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Category Archives: Apologetics

Deliver Us From Schadenfreude (Steve Cornell)

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Deliver us from Schadenfreude

By Steve Cornell
http://www.thinkpoint.wordpress.com

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the depth of human depravity. I am not referring to murder and other widely recognized evils. What I am thinking about is a deeper evil that appears in every culture and class of people. In fact, often it is more prevalent among the refined and so-called enlightened people. Even more disturbingly is how much it can be found in ostensibly religious people. My concern is captured well by the German term Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude: (shäd’n-froi’də) a compound German word (lit. “damage-joy) that refers to malicious joy in the misfortunes of others. From “schaden”– damage, harm, injury + “freude”– joy.

Shadenfreude is marketable. What kind of news sells most? Bad news, right? And when bad things happen to people (or when they suffer the consequences of the bad things they do), there are plenty of others willing to gloat over them. When your life is public and you enjoy some measure of success or accolade, sadly there will always be people who want to see bad things happen to you. Sometimes they even slander you or spread rumors and lies to feed this desire to enjoy your downfall. Shadenfreude is everywhere and every heart must resist it.

Why are we tempted to find satisfaction in the misfortune of others? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Does it redirect the light from our own sins?
This is one of the deepest evidences of how evil our hearts can be and it is more universal than most admit. It is found in the delight one takes in hearing bad news about another person. The pleasure one finds in hearing about the downfall of another is often subtle and sometimes covered with a hypocritical veneer of concern. If outright gloating over another is bad; it is far worse to appear publically sympathetic while privately gloating.

Some speak about the failures of others with sneering smugness; others act publically concerned while privately feeding a sense of moral superiority or even delight. Both responses come from deeply depraved hearts-no matter how much they feign religious or spiritual concern. Have you ever shared a misfortune with another person and felt like he took a little humor or pleasure from your circumstances?

This is what the Germans call schadenfreude (i. e. enjoyment obtained from the trouble of others). A close cousin to this is envy. People who find pleasure in the misfortune of others also tend to be inwardly displeased at the good fortune of others. Here we find two evils that feed off each other: Envy and Schadenfreude.

One writer suggested that these behaviors reflect, “human antagonism in one of its basest and most unheroic forms.”  “Wherever we find envy,” he wrote, “we find the wreckage of human and Christian community. Envious people backbite. They deliver congratulations with a smile that, in another light, might be taken for a sneer” (Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be).

“The envier gossips. He saves up bad news about others and passes it around like an appetizer at happy hour. The envier grumbles. He murmurs. He complains that all the wrong people are getting ahead. Spite, bitterness, discord which undoes all friendships, accusation, malignity-all these things flow from envy and together turn friendship and good fellowship into a rancorous shambles” (Ibid., Plantinga).
Whatever the motive for gloating, we are told to resist it. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice” (Proverbs 24:17). Remember that, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). Alternatively, true love, “…does not delight in evil” (I Corinthians 13:5-6).

Perhaps the person easiest to gloat over is an enemy. When those who hurt us suffer, it’s tempting to enjoy their pain. But Jesus taught his followers to, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Is this easy to practice? No. But remember that God loved us when we were his enemies. “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son” (Romans 5:8,10). Ask God to fill your heart with His love so that it will not be poisoned with schadenfreude and envy.

Steve Cornell
Senior Pastor
Millersville Bible Church
58 West Frederick Street
Millersville, PA. 17551
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By Steve Cornell

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Nothing But a Corpse (Ray Comfort)

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Nothing But a Corpse –Ray Comfort

“A recent discovery showed that self replicating RNA strands could come from elements found during the conditions of early Earth. Besides isn’t the belief of creationists, such as yourself, that God created man (life) out of dust (non-life)? Doesn’t this also mean that life was created from non-life?” BeamStalk

Man had no life until God breathed it into him. He was nothing but a corpse until the life of God entered his inanimate body: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). All living things have their source in God, Who is the eternal fountain of life.

The Gospel of John says that Jesus Christ (called “the Word”) was “in the beginning with God” when life on earth began, and that “all things were made by Him” (see John 1:1-4). Then it says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (see John 1:14). If you look at the opening verses of Genesis you will see “And God said…” (Genesis 1:1-3). It was the spoken word that brought creation into being.

Then this “Word” that created all thing became flesh, and the Bible says “in Him was life” (John 1:4). This is why Jesus said strange things about His words. He said, “My words are spirit, they are life (see John 6:63, italics added). He claimed to be the very source of life itself:

“I am the way the truth and THE life” (John 14:6).
“I am the resurrection and THE life” (John 11:25).
“I have come that they might have life…” (John 10:10).
“I am the bread of Life…” (John 6:35).

The Apostle Paul said, “Christ who is our life…” (see Colossians 3:4).

Look at what the Bible says of who (or what) Jesus of Nazareth was:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested us;)” (1 John 1:1-2). See also John 5:26.

So when someone “receives Christ,” they aren’t receiving some dead religion or some sort of a intellectual belief. They are actually receiving the very source of life itself. That’s why Scripture says, “He that has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12). Do you have the life of Christ within you (see Colossians 1;27), or are you still “dead in your trespasses and sins”?

“Indisputable” Evidence for Evolution

If you’re looking for real proof of evolution, go to http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06/02/a_new_step_in_evolution.php/ Let’s see you refute THAT…I highly doubt that this will be featured as a blog entry, because I know that you will once again be unable to stand up against the indisputable evidence for evolution, and will choose to ignore this post. If you do, however, choose to feature this as a blog post, I would like to congratulate you on your courage, and happily invite you to your demise.” L Hazzal

This is an in context quote from the above site giving indisputable evidence for evolution:

“One of the most important experiments in evolution is going on right now in a laboratory in Michigan State University. A dozen flasks full of E. coli are sloshing around on a gently rocking table. The bacteria in those flasks has been evolving since 1988–for over 44,000 generations. And because they’ve been so carefully observed all that time, they’ve revealed some important lessons about how evolution works. The experiment was launched by MSU biologist Richard Lenski….Based on what scientists already knew about evolution, Lenski expected that the bacteria would experience natural selection in their new environment. In each generation, some of the microbes would mutate. Most of the mutations would be harmful, killing the bacteria or making them grow more slowly. Others would be beneficial allowing them to breed faster in their new environment. They would gradually dominate the population, only to be replaced when a new mutation arose to produce an even fitter sort of microbe.”

These are still bacteria. Nothing has changed. There has been no “evolution” at all. This experiment has nothing to do with Darwinian evolution. If you are a believer in this stuff, please rethink where you are placing your faith. It is a tragedy beyond words when any human being rejects the gospel because he believes that evolution has irrefutable evidence. It doesn’t have any at all. All the “evidence” is as flimsy as this bacteria. Don’t take anything at face value. Question it. Probe it. And make sure you probe your own presuppositions that have been shaped by a godless worldview.
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By Ray Comfort

Email: email@livingwaters.com

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Religion is a Convenient Scapegoat for the Atheist (Chuck Missler)

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Religion is often blamed for the miseries of the world. An “Imagine No Religion” billboard has just gone up in St. Louis, and most people get the point even if they disagree with it. If it were not for religion, after all, there would have been no Spanish Inquisition, no Taliban, no World Trade Center bombing, no human sacrifices to various and sundry gods. Religious wars would be conspicuously absent from world history and nobody would follow cult leaders in sipping down toxic Kool-Aid. Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion spends the first page of the Preface going through the evils that have been done in the name of religion. Yet, while atheists love to blame zealous believers for the world’s sufferings, they have missed the true problem. Yes, much earthly evil has been done in the name of one deity or another, but religion isn’t the real problem. The real problem is …. human nature.

Religion is a convenient scapegoat for the atheist, who wants to justify himself in a world of believers. The atheist has a serious problem in blaming the evils of the world on religion, though. For every complaint against religious people, there are plenty of complaints to be made against the faithless.

Have people been slaughtered in the name of religion? Certainly. Yet, the Crusades are a drop in the bucket compared to the massive death toll caused by atheistic regimes. The leaders of the French Revolution shoved God out of their social justice crusade, and the result was a blood bath. Stalin is responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million of his own people, and Mao Zedong’s death toll runs upwards of 40-70 million. From Pol Pot in Cambodia to the Kims in North Korea, governments freed of “religion” – those utopias of atheistic communism – have murdered millions upon millions of people. People of various religions continue to fight all around the world, but, anti-God governments streamline human death. Any time people get starry-eyed about imagining “no religion too” they need a little history lesson.

The problem isn’t religion or even lack thereof. The problem is humanity. Human beings have this propensity for violence and greed, for self aggrandizement and selfish laziness. We struggle – and sometimes succeed – to overcome these things, but they are there inside us. As Paul writes in Romans 7:21-24:

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

We all have that destructive sin nature inside us by birth. It’s there, and we spend our lives fighting it. If we were naturally good, it would be easy to be good and kind, generous and patient. If we were naturally good, it would be a heavy effort to be rotten. But, we find that we are just the opposite, always struggling to do what is right and constantly falling into that corruption that most people want so desperately to avoid.

Even the atheist wants to avoid the corruption, as far as his own conscience dictates. Atheists have consciences too, after all. Paul writes:

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;” (Rom 2:14-15).

Atheists and humanists are quite capable of morality and moral decision making. Yet, in rejecting the True God, atheists and humanists make themselves their own gods, and because they have no greater yardstick to measure by, it often happens that they reject one evil only to turn around and embrace something far worse. The poor in France had good reason for anger against the spoiled aristocracy and opulent church in the late 18th century. But, having only man’s reasoning to depend on, and hearts full of vengeance, thousands of innocent people were murdered. The atheist has nobody but himself and the local legal system to help him do the good he wants to do, and that can lead easily into gross error. Humankind has excellent thinking ability, but we can easily use that brainpower to justify doing the evil we want to do rather than the good we should.

Yet, the atheist is not too far off when he looks at the religions of the world and feels massively unimpressed. Religion is not the salvation of the world. Religion can be useful in that it provides a framework in which to live, and gives people rules of right and wrong outside themselves. Yet, religion itself cannot change the human heart or free humans of their natural destructive tendencies. In fact, some religious sects actually promote violence and destruction.

Paul didn’t find the answer to his dilemma in religion. He found the answer in the person of Jesus Christ. He found his answer in the Spirit of God, working in human lives to cleanse and free and make new. And the Spirit of God is real, and He is powerful, and He continues to change millions of lives today. If more atheists were truly aware of the reality of God’s Spirit to heal and to transform, Richard Dawkins would sell fewer books.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:16,22-25).

Life on this planet is hard, and Jesus never promised us anything different. He said we would have many troubles in this world, but he also said he had overcome the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. If we are filled with the Spirit, walking hand-in-hand with our King and Savior, His light is going to shine out of us to the lost and the dying. And if, in the midst of our own struggles and suffering, the reality of Christ is alive and well in us, anybody who is watching will see the difference between the truth and the false religions that have caused so much grief through the years. If people can see Christ in us, they won’t want to imagine a world without him.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor. 4:6-10).

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By Chuck Missler

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Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button.

Brain (David DeWitt)

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Brain

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Shaped By Experiences

by David A. DeWitt

September 6, 2009

Unlike any man-made computer, the brain is made of living cells that must constantly change as we acquire new skills and information. It appears that the physical architecture of the brain itself changes in response to our experiences. Such a marvelous design makes it possible for us to grow and adapt to our changing environment.

Lang Lang was only three. Curious and awkward, he pressed an ivory key for the first time on the big wooden piano—and loved the sound. With practice, the boy born in Shenyang, China, became a prodigy, winning international competitions by age 13. Lang Lang still amazes and inspires audiences, now playing with great symphony orchestras.

If we set our mind to it, we can do really amazing things. The more we practice, the better we become. In addition to music, we can learn to dribble a soccer ball, hit a softball, paint, sing, ride a bike, drive a car, fly a helicopter, or learn any other skill that requires precise muscle control and fine-tuned senses.

Yet acquiring skills would be impossible if our brains were “hardwired” at birth. To sort through all the data that our body’s sensors record, the brain has been designed to change. Our brain is not a computer, made of solid-state wires and silicon wafers. It is three pounds of living, growing cells that constantly form new connections and change old ones.

The brain’s flexibility enables us to quickly acquire new skills, learn new information, and create new memories. Further, if our brain suffers certain types of injury, brain cells can take over the function of the dead or damaged cells.

Modern imaging tools can now look inside the brain while it is still at work. For the first time, we are beginning to see just how marvelously God designed our brain to adapt to our ever-changing needs.

Music and the Brain

Neuroscience researchers have known for years that the brains of musicians have more grey matter in certain areas than most other people. Are they born with these differences, or do their brains change with experience? Neuroscientists have tended toward the latter view but lacked hard evidence.1

Recent studies have demonstrated that music training also improves skills in many areas, including fine motor skills and sound discrimination. Some researchers have even noticed improvement in attention, math skills, and geometry tasks.2 Imaging studies of the brain have confirmed that the networks of neurons associated with these abilities change physically, too.

Scientists have not been able to completely rule out the possibility of predisposition or innate structural differences in the brain that would account for musical ability, but the amount of tissue in different regions of the brain does tend to correlate with the amount of practice and training. Musicians, for example, have more tissue in regions responsible for sound discrimination and finger control. This and other evidence strongly suggests that experience alters the architecture of the brain. Neuroplasticity refers to the changes that take place as the neurons’ connections (called synapses) are generated, altered, and reinforced (Figure 1).

Neurons in our Brain

Location, Location, Location

One aspect of the brain that triggered my own interest in neuroscience is how the brain is laid out. The neurons that control our senses and motor skills are arranged into an orderly map in the brain, called a homunculus (Figure 2).

Map of Our Brain

For example, the neurons responsible for touch are laid out in a three-dimensional sequence in the brain, known as a spatial trajectory. If two parts of the body, such as the thumb and index finger, are located next to each other physically, they also have corresponding neurons that are next to each other in the brain. So when scientists attempt to map the sensory neurons in the brain, they find neurons that respond to stimulation of the thumb next to neurons that respond to stimulation of the index finger and so on. The same holds true for neurons that control muscle movement.

