A Pastor Repents

repentance.jpgWhen I opened my email this morning I was greeted with a letter in my inbox with ‘Toronto Pastor Repents’ in the subject heading. As I live in Toronto and know a number of Pastors and others in church leadership here (some of which are in real need of repenting!) I was intrigued. I was hoping that this story involved someone that I knew but instead it was written by someone who, now after reading his letter, I wish I knew. This letter of repentance was written in November of 2006 and has been circulating through the internet blogs and email lists ever since. I guess I am a ‘Johnny-come-lately’ on this one but even though it has been around somewhat already, today is the first I heard of it and I am guessing that it will also be the first for many of you as well.

The Apologetic Response is dedicated to apologetics which is a defense of the faith. Apologetics is not about ‘apologizing’ for our faith but rather giving reasons for it. This letter is an ‘apologetic’ letter in the real sense of the word. This Pastor not only ‘apologizes’ for his sin against his church but also gives reasons for it. The humility and courage that it took for this man to write and circulate this should serve an example to others in church leadership of how and why this kind of repentance is necessary in the body of Christ today. Open confession by repentant leaders is the only thing that can begin a healing process in a broken church. All too often we see leaders adopting the ways of secular businesses and organizations – never confess, pass the buck, cover up, deny deny deny! They continue on watching their congregations struggle and suffer and pretend that there is nothing wrong! This continued denial of responsibility only serves to further damage and create more victims of abuse.

After reading this and doing some searching on the internet, I have found that in the months that this letter has been circulating there have been many people who have been blessed and encouraged by it and also a number of Pastors and leaders who have learned from this and chosen similar methods to right the wrongs they have done to their own congregations. My sincere prayer is that those who are in leadership and reading this for the first time will examine their own ministries and ask the Lord if this is something they need to do as well.

The following is a letter of repentance written by Pastor Paul Gowdy:

The Toronto Deception
By a former Toronto Vineyard Pastor


It has taken me nine years to actually come to the place where I would write this story.  Part of the reason was because I was not fully convinced that it is appropriate to speak out against weaknesses in the body of Christ publicly.  Another reason is because it has taken years of soul searching to become convinced that what happened in the Toronto Airport Church was actually all bad or at least more bad than good!

holylaughterbookjpg.jpgFor the past number of years I have called it a mixed blessing.  I think James A. Beverly called it this in his book Holy Laughter and the Toronto Blessing 1994.  Today I would call it a mixed curse concluding that any individual good that came from this experience is far outweighed by much harm and satanic deception.  I suppose that therein has been my dilemma.  I have tried to live my life in the fear of the Lord and Jesus told us that the unforgivable sin was the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  Attributing to Satan what was in fact a work of God.  If pressed as to whether or not the Toronto blessing is all God or all Devil I will still be hedgy, but I am convinced that Satan has used this experience to blind people to the historical doctrines of God, to produce fruit in keeping with repentance, to failing to test and discern the spirits and failing to test prophecy.

tacf-logo.jpgAfter three years of being in the thick of the Toronto blessing our Vineyard assembly in Scarborough ( East Toronto) just about self destructed.  We devoured one another, with gossip, backstabbing, division, sects criticism etc.  After three years of  ‘soaking,’ praying for people, shaking, rolling, laughing, roaring, ministering at TACF on their prayer team, leading worship at TACF, preaching at TACF, basically living at TACF we were the most carnal, immature and deceived Christians that I know.  I remember saying to my friend and senior pastor at Scarborough Vineyard Church in 1997 that ever since the Toronto Blessing came we have just about fallen to bits!  He agreed!

My experience has been that the manifestation of spiritual gifts mentioned in 1st Corinthians 12 was much more common in our assembly, before January 1994 (when the Toronto blessing started.) than during this period of supposed Holy Spirit visitation.

During 1992-1993 when praying for people we would experience what I believe was genuine prophesy, deliverance and much grace and favour from the Lord.  After the Toronto Blessing started, all ministry time changed, the only prayers were ‘More Lord MORE ’, the shouting of ‘Fire’ the jerky shaking of the body with the ‘ooh ooh OOH WOOOAAH’ prayer. (I kid you not!)

