John R. Houk
© December 11, 2013
Rick Joyner is a Minister of the Gospel who leans toward the Charismatic and Prophetic strains of Protestant Christianity. Joyner is either heralded for his insights or disdained as a heretic for his point of the Holy Bible. Here is a simple biography from the website that is part of MorningStar Ministries:
Rick Joyner is Founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor at MorningStar Fellowship Church. Rick is President of The Oak Initiative, an interdenominational movement that mobilizes Christians to engage in the great issues of our time. He has authored more than forty books, including The Final Quest Trilogy, There Were Two Trees in the Garden, and A New America. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna Jane, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam. ([Top of] Rick Joyner [Archive Page]; MorningStar)
Joseph R. Chambers is a Christian detractor of Rick Jordan’s prophetic (often in the sense of metaphorical insight) teachings. He calls those teachings “False Teachings”. Chambers is a Doctor of Divinity meaning he has credentials as an academic theologian. Credentials are a big thing for Mainstream Protestants and Catholics. Just for clarity I am not criticizing Mainstream academic theology in absolute terms. Rather I believe academic theologians place more stock in the aggregated opinions of past theologians of which even today’s theologians may concur or not concur in part or in toto. Here is an excerpt from a Chambers essay criticizing Joyner:
The first time I picked up material written by Rick Joyner I immediately sensed the spirit of darkness and deception. Reading his material is similar to reading New Age materials. His approach is to take anything in Scripture and make it mean anything that suits his theological aims. There is no faithfulness to established facts of interpretation. It’s a smorgasbord of ideas loosely connected with the generous use of out-of-text Scripture to prove his point. Look at his basic premise for the book, There Were Two Trees In The Garden. His identification of the forbidden tree lays a false foundation for the entire book.
“The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is a powerful Biblical model of the Law. As the Apostle Paul declared “The power of sin is the law” (I Corinthians 15:56). This is because it is through the Law that we must derive our knowledge of good and evil. We may wonder how this knowledge brings death until we see the fruit. The knowledge of good and evil kills us by distracting us from the One who is the source of life; the Tree of Life – Jesus. The Tree of Knowledge causes us to focus our attention upon ourselves. Sin is empowered by the law; not just because the evil is revealed but the good as well. It drives us either to corruption or self-righteousness, both of which lead to death.” (There Were Two Trees In The Garden, Rick Joyner, pp. 9-10.)
To suggest that this forbidden tree was the Laws of God as given to Moses or any other Bible writer is blasphemous. The “Ten Commandments” are the foundational truths and principles of all of God’s revelation. This attack on “God’s Laws” shows the direction of major deception in religious circles. Satan cannot present himself as God or present his Antichrist as the “Christ” without first separating Divine revelation or the Holy Truth from experiences in the religious realm. (The False Teachings of Rick Joyner; By Joseph R. Chambers; Apologetics Coordination Team; 1999)
Chambers seems that a paragraph from Joyner’s book validates the assumption that Joyner takes Scripture and twists it to anything chosen to mean for the moment. Then indicates (as is typical of academics) claims that Joyner takes Scripture out of context when in reality Joyner is simply using a metaphorical parallel of what would be occurring when Moses received the Law from God Almighty. Chambers suggests that Joyner is saying specifically that the Tree of knowledge of good and evil is equivalent of the Law and that the Tree of Life is Jesus. If you read the paragraph used to vilify Joyner, Joyner says no such thing. Rather Joyner uses metaphorical symbolism to indicate that the Tree of knowledge of good and Evil as well as the Tree of Life were models of future Biblical realities that would embodied in Moses and later through the human birth of the Savior and Deliverer Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Ok, you got me. I am a proponent of Rick Joyner. I do not necessarily side with Joyner hook, line and sinker. I believe every Believer must read and meditate on the Bible to understand what the Holy Spirit has for your journey and that people like Joyner and/or even Mainstream theologians should be used as a framework rather than an absolute acquiescence to their interpretations of Scripture. If you miss the understanding of the Holy Spirit be humble enough to be corrected but not sheepish enough to fail to verify the validity of someone else’s correction.
Christianbook.com provides a profile of Rick Joyner that is more even handed than Joseph R. Chambers. The profile lays out how Joyner has helped many and lays out the reasons why he has critics leaving it up to the reader to decide for their self if Joyner is a false teach, a prophet or a person that is sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect. The profile is entitled as Meet Rick Joyner and can be read HERE.
Now I had to go over these thoughts on Rick Joyner because I am going to cross post his Word for the Week which brought to us as The Great Commission, Part 50: Time to Rebuild Firewalls. I received the email notification on December 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM. I mention the date because the spiritual essay when you click ‘Read More’ does not seem to have a date on it. I am kind of peculiar about that sort of thing. Indeed the title is a bit different when you follow the link.
