Francis Chan and TRIN: Both Claim Multiple Healings in Myanmar. One Has Been Refuted, One is Questionable and Both Exalt the Outsider’s Power


Messier 104 (The Sombrero Galaxy) NASA

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” —Abraham Lincoln


 

I fully expect to be called all sorts of names like the Daughter of Stan for this post. I do believe in miracle but I don’t believe that such miracles are the norm. Many miracles in the New Testament occurred to tell a story about the divinity of Jesus. For example, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he demonstrated that He had power over life and death and was therefore the Son of God.

We seem to want to define what is miraculous, overlooking the discoveries that heal cancers or give us smartphones. We see the stunning beauty of the galaxies brought to us by NASA and Hubble, yet we insist we want to be healed immediately from the pain of a broken bone. My daughter just got back from serving on the Mercy Ship as a critical care nurse. 25 years ago, she was thought to be terminally ill with a brain tumor. The miracle of the surgeons and the care of the nurses, along with the encouragement of her teachers helped her to achieve far greater things than I could have hoped for. Yet, we (and I include myself) insist on more.

We have become so insistent on seeing miracles that we see Francis Chan and TRIN jumping on the bandwagon as *healers* while totally overlooking the problem of power and authoritarianism in the church. The First World Christian leaders can often look down on Third World leaders, expecting to be the saviors of their *dark world.*  This is what this post is about.

Francis Chan: the latest healer of *dark* Myanmar.

Francis Chan is the well known former leader of the mega Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California. He received his undergraduate and Masters Degree from Masters University whose founder, John MacArthur, might well have a stroke when he hears about what I’m going to tell you in this post. He’s not so big on the charismatic side of things. To be clear, I am not a fan of John MacArthur.

In 2019, he decided to move to Hong Kong to share the Gospel and plant churches amongst the *ultra poor” according to the Christian Post. Along the way, he visited Maynmar and purportedly healed a whole bunch of people, including two deaf children. He returned to the US and gave the following lecture at Moody Bible Institute.

This first video is the entire talk and is 52 minutes long.

This second video is just a few minutes long and focuses on the part of the talk in which he claims to have healed people.

Chan is quite excited because every person *he* touched was healed. And that is what started me to question his focus. Why the lack of details? Why the focus on himself.

  • The name of the village
  • The name of his translator
  • The names of the people who were healed
  • How does he know that this village has NEVER heard the Gospel?
  • Chan, who knows a thing or two about the use of videos, didn’t share a video of his healing. He did have a smartphone, right?
  • Why didn’t he bring back some doctors who could confirm that the deaf can now hear? You do know that it is difficult for a formerly deaf person to suddenly hear. It’s not like they run around and give TED talks immediately, right?
  • There is a school for the deaf in North Carolina. Why doesn’t he bring his healing acumen to help out in the US?

In the end, IMO, this seems more to be about Chan and his new healing powers.

A story of Dutch *healers* in Myanmar

I was contacted by a person who knows a great deal about Myanmar. They wish to remain anonymous. The story involves claims by leaders from the Netherlands who *healed* in Myanmar. (Why Myanmar? It sure is a beautiful country. Maybe the optics are good.) Some of the links are in Dutch. I am so thankful to this person for sharing. I love to hear from folks throughout the world. It’s one of the cooler things about blogging!


So here goes. Meet Mattheus van der Steen. Pastors’ kid, sailor and salesman, before he went into ministry at still a young age. He married an American woman Rebekah Krell, who claimed she used to be a ‘Satan’s bride’, went through all sorts of ritual satanic abuse, until she was delivered by Benny Hinn and Angela Greenig. Her story became famous and was published all over the place in the Netherlands. Their stories and connections gave her and her husband a supernatural status, and many were awed. However, question started to rise about the legitimacy of her story. Her claims about her past, involving many murders, child sacrifice and other horror movie details, could never be verified and several circumstances made them very unlikely. (You can read her story here: https://goedgelovig.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/bevrijd-uit-een-satanssekte/ or watch it (in English) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruTDn-DYHyA But this version omits the gruesome details in the story. )

Another circumstance which propelled their fame was the support they received from Brother Andrew of Open Doors, who wrote the foreword to his award-winning book (Dare to Dream). He was also supported by a very highly respected doctor of theology, who had in the past been anti-charismatic, but made a U-turn, by the name of Willem Ouweneel. He became instrumental in both giving Mattheus legitimacy and covering when media got discovered fraud. Internationally, Heidi Baker took them under her wing and is still closely connected with the ministry of Mattheus.