Although the neurons in the brain mirror the arrangement of the body parts, they do not mirror the relative size of the body parts. For example, while our arms and legs are much larger than our thumb and lips, they occupy much less space in our brain. The fingers need more space because they require so many more neurons to control fine motor skills and delicate sensations.

Our other senses have similar orderly sequences in the brain. For example, the neurons involved in hearing are arranged by pitch, similar to the keys on a piano. Likewise, the neurons responsible for vision are arranged by sectors of our field of view. This creates an interesting challenge because we have two eyes that see overlapping fields of view. To compensate for this, the brain allocates alternating columns of neurons to the left and right eyes.

The overall pattern of neurons in the brain is laid out early in life. In some cases, it is critical that a body part gets the right stimulation at specific times during development. For example, if one eye of a cat is covered during the critical period so that no stimulation occurs, then the cat could be blind in that eye for life. The cat loses its sight because the neurons that would otherwise accept information from that eye are committed to the other eye. While changes to the brain are possible, they can be limited by prior experience.

Interestingly, if a finger is amputated or the nerve to the finger is destroyed, the neurons that were allocated to that finger become reallocated to the adjacent fingers. For example, if the index finger is lost, the neurons shift to covering the thumb and middle finger. In contrast, if a musician decides to practice with one finger more than all the other fingers, the space allocated for that finger will increase at the expense of the other fingers.

The brain functions like a bookshelf with limited shelf space. If you need to add more pages to one of the books, then the increase needs to come at the expense of pages from other, nearby books on the shelf.

Behaviors or senses that are used more, receive a greater allocation of space in the brain. This explains why individuals who are blind or deaf seem to have heightened sensitivity in other areas.

Practice Makes Perfect

Neurons make an astonishing number of connections with other neurons. An adult brain has around 100 billion neurons, and just one of those neurons can make tens of thousands of connections.

Initially, neurons send out fibers to a wide target area. Those connections that are repeatedly used become stronger, while those that are unused can be lost in a process called pruning. Neurons are constantly competing with each other for targets. Over time, each neuron becomes responsible for an increasingly smaller area.

Both positive and negative changes can be reinforced. For example, excessive use of alcohol or drugs can lead to changes in neuronal connections. Indeed, drug addiction is likely to be related to changes in neural circuits caused by the drug use.

Since experience alters the brain in both positive and negative ways, it is all the more important to live a godly life. Perhaps this is one reason that the Apostle Paul admonished Christians how to think: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

God’s Design of the Brain

The organization and layout of the nerve cells in the human brain is truly remarkable. The brain continues to change and adapt, as well as repair itself, throughout life. The brain follows an overall plan of development but then alters based on experience, stimulation, and the environment. Although I may be biased as a neuroscientist, I believe nothing provides greater testimony than the brain to how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Dr. David A. DeWitt holds a PhD in neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University. Currently a professor of biology and director of the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University, his primary research efforts have focused on understanding the mechanisms causing cellular damage in Alzheimer’s disease.

Understanding Six Worldviews that Rule the World (David Noebel)

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Understanding Six Worldviews that Rule the World*

By Dr. David Noebel

President, Summit Ministries

Back in the early 1990s, Dr. James Dobson and Gary Bauer sought to identify what they saw happening to Christian young people in the United States. Their conclusion was that “nothing short of a great Civil War of Values rages today throughout North America. Two sides with vastly differing and incompatible worldviews are locked in a bitter conflict that permeates every level of society.”[i] The war, as Dobson and Bauer put it, is a struggle “for the hearts and minds of people. It is a war over ideas.”[ii]

On one side is the Christian worldview, the foundation of Western civilization. On the other side are five worldviews: Islam, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Cosmic Humanism, and Postmodernism. While these worldviews don’t agree in every detail, they unanimously concur on one point-their opposition to biblical Christianity.

As in any war, there are casualties, and anti-Christian ideas are taking their toll. Recent surveys indicate that up to 59 percent of “born again” college students drop out of that category by their senior year.[iii] According to George Barna’s research, nine out of ten “born again” adults do not have a biblical worldview.  To effectively engage this battle of ideas, Christians must have an understanding of the times and “know what [they] ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

What is a Worldview?

Everyone bases his or her decisions and actions on a worldview. We may not be able to articulate our worldview, and our worldview may be inconsistent, but we all have one. So the question is; what is a worldview?

A worldview is “an interpretive framework”[iv]-much like a pair of glasses-through which you view everything. It refers to any set of ideas, beliefs, or values that provide a framework or map to help you understand God, the world, and your relationship to God and the world. Specifically, a worldview contains a particular perspective regarding at least each of the following ten disciplines: theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history.[v]

This article summarizes the six worldviews that currently exert the most influence over the whole world. Other worldviews exist, but they wield much less influence. For example, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, or Shintoism may profoundly influence some Eastern countries, but hardly sway the entire world. The major ideas and belief systems controlling the world, and especially the West, are contained in the following six worldviews.

The Christian Worldview

Many people, including many Christians, do not realize that the Bible addresses all ten disciplines of a worldview. Christianity is the embodiment of Christ’s claim that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). When we say, “This is the Christian way,” we mean this is the way Christ would have us approach life and the world. It is no small matter to think and act as Christ instructs.

America has been described as a Christian nation. However, America-along with the rest of Western Civilization-has turned away from its intellectual, cultural and religious heritage. Almost thirty years ago, Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted America’s drift toward secularism as a failure of Christians “to see that all of this [cultural and social breakdown] has come about due to a shift in world view-that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.”[vi]

The study of worldviews in general, and the Christian worldview in particular, is a wake-up call for everyone. A country seeking to promote human rights (including the right to be born), liberty, and the common good must adhere to the only worldview that can account for our existence and dignity. We contend that human dignity comes from the fact that human beings are created in the image of God, a uniquely biblical perspective. Abandoning this perspective has dire consequences, considering the rise in abortions, homosexual practices, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, and the move toward human cloning.

The Islamic Worldview

It is estimated there are 1.3 billion followers of Islam.[vii] In recent years, the Islamic worldview has been growing exponentially in numbers, power, and influence, and, therefore, is worthy of our study. As one article headlined, “The future belongs to Islam,”[viii] providing added incentive to understand its beliefs and goals.

Writing in The Sword of the Prophet, commentator and international political consultant, Serge Trifkovic, explains that “Islam is not a ‘mere’ religion; it is a complete way of life, an all-embracing social, political and legal system that breeds a worldview peculiar to itself.”[ix]

Christianity and Islam have some teachings in common, including belief in a personal God, creation of the material universe, angels, immortality of the soul, heaven, hell, and judgment of sin. Likewise, Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet (one of many), his virgin birth, physical ascension, second coming, miracles, and messiahship.[x]

The major differences between Christianity and Islam is Islam’s rejection of the biblical Trinitarian God and the death of Jesus for the sins of the world. Muslims likewise reject Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead and his claim to be the Son of God.

Another major difference between the founder of Christianity and the founder of Islam is that the Bible describes Jesus as living a sinless life while the traditions of Islam depict Muhammad having many flaws. “Muhammad’s practice and constant encouragement of bloodshed,” writes Trifkovic, “are unique in the history of religions. Murder, pillage, rape, and more murder are in the Koran and in the Traditions.”[xi] Furthermore, Muhammad’s life “seems to have impressed his followers with a profound belief in the value of bloodshed as opening the gates of Paradise.”[xii] Thus, the history of Islam from 622 A.D. to the present has been a history of violence, submission, and war toward infidels (non-Muslims).

For many Muslims, one of Mohammad’s most important legacies is to see the world as a conflict between the Land of Peace (Dar al-Islam) and the Land of War (Dar al-Harb). On the other hand, there are a number of Muslims, particularly those living in Western democracies, who do not believe the Koran’s violent passages regarding killing infidels and Islam’s violent history should be applied literally today.[xiii] Yet, in either case, Islam is a worldview with which Christians must contend.

The Secular Humanist Worldview

Secular Humanism refers primarily to the ideas and beliefs outlined in the Humanist Manifestoes of 1933, 1973, and 2000. Secular Humanism is the dominant worldview on the majority of colleges and universities throughout all Western nations. It has also made gains in many Christian colleges and universities, especially in the areas of biology, sociology, law, politics, and history.

Secular Humanists recognize the classroom as a powerful incubator for indoctrinating students into their worldview. Operating under the educational buzzword “liberalism,” a Secular Humanist agenda controls the curriculum in America’s public schools thanks to the National Education Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and a host of foundations, including the Ford Foundation.

Christians considering a college education must be well versed in the Secular Humanistic worldview or risk losing their own Christian perspective by default. In her book Walking Away From the Faith, Ruth Tucker, a professor at Calvin Seminary, makes it clear that Christian students are walking away from their faith because of Secular Humanist teaching.

The ideas of Humanism have gained prominent influence throughout modern society. B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Erich Fromm, all former “Humanists of the Year,” have powerfully affected the discipline of psychology. Scientists such as the late Carl Sagan, another “Humanist of the Year,” preached his Humanism on a widely heralded television and high school curriculum series. More recently, the outspoken atheist and Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins has gained much attention through a number of popular books on evolution and, of course, his 2006 best-seller, The God Delusion. Clearly, Humanists are willing to support their worldview-often more faithfully than Christians. For these and other reasons, we must give the Secular Humanist worldview close attention.

The Marxist Worldview

Marxism is a militantly atheistic, materialistic worldview. It has developed a perspective regarding each of the ten disciplines-usually in great detail. Based on the writings of Karl Marx in the late 1800s, Marxism has taken on some new looks in recent years-including debasing culture as a form of revolutionary activity.[xiv] The latest Communist Manifesto, titled Empire, was published in 2000 by Harvard University Press. Marx’s presence continues to be felt around the world.

Marxism predominates on many American university campuses. Recruited as college students in the 1950s and ’60s, many Marxist “radicals” earned PhDs and are now the tenured faculty on many campuses. “With a few notable exceptions,” says former Yale professor Roger Kimball, “our most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities have installed the entire radical menu at the center of their humanities curriculum at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.”[xv] U. S. News and World Report published a lengthy article in 2003 entitled “Where Marxism Lives Today,” which states, “Marxism is so entrenched in courses ranging from literature to anthropology… that today’s students are virtually bathed in Marx’s ideas.”[xvi]

The “radical menu” Kimball referred to includes a large serving of economic determinism. According to Karl Marx, the key problem with capitalism is that it breeds exploitation. Therefore, capitalism must be replaced with a more humane economic system, one that abolishes free markets (private property and the free and peaceful exchange of goods and services) and replaces it with a government-controlled economy.

Marx’s economic ideas and political policy go hand in hand. A Marxist style communism controls a large number of nations around the world, and traveling under the name of “social democracy,” a Marxist inspired political philosophy has engulfed Western European nations. Further, many South American countries have also taken a Marxist turn in recent years, and many think that the current administration and congress of the United States is quickly taking America down the same socialist road.[xvii]

In addition, some Christian groups have attempted to combine their Christianity with Marx’s ideas of social equality. Because of the prevalence and subversive nature of Marxism, Christians must be aware of the goals of Marxist-thinking professors, politicians, and theologians.

The Cosmic Humanist Worldview

The Cosmic Humanist worldview consists of two interrelated spiritual movements. One is known as the New Age Movement (NAM), and the other is neo-paganism, which includes occult practices, Native American spiritism, and Wicca.

The New Age Movement mixes ancient Eastern religions (especially Hinduism and Zen Buddhism) with a touch of other religious traditions, adds a smattering of scientific jargon, and imports the newly baked concoction into mainstream America. “The New Age,” explains researcher Johanna Michaelsen, “is the ultimate eclectic religion of self: Whatever you decide is right for you is what’s right, as long as you don’t get narrow-minded and exclusive about it.”[xviii]

The assumption that truth resides within each individual, however, becomes the cornerstone for a worldview. Granting oneself the power to discern all truth is a facet of theology, and this theology has ramifications that many members of the New Age movement have already discovered. Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy (a book referred to as “The New Age watershed classic”), says the movement ushers in a “new mind-the ascendance of a startling worldview.”[xix]

This worldview is summed up by Jonathan Adolph: “In its broadest sense, New Age thinking can be characterized as a form of utopianism, the desire to create a better society, a ‘New Age’ in which humanity lives in harmony with itself, nature, and the cosmos.”[xx]

While New Age believers make no serious distinctions between religions, considering that all are ultimately the same, John P. Newport explains that “neopagans generally believe that they are practicing an ancient folk religion, whether as a survival or a revival. Thus, being focused on the pagan religions of the past, they are not particularly interested in a New Age of the future.”[xxi]

Through best-selling books and popular television shows and movies,[xxii] the Cosmic Humanist worldview is gaining converts in the West and around the world. Malachi Martin lists dozens of organizations that are either New Age or sympathetic to Cosmic Humanist views. Clearly, Cosmic Humanism, a transplant from the East, is a growing presence throughout the Western hemisphere.

the Postmodern Worldview

Forced to face the inhumanity, destruction, and horror brought about by the Third Reich and the Soviet Gulag during the first half of the 20th century, a substantial group of Enlightenment humanists and neo-Marxists abandoned their worldview to create one they believed more fitting with reality, resulting in the Postmodern turn. By the 1980’s, Postmodern professors were making significant inroads in humanities and social science departments around the world.

Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland notes that Postmodernism refers to a philosophical approach primarily in the area of epistemology, or what counts as knowledge or truth. Broadly speaking, Moreland says “Postmodernism represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as truth, reality, reason, values, linguistic meaning, the ‘self’ and other notions.”[xxiii]

Though Postmodernism comes in many forms, there are three unifying values: (1) a commitment to relativism; (2) an opposition to metanarratives, or totalizing explanations of reality that are true for all people of all cultures; and (3) the idea of culturally created realities. Each of these commitments are designed to deny that there is a worldview or belief system that can be considered absolute Truth.

Postmodernism’s most effective methodological tool, one used extensively in university modern language departments, is known as Deconstruction, which means (1) that words do not represent reality, and (2) that concepts expressed in sentences in any language are arbitrary.

