YWAM: The Facts About Their Headlong Dive Into Apostasy
I believe it is time for any true biblical church to separate from and discontinue financial support for Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
YWAM has been slipping into apostasy for years. I and many others have tried to help them back to orthodoxy, written letters to their leaders, all without success. It has been made plain to us and others that they have completely bought into every aspect of the New Apostolic Reformation and are now very visible and vocal proponents of the C. Peter Wagner "gospel".
The case against YWAM, in short, is a follows:
(1) The YWAM leadership including Loren Cunningham and Joy Dawson have both been on the Benny Hinn "This Is Your Day" show in endorsement of his ministry, pledging to work with him. Joy Dawson flew to HI with Hinn for his last crusade, and stood on stage with Hinn promising that YWAM would work with Hinn to evangelize the youth of the islands. A number of pastors and Christian leaders were at the Hinn crusade and heard her say this, firsthand. Local YWAM leadership in Hawaii will therefore be responsible to implement Hinn's future crusades here, and YWAM will be helping him all over the world. Benny Hinn is a false prophet, a false teacher, has not been able to prove one miracle he claims by objective means even when given many golden opportunities by both secular and legitimate Christian agencies, raises money off the backs of the poor and then spends it on luxuries like $3700. per night hotel rooms, claims all kind of "anointings" that have no biblical basis, talks to the dead, etc. Here are only three of Hinn's false prophecies that he has never repented of:
"The Spirit tells me - Fidel Castro will die - in the 90's. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God." (Benny Hinn, Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989)
"The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90's, about '94-'95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it - with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed." (Benny Hinn, Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989)
"The hour is urgent. Many of you have known me for many years. But I am telling you right now, things I haven't said years 'n years 'n years ago. I believe - here this, hear this! I believe, that Jesus, God's Son, is about to appear physically, in meetings and to believers around the world, to wake us up! He appeared after His resurrection and He is about to appear before His second coming! You know a prophetess sent me a word through my wife, right here, and she said 'Tell your husband that Jesus is go'n to physically appear in his meetings.' I am expecting to see, I am telling you that - I feel it's going to happen. I, I, I'm, I'm careful in how I am saying it now, because I know the people in Kenya are listening. I know deep in my soul, something supernatural is going to happen in Nai - in Nairobi Kenya. I feel that. I may very well come back, and you and Jan are coming, to - Paul and Jan are coming to Nairobi with me, but Paul, we may very well come back with footage of Jesus on the platform! You know that the Lord appeared in Romania recently, and there's a video of it? Where the Lord appeared in the back of a church and you see him on video walking down the isle? Yeah! Paul do you remember when I came on TBN years ago and showed you a clip of the Lord appearing in our church in Orlando, on the balcony on the wall? Yeah. You, you remember that? [Paul Crouch] Very well, I saw it! [Benny Hinn] That was '80, 80 something, '86, what - whatever. You know I always wondered why the Lord, why did He do that? Do you know why, now I look back? That was the beginning of the greatest move of God in our church. Because '83, '84, and '85 were horrible years for me, horrible years. Eighty-six the blessings of God began, but they began with a - with this manifestation of the Lord's face on, on the balcony, that stayed for eight weeks. Eight solid weeks! The Lord has done this in the past, but He is about to do it again, now hear this, I am prophesying this! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches, and some meetings, and to many of His people, for one reason - to tell you He is about to show up! To Wake Up! Jesus is coming saints! You have held back from the Lord in the past, don't you dare do it now. The day will come you'll stand before Him and give an answer. How dare we not give to God. How dare we hold back." (Benny Hinn, TBN Praise-a-thon, April 2nd, 2000)
Benny Hinn is a heretic, and therefore biblical Christians must separate from him and anyone endorsing his ministry and working with him.
(2) YWAM helped organize the World Christian Gathering On Indigenous People in HI in October. YWAM promoted this event on KLHT in Honolulu. The people who were interviewed by YWAM in promotion of this gathering promote human tradition and culture, when Apostles like Paul clearly stopped promoting human culture when they were born again, instead living for what Jesus Christ called them to do.
Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.Yet promoting indigenous culture is the main focus of this movement, as well as getting people into the New Apostolic Reformation. They also pray to false gods in the name of the one true Triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, YHWH. Richard Twiss said on 700 Club with Gordon Robertson agreeing that the Great Spirit of the Indians is the same as the Holy Spirit, and promotes praying to Indian gods whose names they have changed to Creator, Son and Holy Spirit. Leon Siu and Daniel Kikawa pray to the bird god "Io" and call him Jehovah. Terry LeBlanc endorses the same practices, and many including Richard Twiss are directly linked to the New Apostolic Reformation along with YWAM. This is syncretism to the ultimate degree, and is no different than what the Catholics did when they came to the islands and changed the names of demonic gods into the names of saints. The island people were clearly animistic before the gospel arrived in the islands--worshipping rocks, trees, animals and fish--but YWAM endorsed the view of the First Nations representatives that God had already revealed Himself and His salvation plan and was already available prior to missionaries coming to the islands and messing up their cultures. YWAM also aired a patently stilted and erroneous view of island mission history on the program that is still available on the CCH site.
(3) YWAM is now establishing categories like "Messianic Muslims" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) who do not have to recognize that Jesus Christ is God, but can just add him on to their Muslim beliefs, continue to pray in the Mosques, read the Koran, and follow their religious traditions. I have direct information about this from a Messianic Muslim. They are also using this method with Hindus and other peoples. This is not evangelism, this is anti evangelism--Universalism in another guise. This goes against the core doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
(4) YWAM's local Honolulu site is linked to one of the biggest Third Wave sites on the web called InJesus.com, which promotes many false teachers from TBN. (UPDATE 1/7/03: YWAM Honolulu just took down their whole site and they say they are moving it to another location. So the InJesus link is not there at the moment. Perhaps they took it down because they decided not to be quite so open about their connections to the New Apostolic Reformation for the moment, for reasons we can only guess at. We're happy they currently have no link to InJesus, but YWAM's links to the Third Wave are far too obvious for them to hide, if that is what they're up to here in Honolulu. UPDATE 5/29/03: YWAM Honolulu finally has their new site up and it also no longer sports a link to InJesus. Again, why did they drop this link after they read our article? It is clear from what they teach and promote that they are in lock step with the agenda of the NAR. Why hide that fact?).
YWAM has been promoting heretical books by Third Wavers like Rick Joyner and Francis Frangepane, publishes books by George Otis, Jr. and C. Peter Wagner, and hands out many others all over the islands, to pastors and church leaders there. They are actively inviting people out of biblical churches to go to Third Wave churches and events. In Micronesia YWAM shared the responsibility and infamy of causing a split from our mission Evangelical Church in one island when the Brownsville AoG people came there. YWAM people are actively proselytizing people from our Evangelical churches in another island to go to the Brownsville type church there. Many people in YWAM are no longer doing straight evangelism, as some in YWAM have in the past, but are mainly involved these days in false spiritual warfare techniques such as binding territorial demons, blowing shofars on mountain tops, getting the Holy Spirit by impratation and "through the mouth", going up to the hills with salt and water to "reconcile men with women in the culture", prayer walking, spiritual mapping, and all the rest of the unbiblical occultic methods of their mentors C. Peter Wagner, John Dawson and George Otis, Jr. Wagner presented the entire New Apostolic Reformation scenario to YWAM, and I have notes from one meeting in 1999 in Colorado Springs, CO with University Of The Nations where Wagner stated that he and other "apostles" are foundational to the Church, and told YWAM people to use Bill Hamon's book on Apostles & Prophets as reference, which also states the same thing. Here are the quotes that prove that Wagner is teaching YWAM that modern day apostles are foundational apostles for the church today:
