I received a mass email from an LCMS pastor, Rev. Chris Dodge earlier this week. Today, I found it in the spam folder. Turns out the spam filter is smarter than I thought – for the email gave two links to videos that are departures from the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions. These two videos speak of a God who is still speaking (through audible words) and of visions received by Pr. Dodge. Pr. Dodge hears the voice of God apparently. He was a leader in the church growth movement back in Michigan as well. Apparently he is also a fan of charismaticism. The first video is a general plea. The second video is the charismatic treasure trove.
Here is the body of the email:
It happened exactly one year ago today. God intervened to give both the freedom and the time to concentrate on one thing He had laid on my heart.
As a fellow LCMS pastor, I would imagine that the same concern is probably on your heart as well. It has to do with the spiritual condition of my country and the future of my children and grandchildren.
This 5-minute video gives an overview of where He has led. Watch video
I would love to know where He has led in your life and if your sense is similar to mine.
Here is more of the story in the video, “Tell Them”. Watch video
Blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastor Chris Dodge (SL ’79)
Charismatics listen to whatever spirit will speak to them or make them feel that feeling one more time (for a great summary of what is going on here, check out the chapters on mysticism in the book “Broken” by Pr. Jonathan Fisk). They disregard the Word of God. In the end, the spirit that leads them is not the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 7:21-23 has a unique warning from Jesus concerning the charismatics:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Dr. Luther also had some words in the Smalcald Articles (which men like Pr. Dodge have pledged fidelity to) about such visionaries which pertain to not only charismatics, but to anyone (especially teachers) who claim special revelation contrary to God’s Word and try to lead by their own imagination (most often referred to as “vision” or “leadership”):
3] And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare. 4] For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word.
5] All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. 6] Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures? But of these matters there is not time now to dispute at greater length; we have elsewhere sufficiently urged this subject.
So, test the spirit and take a hint from the Spam filter. Take note of Pr. Dodge and Awake US Now.
Pastor Dodge is no longer the pastor at the parish he served (St. Michaels) and is on candidate status according to this Minnesota South District Newsletter. The LCMS worker locator lists “no current assignment” for him.