Bamboozling Blackaby and His Black Legacy
Victor sent this letter to Dana Blackaby at blackaby.org, who asked to be taken off our mailing list after we began sending Henry’s organization The Issues of Life:
Hi Dana, Victor Hafichuk here,
I knew Henry while in Saskatoon at the Christian Training Center as a student under him. Then my wife and I were baptized in the Holy Spirit and that changed everything. Suddenly I was seeing, by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, that the evangelical spirit and works were quite contrary to God. There was no reverence for God. Indeed, there was, in spite of profession otherwise, great irreverence. We could not stay. The Lord began to teach us directly, personally, and to change everything in our lives, for which, today, I am very thankful.
I am sorry to see you unsubscribe. We are speaking truth that all need to hear, for very life. If you understood and were one with the Lord, you would not be where you are or rejecting what we have to say.
Now contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,
He then wrote this letter to Henry Blackaby:
I could have, perhaps should have, contacted you and your family personally when finding your website. I recall writing to you once in 1975 or ‘76, and your response was a bitter one. I did not expect that things had changed. My expectation was that you would decline correspondence, so I thought that perhaps a word without formality might get somewhere.
You did not believe that God had taken us to Himself, giving us His Spirit. You could not believe it because it went beyond, if not came against, you and your spiritual position, not being in Christ Jesus. I thought repentance was a great thing, and it truly was, but added to repentance, after a season of remorse and confessing attitudinal sins at Faith Baptist in the fall of ’74, to you and several others, in due time, the Lord baptized me in His Holy Spirit. Read at least part of my spiritual journey, Victor Hafichuk’s Testimony, if you have not already done so.
You are now famous, acclaimed by many, and your children follow in your footsteps. We met a man recently who said you too had received the Holy Spirit in the ‘80s. I did not believe him. I would love to be wrong, but I do not believe I am. Your works tell it.
Though you may think otherwise, we have never had negative feelings toward you or anyone else in our past associations in your denomination. I am thankful to this day for those times. Frankly, it was a sad thing to be severed from you. There was, however, no alternative, not if we were to obey and go on with God. I once told you, after the severance, that we loved you, but you rejected it out of hand, judging our circumstances after the appearance and treating us as deceivers or deceived. Henry, it won’t be too much longer before you know the truth. You may try to read The True Marks of a Cult. There are many writings you could read. Lord willing, some day you will know, and He is.
Henry did not reply.
Here are some notes from Victor on what happened when he and his wife received the Holy Spirit and were divided from Blackaby and his church:
Right before they received the Spirit: The night before Marilyn and I had prayed for the Holy Spirit, the church had planned a “Watch Night Service” on New Year’s Eve. It began about 7 pm. We were expecting a “season of prayer,” Bible study, and worship to bring in the New Year. Food was served, games were played, and, generally, it was a worldly social in the basement of the church. We were rather chagrined. It was not until about ten minutes before midnight that Henry rallied everyone upstairs to the chapel, and he said a few words. We prayed a short prayer at midnight and went home. Frankly, I was greatly disappointed, if not disgusted. That night seemed to be the final straw, precipitating us to going on with God the next night.
After they received the Spirit: If a sheep should stray away, is it up to the sheep to find its way back to the fold, or is it up to the shepherd to come and find the sheep?
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, does he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains and seek the straying one?” (Matthew 18:12 MKJV)
Henry Blackaby never called; he never visited. We did not hear that he so much as enquired of us. Marilyn had been his star pupil and helper for nearly three years. Was she not worth some kind of attempt at “rescue” or reconciliation? We did hear that he preached a sermon in his church, saying, as a result of our departure, something about their having to examine themselves.
There was not one word spoken between us until many weeks later when we decided to donate our religious books to Henry’s Bible school library. He came to pick the books up, saying very little, except to cite some ignorant examples of false tongues and Pentecostalism. He asked no questions and wished to hear nothing. I think he was bitter.
Another incident, afterwards: Shortly after Marilyn and I received the Spirit of God as a result of having red R. A. Torrey’s Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jack Connor of Scarborough Baptist Church in Prince Albert asked me to preach at a Sunday morning service. However, he stipulated that I not preach on the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I said, “Jack, I will only preach what the Lord gives me to preach.” He accepted.
After much prayer and Bible time, I preached that Sunday on how there were two water crossings for the Israelites – the Red Sea and the Jordan. So often is the parting of the Red Sea at Passover preached and spoken of, but not nearly as much thought and attention are given to Israel crossing the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. Was that not also a momentous milestone in their journey? In my sermon, I didn’t talk about the baptism in the Holy Spirit or about any of the gifts, but I did point out that there were two water crossings. I paralleled the journey and the events of Israel in those days to our spiritual pilgrimage. I said that people need to go on to more that the Lord has in store for them, and I left it at that.
What was wrong with that? I knew I had not spoken those words that immediately make the hair of Southern Baptists stand on end. I was careful to speak only that which was perfectly Biblical, things which nobody in his right mind could argue with. However, when I was done, Jack immediately stood up, turned to the people, and solemnly declared, “I want you to ignore every word spoken in this sermon today.” As I look back, I could have asked Jack, the local people, and the visiting Texan Baptist students to specify what I had said that was wrong. It would have been very interesting to see what they might say. But I didn’t. I remained silent.
Shortly thereafter, I heard that Henry Blackaby, when receiving a report from Jack about the sermon, spoke to others in my absence and without talking to me. He accused me of “desecrating the pulpit.” For the next several days, I was in great turmoil. Seeing Jack had not wanted me to speak on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I decided that perhaps I had been unfaithful in preaching what I did, though not making specific reference to the Spirit baptism.
Still having high regard for Henry, I went to Jack and his congregation and publicly apologized. I now look back and realize that I should have confronted them on their error, that I had every right to speak the truth, more than they had to preach error, and more right to preach more of the Gospel than they had to preach less of it. But I was not ready to do spiritual battle, other than to remain undeterred from our course upon which the Lord had launched us by graciously giving us His Spirit.
