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Charismatic Leaders Fellowship 2018

Dr. Richard Roberts, M.D.

But now to return to the presentations at the CLF. Session #5, the evening of the second day, was given to Dr. Richard Roberts, M.D. His theme was not spiritual warfare, but a description of a new denomination in the UK called simply “The New Church.” This was a great presentation and held everyone’s attention. The New Church is a Charismatic fellowship, with minimum hierarchy, and practically no distinction between ministers and lay persons. They do not ordain their leaders.

They claim their roots are in the Pentecostal theology of Smith Wigglesworth, with some influence from the American “Fort Lauderdale Five” (Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, and the others). They are growing rapidly as they minister in “signs and wonders.” It was wonderful to hear that the UK, where the Church of England is in such sad decline due to its own fall into liberal theology (a special sorrow to me) has an area of church growth that is flourishing [Editor’s note: Read more on the Anglican Church, its recent travails with troubling theology and the contrast of the charismatic New Wine movement, from London Vicar Rachel Marszalek].

Deacon Johannes Fichtenbauer

Perhaps the highlight of the CLF conference this year was the presentation by Deacon Johannes Fichtenbauer, an Austrian Catholic, who is coordinator of Jewish-Christian reconciliation for the Pope. He led the 50th anniversary (penitential) walk of the “death march” of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps in Germany.[2]

His life is a great witness to God’s grace and mercy. His grandfather was a dedicated Nazi, remaining so even after Germany’s catastrophic defeat in WWII. He convinced the young Johannes of the righteousness of the Nazi view, including blaming the Jews for Europe’s woes. Johannes did not repent of that view until he came to Christ at age 17, when he began to love the Jewish people.

His talk was called, “The Mystery of the Olive Tree” based on Paul’s use of that image in Romans 11. It laid out “ten hypotheses” about the Messianic Jewish churches, and their importance in fulfilling the task of the Church Universal and in ushering in the Second Coming. We have space to mention only several.

  • The historic splits among Christian denominations and groups began after the establishment of “replacement theology” which discarded the importance of the Jewish churches.
  • The Body of Christ will not be complete until its Jewish component is restored.
  • There needs to be a miraculous (not man planned) resurrection of the Jewish component of the Body of Christ.

In the discussion period, Deacon Fitchtenbaur related that the work of reconciliation has much distance to go. At present, Jewish people around the world mostly disdain the Messianic churches and consider them to be Christian churches with Jewish window dressing. Thus the last point mentioned, the need for God’s sovereign intervention in this reconciliation.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2018

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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