The two of them started an organisation called TRIN (Touch, Reach and Impact the Nations) which took off like wildfire. They would have ‘Fire Nights’ where they would impart all sorts of important charismatic anointings, particularly those linked with Todd Bentley. They would have conferences, support orphanages, make TV and go on crusades. Myanmar was their big one.

The story unfolds as follows. TRIN takes a crusade to Myanmar, which includes stadium meetings and local outreaches. A team from the Netherlands (including Edward Dompeling a paediatrician who was a professor in medical university) which was part of the crusade crew, visited what they called a ‘Buddhist institute’ for blind people. They walk in, pray with several blind children and one elderly person, declare them healed, video and photograph the whole thing, put it on-line and receive many likes, cheers and amens.

Unfortunately for them, one person immediately says he doesn’t believe the story. This person was Marten Visser, at that time working as a missionary in Thailand (and now heading up Global Rize). People get very angry with him and insult him in many ways. He stakes his ministry on the claim. He says that if it is true, he will quite his work in Thailand, because if it is as easy as TRIN makes it out to be, he is wasting his time learning the language and doing painstaking church planting in rural areas.

He promises to investigate and soon discovers via his local contacts that the story is bogus. However, his contacts have to be anonymous and the TRIN fanboys accuse him of lying and destroying the work of God ect. His story you can find here:https://goedgelovig.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/opwekking-in-birma/

In the meantime there is a Christian blog called ‘Goedgelovig’ (literally ‘believing well’ but also translates as ‘gullible’) that asks critical questions about the whole thing. They had been following TRIN intensively, already uncovering multiple scandals (gold dust, which supernaturally appeared in a meeting was tested by a certified institute and appeared to be some sort of party glitter which had traces of copper, but was definitely not gold). Their report sparked the interest of Karel Smouter, a Christian journalist. He crowdfunded a trip to Myanmar and went to the institute for the blind. He went about it very professionally as far as I can see and after his trip took several months to write reports, which were very widely published in the Netherlands, both in Christian and non-Christian media.

The Buddhist institute was in fact a Christian Blind school. The Dutch team had entered without permission or knowledge of the leadership. The boys that had their pictures taken were instantly recognised and called to be shown to the journalist. They were all still blind. The workers of the blind school were very angry and dismayed that this was told about them.

It became clear that foreign evangelists are often used by fraudulent Myanmar pastors for their own purposes. Many Chin (a largely Christian people group) churches have their own orphanage and Bible school, which are used to attract foreign Christian investment. They can fill up stadiums and make sure the preacher hears whatever they want to hear. Sometimes their Bible schools have several names so they can present them as a unique project to a foreign donor.

In this case the team was not tricked by fraudulent pastors, but by their own determination to see what they wanted to see. People had to be healed. Even if they were not.

You can find this story here (in Dutch): https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/blinden-burma-zijn-helemaal-niet-genezen-door-nederlander~b010f46e/

TRIN faced a lot of backlash, with prof Willem Ouweneel (who posted the ‘miracle’) really digging in and accusing the critical people of being on the side of the devil and all the usual stuff. He suffered damage to his reputation, but is still very active and has a considerable platform in the Netherlands. Mattheus and his wife Rebekah also take the ‘you are fighting against God’ line. They lose many of their sponsors, but enough remain to carry on their work.


How do the people of Myanmar view these *healers?*

I read a poignant post: They Look Down on Us’—On Myanmar and Francis Chan’s Ministry Move to Asia written by Bryanna Randall, a woman who has lived in Myanmar for years. Her analysis is spot on and quite convicting. At least I saw myself in some of this post. The whole post is worth the read.

