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Thread: Word-Faith Movement: heretical? - Battle Royale V - Paul DeYonghe vs. famousGandalf7

  1. #1
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Exclamation Battle Royale V - Paul DeYonghe vs. famousGandalf7

    Battle Royale V - Paul DeYonghe vs. famousGandalf7

    TOPIC:
    Is the Word-Faith Movement heretical?

    Have both combatants read, understand and agree to the battle Royale Rules?

    I need a post from each combatant stating "YES" regarding the rules.

    This will be a 10 round battle and will be refereed by me and by Becky.
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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    After I receive a "yes, I understand the rules" affirming that each combatant understands the rules I will flip a coin to determine who posts first, then that chosen combatant will have 48 hours to make his/her opening statement. Each combatant will then have 48 hours to make subsequent posts after the other combatant makes their post. You need NOT wait for me to officially end a round before making your next response.

    This will be a 10 round battle (20 post total - 10 posts each).
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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Exclamation ATTENTION:

    ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (Knight), Becky, Paul DeYonghe or famousGandalf7. You may discuss Battle Royale V here.
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    Over 750 post club Brother Vinny's Avatar
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    Yes Knight, I've both read and understand the rules.

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    Ready in This Corner

    Yes, I have read and I do understand the rules!!!
    "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." -- Amos 3:7

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    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
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    Let the Battle Begin!

    Battle Royale V - Paul DeYonghe vs. famousGandalf7

    TOPIC:
    Is the Word-Faith Movement heretical?

    This will be a 10 round battle and will be refereed by me and by Becky.

    OK here is the coin toss.....

    Heads is Paul - Tails is Gandalf

    Flip....

    Doh!! The coin rolled under the refrigerator!

    Lets try that again....

    Flip.....

    Heads it is!

    Paul will begin and is now on the clock. Paul has 48 hours to make his first post and then famousGandalf7 will have 48 hours to make his first post AFTER Paul's first post has been posted. You do NOT need to take 48 hours to post your post and you do not NEED to wait for me to end a round. Simply post your posts when your ready as long as its your turn!

    Remember to use the "preview this post" button to avoid editing your posts after they have been actually posted.

    Let the battle begin!

    ANY AND ALL POSTS ON THIS THREAD WILL BE DELETED UNLESS THEY ARE POSTED BY: Me (Knight), Becky, Paul DeYonghe or famousGandalf7. You may discuss Battle Royale V here.
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  7. #7
    Over 750 post club Brother Vinny's Avatar
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    Angry ROUND ONE!

    • God has a physical body and Heaven is the planet on which He lives.
    • The born-again Christian is just as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was.
    • God created man on terms of equality with Himself.
    • Man may make himself physically well by making positive affirmations about his health.
    • At some time during His passion, Jesus Christ became a demoniac.
    • The biggest failure in the Bible is God.


    The ideas listed above are just a small sample of what passes for doctrine in the Word-Faith Movement. Some of it may very well have just as easily come from Mormonism, or Christian Science, or New Age, or even atheism. But they didn’t; they came from leaders in the Word-Faith Movement, whom we’ll be studying in detail as the battle progresses.

    In the next nine rounds, we'll be examining the Word-Faith Movement and the heretical doctrines that place it beyond the pale of biblical Christianity. We'll see ideas that range from the silly (God's original plan for woman was to have her give birth from her side), to the dangerous (encouraging diabetics to abstain from taking insulin), to the outright blasphemous (the "little gods” doctrine).

    By the end of this battle, the Christian who wants to remain faithful to the Bible will come to a conclusion about the Word-Faith Movement’s rightful place in the broad spectrum of Christianity: that it has none. That the Word-Faith Movement offers a cheap counterfeit of the gospel that has more in common with the pseudo-Christian and metaphysical cults than it does with biblical Christianity. And that Christian fellowship with someone who knowingly embraces these heresies is just as feasible as Christian fellowship with a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon (which is to say, not at all).

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    Re: ROUND ONE!

    First, I think we need to make some things clear. I believe the Gospel of Jesus, who is The Christ, The Son of The Living God. He is The ONLY Begotton of the Father, born of a virgin, who was conceived by The Holy Spirit, and who is The Almighty God, Everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace. If there is to be a Winner here, I pray that it is He. I prefer His Will over my own.

