My YWAM Experience
by G. in an email of 12/1/02 to DITC
This is just some of my experience in YWAM...
First of all I would like to say that if most pastors knew what is really going on in YWAM they would never send their people to this organization.
My ten year experience with YWAM was both good and bad, but mostly bad. The pressure tactics they use and their manipulation is very negative.
Please understand that I have traveled to every continent on the globe, with the exception of South America, through YWAM. I have also personally been to more than 30 individual YWAM bases and have seen what goes on first hand.
There are four primary teachings that YWAM uses at every base, which everyone must learn, that concern me. They are as follows:
Unity at all costs
Giving up your rights
"Touch not God's Anointed"
"Deniers, Quitters and Betrayers"
And there are many more...They also push students to speak in tongues...These four teachings ultimately achieve total control for YWAM and its leaders.
Everyone who attends YWAM also goes through what they call a time of "ministry." During this time you confess and renounce old sins. If you don't confess something, then you are looked upon as unable to allow "God to go deep." You are also encouraged to imagine that Jesus is in the room with you through a type of guided imagery.
YWAM leaders have said for many years that they want to recruit young people fresh out of high school. These youth are often quite vulnerable and obviously can be easily influenced. They also frequently have little if any meaningful bible training. The four teachings previously cited may then be taken to an extreme to train these youth. And YWAM can do a great job manipulating almost any situation.
When negative things happen within YWAM a typical response is, "That's an isolated situation." And when I was in YWAM they told me always to "cover the mission at all costs." They try to make any problem appear as if it is only the first time such a problem has occurred. Remember that their funding often comes from the local church...so cover the mission at all cost!
If you confront a YWAM leader about any problem they will often say, "How can I serve you?" This is a response they are routinely taught to use, but it really isn't an answer. Instead, it is more like a rehearsed tactic of evasion.
I recall once serving leaders snacks at a meeting and feeling embarrassed when one leader said what a good job I was doing. I suppose it was embarrassing to realize just how submissive my service had become.
Many times we ate badly at YWAM bases. But I observed leaders eating
steak or some other special food. They apparently felt that this was their
privilege. And many times women were picked over men to lead teams. Such
practices seemed to me to ignore scripture. But if you speak out against
their unbiblical teaching or behavior, they will use the teaching "Unity
costs" and ask you to leave or shut up.
And don't expect to have a special friendship with someone of the opposite sex at YWAM, unless you get permission.
If you are attempting to get information from former YWAM members remember to ask them twice, "What really happened?" Perhaps the second time around they will tell you more about their experience.
When I took YWAM courses at the "University of the Nations" I found
out that only some of the teachers there had accredited degrees in biblical
studies. This was not good, since I was hoping to receive an accredited
degree myself. Though they call it the "University of Nations" apparently
it is unaccredited. Many of the teachers listed in their admissions book,
I later found out, did not really teach at their school or extension schools.
Interestingly, they don't allow people to attend the school if they are
"spiritual" enough at discipleship training school (DTS).
YWAM also believes you should pay for other students that come in broke. This is part of their teaching "Giving up your rights." They will get any money a new member brings--you can rely upon that. In my opinion life at YWAM is ultimately "bad news."
Anyone reading this should consider going somewhere else. There are other places to serve God and be trained. But if you have read all this and still decide to attend YWAM. I suggest you do three things:
First, leave most of your money back home with a family member or trusted friend with instructions to save it for you.
Second, tell them no matter what you say, not to give it back, unless you are almost dead.
And finally, please pray before you go...there are many mind games played in YWAM and you must be prepared...show your pastor this letter before you go...and remember they will try to get you to go to their school...it is very unaccredited...and many other schools don't accept their units...only 15 of my 60 plus units were accepted at another school...they will ask you to come on staff...only if you have been the perfect ywamer and never went against the leadership...they will ask you to raise money from your home church, friends and family so you can give them your money to do free work for them...those that teach in ywam make very good money...a DTS school with 40 students at $2,500= $100,000 US dollars! and that is every three months...but you won't know it by the quality of food you eat...or your housing for that matter...so when the leadership say they don't have any money...they are not telling you the truth...
