Hearing Voices in the Dark

by Rev. Greg Robertson
Evaluation, quotes and comments on the book 

Is That Really You, God? Hearing the Voice of God 

by Loren Cunningham with his sister, Janice Rogers; Chosen Books, 1984

(My plan was to edit and rewrite this document so that it would be more organized and easy to read. However, I have not had the time to do so and have been getting request for the information. Because of that, I have decided to upload the document as is. Greg Robertson, M.A., M.Div.)

1 Peter 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."

"They say: If the external Word accomplishes this, then all who hear it would have to come to faith and be saved. Answer: For this remark they deserve thanks, for it is a half-confession that they cannot deny that, after all, some do believe. We, too, say: Although all do not believe, there are many who do. For Christ does not say that all will believe. But it does not follow that no one believes. Therefore what sort of talk is it to draw the conclusion: Not all do believe; therefore faith does not come through the Word? I could also foolishly conclude: Not all are obedient to princes, lords, or parents; therefore the estate of government, prince, or parents must not be useful and necessary, and God’s command must be futile.

"Therefore we reverse the argument and say: We know that some who hear the Word do believe, and we can prove this by many passages and examples from Scripture; hence, we conclude that the Word is useful and necessary, not only for the ears but also for the heart and the inner man. The fact, however, that some do not believe even though they do hear the Word detracts nothing from the Word; it remains true that the Word is the means whereby faith comes into the heart. Without it no one can believe. Soil cannot produce or bear fruit without seed, even though the seed does not always take root and sprout. However, this is not the fault of the seed but of the soil. Now just as it is not valid to conclude: The soil bears no fruit without seed; therefore all soil upon which seed falls must bear fruit, so it also does not follow here that everyone who hears the Word must believe, although faith must, indeed, come through the Word." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1959, eighth printing, 1986, p. 1470-1471.

"In short, wherever the Word of Christ is found and held, that is, believed, have no doubt that there the church is, even though he who administers the Sacraments and teaches the Word is godless and blasphemous; for the Word of the Lord does not return void but bears fruit, just as the rain waters the earth and makes it fruitful (Is. 55:10-11)." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1959, eighth printing, 1986, p. 1468.

"We must, after all, confess that in certain other articles the enthusiasts hold views which accord with Scripture and God’s Word and that although they are impious heretics and blasphemers of Christ, he who hears and believes them on these points shall be saved. That God proclaims His Word even through the wicked and the godless is not an insignificant blessing (Gnad). In fact, in some respects it is more dangerous for Him to proclaim it through holy than through unholy people, for then those who lack understanding fall into the error of attaching more importance to the holiness of men than to the Word of God. In this way more honor is ascribed to men than to God and His Word. The danger of doing this does not exist if Judas, Caiaphas, and Herod preach. At the same time no one is excused for his evil life, even though God is able to use it for a good purpose." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1959, eighth printing, 1986, p. 1467-1468.

"The ‘rod of His mouth’ signifies the spoken Word or the Gospel, which proceeds from the mouth of all whose teaching is pure. It is not inefficacious; it bears fruit; it justifies the godly and destroys the ungodly." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 1959, eighth printing, 1986, p. 1469.


Four years after leaving YWAM, Robertson began his formal studies at Christ College Irvine in Southern California, graduating cum laude in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  In 1988 he began his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After his first year of studies in seminary he spent his summer in inner city Detroit, Michigan living in an all Black neighborhood on a Cross Cultural Internship. After returning to seminary and completing his second year, he was sent to inner city Los Angeles for a one year pastoral internship. After a devastating experience in "the 'hood," Greg was unable to complete his final year at Concordia and received the M.A. degree instead of the M.Div. which he had almost completed. After spending several years in the printing industry as a machine operator in binderies, he attended Faith Seminary in Tacoma, Washington where he graduated with the M.Div. in June, 1999 -- the day before his 49th birthday. After his graduation from seminary, Robertson was ordained into the ministry and moved to Indonesia as a Missionary at Large. Since that time he has been living in Jakarta.

Although Robertson had decided that his YWAM experience was something from the past which must be left at the foot of the cross, he soon found that the same false doctrines and spiritual misgivings which had so negatively affected his life through his YWAM Daze, had progressed to new levels, moved further away from Scripture and had become a poisonous leaven for other groups and movements.

Things are not always as they seem!

An Introduction

The other day I was sitting in a small shop close to the train tracks in Jakarta Pusat (Central Jakarta). I was using the opportunity to chat in Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language) with a Muslim friend of mine. We had to raise the volume of our voices because of the noise of traffic outside the open door of the shop. Buses, trains, street peddlers with their various noises, bajaj, motorcycles and the shouts of the Indonesian street crowds filled the room. 

We chatted like old friends for about ten minutes, even though he was Muslim and knew I was Christian. Then, all of a sudden, things changed! He walked around behind me, pulled me back in my chair and put a straight razor against my throat. 

Vivid memories of a recent animal sacrifice I had observed at the mosque across from my living quarters, flashed through my mind. With ropes tied around its feet, the huge, white, Brahma bull was body-slammed to the tile floor. Then several people climbed on top to hold it down while the Muslim iman carefully slit its throat until its head was almost completely severed. Blood gushed out in a flood and the bull stopped struggling within about a minute.

I was afraid, knowing that my life could end in a few seconds -- and I was completely helpless to do anything about it. Within a few minutes, however, my Muslim friend let me up, brushed off my collar in a friendly manner and pointed me toward a large mirror on the wall. I put my eyeglasses back on, stared at my reflection in the mirror for a few moments and then stood up to leave. But before I left I gave him 3,500 Rupiah (40 cents)  and thanked him for the fine haircut and shave!

If it were not for the last sentence of the above illustration, most everyone who reads it would think that I almost got my throat slit. It was not until the last sentence that the true context of the event became evident and a full understanding burst upon the consciousness of the reader. So it is with many things in this life. Sometimes we can be completely convinced that something is true, while in actual fact we were never exposed to the context and were therefore mislead. The American media is a perfect example of this. Those in control of media have the power to form the opinion and belief of the masses. They can cause riots, win elections, and make a convincing story out of a lie. As you read this article with quotes from many sources, put on your thinking cap, study the Scriptures, and decide for yourself -- in the sight of God. 

The person who will get the most out of this will be the person who has been seriously wounded or had his or her faith destroyed by the group or groups involved. It is to you that my heart goes out. Others who read it will simply be angry at me and believe I am "attacking" the organization out of malice. In truth, my heart goes out to you also. May we together, with the help of God, come to a full understanding of the truth. 

In Christ, Greg Robertson, M.A., M.Div. -- Missionary at Large to Indonesia with the Conservative Lutheran Association.

"The practical result of the separation of the divine power from the divine Word of Scripture is the rejection of the Bible as the only source and norm of faith (norma normans). This is proved by the very fact that the enthusiasts have invariably placed the ‘inner word’ (verbum internum), or the ‘spirit,’ above Holy Scripture (verbum externum), assigning to the latter an inferior place in the realm of divine revelation. To the enthusiasts the Bible is only a norma normata, or a rule of faith subject to the ‘inner word,’ that is, to their own notions and figments of reason. On the other hand, the practical result of the acceptance of the Scriptural doctrine that the Holy Spirit is inseparably united with the Word is the absolute subjection of every thought to the Word of God, as this is set forth in the Bible, 2 Cor. 10,5. In this case every doctrine which is opposed to Scripture is rejected as false, no matter to what source it may be attributed, whether it be the ‘spirit,’ the ‘inner word,’ the ‘inner light,’ ‘reason,’ ‘science,’ ‘the Church,’ ‘the Pope,’ and the like. Unless we fully accept the Scriptural doctrine that the Holy Spirit is indissolubly united with the Word of Scripture, we cannot regard this precious Book of God as the only source and standard of faith." Christian Dogmatics, John Theodore Mueller, Concordia, 1934, p. 135.

"At times, people will emphasize our relationship with God , but His Truth is passed over, creating a good-sounding theological stance, but frequently leading to some new cult. It is said that 70% of converts to cult religions come from a Christian foundation - I would go along with that figure. A leader in what has been considered the biggest missionary organization - YWAM, told me that 75% of everyone who completes their Discipleship Training School (DTS) will end up at some point turning away from God - some forever!" http://memorystewards.com/Motives.html

"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. They are either blind, cruel, or simply don't care enough to make amends and change course." See June 22, 2002 email

To start, we can "spiritually map" the title of the book. The title clearly shows that the "hearing" is extra-biblical. Many discerning Christians would already have thrown the book in the waste-bin at this point. However, Youth With A Mission -- by definition -- is made especially for Christians who have not had time to develop any discernment. The organization has been around for more than forty years now. That means that many of those who entered when they were young and without discernment, have now matured, but their maturity took place in YWAM, with what we may call "anti-discernment." The same kind of discernment that Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc., have been trained in. 

The following is an example of such discernment and its root:

“Exercising discernment is a similar experience in that it is an act of the will and an act of faith. It takes a child-like humility to act upon the impressions that the Holy Spirit brings us. I feel very vulnerable telling you the introductory story for this chapter because I have departed from the safe ground of the tangible and exposed to you the highly subjective experience of my inner life [emphasis added] with God. This kind of unsophisticated vulnerability is needed if we are to see any supernatural manifestation of the Lord’s power. Signs and wonders follow steps of obedience to the Master’s voice.” Taking Our Cities For God: How to Break Spiritual Strongholds, by John Dawson: Creation House; Lake Mary, Florida, 1989, p. 27.

As you will see in this expose, the "Master's voice" is not the voice of the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit that is known by biblical Christians. If you think this is an empty charge, read on!

Page 11-12 "I saw again the strange vision that had been haunting my life for six years now, ever since I was twenty. The vision was of wave upon wave of young people, like myself, missionaries still in their teens and early twenties, marching onto the shores of all the continents of the world. . . . The vision was tantalizing. What brashness made me think it was a mandate from the Lord? A lot of people get 'visions.'  Could mine really be one of those special guiding events that launch a great work for God! If I tried to suggest that to sensible Aunt Sandra I knew it would threaten her."
Page 13 "How do you explain to someone who has been hurt already by such pronouncements, that you have heard the voice of God? Before I tried to tell my aunt, I had better be sure I was looking honestly, really honestly, at guidance -- including the parts that had turned off Aunt Sandra."
Page 14 "Granddad saw himself as a traveling teacher. He couldn't take five children on the road with him so he placed them in different homes -- with relatives, later with farmer friends who took them in for the chores they could do." 

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." 1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV)

I wonder how many people blasphemed our holy God and vowed to never serve Him, because of "Granddad's call"! 

Page 14 "Granddad's own five reacted to his decision very individually. Two had more or less neutral responses as the years passed. My aunts, Sandra and Arnette, blamed their difficult, tearing childhoods on what they saw as Granddad's foolish call. They decided that they would have nothing at all to do with this kind of Christianity. As soon as they were old enough they each struck out on their own and went into business, determined to make as much money as they possibly could; that was their solution to the loss of mother and home. They succeeded, too. Aunt Arnette did well, but Aunt Sandra had spectacular success, living eventually in three mansions."
"Grandpa Cunningham was a young minister with a growing popularity as he went from church to church, teaching and expounding the Word of God. He loved the Bible and spent every spare minute in it until he knew so much scripture by memory that they called him 'The Walking Bible.'

"When my dad was five years old, Grandpa's lovely young wife died of smallpox. He stumbled into another marriage, trying to find someone to care for his five children while he attempted to continue his traveling ministry. The marriage was a disaster. There was a divorce and Grandpa spent the rest of his years preaching in small, backwater places. His promising career as a preacher was flawed, if not ended. Much other misery happened, which is told in greater detail in my book, Is That Really You, God?"  From Winning God's Way by Loren Cunningham with Janice Rogers, YWAM Publishing: Seattle, WA, 1988, p. 110.

Page 14-15 "Incredibly, after a hard upbringing in nine different foster homes, [emphasis added] Dad never blamed Granddad for obeying the call to preach. In fact by the time he was seventeen, Dad knew that he, too, had a call. he began to travel with Granddad, holding revival meetings throughout the Southwest.... Arnette's reaction was swift and brutal. 'If you are going to tramp through life living off charity with religion as an excuse,' she wrote, 'I'm through with you!'
"The words stung, because they seemed to fit -- especially as he started helping Granddad with his meetings."

