Word of Faith (& Prosperity Teachings)
Word of Faith (also known as Word-Faith or simply Faith Teachings) is a doctrine in many Pentecostal and Charismatic churches as well as individual ministries worldwide. It is akin to Prosperity teaching, but not completely identical - usually both are preached together. The movement emphasizes speaking, stating, or confessing verses found in the Bible, in orer to activate them (almost automatically) aside from the will of God.
Prosperity teaching applies the Word of Faith technique of claiming the promises in the bible to wealth, well-being, prosperity, advancement and success as well as healing and even cheating death. It is taught that financial blessing is the will of God for all Christians, and that faith, positive speaking, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth. In a similar way, perfect health is taught as the gold standard of the bible and through faith Christians should claim and believe for this at all times. Being ill therefore is often condemned as a "lack of faith".
A biblical analysis of the disturbing claims put forward by the Faith Movement, which include the inefficiency of Christ's blood, alone, to atone for the sins of Man; the need for Christ's spiritual death, and that the redemption of Mankind was completed in Hell!
Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself. Irenaeus
JESUS: THE FIRST BORN-AGAIN MAN?
Here is the picture as painted by the Faith movement thus far: The satanic nature entered Jesus at the point of spiritual death upon the cross. It was then that He literally became sin and was separated from God. The spiritual death of Jesus transformed Him from a man into a mortal and satanic creation. Kenneth Copeland 'enlightens' us, "See you have to realize that He (Jesus) died; you have to realize that He went into the pit of hell as a mortal man made sin. But He didn't stay there, thank God. He was reborn in the pit of Hell and resurrected." 54
Furthermore, we are told by Copeland that while in hell Christ's "...emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit..." 55 was tortured by Satan and every demon in hell without legal right. The reason given by Copeland as to why Jesus could not be detained in hell is that Jesus was not an actual sinner but was only made sin as the result of the sins of others, plus the fact that Satan had forgotten this detail. Copeland says, "The Devil forgot to take into consideration that Jesus hadn't sinned Himself but, rather, had merely become sin as a result of the sin of others." 56 I don't know how stupid Copeland thinks Satan is, but it is very difficult to perceive how the wisest of God's creatures could simply forget such a truth. Where is the evidence to sustain all of this in Scripture anyway? Conveniently, what Copeland and others fail to find support for in the Bible is attributed to personal conversations with God or His Son, as has so often been the case with other espousers of 'new truth'.
This apparently was the opening God had been awaiting. We are told that God spoke forth words of faith into hell, and as Copeland articulates:
"...that Word of the Living God went down into the pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the Devil had never seen before. He was literally being reborn before the Devil's very eyes. He began to flex his spiritual muscles....Jesus was born again--the first born from the dead." 57
This is nothing but sheer fantasy. Copeland twists the meaning of first born from the dead (Col. 1:18), from that of pre-eminence, to the false notion of Christ's being born again. What possible need would Jesus, the sinless and Holy Son of the Holy God have to be born again? This teaching, perhaps more than others we have discussed, does away with the truth that Jesus is unchangeable, and strips Him of His eternal deity! (Heb. 13:8). This false teaching unveils Copeland's ignorance and distinct lack of understanding of Biblical terminology, his total disregard for Bible scholars, the most eminent theologians and Church history. Not surprisingly, these sources are often ridiculed by Copeland and other Faith leaders.
The fable does not end here. Charles Capps teaches that the outcome of all this was the birth of the Church! Capps says, "Jesus was born again in the pit of hell. He was the firstborn, the first begotten, from the dead. He started the Church of the firstborn in the gates of hell... He went down to the gates and started His Church there....The Church started when Jesus was born again in the gates of hell." 58 Not only was the Incarnate Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ born again in hell, but, according to Capps, the very Church of Christ can trace its roots to the gates of hell! This teaching is so preposterous that I will give only the briefest response by answering with the truth that the birth of the Church, as any Christian knows, began on the day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2.
