RESPONSE TO THE CHARISMA ARTICLE by Rick Joyner
The predominant question that I am currently asked is what I thought about the Charisma article that featured me entitled, “God’s Lightning Rod.” Although I did not expect this article to be fair or accurate, it was actually more positive, and far more inaccurate than I expected. Even so, the article was helpful because it let us know how some people perceive us. Overall, the article seemed to be a strange attempt to be as positive as they thought they could be, and yet as negative as they dared, at the same time.
The level of inaccuracy in the article seemed to be the result of the need to be sensational, as well as the tendency to make great sweeping judgments based on partial information. I also found some of the tactics used by Charisma to be deeply troubling. It is not simply what you say, but how you say it that can greatly influence how you are understood. Don Potter was sharing with me a few nights ago about an example of how “a truth” was deceptive because it was not “the whole truth.” There was a newscast which stated that 15 percent of all imported seafood was contaminated. This alarmed many people who liked seafood. The “whole truth” was that less than 1 percent of the seafood consumed in America is imported, and it is tested to such a high degree that it is unlikely that any contaminated seafood gets served. This kind of irresponsible reporting needlessly hurt an industry, not to mention many restaurants.
Similar cases of irresponsible reporting by Christian journalists have likewise needlessly hurt many ministries and churches. Things inaccurately reported in the recent article by Charisma have hurt our ministry. Prior to this article, they stated in their magazine that we had an annual income of eighty-eight million dollars, though the actual amount is not even eight. They also stated that we had abandoned our Moravian Falls project, which could not be further from the truth, as we are actually expanding it. Both of these had a negative effect on donations made to our ministry. When I brought this up to Stephen Strang, I was surprised by his determination to justify what they printed even though it was so obviously not true. This set off some alarms in me about some very basic attitudes at Charisma, which the latest article further confirmed.
We have viewed all of this as discipline from the Lord, necessary pruning, and a calling to rise to higher levels of love and forgiveness. This will work for our ultimate good, but my concern is not for us in this matter, but for them. An example of what I consider to be irresponsible journalism was the way they slid the Y2K issue into the article, as well as Stephen Strang’s personal column. I was possibly the first, and certainly one of the most vocal people to declare that Y2K was not going to be a serious problem, and that the panic and fear being spread to Christians about it would do more damage than any computer glitches. The way they brought “the Y2K prophecies” into the article made it sound like I had perpetrated the false prophecies when the opposite was actually true.
I was also shocked by their use of statements by former unnamed employees. This kind of tactic has become known as “tabloid journalism” and was very disappointing to see in a Christian publication. Like any ministry that has existed for very long, we have had to release a number of people for what we considered violations of integrity, honor, or just poor performance in their jobs. Some of these have come back later to thank us for not compromising our standards, saying it brought a needed correction in their life. Others became bitter and will say just about anything about us. If you look hard enough, you can find someone who will say just about anything about any ministry or church, but is that something we should print?
This is not to imply that we have never made mistakes, but every advancing ministry that I know has a large swarm of disgruntled, bitter, or disappointed people around it—the accuser makes sure of this. You would have to be pretty bent in your thinking to consider this kind of witness a source of truth, especially if they do not even have the courage to allow their names to be used. I have heard some shocking things from former Charisma employees. I do not repeat these things because I know that they are almost certainly distorted. What Charisma alleged that our former employees said about us was not true, and was actually the exact opposite of the truth. Truth should be the foremost goal in anything we write or say as Christians.
Righteousness and Justice
We’ll never be right, or accurate in our judgment, if we are not also just. When some of my friends and former employees told me they were alarmed by the kind of “digging for dirt” that Charisma was doing in preparation for this article, I called Stephen Strang and asked him to please fax me a copy of the article so I could at least comment on it. This way I would not have to answer it as I am doing now. Stephen said this was against his policy. I was profoundly shocked to hear of such a policy. I have been covered by the secular press, and always given the courtesy of being told or shown what they were going to print so I could offer my comments and perspective. That is basic to even a semblance of fairness.
