Is the Word of Faith movement biblical? | GotQuestions.org


Today’s question is, “Is the Word of Faith
movement biblical?” In this video I’ll answer that question from a biblical perspective.
Afterwards, as always, I’ll share some helpful resources, so stick around until the end. Word of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical.
It is not a denomination and does not have a formal organization or hierarchy. Instead,
it is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers
such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Fred Price. The Word of Faith movement grew out of the
Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. Its founder was E. W. Kenyon, who studied
the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Mind science (where “name
it and claim it” originated) was combined with Pentecostalism, resulting in a peculiar
mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism. Kenneth Hagin, in turn, studied under E. W.
Kenyon and made the Word of Faith movement what it is today. Although individual teachings
range from completely heretical to completely ridiculous, what follows is the basic theology
most Word of Faith teachers align themselves with. At the heart of the Word of Faith movement
is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate
the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health
and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently
of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing
short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god. From here, its theology just strays further
and further from Scripture: it claims that God created human beings in His literal, physical
image as little gods. Before the fall, humans had the potential to call things into existence
by using the faith-force. After the fall, humans took on Satan’s nature and lost the
ability to call things into existence. In order to correct this situation, Jesus Christ
gave up His divinity and became a man, died spiritually, took Satan’s nature upon Himself,
went to hell, was born again, and rose from the dead with God’s nature. After this, Jesus
sent the Holy Spirit to replicate the Incarnation in believers so they could become little gods
as God had originally intended. Following the natural progression of these
teachings, as little gods we again have the ability to manipulate the faith-force and
become prosperous in all areas of life. Illness, sin, and failure are the result of a lack
of faith, and are remedied by confession—claiming God’s promises for oneself into existence.
Simply put, the Word of Faith movement exalts man to god-status and reduces God to man-status.
Needless to say, this is a false representation of what Christianity is all about. Obviously,
Word of Faith teaching does not take into account what is found in Scripture. Personal
revelation, not Scripture, is highly relied upon in order to come up with such absurd
beliefs, which is just one more proof of its heretical nature. Countering Word of Faith teaching is a simple
matter of reading the Bible. God alone is the Sovereign Creator of the Universe (Genesis
1:3) and does not need faith—He is the object of faith (Mark 11:22). God is spirit and does
not have a physical body (John 4:24). Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26
and 27), but this does not make him a little god or divine. Only God has a divine nature
(Galatians 4:8). Christ is Eternal, the Only Begotten Son, and the only incarnation of
God (John 1:14). In Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). By
becoming a man, Jesus gave up the glory of heaven but not His divinity (Philippians 2:6-7),
though He did choose to withhold His power while walking the earth as man. The Word of Faith movement is deceiving countless
people, causing them to grasp after a way of life and faith that is not biblical. At
its core is the same lie Satan has been telling since the Garden: “You shall be as God”
(Genesis 3:5). Sadly, those who buy into the Word of Faith movement are still listening
to him. Our hope is in the Lord, not in our own words, not even in our own faith (Psalm
33:20-22). Our faith comes from God in the first place (Ephesians 2:8) and is not something
we create for ourselves. So, be wary of the Word of Faith movement and any church that
aligns itself with Word of Faith teachings. Want to learn more? Subscribe so you don’t
miss the next video! Visit GotQuestions.org for more great content. And check out the
details section below this video, there is one book I recommend, along with several related
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