Arthur Blessitt: “The Cross” movie
Please Finish Well, Brother

1/14/2009

Opens March 27th
(www.thecrossmovie.info)

Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
All my Christian life I have had more respect for Arthur Blessitt than any other man on the planet. I met him for the first time back in 1973 when he came to speak at Rehoboth Baptist Church in 1973 (or thereabouts). I had just become a Christian and was so excited about it that I was telling everything that breathed about Jesus! I remember getting a bunch of his bright orange “Jesus Loves You” stickers and putting them on everything I could and giving them out to people at my school while witnessing to them. Arthur was unlike anyone I had ever met. He seemed so genuine and unpretentious and straight forward but he was also overflowing with excitement and boldness in proclaiming Jesus! He wasn’t in it for the money or the fame and I’ve never known anyone who was more self-effacing and who took God’s command literally to go and preach the gospel to all the world.

For those of you who are not familiar with him, here’s an excerpt from his website:

“Arthur Blessitt’s story began with a simple act of obedience...making a large wooden cross to hang on the wall of ‘His Place,’ a Jesus coffee house he had started in Hollywood, California. Then in 1968, he began taking short trips with the cross along the Sunset Strip, giving out food to hungry hippies and telling them about Jesus. Soon, he began to feel Jesus calling him to carry the cross across America. He left Hollywood on Christmas Day 1969, beginning a journey that would see him walk across the entire country to New York and then on to Washington D.C.

The next year Arthur felt called to carry the cross in war torn Northern Ireland. This kicked off what he soon discovered was to be a step by step, nation by nation, walk around the entire world. In 1988 he felt Jesus tell him to carry the cross in every nation. Ten years later, in 1998, he completed this mission, gaining access to North Korea through a series of incredible circumstances. Yet God still had more for him to do. And so he launched out to carry the cross in every island group throughout the world as well.

In June of 2008, Arthur finally completed his mission with the faithful assistance with his wife Denise who has been with him in 291 of the nations and island groups he’s visited. Listed in the Guinness World Records for the ‘world’s longest walk,’ Arthur has carried the cross in 315 nations, island groups and territories and walked 38,102 miles, more than one and a half times around the globe at the equator.”

His story is unique in all of human history. One could argue that he has by his obedience completed the prerequisite for Christ’s return spelled out in Matthew 24:14 of preaching the gospel to the whole world. When you read the story of his life and travels he tells of incredible and miraculous experiences which, if they came from anyone else, I would normally dismiss as self promotion or outright lies. But in my estimation of Arthur and his character, I really don’t believe that he cares enough about what people think of him to create such outrageous fabrications...not to mention that his absolute adoration of Jesus would make such acts unimaginable to him.

Over the years (with the exception of my self-imposed exile from Jesus that encompassed over two decades), I have followed Arthur’s ministry. It has always been a source of joy and satisfaction for me to hear of his continuing to carry the cross. A bright untarnished spot in an otherwise compromised and deluded church floundering in the world. I sent him emails on occasion (including when God brought me home from my self-imposed exile) and he would respond when he could. A couple of years ago I wanted to interview him and I was stunned when I called and he actually answered the phone! To me it was sort of like calling the Vatican and the Pope answering! When he finally completed the long journey which God had set for him I told him how I rejoiced with him and wished I could be there to help him celebrate and how I looked forward to cheering when he received his reward from our Lord and Savior.

I was thrilled when I heard that there was a feature film going to be released about his life entitled “The Cross: The Arthur Blessitt Story!” I’ve always said that his life would make a great movie so I excitedly started searching the internet for information so I could help promote the movie.

