The "Spiritual Mapping" of

Youth With A Mission

Understanding the Territorial Spirits

There are certain foundation stones which have made the "casting about by every wind of doctrine" and "spiritual abuse" possible in YWAM. It is important to understand some of the things on this web page if you really want to understand present, confusing trends and movements in YWAM and other similar organizations.

“For with what do the prophets, with what do the apostles, busy themselves more than with battling for the righteousness of faith against the righteousness of men? This is why the Pelagian error is truly the error of all the ages, an error that has, it is true, often been suppressed but has never been abolished. All other errors have, after a while, been exterminated; but this one the prophets have quelled, Christ and Paul have overcome it, but it has always insinuated itself again, until Pelagius was born, who raised its head and began freely to defend it. . . . In fine, this error is the fountainhead of universal idolatry. . . . For when have there been idolaters who did not harbor the notion that they placate God by their own efforts and powers?” What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1959, eighth printing, 1986, p. 716.

The Apostle Paul said "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. 'Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.'" Acts 20:28-32


"The only way to know God personally and to know about God intellectually is through God's self-revelation as given in Holy Scripture. The attempt to define God on any other basis than a careful exegesis of Scripture has always been the mother of heresy." The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, Robert Morey, World Bible Publishers, Iowa Falls, IA, 1996, p. xii.

Although we at Thorn Street Chronicles do not agree with everything Dr. Morey says, we do recognize a strong element of truth in his foregoing statement. A whole hearted agreement with the statement will surely help calm the storms of false doctrine and confusion that trouble many organizations in this post-modern world.


"The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me." Ezekiel 3:14


"Loving and Hating" In this short devotional reading, Dr. Martin Luther shows that the worst evil is false teaching. Although cigarette smoking can destroy the body, false teaching and false teachers undermine the Word of God and threaten the eternal soul.

Evaluations to Help with the Discernment of False Teaching This document had been removed from this website because a group that was promoting these teachings in Indonesia, YASKI -- part of the Far East Broadcasting Corporation -- told the Thorn Street Chronicles that they were repentant and would no longer spread these teachings. In the August 2002 YASKI NEWS publication, however, the YASKI organization tells of how it sponsored two "sisters" from The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary to come to Indonesia and spread their teachings through radio, preaching, book and bookmark publication. It is our belief at the Thorn Street Chronicles that such teachings promote a man-made and a man-centered spirituality no different in essence than Roman Catholicism and thus they are a serious threat to a true understanding of the Gospel and can cause a person to believe that they are saved by some other way than through the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Gospel is at stake, it is a sin for Christians to remain silent. Thus, the document is back.

The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary A lot of people do not realize what is really going on in some of these groups that appear so sanctified outwardly. Only read this if you are a real Truth Chaser.

Should Christians Repent of 2000 Years of Anti-Semitism? Tony Pearce brings up some cogent points about "repenting for the sins of others." He mentions YWAM and the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary by name. Both organizations have been confessing their spiritual affinity with those who robbed, raped, and murdered Jews, Muslims, and Christians during the Crusades.

My YWAM Daze Original version (1986) from the book Lead Us Not Into Deception (now available for download) by Dr. Alan Gomes of Talbot Theological Seminary.

My 1979 YWAM Daze Diary First time publication of my diary from 1979 when I was still under the spell of MGT but had been set free from the spell of blind obedience to "the Lord's anointed." 

Hearing Voices in the Dark An evaluation of the book Is That Really You, God? Hearing the Voice of God by Loren Cunningham and his sister Janice Rogers. Approx. 40 pages of revealing, documented information -- with comments. Revised and updated August 21, 2001

Christi-Anarchy This interview is of a person who was excommunicated by YWAM. From his home in Queensland, Australia, Dave Andrews spoke to Shoot the Messenger's editor, Paul Mitchell.

The author of Christi-Anarchy, Dave Andrews, writes about his painful excommunication from YWAM Leaders of the International Council claimed that God told them to do it. See Hearing Voices in the Dark if you want to learn how God speaks to the founder and members of YWAM.

