Thursday, December 27, 2012

Discerning Angus Buchan's 'Faith Like Potatoes': it's more like half-baked potatoes

I don't know if you're like I am, but when the movie is over I always want to know more. If it is based on a true story then I look up everything about the person to see how they are doing and to learn more of their journey.

After watching a movie based on the spiritual conversion of Angus Buchan, called Faith Like Potatoes, I searched out more. To that end, I looked up information on Mr Buchan subsequent to the events portrayed in the movie. I watched interviews with him. I watched an hour-long documentary in which Mr Buchan spoke of his spiritual journey. I watched clips on Youtube of his preaching at revivals. I watched interviews, such as a recent one on CBN/700 Club with Pat Robertson.

You can read my review of Faith Like Potatoes. The essay focuses on the movie and alludes to some doctrinal issues I'd had with the faith as it was portrayed. By the end of the movie I'd become concerned that the faith Jesus came to deliver was portrayed more as a 'miracle-based, look what God can do for you' kind of faith rather than the 'I'm a sinner and look what Jesus did on the cross for me' kind of faith.

My Buchan's joy in the Lord is contagious and his faith does seem genuine. He has done many good things, such as start an AIDS orphanage and provide education for local Zulu. Mr Buchan has worked tirelessly and fervently for many decades for the Lord. There are many fine things he has done. I don't question his motivations or his faith.

However I do question his methods and his emphasis.

My subsequent research has shown that the suspicion I'd had was true and is proved to be based on fact. My suspicion was that Mr Buchan relies on miracles to get the attention of unbelievers and then parlays that attention and interest into an altar call. Thousands flock to the stage at his altar calls, but I worry that the seeds he has sown eventually dry up in the hearts of the people who respond because they were superficial to begin with. I worry because his emphasis is more on Charismatic manifestations of miraculous events and less on the Word, though the Word is present at his revivals.

Let me give an example.

As Mr Buchan explains on The 700 Club, an event in Mozambique occurred at one of his revivals. Most of his revivals are "healing revivals", you know. Buchan was preaching to 5000 Muslims. He said, "I was preaching my heart out. Nothing was happening, and the Holy Spirit says to me, 'Stop preaching. They’re not listening to you.' And I looked down, and right in the front row, there was a man sitting there and he had two crutches. He had a stiff leg. I felt the Holy Spirit say, 'Go down and pray for that man. And that miracle will turn the people.' Put my Bible down, told them on the microphone, 'I’m going to stop preaching. I’m going to go down and pray for this man, and God’s going to heal him.'"...

Source

"I went down there and we had instant attention. From 5,000 people that were milling around and moving in and out, there was absolute silence. You could have heard a pin. I anointed him in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And I said, 'Do you want Jesus to heal you?' And he said, 'Yes, please.' We prayed for him. I bent down, 5,000 people watching us, and I took hold of his leg. I tried to bend his knee, and nothing happened. It was solid. [This was because the man had a steel pin in his leg due to a forestry injury].  I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, 'Bend his leg.' And I bent his leg like that, and something gave way inside. His leg came free, and he was moving his leg. He chucked his crutches and was running up and down and jumping and shouting for joy."


Here is Mr Buchan's conclusion to that miracle story: "I want to tell you after that I didn’t have to preach another word. I made the altar call and 5,000 people ran forward to give their life to Christ."

Which Christ did they give their life to? The healing, miracles performing Christ? Or the Christ that delivers us from our own personal sins, which had kept us from reconciling with Him? Of course the man wanted Jesus to heal his leg, but the question a preacher should ask is 'do you want Jesus to heal your depraved, sinning heart via his work on the cross and submit to His resurrected Lordship over you all your life?"

Mr Buchan has said several times in the interviews I've seen, a heartbreaking quote which he triumphantly proclaimed at the conclusion of the Mozambique story: 

"At Shalom we've got a saying: one genuine miracle equals a thousand sermons."

No it doesn't. Every single person Jesus healed is dead now. But millions are still alive by hearing His word and having faith in who He is. We are convicted of our sin by the power of hearing the Word. (Romans 10:17). Not by seeing:

"So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe." (John 4:46-48).

Clarke's Commentary says of that miracles verse-
"Except ye see signs and wonders, etc. - Our Lord does not tell this man that he had no faith, but that he had not enough. If he had had none, he would not have come from Capernaum to Cana, to beg him to heal his son. If he had had enough, he would have been contented with recommending his son to our Lord, without entreating him to go to Capernaum to heal him; which intimates that he did not believe our Lord could do it at a distance. But the words are not addressed to the nobleman alone, but to all the Galilean Jews in general; for our Lord uses the plural number, which he never does when addressing an individual. These people differed widely from the people of Sychar: they had neither a love of the truth, nor simplicity of heart; and would not believe any thing from heaven, unless forced on their minds by the most striking miracles."

"They were favored with the ministry of John Baptist; but, as that was not accompanied with miracles, it was not generally credited. They require the miracles of Christ, in order that they may credit the advent of the Messiah. There are many like these Galileans still in the world: they deny that God can have any influence among men; and as to the operations of the Holy Spirit, they, in the genuine Galilean spirit, boldly assert that they will not credit any man who professes to be made a partaker of them, unless he work a miracle in proof of his pretensions! These persons should know that the grace of working miracles was very different from that by which a man is saved; and that the former might exist, even in the most astonishing measure, where the latter did not."
In his interview with Pat Robertson, Buchan talked of the time in a Zulu hut when Buchan apparently raised a girl from unconsciousness, or the dead, no one is quite sure, Buchan said, "I prayed over her, Pat. I said "It's your reputation here, Jesus."

Jesus's reputation does not rest on whether or not He performs to the satisfaction of onlookers.

In the movie, when the tractor was Buchan driving lurched and his nephew fell off and was crushed under the wheel, the entire family was thrown into a deep grief. Buchan's grief was so deep that his pastor asked Buchan to hand over his gun until the grief lessened, thinking Buchan may commit suicide. However, Buchan and his brother's grief was only lessened after a dream that Buchan's brother Ferguson had three months after the death. Buchan described it in an interview, and it was depicted in the movie.

Buchan's brother Ferguson 'saw' his four-year-old son running across an emerald field. The tyke looked  happy. Fergie picked up his son and asked his son if he was really happy there or if he wanted to come back. The boy said he was happy and that he was just waiting for him, his dad. Ferguson called his brother to tell of this dream-vision, and they both then felt a measure of relief from the grief they shared.
Faith Like Potatoes, p. 63

However I have questions about this event as described by Angus Buchan. It is symptomatic of the charismatic reliance on external manifestations of miracles rather than a knowledge and certainty of internal faith, in my opinion. For example, did Fergie ascend into heaven to see his son? The bible says "No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man." (John 3:13).

Did the boy descend? In no way do the spirits of the dead commune with the living. After death people are either in heaven or in hell (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). And besides, the dead do not have their glorified body yet so the boy was spirit. In that case, how could Fergie have picked him up and hugged him?

Only the evil spirits and the holy ministering spirits are out and about. So who did Ferguson 'see', exactly? And where?

