Rick Joyner, Larry Huch, and false prophecy

rick joynerThere’s one thing that makes me madder at God than anything else. It’s actually not when inexplicable tragedies happen or when people who prayed their hearts out lose their loved ones to diseases. Those things suck and are horrible. But what really threatens my faith more than anything is when well-meaning Christians who have devoted themselves to years of fasting and prayer end up making prophetic declarations that are monstrously at odds with the character of the God I have come to know. How does God allow people who have faithfully sought Him in prayer to get things so wrong? And if they aren’t getting it wrong, then why isn’t God showing me what He’s showing to them?

Over the past couple of days, I’ve encountered two preachers in the charismatic evangelical megachurch world who have some pretty scary convictions about how God is supposedly working in the world. Larry Huch, the pastor of New Beginnings church in Irving, Texas, declared last year that Rosh Hashanah, 2012 would start the year of the Lord’s government, adding the following:

This will begin what we call the end-time transfer of wealth. And that when these Gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grow and grow and grow. It’s said this way: that God is looking at the church and everyone in it and deciding in the next three and a half years who will be his bankers. And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust me, we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the messiah.

There is nothing Biblical about this nonsense! It’s incredible to me that God would allow a man like this to stand up in front of thousands of people and teach them on His behalf. In Ezekiel, it talks about the glory of the Lord leaving the temple in Jerusalem when it was desecrated. Do I have to conclude that everything the people of the New Beginnings church are experiencing is a complete demonic farce? Surely there are many people there who have genuinely been delivered from sin and have very real and legitimate walks of discipleship. But how does the Holy Spirit countenance this kind of Simon the sorcerer blasphemy by showing up in this man’s church and doing work there as though this teaching is perfectly acceptable?

Rick Joyner is a tougher case. I really think that his Morning Star ministry has done a lot of good for many people. But then he got on TV this week saying, “I believe our only hope is a military takeover.” I guess in this specific example, Joyner is not claiming to have a word from God or a teaching. It’s more a question of the irresponsibility of talking that way. And what’s with the sense of urgency in saying that “our republic can’t last much longer”? It’s hard for me not to see a beady-eyed lust for Armageddon underneath the hysteria of saying things like this. The far right Christians were eagerly sweating bullets a few months ago when it looked like the Japanese nuclear radiation leak might be the big thing that Y2K wasn’t. Why do they want the world to end so badly?

My theory is that our information age breeds a psychological need for something cataclysmic to happen. What’s unbearable is not President Obama’s “tyranny” but the tyranny of the utterly unheroic structure of our lives. It’s like the Matrix, except we don’t have the delusional happy world that we live in. We see all the hardware that has us plugged into the machine, and we see the aliens who are harvesting our life energy from us.

So where is the line that gets crossed when this becomes something serious? If we do ever have a fascist takeover in our country, the people who make the most sense to do it are those who are the most paranoid about a fascist takeover. I had to ban a wackadoo libertarian guy from my facebook page yesterday because of his profanity, but the scary thing for me was the way that he had no problem declaring that any form of taxation at all is theft, murder, and tyranny. If you come to believe that you’re literally facing thieves and murderers, at what point do you start a terrorist organization? People are so careless with their words because they think that words have no consequences. I just worry that we’re preparing our hearts for great wickedness when we parrot hyperbolic false accusations as the truth.

But back to the main point. How does God sit back and let Larry Huch, Rick Joyner, and others like them say these things on His behalf? When they’re praying, why doesn’t He reach out and sock them in the ears? He’s done that to me plenty of times. God’s rebukes are the most important part of my relationship with Him. Why does He refrain from rebuking men who are presumably really trying to love Him and have so much more power than I do and can cause so much damage to the body of Christ with that power?

11 thoughts on “Rick Joyner, Larry Huch, and false prophecy

  1. I will not allow either one of these men speak to me on any subject whatsoever. Rick Joyner has become a member of the “Knights of Malta”, by his own admission. A Roman Catholic organization where you take an oath to destroy the protestant church. As I have said before Rick Joyner cannot speak a single word that I will listen to. Larry Huch has said, “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God”. We are all sons of god. That is NOT a play on words, he is a gross false prophet. It is not semantics, he has committed Blasphemy. You can argue with someone like these two men who have tried to deceive until you are blue in the face. Walk away from them and ignore them. These two man are IDOLATERS. I will not listen to them speak or write anything.