Best-selling author Benny Hinn gives this piece of 'revelation knowledge' to his hearers:
"My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I'm getting dizzy! I'm telling you the truth--it's, it's just heavy right now on me....He's (referring to Jesus) in the underworld now. God isn't there, the Holy Ghost isn't there, and the Bible says He was begotten. Do you know what the word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? have you been begotten? So was he. Don't let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. You say, 'What are you talking about?' ...He was reborn. He had to be reborn. ...If He was not reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, 'Jesus you went through everything I've gone through, except the new birth?'"59
Despite Hinn's claims to divine revelation, the word begotten does not mean reborn. The true meaning of the word begotten is simply born, or to be born. It has nothing to do with being reborn. A moment of basic Bible study will reveal that Jesus is referred to as the only begotten from the Father (NASB), or, the one and only Son who came from the Father (NIV) (John 1:14; cf. John 1:18; 3:16), which stresses the unique nature of our Lord. Hebrews 1:5, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee," is a reference to Christ's resurrection. God raised up Christ from the dead and imparted life to His body, and, as Albert Barnes notes, "By His own power restored Him; and hence is said figuratively to have begotten Him from the dead" 60 (cf. Psa. 2:7; Acts 13:33). The resurrection was a type of begetting to life, or its beginning (Rev. 1:5).
Copeland accentuates the issue (note his subtle changing of the word firstborn to reborn), by saying "It is important for us to realize that a born again man defeated Satan....Colossians 1:18 refers to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead....He was the first man to be reborn under the new covenant."61
The original Greek word for firstborn (prototokos), speaks not of being born again, but of primacy; headship and pre-eminence. Colossians 1:18 (cf. Rom. 8:29), simply denotes Christ's supremacy over all creation, as the context of Colossians 1 will bare out (cf. Col. 1:15). The remainder of v.18, ...among the dead, is a reference to Christ's bodily resurrection, not of a mythical spiritual death from which He needed to be reborn. Michael Moriarty expounds:
"Scripture is clear that the term 'firstborn' is used to refer to the physical birth of the first child born into a family, but also speaks of a person's position, rank or status. For example, in Israel the firstborn son had special birthrights and privileges. He succeeded his father as head of the house and received a larger portion of the inheritance; these were his birthrights. The nation of Israel is also called God's 'firstborn' and received special blessings and privileges as compared with the heathen nations (Ex. 4:22). In this same way Jesus is called the firstborn (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:6). The term has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus being born again; such an option is completely foreign to the Biblical text and is much closer to the Jehovah's Witnesses' understanding of this word (firstborn = first-created), than it is to orthodox Christianity's. Jesus Christ is the Pre-eminent One, the first Heir to all creation. The N.T. calls Jesus the firstborn in reference to His exalted position and firstborn rights of inheritance. He is first in rank and has first place in everything. 'And He is the Head of the body, the Church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence." (Col. 1:18).62
Kenneth Hagin, who on occasion has denied that he has ever taught such things, clearly does so in this statement, "Why did He (Jesus) need to be begotten, or born? Because He became like we were: separated from God. Because He tasted spiritual death for every man....Jesus was the first person that was ever born again." 63
Gloria Copeland, in her book God's Will, says, "After Jesus was made sin, He had to be born again....(Therefore) Jesus is a born again man. This is the same new birth that the Good News of the Gospel still offers to any man who will accept it." To teach that Jesus needed to undergo a new birth is to teach that He at one time had an unregenerate and sinful nature, which is precisely what these Faith teachers would have us believe. It is to deny the indisputable fact that Jesus is the eternal God and has always been God. According to Hebrews 13:8, Jesus cannot change in essence. He is eternal. There is no beginning, no end and NO INTERRUPTION to His Godhood! (cf. Mal. 3:6; John 5:26; Phil. 2:6).
As we approach the next chapter, one may be thinking, 'where are all these extraordinary teachings leading to? The following statement made by Kenneth Copeland will show exactly where. It will take us to the precipice and then plunge us head first into an age old lie. The Serpent's lie!! Copeland declares:
"The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, 'Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don't let your tradition trip you up.' He said, 'Think this way--a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.' And I threw my Bible down...like that. I said, 'What?' He said, 'A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.' He said, 'You are the very image, the very copy of that one.' I said, 'Goodness, gracious sakes alive!' And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, 'Well now you don't mean, you couldn't dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?' He said, 'Oh yeah, if you'd had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could've done the same thing, cause you're a reborn man too.'" 64
If ever there was an absolute departure from the Word of God, from the most basic understanding of what the Bible teaches, this is it. Kenneth Copeland, a mere man, not only claims that he could have redeemed mankind by defeating Satan in hell, but he dares attribute this nonsense as being communicated to him directly by the Holy Spirit!!