Another question more related to the point of this discernment lesson is that the brothers only got relief from their grief after receiving a sign, which was the dream. Did they need a dream to be comforted? Why was his faith in the knowledge that the boy was with Jesus not enough? It was for David and his example is a model for us to take comfort in. (2 Samuel 12:23). But comfort came to the brothers only after a sign and a wonder.

Faith is already knowing he is safe with Jesus, whether a dream comes or not.

I know that the grief of a parent who has lost his child is among he deepest griefs on earth. I can't speak to having experienced it, and I don't want to belittle it. But what parent wouldn't want to have a sign bestowed to them, a dream in which they could pick up their child one last time? Other parents must wonder, why isn't my faith strong enough to have been the recipient of a dream like that? What is the matter with me that God didn't see fit to send a sign that my son or daughter is all right? It causes jealousy and division rather than a comfort. The greatest comfort we all receive equally is the word itself. For example, scriptures show David's resolute knowledge that he would be with his son again ... Jesus compassion in healing the epileptic boy... examples of surety and grace and compassion from the word should be enough.

Overall, reliance on manifestations and miracles is not good. I'm not saying they don't happen. Relying on them to the exclusion of sermonizing is not good, as Mr Buchan does. Remember, he says, "At Shalom we've got a saying: one genuine miracle equals a thousand sermons."

The problem is the word "genuine." Who confirms the genuineness of the miracle? Who vetoes it? And on what basis? Is there an appeal regarding the validation or vetoing of its genuineness? That is why preaching from the word is always better. It is a more sure word. (2 Peter 1:19). There is no question IT is genuine!

Professor Alan Lester of Grace Unlimited in South Africa attended several of Buchan's revivals. He came away concerned about the overemphasis on miracles and the under-emphasis on preaching. He wrote a 50 page Open Letter to Angus Buchan, and in it, he asked,


Long after the 'wow factor' of miracles pass, the word remains.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12).

There is always the problem of clinging to Jesus when the miracles are vivid. The problem is that people leave when the miracles dim in memory, or when they are contrasted with a hard lesson from the Word. Years after the revival has folded its tent and the man with the thrown-away crutches has left town, will they still cling to Jesus? When the hard work of the Word convicts their heart, will they hear?  See John 6:60- "On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

After the disciples heard the hard saying,

"After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him." (John 6:66).

And still others have the problem of seeing miracle after miracle but they do not repent.

"Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent." (Matthew 11:20)

Professor Johan Malan wrote about the lack of lasting fruit from revivals like Buchan's, "A number of case studies on converts during gospel rallies have been conducted in the past. At places where there are no evangelical churches or Bible study groups with high standards where converts can get further instruction, more than 90% of them did not stand by their original commitment. Angus Buchan will seriously have to face this fact. In modern preaching in general, more emphasis is placed upon moralising and human relations than on an improved man-God-relationship."

A shallow conversion rate is the same issue with Billy Graham Crusades. "Observers over the years have noted that Billy Graham, who is considered to be America's premier evangelist, gets a lot of people coming forward in his meetings, but few lasting conversions. Herman Otten, editor of Christian News, stated that "The editor's home congregation participated in the 1957 New York Billy Graham crusade. . .  The editor's home congregation received about 28 [referral cards].  All were visited but none were interested in joining the church. Surveys have shown that Graham's mass crusades have resulted in few ever joining a church."

Graham himself said, "less than five percent of all those who made a confession or profession of faith at his crusades went on to become active members of a church fellowship." (source)

When you combine the treachery of easy beliefism and its low conversion rates with dependence on miracles, it is an even worse situation.

"Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." (Matthew 12:38-39).

I am concerned because Angus Buchan is HUGE. The photos above are recent and real. He is very big in Africa. His revivals and Mighty Men Conferences draw a quarter to a third of a million people at a time, and the crusades last for days. His charismatic approach to sharing the Gospel and his emphasis on miracles, combined with a noted waning of preaching actual scripture, is a very big concern in a continent that has largely escaped the worst of Western prosperity and charismatic emphasis. It is also a concern because of the need of the people to hear the full Gospel. I don't think they receive the full counsel of God at a Buchan crusade.


Prof. Malan wrote in 2010,
"It is obvious that the South African revival preacher, Angus Buchan, does have a relationship with Jesus Christ as his Saviour and experiences Him as a living reality in his life. He also exhorts thousands of people to repent, and helps families to reconcile with each other, which is praiseworthy.  On the other hand, worried voices are being heard that he reveals great ignorance on various aspects of biblical doctrines – to such an extent that he has embarked on the way of kingdom theology, the ecumenical movement, and even the promotion of dubious signs and wonders. On certain occasions he has made positive comments on false prophets such as Benny Hinn and Kathryn Kuhlman. His perceived ignorance on these matters is disturbing and even bewildering."

A former friend of Mr Buchan's, Shaun Willock said, "But then our paths diverged. It was inevitable, for as he embraced the Charismatic movement and became increasingly involved in it, the Lord was opening my eyes to the unbiblical errors of Pentecostalism/Charismatism, culminating ultimately in my departure from it and utter repudiation of it. And in this can be seen the discriminating grace of God.  Separation from all that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement stood for was what I desired, whereas Angus wanted more of it."

And from the photos above, Angus got more of it. Mr Angus Buchan seems to be a compassionate man who loves the Lord, but he is a Charismatic faith healer who depends on signs rather than the Gospel. He and his teachings are to be avoided. Any miracles he claims to have performed should be looked on with heavy skepticism.

Your own tried and true, bible preaching, caring, hard working pastor might not be as flashy as Angus Buchan, and 350,000 people might not clamor to attend your church, but it is the slow and steady that wins the race. Persevere in a quietly transforming faith, dependent on the word and prayer and a close walk in the ways of Jesus on the narrow road, and you will not hear the dreaded words, "Depart from me, you workers of iniquity." (Matthew 7:23) but instead, you will hear, 'Welcome to the paradise of God'. (Revelation 2:7)

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FMI: My Faith Like Potatoes review

Faith Like Potatoes review by Shaun Willock in South Africa

Pastor Conrad Mbewe explains why the Charismatic Movement is thriving in Africa

62 comments:

  1. I too have watched the movie and while my heart is warmed at the making of movies that seem to want to glorify God, I too was left feeling a little "shorted" by the message of this story line. Thank you for doing this work and while most may reject it it is because they want a "tangible God".
    My God has supplied all of my need, that is not to say that I will not lack some earthly thing. My greatest possession is the Christ who cleanses me from ALL unrighteousness and gives me life eternal.
    I have watched many come and go since the first time of learning about Jesus in 1966 at the age of six.
    Having an enduring faith in Christ is what will get you there. The kind that Stephen had. So many have been led astray by the "charismatic" movement. I remember the words of John Wimber, "When are you people going to take your eyes off this (holding up the bible) and put your eyes on me?"
    I am learning that there is much that has been dispensed in the way of error, one thing I have seen across the board in America's churches is blindness on the part of leadership because of sin, their sin.