She discusses a promotion video which was, in part, sponsored by Chan’s Crazy Love organization.

Today, I would never share a video like the one mentioned above. Instead, now when I watch similar promotional ministry videos, I realize that the White savior version of myself was blind to the most important aspects of the video and the way the story was told. Now I have concerns about storytelling, dignity, and the American Christian habit of muting other voices.

Here are some questions I would ask the creators about their ministry video:

  • Why are the only motivational speakers in this video Western church leaders? Why didn’t they include the testimony of a Myanmar pastor?
  • Why were there so many shots of White Americans grandly laying hands on and praying for Myanmar village people?
  • (And did those Myanmar people consent to being part of a promotional photo op? Did they even consent to hands being laid on them?)
  • Why did the video only include shots of Myanmar village life, or of slums, when there is much more to Myanmar than abject financial poverty?
  • When the makers of this video used a celebrity pastor’s words, “heart of darkness,” while panning through images of Myanmar, did they really mean to imply that Myanmar is a place of utter darkness and evil?
  • Did they mean to communicate, by their omission of any Myanmar voices, that Myanmar people won’t have anything to say about all of this?
  • Did they mean to imply that there are no Christians in Myanmar? (Christians are about 8.2 percent of the population.)

Do we erase the real story of the people who we are supposed to care about? Is there really no church in Myanmar? Is it all dark? Is this how we make ourselves look good?

Chan went on to explain that it was time to go somewhere where there was not as much competition—i.e., a place like Myanmar. Chan concluded earnestly, saying, “If my calling is to go fish, and there’s no one fishing over there, why wouldn’t I go?”

What happened to the Myanmar church in between Chan’s visit to them in July and his announcement in November? In marketing himself to American Christians as someone doing something in uncharted, unreached territory, The Crazy Loveauthor erased the existence of an entire community of faithful Christ followers in Myanmar. The Myanmar Christians who, according to his talk back in July, had so much to teach the American church, had disappeared, and along with them, Chan’s previous posture of learning. As far as Chan’s American audience is concerned, the Myanmar church doesn’t even exist, or at best, their presence was irrelevant.

As Americans, we’re used to this kind of erasure in storytelling. We’re so accustomed to editing out the inconvenient people and willing to make excuses for other storytellers who do likewise. It’s like genocide, but in story form.

Do we erase that which makes us uncomfortable? Do we truly respect those we serve? Do make less of ourselves and more of those we serve?

It’s the same lack of respect I hear about from Myanmar friends when they discuss their encounters with foreigners: “they look down on us”… “they think very little of us.”

The willingness to overlook Chan’s behavior or make excuses for him serves as an indicator of the level of respect we have for people in Myanmar. Tolerance for erasure like this is a tolerance of oppression being done in the name of Christ. What’s more, Chan’s erasive storytelling behavior is now a model for both Western and Myanmar leaders who admire him. Chan’s erasure fits comfortably with the Myanmar church in a chilling way: erasure is how many Myanmar Christian leaders have responded to the country’s Rohingya Muslims and the genocide they have experienced. If Chan can filter out the people he would like to ignore and get away with it, why shouldn’t the Myanmar church continue to do so with the Rohingya people?

In the end, is it all about power?

As long as we insist on coming in power, on telling the stories on our own terms and neglecting to correct our false stories…as long as we are determined to operate as pioneers, trying to parent other adults, we’re operating as oppressors. As long as we persist in looking down on people, our good news will never be their good news. Instead of it being the gospel of peace in Christ, it will be a gospel of power and domination.

Finally, I do not buy Francis Chan’s version of events in Myanmar. He knows how to do media and suddenly there is not media? Since he claims to be such a terrific healer, I have a proposal. Why doesn’t he come to North Carolina and heal the students at the School of the Deaf. Better yet, why doesn’t he heal those who are affected by the big three diseases in Mayanmar: Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS?

Now that’s something that would get me to itv up and take notice.