If Copeland could have redeemed us, then we also could have done the same thing. We could all have been our own saviours were it not for our lack of knowledge! The Christian is to be on guard against false doctrine, especially when it is presented to him with a smile and in an authoritative manner. Oftentimes, such 'new truth' is presented to the eager listener as God's very own Words.
THE DEIFICATION OF MAN
Thus far, we have investigated the Faith movement's claims that Christ's death on the cross was not enough to atone for our sins; that Christ had to die spiritually for every man; that He took upon Himself the satanic nature; and that He needed to suffer the agonies of hell and become born again in order to acquire the redemption of mankind. And the outcome of all this, so Kenneth Copeland believes, is that, "He (Jesus) was the pattern of a new race of men." 65
One always needs to be aware of the origins of a doctrine and where it leads. Perhaps the underlying reason for this massive straying from Scriptural soundness on the part of Faith leaders, has been to lead us to the subject at hand: The Deification of Man!
No words can better illustrate what the Faith leaders teach concerning the rebirth and what it means for us, than the following statement made by Benny Hinn:
"When you were born again the Word was made flesh in you. And you became flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Don't tell me you have Jesus. You are everything He was and everything He is and ever shall be.... It (the new man) says, 'I am as He is.' That's what it says.. As He is, so are we in this world. Jesus said, 'Go in My name, go in My stead.' Don't say, 'I have.' Say, 'I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.'" 66
The demotion of Jesus, the deification of man!
More recently, Hinn has declared, "When you say, 'I am a Christian,' you are saying, 'I am mashiach' in the Hebrew. I am a little messiah walking on earth, in other words. That is a shocking revelation....May I say it like this? You are a little god on earth running around." 67
The Faith movement and certain charismatics hold that upon being born again, Jesus' divine nature returned to Him, and subsequently every born again person has also been infused with God's own nature. 2 Peter 1:4 is the verse that is quoted to prove that we have the nature of God, "...that by these (promises) you might be partakers of the divine nature..." Note that Peter here has said that we might be partakers of His divine nature not essence. The verse is simply saying that we may become partakers of God's attributes, His divine qualities not His divinity for God has said, "...I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me" (Isa. 43:10).
In order to better understand who Copeland says we are, we need to grasp just who he believes Adam was. Copeland believes that:
"God's reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. I mean a reproduction of Himself and in the Garden of Eden He did just that. (Adam) was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even....Adam is as much like God as you could get, just the same as Jesus....Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh." 68
The Faith movement does not adhere to the Biblical teaching of Adam and what happened at the Fall. They believe that Adam inherited Satan's nature at the Fall and that this was our condition before becoming born again partakers of the divine nature. Kenneth Hagin expounds on this concept and believes that not only was Adam, God manifest in the flesh, but that we are all just as much incarnations of God as Jesus was!! Hagin states, "Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth." 69 It would appear from this statement that Satan's lie in the Garden of Eden, "ye shall be as gods" (Gen. 3:5), has taken on yet another facade. Hagin's claim divests the word incarnation of its unique reference to Jesus Christ (John 1:14), and turns a one time act into a daily occurrence.
Hank Hanegraaff makes the observation that the whole idea of an incarnation only makes sense if a person existed prior to having a physical body. He explains:
"...while the Bible clearly declares Christ to be pre-existent (John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5), nowhere in Scripture do we find the concept of human pre-existence. In fact, human pre-existence remains a concept relegated largely to such cults as Mormonism. The fact that Christians are indwelt by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (John 14:17,23) in no way implies that the Bible endorses the concept of incarnation for Christians." 70
It is unsettling enough that many such claims are coming out of the Faith movement. What is of greater concern however, is the fact that they are being all too readily accepted as Christian teaching, which should make the disciple of Christ wonder just what is happening in Christianity today. One has commented that the Faith movement has infiltrated Christianity, not unlike the New Age invasion of the world's affairs. If there are any who doubt that the Faith leaders are proclaiming that all Christians are gods, please read on.