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    1. Hi Jeff,

      Always nice to hear from you. I loved your comment about enduring faith...so true. I wonder if Mr Buchan's faith would be as strong if there had not been potatoes under the soil and he went bankrupt instead. He should have a life mantra that is 'faith like invisible potatoes'.

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  2. My wife and I saw the movie last year, and I had some real problems with what I saw, and felt much was hockum. Thanks for your excellent analysis and followup.

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    1. Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I reviewed the movie earlier and then was saddened to find a long, slow drift in Mr Buchan's faith toward the Charismatic faith healing chaos we so often see on American television. Mr Willock's testimony of their lost friendship due to doctrinal differences was poignant.

      I saw a video where he called the Lord to produce another Pentecost, this was at En Gedi, Israel a few months ago, and when a big wind came up and tore the mike from his hand and the downed the jumbotrons and the electrical wires went aflame, he got excited and called it "Holy Ghost Chaos". Unfortunately for Buchan, the Holy Spirit doesn't produce chaos nor is He destructive. Just another example of the pollution that can crowd one's soul if one is not careful to walk closely in the truth. The saddest thing is how many people he is influencing on the continent of Africa, despite repeated entreaties from credible brothers to re-think his path

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  3. After reading your article I'm sure you would have had a problem with Jesus as well had you been around in his day..performed far too many miracles as well.
    Even if Angus only has a 10% lasting conversion rate I'm sure he's brought more people to a lasting relationship with the Lord than all those people mentioned in your blog.

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    1. Hi Berachah,

      Ni I would not have a problem with Jesus performing miracles, because he is God. I don't have a problem with miracles themselves, either. It's that the bible shows us that the miracle gifts in humans ceased. (God still performs them, but rarely). And the bible also shows us that as we draw closer and closer to the end, more and more we will see false miracles. Just because something seemingly miraculous has occurred, does not mean it was done by God. This calls for discernment.

      I worry for the 10% you mention who follow a version of Buchan's Jesus who will be standing in front of Jesus when He says "Depart from me, I never knew you." Sure, they go forward at the altar call, but toward WHICH Jesus?

      This is a short video which explains that just because someone says they know a version of a Jesus, they may not know the real Jesus--

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6sCpkysckU

      Blessings in the New Year :)

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    2. The miracles in the N.T. were to confirm that Jesus is God and that the apostles had the authority from God. They were for confirmation of official positions, not to bring people to Christ. Miracles never bring people to God; if they did, then Israel never would have been punished, since they lived with almost daily miracles the whole time they were in the desert, let alone afterwards.

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    3. oh brother. what a dead faith you have if you think that Jesus is not still in the healing business. I can tell you this: healing from Jesus is a "lot" more genuine than any coniving overcharging doctor pushing drugs so as to get on his next cruise ship. The Medical profession is an abomination. I think Jesus offers a pretty good alternative. I am using a "version" of a computer but not a real computer.

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    4. Anonymous, I don't have a dead faith, but a living faith based on the word of God. Let's take a look at what the bible says.

      "There has been much debate about the usage of the spiritual gift of healing among Christians. Some believe the gift of healing and some other sign gifts are no longer operative today, while others believe the miraculous gifts are still in operation today. The power to heal was never in the gifted person himself/herself. The power to heal is from God and God alone. Although God does still heal today, His healing through the gift of healing belonged primarily to the apostles of the first century church to affirm that their message was from God (Acts 2:22; 14:3)."

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-healing.html#ixzz2OS4AFfsv

      God can heal personally if He chooses. But does He endow people with healing ability today? No.

      Prayer and trusting in the Lord is a good method to use if you're diseased or ailing. I'm sorry that you have such a difficult time trusting the medical profession. As a matter of fact, I lack some trust in the profession, as well. But I do not think all doctors are conniving or overcharging us on purpose.

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    5. The verses you give do not disqualify healing gifts being present today. I believe that Spiritual gifts still exist and that they will pass in the end. What I agree with is the word of God being preached and that all miracles be measured against the standard of the bible.

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  4. I can't find the video you are referring to which exposes which Jesus Angus is teaching about. I urgently need direct referals to actual statements or actions that reveals his acceptance of Charismatic principles. Has anybody tested the healing of the man with the crutches and nail in his leg? Thanx From Concerned

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      The video of Buchan at En Gedi, Israel in 9/2012, is here

      (4:44 min short version) http://youtu.be/JfLH-JJwugY
      (40:09 min Long version) http://youtu.be/8odtiC8DUtE

      This website deconstructs the event at En Gedi, using scripture
      http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2012/10/10/angus-buchans-holy-ghost-chaos-or-was-it-something-else/

      Prof Malan of South Africa write a piece on Mr Buchan, here
      http://fortheloveofhistruth.com/2011/11/11/spiritual-deception-revival-and-angus-buchan-south-africas-charismatic-hajj/

      Shaun Willock is a minister in S. Africa who started out with Angus Buchan but eventually parted with him due to Buchan's increasingly Charismatic ways
      http://www.reformedtruth.co.za/docs/Faith%20Like%20Potatoes%20-%20Shaun%20Willcock.pdf

      And as an interesting, FYI, No Compromise Radio/Pastor Mike Abendroth spends 90 seconds asking if, with all these cell phones sprinkled so ubiquitously all over the world that seem to capture events in real time and instantly posted on Twitter, Facebook and blogs, why has NO ONE caught a real healing at one of these revivals? And why has NO ONE been able to follow up with post-healing interviews to verify them? Food for thought.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvSRmkB6w-M&feature=share&list=PLlmU5yAnKJqSpjeN9GGzWKT4drgKlVuBT

      These should get you started. :)

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  5. When Jesus spoke to the masses, as opposed to the Pharisees and Sadducees he spoke most often in parables. He did this so that "only those who had ears to hear would hear." He performed so many miracles, signs and wonders the disciples said there were not enough books to be able to write them all down. He gave this same authority to the 12 disciples and to the 72. Once, when the disciples came across others who were not part of their group but were casting out demons they stopped them because they were not with them. "But Jesus answered, Forbid him not, for no one who shall do a mighty work in my name shall easily be able to speak evil of me. He is who is not against us is for us, for whoever may give you a cup of water in my name, because you are Christs, verily I say to you he shall not lose his reward." Mark 9:39-40.
    Jesus said, "Woe unto you Chorazin, woe unto you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes." Luke 10:13 So we see that miracles, signs and wonders can produce complete repentance in those whose hearts are open to the Holy Spirit. Some men, at the same time can know the Word by heart, as did the Pharisees, who were required to have memorized the first five books of the Bible, yet not even recognize the Word when He came in the flesh. Our churches are filled with people who know the Bible yet do not know Jesus. How many are sitting in church, year after year with hardened hearts. I have seen miracles. I have been the recipient of miracles. I am 51 years old and love Jesus more and more each year. He is my joy. He has kept me through many fiery trials and by faith I follow Him. I grew up in an Evangelical Fundamentalist Baptist Church, saved at an early age and was there every Sunday of my life growing up, learning the Word. When I grew older I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit that forever changed me. My relationship with the Lord is one that has grown in joy and faith. Miracles are a normal part of Christianity, of walking by faith. Deliverance is a natural part of walking out Jesus to a lost and dying world. The High Priest, Annas I believe, told the Pharisees that they should take care not to speak against the disciples lest they be found to be fighting against God Himself. Consider all of the Word and look around you with an honest heart. Just being in Church, just knowing doctrine inside and out does not make someone a Christian either. The Bible never tells us that all Jesus healed went on to become believers. He heals because He loves. It is the goodness and kindness of God that draws men to repentance.

