There are some bizarre events led by churches within the charismaniac movement, but one that was held at Christian Fellowship Church Belfast (or CFC Belfast) on Saturday past will take some beating in that regard.
This church, which is based on the Belmont Road in east Belfast, played host to a ‘Prophetic Art Conference’.
What exactly prophetic art is we are really rather unsure, though we have visited a few online pages showing some pictures, including someone who had written down ‘Be still and know that I am God’ and coloured in the individual letters.
This was, apparently, prophetic.
The website Prophecy Through Art tries to justify such nonsense by saying that “Our Father is a creative God” because He made the world.
Well, yes, of course He did but it is scarcely equivalent to writing out a Bible quote or drawing a picture of a heart and somehow labelling it prophetic.
Throughout the entirety of the prophetic books, of which there are rather a lot, and the various prophesies in other books of the Bible, of which there are rather a lot as well, there is a notable absence of prophets pulling out an easel and doing a watercolour to explain the situation in the land.
We don’t have Elijah delivering a picture of dried up rivers to Ahab at the start of 1 Kings 17 or Ezekiel sculpting his impression of the vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37.
Of course, were they to have done so, they were prophesying of future events, whereas the examples of prophetic art are simply drawings people take to mean something to them, an artistic version of a fortune cookie or horoscope.
The event at CFC Belfast was ran by a group called Acts Ministries International (AMI) who claim it “equips you in hearing the voice of God through art”.
Acts Ministries International was born out of Phoenix Vineyard Church, and certainly the Vineyard Church name is a leading figure on both sides of the Atlantic in all manner of charismatic nonsense.
Andrew Montgomery (pictured, top) is a leader of AMI Ireland, a local branch of this charismatic organisation which, like so many others, is obsessed with “signs and wonders”.
He is also an Associate Pastor of another charismatic church, called Destination Church Belfast, based in the Newtownabbey area in the north of the city.
Andrew Montgomery apparently gave an “introduction to prophecy” at the event, while another member of his church, a Diane Latimer, helped lead one of the workshops, which we will elaborate upon shortly.
Another session was led by a Jill McKee (pictured, below), who is the Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch in County Down.
She ought not to hold the position she does, of course.
1 Timothy 3:1-2, 12 says: “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”
First Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch is certainly not a church which anyone should wish to associate themselves with.
It is currently taking part in an Alpha Course initiative, that leaven-filled scheme which is ran by that Rome lover Nicky Gumbel and also recently held a line dance in its church hall in yet another example of worldly pleasures being introduced to the church.
As an aside, the Methodist and Baptist churches in Ballynahinch are also taking part in that Alpha Course.
While, generally speaking, Methodist churches are to be studiously avoided, the Baptist Church is a rather mixed bag in Ulster.
It would appear Ballynahinch Baptist Church is one to be wary of.
Lynsey Grierson of Cadence House of Prayer, an inter-denominational grouping in Bangor, County Down, was also leading a workshop.
While we had not previously heard of Cadence House of Prayer, their website states it was set up by a husband and wife duo (the charismatics do love those) called Denise and Frederick Hayward, who met apparently “when they were both in full-time ministry as part of a worship and healing dance team”.
Of course they were. We believe that says it all.
Also helping lead sessions were a Victor Mitchell of the Journey Community Church in Antrim, who enthusiastically promoted the disgraceful, heretical Bethel Supernatural Ministries earlier this year, an Erin Charteris of another CFC branch in Strandtown, also Belfast, and a Claire Fair of King’s Church in Bangor.
The pastor of King’s Church is a character we have featured previously, Glen Mitchell (pictured, above), due to his rejection of the Biblical account of creation in favour of the Christ denying blasphemy known as the Big Bang Theory (his endorsement of this heresy is pictured, below), as well as his expression of disappointment when a vote to light up the town hall in his nearby town of Newtownards in honour of sodomy was overturned by local councillors.
