Mystical Warfare in Kitsap County
This article was written about one week prior to the referenced conference.
Transformation & Unity
"Transformation" and "unity" will be the topics of a gathering of religious leaders April 6th, 2001 in Poulsbo, Washington. The speaker at the conference will be Moral Government theology author and "Spiritual Mapping" advocate, George Otis Jr. of The Sentinel Group, in Lynnwood, Washington. The local newspaper, The Sun, bills this meeting as, "one of the largest interdenominational gatherings in Kitsap county" and calls Otis, "an internationally known missionary and researcher [who] will share with local Christians how to transform their communities through faith and prayer".
"Author and speaker George Otis Jr. will speak to more than 100
local religious leaders and then to more than 1,000 people at Christ
Memorial Church [building]" according to a March 31 article in the
Bremerton Sun by Marietta Nelson. The meeting is actually being
hosted by First Lutheran Church of Poulsbo who had previously hired
Bill Robinson as a consultant in evangelism. According to the Sun
article it was Robinson who invited Otis to speak after hearing him
at Overlake Christian Church. "Between 40 and 50 churches from
across the spectrum of Christianity are sponsoring the event.
Robinson said he hopes Otis' stories will help unify the 'body of
Christ' in Kitsap County."
George Otis Jr. wrote The God They Never Knew in 1982. Winkey Pratney, another Moral Government teacher, lists Otis' book under "Moral Government" on his website page called, "Twenty to Change the World: Master Book List Of Apologetics Readings". Both Otis and Pratney have long had a ministry relationship with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The God They Never Knew is dedicated by Otis to Pratney, Harry Conn, and Gordon Olson. Conn and Olson both wrote Moral Government theology books that influenced many in youth oriented parachurch organizations.
According to the "Apologetics Index" (which I don't necessarily endorse on everything) and several authors such as E. Calvin Beisner and Alan Gomes, Moral Government theology teaches that, "God does not fulfill some of His own prophecies. God changes His mind and is not immutable. God does not have sovereign control over earthly events. God does not know His future actions. God does not know ahead of time the free decisions of humans. God's foreknowledge is limited in the area of man's free decisions. Many of the things God predicted never came true." (Ironically, E. Calvin Beisner is a member of the Theological Review Committee of The Coalition on Revival (COR)). For more information on Moral Government theology, in general, and George Otis Jr., in particular click on the following links:
Lead Us Not Into Deception- A Biblical Examination of the Moral Government Theology [found at Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and elsewhere]
Download the above pdf booklet for more info. (3/27/12)
To examine the website of Otis' Sentinel Group follow this link:
Spiritual Mapping & Spiritual Warfare
The Sentinel Group website emphasizes "Community Transformation" and "Spiritual Mapping". The website speaks of two videos produced by the organization, "Transformations" and "Transformations II: The Glory Spreads". In promoting an upcoming conference in Seattle the site says,
"You will hear firsthand from believers portrayed in Transformations and the soon to be released, Transformations II - The Glory Spreads. This gathering is carefully structured to allow time for personal reflection - time to listen, to respond, to worship, and to wait upon the Lord. Join us! And bring others who want their communities transformed! Together, we'll take a major step toward transformation of our own cities and regions."
Also on the website is the following book offer:
"Breaking Strongholds in Your City
Edited by C. Peter Wagner
"How to Use Spiritual Mapping to Make Your Prayers More Strategic, Effective and Targeted - C. Peter Wagner edits the unique collection of teachings and case studies presented by various contributers [sic] showing how to unite spiritual mapping with strategic, targeted prayer"
Al Dager of Media Spotlight documents that George Otis Jr's "Spiritual Mapping" is among the unbiblical mystical techniques of "spiritual warfare" being promoted by the global, pervasive, loosely associated "World Christian Movement". The Media Spotlight series is being compiled into a book that can be ordered from: Media Spotlight, P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073-0290. Also, you may order Al Dager's book from his website: Media Spotlight
Al Dager writes:
"Spiritual mapping is a term coined in 1991 by George Otis, Jr. Art Moore, writing in Christianity Today, says:
Spiritual mapping, says Otis, president of the research agency the Sentinel Group, is nothing more ethereal than creating a spiritual profile of a community based on careful research. It is a tool, he says, for intelligent prayer aimed at opening spiritually blind eyes to the gospel.
Otis poured seven years of global research into his new book, The Twilight Labyrinth: Why Does Spiritual Darkness Linger Where It Does? (Chosen Books). He has identified 15 "transformed communities," of which 14 incorporated spiritual mapping. Two factors present in all 15, Otis says, are "persevering leadership" and "united prayer." Commitment is the key, he says. "God didn't move in Hemet until Bob [Bennett] bought a burial plot in the city."
Otis has developed a 28-stage scale to measure the progress of a community from the "spiritual beachhead" phase to "spiritual breakthrough" to "spiritual transformation." Spiritual mapping does not begin until stage nine, Otis points out. "When you reach that point you have a core of intercessors in a community really petitioning God for a visitation," he says....
"To explain the burial plot thing, a "World Christian" (someone involved in the WCM) must have a "commitment" in an area, such as a burial plot, home, job, etc., in order for God to work there.
Though it still raises many eye brows among evangelicals, spiritual mapping is gaining broader acceptance, as evidenced by the AD 2000 United Prayer Track's Spiritual Mapping Division, which Otis heads. United Prayer Track coordinator C. Peter Wagner teaches a class on spiritual mapping at Fuller Theological Seminary....