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    1. I believe Jesus performs miracles today. He does not endow humans with miracle making ability, that was for a period of time and for a specific purpose, which has passed away, as I stated above. Relying on miracles for faith is a shallow faith. I disagree that miracles are a normal part of Christianity. Perhaps in Jesus's day, but not now. The miracle is not the outward display of supernatural power, but the inward transformation of a sanctified person.

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    2. Dear sister Elizabeth,
      I am very thankful what I have learned in reading this message today. And the comments have really given food for thought. I would like to pose a question . . . Where is the Scripture that says, the power and authority which Jesus Christ gave to the spostles and the 72, has been taken away when that generation died ? I agree that the devil is working furiously to counterfeit the Truth of God's Word. And our only foundation must forever be a, "Thus saith the LORD." But I have not seen any where in the Holy Bible where there was a limit (in time or location) of the gift of the Holy Spirit, except in our own lack of faith. Please share with me where you find this stated clearly in the Word of God ?
      Sincerely,
      your brother in Christ,
      Eric Wilson - Isaiah Ministries

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    3. Dear Brother Eric in Christ,

      Thank you for your very nice comment, and for reading the piece. I ask you, please, to show me where is the Scripture that says God it three-in-one, a Trinity. I have not seen any where in the Holy Bible where there is clearly stated in the Word of God that shows this. Can you please find it for me?

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    4. There isn't a verse that clearly states that God is Trinity. So you see the issue. John MacArthur states it this way: "To argue that something is true because the Bible doesn't say it, is weak. And to argue that you need a statement in one verse to prove a point is weak, because there are many truths in the Bible that are indicated to us by the totality of Scripture rather than any one given statement. For example, you can't take one single, simple Bible verse and drop it in front of a Jehovah's Witness that says, "Jesus is 100% God and 100% man at the same time in an indivisible oneness." But that is the essence of the God-Man, isn't it? We've got to go all over the place, finding little bits and pieces of the theology of Christ to put together the total portrait. That's not a good argument to use'

      I invite you to read or listen to this bible study which addresses your concern that the charismatic gifts have not ceased because the bible doesn't state it in one verse.

      http://www.gty.org/resources/Study-Guides/40-5176

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  6. I agree, no I know, that everything that Anonymous wrote is true. Why would our Father just stop performing miracles? He does not change and His wonders continue until the end of time. Why do so many want to find fault with the good works of others? Some may be given this power to bring others to God. It is the responsibility that have been delivered to work out who they are in the sight of God. If they are to perform miracles, then accept that is God's will for them for God's reasons. If they chose to think that an inability to perform miracles or do not see miracles in their own lives is a failure of God's love, then have they really connected with the living glory of God? Do not worry so much about the nature of someone else's message, worry about your own. I loved the movie and am blessed that the maturity of my faith accepts the miracles by this man as a gift to us all. Perhaps, if we believed as he did, believed as the disciples did, we would see many more miracles. In the Bible there is nothing that indicates that God has stopped delivering to His children in this way. Consider why you doubt this man's right to follow God's commands to him. Do you ask that he stop in order to please your reasoning? Paul had a lot to say about this type of thinking in Galatians.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      My Dear Anonymous,

      I have said twice that God still performs miracles. I have also said twice that he does not give man miracle making ability any more. But God directly still does them. We should be clear on this now.

      For 800 years there was no prophet, no miracle. Does that mean God loved His people less? No. It is important for you to stop connecting God’s love with outward showy performances of miracles. As we read in this essay, “"Does God still perform miracles?"” “Jesus performed countless miracles, yet the vast majority of people did not believe in Him. If God performed miracles today as He did in the past, the result would be the same. People would be amazed and would believe in God for a short time. That faith would be shallow and would disappear the moment something unexpected or frightening occurred. A faith based on miracles is not a mature faith”
      Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/miracles-Bible.html#ixzz2TwNfeLNj

      It might benefit you to read the rest of that essay. It is only a couple more paragraphs. And there is this:

      Why do so many people seek after signs and wonders?" http://www.gotquestions.org/signs-and-wonders.html

      As far as your admonition to “not worry so much about the nature of someone else's message”, that is exactly wrong-headed thinking. Of COURSE we worry about someone else’s message. Ignoring an incorrect message kills the sheep, and ignoring a correct message hinders our sanctification! We must be discerning of what messages we take in. After all, we are absorbing a message that will share space inside our body with the Holy Spirit.

      Paul worried plenty about others’ messages, protecting his flock from false ones he named by name. As a matter of fact Thabiti Anyabwile wrote that correct discernment is, “Another prominent theme in Paul’s pastoral epistles–1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus–is that of false teaching, false teachers, and the errors they foster. In fact, the entire New Testament rings with constant alarm about those who pervert the way of truth.” More here, http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2010/07/21/a-sampling-of-pauls-instruction-re-false-teachers-and-sound-doctrine/

      Jesus warned us against others’ false messages, too, naming whole groups of people such as the Nicolatians, (Rev 2:6), and also a false prophetess Jezebel type to the church at Thyatira. (Rev 2:20).

      Worrying whether a message is authentic is mature faith. Expecting a message to be punctuated by a miracle is not. Seeking after signs and wonders as the proof of faith, is also not a mature faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

      I implore you to heed the wisdom in these scriptural essays I’ve shared regarding reliance on miracles, and to heed the warning in Hebrews to believe in Jesus for Himself, not for His miracles, or worse, man's false miracles.

      Delete
  7. Actually, I find the comments a bit shameful. Open your hearts Christians to one another and all. Who are we to question the Lord and the gifts he bestows on others?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is an interesting day we live in. People constantly ascribe the practice of comparing what someone says and does to the bible, as being unloving or having a 'closed heart.' The bible tells us repeatedly to think, question, ponder: Romans 8:5-6; Colossians 3:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Joshua 1:8 ...

      We don't question the Lord and what He does, but we do question if a message is authentic, especially if their message is accompanied by 'miracles' which the bible says passed away in the disciples long ago.

      "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8).

      It is impossible to do that if we don't question what we see and hear that is presented as a Christian message.

      Delete
  8. Indeed I do question others and their message. I never accept what another says regarding God. I go straight to God. Yet, I will also never question the motivations of another. Angus' message is about repentance. It is not just about healing.

    Indeed, no man has ever healed anyone. It has always been God that did the healing. As Jesus said that it was faith and the Father that healed those he touched. Angus says the same.

