Through the Narrow: Faith or Doubt Looking for Proof? By Tami Dykes & Gina Cook

As written previously, many in the charismatic circles seem to want empowerment and an identity that is nothing more than self-worship, in “Jesus” name. They seek power and influence that God never promised. They downplay their sin and elevate their self-worth. They even claim to be incarnational, as if they are Jesus Himself. Amongst these false teachings, there are other aspects of this movement that we want to bring to light because it’s what is sold as being real faith but is truly faithless, legalistic and in many ways abusive.

It’s the miracle-seeking that is seemingly driven by doubt looking for proof of God; people desperately looking for validation of His presence in their lives and His favor.

We first heard it put this way from Pastor John MacArthur when he said, “All these people running around, looking for miracles say, “Oh, we have enough faith to believe in miracles.” That’s not faith; that’s doubt looking for proof.” (Taken from  The Signs of an Apostle, Part 2)

We fully agree with him. We agree because we see it, not only in charismatic circles but in all religious circles, in evangelical churches, in small Baptist Bible groups, etc.

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One of us sat in a Baptist bible study many, many years ago listening to a man who was fairly new to the group express that he desired more. He was looking for wonders, for miracles. He tried to explain that this would be the wonderful boost he felt he needed in his walk. Learning the Bible and sharing the Gospel was great and all, but he wanted a thrilling experience with God. He sounded like a man not content with God and all He does through His Word. It sounds like many other people who “just want to experience the miraculous power of God” not realizing the Gospel is the power of God for salvation, which is a miracle of bringing the spiritually dead to spiritual life (Romans 1:16). The salvation of people is not the miracle they seek.

Although sprinkled within most religious circles and churches to some degree, seeking supernatural proof has been paramount for most, if not all, charismatic churches. It’s firm in their bedrock. The lack of looking at the Gospel and the miraculous salvation of souls as miracle enough gives support for all the unbiblical activity and false teachings that spring up out of it. They believe you are not experiencing the true God, the new normal, and you are not living faithfully if you are not looking for and seeing other supernatural manifestations (that were never promised or encouraged in Scripture in the first place).

From our personal experiences, if you say you don’t need to seek those types of miracles, they seem to feel sorry for you, even looking down at you. They look at you with what seems a disdain for your contentment with what you have already from God. They don’t understand it when you have peace with the mundane, obedient life or with just reading, studying, preaching Scripture. And when tragedy strikes they go into further confusion. They start desperately declaring and rebuking the tragedy in “Jesus’ name” as if doing so is the secret sauce and will undo everything unwanted.

God is sovereign and He is in control.

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We have recently heard of the debacle with the charismatic Bethel Church and the sweet little girl Olive who tragically died, whom they were trying to bring back to life through frenzied declarations, song, and dance which they called “prayer time”. The poor parents were believing in the lie that God didn’t want this death and would grant resurrection if they kept contending and declaring for Olive’s resurrection. People were expecting something God never promised or encouraged for His Church to seek. They were full of such zeal, for a lie.

Bill Johnson, the leader of Bethel Church, said, “Why did Jesus raise the dead? The reason Jesus raised the dead is that not everyone dies in God’s timing.”

Things happen outside of God’s timing? Isn’t that making God look like a confused and puny God? What an insult to God and such a dangerous thing to tell everyone about God Almighty, Who created the universe and everything in it.

“‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2.

Simply put, God is in control of every life and every death and has set a time for each one- no one will die outside of God’s power, will and timing. The faithful Church understands this and has peace with it.

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Something we want to make sure to point out is that Bill Johnson’s wife Beni was seen on video saying God told her a prophetic message saying Olive would resurrect on a certain day, yet it did not happen-exposing her as false. False prophets and false teachers always show up to declare these things and stir up and exploit the people who are desperate, confused, doubting, hurting and undiscerned. Chris Rosebrough does a great job of explaining more on this very thing and even shows the videos here: F4F | Bethel, WAKE UP!