  2. I live in Southern California, South and East of Los Angeles, and also East of the fabled OC. It’s fundamentalist heaven and Cibola to the mighty and powerful in the mega-church bizz. Just last week one of their heavyweights was beating the war drums on fundamentalist FM radio for war with Iran. What I have trouble figuring out is whether it’s just a desire to help the Lord out with the Rapture or to live out their own Oliver Cromwell (as with Joyner) fantasy and try and make their mark on history. Mayhap it’s a little of both? Either way, the cash flow has got to be staggering.

  3. With all due respect Morgan, I think you’re basing your thinking on a false premise, i.e. that Huch, Joyner, et. al. truly love God and that all their words and actions are motivated by a sincere desire to imitate Christ as He went about doing His Father’s will. I have some fabulous oceanfront property in Nebraska that I’d love to sell to anyone who actually believes that these evangelical or charismatic or dominionist or whatever they want to call themselves preachers are solely concerned with humbly bringing, through the example of word and deed, others into closer union with the Divine. Balderdash! These self-styled “prophet”-poseurs are walking, talking monuments to blind, self-aggrandizing hubris. They are addicted to the high that they derive from wielding power and influence over their deluded followers–not to mention the comfy lifestyles afforded by the contributions of said followers.

    The reason that you can hear God’s voice Morgan, is that you are actually listening for it. You are open and receptive and conscious of your need for Divine guidance. Joyner, Huch and their ilk are too wrapped up in hearing themselves roar to be aware that God is trying to get a word in edgewise. In the case of these guys, God really needs to ditch the whole “still, small voice” thing and grab a bullhorn! Frankly, from what I’ve seen–and heard–of/from these right-wing, dominionist-type preachers, I get the distinct impression that they think that they are setting God’s agenda, rather than the reverse.

    As a person of faith, I commend your generosity of spirit–making the assumption that these so-called preachers truly love God is indeed an act of charity. I’m afraid I’m just not that nice.

  4. “And the ones that say here I am Lord, you can trust ME, WE will become so blessed that WE will usher in the coming of the messiah.” Our hubristic human nature makes us “unsuitable and unworthy” to hear the word of God, let alone interpret and act on it.
    I have struggled with the questions you are asking in this blog all my life— how can I hear the Holy Spirit so clearly at times, yet sometimes the message is in direct opposition (biblically or prophetically) to those men and women that have taught me, nurtured me spiritually, and supported me in my constant searching to know and love Him better through their interpretation. Why is there such disparity? Truth should be truth, and if it isn’t….
    We all have our place in God’s plan. We are taught to be humbled by the lowly, and skeptical of the powerful, but doesn’t actual clarity come from many places, from the search for truth itself? Jesus was “special”, in a class all by Himself, powerless as a human, yet God is the deity that goes beyond our imagination and ability to correctly conceptualize. We see “Him” is in everything, everywhere. Doesn’t that serve to clearly remind us that power is subjective, and that it is okay to be “less than” all-knowing?
    We all “hear” differently, just like children learn different things from different teachers. What seems true now, was heresy before (women in the pulpit-horrors!) . Even scholars interpret the same biblical passages differently, some to support their long-held beliefs and some to correct interpretations that clearly insult our intelligence today. Some preachers preach the truth and no one listens, while the most charismatic among them can spout lies or false prophesy and the crowd trips all over themselves for more.
    We serve a fluid, organic and omnipotent Savior while living on an ever changing planet. We cannot “know” everything. False prophets will always be with us, and some of those we love and want to protect, the most vulnerable, will suffer from their witness. I see that every day when I counsel.
    I believe the truth is revealed in the constant search and quiet listening, and God is in control of it all for His Glory..

  5. The answer to why, perhaps, is in your last sentence, when you describe these men as having so much more power than you do. I think God actually refuses to work through men with worldly power. God isn’t sitting back. God refuses to interfere when we run towards a cliff. God’s love is so free we can even throw it away.

    We sing so much about “Christ the King” that we forget sometimes that Jesus was about the most powerless human being that ever existed from the worldly point of view. Jesus was so powerless on that level that even his few followers ran away when the authorities grabbed him. And that’s the point. Worldly power is inversely related to our relationship with God.