A friendly writer has brought up to me that, "how you present your material gives the impression that Loren Cunningham supported his Granddad's actions." The writer quoted Loren from a different place in Is That Really You, God? and it is clear that Loren believed his granddad heard the "what" correctly, but he did not continue listening to the "when and the how" of his "guidance." It is this author's opinion that the "what" of the guidance was also wrong. In effect, to say that a person heard the "what" but didn't hear the "how and when" is to place the blame on God.  Heb 1:1-2 says, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." His speaking to us by His Son in these last days is not an internal voice. It is wound up in the fact that Jesus Christ the Lord came into the world, born of a virgin, He chose many disciples and twelve apostles. We have the "voice of God," the "Word of Christ" (the Anointed One), the "Apostles doctrine," in the Holy Scriptures. Anyone who goes against them is listening to and following a different shepherd -- no excuses! If Loren's granddad was listening to the voice of the only true Shepherd, he would never have dumped his family to "go preach the gospel," no matter how powerful the voice of the "angelic being." Although Loren may maintain that he thinks granddad's actions were wrong, his own "guidance" tells a different story. Following in his granddad's spiritual footsteps, Loren also listens to a shepherd who has told him to excommunicate people, to buy a ship, etc., etc. These actions have been against Scripture and terribly destructive to others. There is no record that Loren has grasped the extent of the harm caused by his listening to these voices, nor is there any record that he has repented and turned back to the Lord. It would be difficult for God to speak more clearly to us than He has already spoken to us, but those who do not have ears to hear His true voice, make His clear words into parables and His parables into clear words. Loren Cunningham is no less guilty of this than is his granddad. Read an excerpt from a book by former YWAMer Dave Andrews. Or this letter about Loren's knowledge that the Maori would never have worked for YWAM.

"The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:4-6

"In one place, Granddad and Dad ate stewed apples three times a day -- without sugar or spice -- for two weeks."

"But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.' Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.'" Isaiah 65:11-14
 

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV)

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." 1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV)

Page 17 "Suddenly she heard God speak to her in a clear voice. It didn't surprise Jewell to hear God speaking. People at their camp meetings testified regularly to the experience. Now God was telling her, 'I want you to preach My gospel.' By the time she was seventeen, Jewell had become one of the regular preachers in the Nicholson clan."
"But when you ask them: How does one obtain this exalted Spirit? they do not direct you to the outward Gospel but to a utopia (ins Schlauraffenland) and say: 'Stand awaiting, as I have stood, then you will experience it; the heavenly voice will come, and God Himself will speak with you. . . .'  Do you not see the devil, that enemy of divine order, in this method? How he gets you to gape with the words: Spirit, Spirit, Spirit! But meanwhile he is tearing up the bridges, the highway and the byway, the ladder, and everything by which the Spirit is actually to come to you, namely, the outward ordinances of God in the material Baptism, the written and spoken Word of God." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia Publishing House, 1959, p. 916.
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:11-14

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." 1 Corinthians 14:33-38

Page 18 "Both Dad and Mom talked a lot about guidance. They were familiar with the 'inner voice,' at times quite audible, at other times more of an impression that came fully formed to the mind. They were familiar, too, with hearing Him speak through Scripture, and through dreams and visions. The high purpose of guidance, Dad kept saying, was to tell people about Jesus. 'We're fulfilling an urgent command of Jesus Himself,' Dad would say when he and Mom talked about the guidance they sought. 'The Great Commission, that's the key. 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.'"
Page 20 "Suddenly Mom's grip tightened on my shoulder. 'Loren,' she said, her voice a fraction lower, 'God just told me the money is under a bush.' She quickly ducked out the door and I ran to catch up."
Are things always as they seem? Could it be possible that the Devil would give somebody five dollars if they would only listen to his voice? Maybe it wasn't the Devil. God can also speak. But the difference is sometimes hard to discern and the only safe place to build our house is on the rock-solid Word of God. God does not speak in a smooth baritone and the Devil in a bass, so it is impossible to always distinguish their voices unless we have an ear that has been tuned to the Word of God.

After a woman had a dream that Loren's dad would be coming home in a coffin, Loren's mother gave him the following instruction:

Page 22 "Later, Mom pointed up an important aspect of guidance. 'Getting God's leading for someone else is tricky.' Mom said. 'We can hear a confirming voice through another person. But if God has something important to tell you He will speak to you directly.'"

This word is the opposite of the practice I experienced in YWAM, Hurlach, as far back as the late 70s. After clear guidance from the Lord that I was to leave YWAM for a time, I was told by David Boyd that it was not the will of God and that I would have to find a replacement to volunteer to work full time in the bindery before I could leave.

Just before I left YWAM, a "prophet" named Ken Wright came to the base and was giving a lot of people "words from the Lord." He told one of the short-termers that he and his family were supposed to join YWAM full time. By this time I was already considered a demon possessed rebel by the YWAM leadership, so I was not even allowed to attend the "prophetic" meetings, but the man shared with me in private that he had been seeking the Lord about YWAM just before the event, and that God had told him he was not to work full time with YWAM. Of course, if he were to obey his personal leading from the Lord, he would be considered at least a person who was resisting the Lord, if not an outright rebel against a holy God. My diary from some the events in 1979 is now formatted and uploaded. Of special note is the entry for March 16, 1979.

Page 23 "Dad could be with us for only a few days. But Mom stayed on. She and Dad were both ordained now in the Assemblies of God and my uncle had asked her to hold revival meetings for youth in his church. . . .
"One night after Mom's sermon I knelt at the simple wooden altar rail in the front of my uncle's church. Suddenly I felt as if I were not there but somewhere out in the heavens. Before my eyes, written in bold letters were the words, 'GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE' [emphasis in original]. The Great Commission of Mark 16:15! I opened my eyes but the words were still there. I closed them again and the burning words remained."
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:11-14
Page 24 "I felt a bit awkward at the thought of standing in front of grownups and preaching about temptation. All I knew were the temptings of a thirteen-year-old."
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6 In this passage Paul instructs Timothy about the qualifications for those who are to handle the Word and accurately use it to feed others.
Page 26 "Our hosts told us not to give to beggars because it would encourage them, whatever that meant. But I just couldn't turn her away. I reached into my pocket and put some coins in her hand."

For about two years now (as of May 2001) I have been living in Jakarta, Indonesia. Crippled people and beggars are numerous. In some cases I believe it is wrong to give able-bodied beggars money. For example: one Indonesian may work hard all day long and only make enough to get a few bowls of rice for his or her family, while another able-bodied beggar who just sits around with his hand out, will in some cases bring in more than the person who worked all day. According to the Bible, if a person does not work, he should not eat! Perhaps Loren's missionary "hosts" should have been humbly submitted to. Instead, Loren reveals in his above writing, that he was already arrogant and believed that he was somehow special in the eyes of God, even while he was still only a young teenager. Perhaps this goes back to his "training up from a child" to believe that he and his family had a special connection to hear God's voice outside of Scripture.

Looking into the future, if Loren was a lower-rank YWAMer and he had directly disobeyed in this fashion, he would likely have been considered rebellious against his leadership and siding with the enemy to fight against the work of God! The future YWAM might have considered him demon possessed and attempted to exorcise him of the enemy spirit. I wonder what the seasoned missionaries thought when this teenager came in with his know-it-all and disobedient attitude.

Now that the future has arrived, a group of "spiritual mappers" and "marchers" were circling the Borobudor temple in Java, Indonesia. They were supposed to pray in silence as they were "taking over" the spiritual forces there, through prayer (without the Word). One girl spoke to an outsider who was at the temple and she was shamed by not being allowed to continue with them in the spiritual warfare. 

Page 26 "My fifteen-year-old heart raced with a new excitement."
Page 28 "That trip to Mexico was probably the reason I decided that I wanted to go to the Assemblies' Bible college in Springfield, Missouri." 

As will become evident later, Loren allows for himself what he disallows for others

Page 29 "Between singing performances we talked with missionaries who were working in the Bahamas. They told us about an awkward situation on one of the out islands. Three teenagers had come down to do missionary work -- totally on their own! They had started dating the island girls, not knowing that in the Bahamas dating was never casual, as it was in the States. And now the island was full of damaging rumors.
"I listened with mixed emotions. I was sorry those teenagers had been insensitive. But in the back of my mind was a thought. 'What a neat idea they had -- young people coming here to do missionary work!'"
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6 In this passage Paul instructs Timothy about the qualifications for those who are to handle the Word and accurately use it to feed others.
Page 30 "I lay down on the bed, doubled the pillow under my head and opened my Bible, routinely asking God to speak into my mind.
"Suddenly, I was looking at a map of the world. Only the map was alive, moving! I sat up. I shook my head, rubbed my eyes. It was a mental movie. I could see all the continents. Waves were crashing onto their shores. Each went onto a continent, then receded, then came up further until it covered the continent completely.
"I caught my breath. Then, as I watched, the scene changed. The waves became young people -- covering the continents. They were talking to people on street corners and outside bars. They were going from house to house. They were preaching. Everywhere they were caring for people as Dad cared for the little girl reaching out for baksheesh [Arabic for alms]."
When I was telling a German pastor [circa 1977], whose church us YWAMers wanted to gain acceptance and influence with, about this vision, a sister kicked me under the large dining-room table we were sitting at. It was clear that the German pastor did not believe in such things and we were to intentionally keep him ignorant about the true nature of YWAM. I got the message, but was surprised because I felt that anything that was of God was good material to share with the whole world. If that German pastor was not interested in the truth of God, then why didn't we just move on and find someone who wanted to get with the program? 

Page 35 "But son, you need to keep everything on the altar. If you get proud, God can't use you."

This concept is based upon a fundamental misunderstanding about how God works to minister to people and to bring them to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:23

Loren's statement, although untrue to Scripture, is true according to the "traditions of men" that his parents had been taught and passed on to their children. It places the emphasis on "what man does," instead of "what God has done, and how He uses His Word." To understand the spirit that is behind it, we must study the Donatist controversy which took place during the time of Augustine:

"When Petilian, at the Collatio cum Donatistis, said: 'He who receives the faith from a faithless priest, receives not faith, but guilt,' Augustine answered: 'But Christ is not unfaithful (perfidus), from whom I receive faith (fidem), not guilt (reatum). Christ, therefore, is properly the functionary, and the priest is simply his organ.' 'My origin,' said Augustine on the same occasion, 'is Christ, my root is Christ, my head is Christ. The seed, of which I was born, is the word of God, which I must obey even though the preacher himself practise not what he preaches. I believe not in the minister by whom I am baptized, but in Christ, who alone justifies the sinner and can forgive guilt.'" History of the Christian Church, vol. III, Nicene and Post Nicene Christianity, A.D. 311-600. Philip Schaff. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Grand Rapids, fifth edition, revised; fourth printing, April 1981, pp. 367-368.

Understanding this principle, that it is the Holy Spirit who works through the Word of God -- would save the church from a lot of confusion. This principle, which is clearly stated in the Word of God, helps us to see how that a person or organization can have a successful ministry, even if he is serving the Devil. This was the case with Judas. According to Scripture he never believed in Jesus, but the rest of the Apostles noticed nothing different about him. Apparently he was just as successful as the rest when it came to casting out demons and seeing people repent at his preaching. The grace of God is sufficient. He even uses the wicked to spread His Word.

This principle is also one of the main points against the demonic thrust in "spiritual mapping," which is taking the Charismatic churches by storm. This is why Jesus never taught such trash, because He knew that there were Judas types among the Christians. Sometimes they seem to be even more holy than the rest, like the lay movement which stressed personal devotion during the time of Jesus -- we know them as the Pharisees and think of them as obviously evil people. However, the disciples thought the Pharisees were the over-achievers in the Jewish religion, having arrived at a level the fishermen and tax collectors would never dream of realizing. The disciples were surprised when Jesus told the fasting and tithing "holy" class that their father was the Devil. If Judas had become involved in Spiritual Mapping, he would have probably excelled -- he would have been operating in his own familiar turf!

Page 35 "I remembered again that strange vision I had seen in the Bahamas . . . was it already four years ago? The contrast between that vision and my little efforts was cruel. It was time to do something."
Page 39 "Everywhere, I had been meeting kids like Dallas and Larry and they were ready . . . eager . . . to do something important. One young man had written on a card, 'I'm ready to die for Jesus!' I held that card in my hand and suddenly saw the wrong I had been doing. I had been telling young people to give their lives away yet the present system required years of schooling first, by which time most would have forgotten their fiery zeal. I was all for education and was working on my Master's at USC, but I'd had strong motivations that propelled me through school without losing sight of my calling."  

If Loren was working on a master's at USC, he had to have been a very bright and a very wealthy student, not to mention that he had already achieved bachelor's degree status. Why would he not want zealous young people to also get some education so that they could show themselves approved unto God, "rightly dividing the Word of Truth"? Apparently he thought less of those "below him" who in his judgment did not have the same "strong motivations" to propel them, even after one person said, "I'm ready to die for Jesus!" Dying for a cause is easy, growing in knowledge and discernment is a lot of hard work. "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge." Romans 10:2.

