The Mud of Prophetic Humanism –
The Pilot Letter
Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, and the immediate inspiration behind the article that put this ministry on the internet prophetic map, Chris Anderson privately laments to close pastoral friend John Fortin the key concepts dividing the aspiring prophetic wilderness “sons” from the prophetic “virgins” of the humanist-infested (passionist) bridal movement.
A good primer for understanding the heart of First Love Ministry, the concepts here gather 20 years of thought to lay the plumbline for the numerous articles in the 2000’s that will prosecute the issues of the prophetic nature, purified identity, prophetic nationalism, the worldly seduction of the bridal prophetic movement, and especially the true nature and center of divine love.
Thank you for forwarding…the article by David Wilkerson.
As I listen to all the back and forth on the prophetic meaning of these recent events, it illumines to me what makes me feel so differently from most of what I am hearing declared, and it causes me to consider carefully why I believe what I believe about the Lord and His dealings with mankind. Do you mind if I just think out loud a bit for a few minutes?…
My heart's vision of God and His relation to us differs so greatly from what appears to be the paradigm of the general prophetic church—so different that I find it extremely difficult to become integrated into anything that is going on right now—and so it has seemed to be for so many years (really, all of my life). Yet my perceptions are so obvious to me both in experience and in Scripture that I wonder why everyone else (including the renowned prophets of our day) can't see God the way I see Him and as I have come to know Him over my lifetime.
God: the Center of All
The first reference point of my spiritual life is this:
Everything that has happened from the creation to the present is not primarily for man's benefit, but for God's.
The Scriptures are not primarily a revelation of who man is or about man, but about God. And the whole story line about man is for the purpose of illuminating to all creation who God is. Our participation in history is ancillary to this, including our salvation.
Because of this, I do not see the chief end of man to be working to save other men, but instead it is our coming to know God. I do not believe that man's plight is the main focus of God's heart, but rather the establishing of His glory and the supremacy of His Son pertaining to man and all creation—of which His heart for our salvation is a byproduct.
Simply put, God's focus is not on man, but on His Son—as also should be our focus. This is not to minimize the Lord's passionate desire for men. But it is to maximize His superior commitment to His own nature as righteousness, holiness, truth, authority. And so saying, it is to say also that His passion for us is subject to and grounded in His zeal for His own supremacy as the “all in all,” and the “Alpha and the Omega.”
On Judgment and Love
From this reference point is shaped for me the relationship between judgment and love. For me, God's judgment is simply the zealous demonstration of the supremacy of His love for His own nature against all that opposes or fails to conform to the standard of His nature. This judgment lies at the foundation of His passion for men and is inseparable from it.
God's love for man is not an open-ended emotion toward man as an end in himself. God's love for man is always to a standard. It is to the standard of His supreme love for His own transcendence. This fact is what makes mercy what it is and gives the word its meaning. Mercy does not abolish judgment. It satisfies judgment.
Mercy is not a synonym for unconditional bleeding-heart compassion toward pain that most people now make it to mean. It is not an emotion expressed in disregard of the supremacy of God's love for His own nature. Mercy is the extension of God’s own grace to bring man into conformity to the standard of God's first love for His own glory so that man might not be judged as a result of falling short of it.
This is why mercy is inextricably linked to repentance. It is also the only context for the verse so often quoted that "mercy triumphs over judgment." Mercy presupposes judgment and the standard of God's will by which judgment is meted out. We know this because God also says "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy."
Mercy is subject to will. Where there is no judgment related to the violation of His will, and where there is no will of God to extend mercy in the first place, there is no such thing as mercy! So when it says "mercy triumphs over judgment," it does not—cannot—mean mercy abolishes judgment. It has to mean mercy satisfies judgment's standard according to God's own kind intent so as to render judgment unnecessary.
Our End Is Eternal, Not Mortal
Let me share just two other reference points, John, that guide my faith. A second reference point is that our ultimate destiny in Christ is toward an eternal end, not a present mortal one. God's ultimate purpose for us simply does not pertain to the issues of this present mortal life. Where God reveals earth-visioned dreams and fulfils earth-oriented desires—whether for natural things or for ministry purposes—none of it is what we are ultimately about, and all of it should be seen as preparatory for the unseen eternal calling to be revealed.
