Official Brownsville Response
To Pensacola News Journal Articles
Following is the official response from Brownsville
A/G Church in Pensacola, FL regarding the Gannett news stories in the Pensacola
News Journal. It is apparent from their response that some of the information
reported by PNJ was innacurate and biased. However, it is also clear that
Brownsville is still disseminating false information of their own. We have
highlighted the responses we feel are disingenuous, if not a continuation
of lies and deceit. We would like to remind the leaders of Brownsville
A/G Church of the verse in 2 Cor. 4:2 "Rather, we have renounced secret
and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word
of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend
ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." When a secular
news organization gets some of its facts wrong or uses deception that should
not be a licence for Christians to respond in kind. We are supposed to
be the light and salt of the earth.
NOVEMBER 22, THE RESPONSE
This is the response to News
Journal and the Associated Press
FACTS OF THE BROWNSVILLE REVIVAL
HILL’S TESTIMONY TRUE AND ACCURATE
CONDUCTED WITH COMPLETE INTEGRITY
THE FACTS OF THE BROWNSVILLE REVIVAL
This past week, the Pensacola News Journal ran a five-part series
alleging serious financial irregularities and fabrications in the Brownsville
Revival. While we do not know the motivation of the Journal in running
this series, we are troubled by their misquotes, serious misrepresentation
of facts, and misleading innuendoes. In order to present an accurate picture
of the revival, we have provided the following facts, offering corrections
to some of the Journal’s many reporting errors. While we do not
claim that the revival or its leaders are perfect, we are confident that
the revival and its related ministries have been conducted with complete
integrity and high ethical principles, and we welcome the careful scrutiny
of the Christian and non-Christian public. In the interest of the reputation
of the gospel and the revival, we present the following information, asking
the reader to remember that this represents only a sampling of the numerous
corrections that could be made. To quote the Journal (November,
20, 1997, 18A), "If you give people information, they can make up their
Although we are grieved by the misinformation, poor
reporting, and scurrilous nature of the Pensacola News Journal’sseries
on the Brownsville Revival, we nonetheless want to bless them, and we ask
the Lord to pour out His grace on all the correspondents who worked on
this series of articles, wishing the Journal and its readers a blessed
holiday season and New Year. We also want to take this opportunity to thank
the greater Pensacola community for being such gracious hosts to the more
than 1.9 million guests of the revival who have come for spiritual refreshing
from more than 100 nations and from every state in the Union. We look forward
to a wonderful year of revival in 1998!
FACT: John Kilpatrick’s salary and housing package
from Brownsville Assembly of God is $73,600, plus utilities, health insurance,
and retirement contributions. Pastor Kilpatrick would have been more
forthcoming with the Journal regarding personal finances if not
for the accusatory attitude with which he was approached. 1
FACT: When Reverend David Wilkerson, the founder of
Teen Challenge who has known Steve Hill for more than 20 years, learned
that the Journal was accusing Steve Hill of being a phony who falsified
his testimony, he immediately responded with this letter dated November
19, 1997: "To Whom It May Concern: Steve Hill was a debilitated, stoned
addict when he first surrendered his life to Christ. He became an active
worker with our ministry, helping rescue other addicts and alcoholics.
Though many of his old friends had died, he related well to the street
addicts, having been a drug pusher and having spent time in jail. Steve
graduated from our Bible school in Texas. He has always been diligent and
faithful. His story of deliverance from drug addiction and crime is a true
testimony to the power of the gospel of Christ. One thing I know for sure
– Steve Hill is not a phony!"
FACT: Although Pastor Kilpatrick’s non-profit corporation,
Feast of Fire Ministries, received $798,000 in book sales, royalties (which
are payable to the ministry, not directly to Pastor Kilpatrick), and honorariums
through October 9 of this year, by the directive of the Feast of Fire board,
he will not receive more than $100,000 in annual income from that ministry.
FACT: Pastor Kilpatrick does not and has never owned
a Rolex watch, contrary to the Journal’s claims. The diamond ring
he wears cost $382 and was purchased for him by his wife Brenda as a gift
for their 29th anniversary.