Getting a bunch of young people filled with zeal but lacking in knowledge is the perfect recipe to start a cult. Also, in Paul's letter to Timothy, he gave a prescription for those wanting to go into ministry -- "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6

The following is part of a testimony at the Rick Ross website:

"I started to see that the dictatorship of [YWAM] was wrong. I never really felt represented. Yet I stayed, I believed and asked God to help me 'die to myself' and my desire to go to College. I was most afraid of 'falling away from God' (i.e. that was what happened when you left the group). My friends got married without 'God's blessings' and then helped me to get out of YWAM. I hope that others can get support and not be a serf making the leaders rich. I later went to College and excelled." http://www.rickross.com/reference/youth/youth2.html
Basically a generation has passed since Cunningham's original vision to get these ignorant, but zealous, young people out on the mission field. At the University of the Nations Workshop which took place in Colorado Springs on September 2-12, 1999, he had this to say about developments in YWAM:
"a.) 1968 -- no schools; 30 staff; 1,200 short-termers each year. b.) 1978 -- 40 schools; 1,800 staff; 2,200 short-termers. c.) 1988 -- 120 schools; 6,000 full-time staff; 100,000 short-term participants. d.) 1998 -- 225 locations (by June 250); 12,000 full-time staff; 250,000 ministry participants. What took us six years to gain twenty-five school locations in the 1970s, took us six months in the 1990s. We are at the point of turning up in multiplication. e.) One more cycle -- 1,000 locations; 50,000 full-time staff (never in history has this been done); one billion short-term participants."

(This document can be found on the internet as a pdf file. The above quotation was on page 6 of the version I printed out. http://www.uofn.edu/workshop/9UofN99d.pdf )

So now, what Cunningham began as a way to get uneducated, but zealous kids out in the field, has become a way to get the same kids into YWAM schools instead of the Bible schools and seminaries they might otherwise attend. I suppose the damage that has been done to the worldwide body of Christ will never be known. It is probably foundational to the present move away from established churches. It has resulted in the "dumbing-down" of the Christian populace. Since the majority of Christians have no discernment today, the door is wide open for every kind of false teaching and demonic doctrine -- and they never know what hit them. 

The following quote from an email I received, brings it up to date:

"During the LTS I also started thinking a lot about how they stress the need for training (brainwashing) young (immature!) leaders in YWAM to keep this organization 'youthful,' and 'on target.' Kids 18-21 years old are encouraged to grow as leaders, while they know next to nothing about sound doctrine!! How opposite to the Bible! I started studying the subject of using the youth (such an easy group to manipulate and brainwash). This is a quote from Al Dager: '. . . That leaders wish to use such young missionaries from Generation X is a telling factor. It reveals the general approach of the New Evangelization movement to use youth to accomplish its goals, rather than relying upon mature elders-quality men gifted by the Holy Spirit in evangelism and apostolic ministry (church planting) . . .'" 

Dager's lengthy transcript is quite revealing about what is happening in contemporary Christendom. It is in four parts at: http://www.banner.org.uk/globalism

He also stated the idea of ignoring education (not for himself, but for those under his leadership) in an earlier book:

"I asked Loren Cunningham what the secret of the tremendous power and effectiveness of Youth With A Mission was, though I thought I knew the answer ...

"Those eyes that had encompassed the world (130 or so countries) -- eyes that saw beyond the finite -- held mine, as he briefly shared: 'it's using youth right now,' he said. 'Not after [emphasis in original] seminary . . . or ordination. But training them for evangelism now. Now!" To Munich With Love by Bob Owen, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1972. p. 123.

The following is one example of how Loren's vision worked itself out in a very practical way. Eventually the person giving the report completed YWAM's DTS and SOE and went on several mission trips. Later, he joined the Eastern Orthodox Church and is apparently not looking back:

"After a year and a half of this zealous pursuit of God in Calvary Chapel, I wanted to attend their Bible College in southern California. Yet, a member of our church was active in a missionary organization called "Youth With A Mission", located near Fayetteville, Arkansas. He presented the idea behind it eloquently, that through intensive training young people would be taught by wiser older people, and combine that with their youthful energy to go out and evangelize the nations. The founder, Loren Cunningham, had locked himself up in his room for several days until he heard what he thought was the voice of God, who gave him a vision of the missionary organization he would start, which he wrote about in his book, "Is That Really You, God?" I decided, impulsively and without hesitation or much thought, to go and do this, and a year out of high school left for my training in Elm Springs, Arkansas." From Straying Paths to the Narrow Way: My Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church http://members.aol.com/JamzSimp/mypilg.htm

After this person left YWAM, he did finally complete his goal to attend the Calvary Chapel Bible School:

"I moved to Oregon from Arkansas to stay with my parents, who had left California in my absence (and were not too disappointed when I found them!) In reaction to the hyperventilations and exclusionary emphases on experience in YWAM, I decided to finally attend Calvary Chapel Bible College in southern California. I worked full-time in a sawmill stacking lumber for several months to save money, then left again for southern California.

"My experience at Calvary Chapel Bible College was deeply refreshing, the antidote to all that troubled my heart while involved with YWAM. [emphasis added] The Director of the school emphasized a doctrinal understanding of faith, but not to the exclusion of experience and practice. As students, our course of study was a little more arduous than usual." From Straying Paths to the Narrow Way: My Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church  http://members.aol.com/JamzSimp/mypilg.htm

It is not related to the above quotations, but it is interesting that YWAMers spent a lot of time traveling through the Middle East seeking forgiveness and reconciliation for the sins of their forefathers in the Crusades, which included the murder of the Eastern Orthodox Christians for their break from the Roman pope's authority in 1054.

Back to Is That Really You God?

Page 41 "Service without pay -- in fact, paying their own way to go! Rugged evangelism, not sightseeing. And no dating."
In some cases this no-pay rule has been changed, as is apparent in the following email:

"I would also like to know what bases are paying their people $7.00 a week as I would like in on that. I don't know if you remember but the ship paid you $1.00 a year according to Maltese law, which you got in the form of a $1.00 gift certificate to the snack bar on aft deck." "From My Mail Bag: Comments & Email, Good & Bad, From Readers" -- this web page also contains some defenses of YWAM.  http://www.greatwebsolutions.com/jmw

From one point of view this is simply the cost of winning the world for Christ. From another point of view it is worse than the slavery of Blacks which was practiced on American soil. Those who enslaved the Africans sometimes used Scripture to justify their practice. Also, in YWAM, Scripture was used to justify the practice. But at least the American slave owners took care of their slaves medically (the same way they would medically care for their horses and cows). After I had labored in YWAM's German printing plant for a couple years, David Boyd and the elders at the base decided that all YWAM participants, even if they were full time workers, should give money to help the organization operate. And as for medical help, we had to fend for ourselves, although when Don Stephens' wife got sick, money from YWAM bases all over the world was collected to help them.

When I joined in 1973 we were not allowed to ask for support from our home churches. We were supposed to "live by faith." This might sound okay at face value, but the way it worked out in the real world was that those who had a lot of talent or some education would have a "public" ministry where people would freely give them money, cars, etc., even if they didn't ask. But for those of us without any education, those of us whose "ministry" was to "watch the bags," we had no way of coming up with support, except the miraculous. Although it was said of those in leadership -- "where the Lord appoints, He anoints," there was no similar saying about those who were forcibly kept operating machines, cleaning toilets, or fixing cars.

By the time I went to Hurlach, West Germany in 1976 the rules had changed. My leader in the print shop told his home congregation he would need $600 a month to support him. My home congregation, which was Charismatic, had already gone through several splits and had completely disintegrated, so I had no one to even ask for support. I have to admit, the Lord always provided for me. 

I worked in the print shop which was in Landsberg am Lech and my $600 a month boss constantly spoke of the wonderful days back in Colorado. He also loved touring the beautiful land of Castles and taking pictures everywhere he went. Skiing was often on his mind. When I wanted to go into Landsberg to pass out tracts during our lunch time, he objected, as though I was some kind of fanatic.

When my boss brought back his pictures of marching communists after one of his trips, I recalled the words of Brother Andrew in the introduction of To Munich With Love: "The communists are told: 'Everything we do, such as sports, cultural exchange, tourism, etc., is an act of war . . .' This, coupled with the fact that they have no spectators, (emphasis in original) is the reason why almost half of the world is within their fearsome borders. And all this happened in less than fifty years. If we truly believe that we will win this world for Jesus  -- within fifty years -- that is, in our generation, we will do only one thing: preach Jesus." (To Munich With Love, by Bob Owen, Chick Publications, 1972.) But the message in YWAM was clear, "God's appointed is God's anointed" and that meant that my YWAM leader's appointment to his position, placed him in authority over me as a kind of king. Any rebukes for sin taking place in an upward direction were immediately rejected as a satanic threat to "God's principles" and the unity of YWAM, which was necessary to evangelize the world. Since I was still on the bottom of the YWAM pyramid I was in a hopeless situation. 

Loren taught us that unity was the essential ingredient. According to him, that's why Annias and Sapphira were killed by God. They were threatening the unity of the early church, which meant that they would not have been able to succeed in evangelism as they did. Put the unity concept on the "spiritual map" of YWAM, its a key to understanding much of YWAM history and development. 

I have since come to realize that the real reason that Annias and Sapphira were killed by God, was because they threatened the integrity of the early church. If it could be shown that the New Testament witnesses were not credible, the authority of the entire New Testament would have been undermined. Essentially, what the modern liberal theologians have done is to attack the credibility of the early church, charging them with making up stories to fit their theology. In this way they have attempted to place themselves and their scholarship above the authority of God's Word. But in the book of Acts we read that "great fear fell on all the disciples," and nobody would have told even a "little white lie" after that! I have this principle now on overhead transparency and use it to teach about the credibility of the New Testament authors. In other words, we can trust the accuracy of the Word of God!

I did not get along with my boss at YWAM's Truth Press International because he seemed absolutely worldly to me. But in YWAM, unity was even more important than Loren's "rugged evangelism, not sightseeing."

Also, for unity there must be blind submission. Brian Pollard, my "flock group" leader told me that I must submit to him and that if he was wrong in what he directed me to do, he would be held responsible and I would not. To fight the YWAM system was to be written-off as rebellious, if not demon possessed.

There are examples of other missions which have adopted the unity concept. Erwin Redinger was involved in a "revival" in South Africa and related the following about his experience: "Erlo had totalitarian authority and it was not thrust on Erlo by the people. He demanded total obedience. I remember a day when he came to Friedel and told him to do something he totally disagreed with. Friedel was incensed and showed his strong disagreement, but Erlo just demanded it to be done. In spite of what he felt Friedel did what he was told to do. The way we saw Friedel is that he became totally subjected to Erlo and Hilda. So when others did not understand or were told to do something, which they did not agree with, he used to say to them "just bow", using the German expression " beuge dich" In other words, submit and obey even if you thought it was the wrong thing to do (even if you felt it was violating your conscience.) They claimed to know what God wanted and one had to obey regardless, otherwise they could not walk with one." From Testimony by Erwin Redinger. (Testimony and other documents can be found at www.ksb-alert.com I will quote more from Redinger's testimony later, as it relates to Loren Cunningham and Joy Dawson.)

Page 53 "We decided to take a missions trip through Europe and Asia -- right after our honeymoon -- to see if Dar would hear from God what her role was to be. We grabbed a honeymoon weekend in Carmel, California, then stored our wedding gifts in the folks' house. Before leaving for overseas, I took Dar by to see our 'nest egg' -- a four-bedroom house in La Puente. I'd been able to buy it with a small down payment, finance the rest with Dad as a cosigner, and rent it out to cover the payments. 'It'll be a little security for the future,' I pointed out to my bride."

It seems that Mr. Cunningham was not only educated and spiritually superior to other Christians because he was motivated and could hear God's voice, but also quite rich! 

Page 55 "Ministry didn't have to fit some long-held stereotype: God had a unique work for each one. And each person had to hear it from God directly -- not just accept my word for what He was saying."

This sounds great, but things seldom work out according to our idealistic dreams. Back to the real world. In 1979, after I had read Ronald Enroth's Youth Brainwashing and the Extremist Cults and had begun having serious questions about the integrity and truthfulness of YWAM, not to mention the problems I was having with my worldly boss in the YWAM print shop, I fasted a lot and laid out a serious fleece before the Lord. I took a calendar and wrote down specific guidance possibilities for Monday through Friday. For one day I wrote, "Stay in YWAM, but not in Germany." Another day was, "Stay in Germany, but not in YWAM." Of course it included, "Stay in Germany with YWAM." I also wrote a couple other possibilities. I had no regular support whatsoever and nobody had ever sent me a check for $300 in my entire life, but I badly needed some money and asked the Lord to have a check arrive for me on the day that He wanted to validate the guidance. I told no one about my "fleece." Guess what! A check for $300 came on the day that I had written, "Stay in Germany, but not with YWAM." After more prayer and fasting, I informed David Boyd, the castle leader, that I believed God was telling me I should leave YWAM. He convened a prayer meeting with the castle elders and said that "God had spoken to them about me," but he disagreed about my leaving and told me that I would first have to find a replacement for my job (unpaid, by the way) in the print shop. You can read more about this episode in my testimony from the book Lead Us Not Into Deception which is at the website address My YWAM Daze.

Page 65 "On a happier note was the upcoming visit with the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Thomas Zimmerman."
Page 66 "I floundered, for I could hear how foolish it sounded. Brother Zimmerman assured me he had worked with young people for decades and knew them well. As he tried to explain his reservations about my plans, I could truly see his dilemma. If I had his responsibility of leading a large movement, I would need submitted people -- ready to play by the rules for the good of the whole. But here I was, hearing a different drummer, out of step. That's more or less what Brother Zimmerman said, too. He was sorry but I'd have to leave the team -- resign -- if I couldn't play by the rules."

