Christian Research Service
In 2009, I wrote an exposé titled “Chad Taylor – A ‘New Breed’ Pied Piper”. Originally, it was for the benefit of family members who were involved with Taylor. Since that time, Christian Research Service has received inquiries about him such as this one:
Our church is considering having Chad Taylor for a weekend of revival services. Could you please inform me if this article is true and if Chad Taylor is a servant of God or is he a false prophet? I would appreciate any information you give me that would help in our decision.
This article contains an update of Taylor and his ministry. To begin, by way of review, my initial 2009 research into his background took several months. The criminal and civil court information I reported was from his public records, which anyone can access and verify. Once I obtained case numbers, I contacted Yakima Superior Court, Yakima District Court, Spokane Superior Court, Kittitas Superior Court, Pierce County Superior Court and others to check the status of cases listed against Taylor. As noted in my exposé, a brief outline of his record reads as follows:
- 10 felonies (seven Class B and three Class C) consisting of burglary-2 (two counts), theft-1 (two counts), possession of stolen property-1, forgery (three counts), residential burglary, willful failing to return from furlough;
- 3 unknown classifications consisting of theft, civil offense, and probation/supervision violation;
- various misdemeanors consisting of false police report, obstruction, resisting a public officer, no valid operator’s license, and driving while license invalidated-3 (three counts).
Currently, the following confirmed criminal and civil cases for Taylor remain open that I know of:
- Superior Court Kittitas; Case #94-1-00088-7; Criminal; File Date 05-11-94; Order Extending Judgment 10 Years (to 2014).
- Superior Court Yakima; Case #91-1-01423-5; Criminal; File Date 09-24-91; Order Extending Judgment 10 Years (to 2012).
- Superior Court Yakima; Case #09-2-00181-1; Civil; File Date 01-15-09.
- District Court Yakima; Case #Y09-01562; Civil; File Date 02-19-09.
- District Court Yakima; Case #Y09-03755; Civil; File Date 05-05-09.
In my exposé, I particularly noted the Kittitas Superior Court case against Taylor involving residential burglary because he terribly wronged others and as of this writing still has not made full restitution (cf. Ex 22:1-3; Lv 6:4,5; Nu 5:7; 2Sa 12:6; Pr 6:31; Lk 19:8). In fact, with each of these five cases, Taylor is in default for failure of payment, with interest steadily accruing for each one. As a result, there are numerous Washington state collection agencies that would welcome Taylor’s co-operation and the substantial amount of money he owes. Even though financial hardship can knock at anybody’s door, it’s very telling (to the world and to Christianity) why it came and how it’s dealt with. Contrast Taylor’s conduct with:
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God (1Pe 2:13-16; emphasis added).
Taylor rightly came under punishment for evildoing, but why hasn’t he done what is right in fulfilling his obligations to these courts and the rule of law? I submit that Taylor has a non-Christian, cavalier attitude towards the law. He’s counting on his followers to 1) not check him, his teachings, or his background out; 2) if they do, to not care about it; or 3) like him, to deny the importance of sin. His failing to make required restitution by ignoring his criminal and civil financial obligations, keeping his misguided donors in the dark about it, and purporting to follow Christ while doing so, demonstrates he is among the worst of charlatans.
Taylor’s teachings and so-called prophecies line up with the Charismatic/Third Wave Movement (see http://www.gotquestions.org/Third-Wave-movement.html for a basic overview), which on many counts is a departure from understanding and rightly applying sound doctrine (NT apostolic teachings). The subsequent heresy he practices helps to conceal his true colors from those who are like-minded because Scripture is not regarded as authoritative, but arbitrary – “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion” (Dictionary.com). Sadly, Taylor was taught unsound doctrine, teaches it to others, and lives by these lies. With that, he actually becomes the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, rather than the prophet of God he and others believe him to be:
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 (2 Tim 4:3-4).
So then, the question remains: Is Chad Taylor a servant of God or is he a false prophet? For those who want to know what God has revealed, let’s take a look at some verses. In 2 Peter 2, the Apostle Peter warns…
- But false prophets also arose among the people [Israel], just as there will also be false teachers among you;
- who will secretly introduce destructive heresies;
- even denying the Master who bought them (claiming Christ, while refusing to submit to Him);
- many will follow their sensuality (refusing to live in obedience to Christ and the Scriptures);
- and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
- and in their greed they will exploit you with false words.
Peter goes on to say of their doom…
- their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep;
- the Lord knows how to…keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment;
- and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Next, Peter reveals the depravity of false teachers…
- they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties;
- reviling where they have no knowledge;
- they count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime (not afraid to sin without the cover of darkness);
- they are stains and blemishes;
- reveling in their deceptions;
- having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin (driven by lust);
- enticing unstable souls;
- having a heart trained in greed (self-fulfillment);
- accursed children (curse of sin dominating their lives);
- forsaking the right way (not being obedient to God);
- they have gone astray;
- having followed the way of Balaam (OT compromising prophet).
