1. Dorothy

    Thank you for these letters and the replies. I was so taken with the ones about “How did we go wrong” as well as the one about’ only a heretic will get angry if told about false teachers.’ That was my experience when my pastor was told about false teachers! I was there with a friend who was telling him how much we need to be aware of what is happening with the Gospel being falsified and he retorted “I don’t like to speak against any preachers/teachers of the Gospel and refuse to listen to LHTRP! I told him I will not turn my back on them, having learned so much about the false publicity. I am a part of an Anabaptist Congregation, grew up in that persuasion, but can see how it has begun to excessively being swayed in the wrong direction. Prayers are so needed for all of our pastors/teachers, how they are being influenced when something they read or hear ‘sounds good!’.

  2. DJ

    Oh how I agree with that reply!! I have some of the same situations in my family and I daily pray for them, that the Holy Spirit would move in their hearts, that they would hunger and thirst for righteousness. Some are are on th right road, but not all. I pray for those who have given their all to God, the they would continue in their walk with Him, praying those who’s hearts are not on that Walk, but that the pull of God’s Holy Spirit would be so strong they cannot refuse! Keep praying!

  3. Rebecca, there is nothing wrong with doing good works, and as Christians, we should care about and help the less fortunate. But truth cannot be measured by good works alone (or primarily). Remember, the Bible says that Satan’s ministers come as ministers of righteousness. The Bible also tells us to be Bereans and to use discernment, knowing that there are those who bring “another Jesus” and “another gospel.” So we cannot say that just because an organization talks about “Jesus” and has humanitarian outreach programs, that the organization (or person) is not in serious error and misleading and harming people spiritually. And there is no comparison in what took place at Pentecost to the laughing, barking, punching, falling over, etc. that we witness in The River movement. If you would be willing to read a book called The Other Side of the River by a former elder of a River church, we’d be happy to send it to you free. Please just email us at editors@lighthousetrails.com with your mailing address. We hope you will further investigate this movement before fully accepting it.

    We happened to read an article today from ReachOut Trust (from the UK) titled “How to Start a Cult” and thought it was worth mentioning here. Here is the link: https://bridgeofreason.blogspot.com/2019/08/how-to-start-cult.htmlhttps://bridgeofreason.blogspot.com/2019/08/how-to-start-cult.htmlhttps://bridgeofreason.blogspot.com/2019/08/how-to-start-cult.html. If you read The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves, you will see quite a few similarities in what happened to hin while in the River movement and what this article lists.

  4. Rebecca

    I know many people going to The River Church and school. I went to visit the church and school myself. These kids love the Lord with all there hearts. They go hours a day giving out flyers to people in need all over Tampa. They invite them to hear the gospel and then give them food, clothes, and then ask them to come to church. Rodney Howard Browne hires 11 Colts buses and picks these people up right at their houses. These people have nothing to offer the church but they come in the doors and are loved. the Students in the school pray together constantly. They go out and share their faith. That is the Great Commission. Also, Rodney Howard Browne goes out to different countries and his mission is to reach the lost. That’s it. He doesn’t ask for a dime. For the hurricane he sent a team of people that got there even before Red Cross. They gave 250,000 to help. I was skeptical when I was witness this laughing at his services and didn’t know what to think. But I looked around and it was people filled with true joy. In the Upper Room they said they are not drunk as you suppose. The Holy Spirit is still there, Jesus didn’t make the Holy Spirit available to a few people and then take it away. Peter loved the Lord with all his heart but denied him. It wasn’t until he was filled with the Holy Spirit that he went out and did mighty things. Please don’t judge this man or Ministry. I don’t know any churches in my area , including my own who follow the Lord with such love and compassion as The River.

  5. Shirley

    The whole Christian world seems to be missing the point of being a believer in Christ … they believe lots of things of which some are truths , but they have grown in knowledge rather than in trust of whom they believe.

    God is faithful to a seeking heart to KNOW Him as He reveals Himself by His Holy Spirit to a hungry for Him heart.

    God said there would be teachers etc. but we have lost our awareness of our need, not for truth itself, but for revelation which is only given by God’s Holy Spirit . Otherwise, the Apostle Paul, who already knew the Scriptures better than most, but only knew the Lord when and not until the HOLY SPIRIT REVEALED to him Jesus, that Jesus was the living son of God. Then upon that revelation, years followed wherein the scriptures came to life in Paul as the Holy Spirit revealed the truth. Without the Holy Spirit, one simply has the dead letter, just as Paul previously had before his living real encounter with the Lord.

    Rodney Howard-Brown spoke truth re “out of our belly shall flow rivers of living water”. However, it seems as if these leaders believe that they ARE NEEDED to teach and preach in order for people to receive from God. Re this Pentecostal experience, tell me, did the 120 in the upper room, respond to a preacher telling them a truth, or a sermon or a scripture or anything else. No, their response was to Jesus to assemble and wait and then the Holy Spirit moved, baptized, and they spoke in tongues with no foreknowledge no prompting … no nothing. They simply assembled together as believers in the reality of God, they then experienced the reality in their own lives without any preacher, teacher, apostle , leader or instruction to respond to. They simply waited as instructed … why? … their trust was simply in God.