In this regard let me also say that this hope of an eternal inheritance must be actively embraced now, not just assumed while we pursue God for all these other earthly vision fulfillments. This mind should govern everything else we believe God for or receive prophecies about in this life.
My point is this. You cannot spiritualize the temporal world into eternal reality. Earth will never be heaven no matter how much it is baptized in heavenly power. Mortality is mortality no matter how much you prophesy over it; and flesh is flesh no matter how much Spirit you pour out on it. The flesh still dies and passes away. The world and the lusts thereof still pass away.
Therefore, short of obtaining glorification, it is a mistake and delusion to become swept away into focusing on present life issues and events simply because the Spirit is being poured out on all flesh.
The Imperative of Identity Renovation
Related to the second point is a third equally compelling reference point for me: as we move from where we started in Adam to where we are to end in Christ, we should be constantly undergoing an identity renovation in which we are increasingly liberated from natural self-centered soulish adamic identities of every kind toward a singular unique eternal identity in Christ.
When we leave this life, we leave behind all our mortal identities. There are no Fortins in heaven. There are no Andersons. We do not marry, so there is no sex. In Christ there are no national or natural identities, no Jew or Gentile, slave or free. To move toward this eternal reality calls for a perpetual progressional circumcision of heart now regarding relationships of every kind—both of families and of church families, of nations and of denominations—as we move out of where we started in the flesh toward conformity to the eternal new name of the Spirit that has been planted in us at new birth—when all things became new.
My point here then is the same as above: No matter how much you pour out the Spirit on flesh and prophesy to the flesh, it is still flesh. The Spirit does not convert the flesh. It does not make Adam’s families of nations and cultures holy. It does not convert Adam into Christ. It kills Adam.
It kills what is left of Adam in us so we can grow into Christ’s true holy unique seed. And to believe otherwise about the flesh and adamic identities is to be deceived by a false spirit.
John, for me, these reference points are just so plain in scripture and real to me in spiritual experience that it is beyond me how everybody in Christ does not see their relationship with the Lord the same way. Yet I find myself lost within the present body of Christ, a body that for the overwhelming part does not share these foundational reference points at all. And I include here the supposedly most "spiritually advanced" prophetic, apostolic and otherwise spiritually empowered ministries of our age.
For all of its power, all of its visions and revelations, all of its experiences, all of its miracles, and everything else given to it by the Holy Spirit, I see a worldwide body of Christ that at heart is deeply and intrinsically humanistic and virtually ignorant of and/or in denial of the apostolic presentations of God's nature and of His relationship to man given to us throughout the fabric of the New Testament.
A Potpourri of Humanist Bridal Beliefs and Teachings
The at-large Body of Christ in the earth today sees man and his redemption as the center of God's eternal purposes and desires:
· Its concept of God's love is that God's love for man is His supreme love (in essence making God an idolater of his own creation), even to the point of infatuation.
· Everything in God's plan in history centers about His desires for the church and the bride for which Jesus is just so eagerly awaiting He can hardly control His heavenly hormones.
· Judgment is not a practical factor in God's dealing with His people or the world, and in any case is some kind of force that God is not directly responsible for anyway.
· God's love for man is mainly according to his need with little respect for God's requirements or man's violations of those requirements—His love is not to a standard, because it is "unconditional love."
· God is moved more by His emotions for man than by His will concerning man, of which "mercy" is a manifestation without regard to any standard, or to violation of divine nature, or to impending judgment.
· Repentance has little to do with anything. All tragedies are simply the compound result of general sinfulness and in any case are all attributable to the activity of the devil.
· The focus of God's destiny for His people individually and corporately is in the here and now, all of it geared solely to the fulfillment of dreams and visions for present ministry and fulfillment.
· The objective of the end times is the "global harvest" of souls and the revelation of the perfected unified church, not the revelation of Christ or of our meeting of the Lord's qualifications upon us for obtaining our eternal inheritance.
· The Lord's ultimate heart is "for the nations," meaning, the Lord is sanctifying all adamic identities everywhere, is prophesying great destinies of the Spirit for the peoples of the world as they are in this world, is reinforcing all family and national ties in this world, is bringing harmony and unity to all peoples through the presence of the church; and sees essentially no division in the world due to the presence of the church or the Lord's Spirit.