1990s The government of the church came into place with the recognition of the office of apostle. This is an important point. 1.) The body of Christ did not in general recognize the office of apostle. 2.) Three books on the role of the apostle: a.) David Cannistraci, Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement. Major textbook on the whole movement. b.) Bill Hammond (sp), Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God.The fact is that there is only one type of "apostle" today, and they are messengers, or church planting missionaries. We call them missionaries today because it is easy to confuse the term "apostle" as those in the New Apostolic Reformation have done. The gift of foundational Apostleship is no longer our concern as no one today fits the criteria to be a foundational apostle. The teachings of the foundational Apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20) are what the Church is built upon, Christ being the chief Cornerstone and Foundation (1 Cor. 3:10-11). The Apostles were those who saw the Lord while He was on earth before he ascended into heaven (1 Cor. 9:1) and the Lord did true signs, wonders and miracles through them to authenticate their ministries (2 Cor. 12:12). They wrote Scriptures (Matthew, John, Peter, Paul, etc.). They were persecuted and all but one of the foundational Apostles (John) were martyred for the Faith (1 Cor. 4:9 and the Pre Nicene Fathers writings). Finally, Paul said that he was the last, in sequence, of the original foundational Apostles (1 Cor. 15:7-8). We are to use the Word of God, through Jesus Christ, taught to us by the Apostles and prophets, as the basis for our Christian life (2 Peter 3:2, Jude 17). There is no one today who can meet the biblical criteria to be a foundational Apostle. But there are "apostles" in the Church today, "sent out" ones, messengers, mainly church planting missionaries, but they are not foundational to the Church.Bill Hamon states in his book: "Paul tells us that the ministries of apostles and prophets are foundational to the building of Christ's Church (Ephesians 2:20-22). They are a direct extension of the "Cornerstone," Jesus, to give alignment and proper structure to God's building, the Church. So any local church which is established without an apostle or prophet ministry will not have a proper foundation for maximum growth." (Prophets in Today's Church, Adapted from PROPHETS and PERSONAL PROPHECY, By Dr. Bill Hamon.)c.) John Eckhardt, Moving in the Apostolic. The most motivational book. Gives base for understanding what Peter Wagner is teaching during this session. 3. Now ready for jumping off. We are entering a new Apostolic Reformation. What we are seeing is the greatest change in the way we carry out the life of the church since the Protestant Reformation. (C. Peter Wagner, YWAM University of the Nations Workshop 1999, Keynote Speaker Notes, Outlines of Speakers’ Messages, September 2 -12, 1999, Colorado Springs Sheraton)
"I needed a name ... For a couple of years I experimented with 'Post denominationalism'. The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation." (C. Peter Wagner, The New Apostolic Churches (Ventura CA; Regal, 1998), p. 18.)
A National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church was convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Seminary, May 21-23, 1996. Bill Hamon said that "this was a historical occasion in God's annals of Church history. It was prophetically orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to fulfill God's progressive purposes of bringing His church to its ultimate destiny. . . the consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st Century Church. (Streams, Rivers, Floods, Avalanches, cited by Jewel van der Merwe, Dsicernment Ministries Newsletter, http://www.discernment-ministries.com/Articles/streams.htm)
In Wagner's new book, APOSTLES OF THE CITY: HOW TO MOBILIZE THE TERRITORIAL APOSTLES FOR CITY TRANSFORMATION, he attempts to describe what the local role of these apostles might be. He defines Apostles to the City as those "whom the Holy Spirit gives an anointing for extraordinary authority in spiritual matters over the other Christian leaders in the same city." While not excluding others, Wagner hypothesizes that the most extensive pool for identifying apostles of the city is among the mega churches. (The Apostles Are Coming To Your City, Ready or Not by Orell Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April 2001)
When asked what he (Wagner) thought the main stumbling block would be, that would keep leaders from embracing the Apostolic Reformation, Wagner cites "a commitment to tradition amongst ministers." Wagner states: "I think that some are bound by religious forms and functions that are ineffective and I think in many cases it is demonic influence." (The Apostles Are Coming To Your City, Ready or Not by Orell Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April 2001)
