Greetings from Antiqua!!! I’m currently doing the 2nd half of my DTS for YWAM Kansas City.
During this entire school, I’ve become more increasingly double minded, to the point where one day I’m freaked out about whether what YWAM teaches is biblical, and then immediately questioning whether whatever book I’ve read (Desiring God by John Piper) is biblical and the next I’m just satisfied (briefly) in the word.
Honestly, after the discussion earlier about Hearing Gods voice, I’m not sure whether anything I’ve been taught is Biblical, and I don’t have the time to check back to it. Does anyone know what I can do in order to remain calm and not be tossed by uncertainty? The Word is wonderful, but due to limited time, I can’t really do extensive study.
@AlphaOmega I’ve been there as well - I struggled through many of these questions in my undergraduate years and it was a harrowing process. One thing that helped me was to remember how much we all agree on the core doctrines of Christianity - the resurrection of Jesus, life eternal, the day of judgment, the love of Christ, the power of the Spirit to transform our hearts and lives… In light of that, here are a few things that may help.
focus on the things you know - not on the things you don’t know - you might try making a list of all of the truths you are sure of and hold onto that during this season
remember that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and is with us in every season
remember that no one, no matter how studied, has all of the answers - we all live trusting God with some pretty big questions
Praying for you
Levels of Doctrine
The below article offers a fuller explanation of levels of doctrine and gives a helpful summary list of 4 levels of doctrine.
absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith;
convictions , while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church;
opinions are less-clear issues that generally are not worth dividing over; and
questions are currently unsettled issues.
Where an issue falls within these categories should be determined by weighing the cumulative force of at least seven considerations:
relevance to the character of God;
relevance to the essence of the gospel;
biblical frequency and significance (how often in Scripture it is taught, and what weight Scripture places upon it);
effect on other doctrines;
consensus among Christians (past and present); and
I think YWAM Kansas City might be Hyper Charismatic But this is more of an assumption, however, I need to study this in the Scriptures. The reason why I say this is because I’m listening to an interview with Melissa Dougherty and Mike Winger (Bible Thinker) where they look over Scriptures that have been misused by the New Age and Word of Faith Community, and these ideas being refuted are very similar to that.
This isn’t the first time, but I was listening to Cultish by Apologia Studios, where a woman was kicked out from Bethel’s School of the Super Natural because she started out preaching the Word, and what she said was awfully similar to what they were teaching us now, and the way they do it now.
But again, this requires testing. Supposing if my opinion were true, what would I have to do?
If it were me and I felt the teaching was unsound, I would simply move on. We can only influence other people in places where we have influence and have built relational capital, but we can be wise about who we allow to influence us and the situations we put ourselves in. I would also be cautious about reacting against the school, since I am sure many of the teachers / students love Jesus and really are trying their absolute best to follow Him.
Praying for wisdom and looking forward to hearing some additional thoughts
Hello, @AlphaOmega! Good to hear from you, and good to know you’re still travelling the world. I don’t know if there any ‘cures’ for this, but I am curious to hear you unpack some things, if you have the chance.
Firstly, what is the nature of this double-mindedness? What are you in two minds about? You seem to be questioning whether or not what you are being taught is Biblically sound. Is that it, or there more to it?
What’s triggering your uncertainty? Is it a particular teaching? Do you always feel that sense of uncertainty or is it only during particular times?
@alphaomega, I am really glad that you are not battling the doubts and confusion that you are experiencing alone but have chosen to discuss it with other believers on Connect. Before we get into any of the specifics of your question, I just pray that you will be encouraged and confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). Even if we are faithless, the Lord is faithful (2 Tim 2:13). While we are warned of apostasy and many false prophets and messiahs (Matt 7:15, 22), when we read further down in Matt 7, we are not left without hope. Jesus gives the solution for not being deceived and that can keep our hearts at ease.It is in obedience to Jesus’s word that we are protected from deception and false teachings. Those who will be deceived are those who refuse to love the truth and be saved (2 Thess 2:10).
Mattt 7:24-26 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
If we do discover that some teaching is false, as believers in Christ we have an obligation to shine the light of God’s word on those teachings, similar to how Paul confronts Peter in Gal 2:11-13. I would agree with @SeanO that we must be careful whose influence we choose to be under and similar guidance is given in 2 John.
2 John: 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
There are some doctrines that are core that affect our salvation and spiritual growth and some that are not core and may have different interpretations. These different interpretations nevertheless have to be still be substantiated by the Bible in some way. I think we need to exercise caution and not let false teaching creep because of their status as non-core doctrines.
