarrod

    I agree Bill I don’t think it works at all.

  5. Diane S.

    Identificational repentance is not taught in the New Testament either.

  6. Craig

    Dutch Sheets has absolutely no credibility. I recall that at around the same time he was ‘wrecked for anything else’ because of the ‘Holy Spirit’s presence’ after being ‘asked to host His presence.’ I alerted Miriam about this and she posted about it:

    http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/dutch-sheets-wrecked-for-anything-else/

    My opinion is he is purposely being duplicitous following the Bentley/Lakeland debacle and he wished to distance himself from it after initially praising it. He’s a hypocrite and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Perhaps I should say how I really feel…

  7. At least he’s taking a step in the right direction. Surely you guys are at least grateful for that?

  8. jarrod

    Sure I am. Thats why I’ve posted it twice my man. He is saying the same thing we have been screamin for the past2 years. grateful sure, and a little vindicated as well. Its proof that many of the leaders of this movement are not to be trusted and should be removed. Zach I found it very telling when sheets said they are preaching “a perverted and powerless gospel;” That should make you step back and catch your breath. That was strong language and we both know what Paul says about preaching perverted and powerless gospels, he called them other gospels. He says let them be anathema. pretty strong language. What do you think ?

  9. Margie in Oz

    Can you tell me when this was written and where it was originally posted. I understand he is to take over the drivers seat and be the new leader of the NAR through a word from Chuck Pierce. He is a dangerous man whom the Word says to avoid.

  10. anna

    Three or four years ago we left Charismatic-ville and have been attending a wonderful, simple traditional gospel church. These people have never heard of the Dutch Sheets and tOdd Bentleys of the world. They still think IHOP is a place to eat breakfast.

    But when I hear Dutch Sheets (and cronies), they all talk as if THEY are whole of Christendom. It’s as if whatever is happening in their little corner represents the entire Body of Christ. Wow! What egos!!

    Speaking of Chuck Pierce, Margie … have you seen the new picture that they are promoting for this new year (which starts in Sept. of course)? You can see it on the banner of the Glory of Zion website. Up close, it’s this snaky-looking hebrew letter coming up out of a pond in the desert. There’s a tent in the background. In the sky is a break in the clouds with a huge eye peering out. And yes, you can purchase this weird thing in case you need fuel for nightmares. {{shudder}}

  11. Diane S.

    Anna,

    I just looked up that picture, I agree with you! A Scripture passage came to my mind immediately, when I read that their theme for the new year was “Dig New Wells”:

    ” For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water”. Jeremiah 2: 13

  12. Margie in Oz

    Thanks Anna, it is very repulsive, and just in that I would be put off.
    Purchase it, they will never see my money!

  13. anna

    Yes, Diane. I agree. That was the exact verse that came to mind when we finally said good-bye to our church in Charismatic-ville, where I had been a member for 25+ years. They had slowly replaced Bible teaching with drivel and twaddle to the point where many of the “oldsters” just had to go. But, hey, they have a church full of bright, young, hip (dare I mention immature) people willing to part with their $$ for the promise of “your best life now.”

  14. Tim H

    I have been watching this very thing, they have a rehtoric that sounds good but there is no change in their ministries. Still the same old teachings and “secret revelations and knowledge” that they give through “dreams, prophetic words, visions, and scripture based on “out of context” use. This is nothing more than “divination” the “occult” as presented to us as “abominable to the Lord” in Deuteronomy 18.

    You know that part that is a real concern for me about this stuff is what is happening spiritually to not only our children but others as well.

    My wife and I raised our kids up as best we could in the truth of the word, but one of them seems to be following this thought process of the post-modern thinking (the church being relevant to the world) and they think they are really doing God’s work and presenting a gospel of love and Jesus Christ.

    It concerns me because there is that chance that they will one day stand before the Lord and be told, “I know you not, away from Me!” That is a scary thought.

  15. Craig

    Margie in Oz,

    To answer your question, the Dutch Sheets ‘apology’ on behalf of the Lakeland/Bentley debacle was almost exactly one year ago on August 21, 2008. While I can’t find the original article (it may have been a bulk email), here’s a blog which shows the date:

    http://freedomtofollowjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/an-apology-from-dutch-sheets-on-behalf-of-the-charismatic-church-leaders-to-the-body-of-christ/

  16. Tim H

    I do believe that was printed in Charisma Magazine. I got it on their e-mail Fire in My Bones I believe back in 08

  17. ruthsongs

    ”This is so epidemic that every member of the body of Christ stands guilty—what pastor or leader did you follow that turned out to have sin issues? What ministry did you support that was unworthy? There is plenty of blame to go around.”

    Does this bother anyone?

    I think he is posturing. Time will tell.

  18. Craig

    ruthsongs,

    Of course he’s posturing. How about this quote near the very end:

    My heart is to help shape
    a movement, the fruit of which will last for decades — better yet,
    forever.

    Sheets thinks HE can help ‘shape’ a true movement of God. How arrogant.

  19. ruthsongs

    Good point. Real moves of God are earmarked by repentance and confession of sin with an attending return to righteousness. Those are not shaped by any man.

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