FACT: Rather than the church becoming rich through
the revival or hoarding its resources and neglecting missions, as suggested
by the Journal, it has expended itself sacrificially in order to
host the revival and its guests – including missionaries, struggling pastors,
and lost sinners – from around the world. 2 The church
staff has expanded from 23 to 110; custodial supplies have gone from $600
a month to $3500 or more monthly; security, which in the past was unnecessary,
now amounts to more than $19,000 monthly – all to watch over the cars and
property of those attending the revival. Whereas before the revival, there
was no need for paid nursery workers during the week, the nursery worker
budget averages $10,000-12,000 a month – all to take care of the babies
and small children of the guests of the revival. Such expenses could be
multiplied almost ad infinitum (e.g., just cleaning the church carpets
now amounts to $4,500 monthly), but this sampling is sufficient to indicate
the enormous cost involved in hosting this revival, a huge missions project
FACT: Neither the church nor any of the ministries
were approached by the Journal to supply detailed financial information
before last month, although the Journal states that it was investigating
the revival for the past four and a half months. Facts and figures that
presented a positive picture of the church’s benevolent giving were either
overlooked or downplayed by the Journal.
FACT: Because Pastor Kilpatrick does not fly, Feast
of Fire Ministries purchased a 1994 coach (with a Detroit Diesel engine
capable of running one million miles) in which he travels and works while
speaking across the country. This coach cannot be used for any personal
travel or recreation, and it has already saved approximately $40,000 in
airfare since its purchase. Should the ministry cease to exist for any
reason, this coach, along with all other assets of Feast of Fire Ministries,
will be given to the church, not Pastor Kilpatrick or his family.
FACT: After living in the same house for 14 years,
Pastor Kilpatrick moved to Alabama for privacy’s sake. He would have stayed
in his present home if not for recurring invasions of his privacy. His
new house, which should cost approximately $270,000 upon completion, is
being financed on the basis of his church and outside ministry salary,
and not a dime of the construction cost is being funded through the
nightly revival offerings. 3 Note also that the square
footage of heated and air-conditioned living space in his new home totals
3543 square feet, not the 5557 square feet reported in the Journal,
and contrary to any impression that may have been given to the readers,
Pastor Kilpatrick does not simultaneously own three houses.
FACT: Although offerings are received in the five
weekly services in Brownsville, there is not a suggested nightly donation,
as repeatedly claimed by the Journal. The only exception has come
during the Friday night missions offering, when it has sometimes been suggested
that those who can contribute $100 to Together in the Harvest’s missions
projects would consider doing so (although this practice has recently been
discontinued). Those visiting the services know that very little emphasis
is put on money each week, and revival attendees are instructed not to
put their tithes, which belong in their home church, in the revival offerings.
FACT: Brownsville Assembly of God has never once made
a financial appeal during eleven years of weekly TV broadcasting. This
is because fund-raising has never been the church’s goal. Earlier this
year, the revival was offered free air time on national Christian TV, with
a personal 800 number to be supplied as well, but this offer was refused
by the leaders despite the fact that it could have generated millions of
dollars in income.
FACT: At no time did Steve Hill falsify his testimony,
nor did he ever admit to such a claim. In point of fact, there are numerous
witnesses (including Steve’s own mother and family members) who have corroborated
the details of his life story and conversion. However, the Journal
chose not to print any of the evidence presented to them, including written
corroborating testimony from the man who broke into the Madison, Alabama
pharmacy with Steve.
FACT: Stone Cold Heart is a 56 page mini-book containing
a synopsis of 25 years of Steve Hill’s life and is, quite obviously, not
intended to be exhaustive. The only "fictionalizing" of any kind in the
book is that the names of some characters have been changed to protect
their identity and safeguard them from unwarranted intrusion and embarrassment
regarding the life they left behind over 20 years ago. This, of course,
is commonly done in biographical writing, and all details of the book are
completely true and accurate.
FACT: Contrary to the implication of the Journal,
Steve Hill never claimed to have been arrested 13 times in Huntsville,
Alabama from 1972-1975 but rather said that he was arrested a total of
13 times in different parts of the United States during those years. Some
of these arrests were with companions who have testified to the validity
of the accounts as given by Steve, but the Journal did not contact
these sources. It should also be noted that Federal Law ordered the destruction
of arrest records for various minor offenses for those born before 1955,
a fact which the Journal also ignored.
FACT: Although the Journal claimed that Steve
Hill did not sponsor a table at the Teen Challenge meeting in Pensacola
this year, in point of fact, he sent $1000 to the meeting (the equivalent
of sponsoring eight tables), and contributes $1000 a month to the local
Teen Challenge branch.