On January 20th 1994 about 15 people from our church traveled over to Toronto Airport Vineyard in order to listen to Randy Clark, a Vineyard pastor from the USA.  John Arnott had called our senior pastor to invite us.  He communicated that Randy had been to the Rodney Howard Browne meetings and that the stuff had broke out in his church in the following weeks.  John was hoping that something might break out with us too.  We were only too happy to travel over.  We were a church plant out of the Toronto Airport and we started in 1992.  In those days there were three Vineyard Churches in Toronto.  One Down Town church, Scarborough vineyard church to the east and the Airport Church.  We were one big happy family.  Because we were small in number we did special meetings, conferences etc, together.

laughing.jpgThe year before most of our leadership teams joined and had headed to Nicaragua for a short term missions trip.  We had genuine love and fellowship with each other.  Since leaving the Vineyard churches I have read a fair bit of analysis from the critics.  Some make out that the Toronto Blessing was one huge conspiracy to lead the body of Christ into heresy.  Heresy and apostasy I suspect may well be the result, but none of these destinations were intentional.  I am honestly convinced that the leaders in the Vineyard churches are genuine born-again Christians who love the Lord, but have fallen into deception.  They have not loved the Lord enough to keep His commandments.  They have failed to obey the scriptures and have been led astray by our longing for something bigger and brighter and more exciting and dynamic.  I am guilty of this sin also.  I have preached renewal in Korea, the United Kingdom, the USA and here in Canada.  I am genuinely repentant and in writing this story I would ask you the bride and body of Christ to forgive me.  Especially the Pentecostal / Charismatic Christians among you, for you are my immediate family theologically.  I am an evangelical Christian, I always have been but I do not believe in the cessation of the spiritual gifts at the end of the apostolic era.  I believe that it was my evangelical roots (my family are Baptists and I was born again in the Presbyterian Church.) that started to open my eyes to problems with this so called renewal.  In hind sight I look back and think how could I have been so blind?  I laughed at people acting like dogs and pretending to urinate on the columns of the TACF building.  I watched people pretend to be animals, bark, roar, cluck, pretend to fly as if they had wings, perpetually act drunk and sing silly songs.  How I thought that any of this was from the Holy Spirit of God amazes me today.  It was loud irreverent and blasphemous to the Holy God of the Bible.  I suppose in my mind I reasoned that as long as they did not teach any thing in direct violation to scripture then it was what we called the exotic.  This is a buzz word for manifestations that could not be justified from a biblical perspective.  I was taught from the pulpit that we had two options.  The order of the nursery full of life and messy or the order of the graveyard, very orderly but dead!  As a young immature pastor I wanted life with mess.  I failed to remember that God wants us to become mature and grow up in him. I became disconcerted by the prophetic words that came forth especially one by Carol Arnott in which she had her bride experience where she was taken into the very presence of Jesus and said that the love that she experienced was even better than sex!  I was shocked in my spirit and thought how can one compare the love of God with sex?  When we suspected that demons were running riot in our services John Arnott would teach that we should ask are they coming or going. If they are leaving then that is ok!  John would defend the chaos by saying that we ought not be afraid of being deceived, if we have asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill us then how could Satan come and deceive us?  This would make Satan very strong and God very weak!  He said that we needed to have more faith in a Big God to protect us than in a Big Devil to deceive us.  This sounded very convincing but was totally contrary to scripture for Jesus and Paul and Peter and John all warn us about the power of deceiving spirits and especially so in the last days.  Again we did not love God enough to obey His Word and the result was that we opened ourselves up to lying spirits.  May God have mercy upon us!