Your main concern seems to be in the area of hearing the voice of God. I believe that God still can speak to us and I am a believer in the continuation of spiritual gifts. However, there is a need for discernment in knowing if someone if operating under the Spirit of God or under the influence of false spirits. For it is possible for people to prophesy in their own imaginations when the Lord has not spoken and that is equivalent to divination. Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that is done in an orderly manner, is accurate and it is not something that man can learn as a technique. No where in scripture we see this taught as a technique.
1 Thess 5: 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
1Cor 14:32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
In the few instances that I have experienced God speak in about two decades, God is the one who has initiated and He reached out even when I was in doubt and struggling to have faith. I would be very cautious of teaching that expects God to act on demand and if there is little focus on repentance and holiness. After you give more details on the teachings in question, we can discuss more of the specifics. Until then, I hope this information will be helpful in sorting through your doubts and decisions. God bless!
The nature of this double-mindedness is just in the fact that there is teaching in YWAM very similar to my knowledge of the Word of Faith movement (as mentioned in the first post about the podcast on Bible Thinker and Cultish).
I want to ask if you guys could please give me scriptural references please. I’d like to study this further so that I may know truth for myself.
Here are some similarities that I’ve noticed (Feel free to search up the podcast Cultish: Defecting from Bethel Parts 1-3):
Love Bombing: the staff claim to love us so much, but the thing is they barely know us. I don’t think their genuine. The podcast mentioned this is similar to cults so that people may join in.
The podcast mentioned a similar scenario about the prophetic where (According to YWAM) it’s meant to call out who God has meant you to be (E.g. someone once told me that God has made me a complex person, where I’m going to get a lot of theology, music, singing, etc. they’ve also mentioned how I’m like King David, a warrior that relies on Him (looking back though, I realise the Old Testament was designed to show how sinful people are, so I don’t think these guys are legit) so what is Biblical prophecy?
Hearing Gods voice: Ive tried asking the staff to prove to me if it was possible to Hear Gods voice. I asked if they could recite to me a prayer that I prayed to God, and they said that they didn’t want to test God, because they were really scared of that. They also mentioned that prophecy was something that you already have, but that you could learn.
The Religious Spirit:
These guys claim that knowing your Word is gaining knowledge, and knowledge puffs up. It’s not so much that knowledge isn’t good, but they claimed that because even though the Pharisees knew the law, they didn’t know Jesus was the Son of Man, so they’re (in my opinion) making this statement that knowledge of the Word blinds people from knowing Jesus intimately.
Don’t put God in a Box:
This also goes back to hearing Gods voice. YWAM staff say that Gods revelation is not limited to His Word. They seperate the Word so that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus, and just talk to Him. Of course, they think they need the Word in order to see if it is Him their talking too, and I think prayer is misconceptualised here. What is the function and purpose of prayer?
Disengage from Reason:
The staff have stated that you have to be encouraged to go beyond reason. I don’t agree with this. I already know that biblical faith requires reason as it’s prerequisite. I’ve also noticed that when they note spiritual discernment, they need to feel something, and not use their mental faculties and the Word.
The Mind of Christ: Again, going back to the voice of God. It’s this idea that because we are now saved, we hear God’s thoughts, we hear God’s voice. But I think this too is out of context. What does Paul mean when he says we have the mind of Christ.
7 Spheres of Influence: This idea goes as follows: there are parts of society where there are of major influence: Business, Religion (Rules and Ethics), Music, Arts, Government, Education and Family. Each one is supposed to be influenced by kingdom culture (I don’t know what that is). But the thing is, (based on that podcast) that it is based on Dominion Theology (I don’t know what that is either. Is there something wrong here?)
The thing about YWAM is that it is focused on Revival and bringing it back. I don’t think any of these are biblical, but that’s all I have thus far.
Please help me. I want to know truth for myself, because if these people are wrong, then like you said @Lakshmismehta they are preaching a false gospel that cannot save. I REALLY wish I had a strong foundation in the Word.
There are actually bits and pieces of New Age and Hindu similarities (People falling on The floor and shaking violently, crying uncontrollably and laughing, which is referred to the interaction of the Holy Spirit). I REALLY don’t think that is Biblical either.
There has been another situation going on as well, but I’ve trusted God with it, and I pray eagerly for Him to provide clarification for this seperate issue.
