Charismatic Missionaries Causing More Problems Abroad
*This article is going to first criticize the ignorant opinion and propaganda of Roger Ross Williams and his anti-Christian and pro-gay agenda. Then it will criticize the bigger issue of the problems charismatic cults are causing in the mission field.
Roger Ross Williams is a documuntary filmmaker who recently made a film called “God Loves Uganda” which is extremely critical of evangelicalism in Africa as a whole. Instead of actually looking into specific cases of groups who have specific beliefs he does what the rest of the media and anti-Christian people do: lump all religious groups claiming “christian” into one. An article on Yahoo News has an interview with Williams who claims Christians are causing extreme hate towards homosexuals in Africa and causing violence and that by law there is the death penalty for homosexual conduct. He says in the past before there was a Muslim dictator who outlawed Christianity and would not allow missionaries to come in Uganda. Williams seems to be saying Uganda was better off during that time for homosexuals with a Muslim dictator named Idi Amin. It seems Williams is ignorant of the fact Muslims are against homosexuality, and in other African countries like Libya they torture homosexuals and execute them. So to think Islam is somehow more tolerant of homosexuals and is in no way bad like Williams’ idea of “evangelicalism” is asinine. Even charismatic groups like IHOP, or YWAM are not at all finding homosexuals and killing them. If one wants to, they can find a video on YouTube of a Libyan military, anti-homosexual group that is torturing a gay man by sticking the barrel of an AK-47 on an accused homosexual male’s anal area and beating his buttocks severely. They executed the man later. But I suppose as long as Islam is finding Christians and torturing them— as well as murdering them in droves— all over Africa it’s a good thing because eventually “evangelicals,” who in Williams’ deluded mind assumes they hate gays, will be “taken care of.”
Also, Idi Amin is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of people (est. 100,000-500,000 killings), I think this is by far worse violence than an anti-homosexual law. He left Uganda a legacy of bloodthirsty killings and economic mismanagement. Roger Williams seems to think that without Christianity all of the violence and death in Africa towards gays would not occur. And since violence specifically against homosexuals did not occur it trumps any other violence that had occurred. This is an ignorant idea steeped in bias towards Christian faith.
Williams followed the group IHOP (International House of Prayer), an extreme hyper-charismatic cult, and lumps them together as “evangelicals.” As if all evangelicals hold to IHOP’s beliefs. This kind of biased journalism and propaganda is only encouraging intolerance towards Christians by labeling us the same as any terrorist or hate group. Roger Ross William’s anti-Christian agenda is clear and he should not at all be taken seriously.
On the other hand, there is something to take seriously from this report. The fact Williams states that IHOP, or these types of religious people (the Charismatics) have not done ANYTHING good to help the society. He makes the claim, “They don’t do any humanitarian work. They don’t build schools or hospitals or help people. … It’s a numbers game, convert souls, and that’s it.” The theology of IHOP comes from the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) movement which believes in territorial evangelism where territory, cities, streets, and more are inhabited by demonic forces keeping people from God. This means they must win territory in a warlike fashion. This is a spiritual warfare movement and such ideas are known theologically as “Dominionism.” Todd Bentley, mega-heretic, used the term Joel’s Army to describe the types of spiritual people who will take over the earth for Jesus by winning territory and spiritual battles. The language and ideas are radical, war-like, and extreme. Another heretical-charismatic-dominionist-cult is called YWAM (Youth With A Mission) who have had a number of complaints by concerned parents, as well as former staffers (accusations such as brainwashing etc.).
These types of movements are radical and have a skewed view of biblical evangelism and missionary work. They are part of the plague of anti-intellectualism, and anti-biblical-doctrinal movements that have come out of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. The accusation of Williams stating that groups like IHOP do not do anything like building hospitals are schools is true. The recent conference called “Strange Fire” which was headed by pastor John MacArthur from Grace Community Church in Santa Clarita, California made waves in the Christian media for his accusation that the Charismatic movement on a whole has not contributed to any humanitarian work as there are no schools, hospitals, etc. MacArthur’s conference promoted the idea that Charismatics left chaos and nonsense in their wakes and have led to all kinds of problems. I find it interesting a godless person who is biased towards Christianity also noticed this same thing.
One of the main arguments against the Strange Fire conference was that John MacArthur refused to acknowledge the good things charismatics did around the world and is painting the entire movement with a wide brush. But the truth is the charismatic movement has yet to measure up their likely-very-very-small amount of humanitarian work with the multitudes of hospitals, schools, orphanages and other such long lasting infrastructure created by other religious groups. Yes, Charismatics have built schools or set up orphanages here and there, but often times such “refuges” etc. are suspect and totally fail and are not longstanding or beneficial to the local cultures; but often times are problematic. They also need to admit the majority of the movement as a whole has promoted all kinds of bad teaching and social problems, and the more orthodox and less problematic ones are the actual fringe. Not the other way around, such as the “wide brush” claim.
The conclusion from all of this is that the Charismatics are giving Christian missionaries a bad name. The Media will always label Christians with the most extreme and wrong examples in order to propagandize that they are terrorists or hate groups while acting as if Islam is somehow ultra-tolerant and embracing to gays (yea right…), and true biblical Christian missionaries have to compete with other groups claiming to use the Bible who are promoting false spirituality and a severely screwed up idea of evangelism. Liberals will always bash on conservative, evangelical values and faith and it is to be expected. Now if biblical missionaries in Uganda only had to deal with other religions it would be easier; but the fact the NAR cult groups like IHOP— which promote heresy and social problems everywhere they go— and YWAM talk like they are Christians it makes Satan’s work easier to accomplish while deceiving delusional superstitious people who join them and causing more thoughtful, and educated people to become hostile towards the Bible and Christianity. It is very sad that the majority of the evangelical culture in America has embraced this profane spirituality of false miracles, false prosperity, and political activism where evangelism only is concerned with changing society around and getting numbers to join to win over territory instead of quality Christian faith in individuals lives.