Some Postmodernists go so far as to deconstruct humanity itself. Thus, along with the death of God, truth, and reason, humanity is also obliterated. Paul Kugler notes the ironic twist: “Today, it is the speaking subject who declared God dead one hundred years ago whose very existence is now being called into question.”[xxiv]

To complicate matters even further, we must acknowledge that there even exists a variety of Postmodernism called “Christian Postmodernism.”[xxv] Such is the essence of mainstream Postmodernism-a worldview that claims there are no worldviews. This “anti-worldview” worldview is one that certainly demands the attention of thoughtful Christians.

Conclusion

We cannot overstate the significance of these five anti-Christian worldviews. The basis for much of what is taught in the public classroom today comes from Secular, Marxist, Cosmic Humanist, and Postmodern thinking and takes on a variety of labels: liberalism, multiculturalism, political correctness, deconstructionism, or self-esteem education. Or, as is often the case, the labels are dropped and courses are taught from anti-Christian assumptions without students being told which worldview is being expressed. Neutrality in education is a myth.

The first chapter of the Book of Daniel explains how Daniel and his friends prepared themselves to survive and flourish amid the clash of worldviews of their day. We believe that Christian young people equipped with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the Christian worldview and its rivals can become “Daniels” who will not stand on the sidelines, but will participate in the great collision of worldviews in the twenty-first century.

Society will flourish in the light of truth only when the emphasis shifts back to a Christian perspective. This dramatic shift in emphasis can be brought about through the leadership of thousands of informed, confident Christian students who think deeply and broadly from a well-honed biblical worldview and emerge as leaders in education, business, science, and government.

Our desire to bring about this shift in emphasis is the fundamental reason Summit Ministries produces curricula and resources for Christian schools and homeschool families (primary, middle, and secondary), presents in-service worldview training for teachers across the U.S. and around the world, and provides worldview conferences for students and adults. Information is available at http://www.summit.org.

About the Author:

Dr. David A. Noebel is founder and president of Summit Ministries and edits and writes Summit’s monthly publication, The Journal. Dr. Noebel has been a college professor, college president, and candidate for the U.S. Congress. Dr. Noebel has a B.A. from Hope College in Holland, a M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and was a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin. He is an Author, Editor, Public Speaker, and Ordained Minister. Dr. Noebel is recognized as an expert on worldview analysis and the decline of morality and spirituality in Western Civilization. His most popular works include Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Worldviews, which sold over 500,000 copies, and Clergy in the Classroom: the Religion of Secular Humanism (co-authored with Kevin Bywater and J.F. Baldwin). He and his wife Alice live in Manitou Springs, CO and have two children and five grandchildren.

*This article is taken from the introductory chapter of David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times, 2nd Ed., (Summit Press: Manitou Springs, CO, 2006). Understanding the Times is a landmark text that provides a comprehensive comparison of the six worldviews discussed in this article and can be purchased at www.summit.org. Portions of the original text has been edited and re-written by Chuck Edwards for the purposes of this article.

ENDNOTES:


[i] James C. Dobson and Gary L. Bauer, Children at Risk: The Battle For the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids (Dallas, TX: Word, 1990), 19.

[ii] Ibid., 19–20.

[iii] Taken from the “College Student Survey.” Cooperative Institutional Research Program, U.C.L.A. Online article: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/css_po.html.

[iv] Norman L. Geisler and William D. Watkins, Worlds Apart (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), 11.

[v] Other areas could be included in a definition of worldview, such as the arts, yet these ten disciplines contain the primary areas, acting as a web of interacting ideas, which contribute to a total world and life view.

[vi] Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1981), 17.

[vii] http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001468.html.

[viii] “The Future Belongs to Islam,” by Mark Steyn, October 20, 2006, accessed 5/4/2009, http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20061023_134898_134898.

[ix] Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox, 2002), 55.

[x] Ibid., 369.

[xi] Op cit., p. 51.

[xii] Ibn Warraq1 (Ed.), The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, New York, 2000, p. 349, quoted in Trafkovic, p. 51.

[xiii] See the American Islamic Forum for Democracy at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

[xiv] Paul Edward Gottfried, The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2005); David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2004); Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000); Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance (Cambridge, NY: MIT, 1998); Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals (third printing; New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2003).

[xv] Roger Kimball, Tenured Radicals (New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1990), xiii.

[xvi] U. S. News and World Report, Special Collection Edition, September 2, 2003, p. 86.

[xvii] See the online article, “The Socialization of America,” by David Noebel, accessed 5/4/2009, http://www.summit.org/blogs/pd/2009/03/the_socialization_of_america.php

[xviii] Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989), 11.

[xix] Marilyn Ferguson, The Austrian Conspiracy (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), 23.

[xx] Adolph, 11.

[xxi] John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998) p. 214.

[xxii] Books by best-selling authors include The Celestine Prophecy and Conversations with God, while Cosmic Humanist themes are explicit in TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost, as well as through films such as Pocahontas, Mulan, and Star Wars (directed toward children), and Sixth Sense, Gladiator, Dances with Wolves, and Hidalgo, (for adult viewing), just to name a few in each category.

[xxiii] See J.P. Moreland’s website for his article “Postmodernism and the Christian Life.” Also, J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, The Philosophical Foundation of a Christian Worldview.

[xxiv] Walter Truett Anderson, The Future of the Self: Exploring the PostIdentity Society (New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1997), 32.

[xxv] See D.A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996); Myron B. Penner, ed., Christianity and the Postmodern Turn (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005); and D.A. Carson, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005).
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Kenneth Hagin General Teachings and Activities

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There is an article doing the rounds again about Kenneth Hagin.  It unfortunately misrepresents this man and his teaching a remarkable amount.

I tidied up the article for you all and made it more accurate so that it would be a source of blessing to people and not confusion!

Blessings and love,
Benjamin

General Teachings/Activities

–  Tongues-speaking charismatic Kenneth E. Hagin died September 19, 2003 at the age of 85. (Because his influence in charismatic circles will never die, and because his son and grandson carry on with Kenneth Hagin’s teachings, this report will remain posted.) He was well known as the father of the “Word-Faith”/”Positive Confession” movement. (See endnote for a detailed description of the Hagin ministry.) In his The Word of Faith magazine, Hagin taught the following Biblical truths: Receiving healing, just as receiving salvation, is simply a matter of appropriating what already belongs to us (6/90); healing is included in the gospel (8/92); God does not afflict people with sickness and disease (12/90); he (Hagin) went to heaven and talked with his sister (6/91); Jesus appeared to him in a vision in 1950 (8/91); he once went to hell in an out-of-body experience (9/91); he does not believe in sickness and disease (7/92); it is always God’s will to heal the sick (12/92); believers have a legal and redemptive right to divine healing (1/93). Hagin says: “Your confession of faith in God’s Word will bring healing or whatever it is you need from God into the present tense and make it a reality in your life!” (12/92). (Reported in the 2/1/93, Calvary Contender.)

–  As the name “Word-Faith” does not imply but some people have clearly erroneously inferred, this movement does not teach that faith is a matter of what we say more that whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. Obviously, Jesus Christ Himself said that our words matter and we can have what we say, but some people do not accept the simple words of Jesus! A favorite term in the Word-Faith movement is “positive confession.” It refers to the Biblical teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Jesus claims, 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 (John 14.14). Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as a tool (some non-Christians would use the word incantation but they don’t really know the Word of God) 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” (Mark 11.23-24).

–  Word-Faith is the fastest-growing movement within the professing church, because it is clearly based in the Bible. It has not involved the Peale/Schuller-Positive/Possibility thinkers although some ignorant people might think they are Word of Faith because they do not pay attention, although their roots are not in New Thought, and the Hagin/Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in the Biblical based teaching of E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain Movement. In Hagin’s book, Having Faith in Your Faith, he teaches from the Bible that anyone can develop universal “laws of faith” to get what he wants. Hagin teaches that for a pastor or anyone to drive a Chevrolet instead of a luxury car isn’t “being humble, that’s being ignorant” of God’s “law of prosperity” that works for “whoever you are,” saint or sinner. “Having faith in your faith” is exactly what Jesus taught: “Have faith in God.” – obviously you need to have faith that your faith will work and have confidence that you can have a relationship with God.  Some people might think these ideas are dimmetrically opposed, but these are people who have NEVER read Hagin’s book! [Other Hagin books that clearly detail his “theology” are How to Write Your Own Ticket with God (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1979) and Godliness is Profitable (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1982).] Hagin claims Jesus told him, “If anybody, anywhere, will … put these [positive confession] principles into operation, he will always have whatever he wants from Me or God the Father”. (Mark 11.23-24, John 14.14, Matthew 20.20)

–  In an early-1990s edition of his magazine, The Word of Faith, Hagin clearly delineated his teaching of “positive confession.” The article was entitled, “You Can Have What You Say”:

“Often you create your own negative situations yourself with wrong thinking, wrong believing, and wrong speaking. So start believing according to God’s Word. Then begin making positive confessions of faith and victory over your life. … You will never receive anything from God beyond the words you speak. … If you don’t like what you have in life, then begin to change the way you are thinking, believing, and speaking. Instead of speaking according to natural circumstances out of your head, learn to speak God’s Word from your spirit. Begin to confess God’s promises of life and health and victory into your situation. Then you can begin to enjoy God’s abundant life as you have what you say!”

This was not a slip of the tongue or some new doctrine. This is at the heart of the Positive Confession (PC) movement today, also known as the “name-it-and-claim-it” gospel. The Positive Confession movement is not a charismatic form of Christian Science, although some ignorant people might say that it is. This can easily be substantiated by simply comparing the vast huge differences in their common beliefs. Positive Confession is not at all basically warmed-over New Thought dressed in evangelical/charismatic language, and you really would have to either be totally ignorant or utterly dishonest to say so. (Other well-known PC’ers besides Hagin’s most successful protégé, Kenneth Copeland, are Charles Capps, Frederick K.C. Price, Robert Tilton, and David Yonggi Cho. Many of them are graduates of Hagin’s RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)

–  Hagin went a step further, from Biblical truth to even more Biblical truth, when he said, “The believer is as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ” (some people might call this a heresy who haven’t EVEN read the original source!  They would have to cite this quote like: “Hagin, “The Incarnation,” The Word of Faith, 12/80, cited in Christianity in Crisis, p. 175,397″ because they have read a book gossipping about Hagin and not even read the original source, can you believe that people would do that!). He has also said, “If we ever wake up and realize who we are, we’ll start doing the work that we’re supposed to do. Because the church hasn’t realized yet that they are Christ. That’s who they are. They are Christ.” This is a wonderful Biblical truth. The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. He is the eternal Son of God. Nowhere is the believer said to be an incarnation of Almighty God except in the verse of Romans 8 which says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, that the Holy Spirit is inside us, and the other 87 times in the New Testament we are told that that God lives INSIDE US! The Lord Jesus Christ performed miracles to demonstrate that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah is one common error people have when they read the Bible. They might also say ridiculous things such as “No Christian can do the things that Christ did” which is a DIRECT CONTRADICTION to the teaching of Jesus Himself in John 14.12!  Who are you going to believe, Jesus or some preacher who cannot read? Some people thing that “Not one Pentecostal preacher has ever been able to perform the miracles that Christ performed” but they are very much closed minded to the wonderful miracles that many, many, many Christians have seen. It is blasphemous confusion to claim that the believer is NOT an incarnation of God like Christ was – it is an insult to the Holy Spirit who lives in us to say that our flesh does not contain God!

–  Hagin obviously did not believe God is sovereign in the traditional unbiblical way that many Calvinists believe. Jesus, according to Word-Faith theology based on the teachings of the Bible such as Romans 5.17 and Matthew 28.18-20, has no authority on earth, having delegated it all to the church. He developed this point in his book The Authority of the Believer (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1979). And though all Word-Faith advocates would affirm the personality of the Holy Spirit, it is a shame that many non-charismatics depersonalize Him by consistently speaking of Him as a power to be drawn upon and don’t listen to His Voice and have a relationship of communion and fellowship with Him. (John 10.28).

–  When one stops believing that he is Christ, someone with the anointing of God like 1 John 2.20 teaches, with the power of Christ to create reality, the stories become ludicrous to such an unbeliever. Surely Hagin had the most unusual story of all. He said that when he was younger and still single, God led him to break off a relationship with a woman by revealing to him that she was morally unfit. Hagin claimed God miraculously transported him out of church one Sunday, right in the middle of the sermon. Worst of all, Hagin was the preacher delivering the sermon! Unfortunately some people have no experience of the power of God and cannot accept this experience at all!

–  In How to Write Your Own Ticket with God, Hagin saw a vision of Jesus, and said to Him, “Dear Lord, I have two sermons I preach concerning the woman who touched Your clothes and was healed when You were on earth. I received both of these sermons by inspiration.” (Emphasis added.) Later, Hagin quoted what Jesus told him in reply: “You are correct. My Spirit, the Holy Spirit, has endeavored to get another sermon into your spirit, but you have failed to pick it up. While I am here, I will do as you ask. I will give you that sermon outline. Now get your pencil and paper and write it down.” (Emphasis added.) Hagin claimed to have received numerous visions, as well as eight personal visitations from Jesus (see below). Hagin wrote, “The Lord Himself taught me about prosperity. I never read about it in a book. I got it directly from heaven” (How God Taught Me About Prosperity, Tulsa: Faith Library, 1985). That claim, of course, is not a lie, though many people might accuse him of lying because of their ignorance of the Bible [Hagin also claimed that he knew that Paul wrote Hebrews because Jesus appeared to him (Hagin) and told him so!]

Hagin claimed that of the eight times Jesus appeared to him, seven times Jesus was barefoot; the other time Jesus was wearing Roman sandals, and came into Hagin’s room, sat down by his bedside, and talked with him for about 30 minutes. During that time, Jesus allegedly taught Hagin how to be led by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Hagin described Jesus as 5’11” tall and weighing about 180 pounds. This is of course possible (cf. 2 Cor. 5:16). Some people might think that if the resurrected, ascended, glorified Christ chose to visit Hagin for a midnight chat, He would not be wearing sandals, and Hagin would be toast, but they do not understand the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.(3/4/96, Christian News, p. 12).

