The dangers of ‘charismatic conditioning’.

The following presentation from ‘The Messed Up Church’ Steve Kozar’s YouTube Channel, is like a trip down memory lane for some of our contributors and readers – a reminder of the ‘fear tactics’ they were so often exposed to in their former churches. Steve initially draws his viewer’s attention to Francis Chan’s fear-tactics before moving onto the infamous Todd White and his own ‘wolfish’ fear-mongering.

Todd White: “Just Trust Me and My Famous Friends” Charismatic Conditioning.

Steve Kozar states:

“This video will demonstrate how some Charismatic teachers keep you from thinking about, and evaluating, false doctrine. By the way, “doctrine” is just a word that means “teachings about God” and everyone who gets on stage and talks about God is teaching some kind of doctrine. “Charismatic conditioning” keeps people locked into a specific set of beliefs as it shuts down the kind of critical thinking necessary to be a sound biblical Christian.”

You’ll notice some things in common that these teachers do:

*They instill fear into the audience they warn the audience to leave the famous leaders alone, don’t question them!

*They use words like ‘bash’, ‘hate’ and ‘attack’ to describe the beliefs of anyone who disagrees with them.

*They deliberately confuse the category of how to behave in personal relationships with the category of evaluating doctrine.

This way they silence people into submission by making them appear guilty of hatred, or of being a “religious Pharisee”. Another common tactic is to use overly simplistic and negative stereotypes to describe those that disagree with you. Instead of mentioning the specific things taught by specific people, they make a very general statement about “those people” that is much easier to refute.

Watch these men manipulate their audience by using these tactics….”

Source: Steve Kozar, ‘Steve Kozar YouTube Channel’,, Premiered January 20, 2020. (Accessed January 21, 2020.)

Francis Chan knows the hearts of men better than God?

In addition to Steve Kozar’s thoughtful commentary, it was also interesting to note that Francis Chan using another common charismatic phrase:

“I’ve seen their hearts and know them to be good people!”

Despite the bible clearly teaching a man’s heart is always inclined towards evil:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:9-10

A 2018 reminder of Francis Chan’s ‘fear tactics’:

Back in April, 2018, Steve Kozar from the ‘Messed Up Church’ blog had already alerted his readers to the above-mentioned sermon from Francis Chan, former pastor of Cornerstone church in Ventura County, California and best-selling author of the books ‘Crazy Love’, ‘Forgotten God’, and ‘You and Me Forever’.

Steve Kozar wrote:

There’s a recent video sermon from Francis Chan which has eerie similarities to a cult leader indoctrinating his followers. His basic argument is this:

God told the Israelites not to speak or act against God’s temple in the Old Testament, upon penalty of death.

In the New Testament, people are now the temple of God.

Therefore, we must never speak or act against God’s temple-His people.

Rick Warren, Mike Bickle, and Mark Driscoll are men of God who should never be criticized, because Francis Chan knows them personally, and they have good hearts.

If you speak out against these “people of God,” Chan wouldn’t be surprised if God took your life, because that’s what He promised in the Old Testament.

In this sermon, Francis Chan merges and tangles two different topics into a frightening blend of confusion; on one hand he talks about people who gossip and complain about their fellow believers, but on the other hand, he talks about all doctrinal differences as if they were mere preferences. While his comments about gossiping apply to personal relationships, his comments about unifying with everyone who claims to “love the Lord” are very concerning to anyone who takes the Bible seriously. Read more here:

“Are you gonna bash Rick Warren? Are you crazy? This is a guy who loves the Lord. You may not agree with everything he does, but man I’m telling you he loves Jesus-everything I can tell, a supernaturally spirit-filled man.” Francis Chan
“Are you gonna attack Mark Driscoll? Are you gonna attack John Piper? Are you gonna attack Mike Bickle? Are you gonna attack some of these expressions in the body of Christ that may look a little different? I’ve met these people and I see their hearts and I hang out with people from these different denominations and I’m like ‘they love Jesus,’ it looks different to me but I can see the spirit in them, so we better be careful.” Francis Chan
“And I’m reading this and I’m like ‘God, how come more people aren’t dead?’ And here’s what I heard from the Lord: THEY HAVEN’T BEEN WARNED.” Francis Chan
“It’s gonna be the unity of the Church that’s gonna get the world to believe.” Francis Chan
“…And now He says ‘you’re that temple.’ And if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. You wanna be on the right side of His protection.” Francis Chan
“You better not criticize any popular preachers who claim to love me, or I might have to ‘knock you off,’ (if you catch my drift)…” Jesus The Mob Boss

Sorry Francis, but these are the thoughts and ideas of a controlling cult-leader.

Here are some passages from God’s Word that tell us to be on guard against false teachers in the Church. Please notice that false teachers will appear to “love the Lord,” and we are told to judge them by their doctrine:

Matthew 7:15-23  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?‘ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

Matthew 24: 3-14; 24-25  “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Vs. 24): For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (25) Behold, I have told you in advance.”

2 Peter 2:1-3  “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

Acts 20:28-31  “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.”

Titus 1:7-11  “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

James 3: 1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”

1 Corinthians 5:11-13  “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of a brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those on the outside. Remove the evil person from among you.”

Here’s a much better sermon: The Sheep Judge Their Shepherds by C. F. W. Walther

Here’s another helpful article on this same sermon/video: Lighthouse Trails

Source: Steve Kozar, Pirate Christian Radio, “Messed Up Church” blog, Published April 10, 2018. (Accessed April 11, 2018.)

A further reminder – C3 Church Global leader Phil Pringle also uses similar fear tactics.

After viewing the above clips from Steve Kozar, former C3 members notified Church Watch Central that they were actually sitting in the audience when Phil Pringle claimed that two women who opposed his ministry in New Zealand ‘were soon cut down’. Although the CWC videos have since been deleted by C3 Oxford Falls, Pringle cannot deny he’s shared this story several times in front of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people:

Don’t Oppose Pringle Or God Might Kill You?

Oppose A Pastor And God Will Kill You?

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Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16

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