by James Jacob Prasch
Wayne Hughes, a senior leader and former General Superintendent of the New Zealand Assemblies of God and now pastor of their Takapuna church, has been charged in the national press with a history of sexual immorality, includingÂ Â abusive Â sexual activity with a teenager. Both the teenager and the pastor appear to confirm some form of sexual abuse involving Wayne Hughes transpired. The charges have led to further charges of a “cover up” by the Assemblies of God. Hughes is but the most recent of a series of leading NZ Pentecostal clergy publicly found deeply implicated in a sex scandal. The report is carried in March 23Â issue of the leading national non-tabloid daily TheÂ New Zealand Herald.
As leader of theÂ New Zealand Assemblies of GodÂ movement, Hughes propounded the Toronto Experience which advocated wild debasing antics both resembling and billed as drunken hysterics as a course to Christian Revival.
Interestingly, Wayne Hughe’s counterpart, IanÂ Bilby, former leader of the Elim denomination in NZ was also found in serial adultery, (as was his worship leader, the “cheer leader” of the Toronto ExperienceÂ in Auckland), andÂ prominent Assemblies of God preacher Jim Williams was also foundÂ Â deeply embeded in sexual scandal. The public charges against HughesÂ Â however bring the standing in the public eye of the New Zealand Assemblies of God to a new low point after Australian Assemblies of God leader, Frank Houston, also from New ZealandÂ wasÂ Â publicly exposed asÂ a sex pervert homosexual paeodphile. Houston (who was father of Hill Song leader and Australian Assemblies of God General Superintendent Brian Houston was alsoÂ exposed for financial misconduct on Australian prime time television) died the following yearÂ – 2004Â .
The plight of Hughes and his ilk demonstrates exactly the fulfillment ofÂ Â the ignoredÂ warnings given in NZ by “Contending Earnestly For The Faith“, Moriel, andÂ Â the “Truth Watch” ministries, that the Toronto deception was heretical and carnal and would end inÂ Â an avalanche ofÂ immorality, but that the revivalÂ Â that its twisted promulgators promised would never come.Â When such caveats were issued both privately and publicly, the warningsÂ were routinely dismissed with a disposition that reflected a sense ofÂ hostility.Â Now that it has yet once again happened, the warnings are no longer ignored, but it is far too late not only toÂ prevent the public discrediting of the Assemblies of God, but it is also too late to even limit the damage to its reputation and witness.
AsÂ Â leader of theÂ Assemblies of God, Hughes supported every manner of unbiblical hype-artistry imaginable that came to New Zealand during his tenure including Benny Hinn crusades (a decision Hughes later seemed toÂ Â some degree toÂ regret).
The sexual abuse allegations now surrounding Hughes in the national press moreover are being amplified from within Mr. Hughes’ family by Mr. Nasir Ali, who married Wayne Hughes’ daughter in a moslem wedding ritual in 1992.
In the USA, the discosures that Paul Cain, chief of the so-called “Kansas City Prophets” heralded as a “great prophet”Â by figures as diverse as Gerald Coates, Rick Joyner, R. T. Kendall, Sandy Miller, the late John Wimber and Alpha Course Guru Nicky Gumbel, is a drunken homosexual and always has been, left few of those who warned about Cain and his promoters for years with any sense of suprise.
The exposure of bogus miracles of gold materialising in frantic fund raising frenzies in the Elim church in WellingtonÂ led by Mike Knott in the pressÂ likewise left no one aware of what the Elim movement is with any sense of shock.Â Neither did theÂ resurrection of Elim’s serial adulterer and sexual preditor Ian Bilby to the ministry by Brian Tamaki of “Destiny Church” and the disclosures ofÂ the fund raising antics at Dentiny characterised in the press by some of the victims as exploitative come as much of a surprise to any Christian with even an ounce of discernment. So too the demise amidst a maze of moral scandal of such pathetic figuresÂ as Frank Houston, Jim Williams, Ian Bilby,Â and now Wayne Hughes – the biggest leaders mainstream of New Zealand Pentecostalism, should come as a surprise to no one.
Now that the spiritual and moral death of mainstream New Zealand and Australian Pentecostalism – the Assemblies of God and Elim – are a publicly established fact in the eyes of anyone capable of picking up a newspaper, is it not time for any Bible-believing Christians still stranded in those backslidden movements to leave to other fellowships or to help plant new ones?