Psalm 89:14 says of the Lord that, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne; lovingkindness and truth go before Thee.” Even our civil government recognized that fundamental to justice was the right of an accused to face their accusers. As this scripture states, if the Lord is going to endorse something with His authority (His throne), it must be built upon both righteousness and justice. As it also states, mercy proceeds truth. Anything other than a redemptive motive—mercy—will distort our judgment, and we will not come to the truth. That is why Paul wrote in Philippians 1:9, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” Anything but love will distort both knowledge and discernment. Only love will result in “real knowledge” and “all discernment.”
Much of what is called “discernment” in the body of Christ today is really suspicion parading as discernment. That is why one of the accuser’s most effective strongholds in the church today is cynicism and fear, which are the opposites of love and faith. We will not be capable of “real knowledge,” or “all discernment” about any other person, church, or movement until we love them. If you’re going around looking for dirt to print about anyone, the enemy will make sure that you find it. However, if it is not the truth, the whole truth, we can be in jeopardy of something far worse than the mistakes we print—we will be in jeopardy of becoming a stumbling block.
Even so, it is our goal to see the prophetic ministry rise to a place of 100 percent accuracy, with the highest standards of integrity in handling prophecy. We believe that every miss should be carefully examined and understood. We do not believe that the Lord will trust us with more until we are faithful with what we have now. Because of this, we welcome scrutiny from anyone that is devoted to truth and integrity. We also believe that we can learn from those who are our enemies, as they will sometimes point out things our friends won’t tell us. Even though this article seemed to strangely fall into another ambiguous category, it probably is a reflection of the way many in Charismatic and Pentecostal circles now view us, and we can certainly learn from that.
We have a policy of being careful not to toot our own horn because we know that God gives His grace to the humble, and we want His grace more than anything. Even so, I am very concerned about those who are so overwhelmingly negative about the prophetic that they completely overlook the positive. We have quite a positive track record in the prophetic, and it is getting better all the time. Tens of thousands of people, unknown numbers of churches, ministries, and even whole movements, have been dramatically and positively affected by those with prophetic gifts in our ministry. Our developing prophetic people have had some misses, as well as our most mature ones. Even so, how would someone like Mark McGuire feel if, after his brilliant baseball career, everyone remembered him in the light of a single strike out in some obscure game? That is the way many prophetic people feel.
Okay, that may be stretching it a little, as we do not yet have anyone who is to ministry what Mark McGuire is to baseball. We may still be in the minor leagues, but how would a player feel if, while he was developing his skills, even winning games with his batting and fielding, everyone only talked about an error he made one time. Who would want to play for a team like that? That is precisely the way the prophetic ministry has been treated, especially in many Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. The time will come when these same people will desperately need the prophetic, but they will find that they have long ago driven prophetic people away.
Even if this is the case in much of the Charismatic and Pentecostal circles, this is not the case in the whole church. The prophetic move-ment is dramatically increasing in momentum, even if many who are being drawn to it are from unexpected parts of the body of Christ. Most are extremely encouraging and appreciative. We have been approached recently by leaders of some of the largest Pentecostal denominations and Charismatic movements who feel they have been too negative toward us. They now want to learn more about the prophetic movement. I think we too need to be careful not to give up on any part of the body of Christ.
In the Charisma article, other than the Y2K issue, I did not feel that there were any really big “cuts,” but there were so many inaccuracies that space prohibits me from addressing them all. To name a few, the statement that we built our support base with the help of “an Amway millionaire” was totally inaccurate. I know and appreciate many people who have been successful in Amway or other multi-level marketing programs, but I do not know of a single one that has been a significant part of our support base. Also, Reggie and Sara White have been close friends for many years, and we have done a lot of things together, but Reggie has not funded a single project for MorningStar, contrary to what was reported in Charisma.
The coverage of “the earthquake prophecy” was also very distorted, but I consider this to be at least partially our fault. This was one prophecy that we did handle very poorly, and though I have addressed it a few times in the past, I will do so again briefly at the end of this section. They were also inaccurate on almost every point of what was said about the knights of Malta, which I am going to address in detail in a future bulletin, and will touch on briefly at the end of this section. They were even wrong about where I live, which is in Moravian Falls—not Charlotte.
