I was very young when the charismatic movement invaded my life. Not too young to be totally and completely committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. I believed the Scripture was the Word of God, that I was to obey it, and that Jesus was my Savior. My foundations were solid.
Around the same time, I was introduced to the “Toronto Blessing” and the teachings of Mike Bickle, from the International House of Prayer. In the following years, I drank a lot from various charismatic streams. Bethel, Rick Joyner, and many more.
It would be decades before I realized that from these streams, the “pure milk” of the Word of God I had drunk had been laced with poison. Like Colossians 2 says, I had been cheated, deceived by people puffed up with their extra-biblical revelations and experiences and addicted to efforts that are of no use against the indulgence of the flesh.
To come out, I have paid a price previously inconceivable to me. What I have lost to regain the simplicity of faith in Christ and His gospel would take years to describe. But it has been more than worth it.
Jesus Christ has delivered me, through truth. I found that every error, every heresy, every deception, has been carefully warned against in scriptures. But when I was held captive by the deceptions, those warnings held no sway with me. It never occurred to me that I should seek to apply them to what I was currently ingesting. They were far off and blurry, like the voice of the adults from the “Peanuts” cartoon.
I need to tell my story, and many other people’s stories. It will take some time to bear out my claims. I saw a lot, travelled a lot, heard a lot, and studied a lot. It may seem unfair how I lump different groups and categories together, but if you’ll bear with me, I’ll explain why. For starters, I’ll say, that anything that is not from faith is sin (Rom. 14:23). That God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). That there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). And that those whom the Lord rejects on judgment day were crying out about the signs and wonders and prophecy that they had done in His name (Mat. 7:21-23).
The Scriptures says to beware false teachings and false prophets over and over and over again. Have you been? I was not. What a cost I paid. My hope is that my painful extraction out of falsehood, seeking of spiritual experiences, false teaching, and undue subjection to “prophets” and prophecy, can win others who are lost in the swirl back to simplicity and power of the plain, straightforward gospel of Jesus Christ.
Note to readers: Beth Cavete is not my real name. I began writing under a pseudonym to shield people I love very much from as much pain and embarrassment as I could. I have never thought this was shameful or deceptive, and still don’t.