"Word of Faith," "Name-it, Claim-it," "Health and Wealth," "Positive Confession," etc.
The Word Faith basically teaches that Man is a god (Are Christians little god's?) Jesus did not
pay for our sins on the cross but he had to finish the job of atonement in hell (Did Jesus pay for our sins in hell?). We
can command God by our words and God wants us healthy and wealthy (Danger of Blessings). And if we are not healthy and wealthy
it is because of our lack of faith and knowledge (Christians and Sickness). And that our world is what we speak it to be.
Any person that will take the time to honestly look into the matter will see that it all began
with the false metaphysical teachings of Essek William Kenyon.
The Bible makes it very clear, God even simplified the matter by placing it all into one easy to
understand chapter. God teaches us the following: that we should be content, we should not desire to be rich, the love of
money is the root of all evil, that many people have erred from the faith due to a love of money, then it commands us to flee
these things, (1 Timothy 6).
Some of the most Godly people in the Bible were poor, Paul (Philipians 4:11-12), Paul's companions
(1 Corinthians 4:9-13), Old Testament faithful (Hebrews 11:37) and Jesus (Matthew 8:20, 2 Corinthians 8:9).
"Supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself...But godliness with contentment
is great gain...And having food and clothes let us be content...But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts...For the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some have coveted after,
they have erred from the faith...But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, patience, meekness," 1 Timothy 6:6-11.
The Christian Research Institute has this to say:
"An aberrational theology affirms essential orthodox Christianity, but it adds teachings that undermine
the profession of true orthodoxy. A heretical theology, on the other hand, outright denies essential doctrines of Christianity,
and groups that adhere to a heretical teaching are considered to be cults. Some of the best-known American television evangelists
subscribe either in whole or in part to the unbiblical teaching known as “positive confession,” the “faith”
teaching, or the “prosperity” message. Its chief representatives include Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Fred
Price, Paul and Jan Crouch, John Avanzini, Benny Hinn, and Marilyn Hickey. In the past, CRI has attempted to meet with some
of the people listed above to dialogue with them concerning their false teachings; however, most of them have refused.
The major tenets of the Word of Faith movement betray the fact that it is in opposition to mainstream,
evangelical Christianity. It asserts that God created human beings in “God’s class” as “little gods.”
Before the fall, humans had the potential to exercise a “God kind of faith” and could call things into existence.
Humans took on Satan’s nature by rebelling against God in the Garden of Eden, thus losing the ability to call things
into existence. In order to correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (taking Satan’s nature
upon Himself), went to hell, was “born again,” and rose from the dead with God's nature. After this, Jesus sent
the Holy Spirit to duplicate the Incarnation in believers so they might fulfill their calling to be little gods. It follows,
then, that those who have had the Incarnation duplicated in them by the Holy Spirit (thus giving them the ability to exercise
the “God kind of faith”) should be successful in every area of their lives. Furthermore, hardships like indebtedness,
illness, and even being left by one’s spouse show lack of faith because these problems should be eliminated by “claiming”
God’s promises. While certain details of the above outlined doctrine vary from teacher to teacher, the general outline
remains the same. CRI considers this teaching in its complete form to be at best aberrational and at worst heretical."
A Word On The Word-Faith Heresy
"Word-Faith teachers owe their ancestry to groups like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy,
Science of Mind, and New Thought--not to classical Pentecostalism. It reveals that at their very core, Word-Faith teachings
are corrupt. Their undeniable derivation is cultish, not Christian. The sad truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith
movement is not the gospel of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a mongrel system, a blend of mysticism, dualism, and
gnosticism that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous
false system that has grown out of the charismatic movement so far, because so many charismatic's are unsure of the finality
of Scripture." (John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p. 290)
"There are many peculiar ideas and practices in the Faith theology, but what merits it the label
of heresy are the following: 1) its deistic view of God, who must dance to men's attempts to manipulate the spiritual laws
of the universe; 2) its demonic view of Christ, who was filled with "the Satanic nature" and must be "born again in hell;
3) its Gnostic view of revelation, which demands denial of the physical senses and classifies Christians by their willingness
to do so; and 4) its metaphysical view of salvation, which deifies man and spiritualizes the atonement, locating it in hell
rather than on the cross, thereby subverting the crucial biblical belief that it is Christ's physical death and shed blood,
which alone atone for sin. All four of these heresies may be accounted for by Kenyon's syncretism of metaphysical thought
with traditional biblical doctrine." (D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel)
"While the Faith movement is undeniably cultic, and particular groups within the movement are clearly
cults, it should be pointed out that there are many sincere, born-again believers within the movement. I cannot overemphasize
this crucial point. These believers, for the most part, seem to be wholly unaware of the movement's cultic theology....they
represent that segment of the movement which, for whatever reason, has not comprehended or internalized the heretical teaching
set forth by the leadership of their respective groups." (Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, p. 41)
"The modern Father of the Faith Movement, Kenneth Hagin plagiarized in word and content the bulk
of his theology from E. W. Kenyon. All of the Faith teachers, including Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland, whether they admit
it or not, are the spiritual sons and grandsons of E. W. Kenyon. It was Kenyon, not Hagin, who formulated every major doctrine
of the modern Faith Movement....The roots of Kenyon's theology may be traced to his personal background in the metaphysical
cults, specifically New Thought and Christian science...Kenyon attempted to forge a synthesis of metaphysical and evangelical
thought...The result in Faith theology is a strange mixture of biblical fundamentalism and New Thought metaphysics."(D.R.
