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No. 65: An Apology Concerning YWAM

BIBLICAL Horizons, No. 65
September, 1994
Copyright 1994, Biblical Horizons

In the April 1994 issue I called Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a cult that worships "a false god who does not even know the future." I have received a long letter from a reader who works for YWAM, setting me straight.

My evaluation of YWAM was based largely on my encounters with YWAMers in Tyler, Texas, and the writings of one of their theologians, Winkie Pratney. My correspondent informs me that it is true that the Tyler YWAMers are (or were) much influenced by this heretical notion, and that it was taught in YWAM circles a couple of decades ago through the writings of Gordon Olson and Harry Conn. He writes that the current director of YWAM, Loren Cunningham, has expressly repudiated this doctrine and affirms the omniscience and total foreknowledge of God. He informs me that most YWAMers are Wesleyan Arminians, though more and more are Calvinists. This is good news.

I am still amazed and dismayed that such a blatantly pagan notion can exist side by side with Christianity in an organization. It is rather like putting Unitarians and Trinitarians under one umbrella. And I am sorry that firmer discipline has not been exercised against those who worship this false god. But on the other hand, this is only one more glaring example of a problem that exists all over Christendom today; and my correspondent tells me that things are constantly improving in the organization.

Accordingly, I am very happy to be corrected, and to correct what I wrote, and I apologize to anyone in Youth With A Mission who may have read what I wrote.

— James B. Jordan