Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oops! Be careful with the Laying on of Hands

A supporter of Ralph Rutledge recently suggested that I might want Ralph Rutledge to pray for me.
My answer is "NO!" I would NOT want Ralph Rutledge to pray for me.
I am very careful who I ask to pray for me because one of my mentors taught me that with the Laying on of Hands can come the transference of spirits.  See also: Transference of spirits, Alexander William Ness, 1981, Welch Co.
Pastor Ness says: "Few people realize the dangers involved in laying on of hands.   There is great danger in having just anyone laying hands on you.
I don't want what is in Ralph Rutledge to transfer into me.  I don't want what is in Ralph Rutledge to transfer into anyone.  Ness observes: "A homosexual evangelist laid hands on people and soon some of his admirers had like problems."  (Page 120, Ness, 1981)
The way to avoid transference of spirits is to be careful with laying of of Hands (Hebrews  6:1, 1Timothy 5:22.).  If the fruit of person's life is suspect then avoid prayer by him or for him involving laying on of hands.  Avoid it.
So it is very poor advice to turn to Ralph Rutledge  for prayer.  I am much more afraid of the 'side effects' of such a prayer than the possible benefits.
The whole issue of demonic influence in Ralph Rutledge's ministry is raised by the title of the book that portrays his ministry at the Good Samaritan Church.  The book is entitled "Demons in the Sanctuary."  
I have dedicated a whole blog to this.  The method that we will follow in trying to understand Ralph Rutledge will use the book "Demons in the Sanctuary" (Mariam Bellamy, Trafford, 2008, 978-1-4251-8582-4.)
The books imagines spiritual battles going on behind the ministry of Ralph Rutledge.  The author imagines that God's angels have almost nil influence in his life and ministry.  Instead she imagines many demons swarming over the congregation and the Spirit of Jezebel and a Python spirit have command of these demonic forces.
My intuition is that evil spirits working through Ralph Rutledge transfers over to those who pray with him (especially when touch is involved).  Wrong spirits could transfer if someone prayed for him with laying on of hands.
 I also suspect that prayer with touch not only transfers spirits to others but sets up his 'young men' victims for sexual seduction.  
So be careful with the laying on of hands.  Avoid praying for and with Ralph Rutledge so as to avoid transference of spirits.   Avoid praying for and with Ralph Rutledge so as to avoid sexual seduction.
Ness tells us: "if the carrier of bad spirits has not confessed his sin, then you must cease having any further contact with him." (Ness, 1981, page 135.)
I would not at all be exposing Ralph Rutledge if he had renounced his sin, turned from it, been fully healed and delivered from it and taken measures to submit to accountability measures.  To date this has not happened.  At least, according to my sources it has been offered and refused.  
We would all be happier if Ralph Rutledge was ready for restoration.   The more I learn about him and his history the less evidence there is of that and the more pressing is the need for a warning.  
I would remove all of this material if trusted sources confirm a major turn around in Rutledge.   The majority of the evidence over many years suggests nothing of the sort and more of the opposite.

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Gossip, slander and lies

Recently, Mr. Mom wrote a comment that suggested that exposing Rev. Rutledge in this blog can be characterized as gossip, slander and lies.  In fact, it is almost a knee jerk reaction to anyone who is trying to deal with sin issues to be labelled  judgmental.

 Of course, if I was being judgmental, or truly acting in a way that could be characterized as gossip, slander or telling lies then I would be the one in sin.  

If I was acting in a clean and holy way, being faithful to the facts, with the motive of healing the Body of Christ, exposing evil in a biblical way and holding Ralph Rutledge accountable for a life of unprofessional, immoral and abusive conduct in a mature way, then the one accusing me of gossip, slander and lies is the one in sin.

One of God's main offensive or aggressive weapons is the word.  Christian leaders must be skilled at using the Word of God for reproof and correction.  If we cave in to everyone waving the flag of "judgmental" we would be allowing the mature Christian to be disarmed. 

We don't want mature Christians afraid of loving healthy confrontation.   We are supposed to be competent to confront.  Jay Adams based his theology of Christian counselling on this concept.

This is a matter worthy of study and more blogs entries.  We need to know what is and is not gossip, slander and being judgmental (in the bad way.)   

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Am I being too judgmental, uncaring in exposing Ralph Rutledge?

I am answering KPM's comments on the blog post: Rev. Ralph Rutledge pastor Queensway scandal.  My answer does not fit into a comment format.  So it goes here.

Thank you KPM for joining the conversation again.  I hope there is no disrespect if I call you Mr. Mom.  I honour all the love and effort taken to raise children alone.  It is no easy task.

