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William Branham - The Houston Bosworth-Best Debate

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William Branham - The Houston Bosworth-Best Debate:

One of the fundamental mythological events in the "Message," the mind control cult following of William Branham, is the 1950 debate between Reverend Best and Reverend Bosworth. According to cult myth, a supernatural presence came into the Houston Coliseum and prevented photographers from taking any photograph except one that looks suspiciously like the angled lighting of the Coliseum. This angled light, according to William Branham, was the "pillar of fire."

But was William Branham honest about the details of this debate?

According to cult mythology, this debate sparked by the anger of a Baptist minister who went against his own denomination's ideologies to oppose divine healing. And Branham himself claimed that he did not have any desire to participate in the debate, insomuch that he tried to persuade Bosworth out of going.

The newspapers tell a much different story. In the Lubbock Evening Journal on January 24, 1950, William Branham is quoted as stating that "he alone would represent his side."

While Branham claimed that Rev. Best was against divine healing, the newspapers quoted Best as saying, "I am not opposed to divine healing, but I am opposed to 'divine healers' as such."

Isn't this what Branham himself claimed to oppose?

Most current followers of William Branham's cult would claim that Branham himself did not perform the healing. Having been persuaded that Branham did not regard himself as a "healer," they believe this debate was against an "evil minister" who did not believe God could heal. Ironically, today's cult followers would side with Rev. Best. The caption underneath the photo Branham claimed was "blank" states that the debate centered upon whether or not any man had the miraculous power of healing.

Often, William Branham denounced others in the Post WWII Healing Revival, insinuating that they were the "false prophets" to his "true prophet." He claimed on many recorded sermons to believe that he did not perform the healing, but only to specific audiences. To other audiences, Branham not only claimed to be the "healer" -- Branham claimed to do the healing without even prayer. This is disturbing, to say the least.

Rev. Best claimed that he was against ministers who promoted themselves as the "healer" and were pointing to themselves rather than pointing to God. In other words, Best was not against divine healing, but against ministers who said things like this:

"As many times in a meeting, I'll take any cross-eyed child you've got in this meeting, you bring it up here without even praying for it, and just let me look at it straight in the eyes like that, I'll make its eyes come straight."
Branham, 47-0412 - Faith Is The Substance

When one examines the newspaper coverage of the event, it is very clear that both sides of the debate got very emotional. But which side was right? Was William Branham right in condemning Rev. Best for opposing men who pointed to themselves? Or was Rev. Best in the right for opposing men who claimed they could heal cross-eyed children without even praying for it?