McConnell, A Different Gospel, pg. 184-186.)
**This article is from http://www.myfortress.org. Please visit this site for more information on the WoF Movement. This is a valuable resource to everyone.
For information on these people or an explaination of why they are on this list, go to http://www.myfortress.org/FALSETEACHERS.html
Prosperity Gospel & The New Age
- The fastest growing segment of professing Christianity in recent years has been among churches
connected with the Positive Confession movement or Word-Faith movement (all part of the modern Charismatic movement). It has involved two distinct but closely related factions: the Norman Vincent Peale/Robert Schuller Positive-Possibility thinkers/Positive Mental Attitude, with their roots in New Thought; and the Kenneth Hagin/Kenneth Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest
Sons of God/Latter Rain movement. Well-known names among its leaders are E.W. Kenyon, Charles Capps, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth
Copeland, Frederick K.C. Price, Robert Tilton, and David [Paul] Yonggi Cho. It does not yet constitute a new denomination, but it certainly represents innovative teachings outside of
mainstream Christianity. The situation is so serious now because of the dominance over the so-called Christian media achieved
by the teachers of Positive/Possibility Thinking and Positive Confession.
D.R. McConnell points out that "any new
religious movement [within Protestantism] must bear the scrutiny of two criteria: biblical fidelity and historical orthodoxy."
Regrettably, the Positive Confession movement fails on both counts. The historical roots of this movement (which Charles Farah
has called "Faith Formula Theology") lie in the occult, and most recently, in New Thought and its off-shoot, the Mind Science
cults. Its Biblical basis is found only in the peculiar interpretations of its own leaders, not in generally accepted Christian
- As the name "Positive Confession"/"Word-Faith" implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of
what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. The term "positive confession" refers
to the teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Word-Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens
to you. Your "confessions," that is, the things you say -- especially the favors you demand of God -- must all be stated positively
and without wavering. Then God is required to answer. Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as an incantation
by which they can conjure up anything they desire: "Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle
of faith. You can have what you say" (Charismatic Chaos, pp. 281, 285).
This is at the heart of the Positive Confession
movement today, also known as the "name-it-and-claim-it" gospel. The Positive Confession movement is nothing but a charismatic
form of Christian Science. This can be substantiated by simply comparing the similarities in their common beliefs. Positive Confession
is basically warmed-over New Thought dressed in evangelical/charismatic language. Positive Confession's basic beliefs can
be summarized as follows:
1. Faith is a force that both God and man can use: "Faith is
a force just like electricity or gravity" (Copeland), and it is the substance out of which God creates whatever is (Capps).
God uses faith, and so may we in exactly the same way in order to produce the same results through obedience to the same "laws
of faith" (Capps) that God applied in creation. "You have the same ability [as God has] dwelling or residing on the inside
of you" (Capps). "We have all the capabilities of God. We have His faith" (Copeland).
2. Faith's force is released
by speaking words: "Words are the most powerful thing in the universe" because they "are containers" that "carry faith or
fear and they produce after their kind" (Capps). God operates by these very same laws. "God had faith in His own words ...
God had faith in His faith, because He spoke words of faith and they came to pass. That faith force was transported by words
... the God-kind-of-faith ... is released by the words of your mouth" (Hagin). "Creative power was in God's mouth. It is in
your mouth also" (Capps).
3. Man is a "little god" in God's class: "Man was designed or created by God to be
the god of this world" (Tilton, Hagin, Capps). "Adam was the god of this world ... [but he] sold out to Satan, and Satan became
the god of this world" (Hagin). "We were created to be gods over the earth, but remember to spell it with a little 'g'" (Tilton,
Hagin, Capps). "Adam was created in God's class ... to rule as a god ... by speaking words" (Copeland). "Man was created in
the God class ... We are a class of gods ... God himself spawned us from His innermost being ... We are in God; so that makes
us part of God (2 Cor 5:17)" (Copeland).
4. Anyone -- occultist or Christian -- can use the faith force: Because
man is a little god "in God's class: very capable of operating on the same level of faith as God" (Capps), and "because all
men are spirit beings" (Hagin), therefore anyone, whether Christian or pagan, can release this "faith force" by speaking words
if he only believes in his words as God believes in His (Hagin). "God is a faith God. God releases His faith in Words, [and
we must do the same:] ... Everything you say [positive or negative] will come to pass" (Capps). "Spiritual things are created
by WORDS. Even natural, physical things are created by WORDS" (Hagin).