This is Loren's own record of his break with the Assemblies of God. It's ironic that years latter AOG would publish a tract about the abuses and wrongness of the "shepherding movement" which was to take hold so powerfully under Cunningham's leadership. If the "shepherding" principles were to be applied to Cunningham's meeting with Zimmerman, it would be a clear example of someone getting out from under their umbrella of spiritual protection -- submission to their leader -- and thus, according to the teaching that was prevalent in YWAM, opening themselves up to satanic delusion.

On the other hand, "Brother Zimmerman" went on to be known as one of the great leaders of all time in the AOG denomination:

"For the past 25 years, General Superintendent Zimmerman has guided the Assemblies of God. Under his leadership the denomination has experienced remarkable growth. Its earlier moves toward broader evangelical and Pentecostal association have become firm commitments.

"Since 1967, Zimmerman has been on the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society.

". . . Zimmerman's spirituality, integrity, and executive ability have helped gain respect for the Assemblies of God in the broader American religious community." The Assemblies of God: A Popular History, Edith Valdvogel Blumhofer, Gospel Publishing House, 1985, pp. 142-143.

Loren Cunningham was not the only one to buck his advisers in the early formation of YWAM. Don Stephens wrote about his going against "a multitude of counselors" in Destiny of a Believer -- Trial by Trial:

"We were not joining some big, well-known, established group, but a very young mission with about 14 full-time staff members. There was no human reason for us to do this. In fact, many concerned friends counseled against it. But our small 'people movement' was convinced that we had heard the still, small voice." (Harvest House Publishers, 1985, p. 54.) 

According to Scripture, there is "wisdom in a multitude of counselors." It seems that while Cunningham was hearing the "beat of a different drummer," Stephens was ignoring his counselors and listening to "the still, small voice." At least Stephens could use Elijah for his example of listening to the small voice. But to march to a different drummer than a "Holy Spirit filled" AOG leader with decades of experience in working with youth, could be dangerous, especially if you apply the principles taught all over YWAM these days about spiritual leadership. If we put all these incidents in our mapping of YWAM and its top leadership, we must at least come to the conclusion that much caution and discernment is necessary before accepting their claims to fame!

According to Pastor Star R. Scott, in his sermon on Sunday evening, February 15, 1998, entitled "Rebuke of the Wise, Part 3," it's already too late for caution: 

"Paul was grieved as he sat down with his brothers and said, look man I can't wait on you guys. God's doing a work here that's sure bigger than me and it's bigger than you. And I ought to obey God rather than men. A lot of people thought he was a rebel. I believe he's an obedient servant as he followed the leading of the holy spirit. I could give you tons of examples. You want another of great magnitude? Loren Cunningham. Assembly of God. His dad Tom, one of the great men in the movement. He laid his hands on me and ordained me. Tom Cunningham, if he was to shout hallelujah right now in Southern Cal you'd hear him. Huge voice. What an interesting man he was. A dynamic man. His wife was a little better preacher than he was, just a great man of God. As the spirit of God began to move on Lorens life and this missions outreach that was being birthed - and the assemblies is known for it's mission outreach. But it began to grow faster than all the bureaucracy would allow it. And Loren has to go his own way. The traditions of men can absolutely destroy the anointing of God. Now there's a fine line there. Where does tradition start and bring death? It's obvious that tradition is coming from the birth or the mother of instruction. Proven men anointed men of God, men who are wanting to bring wise reproof, and instruction to others. Is there a place for that? Yes. So we're not saying that each one of us is just, well the lord said, and we're down the road. What we're talking about is when the tradition begins to move in absolute opposition to established biblical truths. That's not always real obvious. But that's the conflict that we're talking about here. When we're talking about these traditions, try to identify it in some of these practical areas. Some of the great moves of God. Tragically, what started YWAM, started a fabulous move of God. Got so big that Loren doesn't have a clue what's going on now in the every little gathering and they've got some of the squirrliest doctrine of anybody around right now, the YWAMers. One of the great moves of God, I believe, in the twentieth century. What a fabulous thing God was doing. But then it got so big that no one knew what was going on. And it went to the other side that every individual now is following their own personal revelation. Their own vision. Now you've got a bunch of squirrels running around. So we see the danger to both sides of this thing. That's why Paul said the word is profitable. It will instruct you unto righteousness and so everything has to come back to the word." (This unaltered transcript appears at the website: http://www.swordofthespirit.org/transcripts/021598p.asp)

But that's not all there is to it.
Page 67 "For a long quiet moment we just sat there. I was going over again and again what had happened. I clamped my jaw tightly. I was committed not to rebel but a germ of resentment was settling in.
"Back in California, the word was out. I was no longer a minister with the Assemblies of God."
On page 68 Loren leads his wealthy Aunt Sandra to the Lord. She was dying of cancer and had begun attending a Baptist church and singing in the choir before Loren lead her in a sinner's prayer.
Page 70 "I had come as a speaker but it turned out that I was the one who was learning new ideas on this isolated island. The first came from the New Zealand kids themselves. They had a guidance practice which intrigued me. In their minds they would be 'given' a chapter and verse from the Bible without knowing what the reference said; then they would consider whether or not that reading was a special guidance. 'You'd be surprised how often God uses that as a way to speak,' they insisted. The key, they said, was being totally submitted to the Spirit of Jesus; if He wanted to speak He could use any tool He chose, including this quite mysterious one. . . ."
"What I expected was a time of general prayer then a discussion. Instead, one of the people explained to me as a first-timer that in this kind of practical guidance-prayer they would ask God to tell each person individually exactly the same thing. I tried to hid (sic) my astonishment.
"Okay, I thought bemusedly, let's see what happens. Who should be the speaker today, Lord?"
Page 71 "Then that familiar voice inside my mind said a name -- one of the four around me.
"'Well,' said the camp director, 'is everybody ready?'
"One by one each of us spoke out the name that had come into his mind. Each of us had heard the same thing! Five different people, yet each had the same answer. A breeze fluttered through an open window, heightening the shiver of excitement I felt inside.
"Day after day we found specific guidance in this same way. I was fascinated. The other four leaders had been praying together like this for years. Yet I felt we were on the same team. I really belonged.
"Then one day our prayer-plan didn't seem to work. We were meeting outside, so we could soak up the sun while taking care of business. But this time, when we prayed some felt I was to be the speaker, some believed it was to be Joy Dawson.
"I was curious to see what had gone wrong. Obviously someone hadn't heard correctly, I thought.

It seems that this was one of the times that our loving heavenly Father tried to get Loren to turn back from his unbiblical communication with the spirit world. 

Kurt Koch writes about what he calls "spiritualism":

"Spiritism can be found in many different forms and guises. Animistic spiritism speaks of awakening the unconscious powers of a person’s mind. The spiritistic form talks of ‘spirit guides’ and ‘operators’ from the other side. Criminal forms of spiritism, as for example the Macumba cult in Brazil, lack all restraint and practise the basest forms of evil imaginable. Social types of spiritism as typified by the Kardec spiritists are responsible for the building of schools, hospitals, and similar institutions. And the religious form of spiritism, better known as spiritualism, claims to be in possession of the highest and ultimate revelation of God. And yet every one of these forms is based upon a common demonic foundation, including those who hide their wares behind a show of good works. In Deut. 18:11 God says quite explicitly, ‘There shall not be found among you anyone who practises divination, or a medium, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.’" 

From Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance, Kregel, 1971, p. 25.

The following is a report of what transpired at a meeting about problems found at the Kwasizabantu Mission under Erlo Stegen in S. Africa. The person giving this report had been forewarned by God, in a dream, that these events, involving Loren Cunningham and Joy Dawson, would take place. In the context of the testimony of these events, the "trances" that were being used for communication with the spirit world, fit the exact same description as New Age channeling. : 

"The knowledge of this split became a cause for concern to some of the leading figures in the Church, so that Loren Cunningham and other leaders organised a series of meetings to be held at Claridge to resolve the differences and to try and bring about reconciliation. I had nothing to do with organising these meetings. I was invited to attend just like all the others that had left. Uncle Gerhard Engelbrecht was one who organised the meeting and from what we gathered K.S.B. was not too happy about them but they did attend. The leaders who came to the meetings to arbitrate were Loren Cunningham, Don Stevens, Ian Muir, Jacques Theron, Joy Dawson and they had asked Ed. Roebert to come, but for some reason he did not arrive. The people were asked not to meet the opposite side to try and resolve some of the issues until the arbitrators had dealt with different aspects of how reconciliation could be brought about and how conflict could be resolved. As the meetings progressed, I noticed that people would gather in little groups and talk very softly and as one approached there would be a deadly silence. This was a common scene, but it still did not dawn on me what was happening. It was exactly like those around the aeroplane in the dream. Then one evening, whilst sitting in the meeting, I looked around the chapel and saw that the people were wearing big overcoats, eiderdowns and blankets were being wrapped around them to try and keep warm because it was bitterly cold. I suddenly realised that this was my dream that was being fulfilled. This was the plane that was supposedly going to take the people out of Soviet Russia. I said to Gertrud loudly: " Look! Can't you see? This is my dream." Then she saw it and was amazed. The question was, where was Bodo? In the dream he had spoken about the Russians having movie films and that is what Loren Cunningham was saying. "One thing one cannot deny that there are trances in the Bible." He was trying to say that trances were not unbiblical and should not necessarily be suspect. It was at this point that I interrupted him, and said "Please Loren, in the Bible when people went into a trance they knew what they had heard, seen and said, but in the trance under discussion she does not know what she has seen, heard or said." Before Loren could continue, a lady who had gone to K.S.B. for counselling and who was sitting in the front seat of the chapel, shot up, turned around and faced the congregation "Oh", she said, "I know those trances, I have just come out of that, it is spiritism." After that little episode Loren didn't seem to have too much to say and handed the next meeting over to Joy Dawson., who just praised Erlo to the extreme. Be sure, some of the things Joy said have been fulfilled. Erlo has become internationally known and the work has grown very big (at least so it seems). So this was the Niebuhr lady who spoke quite a lot and who caused me some apprehension in my dream. When we came out of the meeting uncle Gerhard was weeping and said, "Everything that might have been achieved Joy Dawson has destroyed." Exactly as it was in the dream the plane never took off. This took place approximately 6 years after I had the dream. Remember the first part was immediately applicable but the other part was only now fulfilled."

From paragraphs 77 through 79 of Erwin Redinger's testimony. (Testimony and other documents about abuse and false doctrine at the Kwasizabantu Mission can be found at www.ksb-alert.com.)

Page 71 "'Looks like we need to go back to the Lord,' Joy stated matter-of-factly. She told us that she and Jim had learned that sometimes this happens and you need to ask God if there's another factor you don't understand. So we bowed our heads for 'Round Two' and asked God for clarification. Then the understanding came to each of us -- it was not Loren or Joy, but both. First Joy, then me. This really was amazing, I thought to myself. It was like the Three Wise Men. They each followed the star -- their individual perception of God's direction -- and doing so, came together to be led to Jesus."

The Seventh Day Adventists are not especially known for their discernment about deceiving spirits, but as far back as 1981 they saw the path to error that Joy Dawson was opening to multitudes of undiscerning Christians. The following is from an Adventist's publication issued for aid in understanding trends in the church at large which are inevitably infecting members of the Adventist's churches. 

"An interesting variation on 'dialoguing' is becoming increasingly popular in certain 'deliverance' circles: instead of dialoguing with the devil, those in prayer 'dialogue with the Holy Spirit,' and ask Him to reveal the nature of the sins of the afflicted which need to be confessed, and the identity of the individual demons which need to be summoned forth.

"While we have had no doubt but that such prayers would find an 'answer,' we are perplexed to know how effectively to validate such responses, because the unholy spirit--Satan--the author and father of all deception, can inject himself insidiously and unobtrusively. [emphasis added]

"A subculture spawned by 'deliverance' ministry is a school of 'divine guidance' which is growing in popularity. Based largely on the work of Joy Dawson, [emphasis added] one Adventist version offers twelve 'Ways in Which God Speaks' to us. The first four are entirely subjective; number five in the list is the Word of God."  http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/warfare/bri.html

From "Spiritual Warfare" and "Deliverance Ministry" and Seventh-day Adventists

A Report of the Biblical Research Institute General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Washington, D.C., 20012; Approved by BRICOM May 5, 1983; Approved by BRIAD May 12, 1983
In another place, we find this testimony about the Dawson prayer method:

"Some of the other things we were taught at YWAM also disturbed me, but I could not put my finger on why. One was a method of Intercessory Prayer, which we did as a group, involving clearing one's mind of outside influences, rebuking Satan, then waiting to hear from God to give each of us 'impressions'. Once we had waited for a while, each person would share the impression God gave him or her, and the group leader would write them all down, trying to decide what is genuine, and how God wants us to pray. Not suprisingly, when we knew we were going to go on a mission, lasting a couple months, to Guatemala, people would invariably get impressions of Guatemala. I was skeptical, and my spirit was seriously disquieted by this practice, but I couldn't say why, so I remained silent and participated.