To sum up the matter: Still attending the Bible school classes for a few weeks, it became increasingly difficult to tolerate both the spirit and letter of what was happening. One day, Henry Blackaby was discussing with Bill Bye, a pastor from Edmonton brought to Saskatoon to teach a class, what classroom would be used to teach a course on the Holy Spirit. Laughing, Henry pointed the room out to Bill, saying, “The Holy Spirit’s over there.” That event immediately struck me in my spirit. I was very uncomfortable with the irreverence, the lightness of their attitudes toward God.
Daily, time after time and incident after incident, we were seeing that God had done something in us. Things were different for me. This was the first time I can identify the discerning of spirits operating, one of the nine spiritual gifts of the Spirit mentioned by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12.
While the Baptist teachers said things and quoted Scripture, the Lord was telling us something quite different. We understood on a new level the very Scriptures they were using. We began to realize that our time there was about up. One by one, we dropped study subjects on which we felt we could not agree. Truly, the subjects were not the issue. We could not be in fellowship with them, nor they with us.
We received this response on December 13, 2010 from Tom Blackaby, Henry Blackaby’s son and “International Director of Blackaby Ministries International”:
I have just finished reading the very strange entry you have regarding my father. I knew Vic and Marilyn Hafichuk, even before they were married. I know also my father and his ongoing ministry around the world to people of highest influence in many countries. Further his 50+yrs of consistent godly ministry and influence should speak for themselves. I have to seriously question your integrity as a website if you will post such a defamatory blog against my father based on one person’s skewed impressions. I will refrain from providing you with my impressions of Vic and what he did to his wife as it would also simply be my personal impressions and conclusions, and I doubt you would post them because it would discredit him and your post. But for you to post his skewed version of reality as fact seriously questions your integrity and your ability to discern truth. You really should check your sources.
Dr Tom Blackaby
Blackaby Ministries International
I assure you that we take great pains to make certain that everything published on our site is the truth, both factually and spiritually accurate, with nothing altered or corrupted. There is no evil intent towards anyone, your father included. This has the Lord granted us, because we certainly have no virtue or righteousness of our own.
Therefore, we are most interested to hear what you say, if in any way it disputes or disproves what we have published. We will gladly retract and publicly apologize for any errors on our part. We will also publish your impressions of Victor and what you say he did to his wife, but as impressions, you should be aware that your take on the matter could be the one that is faulty or misinterpreted.
What we all need are the facts and the truth, not just hearsay and opinion.
What exactly did you see, Tom, and what do you know that is specifically contrary to the record on our site of your father’s stance and teaching? In whatever way you see us in error in what we have published, showing how it is only “one person’s skewed impressions,” please present that to us. We will consider it carefully and answer you in the truth, as the Lord Jesus would have it, favoring none but Him, which is the essence of true love.
Tom’s first response:
you said, “What we all need are the facts and the truth, not just hearsay and opinion” yet what you have printed is exactly and entirely hearsay and opinion. Not one quote from my father is verified, not one point from his own writings are included, not one secondary support for these accusatory remarks are verifiable at any level. If you truly wanted accurate reporting, it would have taken you a mere five minutes of research on the internet to find that my father’s most ardent critics are those who accuse him of being “mystical” or leaning “too heavily on the Spirit” or relying on “impressions” and “feelings” as he listens for God to lead and guide him, quite the opposite of what you have erroneously printed. Henry Blackaby has made a great integration of being Biblically based and Spirit led in his ministry. That is what is so odd about your website. You have printed one man’s bitter recollection of my father based on an incident that happened nearly 40yrs ago! Read his book “what the Spirit is saying to the Churches”, or “What is so Spiritual about your Gifts” or his seminal work, “Experiencing God” to see that he has quite a healthy and active personal relationship with God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son.
Too many websites like yours glory in tearing down brothers and sisters in Christ rather than building up the Kingdom of God. Sir, we are all on the same side. We are all working together for the Lord to build HIS Kingdom. We may have different approaches and views and nuances in how we relate to God, but I can easily line up thousands of people around the world from the common worker, to generals in the US army, to presidents of countries and more than 65 CEO’s of fortune 500 companies he regularly disciples, who will tell you my father is one of the most Spirit filled, godly, biblically based men of God they have ever met. Yet you choose to print one letter from one critical person with an axe to grind. Sad.
It is difficult to disprove hearsay and conjecture, but I do know several of those who attended the very same classes your writer briefly attended, and they are now pastors, seminary presidents and denominational executive secretaries across North America and around the world. They would have quite a different opinion that what your writer shares. Out of that little church of 180 people, a bible school was established, an thriving student campus ministry was built, 200 people were called into ministry and 30 self-supporting churches were planted across the country. Obviously your writer needed to be in a different school that catered to his particular view of Scripture. I am still astonished that you would print one disgruntled person’s opinion as fact when it is so far from what the overwhelming majority of people report about Henry Blackaby and his ministry.
We regularly receive thousands of letters thanking my father for how his ministry has changed their lives and how they are truly experiencing God in their lives for the first time. I share many of his insights around the world (more than 30 countries now) from seminaries, to offices of the presidents, to church planters in the bushes of Africa and India, and have yet to hear anyone say the kinds of things about my father that your writer has said.
I have known Henry Blackaby for nearly 50yrs, and I can tell you that he is far from perfect, but after nearly 60yrs of consistent God-led, biblically-based and Spirit-directed ministry, with millions of his books around the world impacting churches, denominations, world leaders, and common ordinary people, I would say God is using him in a mighty way and His hand of blessing is on him.
I would urge you first, to seriously verify your facts before you malign someone’s character and ministry, and second, that you seriously consider doing more to build up the Kingdom rather than tearing down your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Dr Tom Blackaby
Blackaby Ministries International
Tom’s second response:
Paul, I have just gone through the website: http://www.harvesthaven.com and I see your relationship to Victor and Marilyn, so I don’t think there will be any point in replying. I had not previously known of their Harvest Haven Health place in Lethbridge and would be interested in visiting should I traverse that area in the future. It was nice to see photos of Marilyn after so many years. She was very special to our family.
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble” (Proverbs 4:18-19 MKJV).
