Re: What's Wrong with the Word Faith Movement? (Part One)
- Shalom Joe,
Nothing really, profane Christianity tends to have more technical problems in the U.S. such as the ALC and the Ted Turner 100 m. money changers buy out. The National Association of Evangelicals finally admited the WCG in 1997. Over a decade later they were for the first time noted in the 2010 Ency. Britannica by John Gordon Melton who more than likely received his bland information from offices in London... somewhat explained in an article at best in a "Citizen Journalism" type of way.
Joe, Christian Research Journalism can be boring and they do need all the help they can get. I just wish they were more informal.
--- In Christian-Philosophy@yahoogroups.com, josephylee@... wrote:
> What's Wrong with the Word Faith Movement? (Part One)
> E.W. Kenyon and the Twelve Apostles of a Different Gospel
> Hank Hanegraaff
> This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal,
> volume 15, number 3 (1993). For further information or to
> subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to:
> _http://www.equip.org_ (http://www.equip.org)
> What's wrong with the "Faith" movement? Its leaders include many
> of the most popular television evangelists. Its adherents compose
> a large percentage of charismatic evangelical Christians. Its
> emphases on faith, the authority of the believer, and the absolute
> veracity of Scripture could appear to be just what today's church
> needs. And yet, I am convinced that this movement poses one of the
> greatest contemporary threats to orthodox Christianity from within.
> Through it, cultic theology is being increasingly accepted as true
> This article will highlight several serious problems with the
> Faith movement by providing an overview of its major sources and
> leaders. Part Two will focus on the movement's doctrinal deviations
> as represented by one of its leading proponents.
> ITS DEBT TO NEW THOUGHT
> It is important to note at the outset that the bulk of Faith
> theology can be traced directly to the cultic teachings of New
> Thought metaphysics. Thus, much of the theology of the Faith
> movement can also be found in such clearly pseudo-Christian cults
> as Religious Science, Christian Science, and the Unity School of
> Over a century before the Faith movement became a powerful force
> within the Christian church, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866),
> the father of New Thought, was popularizing the notion that
> sickness and suffering ultimately have their origin in incorrect
> thinking. Quimby's followers held that man could create his
> own reality through the power of positive affirmation (confession).
>  Metaphysical practitioners have long taught adherents to
> visualize health and wealth, and then to affirm or confess them
> with their mouths so that the intangible images may be transformed
> into tangible realities.
> Although proponents of Faith theology have attempted to sanitize
> the metaphysical concept of the "power of mind" by substituting in
> its stead the "force of faith," for all practical purposes they
> have made a distinction without a difference. New Thought writer
> Warren Felt Evans, for example, wrote that "faith is the most
> intense form of mental action." In treating a patient, Evans
> commented that "the effect of the suggestion [or positive
> affirmation that the patient is well] is the result of the faith
> of the subject, for it is always proportioned to the degree in
> which the patient believes what you say" (emphasis in original).
>  Likewise, H. Emilie Cady, a well-known writer for Charles
> and Myrtle Fillmore's Unity School of Christianity, explained
> that "our affirming, backed by faith, is the link that connects
> our conscious human need with His power and supply." Cady
> also claimed that "there is power in our word of faith to bring
> all good things right into our everyday life." Such statements
> strongly indicate that the distinction between the "mind" of
> metaphysics and the "faith" of Faith theology is nothing but a
> figment of the imagination.
> SUBSTANCE, STYLE, AND SCAMS
> There is no denying that much of Faith theology is derived
> directly from metaphysics. Some of the substance, style, and
> scams endemic to the movement, however, can be traced primarily
> to the teachings and practices of certain post-World War II faith
> healers and revivalists operating within Pentecostal circles.
> With regard to substance, for example, both Kenneth Copeland and
> Kenneth Hagin point to T. L. Osborn and William Branham as true
> men of God who greatly influenced their lives and ministries. Of
> course, Osborn himself has consistently followed E. W. Kenyon's
> (see below) Scripture-twisting antics, and Branham has
> (among other things) denounced the doctrine of the Trinity as
> coming directly from the Devil.
