"The beautiful hills of Western North Carolina may have been the perfect hiding place for the dirty little secrets you are about to see..."
(Steve Wilson, Inside Edition, February 1995)
Somebody may wonder why do I write this kind of article here at all, instead of sending mail to him I'm talkin about and telling how the things are. The reason to write this article is to share these questions which still are asked by many friends of Christian music. When I started to write this, I though seriously would it be christlike to speculate this kind of questions publicaly. However, The Lord has shown me so much contradictions in the cases I've though so I don't have any reason to close my mouth. This article bases to material which has been told in public by the person himself I'm writing about, so why wouldn't it be commentated in public. I haven't sent him mail because I can't. His contacts outside of his community are closed by a woman who has done lots of bad things in the name of Jesus.
Some years ago I was reading old Uusi Tie (The New Way, Finnish Christian magazine) magazines. There were an add at the number of 12th October 1983: "Finngospel proundly presents: The Joe English Band (former Paul McCartney and Wings Drummer)". I was at the same time amazed and a little bit suspicious. When any celebrity is saying he/she has become a Christian, it's not easy to know is that true or is it a way to get publicity. I knew very well who Paul McCartney is (in fact I've seen him twice live in concert, once in London and once in Helsinki) and I knew also his post-Beatles band Wings. But I had never heard about Joe English before and the add was over 20 years old, which made me asking is that man believer anymore. Many people are asking: "Where is he now? Where is Joe English now? Joe English, the former drummer of Paul McCartney and Wings, who made also a career as Christian musician.
Back in early 1960's: 13 years old Joe English (born 7th February 1949 in Rocester, New York) saw The Beatles playing at TV show. It made him to dream to be like them some day. At the same time his parents bought him drums and soon a music became his work. He played in bands called Jam Factory and Tall Dogs Orchestra. In 1975 he searched a new band to play and saw an add for a drummer and answered. The address led him to the meeting in a secret place, where he to his surprise found himself face to face with Paul McCartney, who searched a new drummer to his band Wings. English got the job and now his dream came true. He played drums in three studio albums of Wings (singing even lead vocals in one song), one live album and a massive tour around the world.
Wings (lead vocals by Joe English): Must Do Something About It
In 1977 while Wings was recording their album London Town, English's wife Dayle was in a very bad car accident. Right after recording sessions were end, English left Wings and returned to America to her and joined to drummer at the bands called Kingfish and Sea Level. Dayle English was in very bad condition after the accident that doctors gave no hope for fer to stay alive. However, she survived by faith-healing which led her to born again. This experience led Joe English to Christian circles trough his wife.
After touring with Wings by limousines and privaty airplanes, being in hotel suites and big stadiums he was discounted to play in small churches, touring with small buses and sleeping in the tour bus. His first Christian record Lights In The World (which was also his first solo record) was released in 1980. He was involved in CCM industry trough the 1980's and released on that time with Joe English Band five studio albums, one complication album with some new songs and one live album. He's never been in Finland with Wings (Wings visited there in 1972, before English joined them) but as a solo artist he visited there twice, in 1981 and 1983. Uusi Tie Magazine reported his visit in both times:
"The band played their set with a expertise... ...It was nice to watch the work of sympathetic and nice Joe... ...Joe told in his songs what will happen when we let Jesus to influence in our lives. He also told us to be ready for the return of Jesus and praise Him... ...Hope his planned revisiting in Finland will come true..."
(Uusi Tie, 7th October 1981)
"The concert in Helsinki House Of Culture was stared by "The Big Guy" in the same way as two years ago. No in the way of the big star but with the prayer: "We want to tell you Jesus whe love you. We ask all the music could clorify Your name... ...It wasn't cloudy what was the meaning of this concert. The employer has changed... ...I don't play in the band number one of the world, I'm working for The Man number one... ...We want to be evangelizing. It belongs to everybody. If Jesus is your saviour, He has something to give to this world through you... ...As the keepsake Joe English played a song: Get Ready...
(Uusi Tie, 26th October 1983)
In 1982 Joe English talked in CCM Magazine article Joe English Rock - Solid Commitment: "The job at hand is to say what He wants me to say, not what record companies, or P.R. men, or management, or anyone else want, unless it's with Jesus OK... ...I want people to realize that I'm no one special because of what I've done in the past, or because of what the Lord has called me to now. We are all servants to the same Lord, working in the field together. Each person's personal relationship to Jesus Christ is so much more important than anything that any one of us does in Christian music."