Isn’t it ironic that you are guilty of your own impassioned criticism of us, putting forth a critique without having the facts? You could have easily ascertained that Victor and I write The Path of Truth and that the material we’ve posted on your father is firsthand and verified. Not only that, we back it up with appropriate, applicable Scriptures, which you entirely ignore, though you sign yourself a doctor of theology, implying you know and care about what the Bible says.
I would hope that the exposure of your blatant hypocrisy gives you pause and causes you to now set yourself to listening carefully to what we have to say, without giving in to knee-jerk defensive reactions that expose your foolishness:
“To give an answer before hearing is a foolish thing and a cause of shame” (Proverbs 18:13 BBE).
It’s not our desire to see people destroying themselves in darkness, ignorant of God and coming against Him by their ways. Certainly it gives God no pleasure, but is a constant vexation to Him, especially when those destroying themselves do so in His Name, leading others to the same sorry state. Is it any wonder that He sends His servants to shine the Light of Christ by speaking the Truth against the lies, misrepresentations, and blasphemies of those who have taken His Name in vain, as does your father?
It doesn’t require special revelation on our part to discern the gross error and antiChrist status of your father’s teachings and ways. As Victor mentioned in the letter posted, all of our teachings in the Lord come against Henry Blackaby’s gospel and doctrine. Your father’s every utterance and action reeks of the counterfeit, manmade Christian, those whom Jesus called tares. Read anywhere on our site for solid instruction and rebuke – take your pick – but for a point by point refutation of yours and your father’s ways, start with The True Marks of a Cult and Diabolical Doctrines.
You suggest we don’t know what we’re talking about regarding your father, while you are steeped in ignorance of what we teach. You suggest that I read Henry’s “seminal work, ‘Experiencing God’ to see that he has quite a healthy and active personal relationship with God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son.”
We already see that the god you and Henry are experiencing is the abominable trinity, a confounded concoction conjured up by the heathen and the imagination of your own minds, not the one true Lord and God, Jesus Christ, Who speaks to and through us. Read The Asininity of the Trinity and Jesus Christ, Almighty God.
If you were of God, you would hear our words:
“We are of God. He who knows God hears us. The one who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6 MKJV).
Your man-pleasing, popularity-seeking ecumenical notion that all are God’s children is obviously a big lie, as He plainly testifies throughout the Scriptures. We are not on the same side:
“He who is of God hears God’s Words. Therefore you do not hear them because you are not of God” (John 8:47 MKJV).
But we don’t condemn you, and neither does the Lord. Indeed, He sends us to speak to you, so that you might hear and know the truth for the first time. It must begin somewhere, and that somewhere starts with the tearing down of the false, misleading ways in which you’ve been raised from the womb. The Word that He has sent us to speak will not return to Him void.
You are right in one respect: All of your brothers and sisters in Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, are on one side, aligned against the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes, you do have great numbers with you, but greater is He and those who come with Him from Heaven. By His Spirit, two with us will put to flight ten thousand of those with you. You don’t stand a chance. That in which you have placed your confidence will come down suddenly:
Revelation 18:1-10 MKJV
(1) And after these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven, having great authority. And the earth was lighted up from his glory.
(2) And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great has fallen, has fallen! And it has become the dwelling-place of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a cage of every unclean bird which has been hated,
(3) because of the wine of the anger of her fornication which all the nations have drunk. And the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. And the merchants of the earth became rich from the power of her luxury.
(4) And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.
(5) For her sins joined together, even up to Heaven, and God has remembered her unjust deeds.
(6) Reward her as she has rewarded you, and double to her double, according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix double to her.
(7) As much as she has glorified herself and has lived in luxury, so much torment and sorrow give her. For she says in her heart, I sit as a queen, and I am not a widow; and I do not see mourning at all.
(8) Therefore her plagues will come in one day, death and mourning and famine. And she will be consumed with fire, for the Lord God Who judges her is strong.
(9) And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived in luxury with her will weep for her, and will wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning;
(10) standing afar off for fear of her torment, saying, Woe! Woe to the great city, Babylon, that strong city! For in one hour your judgment came.
You expressed the thought that there would be no point in replying to your letter, since I am working with Victor in the ministry of the Lord. What a revealing and darkened sentiment, Tom, so foolish in closing yourself off to hearing truth and light that would liberate you from your ungodly whims and opinions.
You bring these matters to our attention, as those you deem to be in great need of correction, yet you won’t even hear our answers and seek to enlighten us with your Christian charity and knowledge? At every turn your wicked religion is exposed for the true sham it is, a deplorable mockery of God that He will no longer tolerate as it comes poking Him in the eye. He is indeed finished winking at such evil.
Allow me to speak life to you, by God’s grace!
Marilyn and I are both thankful to hear from you because we have always felt there to be unfinished business between Henry and us, which the Lord in His wisdom and goodness would one day address. This is now that day, 36 years later. God has been faithful and very good to us these several decades – not easy, but merciful, good, and faithful.
Before we continue, as it stands right now, we would be thankful to have you, or any of your family, visit us anytime while traveling our way, your father included, Lord willing. Likely, you may not feel so inclined, as we continue in this correspondence; however, that’s up to the Lord. “A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). It is most assuredly in His hands.
Let me begin by assuring you, whether you believe me or not, that you are greatly mistaken in presuming I am bitter, disgruntled, and wishing to grind an axe, as you have judged by our posting, and as you expressed in your letter to Paul. Others here would gladly tell you there is nothing further from the truth. God has delivered and cleansed me of bitterness or malice toward any person a long time ago (not that we ever had a grudge against your father). That said, God has set us on high to do His will and to speak the truth, which is invariably unpalatable to those who don’t walk in it, especially when they are convinced they do. Let the chips fall where they must.
Let me reiterate our attitudinal position: We (I speak for Marilyn as well) bear no hurt feelings or personal ill will toward your father, any of your family, or anyone we knew in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, or anywhere else, despite the unpleasant circumstances in parting those many years ago.
We fully knew from the beginning that what was happening was a work of God, not of man. Bearing resentment toward any person for His work would be to resent Him. Why would we do that if we knew He meant it all for our good? We knew that He did; He has graciously made that abundantly clear to us with many confirmations and fruits, and we are thankful, very thankful.