    It is hard for all of us with a heart of flesh to see how God loves us so much that he lets us make terrible mistakes. It hurts to see it, but his love allows us to learn the hard way, which is the best, the only real way for us to learn anything. We call it the authority of those who have suffered.

    Larry Huch and Rick Joyner can’t hurt us. It is their own demons they ride, not ours. They can kill us, but they can’t hurt us. I agree that they are painful to witness. I think they signify nothing except the hubris of pride that I know so well on account of I have a mirror. The bigger our God is in us the more such things will bother us. That’s our share of the cross and we are humbled by it.

    • Unfortunately, aspiringholyfool, right-wing, dominionist preachers like Huch and Joyner can hurt us. They are doing their best to turn our nation into their vision of a Christian theocracy. That vision contains elements of both racism and unfettered free-market capitalism. These preachers have allied themselves with our country’s political right wing as well as conservative megabucks and the state-level legislative clout of the American Legislative Exchange Council. An unholy trinity if there ever was one. The Religious Right’s vision of Christian nationalism rests on the foundation of the aforementioned trinity. It’s up to those of us who can recognize the danger to pay attention, be vigilant, and make sure that the Dominionist vision never comes to pass.

      • Peggy
        Living in Scotland as I do, I am much less familiar with the American political scene, but I think you have hit the nail on the head in answering Morgan’s question. Testing the prophets, or weighing what they say, is a New Testament command to the whole church. One of the threads running through Galatians is that false teachers have come among you (says Paul), and it is up to you, the church, to put them right or put them out. The problem today seems to me that congregations are mesmerised by charismatic (in the secular sense) preachers, have not been taught the priesthood of all believers, and are not willing to take on their responsibilities as a congregation, if they are even aware of them. As in the 1st century, the Holy Spirit will usually work through believers.
        Even in the previous church I was part of, with none of the Joyner/Huch type teaching (it is mercifully rare here), I believe there was an element of idolatry of the pastor. How much more dangerous if the pastor’s teaching is anti-biblical!
        Morgan, I am sure, is a humble man who is truly called by God to his position and, I would guess, would be gracious with any member of his congregation who felt a need to differ with him or correct him. These are marks of a good Christian servant-leader (whether in a church or a secular position).

        • Summers-lad, I’m not sure I’m going to say this right, so bear with me, I think a big reason for the proliferation of absolutist, hubristic Joyner/Huch type of religious (???–maybe, but hardly spiritual) personage in the US is that these preachers tend to be heavily influenced by a distinctly American brand of capitalistic competitiveness. They are as much entrepreneur as they are purveyors of Divine wisdom. Hence the megachurches with thousands of congregants at a “service”, the radio and TV shows, the branded merchandise, etc. Essentially they see themselves as competitors in a contest to be God’s Salesman of the Year. Since America is a large country with plenty of lost people looking for unassailable answers and a guaranteed ticket into heaven, these preachers get their egos fed and wind up assuming that of course they, and only they, are right about everything and everyone else had better agree with them or face the certainty of eternal damnation.

          Granted, I have just posited a very simplistic explanation of the whole “Elmer Gantry syndrome” phenomenon, but the Elmer Gantry type of self-aggrandizing theocrat has been present in American culture throughout our history. And while the Dominionist mindset is not a direct product of ulta-competitive laissez-faire capitalism, It is quite pervasively informed by the capitalist social, economic, and political worldview. And if you look really closely at this worldview, you’ll soon see that Jesus/God has damn little to do with anything.

          • Peggy
            Thank you for your perspective – interesting. In reflecting on your comment, I think that whereas American churches tend to be capitalist, the established church in England and the not-quite-to-established church in Scotland tend to be more feudalist in nature. The American separation of church and state, which I believe is how it should be, has probably had the unintended but serious consequence of promoting the capitalist mindset in the church.
            A hundred years ago the most respected members of most Scottish communities were the minister, the doctor and the dominie (head teacher). Society has changed since then but remnants of the “establishment” ethos persist. And although it was in decline for many years, feudalism was only abolished from the Scottish legal system in 2003.
            Interestingly, capitalism and feudalism, or the power of big money and the privilege of traditional hierarchy, are the two main areas of support for political conservatism in the UK. (The dominionist theme, or support for empire, has moved across the Atlantic.) And I agree with you that none of these has anything much to do with Jesus.
            Thankfully, there are churches both here and over there which do not conform to these patterns.

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