–  Other examples of Hagin’s teachings (Source: “Hagin Drunk ‘In The Spirit’,” David Cloud, 10/4/98, FBIS report):

(a) Hagin claimed that his teaching was given to him by God, and it was.  Some teaching came directly from God and some as he meditated heavily from the writings of Kenyon (among many others) (1867-1948). D.R. McConnell (in his book A Different Gospel, documents this with pages of comparisons proving beyond question that Hagin and Kenyon’s writings are very similar. McConnell introduces this section of his book by saying: “Hagin has, indeed, copied word-for-word without documentation from Kenyon’s writings. The following excerpts of plagiarisms from no less than eight books by E.W. Kenyon are presented as evidence of this charge. This is only a sampling of such plagiarisms. Many more could be cited.”  Hagin actually preached Kenyon’s sermons and then his sermons were made into books.  As you know you don’t footnote sermons.  If every preacher who has ever used another’s words or illustrations in the pulpit is a plagiarizer then that is a remarkable thing to state!  However, this list is produced word for word by MANY on the internet, who never ever cite its source!

(b) Hagin taught accurately and Biblically that Christ’s physical death alone did not remove sin. Rather, it was Christ’s “spiritual death” and struggles in hell that removed sin. Hagin taught that Christ was sent to hell and there struggled against Satan and demons, and by his victory over them was born again. This is revelation of the greatest sort. The Bible plainly states that we are redeemed by Christ’s (spiritual) death and blood (Acts 20:28; Heb. 9:14; 10:10). The atonement was finished on the cross. When Christ dismissed His spirit from his body, He cried, “It is finished” – referring to the Old Testament (John 19:30). The Lord Jesus Christ was born again; He was lost due to our sin. He became our sin, but He was never a sinner. He was tormented in hell by Satan and the demons. Nowhere does the Bible say that Satan is in hell or that he has any influence in hell. One happy day in the future, Satan will be bound for 1,000 years in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3) and ultimately he will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), but nowhere does the Bible say Satan is the master of hell anymore because Jesus took the keys of death and Hell from him – Hallelujah!

(c) Hagin claimed he was guided by visitations of angels and of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. His book I Believe in Visions describes eight of these. The seventh occurred December 12, 1962. Hagin claimed the Lord prophesied to him in this visitation that He would soon begin to move among all denominations to “bring them into a full salvation and into the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” Hagin claimed that Jesus Christ told him that he would play a part in this ecumenical miracle revival. (A similar prophecy was given to David DuPlessis by Smith Wigglesworth in 1936. The ecumenical-charismatic movement, which has since swept through the Roman Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant denominations, would appear to be a fulfillment of these prophecies. DuPlessis was the first to carry Pentecostal experiences to the Roman Catholic Church. He was the only Pentecostal to attend Rome’s Vatican II Council in the mid 1960s.)  Wonderful accurate prophecies!

(d) Hagin taught a health-prosperity gospel. He wrote: “Like salvation, healing is a gift, already paid for at Calvary. All we need to do is accept it. All we need to do is possess the promise that is ours. As children of God, we need to realize that healing belongs to us” (Hagin, Healing Belongs to Us, p. 32). He further said: “God is glorified through healing and deliverance, not sickness and suffering” (Hagin, The Key to Scriptural Healing, p. 17).

(e) Hagin claimed that the Lord spoke to him in a vision in 1959 with the words: “If you will learn to follow that inward witness I will make you rich. I will guide you in all the affairs of life, financial as well as spiritual” (Hagin, How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit). In an article “How God Taught Me about Prosperity,” Hagin claimed that Jesus Christ taught him not to think that it is wrong to have riches. Allegedly Christ told him not to “pray about money anymore; that is, the way you’ve been praying. CLAIM WHATEVER YOU NEED.” Christ allegedly further taught Hagin that he had personal angels who could be commanded to do his bidding. Hagin said Christ told him in 1963 that the angels were waiting for his command to provide his material desires: “They are waiting on you to give them the order, just as the waitress cannot do anything for you until you give her the order” (Hagin, I Believe in Visions, p. 126).

–  Here is just a sample of some of the direct revelations and/or direct “anointings” Kenneth Hagin claimed to have received from the Lord. (All quotes from The Word of Faith magazine.):

(a) “‘… You have learned faith both through My Word and by experience. Now go teach my people what I’ve taught you. Go teach My people faith.’ These words, spoken years ago by the Head of the Church to Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, have never lost their sense of divine urgency, Decades have passed, and that heavenly commission still stands” (11/96).

(b) “In March 1945 … On Sunday afternoon I was lying on the living room floor. The Holy Ghost said, ‘When you’re in your sixties, the two main thrusts of your ministry will be radio and the printed page'” (11/96).

(c) “Then almost twenty years later in 1963, during an unusual time of prayer at a meeting in Houston, the Lord told me four things to do: Go to neutral places to hold my own ‘All Faiths Crusades’ and invite everyone to come; put all my teachings from my daytime teachings on tape; and get on the radio and teach — don’t preach” (11/96).

(d) “Waves of God’s glory swept through the sanctuary, and people broke out in Holy Ghost laughter or dancing in the Spirit. Then Brother Hagin began laying hands on various people in the audience, telling them to ‘Be blessed!’ He was operating under such a strong anointing that ENTIRE ROWS OF PEOPLE WOULD FALL UNDER THE POWER OF GOD when Brother Hagin touched the first person in the row — or at times just walked by the row! Afterwards, Brother Hagin began to close the service — but the Holy Ghost arrested him, striking him dumb or mute by the power of God! For the next hour, Brother Hagin, unable to speak himself, walked throughout the audience, handing various ministers the microphone so the minister could speak as the Lord led him. But the moment Brother Hagin gave the microphone to someone, THAT MINISTER WAS EITHER STRUCK DUMB, FELL UNDER THE POWER OF GOD, OR WAS OVERCOME BY HOLY GHOST LAUGHTER” (5/96, Description of a meeting conducted by Kenneth Hagin at the Winter Bible Seminar ’96 on the RHEMA campus). [Hagin had been in the center of the current Laughing Revival. It was during a Rodney Howard-Browne crusade at Hagin’s church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that Vineyard Pastor Randy Clark received the “anointing” which he subsequently carried to Toronto.]

(e) “One morning at a recent Holy Ghost Meeting, the Lord asked me a question … The Lord said to me, ‘Do you think I’d ask you to do something that I wouldn’t be willing to do?'” (10/96).

(f) The Lord spoke audibly to him and told him when was the proper time to applaud (clap) during a worship service: “The Lord didn’t say, ‘Don’t ever clap.’ He was explaining the right and wrong time to clap. … I’m only telling you what the Lord told me!” (10/96).

–  Hagin displayed his charismatic theology on a regular basis in his The Word of Faith magazine. The following excerpts are from Hagin’s “From the Archives” series. This is presented as further proof of the great teaching emanating from charismatic pulpits today:

In the10/01 magazine, in an article titled “Born Again,” Hagin recounted his three visits to hell as a 15 year-old boy in the year 1933. The article introduces the visits with: “Kenneth E. Hagin suffered poor health throughout childhood and at the age of fifteen became bedfast. That night, he died and went to the gates of hell three times”:

“As I began to descend into the darkness for the third time, my spirit cried out, ‘God, I belong to the church! I’ve been baptized in the water!’ … I came again to the bottom of that pit. Again I could feel the heat as it beat me in the face. Again I approached the entrance, the gates into hell itself. The creature that met me the first two times again took me by the arm. … I just heard the voice. I don’t know what he said, but whatever he said, that place shook; it just trembled. And that creature took his hand off my arm. It was just as if there was a suction to my back parts. It pulled me back, away from the entrance to hell, until I stood in the shadows. Then it pulled me up headfirst.”

Hagin’s out-of-body experience ends up back home:

“I came up beside my bed in my grandparents’ house. The difference between the three experiences was that I came up on the porch the first time; at the foot of the bed the second time; and right beside the bed the third time. When I got inside my body, my physical voice picked up and continued my prayer right in the middle of the sentence. I was already praying out of my spirit.”

And quite a prayer it was—a real traffic-stopper:

“… they tell me that between me and Momma praying so loud, traffic was lined up for two blocks on either side of our house! They heard me praying from inside the house, and they heard my mother as she walked the porch praying at the top of her voice. … That was the very hour I was born again …”

Arguably, (especially to people who do not operate in the power of the Holy Spirit) Hagin’s account of his salvation experience is necessary to give credibility to the charismatic’s claim to prophethood. But to “seal the deal”, the ordined by God charismatic prophet needed a personalized visit from Jesus. And not just any visit would do—one on par with the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John WAS apparently required.  Of course anyone can see that if Jesus visited two people there could be similarities in these visitations!. In Hagin’s November 2001 The Word of Faith magazine, in an article titled “A Sobering Vision,” he recounted a 1950 tent revival in Texas where Jesus appeared to him in a vision. Reading like a passage from the Book of Revelation, Hagin actually wrote new revelation.  Obviously no-one except a few sensationialist cessationists who want to demonise Hagin would compare a prophetic word to Scripture:

“As I lay under the power of God, it seemed that I stood on a plain and could see for miles. … To the west I saw what appeared to be a tiny dot on the horizon. As I watched, it grew larger. It was a horse with a man upon it, riding toward me at full speed. The horseman came to me, stopped, and handed me a scroll—a roll of paper twelve or fourteen inches long. As I unrolled it, he said, ‘Take and read.’ At the top of the page in big, bold, black print were the words, ‘WAR AND DESTRUCTION.’ I was struck dumb. He laid his right hand on my head and said, ‘Read, in the Name of Jesus Christ!’ I began to read what followed on the paper, and as the words instructed me, I looked and saw what I read about. First, I read about thousands upon thousands of men in uniform. … wave after wave of soldiers marching as to war … I saw many … All of the women were bowed together in sorrow and were weeping profusely. … I looked at the scroll again, and again looked up to see what I had read about. I saw the skyline of a large city. Looking closer I saw its skyscrapers were burned-out hulls, and portions of the city were in ruins. It was not writ­ten that just one city would be destroyed, burned, and in ruins, but that there would be many such cities.”

Too bad Hagin didn’t reveal this to the FBI before the September 11th WTC attacks, although the FBI could have read the book and attended his meetings! He continued with his vision:

“The scroll was written in the first person; it seemed as if Jesus Himself were speaking. I read, ‘America is receiving her last call. Some nations have already received their last call and will never receive another.’ Then in larger print it said, ‘THE TIME OF THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND.’ This statement was repeated four or five times.”

Now for the good stuff—Jesus validates the gifts of the Spirit for today. How convenient for charismatic theology, although obviously charismatics base their theology on Scripture not exeprience, as Hagin himself taught again and again and again!:

“The scroll continued, ‘All the gifts of the Spirit will be in operation in the Church in these last days. The Church will do greater things than even the Early Church did. It will have greater power, signs, and wonders than were recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. We have seen and experienced many healings, but we now behold amazing miracles such as have not been seen before. More and more miracles will be performed in the last days which are just ahead (referring to the end of the last days), for it is time for the gift of the working of miracles to be more in prominence. We now have entered into the area of the miraculous. Many of My own people will not accept the moving of My Spirit, and will turn back and will not be ready to meet Me at My coming. Many will be deceived by false prophets and miracles of satanic origin. But follow the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and Me, and you will not be deceived. I am gather­ing My own together and am prepar­ing them, for the time is short.'”

Finally, Hagin got his papers validated as a prophet of God:

“‘Warn this generation, as did Noah his generation, for judgment is about to fall. And these sayings shall be ful­filled shortly, for I am coming soon. This is the last revival. I am preparing My people for My coming. Judgment is coming, but I will call My people away, even unto Myself, before the worst shall come. But be thou faithful and watch and pray.’ Then the message concluded with the words, ‘For the time of the end of all things is at hand.'”

In the December 2001 issue of The Word of Faith, Hagin went back to the time immediately following his “new birth” experience. He was still bedfast when “the glory of God” filled his room with a “bright light — brighter than the sun shining on snow.” Hagin then had another out-of-body experience, hearing Jesus speaking, “Go back! Go back! Go back to the earth! Your work’s not done!” Moreover, during the time the bright cloud of God filled Hagin’s room, Hagin’s 70 year-old grandmother repeatedly tried to enter the room through the open door, only to be repelled by the cloud, “bouncing off of it like it was a rubber ball.” Granny couldn’t get in the room until the cloud had lifted.

In the January 2002 magazine, in an article titled “Come Up to the Throne of God,” Hagin recounted his face-to-face meeting with Jesus. You would have to be trained by cessationist unbelieving Christians to imagine that there could be a unbiblical nature to this vision:

“I was conscious of the fact that I still lay flat on my face on the floor, and for a few minutes I remained there, feeling the glory of this miraculous visitation. Again I heard a voice say, ‘Come up hither.’ And this time the voice said, ‘Come up hither; come up to the throne of God.’ I saw Jesus standing again about where the top of the tent should be, and I went to Him through the air. When I reached Him, together we continued on to Heaven. We came to the throne of God, and I beheld it in all its splendor. The first thing that attracted my attention was the rainbow about the throne. It was very beautiful. The second thing I noticed was the winged creatures on either side of the throne. They were peculiar looking creatures, and as I walked up with Jesus, these creatures stood with wings out­stretched. They were saying something, but they ceased and folded their wings. They had eyes of fire set all the way around their heads, and they looked in all directions at once. I stood with Jesus in the midst, about eighteen to twenty-four feet from the throne. I started to look at the One who sat upon the throne. Jesus told me not to look upon His face. I could see only a form of a Being seated upon the throne. Then for the first time I actually looked into the eyes of Jesus. Many times when relating this experience I am asked, ‘What did His eyes look like?’ All I can say is that they looked like wells of living love. It seemed as if one could see a half-mile deep into them, and the tender look of love is indescribable. As I looked into His face and into His eyes, I fell at His feet. I noticed then that His feet were bare, and I laid the palms of my hands on the top of His feet and laid my forehead on the backs of my hands. Weeping, I said, ‘Oh Lord, no one as unworthy as I should look upon Your face.’ Jesus said that I should stand upright on my feet. I stood up. He called me worthy to look upon His face, for He had called me and cleansed me from all sin.”