You speak of my testimony of your father, saying, “It is difficult to disprove hearsay and conjecture….” What I have said is not hearsay or conjecture. It is what Marilyn and I personally witnessed and experienced. How can you take that away from us, except by denying reality and calling us liars or fools?
Consider that the things you believe are hearsay and biased, as you surmise of us, while our experience is firsthand. Even those from whom you got your report (your parents) didn’t hear firsthand from us, so their knowledge is hearsay and conjecture, including what Henry claimed to have heard from Jack and Bonna Connor, Marilyn’s mother, and others.
Clearly, your father wasn’t interested in what we had to say, and he wasn’t about to change his perspective and opinion. Perhaps he had too much to lose? As the Lord says, rich men find it impossible to enter the Kingdom. Your father was poor in this world’s goods at the time, but rich in his spiritual self-confidence.
That said, I can understand why you likely will not believe me, given our posting of your father, misunderstandings and false reports of us in the past, your inculcated parental and ecclesiastic convictions of right and wrong, and your unavoidable personal feelings towards those you love.
On the other hand, I can provide you with facts you might be able to reason out for yourself, if you can possibly be interested and objective. Again, all this is Lord willing, because unless He gives us grace, we naturally remain closed in prejudice. It is He Who causes us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Understandably, our communication begins with a challenge. But then it would already have been somewhat of a challenge back in 1975, when God took us out of your church, considering what your father and others thought, said, and influenced you and many others to think of our revelatory, Biblically-sound doctrine, our epiphany of the Lord Jesus Christ (baptism in the Holy Spirit), and of us – things that simply were not true.
Am I calling your father a liar in those things? No (we don’t believe he was deliberately, consciously malevolent or deceitful), but I do unequivocally declare he was wrong, not objective or discerning of what indeed happened, and he wasn’t at all interested so as to investigate. Again, we don’t have a problem with that, for reasons given. What God was doing with us, He wasn’t doing with anyone else there at the time.
Now, seeing I profess such godly virtue in relation to your father and to all men, you might well ask why I would post the report I did. But you will see that we have posted the falsehood God has revealed to us of many. Not that we make it our business to major on false teachers. Ours is to preach the truth while pointing out the grievous error, particularly of nominal Christendom.
Tom, our speech here now is entirely foreign to you. We may as well be speaking a language from some other star system, so strange it is to you, regardless of your intellectual prowess. I know so because of your upbringing, education, indoctrination, religious environment, the substance of your letters to Paul, and most importantly, I know so by the revelation of God. He has graced us with an intimate knowledge of Him and His ways such as you and your father have never known. Yes, believe it.
Why haven’t you known? It’s because you have never received His Spirit. Yours is a nominal manmade Christianity, man’s substitution of the heavenly reality, bearing the correct label, but without the content from above.
Don’t be offended with me now, Thomas. This will be difficult for you. Allow me to bring forth some simple, straightforward evidence, backed by Scripture, of how you have no idea of, or faith in, the Scriptures, and most importantly, their Author.
You write, “I can easily line up thousands of people around the world from the common worker, to generals in the US army, to presidents of countries and more than 65 CEO’s of fortune 500 companies he regularly disciples, who will tell you my father is one of the most Spirit filled, godly, biblically based men of God they have ever met,” and, “I know also my father and his ongoing ministry around the world to people of highest influence in many countries.”
“People of highest influence”? How does glorying in such things square with the Biblical testimony of Jesus Christ and His disciples? What does the Word of God say?
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 MKJV
(25) Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
(26) For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
To the vast majority of nominal Christendom the Bible means very little, even to those evangelicals like you who profess to believe nothing but the Bible. “Doctor” Blackaby (not being facetious or sarcastic now, but pointing to your theological, authoritative, presumably Bible-based title), do you know your Bible? What does Jesus say?
“And He 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).
Can’t you see how the Lord’s words, as recorded in the Bible, stand as a witness against you and your declared ways? I don’t believe you can, because of how you have been raised and trained, with religion, in the Name of God, but without His Spirit. Isn’t that possible, Tom?
“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your Name, and through Your Name throw out demons, and through Your Name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23 MKJV)
You hold forth your and your father’s works and credentials as though they are something to be proud of, or at least for others to recognize somehow as substantial and worthy of godly respect, but what do the Scriptures say about that? Here’s what Paul the apostle said of those very kinds of credentials. Contrast your stance to his after he was apprehended by Christ.
Philippians 3:3-11 MKJV
(3) For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
(4) though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
(5) I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
(6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
(7) But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8) But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
(9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
(11) if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Tom, do you know the Lord? No, you don’t; you are only religious. You have only been taught to “pray the prayer of salvation” and embrace your denominational doctrinal stance, as sound as it can be (not saying it is sound – it isn’t at all sound). You have been directed to go to seminary and multiply yourself without ever being to the cross. All of Henry’s children are proselytes, mimickers, religious widgets, indoctrinated by a master of the trade, yet led to believe it is their own free wills at work.
Think about it, Thomas – five children, all seminary-trained and “in ministry,” four “doctors,” no less. What a feat! What are the chances of that? Ask Moses, Samuel, Eli, David, Solomon, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, or any man of God. Is it because of your father’s godliness? It doesn’t happen. God does not, and has not, worked that way. You and your father have been doing your own thing, applauded by men, but not by God.
And God doesn’t call and train His servants in proud, worldly-recognized and honored, manmade, government-licensed, partisan, denominational institutions, with manmade degrees – all the huff and puff of the world, which world, the Bible says, lies in wickedness. Speaking of denominations, hear the Word of God again, which you profess to believe:
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 MKJV
(10) But I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) But I say this, that every one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.
(13) Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
So if you, by your father’s great influence, and under his authority, can so err in such basic Scriptural truths, how can Henry Blackaby have made “a great integration of being Biblically based and Spirit led in his ministry,” as you declare?
The problem for Henry and his spiritual heirs is that the work of God can only begin at the cross of Christ. Unless you have taken up the cross and died to self, Tom, you have never lived and you can never preach the truth with anointing from above and bring life to others. You can proselytize (bring souls to yourself), but you can’t win souls to Christ.