Finally the penny dropped for me as I was rolling around one night ‘drunk in the Spirit’ as we would say.  I started singing and as I rolled around the floor the Nursery Rhyme ‘Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow.’ came to mind.  I sang this in a mocking spirit and instantly my heart told me this was a demon.  Instantly I repented and was in total shock. How could a demon get into me? Did I not love God? Was I not zealous for the things of God?  Was I not nuts about Jesus?  I knew that an unclean spirit had just manifested through me and I was guilty of great sin.  After this experience I stayed away from TACF.  I did not go back there any more.  I did not possess the conviction to denounce the whole experience but thought that we where failing to pastor the Blessing well enough.

carpetpic1.jpgEven after I stopped going over to TACF, I had to pastor the fruit of it.  One example was when some of our people returned from a meeting there asking us if we had all received the golden sword of the Lord?  I asked them what they were talking about thinking that it was some prophetic reference to the Holy Scriptures but they said, ‘no, its not the Bible, it’s an invisible golden sword that only the really pure can receive.  If taken in an unrighteous fashion then the Lord would kill you. But if you are holy enough to receive it then you can wield this sword and it will heal aids, Cancer etc. and bring salvation. How one wielded this sword was by pretending to have this invisible sword in your hand and motioning to strike people with it when in prayer!  I thought while even in deception at this time that the TACF had become Looney bins!  This was purportedly first received by Carol Arnott and then given to the ones holy enough to receive it!   Another thing was the golden fillings in the teeth.  We had people in our assembly peeping down one another’s throats looking for the gold fillings that God had placed there to show how much he loved them!  In all my time there I only heard one message on repentance given by a visiting speaker from Hong Kong named Jackie Pullinger.  It went over like a lead balloon.  We were not there to repent, we were there to party in the Lord!  After one year into the blessing I spoke out at a pastors meeting and said ‘guys we have shaken, rattled, rolled, laughed cried and bought the tee-shirt.  But we have no revival, no salvation, no fruit and no increased evangelism so what’s the deal?’  I was soundly rebuked – who was I  to expect to see fruit when the Lord was healing his broken people?  We had been legalistic long enough and God was spending this time restoring his wounded and freeing us from legalism I was told not to push the Lord and the harvest would come in his time.’

I knew this was wrong because the Lord had commanded us to go into all the earth and make disciples! Not, that everyone should take a sabbatical for who knows how long, while God does some strange new thing!  Ultimately I left over something as controversial as the ordination of women.  Personally I believe from scripture that women should not be pastors/ elders in a local assembly.  I could be wrong on this and there is much debate in the Church today but that is my conviction and in the Vineyard churches they were ordaining all the pastors wives to co pastor with them.  I am certainly for women in ministry but believe that the Elder/ pastor role in a local assembly has been reserved for men.  I did not write scripture but God willing I will have the grace from now on to obey it.

So there is my story.  I could go on and document much excess, folly, sin and latter day reign teaching that manifest from the prophetic end of this Blessing but others have already done that.  We sang about Joel’s army and the billion soul revival as if it were one of the Ten Commandments, and as always it was just around the corner.  Next month, next year etc.  Jesus said that when the son of man returns will he find faith upon the earth? And if he does not return when he does no flesh would be saved but for the sake of the elect he comes.  This is a far cry from the dominionism that is being taught all through the vineyard / prophetic/ spiritual warfare movement.  I honestly think that they think they are going to take over the whole world!  While in the Vineyard I embraced a life verse from the Apostle Paul the phrase do not go beyond what is written!

To finish I just want to say sorry for the damage, that I have personally done by teaching things that are not correct biblically.  I repent before men as I already have before God.  I will not excuse my falling into deception. I did not bother to test things when the scriptures commanded us to do so.  Everyone who was there when this thing started knows that what I write is true, they would just come to different conclusions especially if they are still promoting the ‘river!’

