Faith Like Potatoes, or Biblical Faith?

In September 2006 a new religious movie premiered in South Africa, called “Faith Like Potatoes”.  I say a religious movie rather than a truly Christian movie, because although it claims to be based on the life story of South African farmer and Charismatic evangelist Angus Buchan, it is not a biblically sound Christian film.

As it is a South African film and not a Hollywood production, it will have more of an impact in South Africa than perhaps anywhere else, especially as it is being shown not only in cinemas, but in town halls and church buildings across the country. “Faith Like Potatoes” has been selected for two international film festivals and will thus doubtless make some waves beyond the borders of South Africa, but even so it is by no means a ‘blockbuster’ and there is no need to write a lengthy critique of it.  But what I write may be of help to some, who are given a confusing message of Christianity by this movie, and the book on which it is based.

What is the movie all about?

According to the movie’s website, it tells the story of Angus Buchan, “a Zambian farmer of Scottish heritage, who leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims (in Zambia in the 1970s) and travels south with his family to start a better life in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.  With nothing more than a caravan on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, the Buchan family struggle to settle in a new country.  Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Angus quickly spirals down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction. [The movie] weaves together the moving life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.”

After hearing the testimony of another farmer at the local Methodist church, Angus Buchan professed faith in Christ, in 1979.  He then began the journey towards becoming, eventually, a Charismatic evangelist, who has now preached to multiplied thousands all over the world.

I have more than a passing interest in this story.  Although we have long since parted ways, there was a time, many years ago now, when Angus Buchan and I were good friends.  I was a young man, involved with the Methodist institution I had spent some years in but entering in my ignorance into the errors of the Pentecostal movement, and Angus was a farmer in a nearby town who had also professed conversion not long before, and who was preaching on occasions in the local Methodist church.

I met him at a camp organised by the church, and we became friends, although he was quite a few years older than me.  I started visiting him at his farm, spending time there with him and his lovely family, I preached at the youth service he used to lead, and we would often talk, out in the fields of his farm and into the night in his living room, about our plans, and what we believed the Lord might have in store for us in the future.  At one time I even started to build a chapel he wanted to put up on his farm.  When my wife and I were married, we asked Angus to lead the worship at our wedding.

Angus Buchan 04

But then our paths diverged.  It was inevitable, for as he embraced the Charismatic movement and became increasingly involved in it, the Lord was opening my eyes to the unbiblical errors of Pentecostalism/Charismatism, culminating ultimately in my departure from it and utter repudiation of it.  And in this can be seen the discriminating grace of God.  Separation from all that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement stood for was what I desired, whereas Angus wanted more of it.  Truly, “there, but for the grace of God, go I.”  God in His mercy set me free.

In addition, at the same time the Lord was revealing to me, through the study of His Word, the truth about the Great Whore, the Roman Catholic institution, and about the many harlot “daughters” of Rome.  I tried to share these things with Angus, but he would have none of it.  Like most Charismatics, he was convinced that there were many true Christian people in the Roman Catholic institution.  Well has it been said that Pentecostalism is a bridge to Rome!  For when the Bible has been set aside as the sole rule of faith and practice, as it has been within Pentecostalism/Charismatism, then the door has been swung open to embrace Roman Catholicism as being of God.

Like Romanism, Pentecostalism does not view the written Word of God as the sole authority.  Like Romanism, it permits other sources of authority: in the case of Rome, human tradition; and in the case of Pentecostalism, “speaking in tongues” and “prophecy.”  Is it any wonder, then, that when Roman Catholics are seen to be “speaking in tongues”, Pentecostals and Charismatics rejoice, and welcome them as “brethren in Christ”?  After all, if the Bible is set aside, and if being “one in the Spirit” (as they believe) is all that matters, how could they possibly reject them?

And so we parted ways.  And our lives took very different courses.  Angus Buchan became a Charismatic preacher, taking the message of “Jesus the Healer” (in the Charismatic sense) to multiplied thousands of people around South Africa and other parts of the world.  He wrote his autobiography, Faith Like Potatoes.  And now – the book has become the movie.

Angus Buchan is an extremely likeable man.  The Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is brim-full with charlatans, men (and women) in positions of influence behind pulpits who are nothing but liars and deceivers, and they know it, but they’re in it for the money and the fame.  They do not believe a word they are saying.  But there are also others in the movement who are sincerely convinced that what they are saying and claiming is the truth, the Gospel truth.  And I have no reason to doubt that Angus Buchan falls into this latter category.  Certainly he would have done so all those years ago, when I knew him and considered him a close friend.

