Sonny Instead of the Son
Join yourself to the works of men and you’ll receive the destructive fruits of following man rather than God. Man will ultimately disappoint you, but you only have yourself to blame, because you attached yourself to him for what he could do for you instead of seeking God for what He requires of you for your salvation through His Son.
We received this note:
Thank you for exposing False teachers. I was surprised that your list does not include Victory Outreach founder Sonny Arguinzoni and his son in law Al Valdez of Victory Outreach San Diego. Their ministry is founded on the Prosperity gospel, which is a false gospel. I and many others were wounded by VOSD, and would like to see them exposed, to prevent others from being hurt by their ministry.
Hi Mrs. L,
We would like to help you. Have you red the introduction to our False Teachers section? It explains why many false teachers aren’t on the list.
We also have David Wilkerson posted, where Sonny’s spiritual foundations allegedly originate. We also tried talking to Nicky Cruz, to no avail. These men are into their own works for their own sakes.
I’ve visited Sonny’s site and immediately spot many sure indicators of blatant falsehood.
Help us help you and others. Will you tell us specifically how you’ve been hurt by these people? Give us as much detail as you can.
Mrs. L’s response:
Hi Victor, I started attending VOSD because I was looking for someone to mentor my brother, who has a mental illness. My coworkers brother attended VOSD and said he would help my brother. When I visited VOSD I fell in love with their worship and continued to attend.
I continued to study the Bible on my own by listening to GTY.org. I always want to serve, I got involved in the Newcomers ministry there and also served in many ways I could.
The trouble started because I developed a Health Fair for the full time ministers and it went well. I brought medical doctors and other professionals to provide free services. The Senior pastor asked me to do the same for the community, which I organized. Little did we know 1000 people would show up. A local TV news channel cover the event live. It seemed like God was blessing all of my gifts.
Well one Pastor got jealous and wanted to take over the health fair, by excluding me. He said things from the pulpit that were directed to me. I also found out the Senior Pastor had a couple which we grew close to, were reporting back everything we did and said, even in our home. They also took thinks out of context.
On one occasion, I was in severe pain from my back, the Senior Pastor sent people to my house to have me attend in time for the pledges. I was and am a very generous person, I love giving my tithes and offerings, time and talent. I could hardly walk, and later had surgery on my back. He did not care, he wanted the money. My husband called him to talk with him, he never called us back. He too said things from the pulpit directed at me.
I realized they have mind control, they are worldly and love money. They spend 15-20 min every service on asking for money. Pastors are treated like Gods and they do not know scripture. They have their groups and their groups are very closed. You can not say anything is wrong because you are shut out like you are the problem.
I went there, I am a professional, RN; but the people in that ministry talk down to their people, because many of them come from prison, drug hx, or prostitutes and they feel like they don’t fit in any place else. I have heard many stories of people that have been used, and spiritually bruised.
There was more that happened, but it is a ministry based on the prosperity gospel that fleeces those that have no money. I was devastated because I gave all that I could, the place where I opened my heart was where I was deceived "in the name of Jesus". So many of their Pastors have been either arrested, or are unethical etc because there is a rush to send leaders out to serve unequipped, because numbers count. The longer the lines, the more they brag about the numbers.
There is a lot that happens there, too much to explain on email, but hopefully you get the main picture. I now do not trust Pastors or leaders and still am afraid to attend church. I am attending a Bible study, but need to thoroughly check out a church before I become a member. I hope this answers some of the questions you have.
Thank you for your explanations and answers about Sonny Arguinzoni and his organization. As I view Sonny’s site, the things you say about them are immediately confirmed.
Let’s remove a stumblingblock at this point, lest those who begin to read this judgment of Sonny are offended and reluctant to read further. While Sonny’s works are commendable to men, they’re contemptible to God. Works may be magnificent, but has Sonny gone so far as to have his body burned?
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV).
Sonny and his wife have a ways to go before they even gain nothing. Don’t they have love? Obviously, the Word of God says sacrifice and great works don’t prove they do.
Did they ever have love? Let’s find out. To the church at Ephesus, the Lord said, “I know your works…but I have somewhat against you because you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:1-4). But we don’t see that Sonny ever had the Lord as his first love.
Understand: We want to see everybody saved. We earnestly desire to see all convicts, former and present, addicts, prostitutes, street persons, pushers, gangsters, the hungry, naked, homeless and the helpless, the widows and orphans, homosexuals, thieves, and murderers, as well as the socially and financially rich and comfortable, redeemed and enjoying the love and spiritual peace, joy, and prosperity of God.
Especially so does God, but in His time and way, every man in his order (1 Cor. 15:23). First come the heart and its issues. When those are dealt with, all the rest falls into place:
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 ESV).
In other words, it’s not about redeeming drug addicts and gangsters; it’s about redeeming souls, whoever and wherever they may be. It’s not about specialized ministries; it’s about salvation for those whom the Lord calls and chooses, from prostitutes to fishermen to farmers to businessmen to religious people to secular people to tax collectors to Pharisees to rich to poor to failures to successes to Samaritans to jailers to parents to children to women to men to people black, brown, red, yellow, and white.
Here’s what we see at Sonny’s website:
It’s all about Sonny, not the Son. This is another run-of-the-mill demonstration of men’s works in the Name of God, a man using God to build his own kingdom and glorify himself. His name is in lights, his ministry is named after him, an “impressive” picture is featured of him preaching and a crowd of people “worshipping.” It’s all about Sonny Arguinzoni and more Sonny.
