Whilst you have to take most of what they say with a pinch of salt, there are some things that are written by so-called discernment critics that actually make you feel sick to the stomach. An embarrassment to themselves. One of these times is when a great man or woman of God goes to be with the Lord and they immediately write a harsh and unwarranted condemnatory piece.
One such post is an anonymous contribution by the so-called News Division at Pulpit & Pen that actually links to an article by another anonymous source, churchwatchcentral, giving false evidence that Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who passed away this week, called himself an apostle and would, they claim, therefore, regret his presumption on arrival before God.
I don’t think he’ll be thinking about any such thing as he is welcomed into glory by his Heavenly Father. It’s not what we do that saves us, but what Jesus has already done and our acceptance of His offer of eternal life in Him. And that was always Reinhard’s message of hope – that Jesus has paid the price of our sin and through faith in the work of His cross we can be saved.
Everyone who genuinely appreciated Br Bonnke’s ministry knows that he was known as Brother Reinhard, or as Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. Mostly he was known to us as Reinhard, or Reinhard Bonnke. No airs, no graces. A brother in Christ. When I told my wife that “Reinhard has gone” she knew instantly who I meant and thanked God for his work and that he was now in glory, his race run. He was as dear to us as to many tens of thousands of Christians around the world.
Like others before him, he was not bothered with titles and was called an evangelist because, quite simply, that is what he was and evangelise is what he did.
And how well he did it, preaching to literally millions on the continent of Africa, and, in his later years around the world. It was estimated that one meeting alone in Africa drew 1.6 million people, many of whom surrendered their lives to Christ as the gospel was preached.
At the back of these evangelistic rallies was the tremendous prayer ministry of Suzette Hattinge and her team of intercessors. Churches were filled with respondents wherever the Bonnke team went.
The News Division article, pretentiously titled ‘Breaking: Reinhard Bonnke Finds Out He’s Not an Apostle’ is definitely not news, let alone breaking news. It is divisive however. At best it is opinion served up as innuendo. It is baseless and faceless. Only a really bitter spirit could have contrived such a piece. No wonder they couldn’t bring themselves to put a name to it.
Let’s look at some of the things they claim.
Reinhard Bonnke was a pivotal part of the movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation, a heretical sect that taught that Apostles continue into the modern era. Furthermore, Bonnke believed himself to be an Apostle on par with those of the Holy Bible. This morning, Bonnke found out he was not Apostle when he passed into judgment.News Division, Pulpit & Pen
This entire paragraph is a lie. Reinhard Bonnke was an evangelist with Christ for all Nations. There is no evidence that he ‘considered himself an Apostle.’ He was judged when he gave his life to Christ and declared righteous by the Father.
The New Apostolic Reformation was an observation not a movement. It was a title given to a well developed phenomenon by C Peter Wagner. He was neither the orchestrator nor the leader of the New Apostolic Reformation. He merely put a name to something that was already active and thriving.
The phenomenon of exponential growth amongst certain unconnected ministries that followed Biblical New Testament practices successfully was already well and truly exploding long before Professor Wagner observed it or wrote about it.
The fact is that Reinhard Bonnke was already preaching to crowds of tens of thousands long before Dr Wagner wrote about it.
Having no evidence that Bonnke ever called himself an apostle, let alone considered himself on a par with the Apostles of the New Testament, News Division resort to linking to a dreadful article from 2017 by the pseudonyms at churchwatchcentral in which they, in turn, fabricate the same claims without a single shred of evidence.
The churchwatchcentral crew discredit their own article with the following false observation:
Although many consider him to be an evangelist, Bonnke believes in, and endorses, the NAR Five-Fold Ministry heresy. That heresy being – there are modern day apostles. Even though he is recognised as an evangelist, what distances him from being an orthodox Christian evangelist and puts him in the NAR evangelist camp is his NAR “Power Evangelism” crusades. In other words he is a disciple under the NARpostle John Wimber and NARpostle Peter Wagner who created the heretical “Power Evangelism” school of thought.
They considered him an evangelist because he was an evangelist. No one thought otherwise.