Individually, these mistakes seemed relatively harmless, but still they were not true and added up to a very wrong perspective of who we are. Truth is our basic commodity as Christians. The overwhelming response from the people that really know us who read this article was that they began to doubt everything they had read in Charisma. I confess that was my first response too. However, if we ask for grace and understanding for the emerging prophetic, which is still immature in many ways, we should also give it to journalists who are in need of the same. I confess that I am very alarmed by some of the Charisma policies and practices that I think are a wide open door for the accuser. They will actually prohibit the finding of truth rather than protecting integrity as they claim. Even so, the Lord’s ability to change people, and even institutions, has never ceased to amaze me. I pray for the grace to never write off a single human being, church, or ministry, and I do not intend to write off Charisma. However, I will not read it or promote it again until some needed changes concerning integrity in journalism have been made.
A Root Deception?
I think the kind of misinformation in this article probably happened in the same way that many prophetic people mishandle prophecy. I Corinthians 13:9 states, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” Amos 3:7 states, “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” Note that this says prophets, which is plural. Even the greatest prophet in the world only sees in part, so to have the complete picture we must put our piece together with what others are seeing. One of the biggest mistakes prophetic people make is thinking that what they see is the whole picture. We also “know in part.” Journalists also only know in part. As in the case of this article, many mistakes were made because they tried to make great sweeping judgments based on partial information and superficial research.
No one wants to be deceived. However, if you are deceived, you won’t know it because you are being deceived. I honestly believe that the writer of this article and the Charisma staff sincerely want to be accurate. However, something is distorting things in a profound way, which is usually the result of what the world calls “stinking thinking,” but what the Bible calls a spiritual stronghold.
This is a generalization, and is not true of everyone, but American journalism, in general, has become so cynical that it has begun to see almost everything through a distorted perspective. I also think that, in general, Christian journalists have adopted the world’s journalistic philosophies and demeanor to a large degree, which has opened a wide door for the accuser.
Clearly, some of the most heroic men and women in the world today are journalists, and so are some of the most base. It is a very difficult job for anyone who is devoted to truth and integrity. People have become conditioned by sensationalism, which will always distort truth. Sadly, the simple truth now seems too boring for anyone to read. Journalists are also under a relentless attack of the enemy because of their influence. Even though I do not feel that I have been treated fairly or accurately by any journalist, Christian or secular, I not only hold no ill will toward them, I have a great respect for anyone who is trying to do this very difficult job.
I have profound differences with some of the basic philosophies of journalism exhibited by Charisma, especially the way that they carelessly quote others, writing hearsay without confirming its accuracy. This is in conflict with clear mandates of Scripture such as I Timothy 5:19, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” Even if one is not a leader, or elder, any Christian is one of God’s children. I think the last thing we should ever want to do is gossip or slander even the least of His little ones for as we do to them, we are doing to Him (see Matthew 25:40). We should be careful not to do this to anyone, even the enemies of the gospel, because the most powerful weapon that we have is truth, and we must not compromise it for any reason.
I did not consider this Charisma article to be an intentional attack. On the contrary, I really think they believe they were being positive and even complimentary. I have had, and still have, a high regard for Stephen Strang. I have learned much from listening to his insights into trends within the church and have greatly appreciated some of his personal challenges to me in the past. However, I have never really felt understood by Stephen and have many times felt that he was making judgments on partial, and often incorrect information. I think that this is one of the most destructive tendencies, not only in Charisma, but also throughout the church. I am only pointing them out here because they are examples of how the prophetic is misunderstood by so many, and how prophetic people can also misunderstand others.
When Stephen attended one of our early roundtable meetings, he either assumed, or heard from someone, that we considered these meetings to be representative of leaders from a cross-section of the body of Christ. Stephen wrote about this in his column in a way that he intended to be complimentary. He wrote that I was open to correction, which I appreciated, but his assumption that I considered the roundtable to be a cross-section of the body of Christ was never the case. I felt that the roundtable should include representatives from different groups and movements, but I do not think anything short of a large conference could ever be a true cross-section of the body of Christ. My intention for a cross-section was to have a representative from each of the equipping ministries listed in Ephesians Four, as well as intercessors, worship leaders, administrators, etc. Even though Stephen somewhat blasted us in that meeting for not being more racially and denominationally inclusive, and even though I knew at the time he had misunderstood our intentions, I thought there was merit to the fact that we needed to be more racially and denominationally represented.