    I do not rely on "showy performances". I appreciate Angus' work that is all. Do I accept him as my teacher? No, only Jesus has that place in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Men do not have the gift of healing or miracles any longer. Angus ascribes much to miracles, as his movie, book, and speeches at different venues attest. He is all about the miracles.

      He is a teacher of the word, and we must compare what he says and does to the scripture. And yes, you do accept him as teacher, and unquestioningly so, as you've mentioned that to do so would be questioning his motivations, unloving, and as you stated earlier, "Who are we to question the Lord and the gifts he bestows on others?" As for questioning motivations, we do compare what a person says against what the word says. Sometimes that reveals his motivations. (2 Peter 2:3, Romans 16:18). Unquestioning acceptance of a teacher and his message or how he is using his gifts is usually a recipe for apostasy.

      In the essay and in my responses, I used much scripture as the basis for my reply. You do not. If you choose to reply again, I respectfully request that you use scripture as your basis, and not personal experience.

      Have you read any of the links on the topic that I have shared with you? What did you think?

      One last question- you say you test whether a teacher or his message is authentic, by going "straight to God". How do you go straight to God?

      Delete
    2. For the record to people reading the comment stream, Anonymous did respond to the above comment. However he or she did not use scripture at all as requested. He or she didn't clarify what I'd requested clarification on. He or she did make ad hominem personal attacks, and persisted in arguing something I said twice I didn't believe as if I'd never debunked it (a classic straw man argument). I deleted his or her comment.

      But for our purposes, this is how you know someone is not earnestly seeking to understand a person's position, isn't seeking clarity on something they themselves do not understand, and is not operating in good conversational faith. In other words, a troll. Those are the signs.

      Delete
  9. I dont agree with your statement. You seems to limit God with your own understanding.

    Lots of things we dont understand, more else the Bible for if we do understand we are God himself. That is why the Bible said God work in mysterious ways. Ecclesiastes describe it all.

    Yet, every person are justified as righteous by their faith only, not by works. It is by your faith that you are saved.

    That is why we cannot justified one right way to preach the gospels. We will never be perfect no matter what. Even Paul said that he has thorn in flesh. But one thing is for sure, many body but one head, Jesus Christ.

    We may not know if a preacher is true or false. At a time we can agree with one preacher at other time we can disagree with the same preacher. But one thing we know for sure, our heart desire to seek God's face will lead us to the right path in Christ, if we have the right heart (2 Chronicles 14, deutronomy 8). That is what the most important point in Christianity. All else will follow.

    About the miracles happened in our times? Mark 16 verse 17 said it all. Which verse in the Bibles said that miracles do not happen today? With God all things are possible.

    God bless you.


    by Andre @ smar7_8oy@hotmail.com

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    1. Andre, thank you for your comment.

      You said we may not know if a preacher is true or false. That is incorrect. Jesus told us they would be coming. He said they would wear sheep's clothing but inwardly be ravenous wolves. But we would know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-17.

      No one is perfect (except Jesus), but perfection has no bearing on the discussion of discerning false teachers. Just because we are not perfect means we leave our discernment at the door. Remember, Jesus charged the church at Thyatira for failing to deal with a false prophetess which they KNEW was false. (Revelation 2)

      The fact is, they will come, we are to expect them, (Mt 12:33, Luke 6:44, 2 Peter 2:1...) and we are grateful Jesus didn't leave us at their mercy but not only warned us but told us how to spot them. AND He gave us the Holy Spirit to discern them. With all that said, there really is no excuse for NOT recognizing them, or as some prefer, to ignore them.

      Here is an essay on how to spot a false teacher. When we recognize a false teacher we are doing honor to Jesus. http://www.gotquestions.org/false-teachers.html

      Miracles by God happen today. Miracles by men are not happening today. The sign gifts were for a sign and we no longer need the apostles to confirm the word of God by miracles since we have the bible.

      Delete
  10. Let me state that I don't know Angus Buchan personally, have not met him nor bought any books or publications. I've attended only one of his gatherings.

    Yet I marvel at the Body of Christ's propensity to cut down the ministries of others. Allow me to explain, this statement without intending to affront anyone.

    - Christians need to learn to support other members. The major opposing religions understand and apply this to their advantage; Christians sadly not. That is why we are in such a fragmented mess.
    - Not one of us have all the knowledge and understanding of God, including all the commentators on this blog.
    - Angus' ministry is clearly one of an evangelist. This blog seems to be made up of teachers (otherwise they would not write their views :-) ). Yet, may I ask, how many have approached Angus to stay behind when he has had a crusade so that they can 'make disciples'? In other words, 'teach the Word right'? To bget out there and be effective?
    - There seems to be a tendency to label Angus a false prophet. That is a serious accusation. False prophets and teachers actually work for the other side. Would you say that of him? And place yourself in a position to be corrected? Careful now...
    - For many years we heard sermons for conversion based on what Jesus can do for you and His love, but very few dealing with repentance which is a basic requirement for conversion. To my knowledge Angus is clear on this. Good for him!
    - I think Angus is doing what God lays on his heart. Is he making mistakes - indubitably. So are you and I. And yet, like David (called a man after God's heart) Angus' purported mistakes are not tripping him up from following God. I have full faith that God will deal with him if Father God thinks he is not doing the job anymore.
    - As an evangelist he has introduced many to Christ. May I, respectfully, ask what this blog has achieved? Or the contributors who assist in criticising him? We know that some seed falls between the thorns etc., etc. There will never be a 100% sustained conversion. Even we, at times, have turned from God as we deal with the world and the enemy. People make their own choices. And the Holy Spirit is the Power of conversion and persuasion.
    - I would rather see us focus on the task ahead - not in isolation, but taking hands, and having faith that God will deal with any wayward children when He deems necessary. He always has.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christians do NOT "need to support" other Christians who are saying and doing things that are unbiblical. That's just helping satan. And what does that achieve?

      Delete
  11. The Editor, The Witness

    NCF, ANGUS BUCHAN AND THE MIGHTY BUSINESS OF CHURCH

    Your article on 24 May 2013, on NCF hosting Angus Buchan refers.

    “Do not peddle God’s word for a profit.”

    NCF, our city’s largest and possibly wealthiest megachurch, has hosted throngs of Angus Buchan enthusiasts, at Harry Gwala stadium for a paltry R15 per head. Of course, with a full house of over 20 000 people that amounts to roughly R300 000. Not bad for an afternoon’s preaching, even if you take expenses into account. If they wanted to limit crowds, was there no other means of doing so, instead of charging them? The question that I have for Mr Buchan and NCF is – Since when is it acceptable to charge to preach God’s word? Did our Lord Jesus do that, did any of his disciples do that? NCF has hosted a wide range of Christian celebrities and events over the years, and inevitably, exceptions may be noted, charges people to attend. This is an age old symptom of churches that peddle God’s word for a profit.