Neither is it heresy to consider that there are modern day apostles. It is Biblical. There is ample scripture to demonstrate that Christ appoints apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers. The cessationist teaching by Pulpit & Pen and churchwatchcentral is the heresy. They have no Biblical evidence that these ministries have ended. None.
Perhaps they are calling the apostle Paul an heretic when he talks about Christ giving gifts at His ascension of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11).
Again, the paragraph above from the article linked from churchwatchcentral by News Division is a complete concoction drawn out of the vain imaginations of the churchwatchcentral pseudonyms. They made everything up. Even the tag ‘NARpostle’ is a construct of their minds and opinion. The NAR they discuss is not the same New Apostolic Reformation C Peter Wagner observed. It is their own fake NAR, far removed from Wagner’s study.
Again, Reinhard Bonnke was founder of Christ for all Nations [CfaN], an evangelistic organisation, not the New Apostolic Reformation. From the CfaN website…
All told, over 79-million people made Christ their Lord as a result of Evangelist Bonnke’s ministry. Bonnke was best known for his gospel outreach campaigns throughout Africa. It is no exaggeration to say that his work transformed the continent…Christ for all Nations
Yes, so they call him Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
Furthermore, Bonnke was a contemporary of Wimber and Wagner, not their disciple. He was preaching to vast crowds in Africa long before Wimber began his work, or before Wagner was in his professorship at the Fuller Seminary both Wimber and Wagner attended.
Indeed, it is more likely that Bonnke, through his rallies that brought literally tens of thousands into a relationship with Christ, was a part of the incredible church growth in Africa that Wagner observed and saw as contemporary to the incredible growth of Chinese underground church movements, the South American explosion of churches and the rapidly developing charismatic movements of the US.
Wagner was an evangelical missionary to Bolivia, and saw first hand the way in which evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic churches were developing at a lightning rate through the missionary endeavours of these movements.
Churchwatchcentral, as sourced by News Division, in an attempt to bulk up their false claims, rely on quotes from opinion pieces by a couple of obscure bloggers as their source that Bonnke was considered an apostle by someone or other. They used their favoured google god to track down any lead they could to make into a story that fit their inept narrative, which is then outsourced as some kind of contrived proof by Pulpit & Pen’s News Division.
In other words, they had nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They simply wanted to say something nasty about someone they disrespected because he successfully led tens of thousands to the Lord but, in their blinkered eyes, didn’t agree with the same doctrinal stance as Pulpit & Pen or churchwatchcentral.
Reinhard Bonnke was, in his lifetime, a great man of God, an inspiration to thousands of evangelists and preachers globally, and a person of integrity, grace and courage who touched the lives of multitudes with compassion, mercy and the power of the gospel in the mighty name of Jesus.
Was he an apostle? Only God knows. He did not call himself an apostle, neither does his team today. I’ve never heard him called an apostle by anyone other than these critics. He did not plant or oversee churches. He won souls as an evangelist. He was a leader and an inspirational brother in Christ.
Was he an evangelist? The fruit of his ministry resoundingly says yes.
Does the opinion of Pulpit & Pen or the nameless, faceless churchwatchcentral pseudonyms matter? Only in as much as the amount of people they have deceived into believing that Reinhard Bonnke was a false teacher, or that he was not one of God’s great evangelists for the recent era, or their fake claims that he called himself an apostle.
But what makes one really feel sick to the stomach is the following backhander at Pulpit & pen in their horrible article…
Please pray for Bonnke’s family in their grief and please pray for all those who were misled by this false teacher.News Division, Pulpit & Pen
If they’d left it to the first phrase we could give them some leeway, but to temper it with a false claim, no. That is false grace with a barb that comes across as arrogant. God forgive them for their ignorance and spite.
One day, unless they repent of their folly, they will discover whether they are what they say they are, or if their own actions are accredited by God. They are not anonymous to Him.
Meanwhile we can only pity their vain approach towards God’s people and pray that they’ll have a deep change of heart before they too have to face their eternal destiny.