I think overall Stephen has contributed some of the most important and insightful perspectives while at our roundtables. He would also leave the meetings, come back at the end, then chastise the group for not addressing some issues that he thought were crucial for the body of Christ at that time, which we had just spent many hours doing while he was gone. I personally feel that the Charisma article reflected the same kind of judgments based on partial or incorrect information and assumptions. These are, in some ways, just typical of the way we all tend to misunderstand each other, but if we do not correct them, we will keep hurting each other.
I have also felt for years that Stephen, and some who work for him, have been poisoned toward the prophetic, for which I have considerable evidence. I have not seen the prophetic mentioned around him for the last few years in which he did not respond with a steady stream of negative anecdotes and criticisms. He will usually preempt these with an obligatory statement about how much we need the prophetic and how he considers himself a friend of the prophetic. I know that many prophetic people think that, as the saying goes, “With friends like this who needs enemies.” Even so, I have no doubt that Stephen is sincere when he claims to be a friend of the prophetic movement, and he certainly believes it. It does seem that his publications, including books published by Creation House, which is owned by Strang Communications, have been the most damaging to the prophetic movement in recent years. At the same time, they have also published some very helpful things. As James asked, how can fresh and bitter water come out of the same well? (see James 3:11)
I do not think that this “well” was bitter at its source and I truly believe that it can be turned into fresh water again. I also think that there is a correction needed in the way many have appointed themselves as judges in the body of Christ. Just having a journalism degree, being able to write articulately, or market publications, does not qualify someone to be a judge in the church. I am concerned that there is not a pastor, or someone that the body of Christ considers a true elder with the spiritual stature that matches the range of their influence overseeing Charisma.
When Journalists Miss the Mark
I am in total agreement with the Charisma statements that the prophetic movement needs more accountability and that I may need more. I am continually seeking it from those that I feel are legitimate elders in the church. However, borrowing from the Charisma head-line “When Prophets Miss the Mark,” what happens When Journalists Miss the Mark? Who are the journalists accountable to?
I have met a few people lately who have been doing in-depth research into mistakes made by Christian journalists and the harm that some of these have done to the church. I have been a first hand witness to some myself, but at present I only want to raise the same issue that was raised about us concerning accountability. It is true about us and the prophetic in general—we do need more accountability, and greatly desire it.
I am grieved because many of those who could have, and should have provided leadership to the emerging prophetic movement, lost the trust and respect of those called prophetically because of their tendency to stereotype the prophetic, or judge the entire movement by a few extreme elements or mistakes. There is presently a war going on between those who should be allies and those who should be covering and helping each other.
Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:5, “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (KJV) Possibly the number one reason there is so much shame in the body of Christ today is because there are no judges in the church. In biblical times, elders were judges. This is a most difficult task, but we are not true elders if we are not capable of being judges. As Paul stated: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (I Corinthians 6:2 KJV)
Presently there is nowhere to go, or no one to go to, if one is wrongly accused. The reason we have so much wrong judgment in the church is because we do not have righteous judgment, nor do we have righteous judges. This must, and will, change. True elders who are true shepherds are coming. Their judgment will be founded upon the devotion to truth, righteousness, justice, and the protection of the Lord’s children, rather than building influence through alliances and self-promotion. However, this will not happen until there is a restoration of true apostolic ministry to the church. When the true apostolic comes, they will appoint true elders who are also righteous judges, and the shame that now so afflicts us will be removed from the church. One of the primary reasons for the restoration of the prophetic ministry to the church is to prepare for the coming apostolic that will restore true shepherds to the church.