Peter then describes the deceptions of false teachers…
- these are springs without water;
- mists driven by a storm;
- speaking out arrogant words of vanity;
- they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality;
- promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved;
- for if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
- for it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
- it has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
Finally, to those who would be steadfast rather than follow false teachers, Peter declares in 2 Peter 3…
- some things [are] hard to understand [in the Apostle Paul’s letters], which the untaught and unstable distort; as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction;
- You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness;
- but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As I line up Taylor’s teachings and behavior to Scripture (and I encourage us all to do the same), I find enough truth to sound Christian and plenty of error to be steeped in falsehood. We must answer questions like these (and others that can be asked):
- Is he a servant of God, when enough of his ongoing behavior is disobedient, unprincipled, and despises authority?
- Is he daring, willful and arrogant, not walking in the fear of the Lord?
- Does he promise freedom while he has a veiled lifestyle as a slave of corruption?
- Has he forsaken “the right way” to follow his own way?
He carves a niche and following in groups that have little to no biblical discernment and are involved in the same folly he teaches. Therefore, they love his false words and the way of truth is maligned among them. Moreover, in his greed he exploits widows, orphans, and others with false words (cf. Ex 22:22-24; Ps 82:3-4; Isa 1:17), such as in this post dated 11/26/2012:
AN ARMY OF WIDOWS
A “widow’s mite” can literally tip the balances in our favor and for that my friend we are forever grateful. God told me this year He was raising up an “Army of widows to accomplish the impossible”, I just never imagined that I would be part of that “impossible!” What does that mean? I believe it means that God is raising the up the most unlikely and even the most unexpected to do the “greater works.” It is certainly as I have said before, the hour of the “Uncomely Parts”. – 1 Corinthians 12:23
SWORD OF THE LORD AND GIDEON
Perfect religion has always been to visit widow’s and orphans in their affliction; now imagine God raising up widows and orphans to do the greater works? To do the very things the “more honorable” refused to do. That is exactly the precipice we are at now. The “dread champions” that people have eluded to will be homeless, single moms, orphans, and the unseemly and unsightly. They will wield the “Sword of the Lord and Gideon” in this hour. – James 1:27
Taylor states in one of his online updates:
We have never pushed for monthly donors… (Emphasis added; originally found at http://www.consumingfire.com/whatsnew.php)
However, as early as 2011 he certainly did accommodate and encouraged monthly donors with this since replaced option that was posted on his donor page:
The Lord told me that it would be the “Widow’s Oil and the Widow’s Mite” that would sustain this ministry in the season ahead. The faithful and dedicated around the world that simply would give a small amount each month- this prompted us to include the monthly reoccurring payments above [$20 to $300! per month options displayed]. I pray the same impact of the “Widow’s Oil and the Widow’s Mite” on your life as you give; that your children would live and not die, that your containers would never go empty and that during this time of economic “famine” you would prosper to do the Lord’s work… (Emphasis added; originally found at http://www.consumingfire.com/partnersinharvest.php)
Another appeal comes from a chaplain featured on Taylor’s website. She states about Taylor and Consuming Fire Ministries:
This kind of ministry is “under the radar” and is not mainstream Christianity or a modern day “church”. This is a modern day Mission and a duty to save souls. These missions are accomplished in the dark of night in the wee hours of the morning often with just a few dedicated people hitting the streets risking their lives; to reach the crevices of society and an underground forgotten people. What kind of Christians would we be to not support such a great mission.
Chad Taylor and Consuming Fire ministries are the REAL DEAL. What you see is what you get…LOVE. It’s all about LOVE. John 3:16… To make a much needed contribution at this time simply… (originally found at http://www.consumingfire.com/whatsnew.php)
The elitist rhetoric notwithstanding, my simple point here is that with Taylor you do get more than what you see, and it isn’t very Christ-like. Ask yourself: What is easier – to feed people in tent cities and parks preaching revival, or to do the tough work of getting your personal act together when no one but God is looking? And which of the two reflects a greater love for God and walk of holiness? No, sadly the REAL and ONGOING DEAL for Chad Taylor is not about love for God, the Scriptures, or for those he exploits and misleads.
Further insight is afforded us by two additional views of Taylor. The first is by a police officer, who writes:
I see traces of the typical “Jail House Faith/Religion” here. It seems that if he were truly motivated by the Spirit of God, then he would have his affairs in order before going out to minister.
When I read this [“Chad Taylor – A ‘New Breed’ Pied Piper”], I couldn’t help but think of the LDS and Joseph Smith. He was known as a “Glass Looker” and a “Fraud” with criminal convictions of his own. He was a known liar/criminal and he gave way to one of the largest cultic deceptions around; one that also incorporates the Gnostic tradition of “Mysticism”.
