Last month's letter was written just a few days before the shattering Jimmy Swaggart revelations. I still have difficulty believing that nightmare has happened. Your heart, like mine has been broken, I'm sure—not only for Brother Swaggart, but for Christ and His church. A man of God has fallen and the enemies of God have been made to rejoice. It should be a time of humbling and repentance for all of us, confessing that "But for the grace of God, there go I." It is a timely reminder not to look to men, no matter how great, but to rest our confidence only in our Lord.
The cause of Christ has suffered a much heavier blow than through the Bakker affair, because Swaggart was so outspoken in favor of sound doctrine and holy living. Not only has Christianity become even more an object of derision than ever before, but standing for sound doctrine and preaching against evil will now be even more difficult for God's servants. While his willingness to bear the humiliation of public confession was commendable, if Swaggart is to be greatly used of God again his restoration must be brought about by God himself in His own time. Any attempt to engineer or rush that process will only result in greater disaster. I do not know what or how long it may take to restore credibility in the eyes of the secular world, not only to Jimmy Swaggart but to evangelical Christianity in general.
Some Christian psychologists have been gloating publicly, declaring that Jimmy's stand against psychological counseling prevented him from obtaining victory over sin. Presumably that must also have been why David fell, and Eve as well, while Joseph and Daniel and Paul, who stood so firm, must have somehow gotten a special revelation ahead of time of what was later revealed to Freud, Jung and the other godless anti-Christians who have given us the "new truth" upon which Christian psychology is founded. Nonsense!
At least Christian psychologists have left no doubt about what they really believe: that repentance, prayer, being crucified with Christ and filled with His Spirit, are not sufficient to enable Brother Swaggart or the rest of us to live godly lives. Psychology, they now insist with renewed boldness, is an essential supplement to God's Word. The Bible does not contain all we need "for life and godliness" after all, even though it makes that claim. If that is true, then the apostles and prophets and Christ himself have lied in offering a remedy that really doesn't live up to its promises. One or the other is true; we cannot have it both ways. I still choose to believe in the sufficiency of God and His Word. Certainly history bears witness that with the advent of psychology things have gotten worse, not better, both for the world and the church.
I do not know what further shocking blows lie ahead, but the apostasy has gotten an unexpected boost and the great falling away will continue to gather momentum. At the same time, I believe, the Word of God tells us that there will be a great "last days" reaping of souls, as the Lord empowers His servants to hastily gather in from the "streets and lanes of the city" and from "the highways and hedges" the "poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind" that His house may be full (Lk 14:16-24). Could it be that this scripture has reference to the drug addicts, AIDS victims, homosexuals, those in prisons and other cast-offs of society—and, yes, the New Agers, occultists, and practitioners of yoga, TM, and other forms of Eastern mysticism who have been deceived but are crying out for the truth? Such are coming to Christ, and I believe their conversions will dramatically increase in the days ahead.
By God's grace and through your prayers T.A. McMahon and I have just finished America: The Sorcerer's New Apprentice.* Harvest House is doing a fantastic job, and the book is scheduled to come off the press in record time April 20. It has been written for the secular world, and many Christians may not like it for that very reason. We have tried to meet non-Christians on their own ground by analyzing the rise of New Age shamanism (witchcraft) throughout society on its own merits and explaining what is happening and the extreme inherent dangers—not in the usual Christian manner with a barrage of Bible quotations that too often turns off non-Christians, but strictly on the testimony of those involved.
We think the book will prove to be a devastating revelation to many New Agers, as well as to the secular world in general. The documentation we give demonstrates conclusively that Americans by the tens of millions are literally being trained to turn their lives over to seducing spirits. This process involves the entire public education system, from the average kindergarten to the graduate schools of such universities as Harvard and Stanford. In fact, what is happening at Stanford, for example, now recognized as the top American university academically, is staggering.
Some of the critics of The Seduction of Christianity faulted our definition of sorcery. We now give them an entire book on that subject, which should open the eyes of many who considered Seduction to be exaggerated or extreme. We think the secular world is going to have to take this book seriously. In fact, it may be as much a shock to the secular world as Seduction was to the church. We hope and pray that will be so.
America is a book you can give or lend to your non-Christian friends, be they business executives or auto mechanics, New Agers or not, atheists or religious types, and know that it will not turn them off with "Christian jargon" but will merit their serious attention. We think that Christians will also find its analysis of the relation of science to religion, of naturalism vs. supernaturalism, the existence of God, evolution, reincarnation, psychic phenomena, demonic possession and other important topics to be of great help and interest. We simply want this book to accomplish what God has purposed for it, no more and no less. Your prayers to that end will be much appreciated.
Do not be discouraged no matter what has happened or may yet occur. The promise of Christ still stands: "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth....go ye therefore...and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Mt 28:18-20). May the joy of the Lord be your strength and may His good hand of blessing be upon all you seek to be and say and do to His glory. TBC