It is tragic and noteworthy that there is a massive falling away from Pentecostal tenets of faith and charismatic practices in the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement. The movement that was the trigger for modern-day European Pentecostalism from 1906 onwards, under the leadership of T. B. Barratt of Filadelfia Church in Oslo, is sadly involved in a spiritual “suicide mission” that is easily exposed by true believers that base our faith on the Bible.
My son, Anders Torp (28), left the faith in Jesus Chrisbt in 2008, and has since 2009 been a media favourite as the tabloid media have sought after a vehicle to attack a high-profile man of God like me, which I have been since 1992. Following family tragedies in 2001-2007, Anders has been a zealous vessel for the atheist and secular media in Norway. I have abstained from responding to his incessant attacks from when the first attack happened in 2009 in the largest newspaper in Norway, VG, but when he published his book, “Jesussoldaten”, on the largest publishing company in March of this year, I found that the time had come to answer and openly confront the slanderous attacks on pentecostal faith. We have been on the largest tv-shows together, and the matters that are causing the biggest debate are that I denied him access to pornography and free sex before marriage during his teenage years, and that I allowed for evangelistic preaching that would acknowledge the reality of both heaven and hell. However much I love Anders, I find it irresponsible to allow such a smear campaign against vibrant Christian faith, to be uncontested. This is no longer just a painful father-son dispute, but a high profile, anti-charismatic smear campaign, orchestrated by anti-Christian organizations and media.
Simultaneously, Rut Helen Gjævert, a former leader within the Jesus Revolution movement, led by Stephan & Anne Christiansen, has used her position as a tv-journalist in VGTV to make a series of “documentaries” that severely attack Jesus Revolution, and her conclusion is noteworthy: She challenges the claim that Jesus wants to be Lord of her life.
Anders and Rut Helen are being cheered by the “Christianese” newspapers, Vårt Land and Dagen, who are driving their sensationalistic “investigative” journalism to the extremes. They have directed their reports at several instances of pentecostal churches with dissatisfied members. Anders and Rut Helen are being cheered on by the backslidden ex-pentecostal preacher, Levi Fragell, who was chairman and secretary of the Norwegian Humanist Association, and President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Fragell is reknown for his antagonism and activism against Billy Graham, Aril Edvardsen, Emanuel Minos, and against me for the past five years.
The tragedy is that the leaders of the Pentecostal Movement in Norway are buying into the media frenzy.
This week, the former pastor of Filadelfia Church in Oslo, Egil Svartdahl, and the present pastor Andreas Hegertun, have spearheaded a meeting for the Pentecostal Movement to denounce practices of charismatic distinctives, calling them “extremes”, and even the evangelical belief in the reality of heaven and hell, as well as variants of evangelism and discipleship, tongues and prophetic ministry, Egil Svartdahl said this week: “The identity and trademark of the Pentecostal Movement is fire. Fire is life-giving – and destructive. Attractive – and forbidding”. Andreas Hegertun is known for his dialogue with the homosexual church in Oslo, as well as being the man who refused to support the Norwegian-Romanian Bodnariu family when their five children were brutally taken from them by “Barnevernet” (Child Protection Services). By God´s intervention, the judge in the court case sided with the Bodnariu family. What we should have expected from the Pentecostal leadership, had to come instead from the secular judge in a high profile court case.
These tragic developments in Norwegian Pentecostalism are coupled with a deep division in the movement with opposing directions, such as Hillsong, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Calvinism, Lutheranism. Bethel Redding etc. The developments have been allowed by the Pentecostal leadership in the name of “openness”. and now they are facing several landslides.
Pentecostalism in Norway is in a massive crisis. It seems now to be leaning more to secularism than to the Bible. This seems more like a “suicide mission”.
It is high time for me to warn Pentecostal movements and leaders in Europe and around the world of the seriousness of the situation at hand in the Norwegian Pentecostal Movement, which perhaps soon cannot even be labelled “pentecostal”.
If this anti-faith stance is brought to the nations of Europe, it is the end of Pentecostalism. T.B. Barratt and Swedish pioneer Lewi Pethrus would have “turned in their graves”, but they are thankfully with the Lord.
Now we must fight this battle for our vibrant faith in Europe!
I believe in the future of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism in Norway. The “suicide mission” is easily exposed by true believers that base our faith on the Bible. Apostolic tenets of faith and practices will bring steadiness and progress. But we must be alert!
I do not believe in attacking brothers and sisters in Christ, especially not within the broad charismatic movement. But the situation in Norway is so grave, and the willingness to communicate directly with Pentecostal defenders of faith is non-existent, while simultaneously, repeatedly and publicly showing an alarming recklessness in attacking true Pentecostals, so I have no choice. Enough is enough!