Once you are there if you speak out about a leader or speaker at your YWAM base and say they did something wrong, such as unbiblical teachings, expect them to use "touch not my anointed" to discredit your comments and excuse their own conduct. You then may be asked to leave. Such tactics seem to keep everyone quiet. The leaders then can say or do almost anything they want. Remember, control is the goal. YWAM often takes discipleship to extremes, which is very unhealthy.
If you decide later that you want to expose them, or simply want to leave, they will then use the teaching, "Deniers, Quitters and Betrayers," to make you feel that you have actually left the "Will of God" and will be "lost forever." The result of this teaching is often years of false guilt.
After leaving YWAM I attended an accredited school and eventually completed two undergraduate degrees and later a Masters degree in counseling. I am now working on my Ph.D. and serving a church congregation as an associate pastor.
Looking back on my years at YWAM I can see now how twisted it was and would never recommend YWAM to anyone. It has been years since I left, but I still have nightmares about my time there. BE CAREFUL!
by R., in an email of 12/4/02 to DITC
I have just finished an 8 month trip with a YWAM leader, where we spent 5 months being disciple and 3 months touring as a worship team in ... My problem is that I believe there was great abuse of scriptures (anointing, callings, false prophecies). All of these things were used to control and manipulate us as followers. I have confronted this leader and this person refuses to listen. I have pleaded for communication and there has been nothing. I have confronted the leader's home church and still nothing. My question is how can I post my story on the internet? I would like to post all of my emails to the leader and to the leader's church. I would like to explain my story and all of the false teachings in detail to warn others because I feel that the same thing is happening elsewhere. Please advise,
by Name Withheld, in an email of 2/15/02 to DITC
I have enjoyed reading your website for the past 2 years.
Anyway, the reason I am writing to you is to thank you for exposing YWAM and even writing an open letter to them. You see, I have been with YWAM for 13 years (on and off). Recently I left the YWAM base where I had been living for some years.
Our leader ... knows all about who Benny Hinn really is, because I talked to him about the apostasy going on in the Church over a year ago (warning him about the direction YWAM has taken supporting these false prophets) and when he ... heard from me (knew nothing about it before) that Hinn prophesied physical appearance of Jesus, they could not believe it - it sounded so "off the wall" to them. They agreed it was false - so "Hinn must have lost his anointing, must have sold it for money" (while I told them he was just a wolf in sheep's clothing - YWAMers don`t believe in wolves, though). Now they probably know that their close friend and "leader" Loren got the same warning in an e-mail a few days ago (not to mention that he was on Benny Hinn`s program!) - and he will brush it off.
I (attended) the University of the Nations campus in Kona. It was before gold dust miracles came there ... as I recall hearing from someone who works there. Even then ... there were some drunk (in the spirit) prophets prophesying and teaching the whole campus (using Kevin Prosch music as a background) during an open meeting on the basket-ball stadium, and I remember that the older people from staff did NOT feel comfortable about that (Loren C. was not living there at the time), while the younger staff were saying that " the old order" must go.
Anyway, Loren C. is condoning "birthing" in the spirit manifestations and all this TB junk. (Kindgom Now or Dominionism has led him astray in the arms of the NEW AGE Christianity - which is not the true Christianity at all, just a clever counterfeit). He is one of the false apostles.