    We should not try to tear one another apart or to harm the faith of anyone who might read these arguments. I believe that Paul is a Christian, and that his motives are pure, if deluded. There are many things about many of his posts on Theology OnLine (TOL) which I find amusing, and often very wise and enlightening. However, when someone says to me that I might be a good candidate to defend the 'Word of Faith,' movement, I tend to agree. Not because I agree with every silly thing that seems to pass as 'sound' doctrine these days. I believe we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, and that there is coming a great civil war within the Body of Christ, and that when the dust settles from that war, if it ever has time to do so, that the mature believers who come out of these battles (which, by the way, are waged in the heavenlies as we dance around the issues and act out our parts in our everyday lives) will be the remnant, the spotless bride that Jesus will then soon come to snatch away to the wedding and seven-year-long reception. This war began the day Christ rose from the dead, when the Gospel was first shared with the first two who were called (who also happened to be women... oh, such heresy) to preach this Good News: "He is risen!!!" Jesus told them, "Go, and tell my brethren."

    There are too many 'fence-riders' (read demons) in the church who are there for one reason: to delude and hold back the meek, the pure in heart, the lost sheep who are being led down the garden path by too many wolves in sheep's clothing. Many of the ones that I believe will be punished the most are some of the TV and radio and print 'ministers' who spout heresy. Yes many of them claim to be in the Word of Faith movement, but have no idea what a personal relationship with Jesus is, much less know what His Will is. These heretics need to be exposed, but when men of faith are reviled, when people who dedicate themselves fully to the Lord, and to His Word, and show every single day exactly the mettle of their God in their own lives, well it makes my blood boil, not to mention making my sword begin to glow and sing.

    I also belive that the unveiling of mysteries in these last few (50 or so) years has begun this civil war. I believe that God is restoring the ministry of the Apostle. I sat under one of the best, Dr. Tim Sheets, at Living Word Church, Middletown, Ohio. I believe that He is also restoring the Prophet's ministry to the church. I am called to that office, and pray that I am chosen. God often uses me in the ministry, and if there had never been a Kenneth Copeland Ministries, I would not be a Spirit-filled believer. I have received the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I am also called to the ministry, and am sometimes used in the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. I do not say any of these things to brag, but to state the facts. To do otherwise would be to lie, which I will NOT do. I also believe that the movements of God cannot be corralled by any one ministry, or laid on one man's shoulders. We are a body, and need all of our parts. Now, when someone steps outside of love, outside of the Word, that is a different story. They will not only be in trouble with Bible-believing Christians, but the Father will see to it that they get their just rewards. No one is sacred, since God alone is Holy. We are all servants, and He is the Master.

    I can't think of a better figure-head for this movement than Kenneth E. Hagin. Many call him 'daddy Hagin.' His teaching ability and eye-opening revelations are unparralled in our day. The man has many schools of ministry, all over this planet. They teach mountain-moving men and women of faith, in all of the five-fold ministry gifts to the Church. Dr. Lester Sumrall was very good friends with him, as was Kathryn Kuhlman. Now if you want to talk about someone being a heretic, you'd better not even think of her in the same paragraph. There are many others in the 'movement,' as the secular media and sensational 'preachers' like to call it. If it truly is a move of God, you definitely ought to temper what you say about it, and about His 'little ones.' If it is not, well, it will fade away on its own.

    I have to agree, there is a lot of heresy these days, most of it smacks of 'New-Age' thinking. But, there is a genuine Movement from the Lord in this earth. He is alive, He rose from the dead, and is alive, forevermore. His gifts and ministries are alive and the lifting-up of Jesus that takes place in the 'River' churches, such as Brownsville Assembly, in Pensacola, FL, Vineyard, in Toronto, ON or even the little church I go to, Heritage Fellowship (AOG) in Florence, KY are blessed by the Presence of the revival that just won't stop. I also belive that the world can not see the miraculous because they don't want to. Jesus performed many miracles, and was put to death. They won't do any less to His Children.