I went to his website (www.blessitt.com) and was a little taken aback when I saw that he was scheduled to be on Benny Hinn’s show “This Is Your Day!” (www.bennyhinn.org) to promote his movie. Benny Hinn has always struck me as “fishy” so I did a little investigation and confirmed that he is indeed every bit the charlatan he appears to be. Benny Hinn has one of the largest Christian ministry’s in the world and his television show is seen in over 200 countries. He is received by world leaders and is one of the most popular proponents and beneficiaries of what is referred to as the “prosperity gospel.” He has been fleecing the flock for decades through his “miracle and healing” services and accumulated an incredible amount of money in the process. NONE of the healings have ever been verified although many investigative reporters (including Dateline, 60 Minutes, Inside Edition, and HBO) have attempted to do so. 60 Minutes Australia concluded, “Benny Hinn is a fake. A dangerous fake. What he does is prey on the sick, the desperate, and the gullible.” Benny Hinn also has made many absurd “prophecies” such as saying that Jesus would appear physically at his Nairobi crusade, that God would destroy the homosexual community by fire in 1995, that thousands of dead loved ones of viewers of the Trinity Broadcasting Station would be resurrected while they were watching the show, and that the East Coast of the United States would be destroyed by an earthquake in the 90s. His theology is just as whacked as his prophecies. He claims that God actually consists of 9 separate persons, that Adam could fly into space, that we are all little messiahs or little gods on this earth, that God wants all of us to be wealthy in this world, and that God will heal you if you give him enough money. He also says that God will curse anyone who says anything negative against his ministry.(1)

I wrote an email to Arthur and told him that I was confused and grieved and dismayed as to why he would appear on television with such a man. I could understand if it was to publicly rebuke him. And I know that the marketing people for the film must have said that it was a great opportunity. But his appearance on the show made it seem as if he was in agreement with this snake oil salesman. I have yet to receive a reply.

The next day I watched his appearance on Benny Hinn’s show with a heavy heart. And the following day I watched Arthur on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Behind the Scenes” with Matthew and Laurie Crouch. I was stunned when I heard Arthur say, “the earth is the Lord’s so let’s start living like it” and “we’re to step out and rule and reign today in His name.” “Rule and reign” is a key catch phrase of the “prosperity gospel” and it alarmed me to hear Arthur say it.

I decided to look into the church that he has now become associated with to see if I could find out where he might be picking up such theology. Heritage Christian Center (www.heritagechristiancenter.com) under Bishop Dennis Leonard has become Arthur’s home base. Unfortunately, the church appears to be a major proponent of the prosperity heresy.(2)

I love Arthur Blessitt and I pray for him just about every day. He is a mighty man of God and Jesus has done things through him that He has never done before. But I’m afraid that his constant exposure to TBN (with their distortion of the gospel) and people like Benny Hinn and Dennis Leonard has begun to seduce him away towards the prosperity heresy. At the very least his judgment has become questionable. When you take the stage with people who teach such things as Benny Hinn does and say nothing against his deception you are by your very presence helping to perpetuate his lies which feed on the desperation of the sick and needy.

1 Timothy 1:18-20 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.
I understand that Arthur has always been very focused on being positive and confrontation is not in his nature. And during the Sixties his approach of asking people to “get high on Jesus” was unorthodox. However, I understand that young Christians often make such errors. But false gospels and false doctrines are the norm now instead of the exception and we no longer have the luxury of staying silent and saying nothing when those in the media and in the pulpit are leading the flock astray. Especially those who are our elders within Christianity have a responsibility to exhort and admonish those who seek to lead the body of Christ and guide them in sound doctrine.

Having said all this, I still encourage you to go out and see the movie. It documents a unique work of God and serves as an example of commitment to preaching the gospel that we all need to incorporate into our lives. I pray that it will set a fire in your heart to go out and preach the gospel to every creature!

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Arthur, my elder brother, you have been placed in a position of influence and leadership. God has done great and mighty things through you and I love you dearly. PLEASE...wake up...do not be deceived...speak and do not be silent. Be an example in discernment and sound doctrine as you have been in passion and evangelistic fervor. Remember that even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, was seduced from the truth in the last days of his life. PLEASE...finish well.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

(1)
http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/unmasked_____benny_hinn.html
The Heretic
http://biblelight.net/tbn.htm

(2)
http://www.denverpost.com/prosperitygospel