TWO’s Center Against Religious Extremism report — How Radical American Christian Sects Are Invading Hong Kong, Asia and the globe
By Bruce Wilson
Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen asked me to write a piece contextualizing the city of Hong Kong’s financial support and endorsement of “ex-gay” therapist Kwai-wah Hong, who claims to be able to “cure” LGBT people through cold showers. TWO has launched a petition (Please Sign it) with Dan Choi calling for an end to Hong Kong’s sponsorship of Kwai-wah Hong who might, suggests an AFP report, go down in history as leading one of the world’s first government-backed sessions of discredited gay conversion therapy.
In terms of anti-LGBT rights activism, the connections between America and Hong Kong are this direct–in 2009, a Chinese-American San Francisco Bay Resident who played a significant role launching California’s Proposition 8 was one of the featured speakers at an enormous one week evangelical conference, advertised as featuring “delegates from over 100 nations”, held at Hong Kong’s largest expo conference center.
That speaker, Thomas Wang, galvanized Bay area Chinese-American evangelical churches to work to pass Proposition 8, and he boasts of having distributing in America over 1/2 million copies of a 128-page political tract with a chapter titled “The Hidden Agenda of Homosexual Politics”, that suggests the LGBT rights movement is akin to a communist conspiracy infiltrating America. Wang has also played a major leadership role in a global process, initiated by Billy Graham, that has served to pull evangelicalism to the right, with antigay ideology as part of the package.
Described in this story, Truth Wins Out has linked Kwai-wah Hong’s ministry efforts to Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance; Thomas Wang in turn serves as an elder statesman of the antigay evangelical right who can be found at events marking the launch of Exodus efforts in Asia such as Taiwan’s Rainbow-7, conferring his blessing on the initiative.
Along with Thomas Wang, other speakers at the 2009 Hong Kong conference included Cindy Jacobs, who has claimed flocks of birds dropped dead from the sky because of the DADT repeal, and Ed Silvoso, who has worked to politically mobilize Hong Kong’s churches and whose ministry has links to a top Ugandan cleric who is a professed co-author of Uganda’s so-called “kill the gays bill”.
In early 2009, I began to map out a fast-growing, ideologically radical insurgent evangelical tendency that threatens to dominate not only the American Christian right but also Protestant evangelicalism worldwide; a movement in the forefront of mounting attacks on GLBT rights in various countries across the globe; a movement, born in America, which now operates at the international level and whose leaders teach that sexual orientation can be determined by demonic possession; a movement whose leaders are working, from Jacksonville, Florida to Hong Kong, to politically mobilize churches entrained with their theological tendency.
The bigotry of this radicalized, fast growing stream of evangelical Christianity extends far beyond its efforts to fight gay rights and persecute LGBT citizens, to the demonizing of all other religious and philosophical belief systems, to such as extent that its most influential leader C. Peter Wagner advocates burning allegedly idolatrous books and art, in the manner of Girolamo Savonarola, the 15th Century Dominican friar known for having instigated the infamous “Bonfire of the Vanities”, in 1497 in Florence, Italy.
Christian missions work has targeted China for over two centuries now, and evangelical Christianity is now deeply entrenched in Hong Kong; by 2000 the city was home to at least 1300 churches and not all of these, of course, promote antigay ideology. But many do and such churches are learning to coordinate their efforts and and place their partisans in city government.
So in that sense, what’s going on in Hong Kong isn’t much different from what’s going on in many US cities and states – as churches and mega churches organize to project political power. But in a historical sense what is going on in many of these churches tends to be very different indeed.
Novelist Pearl S. Buck was part of a wave of early 20th Century missionaries to China, but Buck’s form of Presbyterian theology didn’t allow much room for the need to cast out demons, let alone gay ones, and in the Roman Catholic Church, which does allow for exorcism, the practice has historically been rare and tightly controlled.
But much has changed since Buck wrote The Good Earth. It’s no accident that Joseph Cho, a spokesperson for Rainbow Action, also protesting Hong Kong’s support for Hong Kwai-wah, was moved to remark, “The government seems to think that homosexuals are possessed by evil spirits and needed to be ‘cleansed’ or ‘cured’ through conversion therapy”.
