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Heresies of the Word Faith Movement

Have you heard of Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Paul Crouch, Kathryn Kuhlman, or Marilyn Hickey? There are many proponents of the Word Faith Movement, which currently endorse a great number of heresies and blasphemies.

Romans 16:17-18 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (KJV)

The Scriptures mandate that we mark those who teach doctrine which is contrary to the Holy Word of God…AND AVOID THEM.

Below is a listing of the afore mentioned Word Faith Preachers/Teachers. Next to each of their quotes we’ve countered with the Truth as found in the Word of God. Read for yourself, take it to the Lord, and you decide what you are going to do regarding Romans 16:17-18.

 

Joyce Meyer
I no longer sin“I’m going to tell you something folks, I didn’t stop sinning until I finally got it through my thick head I wasn’t a sinner anymore. And the religious world thinks that’s heresy and they want to hang you for it. But the Bible says that I’m righteous and I can’t be righteous and be a sinner at the same time…All I was ever taught to say was, ‘I’m a poor, miserable sinner.’ I am not poor, I am not miserable and I am not a sinner. That is a lie from the pit of hell. That is what I was and if I still am then Jesus died in vain. Amen” (Doctrinal Ambiguity of a Wandering Star-The Changing views of Joyce Meyer, G. Richard Fisher and Paul R. Belli) “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). “It is Christ’s righteousness imparted to us, not ours, that makes us righteous” (Ibid.).    

Christ’s redemptive work culminated in Hell and not ultimately and completely on the Cross?“There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell” (The Most important Decision You will Ever Make, 1991, Joyce Meyer).”His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserved to go. Remember in the very beginning of this, I said, ‘When you die, only your body dies. The rest of you, your soul and spirit, goes either to heaven or hell'” (Ibid.).”During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there…no plan was too extreme…Jesus paid on the cross and in hell” (Ibid., pg. 35).”Jesus went to hell for you” (Ibid., pg. 38).  

 

 

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Colossians 1:20-22, KJV)
Using Gamaliel logic as authoritative“It amazes me, and not only does it amaze me, it aggravates me. These people who think they’ve got a ministry of exposing what’s wrong with everybody else…Why is it that people think that it’s their call to go around and find out what’s wrong with everybody else and print it? Do you know when people were try to stop Jesus, finally some very wise man said, ‘Why don’t you just leave us alone? If it’s of God, you’re not gonna stop it. And if it’s not God, it won’t last too long anyway.’ Hallelujah! I mean, that’s just the way I feel about it” (“Like a Mighty Wind”, Joyce Meyer) “[Gamaliel] concludes that a genuine work of God will succeed, but a religion of human origin will fail. Gamaliel’s logic is seriously flawed because he allows for only two possible sources or explanations for these religious movements–Human or Divine…The Scriptures warn of demonic or Satanic origin to much counterfeit religious belief and even miraculous phenomena. Using Gamaliel’s logic, we would have to conclude that religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and modern cults such as the Mormons, Baha’i and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are all inspired by God because they have not ‘failed.’…Gamaliel is not a model of godly wisdom that Christians should emulate. His counsel, both in terms of what he advised the Sanhedrin to do and believe, was seriously flawed and most likely inspired by Satan” (Banner Ministries Mainstream Newsletter, Spring 1995, pg. 10)Romans 16:17-18 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (KJV)    

Blab it and Grab it“Remember then, that the Word of God is both spirit and life, use wisdom and begin speaking life to your situation” (The Name, the Word, The Blood, Joyce Meyer, pg. 38).”Words are containers for power” (Ibid., pg. 37)    

“…Word-Faith teachers advocate that through speaking and positive affirmations we can create our own reality. They usually refer to Genesis 1 and show that God spoke the world into existence and extrapolate that we, too, can speak creative words and can speak reality into existence. The fact that the premise breaks down because we are not God, does not deter Meyer…” (Doctrinal Ambiguity of a Wandering Star-The Changing views of Joyce Meyer, G. Richard Fisher and Paul R. Belli)

 

Kenneth Hagin
Suggestive, Hypnotic Healing Methods“The Lord said to me, ‘This is the primary way you are to minister, with the healing anointing. However, the healing anointing will not work unless you tell the people exactly what I told you. That is, you tell the people exactly what I told you. Tell them that you saw me. Tell them that I spoke to you. Tell them that I laid the finger of my right hand in the palm of each of your hands.’ Then Jesus smiled and added, ‘The anointing is not in your feet-I did not tell you to lay your feet on anybody. The anointing is not in your head-I did not tell you to lay your head on anybody. It is in your hands. Tell the people that I told you to tell them that if they belief that-that is, you are anointed-and will receive that anointing, that power will flow from your hands into their bodies, and it will drive out their sickness or their disease, and it will affect a healing and a cure in them’ (The Toronto Blessing, Slaying in the Spirit-The Telling Wonder, Nader Mikhaeil, Southwood Press Pty Limited, Australia, pg. 175) “This kind of talk-‘Tell people that I appeared to you, that I spoke to you, that I laid the finger of my right hand in your palm’-is designed to increase, and to heighten the expectation of the sick person who will be more susceptible to the suggestion of Hagin. Such techniques are essential to any hypnotic process. Hypnotists differentiate between what they call intimate conviction, and good intention of their subject. It is this intimate conviction that is needed to obtain better results. This manner of speaking-‘tell them…tell them…’-is designed to achieve this intimate conviction. When the apostle Peter met the paralyzed man at the beautiful gate of the temple, he did not give him a lengthy pep talk to heighten his expectations of a miracle…Peter simply said: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ AND THE MAN WALKED” (Ibid., pp. 175-176)!
Jesus Christ’s Healings are not forever?“During the great healing revival, evangelists would hold short meetings, and I’d come along behind them with longer meetings. By the time I got there, I often found people who had been healed in those meetings already had lost their healing. That happened in my meetings too..That is why I changed my ministry and did more teaching. Yes, I could advertise my vision, fill up an auditorium, and get many people healed-but they wouldn’t keep their healing…” (Ibid., pg. 176) “The Bible, the Word of God, is the Word of Truth. The Bible did not omit any aspect of truth that we ought to have known. Had there been any relapsed healings during the ministry of the Lord Jesus, or even during that of one of the Old Testament prophets and had the Bible not given an account of it, the Bible would be charged with hiding the truth, for half truth is not truth at all…But there are no relapsed healings in the Word of God. A relapse is not the mark of the hand of God” (Ibid., pp. 176-177).
Twisting the Scriptures regarding Healing…“Hagin describes one incident in which he was visiting one of his church members. This man had been healed some nine months before from back pain which he had suffered for twenty-five years. Hagin noticed that the back pain had returned and the man seemed even worse than before. Hagin wanted to convince the man that the Lord had actually healed him. But the man said, ‘I’ll tell you what I believe: I believe if God ever does anything, it’s done. If God ever heals anybody, they’re healed forever.’ Hagin said, ‘You mean if a fellow ever gets healed, then he’s always healed?’ Yeah’, the man replied. Hagin replied, ‘Well, isn’t that something? Jesus did not know that. He didn’t know you couldn’t lose your healing or the blessings of God. When He appeared in a vision to John on the Isle of Patmos and gave him a message for one of the churches in Asia Minor he told them to ‘hold fast’ to what they had. Why hold fast to it if you can’t lose it?…Hagin then stood there teaching that man for over an hour….” (Ibid., pp. 177-178). “The word ‘hold’ refers to the teaching they have received, not to healing. For some in the church in Pergamum were holding the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaitans. In the church in Thyatira there was a false prophetess who was introducing seductive teachings. The Lord was warning the church not to listen to her but to hold fast to the true teaching, not to hold fast to a healing. What a degrading of the power of God! Can you imagine any of the blind men Jesus healed becoming blind again? What a ”laugh” that would be. The high priests and the Jewish leaders would have found enough cause to kill the Lord Jesus for being a magician or wizard. However, they could not find one reason to kill him, except in their claim that he blasphemed by saying that He was the Son of God. If there was one healing that relapsed that would have been strong evidence that Jesus was a false healer, a trickster” (Ibid., pg. 178).
Prayer is ‘Negative Confession’? Many times you lose by praying! You lose by turning in your prayer requests. That might startle you, but what you are doing is confessing, I don’t have it” (Ibid., pg. 180). “Does this not fly in the face of what the Bible plainly teaches? …What of Paul, who exhorted his readers to, ‘pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you .’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18)…Or what then of James, who said that ‘The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ (James 5:16)…John encourages us by saying: ‘And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.’ (1 John 5:15)” (Ibid., pp. 180-181).
Handkerchiefs impart Spiritual Rebirth?“Hagin recorded a very telling story about the source of the manifestations brought by his hands. A mother came to him, asking him to his hands on a handkerchief. The mother the traveled 300 miles to a hospital where her daughter lay unconscious. The doctors were planning to remove a tumor from the daughter, who was also diabetic. The mother went to where her daughter lay and ‘under the oxygen tent, laid the handkerchief on her daughter’s chest. The minute it touched her, she revived. She was healed, born again, filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues, all in one application” (Ibid., pg. 188). “Hagin tells us that this daughter was healed, born again, filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues as soon as his handkerchief was placed on her chest. We have no difficulty believing that the daughter could be healed because of the handkerchief. But how could she be born again…? Believing comes by hearing the word of God and believing it, not by touching a handkerchief. In Romans 10:17 Paul says, ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’…The healing did not make her a child of God. Hagin had to say that this daughter was born again. How could an unbeliever speak in tongues? …If an unbeliever can speak in tongues these tongues cannot be from God. Hagin was forced to state that the daughter was born again…which is completely unscriptural” (Ibid., pg. 189).