He apparently produces his TV programme at his own cost, and distances himself from the American “televangelists”, who (he correctly says) spend 10 minutes preaching and 20 minutes asking for money.  I have no reason to doubt that he is very sincere.  But as the saying goes, one can be sincerely wrong.  And as an enthusiastic proponent of modern-day Charismatic heresy, he is sincerely wrong.  It is an unbiblical, heretical movement.  And this becomes clear in the movie itself:

According to one reviewer, “The film depicts some incredible miracles that God accomplishes through and around Angus.  Perhaps, the most awe-inspiring part of the film is the point when, through the prayer of Angus, God raises to life a farm worker who had been struck dead by lightning” (Africa Christian Action film review).

Well, that’s to be expected when one makes a movie based on the life of a Charismatic “faith healer.”  But let’s get real here.   Angus Buchan prayed and a person (in this case a woman) was raised to life?  Many, many Charismatic “faith healers” have made such astounding claims; but not one of them has ever been truly verified.  Nor will it ever happen.  The Lord Jesus Christ raised the dead when He ministered on earth, and He, through His servants, raised others to life in the apostolic age after He had ascended back to heaven; but after that?

These miracles were among “the signs of an apostle” (see 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3,4), and the apostolic ministry ceased in the first century AD.  No one is an apostle today, it was a foundational ministry of the early Church, before the Scriptures were complete (Eph. 2:20).  The gift of “working of miracles” (1 Cor. 12:10) was, like the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and miraculous healing, a temporary gift given to the apostles and a few others in the apostolic age; it is not given to anyone today.

Anyone, today, who claims to have raised someone from the dead is either deliberately lying, or is utterly deceived.  I am not saying that Angus was deliberately trying to deceive people by making this claim.  Doubtless he really believes that a woman was raised to life through his prayer; but in this he is terribly deceived.  It is easy to make the claim that someone has been raised to life; but what solid evidence is there?  Was the woman truly verified as being dead?  Were there competent witnesses who can attest to it?  Not all who are struck by lightning die – but doubtless many would have felt like they were dead!  From time to time, from all over the world, we hear accounts of people supposedly raised to life by some Pentecostal “healer” or other.  But where is the proof?  Must we just take their word for it?  That is simply not good enough.

It is highly significant that in the book, Angus Buchan himself makes it clear that he was uncertain whether the woman was merely unconscious, or truly dead.  He relates how lightning struck the hut where some women were sleeping, and all had recovered except one, whom they had left lying in the hut, covered by a blanket.  They were all shouting and screaming, and they said to him, “She is dead.”  He went into the hut, which was dark and smoky, and he could see very little at first.  He writes, “I had no idea whether the woman was dead or unconscious, but I acted in raw faith, in fear and trembling.  I laid my hands on her, closed my eyes and prayed” (pg. 45).  He then felt he should lift her up, so he did so and she remained standing.  He told her to lift up her hands to God, and she did so.

Note that there was no verification that she was truly dead.  The women were highly emotional, shouting, screaming, sure she was dead.  They had just come from a hut which lightning had struck, and this was a very natural reaction!  Their friend was not moving, so they assumed she was dead.  No one can blame them for thinking it, but there was no solid evidence.  Angus Buchan could not see well inside the dark and smoky hut, and by his own admission he had no idea whether she was dead or merely unconscious!  Why, then, must we believe that she was dead?  Why should anyone?  We only have the word of some hysterical women, who had just emerged in terror from a dark hut which had just been struck by lightning.

This same reviewer, so enthusiastic in her praise for the supposed “miracle” of raising someone to life, in the very next paragraph makes a most telling admission: “While the heart of the Gospel, that man is a sinner and can only be changed because of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, is neglected, the message that God can transform lives comes through clearly in the film.”

Apart from any other consideration, then, how can this be a truly Christian film if the heart of the Gospel is neglected?  I am not for a moment saying that the Pentecostal “gospel” is the true Gospel of Christ.  It most certainly is not.  It is an Arminian, “God loves you”, “God loves everyone”, “just believe in Jesus” message that is totally unbiblical.  But the point is this: this movie claims to be a movie about a Pentecostal evangelist, and even within Pentecostalism there is at times a very watered-down, shallow presentation of some fundamental aspects of the Gospel (there is some truth in other words, but nothing like the whole truth); and therefore one would expect the movie to at least present this.  But apparently, according to this reviewer who is very much in favour of the movie, even this is neglected!

Or perhaps, the Pentecostal/Charismatic “gospel” is itself so watered down these days, that this movie will actually be accepted, by Pentecostals and Charismatics, as indeed presenting their “gospel”!

One is left with the strong suspicion that the film’s makers knew that too “strong” a message would simply not draw the crowds, and thus not make money, to the extent that a more ambiguous message would do.  This is why it is so often described merely as an “inspiring story of faith and perseverance.”  One has to ask: if Angus Buchan truly is an evangelist of Christ, why would the very heart of the Gospel of Christ be omitted from a movie about his life?