The damage done by the false teachings and abuse of these false teachers and leaders is immeasurable. What does that do to the ones already doubting looking for proof in the wrong places, when the girl stays dead? When Bethel finally announced quietly that they would cease the song and dance for Olive’s resurrection and go ahead and bury her, there were no doubt people who were left more confused and in doubt. What happens next is usually one of two things: followers seek and declare harder, try to sing and dance with more passion and muster up some more of their “faith” in order to receive the proof they are desperate for, turning into more of a legalist trying to earn and usher in God’s favor, or they eventually throw in the towel on God and walk away completely. It’s such a sad reality and it shows the desperate need for these people to be told of the Gospel message. They don’t get evangelized like many others because Christians give a half glance at their “zeal for God” and their “bold faith” and make an unsubstantiated declaration that these miracle seeking people must love the Lord; that their heart is in the right place, albeit a little over the top at times. This is a tragedy, folks. Although we can’t know individual hearts and all of their intentions, we can know that when people are embracing these teachings and behaving in such a way they have likely not received what God has already provided nor are they content with His written Word, His sovereignty and will. They do not know their Scripture and likely not the true Jesus. They are doubters looking and striving for proof.

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Those lost and doubting, if ever a witness of a supernatural work like a resurrection, would still doubt and be lost. They need to hear the Gospel to be saved and changed and to feed on the Word to be sanctified and encouraged via the work of the Holy Spirit. That is a reality we see throughout Scripture, especially in the New Testament. The resurrection of dead loved ones would still not bring salvation to those witnessing it.

“But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:29

The Church seeking for signs and wonders, for supernatural healing and physical resurrections is not the point made in Scripture by the Lord:

“As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.” Luke 11:29

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23.

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19.

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Even if Olive or anyone else, was raised from the dead, the Gospel is still the only thing that matters. Through Christ’s death and resurrection alone, we are saved. That is the message we are to preach, the reason for hope and joy and the miracle we should desire for others.

We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be deceived by those who say you must seek more than what the Word has instructed us to seek. We are to be content with what He has said, given and what He has chosen to do and not do. We can pray to the Lord for Him to heal and restore but with the heart of contentment and thankfulness towards Him and whatever He desires. The only thing we need to NOT be content with, is our sinfulness, our lack of understanding of the Scripture better and the lack of our zeal and love for Him and His Word, as already revealed to us.

May we keep praying for and sharing the Gospel with all those caught in this deception; from the false teachers and prophets who exploit, to the mere weak and doubting who listen to them.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 21-23.


Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.

Through the Narrow: The Dangers of Empowerment and Identity – By Gina Cook

In my last article titled, “The False and the Deceived,” I highlighted the fact that the occult has entered into solid, evangelical churches and it’s doing so in very unsuspecting, backdoor kinds of ways. The ways I brought up were through the altered teachings of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and our identity in Christ. Now I’m going to follow up by going a little deeper into these specific teachings and why they are so attractive, who are the evangelical teachers peddling them and what other things they are teaching after you invest in their material.

As I briefly mentioned in the previous write-up, the Bible wants us to know about the empowerment of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us (Ephesians 1:13, Titus 3:5, 1 Corinthians 2:10-1612:11, John 14:16-17). It’s a beautiful and needed aspect of our Christian life. Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in us, we could not be saved and we could not truly please God, love God or obey God. Without the Holy Spirit illumining the Word to us we would not understand God’s Word and would still have our minds darkened.

So it’s crucial to understand Christians are identified in and empowered by the Lord and what that all means, but we must also understand what empowerment and our identity do NOT mean because that is where deception creeps in.

As John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Sadly, in our flesh, we want to be special, to be in control, to see ourselves higher than they ought to. Many of us want to rub elbows with the Lord; to be God in many ways, sometimes without even realizing it.

Teachers who falsely teach on identity usually make the focus on yourself seem like a godly thing and that sells well. It’s truly remarkable how self-centered it is, yet to see so few pick up on that. It’s about flesh-petting power trips and “changing the world because I finally realize my potential, in Christ.” No, that is not how the world is changed. The worldly, lost souls find change through the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel-the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).