@alphaomega, Thanks for giving more detail. Many Christians who believe in the continuation of spiritual gifts are concerned about a counterfeit revival and I am certainly one of those. I watched the videos you suggested by Cultish but not the Bible Thinker videos. I would be very concerned too if you are receiving the same kind of teaching as Lindsay Davis at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. One of the strangest things I heard on it was people going to a honey barrel for the Holy Spirit! When I saw the video, people seem to be jerking, laughing uncontrollably and seeking thrill/signs. I can understand demon possessed people showing uncontrollable jerking in the presence of the Holy Spirit but not by those who are claiming to be filled by the Holy Spirit. We cannot know what is counterfeit unless we know what is true and I think it would be very helpful for you to do a detailed study on the book of Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14. I really want to help and feel sad to hear the confusion you are sensing (not that its wrong to be confused)
Love Bombing: Doesn’t seem genuine. If anyone is truly filled by the Holy Spirit, it must show in the character of the person and some of this is described in Eph 5. Eph 5: 18 ……but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. In Acts, we also see boldness, effective preaching and joy in affliction when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52, Acts 14:2-3).
Biblical prophecy : True prophets gave accurate revelation inspired by the Spirit of God and always focused on God’s Holiness and centered on Christ (2 Peter 1:21). It was sometimes about the future, but many times warnings, judgment, guidance on proper worship, advice or encouragement. It called for repentance and faithfulness and prophets were not the popular ones! In 1 Cor 14 we read that we are to pursue the gift of prophecy for the edification of the church, to bring conviction as the secrets of the heart are laid bare and to teach others. It’s not an uncontrollable gift, it was done in an orderly manner and could not contradict the teaching of the apostles (Is 8:20, 1 Cor 14:38, so we need knowledge of the Word!) . It may be used for directing ministry (Acts 8:29, Acts 13:1-3, Acts 19:21, 20: 2221:4, 10-14). The Spirit makes known something previously hidden (Matt. 11:27; 16:17; 1 Cor. 2:10; Gal. 1:6; Eph. 1:17; Phil. 3:15). Prophecy is not the first hunch/ thought that comes to mind after prayer for a person. It’s not something a prophet can exercise whenever he wants but when the Spirit leads, which the prophet can’t predict! Only “if” they had a prophecy, Paul asked to share in church, implying prophecy doesn’t happen on demand. Christians must “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). A true prophet affirms the incarnation of God the Son in the person of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:2–3; 2 John 7–11) and is accurate (Deu 8:21-22). Prophecy cannot be taught as a technique, it’s a gift! Not everyone is given the gift of prophecy though Paul encouraged to seek it. The Spirit distributes the gifts according to His will (1Cor 12:8, 28). ( Please read full article by Sam Storms here . I have used some of his statements along with mine above ).
In my own experience, I have had a pastor prophecy about something I was going through that he couldn’t have ever known unless revealed by the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t even seeking prophecy but just wanted to be prayed for. Both the pastor and I had no idea that God would have given him that revelation then. It was initiated by God, it produced conviction in me, it was done in a calm orderly way. The prophecy lifted my doubts about the Bible and God and led me back to a more vibrant prayer life. Its not about calling out what is not. We are never called to have faith in our word/our resources/ in our guess of the outcome of our prayer but a faith in God! (Mark 11:22,Ps 33:20-22). Otherwise all we are doing is making false confessions of reality! Even Jesus at Gethsemane prayed, if the Lord wills! He made no positive confession of what He wanted. So, if people just give a prophecy that can’t even be verified, I would not take it seriously unless God also confirms it to you in some other way.
Hearing God’s voice: From Scripture we see that people heard from God in various ways, dreams, visions, voice, prophecies etc. (ex.s Daniel, Eli, Jacob, Peter, Cornelius, Paul, John). Even those gifted in prophecy cannot know another’s thoughts unless the Lord reveals (1 Cor 2:10).I would like to share an experience that I had only a couple years ago that tells me God still speaks. I share it not to boast that I heard from God but to encourage you that if God chooses to speak, we will hear it. We don’t have to worry about missing His voice. I was reading the Bible, Psalm 39, and I suddenly heard a whisper of my friend’s name in my ear, exactly when my eyes fell upon v. 13 “depart and be no more”. I had the understanding that my friend would die soon and I needed to share the gospel. It was a really gentle whisper but I was totally taken aback when I heard it! In three weeks after that, my friend did die. I had never heard God’s voice like that before. But now I know that it can happen! Again, it happened at His timing, when I was not even expecting.
Putting God in a box: It is true that God may choose to reveal certain specific situations in our life supernaturally and He will not go against what He has already spoken. However, if we go looking to hear supernaturally every single time in prayer, we will attribute what is not of God to Him and be in error. We don’t want our prayers to be about what God can do for us but about knowing Him. When we are focused on what God can do for us, our prayers end up being focused on us rather than on Him. If God wants to get our attention, He knows how. Think about how we first got saved! From the Lord’s prayer, the function of prayer can be considered as an opportunity to conform our heart to His, for confession and supplication, for seeking protection and acknowledging Him alone as the only God and Father.
