August's featured article
Alpha – Dealing in Death, Not Life
By: K. B. Napier
The spread of the Alpha course is a marketing consultant’s delight. Oh, how any expert in mass-buying would welcome inventing such a great device for earning cash!
Did you know that Nicky Gumbel receives a large percentage of the ‘sales’ of Alpha courses and products?
But what about the influence of Alpha around the globe? It is ‘making Christians’ faster than rabbits reproduce their young and Christians (or those who say they are) everywhere are bowled over by its success, all wanting a piece of the action.
Yet, nothing has changed – Alpha remains a deception, a false gospel! So-called Christian leaders around the world have publicly praised the course, as have celebrities like Cliff Richard and, more recently, pop-diva Geri Halliwell. It is significant that she adopted Alpha at the same time as promoting her new Yoga video!! A good bed-pal for Alpha!
The course is also adopted by Roman Catholics and is approved by no less a person than the pope. Why? Not because it preaches the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ – but because it does not. We have said it before - if the Roman Catholic ‘church’ approves of something, you can be very sure that it is because it reinforces its own position. If Alpha really did preach the true Gospel, you can be assured that the Roman Catholics would ban it or warn their followers to keep away.
Alpha was, and remains, Arminian. It is one arm of charismatic spiritism, as its ‘weekend away’ proves. This weekend is nothing other than the Toronto Blessing applied to unwitting attendees.
Does the Alpha course ‘make Christians’? No, it does not, as the rest of this article proves. Based on Alpha’s own newspaper, Alpha News, November 2001, I analysed what it says. I did not need to dig deep, for all I needed was blatantly on the surface.
Alpha is simply a life-style changer, not a Gospel message. As we deduced seven years ago, Alpha takes people through a series of intellectual and emotional steps, to arrive at a mental summation. Nothing has changed, except for the sophistication of the process.
We urge all Christians to show no sympathy at all for Alpha, for it is opposed to God and His word, and produces people who become even harder to win for Christ, because they think they have already ‘arrived’. Do not accept even one small part of Alpha, for, in doing so, you will retain a bond to what is of Satan, and he can use it against you.
I watched several of the television documentary programmes about Alpha recently and was not impressed. The usual old comment has been made – how can I possibly decry Alpha when I have not attended a course myself? The same call went up when I refused to attend a Toronto Blessing meeting. That is like saying a judge must kill someone before he can properly judge a murderer, or that I must become a Muslim before I can oppose Islam! What utter nonsense!
There is no need to attend an Alpha meeting when there is an abundance of evidence before us. The TV series merely confirmed my already substantial data.
Alpha is a life-changing course, but after the fashion of a subtle psychological technique. It does not preach the Gospel. Any mature Christian who has read the latest Alpha News will attest to that fact.
I would repeat that when I worked as a psychiatric nurse I was involved in psychotherapy groups. I learned how to literally manipulate people. If I wanted to ‘guide’ people toward a particular way of thinking or acting, I would simply disorientate them…whilst talking I would switch suddenly to another topic, completely different.
After a while, I’d do it again, and again. By doing this the person would lose his or her grip on the proceedings and I would control the situation. With experience, I could do this very quickly. Once I had gained control the person could be ‘moulded’. That was only one of the techniques I used to good effect. How did it work? Well, a person who attends any place where there is supposed to be an ‘expert’ with answers, is making himself susceptible to suggestion. That is why I warned people never to enter a ‘Toronto’ meeting – it was the chink Satan was looking for.
With Alpha, people are curious. Many are fed up with their lives. Others are finding some kind of religious feeling. It is even possible that a few are genuinely being prompted by God, but have sadly been channelled in the wrong direction. So, whoever attends an Alpha meeting is already declaring their intention, deep down.
A single session may not work on most people, but over ten or so weeks, most will come under the spell of Alpha. That is because everyone has a different ‘button’ that has to be pressed before they will become ‘hooked’. As a hospital nurse I used to search deliberately for this ‘button’. Once I had found it I knew I was going to win and alter the person’s thinking.
I do not think the majority of Alpha leaders realise that they are merely looking for ‘buttons’ to press. Indeed, the fact that these ‘leaders’ fall over themselves to become Alpha leaders strongly indicates to me that they are not leaders at all, but sheep. They want some of that stuff that makes people come to church! Alpha is successful, so let’s grab some before it starts to fail!! They follow the pattern set by Holy Trinity, Brompton, so they are not leaders. The real leaders are very few, headed by Sandy Millar and Nicky Gumbel. They are superb manipulators.
Because most folk attending a course are there for a variety of reasons, but all are curious, there is a ‘captive audience’. Yes, some might attend because they want to see what all the fuss is about, but it does not matter, because curiosity can also be used to good effect.