 

Kenneth Copeland
Jesus died Spiritually? (JDS) “The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’ You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, “Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there-the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on the pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’ He said, ‘I accepted, in My own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.‘” (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff, Harvest House, Oregon, pp. 157-158). “Numerous passages in God’s Word attest that our sins have been dealt with ‘through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’ (Hebrews 10:10; cf. Romans 7:4; Colossians 1:22; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 4:1). This poses three difficult questions for the Faith teachers’ view of the atonement. First, why is there no explicit mention of Christ’s alleged “spiritual” death, while the Bible is replete with details on the fact and significance of His physical death-especially if it was His spiritual death that did away with the curse? Second, why does the Bible place so much emphasis on Christ’s physical death-to the exclusion of His alleged spiritual death-if His physical death was not the factor that eradicated sin? Third, why is it that Christ Himself told us to remember the sacrifice He made with His body and blood (both of which are essentially physical), while saying nothing about any spiritual sacrifice (cf. Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:24-26)? All the biblical evidence indicates that Jesus never died spiritually and that His physical death paid the price for humanity’s sin” (Ibid, pp. 161-162).
Anybody could do what Jesus did on the Cross? Jesus had to go through that same spiritual death in order to pay the price. It wasn’t the physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin. Because if it had of been any prophet of God that had died for the last couple of thousand of years before that could have paid that price. It wasn’t physical death. Anybody could do that.” (“What Satan saw on the day of Pentecost” tape #02-0022) Romans 5:9-10 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV)Revelation 1:5 – And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,(KJV) If Kenneth Copeland really believes this, he is lost in his sins and cannot be a born-again Christian.
We are gods? Shirley McClaine Teachings?“He is a spirit. And Jesus said the time will come and time now is that they that worship him worship him, in spirit and in truth. And he imparted in you when you were born again…Peter said it just as plain, he said we are partakers of the divine nature. That nature is life eternal in absolute perfection. And that was imparted, injected into your spirit man and you have that imparted into you by God just as same as you imparted into your child the nature of humanity. That child wasn’t born a whale…born a human. Isn’t that true? Well now you don’t have a human, do you? No, you are one. You don’t have a god in you, you are one” (“The Force of Love”, tape #02-0028) Genesis 3:4-5And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV)Isaiah 14:12-14 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV)
Copeland says that he’s the Christ?“He am healing. He am deliverance. He am financial prosperity, mental prosperity, physical prosperity, family prosperity. It’s terrible grammar, but you understand what I’m saying. I’m saying it to effect my mind. He am whatever He hath to be. Because he said he’d meet my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus and I’m walking around saying, ‘Yes my needs are met according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Glory to God. I’m cousin and kin to the need maker. I’m cousin and kin to the need meeter. I’m cousin and kin to the I AM. Hallelujah. [applause] And I say this with all respect so that it don’t upset you too bad. But I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he says “I AM” I just smile and say, “I AM too.” [applause] (“Believers Voice of Victory” broadcast, TBN 7/9/87). Matthew 24:4-5 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)

 

Paul Crouch
Paul Crouch is a god? “Do you know what else that has settled then tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the devil to try and bring dissension within the Body of Christ. That we are gods. I am a little god. I have his name. I’m one with him. I’m in covenant relationship. I am a little god. (Kenneth Copeland: “You are anything that he is.”) Yes.” (“Praise the Lord” TBN, recorded 07/07/86). Genesis 3:4-5And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV) Isaiah 14:12-14 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV)
In meekness instructing those…“I want to say to all you scribes, Pharisees, heresy hunters, all of you that are going around picking little bits of doctrinal error out of everybody’s eyes and dividing the body of Christ and arguing over splinters and doctrinal hairs and dissipating and wasting all of our time when the world is all going to hell. I say “Get out of God’s way! Quit blocking God’s bridges! Or God’s gonna shoot you if I don’t” (“Praise-a-thon” TBN, recorded 04/02/91). 2 Timothy 2:24-25 – And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (KJV)Titus 3:1-2 – Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (KJV)
Doctrine is not important?“I refuse to argue any longer with any of you out there. Don’t even call in if you want to argue doctrine. If you want to straighten somebody out over here. If you want to criticize Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith or Dad Hagen. Get out of my life. I don’t want to even talk to you or hear you. I don’t want to see your ugly face. Get out of my face in Jesus’ name” (“Praise-a-thon” TBN, recorded 04/02/91). 2 Timothy 4:3-4For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV)

 