Although Asia has indigenous exorcism traditions, “ex-gay” ministries and their accompanying ideas are largely an American and anglo export, and global evangelists tied to what’s going on in Hong Kong can also be traced to antigay initiatives ranging from California to Uganda.
Political Research Associates Project Director Kapya Kaoma is author of a major PRA report on the role of American and Western evangelicals in inflaming antigay hatred in Africa. In a 2010 conversation discussing Uganda’s so-called “kill the gays” bill, Kaoma and I agreed that one of the least noted, or most misunderstood, aspects of the Uganda situation was this–while media attention concerning American influence on the mounting anti-LGBT crusade in Uganda has focused heavily on the Washington-based neo-fundamentalist association known as “The Family”, this focus is misleading, because there are many, many US and Western-based ministries spreading antigay ideology in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Further, what in America appears to be a myriad of unrelated ministries and para-church organizations operates, when their operatives travel to Uganda and Africa, together as a well coordinated front. Such close coordination can be found in evangelical efforts from Africa to Asia to South America, and from North America to Europe. One of the reasons is Lausanne.
As Truth Wins Out notes, the immediate connections between Kwai-wah Hong and American evangelicals are “robust and incontrovertible”, with numerous ties between Kwai-wah Hong’s New Creation Association, Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance, and U.S.-based evangelicals involved in Exodus entities such as Dr. Melvin Wong and Frank Worthen.
Melvin Wong’s substantial leadership role in Exodus, and in extending its efforts into Asia, is well established, listed on the Exodus Global Alliance official history timeline; in turn, Wong also works directly with antigay activists in the United States, most notably Thomas Wang, a Chinese immigrant to the United States, and former Hong Kong resident, who now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But Wang is not merely an “antigay activist”; that radically underplays his true stature as international director and elder statesman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a mammoth global process initiated by Billy Graham in the early 1970’s.
In a 1973 phone conversation between Billy Graham and Richard Nixon, recorded and recently released as one of the Nixon tapes, Graham reminded President Nixon that there were two types of Jews; the good ones, and the other kind, the ones in the so-called “Synagogue of Satan.” Agreeing with Graham, Nixon groused that the latter group was responsible for the distribution of pornography and the general corruption of morals, stated that the “satanic” Jews didn’t deserve to live and hinted that if he were reelected, perhaps something could be done about the situation.
Towards end of the talk, Graham informed Nixon that he was setting up a global counterweight to the World Council of Churches, which the two men agreed was “scripted right out of Moscow.” The result was the first World Consultation on Global Evangelization.
In 1974, over 2700 representatives from numerous conservative Protestant denominations, factions, and parachurch ministries (with conservative Catholics sitting in, observing the conference), gathered in in Lausanne, Switzerland, in an event that for its admixture of citizens from many racial and ethnic groups, and from developed world nations and from the developing world, looked much like an event under the auspices of the United Nations.
Lausanne established mechanisms for coordinating Protestant evangelical missions efforts worldwide, but it accomplished something else too. In the mad rush to evangelize the entire world leading up to the year 2000 (with all the accompanying millennial fervor), church growth at any and all costs became an overriding imperative.
Under the rubric of church growth, through the Lausanne process, unorthodox and sometimes bizarre ideas, practices, and entire paradigms entered the evangelical mainstream–including an increasingly popular outlook in which demonic forces are omnipresent and can determine crime rates and even the fate of whole nations, and at the personal level, through demonic possession, can sway sexual preference.
Playing a substantial role in the leadership of the Lausanne process along with Wang was C. Peter Wagner, a church growth wunderkind who for many years taught at Fuller Theological Seminary and now enjoys stature on the evangelical right that probably eclipses Wang’s.
Through Lausanne and subsequently, Wagner has played a pivotal role in mainstreaming the new demon-obsessed paradigm that now underlies much of contemporary “ex-gay” ideology and his apostles, prophets, and colleagues–notably Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Ed Silvoso, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jim Garlow, and others–are playing a major role in anti-LGBT rights activism not only the United States but also, especially in the case of the first three, internationally.
