Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Spirit Connection" or Bad Reception?

The Mibu believers need your prayers.

There has been a lot of talk over the last month or so about some confusion in the church. We usually don't get all the information at once. It comes in waves, a little here, a little there, each time getting a fuller picture of what's going on. We have been hearing more and more about the beginnings of a cult here that refer to themselves as "Spirit Connection". The information has been building and we've been trying to do due diligence in preparing the local church leaders to be able to rightly handle God's word, and keep watch over the believing community, keeping people's eyes on Jesus. Here in Mibu, the leaders seem to have been able to get a handle on it for the most part. However, what's going down in one of our neighboring outreach villages is what's really concerning us. It seems to be on the brink of turning into a full-blown cult! Out of the believing community there, only three are reported to be standing against this movement. They've sent word for leaders and teachers from the church here to come help dissuade the many confused and to show that their activities and beliefs are strayed from what God's word teaches.

The cult identifies itself as being led by God's Spirit, hence the reference to themselves as "Spirit Connection." They consist primarily of young children and a few young adults with the full backing of the more influential folks in the village. A group of 10 young children are reputed to have died one night (all at the same time in the same house) and risen the next morning to tell of all that they saw in their death. They say they saw the road to heaven. They are foretelling the year of Jesus' return. They also claim to have seen many other dead people (in other words, their dead ancestors). They're proclaiming that those who oppose them (namely the believers in Mibu) will be turned to pillars of salt and dust. And the list of absurdities just goes on! Movements like this are not uncommon in our area, but what is really concerning is that what the young folks are reported to have seen and said directly attacks those in the church who strive to follow God's word. They have been effective at undermining the influence of the leaders in the church as well as plant much doubt as to whether or not Jesus is the ONLY way. They've gained so much rapid support from the local area residents that they've said they're going to begin organized outreaches to other areas here soon. They're presenting their own words as God's word, even writing some of it down and reading it as authoritative in the church meetings! Ughh! There's so much more that would curl your toes that we don't have space to mention. But suffice it to say your prayers are needed. Much of this has brewed for several weeks, just recently exploding into something big.

We need you to be in prayer for the church leaders as they prepare (and as we try to help prepare and encourage them) for going over to face this thing head on and make it clear that the church does not identify with this at all and to warn people against being distracted with fruitless talk which does not promote faith, a pure heart, a clear conscience and the love that God's true revealed word teaches. On the contrary, what they teach only produces confusion, arguments, and all kinds of other endless speculation. It's right out of 1 Timothy 1.3-5. Some of the leaders and teachers are planning on going over there this Thursday (Wednesday U.S. time) and staying through the weekend to try to deal with the situation.

Pray for strength of those over there who do feel the conviction but may struggle with the very strong social obligations that may keep them from acting on their convictions. The church there is young and immature, still very easily duped into chasing after things that take them away from Jesus.

Pray that the love that Jesus has shown for them would be all that holds their fascination. There are so many fruitless pursuits they can waste their time on. The love of Jesus is where it's at. Keeping their eyes on what Jesus did for them on that cross because he loves us will provide a lifetime of growth and maturing in their faith.

And then pray for the young folks that have fallen into this delusion. They are deceived and puffed up with self-promotion and, for the moment, getting exactly what they're after. Pray that they'd see the carnal nature of what they do and that trusting Jesus (a REAL trust in Jesus - because they use the phrase with very wrong connotations) is the only way.

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