Over the years, we’ve maintained at this publication that the Roman Catholic Church harbors a false gospel that has absolutely no power to save. Despite the biblical call to Christian unity, there are clear divisions drawn in the Bible, and it is not acceptable to be spiritually united with those who hold to false doctrines. The clearest line to be drawn is on the doctrine of justification, which is that salvation is only possible through Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Scriptures alone, to the Glory of God alone.
The doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone is the most important in all of Scripture for our salvation and if you have it wrong, you cannot be saved, and you are not a Christian. Protestants and Evangelicals have historically defended this doctrine passionately while the Roman Catholic Church has denied and rejected it instead of teaching that we must add works to the gospel in order to earn our salvation.
Yet, for some Southern Baptist leaders, this little fact seems to continue going over their heads. In the midst of the so-called “revival” that has been going on at Asbury University for the last few weeks, one Southern Baptist pastor has been relentlessly legitimizing the event by pointing to false teachers and strange manifestations as “proof” that the Holy Spirit is working there.
First, Malachi O’Brien, a former Southern Baptist Convention 2nd Vice President, points to Mike Bickle, a notorious false teacher and blasphemer who made some obscure “prophecy” about changing the understanding of Christianity, as evidence of the Holy Spirit moving at Asbury.
Mike Bickle, the founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, is a false prophet who is aligned with the Kansas City Prophets—better known as the Kansas City False Prophets. He is a highly popular figure in the charismatic movement and hosted several conferences with former Southern Baptist Convention president, Ronnie Floyd—yet he is associated with several aberrant movements, including the New Apostolic Reformation and the Latter Rain movement.
Bickle allowed a random man who called himself Augustine to “prophesy” in his church, which he claims led to him hearing God speak to him audibly. Bickle and his followers are known for their disturbing prophetic readings, which are vague, ambiguous, and mostly inaccurate. They are also associated with the Latter Rain movement, which includes false teachings about the roles of apostleship and prophets in the church, Christian ecumenism, and Dominion Theology.
Bickle also makes the heretical claim that the church causes the Great Tribulation and that Jesus will not return until the Church starts “globally crying out” for him to return.
But now, O’Brien is moving even further away from Christian orthodoxy and is now legitimizing Asbury by pointing to Roman Catholics who are supposedly being swept up in the emotion of the event.
O’Brien’s tweet points to the charismatic Catholic renewal of the 70s, which was essentially a merger of Roman Catholicism with Pentecostalism. This merger led to aberrant movements, such as the Alpha movement which Francis Chan is heavily involved in. The Alpha movement represents an abandonment of sound doctrine in favor of emotionalism for the Evangelicals within the movement, and the Roman Catholics in the movement also abandon their own church’s teachings to embrace emotionalism. In essence, the Alpha movement is a Christian version of Woodstock where a diverse group of hippies from every Christian subsect come together to join hands while neglecting the most essential aspect of Christianity: truth.
It’s how we end up with Francis Chan embracing the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation and having his feet washed and being prayed over by a group of Roman Catholic priests:
Worse yet, O’Brien doesn’t have a basic understanding of the biblical teaching on prophets and apostles—namely, that prophets and apostles don’t exist today. O’Brien recently told how some “apostle” from Brazil visited his church and then said that this “apostle” was instructed by the Holy Spirit to give him his shoes.
Sorry, but that’s not how prophecy works and the word apostle actually means something, biblically, and as Jesus hand-selected the apostles, there is no evidence that the apostleship continued after these original apostles died. The modern prophets and apostles movement is a continuation of the Montanist heresy condemned by the early church and it is an aberrant movement that should be outright rejected by the church today.
Southern Baptists put a lot of effort into disfellowshiping churches that don’t meet all the leftist criteria of being woke enough, yet, Southern Baptist pastors and leaders are free to spread heresy, false teachings, and aberrant movements and nobody says a word.