Kenneth Copeland makes the bold announcement that, "You don't have a God living in you, you are one!" 71 And again, "God has been reproduced on the inside of you." 72 Kenneth Hagin also promotes this tenet when he says,
"This eternal life He came to give us is the nature of God." He then adds, "It is, in reality, God imparting His very nature, substance, and being to one human spirit....Zoe, then, means eternal life, or God's life. This new kind of life is God's nature....Even many in the great body of Full Gospel people do not know that the new birth is a real incarnation....Jesus was first divine, and then He was human. So He was in the flesh a divine-human being. I was first human, and so were you, but I was born of God, and so I became a human-divine being!" 73
Hagin here elevates himself to the rank of a god. His view is that we are all god-men as was God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The view is similar to Nestorianism, a 5th century heresy which was condemned by Church leaders at the Council of Ephesus in A.D.431. Michael Moriarty explains:
"This view, developed by the scholarly monk Nestorius (ca.381-ca.452), taught that the Word did not actually become flesh (John 1:14) but only united Himself to a human being. Christ was in effect a God-bearer rather than the God-man. Nestorius ended up making Christ out to be a man in whom, in Siamese twin fashion, the divine and human natures were combined in a mechanical union rather than in an organic union of natures. Hagin's view of the incarnation is very similar to the fifth-century Nestorian heresy." 74
The concept which teaches that, at conversion, we become spirit-gods who merely reside in human bodies is Gnostic in origin and is also touted by Gloria Copeland. She states in her article 'A Fast Brings New Direction', in Christian Life magazine, "When we are born again we become a spirit being in a flesh body." Gnostic belief held that material creation is evil, but that sparks of divinity have been encapsuled in the bodies of certain 'spiritual' individuals who have been destined for salvation.
Kenneth Copeland makes his views quite clear when he says, "You need to realize that you are not a spiritual schizophrenic--half-God and half-Satan--you are all God." 75 One can easily identify whose fingerprints are impressed upon this teaching and others that we have mentioned specifically in this chapter, for they all promote the Devil's lie to Eve in the Garden "...ye shall be as gods..." (Gen. 3:5).
There has not been much analysis of these teachings in this chapter purely because they are self-damning. However, we will take a closer look at the most popular passage from Scripture applied by Faith teachers to support their 'little-gods' theory, John 10:31-39. In v.34 we see Jesus addressing the Jews and saying, "Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods?" Jesus is here responding to his opponents with an ironical use of Psalm 82:6, where God condemns the unrighteous judges of Israel for their self-righteous attitude and pride. These judges sinned by showing partiality towards the wicked rather than defending the weak. Psalm 82:7 is one verse you will never hear from the mouth of Faith leaders. After calling these judges gods, God says in the next verse, "But ye shall die like men..."
Jesus was reminding the Jews that the Scriptures called Israel's judges gods, not because they were in any way divine, but because of their roles as representatives of divine justice. Moses and the judges in Exodus were also referred to as gods because they, like God, held the power of life and death (Ex. 4:15,16; 6:28-7:2; 21:6; 22:8,9). The word gods is used symbolically to show that the judges were the representatives of God. God told Moses in Exodus 1, "I have made thee a god to Pharaoh", an obvious reference to Moses' being as a god, not literally divine. Walter Martin comments on John 10:34, "Jesus mocks the people as if to say, 'You all think you're gods yourselves. What's one more god among you?' Irony is used to provoke us, not to inform us. It is not a basis for building a theology." 76
The idea that we, or any created being can be like God is a lie of Satan's. It was this very desire--to be like God--that brought the fall of Lucifer (Isa. 14:14). There is only one God-- there shall only ever be one God (Deut. 5:35,39; 32:39; 2Sam. 7:22; Isa. 43:10; 44:6; 45:5,6; 21-22; 1Cor. 8:4,6; Gal. 4:8). No one is as God is, neither is anyone even remotely like God.
