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June 3, 1998

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Dave Hunt Report:

Important Update Notice!
With great heart-ache VW sadly no longer endorses Dave Hunt
Please see: Dave Hunt and "Repentance" - January 21,2000
and: Hunt expose @ Biblical Discernment Ministries

However, this 'report' from June, 1998 is being left here because of some observations about Calvary Chapels and "Worship Music", and also to help us see how Dave Hunt has been viewed favorably in the past, but as more light has shone on his true colors, to aid as we might view others who similarly initially appear to be "great men of God". In Hunt and TBC we see the 'seeds of concern' in the past, which as time progressed has shown of "what sort" their fruit is. (1Cor3:13, Mt7:16,20) This policy of non-endorsement does not negate the many truths Dave proclaims. His book "A Woman Rides the Beast" is still the best documentation on the RCC. But we learn that with anybody (even me), we compare what a 'person' proclaims against God's Word...as "Bereans" (Acts17:10-11). Too bad this group who uses this passage as their clarion call does not heed their own subtitle...!!!

The report from 1998 appears below


This past week-end (May 30-31,1998) Dave Hunt spoke at a local "Calvary Chapel." Three services. When I announced these meetings to VW's e-mailing list, there were several responses, hoping that I might issue a "report" of what happened. So, "this" is that report.


Topics:
Cautious intros:

After the announcement, several of you who have heard Dave also responded with encouragements that I could expect the meetings to be a time of blessing. You probably sensed my "caution" in recommending the meetings, since I had never heard him in person before. Perhaps "now" is a good time to explain the source of that caution; and then I will get into what the meetings were like.

In the past in my life, there have been various people whom I respected from a distance; either through recordings or writings, only to meet them in person to find them to be NOT the people they seemed to be from that distance. Years ago when I visited "Back to the Bible" when they were looking for a new quartet member, the immediate impression of the place was of internal strife amongst the staff; but then, upon meeting Mr. Epp for a few minutes, realizing that he was a true man of God.

In similar fashion, some of my communications with some of Dave's staff has sometimes left me "wondering." And then, I have heard from some people via e-mail that he is rather "chummy" with those he sometimes shares the platform with; those I have come to realize are "false prophets." And, in seeing his printed speaking itinerary each month in the TBC newsletters, noting the "labels" of some of the places where he speaks, I have wondered "how" he gains entrance into places which seem to be some of the very ones he "targets" in his writings, as being part of the apostasy. This last item is a matter which I made a special point to ask him about, and will address it later in this review. But these "questions" have come in the context of reading his materials for the past five years, and being in 99% agreement with him, finding his writings to be God-centered and Scripturally-Doctrinally sound.

The meetings, while increasing my questions about his associations, greatly strengthened my confidence regarding his love for the Lord, and his heart-passion for the Truth of God's Word; and, thus, my ability to fully recommend that people go hear him when the opportunity presents itself.

[Editor: this last paragraph, obviously, no longer applies] 1/21/00

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Venue:

First of all, let me digress a moment, and evaluate the Calvary Chapel where he spoke. It will serve as a reminder of things we address often about the modern "church" as well as provide a reference point for considering Dave's associations.

One walks into this large (1500 seating capacity) "dark" auditorium, with very much the feel of, as a friend put it, a "movie theater." (And later I was to find out from this same friend that this "church" has an espresso concession stand where merchandising was going on.) Prominantly in the back is a full studio-sized audio/video control center. Sound/video system is all "state-of-the-art." And the "dark" (although lighted with spotlights) platform is obviously designed for their resident rock band. Drum set with several microphones on it, guitars, and black monitor boxes. There is nothing on any walls to indicate to a person walking in that this might be a "church." Nothing about Jesus Christ, God. Not even the usual "cross" or such symbols of Christianity. As my reading this morning reminded me, "Calvary" (their namesake) was the name of the place where Jesus was crucified on the cross for our sins. (Lk23:33) !!!

After being subjected to "piped-in" rock music during pre-service time, and the theater-like big-screen "promos" of coming attractions; the "worship" time begins with the rock guitar "wail" as the band begins. The singers lead out in the occultish mantra-like repetitious phrases, supposedly "praising" God, as many people are swaying, raising their hands...and when the leader (the same one who has been wailing "satan's voice" on the rock guitar) then leads in "prayer" he is so emotionally wrought, that he spends a few seconds "sighing" into the microphone, as he then goes into his meaningless "words" of pretense. When one considers it has been satan's music, with satan's "voice" (guitar wail), and satan's occultish mind control techniques...it is obvious "who" the god is they have just been worshipping.

