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Up From Death

For several weeks now WorldNetDaily has been advertising Megashift, a book on church growth by James Rutz (as others have already noted). Now Rutz has his very own WND column; but first, Joseph Farah’s intro:

Rutz is the leading U.S. spokesman for a movement known as “Open Christianity,” a startling innovation on the traditional church that is laying a whole new basis for civilization. Additionally, he is chairman of Open Church Ministries and has been a full-time writer for 31 years.

According to Rutz, Open Christianity solves the three biggest problems of the church: “We’ve gotten rid of all the expensive buildings and paid pastors. Plus, you never have to listen to another sermon. This is the next step up from Protestantism.” Rutz says he and his “house-church friends are seeing lives getting straightened out, long-standing problems getting solved, wimps turning into world-changers, and everyone experiencing the strong presence of God.”

Rutz claims that the world is rapidly converting to Christianity, due to miracles. Most dramatically:

Rutz’s research has found 51 countries where God has raised people from the dead, mostly in the last 15 years (all footnoted, some with photos).

WND gives no further details, but a guest profile on CBN fills in some of the gaps:

At a Reinhard Bonnke meeting in Nigeria, Daniel Ekechukwu, dead for two days, was brought to the lower level of the meeting in his casket. He’d already been injected with preservatives when his wife brought him there. Cameras were rolling when life came back into his body, and he rose up.

…In Duad-India, Manu and other church members of the Indian Pentecostal Church in Dunger, Northern India, simply prayed in Jesus’ name and placed their Bibles on the body of a six-year-old boy who was near to being buried — whereupon he opened his eyes.

One missionary in Guatemala read all of Isaiah 53 over and over to a circle of Indians silently mourning the death of a boy until he came back.

Arjun Dass of Delhi, India, was electrocuted in April 2001. A team of five led by Savitri prayed for him, and God resurrected him 10 hours after his death.

…Chinese church leader Wang Xin Cai[‘s]…three-year-old daughter fell three stories and cracked her skull. He picked up her remains and laid her on the couch…He returned home the first day and her skull was back together; the second day she was breathing; the third day…he arrived home to a healthy, bubbling baby girl.

The first story is quite well-known, although the details are less than clear. Leo Igwe of the Nigerian Humanist Movement (that must be uphill work in the world’s most religious country) undertook his own investigation, which can be seen here, and found numerous discrepancies. I couldn’t find any commentary for the other cases. In his column, Rutz goes on to argue that because the number of Christians in the world has increased massively in the last hundred years or so,

A billion people are going to switch their loyalties to Jesus in the next 11 or 12 years and that may be just the beginning.

Rutz is of course right to note the growth of Christianity in Africa and China (although that’s hardly news), but actually this all sounds wearily familiar. New churches meeting in houses. Miracles galore, but all just out of reach of proper medical investigation. A massive religious revival around the corner. If anyone’s been raised from the grave here, it’s John Wimber. Back in the 1980s Wimber argued that “Power Evangelism” based on miracles and charismatic leadership would convert the world. Next we had the Toronto Blessing; then it was Tommy Tenney asking us to imagine shopping malls full of people suddenly weeping at the realisation of God’s presence. Rutz bolsters this charismatic message with some global church growth statistics, from which he extrapolates wildly, but it’s really the same old stuff.

Megashift is published by Empowerment Press of Colorado (not related to Empowerment Press of Texas).

7 Responses

  1. Empowerment Press is out of Colorado. The Texas Empowerment Press is completely unaffiliated.

    Right now Empowerment Press is a start-up house church pushlishing entity.

  2. Thanks, I’ve amended the entry.

  3. […] like we’re in Jim Rutz territory. So what’s the story? One of the Saudi Arabia sheikhs ‘rose from the […]

  4. […] and the Nigerian Humanist Movement (whose leader, Leo Igwe, has been featured on this blog before). The priorities and focus of whatever movement emerges out of this (if any) will be determined, as […]

  5. […] For several years now, I’ve been following the activism of Nigerian humanist Leo Igwe. Back in 2005 I noted his role in debunking a “man raised from the dead” tale that was being touted […]

  6. […] been following Leo’s activism for some time. Back in 2005 I noted his role in debunking a “man raised from the dead” tale that was being touted […]

  7. I see no reason why God cannot raise a man from the dead – I watched the Rheinhard one and it did not seem faked but i was not there.
    But there is also Don Piper the American who was flattened by a truck -. he reluctantly wrote a book and
    was interviewed many times – seems genuine enough.
    Watch him on google or the 700 club interviews.

    Plus the athiest heart surgeon Dr Rawlings who brings
    people back from the dead with technology. He has a
    website where he interviews people that have been to
    Heaven and Hell. Too structured rational and vivid to be caused by temporary brain damage – and the accounts agree.

    Plus James McCormack (spelling) who was stung by a shoal of box jellyfish.

    Dr Rawlings has now become a Christian – as do all those who were brought back to life from Hell become – quickly !

    Jesus said his followers would perform greater miracles than he did – so why not a resurrection.

    Plus going back a bit Jesus himself was raised from the dead as was Lazarus.

    I applaud Leo’s bravery and his seeking after justice but his humanist views I will not support in any way.

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