Wagner presided over the launch, in 2001, of what is called the International Coalition of Apostles, in which Engle, Jacobs, and Jackson play major leadership roles. I won’t go into the details of this apostolic entity and the surrounding Apostolic movement here, because the subject is far too big. Suffice it to say that in his 1999 book <i>Churchquake! – How The New Apostolic Reformation Is Shaking Up the Church As We Know It</i>, C. Peter Wagner wrote,
“If I were to select three of the moral nonnegotiables I have observed in new apostolic churches, they would be the following:
1. Human life begins at conception.
2. Homosexuality is sin against God.
3. Extramarital heterosexual relationships are also sin.”
In 2006 an Exodus Global Alliance newsletter, which also announced that the group was merging with Exodus International, headlined a Taiwan conference held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Exodus Asia Pacific member ministry Rainbow-7. Melvin Wong, then serving as chairman of Exodus Global Alliance, spoke at the conference and was joined both by Kelvin Chung of New Creation Ministries but also by Thomas Wang of the Great Commission Center International. As the newsletter described:
“The importance of ministry to homosexuals in Asia was emphasized and testimonies from Taiwanese men and women confirmed the impact that Rainbow-7 has had in the country since 1996.
Only 5-6 percent of Taiwanese people claim to be Christians. Of the all nations where there are Exodus ministries, Taiwan is the nation with the lowest percentage of Christians. In fact, the Taiwanese remain the only major Han Chinese population in the world where a Christian spiritual breakthrough has yet to occur. To make matter worse, the culture has changed from traditional and conservative to liberal and permissive. Western influence has contributed to this sudden change.
Dr. Thomas Wang called on those interested in serving at Rainbow-7 to come forward and be prayed for and commissioned.”
In turn, Thomas Wang and Melvin Wong can be found atop the ramparts in the American culture wars, defending the fortress of sexual orthodoxy. A 2006 report from assistant professor Judy Han of Asia Pacific University cites an article, from the Gospel Herald according to Han, which placed Melvin Wong, Thomas Wang, and William Tam together in a united Chinese-American evangelical front against the movie “Brokeback Mountain”:
“On March 3, the world-renowned Chinese evangelical and chairman of the Great Christian Commission Center International (GCCI) Rev. Thomas Wang; chairman of the Traditional Family Coalition Dr. Bill Tam; Dr. Melvin Wong, a California-based Licensed Clinical Psychologist; Rev. Lawrence Chan, chairman of America Chinese Evangelical Seminary (ACES); Rev Luke Poon, senior pastor of the Peninsula Chinese Alliance Church were invited to GCCI at Sunnyvale.
The panel session was presented as a strong and open defiance to the fallen entertainment industry in the U.S. It aimed to declare one clear message: “Brokeback Mountain Victimizes Family and Society.” “Brokeback Mountain” has drawn critics from different groups in the society for it portrays an entangling homosexual relationship between two cowboys out of their respective marriages.”
All Christian leaders call on the mass media to be responsible for the education of the society and to speak for justice and righteousness. Rev. Wang quoted the words from a famous English philosopher Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. “
Wang, Tam, and Proposition 8
And who is William Tam? As the January 22, 2010 New York Times story, “Chinese Christians Are the Focus of Same-Sex Marriage Case,” detailed, in early 2010 the court battle over California’s Proposition 8 came to focus on the role of Chinese-American evangelicals, especially William Tam, a Hong Kong immigrant who was one of the official sponsors of the Prop 8 ballot initiative and wrote, in a 2008 essay,
“In a macro environment in which homosexuality is gradually accepted as being normal, child molesting by gays is gradually being viewed as normal in academia. Children who were subjected to sexual abuse only know to socialize with other men through sex. When they grow up, they would do the same to other children by molesting children of the same sex. Therefore, gay people grow in numbers even as most of them do not have children of their own.”
The NYT story, which describes Wang as playing an important early role in pulling together Silicon Valley and Bay Area Chinese-American evangelical churches to work in favor of Prop 8, quotes William Tam as saying, “He [Thomas Wang] started the movement that we should all join hands for Prop 8.”
The article notes that Tam’s San Francisco office, as head of the Traditional Family Coalition, is next door to Thomas Wang’s office and states that the two men work closely together, which is corroborated by these two matching Youtube videos, posted the same day, October 28, 2008, one featuring Bill Tam and the other Thomas Wang, both obviously filmed in the same room, in which Wang and Tam each emphasize the alleged threat of same-sex marriage and encourage viewers to vote.