    Mr Buchan has a thriving commercial ministry, with his books, dvd’s, movies, conferences, TBN programmes, etc. I was once quite amused when a Christian book store at the mall had a life size, stand up card board picture of him, for the promotion of one of his books in the afterglow of the Mighty Men’s conference’s. Of course, many will come to his defence saying that they want to see and hear him, and don’t mind parting with their hard earned money to do so. Fair enough, but does the Word which he claims to live by, actually permit him to do so. Is godliness a means to financial gain for him? Is he possibly stealing glory from our Lord Jesus? Is it okay for us, as Christians, to place a man on a pedestal, in the landscape of commercial Christianity? Important questions to ask in examining ourselves and testing our faith. Let us keep ourselves free from idols.

    NCF, and other mega churches in our city, form part of a world-wide phenomenon of bigger, better church buildings and facilities and, undoubtedly, faith by numbers. Numbers are a big factor as it allows megachurches to prosper. Without mega money, mega churches would not be able to market themselves through the various media outlets, maintain mega staff salaries and church activities and overheads, and a mega brand like NCF. So why do people give their hard earned money to a religious machine that is never satisfied and constantly cries out for more. NCF teaches them to believe in Tithes and Offerings, an old testament principle in accordance with the law of Moses, not a new testament principle by the blood of our Lord Jesus. Ironically, NCF stands for New Covenant Ministries, but adheres to old testament principles such as temple worship(church buildings), Levitical priesthood(their pastors/elders) and the cornerstone of institutional churches – tithes and offerings.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Sameer,

      You asked, "The question that I have for Mr Buchan and NCF is – Since when is it acceptable to charge to preach God’s word?" and the answer is since the first century.

      Should pastors be paid a salary?"

      Answer: A church should definitely provide for the financial needs of its pastor(s) and any other full-time ministers. 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.'” 1 Corinthians 9:14 declares, “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/pastors-paid-salary.html#ixzz2VHhvh8RG

      Some itinerant preachers or missionaries do need money to go here and there to bring the word. It is a fact of life that travel takes money.

      I agree with yo though that in this materialistic, prosperity-gospel driven society, there are abuses. Jentezen Franklin has a jet to travel between his TWO churches, one on each coast of America. Joyce Meyer has a private jet to take her to one of her many homes.

      Leadership Journal explains, "Paul's own practice is instructive here. Sometimes he took payment for his ministry, sometimes he did not. I Corinthians 9:1-18 and II Corinthians 11:7 show he found work instead of accepting money from the Corinthians, but II Corinthians 11:8-9 and Philippians 4:15-18 make it clear he did accept support from other churches, and in I Corinthians 9:14 he stoutly defends that right. In fact, in II Corinthians 12:13 he tells the Corinthians they were less favored than the other churches, because they did not enjoy the privilege of giving to his needs!"http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/1981/spring/81l2066.html?start=2

      Your question, "Is godliness a means to financial gain for him?" is an excellent one, and something that individuals and local bodies can wrestle with themselves through prayer and depending on local needs.

      Delete
    2. Hi Elizabeth

      Thank you for your response.

      I can assure you that the first century apostles like Paul did not charge to preach the gospel. Accepting financial gifts for ministry and actually charging to preach are very different things. Paul preached the gospel free of charge, worked hard with his hands and advised others to do the same.He then went on to warn others of false apostles and deceitful workmen. All found in 2Cor11. Angus Buchan falls into this category.

      You also have not delved into the false doctrine of tithes and offerings in NT church, and the question of church buildings itself.

      The following books may be of help to you; Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, Revolution, Church in Crisis, Church in the Wilderness, The Corinthian Elders, Tithes that Bind, Babylon, The Naked Church, Simple Church, New Testament Church.

      Thank you for listening.


      Delete
    3. Sameer Sathar,
      You sound as if you have bought wholesale into a lot of false teaching, especially with the books you recommend. Pagan Christianity has been ripped apart as revisionist history by many, many scholars. The whole premise is based on a false belief. Reimagining Church, and all those others have also been ripped apart for revising history towards an agenda.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with paying a pastor/elder, since that is their full-time occupation. Paul only refused pay when he was accused of doing it for money, and he was making a point.

      I suggest you review the following passages from Scripture rather than relying on a bunch of books filled with lies and revisionist history:

      Matt. 10:10
      Luke 10"7,16
      1 Cor. 9:16-18
      2 Cor. 11:7-9
      Gal. 6:6
      1 Thes. 3:9,
      1 Tim. 5:17-18

      As for Pagan Christianity, I suggest the following link to an excellent analysis of that book;
      http://www.paganchristianity.infinology.net/index.html

      You might also go direct to this article to read about Frank Viola - to learn a bit about an author you put so much trust in.
      http://www.paganchristianity.infinology.net/frankviola.html

      Delete
    4. Hi Sameer,

      I hope you read the link I offered to you. Here is another. "Should pastors be paid a salary?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/pastors-paid-salary.html#ixzz2VoZNMbFe

      Pastors should be provided for by their home church. That much is obvious, and Paul WAS supported financially at intervals throughout his ministry.

      However that is a different issue from speakers like Buchan who do not appear to have a home church but make a living speaking at large conferences and (perhaps) charging for it. (I say perhaps because I have no facts as to his financials). The two are different issues. Although some who speak at conferences or large one-time gatherings like this do not charge but are given a love offering an/or their expenses are paid for to travel there. So the issue even at that point becomes complicated and calls for mature discernment.

      The issue of NT tithes and offerings that you raise is also separate issue. No I have not delved into it but I agree that it is abused in preaching and superficially understood in NT churches.

      Last, neither of us have delved into the notion of whether it is biblical at all to have large Christian conferences in general, and/or itinerant pastors who speak at large gatherings in arenas as a calling- as opposed to shepherding a flock.

      So we have the issues of:

      --tithes and offerings
      --itinerant preachers who charge for their message
      --pastors who receive a salary, or are otherwise supported by their home flock

      I think you and I are on the same page if we clarify that there are really three different things we are speaking of.

      To get back to the topic of the post, overall, I do agree that in discerning whether a teacher is false, to look at his financial motivation. (2 Peter 2:3, Jeremiah 6:3, 1 Tim 6:5). Even then, discernment must be used.

      Delete
    5. Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for those resources, they are good. Like you, I don't recommend the books that Mr Sameer proposed. Also, thanks for your comment.

      Delete
    6. Hi Glen and Elizabeth

      Thank you for your responses.

      Just to clarify Frank Viola and all the other authors mentioned are merely men and I do not put my trust in them, nor do I recommend that anyone else does either. Their books are merely messages, important to listen to, irrespective of what their critics say. Our Lord Jesus himself had critics.
      Incidentally, there are hundreds of books and literature that predates the reformation era, crying out for the reformation of church, but let us stick with the bible for now.
      Is it possible that our idea of church is merely based on the tradition, custom and command of the men. Commercial christianity is rife all over the world and has been for ages.
      Please for your own benefit and the benefit of those that are reading your comments, please read those books with an open mind, in accordance with the word of God. If you can listen to your pastors who are paid professionals, what not to them?

      Thank you for listening.

      Delete
    7. Hi Sameer,

      We stick with the bible too. As a matter of fact I've shared scripture but I haven't seen much reply from you regarding them. Nor have you shared much from it yourself.

