Rick Joyner on Jim Bakker’s television show called for Christians to arm themselves and prepare for the next Civil War. When I heard that I immediately thought of my former Third Wave Church in Milwaukee where Rick Joyner was pushed by Trish Sterns when I was a member. This post looks at Rick Joyner and asks the question, why was I involved in a cult?
“War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”
William Tecumseh Sherman
“War, at the best, is terrible, and this war of ours, in its magnitude and in its duration, is one of the most terrible.“
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-3 NIV
The Wheatfield at Gettysburg that changed hands multiple times in July 1863 in violent conflict.
When I was in grad school at Marquette I made Wooded Hills Bible Church my home. The church at Colgate, Wisconsin remains the only church that I became a member. Its was a highly charismatic church led by Joe Jenkins. You can read more about Wooded Hills in, “How Healthy was Wooded Hills Church? A Personal Reflection on the Issues which Existed; Plus Concerns about the Influence of Mike Bickle’s Kansas City International House of Prayer” and “A Season of Third Wave Theology at Wooded Hills Church in 1997-1998 in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Area.” Trish Sterns at the time headed up the Christian Education programs at Wooded Hills. Trish is the person who sent out the high school youth group to deliver a demon from an aisle in a convenience store. To this day that remains one of the weirdest things I have heard in any church I have been involved in. When I met with Trish Sterns once she recommended a lot of material and people to follow. Some of the people I was encouraged to read include Jack Deere, Rick Joyner and also The Elijah List. Wooded Hills has commissioned and sent people (Craig and Amy) to Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The other day I heard something about Rick Joyner that made me concerned and it leads to this post.
Who is Rick Joyner?
Rick Joyner is a very controversial individual in the Third Wave movement. Rick was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He has no theological training and he pastored a small church until 1980 when he walked away. Rick Joyner and his wife founded Morning Star Ministries in 1985 in Jackson, Mississippi. He then became president of Morning Star Publications in the mid 1990’s in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rick tried to buy the failed Heritage USA theme park property which was Jim Bakker’s ministry. He wanted to create an evangelical theme park according to my research. In 1997 Joyner purchased 320 acres of land in Wilkes County, North Carolina and moved the headquarters of Morning Star to that location. He then was finally able to purchase part of the Heritage USA in 2004 for $1.6 million dollars. It was renamed as the Heritage International Ministries Conference Center and today hosts conference.
While there are a lot of controversies with Rick Joyner(including tax issues, etc..) let me mention one of the biggest in my opinion. It was his efforts to rehabilitate Todd Bentley and his support for him. Todd Bentley is a controversial Canadian revivalist who has claimed to raise people from the dead. Morningstar TV has broadcast these events allegedly. Bentley is known for his Lakeland Revival in Florida. When his marriage fell apart the Charlotte Observer noted that Bentley’s healings could not be independently verified. Bentley is being dogged by allegations of sexual abuse abroad. It is claimed that he abused three females while leading an event in Pakistan recently.
Rick Joyner’s Recent Comments on Christians Joining Militias
On September 3, 2019 Rick Joyner appeared on Jim Bakker’s television show. Yes this is the same Jim Bakker of Heritage USA and Tammy Faye who went to prison for tax fraud. Rick Joyner called for Christians to arm themselves and join militias. He called for people to prepare for the next Civil War which is coming. What is driving this thinking is a dream or vision that Rick Joyner had in December of 2018 that there is going to be a second American Civil War. You can read about that here. Joyner is claiming that this is the most important revelation that he has had in his his time. On the Jim Bakker show Joyner stated the following:
“The Second Amendment is linked to militias,” Joyner said. “We were meant to have militias throughout the country to defend our communities … I think there is going to be a militia movement that unites and supports and is open about what they are doing and they are going to be trained and prepared to defend their communities.”
“If Christians don’t get involved in things like that, [the] wrong people will get in,” he added. “Christians need to get in to set the course. We’re not just going to attack other races; we’re here to defend and support. Christians have to get engaged in it. Jesus himself said, ‘There is a time to sell your coat and buy a sword.’ That was the weapon of their day.”
Is Wooded Hills Preparing a Militia? Is a Waco Like Situation Possible Just Outside Germantown, Wisconsin?
When I heard about this I immediately thought of the influence that Rick Joyner had at Wooded Hills. It leaves me to ask the following questions of Theo Williams and the leadership of the church. Will Wooded Hills join a militia or create one? Will that field in the back be used for drilling, marching, and learning how to holster and discharge a weapon? This is disturbing stuff but for churches like Wooded Hills that take Rick Joyner seriously or have people inside the congregation who take Joyner seriously this is frightening. What is disturbing about this is that those in the Third Wave movement who are calling for Civil War have no idea as to what they are saying. They have not studied the history or read about the reconciliation and hopes of Union and Confederate veterans after the conflict in being committed to peace. But what does one do when words like Rick Joyner influence other people?
But for me this raises other questions that are dark and troubling. Can Wooded Hills become a Waco situation one day? If they are feeding on questionable information from hate groups that feed a paranoia against the United States government are violent situations possible in the future? Are cults being created and as places like Wooded Hills which lives in a bubble more at risk? These are all questions that deserved to be asked.
Why Was I Involved in a Cult?
When I heard about Joyner’s call there was another question that popped up in my mind. Why was I involved in a cult? Why did I allow myself to be indoctrinated and brainwashed by Trish Sterns, Joe and Ruth Jenkins and others? What was I involved in and why couldn’t I see the issues at the time? Her e it is 14 years out since I separated and only the last couple of years it has hit me as to what I was participating in at Wooded Hills. This post is being composed so that other people in the Germantown and greater Milwaukee area can learn about Wooded Hills and for their health stay away.