"Moreover, the cell-group structure at YWAM seemed odd to me. Any decision one made had to have the approval of his cell group leader, especially big decisions such as marriage or moving into some area of ministry." From Straying Paths to the Narrow Way: My Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church http://members.aol.com/JamzSimp/mypilg.htm

Instead of learning his lessons from the serious failures and spiritual abuse which often happens by the Dawson method of "hearing God's voice," Loren still praises her and recognizes her as a foundation-stone of Youth With A Mission. His recent statement is quite helpful in the Spiritual Mapping of the organization:

"While staying at the Dawson home, Joy taught me principles of intercessory prayer and hearing the voice of God that changed my life and shaped Youth With A Mission for decades to come. I can't imagine what YWAM would be like today without the teaching of Joy Dawson during our formative years and until now. It was one of my greatest privileges to open doors for her and for other men and women of God."  Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton, Why Not Women (Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 2000), 62, 63.

In the summer of 2001 Loren Cunningham appeared on Pat Robertson's The 700 Club. The interview was about women in ministry and Loren makes some points which could be interpreted in different ways.

"Surprising Secret Of The World's Largest Church

"Thirty years ago Dr. Yonggi Cho in Korea asked Cunningham's advice because Cho's mother-in-law was an outstanding Bible teacher and preacher, but it was against the Korean culture for women to minister. Cunningham encouraged Cho to invite Cunningham's American mother to preach and then put his mother-in-law in the pulpit.

"The Koreans would see it isn't a matter of culture, but a matter of ministry. Today with 763,000 members, most of Cho's 700 pastors are women. He has 25,000 women's cell groups and 5,000 men's cell groups. Cunningham says God must be trying to tell us something!" 

Although Cunningham saw this as a very positive move which caused the growth of Cho's church, there is also another message, perhaps not quite so obvious. Most of Cho's 700 pastors are women! And there are 30,000 cells groups with only 5,000 of them for men. Of course Cunningham  sees this as something positive, even a message from God, as is obvious by his final statement. But is it really positive? In the first place, God NEVER speaks through numbers! Never! We actually have several cases in the Bible where the opposite of a stress on numbers took place. One instance was when David (I think it was David) cut back his army. Another case with David was when he numbered the citizens and God punished him severely. There are also cases in the New Testament where Jesus left the crowds by night so they would not know where He had gone. In a more contemporary sense, the Mormons are growing faster than the Christians.

Not to mention the fact that Cho is seriously involved and promotes visualization as a way to get what a person wants from God, there is also the serious question as to whether or not it is a positive trend to have a church where the majority of pastors are women and the cell groups are five-to-one on the side of women. Since the take-over of ministry by women is a new thing in the history of the church, it is no more than an experiment at this present time. We will not know how the experiment came out for another generation or so.

There are some very troubling Bible verses for those who want to have women leading churches, and there are different ways of dealing with the passages in this contemporary culture, but Loren's way of dealing with them is completely lacking any known hermeneutical principle.  For example, the following is what he said about a section in 1 Corinthians: 

"In I Cor 14:26-40 Paul urged all -- men and women -- to contribute actively to the corporate worship of the church. Paul stressed that God was a God of order, so he corrected three groups who were bringing disorder into their gatherings: those who spoke in tongues, those who prophesied and the women. But even though he corrected them in the abuse of their freedom, he did not silence any of those three groups permanently nor take away their freedom to minister. In fact, he made provision for the education of women - a radical departure from all the cultures of the New Testament world."

Now let us look at what the verses actually say:

"What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

It seems obvious that the message Cunningham pulls from these passages is not objectively present in the words themselves. Perhaps what is happening is that he has gotten so carried away with "hearing the voice of God" outside of Scripture, that now when he reads Scripture, the "voice" can overrule it with a completely different message and he no longer even realizes what is taking place.

The interview with Cunningham can be found at the following address: http://www.cbn.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID2546%7CCHID101059%7CCIID477914,00.html

The following is from an email I received from a 1989 DTS student: 

"I do know God speaks to us, mostly thru His Word, sometimes in a thought or a desire, deep conviction or even in a dream etc, but what Joy was teaching or YWAM in general, is that we should command Him when to speak and always 'turn to a voice within ourselves' -- I must say that when I practiced it during my DTS, I got some very wrong messages, not from God at all. At the same time, God DID speak to me about His will for my life and calling (today being fulfilled, call of a 'watchman' Ezekiel 3 . . . but it took ten years to develop, and I started ministering in that area AFTER I spiritually left YWAM!!)."

The following email brings YWAM up to date. It was written in early 2001 by a person who is seeking desperately to get out of YWAM, but is trapped by family relationships which are loyal to the organization:

"Just . . . weeks ago we [YWAM] had a two week 'School of the Prophets' here led by . . . , who was a right hand of Paul Cain in Kansas City in the 90's! I went to some open meetings just to see what he is teaching and doing."

"Spirit of divination was obvious. Kundalini serpent power was manifesting in some people. Worship was intended to build up people's emotions and get their minds turned off."

And then there is this statement about the progression of what Joy Dawson introduced years ago:

"It used to be a ritual to 'bind the voice of Satan,' bind the inner voice of self, and release the Holy Spirit's voice. Now I don't see this practice being used in public intercession meetings. But I see other rituals: turning off the lights, lighting many candles, each candle is a symbol of a different nation for which they are praying. Or running around with a flag of a particular nation, while someone is playing a national music from that country and others dance, pray, trample on Satan, etc. Then they are proclaiming God's victory over the country they are interceding for. That is after the leader 'feels' the battle is over this time around."

Then there is this disturbing report about a YWAM School of Worship, Intercession and Spiritual Warfare:

"The most disturbing teaching came from David Garrat: 'Redeeming cultures.' During worship times we had to do WHATEVER [emphasis in original] we felt like, the more unconventional the better, to 'break the religious spirit' over us/in us. I could not. It was not natural for me to do something weird during worship, it is sensual and focuses on self."

"So I was just watching others: one girl doing a hula-dance, another woman spinning around in the air like crazy, for a long time (she was staff!), another playing drums like in a trance and lots of noise and chaos, others taking some objects which are not instruments and playing on them, running around the room etc. IDIOTIC!!! [emphasis in original] I did not know then anything about the third wave apostasy and occultic worship in our midst. But I could not join in, feeling awkward and out of place, like an outsider."

During my YWAM days I saw this style of "hearing God's voice" do serious damage to some of its victims. If a leader had "silenced the voice of Satan" so that only the "Holy Spirit" was allowed to speak, and then the "Holy Spirit" told him or her that someone in the group had sin in his or her life, there was nothing one could do to change the "leader's" mind. Any attempts to defend oneself were seen as further evidence of bitterness, or a rebellious, unsubmissive spirit, confirming the need for repentance or deliverance from Satan. It makes it even worse for the "accused" if he or she becomes indignant at their lack of biblical Christianity being practiced!

Floyd McClung, as one of the top leaders in  YWAM was also subject to the same world view that was taught by Joy Dawson, Loren Cunningham and George Otis Jr. He made a revealing statement in his book of 1985, The Father Heart of God (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon) p. 88-89:

"I taught on priorities in the body of Christ and stressed a lifestyle that was worthy of the Kingdom of God. I felt strongly about the church being a community [emphasis in original] of believers, and the importance of the highest quality of relationships. I still teach on these things, but ten years ago I taught them to such an extreme that Jesus was no longer the center of my life -- other believers were. 

"We were a community of people who had become infatuated with ourselves. We saw ourselves as unique, and when that happened we were in for big problems.

"We has set such high standards for ourselves, that not only was it impossible for other believers to live up to them -- we couldn't either.

"Eventually we turned on each other. Christmas Day 1975 was the saddest day of my life. I found myself sitting on my bed that morning and contemplating my shattered dreams. I had dreamt of a loving community of people living the gospel so radically that we would shake the world,  but I had neglected to calculate the fallenness of man into my equation for success. So dreadful was our failure, so hurt was I by my own sin and the sin of others, that I despaired of life itself.

"I cannot describe the pain. I felt crushed, rejected, betrayed, and at times angry at the very people I loved so much. Our little paradise of love and healing had turned into a hell of broken relationships. I was faced with the brutal reality of who we had become when God's grace was not controlling our lives."

But even after such a harsh and crushing experience, McClung still did not understand about the need to move away from an "experience based" and "man centered" source of knowledge. In fact, his following statement reveals clearly that he found God's "mercy, love, and faithfulness" in his own subjective experience, instead of in the objective work of Christ in the incarnation, crucifixion for our sins, and rising from the dead.

"Correspondingly, He showed me more of His mercy, love, and faithfulness at that time than I ever dreamed possible.

"Because of the pain that I experienced in those days, and the healing and redemption that came as I humbled myself before God and others, I learned many lessons. When the breakthrough finally came in my own life, God revealed to me the root of my own wrong attitudes toward others. I wept as I heard Him gently whisper into my mind, 'I forgive you, and I restore to you all that has been lost." (pp. 89-90)

Because McClung never became established in the objective truth of God's inerrant word, he is still cast about by every new wave of experience-based doctrine. As of the year 2001, he is no longer in YWAM. Now he is pastoring a church in Kansas City called Metro Christian Fellowship. The church operates the kindergarten through 8th grade "Dominion Christian School" and features Mike Bickle as the Bridegroom Watch of the Lord speaker on Saturday nights. http://www.graceministries.com

McClung is mentioned as an abuser at another website that promotes the defense of the historic Christian faith:

"I, the publisher of Apologetics Index, have personally experienced spiritual abuse within YWAM from Floyd McClung, who at the time was one of YWAM's top world leaders. He demanded unquestioning obedience, claiming that God would bless us for our obedience to leaders, including himself, even when we knew them to be wrong. That is an unbiblical teaching found in many abusive churches. (See "Enforcing authority").

"While I have forgiven the spiritual abuse and accepted his reluctant apologies (he denied much of what he had said and done, even though there were a number of witnesses, including two other leaders) the abuse has had far-reaching consequences, the scars of which I still bear.

"McClung later contacted me because he heard I was planning to write an article on YWAM's support for the Moral Government Theology. While simple research showed that at the time it was promoted on several bases, he insisted it was taught at just one base - and suggested he was trying to deal with it."

http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/y05.html

The following testimony shows one way the YWAM spirit can go wrong:

"At the same time, I was continuously feeling uncomfortable about some of the practices in YWAM. I was startled that we would be going through the Wimber seminar because I was 'from Calvary Chapel', and Wimber had left Calvary Chapel to start the Vineyard denomination through a difficult schism. Wimber taught that one must experience a 'paradigm shift' in world view from western to eastern thought in order to get blasted by the Holy Spirit, baptized, filled, thereby obtaining both inward and outward healing, as well as supernatural gifts.

"I had read an article harshly criticizing Wimber in a Calvary Chapel magazine called 'Passport', and was deeply troubled by having to go through the seminar. When I made my concerns known to the leaders in YWAM, they told me that I was possessed by a demon, and they sought to cast it out from me through various 'pressure points' around my body. One of the YWAM leaders claimed he could see a 'demon of criticism' in me, and they prayed for my deliverance. [emphasis added]

"As a nineteen year old who still understood very little about Christianity, I believed him, and went to bed that night trying to convince myself to feel glad that I had been delivered, even though I still felt deeply troubled in my spirit. Subsequently, I watched with compassion as my friends hyperventilated and fell on the floor, trembling with emotion, ostensibly counting it as a spiritual experience, though I did none of these things." From Straying Paths to the Narrow Way: My Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church http://members.aol.com/JamzSimp/mypilg.htm

Going down this path for "guidance" is extremely dangerous. It is a practice which before long leads to a Bible which no longer is to be taken at face value. Instead of reading the lines themselves and seeking a proper understanding, this practice moves into the realm of the unknown -- really into the occult. This method became so popular in YWAM that it was universally practiced during my whole five and a half year YWAM experience. It was not until the 90s that I got totally free of it, by the mercy of God, and I left YWAM in 1979. Sometimes I am still temped to "get a Word from the Lord" with this method, even though I now believe it is at best New Age and probably an outright occultic practice. However, even though it is not a Christian practice, God still gets the glory, because He, in His abundant grace and mercy, will sometimes even use occult practices to glorify His name.

It reminds me of Luther and the experience he had of stopping his prayers to the "Virgin" Mary. After he turned the church back to Scripture, he understood clearly, based on the Bible, that praying to Mary was idolatry, but he said he had a difficult time stopping the practice.

Most recently, a verse came to me completely out of context about Joy Dawson, because she has been laid-up with severe back problems for a few years: "Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel (The Lord said this in reference to Joy Dawson!), who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants . . . . I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways." Revelation 2:20-22 Wow, it sure seems to fit! And using the "Wise Men Principle" as taught by Loren, it is powerfully confirmed, as you can see, even from the few quotes contained in this paper. I guarantee you, they will not like the medicine they force others to swallow! There were people in the Bible like that. The Lord will deal with them in His time. In the meantime we are to rebuke them with the Word of God.

