Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I am writing because of my great concern for what seems to be a false “unity” growing amongst pastors in Sacramento, CA. The concern I have is not only on the local level but on a national level as well. My concern is that this “unity” is being propagated as the key to “revival” in the rest of the nation . . . Some of the pastors are well known, such as Sam Rodriguez (Lead Pastor, New Season Christian Worship Center, also Spanish pastor at Jesus Culture* Sacramento Church Plant) and Banning Liebscher (Lead pastor, Jesus Culture Church plant (note: the Jesus Culture band has almost 2,200,000 Facebook followers and now has concerts in Europe as well as South America, and has recently released a Spanish album).
These Sacramento pastors are convinced that this amazing “unity” that God is supposedly bringing in Sacramento is a model/prototype for how the next great “awakening” will come about for the rest of the nation . . . through what they believe to be “unity” in their city . . . These Sacramento pastors recently posted a 7 minute video (posted by the church Rock of Roseville, which is pastored by Francis Anfuso) with the following title:
“THE SECRET IN EVERY CITY”:
There’s a secret in every city, placed by our Heavenly Father. It’s the Body of Christ, His children. Once they’re found and flow together as one, they fulfill their Father’s perfect will. The Church is God’s gift to their city. But, if the enemy can keep them separated, they’ll never fulfill their individual or corporate destinies. Yet, something unprecedented is happening in Sacramento, California, America’s Most Integrated City. God is Healing Breaches, Uniting Believers and Building Bridges. May this fledgling revival of unity and love in Sacramento spread across our nation, and even around the world!
Here is the link to the video [note Francis Chan and John Ortberg in the video]: https://vimeo.com/129803525, or see it below:
The video starts out with Sam Rodriguez (Lead Pastor, New Season Christian Worship Center, Spanish pastor at Jesus Culture Sacramento Church Plant) narrating with these words: “Why is Sacramento strategic? Because the next awakening may very well be an awakening of unity . . . what if this is it? What if we will see within our lifetime the church of Jesus Christ coming together?”
Sam Rodriguez is an NAR apostle, and:
In December of 2014, Sam was flown to Washington D.C. to consult with President Obama to discuss Obama’s immigration reform strategy. Rodriguez is also a member of ICAL (International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders) and also part of the NAR [New Apostolic] movement.1 His wife Eva Rodriguez and Sam’s sister were part of Roma Downey’s “Women of the Bible” television 2-hour event in December 2014. (source: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16933)
Sam R. also spoke at the January 2015 Jesus Culture Conference in Sacramento. where he “prophesied” concerning the future “revival”: “So goes Sacramento, so goes California . . . so goes California, so goes the U.S. . . . so goes the U.S., so goes the world!!”
Most pastors talk about this amazing “unity” by making statements like: “I believe there is going to be a great awakening that will flood this city, that we have never seen before.” Another pastor talks of the “truly God-sent revival” that is coming . . . Banning Liebscher (Jesus Culture Sacramento Church plant) says: “As I talk to leaders around the nation, they don’t really fully believe what I’m saying about what’s happening in Sacramento . . . that those leading in the city are for one another (i.e. the strong unity).”
Another pastor talks about the decreasing violence and murder rate in Sacramento and gives the credit to the Sacramento pastors who are working with the police and working for this “unity.”
The video has a cross-section of a wide variety of pastors from Sacramento talking about this amazing “unity.” Most of the pastors in this eclectic group are lead pastors of churches that are non-denominational. The only notable denomination represented in the video was a pastor from a Presbyterian church.
Other notable participants in the video included: Bryce Jessup (President Emeritus, William Jessup University [recently place on the Lighthouse Trails list of contemplative-promoting colleges]) and John Jackson (President of William Jessup University) saying: “This region (Sacramento region) is a model for other regions.”
Another notable pastor was Francis Anfuso (Co-Senior Pastor, The Rock of Roseville) who says: “This is divinely inspired . . . so pervasive . . . it’s so widely diverse that it would have a great shot at spilling over to the rest of the nation.”
THE QUESTION I MUST ASK IS, IS THERE REALLY A “SECRET” IN EVERY CITY? Is this “secret” the key to revival in the the rest of the nation?
1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV): ” Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
This Sacramento “unity” movement sounds more like the apostasy the Bible predicts—not some exciting next “great awakening/revival” that will flood our nation.
* LTRP Note: Jesus Culture formed out of the youth group at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church in Redding, California.
CONCERNED IN CALIFORNIA
FALSE REVIVAL COMING?—Part 1: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion? by Warren B. Smith
Is “The Church is the Hope of the World”? by Paul Proctor