    I really don't see what all the hubbub is all about. I mean, there have been anti-Christ's since the days of the New Testament. The thing we need to be aware of and to pray for is for God's judgement. That is a big thing, and we need to pray that His judgement would come to our lives, to help us to discern and remove the dross from ourselves, so that the rest of the world will see Him in us, instead of seeing heresy and un-belief. Each of us is to learn to rightly divide the Word of Truth, and if someone gets up on a platform and spouts heresy, I will be the first to shout him down, and maybe even walk up there and take the microphone away from him. I dare not speak against things that I don't know about, or aren't fully convinced of; but, I do know more than a few things, and am not going to follow the voice of a stranger. Knowing my Master's voice, and having heard the devil try to imitate It, I know that there is a difference, because I have my senses exercised. We need to pray that the heretics are exposed, even if it is me that gets the glaring light of judgement, I pray that it comes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

  9. #9
    Over 750 post club Brother Vinny's Avatar
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    Smile ROUND TWO!

    First of all, I’d like to commend famousGandalf7 on his bravery and willingness to conduct this debate in charitable fashion. It takes testicular fortitude to stand up for what one believes in, especially when one’s belief is the minority view. I respect that, and I respect that fG7 is not in this debate seeking to “tear me apart.” This approach to defending the Word-Faith Movement is refreshing, and a definite change of pace from the usual responses to critiques of the Movement, which range from hostilely defensive (“If you want to criticize Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith, or Dad Hagin, get out of my life! I don’t even want to talk to you or hear you. I don’t want to see your ugly face. Get out of my face, in Jesus’ name [1]”) to the threatening (wishing to blow one’s enemies’ heads off with a “Holy Ghost machine gun [2]”). Finally, I have to commend fG7's refusal to shield the Movement's leaders under the "Touch not mine anointed" rubric, as many of them are wont to do.

    Now all this is commendable, and I have to give a hearty “Amen!” to fG7’s opening paragraph (at least to its surface meaning; I’ll have to discover what meanings fG7 ascribes to the words he uses before I can yield full agreement—a Mormon will say he believes in Jesus Christ, but have an entirely other Christ in mind than the one I profess). Having said that, I do have to acknowledge what I see as the differences between biblical Christianity and the Word-Faith Movement. I can use my time and space here merely loving fG7 (which would make for a pretty dull battle), but I am called to “speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15),” which is what I’m here to do. I’m also called to “let [my] love be without hypocrisy (Rom 12:9),” and in order to do so, I have to state up front that there is no love lost between myself and the destructive heresies characteristic of the Word-Faith Movement. Finally, I am called to “have no part in the works of darkness, but rather, expose them (Eph 5:11).” This, also, is what I am here to do. If the fruits of the Word-Faith Movement are the works of darkness (and I believe there’s sufficient evidence to show that they are), then they will be exposed.

    Now, fG7 seems willing to use the example of Kenneth “Dad” Hagin, Sr., as being representative of the Movement in general. I am more than willing to accede to his wishes in this area. It proves little to me that he had friends such as Sumrall and Kuhlman, whom I see as ordinary Charismatic/Pentecostal teachers. This debate is not about whether or not miracles have ceased in our day; both sides of that particular debate have genuine place in the Body of Christ. This debate is centered on the beliefs and practices distinctive of the Word-Faith Movement, and it’s a tragedy that genuine Christians such as Sumrall, Kuhlman, and Billy Graham (who gave an address at the opening of Oral Roberts University) have, perhaps unknowingly, lent respectability to the Movement by close association with its leaders. “By their fruits you shall know them (Matt 7:30),” Jesus said—not “By their friends.” If we’re to examine Hagin, it must be an examination of the fruits of his ministry. These fruits come in many shapes, but I wish to focus on two forms in particular: his teachings and his disciples.

    Hagin’s Teachings

    Most, if not all, of the distinctive doctrines of the Word-Faith Movement (including most of my list from the start of Round One) find their roots in the teachings of Kenneth Hagin [3]. It is through Hagin we get the idea that man should “have faith in his faith,” as evidenced by a booklet entitled Having Faith in Your Faith [4]. It is in this booklet that we find a formula of faith based upon Jesus’ words in Mark 11:23, about which Hagin states, “Notice two more things about this 23rd verse: (1) He believes in his heart; (2) he believes in his words. Another way to say this is: He has faith in his own faith. . . . Having faith in your words is having faith in your faith [5].” This twisting of Jesus’ words displaces God as the object of man’s faith and replaces Him with his own faith. It also relegates God to the role of a cosmic gofer at the beck and call of those who follow this formula, as evidenced by the title of another of Hagin’s booklets, How to Write Your Own Ticket With God (!) [6].