      I do listen to my pastor - whom we financially support- and the deacons of my church because that is how the New Testament set up church and we follow the bible's commands at our local congregation. (1 Timothy 5:17). It would be good if you listened to *your* pastor and elders too. It would be better if you supported them financially as well, something that is also biblical. I hoe you also submit to them (1 Peter 5:5, Hebrews 13:7) because God has raised them up to share truth from the word and to lead you, a sheep.

      I'm sorry to read the disdain you have for pastors who are paid, it means you may not have as thorough an understanding of the bible as you think. I offered you a link to GotQuestions on the topic- maybe you have not read that yet.

      Thanks, but I believe our conversation on this topic has come to an end, each of us having expressed our beliefs and now we leave each other in peace.

      Delete
    8. Sameer,

      In addition to what Elizabeth said, I do want to point out that the reason Viola and his ilk have so many critics is because what they are teaching is fraudulent and revisionist history. Yes, Jesus had his critics, but he was criticized for telling the truth, while the authors of the books you cite are criticized for their falsehoods.

      Delete
  12. Hi there

    Excellent article.
    For all info on Angus Buchan please see here http://www.discerningtheworld.com/category/2-peoples-names/a/angus-buchan-shalom-ministries/

    Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is sad, You cling to the knowledge of God, but deny His power. Why does it have to be one or the other! Why not heavily promote ingesting God's living Word and pressing in for Him to do miracles? Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever and He lives in us now! He commanded us to heal the sick and raise the dead and cast out demons! To me it is heresy to ignore the Word and only focus on miraculous manifestations. But, it is just as much a heresy to claim that God is powerless in our lives and to call Jesus a liar when He said "the works I do you will also do". Don't listen to the voice of lies in your head! The devil knows he cannot steal your salvation, so he is going after the next best option, stealing your power in the victory of what Jesus accomplished on the cross! We are sinners who have been forgiven, are going through a life long process of sanctification, and YES we get to be a part of Jesus doing miracles, like He always has! If you are tuned in to the devil's voice I feel very sad for you! Jesus said my sheep hear my voice! They KNOW ME! On judgment day, some so called Christians will hear Him say I NEVER KNEW YOU! Do you know Him? Or do you only know how to intellectualize Him and debate over Him? Why are you so concerned with attacking your own brethren? Jesus said to go make disciples! But this is what you spend your life on? Attacking Angus, a guy who is leading many to Christ! Stop building a theology around your own experience or lack of experience! Go read YOUR BIBLE! It is a book full of Miracles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello David Paul, you said "You cling to the knowledge of God, but deny His power." It is a sad and erroneous thing to ascribe the ONLY power God has is that which we can see. God is not only the miracles. He is not only the healing. His power stands alone, whether we see his miracles or not. His power is in the unseen but regenerated heart, i.e. salvation. THAT is a miracle. It is in the indwelling Holy Spirit, leading us into illuminated truth. His power is the sustained creation, NOT collapsing every day.

      "the works I do you will also do"? OK, Sir, walk on water. Sweat blood. Die on the cross. It is heresy to say that we will so the same works as Jesus. What John 14:12 is actually saying, is the "you" he is speaking of are the Apostles. Not every Christian in perpetuity. Second, as Gill's Exposition says, "not greater in nature and kind, but more in number; for the apostles, in a long series of time, and course of years, went about preaching the Gospel, not in Judea only, but in all the world... the conversion of a sinner is a greater work than any of the miracles of raising the dead, &c. for this includes in it all miracles"

      Angus is leading many to "A" Christ, but which Christ? the Christ is miracles and false expectations, where even once the miracles stopped , they left the REAL Jesus? Miracles don't save. Watching one is only entertainment. The flash soon fades and all you're left with is false converts. An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign!

      Delete
  14. This is not an honest Blog if you will only post the things you agree with or are not threatening to you. Sadly this has become and epidemic. Supposedly unbiased conversations, where the host will only post an opposing view if he or she has a good argument lined up against it.

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    1. I would edit your comment only slightly. "The host will only post an opposing view if he or she has a good BIBLICAL argument lined up against it." And 'host' is correct. It is my blog. I reserve the right to approve or disapprove all comments. That's not dishonest. It is a fact.

      Delete
  15. Thank you Elizabeth, your comments have encouraged me. I watched that movie on the recommendation of many Christians. The faith issue bothered me greatly, I have lost sleep! It reminded me of my days in the church of the latter day saints. I was repeatedly told to pray for what I want, and if I have enough faith it will be so. My young heart thought that was terrible theology. But now I have come to realise that faith in god means to have faith in God and in his will for your life and the greater good, which is the ultimate joy rather than what God can do to improve our lives on Earth, which we are meant to surrender to God anyhow. I read your comments, it's was nice to have some things confirmed for me in scripture. thanks again. Jess.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Elizabeth,

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for time and effort taken to post this blog. It had a huge impact on me after not just reading this article or blog, but also of others, like that from Dr John MacArthur and the team from Worldviewweekend. And many others

    There is really a trend I can see going on with most of the criticism being posted by people. Its like you have mentioned, you support the scriptures from the Word of God, the Truth, and in return, you receive comments with the absence of scriptures, which goes to show....

    I can only say that the criticism is based on the desires of the flesh, and nothing else. Its exactly what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    I hope and pray your message and ministry falls and clings to the hearts of those who follow sound doctrine.

    Warmest Regards,
    Clinton

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  17. Hi Elizabeth. ..

    I don't really understand why you are trying to disbelieve Angus, how can you say that he isn't a evangelist? Do you ever heard about the gifts of holy Spirit? When God give us a gift he give us the ability to do things to his kingdom , and clearly Angus is a evangelist if thats why he can bring people to God just his words and testimony, and of course with the healing miracles..God give to everyone hi called to be an evangelist the power to heal, some people need to see to believe, some people have a tiny faith and a lot of problems in live and a miracle its all that they need to start to believe. Even Jesus did that...sometimes he just heal. You should read more the bible to understand that.

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    Replies
    1. I have heard about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And you should know very well that not all people who claim to have a gift of the Spirit have such a gift. Not all people who proclaim the Gospel do so under the the operation of the Spirit. ANd some whose hearts have been converted still promote a different Gospel or add things to the message. Here is a definition of evangelism by Tony Miano (pastor and street preacher, global evangelist)

      Evangelism is the announcement, proclamation, and/or preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), the good news of and about Jesus Christ.

      As for the following statement you made:God give to everyone hi called to be an evangelist the power to heal, some people need to see to believe"

      Nowhere in the bible did God give healing power to all evangelists. That is a false statement easily proved by even a superficial reading of the bible. John the Baptist never did one miracle, not one healing. And he is seen as the greatest man who ever lived, the forerunner of the Christ.

      And definitely your second statement that some people need to see to believe is the exact opposite of the truth, and is exactly why people like Angus Buchan muddy the evangelistic waters (to put it kindly).

      Thousands thronged Jesus when He did His miracles, thousands left Him when He said the hard sayings. In Matthew 16:4 Jesus said, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed."