Comments

Francis Chan and TRIN: Both Claim Multiple Healings in Myanmar. One Has Been Refuted, One is Questionable and Both Exalt the Outsider’s Power — 81 Comments

  1. I was an SBC MK in South America. It made me crazy when missionaries would say what my parents didn’t – we’re bringing Jesus to these people. They did not appreciate my teenaged observation that Jesus was already there in every Catholic Church on every tenth block.

    What they really meant was their a.k.a. the right Jesus.

    Even as a teenager, I smelled the paternalistic, arrogant, hypocrisy of it. Spiritual colonization is a thing. Worse still, it is a business that sells salvation, a free gift of grace and mercy, like any other commodity.

    People like Chan at once sicken and embarrass me. They treat others like objects to be used to serve their own purposes.

    I can think of few things less Gospel than that.

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  2. Much smarter people than myself have noted that Chan’s defense of the Gospels for Asia mess was a sign that he was taking an unhealthy turn.

    It reminds me that in Redding, California the news is that Bethel kids are going around the hospitals praying for people and declaring healing — all while people are begging them to stay away so they can get actual work done. Plus, If your story involves Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, and Heidi Baker you know that it’s not going to end with a bunch of people being healed.

    And Dee knows that I bring up this name a lot, but: Mike Warnke anyone?

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  3. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

    According to Jesus, the ability to perform miracles is absolutely nothing, doing what is right is literally everything! In our day and age it has become a bragging right for white-washed septic tanks like Chan and his close partner in crime: KP Yohannan to claim miracles are happening in their ministries. This has never been what they are for when they actually occur. True miracles glorify God and Him alone. Wherever this bragging is going on it is pure evil. God does these things, and not us. These people use these claims to glorify themselves. Most, if not all, of these claims are false, but even if they are not the way they are used is certainly sacrilegious. These men are creating lies and then using them to promote there own god-like status. They are certainly destined for hell just like their father: Satan who created lies like these and then warped worship in heaven to the point that angels were worshiping him instead of the True God.

    Chan has proven his true status as a snake through what he failed to do with Christianity’s biggest single scam as a board member for GFA. He is as unrighteous as they get…

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  4. David P: Much smarter people than myself have noted that Chan’s defense of the Gospels for Asia mess was a sign that he was taking an unhealthy turn.

    It reminds me that in Redding, California the news is that Bethel kids are going around the hospitals praying for people and declaring healing — all while people are begging them to stay away so they can get actual work done. Plus, If your story involves Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, and Heidi Baker you know that it’s not going to end with a bunch of people being healed.

    And Dee knows that I bring up this name a lot, but: Mike Warnke anyone?

    Speaking of Bethel Redding, they have closed their healing rooms and are no longer casing the hospitals looking for people to heal, per this article.

    https://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/religion/article241044316.html

    And yeah, Mike Warnke. He got busted 28 years ago by the now-defunct Cornerstone magazine for lying about Satanism being everywhere. He helped contribute to the “Satanic panic” of the late 1980s. And he’s still out there, fleecing the faithful.

    As for Darryl Gilyard, Paige Patterson has a LOT to answer for in promoting that guy.

    Skepticism is definitely warranted these days.

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  5. Francis Chan has made new friends in the NAR. Heidi Baker, Todd White, Bill Johnson, et al. He has a new gig. It’s about making lots and lots of money fleecing the flock. Not one of the so-called pastors of the NAR is in a lower tax bracket. I’d hate to be him on judgement day.

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  6. History has a way of repeating itself: Micah 3:9

    “Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel,
    who despise justice and distort all that is right;
    who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.
    Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
    Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.’
    Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
    Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
    the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.”

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  7. I lived and worked in South Korea for a time. Sometimes I’m asked if I was doing missions work. Folks who ask are usually surprised when I comment that the country is actually about 25% Christian, and I wasn’t.

    I became a believer there.

    To think that we or those like us are the only ones with the ability to effectively communicate the gospel thinks too little of God, I think.