To those in the river I would say swim out, there are things living in the water that will bite you real good!  I love the people of TACF and the Vineyard movement but I think that we have much to answer for and may the Lord open your eyes sooner rather than later.  I suspect that when this letter goes online I will get bombarded by emails from both camps, some damning me for still believing in the ministry of the Holy Spirit and still walking in deception and some old friends damning me for exposing dirt or being negative about the Lords anointed!  Well, the Lord knows my heart and by his grace he will guide me into all truth as I seek to know Christ and him crucified!  If you believe that I walk in sin and error please pray for me that the Lord would forgive me and open my eyes.  I will study the word to show my self a work man approved!  I would call on all who read this to pray that the Lord would open the eyes of all who have been involved in this deception. Whether leader or follower, we are loved and the Lord is a forgiving God.   He says if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  I believe we are like the church in Laodicea, we think that we are rich, have prospered and need nothing, we do not realise that we are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.  We must take the Counsel of Jesus and buy gold refined in the fire (which is his suffering, not a false spirit!), white garments to clothe our shameful nakedness and salve for our eyes that we might see again.  Jesus is calling us to repentance and thank the Lord that he is, for it will lead us to true restoration with our Father!  If God has forgiven me and opened my eyes then he can do it for all those caught in deception too.  I will finish with a warning from Paul, he says if you think you are standing firm be careful lest you fall.

Sincerely Paul Gowdy.

You can meet this man and hear his testimony personally. See information below:

DISCERNING THE TIMES CONFERENCE
Wheels Inn, 615 Richmond St., Chatham, Ontario, CANADA
April 20-21, 2007 – Sat 3:00 p.m. – Personal Testimony – Paul Gowdy
http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Conferences.htm

Repentance comes from the Hebrew word ‘shuva’ which means to turn around and come back to your God.
“And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30


Comments

A Pastor Repents — 18 Comments

  1. David,

    I know you like this apology (it was interesting!), but what you think of this movement in general. Personally I cannot help when I read this to question so many things. Two prominent things that come to mind are:

    1. There is such a disappointing lack of biblical teaching and mature discernment in many branches of the Church these days.

    2. I wonder if groups like TACF don’t spring up because there’s too little persecution in Western society. If Christians were more persecuted for their faith, they wouldn’t be wasting their time rolling around on the floor and pretending to be dogs. It would sober them up and put priorities in place.

    Kind regards,

    Brian

  2. One of the most prominent and common problems I encounter with this ‘blessing’ movement is that it promotes a culture in which no one is allowed to question or critique the teachings, ‘revelations’, latest book by a ‘Prophet’, or the ‘manifestations’ of the Spirit.

    I also notice that often the teachings coming from this movement have poor sources or misquoted sources which are often used out of the original contexts. Most of the folks believing all these teachings either don’t realise this or do not do their own study and research to verify the Scriptural validity or accuracy of the teachings.

    Satan must get a kick out of watching God’s own precious children crawling on the floor like dogs and barking or roaring like lions.

    Until Christ returns, there will ALWAYS be a need for proper, studious research into the Word and a thorough ‘critiquing’ and study of ALL teachings in the Church. This must continue to be done publicly and openly as it has been done in the Protestant Church for centuries. Many faithful Christians had to suffer imprisonment, torture and even execution to win this right for us.

    I notice that the books, teachings and ‘revelations’ in this movement are usually treated as being infallible. Few, if any, in the movement would ever admit to this since they know that this is against Scriputre, however, the culture in the movement discourages questioning and criticism of nearly all teachings, books and ‘revelations’ of the ‘prophets’ in the
    movement.

    ‘Oversimplification/ over-Spiritualising’ –this movement has simply taken an old pitfall from the Church and revived it all over again. There is too much emphasis on the demonic elements of physical and mental illness, addictions, and just about any and every mental, emotional, financial, relationship and political problem in our lives.
    Once again, people are being discouraged from learning and using the wonderful knowledge God has given us concerning Psychology, Psychiatry and medications. ‘Deliverance’ is once again the slogan and the emphasis. Demonic deliverance is over emphasised and people are being hurt by this. Other avenues of healing and help are openly discouraged. Of course this is appealing to people who are in real need of healing and help from God as we would all rather have a ‘quick fix’ than to go through long term counselling or take medications for our minds and bodies.

