Groups List: W
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Wagner, Peter C. Peter C Wagner is a self proclaimed apostle in America, and lead figure in the New Apostolic Reformation. Strong links to Rick Joyner, etc, and promotes Todd Bentley. Peter C Wagner's teachings regarding the position and function of apostles in the modern church are a serious concern, and these teachings are becoming more prevalent in New Zealand. He has said on his web site (for example) "apostles and prophets [are] the foundation of the church as God originally designed (see Eph. 2:20)." However, this is a misuse and misunderstanding of the verse, especially considering the apostle Paul said (in 1 Cor. 3:11) that he, Paul, laid the foundation, not that he was the foundation. He continued "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (NIV.) Peter Wagner's books are published by Youth With A Mission and sold on the YWAM web site.
Waiting List Practices. See Chiropractic.
Waldorf School. Alternative name for Rudolf Steiner School. The name comes from the Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette Company, whose owner wanted Rudolf Steiner's education ideas used to teach the children of his factory employees.
Walters, Kathie. Kathie Walters is a leader in the False Revival Movement who believes she has visitations from angels (included being tickled by them using their feathers), claims to engage in occult practices such as astral travel (says she gets taken on chariot rides and once rode on a golden motorcycle in the sky around the world, with her arms around Jesus while skimming across "all kinds of islands" along the way; are you sure you weren't holding on to Nicolas Cage? Ghost Rider came out just three months earlier - Editor), promotes dancing around coins on the floor (apparently so that God can change you - get it?), and shows off the appearance of gold dust (and denies knowing what it is or where it comes from). She makes nondescript personal prophecies, thereby making use of the Forer effect (it's the same way that horoscopes can appear very personally relevant). She associates with false prophet Bob Jones, and has toured New Zealand with Ian Johnson, a fellow promoter of false signs. She has visited New Zealand on multiple occasions. A very relevant quote comes from a person Kathie Walters claims "is a personal friend of mine" - Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine (with emphasis added):
Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It's way past time for us to grow up.
(See the Jack and Gaye Stradwick listing for a longer excerpt from Lee Grady.) Kathie Walters says "Holy Ghost Laughter [is] one of the biggest and most powerful warfare weapons". (Yes, but not for God's side - Editor.) Lee Grady made some interesting comments regarding the Drunken Revival Movement about being sober and in sound mind that are also highly pertinent here - see the quote in that listing. It seems that Kathie Walters should listen to her friend. For anyone who places any emphasis on angels instead of simply serving God the Father by following Jesus Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Colossians 2:18-19 is a warning:
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Bible warnings such as these are especially needed for those tempted to follow after false manifestations such as gold dust. The Dallas Morning News raises serious questions about the validity of such "manifestations":
Despite pastors' reluctance to test the gold, some of it has made its way under the microscope. Charisma, a Christian magazine ... had a lab test for samples... In each case, the "gold" dust was found to be plastic, or plastic with a trace of aluminum.
Peter Horrobin, writing in Charisma magazine, sums up quite well our need to be careful even if the manifestations are not falsified:
“Minor miracles” such as gold dust and gold fillings are welcomed as being evidence of a visitation of the glory of God. Yet anyone who has researched even the basics about occult power knows there are many deceptive things the enemy can do — even healings.
No wonder Jesus warned that in the end times “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). We are living in those days He described.
And Lee Grady again:
Many charismatics have developed the attitude that a simple focus on Christ isn’t enough. We’d rather go to a “prophetic encounter” to hear what Obama’s chances are in 2012, or experience some exotic spiritual manifestation (gold dust, gems falling out of the ceiling), or ask Rev. Flash-in-the-Pan to pray for us for the sixteenth time so we can receive yet another “special anointing” that we will probably never use.
In the midst of all this charismatic gobbledygook, where is Jesus? Am I the only one out there who is weary of this distraction?
We can only hope that Kathie Walters will experience fewer visits from angels, chariot rides and manifestations of alleged gold dust after prayerfully considering the words of her "personal friend" Lee Grady - especially considering that all samples of gold dust tested by his magazine have been found to be fraudulent. Lee Grady again, in his October 2011 article It’s (Past) Time for a Charismatic Reformation:
9. Stop faking the anointing. God is God, and He does not need our “help” to manifest Himself. That means we don’t sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest God’s glory is with us, hide fake jewels on the floor to prove we are anointed or pull chicken feathers out of our sleeves to pretend angels are in the room. This is lying to the Holy Spirit.