The main streams in YWAM during the last decade and now:
- Latter Rain theology (they promote all the false prophets like Cindy Jacobs and "apostolic reformation" of Peter Wagner - which is really setting up an anti-christ system of "apostolic" rule in the Church),
- Dominion Theology (or Kingdom Now) - they are post-millenial to the core, expecting the Church to christianize the whole world before Jesus can come back to rule - so they are very evangelistic, but with wrong motives (to rule the world before Christ can come back, to take a dominion over every aspect of life in every nation, also spiritually: over "territorial spirits" and Satan, otherwise Jesus can not come back),
- They even started to have strong WOF elements in their teachings, picked up from the River teachers (Brownsville,Argentina etc. or WoFJohn Avanzini - one teacher in YWAM whose topic is finances and economy, has been teaching us that "Jesus was rich" - junk etc). They started concentrating on positive confession and David/Paul Yonggi Cho. Anything negative is from the devil. (especially concerning the "Revival" they are awaiting).
I participated in their "leaders of the 21st century" training course ... (the leader(s) and the spouses were also told to do the school together) ... - it was then that I discovered how far removed from BIBLICAL Christianity they truly are (and here I am talking about the top leaders, not young people who are true to Jesus and just want to serve Him, they just need to have their eyes opened to the Truth about this organization).
What they were teaching us as future leaders, was very close to New Age teachings (which I know a lot about and had no difficulty recognizing the fact): One of the top regional YWAM leaders (of one region of the world, not just a national leader) told us very clearly how we could evangelize witches: "May be we should tell them that Jesus was the greatest SHAMAN ever".
They promote dialog with Islam and other religions, not to convert them
to Jesus Christ, but to build brigdes between our religions - Lynn Green
was teaching us in person about that (and about his reconciliation walk)
and I must say, he sounded very ignorant and foolish (he said: "I DON`T
KNOW WHERE IT ALL LEADS, but this was really God doing" - and to me it
was obvious that WE KNOW WHERE IT LEADS: to a One World Religion (something
which the Pope also is working towards
and they admire the Pope, the leader for Europe have stated to us that he has read all the Pope`s books and he agrees with 95% of what John Paul II says!!). Lynn Green also said that he has met many Muslems in the Middle-East during his walks, who were CHRISTLIKE more than we, Christians, are (!!!!).
The whole approach to train future YWAM leaders was very psychological
(secular tests, books written even by a Mormon were recommended), based
on marketing our organization and the gospel like you are trained to do
in a secular company by
using man-made methods, while God and His true Word is left out in our "planning for the next 25 yeas" (what pride).
YWAM is a mixture of good and bad, but in the last decade, I can truly say, it has become leavened to the core. There are still MANY wonderful people there (especially those short-term missionaries, who have not been brainwashed yet). The Gospel still may be preached by those who are true to the Bible. But the whole system and the leaders have strayed away and refuse to receive any correction. (like in a cult, if you go and tell the leaders about the problems you see with their doctrine or practice, you will be ostracized, called "bitter and unforgiving" and "divisive". They will try to give you a "mentor" who can monitor your growth in the Lord according to THEIR teachings. You can leave, they will not hold you back - but don`t you try to change their unbiblical ways, it is too late).
God bless you,
Answer to my return email ...
>it is truly sad that this old friend of mine is unwilling to admit that Benny Hinn is a false prophet. >
You know, one reason for that may be that YWAMers' "credo" is: "All who name the name of Christ as their Saviour are our brothers and sisters in the Lord". (But Jesus said to us to warn us, that the deceivers will come IN HIS NAME!!! And not in the name of Buddha or Joseph Smith).
Another favorite one, by Joy Dawson, is: "we all are just a different piece of a puzzle, so even if something seems unbiblical to you, it`s probably because you are the one who still doesn`t understand the Bible, you need to grow in the faith". Actually, she may have used a diamond with many angles as her picture (of different denominatins and teachings, yet still "united in Christ"), but later it was promoted as "pieces of a puzzle".