    Some of these elements of this ‘blessing’ movement are also some of the prominent characteristics of cults:

    1. open criticism of the teachings and leaders is either discouraged or punished in some form (such as being shunned socially by the group)

    2. regular teachings/conferences are held in which the people are taught that the groups’ doctrines and the ‘revelations’ and leaders/prophets should never be criticised. Also, that the lifestyles and actions of the ‘blessing’ movements’ leaders/’prophets’ are not to be questioned or criticised.
    Example: Matt. 10:41 “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward;….” This one is often quoted in the ‘blessing’ movement with the stern warning that… “anyone who rejects a prophet will receive a prophet’s curse.”

    –This is the same type of intimidation tactic used in cults.

    3. regular teachings and encouragement concerning the pursuit and accumulation of personal wealth and power.

    Example: “God wants you rich” “It’s OK for the Pastor to take a large portion of the Offerings to buy a Rols Royce because God wants us to enjoy life”.
    There was a conference in my city recently with a supposed ‘prophet’ of the ‘blessing’ movement whose teaching centered around these very topics. The people I spoke to felt that everything that was taught was the Truth. They were told that the multi-million dollar lifestyle of Benny Hinn and his family should not be criticised and that it was a sign of God’s blessings upon him and his ministry. Also taught was the idea that all very ‘submitted’ and ‘Spirit filled’ Chrisitians should also expect that level of personal power, authority and wealth for themselves.

    These are not people on the ‘fringes’ teaching these things or believing these things; they are the majority of people in the ‘blessing’ movement and the leaders at the forefront. These are dangerous and cultic practices.

    Matt

  3. ‘Manifestation Junkies’ — this is often the result of over emphasis on the manifestations of the Spirit.

    The TACF type of ‘blessing’ movement

    ‘Clearing Your Mind’ — this is a dangerous element of the ‘soaking prayer’ movement now coming out of TACF and similar places. You are told to ‘clear your mind’ and just wait for the Spirit to fill it with thoughts, visions or ‘revelations’. This is a very prominent element of Eastern religious practice such as found among Hindu holy men who lead people into very similar sessions in which the people also receive visions, thoughts, ‘revelations’ and intense emotions– all supposedly from ‘God’. These sessions produce the same manifestations seen in soaking prayer sessions: walking on hands and knees like dogs, barking, laughing hysterically, jumping up and down uncontrollably, seeing visions of ‘paradise’ or the ‘forces of evil’, ‘divine words of encouragement’ or ‘divine curses’ upon some person, someplace or some thing.
    We are taught in Scripture in 1 Timothy 4:11-16 to ‘give attendance’ to, take heed of, or ‘hold the mind towards’ Scripture and its doctrines. In other words, we are to keep our minds fully engaged in what we are saying, doing and thinking. This must include our praying and ‘soaking prayer’. If we empty our minds and surrender them to the ‘Spirit’ – can we really be sure that it is the Holy Spirit of God who is filling them with visions and ‘revelations’? Does not God use His Word alongside His Spirit to give us direction, comfort, healing or the joy and refreshment we need?

    TACF and other ‘blessing’ movements are teaching and encouraging some dangerous and un Biblical practices.
    Don’t be afraid to speak out against such things.

    Matt

  4. Thank you Brian and Matt for your input. I have never been comfortable with this movement especially when I had witnessed the effects of it on Christians that I knew personally. It is one thing to read about these but to witness them first hand it is quite another. I had heard many claims of healing and spiritual growth and good fruit coming from this movement but that is all they were ‘claims.’ I saw no evidence of it at all.

    When it first started it was called a revival but then after a few years it was compared to past revivals which produce hundreds if not thousands of converts. This movement did not do this so the leaders then called it a ‘renewal’ instead. If only that were true, but it is not. Even now the TACF is a shadow of what it was 10 years ago. The ‘new wine’ from the ‘holy ghost bartender’ is running out.

    I wanted to share this letter of confession not only to show that what critics have been saying for years is now being recognized by those who were involved but also to show leaders that it is only human to fall prey to falsehood and no one is immune and it is possible to admit you were wrong and repent. Not only is it possible it is a biblical command to do so.