On a Personal Note
Am I being defensive? Yes. And I will be much more so in the future. I will do this because it is part of my calling. I am also going to do it because I am concerned that many of those who are the illegitimate authorities in the church are brothers and sisters in Christ who are in jeopardy of being stumbling blocks, which the Lord said was worse than not having been born. Every one lost to the side of the accuser in this way is a tragedy for us and a victory for the accuser. We cannot let this keep happening. I am sure my motives will be misunderstood and misjudged, but that happens all of the time anyway. I do not consider it my calling to win a popularity contest, to grow a large ministry, or sell a lot of books. My calling is simply to be obedient.
This article was something I was shown prophetically over a decade ago that would release me to be “a public defender.” I will now not only zealously defend the prophetic movement, but also the church against the attacks of the accuser. I am not the only one who is called to do this, but it is a part of my calling. All who are called to this will at times be special targets of the accuser, but I was also told that every time the accuser struck me I could be used to recover more spiritual territory that he has stolen from the church. I was also told that this was the time when Matthew 13:41-43 will be fulfilled:
“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
The word that is translated “angels” in verse 41 could have also been translated “messengers.” This is a special assignment that is now being given to some who are about to arise. That this is now happening is another sign that we are coming to the end of this age, with the purifying of the bride to make her ready for the Bridegroom.
We Must Also Judge Ourselves Lest We Be Judged
I will now address attacks against us that I have not addressed before because I was not released to. How-ever, I will follow the Matthew 18 mandate for bringing correction and my hope is for a redemptive conclusion to each time I have to make a defense. I still remain concerned for the many emerging prophetic ministries who are just as guilty of the misuse of information and the tendency to make great sweeping judgments based on partial revelation. I intend to do all that I can to defend others against this as well.
We must all learn not to add the parts that God has not given and learn how to communicate the things that we know are only seen in part. Maybe we can mature together with Christian journalists, who are called to have a significant part in helping the church fulfill her last day mandate. Writing was actually a basic function of prophetic and apostolic ministries and the written word has a power that the spoken word does not have. My hope is to see journalists arise with true prophetic and apostolic stature.
To date the stereotypes of the prophetic that have been perpetrated, especially in Charismatic and Pentecostal circles, have been a distortion of the true state of the prophetic movement. In spite of this, we are experiencing an awakening to the need for the prophetic in an unprecedented way. This is a fulfillment of Acts 2 when the Lord promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, which could have been translated, “the whole body.” As this scripture states, the result of this pouring out of the Spirit upon the whole body will be dreams, visions, and prophecy. These are not coming for our entertainment, but because we will need this kind of guidance to navigate through the times that are coming. We are starting to witness almost a spiritual “feeding frenzy” for knowledge of the prophetic because people across the spectrum of the body of Christ are starting to have these experiences.
Those who have faithfully held the course and grown in their prophetic gifts and ministries are already starting to have much more demand for their ministry than they can handle. We must rise to higher levels of equipping if the needs are going to be met. The Lord told us that He would not promote us to new levels until we had brought others to the level that we are at now, and that this would be the case for each level of promotion. The ministries that are about to prosper the most are those who give themselves to helping others prosper.
I also know from the Lord that the entire prophetic movement is still far from where it needs to be at this time. We have let the discouragement from attacks, false accusations, and often our own mistakes, stop many and slow down the rest. Authentic, credible, prophetic ministries are about to become some of the most sought after people on the planet. We must have the goods. We are still far from having what we need at this time, and must arise and press on to fulfill the high calling of God in Christ Jesus for which we have been entrusted.
The California Earthquake Prophecy
This is a good example of how we can poorly handle a true word from God and have it bring much more confusion than help. However, it was a true word and it will come to pass.
The confusion came when Bob Jones said on the tape that was circulated, “I know we have until October” (before the earthquake). Earlier in the service that this tape was made from, Bob had explained how the Lord had promised him that he would give us a clear warning on the Day of Atonement the year this quake was to come. Since that previous Day of Atonement, the Lord had said nothing about the quake. Bob was saying he knew that it would not come before the next Day of Atonement, which was in October. Many people who heard the tape did not seem to hear what was said earlier, or understand it. We should have caught this, knowing it could be easily misunderstood, and clarified it before the tape went out.