    Hagin’s teachings have also been the foundation of what is known as the “little gods” doctrine: that man was intended to be an exact duplicate of God the Father, and that while the Fall deprived man of his “godhood,” becoming a Christian restores that godhood to him. “Man,” states Hagin in his booklet Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, “was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority [7].” Later in the same booklet, he says, “[T]he believer is called Christ. . . . That’s who we are; we’re Christ!” "The believer," Hagin states elsewhere, "is as much of an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth [8]." Because of this, the born-again believer is entitled to health; or, as Hagin himself puts it, "Divine health is my covenant right! [9]" Said entitlement did not prevent Hagin from having four major cardiac episodes, including one full-scale arrest [10]. Nor did it prevent the death of the wife of a Rhema Bible Training Center student of ovarian cancer. This couple, rather than seek medical assistance, denied the symptoms of the cancer, with deadly results [11].

    Perhaps worse than all of this is the distortions of Christ's character made by Hagin, laying the foundation for others to claim Jesus became a demoniac during the Passion. Hagin has said, "Spiritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan's nature. . . . Jesus tasted death-- spiritual death-- for every man [12]." This distorted Christology also necessitates Christ going to hell to suffer [13] and, while there, becoming "born again" [14]-- the first person to do so!

    This closes my second round of this Battle Royale. In Round Three, unless fG7 presents points of evidence that necessitate an answer, I will cover Hagin's disciples. It should be noted in advance that, of course, Hagin's disciples are free will agents and that Hagin is not necessarily responsible for what they promote. For that reason, I will only draw attention to those teaching which run directly parallel to Hagin's teachings (for example, I won't be going into Benny Hinn's unique view of the female anatomy prior to the Fall, since that didn't originate with Hagin). In Round Four, I intend to see what the Bible has to say about all of this. Up to now, I've been voicing my own opinion, which means squat. God's opinion is what really matters here, as I'm sure fG7 will agree.

    One final note before I close: fG7 says he can't see what the hubbub is all about, and that if the Word-Faith Movement is not of God, it will fade away on its own. I wish I could be that confident about it. I heard a statistic about four or five years ago, that out of every four people who leave the Southern Baptist Church, one leaves to become a Mormon. The CJCLDS has been around for over one hundred years, is currently the fastest growing Christian "sect", and shows no signs of slowing down or of "fading away on its own." Should I then trust that it is of God? God forbid!

    Footnotes

    [1] Paul Crouch, “Praise-a-thon” program on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) (2 April 1991), cited in Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaf, Harvest House, 1993 (I’ll be using Hanegraaf’s magnum opus on the Word-Faith Movement often [and I highly recommend it to you, dear reader], and will hereafter be referring to it as CIC.)

    [2] Benny Hinn, “Praise-a-thon” program on TBN (8 November 1990), cited in CIC.

    [3] Who popularized the teachings of Essek William Kenyon, who in turn got his ideas by syncretizing Christianity with the New Thought teachings of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. Although it’s important to know the history behind these teachings, it is not essential to the argument at hand.

    [4] Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1988, cited in CIC.

    [5] Ibid.

    [6] Kenneth Hagin Ministries; later incorporated into Exceedingly Growing Faith, 1988. Cited in CIC.

    [7] Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1989, cited in CIC.

    [8] Kenneth E. Hagin, "The Incarnation," The Word of Faith (periodical) (December 1980). Cited in CIC.

    [9] Kenneth E. Hagin, Faith Food for Spring, Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1978. Cited in CIC.

    [10] Hank Hanegraaf, Christianity in Crisis, p. 237

    [11] Ibid., p. 239

    [12] Kenneth E. Hagin, The Name of Jesus, Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1981, cited in CIC.