Henry has never been to Heaven by the resurrection that comes after the cross and the grave. You and he are very much alive, but not in Christ. This is not a condemnation, only a God-given statement of fact. The souls that follow you are as you – proselytes – not born again believers, fruit after its kind.
In your initial letter to Paul, you said, “I will refrain from providing you with my impressions of Vic and what he did to his wife as it would also simply be my personal impressions and conclusions.”
At least you recognize you have no substance to bring forth, only personal impressions and conclusions. However, you did hint of evil or unapprovable action on my part, didn’t you, Tom? I don’t have a problem with that, believe me, but I bring it up to show you the contradiction of your ways.
With that remark, you had Marilyn scratching her head with me as to what you meant by it. What was it I was supposed to have done to her? We don’t know, and if we don’t know, how should you or anyone else? We do know that when receiving the Spirit, our lives changed and we had a desire for the knowledge of God and His righteousness as never before. It is also true that His sword divided us from many, including our kin, of course. Here again, the Word of God testifies against you, your parents and siblings, none of whom has experienced familial division:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36 MKJV).
Woe to you in the day it happens, a day of sorrow and sadness, but rejoice when it does, because great will be your reward in Heaven.
After receiving the Spirit, we began to spend hours together in the Scriptures and in prayer, day and night. God was revealing Himself in a new and vibrant way to us, having brought us into the spiritual dimension, what the Scriptures and saints call the Kingdom of God. The first night we received the Spirit, after confessing our sins to Him and to each another, we were up until 7 a.m., reading the Scriptures, marvelling at what God was showing us.
Can you say that is bad or wrong? To be sure, when our eyes and hearts were opened, the Bible became a new book (as it had for me once before when I was converted in repentance to Christ). And in this new realm, we found the Baptists to be quite a dead letter folk, after all.
They didn’t like to think or feel that, not that we were condemning or even telling them they were dead; we only enjoyed with amazement what God had done for us. We dearly wanted to share it with everyone, but there were no takers in your father’s or Jack’s folds – nobody was ready or willing to receive the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, Almighty God. “We have our church and doctrine, thank you very much! We are the authorities, and not you, of all things concerning Jesus Christ.” You don’t like to hear that or believe it, but it’s true nonetheless.
One of the major problems I had with the Christian Training Center was that while we were spending so much time studying church history, church administration, Sunday School administration, Greek, evangelism, denominational history and doctrine, choir directing, and homiletics, we spent so little time in the Bible – Old and New Testament surveys, taking a fraction of the total time, were about it. I was in a Bible school with pitifully little Bible and much schooling.
You say, “If you truly wanted accurate reporting, it would have taken you a mere five minutes of research on the internet to find that my father’s most ardent critics are those who accuse him of being ‘mystical’ or leaning ‘too heavily on the Spirit’ or relying on ‘impressions’ and ‘feelings’ as he listens for God to lead and guide him, quite the opposite of what you have erroneously printed.”
How do you judge such to be “accurate reporting”? Are you not relying on hearsay and opinion again? Citing your father’s critics’ general assessment of him doesn’t prove a thing – for or against him. You need verifiable facts, interpreted properly in the light of God’s Word.
Tom, we know what your father teaches (more on that later), how he expresses himself, and how many people will react. I spent hours with your father, publicly and privately, listening to the very kind of speech those critics are talking about. Your father is intelligent and loves to present himself as passionate. He likes to describe an alleged relationship with God on a personal level. He is a powerful, inspiring speaker and enthusiastic, interesting, persuasive conversationalist.
I know – I was there with him, and I know he hasn’t changed (I’ve learned that unless God intervenes, people never change). We also hear your tapes and have your book, The Man God Uses, which is a true reflection in both word and spirit of Henry Blackaby as I knew him.
You believe your father believes in, and has a relationship with, the Spirit of God because he writes of Him and apparently speaks in mystical terms. I would say the majority of his critics don’t understand. They, like materialistic-minded atheists, would denounce any mysticism, including the true, because they are carnal literalists. There is a true mysticism of God, the door to which was opened to us from above on that momentous New Year’s day in 1975, a door Len and Ruth Koster rejected (they received the first invitation from us that evening), a door your father and everyone else at Faith and Scarborough Baptist churches rejected.
How does one who has an intimate relationship with the Spirit reject the Spirit?
Tom, your father clung to his soulish copy of mysticism, rejecting the spiritual. He is in strong intellectual error, deceiving wonderfully. He speaks mystically out of his imaginations (perhaps impressive, even profound, to the world and to the carnal man, but super shallow to, and rejected by, Heaven, I assure you).
Neither of you has received the Spirit of God, nor experienced the gifts of the Spirit, like prophecy (of which you have your erroneous imitation called “inspired preaching” or “speaking forth”), tongues, interpretation of tongues… those gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12.
But we have received the Spirit. To relate just one example of the many manifestations of spiritual gifts, several weeks after we were baptized in the Holy Spirit, Marilyn found herself praying in an unknown language (tongue). She asked God for an interpretation, according to Scriptural counsel. He told her my sister-in-law Cathie (you knew her – Archie’s wife) would have a baby boy and that Marilyn and I would be going to England.
We saw no way that either of those events would occur, though we knew anything was possible with God. Cathie was unable to have children, and we had no desire, plans, or finances to go anywhere at the time. Within months we ended up in England by a curious combination of totally unexpected events over which we had no influence. In that same year, 1975, Cathie became pregnant and later had four boys and two girls.
Not that the gifts are what a relationship with the Giver is all about. It’s about walking with the Lord Jesus Christ in reality. It’s about knowing Him, believing, obeying, learning, loving, and developing in His image to be like Him and to bear witness of Him to the world.
But you have been taught by your father, your seminary, and your denominational friends that these things concerning the Spirit and the gifts were only for the early church, ceasing with the apostles (though there is no Biblical substantiation whatsoever for such an assumption).
