Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see sermons down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
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Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Alpha Course part 4

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?

Part 1
Part 2Part 3

The Alpha Course is Charismatic in Tone.
As the root so are the branches. Remember that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. The Alpha Course could be nothing else, other than charismatic, when a closer look is taken at its author.

i. From the same stable as the ‘Toronto Blessing’.
The Church that brings us the Alpha Course is the same Church that brought the ‘Toronto Blessing’ to the U.K. It was in Holy Trinity Church, Brompton in the early nineties that the so called ‘laughing revival’ first appeared in Britain.

Nicky Gumbel was one of the leading lights in the promotion of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ around the country. He attended a meeting at which a Mrs Eleanor Munford was present. At this house meeting she told of her experiences in Toronto and ‘invited the Holy Spirit to come’. The moment she did that strange things began to happen. One person was thrown across the room and lay on the floor howling and laughing, ‘making the most incredible noise’. Another man lay on the floor ‘prophesying’. Some appeared to be drunken. Gumbel testified that he had an experience ‘like massive electricity going through his body’.

He got himself together and rushed to his Church where he was now late for a meeting. At its close he thanked the Lord for all He was doing and prayed that He would send His Spirit. The same phenomena were manifested with one individual lying on the floor with his feet in the air 'laughing like a hyena'. Taxis were provided at Holy Trinity for parishioners too ‘drunk in the Spirit’ to drive home from services. May 29th, 1994 was the start of this in Holy Trinity Brompton. The national newspapers carried the story shortly after. Nicky Gumbel has said:
I believe it is no coincidence that the present movement of the Holy Spirit (Toronto Blessing) has come at the same time as the explosion of the Alpha Courses. I think the two go together, Renewal May 1995, page 15.

ii. The Alpha Course itself is full of Charismatic error.
Nicky Gumbel’s Charismatic tendencies are to the fore in the Alpha Course. The phenomena of the Toronto Blessing are seen in Alpha:

[1] The calling down of the Spirit. In this Alpha Course each one is taken through the ‘experience’ of receiving the Holy Ghost. In conducting the course in his own Church Gumbel prays for the Holy Spirit to come down. The language is the language of the Charismatic Movement. This has no resemblance at all to what is taught in God’s Word. They are not looking for the infilling of the Holy Ghost, after He has indwelt them, so that they may live holy lives, glorifying Christ. This falling of the Holy Ghost upon them is the only time He comes and it is for the purpose of having the Charismatic gifts, outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. These gifts have ceased. They were for the early Church to authenticate the ministry of the apostles and were in evidence only for a limited period of time.

[2] Speaking in tongues. People are encouraged to look for the gift of tongues. Gumbel describes tongues as ‘talking to God in a language that he gives you to use’. He quotes: For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God 1 Cor 14:12 as proof that tongues is a form of prayer. This is not what Paul is saying if we read the whole verse and the next verse. If this is the substance of tongue speaking it is of no profit, cf. 1 Cor 14:13-15. Gumbel’s perception of tongues is not the Bible’s. He encourages people to learn this gift. They: take time to develop. Most of us start with a very limited vocabulary. It gradually develops. Tongues is like that. Don’t give up’, Questions of Life, page 147.

Is this the gift of tongues as found in the Bible? The Apostles on the Day of Pentecost did not ‘learn’ tongues in this way. They were immediately able to speak other languages.

[3] Spiritual slayings. Here is another aspect of this error. The participants are encouraged to open themselves to the slaying of the Spirit. They are said to shake like a leaf in the wind and experience a glowing all over and liquid heat.

They are to empty their minds and let whatever comes in have its way. This is hardly in keeping with the injunction to let all things be done decently and in order. Gumbel’s advice is a licence for chaos. Where is this found in God’s Word?

[4] Words of knowledge. John Wimber, from the Vineyard fellowship in Toronto, gave Gumbel a ‘Word of Knowledge’. He told him he had a gift for telling others. Gumbel says he can trace his ministry of telling others to this time. The Alpha Course is the philosophy of Wimberism.

There are no revelations from God outside His Word. God speaks alone to individuals from the pages of Holy Writ and not through some modern day ‘seer’.

The Charismatic Movement is not based on the Word of God and therefore the Alpha Course, so full of this falsehood, is not built either on the Rock of Holy Scripture.


J Trimble said...

Another alarm to be blasted at the moment is the fact that Steve Chalke is coming to Carnmoney Presbyterian Church on the 18 November 09. This apostate openly denied the Substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ in his book - The Lost Message of Jesus. More info on him can be found at Takeheed ministries. www.takeheed.net

Anonymous said...

And have you actually read 'The Lost Message of Jesus'? Have you diligantly read it through, with half an eye on Scripture, recognised Steve's error, prayed for him, and attempted to contact and warn him privately as a fellow Christian (as Scripture requires)? Thought not.

Rev Brian McClung said...


Your comment seems to be addressed to J Trimble.

However, you don't have to taste poison to know it is poison. You only have to read the label!

Your comment would be worth a lot if you had the courage and the decency to give your name. Especially when you are disagreeing with someone else who has given their name.

Rev Brian McClung