FACT: As of November 18, 1997, Together in the Harvest’s
year-to-date contributions to Teen Challenge world wide amounted to $80,021
(and are verified by receipts received from Teen Challenge), while additional
foreign missions contributions came to $203,656 and home missions and benevolence
totaled an additional $320,000, making a grand total of charitable contributions
of more than $600,000, equaling more than 25% of Together in the Harvest’s
gross income. The reason some of this data is not individually broken down
and categorized on the IRS return is that Together in the Harvest’s bookkeeper
groups much of it together under charitable giving, although Together in
the Harvest’s financial records do, of course, detail each and every one
of these charitable and missions transactions.
FACT: Steve Hill immediately gave the Journal
a complete financial disclosure on October 4, 1997. A breakdown of his
finances for the last twelve months indicates that his ministry’s charitable
giving came to more than six times the amount of his personal salary package,
a fact not noted by the Journal. (His wife Jeri does not receive
any salary from the ministry, contrary to the implication of the Journal.)
FACT: Steve Hill offered to fly the Journal’s
correspondents to his various missions projects anywhere in the world for
their personal inspection, but they declined the offer. The one orphanage
in Argentina contacted by the Journal was aided by Steve’s ministry
when it was founded but has long since become funded by the government.
FACT: Alleged discrepancies between the IRS filings
and Steve’s financial disclosure are simply due to the fact that the IRS
figures are for the calendar year of 1996 (with charitable giving totaling
$298,085), while his disclosure to the Journal was for August, 1996
to August, 1997 (with charitable giving totaling $639,384). The Journal’s
presentation of these two reports side by side, without any clarification,
was highly misleading.
FACT: Those responding to the altar calls in the revival
are urged to destroy any pornographic magazines or videos they own, to
flush their alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs down the toilet, and to
throw out articles of jewelry or memorabilia they were given during adulterous
or sinful relationships. They are not told to turn such items into the
church, as implied by the Journal, and the few articles of jewelry
that have been turned in will be sold and the funds put into the church
building fund. 4
FACT: Before the revival, the Brownsville Assembly
of God gave approximately 12% of its income to missions and benevolence.
Since the outbreak of the revival, the church has continued to keep its
previous missions commitments but has added a weekly missions offering
taken up for Together in the Harvest. (After this missions offering is
counted, it is regularly supplemented by Brownsville.) Thus, when the funds
given to Together in the Harvest are included, the church gave almost 18%
to outreach and missions in 1996 ($1,179,926 out of $6,563,783).
FACT: The Journal frequently lifted quotes
completely out of context in order to give a false impression to the readers.
To give just one example out of many, Pastor Carey Robertson is quoted
as saying, "If you wonder where the money is going, then don’t give. .
. . Once it becomes a gift, it is ours to use. It is nobody’s business
how we use it." In context, he was explaining to the Journal’s correspondents
that, whereas a member of Brownsville has the right to examine the church’s
financial books, the fact that a visitor puts $25 in the offering does
not therefore give him the right to examine the church’s financial records.
Also, as is the universal custom in churches around the nation, when undesignated
funds are put into an offering, it is up to the discretion of the church
to expend those funds responsibly, whether it be to pay nursery workers
or buy bathroom supplies. This was also part of Pastor Robertson’s intent.
it does not appear that the
Journal’s intent was to present a full
and clear picture, but rather to give the appearance of a scandal. Similar
examples of other misquotes or quotes taken completely out of context could
be multiplied, and numerous sources quoted by the
those involved with the revival and those unrelated to the revival, have
expressed to us their outrage, shock, and dismay at the misrepresentation
of their words in the
FACT: At no time did any of the revival ministries
knowingly violate the relevant state tax laws, as inferred by the Journal.
To the contrary, in spite of extensive investigation by accountants and
legal representatives for the ministries, the Department of Revenue of
the State of Florida gave varying responses as to the necessity of collecting
sales tax on ministry items sold within the church. As soon as a definitive
ruling was passed on to each of the ministries, they immediately took steps
to begin collecting and paying the appropriate sales taxes and will pay
all taxes retroactively due.
FACT: Not one of the Brownsville revival leaders has
received any financial remuneration from Awake America for participating
in these national conferences, although it would have been completely appropriate
for them to have done so. However, because the cost of holding these rallies
has been astronomical, the leaders agreed to receive no honorariums from
Awake America. While ministry books and tapes have been sold at these events
and travel expenses have been reimbursed, no honorariums from Awake America
have been taken by any of the leaders.
