I receive many visits to this blog because of my references to David Pawson. It seems a lot of people are trying to find out more about him and his teaching. Maybe one of the most worrying reasons for those visits is demonstrated in a commonly used search term – a phrase entered into a search engine to track down relevant information. That search term is “Is David Pawson a false teacher?”
Why do I find that worrying?
I’d have to ask why people would be asking whether Pawson was a false teacher. I assume someone out there has been telling people that he is. But the real cause for concern is that people are hearing those claims and then trying to get answers from others about the legitimacy of Pawson’s ministry. I wonder how their final conclusions will be drawn. Will they accept the outcome of majority opinion?
I have no problem with people questioning Pawson’s teaching. I have regularly heard him insisting that his hearers SHOULD question it. But turning to others for judgement is not the way to do that. The way to test ALL teaching is to search the scriptures ourselves. To become personally familiar with what God has revealed of Himself and His ways through His word so we can assess for ourselves whether a teaching is false or not.
As well as this question about Pawson, I’ve often come across people who want names named. Whenever there are general warnings about certain doctrines and practices, there will be some who ask which teachers are being referred to? They want to know who is teaching the falsehoods being exposed. But what about those who are overlooked in the naming? What if someone preaching the same error escapes a list of named false teachers? Does their omission from the list give them legitimacy?
Of course not!
It is up to each of us, individually, to take responsibility for the teaching we accept. It’s up to us to make sure it genuinely conforms to scripture. It is up to us to make sure that the teachers we heed are not merely using scripture (usually parts of scripture) to support their own agenda or theological tradition. Are they leaving something out? Are there parts of scripture they tend to avoid? Do they have to “reinterpret” parts of scripture to make it agree with what they are teaching?
So is David Pawson a false teacher?
Search the scriptures for yourself and find out.
21 thoughts on “Is David Pawson a False Teacher?”
I don’t think Pawson is a false teacher but there is a guy on Amazon who goes around and pushes Pawson as the end of all Bible teachers. I think his name is Mark Phillips. This guy doesn’t even claim he is a Christian but he writes that Pawson is the greatest teacher in the Church. It is odd. Perhaps that is why some question Pawson. I too began to question Pawson after this guy Mark sent me an e-mail for the 100th time suggesting yet another book or teaching by Pawson that would correct all others.
I think some question Pawson because his teaching often goes against many tradtional viewpoints. I struggled with him for a time for that reason. But when I started to turn to scripture I began to find what he was teaching was much more in line with scripture than most of what I’d been taught previously.
I haven’t read or listened to Pawson for quite a while now, but I am grateful for the way his teaching led me to rely on scripture (the whole of scripture) instead of teaching that played selective scriptural hop-scotch to prove its “legitimacy”.
Many years ago I felt God warned me that David Pawson was a false teacher to beware of. I have only told a few people over the course of these years of this and that I am constantly asking God if I heard it right. Today one of the people said to me in a prayer meeting that I had said that David Pawson was a false teacher. I had to explain as I felt she had misquoted me that it was just something I felt the Lord might have said and that I am always asking for confirmation. I do all the above as you say and take responsibility for the teaching I accept and always make sure any teaching I hear or read genuinely conforms to scripture. After reading what you say, I wondered would God therefore have named a false prophet to me. I searched in the internet for confirmation from scriptures and found the quote below. I feel it is significant to mention it here.
“But none of these verses mention specific teachers,” you say? “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to the faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:18-20). “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth…” (2 Timothy 2:15-18). Here Paul has mentioned false teachers by name, in order that they be warned, and others be warned of their false teachings, and with purpose. The men mentioned here, through their false teachings, have “blaspheme[d]” and “shipwrecked their faith.” By their false teachings (“godless chatter”), they and those who follow them “become more and more ungodly.” In order that they may become more godly, we must turn them away from these ungodly teachings.”
I have no problem with people occasionally identifying false teachers. I’ve done so myself in the case of some false prophets. However I DO have a problem with people relying on others to name false teachers; those who want a list of people to avoid.
