chook5You couldn’t make this up. Really.

Now the chookwatcher clan is claiming to be experts in Pentecostalism even though they promote cessationist theology on almost every page of their blogs.

Here’s what they say in their latest travesty of an article, which accuses C3 of encouraging its members to lie in the recent Australian census, where citizens were asked a question about their religious affiliation, and Pentecostal churches advised their members to state that they were…well, Pentecostal…

‘C3 encouraged its members to write ‘pentecostal’ in the ‘Other’ section in regards to religion on The Census. However, Pentecostalism was overthrown then destroyed by the false Apostles by the New Apostolic Reformation cult. Philip Powell and many other faithful Pentecostals will tell you this.’

This is an absolutely absurd and ignorant claim by a poster devoid of ideas, grace or sense. How would it be a lie for Pentecostals to state that they are Pentecostals who attend Pentecostal churches and believe in Pentecostal theology?

In fact, Pentecostalism is alive and thriving in Australia. So much so that the Australian flavour of Pentecost is impacting Christians globally in an unprecedented way. Clearly, chookwatcher hasn’t a clue what Pentecost is and what it means for Pentecostals.

So, what is Pentecost?

It is the continuation of the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit outpouring ushered in the beginning of the Church age.

Jesus had told His disciples and apostles, after He had been resurrected and was about to ascend, that they should wait in Jerusalem for the outpouring, which had been prophesied by the Prophet Joel.

Joel 2:28-32 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

This outpouring of the Spirit took place on the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means fifty days, and the outpouring was to be fifty days, that is, the day after seven weeks of seven, following the resurrection of the Messiah. The prophecy was fulfilled and is recorded in Acts.

Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Pentecostals teach that this outpouring continues to this day, and is a sign that we remain in the last days, which, of course, must be true because the last days lead to the second coming of Christ for the Church, which has yet to take place.

Therefore, anyone who is a continuist, that is, a person who believes and teaches that the Day of Pentecost continues to this day and will until Jesus comes again, and believes that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit still remain, including speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, deliverance, and the work of the Holy Spirit in and with the Church, can claim to be a Pentecostal.

The chookwatchers, desperate to say something negative about C3, have completely made up a claim that they cannot sustain. Pentecost cannot be ‘destroyed’ because it is of God. What does happen is false teaching, such as the cessationists, which denies the outpouring continues today, and keeps tens of thousands of Christians from the gifts, manifestations and power of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecostals and charismatics

The basic difference between a Pentecostal and a charismatic is that Pentecostals have a doctrine based solely on Pentecostalism, whereas charismatics come from a denominational background, such as Baptist, Congregational, or Presbyterian, that they doctrinally maintain, but have received the additional theology and practice of the baptism with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and believe that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit continue today.

Incidentally, the NAR, and in particular, C Peter Wagner, are more linked with the charismatic movements than with Pentecostals. Wagner was out of the same theological college as John Wimber, who experimented with the teachings of 1 Corinthians in a very charismatic way, discovering some theology that Pentecostals had known for decades. But he also tried out some theology that pentecostals would reject.

Wagner, a professor at Fuller Seminary, was initially an observer, until he too was caught up in this stream, authoring several books on the subject. But he is not a true Pentecostal. In fact, it was a long time before Wagner actually saw the similarities in what he was experimentally uncovering with the pre-existent Pentecostal streams.

Prophecy fulfilled

In Acts, the Apostle Peter told the people who were gathered and amazed at this outpouring in Jerusalem that the event was a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy.

Acts 2:14-21 Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapour of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’

The understanding of what Pentecost is could not be clearer. Pentecostals teach and believe that the outpouring still influences us today, and has never ended. It began on the Day of Pentecost and will continue until Christ comes for the Body at the rapture of the church. All of this is prophesied, and it is all orthodox for the Pentecostal believer.

Chookwatcher created his own NAR

NAR has absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with this census or the theology of C3. It is something that chookwatcher has made up to fit his own meme and narrative. He is so stoney ignorant of what Pentecost is and of what NAR represents that he has redefined his own personal NAR and shoves it into the blogosphere as if it actually exists. But it doesn’t. It is a fabrication based on a false representation.

In the same article, chookwatcher ironically points readers to Irate Christian Radio where Chris Rosebrough has put together a program attacking NAR. This of course has nothing at all to do with the Australian census or why C3 advised members to put ‘Pentecostal’ on their form. Rosebrough is a known cessationist.

Yes he is. A cessationist. Chookwatchers recommend cessationist doctrine. Rosebrough doesn’t even believe that Pentecost still continues. He teaches that it has ended and heavily criticises anyone who teaches continuism. He says the Holy Spirit has stopped doing what He did on the Day of Pentecost and the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit have ended, prophecy has ended, tongues have ended, and the outpouring has ceased.

Thus the chookwatchers promote cessationist teaching. And they do it in more than one way. Every book and resource they recommend on every single page of their blogs points to cessationist theology. They are purveyors of cessationist error.

Then they have the gall to claim that C3 is lying when they advise their members to put ‘Pentecostal’ in the ‘Other’ option on the census. In this way, the chookwatchers completely miss the whole point of what C3 and other Pentecostal ministries, including the AOG, are advising.

The whole purpose of this invitation is to have a Pentecostal voice into Australia – to let people know that the Pentecostal churches are the fastest growing in Australia, and, indeed, globally currently.

It was a unified Pentecostal strategy to gain a growing voice. The very voice that blogs like the chookwatchers are ignorantly doing their very best to spoil and silence.

Pentecostals have many flavours

There is no typical Pentecostal. Chookwatcher claims Philip Powell, a long time critic of Hillsong and more contemporary Pentecostal churches, will say that NAR has overthrown Pentecostalism, but Philip passed away some time ago, so no he won’t. Philip was what would be called an ‘old school’ Pentecostal, and we all love him for it.

But Philip wasn’t the only person to have a variation on Pentecostal theology. There are a number of streams. One imagines that Irate Christian Radio could do as much a big number on one of Philip’s Pentecostal sermons as on any of the myriad charismatic messages he runs his limited cessationist brain over.

After all, Philip taught on speaking in tongues, baptism with the Spirit, prophecy, healing, deliverance, and many other things Rosebrough rejects as part of the work of the Spirit in the Church today.

All chookwatcher has done is make up an old wives tale about something that hasn’t actually taken place for completely the wrong motive.

I have to wonder what chookwatcher put on his census. ‘Cessationist’, maybe?