After a person becomes drenched in this Bible reading method, studying the Scriptures academically, at first seems dull and lifeless. That is perhaps the greatest trick of Satan in this whole plan of his. He takes the authoritative Word of God and turns it into a book of highly secretive knowledge which can only be properly understood by inner initiates of the spirit (gnosticism). Satan has shown repeatedly that he is an expert at twisting the Scriptures and taking them out of context. How are we to know if our guidance, obtained using this method, is from an angel of light, or from God? It was a brand new experience for me to begin studying the Scriptures to find out what they actually said at face value, and that didn't start until I had been out of YWAM for a couple years. 

"The Gnostics felt superior to everyone else because they were the recipients of private revelations, dreams, and visions. While the Christians were busy 'examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so' (Acts 17:11), the Gnostics obtained their doctrines directly through private revelation, " said Dr. Robert Morey in The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, (1996), p. 516.

Now, I am experiencing the blessings of understanding the plain teaching of Scripture, without feeling like I have to seek a special revelation from God. The Scripture IS His special revelation!

Although it was in the past and was related to the Moral Government Theology issue, YWAM leaders claimed to be simple Arminians who were being attacked by the intolerant "Reformed." In truth, however, they should place themselves outside the Arminian camp. The following is a quote about Wesley which contains a couple quotes from John Wesley himself: 

"A further evidence of the way Wesley related the witness of the Spirit to the message of the gospel, so that no 'enthusiasm' should separate the experience from its biblical base and make it subject to human criteria, is seen in his strong insistence that all claims to an immediate knowledge of God must be tested against the Scripture.

"We see this in his marked distrust of claims to direct guidance [emphasis added]. For while he asserted the direct providential intervention of God in the affairs of life. he believed that this providence is largely veiled and is usually apparent only after the event. On direct guidance he wrote: 'I have declared again and again that I make the Word of God the rule of all my actions, and that I no more follow any secret impulse instead thereof than I follow Mahomet or Confucius.' [emphasis added]

"Believing that God guides us through the regular means of grace and especially through the Scriptures, he blamed the Quakers, and people such as Swedenborg and Madame Guyon for setting immediate impressions above the Scriptures. [emphasis added]

"The same insistence upon a criterion beyond the human and a standard of judgment beyond that of feeling is seen when we turn to his two standard sermons on 'The Witness of the Spirit.' Preaching on Rom. 8:16, 'The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God,' he begins:

"'How many vain men, not understanding what they spake, neither whereof they affirmed, have wrested this scripture to the great loss, if not the destruction, of their souls! How many have mistaken the voice of their own imagination for this witness of the Spirit of God [emphasis added], and thence idly presumed they were children of God, while they were doing the works of the devil! These are truly and properly enthusiasts.'" 

John Wesley's Theology Today: A Study of the Wesleyan Tradition in the Light of Current Theological Dialogue, by Colin W. Williams, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1960, fourth printing 1982, pp. 108-109.

It seems the above statement by Wesley is a fitting description of Loren's "granddad," who showed himself "worse than an unbeliever" by following his "own imagination" in relation to his family, instead of following the inerrant Word of God. It may also be quite fitting as a description of the Joy Dawson and Loren Cunningham method of communicating with the spirit world.

 

On page 74 Loren talks about the "soul surgery" that God performed on him, convicting him of his resentment against brother Zimmerman, his times of acting "for the recognition of men," his pride, his sins of the mind -- "sexual fantasies" -- he confessed his sin and repented, writing a letter to Zimmerman.

Page 78 "I'd been taught guidance principles by people who knew new ways of hearing God. Then I'd put these principles to work. . . ."
"What a great idea! Maybe in fact it was God's idea! If so, perhaps I could see the Wise Men Principle at work which I'd just learned, where two or more people see the same guiding star at the same time."
Page 85 "Not many of the kids we met had Dar's and my advantage of growing up in families which were really miniature schools. In our homes we'd learned the ways of God, how He purifies, how He provides, how He guides. God, I now felt, wanted that same experience for all YWAMers, especially those who were to be full-timers; and He showed us this by giving a special leading of the Wise Men Principle. He wanted a family-like school and it was to be in Switzerland."
One of my experiences after leaving YWAM really broke my heart. I went to a Bible study and met a girl there who had been attending the YWAM school in Switzerland. She got sick and some people believed it was because of demon possession, so they tried to exorcise her. She "freaked" and jumped out of a third story window. When I met her, it was immediately obvious that her body had suffered some kind of severe trauma. As she told me the story she wept, telling me she could never forgive them.

Historically, the base in Lausanne was to become the center of Moral Government Theology which was to be disseminated throughout the YWAM network of bases. Although the teaching, in its explicit form, seems to have disappeared from YWAM schools, practices based upon the principles of the teaching are still present.

It is also completely dishonest of Loren to write his book without even a slight mention of the Moral Government Theology (MGT) teaching -- for years it was "the view" in YWAM and is still present in much of YWAM practice, although apparently no longer explicitly taught.

At the foundation of much of what is happening in YWAM today, in 2001, is Pelagianism -- arguably the cornerstone of Moral Government Theology. It seems that the YWAM leadership decided to stop "the controversy" in the mid-eighties by quieting the active teaching of the doctrine. George Otis Jr style "Spiritual Mapping" is a prime example of a practice based upon a not-so-serious fall of man, which left him, according to Otis' view, with most of his spiritual faculties in tact.

Page 86 "I walked through the hotel again imagining what could be done. The purpose of this school would not be to fill minds but to change lives: to increase faith in God and learn of His character and how our character could be like His. Here we would be bonded to the Lord and in the process, we'd be bonded to each other."
Page 88 "A few weeks later, after hearing a teaching session on the power of a clean conscience, I noticed that Don [Stephens] was squirming in his seat. Finally, he jumped to his feet.
"'I have something to say. I exaggerated . . . no, I lied that first night we were here together when I told you guys how God called me. He did call me, the way I said . . . up to a point. But then I got carried away. I added some things that . . . weren't true. I lied. And I'm really sorry.' [this has been written just as it is found in the book] Then he quickly sat down."
Page 92 "I wish with all my heart that I'd known -- early enough to prevent the pain -- one most important principle of guidance: The Lord will lead us into victory, but success itself is the most dangerous obstacle to hearing properly the voice of God."
On page 93 Loren and Dar sell their nest egg in La Puente, California, to help pay for the Hotel Golf (the Lausanne, Switzerland base) that YWAM was buying.
Page 103 "We felt confident. Given the success we'd had in the past, that confidence seemed justified. We made some added statements to the press stressing the fact that God not only speaks to His people, He also provides. The papers loved it. One headline read, 'Youth Say 'God Will Give Us The Ship!'' We announced that the ship would be sailing from New Zealand to California in thirty days, when the balance of our payment was due. She would arrive there in mid-October -- two months from now. I was riding high. And why not? Every day, we saw some new release. Either it would be a volunteer or money or a special offer: one company promised free paint to re-do the Maori all in white; the interior decorator of the Queen Elizabeth II volunteered his services free of charge; some farmers promised grains and meat to take to the needy. Most importantly, a businessman from Manila promised the remainder of the purchase price. All he needed to do was get his funds out of the Philippines.
"Things were happening fast."
I arrived at the YWAM base in Sunland, California, on November 1, 1973, with the intentions of joining the Maori when it got to California. I worked at the California office that Cunningham mentions on page 103, under the leadership of Jim Dawson in what was, at the time, the International Office. 

In early 1974 I became the printer in the International Office and worked with the two YWAM presses, an A. B. Dick 360 and an A. B. Dick 385. The 385 was specially purchased for the ship because we were told it was the press that the navy used on their ships and it was less expensive than other presses. I was later to find out, after I left YWAM in 1979, that it is one of the worst printing presses ever made. Actually it was an oversized duplicator which ran on gears instead of bearings. The "press" did not have a feed-board to position the sheet before entering the impression cylinder, which meant it could never be used for four-color work or even two-color work with close registration; for the size of the press there were not enough rollers and they were too small for good ink distribution; we were told that we could only use rubber-base ink, which was much more expensive than the more common oil-base inks. At the time I was new to printing, so I had no idea about these things. I thought all presses were like that.

 

At that time I still had a 1968 Volkswagen fast-back. I asked If I could take my car on the ship when it arrived and was told that no one would be allowed to take their private cars, but if I wanted to give it to YWAM, it could be used in the ministry. After the ship was lost, I sold my car and laid almost all the money at the feet of David Berner, the leader of the Sunland base at the time. The Berner family lived in the two or three bedroom house on the Sunland property. (David Berner later left YWAM and went back to Corona, which happened to be my home town also. Berner was the one I mention in "My YWAM Daze" who was teaching Moral Government Theology in a home Bible study.) After I turned the money over to the ministry, about $600 (1974 dollars), I never even received a receipt. Wally Wenge, who also worked in the International Office at the time, simply acknowledged that he had received it.

 

After the ship was lost I remained working in the International Office until I went to the School of Evangelism in Bozeman, Montana -- beginning in January 1975. Our SOE could not get a well known Moral Government Theology teacher, so Leland Paris taught it. After I finished the three month SOE, I returned to Sunland/Tujunga to continue working as printer in the International Office. 

Jim and Janice Rogers (Loren's sister) were leaders at the base for a while and one day Jim came into the printing department and told me that Loren had called and he needed 10,000 "All Over the World" brochures by morning. I tried to reason with him that such a task was impossible, but he insisted and spoke with me in an angry tone for even questioning his demand. Loren needed the brochures and that was that. The 8.5 by 14 inch brochures, which were to be printed in two colors would be two-up on a sheet. That meant we spent almost the entire day making negatives, making plates and buying the more than 5,000 sheets of paper we would need. If we were lucky we would be able to get 3,000 sheets an hour through the press and the paper would have to make four passes, with drying time in between. This was the biggest trial that was to hit me in my early YWAM days. It was late afternoon when we finally went to press and there were numerous problems with the large sheets misfeeding, so production was extremely slow.

At about 11 o'clock that night, after everyone else had gone home, I had to remove a part of the press so that I could get to an area called the "back cylinder" to clean off some ink buildup. When I replaced a part I did not seat it properly and when I started the press the chain jumped the sprocket. There was no way that I could fix it myself and it was impossible to feed sheets through the press because the chain delivery was completely out of whack. There was only one thing I could do -- I would have to call it quits. I cleaned the ink off the rollers, straightened up the place a little, locked the door and went to the parking lot, to drive back to the Sunland houses in our old 1964 Chevy wagon. When I got to the parking lot, the YWAM car was not there. It had been stolen! I walked the distance to the houses which was about three or four miles and was deep in thought and prayer the whole way. (The police soon found the car, abandoned by the "joy-riders" when it ran out of gas.)

When I got to the houses I opened the Bible to try and get some guidance from the Lord -- the same style of guidance that I had learned in YWAM. The "Lord spoke to me" in the traditional YWAM style of taking Bible verses completely out of context and applying them to the contemporary situation. I believed the Lord was telling me I would have to fast for a week. Of course I obeyed, without questioning "His voice." 

In reality, even if I had not experienced a press break-down, with drying time, cutting time, folding and packaging time, I would not have been about to get the brochures done until late the next day, at best -- and that would have been after working more than 35 hours straight. In the printing plants I worked in after leaving YWAM it would have been much easier, but none of our YWAM equipment was very automated.  Looking back on it, Jim Rogers was very oppressive in his demands in the first place -- but what do you expect -- he was still young, was married to Loren's sister, and had already been "greatly used of God." Unfortunately for me, I had still not heard the "beat of a different drummer." In fact, I still was not aware that there were any other drummers to hear!

In the secular world it is forbidden to allow someone to work on a printing press when they are alone in the shop. Although the stringent rules are sometimes broken, it is usually only for a few minutes while someone is out getting hamburgers or something. If something goes wrong, it could cost a person his life, with no one there to release him from the machine or take him to a doctor. But we were under God! We were not in the secular world. Although ethics in the secular world demanded worker safety, we knew nothing of such demands. (During my days at the YWAM base in Germany, my boss did get his shirt caught in a printing press. If I had not been there to shut down the machine, who knows what might have happened!) 

When I shared with Wally Wenge that God had told me to seek Him for a week with fasting and that I wanted time off from the office, he refused and said I would have to continue working in my normal routine. But if I wanted to fast at work it would be okay. "God spoke to me" during my fast through some dreams. Looking back on that now, I do not believe it was the Lord Who gave me the dreams! The dreams were very vivid and powerful, but the end result, if I were to latch on to them, would have been pride and a feeling of superiority over my fellow YWAMers.

Let's go back to Loren's "more pleasant," or perhaps "less pleasant" experience:

Page 105 "I gradually quieted my mind, centering down on Jesus, yielding to Him and worshiping him (sic), ready to listen to anything His Spirit wanted to say in my mind." 

