Posted tagged ‘C.Peter Wagner’

A Short History of C. Peter Wagner’s Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare in Action:Using Harold Caballeros’ “Spiritual Espionage” in Guatemala

September 6, 2012

Peter Wagner

 I wrote this to Justin Taylor on his interesting blog that critiques a newly published book, Understanding Spiritual Warfare:

Thank you for providing these clear and biblical guidelines  with your counterbalancing notes from David Powlinson’s book. They are really very helpful.  However, I am distressed that your critique of this overview of the four models of modern Spiritual Warfare ended so soon. Do you plan to continue your assessment of this work by looking at the even more wildly aberrant method of Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare propagated by Wagner? This is desperately needed, as there is little understanding in the mainstream church of the anti-gospel roots of these kinds of Warfare Prayer techniques  that he helped to popularize.

And sadly, because the heretical movement Wagner leads — the New Apostolic Reformation– has been able to masquerade as Evangelical for so long, and because their propaganda arm — the series of Transformation videos Wagner produced with George Otis, Jr. — are so effective at spinning the truth, many of their teachings and technologies have seeped into the orthodox church. The popular idea of prayer walking, for example, abandons one-on-one evangelism for marching about a neighborhood, claiming territories for the Kingdom, binding spirits that hold people and cities captive, and changing the ‘spiritual atmosphere.’ The focus is not on the person and work of Jesus Christ, but on Satan and his minions. Wagner also teaches that it is people groups who are first saved, and then individual souls. Sadly, the gospel is often not preached to those individuals, in lieu of this unbiblical focus.

Wagner’s technology of Spiritual Mapping has had a particularly malign influence in the world of missions. It again focuses attention away from the Gospel and moves it towards the heroic efforts of Spiritual Warriors who battle demonic forces, and their influence over societies. It becomes very dangerous when coupled with the authority Wagner cedes to his coalition of Super Apostles, who issue decrees based on very questionable prophecies and words of knowledge.

We see the toxic effect of these Spiritual Warfare technologies, which can demonize whole populations, in the blighted country of Guatemala  through the influence of C. Peter Wagner’s co-author, the Super Apostle and mega-church pastor Harold Caballeros. This flawed theology, combined with the  Dominionist culture of the New Apostolic Reformation that  borrows heavily from Old Testament types, created a perfect scenario for the scorched earth policies of President Rios-Montt —  a terrifying eighteen months in which the native Mayan peoples  were systematically eliminated by  death squads  because their heritage was considered satanic.

Rios-Montt presided over a short reign of terror in which an estimated 70,000 unarmed civilians were killed or disappeared, and he  is now finally on trial there for crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, one of his former generals, fellow School of the Americas alumnus Otto Perez Molina, is now president. And Molina installed International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) member, Harold Cabelleros as Foreign Minister, who is featured prominently in those Transformations videos, mentioned above. He is a long-time colleague of  Peter Wagner, he ran for president  of Guatemala himself, and is founder of El Shaddai, a 9000 member church in Guatemala City.

Harold Caballeros  has had connections to many of the controversial figures in Guatemala’s political struggles — such as church member Edward  Perisen, former head of the PNC, the national police force. According to the New York Times, several officers in the PNC were dismissed in 2007 after a series of extra judicial killings. As  reported in the Times on 3/05/07,  one PNC official said, “The officers in these squads belong to evangelical churches,  and see the extrajudicial killings of gang members, known here as `social cleansing,’ as holy work. But they also have begun to commit crimes for their own profit.”  And as Perisen  explained on a weekly television show  produced to provide police officers with the “spiritual resources they needed to combat the forces of evil” before he fled the country:

The prophet and Apostle of Christ, Brother Harold Cabelleros and his wife, the prophetess, of whom I am a humble servant, instrument and means for taking them to Power in Guatemala and having a Government of God, were charged with the moral and spiritual motivation…

Harold Caballeros

Harold Caballeros (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The death squads that still function within the PNC and the Ministry of Government, are a holy enterprise that is organized by agents and personnel from Evangelical churches that know our obligations to society…I must recognize that the story published in the New York Times on March 5 of this year is true; the “social cleansing” that, together with Carlos Vielman as Minister of Government we carried out in the institution, had to be done and must continue, as I understand has been ordered to the new authorities…it is not a justification; it is, rather, a recognition that when one is humble and is an instrument of DIVINE JUSTICE…

In a 2007 interview with Charisma magazine, C. Peter Wagner said during Caballeros’  unsuccessful bid for the Presidency in Guatemala:

“Christians in the global South are way ahead of us in this area,” Wagner said. “The values of the kingdom of God should penetrate every level of society, and they understand that. … [Caballeros is] doing it right, going right to the top and taking dominion.”