Disengage from reason: Paul and Peter reasoned from the scripture in the book of Acts even when led by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 17:2, Acts 2:14-36). We do not disengage from reason to listen to the Holy Spirit.
Mind of Christ: In 1 Cor 2:16, we read about having the mind of Christ but it doesn’t mean we always hear from Christ. It is saying is that only those who have the mind of Christ can understand the message of the cross (1 Cor 1:18). See attached link – “
Having the mind of Christ means we understand God’s plan in the world—to bring glory to Himself, restore creation to its original splendor, and provide salvation for sinners. It means we identify with Christ’s purpose “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). It means we share Jesus’ perspective of humility and obedience (Philippians 2:5-8), compassion (Matthew 9:36), and prayerful dependence on God (Luke 5:16)
Here’s a good book on origins of word of faith written by someone who believes in spiritual gifts -
Here’s another book by an author who believes in spiritual gifts and looked into the prophetic movement in depth.
An old post on the baptism of the Holy Spirit has some more information and links that you could look into. I would describe myself as one who is open to the supernatural works of the Holy Spirit but cautious.
Overall, I wouldn’t paint YWAM with one broad brush but I am concerned about the teaching you have experienced. I pray that God will give you insight to take the right decisions.
@AlphaOmega! I love to see you grappling with all of these things, my friend. Keep going! @Lakshmismehta has given a rich and insightful reply, and I wanted to weigh in on a couple of things too.
First off, love bombing… The thought of this made me giggle. It seems ridiculous on one level because, you’re right, they don’t know you. I can relate to your skepticism! However, on another level, we are called to love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I mean, is it possible for you to love them without really knowing them?
Secondly, the religious spirit… All I will contend for is this: Just because knowledge has the tendency to ‘puff up’ doesn’t mean that we should avoid it. Fear of pride is, to me, a poor excuse for remaining ignorant. Knowledge does not cause pride. Pride resides in us regardless of whether we are ‘educated’ or not. (P.S. Is ‘knowing your Word’ code for ‘theology’?)
Thirdly, disengaging from reason… Can you clarify with them what they mean by ‘reason’? We both think and feel with our mental faculties. Indeed, I find it impossible to feel without thinking. That is, I register that I’m feeling through my thinking, and I interpret and articulate my feelings through reasoning.
I also love that one of your frequent questions is: What does that mean? I would encourage you (if you’re not already doing so) to tweak that question a bit when in class or meeting with teachers and ask, ‘What do you mean?’. Because it seems the biggest issues here is what THEY mean by these concepts… love, prophecy, revelation, reason, faith, revival, kingdom culture, the role of the Holy Spirit, etc.
@AlphaOmega, as I was looking into revivals, I came across a lecture by Steve Gregg which gives a good overview of revivals from the 19th century. I thought it was also a great resource for understanding how it led to different movements and through whom. He talks about counterfeit being a part of true revival even back in history and his thoughts on differentiating true from false signs. Thought you might be interested.
double mindedness happens to human beings it’s normal, to be steadfast and enduring you need to have knowledge and experience and above all you need know and experience God in anyway possible. Be it dreams visions or some other way. Maybe struggles and battles and soo on and so forth. Overall it takes a while to be steady and unshakeable. I am still journeying my own double mindedness and for me my cure is to take life as its coming to me because my plans never work out as I am too unrelible and unsteady in all I do. hope you find youe cure
@AlphaOmega, Good to hear! You are Welcome! I look forward to future thoughts on this as you find new information through your research and assimilate it. I too have been confused about some teachings in the charismatic circles in the past and have dealt with it by just sticking to the Bible and my own experience if I see an example of it in the word. I focus on not adding or subtracting anything from the teachings of the Bible when it comes to how we relate with God in prayer. God bless you.
Hold on what you believed from the beginning. The storm of doublemindedness will come and go. When i find myself in that storm, i keep reminding myself of the good times i had with the Lord in His word. Sometimes, i don’t feel like studying or praying. I’m not even sure there’s heaven or what if we are wrong? Then, i remind myself that God cannot lie. That is when you should trust even when it makes no sense!
Jeremiah Lanthea’s revival prayer meetings soon began to burgeon into thousands praying. Within 6 months, 10,000 businessmen were praying each day in New York city.
I was blessed to hear Steve Gregg say, “Almost a year ago I thought about putting out a general appeal for anyone who wants to come and pray, here, for revival once a week. … I don’t know if we will start doing that, but I tell ya, I’m hungry for more of a true work of God, in my life and in my environment.”