A Statement About Moral Government Theology by Youth With A Mission In 1988 YWAM published this statement to clarify its position on Moral Government Theology. Includes an email response from a YWAM observer and a few relevant comments by Rev. Greg Robertson who was in YWAM for 5 1/2 years.

A 1994 Apology to YWAM "In the April 1994 issue I called Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a cult that worships 'a false god who does not even know the future,'" said James B. Jordan. This is a copy of what he wrote after a YWAM staffer convinced him that the organization had changed.

The Rick Ross website contains several articles by former YWAMers who relate their experiences.

A Former YWAM Staffer Looks at Rick Ross’ Article on Youth With A Mission by John Woodman, June 2000. After reading the information at the Ross website, you may want to read this defense of YWAM to hear both sides of the story.

This page at the Apologetics Index contains important information about the history, teaching and practice of YWAM. "Problems with YWAM were not just limited to cultic behavior of some of its leaders, but included the teaching of aberrant theology."  

"Like many groups birthed out of the Jesus movement in the 1960s, YWAM emphasized the importance of relationship with God rather than the doctrine of God. This led, perhaps innocently, to a devaluing of theology. While none of YWAM's early or current leaders came from questionable denominational backgrounds, it seemed like discernment was lacking. This led to YWAM leadership's introduction of Moral Government Theology (MGT) to YWAM students worldwide." Walter Jones 

Saturated in Abuse at YWAM Maui as recounted by Walter Jones [pseudonym] "I came to my DTS in Maui with high expectations of serving my God. I went through my DTS relatively happy, but had a nagging feeling that something was 'off.' It was only after my DTS, after I joined as a staff person that I realized the gross extent of manipulation and abuse going on."  

Concern About Shepherding In 1975, Pat Robertson wrote a letter to the "Florida Five" who started the teaching on Shepherding. His letter addresses the negative and ungodly results the practice can have. Shepherding was calm compared to C. Peter Wagner's "New Paradigm" and the rise of the apostles and prophets.

Correspondence about YWAM and Moral Government Theology Correspondence and letters dating as far back as 1988. Updated with letters from September 2001. Greg Robertson

Scrolling emails This is a page that contains several emails that can be scrolled through and read quickly. Some against this web site and some for it.

These lengthy email correspondences are very revealing about the deceptive spirit that has taken some people captive. I have tried to be very honest and open in my responses, even though sometimes caustic. More than 30 pages of correspondence to the same person are on this page. Includes pertinent information about YWAM, Moral Government Theology, George Otis Jr, spiritual mapping, Basilia Schlink, cultic abuse, etc.

Loren Cunningham completed the Great Commission according to this 1999 news release. Also apparent in the release is a statement by Cunningham that reveals his influential systematic theology, which, arguably, is related to his MGT worldview.

Moral Government Theology still controls YWAM in South America and other places. Claims are often made that YWAM is no longer into the theology that was once foundational in the organization. From time to time solid evidence shows up that proves the teaching is still present and even prevalent at many places. These emails reveal the truth about the situation, especially in South America. The latest, written by a YWAMer who has been with the organization since 1987, was written in April 2002.

June 22, 2002  email Quote: ". . . my memories mirror yours.  I too was abused and maligned.  I was taken advantage of.  Accused of having an evil heart.  I still hurt over these things.  I too have tried to write seeking reconciliation, to no avail."

June  23, 2002 email Quote: "Don't misunderstand, I am not pointing any fingers at anyone.  I have a large ax to grind with YWAM.  I too, was polluted by MGT.  I have friends who have NEVER recovered, and still wander in darkness because of the twisted perceptions of God created by MGT, and the lack of grace evident therein.  I too, have written to those who wounded me, and have received no response." Here is solid evidence that the past and present teaching in YWAM can indeed cause the loss of salvation! Hopefully some of those who are practicing their 'spiritual-warfare witchcraft' against the Thorn Street Chronicles will begin seeing the light if they will only take the time to do their homework on this stuff! "Come out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord!" Rev. Greg Robertson

Youth With A Mission New Missions Strategy by Watchman's Trumpet - 2000, Foundation Magazine, Dennis W.Costella, May - Jun 2000
"Several international missions organizations, including Youth With a Mission (YWAM), are testing a new approach to missionary work in areas where Christianity is unwelcome.  A March 24, 2000, Charisma News Service report said some missionaries are now making converts but are allowing them to 'hold on to many of their traditional religious beliefs and practices' so as to refrain from offending others within their culture."