    God is real and He sent His Son and He sent back His Holy Spirit so that we could KNOW Him, not in our minds, but in our born again spirits.

    God includes us in HIS ministry but we take over and lead. This opens the door for truth and deception to be presented as we become leaders or else followers of man and NOT Jesus. The ONLY way to follow Jesus is to be open, yielded to walk in and be led by Him. This can only happen as we recognize that life in Him only stems from Him …. His Holy Spirit. It’s never from anything we do. We then would find ourselves to be in a true place of humility before our magnificent God and Lord Jesus Christ.

  6. DW

    Please make it very clear that Youth With A Mission (YWAM) was helping to head up The Send. In fact, YWAMers went to Lou Engle and together they formed the idea for The Send. As a very recent former YWAM staff who was naive to all things NAR and contemplative, I am now horrified to see this and thank God for giving us the discernment to leave. But, we NEED to warn our young people about YWAM. They are heavily involved in Lou Engle, Benny Hinn, IHOP, etc. They are teaching contemplative prayer and corporate imagery prayer. Not every base is, but you cannot be sure which do because they have destructuralized their organization..which means there is little to no accountability of each separate base. The problem starts at the top. Andy Byrd, one of the main collaborators for The Send, is part of the leadership for the YWAM University of the Nations and YWAM Kona base. He has spoken at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministries : the Summit (Feb) and Bethel Church. Steve Cochran endorses Eugene Peterson, Selah, contemplative practices, syncretism and more. And that is just couple. YWAM is no longer a place to encourage our young people to get involved with. I would beg Lighthouse trails to research YWAM…thousands of people a year are being taught through YWAM..and thousands of young people will be deceived ..as they already have through The Send and the collaborators that YWAM chose to use.

  7. Kathy

    Well, just a month or so ago I warned my elder at the A/G church we started attending that Chan is running with the NAR pack in The Send after they gave everyone a youtube link to hear Chan speak on evangelism. He said he’d check on it, yet just last week I was informed the youth Sunday school class is starting Chan doctrine videos! They started them ahead of telling me so. So I was forced to yank my teenager away from his new friends in that class! Division starting again! Sword has fallen in my house while standing for truth! Why can’t we all just study the Word at church, worship, and fellowship together? Did I mention I ran out of a NAR church the week after the Azusa Now Conference after seeing Lou Engle kiss the priest’s feet? We are not repeating NAR life!! People don’t want to hear it. Yes, birds of a feather flock together!

  8. Elizabeth Bennett

    Before any revival starts there has to be a repentance. John the Baptist preached a gospel of repentance to prepare the Jewish people to believe in their Messiah Jesus Christ. During the Tribulation there will be a huge revival brought about by the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the two witnesses in Jerusalem. But sadly, even during the horrors of the Tribulation there will be many who refuse to repent and believe in Jesus.

  9. T. I. Miller

    Doug, it is important to define terminology concerning the hypostatical union. Jesus was fully God and fully and fully God. He emptied himself taking on the form of a servant. Jesus said that He only said what the Father told Him to say. That He only did what the Father told Him to do. He said no one but the Father knows of the day or the hour.
    In the story of the prince and the pauper the prince lived like he was not a prince. The prince set aside his authority. This is all that is meant by Jesus setting aside His divine authority. It does not mean that while incarnate that He stopped being God. This truth magnifies the humility of Jesus. Of His own free will He refrained from using His divinity to make life easier. He is the ultimate role model for walking in complete submission.
    Truth is truth irrespective of who speaks it. Anyone who quotes John 3:16, for example, is speaking truth.

  10. T. I. Miller

    Church leaders have gone astray from the beginning. They face the same fame temptations that the Pharisees faced. They are given the seat of honor, a special title and respectful greetings. More fame can easily go to anyone’s head. Increasing the flock and the income with books and media can feed their egos. Money remains the root of all kinds of evil, even a pastors salary. King Solomon’s fame swelled his ego not his humility. Pastors can begin to believe their own press too. Fame like any addiction leads to needing ever increasing doses.
    Pastor is a gift not a church office. Eph. 4:11 lists four spiritual gifts apostle, prophet, evangelist and shepherd/teacher. The apostle Paul was never an elder nor was a pastor. 1 Cor. 14-39 gives the biblical model for how co-equal elders are to conduct the church service collectively. Verse 40 gives them as a group to see that all is done in decency and order. During the church service the one speaking could be test by and or replaced other elders. The church service was not passive for the flock it was participatory. Each was to bring a Psalm or a praise. There is no place for a Hollywood concert production so called worship service found in scripture. This model is designed to keep egos in check. This model keeps shepherds from drawing people after themselves. God did not ordain the local church to become an employment franchise for seminary graduates. Nor a launch pad for promotions to ever bigger platforms.