Besides his own career English played also as a session musician in background bands of differrent Christian artists and Compassion All Stars Band which included several Christian artists as well with him. They released one studio album. In early 1990's he disappeared from music scene and it felt that nobody knew where did he go. Wikipedia said he has been unable to play drums professionally since the late 1990's, due to chronic ankle health issues and he's living in Spindale, North California and sings in the choir at the church he attends. I felt myself to relieved when I saw he was still Christian, untill...
Joe English: To Love Is To Live
In 2009 by chance I found Lights In The World as a vinyl record from a flea market and bought it. The album sounded very good and also the lyrics were powerfull (those songs, however, weren't written by him). I became to more and more interested about what's going on in his life and one year after buying the album I got to know it. But I don't know if it had been better to not know. I found his testimony speach from the web page of the his church and after hearing it, I became same time touched and shocked. Joe English himself is telling how he wasn't born again while he played Christian music, and it wasn't his own idea and calling to do it. When Dayle English became Christian, people may supposed that he would be Christian too and then he was asked to to Christian records. He told after his wife Dayle's salvation experience he at first was against christianity, even God called him at the first time then. But then he became more permissive, which of course doesn't mean same that becoming born again. While English played, recorded and show Christian music through the 1980's, playing at the churches and even giving altar calls, he still lived like an unsaved: used drugs (which he started in the 1970's), read pornography magazines and wanted more and more money. The only change which English told to happened, was when he cut his long hair short. People still loved him, because he was a former drummer of Paul McCartney and Wings. And English enjoyed it. It was idolitary.
Jukka Leppilampi, a Finnish Christian musician, has said that if somebody has lived in sin with pop- and rock-music before becoming Christian, he or she needs to disclaim it a while until they have learned to use it right. For somebodies this break will be longer, for somebodies it will be shorter, for somebodies it will last forever. The first thing which came to my mind was a qustion did Joe English have this break? If anyone should have to keep this kind of break, it was him because he was former drummer of Paul McCartney and Wings. When any celebrity becomes a Christian public, people stop to listen to him just for the interest. Although certainly many people would come to listen to him alone in his previous merits in Paul McCartney and Wings, despite even though he would have taken a preacher without music. However, he said that in the late 1980's he started to feel emptyness. God started to speak him and show him how contradictious his life was. English told that his heart was wery grieved. He realized the truth about his double-faced action and told that it was the time he was born again. In his testimony speach, English says he was then a wolf in sheep's clothes.
I totally agree that it's wrong to play Christian music if the player/singer is not born again. And drugs using, pornography and so on are the unholiest things I can imagine to any Christian. And idolitary is something what God hates very much and which must be declined in Christian circles. This kind of testimonies are very good example about CCM business and how dirty it is. However, all those sins and much more worse have been forgiven by Jesus, who died on the cross for Joe English and all others of us. And because English has repented from all that double-face action, I think his music would be usefull as retrospectively. As Paul said, the main thing is that Christ it preached, whether in pretens or in truth (Phil. 1:18). I know many people have been touched by those songs in his records. However, English himself doesn't think same. It seems that he wants to forget his musical career and if those things he told were true, it's very understandable. What then about music, the one and only notable thing is that he is going to Heaven. But what if... ?
I'm not a right person to say who is going to Heaven and who isn't. However, even English seems to be very honest in his testimony speach, there is something very wrong in his mission of this day. He's life seems to be much more double-faced than in the 1980's and the most crafty thing is that English itself doesn't may realize it. In 1990 he got a phone call which invited both him and Dayle to come to Spindale. He was told there was something which could help them. So they joined to Word of faith Fellowship which is still their spiritual home, today they are even some kind of pastors or ministers there. English tells that there he heard at the first time he is sinner and he needs a repent from his sins. He said that at the first time he could breath fresh air, because nobody cared even he has been a drummer of Paul McCartney and Wings. This is a good example which would be the right way to meet sinners. Unfortunaly, all Christians don't understand the thing Jukka Leppilampi told. But it doesn't tell everything about Word of faith Fellowship (which has been known also as WOFF) at all. Let's check what all nice this society takes in. At the first a little bit the history WOFF of Spindale (I will use this name in this article because I don't want to say that all churches under the name of Word Of Faith would contain same kind of things).