I can see we have in common a desire for justice and mercy within the Body of Christ.  You are expressing yourself by rushing to Ralph Rutledge’s defense.  Of course you believe that you are doing what is good and right.

I believe what I am doing is both good and important.  My life is deeply rooted in scripture. I have been filled with the Holy Spirit.  I have been given the gift of Faith.  I am called by God to be a counsellor.  After years of prayerful Christian counselling my heart for God, my care for the Body of Christ and for people just grows more sensitive. I do care and I live a life of care.  My heart is open to God.

Some things make me sad.  I a moved to tears by the movement of God.

Some things make me mad.  I am angry when I hear of a man taking advantage of men or women in the Body of Christ.

Whether I am right or wrong, God knows, I have from time to time been called to discern spiritual abuse and to expose it.  This has been neither easy nor pleasant.  The backlash against exposing any form of abuse always seems strong.  (It may be that Satan works best when his agents are hidden and his purposes undiscovered and unexposed.)

In my Christian life, I have been shown the work of two “wolves in sheep clothing” – both were pastors in position of privilege and authority and there were suggestions that both were involved in molesting young men.  I learned from the first experience just how deeply entrenched such a man can be.

When Pastor Rutledge was defrocked by the PAOC I was given one report from one of my students that was unsettling.  It was reported to me that Rutledge had been invited into the home of unbelievers.  At some point he went up to the bedroom of the young man to pray with him.  According to the report that I was given he made some kind of homosexual advance on the teenager.  The result, the fruit, was one young man and one family turned off of God.

When the so called ‘sex scandal at Queensway Cathedral’ happened I was already informed as to his possible unethical behaviour.  So whenever Ralph Rutledge was minimizing the event and claiming it was an isolated incident, I had reason to believe that he was lying.

More recently, as I was counselling someone about another matter, I was given a second report of betrayal of trust.  A father sent his son to Rutledge for counselling.  This was an act of deep trust.  Ralph Rutledge had a good reputation in the PAOC.  But the young man was not given godly counsel regarding his gender confusion.  The young man was handled in a way that deeply confused him and sent him reeling into homosexual activity.

This was a betrayal of the trust of the father who expected godly counsel for a man of God that he respected.  This mishandling of the situation by Rutledge involved professionally unethical conduct.  The damage caused was extensive.  The fruit was deep wounding of a young man of God.

When this second report ‘come across my desk’ I felt moved take action.  Two reports are significant because of scripture:  "A fact is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses."  “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”  (John 8:17, 1 Timothy 5:19)

The fruit of a 'wolf in sheep clothing' was present in these two initial reports.  The POAC had already dealt with something like this so the evidence was strongly suggestive that Rutledge was my second "wolf in sheep clothing."

Counsellors take seriously the reporting of abuse.  The law demands we report sexual abuse.  Professional associations take seriously the misuse of authority of position to initiate sexual contact with clients.  Our society does not look kindly on the covering up of homosexual abuse of young men within the church by clergy.  The Catholic Church is being highlighted about this in the press.

Also Matthew 18 outlines a process of confrontation of Christians in sin.  Some of the process is complete.  The Superintendents of the Western Ontario Office of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God have listened to witnesses and have confronted Rev. Rutledge and removed him from a position of considerable success for the PAOC – Queensway Cathedral was on the way to being a mega church and hosted a television ministry.

Only one thing was missing.  1 Timothy 5:20 and Matthew 18:17 suggest that a public rebuke is needed; that there is a time to “tell it to the church.”  There needed to be some clear public record of events so that the church was informed so that the wolf could not circle around and again attack the flock.  There needed to be a warning.  This was the action that was needed.

I researched to see if this job was done.  I investigated in the modern way with a Google search to see if the history of the Ralph Rutledge Sex scandal was public knowledge.  No, it was not.

Only a very small privileged in group knew this man’s character, his unrepentant attitude and his active sinful patterns.  Anyone else was ignorant.  Therefore, I believed that this was a matter of public interest.  Anyone not in the know would be vulnerable to being preyed upon.  The flock was vulnerable.  The Bride was exposed to potential harm.

I felt it was required by God to have someone who perpetrates evil and sin upon the Bride of Christ  be exposed.  There are Biblical mandates to protect the flock, to expose evil to tell it to the church.  Ephesians 5:11, Matthew 18:17.  I had growing reason to believe that Ralph Rutledge was such a person.

I could either act like a man of God with courage, wisdom and love or I could play it safe.  I could say: “I am not called to be a prophet.  I am a pastor.”  In other words I will heal the wounds of the sheep but not drive away the one who is wounding them.  Or I could drive away the wolf.

