The late Derek Prince (1915-2003) was a brilliant man who preached and wrote many good things. Yet he held some doctrines and teachings that have left
their traces causing divisions and controversies.
He was born 1915 in Bangalore. He had a dramaric conversion experience and became founder and pastor of a Pentecostal church in London. Because of
his own experience he has had problems distancing himself from the “Toronto-Blessing”. He himself was seized by compulsive, uncontrollable
laughter at his conversion.
He became a leading figure of the so-called “Ft. Lauderdale’s Five” which brought about the greatest tensions in the Charismatic
movement in the 70ies. As a quasi-denomination it caused considerable debate and controversy. A former disciple of this “Shepherding Movement”,
Ron Burks, wrote a book about his odyssey named Damaged Disciples (Zondervan Publishing). In the commentary on the backcover it says about Ron
and his wife Vicki: “Unfortunately, the nontraditional life the chose trapped them in a branch of the charismatic movement (led by Derek Prince,
Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, and Don Basham) that made them virtual prisoners and robbed them of their personhood. Ron was taught to subject himself
totally to hs spiritual ‘master’.”
Because of all these damages and controversies Prince renounced in 1984 the basic principles of the “shepherding” movement and separated
from the team, although he did maintain a personal relationship with the other men.
Derek Prince was heavily involved in deliverance ministries and I have listened to his tapes, where he taught and practiced deliverances from curses
and bondages which resulted in demonic manifestations. It was quite eery to hear the yelling and screaming from his audience. Prince’s comment (verbatim): “I
love to hear the voice of Satan”. Lest I be misunderstood, I believe in the activities of satanic spirits causing bondages and oppressions. But
this kind of “deliverance” resulted in considerable damage amongst believers and churches.
He also held a strange view concerning healing gifts. Because the original Greek mentions this gift as a plural term (1. Cor. 12,9), which is correct,
he claimed that some people may have the gift to heal heart problems only, others blood pressures and so on.
Derek Prince spent much time and stayed often in Jerusalem. Joseph Shulam is pastor of the Nativia Church in Jerusalem. Because his wife has been often
severely ill, he asked Derek Prince that he might come and pray for her. Derek Prince’s answer (verbatim). “I can’t come, my gift does
not work in private, only in large crowds”.
I better don’t mention here Shulam’s comment on this response. Anyway, these are the classical phenomena of the psychic healers and well-known
May our Lord of Glory grant wisdom and discernment in these last days of growing confusion and deception (1 Tim. 4:1).