Seeking power and identity in the wrong places and wrong ways only puff up and corrupts. Just as we see in pagan circles, people just keep seeking more and more power, self-awareness and validation from the spiritual realm, and can’t seem to ever find enough.

Before I get into certain teachers that push these twisted teachings, it’s important to know what other terms and beliefs you can find once delving into their studies. This is not to say that people who use any of these terms are all the same, are all unsaved, false teachers or that all attach the same definition to these terms, yet when we come across a teacher using these terms, we should pay close attention and look deeper into what they mean by them.

One term/teaching is “incarnational ministry” or being “incarnational”. To these teachers, we must be incarnational to reach people for Jesus. It’s about us “being Jesus,” being incarnate like Christ. Truth is, the only One Who can be Jesus is Jesus. The only One who can be God incarnate, which means God taking on human flesh, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To imply we are incarnational is to give the impression that we become carbon copies of Jesus. Incarnational ministry focuses on the person “being Jesus” instead of being Christ-like, which puts emphasis on their puffed up identity and gifting rather than focusing on Him and the Gospel message they are supposed to share. These teachers emphasize “living the good news/the Word” over preaching it and preaching it boldly. It becomes more about showing their faith rather than sharing it. The Bible does say, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” but that’s in the context of our godly lives giving evidence of the Gospel/True God that we are simultaneously preaching — our good works are in no way the power unto salvation-only proof of His saving power in us.

1 Corinthians 2:2 says “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”.

1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.”

(For more on incarnational ministry you can check this link out: https://www.compellingtruth.org/incarnational-ministry.html )

Not only is it severely wrong/dangerous to teach that we can “be Jesus”/incarnational, but it’s also just as dangerous to believe our works and special gifting is the main power and influence on the lost. Incarnational ministry is closely related to “friendship evangelism” where people put more salvific value in the relationships they build than they do with the Gospel being preached (More on that can be found here: https://www.gotquestions.org/friendship-evangelism.html).

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Another popular thought in this movement is that “Jesus never taught in a classroom and doesn’t want you concerned about studying theology”. This is to suggest that Jesus isn’t concerned about teaching the Word as much as He is about living it out. The Bible says in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Yet, this does not mean Jesus is against the study/teachings of Scripture or that He never taught the Word to groups of people sitting there listening to Him teach. We see in Scripture Jesus teaching in the synagogues and we read His instruction that we are to be studying the Word and rightly handling it (Matthew 5, Mark 10, Luke 4:15, John 8, 2 Timothy 2:15). How can we know how to live for God if we don’t know the Scriptures?

Another term, a practice, they may teach is contemplative prayer or “listening prayer”. It’s based on the false teaching that God talks to us in our prayer time and gives us personal, specific truth or new revelation. They will present this as praying to seek God’s direction. Many times it’s centered on reading/praying a Scripture verse and listening to what God then communicates to you during this quiet time. Listening for God outside of Scripture and feeling some sort of spiritual presence is the focus for them. They typically use Scripture as a part of a meditative practice that’s found in other false religions, where a person repeats a word over and over and tries to clear the mind of everything else to hear from the spirit realm. Jesus never taught us to listen to Him during prayer time. When He taught us how to pray it was all about our communication to Him, not the other way around (Luke 11). Contemplative prayer is more related to the mystical practices of the occult. In the occult truth is sought in self, nature, spirits, and forces but never in the true Lord Jesus Christ and His written Revelation to us.

Another teaching/practice that is usually found amongst these others; uniting with all denominations. There is this huge push to put aside doctrinal differences because Jesus “ate with sinners”. They teach to unite for the common goal of spiritual growth. We are to build relationships with those in other (false) religions to “bring the love and peace of Christ” in their lives. What is going on is Satan is the Father of Lies, false religions and false unity. The bigger and stronger you make this false unity, the more dangerous its influence becomes. It’s leavening the whole lump. God tells us very clearly, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.