–  Hagin promised health and wealth to Christians, and SAID: “All you have to do is visualize it, speak it into existence.” Hagin claimed that Jesus appeared to him in a vision in 1950 and gave him a special anointing to minister to the sick (4/96, The Word of Faith). After a 1952 vision, Hagin said: “[N]ow when I minister and lay hands on people, I can tell if there is an evil spirit present either through the word of knowledge or the discerning of spirits.” He relateED a time when “there stood Jesus right in front of me” (after a failed healing) and said Jesus pointed His finger at him, almost touching his nose. Jesus supposedly said, “I told you, ‘If you feel that fire jumping from hand to hand like heat waves, there is a demon or evil spirit in the body. Call him out in My Name and he will leave.'” (Reported in the 7/1/96, Calvary Contender.)

–  Hagin explained his criteria for judging between true and false spiritual gifts:

“When God moves, everybody will be blessed. If something is of the flesh, everybody will have a sick feeling. And if something is of the devil, it seems like the hair will stand up on your neck. That’s a simple way everyone can judge, whether they’ve got any spiritual discernment or not.”

There, as explicitly as it can be expressed, is a statement that defines exactly what is great with charismatic mysticism. Spiritual discernment is deemed unnecessary. According to some critics of Kenneth Hagin who do not understand the spirit, you can judge between what is true, fleshly, or demonic by a process that is really just a simplified system of biofeedback.  Of course it is about spiritual discernment operating through us, not biofeedback.  But people do make these claims when they do not have a clue about the Spirit!

–  Despite some people who do not care for the Bible or history claiming that Word-Faith teachers owe their ancestry to groups like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, Science of Mind, and New Thought — they actually are rooted in classical Pentecostalism. It reveals that at their very core, Word-Faith teachings are pure. Their undeniable derivation is Christian, not cultish. The truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith movement is the gospel of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a Biblical system, a safeguard against the blend of mysticism, dualism, and gnosticism that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The criticism of the Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that has grown out of the Reformed movement so far. Because so many Calvinists are unsure of the doctrine of Scripture and cannot interpret Scripture without their religious framework, they have to criticise anyone who can operate in the power of God that Jesus operated in because their unbiblical tradition does not allow for it.


The Hagin Ministry Conglomerate

Kenneth E. Hagin began his ministry in Texas in 1934 at the age of 17. For twelve years he pastored, then traveled extensively in the evangelistic field. In 1963, the Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association was incorporated. In 1966, the offices of the ministry were moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kenneth Hagin, Sr., ministers with his son, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., and grandson, Craig Hagin. (Craig is his grandfather’s Crusade Director, Special Meetings coordinator, operations manager for the ministry, and the associate pastor of the RHEMA Bible Church, pastored by his father. In a February, 1998 ministry letter, he also claimed that the Holy Spirit led him to preach and teach healing.)

RHEMA Bible Training Center was founded in 1974. In 1978, the name of the ministry was changed to RHEMA Bible Church (a.k.a. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.). The Training Center is located on a more than 110-acre campus consisting of 23 buildings, including a 96-unit student housing complex, a 2,000-seat auditorium, and a Prayer and Healing Center (PHC). Since the 1974-75 charter class graduated 58 students, RHEMA has provided training to more than 23,000 graduates. RHEMA’s average annual enrollment is 1,800 with graduating classes of 750-800. (Internationally, there are RHEMA Training Centers in 13 countries.) RHEMA Correspondence Bible School has enrolled more than 60,000 students since its inception and offers an extensive curriculum for home Bible study.

“Faith Seminar of the Air,” begun in 1966, is RHEMA’s radio ministry, airing on more than 250 stations in a 15-minute daily slot, as well as being heard via short-wave radio in over 120 countries and on all continents of the world. In addition, “RHEMA Radio Church,” airs its 30-minute program via 93 radio broadcasts weekly in 30 states. All tolled, RHEMA’s radio broadcasts can be picked up by 2.8 billion potential listeners.

In late 1995, a videotape ministry was initiated. RHEMA Bible Church sends video teaching tapes to an average of 125 RHEMA missionaries each month. In 1996, “RHEMA Praise,” a half-hour television program outreach of RHEMA Bible Church, began airing in the Tulsa area. “RHEMA Praise” is also translated into Spanish and broadcasted into 54 nations covering all of South America and parts of Europe. In August 1999, “RHEMA Praise” began broadcasting into 40 additional countries in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since its inception, broadcast locations have expanded to reach a combined potential audience of more than 30 million homes every week.

Kenneth Hagin and his son, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., have authored 147 charismatic-oriented books. More than 65 million copies of these books are currently in circulation around the world, translated into more than 25 foreign languages. RHEMA’s efforts support missionaries in 109 countries and The Word of Faith magazine is sent into more than 250,000 homes each month. More than 50,000 teaching tapes by the Hagins are distributed each month. More than eight million tapes have been distributed since the inception of the cassette tape ministry.

Kenneth Hagin, Jr., pastors the 8,000-member RHEMA Bible Church that meets on the campus of RHEMA Bible Training Center in a 4,500-seat auditorium. Father, son, and grandson all minister together and individually in crusades, seminars, and other special meetings. Each July, the Hagin’s conduct their indoor “Campmeeting” at Tulsa’s Convention Center. It has drawn people from all 50 states, Canada, and 68 other countries.

In the fall of 1979, Hagin, Sr., began the Healing School on the RHEMA campus (the Prayer and Healing Center). Morning and afternoon healing sessions are held daily, at which students are taught the techniques of healing the sick! Hagin boasted that “The highest percentage of healings is among those with incurable diseases, many of which include cases diagnosed as terminal.” [If student’s really learn how to heal, why are they not then sent into the hospitals of Tulsa and heal all the terminally ill there?  The answer is obvious to anyone who has ever read the gospels!  If you need the answer explained, email me!]

Seven Tactics of the Heresy Hunters (Troy J. Edwards)

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Seven Tactics Of The Heresy Hunters

By Troy J. Edwards

Webster defines “heresy” as, “an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards.”[1] In 1 Timothy 4:1 we are told: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” We are told yet again in Heb. 13:9, ” Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace…” These passages show us that there is a definite need for the true apologetics[2] ministry in the church.

The early church fathers such as Iraeneus, Origen, Chrysostom, Polycarp, and others spent quite a bit of time defending the truth of Christianity against the well known heresies of their era. These men were true apologists in every sense of the word. Even before them, Paul, John, and the other early apostles had to continually defend the truth against the error that crept into the church.

Though I may not have always agreed with him, Walter Martin, the founder of the Christian Research Institute, was a true apologist. God raised up such a man when the American scene was becoming so filled with cults that it became difficult to distinguish them from Orthodox Christianity. His landmark book, Kingdom of the Cults, provided us with sufficient information on the different cults in America and how to deal with them.

The Difference Between Apologists and Heresy Hunters

Nevertheless, there comes a fine line between the valid ministry of an Apologist (one who is defending the faith given to the church) and the need to search for something to use against those you may disagree with theologically in order to make them appear cultic and heretical to the general public. The latter is a Heresy Hunter. Heresy Hunting has become a cultic practice unto itself and the purpose of this essay is to show the reader the invalidity of such a practice. I will show you seven tactics that these people use in their vendetta against those they do not agree with. I will especially show you how these tactics have been used in the attacks against the Word of Faith movement.

1. False Labeling

The heresy hunters seem to enjoy labeling those that they theologically disagree with as “cultic, heretical, etc.” The Word-Faith movement has been labeled a “metaphysical” movement when their has been no trace of metaphysical teaching within this group. We have also been called “Gnostic,” “Universalists,” “Eastern Mysticism,” and a host of other names. One web site labels Marilyn Hickey as the “fairy God-Mother” of the Word of Faith movement.

The heresy hunter even like to falsely label themselves. Many of them say that they are Pentecostals or that they are Charismatics. They do this so that they can be accepted among these particular groups while still attacking everything uniquely Pentecostal or Charismatic. They do this in order to turn the hearts of Pentecostals and Charismatics away from the essential truths that distinguish these two movements. The unfortunate thing is that it has actually worked. Many Pentecostals and Charismatics treat their Word of Faith brethen as if they have been sprayed by skunks. They now do everything to separate them from their groups.

Many of the heresy hunters say that they are members of Assemblies of God churches or affiliated with “Charismatic” churches such as Calvary Chapel. Yet, when you listen to them talk they often sound like Hyper-Calvinists and Cessationists. It’s a shame because the same criticism that they make against the Word-Faith and other movements were made against the movements that they claim to be affiliated with.

In the beginning of the Pentecostal movement at Azusa street in 1906, the leaders of this movement, William J. Seymour and Charles Parham were labeled “rulers of spiritual Sodom.” Another person labeled them, “Satan’s preachers, jugglers, necromancers, enchanters, magicians, and all sorts of mendicants.” This same person also labeled the Pentecostal movement as “spiritualism.” Another well known preacher of that time labeled it, “the last vomit of Satan.” A Bible teacher whose writings I love made a statement about the Pentecostal movement that I disagree with: “emphatically not of God and founded by a Sodomite”.[3]

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Pentecostals were also falsely labeled as “hypnotists,” “mentally unstable” and attributed the miraculous manifestations in the churches as “demonic power.” One historian makes this observation:

That Pentecostalism was initially successful cannot be gainsaid. It seemed to be scripturally oriented and appeared to be the answer to the prayers of countless thousands as the revitalizing force needed to combat spiritual lethargy which they had felt had engulfed the religious world of the twentieth century. Within a short time, however, the Pentecostal revival became the object of scurrilous attacks. It was denounced as “anti-Christian,” as “sensual and devilish,” and as “the last vomit of Satan.” Its adherents were taunted and derided from the pulpit as well as in the religious and secular press. Some leaders were actually subjected to violence.[4]

I suppose now that many Pentecostal denominations have established a certain amount of “respect” in the evangelical community, they would not want to be associated with a movement that is being rejected by the community at large. It is recorded later that the American Assemblies of God, a major Pentecostal denomination, rejected what is known as the Charismatic movement. Those who were Assemblies ministers who approved of this movement lost their ministerial credentials and were disfellowshipped from the AoG. Two of the more well known are David Du Plessis and Ralph Wilkerson.[5] Is this not a case of the persecuted becoming the persecutors?

Centuries before this, John Calvin and Martin Luther were persecuted for discovering the truth of “justification by faith.” Once this truth was established, Luther persecuted the Anabaptists because they felt the need to bring further Biblical reforms into the church. Luther blasted these “zealots” from the pulpit and written literature. He labeled them “stupid spirits,” “rabble preachers,” “infiltrators,” and “messengers of satan.”[6]

George Mueller, who was a great man of faith, was able to trust God for a millions dollars a day to feed thousands of orphans. He did this with no advertisements and no letters appealing to others for support. He totally prayed and relied on God. Unfortunately, due to his tremendous faith, some in his time had falsely labeled him and connected him to spiritualism, the cultic influence of that time:

A striking case is that of Mr. George Muller, of Bristol, who has now for forty years depended wholly for his own support and that of his wonderful charities on answers to prayer…. The Spiritualist explains all this as a personal influence. The perfect simplicity, faith, boundless charity, and goodness, of George Muller, have enlisted in his cause beings of a nature; and his mediumistic powers have enabled them to work for him by influencing others to send him money, food, clothes, etc., all arriving, as we should say, just in the “nick of time.”[7]

Muller was one of the greatest men of faith and greatest example to the church in how to put our full trust and reliance upon God. Because of this apparent success in prayer, he is labeled a medium and the “spirits” (presumably “demonic” spirits) are given the credit for the provisions that he received.

Muller is now respected in both Charismatic and Evangelical churches and is often used as an example of the kind of faith that is needed to do the work God has called us to do. However, there were some that wanted to imply that he was embracing “spiritualism.” Is it any wonder that in our day our major faith teachers who have demonstrated faith in God are made to look “cultic” by those who disagree with them?

God’s persecuted children are in good company. John the Baptist and even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have had to deal with false labeling by religious leaders:

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. -Matt. 11:18-19

John the Baptist was labeled as demon possessed, and Jesus was called a few other names. Later on Jesus Himself would be accused of being in league with the devil (Matt. 12:23-26).

So God Himself, who came to earth to shed His precious blood for all men is being labeled a man who is in league with the devil whose works he came to destroy (1 John 3:8). These accusations were made by the religious leaders of his day. Sounds familiar? Jesus goes on to tell us that because we are his disciples, we can expect this same type of persecution:

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? -Matt. 10:25

By giving the false labels to Word-Faith which these heresy hunters have done, they have placed themselves in the same league as the Pharisees of Jesus day and have placed us in the same company as our Lord Jesus. Those of us affiliated with the Word-Faith movement should be thankful for this minor persecution.

2. Taking Statements out of context

This is an attempt to misconstrue the original intent of what the person was intending to say or trying to convey. This is outright dishonest. It is equivalent to what many do in the secular media. The secular media uses soundbites, half quotes, and one sided approaches to give the appearance of “evil” to the watching public. The secular media has been quite successful in destroying businesses this way and even a few ministries. The heresy hunters have done an excellent job of incorporating this tactic in their attacks on the Word-Faith and others they disagree with.