Fred Price
God has displeasure in the poor?“Yeah, God has pleasure in the prosperity. So he must have displeasure in the poverty. So if he does, then poverty couldn’t be from God. Yeah, but Brother Price, but God allows it. God lets it happen. You’re right, he does. He does, because you do. He can’t do anything about it” (“Ever Increasing Faith” recorded 11/16/90). James 2:5 – Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (NIV)
Following Jesus’ steps is driving a Rolls Royce?“The whole point is I’m trying to get you to see to get you out of this malaise of thinking that Jesus and the disciples were poor and then relating that to you thinking that you as a child of God have to follow Jesus. The Bible says that he has left us an example that we should follow his steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. I’m following Jesus’ steps” [Amen, All Right from congregation] (“Ever Increasing Faith” recorded 12/09/90, tape #CRA2). Philippians 2:4-8 – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (KJV)
Jesus called God a fool?“When I first get saved, they didn’t tell me I could do anything. What they told me to do is whenever I prayed I should say “The will of the Lord be done.” Now doesn’t that sound humble? It does. Sounds like humility. It’s really stupidity. I mean you know, really, we insult God. We really insult our heavenly father. We really insult him without even realizing it. If you have to say, ‘If it be thy will’ or ‘Thy will be done.’ If you have to say that, you are calling God a fool. Luke 11:1-2 – And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (KJV)

 

Benny Hinn
We are christs? We are gods?“When you say ‘I am saved,’ what are you saying? You are saying I am a Christian. What does that word mean? Means that I am anointed. Do you know what anointed means? It means Christ. When you say I am a Christian, you are saying…I am a little messiah walking on the earth in other words. That’s a shocking revelation…His spirit and our spirit man are one. United. There is no separation, it is impossible. The new creation is created after God in righteousness and true holiness. The new man is after God, like God, God-like, complete in Christ Jesus, the new creation is just like God. May I say it like this, you are a little god on earth running around” (“Praise-a-thon” TBN, recorded November, 1990). Matthew 24:4-5 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)Genesis 3:4-5And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV)
We are as God is?“…Kenneth Hagen has a teaching. A lot of you have problems with it, yet it is absolute truth. Kenneth Copeland has a teaching. Many Christians have put holes in it, but it’s divine truth. Hagen and Copeland say, “you are god”, “ye are gods”-“I can’t be God!” Hold it, let’s bring balance to this teaching. The balance is being taught by Hagen. It’s those that repeat it that mess it up. The balance is being taught by Copeland, who is my dear friend…You see dear brother, when Jesus was on Earth, the Bible says that first he disrobed himself of the divine form. He, the limitless God became a man, that we men may become as he is” (“Our Position in Christ” tape #A031190-1) Isaiah 14:12-14 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV)

 

Kathryn Kuhlman
Origins of Slain in the Spirit“The New Testament, which is our perfect pattern, records no events where a minister caused people to fall on the floor. This particular phenomenon appears, from my research, to have actually commenced with Miss Kuhlman and a handful of other healing evangelists …Usually the person was caught by those who were called catchers…and they remained on the floor only briefly. With Kathryn Kuhlman, there appeared no distinction as to who was slain, including Jewish Rabbis, Catholic priests and nuns, unsaved individuals or simply whosoever might get…special prayer” (Kathryn Kuhlman & Her Spirit Guide, Joseph R. Chambers, Paw Creek Ministries, North Carolina, pg. 8). “That in itself is enough to forever settle the absence of validity and biblical support. The Holy Spirit never acts indiscriminately in His Holy touch on human lives. Second, whatever He does brings honor only to Jesus Christ and always has deep and profound purpose. The Kingdom of God does not play with human emotions and sensational activities. The overwhelming factor is that this questionable phenomenon has spread all over the church world and has followed exactly the pattern commenced by Miss Kuhlman. Benny Hinn actually tells of an individual slain in the Spirit/spirit with a cigarette in his mouth.” (Ibid., pg. 8).
Catholic Priests created the proper climate?“She had a special love for doctors, and wanted them either on the stage or on the front rows of the auditorium. The same was true of priests and nuns -especially if they were ‘in uniform.’ Nothing thrilled Kathryn more than to have thirty or forty Catholic clergymen, especially if they wore clerical collars, or, better yet, cassocks, sitting behind her while she ministered. Somehow it seemed to lend authenticity to what she was doing-and helped create the proper climate of a trust and understanding which was so necessary for a miracle service” Ibid., pg. 7). “Kathryn Kuhlman was apparently the first minister within the Evangelistacl/Pentacostal world that laid a foundation for the new unity movement of religions. It was said by her official biographer, Buckingham, that Miss Kuhlman did not like to conduct her services without Catholic priests on her platform” (Ibid., pg. 7).

 

Marilyn Hickey
Blab it and Grab it? God is not the only Creator?“What do you need? Start creating it. Start speaking about it. Start speaking it into being. Speak to your billfold. Say, ‘You big, thick billfold full of money.” Speak to your checkbook. Say, ‘You checkbook, you. You’ve never been so prosperous since I owned you. You’re just jammed full of money” (Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff, Harvest House, Oregon, pg. 351). “Hickey’s teachings are for the most part a blend of the theologies of Tilton, Hagin, Copeland, and a host of other ‘prosperity personalities.’ Her message is peppered with such Faith jargon as ‘the God-kind of faith’ and ‘confession brings possession.’ Hickey’s theology has not only been influenced by the kingdom of the cults, but the world of the occult as well. In fact, her most direct exposure to occultism may well have come from serving on the board of Paul Yonggi Cho” (Ibid., pg. 352).

 

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Understanding Word-Faith Teaching
by Rob Bowman

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Once upon a time, long long ago, on a faraway planet, there lived a good God. . . . Because Jesus was recreated from a satanic being to an incarnation of God, you too can become an incarnation – as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth! And, as an incarnation of God, you can have unlimited health and unlimited wealth – a palace like the Taj Mahal with a Rolls Royce in your driveway. You are a little messiah running around on earth! All it takes is to recognize your own divinity.

Hank Hanegraaff (summarizing the Word-Faith teaching)

It seems our friends, the book writers, have invented an entirely new theology called the “born again Jesus” built upon a conglomeration of quotations taken from 6 or 7 ministers, pulled out of context and combined as though we all believed identically the same thing or were even speaking about the same subject when quoted (which, in some cases, we were not). And the reader is told we all believe this “born again Jesus” theology, believe exactly alike about it, and we’re all heretics. Yet I am diametrically opposed to some of the doctrines held by those who are quoted on the same page as me! Kenneth E. Hagin

He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. Proverbs 18:13

If we are to evaluate the Word-Faith teaching, we first need to understand it. As Solomon counseled, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). We need to grasp the Word-Faith theology as a whole and understand how it all fits together from the perspective of the Word-Faith teachers if we are to make an intelligent decision as to whether it is biblical. Moreover, we need to look at the movement from all sides and consider it from every relevant angle in order to make our assessment as complete and balanced as possible. In this chapter I will set forth an agenda for such a complete assessment and then explain the Word-Faith teaching in order to make its basic message understandable.

The Roots, Shoots, and Fruits

A complete evaluation of any movement’s teachings requires that we look at three aspects of the teachings, which may be called the roots, shoots, and fruits of a doctrine.

Exposing the Roots
The roots of a doctrine are the sources or origins of the teachings. Did the ideas come from the Bible? Did they come from the biblically based teaching of a sound Christian teacher? Did they come from a source that is clearly cultic or non-Christian? Or did they come from a mixture of all three types of sources? If certain ideas can be traced to non-Christian or cultic roots, how were these ideas transferred?