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  8. I am saddened by the hucksterism of the so-called evangelical elite. All these “leaders” that I used to look to-I’m talking to you, Bill Gothard, Mike Warenke, Hal Lindsey, Johnny Mac, Al Mohler, the SBC, and anything to do with 7 Marks and the Gospel Coalition, Ravi Zach (That one hurt) etc. OK-I still like and respect D.A. Carson. There are recent others as well; now it’s Mr. Chan. I am now what one might classify as a “skeptical” believer and definitely wary of our “Evangelical” subculture.

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  9. Deaf people get REALLY offended by these claims. You will find that most often, here in the US, it’s the hearing parents and families of deaf people that want them to hear, not the deaf themselves. Many don’t consider themselves “broken”. Please understand that saying Chan should go to the School for the Deaf, while I understand why you said it, would be highly offensive and patronizing to the people who live and work in the school.

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  10. “Chan is quite excited because every person *he* touched was healed. And that is what started me to question his focus. Why the lack of details? Why the focus on himself.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    Yes, he comes across as quite self-focussed. This is all about him. it’s embarrassing.

    i thought Francis Chan was going over to asia to be industrious in obscurity.

    Seems like it’s really a publicity stunt.

    i’ve been around people in whom the gift of healing tends to manifest on many occasions. they just pray for people — that’s it. when manifestations happen, they just go about their business. then quietly go home afterwards.

    it’s good and reason to give thanks to God, and i’m sure they’re grateful to God that they can help people in this way — but there’s nothing glamorous about it. it’s all in a day’s work.

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  11. KimberlySR,

    “I was an SBC MK in South America. It made me crazy when missionaries would say what my parents didn’t – we’re bringing Jesus to these people. They did not appreciate my teenaged observation that Jesus was already there in every Catholic Church on every tenth block.

    What they really meant was their a.k.a. the right Jesus.

    Even as a teenager, I smelled the paternalistic, arrogant, hypocrisy of it. Spiritual colonization is a thing. Worse still, it is a business that sells salvation, a free gift of grace and mercy, like any other commodity.

    People like Chan at once sicken and embarrass me. They treat others like objects to be used to serve their own purposes.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    goodness, yes.

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  12. Wild Honey,

    “I became a believer there.”
    +++++++++++++

    i’d love to hear your story some time.
    ————-

    “To think that we or those like us are the only ones with the ability to effectively communicate the gospel thinks too little of God, I think.”
    +++++++++++++

    and thinks far too highly of ourselves.

    i’m so sick and tired of (some) american christians’ over-inflated sense of their own self-importance. they have no clue how obnoxious and off-putting it is to everyone else.

    (yeah, i don’t feel like holding back. too many years keeping my revulsion under wraps in the institution.)

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  13. The church I used to go to go to Myanmar every year for maybe the last 5 years or so, one or two of the elders go & maybe some older youths. They help out a local church & pastors there, doing some teaching etc. This year they showed pics of a heroin treatment centre where about 50% of those being treated get off heroin & many become Christians & go on to pastor, with a seminary having been set up. They are all locals.

    The whole thing has a completely different tone than what you describe with Chan – it’s not white saviour so much as we want to share out of our plenty. I don’t know where the first link with them was made, but it’s very very low key & person-centred.

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  14. elastigirl: “Chan is quite excited because every person *he* touched was healed. And that is what started me to question his focus. Why the lack of details? Why the focus on himself.”

    What’s next?
    Raising the Dead like Bethel’s Dead Raising Teams?
    (After all, isn’t that the Ultimate in Faith Healing?)

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  15. elastigirl: i thought Francis Chan was going over to asia to be industrious in obscurity

    He quickly found out that “industrious” did not equal “prosperous” and that visibility was much better for his ego and wallet than obscurity … so, he’s baaaaaaack. Before Chan launched his healing ministry, he was pushing home church … these guys are always reinventing themselves.

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  16. Mr. Jesperson:
    History has a way of repeating itself: Micah 3:9

    “Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel,
    who despise justice and distort all that is right;
    who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.
    Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
    Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.’
    Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
    Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
    the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.”