    [13] Kenneth E. Hagin, "How Jesus Obtained His Name," audio tape #44H01, side 1, cited in CIC.

    [14] Kenneth E. Hagin, The Name of Jesus, Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1981, cited in CIC.

  10. #10
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    I, for one would appreciate if you would keep your lewd comments about the male anatomy to yourself and your own little group of 'friends' when you post here. This is a public forum, and we are supposed to represent Jesus on this earth, not allow unclean things to touch our lips (read keyboards here) and refrain from the appearance of evil. I would also consider responding to your next post IF AND ONLY IF it contains a public apology for abusing this forum and the morals of any youth which might read these posts, as well as an edit (which I believe any morally up-standing Christian moderator should have already done) of the capricious remark. Make it as cutting as you like, it is no skin off my nose, but PLEASE ALWAYS maintain a Christian standard of decorum. Paul, my friend, I speak the Truth to you, in love. I love you. So does Jesus.

    I am sure that you means what you say, and have faith in your faith in your God, but we will see if that God is God, or if maybe your conception of Who God Is and what God can do are, perhaps, too small. Also, I guess that when God said that He would call us by His own name, you do not believe that has any bearing on you? I'm confused here... are you a Christian, for that is what the word means, 'little Christs'. We are the light of the world, and are to be one day wed to Him, becoming bone of His Bone and flesh of His Flesh. Now, the Bible also says that as He IS, so are WE, IN THIS WORLD. Is Jesus sick? Does He worry about money or fret over terrorist attacks? Is He surprised when someone doubts His Word, or believes It? Well, since we (in this world) are said, by God, to be AS (like) Him, in this world, then we are... but only if we believe it.

    Is there any evidence of heresy here? I believe that heresy is differing with church dogma. It is what the Protestant faith is built upon. It is what I have faith in, the 'heresy' of the Truth in the Word of God that those scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites of the so-called 'Church' have no clue as to why we believe what we do. It is because the Holy Spirit witnesses together with our spirits, on the inside of us, that the Word of God means what He says. If I am a 'heretic' because I believe the revealed Truth of the Word of God, then so be it... off with my head, or light the kindling, whatever you wish to do with me, be about your father's business. I am a believer, not a doubter. What are you? Where do you get this "Fruit Inspector's," license, I want to go there and check out what their qualifications are for giving them out, because they are not Scriptural.

    Now, as to illness, I have a problem with someone not seeing a doctor. I believe that the first thing we should do is to pray, and ask God to heal us, but symptoms (pain, fever and etc.) are there for a reason: to let us know that we need help. If I was unable to rebuke a fever off of my own body, and off-the-shelf medicines weren't cutting it, I would go to the doctor. If he gave up on me, I would seek earnestly to be healed by calling the elders of the church to lay hands on me and pray. By the way, you want to talk about heresy? My cousin died about two months ago because she was sick for about four-and-a-half years and refused to go to the doctor because she was brainwashed by Christian Science (which my mom tried to pawn off on me, but God saw fit to deliver me of) to believe that she did not need a doctor but should recite some poetry and just say, "I will be just fine," until she died from a huge masticized tumor in her stomach, ribs, spine and lungs. That is heretical, and the Body of Christ should not only SPEAK against it but should take legal action to put an end to it, because that 'church' does far more harm than good. I have gotten better fellowship with people I know who are Masonic Officers. Sorry, I love to preach. You may now reply.

  11. #11
    Over 750 post club Brother Vinny's Avatar
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    ROUND THREE!

    As to the matter of your first paragraph of Round Two, fG7, and your requested apology, I can only say that I have none to give. Apologies are warranted only when the party in question has done something wrong. I see no wrongdoing, and in your overreaction to my innocuous compliment you have demonstrated the very legalism for which I have taken you to task in the past. I ask that you reconsider your ultimatum, or at very least provide a clear example as to how the two words I used (which you've objected to) might corrupt our youth.

