What God revealed about the legacy of this well-known evangelist.
Selwyn Hughes founded Crusade For World Revival (CWR). CWR’s
“It began with one man, Selwyn
Hughes. Forty years ago something great was birthed with a few
thoughts on the back of a postcard, a desire to help Christians
to read the Word of God every day, a vision to pray for revival,
a heart to help the hurting and broken, a commitment to come
alongside others struggling in ministry and the hope that the
gospel might feed a spiritually hungry world.” (CWR Today,
Apr-June 2006, p 4.)
“Selwyn Hughes died peacefully
on 9 January . He is now with His Lord whom he served so
faithfully, his life’s work complete; his legacy immense.
“Towards the end of 2005 Selwyn
grew increasingly weak. Early in the New Year he was taken to a
local hospice for assessment. Whilst there, his health further
deteriorated and he was called home to glory. He was free from
pain and very peaceful, telling those attending him that he had
finished all that God had called him to do and that he was ready
to go, looking forward with anticipation to meeting his Lord.
“Selwyn will be remembered as
one of the UK’s greatest post-war Christian leaders. His
remarkable ministry touched six decades and several generations.
He excelled as pastor, teacher, counsellor and writer. He seems
to have been in at the start of almost everything significant in
church life in the UK for as long as anyone can recall –
charismatic renewal, themed Bible reading notes, large-scale
celebrations, tours of the Holy Land, prayer for revival,
Christian counselling and even the use of the OHP!
“He authored more than 50 books,
many of them expounding Christian truth and how to live the
Christian life. Selwyn Hughes inspired, wrote and delivered a
wide range of training courses, seminars and study guides. He
travelled the world for 50 years teaching small groups of church
leaders and massed crowds of many thousands. And, of course, his
unremitting commitment in writing Every Day With Jesus is
legendary. Even this very day nearly one million people in 130
countries will spend time with God, encouraged in their devotion
by Selwyn’s words.
“But those are the headlines.
Many friends, colleagues and readers will remember a dear man,
compassionate correspondent, mentor and brother in Christ.
“September 2005 was a time of
joyous celebration and lively anticipation for Selwyn. More than
a thousand friends and supporters gathered at Waverley Abbey
House to commemorate the 40th anniversary of CWR and Every
Day With Jesus. The thronging crowd also heard details of an
exciting ten-year vision that builds on four decades of
extraordinary ministry and expands still further the reach and
scope of CWR. Selwyn eagerly embraced what lay ahead and
expressed his very real confidence in those to whom it would
fall to perpetuate the ministry he began.
Selwyn knew his Lord was calling
him home. Tellingly, he concluded the epilogue to his
autobiography by saying, ‘There was a time nearly ten years ago
when I said I was ready to go but eager to stay. Now, however,
things are different. Now I am eager to go but willing to stay.’
“In June 2005 Selwyn received
the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brunel University
for ‘outstanding service to Christian education.’ This was
fitting public recognition of his truly outstanding gift and
ministry. Lord Carey took the opportunity to describe Selwyn as
‘a giant in the faith’.
“It gave him huge joy to preach
in the Cardiff International Arena at the 100th Anniversary of
the Welsh Revival, the event that had so impacted his own life
“Selwyn will be terribly missed,
but the immense legacy of his ministry ensures that the effects
of his faith and passion for Christ will continue to touch and
transform the lives of thousands upon thousands for years to
come.” (CWR Today, Apr-June 2006, pp 1-2.)
But there’s a big problem!
The eulogy above is effectively
worship. The man is being given adulation. What about his faults?
What about the heresies that are still not ironed out in his
teaching? What about the influence of those errors on the many
thousands who will yet learn of ‘Biblical truth’ through his
materials, but who will be given a distorted picture?
Of course, I realise that a deceived
person cannot warn others about the deception to which he himself is
subject. So it falls to another to point out deficiencies. If you
have been around ‘the Church’ for a good number of years, you will
know that such responsibility is the prophet’s lot.
When a prophet receives revelation
from God about a church leader, don’t you think God considers the
issue which He raises highly important? You bet!
Here is my account of what God showed
24th August 2006. M. Selwyn
A friend had left with us a copy
of CWR Today, the magazine produced by Crusade For World
Revival (CWR), an organisation founded by Selwyn Hughes who died
in January. Yesterday, Helena was looking at this and commenting
to me. She said Selwyn was about 78 (6 x 13) when he died, which
is significant. Was he a false minister? Considering his total
lack of acknowledgement or response to several letters I wrote
to him in the past, and how he promoted himself, I now had my
reservations about him.
