“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20
The following is a first-person account from Cindy McCann , a resident of Texas:
Monday, February 13th started off as a day just like any other. As part of my normal routine, I was sitting in a small room at the gym, along with other gymnastics parents, watching my daughter practice her floor routine. On this particular Monday, my lap was heavy with my bible and sermon notes. John MacArthur and Alistair Begg had preached at a conference at my church over the weekend. In the hope of gleaning every grain of truth which had been presented to me by these upstanding preachers, I was using my daughter’s practice time to review my Scripture-rich sermon notes. These teachers are men of God who rightly divide the Word of Truth verse by verse (2 Timothy 2:15). In my effort to increase in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10), fill my mind with truth (Philippians 4:8), and seek the things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2), I prayed that the Lord would strengthen my soul. I would need it; soon I would be face-to-face with one of the most notorious false teachers in America. As I continued mediating on God’s word, a familiar figure passed in front of me and sat on the metal bleacher below. His waist length dread locks and lifestylechristianity.com “ministry” t-shirt had caught my eye during a prior practice session. My curiosity about this “ministry” was piqued when I overheard a fellow gym mom say that she “recognized him from TV.” After hearing her say that, I just had to find out who this man was and what he taught.
His name is Todd White.
In the weeks leading up to the 13th of February, I had spent hours upon hours reading about Todd White and Lifestyle Christianity. I watched YouTube video after YouTube video of his “miraculous” faith healings and enthusiastic tear-filled Scripture-less rants about how much Jesus loves his viewers. White usually dons flashy button-up collared shirts; he is quite charming. While on stage, he refers to women as “honey” and men as “dude.” His friendly and charismatic personality is appealing to itching ears. In a jovial tone, he admits to his followers that he does not prepare when he “preaches”, In hours upon hours of watching him, I have yet to see him use a bible. There is no mention of sin in his teachings; nor is there any mention of repentance and the need for forgiveness. A viewer will, however, hear about his own value.
According to Todd White, “The price you pay for something determines its value…The cross is the revealing of my value.”
After learning much about Todd White and his “ministry,” I knew enough to warn the sheep but I never expected to come face-to-face with this wolf. As I sat behind him, my blood boiled at the thought of his deception. As far as I am aware, I have never been in such close proximity to a well-known false teacher. My body was literally trembling, not out of fear or uncertainty, but because I grieve over his distortion of truth. I grieve for those lost souls that follow his teachings, the ones that believe that their chronic ailment hasn’t been healed because they just don’t have enough faith. In the midst of the situation, I prayed, asking the Father to help me do the right thing. I prayed for courage and boldness to stand up for the truth. I prayed for Him to give me the words if I should speak. As a woman approaching a man such as this, I was honestly a little apprehensive.
“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Romans 16:17-18
I was somewhat relieved when he got up and left the room. As he did, he brushed past me with my opened bible in my lap. We exchanged glances. Just the mere closeness to this master deceiver made me tremble. Once he left the room, I could breathe again. I looked over at my mom, who was next to me on my other side and literally sighed a breath of relief. Todd White’s presence in that small room made the room seem a lot more hot and stuffy than it actually was. A few minutes passed; class was over and it was time to head downstairs to get my daughter. As I approached the last few steps, I saw White and overheard him telling a woman about his latest conference and how many were healed. The woman he was speaking to appeared to be in awe. I edged a little closer to them to hear his story. My daughter came around the corner; she was astonished when she saw to whom I was standing next. I ordered her to go wash her hands. She knew what was about to take place; Mama had work to do.
My daughter and I study scriptures together. Both of us understand the danger that false teachers pose to the church and the responsibility of believers to mark and expose such. The time had come for me to respond to God in obedience. The conversation Mr. White was having with the other parent had come to an end. He turned toward me and smiled a big white toothy smile. It wasn’t hard to see why he attracts so many. He is very friendly and approachable… until you ruffle his feathers, that is.
He greeted me with “Hello!” and I said “Hi” back to him. He proceeded to ask me how I was and if I was feeling okay. I knew what was coming next. I had seen this time and time again in his videos. He approaches someone and with the intention of healing her. He brings up a medical issue and lays hands on her, because he has “the gift of healing.” After praying (as many times as it takes if “healing” doesn’t come after the first prayer), she is supposedly healed. Lots of amazement and hugging follows. There is simply no mention of sin, repentance, or the need of a Savior.
“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” Ephesians 5:11
I had already decided I was playing no part in this nonsense. So, I looked him in the eye and I said, “I know who you are.” I think he was a bit flattered at first. “You do?” he asked.
Me: “Yes, and I am familiar with your ministry.”
TW: “You are?”
Me: “Yes, and I know you are a false teacher.”
TW: “Why would you say that?”
Me: “Because I study the Scriptures.”
TW: “And I don’t study the Scriptures?”
Me: “Salvation comes from faith and repentance. You do not teach the true gospel.”
TW: “Honey, you obviously haven’t heard me preach!”
Me: “I have done my research. Someone who calls himself a preacher and does not teach about sin and repentance is a false teacher.”
TW: “I know what the problem is. The problem is you are caught up in religion.”
Me: “No, that is not the problem. I am praying for you.”
TW: “Honey, you are not praying for me.”
Me: “Please, do not call me honey. I am not your honey. I am praying for you to repent.”
TW: “You have an evil heart.”
Me: “Have you ever listened to a preacher exposit God’s word verse by verse?”