    Whether a leader has erred in this area or driven out a majority of the church’s membership due to a self-righteous abuse of position and influence, there is forgiveness waiting for those whose hearts are broken and repentant.

    This is my prayer for leaders who need healing.

  5. Pingback: The Apologetic Response » Blog Archive » 2007 Annual Report

  6. Revivalist Todd Bentley Loves and Supports Sexual Perverts

    Any revival that has the involvement of sexual perverts, such as Paul Cain and Bob Jones, is from the pits of hell and not from God! These liars, deceivers and conartists at the Lakeland Revival, including Todd Bentley and Stephen Strader, only see and hear what they want to see and hear and that is so dumb because others are not dumb like they are! They see the truth about this so called revival is nothing but a farce and a joke devoid of integrity no matter how many people they might deceive!
    http://lionsmouth.tripod.com/todd.pdf

    In future articles, The Ledger will examine some of the controversies and claims of the revival, but if some of what is happening seems surprising to the uninitiated, the revival is following a well-worn path. It is the fourth lengthy Pentecostal revival in the past 15 years, and one occurred in Lakeland at the now-disbanded Carpenter’s Home Church, led by Strader’s father, Karl Strader.

    The Toronto revival began at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church under evangelist Randy Clark just as the Carpenter’s Home revival was ending. It drew attention – and ridicule – for some practices that were even more unusual than holy laughter, such as people roaring like lions, barking like dogs or flapping their arms. Eventually, at the request of the Association of Vineyard Churches, the church withdrew from the association and changed its named to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship.

    http://www.theledger.com/article/20080518/news/805180341&tc=yahoo

  7. Thank you Walter for the updates and links regarding these counterfeit revivals. Living in Toronto myself I can say that the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship is now only a mere shadow of what it once was in the early 90s. I suspect the same thing will happen in Lakeland Florida but not until after many have been misled and disappointed with God.

  8. Hi,
    I’m glad to hear that people stopped checking their brains at the door of the TACF. Bravo you for printing the “repentance” letter.

    On another subject, which was mentioned in the letter, where he refers to woman not being ministers according to scripture. As an ex-Vineyard person, and an ex-church goer, I am now at peace. But I still have to chuckle when I read an article where a man still hangs onto the scripture (to forego ordaining women), but that same man might perhaps ignore the scriptures where it says that it’s a shame for a man to have long hair. (And around the Vineyard, there were lots of men with long hair.) And back when I attended, I didn’t want to be rebellious and question the duplicity. Now, a woman and peace, and free from religious guilt, it just makes me chuckle.

    Anyway, nice to real that humility is back in vogue. I hadn’t read anything in years. I was just checking the sites to see if I could find funds to help the dying (from malaria) in eastern Congo. But so far, only the Catholics have responded favorably.

    DW

  9. I am a Missionary here in Japan. Just briefly with my poor English I would like to inform everyone about the huge damage, what is still caused by this “Toronto blessing” here in Japan as well.
    It is not enough, that the Christianity is under ONE % in Japan; many (very little) churches are infected with the destructive effects of this “blessing”.
    Pastors who were fallen in this trap, and new Christians without real Bible knowledge are becoming legalist people, who are pushing out from the church, and accusing those who do not agree with this false teaching. Are still coming form USA, Canada and South Korea different pastors and teachers who are spreading this infection into this small Christian community, what is more and more weaker and less efficient.
    I am asking: is this what the Lord expect from His servants?

    So much pain, and pain and pain. The damage is huge in Japan also, where are many micro churches with no contacts whit each other and no real cooperation, instead to work together with one heart in Christ in the real mission field.
    Who is responsible? First of all the temporary ruler of the dark spirits, and second, those irresponsible Christians who have no idea what a dangerous damage they caused, and is still causing.
    The Living Lord may have mercy on them.

  10. Thank you for your comments Steve. I guess I was wrong about the long term and far reaching effects that the movement at the TACF has had and continues to have on people. Thanks also to Walter Kambulow for his continuing efforts to expose the dangers of this movement and inform Christians and the public of damaging effects this movement can have on people.

