My most well-read post on this blog ever is the Kundalini Myth, where I criticize Pentecostal kiwi Andrew Strom who argues that large parts of the charismatic movement is demonic, influenced by a false spirit from the Hindu Kundalini sect in India. I’ve now made a video where I develop this critique and talk about the difference between – and sorry if this sounds meta – true false prophets and false false prophets.
Strom’s only evidence to connect Bethel Church to Kundalini is basically YouTube videos; he has observed how people behave at the Kundalini meetings, found similarities with charismatic meetings and thus concludes that it is the same, demonic spirit behind it all. I critizise him for calling behaviour like shaking, laughing, crying etc “manifestations” even though the Bible never does so, and argues that a more suitable name would be reactions. These things are not necessarily produced by a spirit (whether Holy or false), but it could be a human reaction to it (or simply somthing people do without any spirits involved).
Strom’s biggest problem is that the Bible never says that these reactions is something we should pay attention to when discerning the spirits. These are some of the most important New Testament texts when it comes to false prophets and spirits:
“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.”(Matthew 7:16-17).
“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.” (1 John 4:2-3).
“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).
“if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough… such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:4, 13-14)
“…false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Mt 24:24)
If you look closely, you see that these Bible passages never mention stuff like shaking, crying, laughing, and so on. They cannot be interpreted into the “fruits” that Jesus speaks about since fruits rather refers to acts of repentance (Lk 3) and Spiritual fruits like love, joy and peace (Gal 5). When Strom focuses on what he calls “manifestations” when he tries to discern the spirits, he is not using a biblical methodology.
In fact, we see in the Scriptures how false spirits mimic the Holy Spirit, like when Pharao’s wizards turned their staffs into snaked just like Moses did through the power of God. If we just focus on the outer appearance we may mix the true with the false. No wonder, the Bible verses above tells us to focus on doctrine – do they teach that Jesus is Lord and has come in the flesh – rather than on shaking or laughter.
Now, I’m the first to acknowledge that people may behave weird on charismatic meetings. Really weird, in fact. But that could be human behaviour rather than demonic. It is according to the Bible verses I’ve quoted above impossible for a Jesus-loving disciple who believes in and teaches sound doctrine and who bears good fruit like preaching the Gospel and helping the poor, to be fueled by a demon. That simply doesn’t happen.
The consequence of Strom’s teaching, however, is that many Jesus-loving Christians are accused for being new agers or Hindus even though they bear good fruit and believes that Jesus is Lord!
These are, ironically, falsely accused of being false prophets. There are true false prophets though. I met some in South Africa, Christians mixing the Gospel with Sangoma – animist religion. Or the light bearers in Oslo, Norway, who mixed Christianity with new age and sought inspiration from Hindu gurus, teaching that in the last days men of God should live in polygamy.
Those people are clearly not acknowledging Jesus or preaching Him biblically. And thus they are false. Bible-believing Christians who evangelize and help the poor, however, aren’t Hindus just because they laugh or shake at charismatic meetings. That’s why they are false false prophets.