As an aside: ...this is the same place where, a few years ago when I was working at this one job, there was this gal I talked with occasionally during coffee breaks or lunch; not a Christian, no interest in spiritual matters; but she went to "Calvary Chapel" because... ready for this? "They have a GREAT band!" And, as far as her attitude was concerned about the matter, she could have just as easily gone to Calvary Chapel, or a tavern... wherever the "entertainment" was suitable to her tastes. And so, this past week-end I understood what she had been talking about. As a "rock band" they are "good."

Note: Since I wrote the first draft of this report, letting it "settle" a few days, I've found myself investigating some websites for people in response to e-mail questions, and waking up in the mornings to Moody Radio "activity calendar"...since this past week-end I'm hearing & reading a "new" term. ("new" to me, that is) "Worship band." Along with the "advertisement/s" that "you can have this (particular) worship band come...and then, you, too, can worship." (ed: Worship"what/whom"?!) I wonder if this is what David had in mind in the Psalms?!?! Praise the Lord with "Waaail, waail, ka-thump-pitty-thump, pelvic movements, tick-tick-tick-tick, rattle-rattle, crash, slam, ka-boom, rat-tat-tat, boom-boom, waaail-waaail, ka-boombity thump-thump!" !!! NOT!!!

On Sunday morning, as I had arrived early; the rock band was rehearsing. And as I did not want to be right there (in the auditorium) to be subjected to the noise directly, I stood around in the foyer, and spied a brochure rack in the back. A whole slew of "Position Papers" of the church. Topics as varied as "baptism, divorce and remarriage, communion," etc. So, out of curiosity I browsed through them. NOT A ONE of them did not have some MAJOR PROBLEM doctrinally, Scripturally.

The venue, itself, obviously...not a true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ! And, last I knew, the pastor is one of the major players in this city's local Prayer Summit/March for Jesus group of pastors.

This is not a place that I have "fellowship" with. "What communion has light with darkness?"(2Cor6:14b) Would I speak in such a place if invited? For an opportunity to present God's Truth, I'd even preach in a Catholic or Mormon "church"! But the likelihood of such invitation/s would be "zero in a million," I'm sure! And I would expect spiritual opposition within the audience as was evident occasionally even while Dave was speaking.

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Dave's ministry:

After such an opening, and then introduction by the pastor, up to the platform "waddles" Dave (Recent hip replacement surgeries), who, up to this moment, has been in prayer most of the time. And what a breath of Spiritual fresh air!!! Since I've read four of his books, and am half-way through "Occult Invasion" right now, and have been on the TBC mailing list for over five years, there wasn't any "new information" I learned. But, with a life of continually writing and proclaiming, as has been my case the last few years, it was certainly refreshing to be "ministered TO" for a change.

Dave would certainly not receive high awards for his organizational, or speaking skills as a "polished" public speaker from an academic standpoint. And as such, I'm sure, emulates Paul, "For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." (2Co10:10) I don't think he would get very high marks from a speech teacher. And yet, the message of God was powerful! Like God said to Moses when he whined, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent... but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." And God retorts back, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf...? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."(Ex4:10-12) God was certainly with Dave's "mouth."

Dave speaks as one for whom... "His word was in my heart like a burning fire..."(Jer20:9)

Of less importance, but for the sake of you who perhaps think he is a "hard" person, because of the "strength" of his writings...he certainly has a sense of humor. Occasionally he would let rip with some real off-the-wall belly-bouncer joke, pun or witticism that would keep a person chuckling for some time. In that, he's my kind of man. And when you meet him, he certainly seems like a "warm" individual. When he occasionally speaks of being "in tears" over certain situations, I certainly believe it..!

His apologetics is marvelous. His adherence to Scripture, for the most part, cannot be faulted. His messages were forthright, to the point (in a disorganized sort of way), and FROM THE LORD. "Disorganized" in the sense that he did not use pre-planned speaking notes, and had moments of shuffling through his "thick" folder of documentation for examples to share, or through his dozens of "markers" in the book he read quotes from. (Please don't misunderstand. I'm not "faulting" him with this. "Just the facts, ma'am." -smile-)

And yet, having said all this, there is one thing that still nags at me a bit. Being burdened by it since the meetings.

