What does an encounter with God look like?

Twitter is such a goldmine of goofiness and Christian confusion.  I honestly don’t follow many goofy people/ministries because I try to not be a sucker for punishment, but sometimes things just make me laugh/cry enough that I tend to want to share them.  I check out IHOP’s Twitter feed from time to time and have a chuckle (or a cry), and I do so with a few other groups/ministries.  One of the constant goldmines of goofiness/outright insanity is the Planetshakers Twitter feed.  Planetshakers is a church in Australia that also has a monstrously large music ministry.  Well, they have a band that puts out a lot of material and is based out of the church.  That band is pretty much a Christian pop act masquerading as a worship band.  I’m thinking Stryper level lyrics without all the yellow and black leather (or the drummer that looks like Heather Locklear with a 5 o’clock shadow).


(Stryper, the originator of evangelism by actually throwing bibles at people…)

I was on Twitter a while ago and saw a tweet that made me laugh out loud.

Apparently Planetshakers was in Malaysia, ushering in some sort of big encounter with God (via their music).  They were pretty bold that God was “here” (moving in Malaysia) and people were encountering God.

Okay…I’m not surprised by that.  God is everywhere and people encounter God all over the place, every day.

The interesting thing was the photograph attached to the claims.  What exactly does an encounter with God look like?

Well, I know what you’re thinking: burning bush, or hilltop experience, or transfiguration, or studying the bible, or prayer, or tearful repentance, or conviction in response to a sermon, etc.

I’m guessing that you weren’t thinking something like this:

That looks like an encounter with J.Crew and a trampoline, but not necessarily Yahweh.

Call me crazy, but I don’t remember a single place in scripture where people encounter God and jump for joy/excitement…but I do remember the one place in the ESV where someone talks about jumping:

“But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land…” – Acts 27:43

Yup.  That’s both fitting and hilarious.  The music at a Planetshakers concert would be bearable, but having to endure the preaching at one of their events is enough to make me jump overboard:

Yup.  I don’t have a clue how to take that guy seriously…mostly because I think I understand what he’s saying but I’m not really sure he knows what he’s talking about.

Anyway, the kids are up and I’ve got daddy work to do now!

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Someone needs to tell Chris Rosborough about Russell Evans: potential sermon of the year nominee” Unger

P.S. – I know the Bible talks about leaping and whatnot.  For those that miss what I assume to be fairly obvious, it was a fairly cheap joke.

19 thoughts on “What does an encounter with God look like?

  1. Ok..I can’t help it, I can’t help but laugh when I see the title of “God’s presence is here!” and the picture I see is a screaming, leaping guitarist..in jeans that look like they will split mid-air.

  2. Methinks the one who disguises himself as an angel of light enjoys messing with these people. How sad and a little bit scary for them.

    Having just reread Christ’s message to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, I find it highly unlikely that a) the Most High God spoke to Russell Evans and b) God would find the most pressing problem of the Western church to be an ‘image’ problem. Strange. God didn’t think to tell Russell of our obvious ‘sin’ problem? He didn’t even take the opportunity of his direct revelation to Russell to raise the equally obvious ‘sound doctrine’ problem? Or perhaps he might have at least mentioned the ‘apostasy’ problem?

    Sadly you will find no sound doctrine (especially not that negative, total image downer, ‘sin’ doctrine) anywhere in the narcissistic, new agey ramblings of Russell or his brother Ashley (Paradise Church, Adelaide). Actually, you won’t hear any sound doctrine from Brian Houston of the Hillsong franchise fame, or Phil Pringle from the C3 franchise, or any of their multitude of clone churches. Hmm. I am seeing a ‘problem’ here in Australia.

    Pastor Unger, God spoke directly to me about these pastors. In fact Matthew 7:15-23, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Jude, 2 Peter 2:1-22, and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5 are just a few of his direct revelations to me about pastors like Russell Evans. Apparently he spoke directly to you too, and to your readers. In fact, here is a word of knowledge for such an occasion as this:

    “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

    Blessings in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Amen.

