Kenneth Erwin Hagin was born in McKinney, Texas, on August 20, 1917. Hagin was born with a congenital heart defect and weighed only two pounds at the time of his birth. At the age of six his father deserted his mother and the family which led to her suffering a nervous breakdown. The childhood of Kenneth Hagin was full of physical difficulties and a home environment centered on the whims of a mother who was often suicidal. Four months before Kenneth Hagin’s sixteenth birthday his heart conditioned worsened and was bedridden for 16 months. Hagin experienced physical paralysis and often experienced mental delirium. It was during this time in which Hagin experienced three trips to hell.
On April 22, 1933 at 7:40 PM Hagin reported that he died and descended to hell:
“Then the inner man rushed out of my body and left my body lying dead, with the eyes set and the flesh cold. . .I have proof that I was actually dead. My eyes were set, my heart stopped beating, and my pulse had ceased. . .Finally, far below me, I could see lights flickering on the walls of the caverns of the damned. The lights were caused by the fires of hell. . .Upon reaching the bottom of the pit, I became conscious of some kind of spirit being by my side. . .a voice spoke from far above the blackness, above the earth, and above the heavens. I don’t know if it was the voice of God, Jesus, or an angel, or who. . .I slipped back into my body as easily as a man slips into his trousers in the morning – through my mouth.”
For the second time, Hagin leaves his body and descends into the pit, and again a voice speaks.
“My heart stopped beating for the second time. . .I felt the blood cease to circulate. The tips of my toes went numb – then my feet, ankles, knees, hips, stomach, and heart. I leaped out of my body and began to descend: down, down down. . .The voice spoke from heaven and again my spirit came up out of that place – back to my room and back into my body. The only difference this time was that I came up at the foot of the bed.”
Again, a third time, Hagin descends into hell.
“…my heart stopped for the third time. I could feel the circulation as it cut off again – and I leaped out of my body and began to descend. . .Thank God that voice spoke. I don’t know who it was – I didn’t see anybody – I just hear the voice. . .I began to pray, “O God! I come to you in the Name of Lord Jesus Christ. I ask You to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all sin. . .That was the very hour I was born again due to the mercy of God through the prayers of my mother.”
Hagin reported that he died three times. On the last trip, Hagin describes his testimony of how he was saved from his sins and began his relationship with the God. Hagin gives credit to the prayers of his mother as the instrument by which God’s mercy was extended. Hagin clearly believes that he died. Hagin does not say that he thought he died, or that he simply left his body. No, he emphatically states that he died.
“My experience of being brought back from the dead is not new. Jesus raised three people from the dead.”
Hagin clearly equates his experiences as equal with those of whom Jesus raised from the dead in the Bible.
Critical Thinking Skills Question:
What are the relevant issues that we should address in relation to Hagin’s reported experience?