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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:
 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.
 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.
 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?
 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.