> Unfortunately, Hagin and Copeland are not alone in affirming
> Branham; Faith proponent Benny Hinn gives him a hearty "thumbs up"
> as well. When it comes to style, however, Hinn gravitates more
> toward such faith healers as Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn
> Kuhlman. In addition, Hinn has given his endorsement to notorious
> revivalist A. A. Allen, who was truly a huckster if there ever
> was one ? which brings us to our third "s," the scams.
> Faith teachers such as Robert Tilton and his female counterpart,
> Marilyn Hickey, have copied many of the scams pioneered by
> Pentecostal preachers such as Oral Roberts and A. A. Allen. In
> fact, Tilton and Hickey have managed to exceed even their
> predecessors' outrageous ploys. This is hard to believe when one
> considers what sort of schemes they had to outdo.
> Roberts, the reader may recall, is the man who claimed that Jesus
> appeared and told him God had chosen him to find the cure for
> cancer. In a lengthy appeal, Roberts avowed that the Lord told
> him, "I would not have had you and your partners build the 20-story
> research tower unless I was going to give you a plan that will
> attack cancer." Roberts then said that Jesus instructed him to tell
> his partners that "this is not Oral Roberts asking for the money
> but their Lord." (The project was completed, but has since
> been "shut down and sold to a group of investors for commercial
> development." Not surprisingly, no cure for cancer was ever
> In like fashion, A. A. Allen "scammed" his followers by asserting
> that he could command God to "turn dollar bills into twenties."
>  He was also known to have urged his followers to send for his
> "prayer cloths anointed with the Miracle Oil," and he offered
> "Miracle tent shavings" as points of contact for personal miracles.
>  Allen even "launched a brief 'raise the dead' program." Of
> course, it died.
> Allen was eventually kicked out of the Assemblies of God
> denomination when he jumped bail after being arrested for drunk
> driving. In 1970 he died from what "news accounts report [as]
> sclerosis of the liver."
> As we proceed to examine the primary purveyors of Faith theology,
> we will see living proof of the maxim that "error begets error and
> heresy begets heresy." If, for example, one examines the cultic
> progression of E. W. Kenyon's theology, one will discover that his
> original deviations from orthodox Christianity were minor compared
> to those that characterized the later stages of his ministry. And
> with each of Kenyon's successive disciples, the errors become even
> more pronounced. Hagin, who popularized and plagiarized Kenyon
> prolifically, not only expanded Kenyon's perversions but added to
> them as well. The progression from bad to worse has continued
> with people like Kenneth Copeland and Charles Capps, and is now
> reaching heretical heights that are almost inconceivable through
> ministry leaders like Frederick Price, Benny Hinn, and Robert
> THE CAST OF CHARACTERS
> Twisted texts, make-believe miracles, and a counterfeit Christ are
> all common denominators of the Faith movement's leading teachers.
> And, as all who look into the matter will clearly see, it all began
> with the metaphysical teachings of Essek William Kenyon.
> 1. This article is adapted from chapter two of my forthcoming book,
> Christianity in Crisis (Harvest House). Part Two in this series
> will be an article specially written for the Christian Research
> 2. See, for example, Phineas P. Quimby, quoted in The Quimby
> Manuscripts, ed. HoratioW. Dresser (New Hyde Park, NY:
> University Books, 1969 [orig. 1921]), 32-35, 61, 165, 186, 279,
> 295. Quimby's writings in this book were taken from his
> manuscripts dating between 1846 and 1865. Note the striking
> parallel in Kenneth Hagin's remark: "It makes a great deal of
> difference what one thinks....The reason they [sick people] are
> not getting healed is that they are thinking wrong." (Kenneth E.
> Hagin, Right and Wrong Thinking [Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin
> Ministries, 1978], 19.)
> 3. New Thought writerWarren Felt Evans (1817-1889) is one such
> example. See Charles S. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion (Dallas:
> Southern Methodist University Press, 1970), 121-23.
> 4. See, for example, Claude Bristol, The Magic of Believing (New
> York: Prentice-Hall, 1948), 122; H. Emilie Cady, Lessons in Truth
> (Unity Village, MO: Unity Books, n.d.), 41:9, 43:17, 45:25, 46:31,
> 48:40-42, 51:6, 52:9, 53:11, 55:22, 57:32;Mary Baker Eddy, Science
> and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston: The First Church of
> Christ, Scientist, 1971 [orig. 1875]), 376:21-27; Charles Fillmore,
> Prosperity (Lee's Summit, MO: Unity Books, 1967), 103-4; and
> Ernest Holmes, How to Use the Science ofMind (New York: Dodd,
> Mead and Co., 1950), 39-45.
> 5. Warren Felt Evans, Mental Medicine: A Treatise on Medical
> Psychology, 15th ed. (Boston: H. H. Carter & Co., 1873 [orig.
> 1885]), 152; quoted in Braden, 121.
> 6. Warren Felt Evans, Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therapeutics
> (Boston: H. H. Carter & Karrick, 1886), 152; quoted in Braden,
> 7. Cady, 56:30; cf. Holmes, 72, 78.
> 8. Cady, 52:8.
> 9. For a fine historical treatment of the healing revivalists, see
> David Edwin Harrell, Jr., All Things Are Possible: The Healing
> and Charismatic Revivals inModern America (Bloomington, IN: Indiana
> University Press, 1975). A number of the healing revivalists'
> unsound teachings and practices can be found in the ministries of
> their predecessors ? most notably John Alexander Dowie, Maria B.
> Woodworth-Etter, Smith Wigglesworth, F. F. Bosworth, and Thomas
> 10. Osborn's indebtedness to both Kenyon and faith healer F. F.
> Bosworth (another "Kenyonite") is mentioned in T. L. Osborn,
> Healing the Sick, 23d ed. (Tulsa, OK: Osborn Foundation, 1959), 6,
> 203, 205. Cf. Richard M. Riss, "Kenyon, Essek William,"
> Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed. Stanley
> Burges, Gary B. McGee, and Patrick H. Alexander (Grand
> Rapids: Regency/Zondervan, 1988), 517; and Don Gossett and E. W.
> Kenyon, The Power of the Positive Confession of God's Word
> (Blaine, WA: Don & Joyce Gossett, 1979), 3.
> 11. William Marrion Branham, "Revelation Chapter Four #3 (Throne Of
> Mercy and Judgment)" (Jeffersonville, IN: Voice of God Recordings,
> 1961), audio tape #61-0108, side 2; cf. William Marrion Branham,
> Footprints on the Sands of Time: The Autobiography of William
> Marrion Branham, Part Two (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word
> Publications, 1975), 606-7.
> 12. Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord (television program), Trinity
> Broadcasting Network (TBN), 12 April 1991.
> 13. Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord, TBN, 16 April 1992.
> 14. Quoted in Russell Chandler, "Talked with Jesus, Evangelist
> Says," Los Angeles Times, 3 February 1983, 3,16
> 15. Clark Morphew, "What's to Become of Oral Roberts' City of
> Faith?" St. Paul Pioneer Press, 27 June 1992; reprinted in The
> Christian News, 20 July 1992, 2.
> 16. A. A. Allen, The Secret to Scriptural Financial Success
> (Miracle Valley, AZ: A. A. Allen Publications, 1953); quoted in
> Harrell, 75.
> 17. A. A. Allen, "Miracle Oil Flows at Camp Meeting," Miracle
> Magazine, June 1967, 6-7; quoted in Harrell,200.
> 18. Reported in "New Revival Tent Dedicated in Philadelphia,"
> Miracle Magazine, September 1967, 15; quoted in Harrell, 200.
> 19. See Harrell, 199.
> 20. Ibid., 70-71.
> 21. Ibid., 202. One writer describes Allen's cause of death as
> "cirrhosis" of the liver (see Gary L. Ward, "Allen, Asa Alonzo,"
> in J. Gordon Melton, Religious Leaders of America [Detroit: Gale
> Research, 1991], 9).
> 22. See D. R. McConnell, A Different Gospel (Peabody, MA:
> Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), 3-14.