YWAM and Benny Hinn agree to work together!
Benny Hinn’s new target audience is the youth; and who has been involved with the youth more than the missionary organization YWAM. They have done a good job in evangelizing in the past but something very different is now taking place.
On Jan. 10, 2002 here in Hawaii Hinn speaking of a prayer meeting of youth in Pasadena California “Joy you were there, Joy Dawson who is with YWAM is here.” Joy Dawson went up on stage and endorsed Hinn’s former outreach to the youth in California and his desire to have a youth service in Hawaii. Hinn stated that in the first service 20,000 youth showed up (he only expected 3,000). “Joy I want to let you know I'm going to come back to Honolulu and hold a youth service, I will announce it to ya” ( as of this day there has been no plan materialized).
A few days prior to Hinn’s crusade Joy Dawson appeared on LeSea broadcasting with Mike Murdock on one side and Hinn in the middle of them both. The week after Hinn was here in Hawaii both Joy Dawson and Loren Cunningham were on Hinn’s program with clips of the YWAM base (Christ for all Nations) here on the big Island of Hawaii.
YWAM has 12,000 plus as volunteer staff and they say they have nearly 3 million working in YWAM throughout the world. It is huge organization with 800 bases in over 135 countries. So it has become a potential door for Hinn to promote his heresies. But if we look at the past, the door has always been open.
Joy Dawson has been an avid supporter of Hinn for many, many years. She was a guest on Hinn’s program “This is your day” at beginning of 98 discussing God’s glory and manifestations: “But his manifest presence is when you sense that he is there in a strong way, it so strong that if you sometimes feel if you put up your hand you would touch him. Because it is so strong.” Hinn says, “I have experienced that.” She responds, “I know you have that’s why I love being with you that’s why I watch your shows, that’s why I love to read your books.”
On the topic of his presence Dawson says, “Jesus said in John 14 I think it is that Jesus would manifest himself to his disciples who obeyed him. If you want Jesus to show up and show off however he wants, with His glory and His manifest presence then obey him and submit to him.”
If one reads John 14:21-24 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. The disciples asked, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.”
Jesus mentions manifest twice in this passage and contrary to what many interpret as personal visitations or miracles (as Joy says-showing off) that are to take place, He is saying He will make himself known by His Word and will give us power to live, then he will be at rest with us, we will be in relationship with Him, He will show us that He is there, His work will be evident in our lives. He does not manifest to the world but to the believer.
On the program she talked about a clean heart and how God deals with us on sin so he can manifest himself. This is all fine and of some practical guidance, however Dawson would be surprised if she did her homework on Hinn to see that Hinn’s false prophecies and teaching were consistent and very apparent for many years. Instead of fellowshipping with him and flattering him, she should be reproving his teachings. Many people who get into strange teachings and practices are never corrected by those that are supposed to be their friends, and so they continue in their error until they are so deep in it and there is no reaching them.
Dawson said “Its those who know so little who have studied so little shoot their mouths off saying this of God and this the devil this is not, we need to understand that God’s ways are beyond our ways His thoughts are beyond our thoughts and the more we understand of His ways the less we are jump in and say this is not of God and this is, we get very still and hold our tongue and we say like Gamaliel if it’s of God, God will show us.”
Her advice presents a huge problem to what we see practiced in Scripture. The Berean’s did not wait to use Gamaliel’s advice (which happened to be human wisdom). Gamaliel’s argument is do nothing about it. They instead searched the Scripture and judged by the Word. No one in the church used Gamaliel’s advice. God will not contradict His Word, so we can often know if something is of Him. What we can’t know is how he does things, that is reserved in the sovereignty, wisdom and knowledge of God. Gamaliel wasn’t a Christian and his advice was not Biblical. God has already spoken on these matters of judging, teaching and practice. I have little doubt Dawson was referring to the revivals of Toronto, Brownsville etc. that at the time have come under much criticism, as had Hinn’s ministry.
Hinn said, “You know Joy all of us are so hungry for God’s presence were going to pray that ‘98 would be the year when the thickness of his presence would be ours.” Yes, yes, Joy responds.