The Faith movement doctrine which purports that being born again means we become as Christ was--a God-bearing people--a new race of men, was also presented to the Church during the 4th century, and is known as the Appolinarian heresy. John 1:12, 13 is used as a proof text that we share God's divinity. The fundamental difference between Jesus as the Son of God and the Christian as a son of God, is that He is the only begotten of God, and we are adopted sons. Contrary to Copeland's claim that, "Jesus is no longer the only begotten Son of God" 77, the Bible tells us that Jesus is God's only begotten Son (John 3:18; 1Jn. 4:9). Jesus remained the second Person of the Trinity when He became flesh. We are not an incarnation; we are not gods in the flesh. We are never spoken of in Scripture as being incarnations of God. The notion that man is, or ever will be, a god is only ever spoken of in Scripture as idolatry and blasphemy. These declarations of men are more at home with the ravings of Orange People guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who once exclaimed, "When you call Jesus, really you have called me. When you call me, really you have called Jesus." 78 Or that of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Transcendental Meditation fame, "Be still and know that you are God." 79 Faith teachings have yet another infamous comrade in Jim Jones, who taught, "It is written that ye are gods. I'm a god and you're a god....until I see all of you knowing who you are, I'm gonna be very much what I am--God, Almighty God." 80
Some might think we may be going overboard by likening the teachings of Yogis and a murderous madman with what the Faith teachers are professing. You may not think so after you read the following abominable and blasphemous claims of Kenneth Hagin and His students:
"Man...was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority....God has made us as much like Himself as possible....He made us the same class of being that He is Himself....The believer is called Christ....that's who we are; we're Christ!" 81
Morris Cerullo, whose claims include having being transported to heaven for a face-to-face meeting with God, has this to say, "...when we stand up here, brother, you're not looking at Morris Cerullo; you're looking at God. You're looking at Jesus." 82 Finally, and perhaps the worst and most obscene claim of them all, is made by Kenneth Copeland, who had this to say to his audience during a crusade on July 19, 1987: "I say this and repeat it so it doesn't upset you too bad....When I read in the Bible where He (Jesus) says, 'I Am,' I say, 'Yes, I Am too!'" (tape on file with CRI)
The 'little gods' theory of the Faith movement is a type of pagan-polytheism which constitutes doctrinal heresy. Walter Martin speaks wisely when he says, "Our identity is greater than any human concept of 'godhood.' We are the heirs of eternity, recipients of an indescribable gift. Let us not cheapen that inheritance or dilute it with perverted theology. The cost is far too great." 83
THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF THE FAITH MOVEMENT
Many Christians believe that the Faith movement is a by-product of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Some even believe that it is the Charismatic movement, however, this is not historically correct. The Faith movement's roots can be traced to evangelist, pastor, Bible teacher and author E.W. Kenyon. Kenyon (1867-1948), was greatly influenced in his ministry by cultic sources such as New Thought metaphysics. He attended the Emerson college of Oratory in Boston, a veritable breeding ground for New Thought philosophy. The major doctrines of New Thought should be very familiar to Faith movement devotees: Health or healing, abundance or prosperity, wealth and happiness. These ideas are evidenced in Kenyon's writings and by his students. Dan McConnell explains the New Thought system:
"...New Thought was a system of cultic belief that taught that true reality is spiritual, that the spiritual is the cause of all physical effects, and that the human mind through positive mental attitude and positive confession has the power to create its own reality; either health and wealth; or sickness and poverty." 84
The founder of New Thought philosophy, Phineas P. Quimby, whose ideas gained prominence toward the close of the 19th century, was also a student of spiritism, occultism, hypnosis and other expressions of parapsychology. It is also interesting to note that Quimby, the man whose ideas Kenyon studied and embraced, and who, in turn, was copied by Hagin, at one time, "attempted to make witchcraft credible by the use of scientific language." 85 The classic account of Kenyon's life and his connection with the Faith movement, has been thoroughly and meticulously researched by Dan McConnell in his book A Different Gospel.
Kenyon, the true father of the Faith movement, can be clearly proven to be the source of the majority of Hagin's teachings. Kenyon, too, was a man who denied that the physical death of Jesus was sufficient to pay the penalty for sin. In fact, he denies that Jesus' death even touched the sin issue. Kenyon was also the originator of the claim that "every man who has been born again is an incarnation, and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth." 86 The reader will recognize this as an earlier quote of Hagin's.