    OK.
    We know you can quote.
    What is your point?
    How does this quote speak for you?

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  17. What irritates me about these “healings” is that they minimize everything ardent believers are already doing in these struggling countries. There are so many faithful Christians who care for those in their community and share God’s love through Christ. When I was a missionary in South America, the healers from North America who held huge campaigns where one could buy holy oil and prayer cloths never visited the slums where Christians went after their hospital and clinic hours to tend the sick, often at risk to their own health.

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  18. Abigail: I’m having a hard time reconciling my understanding of Chan as a humble guy who was unlike the celebrity preacher … now becoming a sham scam pastor.

    The real Chan is now standing up.

    Abigail: he doesn’t have that arrogant fluffed up hair preacher persona

    He has no hair to fluff up 🙂

    Abigail, I too have been deceived by such characters in the past. It’s getting increasingly difficult in the American church to sort out the genuine from the counterfeit. Us pew-sitters so desperately want to trust folks behind the pew … we need to get over that.

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  19. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): So, to squash this corona virus pandemic …..
    Uhm, are we suppose to drink that silver stuff Jim Bakker is pushing, or is Francis Chan going to touch everybody?
    Maybe both?

    I know this is no laughing matter, but you made me laugh, Nancy.

    Just so you know, if you drink the silver stuff, it won’t fix what ails you and it might turn your skin a dusky, ashen blue.

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  20. Headless Unicorn Guy: For what it’s worth, my writing partner (the burned-out preacher) calls the NAR “Occult Woo-Woo”.

    You know, I kind of think that as a slam against the occult. I don’t think they want to be associated with NARites. Let me be clear–I think it’s woo too (like New Age woo), but I wish there was a NAR-specific term we could use.

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  21. Perhaps Francis Chan has recovered the lost art of “asking the Father in Jesus’ name, so that the Father grants whatever is asked”. I think that this is the indispensable pre-requisite to the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that the apostles would do even more works than Jesus had done.

    If Chan has indeed done this, it is a world-historical event and a matter of profoundest significance for the churches.

    I hope that he conveys his wisdom on this matter to many others.

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  22. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Just so you know, if you drink the silver stuff, it won’t fix what ails you and it might turn your skin a dusky, ashen blue.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Morning drive-time radio reported that FDA is investigating at least FIVE fake coronavirus cures and issuing C&Ds. One (of course) was Jim Bakker and his $80-a-vial Colloidal Silver elixirs. Another was an Alex Jones (apparently the “War For your Mind!” talk radio host and “Infowars” conspiracy crackhead) who was hawking coronavirus-curing Colloidal Silver TOOTHPASTE.
    (Money Quote: “Alex Jones and his Magic Toothpaste”.)

    In the movie Contagion, they show a “Second Pandemic” — what’s now called an “Infodemic” — where a Conspiracy Theorist goes viral all over the Net with a “Forsythia Extract” cure “THEY Don’t Want You To Know About” and makes a lot of bank. Apparently Colloidal Silver is the RL Forsythia, with the same accompanying sound of ducks.

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  23. Abigail,

    “Im having a hard time reconciling my understanding of Chan as a humble guy who was unlike the celebrity preacher….now becoming a sham scam pastor. I just dont get it……he doesnt have that arrogant fluffed up hair preacher persona”
    +++++++++++++++

    that fluffed up hair thing is out of fashion. what’s in fashion for celebrity preachers is to look casual and like they don’t care but just put any ol’ thing on.

    (it takes quite a bit of time, attention, focus, and money to achieve this look)

    celebrity preacher is as celebrity preacher does.

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  24. LInn:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Alex Jones was arrested for a DUI earlier this week. He claims that’s a conspiracy, too.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/10/us/alex-jones-infowars-dwi-charge/index.html

    They mentioned that on the radio.

    And when all you have is a Conspiracy Hammer, everything looks like a Conspiracy Nail.
    And Conspiracy Theories tend to expand and metastasize until they devour everything else,
    until you end up sitting with those Dwarfs in their filthy stable in the middle of Aslan’s Land.

