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John Kilpatrick's Apology To Hank Hanegraaff
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John Kilpatrick's Apology To Hank Hanegraaff

Apology Follows Hanegraaff Attack Aug. 11, 1997 Christianity Today article. John Kilpatrick apologized for criticizing Hanegraaff after Hanegraaff had compared compared the Pensacola Outpouring to the Heaven's Gate suicide cult in which 39 people died.

For CMR's position on Hank Hanegraaff's approach to this issue, see the Apologetics Index entry on the Christian Research Institute, which also includes updates on dialogue between Hank and those he criticizes.


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This public apology was posted on the Brownsville Revival Website, as well as on the Awakening and New Wine mailing lists.

Having spoken out frequently on the need to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord - no matter how they view the renewal/revival movements - I welcomed this message by John Kilpatrick, pastor of the Brownville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida (site of the "Pensacola Outpouring")


---- Begin Forwarded Message ----
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 97 07:07:24 UT
From: "Dr. Michael L. Brown" drmlbrown@msn.com
To: "Rusty Powers" hwrusty@sprynet.com
Subject: Here's the Text

Dear Rusty,

Here's the official text. Circulate freely!



Dear Hank,

I called your office yesterday (6/17/97) at 12:30 Pacific Time. I talked with your secretary Lisa and wanted to speak with you personally. When Lisa asked what the purpose of my call was, I told her I wanted to apologize to you personally. She relayed the message to you and she got back with me and said you'd return my call last evening or today A.M. It's now been more than 24 hours since I made contact, so I want to send this communiqué

Hank, I do sincerely humble myself and ask your forgiveness for unchristlike behavior. I repent before Jesus and I've asked Him to forgive me. I pray you will forgive me and I also ask the Body of Christ to forgive me. I was wrong. I take full responsibility for my words and behavior.

The statements I made in April were made in an inflammatory way against you and CRI. They were spoken during a message I was bringing to my local congregation entitled "God's Ears." I was emphasizing how God said that all that Israel had said in His ears he would do to them. It was taken from Numbers chapter 14, especially verse 28.

You had just appeared on Larry King Live that Friday night before and had made reference to a church in Pensacola and it was in the context of a discussion about cults and especially the Heaven's Gate Cult in California where scores of people had just committed suicide ß with our nation feeling such disgust and I myself feeling nauseated with such deception, that well meaning people were so deceived that they took their own lives to meet up with a space ship. When I heard our church linked with such cultic deception, it caused me to feel anger and indignation. It's much like a mother dog ß when her puppies arefooled with she bites. I bit you and it wasn't right. I should not have responded to the criticism. But most of all I felt indignation and anger and it was not appropriate to link my negative feelings with a sermon. I called you (and by implication, others) a devil ß that was wrong. I said, "Let Hank Hanegraaff and all the other devils, etc." & that was wrong of me. I ask your forgiveness.

When I said, "I'm going to prophesy as a man of God that the Lord bring you down in 90 days," I was not speaking that as a prophet but as a shepherd putting something in the ears of God. I did not say, "Thus saith the Lord"; it was a "Thus saith John Kilpatrick," putting these words into God's ears in the context of the message I was bringing. Let me reemphasize again that was me speaking.

I don't want to be a "son of thunder" and have Jesus turn to me and say, "You don't know what spirit you are of." I had a wrong spirit. I was a son of thunder. That was wrong.

I know my congregation. I've pastored Brownsville Assembly of God for the last 15 and ½ years, through thick and thin. I have buried their dead, married their living, cried with them, laughed with them, dedicated their babies & and in April got in the flesh and lashed out at you.

I want to emphasize also that I did not wish you any harm personally. I was talking about your ministry, I was saying, "God bring down your platform for crying out and associating us with a cult." I did not nor do I wish you any harm. I ask your forgiveness if you thought I meant any harm to you personally. Honestly, before the Lord, I had your platform in mind, not the person Hank Hanegraaff.

This is by no means to be interpreted as an attempt to wiggle out of a prophecy. I would like to grant you the right to continue to count down the days and continue to comment about the 90 days. It's ammunition that I gave you in April. I only want you to know ß it was me speaking that and not a "thus saith the Lord."

Hank, I hope we can get together personally where I could meet you face to face. I have never heard your program on radio, but I would like to sit down with you as a brother. Please also allow me the opportunity to speak a blessing over you. If you would let me I would be honored to. Peter tells us in his first epistle, chapter 3, verses 8-11:

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Hank, I bless you, your wife, your children, and your ministry at CRI, that God raise you up as a voice for good to this generation. May every concern and trouble that perplexes you be met with God's abundant wisdom and resources to continue what He has called you to do. May the grace of our Lord be with you and upon you. May His blessings overtake you.

Finally, I would like to ask the Body of Christ to forgive me for unnecessarily polarizing us by attacking Hank. I realize I attacked a man that is beloved by his followers and peers. I ask you to forgive me. I also know the Body of Christ has had to endure this kind of stuff for years and it has turned off many and hurt the cause of Christ. Now I have been guilty of doing what has hurt us all through the years.

What's going on at the Brownsville Revival is about holiness and repentance. Those themes are the most prevalent characteristics of this visitation of the Holy Spirit. Every revival brings to the surface impurities. It has brought impurities in my life to the surface & and it's ugly to have to deal with them. In keeping with the spirit of this revival I want to lead the way with public repentance. Even though there is a revival going on here of great magnitude that is touching the world, it is being pastored and led by human beings that are flawed. I guess that's the way it's always been, and that's the way it will always be. We strive to demonstrate integrity, impeccable character, and dignity. Those are the ideals. Yet this treasure is in earthen vessels.

This communiqué and public statement of repentance has been entirely my own doing. I have not been instructed or constrained to do this. I am accountable to the leadership of my church and to the Assemblies of God, whom I love and respect, but this statement has been my own doing. I have been wrestling with this for some weeks and finally pinned my pride to the mat. I hope this brings healing and relief to the Body of Christ.
---- End Forwarded Message ----

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