Flake: noun, slang, 1. An eccentric person; an oddball. 2. A wacky or
dizzy person, i.e., the wacky professor. 3. A nut; someone who is
spinny, dizzy, strange.
FALKLAND, BC — The thirtysomething man appeared normal. He was well
spoken as he introduced himself at the entrance of the Toronto hotel’s
cavernous conference room.
Five minutes later, the same man was trying to climb the room’s walls
and laughing uncontrollably.
Welcome to the Toronto Blessing.
In late 1994, I had been caught up in the spiritual phenomena that
had started in a warehouse building near the end of Toronto’s Pearson
Airport. It began to build and spread around the world, from England, to
Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Finland, Holland, Japan, South
Africa, Zimbabwe, Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Guyana (South
America), Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Singapore, Czechoslovakia, Russia, mainland China, Denmark, Iceland,
Sweden, Romania, New Guinea, Kenya and even Israel.
Turning away from the “wall climber,” I was startled to see “normal”
people in dresses and business suits lying in twisted fashion, staring
at the ceiling and uttering strange languages and making “cuckoo” and
Even such illustrious Christian leaders as the Roberts — Richard and
Oral — and David Mainse of the TV program, 100 Huntley Street, had been
deceived by such demonstrations and called them “a move of God.”
Where the Toronto Blessing left off, the Brownsville revival took
over with its brand of religious nonsense.
Somehow, both have seemed to fade, but the dependence on emotionalism
and not faith has remained.
That’s why Ted Brooks’ book, “I Was a Flakey Preacher: A Testimony
About Testing The Spirits,” has had such an impact on me as a former
believer in that absurd (and flakey) world.
Brooks, the author of four books, including “Mark of the Beast,” is
pastor of Victory Life Church in Westlock, Alberta. His congregation is
the same core of Christians that were with him during his flakey years.
In “I Was a Flakey Preacher,” Brooks points out the discrepancies in
his own Pentecostal teachings and questions his own charismatic
identity. While for many years, the Church’s fundamental arm has been
challenging the doctrines of the charismatics with little or no
response, there remained a need for charismatics to challenge extremes
and foolishness from within their own camp, stated Brooks.
In our Christian culture, “flakes” include eccentric preachers who do
wild, enthusiastic things that appear spiritual to the undiscerning –
but under closer examination, we discover that they trespass biblical
Flakey preachers are filled with prophetic babbling, empty-headed
foolishness and deep spiritual speculation.
Although “flake” is slang, it’s used extensively throughout Christian
circles to describe Christians, preachers, and zealous leaders who do
not remain established in solid doctrine. In many cases, flakes are
talented preachers who simply have ventured beyond common biblical
A flakey preacher is someone who cannot back up his beliefs and
actions with solid biblical teaching. He gets his ideas from somewhere
out there in the spirit realm: “The Spirit of the Lord just showed me.
…” A flakey preacher is also someone who lacks scriptural substance.
Flakes are often people whose doctrines contain only a sliver of
truth while covered over with an abundance of fluff.
Brooks described flakes, fruits, and nuts as “granola bar” Christians
because they stick together.
On the subject of prophecy, Brooks recalled a man in his home church
who “prophesied” in almost every meeting:
“He seemed to be the typical ‘yielded vessel,’ but none among us were
strong enough to challenge him when he ‘yielded’ to wrong spirits,”
Brooks wrote. “His prophecies were ‘silly and empty,’ but — so were we.
That is why we went along with it. There wasn’t enough Word in us to
know any better. He would always start out the same way: ‘Hubba hubba
hubba, hubba hubba hubba,’ and then he would interpret with a profound
statement like: ‘Christmas is of the Devil,’ or ‘Snowmobiles are evil.’”
Brooks brought other charismatic errors to light when he said, “I
once worked among leaders in a charismatic church where we frequently
boasted to each other of our incredible experiences in the Spirit. Some
leaders claimed to have a remarkable supernatural ability to go into a
house and pray in every room until a spiritual message came to them. The
‘spirit’ would then reveal the important history of the home to them.
Whether this information was accurate or not wasn’t known to us nor
could it be proven or disproved. Nevertheless, they would claim that
they suddenly knew every negative, spiritually significant, or important
occasion that ever happened in that house. Then they would do spiritual
warfare over the building.
“As Christians, we didn’t know this kind of practice was unbiblical.
We were unknowingly yielding to flesh and wrong spirits. Our words
sounded mystical and spiritual, which entertained the undiscerning; but
we were sadly lacking the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We
were experiencing some amazing spiritual sensations which were often
very overwhelming indeed; but, in most cases, they were not the work of
the Holy Spirit.”
He also covered another controversial area — that of speaking in
“From a very young age, I was immersed in Pentecostal tradition and
pragmatism. My concept of speaking in tongues was based on my limited
Pentecostal perimeters. I had no other reference point by which to
measure my concept of stammering lips.
“My only recollection of anyone confronting our Pentecostal view of
tongues was when I witnessed angry anti-Pentecostal pastors or leaders
bitterly challenge my pastor or other leaders over the issue of other
tongues. Or when we would end up on the doorstep of an anti-Pentecostal
fanatic while involved in a door to door witnessing campaign. Little did
I know then, that my own view of tongues was going to undergo a strong
challenge from my own study and pursuit of its biblical validity.
“I want you to understand that in my search for the truth on this
subject, I did not turn to the Fundamentalists for help. Based on my
bitter experiences of Pentecostal-bashing-fanatics angrily rebuking our
stupidity, you can understand why I did not turn to their teachings as
my doctrinal standard for this study.
“I discovered the real meaning of tongues over a long period of time.
However, the initial challenge to my stance on tongues happened one day
while reading the 28th chapter of Isaiah: ‘For with stammering lips and
another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is
the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the
refreshing: yet they would not hear’ (Isaiah 28:11,12).”
“I did what a lot of people do when studying a new Bible topic — I
started with a hunch. I did not know where I was going to end up at the
end of this study. All I knew was: I was seeing something refreshing and
interesting in these verses, something that my Pentecostal mentors had
never mentioned. Furthermore, I was not aware of any Christian leader
who had ever taught us that there was a parable side to the biblical
concept of speaking in tongues.
“God’s prophetic language and his picture-painting-vocabulary was
neatly hidden under the surface of this often overlooked subject. Why
was it hidden? From my point of view, my former carnal concepts of
speaking in tongues hindered me from considering that there was a deeper
meaning to the phrase, “Stammering lips and another tongue,” than my
Pentecostal mindset allowed me to see.
“It was like a parabolic treasure hidden in a field. I did not know
the parable of tongues contained such precious beautiful gems of
understanding because I had never looked under the surface. A rich
prophetic language full of spiritual value and benefit was discovered
when I put aside my preconceived ideas and considered what God was
“Like a veil removed — I could now see something which was beyond my
traditional Pentecostal mindset.”
NEXT: Ted Brooks’ discernment center.