With Kathie Walters making prophecies and claiming miraculous manifestations like gold dust, Matthew 7:15-23 is another appropriate and strong warning:
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ "
Watchman Nee. See Nee, Watchman.
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Publishing branch of Jehovah's Witnesses cult, and is a huge source of income for the cult.
The Way. Also known as the "Nameless Ones" or Two by Twos or Cooneyites.
(The) Way International. Cult. Denies that Jesus is God, denies the Trinity. Strong mind control - for example they have taught their members to "speak in tongues" as a thought-stopping technique. Founded by Victor Paul Wierville (died in 1986), who holds a doctorate in theology from a mail-order company. See the CultFAQ page Types of Cults for information about cults of Christianity or see CARM's The Way International page for more about the group.
The Way To Happiness International. Scientology front group.
The Way Worship Centre. Splinter group of the Worldwide Church of God (WCoG). Based at Albany, north of Auckland. Pastored by Jack Croucher, former pastor of the Auckland WCoG.
Weinland, Ronald. False prophet and leader of the Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God (Church of God PKG). Born 30 May 1949. Ronald Weinland believes he and his wife are the two witnesses from Revelation 11, and makes predictions of the end of the world, including that the two of them will be killed on the streets of Jerusalem on 23 May 2012 and that Jesus will return on 27 May 2012. Ronald Weinland visited New Zealand in October 2010.
Jason Tyler Westerfield ... is known for his intimacy and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, keen prophetic insight into personal and international issues, and the demonstrations of God's power through signs, wonders, and creative miracles.
The purpose of this blog post is to explain to you my concern about some of the mystical things a few of us still believe it’s true and to provide you with substantial evidence, including why I’m against this belief and the endorsing of Jason Westerfield and his spiritual father Bill Johnson.
Jason Westerfield and his spiritual father, Bill Johnson comes from Bethel church which identify it as being part of a larger movement known as the Word of Faith movement. Connected to prominent revivalists and prophets including Todd Bentley, Patricia King, Bob Jones, and the leadership of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, the Word of Faith doctrine teaches that faith is a force through which anything can be done.
Word of Faith movement, which is closely intertwined with the Third Wave movement, blends mysticism and teachings from metaphysical cults. Mysticism is the pursuit of a divine connection with God through direct experiences and usually revolves around a practice to encourage and facilitate the experiences.
It is no surprise that Jason Westerfield being the spiritual son of Bill Johnson came from the same church could bring along the same false anointing to churches around the wolrd and you’ll see what I mean very soon.
Who Is Jason Westerfield?
A rising prophetic star, originally based at Bethel Church, and a ‘spiritual son’ of Bill Johnson.
Jason was schooled under Bill Johnson's team at Bethel.
He claims to have angels to assist him. Occult practices claimed by Jason Westerfield include astral travel - he says he has visited heaven and watched secret White House and Pentagon meetings. According to supporter Sid Roth, a Messianic Jew, Jason Westerfield is quite the miracle worker:
Jason Westerfield is a prototype of what the normal Christian will look like after the next move of God’s Spirit. Jason has visited heaven. By the Spirit, he has observed high-level meetings in the White House and Pentagon. Weeks later, he read about the results of those meetings in the newspaper.
When Jason prays for people, some receive photographic memories. Others get a dramatic boost in their IQ. Space does not permit a description of all the other miracles.
It's possible (even probable) that he's not so much occult as he is a liar; some False Revival Movement observers have called him the next Todd Bentley. He denies this also (presumably meaning he thinks he's not the next Todd Bentley - it would be a bit silly if he denied observers have called him that). Also of concern are his rain dancing activities and his strong links to Patricia King.
Whare Ra. A New Zealand splinter group of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn founded by Dr Robert William Felkin. It's an occult cult, a mixture of all sorts of things such as kaballah, paganism, etc. Full name The Smaragdum Thallesses Temple, H:.O:.49 of the Order of the Stella Matutina according to Wikipedia's Whare Ra entry.
White, Ellen G. The founder and "prophetess" of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Born 26 November 1827 in Maine, USA. Parents Robert and Eunice Harmon, twin sister Elizabeth. When she was 9 years old she sustained a serious injury after being hit by a rock thrown by a classmate, and was in a coma for three weeks. It's possible that the injury damaged her temporal lobe, which can cause hypergraphia, and visual and auditory hallucinations. The official Ellen G White web site claims that from the time she was 17 until her death at 87 years old she had approximately 2,000 visions and dreams. Married James White in August 1846. Went to Australia in December 1891 and sent A G Daniells and his wife to New Zealand in 1886. In 1900 Ellen G White returned to the USA. Died 16 July 1915. She taught that the seventh day, the sabbath, was highly important. For example, she taught that keeping the Sabbath was the most important of the Ten Commandments.
