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Brain Stopper No. 1: Name Calling

January 9th, 2010 | 17 Comments | Posted in Miscellaneous

brain_imageWhat is one of Satan’s greatest tools?

Brain stoppers.

That’s the term I made up for a variety of tactics Satan uses to get people to shut off their minds so they don’t critically evaluate teachings. Leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement use them all the time.

I’m not talking about brainwashing. The media often accuses cult leaders, like David Koresh, of “brainwashing” their followers so the leader can gain complete control over people. Yet, I don’t believe true brainwashing is possible because every person ultimately retains control of his or her own thoughts.

But I do believe religious leaders can discourage their followers from using their minds — which keeps them from detecting the error in what’s being taught.

Name Calling

One popular brain stopper is what I’ve labeled “name calling.” This happens when the teachings of an “apostle” or “prophet” are challenged. Instead of responding to the challenges, “apostles” or “prophets” often resort to calling their critics names.

The names they’ve given their critics are numerous: mean-spirited, judgmental, Jezebel, unspiritual, unanointed and old wineskins — to name a few.

This tactic is effective because their followers start to believe that everyone who questions an “apostle” or “prophet” is evil or unspiritual. So, the followers quickly dismiss any criticism of their leader, without ever determining if it is true or not.

“Prophet” Kim Clement often uses this tactic. In his book Call Me Crazy But I’m Hearing God (Destiny Image, 2007),  he calls his critics names that are associated with death — “undertakers” and “caretakers.” Clement says “undertakers are the ‘naysayers’ of this world who seek to bury what God is doing.” And he has an even harsher description of “caretakers”:

The caretakers are always poking their noses into your business. They are trying to take care of things that no one ever asked them to take care of. They are the judges who declare what they believe is wrong in the church and the world. They determine who the false prophets are and what is heretical. They don’t change the world; they criticize the world. They never take a risk. They live in the comfort of their own high towers (page 156).

Yet, he has a flattering name for his faithful followers — “risktakers.” He calls them the “pioneers” and the ones who “will make history.” He says, “God loves risktakers!”

Like Clement, “apostle” C. Peter Wagner calls his critics names. He says they’re the “unanointed leaders of the old wineskin,” and he claims they’re motivated by a high-ranking demon he calls the “corporate spirit of religion” [See his book Changing Church (Regal, 2004), pages 18-22].

I could give countless examples. Many followers of “apostles” and “prophets” have responded to my articles in this way. One comment I’ve often received is that I’m just “jealous” of the success of the ministries I’ve critiqued. This is classic name calling.

If someone’s favorite teacher is challenged, a better response is to show the critics where they are wrong — not to just call them names.

Read “Brain Stopper No. 2: ‘Human Logic’ is Bad.

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17 Responses to “Brain Stopper No. 1: Name Calling”

  1. Mary Ann Says:

    Brain Stoppers! Love it! What an accurate description of a childish strategy that unfortunately all too often is successful in convincing some that they cannot discern error when confronted with it.

    Eph 5:6



    Another great commentary, Holly!
    Let no one deceive you with empty words,…..

  2. Scott Says:

    It’s interesting that you would be called “jealous” over the success of these movements.  I would be interested in knowing if they can show any long term success, read: fruit,  of any of them.   There is destruction all around for many reasons in the Church, not just from these guys, that comes from different kinds of false teachings.  However, these “apostles” seem to lack any movement that results in sustainable mission, spiritual growth or lasting fruit, at least from what I’ve seen.  I am working with churches who have gotten involved with these guys several years ago and had “revivals”, yet shortly afterward, the church implodes into random accusation of sins, usually through some kind of gossip, often through public false accusation.  Then bad prophecies, false healings, and practices of divination – one bad teaching after another.  It is taking years for these churches, the ones who haven’t closed completely, to recover.  The people are wounded for years and often will have nothing to do with any church.  Of course, these apostles simply justify the destruction in these churches for rejecting God’s revelation, and they move on to introduce their heresy elsewhere.

  3. Robin Says:


    I just ran across this blog today.

    I’m shocked there are only 2 replies to this post.

    Anyway, I say: Right On!

  4. Kandi Says:

    I have been reading your articles for awhile now and truly appreciate the way you approach the issues.  These false teachings must be exposed in the hope of rescuing some from the grip of deception.  Jude 3 urges believers to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”  It is interesting that many of the false teachers pray for the fire to come upon those who come to them for ministry, when in fact they need to be “snatched from the fire” (Jude 23). 

