was surfing the internet today and visited a couple of sites
that are dedicated to exposing the "error" and the
"heresy" of the Word-Faith movement. What I read angered
me as I saw many well-known and reputable preachers mis-quoted,
misinterpreted, and mis-represented. I'm not going to post their
web addresses because I don't believe that they deserve the
extra traffic to their site.
are several ministries out there that spend the vast, vast
majority of their time doing nothing but trying to discredit
other ministries. They spend an inordinant amount of time trying
to draw people away from the Word-Faith message. Draw them to
what, I don't know. Because they typically don't spend much
time telling people what they should believe...but they do spend
a lot of time telling people what not to believe. In
other words, they don't spend much time teaching doctrine, they
just spend time trying to discredit other doctrines.
I read these articles, it occurred to me that I rarely (if ever)
see Word-Faith ministers trying to discredit their discreditors.
Unlike their discreditors, they don't put out publications or
web pages or radio broadcasts or television time naming the
names of these people in order to defend the attacks on their
ministries. And I believe I know why. It's because they are
confident in what they believe. They don't believe that they
have any reason to bring attention to someone whose sole purpose
in life seems to be in trying to draw people from the Word-Faith
am glad that these ministries are confident enough in what they
believe that they don't feel the need to try to defend themselves
to a bunch of close-minded people who will probably only twist
their defense anyway. But at the same time, I think that something
needs to be said on their behalf. And as I was contemplating
on who should be the one to say that "something",
I realized that I have my own web site and I can do it myself.
And even though my site isn't very big, I hope to at least make
some people think.
let me explain that our Covenant is a covenant based on faith.
We are saved by grace through faith, and everything we receive
under this new covenant is received the same way. These anti-Word-Faith
ministries will tell you that this is false doctrine, but most
of the time they don't bother explaining why it's false
doctrine. Most of the time, these are people that simply have
never put faith and the Word of God into practice for themselves.
They will say that they have, but they haven't...because I can
tell you that faith works every time.
effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man achieves results.
And if someone didn't achieve the result they were after, something
was done incorrectly. Either they didn't pray effectually, or
fervently, or in faith, or according to God's Word, or something
else...but just because you didn't get the result you were after
doesn't mean that the Word-Faith Movement is heresy. It means
that you need to ask God and study the Word to find out what
is hindering your result. But in more cases than not, these
people haven't even bothered with ever trying to put faith to
work in their lives.
kinds of people remind me of the brother to the prodigal son
who was "nigh" to the house (not "in"
the house) while they celebrated the prodigal's return. Perhaps
if the brother would have joined the party, he wouldn't have
become so bitter. But he was content to remain outside of the
party and criticize what was going on inside. My advice for
such is, "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it". Most
of these people would rather mock the Word-Faith people rather
than actually try it for themselves. It's a shame that many
of these people will never know the hope, the joy, and the results
that Word-Faith people walk in.
let me explain some things that are commonly alleged by these
Accusation: They say, erroneously, that Word-Faith people think
they are "little gods".
Word-Faith preachers (Kenneth Copeland, in particular) have
been quoted as saying this, but were misinterpreted in what
they truly meant. Kenneth Copeland does not believe that we
are "gods" in the sense that we deserve worship, can
create the universe, etc. What he is saying is that we have
been given authority by God Himself to be His representatives
on earth. And that, as His representatives, we have the ability
to walk above the curse in the earth by faith and to exercise
that Authority by carrying out His Will in the earth. The earth
is subject to the Kingdom of God, and believers in particular.
We don't have to ask God's permission to carry out His Will.
He already gave us that Authority. We have authority
in the earth, because God gave it to us.
Accusation: They say, erroneously, that Word-Faith people don't
think that God is sovereign. Furthermore they say, erroneously,
that Word-Faith people don't think that God can whatever He
wants to do, whenever He wants to do it.
The problem here is the definition of sovereignty. Webster's
defines it as, "having supreme authority". These
discreditors say that the Sovereignty of God means that God
can do whatever He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it.