FACT: Since the revival began in the Brownsville Assembly
of God, less than 150 previous members have cancelled or moved their membership,
while 1530 new members have been added. Of those members who were in the
church for 25 or more years, none of them have left because of the revival,
and only 4 officials out of 27 have left the church since the revival began.
stated, there has not been a mass exodus of members, contrary to allegations
made by anonymous former members in the
FACT: Dr. Michael L. Brown immediately provided the
with his salary and benefits package when asked to do so on October 24th
(they were informed that it totaled well under $100,000). Contrary to the
claim that he would not provide a financial statement, his office made
extensive efforts to supply all information requested, but the Journal
went to press shortly before the financial reports were reviewed by accountants
and approved as accurate for release. To date, he has received no salary
from the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry, although he serves as
the school’s President and as a faculty member, and all royalties from
any of his nine books are paid directly to ICN Ministries and do not accrue
personally to him.
FACT: In spite of the fact that the tuition costs
for the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry are among the lowest nationally
and its operating budget negligible (the figure of $604,500 given by the
referred to the school’s total income, not profit!), the school also granted
$65,000 in scholarships to needy students. As for the student body, 170
of the school’s 510 students are 25 or older (including 81 who are 30 or
older), while 66 have already earned college or graduate degrees. Approximately
140 students were saved through the revival, while 118 testify to being
set free from life-controlling addictions.
FACT: Of the four non-profit corporations allegedly
formed since the revival began, two of them (viz., Together in the Harvest
and ICN) were already operating as international ministries prior to the
beginning of the revival. The other two (viz., MMI and Feast of Fire) were
formed so that profits from sales of books and tapes would not accrue exclusively
to the individual authors or song writers but rather would also benefit
a non-profit corporation for further ministry purposes. All four of
these ministries are in the process of filing with the Evangelical Council
for Financial Accountability and had ordered applications months before
the Journal began its investigation. 7
FACT: The revival has been subject to careful theological
scrutiny, and its soundness has been recognized by biblical scholars and
theologians from leading universities and seminaries. 8In
fact, Professor Vinson Synan, a leading Pentecostal historian and the Dean
of the Regent University School of Divinity, has called it "the largest
local church revival in the history of America," writing that, "Brownsville,
with its emphasis on conversion and people weeping over conviction of sin,
seems to be a revival in the long tradition of American native revivals
dating back to the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. There’s heavy preaching
on sin, repentance, conversion, and holiness. And there’s a lot more weeping
and wailing over sin than there are the so-called exotic manifestations."
FACT: At no time did the Journal raise the
issue of so-called doctrinal improprieties or unusual manifestations to
any of the revival leaders, nor were any of the leaders asked to respond
to such questions, with the exception of one peripheral question put to
Pastor Kilpatrick by one reporter (although his response was not printed).
Thus, the Journal chose to give the general public no opportunity
to hear a sound, biblical refutation of the charges raised, although it
can easily be demonstrated that the emphasis of the revival conforms completely
to biblical and historic norms. 10
FACT: Of the pastors and teachers cited in criticism
of the revival, some of them (e.g., Mr. Al Dager) have never attended a
single meeting in the revival, while another, Mr. Matt Costella, is a seminary
student, as opposed to being a recognized authority, biblical scholar,
or theologian. For an exhaustive refutation of recent theological and
doctrinal criticisms of the revival, the interested reader may consult
Dr. Michael L. Brown’s recent volume, Let No One Deceive You: Confronting
the Critics of Revival. 11
FACT: We first learned about the reduction in juvenile
crime in Escambia County from the Journal itself! On January 3,
1997, the Journal ran a front page article compiled by staff writer
Ginny Graybiel, proudly announcing that, whereas juvenile crime over the
previous fiscal year had risen state-wide by 1%, it dropped by 13% in Escambia
County, the first county-wide drop in five years. Now the
claims that the juvenile crime rate rose, the exact opposite of its earlier,
FACT: Mr. Nathan Epps from the Bureau of Data and
Research for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, provided revival
leaders with the following crime statistics, drawn from 700 pages of information:
The 1993-94 juvenile crime rate in Escambia County rose 5.15%; in
1994-95 it rose 17.43%; in 1995-96 it dropped 12.8%; in 1996-97
it dropped an additional 4.53%. Furthermore, using Apopka County,
Florida as a point of random comparison, it can be seen that the juvenile
crime rate in Apopka rose by .22% in 1995-96 and in 1996-97 dropped by
.74%. When one considers that attendance throughout Escambia County at
See You At the Pole, the early morning, student prayer gathering held in
September of each year rose from less than 500 in 1995 to more than 2100
in 1996 and 1997, such juvenile crime reduction statistics are no surprise.