Many people use this concept of his presence, but it is nowhere to be found in the New Testament. It should not be surprising that because of this unbiblical attitude of Gamaliel’s advice YWAM has had numerous winds of doctrine blowing through over the years.
The Head of YWAM on Hinn’s program
On Feb. 4-9, 2002 just a few weeks after the crusade took place here in Hawaii, Benny Hinn had Loren Cunningham on his program solidifying the ties that he had previously with YWAM through Dawson. Previously we watched Joy Dawson with Cunningham as Hinn toured the YWAM base here on the Big Island of Hawaii.
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 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.” 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 Switzerland and had a spiritual experience there.
Hinn also mentioned how he went to Kona and stayed with Cunningham and Joy Dawson, and asked Loren to share some of what Loren 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. This was in reference to China and the Christians who now have the biggest church in the world. He shared how the US is in decline, if this rate keeps up there will be a change and China will become the center for Christianity.
Cunningham used pastor Yonggi Cho in Korea as an example of church growth. Stating Korea was once a poor nation, but in 25 years had been transformed to the 13th wealthiest nation on earth when they reached 35% of the nation as Christian. We need to note that Yonngi Cho does bring with him the prosperity message that includes visualization, and decreeing to God in prayer, not to mention the cell church idea.
On the second program “When you are saved it is instant, when your nation is discipled it takes time, Jesus said preach the gospel to every creature ... every individual but he said disciple all nations, He said I have all authority now he commissions us to do this. Now if we are to disciple a nation we must disciple them on the word of God.” I appreciate Cunningham’s wanting to fulfill the great commission, but what Cunningham is saying is half true; and it depends on how you interpret the commission to make disciples from all nations. If you have a Dominionists view you would take a position one is going to convert whole nations (this teaching which comes out of Peter Wagner’s camp that is now finding inroads in YWAM). Who has discipled a whole nation? Who would be able to this when we find the Bible teaches to disciple people mostly one on one. This kind of disipleship will occur in the Millennium, with Christ ruling on earth, not on earth now.
Matt. 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Therefore teach all nations.” The word is ethnos and it means all different people, it has always been understood to mean the people, not a nation or country. It means making disciples or learners from the nations, teaching all the different people.
No doubt Jesus had in mind what he said elsewhere, that it is the gospel. Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” Luke 24:47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Cunningham stated “We can study the Old Testament and cling to it only and become legalists, if we only study the New Testament we’ll become mystics, if we put the two we can be transformers of entire nations and civilization.” Certainly these two go together but to say this is an extreme statement. There are many in the world today that have only the New Testament and they are not mystics. The Jews only had the Old Testament, and Jesus used the Old Testament and they were not legalists.
But I think the main point to consider is the goal of transforming entire nations AKA the Transformation video that has been promoted through YWAM by a former teacher who has spoken numerous times in YWAM, George Otis jr. In this video he claims through certain spiritual warfare techniques (which are not found in the Scriptures yet they are practiced as if they are), we can find who the demons are over cities and war with the territorial spirits, bind them, and then be able to do evangelism on an unprecedented scale.
Author John Dawson, the son of Joy is the International Director for Urban Ministries of YWAM has written Taking Our Cities for God: How to Break Spiritual Strongholds, 1989), and Defeating Territorial Spirits. He writes the “Battles against evil spiritual forces controlling our cities can be waged and won.” According to Fuller Theological Seminary's C. Peter Wagner, John Dawson's book Taking Our Cities for God: How to Break Spiritual Strongholds` is “the most important book on the subject ever written.” In this book he proposes concepts and views that are foreign to true Scriptural warfare (which we do not have the time to go into). Today, 12 years after the book was written, not one city anywhere in the world has been “taken for God” using these concepts (much less a nation). The fact that evil has increased should be noticed by everyone, as the Bible said it would. Yet this teaching is still being promoted. John Dawson has recently been named to head YWAM after Cunningham.
When sharing about his speaking in Russia Cunningham referenced to 1052 when Christianity split into eastern orthodoxy and western Christianity, Cunningham explained to the pastors in Russia that their leaders did not understand unity and diversity “Hierarchy was brought into the church therefore hierarchy was brought into your government, and you have had dictator after dictator...one totalitarian government after another.” I fail to see a correlation of the Russian nation who is not Christian having their government affected because of the church. You cannot find a more hierarchal government than in the Catholic church.
