Sunday, December 16, 2007

On Pastor Alexey Ledyaev (part 1)

Recently, a friend of mine asked me with regards to one person Alexey Ledyaer, who is said to lead one New Generation Church. I haven't heard about this person, so I decided to google his name and see what I could garner. What I found was rather interesting. You can read about his church here on Wikipedia. While not authoritative, the information there generally tends to be correct. Furthermore, the Latvian's church website can be seen here and the site for the American church in Sprinfield, Massachusetts can be seen here. (Alexei's own biography can be read here) From there, we can see that Ledyaer believes that his church has an "apostolic mandate" and from the looks of it, Alexey (or Alexei) Ledyaer is the de facto pope of his network of New Generation churches.

Seraching for further data will reveal that Ledyaer have beliefs that are very similar to that held to by the Third-Wave New Apostolic Reformation; people made up of "Apostle" C. Peter Wagner, "Apostle" Ed Silvoso, "Intercessor" Cindy Jacobs, "Apostle" Dutch Sheets etc. In an article posted on his US church's website, which is based on his most famous book New World Order, Ledyaer displays two distinctive Neo-Apostolic doctrines, the notion of a 'river' and 'revival from the top down' with its promotion of the related doctrine of what I call Institutional Redemption, as defined in my review of Ed Silvoso's sermon.

Here is what Ledyaer says about the concept of River:

All rivers flow into the sea. Admit it or not, but that’s the way God created this world. This is the law. The intrusion of Christian outlook into the deep waters of any society’s political, social, economical and spiritual life is however just as natural.

The rivers of living water are a strategic revelation for the intrusion of the Kingdom of God into the territory of our unsettled cursed world.

The usage of the word 'river' here is problematic. Of obvious reason is that its usage in charismatic circles (read Neo-Apostolic and Latter Rain charismatic circles) refers to a river of blessing purportedly symbolizing revival, probably being dervied partly from the prophetic text found in Ez. 47:1-12 , and which can be seen in this song by Andy Park of Vineyard (© 1997 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing):

Down the mountain the river flows
And it brings refreshing wherever it goes
Through the valleys and over the fields
The river is rushing and the river is here


The river of God sets our feet a-dancing
The river of God fills our hearts with cheer
The river of God fills our mouths with laughter
And we rejoice for the river is here

The river of God is teeming with life
And all who touch it can be revived
And those who linger on this river’s shore
Will come back thirsting for more of the Lord

Up to the mountain we love to go
To find the presence of the Lord
Along the banks of the river we run
We dance with laughter giving praise to the Son

As it can be seen, Ledyaer uses it in ways similar to the Neo-Apostolic usage of the phrase. Whereas the charismatics did not use the term to talk explicitly about the instrusion of the Church into matters of the State, the Neo-Apostolic leaders have no qualms talking about such matters openly, what with all the "spiritual mapping", "spiritual warfare", and of course the entire matter of Institutional Redemption, which will be covered soon.

Now, definitely, Christians are not to be uninvolved with the world; we are not to abdicate our responsibility to be salt and light of the world. Yet, the Neo-Apostolic model, and Ledyaer's, seem to twist the sense in which such is to be done. Christians are just to be witnesses of the truth in every area of life, NOT to attempt to impose "Christendom's rule" over others. And that is where the error is. Being salt and light does not mean that the Church as an institution intrudes a Christian outlook into the 'society’s political, social, economical and spiritual life', let alone having so-called "Apostles" governing the city, even spiritually! Haven't they read that Jesus' Kingdom is not of this world? (Jn. 18:36) Yet they behave otherwise.

And an even more disturbing problem with the usage of the word 'river' is its use for the transformtion of the world into a new world order, whether used by New Agers to talk about the Aquarium Age or in this case by networking churches to bring about the 'new-paradigm' churches, as what Ledyaer seems to be doing. As Herescope reports some time back

“The River” is also “emergent” – the birth of a new spiritual creature upon the face of the earth representing unparalleled global ecumenism, cooperation and syncretism. This spiritual anomaly is rapidly gaining strength and volume. It is devouring everything in its sight, reaching into vast uncharted territories beyond the Church body itself. It intends to flood across the culture – changing the tide of economic systems, governments, education, the arts, health care, and much more -- all streams merging into a behemoth Corporate Spiritual State with unprecedented power.


Transform World is dominionist, serving as a high-powered catalyst for collaborations between church and state worldwide under the guise of missionary activity. Its leaders include Luis Bush, Ed Silvoso, Graham Power, and a host of other well-known leadership in the mission arena. Its “transformation” agenda, achieved via networking, has to do with changing governments, the workplace, society, culture and ultimately restoring paradise to the planet Earth.

This is definitely very disturbing, as this seems to bring about the one-world religion with syncretic false 'christianity' being 'victorius' over all others (read Mystery Babylon) and then persecuting true Christians.

Anyway, let us look into the topic of Institutional Redemption as stated in Ledyaer's article, where he wrotes:

At the very moment the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross, which meant the price for the redemption of the whole human kind was paid, all the nations of the earth with no exception ceased to be the property of the former owner.

