Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Revival? No, Just Legal Defense Fund

The other day I was feeling a bit down. Nothing exciting was going on. The holidays were over. The Super Bowl was over. Cheney hadn't shot anyone for a couple of weeks. The late winter blues were setting in.

Then I channel-surfed to Trinity Broadcasting Network just in time to catch the biggest news since the Protestant Reformation. God was pouring out his Holy Spirit on a humble megachurch in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

Pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church claims he's never seen anything like it in nearly 30 years of ministry. Since the first of the year, a powerful revival has been gathering steam at World Harvest's church, school and bible colege. According to Parsley, by the fourth day of classes in January

Students were prophesying in the hallways, laying hands on one another, laying hands on their teachers....One day in the elementary school alone, 142 children received instantaneous baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. That revival swept through the high school and then on to World Harvest Bible College. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of our young people were apprehended by the manifested, tangible presence and power of God. Don't dare miss it. This is coming to your home.

A video clip from a recent Sunday service proved the point. Pastor Parsley screamed: "Shout! The Holy Ghost is real! The Holy Ghost is real! The Holy Ghost is real! And He's falling in this room! He's falling in this room! He's falling in this room! Signs! Wonders! Miracles! Healing! Deliverance! Victory! Joy! Shout!!!" Meanwhile a nubile young lady bounced back and forth behind the pastor.

I was excited. I wanted miracles, healing, victory and joy. (I didn't need one of those nubile young ladies since I'm already married to one, but I'm sure that will be a big draw in some quarters.) How could I get all these wonderful things? All I had to do was call, write or go online and send $40. That would "signify" my "covenant relationship with Pastor Parsley."

If only I had Pastor Parsley's prepaid debit Mastercard. But wait a minute. Why Columbus, Ohio? I've been to Columbus, Ohio.

Pastor Parsley explained. Apparently Pastor Tommy Bates of Independence, Kentucky had a vision.

He saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It was pushed back for a season, but then he saw that beast coming back with a woman riding on its back. Her name: Mystery Religion. And she is drunk--hear me--with the blood of the prophets and of the saints. [Blogger's Note--See Revelation 17: 3-6] Within days of those prophetic words being uttered in the midst of this revival, I was attacked viciously through the media by a group of religious leaders. Now, you probably heard about it on the news. It's made national headlines across the country. But as Pastor Bates prophesied, only the virgin Shulammite [Blogger's Note: See Song of Solomon 6: 13], the Church of Jesus Christ, the salt of the earth, can combat that rider. When the attacks came, the saints of God here at World Harvest Church had been fasting and interceding for nearly 40 days since the first of the year, and what the Enemy meant for evil, God has turned for good. He's using this unwarranted vicious attack to shine the spotlight on the church. 5-4-3-2-1, it's show time!
You can trust Pastor Parsley's discernment between warranted and unwarranted attacks, as you can trust him on all moral issues. He is, after all, the Founder and President of The Center for Moral Clarity.

Later in the telecast, Parsley aired a clip of Pastor Bates himself recounting his vision at the World Harvest Church revival.

There was a beast that came walkin' through America with a body like a leopard, paws like a bear, a mouth like a lion, seven heads with ten horns. [Blogger's Note: See Revelation 13: 1-2] God chose this place, your pastor, to push the beast back for a season. Now God is gonna choose this place. The reason why the intensity is so strong here is because this is a birthing center. I don't know what I'm sayin'. I'm only listen' to what I'm hearin'.

Pastor Tommy then spoke in an unknown tongue:

Kare verhay hora kandra kay shanda la hahaya, nenna honda hyundai.
[Rough translation: If you don't have the money, sell your Honda or Hyundai and send us the cash; my cut is 30%.]

As it turns out, 31 Ohio clergy are asking the IRS to investigate Parsley's tax exempt status given his political activities. Come to think of it, I have heard him brag on TBN that he got George W. Bush re-elected by turning out a big Republican vote in Ohio in 2004, and he's openly politicking for J. Kenneth Blackwell, Republican candidate for governor.

Oh, well. Back to the late winter blues.


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