FACT: According to a broadcast aired by Ch. 3 News
on September 23, 1997, the overall crime rate in Escambia County dropped
by 16% in the first six months of 1997 as compared with the same period
FACT: When Rev. Ken Landon, a counselor at the Waterfront
Rescue Mission and New Hope Homes in Gulf Breeze, learned that some sources
were questioning the impact of the revival on local drug addicts and alcoholics,
he informed us that his own mission alone had baptized more than 120 of
its clients in the revival over the last year – including former crack
addicts, alcoholics, repeat offenders, homeless people, violent bikers,
and abused women – and less than 10 of those 120 have fallen away.
FACT: Our primary source for the positive economic
impact that the revival has had on the community was the glowing article
published by the Journal on Father’s Day, 1997, and it was the Journal
article that we sometimes cited for this information. Now the Journal
claims that the revival has been more of an economic drain. Moreover, the
chose to ignore data pointing to the positive impact the revival has had
on real estate transactions.
FACT: On July 11, 1997, the Journal printed
a special, 40 page mini-paper on the revival, paid for by area
businesses, and filled with ads from local hotels, restaurants, and
vendors. 50,000 copies of this mini-paper were produced by the Journal
and were then given to Brownsville with the express request that they be
handed out to revival attendees waiting on line. In fact, in that report
(p. 19), the Journal quoted Sheriff Jim Lowman as seeing the revival
as "nothing but a positive influence in the community," adding, "I just
wish people who are going to break the law would go to the church service
FACT: According to the Journal’s own reporting
in the just cited special 40 page report (p. 19), "Although the revival
has critics who describe uninhibited religious demonstrations as ‘mass
manipulation,’ the loudest complaints come from area businesses lamenting
the loss of customers when the revival has taken a break for a few days."
FACT: Rather than relocating to a more upscale neighborhood,
Brownsville Assembly of God chose many years ago to remain in the Brownsville
area. At present, it is investing considerable time and resources to reach
out to the Brownsville neighborhood in a tangible and loving way. (Contrary
to the Journal’s claims, this service was begun by Brownsville members
and is financed by the church.) For example, in the last six months, every
home in the community north of Cervantes St.--Mobile Hwy. received a personal
visit from Brownsville workers (although some were not at home at the time
of the initial visit), and benevolence extended to various families included
food, clothing, house repairs, and cutting grass. Moreover, every individual
reached was given a ticket enabling them to attend the revival without
having to wait in line. 12
FACT: All real estate purchased by the Brownsville
Assembly of God in the local community has been purchased at a price above
the appraised value in order to insure that no one would feel that the
church was taking advantage of them. In fact, the cost of buying properties
surrounding the church has escalated drastically, to the direct benefit
of the local property owners.
FACT: Steve Hill’s statement that Jesus was crucified
naked – thereby experiencing humiliation on our behalf – is supported by
Scripture (see, e.g., John 19:23-25), reflects the Roman custom of the
day (according to the Jewish scholar, S. T. Lachs, "The condemned were
crucified naked, and the executioners were allowed to divide their clothing
and property among them"), is attested to by the second-century Church
Father Melito of Sardis ("The Master has been treated in unseemly fashion,
his body naked, and not even deemed worthy of a covering that [his nakedness]
might not be seen"), and represents the majority view of scholars. Thus,
Steve is completely correct in stating that "most theologians believe that
Jesus was crucified naked." Even the beloved commentator Matthew Henry
drew attention to, "The shame they put upon our Lord Jesus, in stripping
him of his garments before they crucified him. The shame of nakedness came
in with sin. He therefore who was made sin for us bore that shame, to roll
away our reproach. He was stripped, that we might be clothed with white
raiment (Rev. 3:18), and that when we are unclothed we may not be found
naked." It should be noted, however, that Steve’s preaching emphasis
is on the fact that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, not
on the fact that He was crucified naked. 13 It is
the critics who majored on that.
