The Powers Behind The Alpha Course
by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald
Excerpt from Part 3:
It’s 1942; the middle of the Second World War. You’re a combatant, but you have been permitted to take a short break in neutral Switzerland … You’re sitting in a park, minding your own business, when a man you don’t know walks over with a drink in his hand and offers it to you. There’s a world war going on, and secret agents operate in that part of Europe , so you are naturally on your guard. You study the man’s demeanour. While doing so, you also politely quiz him about his motives and about the contents of the glass. He interrupts you and, in a rather impatient tone, declares that the checks you are performing are irrelevant and that the only sensible test of the brew is for you to drink it and see what happens. Who among us would be silly enough to fall for such a proposition? The drink could be a poison that kills you instantly. Worse, its toxin might be slow-acting, thereby deceiving those folks around you into trying it themselves. Worse still, its slow-acting toxin might be present alongside some beneficial ingredients, or even just a mild hallucinogen, in which case its initial effects might well seem helpful. And if one of its ingredients also made it addictive…
Again, who in their right mind would make the apparent effects of the above drink the sensible test of it? If the concoction were lethal, one or more people would have to die according to the above approach, yet this is exactly what certain individuals today are insisting God has made the test of any new movements being touted in the professing Church. Fruit is the test of a person (in other words, does the person exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as per Galatians 5:22 -23?) but, for the reason spelt out above, fruit cannot be the God-given test of a move or movement.
The proper tests of a movement are like those for our mystery drink… Who are the people behind it, and what are their views? What are its ingredients? How is it produced? And how is it supposed to be received? Biblically speaking, if we happen to come across people who have already got involved with the movement in question, its effects on them must be understood in the light of these other, correct tests – but some in the Church are being told (often rather impatiently too) that the opposite is the case.
If the reader has ever struggled to square the fruit reported from Alpha with the actual background to the Course, the following material has been written just for you.