By Tony Reid
The Head of Destiny Church, Bishop Brian Tamaki, has granted 3 News a rare interview to clarify his position on something close to his heart; the resurrection of Jesus.
It follows revelations by the group Cultwatch, which says Mr Tamaki has rejected Christ’s physical resurrection – and in doing so, alienated himself from the rest of Christianity.
Mr Tamaki is a man who has made a career out of saying ‘no’ to interviews.
When the going gets tough, the Bishop gets going.
But today, he relented, agreeing to talk to 3 News about these comments to his congregation:
"You must get out of your mind that, that Jesus Christ is now, ah, is still Jesus of Nazareth ... But Jesus did not come out of the tomb. The flesh Jesus died in the tomb."
The Bishop’s blasphemy was passed onto the group Culwatch, who say Tamaki’s interpretation is wrong.
“For Christians it’s a huge problem, because the Bible says if Jesus wasn’t resurrected bodily, then our faith is pointless,” says Cultwatch director Mark Vrankovich.
Today, Mr Tamaki chose to speak out, claiming Mr Vrankovich has been “stalking” him and the Destiny Church for some time.
“We’ve never not believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Chris, so I don’t know where this guy is coming from,” Tamaki says.
In an article printed today, Garth George wrote Mr Tamaki had “appalled the Christian community by denying the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, an essential, fundamental tenet of Christian faith”.
Earlier today, the New Zealand Herald published Mr Tamaki’s reponse to the opinion piece in which he refutes the claims.
“I fully affirm the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, which has always been and continues to be a founding doctrine of Destiny Church,” Mr Tamaki says.
“I point out the distinct difference between the pre-resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, who was limited by his flesh body, and the post-resurrected Jesus Christ.”
Mr George refers to Cultwatch founder Mark Vrankovich’s comprehensive record of Mr Tamaki’s teaching and the “doctrinal bombshells” which “blasted Destiny Church off its orthodox foundations”.
Mr Tamaki referred to Mr Vrankovich in his reply saying: “The allegations made by one individual Mark Vrankovich (who is he?) are simply an attempt to attract attention towards himself. The allegations are selective and well out of context.”