FACT: While sexual sin is explicitly preached against
in the revival – following the example of Scripture (see, e.g, Prov. 5:1-32;
7:1-27; Matt. 5:27-30; Eph. 5:1-6) – there is no sexual fixation of any
kind in the meetings, as unfortunately stated in the Journal.
the emphasis is on holiness. Anyone questioning this can readily view or
listen to hundreds of hours of preaching and teaching in the revival services
as recorded on video or audio tape. 14
FACT: The ministry practices of Brownsville are consistently
misrepresented. To cite just two examples, prayer team members use the
name of Jesus every night (as opposed to the Journal’s odd allegation
that they are forbidden to pray in Jesus’ name), while these lay workers
are specifically instructed not to call out, "Fire! Fire!" while
praying, although the Journal stated the exact opposite. 15
FACT: While we recognize that Christians hold to many
varied views concerning divine healing, and while we have not made physical
healing a major emphasis in the revival, 16on numerous
occasions revival attendees have publicly testified to being miraculously
healed by God during the meetings, sometimes holding x-rays and other medical
documentation to verify their stories. While we are aware that many godly
Christians remain sick or disabled, never receiving physical healing in
this life, we rejoice with those people – Christian and non-Christian alike
– who have been healed, and we hope that others too would also rejoice
on their behalf.
FACT: Although the Journal strongly suggested
that Steve Hill secretly planned on sparking a long-term revival when he
came to speak in Brownsville in June, 1995, he was actually scheduled to
hold major rallies in Belarus in the former Soviet Union later that month
and had gone through considerable effort in planning and promoting those
rallies. Because of the spontaneous outbreak of the revival, he was ultimately
forced to cancel the Belarus meetings, although two of his staff members
were already there preparing for the rallies and expecting his imminent
FACT: The Journal’s version of the events leading
up to the revival is riddled with inaccuracies and misstatements.
the practitioners of so-called holy laughter who were at Brownsville about
one year prior to the revival were expelled from the church by Pastor Kilpatrick
for disorderly and disruptive behavior after he expressly forbade them
from praying over any of the Brownsville congregants.18Moreover,
the group that was expelled was not part of Rodney Howard-Browne’s ministry.
(To date, Howard-Browne has never visited the revival. 19)
Even Steve Hill’s quote, "Now if someone falls next to you, work with
me, OK? Just work with me,"20 indicates that nothing
was pre-planned, since there were no "catchers" waiting for people to fall,
and Steve was saying, "Please help catch the person next to you if they
fall under the power of God!"
FACT: The heaven-sent nature of the revival is
attested to by more than 1200 Brownsville congregants who were there on
Father’s Day, 1995 and by multiplied tens of thousands who have attended
the meetings since. 21 Not one single aspect
of the revival was planned out in advance, nor could any facet of a revival
of this magnitude possibly have been orchestrated or staged. All credit
for the revival must go to God, who graciously answered more than two years
of corporate prayer for revival by the members of Brownsville Assembly
FACT: While it is undoubtedly true that in the revival,
just as in every local church, some of the converts have fallen away, we
have countless hundreds of testimonies on file from the local area and
around the world coming from pastors, church members, and families of converted
sinners, attesting to the radical changes that have taken place in their
congregations or individual lives through the revival. We give all the
glory to the Lord Jesus and believe that the best is yet to come. It
is time for revival to spread throughout the land! 22
Here is our response to the Brownsville response to
the PNJ articles. You can view them as dynamic links from the statements
above by clicking on the underlined number.
1 - Church leaders should ALWAYS
be forthcoming with the public on financial matters, "accusatory" or not.
This has not been a characteristic of some A/G churches and should be.
They should also be giving regular detailed financial reports to their
membership, as do most upstanding Christian denominations.
2 - When a church like
Brownsville is taking in as much money as it is from non-members, it should
not complain about increased costs of running meetings and facilities.
It smells like an excuse to try to draw attention away from the fact that
they are raking in millions of dollars every year and not having to account
for what they are doing with it to anyone outside thier church board.
3 - This cannot be true, since Kilpatrick's salary
comes from the church, so one hand feeds the other. The fact of the matter
is that Kilpatrick would not have been able to build a nice new big house
without the "revival" he told his church they were going to have "or else".
4 - So they are, in fact, taking jewelry that they
told people to get rid of and somehow ended up in their possession, and
consequently selling the items to bring in more money for the church. This
is exactly what PNJ said in the first place.