“If you think about the middle-east there’s a reason why in the Muslim world with 150 million Arabs they are not able to drive 3 million Jews into the sea as they said they would do. Because every leader is also under of the concept of a hierarchal God... in their case, Allah and then under them is Saddam Hussain, and under him is so on. And so they come together in unity, they can’t. And therefore they are always in a frustration unable to give into the world.”
I have to strongly disagree with this statement, unity can be used in a good or bad manner. The Scriptures are clear, it is God alone that keeps Israel protected. It would not matter how unified the Arabs are under a false God or what system they use.
While many things that were said that can be agreed on as principles; there were embellishments in the facts presented. Cunningham said on Hinn’s program that by 2007 “the majority usage as far as language is concerned of the internet will be Chinese.” This is quite a stretch and it seems this is believed because he thinks China can soon be a Christian nation. While anything is possible, a whole communist government that has been in place for hundreds of years would have to topple for this to happen.
Cunningham: “But there was never a rich nation until the Bible was printed into the language of the people, there were rich kings in nations, but there was never a rich nation like Norway or Germany or others until the Bible came into their language…”
When Israel obeyed the Word of God they prospered, not because they had the Bible printed. Certainly in some cases to have the Bible available it is to their advantage. But look at America that has more printed Bibles and we are very prosperous, but morally and spiritually bankrupt. We cannot always correlate people’s prosperity with God’s blessings, nor with evil. In some of the Arab nations many are rich; Japan has one percent Christian but they are very prosperous people monetarily.
Cunningham expressed his genuine concern for America saying “were losing God’s book and no one realizes what an impact that’s going to be, on America on Canada on Europe and were selling it down the road.”
I agree, but the cause of this I’m sure we would not find agreement on. It’s because of the many public teachers representing Christianity that don’t know what they are talking about. The outreach on TV is for the most part low quality and not focused to reach the lost, but the church. It’s because of those who want to impart an experience they steer people away from real learning and being a witness. Some of these are the very people YWAM is now associating with; that teach unbiblical ways to solve the problems in society and are changing the way we do evangelism. One of them is whom we are discussing--Benny Hinn. I think we can all agree with Loren in wanting to take the Word of God back in society but it’s the representation of Christianity we are in dire need to clean up. And the very one he is telling this too are one of those that needs repair.
Throughout the interview He kept on using the phrase critical mass, in a spiritual manner which has me wonder what books he may be reading, because this is a new age term. Cunningham seems to be acquainted with a number of new age terms, in his book Is That Really You God? Hearing the Voice of God “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” (Is That Really You God? Hearing the Voice of God by Loren Cunningham with his sister, Janice Rogers p.105). I want to give him the benefit of doubt that he does not mean the same as in the new age, but this phraseology of “centering” in a meditative way certainly comes from the new age movement. It may be better not to use these terms so as not to be misconstrued, though they may be the genre of our day.
After each program Hinn asked Cunningham each time to stay one more day, calling what Cunningham said as “manna from heaven were listening to.”
At the end of the program Hinn offered Cunningham’s books. We can watch for Hinn’s books to sold on the YWAM web site along with the new prophets and apostles under Peter Wagner such as Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets who appeared on Hinn's program just a few weeks prior to Cunningham.
[During Feb. 2002 it is reported that YWAM’s website had been accessed 42,768 times, which seems to be above normal; this can attributed to Hinn’s program although it is hard to say if people were curious to see what YWAM believes or were looking to be part of the missionary work because of Cunningham’s appearance.]
Cunningham seems to believe the world is becoming Christian, he said that Jesus is winning, and the media isn’t telling us. He cites, “in 1980 1 out of 11 were Christian, 1990 1 out of 7, 1995 1 of 5 in the world…”God is moving and most Christians don’t know it” So what does this make it today 1 of 3?” (I thought Muslims were 1 of every 5.) What is he counting as Christian, is anyone who names themselves as such.