You have been taught that the gifts of the Spirit, as Paul listed them to the Corinthians, only occur in the counterfeit today by the influence of the Devil, sometimes derogatorily called Pentecostalism. At least, those were the very things cast in our teeth by Southern Baptists in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
“Not of God! Not of God!” they insisted – Len, Ruth, and Lane Koster, Jack and Bonna Connor, the Kristoffersons, Mrs. Bates, the Bergens, your father, Dan Fishley, Bill and Bob Bye, Al Niebergal, Pat Martin, Diane Dingwall, her husband Bill (not married then), Melvin Johnson, Wayne MacKenzie, and several others (several of them in fear) – you can read more about it freely at our site when we post Part Two of What the Lord Has Done with Me (my autobiography).
And you and your father and brothers – Richard, Melvin, Norman, all doctors – and sister Carrie Beth are of the same mind to this very day, religious, educated, indoctrinated, active, acclaimed, popular, yet lifeless and clueless about the things of God, the Living Reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and its King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
To you, on paper, I likely appear to be speaking harsh words. Tom, believe me, I am not speaking harshly; however, it isn’t hard to understand how you would think that way.
You write to Paul, “Too many websites like yours glory in tearing down brothers and sisters in Christ rather than building up the Kingdom of God. Sir, we are all on the same side. We are all working together for the Lord to build HIS Kingdom.”
Are we tearing down brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we all on the same side? Are we all building His Kingdom, or are most of us building our own kingdoms in His Name? How does one tell the false from the true? Could it be that you don’t know, because brought up in the false and not having the Spirit to be able to discern? One of the gifts of the Spirit of God is the discerning of spirits. Hear what our beloved brother Paul has to say of that:
“And to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:10 MKJV).
Will you accuse us of judging and insist that nobody can know another’s heart but God?
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 MKJV
(9) But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,” nor has it entered into the heart of man, “the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(10) But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
(13) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.
(16) For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Hear what Malachi says:
Malachi 3:16-18 MKJV
(16) Then those fearing the LORD spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And the LORD listened and heard. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the LORD, and for those esteeming His Name.
(17) And they shall be Mine, says the LORD of Hosts, for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him.
(18) Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him.
And what does our brother in the Lord, John, say in agreement with Paul? Here it is:
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20 MKJV).
Tares and wheat are found in the same field, but they are not on the same side. The day has come for them to be separated, the tares to the fires and the wheat to the Lord’s storage bins.
These are things I speak to you that you don’t understand. All that you say is contrary to the counsel of God, yet you, your brothers, and father are “doctors” in theology, within a partisan organization of the kind the Bible condemns, doing all the antiChrist things the Bible condemns.
And those things barely scratch the surface. When you’ve done reading this letter, if you are able to read it all, read The True Marks of a Cult and Diabolical Doctrines. Read the writings from God we have on many subjects. In many doctrines and practices, you all greatly offend.
Marilyn writes: “I was reading other statements by and about [the Blackabys] while looking for something for Victor. Their whole emphasis is on being right with God so He can use you – it all depends on your works, nothing about the will of God or His grace. It is all works and self-righteousness.
I remember thinking and talking the same way – being indispensable to God’s work. It’s not about a personal relationship with the Lord, just works, works, works… building an organization that looks good and evangelical, better than any of the other religious works. And Henry’s kids are twice the children of Hell that he is.”
She is not being derogatory of you or your siblings, though you may be incredulous at my denial. She is only speaking the hard truth you will not want to hear, given your position and relationship. Who are the “children of Hell”? They are those friendly, sincere, religious people who substitute works of their own righteousness for the works that come by faith, by the Spirit of God. There are millions like you, though not all as zealous and hard working.
(Yes, the Pharisees were zealous, praying, preaching, tithing, alms-giving, super regular church-going, fasting, Bible-studying, feast-keeping, witnessing, proselytizing, world-compassing, smiling, handshaking, hugging, back-slapping, sociable, friendly evangelical Baptists, apparent lovers of God – “whited sepulchers, appearing righteous to men.”)
The children of Hell are, for the most part, sincere worshippers, as they understand worship, yet are the counterfeit of the real. These are born of men and born of this world of religion, pomp, and ceremony (church services, systems, and protocol). They are not born of the Kingdom of Heaven, and they do not have the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Again, Marilyn writes, “Richard really sounds like his dad in this statement at the end of his blog:
‘Last month I was in Australia where there is a movement emerging that is seeking revival for that continent and beyond. Be praying for God’s work there to unite people to do together what they can not do separately. I have also been watching a movement of God developing among the native Indian peoples across North America. There will be a North American wide summit in April 2011 that could be the beginning of a major movement of God among that great people. God also continues to work among Christian business people. These men and women are doing some incredible things for God’s kingdom!
These are exciting times to be serving the Lord! Make sure your heart and life are in the condition necessary for you to play an active role in God’s work in the days to come.’”
With a hint of compassion for you, Marilyn writes, “I see Henry’s kids under those burdens. Richard says that he is not a young man anymore. I didn’t think that way when I was 48-50 and we were busy. You guys haven’t either. It’s the burdens of men’s works that is aging him.
Victor, remember when we went to some wedding in Winnipeg for a few days? It was such a relief to be away from the church and all the activities.”
That was the summer before we were married. Marilyn is right. Under “Authors” in The Man God Uses are the words, “…Experiencing God, a study that encourages believers to find out where God is working and join him.”
Say what? “Find out where God is working”? This is classic man-centric, self-righteous, manpleasing, hero-making Blackaby doctrine. Do you not know that such a thing is impossible for man to determine?
Did Joseph decide to “find out where God was working and join Him”? Or was he so spiritually hard-hearted and clued out that his brothers had to rip him, as a youth, from his father’s bosom and sell him into slavery in Egypt, carried there by mercenary traders? While there, Joseph, as a slave, was falsely accused and imprisoned for years.
Did he then “find out where God was working and join him,” or did God visit him in prison with the gift of the Spirit of interpreting dreams, providing him with the occasions of need? I interpret the meaning of your father’s words to be, “See? He’s working with me! I’m the man of the hour! Join me in Blackaby Ministries International!”
Did Moses go hunting for the burning bush? Did he get himself right and prepare himself so that God might look on him and choose him for delivering Egypt? Or was God’s will and call on him before he was in his mother’s womb? Your father’s doctrine suggests to us that he would take a lighter to a bush to get God’s attention.