Not wanting to prejudge him or
be wrong, before going to bed, I prayed that God would show me
(if that is what He wanted to do). In the early hours I had a
nightmare. It was frightening! [It was not clear whether I was
put in SH’s position, or the position of some of those whom he
I was in a rectangular box and
couldn’t get out [the trap of the teaching, or various lacks in
it, in CWR’s ministry, and/or SH’s spiritual situation]. I felt
I was lost, that my fate was irreversible. It was a state of
utter hopelessness and fear. It was horrific! For about ten
minutes (I guess) I felt this sheer panic and terror at the
realisation that I had not made it into God’s kingdom and that I
could not do so.
Then I woke up and realised –
thankfully! – that this nightmare scenario was only a dream! It
was so real and ghastly! Was God saying that Selwyn Hughes was
NOT a true minister? Or was God trying to point out the
horrendous trap that lies in impartial acceptance of the truth
of God? SH preached about Jesus, and promoted some of what Jesus
taught, but he didn’t preach the whole truth, and most of all,
what he established was an institution (Waverley Abbey House)
that glorified himself as much as Jesus. No one is exempt from
the judgement of God, and His judgement is not going to be
pleasant for many ministers who have taken the name of Christ to
That is what I wrote immediately
after the dream that morning. The dream is a stark warning from God!
Jesus warned of those who could cause others to stumble:
Whoever causes one of these
little ones who believe in Me to sin
[Gk skandalizo, to entrap,
trip up, ensnare, stumble], it would be better for him if a
millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the
depth of the sea... Woe to that man by whom the offence comes!
What Jesus is talking about is
something that comes to cause a potential child of God to stumble
spiritually, and thereby not enter the Kingdom of God. There are
various ways offences can come. In the present context, people can
be seriously led astray by false teaching. If you are fed subtle
heresy that speaks about Christ, but which denies Him – it sounds an
impossible contradiction, but it happens throughout the Church where
antinomian teaching replaces truth – believers who choose antinomian
error rather than humble obedience will find them- selves shut
outside the door on the Fateful Day.
This is why Jesus warned so
forcefully to beware of men bringing deception in His name (Matt
24:4,5), and why Peter prophesied of widespread destructive heresies
that would deny the Lord who bought us (2 Pet 2:1), and why Paul
also predicted a great falling away from truth (2 Thes 2:3).
It sounds almost heretical to
suggest, but it is possible that many thousands, even millions, of
Christians are headed for hell because they have chosen to accept a
theology that is providing them licence to disobey God. Their belief
in Jesus is such that it ‘allows’ them to indulge in unrighteousness
without upsetting their conscience.
And for this reason God will
send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but
had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thes 2:11,12).
I wrote to Selwyn Hughes some years
before his death. He advertised on the back page of The Plain
Truth magazine. I warned him that by so doing he was associating
with a cult which has very serious charges to answer to God.
(Explained in God Speaks To The WCG.) He never acknowledged
Another time I wrote to him to notify
him of how revival would come to Britain, for which he had been
praying for decades. I informed him of what God had said about Diana
being raised from the dead, and of the resultant witness to the
nation for the purpose of restoring and publicising the ‘lost’
truths which the Church desperately needs to regain.
Again, there wasn’t a whisper of a
reply; not even an acknowledgement in politeness.
When we wrote to Buckingham Palace,
or 10 Downing Street, or Clarence House (Prince Charles’ residence),
we received a brief reply. Why can’t a minister of God do that? Was
Selwyn Hughes above that? Did he consider that he had all truth and
so didn’t need to hear from me or anyone else?
Was he consumed with some sort of
ambition that he didn’t care that he paid one of the worst cults for
advertising space to promote his materials? Was CWR a vehicle that
elevated HIM more than Christ?
A year or two after I notified him of
the dreams about Diana’s resurrection as part of the last revival in
this age, his glossy, plush magazine Revival World Report
folded up. It’s a pity he couldn’t believe what God sent to him, to
help him see more clearly.
When God sends a prophet and you
reject the prophet, you reject the message he brought to you from
God. You may not reject God completely, but it doesn’t please Him
when you effectively say, “Thanks, God, but I’d rather not. You keep
And if many thousands of people think
that Selwyn Hughes was a paragon, that his teachings were without
fault, or that they don’t need anything more, spiritually, is that
not a recipe for failure? Is that not the Laodicean syndrome, which
God cannot abide?! (Rev 3:16.) And is it possible that the legacy of
Selwyn’s teaching is a dangerous mixture of truth and error that can
deceive people into complacency and cause them to stumble? (Matt
Does it only lead into idolatry to
publish a glowing obituary like the aforementioned? Where a man is
lifted up, is not Jesus dethroned?
I would like to think that Selwyn
Hughes was saved, and did make it into God’s kingdom. But you
must not take lightly the warning God gave about the effect of his
teaching. Some people are not going to make it into God’s kingdom
BECAUSE of the subtle error in Selwyn Hughes’ teaching! Paul also
warned about this in 1 Corinthians 3 (vs 10-18).
defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple
of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Cor 3:17).
Malcolm B Heap