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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An examination of the “roots” of a teaching is never sufficient by itself, because non-Christians, after all, can express truths and can have genuine insights. It is perfectly fine for a Christian teacher to “plunder the Egyptians” by taking over ideas or formulations found in non-Christian thought and putting them into a soundly Christian context. So we must be careful not to argue that a particular doctrine is false merely because a cultist or other non-Christian advocated it. In logic this is called the genetic fallacy – attempting to dismiss an idea on the basis of its genesis, or origin.

William DeArteaga, in his book defending the Word-Faith movement, claims that Daniel R. McConnell’s critique of the Word-Faith teaching commits the “genetic fallacy” by arguing that “Hagin derived his teachings from Kenyon, who in turn was associated with the Metaphysical movement.” DeArteaga calls this error “the pharisaical objection of origins,” referring to his belief that the Pharisees erred by rejecting any workings of the Spirit that contradicted their theology or which they could not explain. This is an odd theory: the Pharisees never criticized Jesus’ teachings for supposedly deriving from a suspect source (say, that Jesus got his ideas from the pagan Greeks). They did accuse him of having a demon (Matt. 9:34; 12:24; John 7:20; 8:48, 52; 10:20), but this is a “genetic” argument of a very different sort! Setting aside this strange reference to the Pharisees, DeArteaga’s criticism overlooks the fact that McConnell explicitly denies trying to discredit the Word-Faith teaching by a simple exposé of its origins:

The historical origins of the Faith movement are not enough, however, to justify the charge of cultism. That would be an example of theological guilt by mere historical association. To prove cultism requires that it be demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the beliefs and practices of the contemporary Faith movement (not just those of Kenyon) are both cultic and heretical.. . . The Faith movement is cubic not just because of where it comes from. but also because of what it teaches.

DeArteaga elsewhere shows that he does take the question of the origins of the Word-Faith teaching to be relevant. In answer to McConnell, he argues that Kenyon’s doctrines of revelation – knowledge and of the Christian life are not really Gnostic at all but are instead rooted in the theology of the apostle Paul.

If the genetic fallacy is to be avoided, then why examine the roots at all? There are two reasons for doing so. First, sometimes teachers will misrepresent the source of their teachings in order to exaggerate their own originality or because the true sources are a potential embarrassment to them. In some cases professing Christian teachers have been known to plagiarize whole sermons or books from various cultic or questionable sources. Obviously, if they pass off as new insights or revelations from God ideas that they actually lifted word for word from a non-Christian or cultic writer, this constitutes a serious problem. Exposing these teachers’ lack of honesty in this area serves its own purpose independent of evaluating the teachings themselves.

Here again, DeArteaga argues that McConnell has criticized Kenneth Hagin unjustly by accusing him of plagiarism. According to DeArteaga, “McConnell also accuses Hagin of passing off his theology as pure ‘revelation knowledge’ without any credits to human sources” (emphasis added). DeArteaga points to the preface of The Name of Jesus in which Hagin acknowledges drawing on Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus as proof that McConnell is wrong. Yet McConnell himself quotes Hagin’s preface and comments, “This is one of the few candid, direct acknowledgments of Kenyon to appear in any of Hagin’s writings.” McConnell also observes that “Hagin demonstrates the ability to give credit where credit is due with regard to the sources that he drew on to develop a particular idea,” except concerning those sources from which he plagiarized extensively. His contention is simply that Hagin’s repeated, massive plagiarism of the writings of Kenyon, along with those of John A. MacMillan, demonstrate that Hagin’s claim to have learned the Word-Faith teaching directly from visitations and revelations from God is patently false. DeArteaga’s criticisms of McConnell in this matter are not cogent.

Second, identifying the source of someone’s questionable doctrines can aid us in pinpointing the real problems in those doctrines. If certain doctrinal errors have been taught before and have been answered by sound Christian teachers, then finding these antecedents can be very helpful in identifying and refuting the errors. Discovering the true roots of the Word-Faith teaching, once it is shown to be unbibilcal and damaging to authentic Christian faith, will then aid us in getting to the core of the problem. It will also enable us to be better on guard against similar errors in the future.

Again, we do not expose the roots of a doctrine to prove it false. We examine the roots to help us diagnose the problems and prescribe a cure.

Examining the Shoots
The second aspect of any doctrine is the substance or idea of the doctrine itself. This is what for convenience I call the shoots, though it would be more precise to talk about the trunk and branches. More technically, the shoots of a doctrine are the doctrine itself as a doctrine – what the doctrine says in theory and the arguments or reasons given in its support.

Most of the time, we identify a tree by its shoots. That is, we can usually tell what sort of a tree it is simply by looking at its overall appearance as shaped primarily by its trunk and branches. A quick glance at the shoots of a fir tree is enough to determine that it is not an oak.

Examining doctrines is often not as easy, of course, because doctrines are not tangible entities that can be perceived with a single glance. What we purpose to do in examining a doctrine, though, is not merely to identify it but also to evaluate its soundness and strength. When examining a tree, for example, we would check various branches to see if they are strong and well connected to the trunk. If there was some doubt about the health of the tree, we might cut through the bark to examine the interior of the wood. When examining a doctrine, we would test its soundness and strength by examining the reasoning used to support the conclusion and seeing if that reasoning is firmly based on the Bible.

Examining the shoots, then, comes down to comparing the contemporary teachings with the teachings of the Bible. The Word-Faith teachers tend to resist this kind of critical examination, offering various reasons why their teachings should not be critiqued. I have evaluated these objections to doctrinal discernment in Orthodoxy and Heresy. Here I will point out simply that this sort of study is strongly encouraged in the Bible itself (see Matt. 22:29; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:16). It is the basic method used by Christians throughout the centuries to test novel and controversial teachings as they have arisen in the church.

Looking at the Fruits
The third and final aspect of testing a doctrine is to look at its fruit. This test is perhaps the best known because of the words of Jesus regarding false prophets: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16, 20). Unfortunately these words are among the most abused words in Scripture. They are all too commonly cited to prove that testing someone’s teachings by comparing them with Scripture is either unnecessary or illegitimate. Yet this claim is itself a doctrine that people try to prove by citing Scripture!

What Jesus says here is absolutely true: One can know a false prophet by his or her “fruits.” We need to ask, though, what is included, and what is not, in these fruits. One thing Jesus makes very clear in the context is that prophetic utterances and miracles are not included (Matt. 7:22). This is important because Word-Faith teachers and those who support them often point to stories of healings, apparent supernatural revelations, and other amazing incidents as proof that God has blessed their ministry. But Jesus specifically excludes such things from the “fruits” by which we would be able to tell a false prophet from a true one.

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On the other hand, Jesus does not discourage testing doctrines by comparing them with Scripture. Indeed, his focus is not on the truth or falsity of a particular doctrine but on the divine calling of a professed prophet. The purpose of the test is to tell apart true and false prophets, both of whom seem to speak in the name of the Lord (Matt. 7:21-22). The implication is that a true prophet must represent the Lord truly both in word and in action. Thus the point here is not that true prophets can say anything they want as long as their outward lives are good. Rather, it is that a prophet is false if his fruit is evil, no matter how good or true his words seem to be.

A short while later in the same passage, Jesus contrasts the wise person with the foolish person. The wise person acts on Jesus’ words, while the foolish person fails to do so (Matt. 7:24-27). The implication is that one may and should compare people’s actions to the words of Jesus to see whether their actions are wise or foolish.