“And the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw him, that he was beautiful, she hid him three months” (Exodus 2:2 MKJV).
What about Noah?
“And he called his name Noah, saying, This one shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed” (Genesis 5:29 MKJV).
What about Samuel?
“And she vowed a vow and said, O, Lord of Hosts, if You will indeed look upon the affliction of Your handmaid and remember me, and not forget Your handmaid, but will give to Your handmaid a man-child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Samuel 1:11 MKJV).
What about Jacob?
Romans 9:10-13 MKJV
(10) And not only this, but when Rebekah also had conceived by one, by our father Isaac
(11) (for the children had not yet been born, neither had done any good or evil; but that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him Who called),
(12) it was said to her, “The elder shall serve the younger.”
(13) As it is written, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
What about Jeremiah?
“Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I consecrated you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 MKJV).
What about John the Immerser?
Luke 1:13-17 MKJV
(13) But the angel said to him, Do not fear, Zacharias. For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
(14) And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
(15) For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall neither drink wine nor strong drink. And he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
(16) And he shall turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.
(17) And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
What about Saul of Tarsus?
“But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and having called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the nations, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:15-16 MKJV).
Along with the above mentioned, every other messenger ever called and prepared of God was chosen by God; none took the honor of his calling upon himself. Did any of them go looking for God at work? Can you see that in any of those examples? What did Jesus say?
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you” (John 15:16 MKJV).
It didn’t happen for me the way Henry describes, but it did happen as with the examples I gave you.
Did any of the patriarchs, apostles, and prophets go to seminary or Bible school and train or be evaluated under systems of men? You are all greatly burdened with religious doctrine and works, Thomas – needlessly so, detrimentally so. It is truly an ungodly thing:
“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).
Did Matthew try to find out where God was working? How would he have recognized God’s work? Or was he sitting at the receipt of custom when God visited him?
Did Peter, Andrew, James, and John go “looking for where God was working and join Him”? Did they make sure their hearts and lives were in the condition necessary for them to play an active role in God’s work in the days to come, as Richard puts it in his blog, by his father’s lifelong influence, or did Jesus come and get them while they were fishing?
Even the betrayer was of God’s choosing, and not his own!
“Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? And one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70 MKJV)
Thomas, many a carnal man may go to a university or seminary and get a doctorate in divinity or theology, terms this world is well familiar with. Many an unregenerate man can “start a work for God,” and many have started works without theological degrees…men like Joseph Smith, Herbert W. Armstrong, Charles T. Russell, William Irvine, Jim Jones, and so many, many more. But how many represent God’s work rather than their own? Your father does his own work, which only men without the Spirit of God do.
You write, “Out of that little church of 180 people, a bible school was established, an thriving student campus ministry was built, 200 people were called into ministry and 30 self-supporting churches were planted across the country.”
So the Catholic Church grew to the present 1.3 billion, spreading throughout the world. The LDS and the JW’s have grown to great numbers, as have SDA’s and so many others. Muslims are planting mosques throughout the earth and mullahs are multiplying. So what of it? Are your works valid before God because of numbers? Are those not foolish, unBiblical, ungodly boasts, Thomas?
You may counter with, “Yes, but those men and works aren’t of God while we and our works are! They don’t glorify Jesus Christ while we do!” But are you sure?
In 1990, we visited some in that church you speak of. We met with elder Jake Bergen, who reported to us that after Henry left, the church went downhill, with your father taking the pastor’s residence equity with him, a house Jake claimed belonged to the church. Is this a confirmed fact to us? No, it’s not. Forgive me if it is false; however, that is what Jake Bergen told us.
Was the work at Faith Baptist in Saskatoon a work of God or was it a work of Henry, based on Henry’s charismatic personality?
At that time, we also met with Ken and June Fowler, who bitterly complained that Faith Baptist visited them only to canvass for money, though they hadn’t been to church for a some time (their money was missed; they weren’t).
As I said, we were never visited by pastors when our division came, except by our initiative when we asked Henry to come to our home and pick up some books we were donating to the Christian Training Center. He came and got them but was not about to listen to anything we had to say, so we have firsthand experience.
The Lord leaves the ninety-nine and goes after one stray sheep; His anointed shepherds do the same, in Him, but those who do their own works don’t do that, except for gain. Hirelings (salaried overseers) are there for themselves.
Thomas, believe me when I tell you I don’t bring these things up to beat on you or your dad, or to complain. I do so to give you some perspective of reality, so that you might see from God’s point of view, for good, and not for evil. Had Henry tried to persuade us to return, we couldn’t have done so. God had other plans. We hold out hope for you all that God will relieve you of the burdens that religious men make for themselves and others, and receive His burden, as we were granted.
“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 MKJV).
Your father was always a flatterer, a smooth talker, looking for big things for himself. He was never a man of God – men ordained of men never are. All his works “for God” will not stand the fire when it comes. And I dare say, Thomas, that His fire is here now, in His Word, which we now speak to you. This is the Day of Judgment, a testimony against the works of the flesh.
Anywhere I read or listen to Henry’s words, I find error – a primal focus on man’s righteousness. While Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing without the Father,” Henry’s prevalent theme is the very opposite: “The Father can do nothing without me.” I just listened to Henry’s sermon Why Revival Tarries and can quote statement after statement of error. This same error thematically permeates all his teachings, as in his books, Experiencing God and The Man God Uses.
Henry says, “If we don’t walk with Him, He doesn’t have ‘Plan B’ to touch the rest of the world.”
Granted, Jesus Christ works through men to reach out to men. But suggesting that unless we are virtuous in ourselves to “find Him and join Him” the world is lost, reduces God to the status of an earthly employer who won’t succeed in his enterprise unless his staff and the union let him!
What would Jesus have to say about such a notion?
“And He answered and said to them, I tell you that if these should be silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40 MKJV).
I tell you, Thomas, there is a great deal of difference between Almighty God and His impotent creatures, to make the greatest of understatements, even if they are in process of being made in His image.