"Sam Whaley, a car salesman from Florence South Carolina, and Jane Brock Whaley, daughter of a plumbing company owner in Rutherford County, moved to Oklahoma in the mid-1970's. Sam attended Rhema Bible Training Center, established in 1974 by the Rev. Kenneth Hagin, a nationally known minister and considered the father of the "Word Of Faith" movement. Although both grew up Baptist, the Whaleys would become promoters of the Word-Faith philosophy, a Bible-based, charismatic movement with more than 300 affiliated churches nationally. Sam Whaley would receive a one-year certificate from Rhema, but Jane developed a more fervent following by starting prayer meetings, complete with faith healing. But, in a clear departure from Hagin's teaching and Word Of Faith practices, she also began performing deliverances, designed to rid subjects of the demons she said prevented them from achieving godliness, prosperity and good health. These unscriptural deliverance sessions, called "blasting" is a form of hands-on, high-pitched screaming prayer (usually in "tongues") that in many cases involve using ropes to tie down people to prevent them from fleeing and the concept that demons can only leave the human person by the person vomiting the evil spirit out of them in a "puke bucket". Testimonies of many ex-members state that they were forced to endure these blasting sessions for many hours at one time. Upon hearing of the deliverances and their unbiblical twisting of the Scriptures concerning deliverance - in particular the case of a 54-year-old woman having a prescription-drug reaction who was held at WOFF for 13 days while members tried to expel demons - Hagin in the late 1980's distanced himself from the Whaleys and denounced their deliverance teachings. After Brother Hagin disassociated himself with WOFF and the Whaleys, the church grew to approximately 400 members..."
(William J. Kingsnorth, Word of faith Fellowship - Spindale)
Here are some quotations from ex-members of WOFF of Spindale:
"My time at Word could best be described as lonely. Friendships were not allowed to become close, because you were afraid to share your heart. We were taught that if you really loved someone, then you would expose their sins to leadership."
"Every aspect of the member's life is controlled. They must constantly "lock in" with their spiritual advisor and are told what to think. They have their own little language, much like prisoners in jails have their own language. They cast out devils by forming a circle around a person and screaming and yelling until they are hoarse. They do this to infants, children and adults. It is called "blasting". Somehow they think God is deaf. The children look like zombies, afraid to make a mistake, and fast to act as spies to tell on their parents."
"Members are strongly encouraged to only associate with other members; even play-time between children of members and those of non-members is discouraged."
"Leadership often lies to members. Spying on other members - even if one's own spouse, parent or child - is greatly encouraged, and all activities are then handed over to the leadership of the church."
"Member must accept Jane Whaley's word as the word of God, no thoughts of dissent are allowed."
(All those quotations: Steve Hassan, Word of faith Fellowship Church)
I don't have personal experiences about WOFF of Spindale so I can't say those things in my own mouth. But many of previous members tell bad things about that place and when I see so many people telling same things, I realize it can't be just bad backstab talk. And Whaley herself thinks it's just slanderous persecution against her if somebody is criticizing her as The Bible tells us to do for everything.
Jane Whaley: Blasting sessions in Livets Ord, Uppsala, Sweden
Jane Whaley also teaches that all Contemporary Christian music is from Devil. As a typical critic, she's taking from here and there bible verses, which are talking about unholy things itselves, some hasn't nothing to do with music. The Bible doesn't teach that some music- or artistic style would become unholy even it's been considered to belong to some indefinite cultur (Romans 14, 1st Corinthians 8 and 10). I've written about those thing in Finnish and I don't start to repeat myself here, but to all English speakers I recommend to read Bruce Cartner's Christian Rock Apologetics. I don't think same about all things with him, but he's brought forth many things wery well. Whaley writes in the web page of WOFF of Spindale:
"We prayed for the musicians who had brought the profane into the sanctuary of God. Ray Nenow was one who God brought to the Word of faith Fellowship as answered prayer. He loved the truth he was taught when he came here. Before coming, he had multiple record companies, and he was one who had been instrumental in bringing the heavy metal rock into the church. He produced "so-called" Christian concerts. After learning the truth and getting some deliverance, he brought many of his musician friends to get help. Many received, but some because of their own idols turned and walked away. Today their lives are being destroyed. There were two men Ray brought who received and wanted to serve Jesus: Joe English, former drummer and background vocalist for Paul McCartney and Wings, and Andy Kidd, a former record producer and also a former owner of Lowden Guitar Company. They are all true ministers today, sharing the love and miracle-working, delivering power of God everywhere they go. Their lives have totally changed."
I'm not sure, but this all points out that Ray Nenow, who has produced English's albums, is probably the man who earlier asked Joe English to record Christian music in the early 1980's. I don't know how did he drift to WOFF of Spindale, but it seems that Nenow also invited English's to Spindale and WOFF ten years later. Joe English claimed in his testimony speach that in his CCM-days in the 1980's he gave to his listeners witchcraft. Jane Whaley has probably fooled him to believe that a beat of drums would exorcise satanic energy because some witches have used drums for calling spirits. People, who have fallen under contrition, are very easy to be manipulated. There are not drums at all at the picture of the choir of WOFF of Spindale. There were also one very contradictory thing in his testimony. It was the only testimony speech video in the page of WOFF of Spindale. Even Joe English himself says "It doesn't matter who you are", they still only posted testimony a celebrity.