You say you felt God warned you that Pawson was a false teacher. Having listened to Pawson over many years, initially with some strong doubts about some of the things he taught. I have to say that my own initial doubts about the validity of his teaching were removed through my own study of scripture. So many things that I didn’t like about his teaching were shown to be a problem with my own understanding and not with what he taught.
I would be very wary of concluding that “God told me” that certain people were false teachers/prophets etc. I know I’m very capable of mis-hearing God’s voice, so I think its better to take a biblical approach to testing teaching and prophecy, that is search the scriptures to test what they are saying.
So when others quote Pawson and then shows how he contradicts the Bible, then you are worried about that?
Check this exposé:
[link now removed- see my reply to this comment and its refutation of the claims made below, as well as the claims made on the site previously linked here – onesimus]
it clearly shows Pawson and his false teachings, see the reason you have a problem with it is probably because you believe some of the lies themselves and the implication of that is what? That you yourself is a false teacher.
Yes I’ve seen that article before. Interesting that you have to dig up a very old article written by someone else to try to make your point instead of addressing Pawson’s teaching for yourself.
AND it would be much more beneficial if you searched the scriptures for the truth instead of searching the internet for support of human religious traditions.
A quick look at the article in your link shows that the writer holds to (at least) two VERY unbiblical traditions, that of Dispensationalism (and its pre-trib rapture) and of Once Saved Always Saved. The majority of their objections to Pawson are based on those very dangerous false theologies that Pawson in his ongoing ministry has consistently opposed and exposed as error.
Now to address the article mentioned in your comment
False claim 1. That David Pawson does not believe and preach of meeting the Lord in the air at His return.
Pawson certainly DOES believe in the event commonly referred to as “the rapture”. But he believes it will occur AFTER the period known as the great tribulation. But what happens AFTER that meeting? What happens to the believers who were caught up and where do they go? Pawson believes (as it states in scripture) that those believers alive at the Lord’s return will be changed and put on immortality and will return to the earth with the Lord (who they have met in the air) to take part in His 1000 year reign.
False claim 2. That scripture refutes that Christians will go through “the most fearful period in the history of the planet.
Scripture does nothing of the kind.
Pawson believes and teaches what scripture DOES say about this. His teachings about the end times are accessible through many recorded sermons found on the website (http://davidpawson.org/ ) as well as in several books he has written. I myself was a believer in the pre-trib rapture for several years. It was the view I’d been taught in church. But my beliefs totally changed when I took the time to study scripture for myself. I later came across Pawson’s teaching on this subject, and that helped me accept that my new understanding wasn’t off-track.
False claim (and outright lie) 3. That Pawson preaches “we will enter the Millennial Reign of Christ STILL IN OUR MORTAL BODIES, for we have never been Raptured”.
This has been dealt with above in “claim 1”. The accusation made couldn’t be more false. It is a total lie, a complete misrepresentation of what Pawson preaches.
False claim 4. “Pawson seems to make the Church of Jesus Christ take the place that ISRAEL takes in Biblical prophecy, in the period of the Tribulation.”
It is only the erroneous Dispensationalist view point that separates the church and Israel in this way, placing the “raptured church” in heaven during the tribulation, while Israel suffers through the tribulation. Pawson believes that both go through that period and each have their place. The church doesn’t replace Israel but neither does Israel replace the church.
False claim 5. “Most disturbing of all is the fact that Pawson believes and teaches that “Jesus Christ” will soon appear, and we should be waiting for Him to take over the planet and transform it into a new world.”
Pawson believes that when Jesus returns He will defeat the beast (commonly known as the anti-christ) and He will take over the planet and reign from Jerusalem. This will all happen after the Tribulation, it will be unmistakable and cannot be confused with the rise of antichrist who has already been made known before Jesus returns. Pawson does not preach that Christians will take dominion over the word’s systems etc. before Jesus return. JESUS takes dominion over them after His unmistakable return during which HE gathers His saints in the air. No one believing the same way as Pawson would be deceived by a false Christ, a man who does NOT come to prominence in the highly visible and public way that will mark the return of Jesus.
The above addresses the first page or so of that article and I think that is more than enough to expose the artilces lack of validity. It is nothing less than a tangled web of lies and false accusations based around a very dangerous dispensationalist theology.