While his apologetics and research will show up the qualities of the modern false prophets, he fails to fully label them for what they are. And this complaint is not original with me. People have expressed it to me via e-mail. e.g. On one hand he cites quotes from Billy Graham, expressing Graham's "fellowship" with the pope and other such figures, and statements that Mormons are OK (quotes which are also in VW's "Discernment Archives"); and in the next breath he will say that Billy Graham "preaches the gospel" and "people have been saved" under his ministry. (This matter we addressed in January's article "Ol' Time Gospel") While I can understand his desire to not say that anybody is "not a Christian" and let God be the Judge... if the evidence, which he so meticulously presents, shows a person's fruits to be what they are, there is no need to volunteer that they ARE a "Christian" either. ...if you get my point. Or, berating Bill Bright for receiving the Templeton Prize and being a co-signer of ECT, and in another breath referring to him as "my old friend...", sounding as though this "friendship" was still a "current" relationship? Where does Eph5:11a fit in to this, as he is faithful to 11b..? "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."

And here we get to what I asked him about. Considering "what" he exposes and teaches, how does he gain entrance to places which, by their character, are the very ones whom he speaks against and exposes? His response was on the order that, while these places have certain denominational ties and "labels" that they do, in fact, "agree with" what he writes and speaks. ...that he doesn't receive invitations from places that don't agree...

Well, while he "thinks" that the places that invite him "agree" ...and the pastor at this (local) place got up pretending to be agreeing...the official printed ("Position Paper") literature of the "church" tells another story. And this local pastor, after Dave was finished and had sat down, continued on for a bit, adding his own "two-cents" worth; and in reality "watered down" the very clear message as Dave had just presented it. Apparently not satisfied to "let well enough alone!" And, while we have described this "church's" worship time, Dave on numerous occasions has written (and spoke) against things "charismatic." Things of which their "worship" is a prime example.

I've been wracking my brain over this with my heart. Trying to resolve what is going on. Dave is clearly one of today's foremost end-time prophets (proclaimers) of God. But he, also, equally seems to have this little "blind spot." And as I go on about this a bit, please do not misunderstand me. I am not judging Dave. He is not answerable to me. I have got plenty of my own faults...! But I cannot proclaim "how wonderfully" he proclaims Truth, without being honest about this. I don't want to be saying this, because of how forthright his message is; but in faithfulness to God, I must. Please forgive me!

One possibility... and I'm only speculating here. (I'd like to have more time to get to know him. Not too likely before the Rapture, I'm sure... We both have much to do, which likely doesn't involve wasting time getting to know each other as friends, when God has called us each to our own individual tasks.) But it is something I've been through in the last couple of years; and perhaps he struggles with, too..?

When a Christian comes to realize who God is, and the full extent of the current apostasy; then there is also a realization that comes regarding those whom a person has had "fellowship" with in the past, having assumed them to be "fellow-Believers" in Jesus Christ. Those who "went out from us...they went out that they might be manifest, that none of them were of us."(1Jn2:19)

Personally, the last couple years have been "rough" ones for me in certain respects. Many tears, sometimes whole mornings of tears as I'm going about my work at the store, as the Lord reveals to my heart the Truth of His Word, and the nature of the depths of the apostasy...and the REALIZATION of the "lost condition" of MANY whom I have known over the years!! People with whom I fellowshipped and ministered together. Or, ministered in their churches, thinking they were a group of Believers. But now, realizing that they, actually, are NOT "in Christ." (2Cor5:17)

When the clear evidence comes before the heart, the soul cries out, "No!! It can't be!!" (that they are not saved) A person doesn't want to have to accept the fact/s!! And it is easier to persuade oneself that they are really saved, only...backslidden, or weak, or ??? But, as Dave quoted the passage that I share with you all frequently, Jesus' words "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"(Mt7:23)

These people do not fit the catagory of (VW commentary) "12 Kinds of People" #11, those who have purposely "turned away from" God. They still claim to be "Christians." And yet their "fruits" as Dave so clearly documents "from THEIR OWN LIPS" and doings, shows them to be something else. Jesus said, "by their fruits you will know them." (Mt7:20) And again, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Mt12:34)

Perhaps he struggles with this, too? I don't know. He is, after all, a "man" with "a nature like ours."(Jas5:17)

Now, having spent all these paragraphs on this matter, which has weighed heavily on my heart; I have written as much as I have, in order to try to be "clear" in what I'm saying. However, when compared to the aforementioned "99% agreement" I have with Dave's writings, this matter fits into that remaining "1%" along with a couple of other far less important matters. You know how it is, "the sweaky wheel gets taken apart to get greased." And in many ways I feel like, "who am I, to be making these kinds of evaluations?!"

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