    I am all too familiar with many of the issues you discuss because I had the great misfortune of becoming involved with the prophetic movement and the New Apostolic Reformation for a number of years.  I was a sincere Christian who was not looking to be deceived.  If I had had a true understanding of what I was becoming involved with, I would have run for dear life!  But the leaders of the flock taught false doctrine because they themselves were disconnected from Christ, the head of the body, and in their own deceived state they taught, affirmed, and encouraged what was false.  I have seen the faith of many shipwrecked because of these things, and my own heart was broken because of the road I had been down.  Thanks be to God that there are obedient Christians on the internet who expose this apostasy and counteract it with truth from God’s word.  It is because of their ministry that my eyes were opened, providing a way of escape.  I have spent the last few years delving deeply into God’s word, researching the NAR, and receiving solid teaching from a Bible church.  And I also take advantage of every opportunity to warn others
    about the dangers of pursuing what is false, and pointing them back to Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

  5. Melsi Says:

    Thank you Holly for your faithfull service!
    In our little town the NAR taechings are evident everywhere.  I have started to tech at a little private Christian school and it is compulsory for the staff to attend an `Ancient Paths` course-or whatever for a week plus a full Saturday.  I probably will `fire` myself from my position but I have no intention to submit to  complete strangers.  I do not worship at the school`s church and do not know the `elders` (mostly women) from a bar of soap.

    Holley, do you have more info in this `Ancient Paths`?

  6. Michael Says:

    im reading this book on the brain, periodically. one thing that it says, is that the brain becomes stiffeled, if its in an environment that doesn’t allow for it to think, ask questions, and be logical. that sounds like every “charismatic” and “prophetic” church I’ve been to.

  7. Lori Says:

    How true this is…a friend of mine, was told she had an Absalom spirit and I was told I am pharisee.  Why? We questioned the leadership of the church’s direction.  And we did not ask for permission to have a bible study in our own private homes with our friends.  We were told it was not sanctioned.  We were also chastised, because we did not ask permission to go sing for shut in’s at a local nursing home. 

    Really??? I am over 50.  Saved for over 30 years…And I have to ask for permission to minister or to have friends over my own home, for dinner and bible study?

    I don’t think so!  (No longer at church.)   N.A,R.  has invaded many of our local churches.

  8. Robert Says:

    Hi Holly,

    I am very grateful for true followers of the way such as yourself who dedicate so much time teaching truth. I have been in many denominations over the past 25+ years and have witnessed this psychological manipulation in virtually every one. Paul admonishes us to “… be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.” 1 Cor. 1:10. We escaped the visible “church” 4-5 years ago and have learned and grown Scripturally so much since coming out from under the heavy hand of the 501c3 system. Jesus said “…He calleth His own sheep by name , and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:3-5. We are each responsible to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of TRUTH.” 2 Timothy 2:15. We are told ” A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition REJECT; Knowing that he that is such is subverted (warped), and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” I would strongly urge anyone in a situation where you are being manipulated and abused, to pray for God’s guidance. He is faithful and if you desire to fellowship with others who desire Truth, He will bring people into your life to fellowship with! TRUST HIM!


  9. SAM Says:

    Did not Jesus suffer at the hands of the “religious” teachers of the day when He critiqued their “ministry”?
    Matthew 23:15

    Did not Paul suffer persecution for “critiquing” the false teachers who came in and perverted the minds of the Corinthian believers? 

    John 15:20 
    Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    The acceptable state church in the world today is much the same as in Rome of yesterday. The state church is not the Church Jesus Christ is building. 
    Ephesians 2:19,20

  10. Leslie A Says:

    I know this post is over three years old, but I came upon it and just had to let you know another name that pastors use: “weaker brothers”.  We were labeled the “weaker brother” from the pulpit because we had shared our concern with our pastor about someone in leadership who visited bars and frequently drank. We were too weak to deal with this and thus the label…we were also labeled gossips and judgmental and narrow-minded. I am sure there are more names that never made their way back to us. Needless to say, we are no longer at that church.

  11. Shane Says:

    So good to find like minded people here. It seems that we are now becoming the minority, lots of people I know are falling for this pied pipper theology..
    Dont come under their condemnation, I salute you my fellow soldiers.As they opposed jannes & jamboree, so they’ll oppose us too.. The apostle Paul say’s “these are the last day’s” that was 2,000 years ago. In the times we now live in, we must be in the ‘last few remaining seconds..!
    Thank you holly for your blog page n what you do, it really is a refuge we can come & just have a rest from false teachings. Reading other ppl’s comments, learning from each others experience.
    God’s peace upon you all.

  12. Racz Says:

    Thank you for contending for the faith. I studied the heresy in the church for a long time, then the church I was attending fell to it. I stayed for awhile to see how bad it would get, but when the Lord showed me what was in that place, I got out fast! its evil to say the least. Thanks again and keep exposing. It’s needed more than ever.

  13. VWB Says:

    Resurrecting an old thread, but within the past year Vollenton (sp), the Sr Assoc Pastor at Bethel, in a youtube message on today’s apostles and prophets, called those who reject NAR / Bethel A & P “concubines of Christ”.

  14. Holly Says:

    VWB, do you have a link to that YouTube video?

  15. VWB Says:

    Thank you for your patience as he is very prolific.
    The version I heard was played on fighting for the faith podcast for March 8, 2018. Sermon was titled ‘what is an apostle”. Statement found at about 1:36 into the podcast.

  16. VWB Says:

    Here is the YouTube link
    Comment is at about 1:01 mark.

  17. Holly Says:

    Thanks for the link, VWB.

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