5 - Again, church finances should be open and honest
to all, especially when they are making money under a non-profit status.
The fact that they are still not members of the ECFA should tell people
that they have something to hide. When the world thinks the Christian church
has something to hide, the truth is brought into disrepute and the gospel
message preached in vain. These "revivals", as well as many television
evangelist organizations, are lining their pockets at the expense of the
saving gospel message. Paul warned Timothy of these men when he said: "If
anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction
of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands
nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about
words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and
constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of
the truth and who think that godliness is A MEANS TO FINANCIAL GAIN." (1
6 - At the beginning of the "revival" when most of
the "less than 150 previous members" left, it could well have been categorized
as a "mass exodus" taking into account the number of people in membership
at that time. We also understand that this number included church leadership
7 - This seems like a "day late and a dollar short".
The "revival" has supposedly been going on since Father's Day 1995. Why
couldn't they have filed with the ECFA during the two and a half years
when they began to see large sums of money floating around? But the real
question is, with a fair sized church like Brownsville A/G, why didn't
they file with the ECFA years earlier? Will they do a "CNN/Benny Hinn"
later and fail to file with ECFA? Let's watch and see!
8 - Conveniently missing here is any mention of countless
"biblical scholars and theologians" from virtually every denomination and
walk of life that have written piles of articles and made many statements
to the fact that the Brownsville "Revival" is a counterfeit revival that
is continuing to foster a false anointing handed down from the Toronto
"Blessing", Rodney Howard-Browne, Benny Hinn and many other widely recognized
9 - Preaching of the whole gospel, especially including
the elements of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our justification
by his death and blood alone which paid the death penalty of sin that we
live under, is rarely heard. Steve Hill's "gospel" is a "repent, say 'Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus', and come running to the 'Mercy Seat' to receive the 'anointing'".
This is not the classic gospel message of Scripture and therefore cannot
save those who beleive it. Also, if you have ever watched a full service
from Brownsville A/G (not recommended for the squeemish) you will see clearly
that, along with some weeping, there are PLENTY of weird manifestations
as well as weird noises. Jonathan Edwards would have been appalled at what
he saw at Brownsville A/G today!
10 - It is not the job of a secular newpaper to
bring up theological issues, nor are they qualified to discuss them. However,
to say that it "can easily be demonstrated that the emphasis of the revival
conforms completely to biblical and historic norms" regarding the bizzare
and unbiblical "manifestations" rather demonstrates wishful thinking on
the part of Brownsville leadership. If they ever were willing to even listen
to what orthodox Christianity is saying about their "revival" or enter
any real public debate on the theological issues, instead of heaping curses
and insults on anyone who disagrees with them, they would find out that
they are the one who are out of touch with Biblical principles by a long
11 - And to put this article in its proper light,
you might want to read an article called "Accusers of the Brethren or Good
Bereans?" by Debra Bouey at http://www.geocities.com/Bob_Hunter/accusers1.htmThis
article details the many, many slanderous accustations made by Brown in
his booklet against ANYONE who disagrees with what Brownsville is doing.
Brown does this in the face of the Scriptural mandate by Paul to be "good
Bereans" as well as test the spirits. This article also includes the same
kinds of slanderous and lying accusation by Steve Hill from his gem of
a book "The God Mockers".
12 - I think this statement kind of says it all.
Does the word "circus" come to mind? Has Christianity degenerated into
having to sell tickets to worship together as Christians? This is another
good example of why I am telling people not to go to these big circus events
anymore. Stay in your home community and church and do evangelistic outreach
there; witness to your neighbors and provide for the hurting and the misfortunate.
There is no need to travel to some "revival" and get a jolt from the laying
on of hands. If you are a Christian you already have the Holy Spirit indwelling,
and as you continue to be repentant and remain humble, serving the Lord,
he will bring "times of refreshing".
13 - The fact is, Steve Hill rarely mentions the
death and resurrection of Christ in his "gospel" message. Why is it that
modern preachers in these "revivals" must find more and more sensationalistic
ways to present the "gospel"? Is it because they do not realize that the
power is not in the "slain in the spirit" experience or the "signs and
wonders" but that "the GOSPEL ... is the POWER of God for the salvation
of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."