YWAM - A "New Evangelism" For The 21st Century by Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, 4/13/02
"There has been a controversy brewing on a new type of evangelism used in YWAM and a few other missionary organizations. It’s about doing mission work in a completely new way unheard of before, an experimental way, that is supposed to yield results where there were only a few results before. This article is not written to just be controversial, but to look at a very real issue that can change the church not just Muslims. It is more serious than most will want to admit for true missionary work is at stake. I have made the whole matter as simple as possible, so that even a layman can understand the ramifications of what is now taking place."

Indigenous People Issues - A Warning About The World Christian Gathering Of Indigenous People by Sandy Simpson, Pacific Waves Newsletter, 5/02
"But I do not endorse movements that, for all their good intentions, are a mixture of good, unbiblical and heretical theology. How can we effectively bring the gospel if that gospel is tainted by the world, the flesh and the devil. We as Christians must stand firm in the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We must not get involved in ecumenical movements that look like the world, act like the world, and instead of bringing the Word to the world are bringing the world to the world."  Go here for a commentary on the full transcript of the "Word To The World" radio programs 541-550.

Messianic Muslims? by Orell Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April 2001
"Last year it was reported that several international mission organizations, including Youth With A Mission (YWAM) are testing a new approach to missionary work in areas where Christianity is unwelcome."

Joy Dawson Of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Joins Forces With Benny Hinn by Sandy Simpson, 1/28/02 "In Benny Hinn's Honolulu, HI crusade at the Blaisdel Arena on 1/11/02 Joy Dawson of YWAM appeared on stage with Benny.  Prior and subsequent to this appearance she was also featured on his TV programs."

Open Letter To The Leadership Of YWAM by Sandy Simpson, 2/8/02 
This is an open letter that was sent out to all the leadership of YWAM asking them why they are now endorsing and working with false prophet Benny Hinn.  We are waiting for a response from ANY of YWAM's leadership. YWAM leadership has historically refused to answer those who have a problem with their practices or theology. Although the Jesus of Scripture "commands" His followers to answer and be reconciled with a person who has something against them before even leaving an offering at the altar, YWAM leaders typically directly disobey His command. If you break the law at one point, you have broken the whole law! Even with such blatant disobedience, YWAM leadership continues believing that they are the Lord's anointed. This letter, written in February 2002, has not been answered as of December 27, 2002.

Moral Government Theology; George Otis Jr; Transformations

Seeking transformation in Bali Are the Hindu Balinese learning these kinds of principles from the new Apostolic Reformation and the new Spiritual Warfare movement? Or are the New Apostles and Spiritual Warriors learning this kind of thing from Hinduism? If you read much of the literature coming out of the Transformations movement you will see how they get their ideas from pagans or other world religions. This is an example of a world religion that has practiced "transformation principles" for thousands of years.

NEW!  The Augsburg Confession This document, first published in 1530, is a basic statement of Reformation beliefs -- drawn from Scripture. Although written singularly by Philip Melanchton, it captured the thought of the Bible-based Reformation in general and the Lutherans in particular. This historic document addresses problems that have resurfaced in the contemporary church, especially in relation to the spirituality of groups like YWAM.

Classical Antinomianism Antinomianism was wrongly defined by some Moral Government Theology teachers with the end result that the biblical doctrine of "justification by grace through faith" was viciously attacked and vilified. This is a chapter on antinomianism from Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord by F. Bente. Read this if you want to understand the conflict with the antinomians which took place during the time of the Reformation.

Discernment test Read these two short writings and see if you can discern a spirit of error. After reading you can click for the references.

