Sunday, January 10, 2010

Teaching Faith to Faith Teachers: The Word of Faith Movement

Imagine you were to tune into the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) hoping to get some good, solid biblical teaching. After all, it bills itself as the "World's Largest Christian Network." So little worthwhile entertainment is available on television in today's culture, it's natural to seek solace in a network that calls itself Christian.

Upon tuning into the local affiliate, you see a charismatic, vibrant, attractive teacher preaching. Passionate and excited teaching is met with eruptions of applause and shouts of, "Amen!" "Wow," you think, "this must be a great leader." Then, you hear something that doesn't quite sit right:

"God can’t do anything in this earth realm except what we, the body of Christ, allow Him to do." Fred Price

"Jesus went into hell to free mankind. … When His blood poured out it did not atone." Kenneth Copeland

"the believer is as much an Incarnation as Jesus Christ" Kenneth Hagin

"The Scripture tells us that we are to ‘call the things that are not as if they already were’" Joel Osteen

You recognize immediately that what was said is a problem. God can do anything He wants, whether the Church approves or not. Jesus' work of atonement was finished on the cross. The believer is not an incarnation of God as Jesus is. And Scripture says God calls the things that are not as if they already were, not man. Being rooted in the Word of God, you immediately recognize these statements for the falsehoods they are. Unfortunately, this is not true of many Christians.


A movement exists within the Charismatic/Pentecostal circles of the Church that is gaining masses of unsuspecting followers. Because their followers are often not intimately familiar with Scripture, they find themselves swept away by the winsomeness and charisma of the leaders in the forefront of the movement. Had they known their Bible, they would have seen these "faith teachers" for what they are: wolves in sheep's clothing, either intentionally or unintentionally leading people into error and, often, the destruction of faith.

In this series, we will analyze the teachings of the Word of Faith movement and others like it, like the Bereans "examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). We'll also look at some of their leaders' false prophecies--oh yes, some have made extreme predictions of events which did not come to pass. And we'll see how some of their teachings destroy the faith of many. Lord willing, we will be "Teaching Faith to Faith Teachers."

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