    One such letter received recently states:

    “I am concerned about TACF. My daughter has been a member of the church for four years. We noticed frightening changes in her behavior, and this year she attempted suicide while working in Israel with a woman who has done documentaries for the church.

    I have been in touch with the foremost authorities in the U.S. on mind contol, and they advise me that she will attempt suicide again if we don’t get her away from this church.

    When she returned to Toronto from Tel Aviv, the church people were there to take her to a hospital and would not let us near her. She is 28 years old and is totally under their influence.

    I am looking for help, and am hoping that you can direct me to people who can give me advice. I am specifically looking for the names of people who have left the church as they might be able to talk some sense into my daughter. ”

    This is sad news indeed.

  11. Dear friends,

    Thank you for these recent helpful comments. On our ministry website http://www.takeheed.net we have several articles on the linkage between Todd Bentley and Toronto. Under Video Viewing we also have a talk abut GOD TV who arebroadcasting Lakeland around the world. Finally I would covet prayer for the following -

    I have been invited by the local Radio Ulster to take part in a panel discussion on their Sunday Sequence programme this coming Sunday morning 22nd June. The programme will air at 9.00am local time. The discussion will focus on the current so-called ‘Healing Revival’ with Todd Bentley in Florida and meetings linked to it here in Belfast. If you live outside Northern Ireland you should be able to listen live via this link.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radioulster/sunday_sequence/

    The ‘listen live’ facility is at the top right hand of the page.

    I would very much appreciate your prayers for wisdom and for the ready recollection of scriptures.

    Your servant for Christ

    Cecil Andrews
    ‘Take Heed’ Ministries
    http://www.takeheed.net

    PS For those outisde the UK – You would probably be able to listen to the programme at a more respectable hour via the ‘Listen Again’ facility listed to the right of the presenter’s photograph on the page that the above link takes you to. Our discussion should be about 30-35 minutes into the programme on the programme that will probably be available to ‘Listen Again’ to from Monday.

    • Have you continued to follow Todd Bentley? If so, you are likely aware of his divorce and remarriage. I’ve seen video of several of his healing services in Tulsa, OK, USA this past May 2014. It’s quite sad! He is clearly a false prophet, false healer! There is something very wrong with him!

      • I have not continued to follow Todd Bentley since his divorce and remarriage. Quite frankly I am surprised that there are still people around willing to give him any time at all. There truly is danger there.

  12. According to Bro.Zac Poonen ( Messages of Bro.Zac Poonen http://tacf.tripod.com/bookzac.pdf )

    It will be very difficult for a disciple of Jesus if he is totally honest and wholehearted, to become rich through his business in a world that is under the dominion of Satan. To become a wealthy man in such a world, one would have to follow Satan’s principles in some area or the other, and disobey the principles of God’s Word. The Bible clearly says,

    “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1 Tim.6:9). One who seeks to be “rich towards God” can never become “rich in this world” (Luke 12:21; 1 Tim.6:17).

    This applies also to preachers who become rich through preaching the gospel and selling Christian books and tapes. Another gimmick these days, is to conduct tours to Israel (“the holy land”??). If a preacher can gather 10 people for a trip to Israel, the travel agent will give him one free ticket. All such preachers are worshipping “the golden calf” and are servants of Mammon, and not of the Lord Jesus Christ. [Someone asked me once if I had ever been to the holy land. I told him I was walking there every day!]

    The “prosperity gospel” was invented in the latter half of the 20th century by Mammon-loving preachers who had to find some “Scriptural” explanation to justify their extravagant life-styles and the immense amount of wealth that they had accumulated from the tithes and offerings of their “devotees”. So they hunted up Old Testament promises that God had given to Israel and began to proclaim those promises as the unfailing mark of God’s blessing today. And money-loving believers gladly lapped up this new gospel!