When talk ranges widely over many topics, and humour is used to break the ice, someone, somewhere, at some time, will respond inwardly. Add the social aspect of a cup of tea and some food, and you have a winning combination of circumstances! It is all about breaking down one’s defences. That’s all there is to it. It does not matter if a person is hostile or warmly attracted to the course – mere attendance is enough to start the process of assimilation, because the mind is already attuned to some kind of response.
Because the leader talks along one party line, those listening are slowly but surely guided along the path of pseudo-Christian thinking. Using jokes and humour is a well-known method of making ideas more attractive and acceptable. It reduces opposition to the one speaking and creates a ‘softer’ image that tends to break down barriers of resistance.
As Alpha leaders tell us – it works. Of course it does! It works because it is a psychological technique and because people attending already expect some sort of reaction, and most secretly wish that the hype was true. (Even though I heard some in the group using swear words). They have had enough of their lifestyle and want a change.
Did you know that Nicky Gumbel believes there is no hell? He thinks that sinners simply vanish when they die (annihilationist theory) – no judgement or punishment from God. This will have a significant effect on his preaching and teaching. You will note this when listening to him, for he does not preach the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, referring to sins being the result of inborn wickedness. No, he only talks about coming to God and accepting His gifts. No real hint about repentance…just listen to Alpha and accept it, and you’ll be fine.
The approach is exactly the same as that of Toronto – just accept whatever comes because it is all of God. It is the same because it is from the same stable and is part of the same deception. Charismatic heresy, yet again.
Alpha causes people to change their lives, but not their hearts. Many come to learn the language of Christians, but their sin remains intact, covered with a veneer of Bible texts.
I watched and listened as the TV series showed us a group of people with many opinions, which they carried with them throughout the series. The leaders chatted about these opinions and threw in a few Christian platitudes. A kind of ‘mix ‘n match’. By being ‘reasonable’ the leaders gained the attention of the attendees. Contrast that with the preaching of Peter on the Day of Pentecost and you’ll find no comparison! On that day thousands of hardened Jews were brought face-to-face with their own sins. They were not given tea and crumpets. They heard no jokes. They were not asked their opinions or about their lifestyles and fears. They were bluntly told they were sinners heading for hell. They were told that they had killed the Messiah. The result was a huge crowd torn apart by their own sins and prompted by God to seek the remedy.
But Alpha? It messes about with ‘questions of life’! In God’s eyes, our lifestyles are not the real issue when it comes to the Gospel. He does not try to get us ‘interested in the church’ or in ‘Christianity’. No, He warns us that we are sinners bound for hell unless we repent and are saved by Jesus Christ. The cups of tea can wait!
Evangelism is the act of telling people they are sinners who must be saved by grace. It does not try to persuade people that Christianity is not so bad after all, because we can laugh and sup tea. The authentic Gospel hits people between the eyes with the hard fact of their own sin and God’s Almightiness. The Gospel resulting in salvation certainly brings a change of lifestyle. But Alpha only brings a change in lifestyle, because it has nothing else to offer.
As I have said elsewhere, Alpha believes salvation is just a move along a continuum. That is, we can ‘slide’ from being unsaved to being saved, by thinking about it and accepting the ‘offer’ made by God. This is typical charismatic theology. Now, if one can slide from being unsaved to being saved, logically, that same theology must teach we can move back again – from saved to unsaved. And if sin is no big deal, then hell is not real. And if it is not real, sinners will not be judged or punished. Hence no real preaching about sin and hell and repentance.
Nicky Gumbel asked the TV cameras to leave the hall when, at the weekend session, he was about to introduce the audience to the demonic delights of tongues. No wonder! They would have captured the crudity and foolishness of it all! Gumbel told the audience that tongues could be either foreign languages or angelic. Thus, he mixes truth with lies. There is no evidence in scripture for angelic tongues being given to men…if such tongues exist.
The audience were then ‘prayed for’ by church members, who went from person to person asking if they could pray for them – and thereby pass on the tongues. Friends, Alpha is a deception. It is the theological arm, albeit in its embryonic stage, of charismatic heresy.
Bible Theology Ministries ©
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Seminar held at Salem church, Norway. 9.mai 2015 (3 camera):
Metaphysical Cultic origins of the word of Faith movement, and then some of the standard doctrines that the prosperity preacher teach that divide from historical christianity.
Opptak fra bedehuset Salem i Stavanger. (Alle disse engelske seminarene av Peters vil bli lagt ut igjen med norsk tekst om noen uker!)
Do you have a ministry or a business
Do you have a called of God ministry where your whole purpose is to "feed the sheep", and God supplies your needs, or do you have books, tapes, videos, etc. that you SELL for a "donation", or just outright SELL, and your buyers supply your needs?
There is nothing wrong with being in business and selling things. However, if you are a church or any kind of "ministry", you may want to check your motive for how you are conducting the work of the Lord.
Remember the money changers in the temple where JESUS turned over the tables and threw them out. They were selling things in the "CHURCH".
(God made it quite clear to us that we were not to charge for anything, that HE is our source.)