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America, Return to God
Thomas Wang is head of the Great Commission Center International which, starting in 2006, began publishing and mass-mailing a 128-page tract titled AMERICA, RETURN TO GOD that includes chapters with titles such as, “The ACLU vs. America”, “Banning Prayer in Public School Has Led to America’s Demise”, “The Neo-Pagan Drift”, and “The Hidden Agenda of Homosexual Politics.” (the PDF copy of this chapter on Wang’s website is damaged, but here’s a copy of the chapter, written by an 11th grade high school student who, as one might expect from the title, likens the gay rights movement to a vast, creeping communist conspiracy that seeks to win positions of influence from which to indoctrinate the nation and advance its “Babylonian practices.”)
According to Wang, the book was printed in an initial run of 500,000 copies and mailed to politicians and other influentials across America. It features chapters by notables such as James Dobson of Focus on The Family, Tim LaHaye, founder of the Council on National Policy, leaders aligned with the Christian Reconstructionist wing of the Christian right such as D. James Kennedy and Gary DeMar, and leading American history falsificationist David Barton, who in his contributed chapters claims that the 1963 to early 1990’s wave of crime, divorce, and other societal ills which plagued America happened because of Supreme Court decisions that barred prayer and Bible classes in public schools. (The various trends Barton notes have reversed since the early 1990’s, and Lead poisoning from leaded gasoline appears to be the more likely culprit)
Wang’s booklet encapsulates the worldview of the contemporary American Christian right–its obsession with allegedly declining national morality and conviction that a great gay conspiracy is one of the major forces behind that, as well as its belief that the supposed Christian and biblical basis of American government must restored before God’s judgment falls upon the nation.
The 2009 Hong Kong Call2All Conference
Hopping across the Pacific to Hong Kong, let’s examine the cast of speakers listed on the promotional flyer for the massive 2009 Call2All conference</a> held in Hong Kong on June 1-4, 2009. Along with Thomas Wang, other featured speakers included:
— Cindy Jacobs, who can be seen onstage at Lou Engle’s The Call events ominously admonishing that “girl on girl kissing and lesbianism is a plague on our society today” and last year became known (thanks to People For The American Way’s Kyle Mantyla) for Jacobs’ claim that flocks of birds were dropping dead out of the sky because of the Obama Administration’s decision to repeal the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy.
In her 2008 book, The Reformation Manifesto: Your Part In God’s Plan To Change Nations Today, Cindy Jacobs asserted that, “There has been a systematic plan by the homosexual community to infiltrate Hollywood.” Jacobs then credulously quoted from Michael Swift’s 1987 satirical piece The Homosexual Manifesto, which echoed the sort of grand conspiracy detailed in the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion. Jacobs went on to write that The Homosexual Manifesto,
“states that all laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Their writers and artists have determined to make love between men fashionable, and could very well succeed because they are adept at setting styles. It also states that the family unit will be eliminated.
If you look at Hollywood and theater today, you will notice that almost all movies and plays will display at least one homosexual in some kind of positive light, often as the witty friend of straight friends. This has caused desensitization to homosexuality— exactly as planned.
While we never want violent acts to be performed against any member of society, we must be willing to stand up and say that the ideas presented in The Homosexual Manifesto are sinful and perverted. (See, for example, what Romans 1:24-27 has to say about homosexuality.)
It is sobering to say that there are nations today where pastors can be jailed if they openly speak out against homosexuality from the pulpit. However, we must be willing to do just that even if it means going to jail.
We need to intercede for Hollywood and the homosexual community because homosexuality has become intertwined with the arts on every level.”
Cindy Jacobs’ concerns are not only trained on homosexuality. At a 2008 conference in Indonesia, Jacobs told her audience,
“You know what’s going to happen? – One day in our countries they’re not going to say, ‘Oh, you know, those Jews – they’re so wealthy.’ They’re going to say,’ Oh, you know, those Christians – everything they do turns to gold!”
On page 224 of her 2001 book, Deliver Us from Evil: Putting A Stop To The Occultic Influence Invading Your Home and Community, Cindy Jacobs writes of the need to destroy native art objects:
“If the object was at any time worshiped as a god or used in the worship of a false god, then we should burn it or otherwise destroy it.