Later, with Rios-Montt on trial for human rights violations, Wagner did some revisionist history, as is his wont, and blamed the president’s generals for the problems. But remember, that same general — Molina! —  is now in power and appointed as his foreign minister Wagner’s fellow apostle. The pastor whose church members ran death squads for God.  A man who wrote a rather interesting chapter in the book Wagner edited, Breaking Strongholds In Your City: How To Use Spiritual Mapping To Make Your Prayers More Strategic, Targeted and Effective . Caballeros writes that he had been reading the biblical verses that describe the binding of the “strong man.”  A dream was told him of three rough hands holding transparent ropes joining three specific Guatemalan cities. Then another believer named the three who held the ropes. Investigations revealed those three persons were conducting “evil works of the devil” in those three cities, through money, politics and drug dealing. After Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, the first was jailed awaiting trial, the second lost his office, and the third’s power was greatly diminished. Caballeros said this of Spiritual mapping in the book he helped Wagner write, “Spiritual mapping is a means toward identifying the enemy. It is our spiritual espionage.”

In his chapter Harold Caballeros also described a case in which one of his El Shaddai Church’s Spiritual Mapping teams was divinely informed that a single individual was responsible for the Satanic forces oppressing a specific geographical area. God then revealed that person’s identity:

“While we were in prayer the Lord spoke and said, “Tomorrow I will give you the man’s first and last name in the newspaper.” He also told us on which page it would occur. It was something absolutely supernatural and exciting to discover right on that page the full name of the person dedicated to these activities.”

One can only guess at the means Caballeros took to deal with  this evildoer that the LORD himself identified. He does not say. But Caballeros has publicly suggested  that Catholics are not Christians and in his books claimed Guatemala and Central America are cursed due to an ancient Mayan pact with Satan. These kinds of teachings undergirded the  hundreds of massacres on Mayan villages that were carried out during the eighteen months of Rios-Montts reign of terror. One  Gospel Outreach pastor defended the killings:

“The army doesn’t massacre the Indians. It massacres demons, and the Indians are demon-possessed; they are communists. We hold brother Efraín Ríos Montt like King David of the Old Testament. He is the king of the New Testament. (pg 238)”

Because these Third Wave Hyper-Charismatics operate under an Old Testament typology, and in Exodus 22 God instructs that  a witch may not be permitted to live, we can assume that the threat to Guatemala from one of Satan’s local operating agents –remember, God himself  revealed this person to Caballeros —  was very effectively minimized. As Caballeros wrote here, “when the strong man is vanquished in a given territory, the inhabitants become free to receive the light of the gospel.”

In his writings Peter Wagner has elaborated at length about the Kingdom Now “dominion mandate”and what it means and at a 2008 NAR conference declared,

“Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing and it relates to society… Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings.”

Guatemala’s history amply demonstrates that this dangerous kind of Kingdom Now Dominionism can also mean demonizing your opponents. And because some in charge of that benighted country seem to have forgotten that our “struggle is not against flesh and blood”,  and have forgotten that we are not an Old Testament Theocracy, it can also mean that when a Dominionist king goes out to war he cleanses the land of those demonic forces oppressing him with Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. Equipped with some  hammers and guns, like in What Happened at Dos Erres. All this so the  light of the Gospel could shine. I guess.

Earlier in his career,  Wagner defended his models of church growth with a rather  blood-chilling quote

“… we ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means.  What else possible could justify the means?  If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method.  If, on the other hand, my method is not accomplishing the goal, how can I be justified in continuing to use it?”  (C. Peter Wagner, “Your Church Can Grow – Seven Vital Signs Of A Healthy Church”, 1976, pg. 137. – emphasis in original)

But we know that Scripture asserts that such a pragmatic approach is not a fitting frame for the Gospel.  John MacArthur says of such an approach:

But when pragmatism is used to make judgments about right and wrong, or when it becomes a guiding philosophy of life, theology, and ministry, inevitably it clashes with Scripture. Spiritual and biblical truth is not determined by testing what “works” and what doesn’t. We know from Scripture, for example, that the gospel often does not produce a positive response (1 Cor. 1:22, 23;2:14). On the other hand, satanic lies and deception can be quite effective (Matt. 24:23, 24; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4). Majority reaction is no test of validity (cf Matt. 7:13, 14), and prosperity is no measure of truthfulness (cf Job 12:6). Pragmatism as a guiding philosophy of ministry is inherently flawed. Pragmatism as a test of truth is nothing short of satanic. (Ashamed of the Gospel, xii)

The  horrifying legacy of SLSW in Guatemala  illustrates truth of these charges. Whatever its innocuous original intent, Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare has morphed into an entity with terrible consequences when it is utilized in the real world of governance by unaccountable officials and super-Apostles.

