Pastor Idleman. You do not do a service to your sheep to take a velvet glove approach with an obvious wolf. Benny Hinn has not said some controversial things. He is wolf with the blood of dead sheep still dripping from his mouth. I am not even taking about the absurd prophecies like Fidel Castro's death in the 1990s. I am speaking about robbing the sheep of the Lord for millions upon millions of dollars. I am talking about the absolute stupidity of pretending to knock over waves of people with his suit jacket or orchestrating fake healings which you so correctly denounced at the end of this podcast. Benny Hinn is such low hanging fruit pastor that we simply have to do better than this. The reason why he was on the stage is the people organizing the event are wolves who invited wolves. Sure they invited some solid preachers like Chan because they want his credibility -- which is the exact reason he never should have given it. The same can be said for some others you then addressed:
"Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Kenneth Copeland. I think they are going in a very unhealthy direction." -- Shane Idleman
No Pastor Idleman. Unless you meant hell as that unhealthy direction but we need to be very clear for the sheep. These are some of the worst false teachers on the planet -- not merely heading in an unhealthy direction. This may seem nuanced to you but I assure you it is not. By downplaying the true danger of these charlatans you still leave them open as viable for people who follow you even though I am hopeful that you have no intention of doing so and are just trying to be even handed. We do not need to be even handed with enemies of God. You then were spot on in your analysis of the problems with Joel Osteen but strayed a little with Steven Furtick. Your quote on Furtick was when he said that blessing follows obedience and you said while we can't say that to unbelievers it is technically biblical and that blessing does not always mean an expanding bank account. While there are certainly truths throughout your point the overall point is that it is presented as a quid-pro-quo. Furtick even had a "tithing challenge" where he encouraged people to tithe for 90 days to see the "blessings of God as a result." That is unbiblical on many levels and avoids the realization that we serve God for what He has already done, not what we hope He will do if we are obedient. Furtick's heresy goes far far beyond this one quote however.
Then Pastor you went back to Benny Hinn to say that he had repented or recanted his previous preaching of the prosperity gospel, saying he went too far. Followed by a reference to Todd White's "leg growing trick" during the heretical "Holy Ghost" movie and said that the video demanded an answer because it is troubling. I want you to sincerely understand the problems again with answers such as these. Benny Hinn scammed 42 million dollars from the sheep of the Lord. To say he "went too far" with prosperity is not an understatement -- it is an inaccurate statement that does a disservice to those following you. I might add, Hinn has continued the same old tired revenue generation tricks as before he said his mea culpa. The video of Todd White pretending to grow the man's leg is not troubling. It is a scam! He is lying and pretending that God is "healing" someone when He is not. You spoke so passionately about the damage from fake healers and asked why they don't visit hospitals and you are correct! Why in both Holy Ghost movies does Todd White pretend to "heal" people by walking through public parks at midnight and finding people with innocuous "pain" issues that can easily be manipulated? Do you understand that as leaders in the church once we are able to determine that these things are deceptions that it does not matter what he says? Todd White is a fake. He is a false prophet and teacher making merchandise off of the sheep of the Lord. The bible says we are to mark him, not coddle him. Our responsibility is to the sheep not the wolf. You were so right in this section about Kenneth Copeland and word faith theology that it is maddening to hear you then split the bill on people just as evil as them in White and Hinn. The next subject I hope you prayerfully consider:
"I know people close to Jesus Culture and Mike Bickle at IHOP and they say they are solid people. They are not what they are made out to be." -- Shane Idleman
This is one of the most grievous errors I see defenders of false teachers make. It is the "I know their heart" defense and it is simply not biblical. What do you expect a wolf to say? Do you expect Todd White to admit he was pulling a scam in that movie? Do you expect Benny Hinn to admit that he is a fraud? If so we need to work on your expectations. It does not matter what people close to them think about them. That is ridiculous. Now Shane I want us to seriously consider a scenario. Someone has come to you and said that they had a waking visitation from Jesus Christ who then whisked her away to the throne room of God where she met the father face to face and He ripped out a piece of His heart to mold a tiny version of her to dance for Him in a music box. Assuming she is telling the truth from her perspective, would you consider this a viable vision or a demonic visitation? To me the answer is obvious and the person in question is Kim Walker Smith, worship leader from Jesus Culture. She tells this testimony to untold thousands of youth at every event they hold. These are not solid people Shane. They are either willfully deceitful or deceived themselves and again, our responsibility is to the sheep.
Next, you opine that there are three camps within this story. The first being false teachers and the last being solid charismatic preachers and to this I say I agree. I am not a cessationist. To me the middle camp are those who have doctrinal issues but are willing to learn and listen. This is not a game of gotchya. We can all misspeak and say things that are inaccurate. Brian Houston once said in a sermon that Islam serves the same God as Christians. Some discernment ministries went bonkers but I wanted to wait to hear him answer the criticism because while he is a raving heretic on many fronts, Chrislam was never one of them. Within a week he admitted he misspoke and that's good enough for me. When Victoria Osteen said we worship God for ourselves and not for Him, I also waited until she doubled down and then I wrote about it. So I think we are on the same page except that you think the middle group are those who are "odd." You then gave three examples of middle people including, Jesus Culture, Bill Johnson and Jenn Johnson. You offered that maybe they are just deficient in doctrine and we should have more grace for them if so. Let me explain why that is problematic. If I have a brother or sister that believes what these three Bethel sources do, I might agree that they need some grace and be taught correctly. These are people however who are already in teaching and ministering positions reaching millions of people. If their doctrine is so poor, they should not be in such positions, period. They have been corrected and for the most part refuse to take that correction. You state that Jenn Johnson recanted calling the Holy Spirit a "sneaky blue genie" but that is not true. You offer up the softball interview by Dr. Michael Brown as proof but all Bill said was it was a long time ago and he has spoken to her about it because he would not have said it necessarily. That is hardly recanting especially when the video is still made available. But Jenn is the smaller of the problems here. If you seriously think that Bill Johnson is just "odd" then we have a real problem. Do you believe as Bill does that God MUST heal us? Do you believe that repentance means seeing things from God's perspective? Do you believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit can be taught to people? Do you believe everyone can prophesy? Do you believe in gold dust, gemstones, angel feather and glory cloud manifestations? Do you believe in grave sucking or operating a "dead raising team?" These are all products of Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. He is not odd Shane. He is ground zero for heretics. Bethel is a cesspool of false doctrine that poisons millions worldwide. Then you said something very interesting about Francis Chan's participation in heretical gatherings:
"How do we know Francis is not making a difference?" -- Shane Idleman