So what they often think is like in this quote below (this is not from a YWAMer, but represents EXACTLY what I have heard in YWAM):
"His sheep Know his voice, and he corrects those whom he loves. False Prophets will always get off doctrinally and pervert the gospel to line their own Pockets. Suffice To say that the word of God does the convicting. Our Job is not to go around looking for false Prophets but To preach the word. The word (Double edged sword that it is does the convicting and the exposing) It really is that simple. I guess It boils down to what constitutes a false Prophet. Certainly None of the names brought Up so far fall Into that category In anybody On this forum's book. If You feel That Benny Hinn and Bro Hagin are false Prophets Then i would respectfully demurr from continuing this dialogue any further cos we would be on Two different pages altogether. Suffice To say that their doctrinal positions on the essentials of the faith such as the Virgin Birth, The Triune God, The Deity and Humanity of Jesus, Fall within parametric brackets of Orthodoxy. At all Benny Hinn Crusades, I see and hear The name of Jesus Lifted up, ditto all the other leaders In the wof. (see www.bennyhinn.org and www.rhema.org for the doctrinal Positions of both pertinent Ministries) Suffice To say That I am by no means implying that these men are Infallible and walk Perfectly In Love all the Time But who does? Again Other Than explicit doctrinal manipulation of the essential doctrines of Christ such as denying his deity. I would tread carefully In criticizing those who name the name of Jesus since Only God Knows hearts (The Only exception being those who exert spiritual authority over such as Church or Familiy). One could easily get over Into "evil surmisings" Otherwise. Does that mean that all whom name the name of Jesus are A Ok .. Not neccessarily but the wheat and the tares are To be left To grow Together. The angels Themselves will do The sifting towards the end Of the age. Any attempt To sort the wheat from the tares By Us may result In rooting The wheat along with the tares. Suffice To say that those whom claimed To have worked wonders In His name but are still rejected are Judged By Him at the Judgement seat and not by us in this dispensation."
Such words I also heard - EXACTLY the same - from the mouth of one of the top leaders ... - a man who I otherwise respected, he was not arrogant and false to the core - he had some good, Biblical teachings as well, yet mixed with a leaven. At one time he even advocated visualization practice of Yonggi Cho (during our 'leadership training school' for the YWAM leaders).
Another reason why your old friend may not be willing to admit Benny Hinn is a false prophet - despite all the proofs - may be that deep inside he "knows", but his own position as a future director is too precious to him to lose. After all, Loren Cunningham and Joy Dawson are promoting Hinn (and Hinn promoting them - reminds me of John 5:44) and to go against such "heros of faith" would equal "lack of unity" and "rebellion".
Another problem in YWAM is a hero-worship of Loren. Even Joy called him - while talking to Benny Hinn on his program - "one of the greatest luminaries on the planet right now". He is simply so much "higher" than us, normal believers, so anointed and chosen for this special God`s plan in the earth (to disciple the youth - as she said), that "who are we" to question his judgment?!
>They are actively promoting the Third Wave in the islands through heretical books>
They do it everywhere. Do you know who is responsible for printing "God`s chasers" and other kind of junk by Tommy T here (and spreading it all over the country, to all denominations)? Our YWAM publishing.
To me the greatest shock a year ago or so, was to see Tommy Tenney on TBN where his new book was being presented and he read endorsment from...Joy Dawson (among others). I guess heretics endorse heretics, Tenney is just the worst kind of a GNOSTIC "Christian" I have yet seen, occultic to the core. And YWAM LOVES it. ...
>I guess they allegorize OT Scriptures to try to prove some kind of worldwide revival of the end times,>
You are right, they allegorize a lot (just like the Latter Rain teachers do). Their favorite verses to prove that we will evangelize the world (and have a Christian SOCIETY) before Jesus can come back, is this:
>ISA 11:9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. HAB 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.>
They believe this is for NOW and that they have a commission from God to fulfill it!
>but will not take the plain commands of people like Peter seriously.>
This is very true. They totally reject the plain teachings of the TRUE apostles! I remember during that leadership training, we were going to have lectures with the European director Jeff Fountain (he is the one who later said that Jesus was the greatest Shaman, ever - to the Wicca witch) and before I went to his first lecture, I was praying in the morning. As I was doing that, the Lord impressed upon me 2 Peter 3:16-17. I can`t tell you how true that warning from God turned out to be! Jeff was perverting everything the apostles were teaching, telling us "we need a paradigm shift" and need to become "post-millenial" etc. He was one of the most New Age YWAM leaders I`ve ever heard.