The last teaching/practice I’m going to address (and there is much more I could mention) is the slow push to remove you from pastoral oversight and care by overemphasizing the importance of “life groups,” “small home church groups” or something of that nature. It’s insinuated that this is a warmer more biblical and productive fellowship, not the colder typesetting you get in a large church gathering under a qualified pastor. Please don’t misunderstand me, I know small gatherings for Bible study aren’t a bad thing necessarily and can provide great fellowship and instruction. Also, I know there are solid churches encouraging some form of small group gatherings, but for these teachers, close, intimate study groups are more about “connecting” than studying Scripture. You are told to build very strong relationships with these few people in your group and learn together under the study of the teacher’s material. As the studies go on and the more material you invest in, the teachings get more twisted and less likely to be held in the light of Scripture. What seems to happen, without anyone in the group discerning and sounding the alarm, is vocabulary starts to change, the Gospel starts to be watered down while relationships in the group and in the “missional work” they do together are strengthened. The scary part is the teachers behind much of this know the Gospel message for the most part. They can convincingly recite the Gospel enough on their websites and in their books to keep many alarms from setting off. God tells us, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction” in 2 Peter 2:1.

Again, not all teachers that use any or all of these terms are to be lumped into the same category but if anything, one must be very cautious about being under their teachings and influence, no matter what good things they have done or taught.

These teachers are perhaps not all well-known but they are making an impact. Some are associated with well-known and beloved evangelical preachers many of us have been taught and blessed by. Others are lone wolves. Some are organizations with several people at the head. Here are just a few of many who have taught one or all of the things mentioned above, ones that seem to have more influence in evangelical churches:

-Alan Hirsch, author of several books including The Forgotten Ways

-Jeff Vanderstelt; lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington, and says to be “the visionary leader of the Soma Family of Churches and Saturate resource ministry”. He is author of the book “Gospel Fluency” and the Saturate material. (He is the teacher I mentioned in my previous article; the one a previous church of ours had studied under.)

-The NAMB- North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptists. It is filled with these teachers. You will see some of these teachings here: Rethinking mission: Incarnational presence – NAMB

-Eugene Peterson; a Presbyterian pastor and author of the Message “Bible”. In his interpretation of John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” This is a popular translation of the verse for those who teach incarnational ministry. By the way, the actual translation of this verse… “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Not even close.

Bob Roberts Jr., founding pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas who boasts and is very active in “loving people from every faith, and pioneering relationships with those that are usually shunned by Christians.”

“I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.” 1 Corinthians 4:6.

It imperative that we understand our spiritual identity is about what He has done for us so that we may live for and serve God. When we are identified in Christ, the Son is the focus, not us. We have been reborn and adopted, redeemed and restored, for God’s glory alone. Truly we are unworthy servants who should be doing what we ought to do because He alone is worthy and if we truly love Him and His Word we will be like the Bereans. (Luke 17:7-10 , Acts 17:11)

I encourage that for us all, to keep testing what we are taught to the infallible, inerrant Word of God! “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

By Gina Cook


Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.

Through The Narrow – The False & The Deceived: By Tami & Gina

Regarding the false and the deceived we could write books upon books and never be done covering all the kinds this world knows. Many have already written on and much has been talked about false teachers and teachings. The darkness won’t quit tweaking and twisting which is why we could never be done warning about all the ways satanic forces deceive. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. God has told us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, as well as his servants. They do this in countless ways. I want to talk about one of those ways that may not get as much attention but is just as dangerous.

I want to talk about some through-the-back-door approaches the occult is taking to invade many evangelical, Bible-preaching churches today — the teaching of empowerment and identity. 

Before I get to that I believe it’s important to first clarify what the occult is, generally speaking. It can simply be defined as, “Hidden, secret and mysterious, chiefly pertaining to the supernatural” and is widely known to include practices such as witchcraft, fortune-telling, clairvoyance, magic, tarot card reading and the list goes on. A lot of us know many of the charismatic churches and obvious false churches that hold to a false gospel like the Catholic churches, Christian Science churches, Mormon churches (and several others) have long embraced some occult type practices to one degree or another. I’m not talking about those churches, although they are also concerning. I’m talking about your evangelical, Baptist, nondenominational churches; you’re straight as an arrow grandparent’s country church that preaches from the Bible and claims the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture.

