Profile 12: Desert Stream Living Waters

***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive post. Instead, it makes a best effort to answer a recent inquiry. I placed this under the “profile” umbrella since it is mainly about an organization. However, it is not the typical near-exhaustive profile post you may be accustomed to viewing (such as the near-exhaustive ones I have done on false teachers John Gray, Louie Giglio, Levi Lusko, Beth Moore and John Maxwell, to name a few).

Recently I was asked about a gentleman by the name of Andrew Comiskey. He is the founder of an organization known as Desert Stream Living Waters. I was asked whether or not the organization is biblical. Below is my response.

RESPONSE

Andrew Comiskey is the executive director and founder of Desert Stream Living Waters (henceforth referred to as DSLW). He mentioned that he moved this organization to the Vineyard Anaheim (more specifically the Vineyard Movement), a place with possible (if not definite) ties to contemplative spirituality. He mentions that he served alongside Mike Bickle (who is a false teacher) of IHOP (International House of Prayer), a place that is far from a “biblically sound ministry/organization.” Comiskey also loves the Catholic Church; he serves as “lay minister at St. Thomas More’s parish.” Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is not exactly in full alignment with Scripture. Finally, he has a goal of wanting to “keep helping Christians become who they are: good gifts to God and to one another.” However, he cannot possibly succeed in this given his strong ties to no less than two parties (IHOP and the Catholic Church) that are far from biblically sound. Furthermore, shouldn’t he be adhering to the Great Commission by making disciples of all nations instead of merely just helping Christians be good gifts (Matthew 28:18-20)? It does not help him that he does not define what it means to be a good gift “to God and to one another.”

In looking at the statement of beliefs for DSLW (found here), it is easy to spot no less than three problems. First, while the statement claims the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, no biblical text is used to support that belief or any of its other beliefs on that statement. This makes the statement, at best, weak and incomplete. Second, this organization has a weak definition of sin (if it even has one). The statement claims the “evil one” (1 Peter 5:8 and Revelation 12:10 have more accurate descriptions of this “evil one”) uses “sexual and relational brokenness to destroy lives.” This is not entirely accurate. Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 states, “for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our LORD.” Clearly, everyone has sinned. However, that does not necessarily mean that everyone has sexual or relational brokenness. While sexual and relational brokenness are a byproduct of sin, it is sin itself (no matter the form) that is every person’s biggest issue. Finally, the statement makes no mention of making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20). There is also no mention of proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His name (Luke 24:36-49). While DSLW’s mission statement makes mention of proclaiming to the world the transforming power of Jesus Christ, its lack of both Scripture citation and specificity hurts the organization’s credibility. Essentially, DSLW is off mission. As a result, I cannot call DSLW’s teachings biblical.

It is clear that Andrew Comiskey has no problem siding with non-biblical organizations (IHOP), non-biblical religions (the Catholic Church) and false teachers (Mike Bickle). Furthermore, his organization’s weak and incomplete mission statement/statement of beliefs hurt its credibility. While I would not exactly put him in the class of those who should be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17), Christians would do far better in adhering to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures than anything from Andrew Comiskey or anything at DSLW. After all, it is Scripture that is all-true and all powerful (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; John 8:32 & 40, 10:35, 14:6, 17:17; Psalm 12:6, 19:7-9, 119: 9 & 11 & 15 & 104; Ephesians 4:21, 5:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Samuel 7:28; Hebrews 4:12). The same cannot be said for Andrew Comiskey and DSLW.

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