>Clearly they have bought into subjectivism to the max and are making up their own religion as they go.>
Exactly, they are making their OWN religion by now, with the GNOSTIC Jesus and a different spirit. One clear scripture about them I received 2 years ago - while praying for them in agony- was from Jeremiah 8:4-23. I believe this is exactly how the Lord looks at them and this is what He would say to them. But they have no spiritual understanding to see it, they have become blind leading the blind. They can not repent, coz they do not think they have sinned. SAD.
Keep up the good work,
Love in Christ,
by I., in an email of 1/31/02 to DITC
Firstly, let me introduce myself. I. ... converted in 1968, introduced to YWAM that year, and joined them in 1971 to 1974.
I cut my teeth on "moral government" and just like Greg Robertson, I thought it had the answers. ... WE know all the founders of YWAM, and were close at hand at the many shipwrecks along the way. It is only god's grace that has kept us together and He alone has the glory for leading us out of the deception. It took 20 years!
In the 80's I wrote a book, not published, attempting to show that the New Age movement was invading the church in force, and that its links were as far back as Babylon. It was during this time that the writings of Francis Schaeffer became very real to us. We devoured everything he wrote. In particular, his high view of Scripture, and his statement that the bottom line is the view of biblical authority, were the issues that turned on the lights for us.
To our dismay and concern, few around us cold see it! We felt that open argument was NOT the way at that time, but rather gentle discussion and pointing people to the facts. We have maintained this stance until yesterday.
I read your article re Joy Dawson and was disappointed, not with you for writing it, you were reporting the facts. No, I was disappointed with Joy Dawson. Someone whom I had deeply respected, someone who knew me personally, and who could then go on to be so totally deluded.... it beggars belief. For me personally the cycle of deception which began with moral government was somehow completed with her endorsement of Hinn. the man is a ludicrous, though thoroughly dangerous, caricature of true ministry.
I went public yesterday, and emailed my entire Christian friends network, expressing my thoughts as above. I am now waiting for the explosions! The first response was from an Ex ywam leader, now living in Colorado Springs, who also expressed his disappointment with Dawson, and his growing concern, and even real apprehension at the blindness of the "church". So maybe there are 7000 left!
I have appreciated your site, and your colleagues. I am now simply pointing people in the direction of these sites, so they may do their own research, and come to the glaringly obvious conclusions - if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and lays duck eggs, then it is a duck, and not an eagle.
I just stumbled upon your website and have a few things to say:
To begin with I did a DTS with YWAM in New Zealand in 2000. Needless to say I witnessed some outrageous things and experienced first-hand some of the very sand-founded practices you have revealed on your website. Just a few of these experiences include: a "prophet" (Peter Kumar) manifesting oil on the palms of a student, very contrived situations with students "receiving" the gift of tongues and of course the all-too-famous incidents of students being slain in the spirit. Also, in Fiji, an Indian pastor shook my face and loudly proclaimed that "if you do not shiadadadada, then you have not been fiiiilllledd with the holy ghost, shiadadadada". Although an infant in regards to such outlandish behaviour, I yet could see through most of it. Nevertheless, I did not see through it all. Thus, if you have the time I would like to know what it is that is precisely wrong with prayer walking or advocating indigenous cultures (the quoted scripture did, admittedly, seem rather weak, though i am no scholar) as well as some of the other seemingly more innocent and well-intentioned practices.
