Debating Bible Basics Duncan Heaster  



Public Debate on “Are the Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit Possessed today?”

Transcript of a debate with John Liliekas

Saturday 4 March 1989

The Great Hall, University Of Leeds,Leeds, U.K.


For Possession today position: Mr. John Liliekas (Charismatic/ Evangelical Christian)

Against possession today position: Mr. Duncan Heaster

Chairman: Mr. Simon Perfitt



Chairman’s Remarks

Mr. Liliekas’ First Speech

3-2-1 The Need For Miracles

3-2-2 Divine Administration

Mr. Heaster’s First Speech

3-2-3 Charismatic Christians

3-2-4 Glossalalia

Mr. Liliekas’ Second Speech

3-2-5 Abuse Of Spirit Gifts

Mr. Heaster’s Second Speech

3-2-6 Spirit Gifts Withdrawn

Questions from the Floor

3-2-7 Questions About The Holy Spirit

3-2-8 Questions About Spirit Gifts

Summation by Mr. Liliekas

3-2-9 Gifts Of The Spirit Today

Summation by Mr. Heaster

3-2-10 Humble To The Word Of God

Chairman’s Concluding Remarks


This Debate arose as a result of the discussions between Duncan Heaster and John Liliekas on differing doctrinal issues. Consequently, it was felt a Public Debate concerning the present day possession of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit was desirable and would be of interest to a wide range of people.

Both Duncan Heaster and John Liliekas agree that the Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God, therefore it formed the basis for the Debate.

Mr. Liliekas has been asked to provide confirmatory evidence for three examples he gave during the Debate, as follows:

Reference is made to Baptists in the Philippines raising the dead. Enquiries have been made of the Baptist Headquarters in London and also in the Philippines, neither of whom appear to have any knowledge or records of such claim;

Reference is made to “Bible John”. He was a Glasgow murderer in 1968. The published records do not include any accounts of him endeavouring to convert anyone; in fact, he was a murderer of female dancers and was nicknamed “Bible John” because he once quoted from the Bible;

Reference is made to the miraculous cure of a Paisley girl whose one leg was six inches shorter than the other. Mr. Heaster was invited to investigate the evidence; so far no verifiable evidence has been provided and the identity of the person is unknown.

One of the questioners gave a personal testimony of being the subject of a miraculous cure. This evidence, provided by the lady, was used by Mr. Liliekas in a further debate with John Allfree on the same subject, published as a separate transcript, where the matter is investigated further.

The Debate

Chairman’s Remarks

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the Debate. First of all, I would like to introduce our two speakers this evening. On my right side, your left, Mr. Liliekas, who is going to speak for the subject this evening “Are the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit possessed today?” and on my left, Mr. Duncan Heaster, who is going to speak against that proposal.

Before they begin, I will just run through the order for this evening. The two speakers will be given 25 minutes each for their opening speeches, then there will be a 10 minute interval for you to go to the toilet, or whatever, stretch your legs…and after that 10 minutes for each speaker to reply. Then there will be opportunity for you to ask questions from the floor to the speakers in turn, 10 minutes for each speaker. Now, because we are quite tight on time this evening, we have to be out by 10 o’clock, I would like your agreement to keep those questions to questions please and to keep them as brief as possible.

As the evening is being recorded for the purposes of the transcript. I will relay your questions back to you in order that they will be recorded via the mikes at the front, otherwise they might not appear on the tape recording.

I accept that there is a time and place for most things, everything probably, including personal testimony, but in view of the time, both parties have agreed that we stick to questions this evening to the speakers and not statements about your experiences please.

After the questions, each speaker will be given 10 minutes summing up time.

We will proceed then with asking Mr. Liliekas to talk about, on behalf of the subject, “the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, are they possessed today?” to speak for that motion: Mr. Liliekas.