I’ve read through a lot of the 57 pages in which a transcript of Pawson’s message is interrupted by interjections from the writer of the article and I could possibly highlight countless more of the kind of falsehoods I’ve mentioned above, but it would merely be more and more of the same and the interjections merely highlight how much the writer has been conditioned by Dispensationalism that he/she is reading things into Pawson’s message that haven’t been said or even implied. At times the writer accusses Pawson of saying things that are in complete disagreement with what he DOES say.
As for the continued claim that Pawson was avoiding scripture, maybe if the writer had been more familiar with scripture instead of Dispensationalist teaching (and I find her ignorance of what scripture says to be genuinely heartbreaking considering the role she has taken upon herself with that article), she would have recognised that Pawson’s teaching was totally consistant with scripture – even though he avoids the common practice of bombarding listeners with “proof texts”. Ironically the writer makes reference to the Bereans early in the article but doesn’t seem to realise that the Bereans SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES to see whether Paul was speaking the truth. They did not look up a handul of conveniently provided proof texts quoted by Paul.
PROJesus, PROgospel, PROtruth
Thank you for your comments Onesimus. It is not that I am “wary” of concluding that “God told me” as in the scriptures faithful believers say this many times over-they boldly know when they have heard the voice of God the minute they do. But I am aware, and always have been that I could be hearing wrong or not heard God clearly. So I am still searching scriptures to test what any person is saying. There is a gift of discernment of spirits which I believe helps me to test if I am hearing a word of Knowledge or if I am hearing a word of wisdom. But even then I go back to searching the scriptures which can never lie or make a mistake. I have read that David Pawson makes a reference to “children of Jesus Christ”. I couldn’t read all the article where the tapes are in written form cf. “despatch” but I noticed “…Jesus and His children” It would be good to ask Mr Pawson did he mean Jesus and ‘God’s ‘ children by the quote “His”. The problem is anathema can violate a person’s Christian faith for many reasons eg. healing required, lack of knowledge etc, etc. So, loved of God the old remedy is needed here “read your Bible, pray every day”. That chorus got it right!
This scripture is so significant loved of God.
2 Timothy 2
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
2 You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2 and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 3 Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. 5 And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. 6 It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
A Worker Approved by God
14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God[a] that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. 16 Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. 21 All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned[b] will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work. 22 Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant[c] must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, 26 and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.[d]
a.2 Timothy 2:14 Other ancient authorities read the Lord
b.2 Timothy 2:21 Gk of these things
c.2 Timothy 2:24 Gk slave
d.2 Timothy 2:26 Or by him, to do his (that is, God’s)
Hi again Onesimus, have you seen? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM0H4A2kbvA
One thing I believe is that false teachers can appear as an angel of light and that they use very persuasive language to deceive. I think a lot of their methods must therefore be subliminal. Again I am not saying David Pawson is a false teacher, I am still seeking the Lord about this. One thing that I am clear about is that David Pawson is preaching without any doubt false teaching concerning ‘once saved always saved’. I know that I know that I know that God through the word of God tells us that anyone who is born of God through Jesus is saved forever and cannot be unborn again. To say a born again believer (and I don’t like the phrase ‘truly born again ‘ as there is no option, you are born again or you are not) speaks against our precious Lord’s blood and sacrifice He made on the cross. John Piper and his father Bill, to my mind give the best teaching (apart from the Holy Spirit’s) on this subject that I have ever come across since my salvation.
Going back to the link above, do you hear David Pawson say that he is “the ” son of God? I am hoping that the background noise caused me to mishear or that he had a slip of the tongue and meant to say “a” son of God.
I would recommend believers to keep praying and studying the Word of God in the Holy Spirit about listening or studying the word of God with David Pawson. I am too as I am attending a prayer for Israel group where the others study the bible using David Pawson’s teaching and know about my feelings and emphatically tell me that David Pawson is not a false teacher. A difficult situation for me if I don’t pray and study the word of God for myself.
I wanted to share that on studying this word with the Lord, this is what I believe He clearly showed me. The ‘if indeed’ (‘provided ‘ in other translations) means “if it be true that” (you are born of God and therefore will continue….) It does not mean “unless”. Compare this with the use of “if indeed” in Romans 8:9 . I sincerely ask you and others loved of God to pray first that The Holy Spirit teach you-He will.
