Here is a searching post from Hannah Weiss for Kehila.org the inter-Congregational website for the Israeli Messianic Community. We have covered Hathaway’s visits and triggered the big debate about him here here here and here.
Back in february 2012, there was a lot of debate over the trips of British evangelist David Hathaway to our country, and especially the numbers of Israelis he was claiming to reach with the gospel. For those who don’t know, Mr. Hathaway has been back in Israel twice since then, and he is due here again next week (21-23/march).I agree with those who felt that his claims of new births and miraculous healings do not check out – I tried my best to do it myself. Even in private contact with two ministry leaders who were cooperating with Mr. Hathaway, I did not get straight answers to some simple questions. I also tried to verify the thousands who reportedly showed up in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The video footage and specific locations (such as the KOK Pavilion) did not support any of the publicized numbers.
This time I am asking to focus on a more serious matter: Hathaway’s ongoing claim that Israeli shepherds from all over the country keep begging him to come back.See for example the brochure for his april 2011 Israel tour:
This is a very critical time for Israel. The Messianic Congregations in Israel have invited me to hold a 3-day Evangelistic Conference in the largest auditorium in Tel Aviv. Approximately 50 local congregations from 16 regions of the Holy Land are involved in the preparation for the outreach April 28-30.
This is a bit inflated compared to the feb-2011 report of an Israeli identified only as “Maksim”, but even his was hard to believe:
About 40 local churches and congregations are involved in the preparation to bring Jewish and Arab Israelis to David’s crusade.
Still, the “50 local congregations from 16 regions” appeared again in Hathaway’s tour brochure for november 2011 – the exact same statement as above, with only the dates changed:Back in feb-2012, I tried to find out which Israeli congregations really were supporting him. I was able to identify only 3 Israelis who had been working with Mr. Hathaway (one of whom doesn’t lead a congregation).But this claim appeared AGAIN in Hathaway’s brochure for his trip in june 2012:
The Messianic Congregations in Israel have invited me to hold a 3-day Evangelistic Conference. Approximately 50 local congregations from 16 regions of the Holy Land are involved in the preparation for the outreach June 7, 8, 9.