Andrew Strom is a Christian who believes that large parts of the global charismatic movement is demonic. In his video Kundalini Warning, as well as in the book with the same name, he claims that false spirits have invaded ministries like Catch the Fire (the “Toronto Blessing” church), IHOP, Bethel Church, Morningstar, and more. These false spirits originate in the Hindu kundalini cult in India, Strom argues.
Now, you expect some strong evidence to support these radical claims, don’t you? Perhaps Strom have discovered some documents proving that before the Toronto Blessing began, pastors John and Carol Arnott went to India to receive kundalini teaching from a guru. Or perhaps Strom have made an interview with Bethel Church’s pastor Bill Johnson and found out that his greatest inspiration is Lama Rama Ding Ding from Uttar Pradesh?
Nope. On the contrary, none of these ministries have ever preached kundalini teaching, nor have they had any association with Hindu groups whatsoever.
So how does Andrew Strom then know that the spirit through which these ministries experience miracles isn’t the Holy Spirit but a kundalini spirit? The answer is of course: YOUTUBE VIDEOS! In Kundalini Warning, Strom shows us recordings from a kundalini meeting, where people according to him behave just like charismatic Christians. The guru lays his hands on people, and they start to shake, laugh, cry and praise the gods. Thus, when John Arnott lays his hands on people and they start to shake, laugh, cry and praise God, it is the work of the devil. If they are quiet, say amen and go and drink coffee afterwards, it’s the Holy Spirit, I guess.
The underlying assumption to Strom’s theory is that the Holy Spirit and evil spirits produce totally different “manifestations”, and thus you can discern the spirits through looking at these “manifestations”. If the kundalini Hindus had behaved totally different from charismatic Christians we would have known that they have another spirit, but since they behave similarly we know that it is the same demonic spirit. Can’t argue with that, can you? After all the Bible says:
“By the manifestations you will recognize [the false prophets]. Do people laugh when the Holy Spirit is present, or shake in His glory? No, that is the work of the devil.” (Matthew 7:16-17).*
“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that doesn’t make you behave strange is from God, but every spirit that causes weird manifestations are not from God.” (1 John 4:2-3).*
No, of course it doesn’t. Manifestations are never listed as a sign for discernment. The Bible says that we should discern the spirits through looking at if they elevate Christ or not. “No one who is speaking by the Spirit can say ‘Jesus be cursed’, and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3).
Whether people laugh or shake is irrelevant, what matters is their teaching and their fruit. And the people at Catch the Fire, IHOP, Bethel Church and Morningstar preach the full gospel about Jesus Christ, and their fruit is thousands of people saved and renewed in their faith. To say that these Jesus-loving Christians are involved in some Hindu cult is simply ridiculous.
*For clarification, this is NOT what the Bible says, and that’s precisely my point. The real Scripture quotations are, according to the NIV, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” and “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.”