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  25. elastigirl: that fluffed up hair thing is out of fashion. what’s in fashion for celebrity preachers is to look casual and like they don’t care but just put any ol’ thing on.

    (it takes quite a bit of time, attention, focus, and money to achieve this look)

    Like spending thousands of dollars on a Grunge fashion wardrobe?
    Three hours primping every morning to look like you’ve been homeless for six months?
    “Cause it’s a Great Big Stupid World…”

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  26. At age 64 with two prostate cancer scares in my past and an ongoing coronavirus plague panic, Victory over Death (Christus Victor) has a LOT more appeal than signs & wonders in faraway places, Penal Substitutionary Atonement, End Times Prophecy, or angels-on-pinheads theological minutiae.

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  27. Lea: I saw one on facebook that was basically ‘drink lemon juice’. No.

    I think I can top that.

    According to the same morning drive-time, another fake coronavirus cure mentioned is Chlorine Dioxide (a type of industrial bleach). In Uganda, it’s been touted as a Miracle Cancer Cure by Pastors under the name “Healing Water”. PASTORS.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_Mineral_Supplement

    Yes, you heard that right.
    Drink bleach to cure coronavirus (and cancer, too).
    As morning drive-time put it, “If you drink bleach because the Internet says to, you deserve everything that comes to you.”

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  28. Linn:
    Headless Unicorn Guy

    My school officially closed for three weeks due to CVID. We found out 30 minutes before we closed this afternoon. A lot of bleach will be used, but not for drinking! I’m still working, but I’ll be teaching remotely home, which will be a hoot.

    Will that make it harder to for you to tell little HUG to stop picking his nose and to leave little Friend alone? 🙂

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  29. elastigirl: i’d love to hear your story some time.

    I’ve thought the same about a number of commenters here, yourself included. Maybe if Dee ever runs out of material, people could start contributing to a series of “Wartburger’s Stories.”

    elastigirl: and thinks far too highly of ourselves.

    I thought that was obvious 🙂

    elastigirl: i’m so sick and tired of (some) american christians’ over-inflated sense of their own self-importance. they have no clue how obnoxious and off-putting it is to everyone else.

    Funny that you mention this, because I never made the connection, but the people most directly involved in the story of how I became a believer are Canadian and Australian (plus a mix of others less directly involved, including some Americans).

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  30. Todd:
    Hey, Kenneth Copeland just healeda bunch of people of the Corona virus through the television camera, so I totally believe Chan.

    https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1238110096334479364?s=20

    Kenneth Copeland, RICHEST Televangelist in the world, who flies everywhere by private jet because commercial airliners are full of DEMONS? All tax-free as a Ministry(TM)?

    “And did you notice the guy making this pitch was sitting on a golden throne wearing a three-thousand-dollar suit?”
    Coffee with Jesus

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  31. Nick Bulbeck: It’s a strain on one’s constitution

    I thought I’d come across most of the euphemisms for “lower intestine”, but that’s a new one.
    Well… I describe my emergency diverticulitis surgery some 12 years ago as “getting semicoloned”.

    (If anyone is wondering about the time stamps on these, tonight I have a bad case of insomnia…)

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  32. I think we’ve got another study in ideological exremism here.

    At one swing of a Foucault pendulum there’s Ehrman, Dawkins, Harris, Spong, and a rogues gallery of other ‘rational’ progressives who assure us that miraculous healings are simply not scientifically possible — and that even the supernatural exploits of Jesus are probably mythical.

    Now at the terminal point of the other swing we have Chan trying to make the supernaturally miraculous as common place as ordering up a latte at Starbucks?

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  33. I used to enjoy listening to Chan’s sermons and thought he was different from many of the big name guys until recently. It seems everything he does now is accompanied by a lot of fanfare. When he decided he was heading to the Far East to do work he should have just left, no speaking, sermons etc advertising, just got on a plane and disappeared like so many common missionaries and do the work of God. I think there is too much self promotion by him. I hope he changes course.