As soon as “It is finished” had sounded, the spiritual seal “paid for” was set on the territory of every country, state and government.

If they are paid for, it means that Satan is legally deprived of power over them.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and all Middle East countries are “paid for,” so they are God’s property.

The African peoples from Cape Town up to Cairo are “paid for,” so they are God’s property.

The European countries are “paid for”, so they are God’s property.

China, India, Japan and the entire Eastern Asia region are “paid for,” so they are God’s property.

USA, Russia and all that are with them are “paid for,” so they are God’s property.

And the paid goods are immediately taken from the territory of the pagan market to the address of the Buyer – the territory of the Kingdom of God. It is legal, rightful and well founded.

The understanding of the Redemption is the foundation and driving force of the Great Commission.

Jesus had paid the price and He commissioned church with taking the paid goods to the territory of God’s Kingdom. Therefore, He gave church grace and apostleship to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and for obedience to the faith among all nations.

As with any pervason, the doctrine of Institutional Redemption have enough truth in it to catch the unwary (of which most 'evangelicals' are so gullible that they would probably fall for a heresy much larder than this anway, but I disgress). It is true that the Great Commission is not that the Gospel is not to preach to all except those in power. Also, when Jesus died on the Cross, He has purchased the power to save all His people, however many they may be, even the whole world. And most definitely, He would save people from every nation and tribe and tongue (Rev. 5:9). However, Ledyaer here is talking about the concept of Institutional Redemption, whereby Jesus dies for Countries and Institutions, more than "merely" individuals. Institutional Redemption is unbiblical, since Jesus died for people as a substitute for our sins (Penal Substitionary Atonement) and therefore if He died for countries and Institutes, how could such a substitution ever occur in the first place? Moreover, since all the countries and empires would be demolished and brought to an end by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in His second advent (Dan. 2:44), how can they be said to be redeemed when they are destroyed by Christ?

Later on, Ledyaer presses home one application for this theory of Institutional Redemption; that

In cutting ourselves off from the world, we degenerate into an ugly sectarian organization, just like Pennsylvanian Amishes

The initial response is that it is true that Christians are to be witnesses where we are, not cut off from society. Yet the historic Protestant position has always been to be involved wth society, in seeing all of us as the priesthood of believers shining as lights for Christ everywhere we are; in our families, workplaces, even politics (just look at the Magisterial Reformers Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, and the Scottish Covenantors also). Therefore, we do not need this new doctrine of Institional Redemption in order to be light and salt in this earth. What Ledyaer and the Neo-Apostolic seem to be fighting against is the Dispensational tendency of being pre-occupied with the end-times, which I likewise think is ridiculous (Imagine telling God you didn't have time to do the works of God because you were too busy waiting for His Second Coming).

Anyway, before we analyze Ledyaer's use of the Scriptures, it would be insturctive to show that he advocates for the return back to the Roman Catholic model of the Church-State, with the rule of the Church over the state. Elsewhere in his article, he wrotes,

Heaven has always ruled over the earth, and the priesthood over kings.

And if rulers separate church and state and declare war against church – they are doomed to defeat.

The dialogue between church and state will revive and transfigure the latter beyond recognition.

Church will have the mind of Christ; will think as He does; reason as He does; act as He does; claim, overcome and dominate as He does.

"Priesthood over kings"? "Transfigure the latter (the political sphere) beyond all recognition"? This is the idea of Dominionism, of having "super-Apostles" controlling the city. As stated in the last red, bold statement, what this amounts to is the Church reigning as if she were Christ on earth, controlling and dominating society externally. Instead of the biblical view of people in the nations turning to Christ and submitting to Him in all their dealing, including politics, Dominionism is the heresy which would have us return back to the Roman Church-state. The outcome of such an experiment in turning the Church into a political organization has already been seen in history; the burning of "heretics", real or otherwise, on the stake, Inquisitions, persecution of true Christians and ultimately taking the Bible away from the people because of its "subversive nature", and having to obey our "pastors/ Apostles" as their "ex-cathedra" teachings acheive infallible status. Do we as Christians want to see a return back to the Dark Ages? Why should we support a movement that would ultimately undermine the authority of Scripture, and bring about a totalitarian government who governs and persecutes anyone who disagree with them in the name of Christ; the perfect Antichrist?

And that is precisely the problem with the top-down approach. Will it bring about persecution of all but the particular sect whom the king/president converts to? Instead of focusing evangelism on leaders in the misguided hope that somehow they would change society, why is it that we distrust God who said:

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. (Prov. 21:1)

Nothing can happen to us except by God's will and permission. Even if the whole world is against us, as long as the Lord is with us, we shall triumph, so why this pre-occupation with those on top? Yes, we need to reach them, but to regard them as more important than others? Such higher status is not supported by the Scripture and is in fact refuted by the Apostle James (Jas. 2:1-7). How dare we think of them as more important than normal people?

In the next installment, we would analyze several examples of eisegesis which Ledyaer makes, in his quest to push his Dominonist agenda forward.

[to be continued]

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