    • Thanks for the info Sherryn!

      I checked out Ashley and had a laugh that the brother of the pastor of “Planetshakers” church had named his church “Influencers” church.

      Talk about taking a page from the “positive confession” handbook…or “the Tony Robbins’ guide to being as awesome as Tony Robbins”.

      I laugh at how utterly off the reserve they are, but I weep for the thousands of people that attend that church.

      You’re right about Evans’ word from the Lord too. God’s big problem is that we have self image issues?

      Uh, I suspect that God sounds a lot like a Jr. High girl when Evans hears his voice…?!?

    • Planetshakers covering “Ride the Lightning”?

      Oh man! You made milk come out of my nose!

      And no. There are actually NO awkward photos of me from 25 years ago. They have all since been destroyed!

  3. I would concur with my good friend Sherryn from TNP on all of the above. Having lived in Adelaide (home of Paradise AOG) for some 2 years, I got to see the fallout over the “laughing revival” under RHB and co, and I also got to help pick up the pieces afterwards, during that time.
    The problem with Planetshakers et al, is that in order to reach a younger generation, they have had to dump off ‘sound doctrine’ and replace it with ‘sound system’ – nice and loud probably…
    The only image I could see coming from Russel Evans, is that of the Hyper Faith ilk (Jesus going to Hell, and seizing the “keys” from Satan,) as if he had to do that as some kind of ‘extra’ work, which completely negates His death on the cross, shed blood, etc. That’s what I mean bro, when I say that they have dumped off sound doctrine, and embraced the Kenyon-Hagin-Copeland express.
    That’s why they stress money over character – let’s face it, you don’t really have to exhibit any godly character in order to line their pockets with money, and the sad thing, is that this younger and biblically illiterate generation seems to swallow it hook, line and sinker… They just ‘go to church’ have a ‘good time in God’, dump their money in the passing tithe bucket, and go home!
    But they can’t hear any of that Bible Truth that you may want to share with them, because they just turn up the ‘sound system’ long after they have shut down ‘sound doctrine’…

  4. Oh my goodness, I crack up so hard when reading your posts, Lyndon! Never have I seen intelligent theology combined so perfectly with humor and sarcasm. I have followed you on Cripplegate and your articles and blog responses have been so awesome that I find myself saying “Boom” out loud. I am so grateful for your boldness, your humor and your dedication to the honor of Christ! Keep up the great work! We need more like you in the body of Christ!

  5. Yep i do know god has it own way to encounter with us but we have to be in the place were we will feel his presence and encounter more know revelation seek his presence to know our standing god has it own way to encounters whether your in your room anywhere his always there but you and i need to open your heart to him let him fine his place 🙂 godbless

  6. I went to a Planetshaker’s church for a few months. Unfortunately, the same pattern is seen in MOST of Australian Churches – Pentecostals mostly but, to some degree, Baptist and others. It is a church deeply influenced by the world.
    Worship is always related to some emotional experience during the service. This is achieved by clever slogans, emotional music, dimming of lights, etc.
    The sermons always have the same template: a passage of scripture is read. Some single word (or sometimes a general superficial concept ) is singled out and the entire sermon centres around that word. I once estimated that about 90% of the sermon is spent discussion personal examples and some kind of major topic of personal psychology/self-help (unconditional love of God/ God will break your chains/ Fullfill your life, etc). On average, only 3 or 4 passages of scripture are referred to. The rest of the sermon is emotional gibberish.
    I am very worried about the state of the church today. Because the whole culture of the church is built on emotion with emphasis of experience, you can not reason with them. They are not interested in truth. They are victims of the therapeutic culture – you believe what makes you feel good.
    I have to keep reminding myself that God is in control. God doesn’t depend on us for the survival of His church – we depend on God. May God use us.

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