First let me apologize for my extended absence. It’s been over four months since my last post — and it has been one whirlwind four months on the personal side. Victories and trials aplenty. In reality, at least for a while, my posting will remain infrequent but I do hope to post now and then until my family gets through some of the events happening in our lives right now. (Is that all ambiguous enough?)
However, I think I have a jewel of a post today, leading off a bit of a series. Today I am posting an interview with Karsten Miller, aka Difference Maker from Difference Maker Bible Study. Karsten’s blog is rich in spiritual content, often in video form for you vlog lovers. He has a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a YouTube channel. He has developed a number of Bible studies over the years, including expositions of James and Galatians. He also links to some other rare (IMO) gems in the blogosphere and sermon world. I commend his blog to you as a daily stop. By some odd twist of fate, he is both a Baltimorian… and a Cowboys fan. Go figure!
I tapped Karsten about doing a short interview series because of his interesting background. Karsten is about as biblically solid as they come, but he comes from a somewhat eclectic religious background, having spent long stretches in the Charismatic and Word-Faith (WoF) movements. It is his insight in these areas that I wanted to explore, and to use his “in-the-trenches” experience to highlight some of the dangers of these movements. Prayerfully, this interview will serve as a resource for those who are involved in these movements and to inform those who are curious about them. So, without further ado:
Tell us briefly how you became involved in the Charismatic and Word of Faith movements.
I came, as a Christian, to the WoF and Charismatic movements because of my own desires for more outward “manifestations” of spirituality, believing these manifestations were the avenues to true growth in Christianity. The United Methodist church I attended prior did not provide experiences of manifesting the so-called gifts of the Spirit. These other churches did. I left the United Methodist church along with my wife (when I say left, I mean did a lot of church-hopping) and searched for a church which fit my experiences. I honestly thought I could hear audibly from God Himself, as well as through dreams and visions, and speaking in tongues (which I believed I could interpret by saying some things that I thought sounded super spiritual). So I found churches through friends which met such criteria. Usually by word-of-mouth men tell you which churches are promoting such genre. Also, the television (TBN, Daystar) plays an important role in finding these edifices. Their false prophets and teachers masqueraded daily on these channels offer every opportunity to taste of the devil’s pie.
When and how did you realize that you didn’t want to be a part of it?
Truly, God used His Word (the 66 books of the Holy Writ) to convince me that the path I was traveling was not the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mainly, my derailment came through a true understanding of prophecy. I used to prophelie (to prophecy lies). I believed that God would tell me things, so I determined I had the gift of prophecy. In particular, in 2003 I prophelied about a couple not marrying but the couple got married. My loving wife began to question whether what I was saying was truly from God. I searched and searched the Word diligently, trying to find where a prophet ever prophesied incorrectly. Never found it. The scripture which brought me to repent of my sin was: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6) I realized from this point, all the things I had been declaring were blaspheming the Lord Jesus Christ, so I repented and threw all my books and so-called written prophecies away; never to return to them. I left the churches which had entertained me for about 5 years and turned to searching for a biblical church.
I must admit that coming out of these circles is by the grace of God. The love of Christ truly runs deep for His church (Ephesians 5:25-27). This doesn’t mean the effects of those teachings just brushed right away. These teachings ruin marriages, relationships, and require one to carefully examine the biblical text in order to be free from its reigns. It took the Word of God to convince me of my strong desire to follow after these imaginations. I will advocate that there two major entities enlarging these WoF movements: the devil and the flesh.