What is Word Faith? Part 1
I have been talking for a long time about the Word-Faith movement. The time has come to share a little about this movement and how it relates to Quixtar and the motivational organizations. To start, let me clarify a few things. The first is that Rich and Jay were Christian to the best of my knowledge. To my understanding, they did not prescribe to the apostasy that I am about to introduce. Further, not all motivational organizations subscribe to this, but I have more than abundant evidence that BWW and LTD do subscribe to this. I have good reason to believe that WWDB does as well. I do not have information on most of the MOs to this point.
Names of the Movement
The first thing to tackle is the various names that are used to label this theology. It is known by the Word-Faith, which I will be using exclusively, but other common names are Faith Movement, Health and Wealth Gospel, Prosperity Gospel, Name it-Claim it.
Although it is impossible to know all of them, I can list that some of the classic Word-Faith teachers have been Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Frederick K.C. Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Paul and Jan Crouch. I often add Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale, but those names are debatable (they hold some characteristics, but I agree that they lack key others.) One of the fast rising stars of this movement is Joel Osteen.
Why the Examination?
I need to point out the need to examine why we need to look at these the teachings of these people. We know that sinful people will set up teachers for themselves which will teach the things that they want to hear. In fact, it is so bad that they will set up these people and turn away from Truth so that they can do what they wish. After all, the heart is deceitful and wicked, often times using the mind to justify what it wishes to do. We also know that some things that appear to be coming from good are actually from evil. And further, not all people that profess Christ belong to Him and will share with Him in paradise. Let us examine a few scriptures.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 - I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
1 Thessalonians -22 - But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is more deceitful than all else; And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
Matthew -23 - Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
In all this, we can not appeal to an emotion, a feeling, or an experience. The Word of God, the Bible, is the authority. So how do we handle the Bible? I will not get into this deeply, but I can say that the Bible is a unified book which tells of the fall and redemption of man, as well as how to live up to the standard of God. The main (and certainly not only) problem with false teachers is that they will tend to view the Bible as a series of one liners taking verses clearly out of context to prove their point.
In the next part, we will examine some history behind this movement.