The question of whether David Pawson is a false teacher is still one of the most popular search terms leading people to my blog. I wrote about this previously here:
Within the comments section of that post someone drew attention to a long article here: [LINK NOW REMOVED]*
According to the person who posted the link, it “clearly shows Pawson and his false teachings”. The commenter also adds (referring to me) “because you believe some of the lies themselves… you yourself is a false teacher.”
I was quite aware of that article. I’d come across it several times. It used to be the first article listed if David Pawson’s name was “googled”. And clearly some have found it convincing. I feel it is something I ought to address because I know people have visited that site via the link given by the above mentioned commenter.
So what are the claims made in the article and how valid are they?
Firstly it is a very long article containing a transcript of a talk given by Pawson that probably went for 45 minutes to an hour, so doing an extensive, line by line critique isn’t practical in a blog post, but then again it isn’t necessary because most of the objections raised are 1) repetitive and 2) they are focused on aspects of Dispensationalism , a theology clearly held by the writer of the article.
So what evidence does the writer give to “prove” that Pawson is a false teacher? And how valid is that evidence? Here are some of the claims made, followed by my response to those claims:
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.
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/resources/category/belief/when-jesus-returns/ ) as well as in several books he has written.
Like the author of the article, I 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.
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.
“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, while Israel suffers through the tribulation. Pawson believes that both the church and Israel go through that period and each have their place. The church doesn’t replace Israel but neither does Israel replace the church.
“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’s 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 immediate, highly visible and public way that will mark the return of Jesus.
Pawson also believes that the Millennial reign will be followed by the creation of a new heavens and a new earth, that will replace the current creation. A new creation where only righteousness dwells.
The above addresses the first page or so of that article and I think that is more than enough to expose the article’s lack of validity. The article is a tangled web of lies and false accusations based around the very dangerous dispensationalist theology.
I’ve read through 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 and that she is reading things into Pawson’s message that haven’t been said or even implied (as I’ve already shown above). And at times the writer accuses Pawson of saying things that are in complete disagreement with what he DOES say.
The writer makes the continued claim that Pawson was avoiding scripture, but 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 consistent 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 handful of conveniently provided proof texts quoted by Paul. Nor did they expect Paul to provide that list of “texts” to make their task easier.
Most of the above comes from a reply I wrote in the comments after the “Is David Pawson a False Teacher article.
* I’ve now removed the link to the article, deciding I don’t want to further expose readers to the very questionable theology and false accusations made at that site.