1- I will not be attending. I already believe that Jesus heals so there’s no need for me to go. I “do not” believe in a certain “method” of healing; the Bible presents healing as the laying on of hands in faith. It’s not rocket science. I don’t need Torben or any other individual to “teach me” how to heal the sick and neither do you. Healing the sick is a matter of trusting God to do the work while you lay hands on them. There’s no “secret ingredient”, brothers and sisters. The primary reason I am not attending, however, is because the Holy Spirit has made it abundantly clear that I am not to attend. I will obey this leading. Some feel they have been led to attend and to this I say praise God! We must all obey the leading of the Lord. Amen? If you know nothing of healing and aren’t prone to making a ministry your “idol” or healing your primary focus then there should be no issue attending.
2- Torben’s ministry has an unhealthy focus on physical healing while claiming to be “making disciples”. I have no doubt whatsoever that Torben is the real deal and that he “does” make disciples and that he’s a genuine Man of God. However, those who sit under his ministry “constantly” focus on healing. While many say this is not the case, 99% of his videos are on ….physical healing. In contrast, Zac Poonen’s ministry sees amazing supernatural signs and wonders yet not a single video has been published. They instead publish teachings on who Jesus is and what He can do in our lives. I find a great danger in focusing on physical healing (or any gifting) to the exclusion of the Person of the Lord Jesus. After these apparent healings are done, where are the people who were healed? Are they planted in a church? Are they discipled in holiness? Do they bear fruit for years to come? “That” is the test of a true supernatural work of God… and it’s not what we’re seeing on these videos. We’re seeing healings … but I want to see these people in a year’s time. Then we can know if what is happening is legitimate.
3- Torben’s ministry has a very dangerous focus on water baptism. He openly teaches it’s a part of Salvation and this, brothers and sisters, is unBiblical. Those who know me understand that I believe that water baptism is indeed essential and is much more than a mere symbol; however, it is “not” to be put in the same place as redemption. Acts 10 shows us that God saves “apart” from water baptism; the context is more than abundantly clear and yet Torben’s ministry neglects this basic truth. His view concerning water baptism is restorationist to the core; it’s borderline heretical and I am very concerned that he holds to a baptismal regenerationist teaching. While some have gone to one extreme (it’s “just a symbol”) Torben’s ministry has gone to the other extreme (You can’t be saved without it). Water baptism “is” essential yet preaching baptism (or repentance and faith) in a way that supersedes the Person of Jesus is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. (See footnote below)
4- Torben has become a celebrity in the Charismatic world and this is “always” a bad thing. It’s “not” any fault of his own; it’s those who follow his ministry. Since Torben’s ministry has been announced as coming to Moncton, I’ve heard Torben’s name being exulted rather than Jesus’ Name and that greatly and deeply grieves my spirit. People speak of Torben as though “he” is God’s channel for teaching the church “how to heal the sick”. This is blasphemous. The Holy Spirit is the One who teaches us, guides us and leads us into all truth. Torben himself does not condone or support such exultation of his person; it’s those who follow his ministry who are lifting him up to idol status. It’s such an unfortunate thing to behold! Torben, however, could avoid this by preaching Christ more than uploading videos of healings. Many will say in that day, “Lord, Lord… we healed the sick”. Healing is great but it’s not the test of a disciple. Torben’s focus is in the wrong place and as a result people have taken his ministry as a “formula” for healing the sick and have elevated him to a position where he can do no wrong; where “his” name is spoken more than the Name of Jesus. Perhaps Brother Torben should do what Francis Chan did when his name was being spoken too much. Francis Chan took off from his church with a rebuke that Jesus should be the One spoken of; not Francis.
I realise that posting such a status update will undoubtedly set me at odds with those who feel that Torben is God’s gift to the Body of Christ. I have studied his ministry and am convinced he loves the Lord deeply; I have no doubt about this. However, I see some issues that I can’t gloss over as though they are insignificant. An unhealthy focus on a particular gifting, celebrity status and an army of followers who look to Torben’s ministry rather than to Jesus Christ as Lord is very disturbing to me. Torben’s ministry is one which I believe God is using; at the same time, I also believe that satan is capitalising on this ministry by having God’s People focus on healing and heretical theology on water baptism. While there are many wonderful things about this ministry, there are things being focused on that cannot be ignored.
To you in our church who are attending and to others in the city who are attending, I would encourage you – not to reconsider – but rather to go with cautious optimism. Be careful not to take what Torben teaches (or what anyone teaches!) as “the” ingredient for any of God’s promises. Rather, learn what the Word says about a topic and move on. Essentially, focus on Jesus Christ above healing or any other aspect of the Kingdom. Make your primary focus that of knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It really doesn’t matter if God heals through you or I; what matters is that disciples are made, the Gospel is preached and the souls apparently “healed” are planted in a local fellowship, taught the Word of God and bear fruit.
Footnote: While water baptism is not essential for Salvation – as God saves apart from water – it is also much more than a mere symbol as most churches teaches. Water Baptism is part and parcel of receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 10; Acts 19; 1 Peter 3:21) just as faith and repentance are. These three – faith, repentance and water baptism – are the three things that God calls and commands all people to do in order to receive Salvation. Does God save apart from water baptism? Of course (Acts 10; 1 Peter 3:21) yet water baptism is a command; it’s also identifying with Jesus Christ’s own death, burial and resurrection and when we come up out of the water we’re to walk in newness of life by the Power of the Holy Spirit at work within us (Romans 6).