What do I think of Holly Pivec and Douglas Geivett’s book published by Weaver? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Sometimes Christians get caught up in ideas I consider sensational. Many Christians think they need to be listening for the voice of God and finding God’s will for their lives. I disagree with them, but I don’t think they’re getting into something that’s overly dangerous. Yet at the same time, could there be extreme forms? What if you think you need to go to a specific person to know what God has to say and find out what you should do? What if that person thinks they have a superior level of authority with a superior title?
Pivec and Geivett have written about a movement called the New Apostolic Reformation. In this movement, people have risen up calling themselves apostles and prophets. They often claim to work miracles. They see themselves as a sort of end times fulfillment and that they are restoring the church with the offices of apostles and prophets.
Unfortunately, that has also left chaos behind it. People are following these leaders and hanging on their every word. You might think that this is one person leading one church. No. These people are often over a network of churches. Some of those networks can contain thousnads of churches all of them heeding the beck and call of one man.
Maybe here in America we might not see it so much around us, but there are other countries in the world where these kinds of people are rising up. They are becoming what Christianity is to those who have not heard the Gospel before. This can lead to exploitation as well if done wrongly. After all, greed and sexual lust are something that can hit anyone.
This book is a good and brief introduction to the movement. The authors tell you who the leaders are and what they believe in their own words. They also tell you the Scriptural passages that these people use in order to convince people that they are the real deal.
The writers will then look at those claims and provide a solid response from Scripture. They work to show that a Scripture is being misunderstood or used outside of its context. Fortunately, these people do not have many Bible verses that they can use.
They also include accounts of people who have been burned by the new movement. These are testimonials of those who trusted in an apostle or prophet and lost. Sometimes this can also lead to a division within families where one person believes the new movement and the others don’t. The movement is essentially cultic in nature.
The book also includes words of warning for others. Parents and youth have a section dedicated to them. What if you are a young person who is hearing about one of these leaders? What if you are the parent of someone who is a teenager or college age? There’s also a section for pastors. What can you do to prepare your own flock in case one of these people comes? It’s better to be prepared beforehand than have to deal with the problem when it arises.
I found the work to be very eye-opening. We can often look at the sensationalists we see on TV and we know about them. These people are not always the ones who are there and even if they’re not as common over here, they are around the world and the church needs to be ready to present real Christianity in an age of fakes.