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  34. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” – Prov. 14:12

    My views on many issues both within and without the church have changed a lot since I was 18. There are many things that appealed to me that I liked and other things where I was passively going with the crowd like lemmings over the edge or downstream in a boat without oars. Over time I have had to do the hard work of looking at the actual fruit that was produced by these patterns and see what they were actually producing. Much of this has been in the school of hard knocks, so I am not sugar coating the process.

    The short of this is that now I no longer give a flying hoot about what is popular or what everyone else is doing. Most of those things do not bring about lasting good over time. I also expect that I am not done in this process as there are still likely some things that I have not looked at that need my attention. Therefore I expect my opinion to keep changing on things that I have largely been ignoring. My opinions all need to be based on reality on the ground and not on political or P.C. rhetoric based on any common belief system on the right, left or even center.

    God’s viewpoint is King, because He loves and promotes that which actually does good over time and hates and despises that which leads to disorders, diseases and death over time. This why He hates it when we love or compromise with anything that leads down the evil path. We have all woken up about one area where this is true which is abuse and cover-ups inside religious institutions. Yet, there is so much more to this than just that. If you think you are right about everything now, just look back at your own past and learn humility from it. We have all been wrong and we are all wrong about something still! Not seeing it just means we are going to get burned again in some other area just like we have been burned by churches and ministries that abuse and cover-up. Agreeing with God is in our own best interest in the long run.

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  35. So here goes. Meet Mattheus van der Steen. Pastors’ kid, sailor and salesman, before he went into ministry at still a young age. He married an American woman Rebekah Krell, who claimed she used to be a ‘Satan’s bride’, went through all sorts of ritual satanic abuse, until she was delivered by Benny Hinn and Angela Greenig.

    Lots of red flags right there at first glance…

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  36. Headless Unicorn Guy: In the movie Contagion, they show a “Second Pandemic” — what’s now called an “Infodemic” — where a Conspiracy Theorist goes viral all over the Net with a “Forsythia Extract” cure “THEY Don’t Want You To Know About” and makes a lot of bank. Apparently Colloidal Silver is the RL Forsythia, with the same accompanying sound of ducks.

    In thebook “World War Z”, about a zombie outbreak, some guy pushed a legitimate vaccine for rabies called Phalanx as a vaccine against the zombie bug. Alas, it only worked against rabies. At the end of the book, the guy who sold it was sitting a pile of cash in Antarctica, at a base he’d leased from the Russians, and unable to be arrested.

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  37. It is possible that once Chan began feeling the love from Mike Bickle, of the wild and crazy House of Prayer fame in Kansas City, his sermon talks went south in terms of adding extra biblical revelation into the mix.

    Perhaps Chan was kicked in the stomach by Todd Bentley’s biker boot a little too hard.

    And now, spiritual abuse is the name of Chan’s spiritual game/gain.

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  38. David P: It reminds me that in Redding, California the news is that Bethel kids are going around the hospitals praying for people and declaring healing — all while people are begging them to stay away so they can get actual work done.

    Especially when you factor in COVID-19.
    When the pandemic REALLY hits Redding, maybe Bethel’s Dead Raising Team (flexing pecs ad biceps) can finally put their money where their mouth is? HERE in front of witnesses instead of way off on the other side of the world?

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  39. Karen: It is possible that once Chan began feeling the love from Mike Bickle, of the wild and crazy House of Prayer fame in Kansas City, his sermon talks went south in terms of adding extra biblical revelation into the mix.

    In Romish, this is called “Private Revelation” and is characteristic of RCC flakeouts and Cults with Rosaries. There’s good reason I’m skeptical of Private Revelation claims.

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  40. Abigail, I too thought of Chan as a humble guy, and I have since then talked a lot with one of his former ‘victims’.

    But I still feel he’s on the edge of *really* ‘coming to Jesus’ – sure, that in itself will be a miracle, but a real one!

    And I have *always* had a problem with people with goatees, especially men. Doesn’t he realise how utterly, utterly ridiculous he looks?

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