It was a Wednesday afternoon in the fall of 2004 in Oslo, at an Indian restaurant in the downtown area of the capital city. There the Lord showed again what He thinks about our position and battle....
Jan-Aage Torp speaking in 2004 at the National Pentecostal Preachers Conference in OsloThe scenario was stormy. I was in conflict, way beyond what I wanted and thought could happen. Two-three months before I had been attacked strongly because I had dared to participate in prayers for the cancellation of the Olympics in Athens. The world press wrote, Norwegian media conveyed scorn and criticism more than ever. The bishops thundered. Even my charismatic "friends" Åge Åleskjær, Stephan Christiansen, Oddvar Johansen and Håkon Fagervik fretted. I was pre-judged, because the Olympic Festival is "holy". I have admitted that I should have handled the matters in a different way in the media. This was supposed to be prayer among praying people. But I am still amazed that leaders within charismatic Christanity reject the notion of "praying against something", although it should not take place in the public arena. The only Norwegian Christian leaders who showed me respect publicly were professor at the Norwegian School of Theology (MF), Torleiv Austad (even on the cover page of the newspaper Vårt Land), Oase-leader Einar Ekerhovd, and the apostle of Kristkirken, Reidar Paulsen (in an interview with the newspaper Dagen). Austad said to Vårt Land that he could understand why I was troubled by the spiritual roots of the Olympics.
On top of all this, I received in November 2003 a word from the Lord to warn against the cooperation of the Pentecostal Movement with the Norwegian School of Theology (MF) in the education of the preachers within the movement. It was obvious that such a cooperation would lead the poison of liberal theology into what used to be a revival movement. That is why I wrote articles in Korsets Seier, Magazinet, Dagen and Vårt Land to warn soberly and seriously. But the leaders of the movement did not like this, especially not Filadelfia Church in Oslo which was financially responsible for the project. I made a presentation on this matter at the National Preachers Conference in February 2004, and it was evident that I was getting broad support in the churches and among the preachers. But not among the leaders in Oslo that were investing money and credibility in the project.
This is the reason why I invited one of the leaders of the theology project for lunch at the Indian restaurant. I paid, and the mood was good. But this (somewhat younger) leader represented "the power", and probably had a strict mandate for what he was allowed to say to me.
Smack in the middle of our conversation something unfathomable happened, humanly speaking.
Heaven came down....
A woman who spoke a west-Norwegian dialect came over to our table and asked if she could interrupt. We nodded smilingly. First she asked if I was Jan-Aage Torp, before she continued: "You do not know who I am, and I have never before done something like this. I am married to (a leader in the Church of Norway), and I am a part of (the name of a movement). But I have a word from the Lord to you", she said, addressed to me. My friend watched with very big eyes.
She said: "The Lord has seen your suffering. He has heard your cries for help, and He has seen that you are paying a high price to be obedient to Him. The Lord is pleased with what you are doing. Fear not! When the opposition rises all around you, the Lord will protect you and lead you to full victory!"
She blushed, said thank you, and hurried over to the table where her friend was waiting.
My pentecostal leader-colleague looked at me with an embarrased smile, and asked jokingly: "How much did you pay her to say that?" Then he continued: "That was powerful, Jan-Aage! I am trembling where I am sitting..."
Afterwards the attacks continued with increasing force, also from my pentecostal leader-colleagues. But this one man that I lunched with has since been cautious and mild. What else can you do when the Lord intervenes. Heaven spoke to earth!
The great news is that a few years larer the Pentecostal Movement left the cooperation with the liberal faculty of theology, and instead chose a path with a more evangelical baptist faculty. God intervened.