I wrote the above report, very conflicted about the interesting variety of  sources I have had to rely upon for historical verification of the facts of this history of the NAR Apostles working in the government of Guatemala through the teachings of  Super Apostle Harold Caballeros, and the members of  his megachurch, El Shaddai. I am fully aware of the contentious history of this tormented country, particularly the critiques of Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberto Menchu  by  the anthropologist David Stoll, as it has  been reported by the New York Times. It causes me no end of grief that there are no solid sources of journalism that readers of this blog would be more inclined to trust, which have an Evangelical imprimatur — such as World magazine. The only corroborating account of Rios-Monnts reign of terror under General Molina that has gravitas among Christians is this FOX news account here, http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/01/14/will-otto-perez-molinas-past-affect-guatemalas-future/ But sadly, it offers no account of the genocide’s  connection to the Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare that undergirded the ‘iron fist’ of Molina and those death squads. Or even the Christian dominionism that most journalists understand.

Nevertheless, the connections between the Dominionist Apostle and megachurch leader Harold Caballeros and the systematic elimination of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala as it filtered its way through the army of Rios-Montt and  the secret police,  who were members of El Shaddai  cannot be explained away or ignored by responsible Christian people.  It was clearly accomplished  because of the teaching of  Caballeros that the  ‘demonic oppresssion’ the country suffered could be blamed on the  indigenous peoples’ Mayan heritage. They are dangerous teachings in actual practice, and must be firmly opposed by the mainline churches.

And still,  nearly thirty years later, the blood of an estimated 200,000 civilians  in Guatemala cries out from the ground. May the Evangelical Church cry out to God with them! Oh, I long for the day of God’s perfect justice.

But let justice roll down like waters,
                                                                  and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

                                                                   Amos 5:24

The Shrewshape E-Mails/ SWOT Analysis:TOP SECRET! Copy to Our Father Below, Dracovox, Shamanazerr, Ishhopmaner and Other Trusted Tempters

February 3, 2010

“First, the churches, in larger and larger numbers, are adapting themselves to felt needs in the congregations much as a business might adapt its product to a market. ..[to a]  consumer, somebody who is going to attempt to hitch up a product to their own felt needs…they  want a sense of personal well-being, however momentary and fragmentary that personal sense of well-being is, and our churches are beginning to cater to this.” ( Dr.David Wells)

Our Father Below has asked me to write a summary of our meeting this week , and copy it to him and all the Principals.

In view of the enormous stakes involved in the overall strategy to infiltrate and merge all the various Points of Sale into One Giant Monopoly, we have seen it as imperative to increase communication among the Principal Tempters. Several of us have felt undermined in our efforts, by others who have seemed to forget our overall goal: to mainstream the River Movement. It has been helpful for us to review the overall campaign, and brainstorm together the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats we have each observed.

Shamanazerr reported on our greatest Strength: the successful packaging of  Fuller and Company. They are squarely in the mainstream now–The Professor with his “Prayer Walks”, and America’s Pastor  at Twaddleback with his “Peace Plan”.  We’ve got control in both arenas now: the churches and the Missions Organizations.  We MUST keep  both distracted from their first order of business: getting out the Nasty News and making more replicas of our Enemy.

So we have penetrated the market at every Point of Sale with identificational repentance, prayer walking, spiritual mapping, and forty days of purposelessness; every important distraction from that simple and dreadful command, “Preach the good news to all the world”. We will divert them with busyness that also is a clever sop for the conscience of those who are ashamed of the gospel. We will push that cute “Ultimate Treasure Hunt”–it combines all this nonsense but adds the lure of adventure to the mix –which is especially important to our targeted youthful demographic. Instead of  totting up ‘souls won’, the patients  will love to add up all the ‘lives they have influenced.’ We will fill them with pride as they talk of  dynamic spiritual warfare that “changes the atmosphere”, and so  we easily obscure the truth that the Nasty News is THE power of salvation. Pride is also the pull promotion towards glory clouds, open portals, orbs and all other various shamanistic technologies that are so extremely titillating to these under the sway of  the Extreme Prophetic .