Do you think the salvation of Nineveh was entirely, highly, or even partially dependent on Jonah? What about the lot cast, the whale, the storm, the gourd, and the worm?
Henry says, “The Scripture says that He came to His own… as goes His own, so goes the redemption of the rest of the world.”
Jesus Christ came to His own, that is, the Israelites, and they rejected Him. If Henry’s proposed principle that God had no Plan B applies now, then surely, it applied then as well. Is Henry suggesting that the world is doomed because Christ’s own rejected Him? He will not say so, but thinking his remarks through must lead to that conclusion.
He suggests that unless Christians get their act together and “come alongside what God is doing,” the world will perish. And of course, the logical conclusion must be that if we don’t act, Christ’s sacrifice is in vain for many! So why is God working without us if we are so crucial to the success of the salvation of the world? Why is He waiting for us to “find Him and join Him in what He is doing”? Why did He not sound the alert and find us? Is this not the most urgent of matters? Is it not up to the shepherd to find the sheep?
This is the essence of Henry’s doctrine, as manifest in all that he does and teaches:
The One and Only Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Glorious God and Savior needs the help of those He has created and saved in order to save the rest of the world. Unless we “get our act together with Him,” the world is essentially doomed! So in the end, it’s really up to us to save ourselves and the rest of the world!
Is not our possible failure a reflection of the quality of Jesus Christ’s saving work in us? If we are totally dependent upon His righteousness because we have none, how is it He now needs our righteousness to save others? Has He perhaps fallen short in supply of His own?
Is this not perversion of the first order of the Gospel of grace? What erroneous theology that is! It is antiChrist! But it is classic Blackaby doctrine, all these decades, permeating all his works, deceiving many. It is the promotion of self-righteousness at its highest.
Your father’s call is a call to hero worship, Tom, a glorification of the flesh. Jesus says, “No man is good,” but Henry counters with, “God needs your goodness!”
That is exactly what ancient Baal worship is all about. I’ll bet you didn’t learn that in seminary, did you?! Henry is a hero-maker, but firstly intent on being the hero of heroes himself, held in high esteem. If Henry wants the world saved, it is so that the world will worship Henry as “a great man of God.” Baal worship is alive and well in the churches on Planet Earth today.
And men love him and flock to him for his man-centric doctrine. It gives them a euphoric feeling of great worth and importance. Most of all, they get to avoid the death of the cross. They get to have their cake and eat it too – the best of both worlds. They love their chosen hero and love to be heroes themselves. They love to think God loves it all, too.
As so many other preachers, your father uses Hell to scare people, falsely, albeit ignorantly, teaching that many will burn in Hell for eternity (meaning forever and ever, time without end) and that Jesus taught the same. “Read the Scriptures!” he declares in his “revival” sermon, not recognizing, though professing, that without the interpretation of the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of them.
No greater lie can there be told of God than that He will dismiss those made in His image to horrible torment for all time without end. No more heinous an element of character assassination of God can be perpetrated! There is nothing, but nothing supportive of such a diabolical doctrine in all of Scripture, not a jot or tittle. Read from among the articles in The Restitution of All Things and see what God says regarding His intent and the scope of His work.
The love and fear of God saves men. The fear of eternal damnation does not. The Gospel is Good News, not bad; a loving invitation, and no threat. It is an announcement of His victory by grace, despite our unrighteousness, indeed because of it. The Good News is not a threat of His failure to save if we don’t comply by a naturally-impossible righteous response; it is a promise of good in the face of our failure to comply and our consequent hopelessness. How else can the news be good news?
But we know that all men will be saved (1 Corinthians 15:22) because all Israel (His own who rejected Him) will be saved (Romans 11:26), no thanks to heroes; just as all of Nineveh was saved, both man and beast, in Jonah’s day, by the preaching of one who was anything but a hero. Jonah’s example was a token of God’s power and His sheer grace unto a perfect work for all mankind.
“For God has shut up all in unbelief, so that He might show mercy to all” (Romans 11:32 MKJV).
What would the apostle Paul have to say of your father’s teaching in light of his conversion by the Lord? Was murderous Saul of Tarsus in process of “finding out where God was working and preparing himself to join Him”? Yet he turned out to be the greatest and most zealous of all the apostles, sparing nothing for the One Who loved him.
You write to Paul Cohen, concerning comments you may have of me, “I doubt you would post them because it would discredit him and your post.”
Take a closer look and you’ll find that we post many comments that “discredit” us. Your comments will be posted, be they true or false, Lord willing. You will have full opportunity, should you want it.
You and your family are more than welcome to write or visit us at any time, Tom. I mean that, though with these perspectives, I certainly don’t expect it to happen, except by God’s grace and sovereign will. It is He Who does all things according to the counsel of His will and Who turns a heart whichever way He wills. What do you say?
There is a sure hope for all of you. One day you will all know the Lord, as will all men. What a wondrous day that will be for all of us, shoulder to shoulder, clothed in white, with uplifted hands and glowing countenances, blessing the Lord in all joy and thanksgiving! No more death or hell, no more sorrow, suffering, or tears! Only a wonderful wellbeing, with great rejoicing, laughter, and singing! Wow! Praise God!
In case we don’t hear from you with a positive response, Tom, let me earnestly declare, as God is my witness, that our desire and thoughts toward every one of you are only for good. I told your father that once before by handwritten, snail mail letter, several years ago, and he replied with bitterness.
Don’t mistake the fulfillment of our responsibility from God to post warnings of the subtle and devious ways of the enemy as enmity toward you. We mustn’t and can’t be irresponsible to God to gain your friendship. That would be a betrayal of all that is good and true; it would be trampling upon the Blood that bought us. Understanding that, you will know we conduct ourselves as your true friends.
Proverbs 27:5-7 MKJV
(5) Open rebuke is better than secret love.
(6) Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
(7) The full soul despises a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Tom Blackaby can’t handle what we have said about him, his father, and their religion that God hates, so he commiserates with another false Christian whom we have exposed, David Thompson, who returns the favor as both condemn us and the Word of God spoken to them. David fortunately included us in his reply, affording us this excellent opportunity to further expose the prince of this world and his nefarious ways.