In the brochure that I received, advertising C. Peter Wagner's conference in Brisbane, the following was written: "The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is changing the shape of Christianity globally. It is truly a new day! The Church is changing. New names! New methods! New worship expressions! The Lord is establishing the foundations of the Church for the new millennium. This foundation is built upon apostles and prophets. Apostles execute and establish God's plan on the earth. The time to convene a conference of the different apostolic prophetic streams across this nation is now! This conference will cause the Body to understand God's 'new' order for this coming era. We look forward to having you with us in Brisbane in Feb 2000." It was signed by Peter Wagner and Ben Gray. (Brochure For Brisbane 2000, as cited in Jumping On The Bandwagon - Australian Christian Churches Seduced by the Beat of a Different Drummer?, Hughie Seaborn, 1999, http://members.ozemail.com.au/~rseaborn/bandwagon.html)
C. Peter Wagner states “I believe that the government of the church is finally coming into place and that is what the Scripture teaches in Eph. 2, that the foundation of the church is apostles and prophets. Previous to this decade of the 80's and the 90's we practically ignored prophets and apostles and now we’re seeing, what I believe is a major reason. We’re going to new levels in prayer. We’re going to new levels in the spiritual. We’re going to new levels in healing and miracles. We’re going to new levels in deliverance of demonic deliverance. And so this is the new era we are going into and I don't know if it is coincidental or what, but its just as we are moving into the new millennium.” (C. Peter Wagner, CBN interview Jan. 3, 2000)
YWAM is clearly one of the most far reaching arms of the New Apostolic Reformation. I have a video series of Wagner's "National School Of The Prophets" group and I found hundreds of heretical statements in those tapes, denying virtually every core doctrine of the Faith. A video to be released soon will show graphically just how far the New Apostolic Reformation Latter Rain apostasy has spread in the churches. YWAM is spreading these false doctrines globally, as well as in the Pacific islands.
Until YWAM returns to orthodoxy, we are bound by Titus 1:13 to admonish them, then reject them if they continue to teach such things.
As to admonishing, I have personally contacted all the leadership of YWAM that I could find email addresses for in February 2002 regarding the issue of Benny Hinn, including Loren Cunningham, Joy Dawson, John Dawson (their new president), Winkey Pratney (though not YWAM is one of their frequent speakers and was on the Benny Hinn show a few nights ago), Hinrich Kranzlin, Danny Lehmann and many YWAM ministries in many countries. Of the above, only Hinrich Kranzlin director of YWAM Oceania, an old friend of mine, answered my admonishment about Benny Hinn. He indicated that he has only minor problems with Hinn, but no real major problems with YWAM working with Hinn, and considers Hinn to be a good evangelist. I personally have yet to hear Hinn give a real gospel message including the absolute and utter sinful condition of man and the Atonement and what it means, in the many years I have been watching him. I have viewed many videos and meetings, but even if Hinn did get close enough to the truth of the Gospel some night when I was not watching his show, he ruins it with the false transferable impartation when people come forward, as well as other heresies, false prophesies, false and lying visions and stories, money raising scams, etc. You can scatter the seed and then the birds pick it right back up again (Luke 8:5).
YWAM has been admonished over and over again, not only by myself but others. I have tried to help them personally in the islands. My family, including myself, did seminars for YWAM many times in the past. We watched them slip into apostasy and warned them repeatedly about it personally. But this association with Benny Hinn is the final straw. He is a false prophet!
I believe it is time for any biblical church to cut ties with YWAM and encourage anyone involved with YWAM to get out and come under the biblical covering and doctrine of biblical organizations. YWAM is not the only youth agency out there for young people. I would never send my kids to YWAM, and I now recommend people stay away from YWAM. I have several letters from YWAMers and ex-YWAMers who all state that YWAM is cultic, because its leadership does not allow anyone to question what the leaders teach without being labeled divisive, snipers, heretic hunters, touching God's "anointed", of another spirit, and even demonic and in need of exorcism. I hesitate to use such a strong word as "cultic" myself in describing YWAM, but frankly if a group is promoting heresy, then they are, by biblical and dictionary definition, a cult of Christianity.
It is my hope and prayer that some will flee this apostate organization as they are unwilling and, I believe, no longer able to come back to orthodoxy. We are here to help debrief people who need to unlearn false doctrines and learn the truth from the Scriptures. We continue to pray for the leadership of YWAM that they will repent and return to orthodoxy before it is too late.