Although there are enough books that one can buy that gives plenty of examples of this particular heresy hunting tactic, one need not waste his or precious hard earned dollars. There are enough examples on the world wide web. Take notice of a Kenneth Hagin quotation on the Watchman Fellowship web site:

Word-Faith teachers say that not only is God a big man, but man is a little god. Kenneth Hagin has asserted, “man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…. He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…. He lived on terms equal with God…. The believer is called Christ, that’s who we are; we’re Christ” (Zoe: The God Kind of Life, pp. 35-36, 41). “[8]

Notice all of the “…” used in this misquotation of Hagin’s teaching. Those “…” show that the person quoted was not fully quoted. If I had never read Hagin’s books and this was the first quote I ever read by him, I would stand against his theology too. I would shout “heresy” along with the rest of these heresy hunters. However, when we look at Hagin’s teaching in it’s full context, we will see that Hagin’s statements were completely taken out of context:

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:17

What does this verse mean? It means that everyone of us who has been born again and has received the life of God has come into a kingly state. We are accepted by God to reign as kings in life. We are no longer servants in the realm of spiritual death, but we have passed out of death, Satan’s realm, into the realm of the heavenlies. Man was never made to be a slave. He was made to reign as king under God. He was made on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority. Notice Psalm 8:4,5: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” In some translations there is a number or letter by the word “angels” in this text. If you read the margin you’ll find that the Hebrew word here is Elohim – the same word or name for God. The Hebrew Bible actually says (talking about man), “Thou hast made him a little lower than God.” That means that God has made us as much like Himself as possible. He made us in His image. He made us in His likeness. He made us the same class of being that is Himself. He made Adam with an intellect of such caliber that he could name every animal, vegitable, and fruit, and give them names that would describe their characteristics. When God could do that with man, man belonged to the realm of God…..

God made man His understudy. He made him king, to rule over everything that had life. Man was master. Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms of equality with God.

(Zoe, pp. 35-36)

2 CORINTHIANS 6:15

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial?

Finally, the believer is called “Christ” and the unbeliever is called “Belial.” That’s who we are; we’re Christ!

Jesus is the head and we’re the Body of Christ. Your head doesn’t go by one name and your body by another, does it? You don’t call your body Henry Jones and your little finger Louise Simpson, do you? Your little finger has the same name as the rest of your body because it belongs to that body. (p. 41)[9]

Notice that Mr. Hux neglected to deal with the Scripture passages that Hagin used. Notice also how Mr. Hux totally misinterpreted Hagin’s message. Hagin was not demoting God and elevating man as Mr. Hux would imply. Hagin stated that man was God’s understudy. Does this sound as if Hagin was promoting man to a higher level than God? Hagin was simply teaching the level on which God created man. Take Psalm 8:4-5 for example. There are a host of Bible translations that state that man was made a little lower than God.

When Hagin and others speak of man being in God’s class, most of this teaching centers on passages in Psalms 8:4-5; Heb. 2:7; Psalm 82:1, 6, and John 10:35. The KJV took the Hebrew word “Elohim” in Psalm 8:5 and translated it to “angels” instead of God. I understand that it was also translated this way in the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Many Bible translations have decided to translate the Hebrew word correctly. Among the older ones are Revised standard version, Young’s literal Translation, American Standard Version, Hebrew Names Version, World English Bible, and the Amplified Bible. Among the newer translations that quote it this way are God’s Word To the Nations translation, Contemporary English version, New Living Translation, and Today’s English Version. These all speak of God creating man a little lower than Himself vice creating man a little lower than the angels.

Commentaries by men who are respected in the church who also seem to agree with this interpretation is John Wesley, Adam Clark, Warren Wiersbe, Ray Stedman, and John Calvin.

Therefore, Hagin was simply stating that man was created in God’s image and has a higher place than the angels and other created beings. In this sense, Hagin is teaching that man was created in God’s class. Further more, Hagin was simply teaching the truth that we are members of Christ’s body. He was not teaching that each Christian is the Messiah Himself. He was teaching that we are a part of one body and that we have a place and position in Christ that we often do not recognize. Besides, Mr. Hux neglected to include Hagin’s proof Scripture (2 Cor. 6:15) as well as Hagin’s full statement. Hagin was by no means teaching that God was a big man and that we are on His level.

3. Comparison method

Used to compare the statements of well known faith teachers against those of well known heretics and/or cultic leaders. These statements are often taken out of context.

Jesus methods of healing and deliverance were also compared to the cultic exorcists of His time on earth. Jesus was accused of being demon possessed:

And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? -Matt. 12:23-26

One web site does this by quoting major faith teachers out of context and then compares their statements to those of Mormon leaders such as Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders. It’s an endless charade.

An example of how some of these “apologetical” websites do this is displayed below. One Apologist takes a quote by Copeland and compares it to a quote by a New Age leader:

“Faith activates the force of God fear is a force that activates the Devil. Copeland says, God did not create the world out of nothing, He used the Force of His Faith.’ (Spirit, Soul and Body, #01-0601, Tape #1)

New Ager Benjamin Creme says, for example, “One doesn’t pray to oneself, one prays to the God within. The thing is to learn to invoke that energy which is the energy of God. Prayer and worship as we know it today will gradually die out and men will be trained to invoke the (inner) power of deity.” (The Reappearance of Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, pp. 135-136)[10]

This is just one example of how Copeland’s “force of faith” teaching is compared to a well known cult to make him look as if he were receiving his theological perspective from them. One other person makes it sound like Copeland has been watching too many science fiction movies:

Faith is a Force (like Starwars).
(Spirit, Soul and Body, #01-0601, Tape #1) [11]

I am giving you the exact quote as it was written on this website which is supposed to be a compilation of “erroneous” quotes from Word of Faith teachers. I am absolutely sure that the “like starwars” insertion in the parenthesis was not from the person quoted, but the interpretation of the quoter. The Heresy Hunter will add or take away from the words of the faith teacher in order to make the faith teacher sound heretical.

I will now use this same tactic and compare the “force of faith teaching with quotes from a classic Bible teacher that many consider “orthodox” and whose books are even sold and read by some of these apologetical ministries:

Many grand deeds have also been born of faith, for faith works wonders. Faith in its natural form is an all-prevailing force. God gives salvation to our faith because He has touched the secret spring of all our emotions and actions.[12]

Now what “heretic” would make a statement like that? Long before the so called New Age movement, and long before the popular Star Wars movies (long before movies, period), Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) made the above statement. In a later essay on this subject I will show you similar statements by other men of days gone by, men who bare the names of Albert B. Simpson, Edwards M. Bounds, Frederick Marsh, and others. These men also believed that faith, prayer, and even the death of Christ is a “force.” Were they heretical too? You will be surprised at the statements these men made that would be considered “heretical” in today’s heresy hunting atmosphere.

However, allow me to quote another surprising statement by the “prince of preachers himself once more in this regard:

Faith is the mightiest of the mighty. It is the monarch of the realms of the mind. There is no being superior to its strength, no creature that will not bow to its divine prowess. The lack of faith makes a person despicable; it shrivels him up so small that he might live in a nutshell. Give him faith, and he is a leviathan that can dive into the depths of the sea, a giant who takes nations and crumbles them in his hand, vanquishing hosts with his sword and gathering up all the crowns as his own. There is nothing like faith. Faith makes you almost as omnipotent as God, by borrowed power of its divinity. Give us faith and we can do all things.[13]

Now is that heretical by today’s standards or what? Is this any more heretical then Copeland saying that faith activates the force of God? So perhaps Spurgeon and modern day faith teachers were heretical. Was Jesus heretical when He said that “all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:22-23)? Was Paul heretical when he compared faith to a “shield” (Eph. 6:16)? I have no doubt that Copeland had no intentions of implying that faith was something similar to the star wars force or the New Age definition. Faith is a weapon or force that can be used in resisting the devil (1 Pet. 5:8-9; James 4:7).

Let’s look at another Scripture that is not often taught outside “spiritual warfare” circles:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. -Matt. 11:12

Was Jesus speaking of a “metaphysical force” when He made this statement? No. The word “force” used in this passage comes from the Greek word Biazo. According to Vines dictionary this word can be translated to be “….expressive of the special interest which the doer of the act has in what he is doing.”[14] It can also be synonymous with violence.

Paul tells us, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17). Perhaps when Copeland speaks of the force of righteousness, or the force of Joy, or the force of faith, he is speaking of taking the kingdom of God by this type of force. Or perhaps he meant it as a comparison to the “force” of electricity as F.B. Meyer did in one of his sermons over a century ago.[15]

Comparing Copeland’s words to a well known cultic antiChristian group or to a popular science fiction movie and not take other, more orthodox references into account is totally dishonest on the part of these heresy hunters. They should be ashamed of themselves.

4. False Implications

After quoting a person out of context, and then comparing the person’s statement to a well known cult leader or heretic, the next step is to make a false implication concerning what the individual teaches. The interpretation of a statement by the Heresy Hunter is usually never what the writer/preacher originally meant to convey.

In John 2:18-21 we find this incident concerning Jesus Christ:

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.

Now it is clear that Jesus was not speaking of the literal temple but of His own body. It is also clear that he said nothing about destroying this temple Himself but that others would do the destroying. Now watch how this is expertly used against him during His trial just before He is crucified:

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what [is it which] these witness against thee? (Matthew 26:59-62).

Now you see how these men came to the wrong conclusion concerning Jesus’ statement. Jesus spoke of the temple of his body but these men made it seem as if Jesus were speaking of the temple (building). The incorrect implications were drawn from the Lord’s statements. The Bible calls these men “false witnesses.” This spirit is still resident in our time in the “ministries” of the modern day heresy hunter. We can see how this tactic is used on one “apologetical” website:

E.W. Kenyon wrote, “We have sung ‘Nearer the cross’ and we have prayed that we might be ‘Nearer the cross’ but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure and defeat” (Advanced Bible Course, p.279) [emphasis mine]. As usual, the others merely echo Kenyon’s ideas about this.

What the Bible says:

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the Power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18) See also Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20 and 2:15.[16]

The conclusion we draw from this misquote of Kenyon’s work is that Kenyon has no regard for the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sounds almost similar to a Rev. Moon philosophy (I’m surprised that this apologist did not use this “comparison” method).[17] The author then attempts to prove that Kenyon has made a heretical statement by quoting a passage of Scripture that supposedly contradicts what Kenyon said. First we will look at the fool context of this quote so that we can see EXACTLY what Kenyon was saying, we will give Scripture references that show that Kenyon was attempting to convey a truth to his students that was not often taught in his time, and then we will show you from Kenyon’s own writings what he truly believed in regards to the cross of Christ. Here’s Kenyon’s full quote:

If Jesus had gone no further than dying on the cross, no one have ever been saved through Him. There is no New Birth, no New Creation, in the dead Christ.

We have sung ‘Nearer the cross’ and we have prayed that we might be ‘Nearer the cross’ but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure, a place of death, a place where Jesus was made sin, a place where God forsook Jesus, turned His back upon Him after He had made Him sin. It was a place where Satan had apparently won a victory over the Man who had ruled him for three and a half years. So for us to sing, “Jesus, keep me near the cross,” is for us to be kept near failure and defeat.

No, there is no salvation in a dead Christ or a suffering Christ hanging on the cross.

Many who read this will feel shocked because they have worshipped a dead Christ. Had Jesus stopped, had He gone no further than the cross, we would never have heard from Him.

You see, the disciples only understood what the physical senses registered, as they gathered about the cross and watched Him in His death throes.

The next picture of Jesus is the one that has brought life and light to the human race. It is the Resurrected, Ascended, and Seated Christ.[18]

So what was Kenyon teaching here? He was teaching that so many focus on the death of Christ and do not focus on His RESSURECTION and EXALTATION. They look at the DEATH of Christ but overlook the other aspects. They forget He is no longer on the cross. Kenyon was teaching people to get past the cross and move towards the resurrection and ascension. The cross was a necessary part of salvation but Kenyon is teaching here that the death of Christ would mean nothing had He not been raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God.

In a paragraph above this, Kenyon relates the story of how he saw a picture in the street of Christ dead on the cross. This seems to be the only picture of Christ that has been in the minds of many in the church. I remember before I received Christ as my personal savior, my girlfriend sent me a cross. I thought I would impress my friend, who was a true born again Christian by showing him. When I did, he said, “Troy, Jesus is no longer on the cross.” Those words struck me. As far as I know, this man was not a Word-Faither. He was Protestant.

Christ is no longer in the grave. He has risen. This aspect of Christianity is what separates us from Islam, Buddhism, and a host of other world religions. It is not as Rev. Moon stated (that Christ failed) but the resurrection proves that Jesus was SUCCESSFUL. He was victorious.

There were good reasons why Kenyon needed to point this out. For example, our salvation relies not so much in the death of Christ, as important as this aspect is, but it relies primarily in His having been raised from the dead:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10

Our victory over sin and our identification is to not only acknowledge the cross but the resurrection as well:

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. – Romans 6:2-9

Because of this resurrection that Christ is able to work His mighty power toward those of us who believe:

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. -Eph. 1:19-23

There is a full abundance of Scripture that we can use in this regard, but this is sufficient. F.E. Marsh (1858-1931) said it this way, “A crucifix is not an emblem of Christianity, but an empty tomb is. How much that empty tomb proclaims!”[19]

What Kenyon Believed About The Cross

How Did Kenyon feel about the cross? Was it an unimportant aspect of redemption? If we read Kenyon’s books we would see that he held the cross of Christ in high esteem. Remember in the quote from his book, Advanced Bible Course, Kenyon was expounding on the importance of the resurrections. This by no means implies that Kenyon did not think that the cross was important. Kenyon states in one of his books:

The cross was the climax of love in manifestation. There is no love without action. It is not love until it acts. Love was unveiled on the cross. That God Man who hung there had come of His own volition. He was not a martyr; He was a supreme lover.[20]

Kenyon believed that the cross held a very important place in the work of God. Kenyon believed that the cross is where Jesus became our substitute on the cross. In another of his books, Kenyon says, “But God has dealt with the sin problem in His Son. He has put sin away by the sacrifice of that Son.”[21]

Kenyon believed that the cross is where Jesus bore our sins. Kenyon certainly believed that the cross was a necessity. The reading of several of his books would affirm this. The references are too numerous to quote. However, Kenyon believed strongly in the message of the cross. He simply wanted his readers not to stop there and settle on the cross but to go beyond that to the resurrection and the ascension. However, the modern day apologists will not tell you that.

5. Sensationalizing

This is an attempt to make a person believe that the group that they are attacking is a real threat to present day Christianity. In other words, the said group or doctrine along with it’s teachers and adherents is causing a real “Crisis” with Christendom as we know it. Unless these “heretics” as they are labeled are done away with, the whole foundations of Christianity will be destroyed.