It is not unusual for tourists to bring home keepsakes from faraway lands that have demonic attachments or are idols. What we often do not recognize is that these objects can curse us. For instance, many people purchase African masks that have been used in worship ceremonies. Others buy native art such as Kachina dolls, statues of Hindu gods and statues of Buddha. Back home, havoc starts to reign in the form of sickness, tragedy, depression or marriage break-ups–usually the person does not know why these things have happened. Other people bring home seemingly innocent items, but, as I wrote in the last chapter, they can have spiritual attachments and may need to be discarded or destroyed.”
On the same page, in a subsection titled “Book Burning in Argentina”, Jacobs describes leading, together with C. Peter Wagner, Doris Wagner, and Ed Silvoso, an event at which such allegedly evil objects were thrown into 55 gallon drums, doused with gasoline, and set ablaze.
Silvoso and Wagner also detail the same incident in their books, and on page 166 of his 2008 book Dominion! – How Kingdom Action Can Change The World, C. Peter Wagner introduces fin-de-siecle 15th Century Florence as an historical model of what Wagner sees as positive “social transformation”:
“To show that it can be done, I like to go back in history to Florence, Italy, where Girolamo Savanarola led a notable example of transformation. I have told the story in other books, but it is so encouraging that I want to repeat it again:
The wicked city government [of Florence] was overthrown, and Savanarola [sic] taught the city people to set up a democratic form of government. The revival brought tremendous moral change…
Huge bonfires were made of worldly books and obscene pictures, masks, and wigs. A great octagonal pyramid of worldly objects was erected in the public square of Florence. It towered in seven stages sixty feet high and 240 feet in circumference. While bells tolled, the people sang hymns and the fires burned.
Wagner fails to mention that one of the first legislative acts of Savonarola’s short-lived populist theocratic regime was to make sodomy punishable by death. But on page 59 the book, Wagner traces his movement’s dominion theology to R.J. Rushdoony, considered the intellectual father of Christian Reconstructionism:
“The practical theology that best builds a foundation for social transformation is dominion theology, sometimes called “Kingdom now.” Its history can be traced back through R.J. Rushdoony and Abraham Kuyper to John Calvin.”
R.J. Rushdoony was unabashed in his calls for homosexuality to be punished by death.
Once again, however, the ideological animus of Wagner’s movement extends much, much farther.
At Ed Silvoso’s 2008 International Transformation Network yearly conference, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Cindy Jacobs told her audience, “Pastors, sanctify your people! You go and you tell them, ‘if you have any idols in your home, we’re gonna burn em! If you have any witchcraft items in your home, you bring them Sunday and we’re gonna burn em!”
— Ed Silvoso, whose ministry played a major role in organizing against Hawaii’s same sex marriage bill and has worked with professed co-author of Uganda’s “kill the gays bill” Julius Oyet. Silvoso can be found in megachurches from Jacksonville, FL to Singapore, telling the same virulent anecdote, about a man from San Francisco who kidnaps a young boy to “turn him into a sex slave.” As reported on his Harvest Evangelism website, Ed Silvoso launched the political, electoral mobilization of Hong Kong’s evangelical churches in 1997:
“City reaching as a vision started in 1996 and 1997 when Ed Silvoso came to teach the principles in his book, That None Should Perish. At the end of the teaching the Pastors agreed to divide Hong Kong into 18 Districts along the lines of the electoral districts for the purpose of reaching each District for Christ.”
Silvoso’s ITN is spearheading the political mobilization of the evangelical right in various cities across the United States including Jacksonville, FL, Newark, NJ, and in the state of Hawai’i.
At events from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Francisco, Ed Silvoso describes how his movement is working, with the cooperation of the head of the more-than 100,000-strong Philippine national police force, to carry out the compulsory indoctrination of every police officer in the force, using lessons from Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life.
At Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin’s Potter’s House Christian Fellowship, during a 2008 event, Ed Silvoso screened a 10 minute professionally-produced documentary video that included footage of the then-head of the Philippine police force describing the indoctrination program, using Warren’s book. Rick Warren was heavily criticized, in Kapya Kaoma’s 2009 Political Research Associates report Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia, for helping to inflame anti-LGBT hatred in Uganda.
Ed Silvoso’s Philippines video contained a segment featuring a Philippine taxi driver who was featured in Silvoso’s 2007 book <i>Transformation: Change The Marketplace and You Change The World</i>, in an anecdote Silvoso also commonly tells at evangelical conferences, in which Silvoso claims the taxi driver, formerly gay, was freed from demonic possession and magically “rewired”, and turned straight, through the power of Christian baptism.