But shepherds protect their flock.  Jesus says that only those without the true heart of a shepherd “see the wolf coming and leave the sheep and flees.” John 10:12. Why do they run away from the job of protecting the sheep, of laying down their life for the sheep?  What, my friend does it say?

It says it is because “THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE SHEEP!”  Those who do not care run away from the wold in sheep clothing.  I did not do that.

I care enough to put my neck on the line for the victims; for the many wounded young men and old men across this country.  It is not that I am without sin or the sinful nature.  But that is no reason not to act.  Also, I did not have perfect knowledge.  So, with humility, I could launch a process that could discover the truth.  In time the truth would surface as we accumulate information and testimony about Ralph Rutledge.

I could ask for information, facts, that supported my suspicions or not.  I could not be closed minded.  I just had to report fairly what I know and let truth come out.

Although I also care about Ralph Rutledge I would sacrifice one wolf to save many sheep.  If he is a wolf then I really do not care how far he has to go down.  A wolf must be stopped.  Enough is enough.  God is not mocked.  God is a consuming fire.  God is Holy.  God is Just.

So lets pray for truth to shine and evil be exposed.  Lets call upon God to vindicate the Body of Christ; to intervene on behalf of victims of abuse, to protect the Bride even if it means that the wolves must go down.  That, my friend, is how a shepherd feels when he has a heart for the sheep and a life dedicated to God.

Let us pray that all ungodly soul ties be broken; that all ungodly protection be lifted; that all ungodly prayer or curses be broken.  I pray that God expose him.  In the name of the Father, and the Son – Jesus Christ – and the Holy Spirit I pray that all satanic veils, screens, deceptions and protections around this man be broken. May the Holy fire of God, burn all that is not of God so that all that remains is the real and holy Ralph Rutledge.  Amen – So be it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Oops! Prayers of Protection that backfire.

I have experienced in my own life and in the lives of my fellow Christians the problems that occur when we pray for protection in ways that backfire.  I was puzzled when I lost a professional position where I was on provision. I did not connect it with my unwise daily prayers against territorial spirits over Edmonton and the University Hospital where I worked.  What a confusing set back.

I saw a close friend,. Tom, lose his marriage and his financial security as he persisted in the same kind of prayer of binding territorial spirits.

A Christian couple struggled with financial problems and difficulty with their son.  They, too, were using aggressive 'spiritual warfare.'

God bless Leanne Payne.  I attended a Pastoral Care School  with others from St. George the Martyr Anglican Church.  All this thanks to the organisation of Linda Riesberry.  She sounded the trumpet against arrogant prayer that purports to "bind" principalities and powers.  She found that it made things worse.  The wrong type of protection or spiritual warfare prayer acted just like a curse.

I had committed an almost unrecoverable error.  I had dug a hole for myself and my life was sinking down.  I was following what I was taught only what I was taught just about destroyed me.  I lost a job that would be a major set back in my professional career.  

I needed to repent.  I did repent.  I needed to humble myself.  I did humble myself.  I had to call a halt to my 'power trip in prayer.'  I did.  No more "binding" prayer for me.  No more focus on the enemy.

I began to find others who understood what Leanne Payne was saying.  I found that Judson Cornwall was rebuked by the Lord of 'worshiping demons' and giving Satan top billing at his worship service when he had no idea the danger that he was in when he publicly bound demons who interfered with the worship.

John Dawson shared a significant story in New Zealand about a large Christian praise, prayer and worship festival that included native indigenous people.  At a highlight of worship and prayer a chief of the area took authority over a territorial spirit believed to be over one of the mountains.  Instead of victory the chief was instantly struck down as if by lightening.  This story broadened the warning to include all large praise gatherings with indigenous peoples.

Rick Joyner saw it in a vision.  It had to do with the Cloak of Humility and the protection that it provided.  Contrast that protection with a group that decided on their own to leave the mountain and attack the enemy forces and were thoroughly decimated.

John Paul Jackson explains this in his book: "Needless Casualties of War."  In the book he warns against taking on evil in heavenly places; that our place is ground spiritual warfare - authority over earthly demons.  In his prophetic dream he came to see that the way people and congregations were praying lead to an attack on them that they did not even understand was happening.  When congregations chose to change the way they were praying the bad fruit ceased and protection returned.

I have seen those who refused to change their style of prayer go deeper into defeat.

I fought to recover and I believe that I am safe and hidden in Christ.  I learned a lesson that I will never forget.  I have learned the value of humility and the danger of my spiritual pride.  Now I am blessed.