What really gets me is one internationally known heresy hunter who claimed that the Faith teachers were causing a Crisis in Christianity was the same one to criticize other brethren (although I agree he was correct in doing so) for using sensationalism to promote the Y2K scare back in 1999. If only this same “apologist” had followed his own advice about sensationalism to sell books.

This same critic of the faith teachers have labeled another group of people that use similar tactics as himself as “a Cult of Gossipers.” Although I may agree with him on this, I must also say that this is the proverbial “pot calling the kettle black.” It is terrible that these heresy hunters will see sin in their brothers and yet commit the same sins. It’s the case of not being able to pull the speck out of your brother’s eye until you have pulled the moat out of your own (Matt. 7:1-5)

The caption on one Heresy Hunter’s webpage would be funny if it were not so pathetic: “JUST LIKE AIDS…The Christian Church is Being Destroyed from Within!” This is in reference to the Faith movement, of course. Is God not able to remove a “cancer” or “AIDS” from His own body (The Body of Christ)?

This type of sensationalism is used quite often in the secular media to stir up viewer’s emotions. The Heresy Hunter has skillfully adopted this technique in his war against the Faith Movement. What good Christian would not want to remove AIDS from the body of Christ? What good Christian would want to keep the church from being destroyed from within?

God is fully capable of keeping His church from being “destroyed from within.” However, the Heresy Hunter must use such sensational tactics as Christianity being in a “Crisis,” or that the Faith Teachers are preaching a “different” gospel, or that we have become a “cancer” or “AIDS” in the body of Christ.

It’s So Sensational

Sensationalism sells books. Non Christians often use this tactic but unfortunately so do Christians. In 1988 the Christian bookstores sold a book titled 88 Reasons Why Christ Will Return In 1988. The book sold well and it also disappointed so many people when their expectations were not met.

We mentioned the Y2K scare earlier. So many Christians “prophesied” about the disasters that would occur when the clock struck twelve midnight due to the negligence of our major computer programmers to figure in a four digit date into all of our computerized appliances. Many of these same people sold shelters and survival kits. I am sure that the reader remembers that the impending doom did not occur.

Unfortunately, the Charismatic movement that I have aligned myself with has been guilty of sensationalism. In the 1940-50s during the healing revival we have often sensationalized this wonderful provision of God with our flamboyance. This gave a bad name to healing. The 1970s gave us some insight into deliverance from demonic possession but again, the church moved into sensationalism, giving the deliverance ministry a bad name. Even now so many of our brethren are using sensationalism to promote their ministries.

We could write volumes on how “satanic ritual abuse” sensationalism has promoted the ministries of some (and has also caused their downfall when the truth about them were exposed). Then there was the “Illuminati” sensationalism. The church seems to have our own “conspiracy theories.” These are just a few examples of the sensationalism that has reared its ugly head in the church far too often.

The sensationalism has not been limited to the Charismatic movement. We have seen that the evangelicals have done well in this department too. The Heresy Hunters have especially been good at this tactic. Many of them attack anything and everything that they do not agree with and will use any way possible to get the attention of the church. Some of them have a desperate fleshly need for this attention.

Many times people ride the waves of what seems to be popular. Word-Faith bashing has been very popular for the past twelve or so years. Before that, many people were teaching “faith,” “discipleship,” and “deliverance.” To them it was a fad. They were riding the waves of it’s popularity.

Now many of these same people have become the staunchest critics of these doctrines. It’s no longer fun to them. It’s not the “in” thing anymore. Word-Faith bashing is now the “in” thing and they must ride the waves of opportunity before the next fad. It is so sad that when God reveals a truth to His church and people begin to walk in light of that truth, others seem to come along only for the ride, or for the sensation and thrill of the moment.

The real test of whether you believe any truth from God’s Word is when that truth and its adherents come under attack and persecution. That is the time that we see whether a person truly believed what he was taught or preaching or whether he or she was riding the wave of sensationalism. Many preachers turned from the Faith movement due to the books written against it. Many of them have endorsed the books and believe that simply because they were once a part of this movement that they are now experts.

Sensational wave riders are not experts. They were only on the train for the ride. They did not get grounded in the true principles of faith teaching and some of them were probably the biggest propagators of it’s excesses. That’s the result of just coming along for the ride. We will see what happens as this wave of Word-Faith name calling popularity begins to die down. What train will many of these men and women hop on next?

6. Theological Prejudice/Bias in interpreting proof texts of those that they disagree with

If Word-Faith (which is primarily an Arminian movement) interprets Scripture from and Arminian viewpoint, their accusers will use the Calvinistic interpretaion. If Word-Faith interprets a passage from a covenantal viewpoint then the heresy hunter will use the dispensational argument to refute those that they oppose. In other words, the Heresy Hunter uses whatever method he possibly can to prove to his listeners/readers that those whose ministries they wish to destroy are wrong and heretical.

There are those who feel that one MUST embrace a particular theological system (either Calvinism or Arminianism) and stick only with the tenets of that system or they are in error. Unfortunately for the heresy hunter, Word-Faith and other Charismatics have defied such logic by seemingly incorporating a mixture of both theological systems in each case.

Jeff Beard in his testimony, “Freedom from the Faith Movement: The Personal Testimony of Jeff Beard” shows how his freedom was achieved theologically:

My eagerness for answers was soon satisfied, for I received a book from John MacArthur, Jr., that addressed many of the concerns I had — _and he used Scripture._ I then purchased a book by G. Campbell Morgan, and was given still another book by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. For the first time, I felt I was eating real spiritual food. The Bible was coming together at last, and I saw clearly that God was a _personal_ God and not just a bunch of spiritual laws to tap into.[22]

Notice the writings that had the major affect on Beard’s theological perspective. I am not as familiar with Martin Lloyd Jones (though I am told that he supported the Charismatic movement) but I can certainly show the reader the anti-Pentecostal and anti-charismatic bias of the other two writers.

In case the reader is not informed, John MacArthur is the pastor of one of the most thriving Reformed Calvinist churches in this nation. He is also the author of a popular book titled Charismatic Chaos, a book that criticizes everything Charismatic. MacArthur is well known for his cessationist theology.

Pentecostal historian Vinson Synan, in his book, The Holiness-Pentecostal movement records this statement concerning Dr. G. Campbell Morgan at the beginning of the Pentecostal revival: “Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, one of the most respected preachers of the twentieth century, called the Pentecostal movement ‘the last vomit of Satan.'”[23]

Another writer who seems to have changed Beard’s views concerning the Faith Movement happens to be a someone whose writing I also enjoy. Nevertheless, this person also falls into the category of a Reformed Calvinist/Cessationist. His name is A.W. Pink:

We soon accepted a position as associate pastors and Bible school directors in another state and shoved off to put to use all we had been taught. To prepare for my Bible classes, I studied for hours in the Bible alongside the writings of A.W. Pink. (No, Rhema did not endorse or promote the writings of Pink.) This was probably the best thing I had going for me. After a few months of Pink’s writings conflicting with my Rhema theology, I knew I needed some answers.[24]

Notice that Pink’s writings conflicted with “Rhema theology.” I have read Pink’s writings and I have been blessed by them. However, “Rhema theology” as Mr. Beard refers to it comes from an Arminian/Wesleyan/Holiness/Pentecostal background (in spite of what the critics say). Pink, like MacArthur and probably Morgan are from the Calvinistic/Reformed/Cessationist background. This is not only a CONFLICT, but a MAJOR one.

I have no problems with people changing their theological position. That is their perogative. What I have a problem with is Word-Faith critics who pose as Charismatics/Pentecostals and yet embrace theological positions that conflict with the labels they claim. There is nothing wrong with a person reading the writings of those with opposing theological views. I have done this and continue to do it. However, if these views are in conflict with one’s foundational teachings, would it not be better to refer to the Scriptures to bring the understanding you need rather than totally throw away your foundation?

In a book review by CRI concerning one book criticizing the faith movement, the reviewer makes this statement:

A distinctively “Reformed” analysis, packed with quotes and footnotes. At its best when refuting the biblical proof-texts most often used by Faith teachers; at its weakest when relating Faith teachings to the Mind Science cults and the New Age movement. [25]

The book that was reviewed is titled, Man as God: The Word of Faith Movement, was written by Curtis Crenshaw, an associate of John MacArthur. Notice that the CRI reviewer acknowledges that the book was written from the reformed perspective and found the book to be at it’s “best” while refuting the Faith teachers from the Scriptures (but thankfully the reviewer felt that the metaphysical and New Age connections were weak).

The Word-Faith critics have portrayed themselves as Pentecostals and Charismatics while at the same time blasting anything that was birthed from this movement and endorsing the writings of nonCharismatics. By this portrayal, these critics have successfully turned the hearts of other Pentecostals and Charismatics against the Word-Faith movement.

I have noticed in my conversations with ex-Word of Faith people that the majority of them embrace Reformed theology. In most cases they may add certain Charismatic distinctives. Nevertheless, while rejecting the Word-Faith movement they usually reject all Arminian/Wesleyan views and totally embrace Calvinism – minus Calvin’s cessationism in most cases.

Many who embrace Calvinism believe that Calvinism is the gospel and that the five point Calvinistic system of Bible interpretation (known as TULIP) is the correct way to interpret the Bible. Any other method is believed to lead a person into error. Not all become critics of the Word-Faith. Many of them are thankful for what they have learned from the movement. Unfortunately, too many others who leave the movement become critics of it and build websites and write books and pamphlets against it. While criticizing the faith teachers for being “arrogant,” they show their own arrogance by their pride in their “theological” position.

Men like T.D. Jakes have also been the subject of this heresy hunting crusade. Jakes, who pastors the 23.000 member Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas has been criticized by both Hank Hanegraaf, current president of the Christian Research Institute and Jerry Buckner, a radio host and pastor. While some feel that Jakes may be the successor to Billy Graham, a world renowned evangelist, Buckner has a different opinion:

“T.D. Jakes is a cult leader and his ministry is a cult,” Buckner told “Charisma” magazine last week. “He needs to repent of his theology if he is to be considered the next Billy Graham.”[26]

I suppose Buckner must have a considerable voting share in the “Billy Graham successor” stock. I guess Jakes success at winning the lost to Christ does not qualify in the eyes of those who are focused on “theology.” Not so much correct theology but not embracing their theology (by the way, I am a Trinitarian). Buckner goes on to question Jakes integrity by saying, “Jakes is hiding his ties to Oneness Pentecostalism in order to be accepted in the mainstream.”[27] This article goes on to say:

Buckner branded Jakes a heretic because of the Oneness ties, and because of a statement on the T.D. Jakes Ministries Web site that says God “exists in three manifestations.” Buckner and Hanegraaff’s California-based Christian Research Institute maintain that the use of the word “manifestation” is theologically unsound, and they insist that Jakes must correct his view by stating that the Trinity is “three separate persons.”

Jakes said, “I believe in one God. I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that these three are distinct and separate in their function. Their distinctives are so separate that each has individual attributes, yet they are one. I do not believe in three Gods.”[28]

“Theologically unsound?!!!!” This is such a ridiculous excuse to brand someone a heretic. This is a blatant attempt to either get someone to conform to your “theological jargon” or brand the person as a “heretic.” I suppose Buckner, Hanegraaf, and CRI will now be telling us what is proper “theological wording” for our statements of faith. Perhaps the word “manifested” is a theologically unsound word to Hanegraaf and Buckner but the Holy Spirit may have felt differently when He had John write his epistle:

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. – John 3:8

Think John would have been branded a heretic by today’s theological standards? Simply because Jakes does not use the “correct theological” wording acceptable to Buckner and Hanegraaf, he has become a heretic. Ministries such as Buckner’s and CRI feel that if one is not embracing theology as they believe it, then they are not adhereing to the “right” theology.

Does Embracing The “Right” Theology Make One Superior?

Ted Rouse, who has written a book in defense of the Word-Faith movement titled: Faith and The Pharisees, Has this to say about the theological perspectives of some Word-Faith critics:

People, especially religious men, who are bound and blinded by their own theological beliefs, will see only what they are looking for as they search to prove that their theology is right and what others believe is wrong. The sad part is they dishonestly twist and use whatever they can, true or not, to make their point, all in the name of religion.[29]

I share Brother Rouse’s opinion concerning many religious men. However, both Rouse and I could be bias concerning the theology of these critics since we are both sympathetic to the Word-Faith movement. However, another author who is not so sympathetic to this movement, Neil T. Anderson, has made a similar observation:

The only one who is right is God. We think we are defending the truth, but what we are actually defending is our theological position and worldview. Nobody has a perfect perspective of reality, and nobody fully knows the truth. We are not omniscient, and we all have a grid by which we interpret and evaluate life. I am not committed to my theology, and I’m certainly not committed to yours. What I am committed to is the truth. Theology is man’s attempt to systematize truth.[30]

Maybe the reader may better understand and receive an opinion of bias theology from someone outside of the Faith Movement and who is not sympathetic to it. Understand that we are all “bias” in the sense that we may embrace certain theological positions. However, all of us do not use our “bias” in the same way that the Heresy Hunter does. His intent is to discredit and perhaps destroy the ministry he opposes.

One of the most skilled “Theologians” of his time threw away all dead theology for what Kenyon has popularly labeled “revelation knowledge:”

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ – Phil. 3:4-8

Man may accuse Word-Faith for our desire to be taught the Bible by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) rather than following their dead theological traditions and systems. They may talk about us and persecute us but I’d rather be criticized and walk in newness of life than to conform to man’s theological boundaries and have the life of God choked out of me. Usually people like this who cannot get a fresh revelation of God’s Word (the Bible) have to spend time criticizing others in an attempt to make them as joyless as themselves. Theology is not bad in itself, but when we become so locked into a certain theological system that fresh truth cannot penetrate, then we have allowed the letter to kill and prevented the Spirit from giving life (2 Cor. 3:6)

7. Incorrectly using “Scholarship” to make their point

Basically, the Heresy Hunter uses “Bad Scholarship” in an attempt to make those that they oppose look ignorant. If the Heresy Hunter’s presentation looks “Scholastic” and “Well Researched” while those they oppose look like “ignorant bumpkins” then most people will be deceived by this tactic. Who can refute a book with hundreds of footnotes and references to great scholastic works while those of a group like the Word-Faith teachers refer only to the Scriptures.