As we said in that service, and have repeated many times since, we believe and hope that this quake can be delayed, or lessened in its destruction by intercession and repentance. I am extremely encouraged by the on-going intercession and repentance that is being continued by a number of ministries in Southern California and elsewhere. Che Ahn and Lou Engles have provided exceptional leadership in this and other great events, such as the amazing youth rally in Washington last year when hundreds of thousands humbled themselves before the Lord in a powerful spirit of repentance. I believe they have been heard in heaven, resulting in the Lord giving us more time. Even so, much more must be done. The Lord will not much longer tolerate the flood of spiritual and moral corruption that is coming out of the entertainment industry in Southern California and spiritually polluting the entire earth. He won’t tolerate this because He loves America and He loves the world.
I will have much more to say on this in future bulletins.
The Knights of Malta
As I have stated many times, I have never, and will never, join any group that is secretive, is in any way associated with the Masons, or is not utterly devoted to the truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ. There has been so much confusion and false information circulated about this organization that I am more con-vinced than ever that it is something important for the Lord’s purposes in these times. I cannot address this in the way that it deserves here, but I intend to do so very soon, explaining my association with them completely—I have only attended three investitures in more than ten years, and no other meetings. I do believe that a lot of people who have prejudged this group will be ultimately very embarrassed about it, but I do not expect many to ever understand it, or need to. However, it does deserve a complete explanation, which I will do as soon as I can. In the meantime, I have written a little booklet about the extraordinary history of this group and their present status, which I will gladly send free of charge to anyone who requests it. Just call our office at 1-800-542-0278 and ask for it. It is called Courage That Changed The World.
(From July 2001 Charisma Magazine Online, no longer available on Charisma's website. Reproduced as accurately as possible. All copyrights Charisma.)
Prophets and Accountability:
A Response to Rick Joyner
By J. Lee Grady, editor of "Charisma" magazine
July 16, 2001
For several weeks I have received letters and e-mails from "Charisma" subscribers who were upset about our recent profile of author and prophetic minister Rick Joyner ("God's Lightning Rod," April 2001). I would like to take this opportunity to respond to his remarks.
First of all, let me say up front that we do not consider our article an "attack" on Rick Joyner. We believe Mr. Joyner is a gifted author who has made considerable contributions to building up the body of Christ. Our article pointed this out in numerous positive statements:
- We quoted respected leaders who described Joyner as "a significant voice that God has raised up to speak to many in the church today."
- We said that Joyner's message is "not about elitism. It's about humility."
- We noted that Joyner has a ministry board for accountability and that he does not consider his visions and prophecies on the same level as Scripture (as some of his critics have claimed he believes).
- We described his newest book in positive terms and gave plenty of space to let him describe the main points of the book.
But because we examined some of the questions that have been raised by his critics, Mr. Joyner used harsh words to describe our article. He said in his response that the report in "Charisma" was "sensational," "irresponsible," "careless" and "shocking." He also accused us of employing "deeply troubling tactics" and "superficial research." I am truly sorry that the article offended him. But I believe that his characterization of our report-and our motives-is unfair. Below I will briefly address some specific issues raised by Mr. Joyner in his recent response:
However, we apparently made an error when we said that Reggie White is involved in funding Joyner's ministry projects. At this time, White, Bakker and Joyner have not made a purchase of property in Charlotte for a ministry center.
- Charisma's supposed lack of spiritual accountability. Rick Joyner made a serious judgment against "Charisma" and Strang Communications Company when he said we are not accountable to anyone in the body of Christ. This is simply not true. We regularly seek counsel from various leaders in the church, including Mike Bickle, Fuchsia Pickett, Chuck Pierce, Ted Haggard, and Jack Hayford. In fact, we specifically sought counsel from one of these leaders about the Rick Joyner article, and we asked them to read it before publication.
- The use of anonymous sources in our article. Mr. Joyner was critical of the fact that we published comments in our story that were taken from interviews with unnamed sources. We do not typically use unnamed sources in our reporting, but when we do it is only to protect a person from some type of perceived threat of retaliation. We were willing to grant anonymity to three people we interviewed because they felt they might be severely criticized for speaking with us. We did not coerce them to divulge information, and we published only a few of their comments.