The suspicion grows stronger when one reads the comments of Frank Rautenbach, the actor who plays the part of Angus Buchan and who had previously starred in a South African soap opera.  He said: “It was of paramount importance to me that we should make a real movie and not a ‘religious’ one…. the most attractive thing to me about this role was the message of hope that the movie brings.  Hope in spite of the difficulties of life.”

Once again, the ambiguity: a “message of hope”.  A truly Christian movie would not simply bring a “message of hope”.  It would uncompromisingly bring the message of hope in Christ!  This is how Paul preached, over and over: he preached of “the hope of Israel”, Christ Himself (Acts 28:20); of “hope toward God” (Acts 24:15); and he wrote, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:13); and, “be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23); and, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27); and, the “Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1).

As the lead actor said, it was to be a “real movie, not a ‘religious’ one”; in other words, a movie that would appeal to the people of the world as simply “a message of hope”, without being too “preachy”, without coming down too hard on sinners, a movie that (as the reviewer said) neglects the very heart of the Gospel!

When the movie premiered in South Africa, it was reported that it did so to a “star-studded line-up”, the “who’s who of South African actors, movie-makers, entertainers, sports people, Christian leaders, and musicians.”  Just one question arises here: Why?  Why was this important to the movie’s producers?  Why was it relevant at all?  This is merely following the ways of the world, playing to the gallery, glorying in the world of showbiz.  Where is humility, and more importantly, where is the Gospel?  After all, if this film really did present the true, biblical Gospel, would the “who’s who” of the entertainment world have been there?  Of course not!  The world does not love the truth!  Clearly there was little or nothing, really, in this movie to make them feel uncomfortable: no clear message of sin, of total depravity, or of redemption through Christ Jesus alone.

No, Faith Like Potatoes is not a truly Christian movie.  It is a movie about a fiery Charismatic “faith healer”, a likeable, personable and compassionate man who doubtless believes that the message he is preaching is the true Gospel of Christ.  But for it to be a Christian movie, it must present biblical Christianity, not the deceptions of Pentecostal/Charismatic error.  As a “Christian” movie, then, it completely fails the test.

by Shaun Willcock

Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his book, tapes, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website, or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

Click here for a larger size of this picture: South African’s Charismatic ‘Hajj’

Mighy Men Conference 2009

Rick Joyner to Visit South Africa and Join Hands with Angus Buchan

It has come to our attention that Rick Joyner will visit South Africa in July 2012 , he will be leading and teaching with Oom (Unce) Angus Buchan from the Mighty Men Revivals and of Faith Like Potatoes fame at The Apostolic Prophetic Conference of Neville Norden’s church Lewende Woord.  We also previously reported on Gretha Wiid from Worthy Women Revivals, Buchan’s South African female understudy.

Click here for related article: A critical analysis of Gretha Wiid’s sex ideology and her biblical hermeneutics (with references to Angus Buchan)

Here below you may read why the teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)  is dangerous. We need to test everything to see if it is from God. It is unloving to not warn others of false teachings. We are also told in Scripture to earnestly contend for the faith. I heard this recent Quote from Justin Peters : It is a sin to be undiscerning…

Angus Buchan 01

Angus Buchan 02

Angus Buchan 03

Angus Buchan 05

Angus Buchan 06

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”
(1 Cor 3:1-7 AKV)

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
(2 Peter 2:3 AKJV)

 

For further reading:

Rick Joyner to Visit South Africa and Join Hands with Angus Buchan

Spiritual Deception Revival and Angus Buchan

Angus Buchan and the Promise Keepers

Ben Trovato – Dear Angus Buchan

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Exposing False Teachers

 

About Truth in Reality

www.truthinreality.com
This entry was posted in The Emergent Movement and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Faith Like Potatoes, or Biblical Faith?

  1. john chapman says:

    I thin you are not a brother in Christ, I think you are a fool.
    I am not a Roman Catholic.
    The bible is a Papal Document, compiled by Catholic Bishops, and stamped by the Pope.
    It also remains, technically speaking, non-obvious intellectual property of the Catholic Church.
    Can you imagine the bible being compiled with ‘believers’ like you at the realm?
    Huge portions would be absent because you have special needs, everybody else is wrong but you.
    You would ‘feel’ the ‘need’ to edit everything that wasn’t exactly in line with what you think Wesley was saying, and slight and patronise and divide everyone else who didn’t utterly correlate with you. In short, I think your words are the words of a bigotted and mindless bully with limited capacity to think who announces to others what the Holy Spirit is telling him to announce to everyone else, and he deliberately does it with words that seem loving.
    You are dangerous not because you are intelligent, you are not intelligent.
    You are dangerous because innocent men look at you and they walk away laughing at the church saying ‘oh, it is 100% women after all!’
    I think it is no wonder that the Church is filled with women because real men leave in horror at the crap ‘men’ like you are spouting.
    Although you have already stopped listening, you are without doubt, in very serious deep trouble indeed. In refusing to acknowledge the work The Holy Spirit does within the Catholic order, and the Pentecostal order alike, you are also saying the Holy Spirit is so weak that it cannot cut through human tradition. You fool. You can be no more blasphemous.
    You set yourself up as a sole authority of the Church and as what – a methodist who walked out of the anglicans who walked out of the reformers who walked out on the catholics while all the time holding a Catholic Document as your sole authority?
    You read the bits you like and keep telling everyone else what you keep telling them, but I think no one is going to want to stand next to you on judgement day.
    It’s no good saying ‘he is being unloving.’ The only way, and I mean, the only way, to deal with fools who convince themselves of their own sanctimonious self-righteousness and who condemn everybody else with loving-sounding language, is to ridicule their very being, so that they grow up, and stop thinking the world needs to revolve around their own ‘special’ but horribly flawed and gravely ignorant, ‘needs.’.

