I was requested by someone in Israel to comment on the attached report regarding Mr. Bonnke in Nigeria with 400,000 said to be saved at a meeting of 1.6 million in a Moslem country.
When Mr. Bonnke teamed up with Rodney Howard Brown at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the event was opposed by the local Pentecostal clergy led by David Wilkerson who saw it as an abomination on his tape “Reproach On The Solemn Assembly”.
I preach in Africa myself. I could spit out the window in Lagos and give an altar call and people would respond. First of all, most Moslems live in the North of Nigeria. Mr. Bonnke does not preach to 1.6 million in the real Moslem areas.
Indeed, in Ibo tribal areas, in the Biafra region, and in much of Bendal state and elsewhere, the majority are overwhelmingly Christian.
Secondly, Africa is notorious for people who are already Christians putting their hands up and coming forward to receive Christ. I assure you most of those people (assuming the figures were not inflated to begin with)were already Christians. They are culturally predisposed to group action.
A more reliable barometer of divine power would be Mr. Bonnke’s own Germany, which is a totally post-Christian and Neo-Pagan society. There are so many Christians in Africa that there is not even a need for evangelists like Mr. Bonnke to go there because there are plenty of Black African evangelists better capable of reaching their own people. What Africa does need are things that Mr. Bonnke can not offer, such as discipleship, discernment and solid bible teaching.
Thirdly, as we have seen repeatedly with Mr. Bonnke, he is notorious for wild embellishments of what really happened. Our people once witnessed how he would go to one crusade in Zimbabwe and give exaggerated accounts of what happened in the previous crusade and then move on to the next crusade and do the same thing. This manipulation is less than honest but it predisposes people to react so as not to feel spiritually inferior and the results are great public relations back in Europe.
Only recently, after 14 people who would be alive today if they kept away from Mr. Bonnke were crushed to death at one of his African crusades, Mr. Bonnke claimed someone killed in an auto accident was raised from the dead at one of his meetings. This story was not popularized until months after it was said to have happen and was pushed by Benny Hinn and George Canty of the Elim cult who is on Mr. Bonnke’s board.
The man himself however, who was said to have been raised from the dead, issued a statement that Mr. Bonnke was not even present at the time it happened. This of course assumes it actually transpired at all. There was no police accident report, no autopsy report, no coroners report, and the death certificate was not issued at original hospital of the time and place of death but after the fact by a physician who was a family friend. The alleged resurrection moreover was not propagated until some time later, Why did they not propagate it at the time if it really happened?
That 14 who were crushed to death at a Bonnke crusade, however, is fully documented and beyond dispute. None of these were raised from the dead.
Only a naive and undiscerning person ignorant of the realities of Africa and unfamiliar with the ministry of Mr. Bonnke could believe such wild exaggerations. While never very sound doctrinally, we believe Mr. Bonnke did begin right. But once you align yourself with the antics of Rodney Howard Brown, however, your credibility crumbles.
James Jacob Prasch
Pastor Hilsden from King of Kings Assembly in Jerusalem was sharing that he went to a Reinhard Bonkke Conference in Malta last month and Reinhard shared that he had been to Nigeria, a mainly Muslim country and 1.6m people came to his meeting. At the end of the meeting 400,000 came to the Lord amidst all the persecution in that country.