OK, ninjas. I have an announcement to make. It’s not cool to be making fun of peoples’ religions and stuff. It’s not because I respect religion, or some high-falutin’ nonsense, but rather because they’re basically all the same, for one. Moreover, you know people get extra sensitive when you talk about their chosen deity, so it’s just best to let sleeping dogs lie. So, as you read forward into this next article let me also remind you that while this is weird… it’s less weird than some of ya’lls crochety-ass churches. And that’s my word, as a ninja AND as a scholar.
Ok now read this complete strange-ness and try not to fall out of your chair:
Mike Rose is the senior pastor of Juneau Christian Church, where Governor Sarah Palin attends when in residence in Juneau. The Alaska Update of the Alaska Assemblies of God featured a story on Palin’s attendance at the 2008 Alaska District Council and stated that “Superintendent Ted Boatsman, who was Palin’s junior high pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God, along with Pastor Mike Rose of Juneau Christian Center, where Palin presently attends church when in Juneau, laid hands on the Governor and led the Council in Prayer.”
Rose is well known as far away as Australia for his participation in the “new wave” of the Holy Spirit. Former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Australia, Dr. Andrew Evans, has also been a supporter of the “new wave” and its manifestations which he lists as falling, shaking and drunkenness (in the Spirit),and uncontrollable weeping and laughing. (He has been a controversial figure for his belief that these manifestations would aid in church growth in his denomination in Australia although these activities have been repeatedly denounced as Deviant Behavior by the U.S. General Council.) Evans writes about Rose’s ability to manage these manifestations in his church without excessive disruption of services. He also notes that Rose had been an advisor to Rodney Howard-Browne’s Revival Ministries committee and had “sat in over 110 of Rodney’s meetings.” Andrew Evans went on to found the Family First Party of Australia.
Rodney Howard-Browne is one of the most controversial and publicized figures of the Third Wave movement. While many of the leaders have been almost invisible in the mainstream media, Howard-Browne and his Holy Laughter anointing have been covered by CNN , Time, Newsweek, PBS, and numerous British media outlets. Howard-Browne refers to himself in many of these articles as the “Holy Ghost bartender.”
He is also one of the most controversial figures in the Evangelical world and is the subject of many hundreds of internet pages from other Evangelical and Fundamentalists discernment groups who view his unusual revival manifestations such as uncontrollable laughter, weeping, shrieking, and animal noises, as cultic. Other conservative Christians also find fault with Howard-Browne’s end time belief that a unified and purified church is currently being restored through a “great awakening” that is manifesting itself through these “signs and wonders.” Howard-Browne, like the other leaders of the Third Wave, believe that they are raising a great end time army that will take control of the world through spiritual warfare, and triumph over Satan before the millennial reign of Jesus. Many in the movement, such as C. Peter Wagner believe that the Apostolic age began in 2001. John Bevere, author of curriculum for the Master’s Commission of Wasilla Assembly of God, believes that he is teaching the final generation before the Millennial which he calculates will begin in 2028 or 2029.
Rodney Howard-Browne and his family moved from South Africa to the United States in 1987, and settled in the Lakeland/Tampa area after having a successful revival at the church of Karl Strader, Lakeland’s first Assemblies of God, Karl is father of Stephen Strader of Ignited Church and the current Lakeland Revival fame. Howard-Browne and his wife continued to lead revivals around the world and often worked closely with the late John Wimber of the Vineyard movement and the the Kansas City Prophets. They introduced hyper-charismatic activities in widely publicized revivals in both the United States and Great Britain including the Toronto Airport Blessing which began in 1994, and drew people worldwide to experience the phenomenon. Howard-Brown is also credited with a role in the Brownsville Revival, 1995, and more recently, the 2008 Lakeland Healing Revival with Todd Bentley.
Additionally Howard-Browne has been instrumental in the introduction of these “signs and wonders” all over the world including Brompton Holy Trinity, a high-profile charismatic Anglican church in May, 1994. The resulting Holy Laughter and other unusual manifestations at this prominent church and others in London shocked the British press and was the biggest story covered by British Christian media in 1995 and 1996. Brompton Holy Trinity is now primarily known as the source of the ALPHA course.