Unfortunately, the “out of context” statements are pulled from hundreds of tapes, books, magazines, television shows, and other medium that most people are not going to buy or even can afford to buy. I have not read all of the material that these heresy hunters reference. However, I have read enough of the material by the faith teachers to know that some of the so called “scholarship” and “research” used by these people is not done in a prayerful manner.

There are some out there who really believe that a person cannot interpret Scripture correctly without the help of some scholarly commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, etc. They do not feel that the Holy Spirit is sufficient for teaching a person the true meaning of the Scriptures.

Jack Deere, a minister with the Vineyard movement has received his share of criticism, especially since his excellent book, Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit, (read my review of this book) which does an outstanding job of refuting the cessationist viewpoint. One critic of the book takes issue with Deere’s teaching on healing from James 5:

A work on healing cannot ignore James 5. However, it must not merely recognize the passage and then conform it to one’s predetermined theology and/or experiences, as Deere has apparently done. Nowhere does the author attempt to deal with the text in order to answer probing questions such as, “Is the passage limited to the first century or is it applicable today? Does it apply to all humanity or just Christians? Does it extend to all Christians or just some? Is its purpose to prepare people to die or to restore people to quality living? Does it refer to physical, emotional, or spiritual problems? Is the practice to be done in a public service or privately? Does the intent involve medicinal or symbolic anointing? Is the healing miraculous or providential? Is the promise absolute or conditional?”[31]

All of these questions are the type that Scholars feel that everyone must use to study a passage. Why must we engage in such “scholarly” tactics when it comes to the Word of God? Is it not sufficient to simply believe what God says and accept it? Not according to the Scholar. I am convinced that such questioning actually undermines the Word of God:

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. -Thess. 2:13

The Word is not going to work effectively in us if we do not receive it at face value as the Word of God for today. My Bible tells me that all Scripture is profitable (2 Tim 3:16). It tells me that all of God’s promises are yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). When we start having to ask questions like, “Is the passage limited to the first century or is it applicable today?” This question should not even be entertained for one moment. Yet, many feel that to not do so is anti-intellectual.

There is a place for asking questions when studying a Bible text. Nevertheless, those questions should not be the type that would cause DOUBT as to whether any promise in God’s Word is applicable to the Believer today. Satan asked certain questions to Eve and Jesus intended to bring doubt to the validity of God’s Word rather than to incite further study (Gen. 3:1-7; Matthew 4:1-11). Could this critic of Deere’s book be doing the same? Here’s another quote from this critic:

As have others, this reviewer believes that Jack Deere’s work, in the main, is theologically defective. Rather than resembling a careful study by an open-minded, trained theologian, it is more like the product of an immature new convert who, after reading the gospels and Acts for the first time, concludes that what took place in the first century will continue throughout the church age.[32]

This author definitely does not seek to hide his cessationist bias. The author does not believe that the Holy Spirit, who Jesus promised to send in order to be our personal Bible teacher (John 14:26) is sufficient for teaching the pupil. The cessationist cannot find a clear argument for his theology in Scripture so he must use other “scholarly methods. Much of the same thing is done in other books criticizing various Charismatic movements.

Quite often people are deceived by the intellectual argument rather than by embracing the simplicity of God’s holy and written Word. After all, they do not want to appear as if they lack intelligence as it is often portrayed among Pentecostals and Charismatics by their critics, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” (1 Cor. 1:27)

Peter and John did not mind appearing to the people as anti-intellectuals:

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. -Acts 4:13

Because peter and John did not fit into the theological “in group,” they were made to look like they knew nothing. They were made to look like anti-intellectuals. The Bible shows us the grip that intellectualism has on people:

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And every man went unto his own house. – John 7:46-53

The people of Jesus day are made to seem as if they do not know the law because they were drawn to Jesus. The standard of whether Jesus’ doctrine was correct or in error was supposed to be measured by whether the “theologians” of that time accepted. This sounds quite like many of our great “scholars” today. If it does not meet the litmus test of today’s theologians and if the teaching is not presented in a “scholarly” and intellectual manner, then it is heresy to them. After all, they have their doctorates of divinity and their masters in theology, so they are the experts. It is a shame that people are more prone to believe the educated more than to seek out the truth. People would rather not have to deal with the persecution that can come from the leaders of our time. They would rather stay with the in crowd:

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. -John 12:42-42

There is nothing wrong with education or scholarship, but when used the way these heresy hunters have used it to attack Word-Faith and other Charismatic ministries, then it becomes a tool of Satan. The sadducees were like that. They were equivalent to the cessationists of our day. The cessationist believe that the days of God moving in the miraculous are gone. The sadducees did not believe in a resurrection (Acts 23:8). They attempted to trap Jesus using their “scholarly” argument (Matt. 22:24-33). Jesus said that there problem was that they did not know the Scriptures or God’s power (Matt. 22:30).

Charles Finney, the great revivalist of the 19th century was subject to such scholarly attacks by the theologians of his day. A.M. Hill tells of one o the times Finney was subject to this persecution:

It seems that Rev. William R. Weeks, an extreme Calvinist of a community where Finney labored, opposed him on theological grounds. He “held that both sin and holiness were produced in the mind by a direct act of Almighty Power; that God made men sinners or holy at His sovereign discretion, but in both cases by a direct act of Almighty Power, an act as irresistible as that of creation itself; that, in fact, God was the only proper agent in the universe, and that all creatures acted, only as they were moved and compelled to act, by His irresistible power; that every sin in the universe, both of men and of devils, was the result of a direct, irresistible act on the part of God.”

Such an insane theology is certainly a blasphemous libel on God. Of course, a man holding such doctrines, and the philosophy and methods that would naturally follow, would be led to oppose Finney. He, and others like him, wrote letters abroad, misrepresenting the work and poisoning the minds of prominent leaders in Massachusetts and Connecticut, A great cry and excitement was raised against “New Measures.” He wrote a pamphlet, and so also did a Unitarian. Evil reports spread far and near, until, at last, in the summer of 1827, a Convention was called to meet at New Lebanon to inquire into the nature and evils of the late revivals in Central New York. Finney was, there, and the pastors with whom he had labored.

The clergymen present from the East were Dr. Lyman Beecher, then the leading revival pastor of Boston and Massachusetts; Dr. Herman Humphrey, president of Amherst College; Dr. Justin Edwards, of Andover, Mass.; Caleb J. Tenney, of Wethersfield; and Dr. Joel Hawes, of Hartford, Conn. Upon Dr. Beecher and Asahel Nettleton was thrown the responsibility of endeavoring to check the evils that were supposed to be fostered by Finney’s work.[33]

The terrible thing is that the theologians are still persecuting Finney posthumously. I was reading in one other book about someone who wrote a book that criticizes the Keswick movement of the early part of the 20th century. According to this “scholarly” work, these men were in error. Whenever I read the works by men such as F.B. Meyer, Andrew Murray, R.A. Torrey and other Keswickians, I see a life and devotion to God that is not found in the works of those who spend their whole writing “ministry” criticizing others.

Do you notice that the theology of Mr. Weeks is quite similar to that of many of those today who write and speak against the faith movement. One critic of the faith movement has stated that it is an incorrect view of God’s sovereignty that leads us to error. It amazes me how the Hyper-Calvinist[34] view of God’s sovereignty that is often propagated as “Orthodox” is always the view that has brought “death” to so many revivals and moves of God. I wonder which view of His sovereignty does God believe is in error? Then again, may be I don’t wonder.

Conclusion: The heresy hunters have caused quite a bit of stir in the church. They have caused the very division and strife that they often accuse those who they attack. They present themselves as “defenders of the faith” and “contenders for the truth.” Yet they use false accusations, innuendo, and other ungodly methods to contend for this “truth.” They are defending the truth as they see it. They claim to be modern day Bereans. I’m afraid that they do not qualify:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed…. – Acts 17:11-12b

The Bereans did not spend hours looking for holes in Paul and Sila’s teaching. The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to if these things are so. The Heresy Hunters are looking for Scriptures to prove that what those they criticize say are not so. The Bereans received the word with readiness of mind. The Heresy Hunters receive it with a mind ready to attack. Their mind is made up that what the person is saying is wrong. This is not a readiness of mind. It goes on to say that many of them believe. The only thing the Heresy Hunter believes is that he can bring down the ministry that he is attacking. He does not believe the Bible. He only believes his theological view of the Bible.

Listening to the Heresy Hunter can mean the difference between life and death for the Christian. If you desire to be miserable and joyless and to take on a critical spirit, join the heresy hunter crowd. If you desire to have life and peace, stay with the Word of God and stay away from those who make it their life’s work to criticize others.

Notes

  1. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Miriam-Webster Inc., Publishers)

  2. Apologetics – defense of the faith as originally presented to the Apostles and Prophets in the Bible. It is a homonym (two word that are spelled and sound alike but have different meanings) of the word we normally used to express our regret for a wrong done.

  3. Synan, Vinson The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1971), pp. 143, 144

  4. Nichol, John Thomas Pentecostalism (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1966), p. 70

  5. Quebedeaux, Richard The New Charismatics (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1976), p. 173

  6. Shelley, Harold P. Opposition To Radical Reform: Martin Luther Against Anabaptists and Radicals. An article written in the 1996 Alliance Academic Review (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications)

  7. Pember, G.H. Earth’s Earliest Ages (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1876), p. 219 An excellent book, especially if you believe in what is known as the “Gap Theory (A long time period between Genesis chapter one verses one and two). The main purpose of the author was to explain how the false religions have managed to creep their way in since the beginning of time. In relation to George Muller, Pember is quoting from an essay from a man named A.R. Wallace, who was a well known Naturalist and author.

  8. Hux, Clete Profile: Word-Faith Movement (http://www.watchman.org) An otherwise good resource for finding information on cults, Mr. Hux shows a terrible lack of research when it comes to Word-Faith churches.

  9. Hagin, Kenneth E. Zoe: The God-Kind of Life (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1989), pp. 35, 36, 41.

  10. From http://www.letusreason.com I will be the first to admit that because I have not read every single book, listened to every single tape, or read every newsletter, or even watched every television appearance of these teachers, I am not familiar with all of their statements. If these statements that are quoted (and misquoted in many cases) are true then I will be the first to admit that the faith teachers have made it quite difficult to defend them. Nevertheless, the disagreements on these issues should be DOCTRINAL and the tactics that are used by some of these so called “expose” ministries are just as heretical, if not more heretical, than the off the wall statements made by my Word of Faith brethren.

  11. Word of faith sayings compiled by Jim Fox.

  12. Spurgeon, Charles H. The Triumph of Faith in a Believer’s Life (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1994) p. 36. Compiled and edited by Robert Hall.

  13. Ibid., p. 128

  14. Vine, W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985)

  15. Meyer, Frederick B. Christ In Isaiah (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade) On page 69 Meyer compares “faith” to natural “forces” such as the law of electricity and shows that we must obey the laws of “faith” as we obey the natural laws. Again, it is necessary to remind the believer that this was written over a century ago and Meyer knew nothing about “Star Wars” or the New Age movement. Though the Metaphysical movements were gaining popularity in his time, Meyer, like his contemporaries, despised this movement and it’s teachings (see page 27 of his book, The Prophet of Hope from Christian Literature Crusade)

  16. St. John, Stuart The “Faith” Movement May Be Prospering But Is It Healthy? (Can be found on the internet). The author in his end notes challenges his readers that are sympathetic to the Word-Faith movement to give an explanation to a statements made by Copeland and by Hagin. I may take him up on his challenge later. If anyone has a tape called “Following The Steps of Abraham (Part 1)” by Kenneth Copeland I would appreciate a copy of a complete transcript.

  17. Rev. Sun Myung Moon is the head of the Unification Church (a.k.a. The Moonies). Rev. Moon teaches that Christ did not come to earth to be crucified but to set the right ideal. However he was not recognized for who he was and was crucified. The Unification church says that in this respect Christ failed in his mission. Because of this failure God had to send a new messiah, the Rev. Moon. The Unification church also teaches that Christ did not have a body after His resurrection but that He was resurrected as a spirit.

  18. Kenyon, Essek W. Advanced Bible Course (Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society, 1970), p. 279

  19. Marsh, Frederick E. 1,000 Bible Study Outlines (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications), p. 84

  20. Kenyon, Essek W. What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society, 1969), p. 40

  21. Kenyon, Two Kinds of Righteousness (Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society, 1965), p. 9

  22. Beard, Jeff, Freedom from the Faith Movement: The Personal Testimony of Jeff Beard (an article from the Testimony column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 3: Number 4, 1990) Christian Research Institute, San Juan Capistrano, CA

  23. Synan, Vinson The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1971), p. 144

  24. Beard, Jeff, Freedom from the Faith Movement: The Personal Testimony of Jeff Beard (an article from the Testimony column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 3: Number 4, 1990) Christian Research Institute, San Juan Capistrano, CA

  25. Carden, Paul Christian Research Journal Book Reviews, 1994. Book Reviews” (a column from the Christian Research Journal, Fall 1994, page 46). Review of Curtis I Crenshaw’s book, Man as God: The Word of Faith Movement. This review can still be found on

  26. From an article titled “T.D. Jakes Accused Of Heresy For Trinity Views.” From the Charisma News Service. Posted on the internet by Maranatha Christian Journal.

  27. Ibid.

  28. Ibid.

  29. Rouse, Ted Faith And The Pharisees (Tulsa, OK: Insight Publishing Group, 1999), p. 21

  30. Anderson, Neil T. Helping Others Find Freedom In Christ (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1995), p. 32

  31. Mayhue, Richard L. Who Surprised Whom: The Holy Spirit Or Jack Deere (Can be found on the internet). Mayhue is a senior vice president and dean and also a professor of pastoral ministries.

  32. Ibid.

  33. Hills, Aaron M. Life Of Charles Finney (Spokane, WA: Holiness Data Ministry, 1902)

  34. Hyper-Calvinism – An extreme interpretation of the writings of John Calvin never intended by this great reformer nor of his followers afterwards who developed the theological system known today as Calvinism.

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