Many little things make a big reference that Joe English doesn't speak fully true in the video (as we read, the leadership often lies to members). In the video English mentioned "getting pain pills" again. In summer 2012 I was informed that it has been well known fact that Joe English has suffered some injury from years of drumming. In the video he didn't talk anything about this, but as I mentioned Wikipedia says that he is unable to play drums for chronic ankle health issues. It's possible he used those pain pills for those isuues and perhaps the medicine was deemed sin by WOFF of Spindale (or then not). I was also informed about a testimony in some concert in the late 80's where he refferd to his struggles. While reading his comments in the magasine quotations above it's not believeble that he was not really saved while doing his Christian albums. It's possible he had big battles against drugs in late 80's which he may lost and became later free again. English also makes out he should got lots of money from Wings throuhg royalts and performance fees. However, Ross Benson's book Paul McCartney - Man Behind Myths tells how Denny Laine, the third constant of Wings after McCartney's couple, had bad troubles because of low prices which was cost him by McCartney and how he didn't get his part of royalties which were belong to him. If Laine didn't become rich by playing in Wings, how English who was much more ploughboy at the band, could? And the thing he tells about his getting a job as a drummer of Wings, he claims that one of his friends called him and told him he's got an opportunity to get the job, even both him and the official sources talked about "blind audition" in a warehouse and no one knew what they were auditioning for.
And then about demons, it's true they can tease Christians and in even get them in their cluthes, if we make a room for sin in our lives. But if somebody starts to teach that illness for example would be always caused by demons or any reproducin to sin is caused by demons indide us, it's so clear and serious heresy that we mustn't keep it just a mistake (1st Chor 10:20-21). It's teached in WOFF of Spindale that Christians would become sinless after becaming saved and any fall to sin would be always caused by demons (it's really caused by our sinfull flesh which is in an alliance with Satan). This is horrible and unbiblical doctorine! The Bible teaches very clearly that Christians don't became sinless even after becoming saved. At the same time when Joe English talks about idolitary in CCM circles, he's practising much more uncluttered idolitary while he's following Jane Whaley who keeps herself as a kind of unerring apostle and author. No! I'm sorry brother Joe but this kind of contradiction doesn't get any kind of respecting from me. Your testimony words doesn't have any importance. Jane Whaley says there isn't any kind of salvation for them who will leave WOFF of Spinlade, but does The Bible say so? No! If you afraid that you'll lose your friends if you leave your community, doesn't that mean they have become too important to you. If they'll turn their backs for you, then they aren't really friends at all.
Joe English: Dyin
In 2016 Wikipedia said that Joe English has left WOFF of Spindale on May 2016. There were not any kind of citations about the thing but when I tried to go to the webpage of WOFF of Spindale, I didn't find the page. Earlier when the page were on the web, the testimony speach was removed from the page. Interesting! I'm not sure what the situation is and I haven't seen Joe English giving any kind of release anywhere about the thing. I'll be following the situation!
At the end I need to say about the WOFF of Spindale, I believe there are true saved Christians, poor ones who may pray and pray for getting free. And even all those sources show very clearly how dangerous wolf Jane Whaley is, only God has rights to say the last words about her upcoming judgement at the day when Jesus returns. Even it seams very unpossible at the human eyes, God is able to change also her heart. Please Lord, forgive us all our sins. Lord, thank You for loving me. Thank You for loving Joe English and Jane Whaley too. Lord, you see our stoned hearts, please change us and give us a clean heart. In Jesus name, amen!
SOURCES AND READING
"The (Lights In The World) album's theme is simple and straightforward. Get ready because Jesus is coming back. Don't be caught on the evil side of things when He does. Shine the light of Christ as brightly as possible. Die to the world and live for Jesus."
(John Thomas, The Gospel According to Joe)
Bruce Cartner: Christan rock apologetics
Steve Hassan: Word of faith Fellowship church
Clete Hux: The watchman expositor: Spindale, NC - Word of faith Fellowship
William J. Kingsnorth: Word of faith Fellowship - Spindale
Jussi-Heikki Mäenpää: Kristittynä musiikin parissa
Jerry Stensland: Whaley case derailed by typo in date
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