Anybody a big fan of Friends? Remember the first episode? Ross, is sitting on the couch having just been divorced. Ross says “I just want to be married again”. Rachel comes running through the door in a wedding dress. Chandler (ever the opportunist) screams “I just want a million dollars!”
Over the last month-month and a half I have been studying the word of faith movement. I needed to know if what these preachers were saying was biblical or not.
I started by looking at what the word of faith movement was. What is included in it? The word of faith movement is basically described as follows: “Say what you want in faith, and it will be yours.” You may have heard of the word of faith movement by some of the following names: the prosperity gospel, health and wealth gospel, or name it claim it gospel.
The history of the word of faith movement is pretty well documented. Many of the word of faith teachings can be traced back to E.W. Kenyon and include; Christ going to hell, positive confession, God creating the universe based on faith, etc…There is debate about who the true founder of the word of faith movement. Some will argue Kenyon, others Hagin. To me this really is irrelevant. It was a nice to know, as it kept showing up in text describing the word of faith movement. While I understand that this can prove to be relevant, I am only concerned about how their preaching stacks up against the Bible.
Who are the preachers of the word of faith movement? Preachers of the word of faith movement would include; Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Jr, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, John Avanzini, Robert Tilton, Fred Price, Bill Winston, and a whole host of others.
Up until a couple of months ago I looked at the word of faith movement as something that was just there. I may have disagreed with it, but I thought that there was nothing dangerous about it. Now I know the truth. The word of faith movement is dangerous. It is harmful. It is misleading. And those that follow the word of faith preachers follow a gospel that is not biblical. Furthermore, any gospel that assigns anything to salvation (healing powers, becoming god like, speaking in tongues or the like) is not biblically founded as well. Those that preach these things alienate people who are moved to Christ, but do not speak in tongues or because they can’t heal. They also lie to those who are poor or sick and tell them that it is because they do not have enough faith. These “preachers” draw in crowds based on the false premise that they receive special revelation that you do not. They claim that they are special instruments of God, and you are to listen to what they say – Even if it contradicts the Word of God itself, they expect you to take THEIR word for it and not research it on your own. All of this to me is dangerous.
I spent a lot of time reading into this for personal reasons. I had to make sure that I got this right. I couldn’t be sure solely based on other peoples’ opinions… I had to do my own research, pray, and have the Spirit of God draw me in the right direction. I had to understand the Bible, understand the context, and know, what was really there.
There will be several posts following this one that will take a biblical look at the flaws of the word of faith movement. There are several videos on YouTube that will give you a quick version of it. We hope to provide a comprehensive version of it here. If we hurt some feelings, if we offend any of the readers, that is not our intent… However, we’re not apologizing for the truth.