The fact is in America, where we are supposed to be Christian, it proves he is wrong. The number of American adults who identify themselves with Christianity that can be classified as Christian dropped from 86% in 1990 to 77% in 2001. (According to ARIS Study American Religious Identification Survey was conducted in February to April 2001.) It seems to be even less today. I’m not sure where Cunningham is getting his facts but this is not what the world reports have to say.
Top 10 Largest Highly International Religious Bodies. Catholic Church- 1,043,000,000 adherents; The Sunni religion at 875,000,0000; eastern orthodox 225,000,000; Anglican communion 65,000,000; Assemblies of God- 32,000,000; Jehovah's Witnesses-14,800,000; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 11,300,000; Seventh-day Adventists 11,300,000 Ahmadiyya-10,000,000; New Apostolic Church-9,000,000; Bahai World Faith-6,000,000. <http://www.adherents.com/adh_rb.html#International>
In the poll from Harvard America dropped almost 10% in Christianity in11 years. (Poll statistics)
Unless one is counting everyone who names themselves as Christian or calls themselves the church you cannot arrive at a number of one fifth the population of the world being Christian.
Cunninghamtold Hinn God speaks in 20 ways in the Bible. Audibly, angels, dreams, songs and hymns, we hear his voice in the ways of circumstances, he can speak to you through a prophet, through the gifts of the spirit, he can speak to you in many ways but what I want to highlight he speaks to you through the word now.
The word is indeed first and any other way God would choose to speak is secondary, and would be confirmed by the word.
Cunningham writes in his book“I'd been taught guidance principles by people who knew new ways of hearing God. Then I'd put these principles to work. . . .” (Is That Really You God? Hearing the Voice of God by Loren Cunningham p.78). It is Joy Dawson he is referring to that teaches numerous methods to “hear God's voice.” No doubt some of these are valid but the question is should they be sought? Loren Cunningham recognizes her as the cornerstone of Youth With A Mission. “I sent letters to pastors and talked to leaders recommending her ministry. She taught the principles of intercessory prayer and hearing the voice of God that changed my life and shaped YWAM for decades to come. I can't imagine what YWAM would be like today without the teaching of Joy Dawson during our formative years until now” (Why Not Women, Loren Cunningham, p. 62). Hinn’s ministry is for the most part operated by God speaking to him with visitations, apparitions, and by other strange and unbiblical manners, yet for some reason Joy Dawson who has been associated with Hinn either does not notice this pattern or she approves of it.
Loren said he “God will never say anything that will contradict what his truth is in His Bible.” Obviously he is unaware of Benny Hinn making such incredible contradictory claims and teachings consistently over 10-15 years. This is the concern that Loren sat on Hinn's program acknowledging what Hinn is doing.
A Short Look at YWAM
With anything that starts off right if not watched carefully it can be influenced and removed from its former place. I believe this is what we see happening with YWAM. I commend YWAM for the work they have done over the years but there seems to be a change going on in there midst that I do not see as healthy. They have had their share of Critics from within and without over the years, and it is not my purpose to find stories to prove either for or against from those who have been involved. What I want us to look at and deal with the facts that have to do with doctrine and practices.
On a prior YWAM website that is no longer up (misssionadventures.net), they say they are open to all denominations seeing the body as very diverse. We don’t have a set doctrine on sacraments etc. We’re not going to choose one method of baptism, we’re not going to debate whether you need to speak in tongues or not, we aren’t even going to bother with that. We preach Christ and Him crucified. We leave the divisive issues for the theological scholars to argue over. This would appear to be a healthy acceptable attitude except it can promote a hands off policy on anything that would need to be discussed. There are more pertinent issues going on than these, but it seems that if someone who is a scholar or familiar with the issues wants to discuss them, it is mostly ignored or dismissed. What does all denominations include? Roman Catholicism, Oneness Pentecostals, does it include Mormons? These are questions that need to be asked with an open statement like this. There are various explanations posted on the web that are more in the category of statements of purpose, such as their Christian Magna Carta, and foundational values that are for the most part agreeable, but what is missing are explicit doctrinal statements on who Christ is, (except to say Jesus Christ is God's son), the trinity or what specifically the gospel is, and how one is saved. One would expect at least this from such a large organization that is appealing to such a broad spectrum of Christianity.
