Q&A: What is the Word of Faith Movement?

What is the Word of Faith Movement?

Question

What is the Word of Faith Movement?

Answer

The Word of Faith Movement (WoF) is a cult. This false teaching consists of a series of countless lies and deceptions that lead to death. It is a twisting, turning, and torturing of the truth of the Word of God. Such figures as of E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, A.A. Allen, T.L. Osborn, William Branham, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joseph Prince, Joyce Meyer, Charles Capp, Jerry Savelle, Paul and Jan Crouch, Robert Tilton, Peter Popoff, and Creflo Dollar have been some of the main figures involved in this false teaching which has enslaved 10's of 1000s within its deadly grip.

Among other false doctrines, the WoF message essentially teaches a false view of: (1) faith, (2) health, and (3) prosperity. On faith, essentially, God is subject to the authority of man upon earth. They use a formula to 'name it, claim it and frame it.' Essentially one names what they desire and continue to confess it (claim it) until they have it (frame it). Prayer is replaced by confession. It presents God as some sort of cosmic genie. It fails to recognize God as the sovereign King of Kings of his Kingdom.

On health, they believe God always heals if one has enough faith. Some even go so far as to say if one gets sick in the first place then they don't have enough faith! But this isn't true as lack of faith would be a sin and some get sick not because of their sin (cf. John 9:3), but Adam's sin. Even Jesus was subject to sickness. Though the Bible never records him as being sick it does state that he was "in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Tom Schreiner writes, "The Son did not merely resemble human flesh but participated fully in sinful flesh. This does not mean that the Son himself sinned ... but that he participated fully in the old age of the flesh, and that his body was not immune to the powers of the old age: sickness and death (Romans, BECNT, p. 58). Didn't Jesus die? YES, and he rose again!!! However, the ultimate sickness is death itself from which even Jesus wasn't immune as a real human being; it shall be the last enemy brought to its knees (1 Cor. 15:26).

The WoF movement asserts that all sickness is from Satan and not God's will for man (cf. John 9:2-3). They believe that if one does not get well then they have a lack of faith. This is false doctrine. The WoF fails to see God's use of "bad things" in maturing his saints (2 Cor 12:1-10; Job, etc.). God doesn't heal everybody (2 Tim 4:20). Indeed, the ultimate sickness is death and all die (Heb 9:27), even those in the WoF movement.

On prosperity, they believe that God desires all his people to richly prosper. They distort such passages as Malachi 3:10; Matthew 25:14-30; John 10:10; Philippians 4:19, and 3 John 1:2 to teach that God desires all his people essentially to be very wealthy. Of course this is heresy as Jesus himself says to not lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-20). While it is not a sin to be wealthy, it is not what a Christian should be seeking. As Jesus says, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matt 6:33). If this is not the longing of one's heart then one should question as to whether or not they are really a Christian.

The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine sees God as a weak faith-being who is at the mercy of his own laws. As to redemption, the WoF Movement is all about man taking dominion by faith over his health and wealth to establish one's proper place as a god upon this earth. As to being gods, Creflo dollar teaches:

Dollar: "If horses get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Horses!"


Dollar: "If dogs get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Dogs!"


Dollar: "If cats get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Cats!"


Dollar: "So if the Godhead says 'Let us make man in our image', and everything produces after its own kind, then they produce what?"

Congregation: "gods!"


 Dollar: "gods. Little "g" gods. You're not human. Only human part of you is this flesh you're wearing."

Added to this doctrinal distortion, the WoF movement has numerous other false teachings (including but not limited to; (1) Jesus' atonement extended to the "sin" of material poverty and illness; (2) church members should give not necessarily for God's glory, but to get, get, get; (3) prayer is a divine tool to force God to grant health and wealth to believers; and (4) it is a form of Gnostic dualism, setting up a false division between the physical and spiritual worlds, etc. The preachers of the WoF movement prey on the poor and the scripturally illiterate. In essence, it focuses upon the things of this world (1 John 2:16) instead of God, his glory, and man's depravity, and the need of grace. It's philosophy sees man as a god and demotes the true and Living God to being less than God himself. The WoF movement is a cult (Matt 7:15; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 4:3-4). It is the doctrine of the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 2:18-19, 22). It is another gospel - which is no gospel at all (Gal 1:6-8; cf. 2 Cor 11:4). It is heresy (Gal 5:20; 2 Pet 2:1).

As with other false religions, gambling with WoF moment is like playing a game of roulette with every chamber loaded. You will never win with this false doctrine. In the end, you will lose much more than what you ever bargained for or dreamed of. "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36).

Related Topics:

Is Jesus the ONLY WAY to Heaven?
What is the Oldest Religion in the World?
List of False Religions?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).