Beware of Jack Hayford

April 7, 2012 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

Jack Hayford (b. 1934) is the influential Pentecostal pastor of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and the author of many popular books and contemporary praise songs, including “Majesty.”

(The song “Majesty,” lovely though it is, promotes the unscriptural “kingdom now” philosophy, in which Christians are thought to be able to exercise kingdom authority over sickness and the devil in this present hour. This is what the words “kingdom authority” refer to in Hayford’s song.)

Hayford belongs to the Four Square Pentecostal Church, a denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in direct disobedience to the Word of God. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:12).

Christianity Today magazine calls Hayford “The Pentecostal Gold Standard” (Christianity Today, July 2005), but when his theology and practice are examined we find that his position is not the untarnished gold of Scripture but the rust and corrosion of extra-biblical “revelation.”

Speaking at St. Louis 2000, for example, Hayford said that his daughter approached him one day with a concern about her “tongues speaking.” She was afraid that she was speaking mere gibberish, but he encouraged her that the believer must first learn to speak in baby tongues before he speaks in adult tongues. (I attended this conference with press credentials and heard Hayford say this.) There is absolutely no Bible support for such nonsense and it denies the Pentecostal’s claim that the Bible is his sole authority for faith and practice. Biblical tongues-speaking is not something that be learned; it is supernatural gift and there is not one example in the New Testament of someone learning how to speak in tongues.

At the Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in 1996 Hayford urged the crowd of 40,000 to “dance in the Lord,” saying that he learned the dance in Africa and that later the Lord said to him, “May I have this dance?” An eyewitness called it “an African witch-doctor dance” (Bruce Caldwell, “Following in the Footsteps of the Apostate Presbyterians,”
Christian News, March 11, 1996). Nowhere in the Bible do we find God dancing with His people. Further, the Bible plainly warns, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jer. 10:2).

Hayford claims that he got his radical position on ecumenism directly from God. He says that in 1969, as he drove near a large Catholic church in Southern California, God spoke to him and instructed him not to judge Roman Catholicism. He says he heard a message from God saying, “Why would I not be happy with a place where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?” (“The Pentecostal Gold Standard,”
Christianity Today, July 2005). Based upon this “personal revelation,” Hayford adopted a neutral approach to Catholicism, yet upon the authority of the Bible we know that the message that Hayford heard was demonic. The atonement of Jesus Christ is NOT glorified on Roman Catholic altars. The mass is an open denial of the doctrine of the once-for-all atonement that we find in the book of Hebrews. Note what the official Vatican II Council said about the mass: “For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross, offering himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests” (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery,” Intro., C 1, 2, p. 108). This is only a small part of Rome’s wicked heresies, and it is impossible that God would encourage Jack Hayford to look upon the Roman Catholic Church in any sort of positive, non-judgmental manner. If Hayford based his theology about the Roman Catholic Church strictly upon the Bible, he would never fall for such delusion.

Hayford has acted on this “personal revelation” by yoking up with Roman Catholic leaders in conferences throughout the world. For example, he joined hands with thousands of Roman Catholics, including hundreds of Catholic priests and nuns, at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization in St. Louis in 2000.

Hayford was a featured speaker at John Wimber’s 1991 conference in Sydney, Australia, joining hands in that forum with Catholic priests Tom Forrest and Raniero Cantalamessa and Catholic layman Kevin Ranaghan. Speaking at Indianapolis ’90, Forrest said he praises God for purgatory. Cantalamessa was the papal preacher at the Vatican. Ranaghan claims that the Roman Catholic Church alone contains the fullness of God and truth and that the pope is the infallible head of all churches. Hayford put his stamp of approval upon these men’s heresies and became partaker of their sins by appearing with them and treating them as if they were true men of God.

Hayford is on the Board of Regents for Melodyland Christian Center, which has a close relationship with Roman Catholicism. A fellow board member is Roman Catholic Fred Ladenius, author of
Amazing John XXIII, a book fully supportive of the pope by that name, a pope who died with a Rosary in his hand and prayers to Mary and Catholic “saints” on his lips.

Hayford also has a close relationship with heretic Robert Schuller. He spoke at Schuller’s Men’s Conference at the Crystal Cathedral in March 1995 and in January 2005 and endorsed Schuller’s 1996 autobiography,
My Soul’s Adventure with God. In 1982, Schuller published Self-Esteem the New Reformation in which he twisted Bible theology to conform to his humanistic psychology. According to Schuller, sin is “any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem” (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 14). Schuller’s christ is “self-esteem incarnate” (p. 135). His new birth is to be “changed from a negative to a positive self-image” (p. 68). His hell “is the loss of pride that naturally follows separation from God” (p. 14). To Schuller, the most destructive thing is to call men lost sinners and thereby injure their self-esteem (Christianity Today, Oct. 5, 1984). Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. (For more about Schuller see “Evangelicals and Robert Schuller” at

Friends, beware of Jack Hayford and beware of those undiscerning Christian bookstores that sell his books. There is great spiritual danger in the average Christian bookstore today.

Hayford represents the spiritual deception and the great danger that is represented by the contemporary praise movement.


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