"The pope has changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day. He has thought to change the very commandment that was given to cause man to remember his Creator. He has thought to change the greatest commandment in the decalogue and thus make himself equal with God, or even exalt himself above God." (Early Writings, p65, emphasis added.)
Compare this to what Jesus taught:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (See Matthew 22:37-38.)
Wicca. Witchcraft. See listing on the occult.
Wilson, Jeanette. Con artist. Author, self-proclaimed medium, featured on New Zealand's 20/20 TV programme in August 2004. Born in Britain, resides in New Zealand. She uses a technique called cold reading to pick up on cues from her victims (for lack of a better word) to progressively narrow in on information that makes the victims think that she has the ability to communicate with their dead loved ones (an occult practice known as necromancy; Jeanette Wilson is not a necromancer, since she only pretends to talk to dead people). Jeanette Wilson is assigned a Caution rating here because of the false hope she gives people by claiming to give them messages from dead loved ones, and because of the money she cons them out of, not because she as a person is necessarily someone to be cautious of. Quite the opposite. She's a charming individual - in both senses of the word. That's how she cons people.
Winfrey, Oprah. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential New Age teachers in the world and has denied that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Because of her wide influence her New Age teachings have been given significantly wider coverage than most New Age teachers, and she is regarded as being an international spiritual leader. However, her teachings and endorsements have led to criticism, as mentioned by Wikipedia:
In 2007, Winfrey began to endorse the self-help program The Secret. The Secret claims that people can change their lives through positive thoughts, which will then cause vibrations that result in good things happening to them. Peter Birkenhead of Salon magazine argued that this idea is pseudoscience and psychologically damaging, as it trivializes important decisions and promotes a quick-fix material culture, and suggest Winfrey's promotion of it is irresponsible given her influence. In 2007, skeptic and magician, James Randi accused Winfrey of being deliberately deceptive and uncritical in how she handles paranormal claims on her show.
In 2008 Winfrey endorsed author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, which sold several million copies after being selected for her book club. During a Webinar class, in which she promoted the book, Winfrey stated "God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience [...] then that's not truly God." Frank Pastore, a Christian radio talk show host on KKLA, was among the many Christian leaders who criticized Winfrey's views, saying "if she's a Christian, she's an ignorant one, because Christianity is incompatible with New Age thought."
She is rated Danger here because of her wide influence and because of her strongly New Age and anti-Christian teachings.
WISE. An acronym for Word Institute of Scientology Enterprises (sometimes with International on the end). A Scientology front group.
Witness Lee. See Lee, Witness.
Women's Aglow Fellowship. Now called Aglow International.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. A non-profit non-governmental group "working for peace by non-violent means, promoting political, economic and social justice for all." Claims to be the oldest women's peace organisation in the world, being founded in 1915. See their international web site for more information. Do not confuse with the similarly named Women's Federation for World Peace.
Woodgate, Mark. Former New Zealand leader of the Raëlians, a UFO cult probably started simply as a con in 1974. After 16 years of involvement Mark Woodgate resigned in early December 2010. His insightful testimony (PDF, 94KB) is available online.
Word Faith Movement. Also called Word of Faith, Hyperfaith, Positive Confession, Prosperity Gospel, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, Blab It and Grab It, etc. Heretical form of Christianity. Proponents include Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and many others. It should be noted that there are many born again believers within the Word Faith Movement. They are often quite unaware of the most heretical Word Faith teachings.
Some of the serious theological errors (not all of which may be embraced by all Word Faith believers):
In the words of a Watchman Expositor article:
In contrast to word-faith theology, sound biblical theology teaches that God does not have to do anything. God, the Creator of all things, is sovereign in all things, not the creature. God is not obligated to heal or prosper anyone, yet He graciously does, and neither is deserved. Someone has said: "healing is not a divine obligation, it is a divine gift". The receiver of the gift can make no demands. God can be trusted to do all things well.
Word Institute of Scientology Enterprises International. See WISE.
World For World Organisation. A probably entirely fictitious name used by con man Charles Hohepa.