Other tools repackaged from the New Age proving equally strong for this target market are Centering prayer, and Sozo.  Both are very effective at focusing attention away from the Enemy. With the Contemplative technique, we are able to block our patient’s real communion with the Enemy, and open their minds to our suggestions instead; and most importantly, they are not concerned at all with hallowing That Name, but only with enjoying the self-hypnotism  repeating The Dread Name ad-nauseum produces. Do not let them near a serious study of The Enemy’s Prayer, as they must not encounter anything that would point them to the absurdity of using repetitious words to address their so-called Father.

Shamanezerr developed Sozo this same way, cleverly repackaging the “healing of the inner child” model from Jungian psychologies. Sozo’s effectiveness (aside from the draw of simony on the prayer ‘minister’) is that it keeps the patients fixed in searching deep within their souls for past hurts and wounds, seeking self satisfaction. Then, our voices speak sweet nothings as a visualized ‘Jesus’ will comfort them. For what should be dead to them, their past life, what ought to have been dead and buried in their baptisms,  is fair game for us. And what fair game it is, very gamey, so scrumptious! Carcasses never buried– didn’t The Enemy say, that there “the Eagles” will gather? So, we gather, and so we devour. This does well,to keep the patients’ gaze upon their navels, not the Nasty Wooden Thing. Oh, their self love is so delicious. Feed it with more hypnotizing mantras and more Sozo.

 

Our greatest Strength, however is poised to become  our greatest weakness.  Life cycles of our products are becoming clearer as well– the “plundering of the Egyptians” trope may have reached its peak, as the economic downturn continues, and the ransacked economies of the world are looking for a scapegoat; and so they are starting to hitch up the horses to the chariots in pursuit–note the Atlantic’s cover story, “Did Christianity Cause the Crash?”

So at this point we mustn’t be too confrontational with our coveting appeal. Even the greedy disenfranchised may begin to see their guilt, and begin to think seriously, and perhaps repent! The enormously effective Prosperity Gospel (aka Pyramid Scheme) cannot be risked, it is the linchpin at our biggest Points of Sale. Because of this weakness in our market, we have all agreed to tone down the “seed-faith”, and all the other ‘greed is godly’ pulls for this bunch. Wolves won’t get wool when the sheep can’t work. And the gullible may get angry if pushed too much here, and start to rebel! Remember: for this group, money is their sacredest cow.

We have observed that another tool at the  end of its life cycle may be the Fuller Brush Man himself–he is eighty now, isn’t he? How regrettable. He has been so useful. He is so avuncular and scholarly and nonthreatening, and those unfortunate “apostolic decrees” at the the Ludicrous Buffoon’s coronation have been largely forgotten. Every last one of them, all of that debacle must stay forgotten.  We believe we have recovered the brand, and we can still position it for those with a lust for power and prestige– our push continues with Dominionism, the Joseph anointing, The Seven Mountains Mandate. Our puppets really believe they are the Head, while we pull on their tails to move them wherever we want them to go. Hah! What a luscious surprise, when these fools discover which end they really are. A very bad end for them indeed!

Your dear Emma Angel here reluctantly brought up the weaknesses we are facing in continuing to position the Ludicrous Buffoon to the downsized, disaffected divorced and dysfunctional psychographic, basically to the disenfranchised. I will not question Our Father Below’s wisdom in removing me from the position of Chief Tempter to the Ludicrous Bufoon, and giving it to dear, dear Dracovox–affectionately known to us here as the ‘Break Wind’ Angel. No, I have complete confidence in in him to be a Pull Through Angel, as he has been in the past. We all remember his management of similar loose cannons at the KFC franchise. Yet the danger here is not to be underestimated. Your sweet Emma Angel has said before, we are becoming grossly overconfident of this crowd! I am forbidding my pupils to tease our patients any longer, and although the benefits of their out-of-control behavior are obvious to us, in that they are oblivious to our machinations when they’re ‘whacked’, the risks of letting them be too ridiculous are too great to our overall campaign. Frankly, they all look demon possessed. Someone will eventually discern this, and begin to do real exorcisms at the Points of Sale again, and we lose our advantage.

Remember, the campaign was named by our Father Below himself: “The Hour is Urgent!”  Our  greatest strategy has always been fear and anxiety. We make them afraid of the coming of Our Messiah. We will make them afraid that they won’t be able to cope with the End-Times…that their little lights won’t be shining. That their foolish lamps will be empty of oil. Afraid their appetites and habits can’t be altered. Afraid of all those hideous inner desires, that they will erupt and control their lives.  So we will play with their fears of missing out of the promised instant sanctification if they don’t stay in the movement, and so we expect Fire Tunnels to be big, big, big!

