Jeremiah 12:10: “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.”
No doubt most readers will be familiar with the old saying, it never rains but it pours.
It essentially means that unwelcome occurrences come thick and fast one after the other or all at the same time.
And one might apply that to Ballymena in County Antrim, a town already troubled by the charismatic, Wrightbus-linked Green Pastures Church and now faced with a new church in a similar, shallow, easy-believist vein.
That church is Mid Antrim Vineyard, formed out of the extremely troubling Causeway Coast Vineyard church, based in Coleraine on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
It will be ran by Hugh and Alyson Reid (pictured, top), who have apparently been part of Causeway Coast Vineyard for the past 10 years and live in the Ballymena area.
As we have discussed on numerous occasions, anything associated with Causeway Coast Vineyard, or indeed the Vineyard movement in general, ought to be treated with the utmost of caution.
Infamously, the former lead pastor of Causeway Coast Vineyard, Alan Scott (pictured, below), told his sadly credulous followers when speaking at Causeway Coast Vineyard that he was “all in” with the Pope and poured scorn on the notion one could be opposed to the worship of Mary through the rosary, a dreadful Romish blasphemy and deceit.
Was he swiftly ejected from the pulpit (well, stage, pulpits are terribly old fashioned don’t you know?) and told in no uncertain terms such Christ-denying blasphemy would not be tolerated?
Of course not – he continued without fear of reproach before he got a big move to sunny California to take over at Anaheim Vineyard.
One of the key figures in Causeway Coast Vineyard is Peter Lynas, a hardened and determined ecumenist who has rightly earned the moniker, ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas.
Causeway Coast Vineyard’s lead pastors currently are husband and wife duo (that much-beloved combination of so many charismatic fellowships) Neil and Janet Young (1 Timothy 2:11-12, pictured, below) and Neil Young, as we have previously referred to, has something of a penchant for quoting Romanists on his Twitter page.
And back in May this year, Causeway Coast Vineyard held their ‘Encounter More’ conference, with two of the headline attractions being representatives of that awful, heretical US based megachurch, Bethel Ministries.
They were Jeremy Riddle, a leading character in the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) scene, and Havilah Cunnington, a self-proclaimed prophet who is anything but. You can read about her ludicrous ‘prophecy’ by clicking here.
Causeway Coast Vineyard had further Bethel representatives present at their services in April on the same weekend that heretical organisation held a conference organised by Journey Community Church in Antrim.
Bethel Ministries is linked with all sorts of bizarre, outrageous practices and beliefs and is corrosive to any who come in contact with it.
From encouraging students at its ‘Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry’ going to a morgue to try to raise people from the dead to claiming God manifests Himself at their meetings through the medium of gold dust and feathers, it is plain to see this is a church which does not over burden itself with acquainting itself with the Word of God.
Throw into the mix the disputed claims of ‘grave sucking’ and the promotion of extra biblical revelation, and you have a church which is fearfully at odds with God’s Word.
But Causeway Coast Vineyard, which Hugh and Alyson Reid have been attending and leading small groups in throughout all of these blasphemes, was trumpeting these characters as wonderful examples to follow.
Also featuring at that conference were ABBA ‘prayer dancing’ and Rome supporting Pete Greig and another big fan of compromise with Romish blasphemies, Mike Pilavachi (pictured, below).
So anyone attending Mid Antrim Vineyard will be going to meetings ran by people who are happy to promote and be linked with a church which promotes heretics, false prophets and Romish compromisers.
We said at the start it never rains but it pours, and this is a veritable deluge of devilish deceits on offer.
Another very practical concern is over Hugh and Alyson Reid, the couple (there you are again!) who are taking on this new venture, which held its first service on 3 November.
Are they theologically trained? What qualifications do they have to be shepherds of what they would consider to be God’s flock (and no doubt there may well be some truly born again among it)?
This is the problem with so many of these charismatic, fellowship type churches. Of course, many training colleges are to be studiously avoided rather than studied at, but are these just enthusiastic individuals who have taken it upon themselves to have the spiritual oversight of, possibly, hundreds of souls?
There is a fine example of the setting up of, essentially, any old individual to be a priest or pastor and the fruitlessness of such in the book of Judges.
Judges 17:7-8, 10, 12-13 says: “And there was a young man out of Beth-lehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in. And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. Then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.”
What was the qualification of this man to be a priest to Micah? Simply that he was a Levite.
Did it matter that he was not qualified for the role and was happy to serve in a house where idols were set up? Not to them, it didn’t.
What are the qualifications of these set up as pastors here in Mid Antrim Vineyard? The fact they call themselves Christian?
The instability of such a situation was quickly exposed in the next chapter when this Levite, receiving a better offer, dropped Micah like a hot potato and took the false idols with him.
We have referred to enthusiasm and we do not dispute the genuine nature of Hugh and Alyson Reid’s efforts, and we would ask readers to pray for them that they might be awakened to the grave errors in the Vineyard movement, which go right to its roots, and reject such charismatic deceptions.
Likewise, we must also pray that such efforts, in their current guise, will not take off and instead that Ballymena, already having the similar charismatic deceptions of Green Pastures inflicted upon it, would experience a tremendous heaven-sent revival and not a revival which exists solely in the imaginations of those running such churches.
Let that also be our prayer for the rest of Northern Ireland, that God would move in mighty power throughout our country and bring great times of refreshing to this land.
Let us not be carried away by the lights and music of the charismatic delusion, but let us firmly set our eyes upon Christ, serious study of His Word and dedication to living a holy, righteous, sanctified life.
Acts 3:19: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord”.