World Mission Society Church of God. Cult. Do not confuse with Church of God World Missions. World Mission Society Church of God has branches in Christchurch, the Auckland suburbs of Avondale, Onehunga and Otahuhu, and in Petone, Lower Hutt. It is said to be very active in West Auckland, and are actively recruiting in Manukau City and Onehunga. Runs the school Elohim Training Institute. Imported to New Zealand on 4 October 2004 from Korea where it has over 300 branches. It was founded by Ahn Sahng-Hong - who they believe is the Second Coming Christ - in Korea in 1964. Born in Korea in 1918, he died, er, "ascended" in February 1985 and has not returned. Members pray in the name of Ahnsahnghong. Since his death the group has been led in Korea by Zahng Gil-Jah who is known as Mother Jerusalem (Holy Spirit), or alternatively New Jerusalem Mother or Heavenly Mother. In Korea the group has been accused of preaching a time-limited eschatology, wrecking families, and encouraging people to leave homes and get divorced. (The group denied the claims, with a court case going as far as the Korean Supreme Court clearing their name of the specific charges.) This June 2007 report on their Auckland activities:
They are very active in Auckland Western Suburbs and have recently moved to a larger building in Rosebank Road Avondale.
They target mainly the Polynesian community and also young lady students. Their converts have to be baptized in the name of Angsahnhong and then have to serve by seeking their lost sheep in shopping malls, campuses, and by street evangelising. When they have found all 144,000 believers in their Christ they believe they will all be taken to Zion in the Rapture. They teach an end times message out of Korea.
For more information:
The Apologetics Index page includes this mention of the position of other churches in Korea:
The Christian Council of Korea, which represents Protestant churches in the country, has, according to the visiting assistant professor, declared the Church of God "here[tical]" (1 Dec. 2004). On its Website, the Church of God argues that this allegation is "groundless" and denies claims allegedly made by other Christian denominations in Korea that the Church "worships a man," mistreats minors and destroys families (n.d.). The visiting professor indicated that the Church has been accused of breaking up families when women followers have left home and settled in Church of God buildings to wait for the "coming of Christ," which, Ahn Sang-Hong predicted, was to happen in 1988 (1 Dec. 2004).
They now believe the end of the world will be at the end of 2012.
Worldwide Church of God. Founded by Herbert W Armstrong in the 1920s, it used to be a cult, and since 1997 the WCoG in the United States (under their new name Grace Communion International) has been a member of the National Association of Evangelicals. Praise God! In the USA, before Herbert Armstrong died in 1986 he appointed Joseph Tkach to succeed him as leader. In 1988 Joseph Tkach made minor doctrinal changes which led to the Philadelphia Church of God breaking away in 1989. Further changes led to the Global Church of God breaking away in 1992. After more very important changes in doctrine the United Church of God, the largest breakaway group, was formed. There have been numerous other breakaway groups (like the NZ-based Way Worship Centre) - including groups that broke away from breakaway groups to become mainline denominations. In 1995 Joseph Tkach died and was succeeded by his son Joe (Joseph Tkach Jr). From their history page:
Jesus Christ changes lives. He can change an organization, too. This is the story of how the Lord changed the Worldwide Church of God from an unorthodox church on the fringes of Christianity, into an evangelical church that believes and teaches orthodox doctrines. The story involves both pain and joy. Thousands of members left the church. Income is less than one fourth of what it once was. But thousands of members are rejoicing with renewed zeal for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And a New Zealand perspective:
The years of turmoil during which the WCG moved from outside orthodoxy to within it was a difficult transition, as you would appreciate. But the majority of our folk are fully on board with our doctrinal position and missional directions. What we have striven very hard to do is to not upset each other where differences still exist, as Romans 14 instructs us. You may be interested to note that while most of our congregations meet on Saturdays as we traditionally did, two of our smaller groups meet on Sundays (which Herbert Armstrong vigorously rejected) and are served by ministers from larger congregations elsewhere since neither have resident pastors. Our journey continues and undoubtedly there will be trials to face yet, but there is no intention within the church’s leadership here to return to what we so painfully, carefully, and thoroughly set aside.
The New Zealand Cult List applauds the efforts made by the Worldwide Church of God for their willingness to follow God rather than the false teachings of a man.
Worldwide Spiritual University. See Brahma Kumaris.