    You say that you're sure that I have faith in my faith in God, but faith doesn't work that way. I believe that my faith in God is real, but biblical faith has more than mere belief at its core. Agreement and trust are also involved. A person can believe the historical data surrounding Jesus Christ, and can even agree that He is the only way to the Father, but until that person trusts in Jesus Christ and places his eternal fate into His hands, the gospel hasn't done him any good. Do I believe my faith is real? Yes. Do I agree with my faith? Of course. Do I place trust in my faith? No. My faith can do nothing apart from God. Instead, I place my trust in God and His promise that I have received forgiveness for my sins.
    You say,

    Now, the Bible also says that as He IS, so are WE, IN THIS WORLD.
    I challenge you to present such a passage. My Bible "we shall be like him (1 Jo 3:2)." This speaks of a future event. Even so, how far should one take this statement? The cults take it to mean that we will become gods. I surely hope not. My Bible says, "Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens (Jer 10:11)." I'd dislike it very much if, after all this trevail upon the earth, I got up to heaven, became a god, and then perished.

    You're right about one thing, fG7. Heresy is what schismed the Roman Catholics from the Eastern Orthodox (or vice versa), and later the Protestants from the Catholics, then Protestants from each other, and so on. Heresy comes from the Greek word hairesis, which means "choice." This makes everyone a heretic of sorts, since we have all chosen to follow a certain set of dogmas. However, there must be a way to draw a line between heresy which is "good," and that which is "bad." One way is an examination of the fruits said heresy bears; another way is to see how the heresy lines up with Scripture. On both of these counts, the Word-Faith Movement has a shoddy track record. You might point to the size of Word-Faith churches, and to the great numbers of souls coming to Christ through them. I'd fire right back about the great numbers of people who practice Buddhism, and then pose the question as to whether the Word-Faith Christ-- he of the designer clothes, he who became a demoniac on the cross-- is worth coming to.

    As to, "Where do you get this "Fruit Inspector's," license(?)," I get mine from the Apostle Paul, who instructs us to judge within the Church (1 Cr 5:12-6:5); from John, who instructs us to "test the spirits (1 Jo 4:1)," and from Jesus Christ Himself, who gave us the idea of knowing folks by their fruit in the first place.

    It is interesting that you believe that symptoms are "there for a reason." The party line of the Word-Faith Movement is that symptoms are lies told by the devil. As stated earlier, a couple attending Rhema ignored the symptoms when the wife was stricken with ovarian cancer. Another couple, also influenced by the Movement, ignored their son's symptoms of diabetes and denied him insulin. He went into coma and died, and the parents were convicted of manslaughter. Now, if you're taking a hard line against the general Word-Faith position* in this issue-- and it seems that you're doing just that-- I see that as admirable. However, one has to acknowledge that the Word-Faith position, as voiced by the majority of its leaders, is startlingly close to that of Christian Science, so much so that Dad Hagin himself has answered criticisms to that effect.

    Now, I've used up just about all my space here in rebuttal. I'll skip over Hagin's disciples and go straight to the Bible for Round Four, should such a round come to pass. If this post is indeed the last one in the battle, then I thank you, fG7, for a few days of diversion.

    * It should be noted that the Word-Faith Movement is not a monolithic cult (although some groups within it do fit this description), and so not every W-F teacher will ascribe to every W-F doctrine.

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    Re: ROUND THREE!

    You say that you're sure that I have faith in my faith in God, but faith doesn't work that way. I believe that my faith in God is real, but biblical faith has more than mere belief at its core. Agreement and trust are also involved. A person can believe the historical data surrounding Jesus Christ, and can even agree that He is the only way to the Father, but until that person trusts in Jesus Christ and places his eternal fate into His hands, the gospel hasn't done him any good. Do I believe my faith is real? Yes. Do I agree with my faith? Of course. Do I place trust in my faith? No. My faith can do nothing apart from God. Instead, I place my trust in God and His promise that I have received forgiveness for my sins.
    Semantics. If you had no faith in your faith, you would be a doubter, not a believer. I don't believe that faith (apart from God) is faith, but secular belief.
    I challenge you to present such a passage. My Bible "we shall be like him (1 Jo 3:2)." This speaks of a future event. Even so, how far should one take this statement? The cults take it to mean that we will become gods. I surely hope not. My Bible says, "Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens (Jer 10:11)." I'd dislike it very much if, after all this trevail upon the earth, I got up to heaven, became a god, and then perished.
    1 John 4:17
    Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

    In addition to the fact that we are as He is in Heaven, in this world, we were healed by His stripes, we were made alive due to His taking of our death penalty and we have perfect liberty due to Him being made a prisoner on our behalf. These are the faith-sayings which the church wants to keep the believer from accepting and walking in. These types of hints are throughout the Bible, not that He made or will make us gods, but that we have what He says we can have and that we are who He says we are. When we accept the Truth and believe it more than we believe our circumstances, that is when faith takes over, and gives us the desires of our hearts. He considers us to be perfect, due to the blood of Jesus, and when we seek to draw close to Him, He begins to conform us to that image. He loves us just like we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us this way.