Kenyon's own daughter, Ruth Kenyon Houseworth, easily recognizes her father's message upon the lips of Faith leaders. She says:
"They've (Faith teachers) all copied from my dad. [E. W. Kenyon] They've changed it a little bit and added their own touch....but they couldn't change the wording...These that are coming along now that have been in the ministry for just a few years and claiming that this is something that they are just starting, it makes you laugh a little bit. It's very difficult for some people to be big enough to give credit to somebody else."87
A man who, on occasion, ministered with Kenyon was one time friend John Kennington, pastor of Emmanuel Temple in Portland, Oregon. He has this to say concerning the plagiarism of Kenyon's teachings:
"Today Kenyon's teachings are in the ascendancy. Via the electronic church or in the printed page I readily recognize not only Kenyon's concepts, but at times , I recognize pure plagiarism, for I can almost tell you book, chapter and page where the material is coming from. Kenyon has become the 'father' of the so-called 'Faith' movement."
Later, in the same statement he made this comment:
"At one time I was a blind follower of E.W. Kenyon....Now with the passing of a little time and with a little more understanding I have come to realize that E.W. Kenyon has simply 'baptized' many concepts from Christian Science. In so doing, he became a source for a form of 'Pentecostal Christian Science', even though Kenyon himself was not a Pentecostal." 88
Many have identified certain Faith teachings as being carbon copies of Christian Science dogma. Kennington was often puzzled by the similarity in what was being taught by Kenyon and Christian Science. On one occasion, he remembers Kenyon admitting the connection and saying, "All that Christian Science lacks is the blood of Jesus Christ." Kenyon also admitted that he, "...freely drew the water of his thinking from this well." 89
Due to the Faith movement's unbiblical ties with Kenyon and his association with the Metaphysical cults, we may conclude that Hagin, Copeland and co., however unknowingly, are in fact espousing teachings which are neither Biblical nor orthodox. If the root be cultic, so must be also the fruit. Although there is strong evangelical and Pentecostal theology throughout the Faith movement's teachings, it's cultic origins are readily seen at key points. It has been said that the Faith movement is, in fact, a cultic infiltration of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.
In what was to prove a turning point in his life, Kenyon began to recognize a growing discontent among some Christians with orthodox Christianity, a discontent that he too felt strongly. In an effort to 'help' the Church compete with the Metaphysical cults, Kenyon drew from their ideas and practices. In his book The Two Kinds of Life, Kenyon makes this observation, "Discerning men and women have been asking for a new type of Christianity. They do not want a new philosophy, or a new metaphysical concept of Christ, but an unveiling of the reality that was seen in Jesus in His earth walk." And a new type of Christianity--which is no Christianity at all--is exactly what Kenyon and the Faith movement have given to millions. There are many new forms of Christianity out there, but there is only one which is genuine. Just as there is an endless array of new answers to the problem 2 + 2, yet there is only one answer which is correct. It has been well said that, "All that is old may not be gold, but all that is new is not true."
Dan McConnell explains how Kenyon sought to forge a synthesis of metaphysical and evangelical thought, "...in order to help the traditional Church provide for its members the missing supernatural element that caused many to defect to the cults. The resultant Faith theology is a strange mixture of Biblical fundamentalism and New Thought metaphysics." 90 The Bible says, Thus saith the Lord, "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." (Jer. 6:16).
The plagiarism of Kenyon's teachings by Kenneth Hagin is proof that the Faith teachers are not getting their doctrine directly from God, but merely from human beings. Hagin's widespread use of Kenyon's material fits into the pattern of many movements. History shows that leaders of new religious movements/factions often take on ideas made popular by a preceding group, mold them into a new form and add on a few new ideas of their own. Solomon wisely said, "There is nothing new under the sun" (Eccl. 1:9).
"The charges of cultism and heresy levelled against the Faith movement in the past are not without basis. The Faith movement is cultic because of its roots (its historical origins) and it is heretical because of its fruits (its doctrines and practices)." 91
Please continue by going to the fourth and final part HERE
© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.