George Otis Jr on Sacrifice Although some fifty million people have viewed George Otis Jr's Transformations videos, probably only a few hundred know what he believes when it comes to systematic theology. He is doing a good job of keeping his views hidden. This page contains quotes by Mr. Otis on sacrifice and pictures from a culture that still practices it. 

The Land of the Giants quotes by George Otis Jr with comments and quotes from other sources. The Moral Government Theology viewpoints, that he learned in YWAM, are still present!

The God They Never Knew by George Otis Jr. Includes many quotes from the book with comments by G. L. Robertson. Some of the most serious problems in YWAM have come from the theological system advocated by Mr. Otis, which, incidentally, he learned at the YWAM School of Evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The George Otis Jr Lectures on Moral Government Theology at the YWAM base in Tacoma, Washington, 1981. This revealing document tells the truth about Otis, is his own words. With additional comments added August 29, 2001.

Robertson and Otis together This is a picture of a newspaper clipping from 1975 with George Otis Jr and Greg Robertson (author of many pages at this website) on the same page.

A Spiritual Map of the Borobudur Temple in Java "It is the height of irony that God is in His temple and tells us to be silent before Him, yet the spiritual mappers go to the temple of idols and are silent before them!"

Thorn Street Lessons About Spiritual Mapping Includes concise information about spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare in Bali, Jakarta, Borobudur, Brunei, Europe, South Africa, Argentina, and Columbia.

Invasions From the Dark Side by George Otis Jr. The editors of Charisma report: "Although Charisma normally focuses on the Holy Spirit's work, we believe it is sometimes appropriate to alert our readers to what the devil is doing." (It is amazing how things are worded sometimes!)

Lead Us Not Into Deception, by Dr. Alan Gomes of Talbot Theological Seminary. At Dr. Gomes website you can download the book in its entirety. This is must reading for mappers who are seeking to understand what is behind contemporary events in YWAM and other organizations. "Must reading" for the "lover of truth and sound doctrine." Also, while at his website, check out the qualifications and other publications of Dr. Gomes. 

The False God and Gospel of Moral Government Theology This is a careful analysis of Moral Government Theology by Professor E. Calvin Beisner. Professor Beisner's scholarship and documentation is unmatched by anything I have read. This is an analysis of a cornerstone of the spiritual heritage in Youth With a Mission. Must reading for the serious mapper!

George Otis and his Fallacious Teachings  Johan Malan Abstract: Confronted with increased opposition, the producer of the two Transformations videos tries to conceal his grave theological errors but does not abandon them.

Transformations or Re-Transformation This is the starting point for the four following articles on transformations. There is also a  summary (not included here).

NEW! The truth about Transformations II The claims of Transformations II have now been responsibly investigated. This stuff is only for those who love the truth with a passion.

Unbelievable facts An update about the Cali revival from official news reports. "The revival of car bomb attacks has sparked fears of a . . . ."

Transformations or Deception? This is a link to a web site with a comparison of revival claims by Mr. Otis and his Sentinel Group, with contrary reports from other investigative sources. One of Otis's claims is that "almost no one in history has seen these results." 

Transformations are also being talked about in the New Age. It seems that if the world were being taken over for Christ, that those outside the Faith would be giving frightful messages about how they are losing the battle -- but that is not what we see coming from the Maitreya, who claims to be the Christ.

Theology Relevant to the Moral Government System

The Lord Our Righteousness by John Wesley. This sermon by Wesley shows conclusively that contemporary Moral Government Theology should not properly be called Arminianism.  "For whereas all the world was not able to pay any part toward our ransom, it pleased Him, without any of our deserving, to prepare for us Christ’s body and blood, whereby our ransom might be paid, and his justice satisfied. Christ, therefore, is now the righteousness of all them that truly believe in him." Wesley also had to deal with those who denied the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer. He deals with them gracefully.

Perfect Righteousness, Your Inheritance -- Claim It! by David Wilkerson. Pastor Wilkerson, the founder of Teen Challenge, was already on the side of "Christ's righteousness being imputed to the believer" as far back as 1996. There is no evidence that he ever taught anything else. A LINK

The Charles G. Finney Pages It is actually quite astounding to find out the truth about Charles Finney. He is so highly praised by so many contemporary Christians, yet his results were not what they were made out to be, and the core of his teaching was based on human philosophy instead of Scripture.

