Wolves Among the Sheep
Most Christians have heard some of the following: "You can have what you say," "The reason you haven't been healed is that you don't have enough faith," "We can write our own ticket with God if we decide what we want, believe that it's ours, and confess it," "He wants you rich and healthy," "What is the desire of your heart? Name it, claim it by faith, and it is yours! Your heavenly Father has promised it. It's right there in the Bible."
Such statements reflect the models which set forth a theology of the spoken word theology or of thought-actualization, commonly known as "positive confession," which stresses the inherent power of words and thoughts.
Some who teach this system argue that just as God, by His faith, spoke (or conceived of the creation in His mind) and matter came into existence (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:6, Hebrews 11:3, 2 Peter 3:5), so the Christian can speak (or conceive of things in his mind) and actually bring them into existence by faith.
Many of those in the Word-Faith movement teach that God had faith in His faith. They use Scripture texts such as Mark 11:22 and Hebrews 11:3, translating them as "have the faith of God". However, renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, in his books A Short Grammar of the Greek Testament (pp. 227-228) and A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (p. 500), very adequately shows that the phrase is not to be translated in the subjective genitive (meaning that the noun is the subject of the action - or that God is the subject of faith) such as "have the faith of God", but is to be translated in the objective genitive (meaning that the noun is the object of the action - that God is the object of faith). He goes on to insist that translating in the subjective genitive is preposterous. He says "it is not the faith that God has, but the faith of which God is the object".
"The Word-Faith Teachers. This is the group that would seek to convince us that Jesus and His disciples were rich, that to be poor is a sin, to be sick is a sin, and that faith is a creative force that we can use to shape our world just like God supposedly created this world and universe that we live in through His faith!" - Richard J. Vincent 1991 -
Pertaining to health - "I am fully convinced - I would die saying it is so - that it is the plan of Our Father God, in His great love and in His great mercy, that no believer should ever be sick; that every believer should live his full life span down here on this earth; and that every believer should finally just fall asleep in Jesus" (Kenneth E. Hagin, Seven Things You Should Know about Divine Healing, p. 21).
The above statement and others like it have caused much confusion in the body of Christ and led many to be presumptuous in the area of divine healing. There are some things that are true about healing to which most Christians would readily admit. First of all, people who are morally conscientious and who recognize that the physical body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16) may generally have better health because they take care of their bodies. Secondly, the healing of human life is part of the redemptive work of God. The Bible does teach healing. It was part of Jesus' and the apostles' ministries. There were gifts of healing in the church, and in James 5:14-15, Christians are encouraged to pray for the sick with the promise of answered prayer.
Pertaining to wealth - ""It's a matter of your faith. You got one-dollar faith, and you ask for a ten thousand-dollar item, it ain't gonna work. It won't work. Jesus said; "According to your faith", not "according to His will, if He can work it into His busy schedule." He said, "according to your faith be it unto you." Now I may want a Rolls Royce and don't have but bicycle faith. Guess what I'm gonna get? A bicycle" (Frederick K.C. Price, "Praise the Lord" broadcast on TBN, 21 September 1990, taken from Documentation for Christianity in Crisis by Hank Hanegraaff).
No matter how much one tries to clothe the above affirmations in Biblical garb, it is simply not Biblical. Poor scripture interpretation is employed by the faith movement.
To substantiate their teachings, proponents of the prosperity gospel distort the meaning of certain Bible passages. One such passage, frequently quoted is 3 John 2. John began his letter with a friendly greeting, expressing his desire that Gaius "may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers".
Kenneth Copeland explains this verse on page 51 of his book, The Laws of Prosperity, says, "You must realize that it is God's will for you to prosper. This is available to you, and frankly, it would be stupid of you not to partake of it". This verse, however, according to
James Bjornstad in his article, "What's Behind the Prosperity Gospel?", published by Moody Monthly in the 1986 issue, "is nothing more than John's personal wish for Gaius. We should not take it as an universal promise or guarantee of health and wealth". The Greek word translated "prosper" in the KJV means "to go well with someone". This wish for "things to go well" and for "good health" was the standard form of greeting in personal letter of antiquity, just as a friend today might say, "I hope this letter finds you all well".
As time permits I will be doing an expose on various leaders in the Word--Faith Prosperity Gospel Movement. Please understand that I take no pleasure in this. I have prayed that, provided that these people have not gone past the point of no return that God would convict them of their misuse and abuse of his word and bring them to repentance. I am far more concerned about their eternal destination and that of those who they are teaching than I am about the teaching itself. King David says in the book of Psalms, "Oh Lord how I love thy law, BUT I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY." Why would he say "hate?" I believe the word hate is justified because every false way leads men, women and children away from the one true gospel that is found only in Jesus Christ. Because of this we should echo David's words as Christians who love God and love people enough to expose error that could lead them into trusting in lies, being sucked into participating in lies or, worst of all, eternal damnation.
At the current time I don't plan to do pages on each Word of Faith prosperity teacher, but I will include some links on this site leading to sites that do extensive research concerning them. I leave it with my visitors what they choose to believe or reject concerning these sites and what they present. I do not subscribe totally to any of them and they are only source material for my visitors. I highly recommend that my visitors do their own research by examining quotes and other information coming directly from these teachers so you get it straight from the horse's mouth, as the old saying goes. If what they say matches up with the examinations and information done by these sites I link to, then you will know the information will be more than just he said - she said.
I feel there are other pages that I wish to present on this site that are more important at this time than examining ministries and ministers. When, and if, the time comes I may prepare some pages after I have been able to examine the people in question for myself.