And don’t forget, keep repeating the old chestnut, “We are Entering a Time of Open Heaven.” So their pathetic Heavens open, and what falls out? All that glitters and distracts–angel feathers and gold dust and gold teeth, fake jewels and fake words, and everything that rusts and molds, rots and fades away. Draw their attention to these tawdry tricks, to any shiny shape that magically redirects attention from the Infernal Wooden Thing, and the Enemy. They are so pathetically gullible.

Ishhopmaner reported on our premier opportunity: securing Generation Next. This is Best Served at the House of Pancakes . Because this market is so sick of their parent’s excesses, he has bundled the Fasted Lifestyle very effectively with the Bridal Paradigm–brilliantly funneling all those raging hormones into the ‘Spirit of Burning’! We’re working the “Love-sickness” trigger–we make sure they’re depressed, discouraged and disillusioned whenever they are away from the hypnotic pull of the Play Rooms. We have inculcated the need for hyper-stimulation into our young patient’s neuro-transmitters from those pre-pubescent gateway drugs of playstations and I-pods. How very ironic! These patients castigate the culture, attacking it as an “abyss of entertainment”, and can’t see they are as dope-sick as any of our junkie patients. It is imperative for them to remain ignorant of our brilliant conditioning process.

And this leads us to our greatest, our only Threat, as it has been from the beginning, as my brother Screwtape so ably pointed out: we must be careful in our attempts to desensitize our Patients to these practices, (that in former days they would have considered occult!), that we do not awaken their reason.  We want them fully ignorant of our devices, they must never be allowed to question what they are doing.

So our strategy here to neutralize this Threat will be to make the so-called Watchmen on the wall look ridiculous.  Tempt them with shrillness and uber-separateness, and most of all un-love, and thus they’ll sound like irrelevant  gongs. Lump them with the King James Onlyists and other weird, unreasoning, conspiratorial cults.  We’ll make our patients afraid of any who have begun to doubt, who actually begin to read the Profane Book, and believe they must worship the Enemy in Spirit and in Truth.  We must call all those who have begun to worship him with all their minds — as their blasphemous creed commands they do —  Pharisees and Legalists.  That label, like no other pejorative, must strike terror in their hearts.  And fear is our greatest strategic tool.

So, to sum up, to take advantage of this magnificent opportunity, and minimize the Threat, and bring our expected return, we will redirect and exhaust. We will exhaust them with calls to greater zeal: 24/7 prayers, fasting, busyness. We are going to burden them even more with new ‘revelations’–like this one: It is they who will bring in the Tribulation by all this fervor, and they themselves who defeat Our Boy with their feverish activity! Isn’t it scandalously delicious ?

So in their zeal without true knowledge we will ensure that they are so tired and so distracted, that they do not do the real work the Enemy set before them to do–He made it so ridiculously simple– “TO GO”! And make some more little images of himself, hah!  Why doesn’t he surround himself with mirrors, for Our Father Below’s sake?  Why does he love these little worms so?  Oh well, the great mystery of the ages.  Our delightful occupation  is to make his family business endlessly complicated.  Scrumptious!!

We will devour them with a continuous feeling of inadequacy, of never really reaching the height of spiritual dedication. Yes, exhaust them! Mix lies with truth* to confuse them entirely, and never give them time to think about their doubts; with all their growth in self-denial, we will only exhaust them more! They must feel their sacrifices are never enough, their fasting’s never enough to free them, trapped as they are in self loathing (although really, it is self-admiration, we must make it seem like a more orthodox self immolation). Yes, we will exhaust them entirely, and many will be driven insane, until hapless and hopeless, they are plunged into the great darkness of Our Father Below. Ah! It is such a beautifully cruel plan. I congratulate all who helped to contribute, and may we all dine upon all we desire at the soonest.

Your Fellow Ravenous Spirit,
SHREWSHAPE

* “The devil mixes his lies with the truth, for he must use a truth to carry his lies. The believer must therefore discriminate, and judge all things. He must be able to see so much to be impure, and so much that he can accept. Satan is a “mixer”. If in anything he finds 99% pure, he tries to insert 1% of his poisonous stream, and this grows, if undetected, until the proportions are reversed. Where there is mixture acknowledged to be in meetings where supernatural manifestations take place, if believers are unable to discriminate, they should keep away from these “mixtures” until they are able to discern.”
from ’War on the Saints’ by Jessie Penn-Lewis