  2. Truth in Reality says:

    Thank you for your opinion.

    Please check your facts about the Bible and the Roman Catholic church, about which there are several articles on this blog.

  3. Angeline says:

    Clearly you have a serious case of envy and jealousy.

    Get your facts straight before you make ridiculous comments. Yes, Jesus through his servants raised people from the dead, so you telling us that Jesus doesn’t have servents in today’s world? Get real! Of course he does! HE makes use of his servents to spread the word and to preach.

    You have serious issues and before you start questioning and seeking proof, as you constantly ask where is the proof, have faith. That’s what faith is, its not tangible, you can’t touch it, but you know and have faith in THE WORD.

  4. Truth in Reality says:

    Yes, I do have faith in God and in the Bible. Only it’s not like “faith like potatoes”. Sorry if that bothers you but I do believe that Angus Buchan is a false teacher. I don’t where on earth you got the idea that I am jealous. Jealous of what? Do you mean Angus Buchan? I personally couldn’t think of many worse nightmares than doing what Angus Buchan does and am not the slightest bit interested in doing anything like that. I do not have any faith whatsoever in Angus Buchan, nor in his book about potatoes. I realize you may find that difficult to accept but we were told to have faith in God, His Son and believe what the Bible says, not another Gospel which “Faith Like Potatoes” undoubtedly is. What is more, I do not now, never did – and never will – need Angus Buchan or his book in my life. I believe in sola scriptura which says that Bible tells us ALL we need to know and I believe that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we do not need another, not by the name of Angus Buchan with “Faith Like Potatoes” nor any other name, or book. I feel entitled to tell people my opinion – and I am not the only one – and if that upsets you, maybe, just maybe, that is your problem.

    “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor 1:11-13)

    “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 3:2-11)

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:15-23)

    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    “This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, andone shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:1-18)

    For further reading this is a very revealing list of KJV scripture about false teachers: https://truthinreality.com/2012/08/17/false-prophets/

  5. Robbie says:

    My sister works for Angus…. I still believe he was planted by the NAR’s.
    With Rick Joyner as a friend… who needs the devil?

  6. ANTON says:

    Hi Shaun. I must congratulate you on this article. Not many today are willing to speak the truth, irrespective of the outcome. Your inputs on these complicated issues extremely meaningful

  7. Stephanie says:

    The gifts of prophecy and speaking in tounges are still relevant in this day and age. Jesus even said you will do greater deeds then these… speaking of the healing and miracles he did. Paul asked us to covet the gifts of prophecy, speaking in tounges etc. Some things you have stated are not true and you know it if you know what the bible says. I am not Catholic. Im not really any denomination. But I know the Word of God and I love Jesus Christ.

  8. ayoola says:

    your comments are very biased and slanted in your so-called present view of what Christianity is all about. Its people like you who bring confusion to evangelism, how do you bring people into the fold of Christianity when every other persons concept is wrong, my own is the only way.
    Its the job of all believers to pray and LET THE HOLY SPIRIT DO ITS JOB OF TOUCHING THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE FOR THE WORD SAYS NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER UNLESS HE/SHE IS DRAWN TO GOD BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

  9. Ellen Louw says:

    Dear Shaun
    Thank you for your blog. I think I believe the same way you do and would be very interested to read more. My husband is the minister of a very small congregation in St Helena Bay. He also writes an Afrikaans blog http://www.terugkeer.wordpress.com which mainly uses the Westminster Confession as a basis to walk through our congregation about what the Church used to (and we still do) believe the Bible teaches. We sometimes feel like we live on an island so it is good to read something I can say “Amen” to. Angus is in the social media again …. all about praying for peace. I dont see this in the Bible…it says as the end draws nearer things will get worse Anyhow….thanks for the blog. I thougt we were the only ones who thought Angus’s message were false

    Regards
    Ellen

Comments are welcome....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s