14 - The true emphasis is on sensual experiential
spirituality, as evidenced by watching hours of video tape from Brownsville
A/G that they produced. Comparisons to Hindu kundalini rituals, whirling
dervishes, Rajneeshees, and other occult groups are readily apparent. This
type of activity eventually leads to all kinds of fleshly sin problems,
one of which is sexual fixation. This has been evidenced over and over
again in churches and by leaders who make subjective experiences the yardstick
by which they live their life and formulate their doctrine.
15 - Why then does Steve Hill call out "Fire, Fire"
when he is laying hands on people? Yes, the name is Jesus is used, that
is true. The fact is, it is used just like a mantra, repeated over and
over again until people get mind-numbed enough to accept the "impartation".
Other words are also used such as "holy ... more ... worthy ... Holy Ghost"
etc., in the same manner. Even the music is repeated endlessly.
16 - They say they have not made it an emphasis
then in the next sentence they say "on numerous occasions". It is hard
to imagine that a meeting goes by without some "miraculous" healing testimony.
This statement is simply untrue.
17 - This statement is a clever way to get people's
eyes off the truth. The truth still remains that Steve Hill manipulated
the "revival" from the outset, just like the Toronto "Blessing" meetings
are carefully crafted where Hill got his "impartation". With a lot of manipulation
and pleading from the stage, Steve Hill managed to get some people to come
forward and receive the "impartation" he was offering, even though it was
clearly evident from the video tape the many people in the church were
somewhat suspicious of what this traveling evangelist was bringing to their
church. It wasn't long before Steve Hill "took out" the head pastor, who
lay on the floor for four hours, and was free to lay hands on whomever
he wanted in the church. This is what the video of the first day of the
"Brownsville Revival" shows.
18 - Why did he not expel his wife and Steve Hill,
because they got their "impartation" directly from the Toronto "Blessing".
This ruse that Brownsville has nothing to do with the Toronto "Blessing",
when the Arnotts from Toronto have visited Brownsville on many occasions,
is really getting ridiculous. Brownsville has invited leaders from Word-Faith,
Toronto "Blessing", Kansas City Prophets, Rhema, and others to their meetings,
as well as sent their leaders to attend meetings and conferences together
with these other groups. You don't invite people to stand up and preach
or testify in your church unless you agree with them.
19 - This may be true, but Randy Clark has and he
was given the "impartation" directly from Rodney Howard-Browne and Clark
passed it to John Arnott of the Toronto "Blessing"; who in turn passed
it to Sandy Millar of Holy Trinity Brompton, who in turn passed it to Steve
20 - I believe that this is close to what he was
saying to John Kilpatrick on the first day of the "revival" before Kilpatrick
received the "impartation". What I think was actually said, as far as I
can tell from the copy of the video tape I have is "I'm working here."
The implication I got was that Hill knew Kilpatrick had not received the
"impartation" yet and did not want him touching people on the foreheads
with him because it might inhibit the "anointing". Watch the tape for yourself
21 - Again, not mentioned here are those who did
not see it that way at all, including many who have viewed the tape but
were not in attandance. There was no "rushing wind" as testified to by
Kilpatrick. There were no "thousand" people at the "altar" but rather a
few hundred. If this was a "move of God" then God has chosen to ignore
His Word and His testimony because true revival has never started this
way -- the way of the Third Wave.
22 - God is sovereign. He brings revival when and
where He will. It does not start with wierd unbiblical "manifestations"
and "impartations". The Bible is clear on how revival starts, and has always
started: "REPENT, then, and TURN TO GOD, so that your sins may be wiped
out, that TIMES OF REFRESHING may come from the Lord ..." (Ac 3:19) John
Kilpatrick prophesied: "I want to close by giving ten proclamations
about how things are going to be. Mr. Hanegraaff, AND ALL OTHER DEVILS,
listen up. Number 1: This revival - I'm making a proclamation. I'm speaking
this not just to you, friends, to impress you, but I'm saying this as a
man of God from behind this holy desk in this holy environment of a great
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And I'm not saying this to you, but I'm
saying this for the ears of God. And here's what I'm saying. This revival
shall not diminish and this REVIVAL shall turn into a national AWAKENING."
(John Kilpatrick, BAG, "Prophesy Against Hank Hanegraaff",
April 6, 1997) It seems that Kilpatrick got the cart before the horse.
My Bible says that times of refreshing (revival) can only come as a result
of repentance (awakening). Is this "revival" then truly orchestrated of
God, since God has said in His Word that revival can only come about as
a result of repentance?
Endnotes © Sandy Simpson, 1997