Taylor’s situation seems to be another product resulting from the dangers associated with the Charismatic Movement. I was actually refreshed to see that some charismatic pastors were quick to cut ties with Taylor upon word of his law troubles. I don’t want it to seem like all charismatic born religion is evil. I first heard the Gospel in a Pentecostal church and was saved. I truly believe there are genuine believers in these churches, but the theology and methods of evangelism produced must be strongly cautioned against.
As a Christian who is also a police officer, I think Taylor seems to fit the mold of most guys I’ve seen who have some revivalist experience while in the midst of a criminal lifestyle. There is usually a wave of great joy followed by a wave of hard-pressed working to change, revive, and serve like no other! Pretty soon after, there’s burn out and the emotional state of the “new life experience” fizzes out. That’s when compromise usually sets in and before you know it, the pre-conversion lifestyle of sin quickly consumes the convert. Usually you run into them being in the same state they were in months ago; sometimes even worse. It’s no different than the seed which never sets its root in deep, healthy soil and is able to be nourished and mature. The Charismatic Movement seems to breed this type of experience for many; very sad and very unfortunate.
Usually the convert reconverts and the cycle continues and repeats. Or they make excuses and rationalize their lifestyle or state of being. There are the few that actually do change though. Praise God for them!
Guess this is true of all of us. This same pattern can be found in the criminal group as well as the educated, working class too. I try not to forget that, especially since becoming a cop. I’m just as much a sinner as the sinner who was involved in a lifestyle of crime. Christ had to die for my sins just as He did for theirs. The same Blood that washes me also washes them. I must always remind myself of this, if I am to keep a sober mindedness about myself. I think we all should…”Don’t think you stand, lest you fall”.
I find the mixture of this mystic charismatic style of evangelism leads some to believe as long as God has commissioned them, nothing else matters. That’s great news for someone who has a deluge of financial and legal obligations! This “cut and run” attitude may stem from taking out of context the passages of Scripture which show men converting and immediately starting their ministry regardless of the life situation they were in. But we can’t fail to recognize:
1. These passages are silent regarding the situation these men were in prior to being called, and we don’t have indications of whether or not there were issues to be dealt with in the first place. Were they in debt? Did they pay their debtors? Did they leave a hungry family behind with dependent children? Were provisions made for their families to continue in their absence? I believe the orders of the home front were dealt with. God always provides!
2. These men were prophets and apostles…a big problem with charismatic theology is the view that the veil of special revelation is still open. It gives no distinction between ordinary men and those who were eyewitnesses to Christ Himself, commissioned by God Himself! Very special exceptions must be considered for these men by which God dealt with in a special way. These were ordinary men yes, but incredibly extraordinary in purpose and calling.
The belief that everyone can be a preacher, prophet, or apostle gives men an excuse to escape from their responsibilities and obligations, in the name of “ministry” and “calling”.
1 Corinthians 7:17-24…
17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. (NIV)
1. Paul makes it clear this is his Rule for ALL the churches…vs 17
2. That what counts is KEEPING God’s Commands…vs 19
3. Each person should Remain in the position they were in when God called them (being called to faith, not office of prophet or apostle)…vs 20
Becoming a believer does not require a person to change their social, ethnic, marital, or economic status. Of course, the text is not prohibiting persons from changing their status in life or even making a better life for themselves, but society has rules and guidelines which God has established for man to make those changes. Man must abide by and follow these rules, not feel superior to them because they are “called to preach”.
I think you did an excellent job here. This man is indeed known by his fruits. In the Old Testament, false prophets were put to death. One must remember the seriousness which must be taken into account. Something that charismatic theology often fails to recognize. I can’t just blame Taylor. I think equally at fault is the recklessness of this theological perspective.
May we remember however, we too are susceptible to falling prey to temptation and deception. May this be a reminder of our vulnerability and may it keep us ever so close to the only One who keeps us…Christ Jesus our Lord!
The second view of Taylor, from Rick, states:
His reckless mysticism and greatly debased view of inspiration does render him a heretic. For a number of years I tended to discount the value of a seminary education for full-time ministry, primarily because I had seen so many examples of liberal indoctrination at some of the mainline seminaries. My attendance at a reformed church has been a great corrective in this regard. An extended period of serious study along with the requisite discipline necessary to gain a precise grasp of doctrine and theology (not to mention the need to pass those dreaded exams!) is a necessary safeguard against just such free-wheeling subjective theatrics as are abundantly evident in teachings such as Taylor spews forth. Unfortunately, there will always be a market for tabloids such as “The National Enquirer” and there will always be souls who are made merchandise of by the same basic content wrapped up in pseudo spiritual terms.
In closing, no one proclaiming Christ should put himself above the law and particularly above the authority of Scripture. We all do well to remember the NT continually warns believers to beware of deceivers (Acts 20:29-30; 2Cor 11:13-15; 2Jn 7-11; Jude 12-13). Having a pretense of spiritual water to quench the thirsty soul, Chad Taylor is like a “spring without water” riding the Third Wave.