      And even when THAT sign was given, His glorious resurrection, many refused to believe. The age of the Incarnation brought miracles by Jesus and then initially by His apostles to validate the inspired word. Even by the middle of the Apostolic age the miracles were dying out, Paul didn't heal Timothy, but advised him to drink a bit of wine for his frequent ailments. (1 Tim 5:23).

      Once the word was completed, so were the miracles. Only three times in history have there been times of great miracles, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Miracles are not common and are not the go-to method the Spirit uses to proclaim Jesus. Angus Buchan, and you, should know that.

      Delete
    2. to all who wonder why the 'Church' -body of believers do not 'remain' faithful is perhaps found in Eph 4 :11-16 . we dont grow up because the body is in wrong structures/models. We place the label of Pastor on people, when it's NOT a title -its a function/calling/ministry. I believe those who do this will be judged in the role as pastors/shepherds, ofter who done shepherd, as well as what their calling WAS In God & did they fulfill that call ? (what He 'had on their lives' , ie an Evangelist ) = judged on two counts!!! there needs to be repentance for how we have not searched the scriptures in this & seen the truth. To have a group of persons as Elders/Deacons function under the direction of the Holy Spirit & flow in Unity, honoring each others ministry is truly a miracle-being in one accord, yes with a lead elder, not a static role, as seen with the early guys.
      So lets get back to the basics of the early church & give HIS church back to Him as He intended it to be (ad) ministered. Yours In Christ, Tricia

      Delete
  18. James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

    James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

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  19. I just wanted to comment on something you wrote "did Fergie ascend into heaven to see his son?". You seem to think that this is not possible. We do know however that Paul was taken up to the third heaven and came back, Enoch and Elijah were taken to heaven. And John in Revelation was told to "come up here". So it is definitely possible to go to heaven and come back.

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    1. HI ANonymous,

      I do think it's possible to ascend into heaven and come back. Some people in the bible have done so. Therefore how can I believe it is NOT possible?

      The question is, is it happening now? Is it normative? Can Christians expect heavenly tourism as a regular occurrence? The answer is NO.

      Moreover, Paul ascended and when he came back he said it is not lawful for a man to discuss what is happening there.(2 Cor 12:4)

      so EVEN IF (hypothetically) Jesus IS lifting all these people into heaven and showing them around and giving them additional revelation (which violates Rev 22:18) then it isn't lawful to discuss it on TV talk shows, write books, and negotiate for royalties over what they saw. (violates 2 Cor 2:17)

      Do donkeys talk regularly? Do people regularly get swallowed by a whale and spit out alive after three days? Do people regularly walk through the Red Sea on dry land? Don't make the mistake of thinking just because it happened once or twice that this is for all people all the time. This takes scripture out of context.

      Delete
  20. Dear Elizabeth

    You have not provided any scriptural proof that GOD no longer gives miracles..... Even though one of the gifts of the Spirit is Healing.

    Also whilst I agree that nothing can trump the word of GOD & only the word can have lasting change in lives, it doesn't discredit healing meetings & the 10% as you call it.

    Even in Jesus's day only 10rate of conversion from his healing meetings...as it was with the 10 lepers & only 1 returned.(10%).
    The 90% that don't stick around has more to do with the perverse heart of man rather than the preachers.....

    The endtime church will demonstrate more power as Christ has promised us...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Henry,

      God does still do miracles.

      He just no longer does them through an Apostle. *People* no longer have the power to raise the dead, heal, or speak tongues (& interpret them). Those are the miracle gifts given tot eh apostles, and they were temporary.

      The end time church, which we have been in since Acts 1 when Jesus ascended, will weaken to the point of limping along with barely a breath until He returns. 1 Timothy 4:1, Matthew 24:10, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Luke 18:8

      The endtime church will demonstrate less power as He has promised us.

      Delete
  21. gosh christians argue and debate a lot ... any wonder there some much strife contention and division among the majority of them and the traditions they follow

    ReplyDelete
  22. I Timothy 2:12-13 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve." Just stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi,

      What authority am I exerting over Angus Buchan? Can you share your perspective regarding the verse? Do I take you to mean women must never speak? Anywhere? In church or out?

      Another verse in 2 Timothy just beyond the one you quoted says,

      Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

      Can you instruct me as to your concerns over:

      --how I approached this issue
      --the actual issue of which I wrote (false teaching about miracles).

      I'm looking forward to a good conversation! :)

      Delete
  23. Elizabeth, how many people did you led to Christ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, how many people did you lead AWAY from Christ, by failing to be discerning, and promoting false teachers?

      Delete
  24. Why do people feel that Angus Buchan is a false teacher.
    There must be reasons. I agree that there are many false preachers today.
    The prosperity gospel has been exported from the states to Africa, Asia and all over the world.
    This is wrong,as this makes your walk with Christ dependant on what you have, which is grazy and not true. Angus Buchan is the real deal.
    There is nothing that he does or say that is not in line with God's word.
    To many people are stuck in their thinking of Christianity and it is always associated with doctrine and tradition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Antony,

      Yes, there are reasons why people feel Angus Buchan is a false preacher. I provided some in this essay.

      In addition, he relies on miracles instead of faith, which only wicked and adulterous generations do, as said in Mt 16:4.

      Buchan edited the Bible by deleting verses and publishing another Bible, which violates 2 Peter 1:20 Deuteronomy 4:2, and Rev 22:18-19.

      Buchan beleives Roman Catholics are just another denomination, not a field of lost people to be evangelized, which violates Gal 1:8.

      the purpose of signs (miracles) was to confirm the authority of the one doing the sign, not to incite belief. We no longer need the confirmation because Jesus was the sign and then He gave His word. It's all done. Mark 16:20.

      God still does miracles. They haven't stopped. Miracles have stopped by people doing them.

      Christianity IS doctrine. Doctrine just means teaching. It is a specific set of teachings delivered by Jesus and confirmed by His resurrection and given in the Word. One either believes and obeys them, or not. Buchan does not.

      Hope these reasons helped.

      Delete
    2. One more thing Antony, regarding a comment I did nto publish. You said

      "I really believe that signs and wonders happen today given directly by God, and God using people to relay his works. To say that it ended with apostles is not true. "

      I agree miracles still happen by God. No one is saying they are not happening and that all miracles stopped when the last apostle died. Your'e doing a straw man. That's when a person misrepresents a position and argues against the incorrect position. So to be clear, cessationists like myself are not saying all miracles are stopped. If that was so, no one would ever be regenerated, because changing a dead heart to a saved heart is a miracle.

      What cessationists believe, according to the Bible, is that men do not perform miracles any more like the early apostles did. The reason for miracles was as I said above, to confirm the heavenly authority of the miracle worker so his words may be believed. Now that we have the written word, that confirmation is no longer necessary. If you want to understand this by a pastoral explanation using the scriptures, listen to Tom Pennington preach A Case for Cessationism from the Strange Fire conference, which was a conference TOTALLY designed to DEBUNK charismatics' doctrines like Buchan's. You wanted reasons, here they are, one of many sermons explaining.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o0z-J4RnwE

      Delete
  25. Elizabeth are your guys having holidays that side of the world?

    ReplyDelete

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