Friday, June 20, 2008

Sad Result of A False Teaching

The story might not make me as angry if I didn't have a son who is 14 years old at this time.

Two days ago, 16-year-old Neil Beagley, of Gladstone, Oregon, died.

He died of a urinary blockage that medical authorities say was "easily treatable". As the blockage progressed, urea increased in his bloodstream, and his heart finally gave out.

But why should he have died if his condition was easily treatable?

Because of a false doctrine.

The false doctrine says that it's wrong to seek medical help when sick, because healing of our bodies was included in the Atonement, and by faith we can "claim our healing".

Not only is it a false doctrine, but it is a well-demonstrated FOOLISH doctrine.

After I became a Christian in 1976, I "kept an eye" on a church in Northern Indiana. It was officially called Faith Assembly, but was commonly known as The Glory Barn.

I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a couple of hours away, but had a Christian Aunt and Uncle who lived near the Glory Barn. They told stories about the goings on at the Glory Barn, since they had acquaintances who attended it.

The stories included dead members, often kids and babies.

The Pastor, Hobart Freeman, was a brilliant man with a Master of Theology degree from Southern Baptist Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology degree from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He became a professor at Grace Seminary, and even published a couple of scholarly books on the Old Testament with Moody Press.

But he was asked to leave his professorship, when he fell under the teachings of E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, and other "Word of Faith" teachers. He started what became The Glory Barn.

D.R. McConnell, in his book A Different Gospel: Biblical and Historical Insights into the Word of Faith Movement, writes this sad result years later:

"For sheer volume of death and tragedy, none can match the record of Hobart Freeman, pastor of Faith Assembly, Wilmot, Indiana. Estimates of the number of preventable deaths associated with Faith Assembly itself are as high as 90."

And that doesn't count the deaths reported at other congregations Freeman "ministered" to throughout the country.

Ironically, Hobart Freeman himself died in 1984 from bronchial pneumonia and congestive heart failure, complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg.

This was just two weeks before he was to be tried in court for negligent homicide.

True to his "doctrine of demons" he refused to see a doctor.

His wife left his suit on his bed for months, certain that he would re-appear at any time.

He didn't.

And neither will 16-year-old Neil Beagley, whose family in Oregon carries on the evil doctrine, while prancing faith healers slap people on the forehead and shout, "Out, in the name of Jesus!"

But they only disgrace His name. To the Church. To the World.


Mark D. Vilen said...

I cover the Gladstone, Oregon, and the greater Portland area as a pharmaceutical representative. This story has gotten alot of press around here, and obviously, nationally.



Terry Rayburn said...

Thanks for the note, Mark.

I suppose those folks would not consider you a man of faith, selling that medicine, huh?

Mark D. Vilen said...

Probably not! On the other hand, I'm also amazed at the lack of belief among doctors---especially the OB/GYN's I call on who deliver babies daily. They see the miracle of birth yet don't acknowledge God at all. Hmm . . . Hard for me fathom!


Caron said...

Thank you so much for this article. I pray it gets widespread reading! Sad, indeed, very, very sad.

Justin Peters speaks out on the WoF movement and is considered by some to be an expert on it... At you can click on "demo" and see a presentation he gave to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on this...

It is a brief overview of his seminar called, "A Call for Discernment."

He spoke at my church and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

He has a unique perspective as he lives by God's grace with cerebral palsy.

Terry Rayburn said...


Thanks for the link.

I've heard of your Pastor :)


Caron said...


That was good :)

Also, Justin will be on Crosstalk with Ingrid Schleuter at 2:00 p.m. CST...

Here's what was on SLICE:

*Crosstalk Alert* Wednesday
I recently posted a message from Justin Peters on the Word of Faith movement and its heretical teachings. This is the movement that has produced so many false teachers, including Todd Bentley and his Lakeland "revival". ...
Slice of Laodicea -

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Michelle Denny said...

I was raised in a satellite church of faith assembly and under the teachings of Hobart Freeman. The devastation that his teachings caused was heartbreaking to behold and has had an insidious ripple effect that is still spreading. It's taken me years to recover from the blatantly false theology spewed from his pulpit. I was just on another website designed for survivors of that cult to share their experiences and the aftermath. It broke my heart and angered me. It's been over 30 years since Freeman died and there are still hundreds of his victims attempting to put their lives and beliefs back in order. My heart is breaking for this young man in oregon and I firmly believe his parents should be prosecuted. This kind of belief is deadly and needs to be eradicated! Thanks for letting me rant....

Terry Rayburn said...

Thanks for sharing.