I know personally and hear story after story of churches steadily abandoning their once biblically solid foundation and quickly falling into mysticism and strange doctrines. One wouldn’t think any true church or born again believer would dare touch anything of this nature with a 10-foot pole. Most don’t intend to I’m sure. From what I’m seeing and hearing, as a former Catholic medium who was seduced by the occult herself before the Lord graciously saved me, I’ve sat in some evangelical churches that preached the true Gospel and started to notice this stuff coming in, but as a very light-weight and agreeable version. It sneaks in under the radar to many unsuspecting, well-intentioned people and within the walls of trusted churches-many times entirely unhindered. And unless by God’s grace that it is seen, warned against and snuffed out, it doesn’t take long to spread.

All the practices that can be considered occult, as it is defined, can usually be put in either of these two categories; First, desiring secret knowledge and second, desiring supernatural power. This also goes for every false religion because all humanity, in some form or fashion, desire one or both of these two things. Satan knows that and it seems the lure has been specially designed with that in mind.

Although there are several ways the occult can sneakily enter in, such as through music, like that of Hillsong and Bethel, I don’t want to talk about the music aspect at this point. 

We have the full-blown heretics that fill TBN with their heretical teachings of Christ and mysticism. We have Sarah Young and her man-centered and heresy-laden book “Jesus Calling,” Beth Moore and her contemplative prayer practices and visions, Priscilla Shirer and her public proclamations of needing more than Scripture which leads her to teach we are to listen to personal communication from God that, “makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up”. I could go on and on.

Yet with that said, there are churches whose members mostly reject TBN preachers, Beth Moore, Shirer, Young and the like for their “off” teachings, and yet a person could sit in their women’s Bible group and hear the whispers of the occult still blowing through. You sit there long enough and you will hear women say they received a sign from God regarding a decision they had to make. Perhaps the lesson goes in the direction of “know who you are in Christ” but meant in a way that God never instructed on. The focus quickly becomes what God can do for us, but in a way that seems spiritually healthy and “in touch” with God. It gets unchallenged and met with “amens” as others share their experiences of God giving them personal experiences or pep talks. They may start praying to God to hear from Him instead of going to the Word to do so (this is contemplative prayer). They claim God is doing things that are nowhere taught or supported in the Word. 

These situations may not scream, “Occult” too many people but every single one connects to the general practices and definition of the occult. Again, the occult is about the hidden, secret and mysterious things of the supernatural. It’s about seeking out the supernatural in ways the Bible never condones.

Going back to what I said earlier about the teaching of empowerment and identity:

I have seen the focus of empowerment as a common thread. Certain teachers today have found a way to take the biblical teaching of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in believers-meaning we are empowered to love Him and obey Him- and turn it into some sort of man-centered, identity crisis; some attempt to have spiritual encounters/proofs, personal messages, and (never promised) personal blessings from God. It usually starts by sounding very biblical, with a focus on knowing our empowered identity in Christ as believers. Yet, instead of staying on Biblical tracks with it, it slowly veers into dangerous territory.

Not long ago, I sat in a church somewhere in the Bible belt, a Scripture preaching, and Gospel loving church who let in one particular teacher. It was a teacher who persuaded them with such sincerity and convincing manipulation of Scripture that we are to understand all of what empowerment of the Holy Spirit means — and if we don’t, we will not honor God or enjoy the fullness of Christ or spiritual blessings. It started to sound as if we don’t know our identity and keep focusing on it, everything falls apart. They recite the well-known phrase that is based on Scripture, “We have the same Holy Spirit living in us that raised Jesus from the dead.” That is found in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” What a beautiful passage, if we stay within the biblical context, but they don’t. 

Before people know it, they have been fed the idea, which is wrapped in some Scripture and Gospel talk, that our identity in Christ is more about expecting the cool stuff, opening our minds to what God might want to do or say to us personally, embracing the mysterious; the things the Bible never said for His Church to focus on. If we reject it and just want to know and obey and preach God’s Word, we have essentially “put God in a box” and have become automatic Pharisees in their eyes. 

It started out focusing a lot on Gospel spreading. It was agreeable. It was a community and missionary-minded. It seemed like the punchy evangelical remedy to a church that held sleeping men and seeking women. Soon after the lessons started my husband and I started seeing a shift into what we can do that Jesus did. We can be empowered like Jesus. We can do the same miracles that Jesus did. 

Wait, what?! 

Isn’t this some sort of crazy charismatic talk? We know some charismatic teachers, the well-known TBN ones especially, teach that Jesus was a mere man who was empowered by the Spirit while on earth, so, therefore, we are mere men who can be empowered by the Holy Spirit too, doing exactly what Christ did while on earth. That’s heretical. That’s not anything our church has ever condoned or taught before. So as soon as those words left the teacher’s mouth in our little evangelical, solid study group, a bomb just went off for me and my husband. Where did THIS come from? We can do all that Christ did? So, are we to start calming storms now? We were stunned this teaching was staring us in the face. We were even more stunned that all leadership and many others in the groups didn’t even question it and thought we were going to grow so much from it. Bringing up the concerns over and over didn’t help. This teacher’s teachings on Christ and Christianity, to them, are “simply said wrong, but he means this or that.” They were also quick to say, “Look at all he does and says over here and there. He cares about getting the Gospel to people and goes to a good church. He is friends with this trusted pastor and he speaks against false teachers, etc.” Truth is, leadership and many in the church liked his ideas and how he spoke. These people will speak against Joyce Meyers for her unbiblical teachings yet allow this, unfathomable.

I talked with a dear lady whose church studied under the same teacher years before. She said she was greatly concerned and would be praying for our church; she knew the destruction and the downgrade that can happen. In a few years, her church went from solid to completely unrecognizable and compromised. Our church was seemingly going in the same direction. 

Give it enough time and little rebuke, it becomes less about the Gospel and more about experiences and personal interpretations. Personal claims of what God has said or done can rarely be questioned, because “how dare we say God can’t do this or that.” People begin to think that focusing on their identity and empowerment, as taught, is spiritually enriching. People want more secret and special knowledge, they want to see more proofs of God’s approval and empowerment in their lives, in ways that are invigorating and unique. They claim to seek more of God but only invite the demonic and ungodly.

So one convincing “evangelical” teacher came in and that’s all it takes, step by step, chip by chip. It weakens and distracts so cleverly and so quickly especially when church leaders are lacking in discernment. Even when they are discerning and see this for what it is, they may hardly say a peep about it because of uncertainty or fear. “Pharisee,” “witch hunter,” “Bible-beater,” “limiting what God can do” cards are quickly pulled out. The church is left without protection from their shepherds.   

These teachers subtly and carefully introduce it in your most unsuspecting churches, to the immature in faith, the weak and lost. If we love the church, the truth; if we love the Lord we will prayerfully and carefully watch and warn.

I pray more and more people realize that the occult or pagan practices don’t stay in pagan churches, with the Wiccan or with the fringe. It doesn’t stay within the walls of the known heretical churches nor does it come from just the lips of the most heretical teachers. Demons want to bring it to the best church. It’s not innocent or secondary. 

Yes, believers and good churches can embrace these types of things as well and as a result will, stunt their growth, bring God’s discipline even judgment, stumble others and withhold honor due to God. Even after being enlightened to the truth, people have to unlearn and heal from the brainwashing of these abusive teachings. 

There is much more that can be said about this. Next time I’ll dive a little deeper into these specific teachings and why they are so attractive, who are the evangelical teachers peddling them and what other things they are teaching after you invest in their material.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

By Gina Cook


Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.