Silvoso enjoys a personal friendship with First Lady of Uganda, who has played a little heralded but substantial role in validating antigay activism in Uganda.
— Gary Skinner, head of the Watoto Church in Kampala, Uganda, whose prominent member Stephen Langa, about six months prior to MP David Bahati’s initial introduction of the “kill the gays bill” in Uganda’s parliament, brought American evangelicals such as Scott Lively to head a virulently antigay Kampala conference widely credited with pushing anti-LGBT hatred in Uganda to a new level of intensity.
— Loren Cunningham, founder of the mammoth international missions organization Youth With A Mission, who claims to have co-originated the “Seven Mountains” strategy in which evangelical Christians seek to take positions of influence in key sectors of society (government, business, education, finance, etc.) Along with Ed Silvoso and his International Transformation Network, which has ITN branches across the globe, including in Uganda, Hawaii, and Hong Kong, Loren Cunningham and YWAM were part of the evangelical coalition in Hawaii that was in the forefront of working to stop Hawaii’s same sex marriage bill.
— Chris Hayward, president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, one of the world’s leading “deliverance” ministries. “Deliverance” from “brokenness” and “rejection” are the new terms to put a PR gloss on a healing paradigm based in part on the exorcism of demons held to cause same sex attraction, various addictions, and psychological maladies. “Freedom” is the supposed objective, and Hayward has contributed several chapters to a book sitting on my desk called “How To Minister Freedom” which purports to instruct readers on how to “break the bonds” of “sexual brokenness”, “emotional woundedness”, “demonic oppression”, and “occult bondage.”
Contributing a chapter on “Freedom From Homosexual Confusion” is David Kyle Foster, who runs an ex-gay ministry and back in 2006 could be found co-hosting a Christian television special production with Exodus International president Alan Chambers.
Other contributors of chapters to “How To Minister Freedom” include Cindy Jacobs and C. Peter Wagner (whose wife Doris Wagner edited the book.) Peter Wagner is, by rights, at the very center of the Hong Kwai-wah controversy though nowhere in the flap will Wagner’s name directly be found.
That is unnecessary, however, because Wagner is widely credited with helping to spark an underlying movement that has powered the astonishing growth of charismatic Christianity worldwide since the early 1980’s, the Third Wave. This is not Pentecostalism–which came earlier and does bear some similarity, but the Third Wave is distinct.
According to World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, billed as the most exhaustive research project in the faith since its inception, the Third Wave, which is hyper-charismatic and features the exorcism of demons and faith healing to the point of efforts to literally raise the dead, has “no connection to history Christianity.”
For Third Wave adherents, demons are everywhere–associated with competing beliefs systems and institutions, fomenting crime and immorality and infesting fallen individuals inclined to addictions, psychological maladies, criminal behavior, and same-sex attraction. The eschatological vision isn’t Armageddon and the Rapture but, rather, the establishment of utopias on Earth.
To accomplish the goal, demons must be mapped out and expelled and individuals prone to demonization and the practice of witchcraft (a very broad term in Third Wave ideology) must be cured, freed of their demons and corrupt behaviors or, if that is not possible, expelled from society or otherwise neutralized. It is from Third Wave Christianity that the New Apostolic movement is coalescing.
As I covered in an April 1, 2009 Religion Dispatches story, Fighting Demons, Raising the Dead, Taking Over the World, under the guidance of C. Peter Wagner, Colorado Springs New Life Church founder and former National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard worked with Wagner to export the demon-haunted evangelizing ideas and practices which C. Peter Wagner and his colleagues, notably Ed Silvoso and Cindy Jacobs, had invented and cobbled together, to Africa, Asia, and the rest of the developing world.
By 2000 this movement encompassed almost 300 million Christians according to World Christian Trends AD30 – AD2200. By 2008, according to Wagner, the Third Wave had passed the 400 million mark and was the only segment of Christianity growing faster than Islam.
The practice of exorcism within American evangelicalism had by the year 2001 become so prevalent that, as a September 3, 2001 story in Christianity Today, Possessed or Obsessed? put it,
Stunning numbers of North American Christians believe demons may be at the root of apparently natural maladies or temptations. Between the cinematic release of The Exorcist three decades ago and its re-release last year, evangelicals like Amy, Bob, and Nancy have sought help from deliverance ministers, spiritual warfare counselors, or exorcists. Many of those who had their demons removed vow that liberation from the internal tormentors often resulted in shedding of bad habits, physical illnesses, and false idols.