My attention was lifted to the essay it because it tackles an issue more in Christian leadership would tackle but fail to because of a misunderstanding of the Establish Clause in the First Amendment. Too often Christian leaders and Ministries limit themselves pertaining to politics because they have been brainwashed that somewhere in the First Amendment it says that Government and the Church must be absolutely separated from each other not having an influence. The reality is there is no wording whatsoever anywhere in the U.S. Constitution where it is stipulated there is a Separation of Church and State. What the First Amendment does say pertaining to religion is this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; … (First Amendment; U.S. Constitution; Legal Information Institute, Cornell University)
The clause simply states that Congress cannot establish a State Religion (meaning Church in those days) and that Congress prohibit the free exercise of religion. The Founding Fathers intended for Christianity to be an influence on the rule of law and culture, BUT that Congress cannot make any Christian Denomination a tax supported instrument of the U.S. Government. But I guess that is another post.
Joyner tackles an interesting interpretation on Marxism, Capitalism, the Founding Fathers’ original intent for Constitutional Government and how that original intent has been whittled away and unless reversed will lead to the demise of the United States as we know it.
Interesting alternative reading:
Time to Rebuild Firewalls, The Great Commission, Week 50
By Rick Joyner
December 10, 2013
The American Founding Fathers believed that tyranny could come from either the government or from the people. Because of this, they built a brilliant system of government that had firewalls to protect against the tyranny from either direction. They warned that if these firewalls were torn down, the Republic could not last. In the last century, we tore both firewalls down, and the system has been crumbling since. The American Republic will not last much longer if we do not implement some very radical action to turn from the direction in which we’re headed and rebuild the firewalls.
In some basic ways both Russia and China now have more liberty than we have in America. They are trending toward more individual liberty, even if they are hitting bumps on the road to this and occasionally may even run into a ditch. Even so, they get going again and are trending in the direction toward personal liberty. As impatient as many have been with their slowness in this, we should remember how long we struggled. Even after nearly a century of American democracy, we still had slavery, and America invented the concentration camps that we used for displacing and even killing Native Americans. The march of civilization has not been smooth or consistent anywhere or with anyone. So let us too give grace to those who are struggling.
However, after accomplishing so much, Western nations are now trending toward tyranny and the loss of individual freedom. There have been occasional slowdowns in this march to bondage, but then the pace gets even faster. The East and West are going in opposite directions again.
Thankfully, there is a third column. It is the kingdom of God. Every good gift that has come down to man, including better governments, has come from above. Even so, no government on earth is the kingdom of God even if they have some of the elements of the kingdom. The kingdom is yet to come to the earth, but it surely will. Many governments on the earth that have been built on at least some kingdom principles will “become the kingdom of our Lord.”
One of the things the Lord said that He would do after His return is to separate the nations as “sheep” or “goats.” He explained the qualifications for being a sheep or goat nation. For those who are here to help prepare the way for the Lord, one way that we do this is by helping our nation become a sheep nation. One of the ways that we are called to help prepare the way for the Lord is to help our nations adopt kingdom principles that would help them become “sheep” nations rather than “goat” nations. To help a nation get to where it is supposed to go, we must first know where it is.
There are other major forces in the world than Marxism and capitalism, but these have been the two most powerful counterweights in recent times. Under each of these there are nuances. For example, free enterprise is different than capitalism, but can only exist under capitalism. With pure capitalism you must have capital to have opportunity, but with free enterprise you only need initiative to have opportunity. However, if you have free enterprise and you become successful, you will have capital that you will want to invest, so you become a capitalist. The more capitalists and the more capital there is to invest, the more people have been successful in the system.
You must have capitalism to have free enterprise. But if capitalism grows unchecked, it can choke out free enterprise and destroy itself by cutting itself off from its lifeblood. Left to itself without any steering and the needed corrections from government, greed can take over capitalism in such a way that it starts to abuse and hurt people. This leads to revolution and is not in anyone’s interest to allow this to happen—except the Marxists. The lifeblood of Marxism is promoting the envy of the successful, which they call “social justice.”
Not all who call for social justice are Marxists, and there is a devotion to social justice that we must have to remain a Republic. Even so, Marx, and subsequent Marxists, have been brilliant in the way they have seized popular and even noble terms to mobilize and exploit those whom Marx called the “useful idiots.” The “useful idiots” were the idealists that Marx saw as being so easily manipulated, but which he also despised. They were always the first to feel the wrath when Marxists gained control.
That being said, The Bible is still the biggest proponent of true social justice, and requires justice for all with a special devotion to providing justice for those who are weak. It requires freedom for the oppressed, and then it requires generosity from the prosperous to the poor. However, the key distinction between Christianity and the Marxist social justice, or the liberal social justice promoted by many today, is that nowhere does The Bible demand charity from the government, but from individuals.
When charity becomes institutional it loses its basic power to uplift. It becomes demeaning, dehumanizing, and always leads to bondage. We will develop this further next week.
Rick Joyner and the Republic of the United States of America
John R. Houk
© December 11, 2013
Time to Rebuild Firewalls, The Great Commission, Week 50
© 2011 MorningStar Ministries