One bad fruit that is always produced by false prophets is confusion and division. When false prophets come along and teach false doctrines or make false claims, it is their fault when confusion and division ensue. It is certainly not the fault of those who oppose their unbiblical teachings.

The sum of the matter is this. The test Jesus sets forth in Matthew 7 is intended to expose false prophets. It is not the only such test, but it is a valid and crucial test. It cannot be used to avoid responsibility to teach doctrine that is faithful to the same Bible in which this test appears. False and unsound doctrine always contradicts biblical doctrine and results in bad fruit.

On Defining the Word-Faith Teaching

Before explaining the Word-Faith teaching, I need to say some things about the approach taken here. In discussing this subject with advocates of the Word-Faith teaching and with its critics, I have learned that how one approaches the discussion virtually determines whether communication and understanding will ever take place.

Is There a “Word Faith Teaching”?
Some people object to any critique of the “Word-Faith teaching” on two grounds. First, it is sometimes said that the Word-Faith teachers are evangelists, healers, prophets, or pastors, not teachers or theologians, and that they should not be judged as if they were theologians. Second, it has been argued that the critics of the Word-Faith movement have created a straw-man “Word-Faith teaching” from statements taken out of context or shoe-horned into a theology that none of the Word-Faith teachers espouse. We are told that the Word-Faith teachers differ markedly on a number of doctrinal points, so that the doctrine attributed to them as a group is an artificial construct of the critics’ own imagination.

It is, of course, true that none of the Word-Faith teachers is a systematic theologian or even a methodical teacher whose theological “system” is easily encapsulated from his writings. This does not mean, however, that the Word-Faith leaders are not teachers. Whatever they may see as their primary calling, when they regularly present teaching on matters of Christian belief, they make themselves teachers. It is silly to say that individual – articles, and disseminate video and audiotapes of their messages on doctrinal topics are not teachers.

In any case, at least some of these men do claim to be teachers. Kenneth Hagin, who claims that his primary calling is to the ministry of a prophet, also claims to serve in the ministry of a teacher. Thus it is perfectly appropriate to hold the Word-Faith teachers to a higher standard of doctrinal accuracy than we do persons in ministry who do not presume to teach doctrine (James 3:1).

As for the second objection, it simply is not true that the Word-Faith teachers have no theological system. The lack of a formal Word-Faith “systematic theology” does not mean that there is no structural or thematic unity in their teaching. If a Word-Faith teacher’s teaching is at all coherent or consistent, it should be possible to systematize his teachings in order to bring out its coherence and essential ideas. If such systematization is not possible, it only goes to show that his teaching is chaotic and therefore that he is a poor teacher.

Kenneth Hagin has complained that the theology attributed to him and other Word-Faith teachers is an invention of the critics (see the quotation at the beginning of this chapter). Hagin’s objection has some justice, but the legitimate point he is making should not be exaggerated. There is a core of doctrinal teaching that makes the Word-Faith movement distinctive and identifiable, a core of teaching to which the Word-Faith televangelists generally subscribe and that sets them apart from other Christian traditions. I agree that some of the critics of the Word-Faith teachers have erred in superimposing on the Word-Faith movement a greater degree of unity than is actually there. But the error of this extreme does not justify the opposite extreme of denying any distinctive doctrinal unity in the movement.

In this chapter, then, I will attempt to state that core theology of the Word-Faith movement. It may be that some Word-Faith advocates will disagree somewhat with the way their doctrine is presented here, but I believe that overall this presentation of the Word-Faith theology is accurate and representative of their teachings.

How Shall the Word-Faith Teaching Be Defined?
It is easy to make the Word-Faith doctrine sound silly or absurd. Indeed, one can do so by just stringing together a number of the more colorful statements that have been made by Word-Faith teachers. When critics of the movement do this and then fill in the gaps with their own interpretative embellishments, the result is a caricature.

This is the problem, as I see it, with the way in which the Word-Faith teaching is represented in the section titled “Once Upon a Time . . .” in Hank Hanegraaff’s Christianity in Crisis. Hanegraaff himself makes the following admission in a prefatory note in very small print:

The following tale is a composite of the erroneous teachings of individuals like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Frederick Price, and many others. While not all the Faith teachers hold to every aspect of this tale, they have all made substantial contributions to both the production and the proliferation of these aberrations and heresies. (emphasis added)
What Hanegraaff fails to acknowledge, unfortunately, is that none of the Word-Faith teachers “holds to every aspect of this tale.” The “composite” fails to represent accurately the views of any of the Word-Faith teachers, because none of them holds to the whole thing. Moreover, some of the elements of this “composite” are not held by any of the Word-Faith teachers but are Hanegraaff’s own imaginative and colorful additions. Hanegraaff describes the Word-Faith teachers’ God as hoping to get “lucky.” He describes the Jesus of the Word-Faith teaching as becoming “a satanic being” when he died. He claims that the Word-Faith teaching asserts that Christians can have “a palace like the Taj Mahal. . . . All it takes is to recognize your own divinity.” These descriptions, however, make the Word-Faith movement sound more akin to Eastern religions or the New Age movement than it really is. In truth none of the Word-Faith teachers ever talk this way.

This way of presenting the Word-Faith teaching, while it has shock value, unnecessarily offends those who embrace the Word-Faith teaching. Just as we would not want our beliefs to be misrepresented, we must be careful not to misrepresent the beliefs of those in the Word-Faith movement (Matt. 7:12). When they hear the views of their favorite televangelists being exaggerated or sensationalized, they use that to dismiss out of hand the many valid criticisms of the Word-Faith teaching that critics offer.

We must never lose sight of the fact that many persons do, after all, find in the Word-Faith doctrine a convincing and coherent message. I will therefore be presenting the teaching in such a form as I think a systematically minded advocate of the Word-Faith teaching might articulate it. What I have attempted to do here is to set forth the Word-Faith teaching in the best possible light, focusing on the most prominent and essential aspects of that teaching. This way, what is being refuted is not the worst possible representation of the teaching but the doctrine at its best.

I hasten to add that the more colorful and extreme ideas that have been taught by Word-Faith teachers are certainly, in and of themselves, fair targets for criticism. I will be critiquing some of them in this book. But these more outlandish ideas need to be placed fairly in the context of the Word-Faith teaching.

In order to be as fair to the Word-Faith movement as possible, I will base my exposition of its teaching solely on the words of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Since these two men are the undisputed leaders of the Word-Faith movement, any doctrine to which both of them subscribe may be safely regarded as part of the Word-Faith teaching. With one important exception, I have avoided mentioning in this summary any doctrine taught by only one, and not the other, of these two men. Persons who acknowledge Hagin or Copeland as teachers and who accept the general ideas of the Word-Faith teaching, even if they deviate in one or a few particulars, may also be regarded as part of the Word-Faith movement.

What follows, then, is a summary of the theology of the Word-Faith movement, including the doctrinal issues that will be explored later in this book.

Human Beings Are Spirits

Basic to the Word-Faith theology is a particular understanding of human nature as spirit, soul, and body. Spirit is more real than the physical, according to the Word-Faith teaching, and therefore the spirit is the real person. It is the spirit that is made in God’s image, allowing the Word-Faith teachers to conclude that human beings are exact duplicates of God, or little gods.