YWAM makes available books by Tommy Tenney Peter, Rick Joyner, Dutch Sheets, Charles Kraft, and George Otis. The Transformation video by George Otis who is an apostle under Peter Wagner’ New Apostolic reformation movement has been shown to be hype and an exaggeration of events. They offer Cindy Jacob’s books and numerous other authors with the unbiblical concepts of prayer (more like decreeing and commanding) prophecy and spiritual warfare, which also include false word faith doctrines. All of this has become incorporated in their mission work to some extent. Charles Kraft (who worked closely with Wagner and Wimber) teaches people how to heal by the laying on of hands and using certain words. Unhealthy and aberrant teachings have been promoted at times; as teachers have advocated the prayer/visualization practice of Yonggi Cho. It is known that prophet Rick Joyner also participated as a speaker in some leadership conferences before. These are only a few of the more famous names one would recognize.
Joy Dawson wrote an endorsement in Tommy Tenny’s book God’s Dream Team, in which he makes his oneness position clear. He states God is the “original Dreamer” in Jn.1:1 the “Word,” is idea, thought or blueprint.” … that God “conceives, or dreams up, the plot of a play. So we could say, “In the beginning was the dream.” Tenney writes, “God dreamed of, or conceived, the blueprint of a united Church … but somehow He who knows the end from the beginning” dreamed of the end before the beginning and saw the finished work He called the Church.”
Dawson in her endorsement writes, “Tragically, the Church operates like many underachieving athletic squads, loaded with talent but not working as a team. In this book, Tommy Tenny is calling us to rally together and win it all.”
Are we going to win it all? I think it’s tragic that people do not notice aberrant doctrine and actually end up promoting it.
Many of the people previously mentioned are under C.P. Wagner’s leadership and you can almost say YWAM now parallels Wagner’s teachings, as they have adopted and put into practice much of what he and those under him in the new apostolic reformation are teaching.
Wagner’s “New Apostolic Reformation” is certainly finding wings through YWAM publishing and mission work. The books are posted on YWAM's website. They are promoting materials, and books, that contain teachings about “spiritual mapping” and “binding of territorial spirits” and various other new techniques that are from Wagner and his new prophets. This is not discipling kids to do evangelism. These Neo-Gnostic “spiritual warfare” methods are promoted in portions of YWAM (and other “missionary organizations are introducing unaware Christians to Gnostic concepts). When Christians march around cities, drive stakes into the ground to claim areas for the kingdom, prayer marches to bind territorial spirits, climb up to tops of mountains and blow shofars for victory, hold their hands out and pray toward the four directions of the compass, they are not practicing Christian teachings. These are things that need to be dealt with or it will deal with them.
Mike Bickle was part of the Kansas City prophets that influenced John Wimber and Vineyard into numerous new ways to do church. We are told God called him to turn over his church in Kansas City to Floyd McClung Jr. who was formerly YWAM International Executive Director. Because he felt God calling him to start a prayer unit, a prayer house for the whole city of Kansas City, called The International House of Prayer (IHOP), modeled after the World Prayer Center. Mike Bickle is now part of Wagner's prophet and apostle movement (New apostolic Reformation) speaking in various churches to incorporate themselves into these new apostolic movement under their leadership.
YWAM, along with A.D. 2000 & Beyond (P. Wagner) organized “A Walk of Reconciliation” to “promote better understanding between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. ... A walking tour that is building bridges with Muslims and Jews.” The Reconciliation Walk was launched in 1996 to apologize for the harm that the Crusades brought to the people of the Middle East during the Middle Ages.” Though their intentions may be good the concept of Identificational repentance is to purge the corporate sin caused by two groups of people that were at odds with each other. This is something Dutch Sheets under Peter Wagner is involved with now. The Bible teaches there is no reconciliation without the cross of Christ. Ephesians 2:14-16 explains how the two major groups, Jews and gentiles were reconciled through the cross to be in one body. It is not achieved by reconciliation walks, prayer walks or any other walk.
It has been reported there are Catholics within YWAM that do mission work along with them. Al Akimoff, YWAM director for Slavic Ministries, said: “YWAM's missions are not aiming to lure Catholics out of their churches ... our philosophy is not to tear down but to build on what's there” (Charisma Aug. 1993). There are also Kerygma teams are known as a self-governing transnational ministry. They are ecumenical, encouraging Catholic members to live out their Catholic faith. This includes eucharistic celebrations, and many Catholic speakers in their training programs.
