The Alpha Course has for some years now been a favoured method by which many churches seek to attract in new people.
‘That’s fantastic’, some might say. ‘Who wouldn’t want to see churches growing and attracting in new people?’
The problem, of course, is that the Alpha Course, while offering much that is perfectly orthodox, thus enticing the unsuspecting, is also contaminated with a significant amount of leaven.
And, as we are told in Galatians 5:9: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
What is that leaven? Well, it very much relies on emotionialism and puts an over emphasis on the Holy Spirit to the detriment of focusing on the blood of Jesus Christ, which alone can atone for sin.
This is a common feature of much of the charismatic movement and the Alpha Course’s leader, Nicky Gumbel (pictured, top), falls very much into the charismatic category.
A 1994 Time Magazine article entitled “Laughing for the Lord” says:
“It’s Sunday evening in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge neighborhood. Though pathetically tiny flocks of Londoners attend many Anglican services, Holy Trinity Brompton has a standing-room-only turnout of 1500. After the usual Scripture readings, prayers and singing, the chairs are cleared away. Curate Nicky Gumbel prays that the Holy Spirit will come upon the congregation. Soon a woman begins laughing. Others gradually join her with hearty belly laughs. A young worshipper falls to the floor, hands twitching. Another falls, then another and another. Within half an hour there are bodies everywhere as supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions, and strangest of all laugh uncontrollably. This frenzied display has become known as the ‘laughing revival’ or ‘Toronto Blessing’. After first appearing at Holy Trinity only last May, laughing revivals have been reported in Anglican parishes from Manchester to York to Brighton.”
Does that sound much like true worship of the almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God?
How can roaring like a lion and laughing like a hyena be in any way pleasing to God? Where is such nonsense found in the Bible?
The answer of course is that it is not found in the Bible.
Nicky Gumbel would claim this was a sign of the Holy Spirit coming upon his congregation.
However, any look at the Bible would see that those who were filled with the Holy Spirit acted in a manner so far removed from laughing like a hyena and roaring like a lion that to even make the comparison is rendered blatantly ludicrous.
Acts 13:6-12: “And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”
Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, reproved the worker of iniquity and his expounding of doctrine led to the conversion of Sergius Paulus. No mention of him rolling on the floor like an eejit.
Acts 11:24: “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”
This passage speaks of Barnabas, who was “full of the Holy Ghost”. Nowhere is he recorded as being in some sort of trance like state. His infilling of the Holy Ghost was demonstrated through his faith.
Exodus 31:1-3: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship”.
How was the infilling of the Holy Spirit of Bezaleel, who played a key role in the construction of the tabernacle, manifested? Through his wisdom, understanding, knowledge and workmanship. None of these are consistent with laughing uncontrollably while rolling around the floor and roaring like a lion.
And given the unholy nature of this charismatic campaign waged by Nicky Gumbel and the practices and he behaviours he espouses, it should make us very wary indeed of the Alpha Course.
Sadly, it has gained much ground and has elevated Nicky Gumbel to essentially the position of the Pope of what is known as the emerging church, the non-denominational, charismatic, easy-believist fellowship type churches which have sprung up in the past 25 years, with the Emmanuel Church in the Craigavon area and Causeway Coast Vineyard Church two of the most prominent examples in our land.
Each year, Alpha hosts a leadership conference and the most recent one, which took place last May but whose speakers we have only recently became aware of, included a lengthy, fawning interview with a Roman Catholic cardinal.
Cardinal Luis Tagle is the most senior Roman Catholic churchman in the Philippines, a devoutly Roman Catholic country.
And a major theme of the saccharine interview was a Papal Mass, at which 6 million poor deluded people were in attendance, which Cardinal Luis Tagle organised.
He received a warm round of applause from the congregation in attendance for enabling so many people to be misled by “that Antichrist”, the Pope.
This is how Nicky Gumbel introduced that practitioner of Papist priestcraft to the audience: “Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, where there are 82 million Catholics. He serves as president of Caritas International, the Catholic relief organisation, which is the largest charity in the world. He is president of the Catholic Biblical Federation, which operates in 126 countries around the world. In January 2015, he hosted Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines which included the fourth largest ever gathering of people in history, when 6 million people gathered in a Papal Mass. We are very honoured to have him here, would you give a warm welcome to Cardinal Tagle.”
Cue much whooping and cheering and clapping from the audience.
We are reminded of 2 John 1:10-11, which says: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
It is an appalling situation.
The love-in of an interview saw the perma-smirking Nicky Gumbel gush over the wonderful skills of this incredibly senior emissary of Papal deceit.
And such sycophancy towards a representative of the evil Romanist system has the very clear and obvious effect of making the dupes in attendance believe that Rome is not so bad and the Pope is someone to at least be faintly admired, rather than treated with revulsion.
Nicky Gumbel then asked Cardinal Luis Tagle about the spiritual disciplines he follows, and Cardinal Luis Tagle revealed he is a follower of the ‘Examen’, the meditative prayer ritual created by the Jesuit founder and leader of the Counter Reformation, Ignatius of Loyola.
Interestingly, it is also the same ritualistic spiritual practice which was disgracefully espoused by Emmanuel Church leader Alain Emerson at a service he led there back in November.
Discussing the spiritual disciplines he follows, Cardinal Luis Tagle says: “I have learned from my seminary mentors, who are Jesuit priests, to do the examination of consciousness.”
That sounds very much like meditation, doesn’t it? Also, Cardinal Luis Tagle is very open about his influences from the Jesuits, the order which led the Counter Reformation in which untold numbers of Protestants were murdered for defending the doctrine of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.
Nicky Gumbel, as the minister of Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican Church, would know this, but he has clearly decided to ignore it and reject that knowledge which would make any minister worth their salt put clear water between them and Rome.
And it makes his response all the more appalling and reprehensible.
He says: “Explain that for us who haven’t had the benefit.”
Nicky Gumbel chooses to encourage an emissary of Papal deceit to spread false practices, holding him up as someone to follow.
This is the action of the man behind the Alpha Course and we would encourage anyone who attends a church which runs the Alpha Course or advocates it to challenge them on why they are running it.
We would certainly implore you not to submit yourself to this course or any who promote it.
Let us be separate from all such error and manifestations of compromise with the lies of Rome.
2 Corinthians 6:17: ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you”.