  11. CW

    The very first time I ever heard Rodney Howard-Browne speak (on TV), I had a very serious sense in my spirit that something there was strange — in the Biblical definition of the word “strange”.

    A friend told me that she really liked his message, but I never did have a good impression of it. As the years have gone by, my initial impression has been confirmed.

  12. CW

    Doug, do you have a link to Lindsay Davis’ testimony? I’d love to see that. I agree with you that at one time Francis Chan was a good teacher. I read his books (three) and found them to be solid Biblically; I was blessed by them. It is shocking to see what/whom he is embracing today.

    I pray in the mighty Name of Jesus the Lord that he will see the error of his way and repent with godly sorrow which leads to repentance not to be repented of.

  13. Doug

    All’s one has to do is to open their Bible and read the New Testament through once to see that what happens at Bethel is asinine and demonic. I used to listen to some of Chan’s sermons after I was saved and was blessed back then … I simply can’t believe he would let himself even be associated with a heretic like Bill Johnson (who teaches that Jesus set aside his divinity to model what someone fully being led by the Spirit can do). Listen to Lindsay Davis’ testimony of getting kicked out of Bethel’s version of Hogwarts because God graciously opened her eyes to the truth. Jesus Culture is just the gateway drug into Bethel … draw em in with the music and then give them the kool-aid!

  14. MB

    I think it started when he wrote “Crazy Love.” This also marked the beginning of the departure from truth for David Platt (who wrote a similar book in “Radical”). This, not to mention, they are both ardent Calvinists (or were). They subtly added to the gospel (as did the author/book “The Hole in Our Gospel”). Many move from adding works to the Gospel to adding “social justice” to the Gospel.

  15. Nancy

    You just have to shake your head at the excuses those who are compromising make. It takes one step, and then another in the wrong direction to change the course of a persons spiritual walk. It would appear that too many popular teachers have rejected what scripture says about false teachers. It’s better to stand alone firm in the truth of God’s word, than join the crowd in false unity and error.

  16. Linda

    That is so true and so funny!
    If he was, the message would say;
    “Don’t look back, remember Lot’s wife!”

  17. Cheryl Fisher

    CH and I have been warning people for years about a coming false and deceptive “Revival” . Most have ignored it , refused to accept even the possibility of such an occurrence, and have called us false prophets/teachers and rejected us along with others who have spoken likewise.
    The professing church sleeps not even aware that deception is rocking the cradle they sleep in.

  18. Sina

    You didn’t necessarily do anything wrong! It all sounds your kids got all they needed from you as parents. We don’t have any guarantees for the developments and final outcome of our kids’ lives, though. We can just leave them in God’s hands, as they go their way and make their own decisions, and we continue to pray for them. God is good and faithful. Nothing you did was in vain.

  19. Ann

    I raised my 5 children(in their late 40’s and 30’s) to know about the “Hidden dangers of the rainbow ” . The teachings of , ” How shall we then live ” , but above all was the King James bible ! My oldest son is a lover of self but says he loves God, , my second son is agnostic, and a lover of self, my oldest daughter has many issues , but she does love the Lord . My second daughter follows Hillsong , my youngest son gets what is happening in the world and lives for God .we went to church 3 times a week and the younger 3 went to Christian school . My husband and I taught Sunday school and we were in bus ministry ! What did we do wrong ! Or does the world have such a pull that pastors and even church kids ,raised in a good home run after it ?

  20. John J

    Does anyone remember the biggest spiritual joke of the last century; the beginning to the biggest revival ever (whatever that meant?); the biggest blasphemous movement since Calvinism? The feast of unbiblical manifestations? Some called it the “sex-with-clothes-on movement. Of course, it was…

    The Toronto Blessing. (Of which the charlatan Browne was a leader).

    Pay these people no attention; be the light of the world, and let darkness fall upon itself.

  21. Jim

    Francis Chan is a heretic just like the rest of them. I really do not like the soft talk about how his teaching is “dangerous”, to use the word dangerous means to me that you need to watch the way before you or watch the teaching of Chan, his teaching is lethal, false and he must be marked and must be avoided. I agree with you all about this false revival conference, what a mess. If you are going to share the stage with them, then you are one of them.

  22. Linda

    Also, if you want to start on a Biblical platform when it comes to ‘sharing platforms,’ they need to begin at
    2 John 1; 10. We are not to even give them a greeting. I bet he did much more than that!

  23. Linda

    Only a wolf will get angry if you criticize other wolves. Only a heretic will get mad if you criticize heretics. These run in packs and as the saying goes; “birds of a feather flock together.” A true Christian would be glad when darkness gets exposed, but not a wolf!

  24. DL

    Something happened to Francis Chan a number of years ago. That was the beginning of his downward fall. Looks like he’s reached the bottom though, or nearly so. Shame.

    On lighter note, the picture of the pilgrim, I thought he was holding one of those new foldable smart phones at first. You get so used to seeing pictures of people everyday holding that same pose, face down in their phone screen! Modern folks would do well to take up the walking stick too. Might save them from falling into a hole while strolling along.

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