- Charisma's position on the prophetic movement. Mr. Joyner wrote in his response that the reason we published this article is because our publisher, Stephen Strang, and others on his staff are "poisoned to the prophetic." This is not true.
- "Charisma" has promoted the prophetic movement in many ways over the years. We have published articles by Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Francis Frangipane, Mike Bickle (who advises us on numerous issues), and Jill Austin, among others. We have published numerous books about the gift of prophecy including "Growing in the Prophetic" by Mike Bickle, "Prophetic Etiquette" by Mike Sullivant and "How to Hear the Voice of God in a Noisy World" by Teresa Seputis.
- As editor of "Charisma" I have received personal prophetic counsel in the last two years from such ministers as Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Tony Miller, Jill Austin, Kingsley Fletcher, Barbara Wentroble, Mickey Robinson, Alice Smith, Chuck Pierce, Beth Alves and Jim Goll. Also, we regularly feature prophetic speakers at our conferences and at our weekly prayer meeting at Strang Communications.
- Last year our book publishing division published a controversial book by John Bevere called "Thus Saith the Lord." Many in the prophetic community did not appreciate the tone of the book because they felt Bevere was too harsh in his criticism of personal prophecy, and Rick Joyner was the most outspoken of these. This may be one reason why Mr. Joyner thinks everyone at "Charisma" is "poisoned" with regards to the prophetic. But I can assure our readers that all the editors here do not agree with the tone of "Thus Saith the Lord." Personally, I felt the book made some important points, but it came up short on offering redemptive guidance on how to maintain the operation of the gift of prophecy in a healthy way.
- Inaccuracies in our article. I do not consider myself or "Charisma" to be perfect. We have made many mistakes over the years, and I am grateful that our readers have been forgiving. We try to uphold the highest standards of journalistic professionalism, but the "human error factor" keeps us humble.
- Mr. Joyner criticized us for several inaccurate statements in our April article. I'd like to address these individually:
- Morning Star Ministries' revenue figures. Several months ago in our daily e-mailed "Charisma News Service" we released a news brief about a property tax dispute involving Mr. Joyner and local government officials in Moravian Falls, North Carolina. This news item was based on a report that was published by "The Wilkes Journal Patriot," which inaccurately stated that Morning Star Ministries has an annual income of $88 million.
- Shortly after we released this e-mailed report we learned that the figure should have been listed as $8 million, not $88 million. The original newspaper story was incorrect. It should be noted that we did not repeat the wrong figure in our April feature story.
- Rick Joyner's place of residence. Our report stated that Rick Joyner lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, but he states in his response that his residence is in Moravian Falls, North Carolina. Our reporter and other editors assumed that Mr. Joyner lived in Charlotte since the largest Morning Star church and primary ministry headquarters is there.
- Support from "an Amway millionaire." Mr. Joyner says it is not true that he built his support base "with help from an Amway millionaire," as we stated in our article. The Amway reference was to Dexter Yeager, who has leased Mr. Joyner some property and facilities.
- Support from Reggie White. Mr. Joyner has been a friend of former football star Reggie White for some time, and interviews with a ministry associate last year indicated that White, Joyner and former televangelist Jim Bakker were considering purchasing some of the former PTL property for a ministry endeavor in Charlotte.
We apologize to Mr. Joyner and all the readers of "Charisma" who were offended by these errors.
In conclusion, I want to state clearly that I believe our report on Rick Joyner was handled delicately and with balance. We feel we treated him with respect and dignity, while at the same time interviewing people on all sides of controversy that has surrounded some of his prophecies and writings. We do not believe that Mr. Joyner or any Christian leader with a public following is above scrutiny. But we believe that such scrutiny can be handled in a spirit of love and decency.
If you would like to respond to Lee Grady's comments, click here (originally linked to http://www.strang.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000446.html - no longer functional at strang.com).
To read the original article on Rick Joyner that appeared in Charisma, click here (originally linked to april.html at Charisma website, now reproduced at http://www.harvestnet.org/reports/god'slightningrod.html).
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