These are things that impress men, but not God. To Him, it’s abomination. Sonny doesn’t represent Him (so don’t blame God when Sonny’s organization brings you hell and death through men’s adulterous spiritual works). He’s promoting himself, his satanic image (satanic = of men, anti-Christ), and his gods, primarily being a hero in the name of reaching out to the “outcast and marginalized.”
The Lord is calling us to be outcasts and marginalized for His sake. That’s what taking up the cross is all about. If you come to know the Lord, there go your family and friends and here comes, “outcast and marginalized”:
“And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:12-13 ESV).
“Welcome to the family,” the intro ends. If family is what it’s about, fine, but family isn’t what the Lord’s message of repentance is all about. His call is to the cross and not to comfort.
The Kingdom Message isn’t about being loved for your sake (the devil’s gospel), but about being hated for Christ’s sake (the True Gospel), didn’t you know?
“You are welcome here,” the homepage says. Of course, you’re welcome! Welcome to be a part of his organization, his vision, his works, and to provide financial provision for those works. Why wouldn’t you be welcome? Does he care who you are or what you do as long as you join him and do things his way?
Does God roll out the red carpet to just anyone? Is that what John the Baptist said to the people when they came to him – “You’re welcome”?
Luke 3:7-9 MKJV
(7) Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, “O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
(8) Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
(9) And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.”
That’s how John the Immerser dealt with those coming to him, never mind those just wandering around on the internet.
People seldom consider that the Pharisees and Sadducees were great workers – preaching, reaching out, praying, fasting, giving alms, attending synagogue and Temple regularly, reading the Scriptures, and making disciples. So what’s new? And what’s so different with this organization, which totally focuses on Sonny’s “vision” and “mission,” his “values-driven approach to ministry, personal growth, and global-community involvement”? He cares nothing about faith and obedience to, and worship of, Jesus Christ. Their meetings aren’t worship. They are whip-up hyper sessions in religious Babylon – business as usual.
He begins with appealing to the righteousness of the flesh: “Since 1967 I have had a single-minded purpose with a clear mission: to empower individuals to take control of their lives by placing their future in the hands of God.”
Where in Scripture can anyone find the idea that a man can empower any other man, or that individuals can take control of their lives in any fashion, especially by being their own saviors, i.e. “placing their future in the hands of God”? When the rich young ruler, zealous of good works and worshipping God, walked away sad, unable to place his future in God’s hands, the disciples were amazed. “Who then can be saved?” they exclaimed. Jesus says that with men, these things are impossible. Still, the Lord told him what he needed to do. He had to be told, but it wasn’t assumed he could do it. Sonny clearly makes that assumption.
Sonny appeals to the flesh. He is a son of Nimrod, the great hero and hunter of souls. “Beware of men,” Jesus said. Here’s such a man, one of many, to beware of. Sonny calls his a “unique vision.” What is so unique about it, and what does he have to boast of? If God gave him something, shall he boast? But he boasts because God hasn’t given him anything from above, except the power to dominate, even as God gave to Cain, Nimrod, Pilate, Simon the conjurer (Acts 8:9-11), and so many others. Sonny’s domination of people is not one of righteousness in Christ.
Sonny states, “Since the beginning, my highest priority has been cultivating a sense of family.”
Here’s Jesus’ take on “cultivating a sense of family”:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36 ESV).
It is invariably true that false prophets and teachers will amply reveal themselves for what they are out of their own mouths and in all their fruits. The question is: To whom are these things manifest? Who is able to discern what is there? The blind and simple can’t see these things for what they are. We are here to speak forth that which is there, but only those to whom it’s given will receive it.
These fellows like Nicky Cruz and Sonny Arguinzoni come from the crucibles of “hero” stories like David Wilkerson’s. They aspire to be spiritual giants in order to feel important and be praised of men. Everybody wants to be somebody. Nobody wants to die or be nobody. But if we are to be Christ’s faithful servants, we need to take up the cross and follow Him. Read The Cross – Only the Death Sentence Will Avail and listen (or read the words) to It’s Great to Be Somebody.
Heroes also want money, money, money. One sure mark of an anti-Christ minister is the solicitation of funds to enrich himself and promote his work. In this case, the solicitation is blatantly prominent. At his homepage, there are no less than seven direct requests for financial contributions. There are his “Books” (for sale), “Donate,” and “United We Can” buttons at the top, the same three buttons at the bottom, and the “You Can Help, Give a Gift” picture on the side.
Some other indicators at Victory Outreach website:
I watched Sonny speak on a video (no longer available), in which he referred to the Muslims and how they go to their mosques and pray, and Sonny used their example to encourage believers to pray. How so? Shall worshippers of other gods be used as an example? Are they the light of the world? Doesn’t Sonny know any better? Obviously not.
This organization is not of God at all. Besides what has been mentioned, we see that these people commend themselves to you by commendations of other men at Awards.
“And [Jesus] said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
People, if you want to know God, to walk with Him, to please Him, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, then flee the works of men because they will destroy you.
“Concerning the works of men, by the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 KJV).
But realize also that “deep calls unto deep.” If you are blind or attracted to these works, it’s because things aren’t right in your heart. Don’t blame Sonny or the myriads of other deceitful workers in Christ’s Name. Repent, go to God, and have yourself examined and corrected. The issue is with you, not with Sonny, Nicky, David, Billy, Jimmy, or any other false teacher. “Thou art the man (woman).”