Take the Catchers Away!

(Steve Lumbley – Apostasy Watch) I recently received an email from the pastor of a small church in Indiana. He was requesting permission to add apostasywatch.com to the list of recommended links on his church website. I told him that would be fine but I did request more information from him regarding his church and their beliefs. The following is an excerpt from one of the emails we have exchanged since then.

We briefly were caught up in the Pensacola Revival of the mid 1990’s. Several of us went there and thought it was a move of God. We “brought it back” with us to Indiana. …

For about a month we had at every service, Sundays, Wednesdays, every meeting, people were being slain in the spirit, shaking, prophesying, etc. We were getting new people, not new converts, yet I was thrilled. One morning before a Sunday service I was praying and praising God and thanking Him for opening us to His new move. I sensed the Lord tell me to “take the catchers away.” Now please understand, in my pride, I thought God was going to do something new through us. As we would take the catchers away people would still fall down but would not be hurt thus validating that indeed this movement was of Him. So that Sunday morning as people came to the altar to pray, the “catchers” came forward too. I announced that the catchers would not be needed. God was all anyone needed. That was in 1995 or there about, guess what. We still pray for people, even lay hands on them for healing, but no one, not one person has been slain in the spirit since we took the catchers away.  Isn’t that incredible? What does that tell you about the ‘slain in the spirit’ phenomenon? As I have said in the past, the ‘slain in the spirit’ practice is found nowhere in scripture. It is all a work of the flesh.

I tell you Steve, it sent me into a spiritual tailspin. I begin to realize that I had been influenced by demons and flesh. I offered my resignation and the congregation did not accept it but we begin to work through the deception that we were caught in. We repented, turned away from these modern day “new things.” I have carefully studied the word of God as I did before the Pensacola thing. There was a period for about 6 months when the word of God was not the important thing for me to study. I read Kilpatrick’s book, listened to Steve Hill’s tapes, read Michael Brown’s books, I became a defender of the movement. But when we took the “catchers” away, it all came crumbling down. It was left in a heap of ashes never to rise again. The holy laughter thing, the slain in the spirit thing, the shaking, outburst of so called prophesy were all gone in an instant of time.  I thank God for His mercy on us that it did not continue on and that He did not allow us to be caught in such an evil web of deception any longer than we were. 

I praise God that there are still Pastors like this who are willing to follow the Lord and stand for truth regardless of the cost. This man was willing to lay it all down for the sake of the truth. How many other church leaders would have done this?

As I have looked back on it  over the years, there were sign posts along the way but I ignored them and gave over to the explanations that came from my flesh. I guess the biggest “revelation” I had that I ignored the most was the unchanged lives that resulted from the so called revival. People went down there with problems like anger, self pity, pride, marital problems, etc., got into the so called revival and came back shaking, prophesying, jerking, falling out in the so called spirit every time someone laid hands on them and yet they still would explode on their spouse and cuss them out. They still would not have good Bible study habits and church attendance and participation was still hit and miss for the same folks. I think the one thing that was still missing in the midst of it all was New Testament unity. The only real unity that we had was when people were laid out in the spirit next to each other or when they were laughing uncontrollably in the spirit. I just was blinded by it all. Our Tuesday night prayer nights were still only attended by four or five people and there was still little concern for the poor and disenfranchised. Everything revolved around the manifestations of whatever was being manifested. There was really very little humility among us. As a matter of fact, our pride level had hit new heights. You know, small church with big things going on. We had arrived. Yow, we had arrived alright.  Anyway, it all disappeared in one glorious moment. Take the catchers away and everything else went with it. Bang, out the door. There were a couple of people who pitifully still tried to work it up by the flesh and would shake and quake a little bit, but the interest from the rest of the congregation had all but disappeared. When there was no one to perform in front of then the shaking and quaking and jerking would stop. 

God still has some faithful shepherds out there. You probably won’t find them on TBN or in the mega churches. They aren’t with the ‘many’. You’ll find them with the ‘few’. So if you are ever anywhere near Lizton Indiana, stop by and visit New Life Christian Church and say hello to Pastor John Fletcher, a true and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Steve Lumbley 2006  www.apostasywatch.com

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