They further say that Word-Faith people don't believe that.
people do believe in the Sovereignty of God. But they
also know that there are certain things that God, in His Sovereignty,
will never do...and certain things that God will always
do. For example, God will never lie. This doesn't mean
that He is less sovereign because He can't lie. It simply
means that He has chosen to never say anything false. In a
similar manner, God has chosen, in His Sovereignty, to give
dominion over this earth to man. Therefore it is up to us,
as believers, to be ambassadors of His Will in the earth.
is why Jesus instructed us to pray, "Thy Will be done
on earth as it is in heaven". Because God, in His Sovereign
Will, gave dominion of the earth to man, it is only through
man that His Will is accomplished on the earth. His perfect
Will is already established in heaven. But authority over
the earth has been man's, by God's design, ever since He gave
it to Adam. If he took back that authority, He would make
Himself a liar. And since He will never lie, we know that
His Will on earth is accomplished through men. This is why
men are commissioned to spread the gospel, not angels,
and not God Himself...because God, in His Sovereignty, designed
it that way.
through His Sovereign Will, has decided to put man in charge
of this planet. That is why earth is in the shape that it
is in, because man has dominion over it. God exercises
His Will and Power through men. This does not make Him less
sovereign. It actually makes Him more sovereign, because it
demonstrates that He has the ability to make a sovereign decision
and stick with it. God can do whatever He wants to
do, whenever He wants to do it. But He will always
do it through men, because that is the way He designed it,
according to His Sovereign Authority and Will.
They say, erroneously, that Word-Faith people are going to hell.
This is the result of a Scripture in Galatians 1 that says
"If any man preach any other gospel than that ye have
received, let him be accursed". If you read the whole
book, Paul was saying to the Galatians that they had strayed
from a gospel of salvation by grace through faith, to a doctrine
of salvation by works. However, many of these Word-Faith discreditors
are apparently using this verse to say that anyone who doesn't
have an error-free doctrine is accursed and therefore going
me be frank. There is error in my doctrine. And there is error
in your doctrine. And there is error in their doctrine. Paul
himself said that we "know in part". If perfect
doctrine were a prerequisite for salvation, we would all be
hopeless! This does not mean that we should not strive for
the truth. But it does mean that God's grace is far greater
than any error we may have in our doctrine. Paul told the
Galatians that any man who does not preach salvation by grace
through faith is accursed. And, of course, Paul was right...because
that is the only was we achieve salvation. It is not
by works, nor by circumcision, as Paul clearly addressed in
his epistle to the Galatians.
They say, erroneously, that Word-Faith preachers are only interested
This is extremely ironic because some of these discreditors
are making hundreds of thousands of dollars from books, tapes,
and videos which criticize other ministries for the amount
of money they bring in. They preach that Christians don't
have the right to be prosperous, while at the same time they're
living in huge houses and driving European cars.
Himself talked about sowing and reaping more than anything
else in his parables. More than 50% of his parables addressed
the subject of sowing and reaping. There is absolutely NO
biblical basis for the "doctrine" of poverty. God
does want us to prosper, and the device that God has
instituted to channel that prosperity to us is the tithe and
offering. The fact that these ministers want Christians to
be prosperous through the institution of tithing and offering
is a source of extreme ridicule, because people always seem
to think that there are ulterior motives involved.
of these ministries have won literally tens of thousands of
people to the Lord, and some have won many more. The money
that comes into their ministries grants them influence and
assets not available to people with less money. The fact that
they own their own jet, or drive a Jaguar shouldn't offend
someone who knows that there are far more people all over
the world who are better off because of the ministry they
have received through Word-Faith preachers.
time costs a lot of money. Crusades to Africa and Asia cost
a lot of money. So it should not surprise people that these
ministries see tens of millions of dollars pass through their
hands every year. Nor should it surprise anyone that a CEO
of an organization of that size makes 6 digits a year (or
more, for that matter). It shouldn't matter that the CEO is
a preacher. The fact is that millions of lives around the
globe are being touched and reached with the gospel. That's
worth more than a few bucks.
They say, erroneously, that just because a few people have received
miracles, doesn't mean that everyone can have theirs as well.
This too is ironic because these discreditors will actually
admit that people have received miracles as a result of these
ministries...but they won't admit that it is available for
all. My question for them is this...if we don't have the right
to miracles and healing, how did ANY of these people receive
their miracle? The discreditor can't discredit the legitimate
healing, but they won't lower their pride enough to acknowledge
that faith actually worked.
The bottom line is that I'm sure that all of these people have
the best motives, Word-Faith and non-Word-Faith alike. I believe
that both want the best for Christians. I believe that they
both desire to minister the Gospel in the fullness of its truth.
And I know that both the Word-Faith ministries and the discreditors
have brought many souls into the Kingdom of God.
biggest difference I've found is that Word-Faith ministries
don't waste their time trying to cause division in the Body
of Christ by naming the names of ministries they don't agree
with. And they also spend more time trying to teach doctrine,
minister help, and win souls; and less time trying to discredit
other doctrines. Jesus did the same thing, by the way.