- Religion and Philosophy
WELSH OUTPOURING: VICTORY CHURCH CWMBRAN - RICHARD TAYLOR - REAL OR FAKE?
The so called “Welsh Outpouring” led by Pastor Richard Taylor began on April the 10th 2013 at Victory Church, Cwmbran in South Wales.
Victory Church is part of ecumenical “Churches Together” in Wales (Cytûn). “Churches Together” in Britain and Ireland was formed in 1999 and evolved out of the British Council of Churches. All the main Christian denominations are members of Churches Together including the Roman Catholic Church. “The Presidents of Churches Together in England are the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Free Churches' Moderator and a fourth President chosen from one of the other member Churches.” Cytûn also has affiliations with the World Council of Churches. http://www.oikoumene.org
The smaller evangelical churches in Cwmbran have resisted joining “Churches Together” because they see such a move as compromise. According to Taylor, these smaller churches see Victory Church as “separatist”, meaning I presume that their stance (as mine is) is that Victory Church has turned away from biblical doctrine and the true body of Christ and has compromised with ecumenism.
My understanding about the doctrine of “separation” differs from Taylor's somewhat. I would not call Victory Church “separatist”, but rather the small churches who have not joined “Churches Together” are “separatist”. The doctrine of separation is entirely biblical and is to be practised in order to prevent believers becoming deceived by pseudo spiritual individuals, organisations and “churches” that deviate from the teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles. This doctrine of separation is now being eroded by those claiming to be Christian who are collaborating with Roman Catholics, Jews, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and others in the name of “unity”. God's love is promoted at the expense of doctrine, which is denigrated, and consequently we have major imbalance and problems within evangelical and charismatic circles today. Biblically, the ecumenical position taken by Victory Church is totally unacceptable to any true follower of Jesus Christ and this in itself is reason to avoid them.
There are a number of scriptures which promote the doctrine of “separation”:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.(Matthew 7/15).
…..watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Romans 16/17).
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6/14)
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord (2 Corinthians 6/17).
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1/10-11).
Taylor makes much of the fact that he takes no salary from Victory Church, but this is not quite true. The Taylor's source of income comes from Victory Outreach UK which is closely affiliated with Victory Church and shares the same postal address. The Taylors' live in a rather large house belonging to Victory Outreach. It was possible to ascertain that for the year ending 31 March 2012 "Richard Taylor received remuneration of £30,000 in his role as Executive Director." This is almost double his salary for the previous year. Taylor's wife must also receive similar remuneration as co-director, though this information is not available in the document. In 2012 the total wages and salaries were £248,685 for sixteen members of staff. The tangible fixed assets were £1,489,460 (freehold property and land, vehicles and office and other equipment). There were also other expenses. http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends11/0000291611_AC_20120331_E_C.pdf
For the sake of openness and accountability it would be appropriate to know more about the financial relationship between Victory Church and Victory Outreach. Taylor is also an author, a TV presenter and a visiting speaker elsewhere which must generate additional income. Clearly the Taylors' lifestyle is a far cry from the majority in his church who rely on state benefits.
Taylor's ambition is clearly to be the pastor of a “mega church” in Wales. He is extremely defensive and negative towards local evangelical churches that have stood against him. Whilst accusing these churches of being critical towards Victory Church, perversely, Taylor is guilty of making judgements and derogatory remarks about them, specifically about their size and calling. Taking scriptures out of context, Taylor accuses these churches of envy and says that they should “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12/15). In context this verse means that Christians should rejoice in “things good and laudable” as Gills Exposition puts it. In context Romans 12 tells us: Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good (Romans 12/9), it does not tell Christians to rejoice with those who rejoice in what is false. It does seem rather paranoid for someone in Taylor's position to seek to pull down those whom he disdains as insignificant, but clearly they have touched a nerve.
Taylor: “Churches would run us down and accuse of us of all kinds of nonsense as what we were seeing was exposing their lack. The Bible exhorts us to rejoice with those that rejoice, and as God was moving mightily we became the subject of complaints from leadership’s within other churches!“
One instance of this “nonsense” may have been the fact that Taylor's friend, heretic and deceiver Tommy Tenney was guest speaker at Victory Church on the 10th of February 2013. Tommy Tenney is the author of the book The God Chasers which has been widely condemned as promoting the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Sabellianism.
Clearly doctrine is not important to Taylor: “Once a large church has established a healthy congregation it has more pressing matters than to argue over doctrine with the next spiritual fad.” What does Taylor call “a healthy congregation”? Without sound doctrine there is no spiritual health to be had! Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119/105) Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. (1 Timothy 4/16) See also 1 Timothy 4/6; Titus 1/9, 2/1 etc.
Taylor says he is shocked by suspicion towards Victory Church since its growth and “outpouring”. This is a naïve reaction, and yet it is difficult to believe that Taylor is naïve. Many supposed Christians accept everything spewed out of the mouths of wolves in sheep’s clothing; but at the same time, many discerning Christians have been sickened by the way that Christianity has been brought into disrepute by so called “revivals” and false teachers in the recent past, the so called Florida “outpouring” led by Todd Bentley being the most recent example. In fact interestingly Todd Bentley did visit Cwmbran in December 2011.
The home page of Victory Church (http://www.victorychurch.co.uk/) contains no scripture, it is just a bleat of “outpouring”, “outpouring” and more “outpouring”. In fact the whole website continuously spews “outpouring” with no scriptures in sight.
Taylor's advice to those who disagree with a ministry is to do nothing: “to say nothing gives them no platform” ----in other words: “Do not criticise us.” This also is entirely unbiblical. If anyone has discernment from the Lord in this area, then it is their duty to expose, warn and protect other believers who may be vulnerable to false teaching; only compromisers and hirelings do nothing to protect the sheep from the wolves.
Concerning false teachers, Paul writes: Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1/13)
As the saying goes: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
TAYLOR'S WARNING FROM THE LORD
Prior to his "sermon" on Acts 9 on the 21st of April,Taylor begins by giving his local Cwmbran congregation a specific “warning” which he claims is directly from the Lord:
“I have been warned by the Lord; the Lord spoke to me very clearly...........this is a warning from the Lord. You need to be in every outpouring meeting because there could be just one meeting, one moment which could change your life forever and you could miss it..............”
The above “warning” (reiterated three times), places a huge burden upon the local congregation to attend every single “outpouring” meeting as well as continuing with their usual church activities which are: “cluster groups, church planting, academy on a Saturday morning and the preaching on a Sunday.” Because this was presented as an unequivocal “Word from the Lord” the congregation are obliged to do as Taylor says; doing otherwise would put them outside God's will. This is of course spiritual blackmail.
A classic sign of cult leaders is that they claim to have direct authority from God so that they can control all aspects of their members lives. They keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become easier to control and are prevented from thinking critically and questioning what is actually going on – this strategy is called “time-control”. Cult leaders hate to be criticised, they claim God's authority for everything they say and do and demand complete submission. A person who disagrees with a cult leader is said to be in rebellion to God. Cult leaders attempt to cut their members off from outside influences like family and friends so that their control can be maximized. Any alarm bells going off yet?
There are also mounting concerns that the residents of Victory Outreach are being abused.
I have now written follow up articles which address specific issues and doctrinal errors concerning Richard Taylor/Victory Church Cwmbran: