CHURCH & MINISTRY
Angelica Zambrano and the Christian Dufflepuds
By Dolores Kimball
Angelica Zambrano, an Ecuadorian teenage girl, claims that she was dead for 23 hours, during which she met Jesus Christ, who led her through hell and heaven so that she would be able to come back and warn people about the realities of the next life.
It's hard to say why so many in the Christian community have accepted her vision as coming from God. Maybe the fact that she saw her own great-grandmother in hell gives her "vision" credibility. After all, who would make up such a thing about their own sweet great-granny?
What I do know is that the Christian Dufflepuds are hopping up and down on their little boat-like feet in their eagerness to include Zambrano with Bernadette of Lourdes and other visionaries of the divine. But like true Dufflepuds everywhere, their eagerness to accept and heartily promote Zambrano's ‘testimony' springs from an ignorance of God's Word. One answer to the plaintive "is this true?" question on Yahoo Answers begins "You have to listen to your heart. Christianity is all about believing. If you're God's children, your heart will be open to his word, which may come from those people who god sent to us, in this case angelica zambrano is included." Really?
God has declared that the heart is "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9) and only a fool listens to the deceitful and wicked. And yes, God's children are most assuredly "open to his word," but that Word, the canon of Scripture, is complete and needs no additions. Furthermore, God's prophets are those whose words agree with His, and that eliminates Angelica Zambrano from the prophet category and nullifies her vision as being from God.
Let's see how Zambrano's testimony lines up with the Bible. First, the idea that Jesus would lead someone through heaven and hell so that they could come back and "warn people" about their realities is not possible. If Jesus did that, then He would be contradicting His own words. He was very clear in the final statement of the story of the rich man and Lazarus: "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead" (Luke 16:31).
If Jesus said people would not be convinced by someone coming back from the grave, then never in a million years would He take a teenage girl on a quick tour of heaven and hell in order to do the very thing He has declared would be ineffective. Jesus didn't appear to Zambrano. The whole premise of Zambrano's experience denies Jesus' own words in Luke 16:31 and therefore, her testimony is not valid.
Secondly, to accept any of her testimony denies the foundational doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. Because the Bible is all we need to make us complete (2 Timothy 3:16), we do not need extra-biblical revelations in the form of experiences or ‘testimonies' such as this one to add to the Bible. Even Peter, whose experience on the Mount of the Transfiguration was phenomenal, said we have a "more sure word of prophecy," the written Word of God (2 Peter 1:18-19). By accepting ‘testimonies' such as Zambrano's, the Christian Dufflepuds negate one of the core doctrines of the faith and leave themselves open for every wacko declaring he has had a vision.
Third, we simply cannot mix truth and error. That is one of Satan's little tricks, beginning in the Garden of Eden when he asked the fateful question "Did God really say…" (Genesis 3:1). Satan loves to cast doubt on Scripture, call it into question, use parts of it for his nefarious purposes, and outright contradict it. Remember the story of the demon who proclaimed the truth about Jesus, calling Him "the Holy One of God"? Jesus rebuked him and told him to be quiet. He didn't want to be verified by a demon (Mark 1:24-25). Taking any part of Zambrano's vision and giving it credence does the same thing. Even if everything she said about her "vision" lined up with Scripture except in one thing, that one thing would discredit her entire testimony as coming not from the Lord, but from demons.
Now I admit that I can't find any legitimate Christian sources on the Zambrano bandwagon, but the blogosphere, which has apparently become the repository of all knowledge, is awash with affirmations of Angelica's tale by professing Christians. Something is very wrong here.
Dufflepudism is rampant in the church today because Christians enthusiastically embrace each new message, revelation, technique or idea that comes along. Until we begin to take seriously the Lord Jesus' warning that "false Christs and false prophets" will come and will attempt to deceive even God's elect (Matthew 24:23-27), we will continue to fall for the enemy's deceivers masked as "angels of light" (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). And until we take seriously His command to "test everything" and "hold onto the good,"(1 Thessalonians 5:21) and know our Bibles inside and out in order to have the standard against which to test, Dufflepudism will continue to flourish in the church.
Down with Dufflepudism. Up with discernment.