Testing the Fruit of
Presented by Jackie Alnor, 2000
Charisma Magazine's 25th Anniversary edition looks at the legacy
of those who have graced its covers. The list is a Who's Who of people
who have brought shame to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This self-tribute
is the biggest compilation of evidence against the charismatic renewal
ever put to paper. Stephen Strang (founding editor) and Lee Grady
(editor-in-chief) have unknowingly demonstrated what a miserable lack of
accountability exists in their ranks. Here's some brief quotes that
speak from themselves as seen in this new issue of Charisma displaying
the cacophony of scoundrels, heretics, and rotten churched role-models:
Past cover-girls and boys shown on the current issue's cover that failed
to receive tribute on the inside pages were:
Robert Tilton -- July 1985 Coverboy -- Tilton "was one of TV journalist
Diane Sawyer's prime targets. The Prime-Time segment focused
on the estimated $80 million a year Tilton's ministry received in donations--and
his organization's methods of raising it. . . Today, Robert lives in the
Miami area, where he has continued his television ministry. . . In days
gone by, the Tiltons were under fire for a lifestyle that included a 5,000-square-foot
parsonage on a golf course in Dallas; a waterfront condo in Florida and
a mansion in California, which Prime Time valued at $4.5 million."
David du Plessis -- Nov.-Dec. 1978 Coverboy -- "Du Plessis was one of the
most influential charismatic leaders of the 20th century. Dubbed
'Mr. Pentecost' . . . he became known around the world-- first for his
efforts to bring unity among Pentecostals and later for his work in helping
to merge the four major streams of the charismatic movement: mainline Protestant,
nondenominational, Catholic and Pentecostal. . . he was invited to attend
the third session of Vatican II in 1964.. . his efforts were instrumental
in initiating a continuing dialogue between Catholics and Pentecostals,
spreading the charismatic renewal across denominational lines, and laying
the foundation for the worldwide spiritual renewal that is occurring today."
Jimmy Swaggart -- March 1977 Coverboy -- "There are signs, too, that the
65-year-old native of Ferriday, Louisiana, may leave a brighter legacy
than the one dimmed by the sex scandals of 1988 and 1991 which tarnished
his ministry. His Bible college, renamed soon after the first scandal broke,
is down to a few dozen students, compared with 1,451 in the fall of 1986.
Many buildings in the ministry center are leased to the government.
Adjacent property at one time eyed for a 25,000-seat church is now the
site of a shopping mall."
Amy Grant -- June 1988 Covergirl -- "Grant said that she had 'received
her prayer language' and had 'come to understand her gift for prophetic
prayer.' She also confessed to having a 'terrible fear that Gary
and I weren't going to survive.' . . . 'I never thought I would end up
here,' Grant said of her divorce in the Nashville Tennessean last year.
'I did the very best I could..I want to stand up and say, It's not the
way you think it was! But it doesn't really matter.'"
Kenneth Hagin -- October 1981 Coverboy -- "Hagin has for several years
conducted Holy Ghost meetings held in churches around the country. Recently,
he has begun holding All Faiths gatherings again as he did in the 1980s
and early 1990s. Each meeting lasts up to two weeks."
Benny Hinn -- April 1979 Coverboy -- "Hinn walks to the platform's center
and welcomes the 21st century by making numerous declarations about the
future . . . 'Within two years there will be a new pope,' Hinn declares.
He then describes the new pontiff as an Italian who wears glasses and has
long hair. 'And within two years,' he adds, 'a young Egyptian male
converted from Islam will preach the gospel so well that hundreds of thousands
of Muslims will accept Christ.'"
Larry Lea -- October 1986 Coverboy -- "His ministry has shrunk since the
days when nationwide television audiences eagerly tuned in to his messages.
But after overcoming personal problems, Larry Lea has resumed teaching
on his favorite topic: Prayer. . . Two years after leaving Church on the
Rock, ABC's Prime Time Live questioned the ethics of Lea and two
other Dallas-based televangelists, W. V. Grant and Robert Tilton.
Stung by the criticism, Lea withdrew from television.. But Rodgers
says the incident created a much longer-lasting impact. The evangelist
lapsed into a four-year-long bout with depression, culminating in a nervous
breakdown. His marriage to his wife, Melva, also collapsed."
Dennis Bennett -- May 1980 Coverboy -- "When a humble priest named Dennis
Bennett was filled with the Holy Spirit in 1960, he thrust charismatic
renewal into the public eye. . . Though Bennett was certainly not the first
clergyman to receive the baptism, the publicity surrounding the event brought
attention to and helped fuel a 'new' move of the Spirit known today as
the charismatic renewal. . . When asked about her husband's continuing
influence on the body of Christ, Rita says it is the result of his emphasis
on unity--promoting the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy
Spirit to bring people together.'"
Fred Price -- May 1985 Coverboy -- "He divides his exhaustive series of
messages into hourlong segments that are blunt and sometimes border on
the offensive. 'Anybody who prays for God to give them more faith
is stupid,' he says at one point this Sunday. 'They don't know that
if you're saved you already have it. You just have to develop it.'
. . Much of his teaching, while grounded in Word-Faith doctrine, flies
with prosperity teaching. His current series is 'None Suffer Lack.'"
David (Paul) Yonngi Cho -- May-June 1977 Coverboy-- "Pastors flocked to
Seoul in the 1980s to learn Cho's 'cell group' concept. . . However, the
explosive growth that defined Yoido Full Gospel Church is not occurring
today. . . During a recent service, Cho was so exhausted that he sat in
the front of the church while a video of his preaching from an earlier
service was played on the screen above."
Rosey Grier -- October 1982 Coverboy -- "Grier still hangs out every week
with his friend O. J. Simpson, whose murder trial put Grier in the spotlight
in 1994. Grier says Simpson gave his life to Christ during one of
their private meetings in Simpson's jail cell and that he's still a committed
Christian today. 'He is strong. He loves the Lord,' Grier says.
'He has his faults, but we all do.'"
John Wimber -- Sept. 1985 Coverboy -- "Wimber's widow, Carol, 'John's greatest
legacy was taking the gifts of the Holy Spirit and putting them in the
hands of the everyday Christian' . . . 'He believed the gifts could move
through any believer' . . . John Arnott, pastor of the Toronto Airport
Christian Fellowship, made a similar observation. 'Through John's
ministry,' Arnott said, 'we learned once and for all that ordinary people
can be equipped to move in the power of the Holy Spirit and bring the dynamic
presence of a supernatural God into our daily lives.'"
Charles & Frances Hunter -- Sept.-Oct. Covercouple -- " The Hunters
introduced thousands to the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Full Gospel Business
Men's Fellowship meetings. . . Charles and Frances Hunter made famous what
are known as 'Healing Explosions': large-scale citywide campaigns in which
the key focus is to pray for the sick to be healed. . . Each healing-team
member reads How to Heal the Sick, one of dozens of books written by the
Hunters, and attends 15 hours of video training supplied by the Hunters
to Video Healing Schools that are set up in churches throughout the area."
T. D. Jakes
Bishop Clarence McClendon (Although not highlighted in the past cover
stories article, on page 27 there appears a news story about McClendon's
wife recently filing for divorce and allegations rising that he had a child
out of wedlock and is a womanizer.)