Besides headaches, addiction to smut, and hearing voices, deliverance manuals list alcoholism, chronic fatigue syndrome, homosexuality, nightmares, persistent anger, and jealousy among the possible symptoms of demonization. Increasingly, even the most common ills and sins are being linked to demonic sources and healed by demon expulsion.
Also in 2001, with Peter Wagner leading the charge, Wagner and his close colleagues Ed Silvoso and Cindy Jacobs launched a major rebranding of Third Wave ministries, as the New Apostolic Reformation, which Wagner calls the most radical change in the Christian church since the original Protestant reformation.
One of the leadership entities in Wagner’s now decade old NAR, which has growing global clout, is the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, in whose elite circle of prophets can be found evangelical superstars in the vanguard of fighting GLBT rights in America today, including Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Bishop Harry Jackson, who had led the fight to block civil unions legislation in Washington DC and also led a 2007 campaign, along with now-Jacksonville City Council member Cindy Daniels, to block the hate crimes bill now signed into law by president Obama.
On page 96 of his book Apostles Today: Biblical Government For Biblical Power, C. Peter Wagner likens himself to the New Testament apostle James and writes,
For several years now I have been apostling the following groups:
Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE). An invitation-only group of up to 25 recognized prophets who gather together each September to build relationships, share what they are hearing prophetically, and hold themselves accountable to one another for quality and integrity in their prophetic ministries.”
Less well known than ACPE members Lou Engle, Bishop Harry Jackson, and Cindy Jacobs, is honorary ACPE member Stacey Campbell who, along with her husband Wesley Campbell, also an ACPE member, has led Lou Engle’s The Call International events in Mozambique (an event which featured, according to Stacey Campbell, a spiritual battle with local witch doctors holding a competing event) and in Brazil. Describing a 2009 The Call “Solemn Assembly” event in Volta Redondo, Stacey Campbell writes,
“All agreed that the section on generational reconciliation, with repentance from pedophilia, was the highlight of the day. Gustavo Paiva shared how 30% of Brazilian children are sexually abused. A whole generation is being destroyed by pedophilia, which then breeds all sorts of other sexual immorality, including homosexuality. We moved into a powerful time of prayer. Kelry Green called all the children in the audience to come to the stage. I could hear the Lord give us a simple prayer to pray. He told us to ask Him to “stop it,” (ie: pray that God would stop this sin), but He said that He specifically wanted us to pray “Stop it!” as those are the words He hears children cry out while they are being abused. As the crowd began to call out in identificational prayer, “Stop it!” a deep healing presence of God filled the room. Almost everyone began to weep. The children and youth on the stage began to weep and groan and sob. Over and over again, we called out “stop it” and, for at least an hour, all the children and youth were on their faces shaking and sobbing. It was evident that many were being healed at that moment from sexual abuse, and others were being called by God to be part of a generation that will not tolerate Jezebel any more.”
From the July 11, 1986 issue of Christianity Today
The spectacular growth of the Chinese church in the last five to ten years has awed church observers. In God Reigns in China (OMF) Books), Leslie Lyall, a former missionary to China, estimated that in the three years following 1980, as many as 27,000 people per day may have become Christians.
“The most massive church growth in the world is in China,” says C. Peter Wagner, professor at Fuller Seminary School of World Missions in Pasadena, California. “There is a quarter of the world’s population, and one of the highest rates of Christian growth that has ever been seen.”
Accurate statistics on the numbers of Christians in China are unavailable, and estimates range from 5 million to 100 million. Christian communications Limited of Hong Kong says estimates of 35 million to 50 million are “credible”; and the Chinese Church Research Center in Hong Kong says Christians now constitute nearly 5 percent of the total population of the country.”
Clearly, the world must pay attention to such insidious, radical movements that seek religious dominion across the globe. Please sign our petition calling on Hong Kong to fire Hong Kwai-wah, an”ex-gay” therapist it has hired to “cure” LGBT people. This brazen step by Hong Kong officials show how extremist movements can infiltrate government and impact policy. It is up to us to stop this madness — before it is too late.