Furthermore, it is the spirit to which God communicates (not the mind), and the spirit that is supposed to control the soul and especially the body. The problem with the human race is that we are allowing our bodies to control our lives, or our reason to dictate to our spirits, rather than having our spirits take control over our whole beings. This is fundamental for the Word-Faith teachers, since in their view we should disbelieve our senses when they tell us we are sick or poor, and disbelieve our reason when it tells us that the Word-Faith teaching is illogical or false (see chapter 6).

God and Humanity

According to the Word-Faith teachers, God is much more like a man than Christians generally have supposed. God is a God of faith; he created the world by faith and accomplishes all that he desires by believing in his heart and speaking the word of faith, thereby bringing things into existence (see chapter 7).

There is another respect in which Word-Faith teaching makes God more like a man than is traditionally thought. Although God is in essence a spirit, the Word-Faith teachers hold that God, like human beings, is spirit, soul, and body – albeit a “spirit body” (see chapter 8).

Likewise, the Word-Faith teachers insist that human beings are much more like God than Christians have usually believed. Our creation in God’s image is interpreted to mean that we exist in God’s “class” as the same kind of being as God, though on a smaller scale (as “little gods”). Moreover, the purpose of the coming of Jesus was to restore humanity to godhood by creating a new race of humans who, like Jesus, would be God incarnate (see chapter 9).

Humanity’s potential as little gods was, according to the Word-Faith teaching, thwarted by the fall. Adam forfeited his status as the god of this world by obeying the devil and thereby making Satan the god of this world. In sinning, Adam gave Satan legal dominion over this world and passed Satan’s nature of death, with its corresponding symptoms of sickness and poverty, down to the rest of humanity (see chapter 10).

Jesus Christ

To correct the situation arising from the fall, God, according to Word-Faith theology, implemented a strategy for reclaiming dominion from the devil. The centerpiece of this strategy was his becoming a man. Although Word-Faith teachers affirm that Jesus Christ was God incarnate, their understanding of what this incarnation meant is in some respects highly unusual.

First, all Word-Faith teachers argue that Christians are just as much “incarnations of God” as was Jesus Christ. This implies that “incarnation” in Word-Faith teaching does not mean the same thing it means in traditional Christian usage. Much of what the Word-Faith teachers say suggests that in their view anyone who is indwelled by the Spirit is an incarnation.

Second, Word-Faith teachers are not altogether clear as to whether it was the preexistent, eternal Son of God who became incarnate. Some Word-Faith teachers, such as Hagin, seem to assume this traditional, biblical view. Others, though, notably Kenneth Copeland and Charles Capps, teach that the Word that became incarnate was God’s Word of promise that he would redeem humanity, and that this Word was “positively confessed” into personal existence by the Virgin Mary (see chapter 11).

The Word-Faith teachers also have a distinctive view of what Christ did to effect our salvation. In their view, what Jesus did that was unique was to die, not merely physically but spiritually as well (thus taking on himself Satan’s nature), and go to hell. There, they say, he was “born again,” rising from the dead with God’s nature (which, it is sometimes implied, he had lost in dying spiritually). By doing so, the Word-Faith teachers argue, Jesus paved the way for us to be born again and exhibit God’s nature in our lives (see chapter 12).

As has already been mentioned, the Word-Faith teachers tend to interpret the incarnation as the prototype of God’s Spirit dwelling in a human being. In this sense, they insist, Christians are as much an incarnation of God as was Jesus Christ. This lends support, in their view, to the claim that all Christians ought to be able to overcome difficulties in their lives and perform miracles in just the same way Jesus did. In principle any of us can do anything that Jesus did on earth (see chapter 13).

Faith, Prayer, and Confession

The distinctive ideas about God and man in Word-Faith theology are the basis for its views on faith and prayer. Faith is not only believing what God says but also believing that we have whatever we say. Prayer is not only speaking to God but also speaking to things and circumstances and commanding them to do as we say. This is the basis for the concept of positive and negative confession, the idea that what we believe and say, whether good or bad, will happen for us (see chapter 14).

On the basis of a positive confession – itself based on faith that we are divine spirits created and redeemed to rule our circumstances by speaking words of faith – Word-Faith theology says we are to obtain health and wealth. Since Christ died to free us from the curse of the law, reason the Word-Faith teachers, this must mean that Christians need no longer accept sickness or poverty in their lives. Christians ought to live in divine health and wealth as testimony to the power of God and as evidence that they are children of God (see chapter 15).

This is the Word-Faith theology to be studied in this book. For the most part, my focus will not be on the personalities who promote these views but on the biblical teachings that are relevant to evaluating the Word-Faith theology. However, in order to understand the teachings fully, we need to consider how they arose and know something about their sources. The next four chapters will deal with just these questions.

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Matthew 9:34 – But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

Matthew 12:24 – But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,[4] the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

John 7:20 – “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

John 8:48, 52 – The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” – At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.

John 10:20 – Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

Matthew 22:29 – Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Acts 17:11 – Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Matthew 7:16, 20 – By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? – Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7:21-22 – “Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

Matthew 7:24-27 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

James 3:1 – Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Matthew 7:12 – So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

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Taken from The Word-Faith Controversy by Rob Bowman. Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, copyright 2001. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Book House Company. You can purchase The Word-Faith Controversy for a total of $15 by calling the Issues, Etc. resource line at 1-800-737-0172 .

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Word of Faith: Devastating Impact: Casualties

On a personal level, it seems that – in the long term especially – the WOF is devastating. It is devastating to the WOF believers because they have allowed themselves to be led astray and to be spiritually deceived. The presumption that God does not allow his own children to be deceived is obviously false, because in the Bible, Paul and John and Peter are constantly telling those early Christians to pay attention and to watch out that they would not be deceived – because the presumption is that it could happen, and in some cases was happening.

God has given us his Holy Word so that we can use it, and if we know it well, and if we use it often, and as our minds are renewed through the study of His Word, then When we know the teachings of the Bible, and how to defend our faith and identify false teachings, we are much less likely to be deceived.

But the impact of WOF for those who want to come out of it – is almost just as devastating for those who leave WOF (as it is for those who stayed), especially right after they have just left.

Where can a person go ? WHat Church would you send them to ? Who can they find to talk with, not only who will empathize, but who will actually offer them some seriously Biblical advice and genuine assistance ? And where do they start ?

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There are many thousands of walking casualties out there who have no idea how to respond to their WOF experiences: the first half seems to be those who thought that WOF was Christianity (Which it is not) – and who then have rejected Christianity because WOF did not work; the second half seems to be those who are Christians and realize that WOF does not work, and is wrong, and is misguided, but they do not have the practice nor enough spiritual understanding – to understand

1) where the problem is or 2) how to fix it and 3) how to go on from there. And the emotional consequences can be very heavy. For many of those involved, their friends and their Churches are still WOF. So they experience additional isolation from their friends, rather than support and comfort. This may be the price for also having friends not spiritually grounded, but that does not really help much either.

The solution should include books and authors that will talk about their own WOF experiences and help to highlight the contrast between 1) what the Bible says and teaches and 2) what the WOF teaches. All this can take a lot of time.

Another part of the solution seems to try to talk it out, work it out, write it out, and let it out, and to make these things part of the process of learning how to come to terms with WOF teachings and reject them, And THEN – replace those teachings with actual Biblical theology.