Wyatt, Ron/Wyatt Archaeological Research. Con artist/scam. Ron Wyatt (deceased - born 1933, died 4 August 1999) was a self-styled "Indiana Jones" of biblical archaeology. He has been described as a "professional con man" for his false and self-aggrandising claims of having discovered all sorts of things like Noah's Ark, Mrs Noah's grave (with a fortune in treasure), anchor/drogue stones from Noah's Ark, the real location of the Ark of the Covenant, the real site of Sodom and Gomorrah, the real Mt Sinai, a genuine sample of Jesus Christ's blood with a DNA test showing he didn't have an earthly father (and the cells began dividing when placed in growth medium), and so on. Between 1977 and 1999 Ron Wyatt took over 100 trips to the Middle East - an indication of the amount of money to be made promoting his false claims. All his claims have been found to be either quite bogus or completely lacking evidence, but have been spread in New Zealand by the sale of books, video tapes and a speaking tour by Jonathan Gray. More recently Ron Wyatt's claims are now promoted in New Zealand by Ross Patterson and Daniel McKibben.
... probably the most incredible scam I have ever seen.
... WAR (Wyatt Archaeological Research) is a Christian con game. Ron Wyatt is either very psychologically ill or one of the greatest liars I have ever come across.
... This scam had its beginning as early as 25 years ago. It is still going on, ever increasing in deception. Many leaders in the Christian community know it is a lie, yet they keep their mouths shut either because they do not want people to know they fell for it, or because they made money themselves from it, or because they are running a small version of a scam themselves and just don't want people to get too disgusted with things like this because it might shut down their little scam.
Gary Amirault went on to do even more investigation, including the way people's quotes have been misused:
I have telephone interviewed most of the people on WAR's Noah's Ark video. Not one single person I spoke with on that video presently believes that Ron Wyatt's site is Noah's Ark. Some are outraged that Wyatt is still using film clips which make them look like they are substantiating Wyatt's claims when, in fact, the opposite is the case. ... They no longer believe it is Noah's Ark. They believe it is a natural geological formation. As to the so-called discoveries on Ron Wyatt's video entitled "Presentation of Discoveries," those interviewed whom Ron Wyatt presented with his "facts" put little or no archaeological value on any of the material. "Fraud" was the word most often used when discussing these so-called discoveries. Read the letters from archaeologists within Ron Wyatt's own denomination, Seventh Day Adventist, and you will see that even those who would have an interest in substantiating Ron Wyatt's claims find little or no scientific evidence to support any of these discoveries.
In 1992 Answers in Genesis investigated the evidence and thoroughly refuted any idea that the site is or ever was Noah's Ark. From the Answers in Genesis special report:
Another refutation was co-written by David Fasold, a former supporter of the site who has excavated at the site and concluded it isn't Noah's Ark; it's a natural formation, not man-made:
Evidence from microscopic studies and photo analyses demonstrates that the supposed Ark near Dogubayazit is a completely natural rock formation. It cannot have been Noah's Ark nor even a man-made model.
However, David Fasold is still quoted by Daniel McKibben and his colleagues as supporting the site being Noah's Ark. Similarly with their attempts to give support to their claims by references to geologist Dr John Baumgardner. Although he was initially enthusiastic about the site, Dr Baumgardner now categorically denies the formation is Noah's Ark, and goes much further:
I am almost 100% certain that Ron 'planted' them [the rivets allegedly found at the site]. ...
Also from these excerpts it should be clear that I consider Wyatt's misrepresentation of my views as morally wrong and dishonest. But his deception of multitudes of Christians who have not had the opportunity to check his claims firsthand as I have is an even worse crime.
With evidence so readily available disproving that the site is Noah's Ark, it is the position of the New Zealand Cult List that anyone who still promotes the false Ron Wyatt Ark site and its associated false evidence is either willfully ignorant or is deliberately deceiving.
The claim that Jebel al-Lawz is the site of the real Mt Sinai - a claim also made by Bob Cornuke - has also been soundly debunked by people with more biblical and archaeological knowledge (and common sense) than Ron Wyatt or any of those who currently promote the same claims. To quote researcher Gordon Franz:
As popular as this idea may be in certain evangelical (and even Jewish) circles, there is no credible historical, geographical, archaeological or biblical evidence for the thesis that Mt Sinai is at Jebel al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia.
Brad Sparks has compiled a summary of the problems of the alleged Mt Sinai site.
Note that the only reason Ron Wyatt hasn't been given a Danger rating is that his claims are not likely to do any damage other than to people's wallets.