    Now if some idiot wants to go against Rhema Bible Training Centers teachings (they teach that symptoms are real, and a doctor should be consulted) and deny that they have any symptoms (they also clearly teach that symptoms are not to be denied, but their right to stay is) then that is their own fault. I know, I have sat under enough of his sermons to have heard him repeat this one time and time again. He says everyone should have common sense, and not deny the need for a doctor.
    ...the Word-Faith Movement has a shoddy track record. You might point to the size of Word-Faith churches, and to the great numbers of souls coming to Christ through them. I'd fire right back about the great numbers of people who practice Buddhism, and then pose the question as to whether the Word-Faith Christ-- he of the designer clothes, he who became a demoniac on the cross-- is worth coming to.
    I never heard that one. Heresy would be calling the Son a demon-possessed man. He became sin, but I am sure there were NO demons in Him. He became a curse because He was hung on a tree.

    I have been friends with many people who attend churches started by Rhema Bible Training Center graduates, and have many friends who have been there. In fact, my cousin graduated along with Donna Douglas (Ellie-Mae Clampett actress, from the Beverly Hillbillies). Their teachings are not the least bit heretical. But, I am sure you can find obscure preachers who preach heresy, as well as I probably could for the denomination of your church. This forum is about substantial ministries, and not obvious quacks. Snake-oil will continue to sell, as long as we have a free-market system. I can think of several prechers I would personally never send a dime to, who have TV ministries, and I have never heard a one of them preach anything I would call heretical. Their ethics and character just don't reflect my Heavenly Father. Their fruit is bad, in other words.

    As to the list from your opening arguments:
    [*]God has a physical body and Heaven is the planet on which He lives.
    I, for one, don't believe that. I believe that God is Spirit, and that He lives in me, as well as in millions of other Spirit-filled believers. He also sits on a Throne in Heaven, dwells in thick darkness, has a Presence in hell, and dwells with every born-again believer, who might not have asked Him to fill them with His Spirit yet, so that He could dwell IN them.
    [*]The born-again Christian is just as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was.
    No one is 'just as much' anything as Jesus. He is the Chief Priest, the First Apostle, the Best Prophet, the Good Shepherd, the Greatest Evangelist, the Perfect Teacher and our Comforter. We are a portion of God, since He gave us eternal life, before the foundation of the world, when He wrote our names in His Book of Life. We were once thoughts in His Mind, before the earth was created, so, in a sense we are eternal. The breath that is in us is His. The Word in us is His Spirit. The presence of His love in our flesh gives us the grace and forgiveness to come into His Presence. We are One. The heresy of that statement is obvious only to a church which has a very small grasp of the Truth. The Lord sees us as perfect. I am no fool, I don't believe that I am perfect; but that doesn't prevent me from agreeing with His Faith in me, so that I can be conformed to the image and likeness of His Dear Son.
    [*]God created man on terms of equality with Himself.
    Don't buy that. Adam walked with Him and talked with Him, but that is not to say that he felt that He was God's EQUAL. I am sure that Adam, as well as the rest of the saints in Scriptures had their head on straight when it comes to knowing who God was and how insignificant each of us is.
    [*]Man may make himself physically well by making positive affirmations about his health.
    This one I would consider to be not only heresy, but a common teaching of cults and witches covens.
    [*]At some time during His passion, Jesus Christ became a demoniac.
    I believe we have dealt with this, in this post, in an earlier paragraph.
    [*]The biggest failure in the Bible is God.
    God has never failed at anything. If He speaks, it comes to pass. The first thing He spoke is still proof of His LACK of failure: there is light. The rainbow is evidence of His Faithfullness, in spite of homosexuals taking it for their 'badge of courage.'