The “Soft” Cults

Changing your mind to change your master ?

It used to be that Cults were essentially those who operated using an environment of obvious mind-control, where a person was food-deprived, or sleep-deprived as part of their conditioning.

Cults today are much more sophisticated. Part of the dangers of the WOF movement is that its seduction is not so much what it does to you from the exterior – as much as it is what happens to the interior of the person, who has agreed to subject themselves to the same physical environment as the WOF Teacher.

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There are aspects of the WOF movement that resemble more the beauty and seduction of a “mass movement”, than they resemble the old cults or their methods. In fact, in some ways WOF movement is more dangerous because all of its impact is on the brain of the persons being affected.

They change you – by teaching you how to change your own consciousness.
They induce the atmosphere, but it takes the will and the cooperation of the person listening, existing there in that moment, and agreeing to “take it all in” and accept it – in order for them to have the impact that they do.

There are situations where a person can recognize faulty or wrong theology in a conversation in a Coffee place. Somehow, those same people are suddenly incapable of thinking of almost anything else – except to ACCEPT the experience which is offered, in the context of the WOF meetings.

One of the characteristics of God is that He does not require us to put our minds on hold, and experiences that are truly from Him 1) Agree with the Bible and 2) are Consistent with Biblical Teachings.

Its unfortunate to say this, but in many WOF meetings, it is insufficient to suggest that it is merely false teachings which takes place. I believe that in many of those meetings, demonic spirits are looking to control the audience and find people willing to accept the input of those Evil spirits. The Bible says that Satan comes as an Angel of Light. What better place for him to display this, than in the WOF meetings ?

I believe that increasingly – in the WOF meetings, the combination of the professional production, and the work of the Spiritual Enemies of the Cross are too powerful for those who are in the audience to not be affected by them.

We can all debate how long the impact of those meetings will be, but they must be long term: Because people coming out of WOF find it so hard to extricate themselves not only from having attended, but from the experiences that they were involved with.

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In situations like that, I believe that it is important to recognize this for what it is: good old fashioned Spiritual Warfare. This is not the “demon of nail-biting” kind. It is rather simply the Devil making war on the saints, in order to attempt to paralyze us in as many ways as possible.

Praise God that there is a natural antidote called Prayer and Renewing of our Mind through reading the Bible.

Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is important to understand that we need to pray for

a) great wisdom and discernment,

b) to pray that we will understand what has happened,

c) to pray that we would understand Which part of our theology and teachings are wrong or have been changed and altered by Word of Faith.

Those of us who do not have a local church should pray that we would find one that has people inside with 1) great spiritual discernment and 2) great spiritual maturity – or that we would be able to find a group of Christian believers who are like that.

It is important to not Stay paralyzed. We do not mean a day or two. we are talking about weeks turning to months. It is important to recognize that God does not abandon us, (even though it can feel that way sometimes) and that He allows things in our lives which will make us stronger, but that there will be times when others hurt us and there will be times when we get burned, even by those who claim to be doing the work of God.

Often, what the Devil knows he may not be able to do anymore with deception, he may try to prevent us from serving Jesus Christ by Confusion or Paralysis. The only way to work out of those feelings is to try and process them, but not allow those bad feelings to become the basis by which we make our new everyday choices.

Bad things DO happen to Good people. And the fact is that although we like to think of ourselves as Good, we are really sinners saved by the Almighty Grace of a loving God. Having said that, it is important to know and remember that just because God lets us fall does NOT mean that He rejects us. On the contrary, God wants us to know Him better. We can never go faster than God, in His desire for our company, and in HIS desire for us to know Him better and continue to worship Him, in spirit and In Truth.

These times are exiting but they do bring some dark days. We know one of the reasons why things happen to us:

II Cor 1:
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Just to be sure we dont miss it, it says that we have tribulation (Difficult & Hard times)

quote:

that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Other Verses are also helpful:

I Thessalonians 15: 18
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober [minded].

we should remember what Paul said:

II Thessalonians 2:16
Now [may] our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and [e]stablish you in every good word and work.

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/wof_devastation_1.htm

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The Word of Faith Movement and the Capture of the Mind

One of the ways that WOF (Word of Faith) harms people is that it uses their own willingness to believe something which is false – against the person who is doing the “believing”.

Many of these people who are in WOF actually have been in this kind of stuff for their entire lives (some of the WOF teachers started back in the 1950s or before). But many of the people who are in WOF are NEW to the movement. Where did or do these people come from ?

Don’t they come from other churches ? Isn’t there some kind of implication that these churches – from which the WOF converts came – did Not teach people

1) how to rightly divide the Word of God or

2) how to study the Bible or

3) how to identify important doctrines in the Bible or

4) how to spot a cult or identify false teachers ???

We are not proposing that individual believers don’t have a choice, and don’t have a responsibility to educate themselves. Clearly they do, whether someone informs this of that or not, and they are {and will be} held responsible by God, for the doctrine that they believe. The Bible tells all of us to be on our guard and warns about Spiritual deception and also about the need to stay constantly in the Word (the Bible) So That …we will continue to grow spiritually.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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But having said that – the failure of the leaders and teachers in those local churches, would seem to be an indication of the spiritual weakness and sickness of the Church in general, that it would provide an “impression of safety and stability”, while seeming to encourage the Lack of Spiritual grounding and the Lack of development of Spiritual Maturity.

Thank God we should not leave it up to our churches, and that we can find others and good authors to help us grow spiritually. But it remains disappointing to see many people go to church but only find the confirmation of a lack of Biblically grounded and encouraging teaching.

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These implications seem to very serious. In many cases, the original independent local churches (around today) have almost entirely failed in their Biblical duty to educate and thoroughly ground the Christians who attend in the Bible, and especially the new Christians. But now the WOF [Word of Faith Movement] is becoming so large that it will likely continue to absorb those same former “local” churches and get many of those churches to adopt WOF theology and teachings.

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/wof_&_the_mind.htm

 

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JONI A TRUE AND FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN

more about “Testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

Joni Eareckson Tada & Word/Faith [Word of Faith]

A Personal Experience

On December 8, 1999, Joni Eareckson Tada was on the Bible Answer Man, and made the following devastating comments about Word-Faith teachings:

Kenneth Copeland or Kenneth Hagin or Benny Hinn – they’ve never called me and asked me to come on their program.

…I had read some portions of Scripture that seemed to indicate that if God’s Word abided in me, and I abided in Him, I could ask whatever I wished and the request would be fulfilled and my joy would be brighter.

I took that to mean that God wanted me healed. And my sister packed me into her station wagon and a couple of friends, and we drove down to the Washington DC arena and Kathryn Kuhlman swept on stage and praise choruses and testimonies and songs and all of us in the wheelchair section, we kind of like with baited breath were waiting and wondering, and nothing happened. In fact, the ushers came up to all of us in the wheelchair section, about 35 or 40 of us, and said, “Let’s escort you all out early so as not to create a traffic jam, and so there I was, Hank, number 15 in line of 35 people in wheelchairs or on crutches, waiting at the stadium elevator to go up to the parking lot, and we could still hear the distant strains of the organ and piano – Kathryn Kuhlman’s meeting was still going on – and I looked up and down this line of solemn-faced individuals and saw so much disappointment, and I thought “Something’s wrong with this picture.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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Either I wasn’t reading God right in His Word or God is not coming through on His promises.” And I knew that wasn’t true, and so Hank, it was that experience that drove me into God’s Word so deep I started reading people like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and Jeremiah Burrows and John Owen and Jonathan Edwards and other contemporary authors – Dr. John MacArthur, there’s so many. I really dove into God’s Word with both sleeves rolled up to understand the Lord’s perspective on healing and I can say now that I am so grateful for the wisdom of God.