5. You get what you confess: The vital
key is confessing, or speaking aloud, and thereby, releasing the force of faith. "You get what you say" (Hagin, Hunter). "Only
by mouth confession can faith power be released, allowing tremendous things to happen" (Cho). "Remember, the key to receiving
the desires of your heart is to make the words of your mouth agree with what you want" (Copeland). "Whatever comes out of
your mouth shall be produced in your life" (Tilton). "They're [his two children] 30-some years of age today, and I don't believe
I prayed more than half a dozen times for both of them in all these years. Why? Because you can have what you say -- and I
had already said it!" (Hagin).
6. Never make a negative confession: The tongue "can kill you, or it can release
the life of God within you ... whether you believe right or wrong, it is still the law" (Capps). There is power in "the evil
fourth dimension" (Cho). If you confess sickness you get it, if you confess health you get it; whatever you say you get" (Hagin).
"Faith is as a seed ... you plant it by speaking it" (Capps). "The spoken word ... releases power -- power for good or power
for evil" (Bashan). Therefore, it is very important never to speak anything negative but only to make a positive confession
-- hence the name of the Positive Confession movement.
- Positive Confession leaders have a wrong view of faith: Instead of trust
in God as its object, it is a metaphysical force they trust. They have a wrong view of God: He is not sufficient in Himself,
but can only do what He does by using this universal faith-force in obedience to certain cosmic laws. They have a wrong view
of man: He is a little god in God's class who has the same powers as God and can use the same force of faith by obedience
to the same laws that God also must obey. They also have a wrong view of redemption and the cross of Christ.
teachers owe their ancestry to groups like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, Science of Mind, and New Thought
-- not to classical Pentecostalism. It reveals that at their very core, Word-Faith teachings are corrupt. Their undeniable
derivation is cultish, not Christian. The sad truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith movement is not the gospel
of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a mongrel system, a blend of mysticism, dualism, and gnosticism that borrows
generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that
has grown out of the charismatic movement so far, because so many charismatics are unsure of the finality of Scripture (Charismatic
Chaos, p. 290).
- Linked to the Positive Confession movement is the concept of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). PMA
has become the major link between sorcery and Christianity. It is the human potential movement that incorporates the age old
Eastern mystique that all men can acquire godhood, that "we can achieve anything we conceive." But the Bible says: "With God
all things are possible." PMA, however, declares: "With man all things are possible," which means either that we do not need
God or that we are God. Paul said, "I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me." The New Age/PMA "Christ"
is a state of consciousness rather than a historic Person. The Christian has a positive attitude not because he believes in
the power of positive thinking, but because he is trusting in God. The PMA that is promoted in today's New Age, however, is based upon humanistic psychology's first article of faith: "Human potential is infinite!" The real
Christian is happy and positive in all circumstances because he believes that God, who alone is infinite, loves and cares
for him. These two concepts -- Christian and PMA -- are mutually contradictory, in spite of the sincere people who believe
they are the same thing expressed in different language.
- Those directly responsible for bringing PMA into the professing
church are Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, the originators or the PMA concept,
talk about "God" in their books, but their "God" is a metaphysical "Divine Power" that can be tapped into through mind-power
techniques (from visualization to positive self-talk and other forms of self-hypnosis and self-image psychology). Hill and Stone don't substitute PMA for faith, but promote an even more dangerous idea: that PMA and faith
are one and the same, that believing in the power of the mind is somehow the same as believing in God; that the human mind
is some kind of magic talisman that wields a metaphysical force with infinite potential because, somehow, it is part of what
they call Infinite Intelligence. This is the "God" of the mind-science cults and of the New Age.
Note: There are many faithful believers who live modestly and will never have more than the basic
necessities of life. Yet they are content to have what they have. The prosperity teachers ridicule such and say that they
only have that little because they don't trust God for more; the fact of their contentment (which is highly regarded by God)
is looked upon as a lack of faith. And they are chastised because they haven't got the faith to get more so they can give
more. Ultimately, the giving is expected to go into the coffers of the prosperity teacher; they may give to others, but not
apart from also giving to the prosperity teacher.
All the prosperity teachers use a particular fear tactic to establish
their rule for giving -- if you don't give, God will curse you. Many also teach that if one wishes to use the prosperity gospel
for selfish ends -- to acquire personal wealth without giving -- it isn't going to work. If, however, one uses the prosperity
gospel with the intention of acquiring wealth for unselfish purposes (i.e., giving to the prosperity teacher, no doubt), God's
promise is that He will shower abundant financial blessings upon him.
There is not a single prosperity teacher who
can rightly divide the Word of Truth sufficiently to be qualified as a teacher in the Church. They are renegades who present
their own theories as absolute, Biblical authority. They allegorize, theorize, and spiritualize the Word of God; the only
time they approach it from a literal standpoint is if it fits in with something they just happen to be saying that's true.
Bottom line, the fact is that to deny the reality and to attempt to alter reality with one's positive words and/or thoughts
is witchcraft; it is not Biblical. (Source: Media Spotlight -- v.13, #1, 12/92.)
* The material in this report, unless otherwise noted, was excerpted and/or adapted from two books:
Beyond Seduction (pp. 51-53) and The Seduction of Christianity (pp. 28, 217).
Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 8/96
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