New King James Version (NKJV)
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Hi Miryam, I see no significance in whether or not Pawson made reference to “children of Jesus Christ”. I wouldn’t judge a teaching by the inclusion of one phrase. We are all capable of making statements that don’t really express what we intend to mean. I recall a friend of mine preaching about the “frozen chew” instead of the “chosen few”, and I have occasionally referred to people by the wrong name. Many years ago I even called my then fiancee by the name of a former girlfriend – very embarrassing but with no real significance.
It would be easy to find fault with anyone if we were to pick apart every word they say or write – as if they ought to be infallible in every aspect of their speech or writing. I’ve even had the experience of being called satanic because of the (biblical) name “onesimus” that I chose as my pen name. A false prophet that I’ve written about a few times claimed that “Simus” was some kind of dark lord in the world of Star Wars, and THAT apparantly proved that my objections to his false prophecies were satanically inspired.
I’m assuming you included that section of scripture partially as proof of OSAS, especially this part: “if we are faithless, he remains faithful” which I’ve commonly heard as a tex to prove the eternal security of the saved, even if they should be faithless to God.
But the verse does not support that idea and the reality is made clear in the preceding phrase: “if we deny him, he will also deny us”.
And we need to recognise that it is to HIMSELF that HE remains faithful, not to the faithless. Everything here is conditional with the phrase “if we” being the condition of the “we will”
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
No I haven’t seen that video, and I’m not going to make a big issue about inidvidual words – especially those are are so inidistinct that you can’t be sure whether background noise caused you to mishear (and coming from a man in his mid-80s who voice doesn’t have the clarity it had in his earlier years).
As for belief that John Piper gives “the best teaching”, that might explain your belief in OSAS – a part of the very dangerous Calvinist TULIP doctrines that Piper holds to. Of course someone who believes they were personally handpicked by God for salvation could never accept that their salvation could be given up.
Personally I have no doubt that Piper is a false teacher. Not because I feel God told me he is, or through the gift of discernment of spirits, but because his approach to scripture is wrong and the foundation of his doctrine is false. His reading of scripture is filtered through his understanding of one small section of scripture – the old Calvinist favourite of Romans 9 which he says helps to shape the way he thinks about everything. Forget about the rest of scripture. Forget about the context of Romans 9, forget about everything else that actually informs what Paul was really writiing about in Romans 9. Piper took it to mean that God meticulously controls and pre-ordains everything that happens in His creation – (and who are we to question?). Then Piper projects that understanding of those few verses ONTO his reading of the rest of scripture, instead of reading those few verses through understanding gained FROM the rest of scripture.
That is a dangerous way to use scripture which leads to some very dangerous false teaching – but Piper is not alone, sadly its a very common practice throughout the church today.
I have no need to search for alternative meanings of words or phrases to make scripture mean what I’d like it to mean. One of the major problems in the Christian world is the devotion to individual texts and the delving into individual words, attempting to find truths, especially when a phrase or word needs to be “amended” to make them fit a doctrinal viewpoint.
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Wow! This is what you do with yourself?
All the issues and events and projects you could get involved in and be a winner for Jesus and you decide you will pull the microscope out and examine David Pawson? Wow…..big man.
You are really somethin? Mr. Know it All is here folks. Bow and kiss his behind cuz he is worthy. Let’s hear the song now “everybody is wrong but me…..everybody is wrong but me. Look me up in the Holy book because I am holier than thee”
I can see you at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Don’t be surprised when he tells you that you wasted your life.
What a moron. Let me guess? You have a PhD? Post Hole Digger. Hahahahaha…what a fool.
Usually I wouldn’t approve this kind of comment, but sometimes people need to be given enough rope…
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks – and what kind of heart “David” has exposed! I can only pray that he wakes up, repents and turns to God before its too late.
Good job! O. I appreciate your hard work.
There are 2 Pawson preachers…I really think people are getting the
Good Christ loving /repent to be saved (He never once said -Once saved always saved as a message )
David Pawson that lived to 91 is a saint of a man and can 100% be trusted.