So there certainly was an encouraging pattern to follow for those in attendance.
Indeed, rather ironically, it was something of a painting by numbers collection of charismatics and Christ deniers posing as religious leaders.
The workshops within the ‘Prophetic Art Conference’ certainly were unusual.
First among these was entitled ‘Art Reach’ – this taught attendees “how God communicates through art for reaching to your community”.
That really does sound illuminating. The individuals running that workshop were a Kadie Hooley and Brianna Robinson of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). What that mission is, going by that workshop synopsis, is anyone’s guess.
Workshop two was entitled ‘Painting His Heart’ and was brought by Jill McKee of First Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch. This workshop taught you “how to grow in intimacy with God connecting with Him for others”.
Again, answers on a postcard from anyone who knows what that means.
The third workshop is perhaps the most outrageous and ludicrous of the lot.
It was entitled ‘Corporate Prophetic Art’ which allowed attendees to “be equipped to spontaneously draw and clearly communicate the prophetic gift in a worship setting”.
This truly is nonsense.
Lynsey Grierson of Cadence House of Prayer, Diane Latimer of Destination Church Belfast and Victor Mitchell of Journey Community Church in Antrim were responsible for that exercise.
And the fourth, and, on the face of it, least ludicrous workshop was called ‘The Secret Place’, in which you could “experience how art and writing can deepen your personal relationship with God through journaling”. Claire Fair of King’s Church Bangor and Erin Charteris of CFC Strandtown led the way on that one.
After these four sessions, there was then a cup of tea before engaging in worship and ministry, which would apparently include “opportunities to engage in prophetic art”.
This truly is a sad event, tricking those in attendance into thinking they have some prophetic gift, when all they are doing is drawing little pictures.
It most emphatically meets the bar of that which is warned against in 2 Timothy 4:4, which says: “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The idea that someone drawing a heart, as we have seen on some websites we have viewed discussing so-called ‘prophetic art’, could possibly be construed as prophetic is, in fact, pathetic.
As we have said before when discussing the outrageous so-called prophecies of the likes of Bethel Supernatural Ministries’ Havilah Cunnington, such vague generalities are not the currency that prophets dealt in in the Bible.
Look at the prophecy Jeremiah disclosed to King Zedekiah in the closing days of his reign.
Jeremiah 37:17 says: “Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.”
Did Jeremiah speak obtusely or abstractly? Did he sketch a drawing which Zedekiah was free to interpret whichever way he saw fit? Or did he clearly set forth the actual message of God?
Of course, this was a negative prophecy for Zedekiah which Jeremiah gave, and that is certainly not the sort of “prophecy” you would get from people taking part in these events.
It always seems to be a mindlessly positive prophecy, replete with the amazing plans God has for their life and the wonderful way in which He is going to use them.
If we look at what might be termed a positive prophecy from the Scripture, we will see once more that it was spoken plainly.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 says: “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”
Here is a prophecy of the deliverance of the children of Israel from oppression and that they would return to their own land after 70 years of captivity.
Is this the sort of thing that these people are prophesying of? Of course it isn’t.
They couldn’t prophesy an event happening next week, never mind in 70 years.
Dear reader, do not be taken in by such an outrageous event, but rather be steadfast in your opposition to such gimmicks and nonsense.
Also, be careful not to associate yourself with churches involved in this outrage, such as First Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch, Destination Church Belfast, King’s Church, Bangor, Journey Community Church, Antrim as well as any church promoting the Alpha Course.
Let us be even bold as Jeremiah was in the prophecy above to Zedekiah, when he said “thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon”.
Speaking to a man who had the power to put him to death, Jeremiah told him the one thing which he wanted to hear the least.
Those in these churches and in the wider charismatic or ecumenical movement hate to hear what the Bible has to say on their unscriptural antics.
However, to be faithful, we are bound by God to say these things.
And let us strive to put the pleasing of God above the pleasing of man.
Acts 5:29: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”