See liars-revival, by the late Jamie Buckingham, for information about current deception in the church and world.   

Moral Government Theology: Is It Pelagian? by Greg Robertson. "An analysis of the false doctrine I learned in YWAM. Now, after more than 20 years have passed since I was indoctrinated, I still have problems related to the false teaching." This paper was written for the first college class Robertson ever took. Includes links for further study.

Atonement by Greg Robertson. Explains the historic Christian views on atonement from various sources, with highlights from personal experience in Youth With A Mission and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Abelard's Atonement by Greg Robertson. This paper investigates the view of atonement propagated by Peter Abelard (1079-1142). Written at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN; 1988. Good help to develop a full understanding of atonement.

The "Open View" of God

Some of the things that were taught in YWAM in its early years (and is still believed and taught in many cases) under the auspices of Moral Government Theology, has now surfaced again in the body of Christ as a view which is variously called "the Open View of God," "Free-Will Theism," or "the Openness of God." 

It would be an interesting study to "spiritually map" the recent occurrence of teaching that denies God's foreknowledge, i.e., where did these "scholars" pick up their direction into this stuff? What does their spiritual DNA look like? If anybody has any solid information on this, please drop us a line at Thorn Street Chronicles. We have a sneaking suspicion that their error can be traced, at least to a degree, to Youth With A Mission and its version of Moral Government Theology .

NEW! The "Open View of God"  has been modified from its earlier Moral Government days and the people who popularized it in the early decades of YWAM are for the most part not even mentioned in the current literature. It is also different in respect to its adherents and promoters. In the earlier days it was almost entirely limited to those who were not seminary educated, or to those who were indoctrinated with it in YWAM or other, smaller organizations that adopted the Moral Government Theology system. Now there are people who have climbed on board who could legitimately be called scholars. Dr. Gregory Boyd is one of them and many of his books are offered in YWAM. One of them that denies God can have foreknowledge about the choices of freewill beings is called God of the Possible.

If YWAM leaders were truly repentant for promoting this stuff in the past, they would absolutely forbid its promotion in the present and publish a statement so that the saints of God would no longer have to play a guessing game about them! "I wish you were either hot or cold," says the Lord!

At the YWAM headquarters website,, it is offered as follows:

God Of The Possible

Author: Boyd, Gregory  Publisher: Baker  

Category: Bible/Theology

Year: 2000  ID: 0-8010-6290-X  Product Type: Paperback  

Retail Price: $12.99  Sale Price: $10.39 (20%)

Title will Ship: within 1 to 4 working days.

"Intro to the Open View of God. The traditional view that God always knows what will happen in the future raises biblical, theological, and philosophical questions. This accessible book outlines why the author believes an alternative view is needed."

The following links will help you in your studies if you wish to further investigate the so-called "Open View of God":

 Book Review

The Openness of God. A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understanding of God, by Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker, David Basinger; Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 1994. 202 pp. Paperback $14.99.

Reviewed by Dr. Roger Nicole

"This volume constitutes a frontal attack on the Reformed conception of God as expressed in its confessions of faith and in its orthodox theologians. It also challenges the Lutheran view, particularly Luther's and the Missouri Synod's; the evangelical Arminian position, advocated in multifarious denominations; the traditional Roman Catholic view, notably Augustine's and his followers; the Eastern Orthodox position; not to speak of some non-Christian religions, notably Islam. One could not, therefore, fault the authors for lacking courage, not to speak of audacity."

For the complete review, go here: 

In Defense of YWAM

A Former YWAM Staffer Looks at Rick Ross’ Article on Youth With A Mission by John Woodman, June 2000  In October of 1990, Rick Ross, a self-employed consultant on controversial religious groups, wrote an article concerning Youth With A Mission (also known as YWAM). This 1990 article is freely available via the Internet at his web site,

 Rick Ross’ Psychoanalysis of Youth With A Mission; Conclusions


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