    A secular journalist in the U.S.A., who heard of such a church where the “prosperity gospel” was being preached, wanted to find out if this teaching really worked. So he went to the church’s parking lot and checked out the makes of the cars parked there. He found that the cars parked in the spots reserved for the “Pastor” and “Assistant Pastors” were expensive cars!! But most of the other cars were cheap ones! He concluded that the “prosperity gospel” did work – but only for those who lived off the tithes and offerings of the congregation!! The rest of the congregation remained in the same condition that they had always been in!

    Even in poor countries like India, preachers are becoming rich, off the tithes and offerings of poor people, through this counterfeit gospel.

  13. It is wonderful to read these reports. I did attend a meeting in Fort Worth in 1992 when Rodney Howard Browne first “burst” onto the scene in America. I felt like an observer. I could not “fit” into the happenings.

    Just this past week, I was quite alarmed to see that the 700 Club is now promoting this heresy of “soaking prayer” in it’s “live” Tuesday night webcasts led by Gordon Roberson.

    Has discernment gone out the window?

    God help us all! STAY TRUE TO THE TRUE FAITH! There are many wolves in sheep’s closthing roaming about seeking to devour.

  14. Thank you so much for posting this letter! I was completely unaware of this Toronto Vineyard Revival, Dominionism, Fresh Fire and several other of these movements until recently when I became aware that a pastor-friend of mine, someone I grew up with, is involved with similar “Holy Spirit manifestations.” This church hosts people like Todd Bentley and Rick Joyner. I viewed several of the posted videos of services involving these two. I have a pentecostal background, but what I see happening on these videos far exceeds anything I ever saw in the church of my childhood. There is no question in my mind that this is false teaching, false prophecy, and carnal behaviors. I won’t go as far as to say demonic because I’m not sure, but some of it is frightening. My heart breaks for my friend.

    This pastor’s apology is so refreshing! It rings true in my spirit. His rationale and evaluation is completely Biblical. False doctrine, prophetic movements, and “Holy Spirit power” manifested with physical/emotional behaviors mimicking intoxication is not only repugnant, but drives unbelievers away! That’s all we need is for Christians to be viewed even more by the world as lunatics! I admire this pastor’s courage, humility and desire to get back on track! I support him, and feel that the rest of the body of Christ should not only support him, but pray for those still wrapped up in deception, and pray that this movement be not only contained, but snuffed out!

    What I don’t understand is how the body of Christ can be so self-deceiving, especially when it comes to “divine healing.” I’ve never understood this. I won’t deny that God can miraculously heal someone, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen in in my 50+ years of being a Christian. I would not deny someone’s personal testimony of healing, but I believe that if God is truly supernaturally healing people, then there should be OBJECTIVE evidence documenting this. Doesn’t anyone ever ask themselves why people claim to be healed from chronic pain, weakness, headaches, joint problems, etc. even “cancer,” but never from a spinal cord injury with permanent paralysis, severe burns with scarring, complete blindness or deafness, birth defects, missing or deformed limbs, or inoperable, terminal cancer or other diseases for which there is NO medical hope for cure? If God is truly healing people, why doesn’t he ever heal those who really can’t be healed by any other means?? Why do faith healers never seem to be concerned about whether or not anyone he/she prays for is actually healed? And I’m not talking about a personal “testimony” that’s completely subjective with no method to verify the claims. I would want to see verification if I claimed to have the gifts of healing, and claimed that people were healed “supernaturally!” Kathryn Kuhlman is the only “faith healer” I’m aware of who actually wanted and sought verification! She would bring people onto her TV show with medical records and x-rays and have a medical doctor explain it all. Todd Bentley made claims that people with steel rods placed in their backs were healed and the steel rods disappeared! Now, did he actually see the x-ray proof of that? If a “healer” can’t verify someones claim, they should NOT repeat it! I heard a pastor on TV once who claimed that a woman born without a uterus gave birth to a child after being prayed for! Now, something like that would be a miracle so big that it would make national news. I wrote and asked for information about this story. The pastor never responded! Shame on the “body of Christ” if this is what we’ve come to!!

    So, I truly appreciate this letter, and wish there was more of this kind of honesty and humility in the body of Christ! God help us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>