…John 5 talks about where Jesus once visited the Pool of Bethesda, and among all these disabled people He touched and healed a man paralyzed on a straw mat for over 30 years. I remember I was in the dark at night. After my bible was closed I’d picture myself at that same pool. I would imagine me dressed in maybe a rough burlap coat lying on a straw mat, perhaps even near that man that Jesus healed, and I would plead with God in prayer, “Oh, Lord, do not pass me by.” I would even sing to Him that hymn, “Jesus, Jesus, hear my humble cry. While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.” I would pray that, and yet I was never healed.

Well, as you know, years later, and I began to get my spiritual act together with the Lord Jesus and I realized He was using my affliction, my paralysis to push me up against a spiritual wall with my back, getting me to seriously consider His lordship in my life – years later – in fact, just last year my husband Ken and I had a chance to visit Jerusalem, and we chose to do the old city on a hot, dry, dusty day, midday, when we knew no tour buses would be around and we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves.

And Ken was pushing me in my wheelchair down the cobblestone streets and we arrived at the sheepgate, made a lefthand turn, and there, a couple of hundred yards down the path, it opened up into this grand old ruins of – my goodness, it’s the pool of Bethesda. Ken, I said, would you look at this. And although you could not make out the colonnades because the ruins were crumbling and tumbling, and there’s no water in the pool yet, the place was empty, and as I leaned against the guardrail with my elbow, Ken hopped the guardrail to jog down to the bottom of the pool to see if there was any water in one of the cisterns.

And while he was gone and the wind was warm and dry and the sun was hot, tears began cascading down my cheeks as I looked over this pool of Bethesda and I said, “Oh, Lord Jesus, how good of You to wait 30 years, almost as many years as that man laid on his straw mat, You waited this long to bring me to this place, a place where I imagined myself so many years ago, and I’m so grateful that You did not pass me by, because a ‘no’ answer to a request for healing has meant purged sin from my life, and it strengthened my commitment to you, Lord Jesus. It has forced me to depend on Your grace. It has bound me with other believers. It has produced discernment.

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It has disciplined my mind. It has taught me to spend my time wisely. It has given me a hope of heaven. Lord Jesus, You were so good in not healing me.” And I know there are many people listening now who wish to be free of their circumstances – they are looking for an escape hatch, or maybe a quick fix for their affliction, and they think they might find it in a divorce or they are pondering maybe with the idea of suicide, such as one caller mentioned earlier. Or they’re thinking that they’ll find it in pills or medication, or a healing service. But the 32 years that I’ve been in this wheelchair and being at the Pool of Bethesda last year, has taught me that suffering is that good sheepdog, always snapping at my heals and driving me into the arms of the Shepherd. For that, I am so grateful. I am so grateful.

God Is Not a Vending Machine

Who is Joni ?

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/joni’s_story.htm

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What is the Word-Faith Movement ?

The Word-Faith Movement encompasses a number of different philosophical streams, that have coalesced into the false theological perspective that reality can be created not by human action, nor by the intention of our hearts nor by human effort (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit), but rather by the uttering of words from humans.

According to this perspective, humans have the ability to create/re-create matter and direct spiritual energy (& other energy) not by asking God, but rather by speaking words out loud. Speaking words out loud is considered speaking words “into reality”, the premise being that the words magically change the order of the universe and affect the world, or any person or circumstance, in accordance with the will of the one who utters those words. Another way of saying this is that it makes men as Gods.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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This view on speaking words/matter “into reality” has long been at the core of witchcraft and the occult. Under new disguises, this perspective continues to gain converts in Mainstream Christian Churches and Denominations, by those who are eager for a spiritual experience, but disregarding the source of that spiritual experience.

XOFC rejects the Word-Faith movement as contrary to the teachings of the Christian Bible, and as contrary to the teachings that Christians have held since the time of Jesus Christ. (check our books out for the documentation of this point)

Having compared Word of Faith teachings to the Bible, we don’t believe in the Word of Faith movement. Or should we say, we believe in its “reality”, just not its authenticity.

The Word of Faith Movement teaches that one can command God, and that one can do this using Words. The supposed basis for doing this is the Bible. But in Word of Faith, the Bible is treated much more like a book of Magic Incantations where the God of the Book must cooperate with those who have a copy of His
book.

This is comonly called “Word of Faith”. The Bible has another term for this: It is called Witchcraft. The belief that the Words in the Bible “activate” God and that God is compelled to respond because of the way that we pray … is simply an attempt to bend God to our will. It is the exaltation of the self in the Name of God.

But it is not connecting to God in any real sense. Charles Capps, E.W. Kenyon, Branham and Copeland actually are much closer to Charles Manson and Anton LaVey or Judas, than they are to Jesus, at least the Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, the one who died and rose again and is coming back.

The fact is that William Branham claimed to be in fear when interacting with the force that he was calling ” a Spirit”. (He also denied the Doctrine of the Trinity). Branham said that the spirit he was interacting with was threatening him. Oral Roberts also seemed to describe a Jesus who threatened him. It was the 800 or 900 Foot Jesus that had told Oral Roberts that Oral was going to have to die, if Oral could not raise a certain amount of money.

These teachings are not Biblical, and they are Not from God. The Word of Faith movement is full of counterfeit doctrines, that are Anti-Christ. The Word of Faith movement is simply Witchcraft disguised in Christian terms. We wish we could say we’re sorry for saying that, but we’re not.

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes?  <- link LIVE RADIO TUESDAY 10pm on BlogTalkRadio.com/How2BecomeAChristian

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Don’t ask yourself if you are offended. Ask yourself if this is true. The teachings of E.W. Kenyon have much more in common with the standard teachings of Witchcraft than they do with the Bible. Additionally, the occultists teach that Satan is the one who will triumph. Not surprisingly, Word of Faith teachers affirm that “Jesus had to let Satan triumph over Jesus by torturing him for 3 days”.

That story is straight from Hell. It does not explain the resurrection. It mocks it ! Word of Faith teachers are simply the prelude to the symphony from an eternally dying being who knows that his own seven years of temporary evil will come to an end. Did you actually think that we are implying that Word of Faith teachings are from the Devil ?

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You Did ? Well that is what we are trying to say – based on the evidence.

Its not the Word of Faith movement we need. Its the Word of Jesus Christ.

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We would encourage all to study the details and the doctrines of the Word-Faith movement.

To that End, we have begin by posting information on one of the Leaders of the Word-Faith Movement – C. Peter Wagner and one of his spiritual disciples Pastor Ted Haggard, the newly elected leader of the National Association of Evangelicals.

We have posted this information below in PDF format. We appreciate those who have provided this information to us. We encourage all to continue to do research which is able to impact many for his True Kingdom.

More Specifics on the Word of Faith Movement

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/word_faith_movement.htm