Does The Last Reformation Get Back to the Book of Acts?

last-reformation-movieThe Last Reformation is a global movement founded by Torben Sondergaard. On the Last Reformation website, it is stated, “We believe that the church is facing a new reformation.” Specifically,

A reformation that will go deeper than any reformation before: away from church traditions, suffocating structures and countless meetings in church buildings. We believe that it is a reformation, where we get back to what we read in the Acts: A simple disciple-life led by the Holy Spirit, where the kingdom of God comes near in homes, on the streets, in shops – yes, all places where people are.

In The Last Reformation, the 2016 movie, Torben Sondergaard claims, “We as the Church today stand in front of a new reformation. A reformation where we are coming back to what we read in the Book of Acts.” Many of his reasons for reform are noble and valid. He concludes, “It’s time to get back to what we read in the Book of Acts.” Signs and wonders, casting out demons, repentance, speaking in tongues, and baptism in Jesus’ name alone are focal points of the movement, yet the way in which each one of these elements are portrayed is actually at variance with the Book of Acts. As this critical refutation will demonstrate, The Last Reformation is unbiblical or incomplete in all of its emphasized beliefs and practices. Even more important than what they choose to promote within the movement is what The Last Reformation fails to mention or emphasize.

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Our Recent “Worship Experience” at Elevation Church

elevation-churchOn Sunday, I took two of my children with me to rescue the lost from a “Worship Experience” of Elevation “Church” at one of the nine locations in North Carolina. Two greeters approached us at the doors who gave my children “ekidz” slap bracelets and began asking me questions. I told them about how we are traveling across the country sharing the gospel and gave them both copies of the Church of Tares DVD, which contains many clips and critiques of their leader “Pastor” Steven Furtick.

The loud techno music outside and activity in the lobby was overwhelming to my six-year-old son who asked if we could leave soon. This was definitely not like any “church” he had seen. An Elevation usher also approached me in the lobby and asked me several questions. Eventually I told him I believed Elevation Church was unbiblical and urged him to watch our video which he accepted.

After the “Worship Experience” was dismissed, my children and I headed outside to hopefully reach some people on their way out. The moment I handed out a single business size card about how Elevation is unbiblical, an older Elevation security volunteer came out and asked me not to hand out any material. This was reminiscent of our recent visit to Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, Elevation Church is not a true church, Steven Furtick is not a true pastor, and the “Worship Experience” is not true worship. I will elaborate on my concerns about Elevation below.

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On The Celebration of Christmas

Christmas FireplaceThe Christmas celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25th has long been a tradition of professing Christians. But when did the Church begin celebrating this day as the birthday of Christ? More importantly, should Christians celebrate Christmas today?

Two common objections to Christmas are that the Bible speaks against Christmas Trees in Jeremiah 10 and that Santa is actually Satan. Actually Jeremiah 10:1-5 refers to heathen idol worship, not Christmas Trees. And Santa Claus’ real name is St. Nicholas of Myra, an Orthodox Christian bishop from Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) in the fourth century who suffered for Christ under the persecution of Diocletian and is remembered for his charitable life.

It is often suggested that Christ’s birthday was celebrated when the wise men presented to him gifts (Matthew 2:11). But this was not the birthday of Christ, nor was it even the birth of Christ. Matthew said, “Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men” (Matthew 2:16). Therefore, the wise men offered gifts to Christ when he was as old as two years. But the birth of Christ is recorded earlier in Matthew 1:18-25.

Moreover, the only birthdays which are celebrated in the Bible are Pharaoh’s birthday (Genesis 40:20) and Herod’s birthday (Matthew 14:6), both of which ended in murder. Along these lines Origen (c. 245, E) wrote,

And on birthdays, when the lawless word reigns over them, they dance so that their movements please that word. Someone before us has observed what is written in Genesis about the birthday of Pharaoh and has said that the worthless man who loves things connected with birth keeps birthday festivals. And I, taking this suggestion from him, find nowhere in Scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man. For Herod was more unjust than that famous Pharaoh. For the latter killed a chief baker on his birthday feast. But the former killed John. (9.428)

This indicates that the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays during Origen’s time. If we find nowhere in Scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man, then why would we all of a sudden make a precedent for celebrating Christ’s birth? [Read more…]