I am fully aware that YWAM has gotten up to their necks in rotten theology. I was aware of this when I first worked with them. I am now more aware of this fact than ever. However, I have lately been considering working with them again with sincere hopes that I might be able to shed the smallest bit of light perhaps not onto the hearts of leaders but rather of the vulnerable students (of which there were many of us on my DTS). I highly wonder whether to act as the antithesis of their spirit-of-the-age philosophies might not aid in clearing up some confusion for some students. That's all. I would undoubtedly value a response. Thanks much.
Hi again Sandy, I am going to order the Hinn Video, and the whole tape series....
Also: a note to add to your YWAM files or elsewhere Sandy.
A few years ago I was invited to a bible study in a former relative's home. Upon going I discovered they were very active in the prophetic, controlling spirit ministry. Their method of "hearing from God" included their own thoughts, and whatever else might influence them, but mainly they played at Bible Ouija Board so to speak. Meaning, they would throw open the bible and whereever their eyes landed, that was a "thus sayeth the Lord" for you.
I asked them what they were doing, she said, "I just tell the Lord. I have to know, I got to know now... and then He tells me."
Before I came to Christ, I had engaged in similar types of hocus-pocus. Trying to get answers from coins, tea leaves, stars, or where books fall open had never been an option for me AFTER coming to Christ, so I tried to pick up my jaw from the floor...and went home.
I wept, prayed and fasted for her. Finally one day, I heard from the Lord myself, one word..."soothsayer". I hated to think that of her...but as I wept and questioned it... there was a firm direction to go and study that word, which I never had. Imagine my surprise when Strong's list's the word and it roots as being "one who demands to know". (Just what she had proclaimed she did!)
After hunting around, I found the "Bible dart board", also being named 'Bibliomancy', was being taught on several witchcraft and Wicca sites. Armed with this evidence and reluctantly I obeyed the Spirit and went in trembling dependance to seek for my friend's ear and soul. I went back to try to reason privately with her, as the Word says to do...only to be physically pushed out of her home, which confirmed my worst fears.
These folks regularly hook up the people coming out of drugs and alcohol problems with leaders who take them right back into the bars and drug infested alleys they have just left. They do it before allowing time for healing and discipleship to occur. Within 2 or 3 months of "salvation" they sent their own niece through YWAM into the worst bars in Amsterdam.
All I can say, is the thing St. John marveled at in Revelation is indeed a marvel.
It would help if true brethren would heed this warning...these kind of "ministers" are filling the open slots within the prison system. They do exactly what Jesus warned of..."you give people entrance to God's Kingdom, and then make them twice as fit for hell."
Ever since then, I have been filling one slot in one facility, keeping
the wolves from the tender little sheep as God's grace allows.
I say this as both an exortation and a wake up to all who are His, we must not neglect our calling, for if we do, the minions of the deceived will and do gladly take our places.
My daughter was a few weeks away from being accepted by YWAM DTS training
in either Colorado or Montana. I had the opportunity to talk to both Tom
McMahon and Dave Hunt of The Berean Call at the ... Conference in ... a
few weeks ago. They expressed concerns about the path YWAM has taken and
their questionable doctrine.
I and a friend did some quick Google searches and found your website which provided more details regarding the concerns. Although I spoke with YWAM personally about these concerns and think the person I spoke with was sincere and not a proponent of emotional manipulation kinds of training, he was not convincing when I asked if Holly could run into any of these concerns at his DTS site. Given that teachers include both local and visiting staff, anything is possible. Another key factor was my review of YWAM's statement of beliefs, compared to "New Tribes" statement of beliefs. YWAM's was ambiguous, with lots of wiggle room.
My daughter was quite disappointed the night I told her YWAM was heading in the wrong direction, even if the site she was hoping for was on the more conservative side of YWAM DTS sites. The next day it was my daughter who showed me the radical difference between the statement of beliefs between the two organizations. We both learned first hand the importance of solid, unambiguous Biblical doctrine.
Thank you again for your ministry.
Dear Mr. Simpson and all at the the DITC website,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I want to thank you for your willingness to stand for the truth and your boldness to expose heresy in the church today. I must admit, it is not easy to take.