If someone is getting false teaching from their church would it not be prudent to help them out? This kind of ecumenism needs to be addressed by the body of Christ, not ignored. We do not yoke ourselves with those who have another gospel to promote ours.
From this model YWAM has ventured into a new frontier with how they reach other religions. One of the most disheartening stories to come through is YWAM’s new strategy for evangelism of what they call “Messianic Muslims”, who accept Christ as their Savior convert to Christianity and are allowed to continue to read the Koran, visit the mosque and join in the their daily prayers (although we are told they pray to Jesus). Youth With a Mission is trying this new way in several countries. The Charisma report added, “YWAM is also adopting the approach in India, where a team is working with a Hindu holy man.” The March 24, 2000, Charisma News Service report said some missionaries are now making converts but are allowing them to “hold on to many of their traditional religious beliefs and practices” so as to refrain from offending others within their culture.” “He said that the strategy was biblical, referencing the early church in Jerusalem where “Jewish followers of Christ became more zealous to keep the law and Jewish customs.”
Consider what this new way of evangelism is; one does not need to give up their culture (if it is pagan, Judaism was not) but it is incorporated into the church. I believe we can find historical precedent for not repeating this same mistake, as this very thing happened with Constantine and it leavened the church.
One particular church planter in Asia related how 50 members of a Muslim family accepted Christ as Savior and formed their own fellowship. He writes in YWAM's staff newsletter, “They continued a life of following the Islamic requirements, including mosque attendance, fasting and Koranic reading, besides getting together as a fellowship of Muslims who acknowledge Christ as the source of God's mercy for them.” (for more on this new mission work)
Is this Biblical evangelism, or 21st century evangelicalism? While it is a good thing to understand Christ being the source of mercy, do they understand He is God? For it is no small thing for a Muslim to grasp this and leave his religion behind.
There have been known problems over the years such as Redemptive theology, like the “Christian” Reconstructionists/ Dominion now theology, is concerned not just with saving souls but with saving the planet and the world social order. Thus, YWAM and its allies closely identify with the environmental activism and paranoia found in New Age writings. (Reported in a 12/95 Media Spotlight Special Report titled “Celebration 2000: Neo-Orthodoxy and the New Evangelism,” pp. 11-12.)
Call to the Nations conference described as A
Transformation Hawai`i Gateway Conference is to take place June 2005 at
1st Assembly of God Moanalua. John Dawson’s the president of YWAM is
speaking on the topic Integrating the Apostolic and Prophetic Ministries.
This should leave no doubt that YWAM is fully supportive and involved in the
new apostolic reformation which happens to be filled with false prophets and
fake apostles (Peter Wagner being chief) teachings things that lead one
outside Scripture. One only needs to look at their main website to see the
books they are promoting and selling to their youth to further confirm this
(Wagner, Jacobs, Sheets Transformations video- George Otis jr. and numerous
Both peace dialogues and the environmental movement are bridges to ecumenism and interfaith organizations. The United Religions Initiative (URI) is the main umbrella organization that’s unifying mission is to work for a better world, unprecedented cooperation for global good among the people of the world's religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. URI embraces all religions as if being true and equally valid.Hundreds of delegates from 44 countries and 39 religions around the world met in Pittsburgh June 26 at Summit 2000 to sign the United Religions Initiative Charter. These were from Sikkhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shinto, Judaism, Bahai faith, Taoism, unitarianism, Native traditions, Wicca, Zoroastrianism, Jainism. The signatory’s are kept secret for now and it may be some time before we know, considering what their goals are.
World Council of Churches, the World Parliament of religions and UNESCO are connected with URI(The United Religions Initiative), also the National Religious Partnership for the environment which is a federation of major American faith communities, is committed “to be ourselves, together,” each of our faith groups is implementing distinctive programs on behalf of a common mission: We act in faith to cherish and protect God's creation. Our goal is to integrate commitment to global sustainability and environmental justice permanently into all aspects of religious life.”