TW: “Why would I? I have God’s word!”
Me: “What preachers do you preach alongside? Benny Hinn?”
TW: “I think I’ve preached with Benny once. I go to Gateway. I guess you would call Robert Morris a heretic, too?”
Me: “Absolutely, I do. He does not teach about sin. I am praying for you to repent.”
TW: “You aren’t praying for me. Have you ever seen God do a miracle? I see them every day!”
Me: “The greatest miracle of all is when someone repents and is given a new heart.”
TW: “I see miracles every day. Do you see miracles every day?”
Me: “Your miracles are not from God. I see a miracle every time someone responds rightly to the true gospel.”
TW: “You have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. If it weren’t for Jesus Christ, my daughter wouldn’t be here.”
Me: “What exactly does that mean?”
TW: “I was a drug addict for years and God brought me out of my addiction, brought me my wife, and blessed us with my daughter.”
Me: “I am praying for your family, your beautiful daughter, and for you to repent.”
TW: “You aren’t praying for me. You have an evil heart and you are full of pride.”
Me: “Why do you say that?”
TW: “Because you think you are right.”
Me: “I don’t think I am right. I know the Bible is right.”
TW: “God is love. We are to love others. Rebuking me is not loving.”
At some point toward the end of our conversation, his daughter walked up and was standing there. My daughter had walked to the car with my mother. Besides saying things that clearly upset him, I never used an ugly tone. This encounter broke my heart. I walked back to my car, thanking the Lord for the opportunity to call Todd White to repentance. It sure is much easier to click the share link on social media to warn the flock of the dangers of ravenous wolves. It is quite different to be standing face to face with the one you are exposing. Brothers and sisters, we must be equipped.
Please understand this, I take no joy in calling out Todd White. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I take guarding the purity of God’s Word serious (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:2-5). This man has a wife and children. He has a real, flesh-and-blood family. Seeing his daughter standing there next to him grieved my heart. I was being truthful in all I said to Todd, including that I am praying for his family. I would love nothing more than to see this man turn from his false ways and honor the Lord.
Little did I know, just 3 days later, I would see Todd White again.
I had no idea we are both members at the same fitness center. I could not believe my eyes when I saw him on the elliptical machine. Since our daughters attend the same gym, I assumed I would run into him again, but not in this particular setting. I laid eyes on him before he saw me, so I had time to pray, gather my mental notes, and request prayer from faithful saints via text message. Since our first encounter, I had sought godly counsel and literally listened to and watched hours upon hours more of Todd White’s “preaching” and “healings.” As I listened, I paused over and over to quote his claims and refute with Scripture. At the point of our second meeting, I was even more familiar with his false teachings than I was when I first encountered him. I was ready to speak to him again. As his machine came to a halt, I brought my treadmill to a stop. I walked over to him and smiled.
TW: “I can’t talk to you.”
Me: “I have been thinking about our conversation and I would like to talk to you about some things.”
TW: “I am done talking to you.”
Me: “You won’t even talk to me for a minute? Come on, I have some questions for you.”
TW: “I have a hair appointment downstairs at 11am.”
Me: “Great! I can just walk with you and we can talk.”
TW: “No. After the other night, I went home and talked to my wife and kids and we prayed together. If you get near me or my family again, I will call the cops. If your daughter tries anything against my daughter, I will call the cops.”
Me: “Are you serious?!”
Me: (continuing to walk with him) “You know, you called me unloving the other day for rebuking you. Have you read Matthew 23, where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees? Do you think that was unloving of Jesus?”
TW: “I know the Scriptures and I don’t need to hear them from you!”
He literally refused to have a conversation with me and ran away. I found this quite contradicting, since he prides himself on not fearing man. He tells of a time when he was willing to risk being shot in the head by two armed thugs in a dark alley in order to very “humbly” perform a “healing” on one of the guy’s knees. Yet, he runs from a suburban homeschool mom in the middle of broad daylight surrounded by hundreds of people in a busy gym. Don’t misunderstand, Todd White is not afraid of me. He is running from the truth in the power of his flesh. I will most likely see Todd White again and you better believe, I will once again be ready in power of the Holy Spirit.
I want to leave you with my observations as I listened and responses from watching hours of Todd White:
- Todd White does not use a bible when he teaches. When he does quote Scripture (which is rare), it is more often than not, used out of context.
- Todd White claims that, “You are not saved so you can get to heaven, but so that heaven can get in you and you can destroy Hell as a warrior and one that has enlisted himself.” He has said, “You were created to stomp hell.”
- Todd White often seems like he is about to read a Bible passage but then gets sidetracked and makes the audience laugh and never actually gets to the Scripture.
- Todd White claims that it is not God that takes away, it is only Satan that causes any negativity in your life. He actually said this, “If God was in control, Satan could not steal, kill, and destroy.”
- Todd White suggests that backaches, toothaches, and hearing problems are the world’s greatest problem,
- Todd White ends his conferences with all the participants running through the “fire tunnel”. This is a mystical practice where Todd White (supposedly imparted with the gift of healing) lays hands on everyone as they go through the tunnel and the gift is imparted onto these folks, as well.
- Todd White has said, “All of creation is groaning for you to manifest Jesus.”
- Todd White’s testimonies and his students’ testimonies have no substance. There are many promises of spiritual blessings and benefits, but no deliverance.
*The conversation is not word-for-word but is presented to the best of Cindy’s recollection.
[EDITED: BY SETH DUNN]
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