If you don't mind, I'd like to share a little story about my experience with YWAM, but before I do, I want to preface it with this: By and large, I had a very positive experience, and I know without a doubt that God used it to help me begin to grow up in the faith. Actually, my DTS was an amazing experience. It's rather hard to describe how those 5 months changed me because you'd have to know me personally. Let's just say that it brought me out of my shell and gave me alot of confidence in Christ to follow Him no matter what...to live a life of reckless abandonment to Christ. Anyhow...on with the story.
I did a Discipleship Training School a couple years ago at the YWAM Kona, HI base (the University of the Nations). A few months before leaving, one of my dear friends told me that she had heard some unsavory things about YWAM and that I needed to be careful. I didn't really know what she was talking about, and didn't think much about it until after reading some articles on your site.
As I said above, my DTS was overwhelmingly a good experience. However, looking back now there are a couple of events/activities that stand out in my mind as highly questionable. The first was called "Plumbline Week" and happened about 4 weeks into the school. The idea of this time was to learn about God's forgiveness and His abundant grace. The idea behind the name is to confess our sins, and examine our lives to see where we are not lining up with God's truth, not an unnoble concept. One day during the week was set aside for us to gather into small groups (10-14 people) of the same gender, with two "counselors." If we felt comfortable, we could share about some event(s) and sins in our lives that we felt were hindering our spiritual growth at the time. We would confess sins, and also share situations in which we had been sinned against. All the while a counselor was making notations on a paper. We were then led in a process of forgiving others and allowing ourselves to receive God's forgiveness. This is where the highly questionable procedures came in. We were instructed by the counselor to do a series of visualizations, of forgiving others, and in particular in my case, picturing myself taking my sin and nailing it to the cross. It was expected that we were "hearing from God" and that He was giving us these mentle images. I was asked to verbally explain what I saw in my head. I distinctly remember feeling uncomfortable at this point, and like I was not doing something right because I wasn't seeing anything. So I made things up, and when it didn't seem like I was giving the answer they wanted, I changed it slightly until it was "correct." They then proceded to pray over me, and then my turn was over. And the things that I confessed and discussed, they were made into a much bigger deal than they really were, because I didn't know what else to share. This activity, whenever I thought about it afterwards, never set right with my spirit.
I have not done much research on this, but these visualization techniques seem awfully New Age to me. And because it was a group activity, there was pressure to participate (although you could choose not to).
The other activities that seemed a bit strange to me were on my outreach (the mission portion). We had gathered with a group of about 50 YWAMers in a major city in SE Asia. We did alot of prayer activities, walking around major areas of the city. At one point we had people from different nations (i.e. US and UK) come to the center of the group, and act as... well, I don't really know what you'd call it, mediators? They knelt on behalf of their nation to ask forgiveness for the sins of colonialism and allowing all the negative western influences into this city. I don't know if this is necessarily unscriptural, because I think one of the OT prophets did something similar on behalf of Israel. It just seemed weird. And while we were stopped and praying at this spot, an elderly homeless woman came up with a tin cup asking for spare change. No one in our group seemed to notice her, or if they did, did nothing to be of practical assistance to her. Surely we could have taken her for a meal at the McDonald's right around the corner?
Oh, the other thing that happened while in Kona was that Benny Hinn was in town, and some of the students from our school were out fundraising in the community, and B.H. gave them $100. Everyone was excited and talking about him in a very positive light, as if he was a revered man. I did not like this.
Reading your articles about YWAM's new association with Hinn really brought me to my senses, and I am no longer willing to endorse YWAM. This is sooo hard, though! I have so many friends who are loosely associated with YWAM, yet are very deceived. It is difficult to tell them my change of opinion. (and difficult for me to accept).
I am sorry, I didn't intend this e-mail to become so long. I just want to say thank you, again, for your ministry, and pray that God continues to give you discernment and the ability to rightly divide His word.
Soli Deo Gloria,