This sounds like it is straight out of the New Age movement. In that respect, Loren would be in the process of contacting his "spirit guide" instead of the Jesus of Scripture! This is basically what Dave Hunt reveals about such spirituality in his book, Occult Invasion (Harvest House, 1998, p. 257.) with his quote from New Woman magazine: 

"First, relax. Make your mind still and quiet -- an absolute blank. . . ."

"Meet your inner adviser. With your quieted mind, invite a very loving, wise figure into your awareness. It could be an old man or woman, a plant, a dog. Sit patiently and let an image emerge. Then talk about whatever is troubling you. . . ."

In another place, Hunt quotes Oprah Winfrey:

"I center myself each morning by trying to touch the God light I believe is in all of us. Some people call it prayer, and some call it meditation. I call it centering up. I get boundless energy from that . . . ."

"It is because of this God-centeredness that I am where I am." Quoted by Dave Hunt in Occult Invasion, p. 258

The basic difference between Winfrey and Cunningham is that she "centers up" and he "centers down."

The now-present "Christ" also speaks of a similar practice:


                     "Throughout the world there are men,
                     women and little children
                     who have not even the essentials to stay alive;
                     they crowd the cities of many
                     of the poorest countries in the world.
                     This crime fills Me with shame.
                     My brothers,
                     how can you watch
                     these people die
                     before your eyes
                     and call yourselves men?
                     My Plan is to save these,
                     My little ones,
                     from certain starvation and needless death.

                     My Plan is to show you
                     that the way out of your problems
                     is to listen again
                     to the true voice of God
                     within your hearts,
                     to share the produce
                     of this most bountiful of worlds
                     among your brothers and sisters everywhere.                
          

                     I need your help,
                     I call on you to aid Me in My task.
                     How can I stand aside
                     and watch this slaughter,
                     watch My little ones die?
                     No, My friends, this cannot be.
                     Therefore I am come quickly
                     among you once more
                     to show you the Way,
                     point the Path.
                     But the success of My Mission
                     depends on you:
                     you must make the choice --

                     whether you share
                     and learn to live
                     peacefully as true men,
                     or perish utterly.
                     My heart tells Me your answer,
                     your choice,
                     and is glad."
                                               (Maitreya)

Luther, who spearheaded the Protestant Reformation in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church which claimed to have special access to the voice of God, objected vehemently to their "enthusiasm": 

"All this is the old devil and old serpent, who even turned Adam and Eve into enthusiasts and led them from the external Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit and yet accomplished this, too, through other external words. Just so our enthusiasts are condemning the external Word and yet are not silent themselves but are filling the world with prating and writing, just as though the Spirit could not come through the writing or the spoken Word of the apostles but must come through their own writing and word." What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia Publishing House, 1959, p. 917.

"Suddenly I was looking at a mental picture. It was not unlike the picture of the waves I'd seen 17 years ago. Only this time, the vision was terrifying . . . .

"I saw myself standing before a crowd of YWAM leaders. I announced with exuberance, 'We've got the ship! God has given us the money for the Maori!' The crowd cheered wildly, waving arms and shouting. Then all of a sudden I saw a figure standing in the shadows to my left, unnoticed by any of us. I looked closer at his face and saw that he was grieving. Then it hit me -- this was Jesus! We were ignoring Him! We were cheering a ship and forgetting Jesus!"

Years later, God brought this "verse" of YWAM history to my memory in relation to me having been thought demon possessed and then turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. (Thank God it was illegal to murder people in Germany in 1979!) Why such a harsh punishment? No, I wasn't committing adultery with my step-mother, like the guy in Corinth (whose sin, incidentally, warranted the death penalty according to the law). It was because I had spoken what I believed to be the truth in a meeting of the "castle family," when I had been told to be silent, "in all meetings," by my flock group leader, Brian Pollard. In my understanding of Scripture, his unreasonable demand was a break with the Word of God: "Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said." 1 Corinthians 14:29 (See My 1979 YWAM diary. The entry of March 16 is especially significant.)

After I arrived back in California I received a secret letter from someone still at the castle, informing me that the castle family had gathered in the YWAM print shop around the new two-color press to give thanks to God for giving it to them. When I heard that, the picture of Loren (the story was well known before it was printed in his book of 1984) and his vision of Jesus standing in the corner being ignored flashed into my mind, just before a verse of Scripture replaced it -- "What you have done unto these, the least of my disciples, you have done unto me!" Was God using the verse of Scripture and the YWAM purchase of a new printing press to illustrate to me that their action of turning me over to Satan to be killed was really against Jesus?!

At any rate, it was not long before the German printing "ministry" came to a complete halt. It seems their "divine guidance" was not so divine after all. I doubt if you will ever read about this in any of the pro-YWAM books, but in due time, all things will be made manifest and brought out into the light.

Page 107 "It was a simple story, really. Yes, God had told us to get a ship, and repeatedly He had confirmed His guidance using all the ways we had learned for hearing His voice. He used the Wise Men Principle; He used Scriptures which He seemed to lift off the pages for us; He used provision of money and people, and that inner conviction -- but we had failed in the way (emphasis in original) we had carried out His guidance. We had subtly turned from the Giver to the gift."

If we apply the "spiritual mapping" principles to this statement, we will clearly see the idea of Moral Government Theology with the concept that "God changes His mind."  As a famous theologian once said, "Theology is practical." Apparently Cunningham believes the MGT concept that "God does not know the future." Accordingly, He changes His mind when He comes up with more information. This is a perfect alibi for false prophets also: "My prophecy was true, but God changed His mind!"

The following is a quote from George Otis Jr's 1978 book, The God They Never Knew:

"Here again we see the work of religious deceivers. . . . If the future is a fixity? [sic]  Essentially, what you get when you adopt a God who is not able to think new thoughts, change His mind, realize changing circumstances and make new decisions, is a condition of static or motionlessness. It becomes a state of fate. It would be a pretty weak sovereign indeed who could not 'handle' an influx of new data and crises across his desk without seeing them all first. This entire concept is not only unbiblical, but it fuels the world's concept of the rigid, stark, static tyrant of Judeo-Christianity." p. 25

A lot of people do not realize that George Otis Jr did not introduce Moral Government Theology to YWAM, he picked it up there. He attended the YWAM SOE in Lausanne, Switzerland, 1972 or '73.

This is also now coming out in relation to Benny Hinn and YWAM -- Hinn was highly influenced by YWAM, Switzerland, when he was just a young Christian. It seems to coincide with the height of the undisguised Moral Government Theology era in YWAM. It has now been made obvious that Hinn is at least partially a fruit of YWAM -- "You shall know them by their fruits." To put this on the spiritual map -- Hinn imbibed the YWAM Pelagian-spirit many years ago. It is in that spirit that he is what he is today -- a false prophet receiving revelation from his own spirit and calling it revelation from God! The following is some of what was said on the Hinn program:

"Cunningham was introduced as one of God’s generals, being called a mighty man of God and an honor and privilege to have him on the program. Loren started by calling Hinn pastor and Hinn insisted he call him Benny.

"Hinn shared with him in Feb. of 1972 [emphasis added] just a few weeks (maybe 4-5) after he was saved, He heard Loren speak on surrender, Hinn says he was literally shaken by his message at one of his meetings and went forward “to make a real public confession. [emphasis added]” Hinn then said it just dawned on him this is Feb. 2002, calling it their 30th year anniversary; implying it is not coincidence he is there at this time. In the summer of 1974 Hinn said he was sent to Europe and stayed in an YWAM base in Lussaune (sic) Switzerland and his spiritual experience there. [emphasis added]

"Hinn also mentioned how he went to Kona and stayed with him and Joy Dawson, [emphasis added] and asked Loren to share some of what Lorn did there. Cunningham went on to share numerous stories. One was that the lord said to him in Libya I’m going to give you a new understanding and authority you haven’t had before." http://www.letusreason.org/Curren29.htm 

The question is, should we blame the fruit, Hinn, for corrupting the tree, or blame the tree, YWAM, for corrupting the fruit? 

Joy Dawson had said a lot about the ship and was a spiritual guide for Loren. We will probably never be able to uncover her exact words and prophecies, however, in relation to the ship. First, because the majority of those who know would never tell. Second, because the file case with all the records of the Maori had been thrown away, at the direction of Jim Dawson, who just happens to be Joy's husband (he was sometimes called "Mr. Joy Dawson," in secret of course, by YWAMers who saw that Joy, in her usual domineering style, wore the pants in the family.) The story of the "chucked" files goes like this: All the Maori files were in a file box which was set next to another file box of similar appearance. Jim Dawson told one of the YWAM office workers to throw away the other files. According to the story we got in the office, which was told with a chuckle, the YWAM worker threw away the wrong file box -- end result, all records ended up in some dump-yard somewhere, i.e., went down with the lost ship! Maybe it was an honest mistake! 

Page 107-108 "Every day we came into the bare, austere meeting room, expecting the heavy feeling of guilt to lift. Every day we found new areas which needed purifying. A painful awareness of God's awesome holiness coursed through the room. We began to sense great corporate shortcomings. The big one was pride. To our horror we saw that we'd begun to think that Youth With A Mission was God's 'favorite tool': we were 'the most spiritual' mission; we had learned 'more about faith' than others; we had 'a corner on releases.' We saw down into our hearts and it was disgusting. For the first time, I glimpsed something of what it will be like to stand before God in Judgment (sic)."
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6
Page 109 "First, of course, plans for the Maori did have to die. Really die. And we had to 'die' right along with them. Remembering all that had been written about us in the New Zealand papers, especially those times when we said flatly that God would give us a ship, I knew I had to make something right with the people in New Zealand. People's trust in God may have been hurt. People would easily doubt that He speaks and provides.

This is perhaps the worst tragedy of all. All the faithful pastors who had perhaps been laboring for years in the Lord's New Zealand harvest, probably suffered the greatest setback. New Zealand is now known for its extreme theological liberalism. I wonder how much YWAM had to do with the movement in that direction!

"I sat down and wrote a letter to a newspaper of New Zealand. The letter was printed, telling how God had guided us to buy a ship, but we had failed by giving greater honor to the ship than to the Lord. The response was immediate and hostile, especially among some Christians who saw us as having made presumptuous claims. What could I say! All I knew was that ever since the day, four weeks ago, when I read in Hebrews that God was going to shake what could be shaken, not one dollar had come in for the ship, (in total contrast to the last six months) not one item pledged, not one additional worker or service released. Nothing. And still the Philippine government refused to budge regarding our friend's personal funds. This had all happened even though there was no way for people to have known of any change. Suddenly the flow had been turned off and only God could have done it."

Loren's blaming their blunder on God is very unimpressive to those who love God's truth. 

2 Peter 2:1-2  "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

Revealing information that Loren Cunningham knew the ship would not have been suitable for YWAM -- and did nothing about it -- is now coming out.  The following are the main points of the letter. Follow the link for the complete letter.

June 4, 2001

My survey of the ship showed that she was in very good condition, but that for the purposes envisioned by YWAM as a far ranging vessel, there were several things that made her unsuitable.

Number one, was that she had a very small fuel capacity.  She only ran between Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand, and had no need of large tankage for that purpose.  The cost of increasing the tankage so that she would be suitable for the proposed ministry would be prohibitive.

Another thing, was that the ship had virtually no freezer capacity, nor was the galley equipped with either the necessary cooking facilities nor the room to build such.  As a day ferry, they did the cooking for passengers on shore, and just had warming capability.

I made my survey report listing all of the above, and sent it to Lausanne, with the recommendation that they look for another vessel.  I have yet to get a response from YWAM.

In subsequent days, we heard that God had indeed confirmed that the "Maori" was the ship for YWAM.  People began to arrive in N. Z. from overseas and some local folks also sold homes, left jobs or other ministries to join in this project.  They asked for permission to go aboard the ship prior to the final payment, and the owners did allow them aboard, but with the stipulation that they were only to clean up, and that no changes were to be made structurally.


The entire text of the letter can be found at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/cunningham.html

Read the following testimony about a woman who lost her trust in the goodness of God after being in YWAM (Also includes testimony of the initial meetings Mr. Beisner had with Greg Robertson while Robertson was still committed to what he had learned in YWAM): Evangelical Heathenism

It seems as though YWAM has gone on to become more influential than ever imagined. I wonder, however, how many thousands of people who were genuinely open to boarding the ark of the Lord have ended up on the same sinking ship as Loren's materialistic Aunt Arnette and Aunt Sandra after they had seen through the YWAM guidance game.

Page 115 "Wally Wenge met me at the Wellington airport. His face was gray. 'There's no point waiting to tell you, good friend. It's official -- the Union Steamship Company has just closed the negotiations. We've lost the ship."
Page 116 "Looking out over their faces -- men, women, teenagers who had given so much -- I could feel the hurt. Some had come to New Zealand from far away for the dream. Many had given up good positions, sacrificing salaries, promotions. Together they had spent thousands of hours cleaning and scrubbing the Maori, putting love into the sudsy water on her decks. It hurt them the most."

"What you have done unto the least of these My disciples, you have done unto Me."