Many of spiritual mapping's detractors have less of a problem with spiritual mapping than with its most common applications, "strategic-level warfare"-defined by Wagner as discerning and praying against territorial spirits assigned to a community -and "identificational repentance."
"Spiritual mapping is nothing more than keeping data on the beliefs of people according to geographic areas. The purpose at the WPC, however, is to disseminate information to its constituents so that they may engage in unbiblical forms of "spiritual warfare.""
This conference is reminiscent of the
"Celebration of Unity" service held in 1990. On September 30th of
that year 4500 Protestants gathered in the Kitsap Pavilion for a
"Celebration of Unity" service. Despite their disclaimers, it was
very much an ecumenical service, with a great diversity of groups
including some who preach "a different gospel". For example, Rev.
Richard Kroll, one of the speakers at the service was the clergyman
of the Suquamish Community Congregational United Church of Christ.
Their statement of purpose says they, "...welcome and accept all
people into worship, participation in church life, full membership
and leadership... may include sexual orientation. In the vision of
unity, wholeness, integrity, compassion, and justice, as a community
of God's people, we covenant to be open and affirming [including]
... lesbian and gay relationships, extended families, blended
families and nuclear families."
The main speaker at the "Celebration of Unity" service was Joe Aldrich, President of Multnomah School of the Bible, and Steering Committee Member of the Coalition On Revival (COR). One of the organizers and participants was Ron Boehme of YWAM's "Revive America Project" and also on COR's Steering Committee. Ron continues to lead YWAM Port Orchard and is one of the founders of "Kings Kids" in Kitsap County. Boehme wrote the book, Leadership for the 21st Century, in which he promotes a "A Kingdom World View" and "A vision for Christ Lordship in the Nations" and quotes favorably M. Scott Peck and John Naisbitt. Leadership for the 21st Century asks us "to dream" about world-wide revival and advocates that we take dominion, and bring about a world-wide Christian utopia through "servanthood" in every sphere of society.
Another of the organizers and participants of the 1990 event was Bill Robinson who is also promoting this upcoming conference with George Otis Jr. Originally, Bill was the youth pastor at First Church in Bremerton (now Lincoln Avenue Bible Church). He left there to found Peninsula Bible Fellowship (PBF) where he was the senior clergyman until recently. He is now a consultant for Church organizations.
The summer before the 1990 unity service a letter was sent out by Ron Boehme to many clergymen in the area. Dated June 21, 1990, Ron wrote,
"Warm greetings in Christ. This letter is to follow up on the wonderful prayer retreat that many of us enjoyed together at Warm Beach May 28-31. For those pastors and Christian leaders that attended--62 in all--we believe that a gracious outpouring of God's Spirit has begun. We will never be the same again...
...Many of us believe that a true heaven-sent revival has begun in the most spiritually barren part of the United States -- the Pacific Northwest. The week after the retreat, a few of us met with about 25 pastors from all over Washington and Oregon (representing over 500 pastors and Christian leaders who have been touched by God through the prayer summits), We shared together for hours the incredible things God is doing. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime movement of God Spirit...
...Also enclosed is a copy of a "Covenant of Continuance" that we signed at the retreat. We would invite you to look it over and join with us in a long-term approach to spiritual change in our area...
...At the July 6 meeting, we will be choosing a date for having a second mini-retreat together including our wives, and also finalizing the date for a joint Sunday morning worship service where we will be closing the doors on our individual churches, and gathering as one Body in Christ at the Kitsap Pavilion.
A time of revival has begun. As in every spiritual awakening it will be maintained and broadened as we continue to pray and move forward. On behalf of Bill Robinson ... and the other coordinators, I want to thank you for your sacrificial service of Christ in the county, and encourage you to keep on. Let's join hearts and hands together in increasing prayer and activity to see Jesus lifted up in our area."
Counterfeit Visions in 2001
Friday, April 6th will be a gathering of many well intentioned people; many who truly do love our Lord Jesus Christ; many who truly do desire to proclaim the Gospel to whoever will listen. But, tragically, this conference represents yet another step in the uniting of professing Christians at the expense of sound doctrine. I'm concerned that the speaker is preaching a false hope, a counterfeit vision of revival using mystical techniques that are closer to sorcery than anything truly commanded for us as the Church in the New Testament. I'm concerned that many professing Christians are being manipulated in a demagogic way to take over society in the name of Christendom. Professing Christians are being manipulated into thinking they must jump on grand bandwagons led by great celebrity leaders who promote massive programs and crusades and call it "revival".
We must realize that our Lord Jesus is the only one who needs to have a "global strategic" plan. We are instruments in his hand by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. By being the Church together as local fellowships and implementing all we are called to be as the Church by the New Testament , we are already fulfilling God's purposes in our locality. The problem is, most are not really searching the scriptures for what our Lord has clearly called us to. Instead we are following these celebrity leaders and their agendas and programs and mystical and psychological techniques. We are called to rescue people out of this world system, not to "repossess" it, not to "reconstruct" it. Our calling is not to take dominion over the pagans or to engage in white magic mystical warfare against demons, but rather we are called to be the Church of Jesus together, to serve God and serve people, and proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified to this lost world.
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
1 Corinthians 1:18-21