Josh Champagne linked to this mp3 from the Charity Christian Fellowship website on Facebook (thanks again, Josh!). Apparently Denny delivered a speech at CCF nine days ago (Sunday, April 22nd). The file is really long, but Denny only preached a part of it. The rest of the file consisted of singing by his children, an introduction by Aaron Hurst, an anointing of oil, and various testimonies regarding Denny afterwards. I’ll make a few brief remarks as I don’t intend to write an exhaustive review.
I think most people realized that this may turn out to be the last speech Denny Kenaston will ever make. He sounded extremely frail and utterly out of energy. He whispered a great deal of his words, so there was a striking contrast between the bombast he exhibited as a preacher prior to his health failing like this. His speech wasn’t so much a sermon as it was a confession. Denny wanted to slay the giant of pride and confess errors he has made in his lifetime during his ministry, and he wanted to be specific in what he said.
I don’t think anyone will be greatly surprised to learn that he didn’t exactly take the opportunity to renounce the legalism and cultist mindset he had spread for so many years. Yes, he admitted that their success with the Goldy Home Tape Series had given him some attitude of pride, and that his attitude towards young people was not appropriate either. He mentioned some other things as well, but those were the most prominent ones that stand out in my memory. Charityites revered Denny as a great authority figure on the family series, and I have to wonder if there weren’t a few people who were taken aback by such an admission. I doubt it what with the atmosphere of the speech being so dismal since the audience was basically listening to the last words of a dying man whom they loved very much.
Denny’s remarks about the young people made my ears perk up a little bit as I’d like to think he was about to make some recantation of the anti-youth attitude he has so emphatically declared for so long. That didn’t happen, of course. To say he didn’t treat them right is a major understatement. He belittled them, he insulted them, he instilled cultic fear in their minds so that they’d never trust anyone but their parents and their church elders, and so on. One might argue that he was too weak to make the effort to touch on all those topics and hence may not have mentioned them simply to conserve his strength. However, Denny said he wanted to be specific, and he didn’t touch even one of those issues. Denny needs to make a much fuller apology to young people if he wants to slay the giant of pride.
Denny must have preached for less than an hour, and he finally at one point said he had to stop because he just couldn’t keep going. Words from the audience were spoken after he was done, 99% of which consisted of people telling Denny they forgave him for what he had just confessed. Many people were broken down and crying as they spoke, but some of them said they didn’t think Denny needed to apologize because he didn’t do anything wrong. That also stood out to me because I think those people were a bit more honest about their attitude towards Denny. The vast majority of those who spoke would take offense if anyone would dare to criticize Denny’s morals. Plenty of people on this blog have repeatedly stated that he’s a man of God, and how dare you criticize him, etc. Well, why were so many people forgiving Denny if he shouldn’t be criticized? Perhaps it was, again, due to the knowledge that Denny is dying and people simply gave the man what he asked for: forgiveness. It’s hard to deny a dying man his last wishes, so the knee-jerk reaction is to give him what he wants. However, some more level-headed people phrased it a bit more appropriately, I think. They knew they wanted to say something comforting to Denny and Jackie, but they didn’t offer words of forgiveness because they, like the others who did offer forgiveness, don’t feel like he did anything wrong in the first place.
So in short, Denny had an opportunity to make a good-faith apology for the many false teachings he has promulgated for so many years and basically didn’t take it. I’m sorry he hasn’t, and I prayed that he would, and he may yet make a sufficient recantation on his death-bed for all anyone knows. Even Harold Camping repented for his failed prophecies, and God is just as sovereign in granting such a repentant spirit to Denny Kenaston. This last sermon, however, didn’t reveal such to have taken place as of April 22nd, 2012.