Bruce Wilson writing for Religion Dispatches tells the story and it begins with Wilson asking the question:
What is happening to Christianity?
"In 1996 a team from Ted Haggard's New Life Church flew to Mali and began furtively anointing entire towns with cooking oil." This was the beginning of "a missionary wave that has washed over the world since the early 1990s, bringing that Holvast [Rene Holvast, a Dutch missionary] calls 'a new paradigm.'"
Seems this new paradigm, like all bad things religious, emerged in Colorado Springs. "From its early days, New Life Church's members worked to map out all the territorial demon spirits inhabiting Colorado Springs. At some point in the process, they fed the mapping information into a computer database. Methodically -- street by street, block by block -- they used prayer-warfare to expel the demons from their city. And they maintained a 24/7 prayer shield over Colorado Springs to prevent demon re-infestations. As with inner-city cockroaches, the price of demon-free living was constant vigilance."
This new paradigm is what Alix Spiegel, a radio journalist who actually went to Colorado Springs to do a story on New Life Church, calls "medieval." Demons? Prayer warfare?
Nevertheless, it has spread all over the world and is known as the Third Wave of Christianity; a new, virulent form of the religion with no connection to historic Christianity that has grown so rapidly that by 2000 it claimed 385 million followers. And there are many millions more now.
"Within two decades," says Wilson, Third Wave Christianity encompassed over four percent of humanity. It is a seismic change."
Based upon the medieval notion that demons cause most, if not all, human problems, and that prayer can conquer these demons, this "new paradigm" has its followers all over the world involved in "prayer walks" in order to identify and confront the demons.
Sarah Palin is a member of the Third Wave. Thus, her church in Wasilla brought in the Kenyan witch doctor, Thomas Muthee, who blieves that "Christians can create a utopia on Earth by driving out territorial demon spirits and alleged witches with the power of massed prayer." You may recall how on August 16, 2005 at the Wasilla Assembly of God, Muthee blessed "Sarah Palin against 'every spirit of witchcraft.' Several days later after that 2005 ceremony, Palin launched her campaign for the Alaska governor's seat."
" ... World Christian Trends calls the Third Wave a 'new and disturbingly different kind of Christian renewal.' One very distinctive characteristic of Third Wave Christianity is its emphasis that average Christians can perform the same magnitude of healing miracles described in the New Testament to have been performed by Jesus Christ -- including raising the dead."
For normal people, who strive to live according to a modicum of common sense and reason, this is all ludicrous. Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer and fewer "normal" people out there. Which makes this medieval movement so dangerous. When the governor of Alaska adheres to doctrines that demons cause human suffering and that Christians can cast out demons via prayer, and can heal sickness and raise the dead, we've got a problem Houston!
I think the term, Third Wave, is misguided. It should be termed "Neopaganism."
A serious problem. Almost half of those who went to the polls last November voted for this caricature of a human being!
Read all of Wilson's article here. Mr. Wilson has done extensive research on the Third Wave phenomenon and that research is available at Talk2Action.