A URI principle states “We act from sound ecological practices to protect and preserve the Earth for both present and future generations. URI promotes interfaith cooperation.”This page has a link that goes to http://www.creationcare.org/ which brings us to EEN THE EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK.
Nearly 500 Christian leaders have signed EEN's “An Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation.” On the EEN site we find the listing of the signators has Dr. Loren Cunningham, President of Youth With A Mission. EEN has produced and helped other prominent evangelical organizations such as World Vision and the International Bible Society produce and distribute biblical resources on the concept of creation-care.
I agree we are not to promote abuse or destruction but I believe what we have here is a subtle new age influence infiltrating evangelism; turning our concern to care for the environment as we do people. Of course we are not to abuse the creation but to have this as part of the Gospel mandate is absurd, since the Scripture tells us God will soon judge the earth and the environment will be destroyed. Like it or not, that’s the future. This is all another aspect of dominionism, for kingdom now proponents for the most part do not believe in a tribulation or in a church being taken away.
Is Cunningham this naive? Certainly this is not the way he presents himself. YWAM has been headed in a direction of being open and being ecumenical for many years, so its not surprising they would end up holding hands with Benny Hinn or any of the others involved in the apostolic/ prophetic movement of Peter Wagner. They need to know more about the issues to keep on the course of biblical evangelism then go off trying new unbiblical methods presented by so called apostles and prophets.
Benny Hinn had planned a crusade with YWAM cooperation (through Joy Dawson) here in Hawaii in April (however it has not been scheduled in and has been only talk). On Hinn’s program Cunningham said “if we do not catch up with all the evangelism we done through discipleship we are going to lose out.” Hinn says we need to catch up on all the evangelism we have done, catch-up in discipling.
Hinn says “I believe God has put us together for a divine purpose” Cunningham says “lets do it” Hinn responded “Lets, because I believe God would use this divine connection to bring disciples in. Because your organization is strong in discipleship I will tell you precious saints more on what we are going to do together. Because they have materials that we can supply you that you can be disciples in the things of the spirit” He reaches out and shakes Cunningham’s hand as they join together. Hinn gave YWAM’s phone number and web address.
The leadership of an organization is always responsible in representing the organization they started. By being a guest on Hinn’s program Cunningham gave his approval to Hinn's ministry intentionally or not. If they don’t check out Benny Hinn, why would they check out any person or any story? This is no longer guilt by association with Joy Dawson, or Loren Cunnigham who was on Hinn’s program for a whole week. At the end of the week they shook hands agreeing to work together. This is now cooperation. Loren did not go as an individual, but represented the name of YWAM as well. Hinn was advocating YWAM’s ministry throughout the time spent, especially when they both agreed to be working together. (later in the end of Jan.2003 Hinn was invited by Loren Cunningham to the YWAM base on the big Isle and filmed his program there, so we can see they have struck up a relationship which I believe will become evident as time goes on. By the way the statements on this program are some of the most absurd heard where Loren teaches that the African men ie. Nimrod building Babylon was God ordained).
We hear the excuse that the organization is so diversified that it cannot be represented by any one part. Diversification for the sake of flexibility can be good if it is kept within the framework of orthodoxy. However many people use its size to excuse any problem in any area. All this shows is that there is no standard for all of them. For at any base anyone can practice and hold to something that another base does not, and it is allowed; where is the leadership? In Christianity there is a certain amount of diversification but there is structure and organization that it has to be upheld or it can be a schism even within its own. Does nobody speak for YWAM? Do not the leaders speak for them? If not then they have no voice. Certainly one cannot say Cunningham (or joy Dawson) do not represent all of YWAM. These are the top leaders in YWAM endorsing and working with Benny Hinn. If Loren Cunningham and Joy Dawson are promoting Hinn, can one disagree and go against their leaders? Or would it be perceived as rebellious.
With all its potential from where it once was to its growth today, YWAM has a great need to reassess itself. If they do not do this at this time there may never be another opportunity with the rapid pace things are going. YWAM needs to get back to the basics and return to what they once had done. I don’t see any foreseeable change until they break some of the associations they have with the false prophets and teachers they now are holding hands with. But I hope and pray they will.