Alpha Course, Catholic evangelism, Catholic mysticism, Charismatic movement, experience vs. God's Word, false doctrine, false spirits, global religion, Holy Trinity Brompton, interspirituality, Nicky Gumbel, oneness spirituality, Rick Warren, signs and wonders, unbiblical ecumenism
From the tireless (well, almost) team of Amy and Mike at Stand Up For The Truth, a further update and warning about the Alpha Course. (For those not familiar with the dangers of the Alpha Course, I have included a link to an introductory article further on in this post, as well as a link to an excellent series of articles from the UK).
Here is an update on the Alpha Course, a program that was started by Nicky Gumbel at the Anglican church in London. This church was the center of the holy laughter movement in England and Europe, and has been known for services that include being “slain in the spirit” and behaviors such as uncontrollable laughter, spasms, loud animal-like noises and physical manifestations during emotionally driven services. In some cases, these elements have found their way into the teachings of this course. (Gumbel is also a member of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation.)
Among the many more prominent leaders to endorse ALPHA are Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Tony Campolo, Tim Keller, J. I. Packer and others. And starting this week, Willow Creek will offer Alpha. Ken Silva over at Apprising Ministries revisits the Alpha Program with this robust report about the ecumenical nature of a program that is uniting Catholics, Evangelicals and others in a way that is blurring the lines…
Read the rest of the article here.
For those wanting some background information, here is an introductory article from Stand Up For The Truth: “What Is The Alpha Course?”
I realise that many people view Alpha as an excellent tool for leading people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. If you, or someone you know, were saved after attending an Alpha course, then I praise God that in his sovereignty and grace he continues to call his people to a saving faith in His son, Jesus Christ, from wherever they are at the time! However, there is considerable biblical evidence to show that the course contains significant false teachings, and therefore also produces many false converts. As difficult as this may be for some to accept, please read the articles I have linked to, then search the Scriptures and see for yourself.
I should say here that several years ago, I personally attended the Alpha Course offered at my previous church, which is sliding into increasingly erroneous teachings, spiritual experiences and practices. I personally had no issue with the course until the Lord opened my eyes to its false teachings. I do know a number of people who believed they had come to Christ through this course. It is my personal testimony that many people I have met who were ‘converted’ through Alpha, later (and praise God for this!) had their eyes opened to God’s glorious truth. In this process, the Holy Spirit clearly showed them that they had not in fact heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ either at the course (or afterwards in the hosting church). I have also met many people, and heard many testimonies of people who clearly are not regenerate, but believe themselves to be after completing the Alpha Course and ‘accepting Jesus’ or ‘experiencing the Holy Spirit’.
As true believers we are all called to tirelessly defend the truth of God’s word, and warn others of false teaching wherever we find it. Apparent large numbers of conversions through the Alpha Course should not be taken at face value, but rather the teachings of any such course must be held up against the Word of God and judged accordingly. The fruits of such ‘conversions’ must also be assessed according to what the Scriptures teach us about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, not by man’s definition. A more successful life, a better marriage or even freedom from an addiction are not necessarily evidences of true conversion. (For an excellent on this topic, see J C Ryle’s article here). When a course fails to teach sound biblical doctrine, it must be rejected and other avenues for evangelism found instead.
There are so many people who are starving for the life-giving truth of God’s living and precious word. The Alpha Course does not teach sound doctrine, and leads people to a false Jesus and a false spirit. Sadly many church leaders who promote the Alpha Course are not also faithfully preaching the Word of God from their pulpits either. This is a serious matter for all believers to be aware of and to talk to others (and their church leaders) about.
I urge you to read the articles linked in this post, and let me know if you have further questions. I would also be very interested to hear personal testimonies of your (or your church’s) experience with the Alpha Course, including positive ones!
Finally, saving the best until last, Jude’s letter to all believers:
1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Judgment on False Teachers
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert he grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.
12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
A Call to Persevere
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment7 stained by the flesh.
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Blessings in Christ, Sherryn