When They Die, Where Do They Go?
I especially fear how this emphasis on prophetic destinies of nations obscures the basic truths to lost people about their eternal destiny which is either heaven or hell. In heaven there are no Americans. But there are many Americans in hell!
What happens to people who go to a rally, hear that God has a prophetic destiny for America, then on their way home are killed in a car wreck? They wake up in hell. And what good then is it that they believed America has some sort of prophetic destiny?
But then suppose they wake up in paradise with the Lord? In the resurrection, there are no men and women, never mind Americans! So then what good did it do them to hear about some prophetic destiny of America?
This is why Jesus’ response to tragedy wasn’t “Don’t worry, God loves you, Israel. He has a destiny for you!” It was, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!” These tragedies should be shaking us awake from our confidence in the fleshly arm of patriotism and to the fragility of our earthly condition and the imminence of eternal judgment.
But just the opposite is happening. Trust in fragile human nationality is being reinforced. And the prophetic church under the spirit of humanism is reinforcing it!
Look, John, even if there is a sense where in the future kingdom remnants of mortal nations survive the coming holocaust and go on to fulfil a destined redeemed purpose as kingdom age American nationals, what good is that now as long as the real issue is death and eternal destiny? For all these reasons I believe this unbridled prophetic talk about national destinies is a humanistic delusion and a diversion from the truth!
Ministry to Man in Context
Does what I’m saying mean I’m against God’s vision for human redemption through ministry toward man? No. Not at all. It is not that I am against all these things per se, but that they are totally divorced from the true ultimate, eternal God-ward reference points given to us by the apostles, and so they make man the chief end of God instead of the other way around.
I am for all Spirit-empowered ministry. I am for God’s people laying hold of earthly prophetic destinies through faith. I am for intercession concerning world events and leaders. (I was personally greatly burdened concerning last year’s election.) I am for loving men. I am for evangelism according to the burden of the Spirit’s compassion. I am for befriending the lost and meeting them at their point of need. And I am for mercy.
But I am only for these things in light of the greater context of the authoritative eternal realities and realities about God that I have laid out above and which are articulated so foundationally in the Bible.
Hijacking Half God’s Heart
The problem with humanism is that it hijacks all the man-oriented qualities of God’s heart, divorces them from the authoritative eternal realities about God’s transcendence to make man’s destiny the chief end of our focus (because it is thought to be God’s chief focus). And then humanism says to you, “If you don’t love man as the chief end, you don’t love man at all.”
People think that if you believe in judgment, you can’t possibly believe in mercy or that you have any sense of God’s compassion, and that to believe in any kind of confrontational discernment automatically makes you guilty of judgmentalism. (An elder in the church I attend said this in so many words to me four weeks ago.)
Humanism goes beyond this to illegitimatize the divine emotions associated with judgment, most notably anger. Thus anger or exasperation of any kind for any reason is sinful and not of God.
If you believe in the necessity for repentance as a qualification for acceptance with God, you obviously don’t love men at all, because God loves men “unconditionally.” If you believe in any kind of standard of discipline or qualifying distinctive relative to obedience, you obviously can’t believe in love or unity and are automatically guilty of pride, elitism, and “sowing discord among the brethren.”
This is what humanism is doing to the body of Christ. In a word, humanism conforms Christ to the image of the Bride and the Bride to the image of Adam.
You can usually tell what the major weakness is in a spiritual movement by listening to what it prosecutes and how exclusively. The weakness is usually the opposite thing to what it prosecutes. In today’s Bridal movement, you hear legalism, division and judgmentalism severely prosecuted (and rightly so). But you almost never hear false mercy, false compassion and soulish love prosecuted. This is one evidence that humanism is the major weakness of this church era.
End Times Judgment Ignorance
Another even stronger evidence that the church is smothered in humanism is the near total lack of a comprehensive biblical foundation under the church’s apprehension of God’s nature and the end times.
