How does one define a movement that is one of the fastest growing segment of professing Christianity?
The Bible is clear about the role of faith in our prayers. Faith that God can do anything within His will and Nature is essential to our prayers. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. But there are some who seem to take “faith” to a new and dangerous level, claiming that our faith–or positive confession–is a force on to itself. That if we “just have enough faith” God will answer every one of our prayer requests in the manner we think is best.
Those who are supporters of this wrongful Word-Faith Movement, also known as the Positive Confession or simply “Faith” movement, believe that faith works like a mighty power or force. Through faith, we can obtain anything we want — health, wealth, success, and more. However, this force is only released through the spoken word. As we speak the words of faith, power is discharged to accomplish our desires.
The Bible defines “faith” as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Our “faith” cannot override the will or nature of God. But our faith that He is able to accomplish all good things for His glory is a necessity for prayer and petition to God.
Some followers of the radical Word Faith Movement are seemingly unaware that there is anything questionable about this movement, and may well be sincere Christians who praise God and who want to reach out to help people in need. However there is a growing concern that this movement advocates making man the center of his own confession-controlled universe. Some of the most well-known leaders of this movement preach that worldly success is a measure of godliness, and can be named and claimed if you just have enough faith. Those who’ve raised concerns say that these beliefs are not based on the Bible and can lead Christians into an endless treadmill of spiritual activity and exercises that keep them so preoccupied that they don’t recognize the idolatrous nature of what they are hearing.
Many Word-Faith preachers broadcast their services and campaigns, like Paul and Jan Crouch, who own the largest Christian-based television network in the world: The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), is capable of televising the Faith message all over the world.
Well-known personalities within the movement include Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Tilton , Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Frederick K.C. Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo and of course, Paul and Jan Crouch.
Here is some additional information for your consideration from GotQuestions.org
Question: “Is the Word of Faith movement biblical?”
“Answer: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.”
We encourage every Christian to deeply study what the Bible teaches about faith and prayer.
Do your own research but most importantly study the Word of God as the only source for eternal truth. Here are some resources you may find useful:
- The Word-Faith Movement* By Gary E. Gilley (Rapidnet.com)
- What is the Word of Faith Movement
- A Christian Response To The Word of Faith Movement