By Christian Research Network correspondent Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised…
This is a repost of an original article on Do Not Be Surprised…

Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church perhaps may be best known for his Blessed Life sermon series and accompanying book.

His message from this series is quite popular among attractional, seeker-driven pastors. Why? Because the core of this message is that one must tithe to one’s church in order for God to be able to bless him. Of course, mega church pastors thrive on this type of message, which is largely driven from a misuse of Malachi 3:10. Morris has preached at such venues as Saddleback Church, and has taken his Blessed Life series to Perry Noble’s Newspring Church as well. Indeed, his influence can be seen among many of our favorite mega church pastors.

But this time it was Morris’ turn to hold a conference at his own Gateway Church, and for others to fly to him. The event? The Alpha Summit, a men’s conference like no other:

This year’s Alpha Summit is going to redefine the way you look at men’s conferences. The Thursday night kick-off party will be like nothing you’ve ever seen, including a tailgate cook-off (free food!), Motocross jumping, the latest golf equipment from the professionals and much more! This power packed weekend continues on Friday and Saturday with breakfast each morning and super-charged activities planned throughout the day. And don’t worry, we’ll still have our incredible Gateway Worship and guest speakers who will challenge you to live out your faith in every area of your lives. This will be a conference you won’t want to miss! (Online Source. Note: as of the completion of this post, The Alpha Summit has concluded for 2012. As such, some links may re-route the reader to the website for the 2013 men’s conference.)

Let us ignore the silliness of a tailgate, motocross and golf, and take a look at the guest speakers Morris invited to teach the men of Gateway Church from February 23-25, 2012:

(Online Source)

There is little need to spend much time on Bill Hybels or Perry Noble. Most are familiar with Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Church in Chicago. Hybels helped to pioneer what has come to be known as the “seeker-driven” movement, and he has successfully woven liberalism and other deceptive teachings into his church. Yet, he continues to be viewed as an evangelical leader.

Noble is no stranger either. Not only is he adept at “sheep beating” and name calling, but he also has yet to escape the stigma of daring to play “Highway to Hell” as the opening song of Newspring’s Easter Service a few years back. In short, Perry Noble epitomizes the Seeker Driven/Attractional Pastor model.

This leads us to the third speaker, Tim Ross. Who is Tim Ross? According to his biography on The Alpha Summit website,

Tim Ross speaks both nationally and internationally with over 15 years of ministry experience. He began preaching at the age of 20 and has already impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. His dynamic teaching style and uncanny ability to make people understand the gospel message is the reason why he has been such an asset to ministries across cultural and denominational lines. Tim’s gift to communicate developed under two dynamic ministries: God’s Way Holiness Fellowship Church in Valinda, California, and The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. (Online Source)

That’s right, Ross was groomed at The Potter’s House, home to “Bishop” T.D. Jakes. In fact, Ross is still mentioned on the website of The Potter’s House:

Pastor Timothy Ross serves as the young adult pastor for The Potter’s House of Dallas. Articulate, energetic, captivating and on the cutting edge of ministry for this generation, he is one of the most sought after speakers both nationally and internationally.  In 2001, Pastor Ross was the youngest to ever receive ordination credentials and was installed as an elder. Pastor Ross is the “go-to” guy for a host of ministry needs with his unique ability to reach youth, young adults and singles.  He is also recognized as a trusted voice to general assemblies, conferences, convocations and workshops.

Pastor Ross began preaching at the age of 20 and has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for more than a decade.  Pastor Ross specializes in creating a “spiritual sonic boom” that breaks the sound barrier between Heaven and Earth and allows prophecy to flow in a dynamic way.  His teaching style and uncanny ability to present the Gospel in an easy-to-understand format is why Pastor Ross has been an asset to the Kingdom of God for more than 10 years. (Online Source, emphasis added)

The reader would do well to note the the emboldened text above. It seems that Tim Ross is recognized as one who receives direct revelation and prophecy from God Himself. Upon visiting the website of Ross’ own ministry, one can view several videos. The video entitled “The Power to Get In, The Power to Get Out,”was recorded during one of Ross’ preaching endeavors at The Potter’s House. His Word-Faith tendencies are obvious in just the first three minutes of his message:

As Ross progresses through his sermon, the viewer becomes privy to an interesting event. It seems that Ross believes that he received direct revelation from the Holy Spirit while he was preaching:

Ross does not seem surprised by this and treats it as though it is a regular event. His language, speaking of “birthing the thing God whispered in your ear,” is typical of those enmeshed in the Word Faith movement. This must leave us wondering, then, what could someone of this propensity have in common with “evangelicals” like Perry Noble and Bill Hybels? One also cannot help but question, does James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel approve of this type of teaching? After all, MacDonald has embraced T.D. Jakes as a brother, and Tim Ross not only was conditioned for ministry at Jakes’ The Potter House, but, as noted above, apparently also serves as youth minister there.

It seems we are witnessing yet another entwining of the Word Faith movement with mainstream evangelicalism. The more common this becomes, and the more that we see such men embraced by “evangelical” leaders, the more churchgoers and professing Christians will be inclined to accept it with a smile. And so the New Downgrade continues.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Cleaning Up After the Elephants? MacDonald Takes to the Airwaves
Did James MacDonald “Learn a Ton” From T.D. Jakes?
“Code Orange” Speaker “Bishop” T.D. Jakes

The original appears complete with a comments section for you to join the discussion right here.

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