Isolated snippets of truth that support humanism are quoted freely (like “mercy triumphs over judgment”), but the broad undertone of impending judgment found throughout the Scriptures is ignored. The core doctrines of Romans, Galatians and other epistles that emphasize the eternality of destiny and the church’s distinctiveness of identity from among all peoples and the essential sinfulness of man are all ignored.
The compassionate deeds of Jesus are emphasized, but the overarching context of His supreme love for the Father and His holiness above and beyond His desires toward men is ignored, as are also the displays of His anger and exasperation with people.
Most telling to me however concerning the end times is the Bridal church’s claim that we are in the end times, yet its total inability to embrace the foundationally testing, examining and executive nature of God, His angels and His saints found throughout the book of Revelation. (People tell me God will only pull the tares at the harvest, meaning not now—yet everyone is singing the words of Robin Mark, “And these are the days of the harvest, the fields are as white in your world…” So which is it??)
Abandonment of Scripture’s Foundation
This lack of biblical foundation is extremely important and telling. Humanism thrives on the abandonment of the Scriptures as its foundation. It can only thrive this way because the apostolic writings do not support its assertions about man and his centrality to God.
John, this same humanism is what was at stake 500 years ago. The Roman church had abandoned the Bible as its foundational source for authority in favor of human fiat. At the core of the Roman system was (and still is) the belief in the centrality of man.
The concept of humanism as we know it now was defined at that time and championed by the theologian Erasmus, who is recognized as the “father of humanism.” Erasmus was the main opponent of Luther in Luther’s bid to return to a scripturally based foundation for church belief and practice.
Interestingly, it’s not that Erasmus thought Luther was wrong. He agreed with much of Luther’s propositions. But as a humanist, he just didn’t think it was like God to be confrontational about any of it.
Today, not only does that same humanism still govern the Roman church, but it has captured the evangelical church and all the Spirit empowered movements descended from it as well. (This is why the Bridal movements and the Roman church are able to begin embracing one another without dealing with the issues of the biblical foundation that incriminate Roman teaching.)
Today’s Bridal movement is notable for its lack of comprehensive biblical foundation and this is why it is being carried away with the same spirit of humanism. Humanism believes love can exist exclusive of truth. So everyone is saying, “as long as we all love God and one another,” God’s nature as truth can be overlooked, set aside, etc. If there are issues, God will just “take care of them Himself someday, some way, somehow.”
A Coming Cataclysm
John, I believe a great cataclysm is coming to the prophetic church sometime in this or the next decade. I believe it must occur simply because the church now doesn’t look anything like it looks in Revelation, yet everyone is saying we are in those very days. That cataclysm will occur when God begins to expose and judge this blanket spirit of humanism at the core of the church’s paradigm of Christianity.
It will be a cataclysm because it will force everyone who all their lives have lived by these humanistic reference points for their vision of Jesus to totally scrap their basis of understanding the Lord and the church if they are to continue in Christ. And at that time, many will fall away because they cannot part from their humanism.
I believe I have some idea of what will create this cataclysm, but whatever it is, I know this much: until it happens,
· the entire prophetic church is unwittingly preparing the way for, not only the Lord, but also for the Chief Humanist Deceiver who will gather all peoples to himself and “show himself to be God in the temple,” the core of whose entire worldwide religious network will be humanism; and also,
· I am going to continue feeling extremely marginalized in my faith from the rest of the church. And there’s nothing I can do about it!!
John, I love to worship the Lord with the saints. The worship of the Lord is the most I find in common with the current movements. And wherever I find it, I go for as much as I can get. And I thrive on any teaching that points us to loving the Lord more, and toward intimacy with Him based in obedience (not just intimacy and not just obedience).
But beyond this, I have a really hard time because from there, the difference of reference points takes over in all the ministry, teaching and prophesying, and I find I just have to endure it or else go outside for a breath of fresh air.
But that is where I am at...
Again, I appreciated the time at The Call. It was a mixed bag, but I’m thankful for all the good that was there—the solid gospel message calling to repentance, and especially the call to break down the power of humanism in the universities. (If only we could see that same power at work in us as the church and cry out for our own deliverance….)
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent a little (a lot, really). It was helpful for me at least! And if you read through this whole thing, I’ll be impressed ! (I’ll probably think of more later I wish I had said as well…..)
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship