THE WORD-FAITH MOVEMENT
WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
By: Victor T. Stephens
"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)
Today's Coalition of Heretics
The following false teachers associated with the Word-Faith Movement today are some of the most well-known and influential individuals within the church. Click on the names to read and hear some of their perfidious and unbiblical teachings. While this is a tall list, it is nevertheless, not all inclusive.
* Click on name to read citations and hear audio clips.
Although not all Word-Faith teachers are unified in their positions, they do however; share an array of tenets that are an indignity to doctrinal purity. Their chief established heresies entail faith theology, deification of man, demotion of God, atonement theology, confession and health, and confession and wealth.
As we study these points, we should be able to determine that Word-Faith theology clearly paints a strange misrepresentation of God, Jesus, Faith, Man, the atonement, healing, and prosperity.
Doctrinal Analysis of Word-Faith Theology
Let's now examine these six key issues. Before we begin, bear in mind that Word-Faith teachers engage in clever and subtle manipulation of the scriptures that give their false teachings a surface presentation of authenticity. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and study the scriptures in their proper exegetical context (John 16:13; 2 Tim. 2:15), it will become very clear that Word-Faith theology deviates from the veracity of God's Word.
The Force of Faith
Let's examine Hebrews 11:1:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1)
Using this verse, the Word-Faith teachers' commonly held view is that faith is a force; an invisible substance that can be tapped into to acquire anything we desire --- health, wealth, success, etc. It is proposed that spoken words are the "spiritual containers" that activates the force of faith either positively or negatively. Positive words of faith incite God to act on our behalf; and negative words incite the Devil to cause havoc in our lives. Whatever is confessed with the mouth, one can create in their own reality.
Spiritual laws supposedly execute the force of faith autonomously of God's sovereignty. Even God, they say, had to use the force of faith to create the heavens, the earth, and mankind. Kenneth Copeland, regarded as today's chief Word-Faith representative, claims that:
"God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith" on the grounds that "faith is God's source of power.... God used words when He created the heaven and the earth.... Each time God spoke, He released His faith --- the creative power to bring His words to pass.
(Kenneth Copeland, "Freedom from Fear", Pages 11-12; "The Power of the Tongue", Page 4)
Copeland's clone and "spiritual son", Creflo A. Dollar, echoes these same distortions:
"Now, God used faith substance to make everything that He made ... in every one of those words they were filled with faith substance, because words are nothing but containers.... Every time God speaks, He can't help but to speak words that are filled with faith.... God's guts are called faith stuff..... Everything in Him is faith. What's in His heart is faith. If you were to cut God open, you're seeing nothing but faith. Every time He opens His mouth, He automatically fills those words with His faith material. (Creflo Dollar, "Changing Your World", September 20, 1998)
So, what's wrong with these teachings? Firstly and noticeably, the Word-Faith Movement's unbiblical theology is branded with the fingerprints of the New Thought cultic teachings of Phineas P. Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy, and E.W. Kenyon.
Secondly, faith is not a force that is carried by spiritual containers (spoken words).
Thirdly, there are no scriptures in the Bible which indicate or suggest that "God's guts are called faith stuff". In Hebrews 11:1, "substance" is from the Greek Word "hypostasis" and is more accurately defined as:
"an assured impression, a mental realizing extended from man to God."
("The Analytical Greek Lexicon", Page 419)