Page 117 "'I consider my money well invested, Loren! God has used it to get your organization humbled before Him. I expect you to move ahead with a special power now. Congratulations!'
"Now I was really humbled. What a man of God this English businessman was!"

Another view may be that the guy was not a "man of God" at all, but was instead completely blind to the truth and deaf to the voice of God in Scripture.

I believe the official figure of money lost on the ship was $72,000 (the amount mentioned on page 103, and also mentioned in Don Stephens' book, Trial by Trial). If the lessons to stay away from mystical guidance and a Jesus Who changes His mind would have been learned, the price paid might have been the salvation of YWAM. However, the organization has moved on to new depths of occult practice with the advent of "Spiritual Mapping," and further steps into mystical guidance methods which are no different and no more accurate than New Agers who are involved in channeling. With such methods of guidance, how is one supposed to know if the spiritual beings who are speaking are angels of light or the true light. 

Perhaps one of the most "prophetic" messages to groups that suffer serious rebuke from the Lord but do not learn their lesson was by well known Assembly of God pastor, David Wilkerson, in his sermon in the Times Square Pulpit series on February 15, 1999. Wilkerson has been a leading voice for Charismatics and Pentecostals for many years and people in those circles usually take him very seriously. In his sermon he made the following statement about those who begin rejecting the truth of God's Word and begin accepting another authority to replace it.

"This is just what happened to many German Christians in Hitler’s day. When Hitler came to power, with a charismatic personality and promises of the good life, even lukewarm Lutherans and Pentecostals accepted him. And later, as he began to work his evil on society, they looked the other way, rejecting the truth of God’s word.

"Of course, some powerful voices for the gospel rose up in those churches. But a shocking number of believers ended up following Hitler and even praising him, crying, ‘Heil (or, ‘Hail!’) Hitler!’ They bought the lie - and God put them under a strong delusion!

"I ask you: Do you sit under strong preaching that lovingly exposes your sin? If so, do you allow that word to convict you? Or, do you go right back to your lust without grieving at all?

"If you’re rejecting the warnings of the restraining Holy Ghost - if you’re disobeying God time after time, without any heart-grief - then you’re being recruited for the cult of Antichrist. The devil is silently initiating you into his mystery of iniquity. And when the promising, miracle-working Antichrist comes along, you’ll be swept up in his lies and given over to a delusion!"

 

Dave Hunt in his 1998 book Occult Invasion mentions YWAM and other organizations which have taken this path into what they believe is "divine guidance." A group called Moral ReArmament lived for many years with what they believe was their special ability to hear God, and they were respected all over the world as a committed, sincere, and effective group of devoted Christians, worthy of the highest honor within the body of Christ. Now the truth is being made known. 

"Even before it became MRA, the Oxford Group emphasized a daily 'Quiet Time with the Holy Spirit' during which a pencil and notebook would always be at hand to record 'every God-given thought and idea.' Why should God be giving any thoughts apart from his Word -- and how would one distinguish such thoughts from one's own? This is a dangerous procedure and one which is widely practiced (under the label of 'journaling') even by evangelicals today. Members were cautioned to check their subjective 'guidance' against the Bible and 'with others who are also receiving guidance in quiet times.' Such safeguards, however, only encourage error since such 'guidance' itself is unbiblical. Nowhere does Scripture even hint that this kind of extrabiblical 'guidance' is to be expected from God." Occult Invasion, by Dave Hunt. Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1998, p. 300.

"Buchman was at first received warmly by CICCU. . . . As time went on, however, disturbing features emerged. He spoke of the Quiet Time, but it was less and less a time of Bible study and prayer and increasingly a time of 'listening to God.' This members did with their minds blank and with pencil and paper in hand, writing down the thoughts that came to them.

"In this way men received entirely irrational guidance . . . regarded as authoritative. . . . They tended to lose their concern for doctrine and to end up less definite about the gospel. . . ." Whatever Happened to the Jesus Lane Lot? by Oliver R. Barclay, InterVarsity Press, 1977, pp. 98-100. Quoted in Occult Invasion, by Dave Hunt. Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1998, p. 301.

The same is happening in relation to YWAM. When I first wrote my testimony in 1985 for Dr. Alan Gomes' book Lead Us Not Into Deception, there were heaps of condemnations thrown at those of us who wanted to make the truth known.  Arguments "to the man" (shifting attention from the message to the messenger) were common and were very effective for influencing the naive. Now things are different. Apparently the YWAM leadership believed that they had successfully silenced those who wanted to make known the YWAM family secrets, so they pushed forward without changing course and making a solid return to Scripture. Now the reports are coming in from all over the world and the truth can no longer be denied. There are no longer just a few people who are willing to take the heat of telling the truth. After only a superficial search on the Internet, one can find numerous highly incriminating testimonies.

If all were told without reservation, I believe that there would be multiple volumes of books written which would tell of those who were blamed for sins they did not commit; they would tell of those who were believed to be demon possessed when in reality they were true prophets, sent by Jesus to proclaim the Word of God to an organization that no longer honored it; they would tell of false prophecies which had been white-washed; they would tell of channeled messages which were more occultic than Christian; they would tell of unethical financial practices; they would tell of the stench of self-righteousness and the covering over of sin; etc.

At the 1999 YWAM University of the Nations workshop in Colorado Springs, Fred Markert, in his message "God's Design Revealed Through Eden, the Tabernacle and the Temple," made this statement about God's pattern in revelation:

"1.) The pattern of God is, 'Come up to the mountain and get revelation. Come down from the mountain and build all of society according to the revelation from the mountaintop.' 2.) We see this pattern everywhere on the planet. a.) The tower of Babel. They went up to get revelation and came down to build demonic society. b.) Tikal in Guatemala. They go up to the top of their stepped-temple -- a man-made mountain -- get revelation and come down and build society according to the pattern. c.) Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the middle of the capital building complex of Bhutan. Everyday the monks go to the top of the monastery, get revelation and come down to the President's office and say, 'This is how we will rule Bhutan today.' d.) The Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The Dalai Lama used to go up on the roof and get revelation everyday from the spiritual realm (the red part of the palace), then come down to the government of Tibet (white part of the palace) and says, 'This is how we will rule Tibet.'" (page 8)

http://www.uofn.edu/workshop/9UofN99d.pdf

After this he also speaks of Moses going up to the mountain:
"Moses was called of God to go up the mountain and get a pattern from God. Heb. 8:5 The pattern God gave Moses was a copy and shadow of heaven, just like the garden at the beginning of the earth was a copy of heaven." (page 9) 
He continues (page 10-11):
"I was in Gyantse, Tibet. The poorest city in all of south Asia. I asked God, 'In the six days of creation, what was your dream for this city?' I wanted the pattern so I can be a watchman and pray it into existence, a cultivator and work it into existence in this city. God spoke to me that His dream was 2 Cor. 9 -- Christians giving money to apostles to preach the gospel. I stood on the high place and prophesized to Gyantse, Tibet, 'God has destined you to be a wealthy city. The church will be raised up in this city. Apostles will be birthed in this city. Money will go to the apostles to evangelize Asia.' Like Adam spoke identity to the animals at creation, we get to speak God's identity to the lost cities and nations as He recreates the earth. The church is called to be a prophetic people who get God's pattern and dreams for lost people, cities, and nations on the high place as watchmen in prayer, then we flow like the river out of the high place to cultivate His dreams into existence everyplace on the earth until the entire planet is a worship center, watched over, guarded, and protected by God's people in prayer. Every day for two years I prayed for this vision to come to past. . . . Our job is to cultivate it and see God raise up His church that will go to the high places, get His pattern for all of society, implement it in Gyantse and then follow the river north, south, east and west."
He also shares that the Chinese announced that a new trade route will go through the city -- i.e., his prayer was answered.
Page 122 "Yet over the last three years here on the Big Island both of us had felt there was something more. One day -- about a year before -- I found out why when a question formed in my mind, 'Loren, have you checked your life lately against your original call?'
"It was a principle of guidance that I had been neglecting. Regularly we ought to check our progress against our original mandates. My calling was clear: to preach the twin character of the gospel. Through Jesus it is possible to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves."
Page 123 "The Good News had often been communicated by Christians in 'religious' settings, usually large meetings in a church somewhere. But the secular world was using so many other ways to communicate its messages: the arts, entertainment, family, education, media, business, government.
"Suddenly -- that day a year ago as I was touching base with my original calling -- the vision expanded."  

This seems to be the initial thrust of what was to become Pacific and Asia Christian University. Now there is University of the Nations which offers degrees all the way up to the master's. In light of Loren's original vision to get people involved in evangelism "now, not after seminary," this proliferation of long-term schooling in YWAM takes on a different color.

Page 137 "Our efforts at being led by the Lord had revealed a danger area in guidance. Divine guidance is so heady, so spectacular, that there is the risk of glory attaching itself to the work rather than to the Lord. We made that mistake with the Maori and we were not going to let it happen again!
"But a second danger area showed up now. When God guides us He is taking a risk, too. If we make the wrong choices we can end up not only robbing Him of His glory but of His rightful first attention."
Page 138 "With the university, God's call for our attention was threatened in an even more serious way. He had told me to be in Argentina. I heard the directions clearly. But I ended up chasing after money instead.
"This is when I first wished I had a wall-hanging that said Guidance is first of all a relationship with the Guide."
Page 142 "My stomach knotted as I heard the rattle in his tiny throat; my eyes filled as he drew his last shuddering breath and his mother clasped his lifeless body to her. Where? I screamed inside of myself, Where is the Church of Jesus Christ?"
Page 146 "Why were the young people crawling between plates of the ship to clean it out? Because they were evangelists. They were already asking God for a huge harvest, thousands upon thousands of people who would be brought into His Kingdom, thousands more who would be helped in acts of mercy."

Asking God for a huge harvest is one thing, being an evangelist is quite another. This statement reminds me of the "pietistic platitudes" which were often quoted to me by YWAM leaders who insisted I must continue my unpaid labors in the YWAM print shop, even though I wanted to go out on the streets and get involved in evangelism.

In 1998 I attended a YWAM ground-breaking ceremony of a building project at the beautiful Lake View Terrace base (residence of John Dawson, sometimes erroneously called Los Angeles), overlooking the San Fernando Valley . I was still seeking reconciliation with YWAM even though there was never any apology for past damage. Instead of demanding an apology and repentance, I tried to approach them in the opposite spirit and told Loren Cunningham that I was sorry if I caused any damage to YWAM because of my testimony in Lead Us Not Into Deception. I asked Loren what I should do and he said, "Do whatever God tells you to do." I also saw Jill Bills (Dawson). She was very friendly and I gave her a copy of something I had written about problems in conservative Lutheranism.

I was probably not completely honest in my apology to Loren. I think what I really wanted was an apology or a thank-you from him. It could have gone something like this: "Greg, it is so wonderful to see you. You cannot imagine how much God has blessed this organization through your labors. If it were not for you, Dr. Alan Gomes, and a multitude of others, we may still be teaching the doctrine of demons that we had become so entangled in. Wow, what a blessing! You must have suffered a lot after what we did to you! Brother, I am so sorry! But I rejoice now, because God used your suffering as part of what was to deliver us from damnable heresy! After I speak tonight, I would like to meet with you and take you out for a cup of coffee or something. I want to know what God has been doing in your life. We have a lot to talk about!" Well, anyway, I never got such an apology. My prayers are still for YWAM, but I do not honestly believe there is much hope for real repentance. A wise man of God once said -- "When groups are growing, they do not receive correction." I think he was right. That is how the JWs, the Mormons, etc., could continue getting bigger. Even today, they say the Mormons are the fastest growing group around!

That evening Loren spoke. He is definitely a highly talented motivational speaker. During his talk, he looked straight at me and said, "Once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer." This was a common cliché during my YWAM daze. I took it as a not-so-subtle invitation from Loren to rejoin YWAM. Loren's statement made me realize that things had not changed in YWAM and that there was no going back. God had prepared me for Loren's statement by showing me the inconsistency in the way YWAMers, myself included, used to secretly mock and laugh at those who believed, "Once saved, always saved," yet, at the same time, we believed "Once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer." In effect, the YWAM view is that the organization has a greater staying-power than does the Creator of the universe.

I noticed that Jim Dawson was in the group and couldn't wait to talk with him after the meeting. However, when the meeting was over, he was gone before I could get to him. Joy had been laid-up with severe back problems for several years at the time and somebody told me that Jim had to get home to take care of her.

I had set a date to meet with John Dawson a while before the ground-breaking service, but his secretary, Andy, called me a few days before the scheduled meeting and cancelled, because "John [had] to go to the airport to pick up his son." The verse came to me, "He who puts son or daughter before me is not worthy of me," but since I am no longer subject to YWAM style of "hearing the voice of God," I dismissed it. I was very busy at the time and could not reschedule, so my sought-after reconciliation never took place.

In following Loren's instruction to "Do whatever God tells you to do," I sought the Lord and received the following instruction from "the Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword":

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." Romans 16:17-20

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Timothy 4:16

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:2-5

"You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine." Titus 2:1

 

A critical evaluation of this document was sent to me and answered at length. 1