    Isaiah 55:11
    So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    I don't believe we have gotten anything yet, in the way of solid evidence, to show that Kenneth E. Hagin, or any other Spirit-filled minister of the Gospel is heretical. I believe that there is more evidence that his ministry is Bible-based and teaches radical faith in Christ, and not in 'self,' or in some heretical teaching which gets a group of people off into error. One thing which he is fond of saying has often taught me how to look at some things I have heard that, I believe, bordered on heresy; and that is: "Stay in the middle of the road. Don't get off too far to one side or the other, into error. A step out of love is a step in the wrong direction. Walk in love."

    Obviously your moral character, and that of this forum, are beneath my standards. Here, of all places, we need to consider that many will come on this forum and put our writings under their 'microscope.' I am not a legalist, by any stretch, but I do maintain standards of moral, ethical and appearance, as any Christian should. We are to be examples not only to our children and the children of others, but to the world as well. I am glad that none of my children will ever be in YOUR Sunday school classes. Paul, I forgive you, in spite of your non-repentance; I wish you would re-consider, but even if you don't, I will never bring it up again. I was not offended, and did not take anything personal from the remark, except as it was meant, complimentary, but as I said, I belive we are to be Jesus to this world. We are the light of this world, and we need to be about showing them Him, in us.

    Romans 2
    18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
    19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
    20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

    Luke 11:35
    Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

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    DING DING DING

    That is the end of round #3. Paul is back on the clock!
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    Round Four

    In his Round Three, fG7 said,

    Semantics. If you had no faith in your faith, you would be a doubter, not a believer. I don't believe that faith (apart from God) is faith, but secular belief.
    To which I have to strenuously disagree. If I have faith in my faith, then my faith is misplaced as it turns in upon itself. End of story. Either one's faith is placed in the Holy God of Israel, or it's placed in itself, in which case one's faith has become an idol.

    I asked for the verse where it says we are in this world as Jesus is, and I have to admit it, fG7 followed through. But wait! The verse fG7 gave (1 John 4:17), showing that we are as He is, and the verse I gave (1 John 3:2), showing that we shall be made like Him as a future event, are not only in the same Bible, but in the same book! Therefore, there must be some other context in which we are presently as Christ is. I believe we've sufficiently ruled out the context that we're "little gods": only the fool would want to become a little god and perish with the rest of the little gods, in light of what Jesus has to offer. And it would make no sense to become as He is if we're already as He is. So, in order to determine what 1 John 4:17 means, we have to look at surrounding context. The context, in this case, is God's love. God is love (1 Jo 4:16), and we are His love in this world (v. 17). This takes nothing away from the transformation we shall experience as promised by 1 John 3:2, and neither verse should be taken to mean that we are now or will be later "little gods."

    fG7 said,

    Now if some idiot wants to go against Rhema Bible Training Centers teachings (they teach that symptoms are real, and a doctor should be consulted) and deny that they have any symptoms (they also clearly teach that symptoms are not to be denied, but their right to stay is) then that is their own fault. I know, I have sat under enough of his sermons to have heard him repeat this one time and time again. He says everyone should have common sense, and not deny the need for a doctor.
    Maybe that's current teaching at Rhema. I don't know, as I haven't gone there (I hear from some acquaintences that it's quite expensive to attend the school). But, if so, it doesn't line up with Hagin's past teachings on the subject:

    Real faith in God-- heart faith-- believes the Word of God regardless of what the physical evidences may be. . . . A person seeking healing should look to God's Word, not to his symptoms. He should say, "I know that I am healed because the Word says by His stripes I am healed (Hagin, Right and Wrong Thinking, 1966)."
    fG7 said,

    I never heard that one. Heresy would be calling the Son a demon-possessed man. He became sin, but I am sure there were NO demons in Him. He became a curse because He was hung on a tree.
    Well, I just cited to fG7 (In Round Two) where Dad Hagin says Jesus took on Satan's nature.

    I believe Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), which is to say, that He became our sin offering. Having said that, there are those who take 2 Corinthians 5:21 to a literalistic extreme, by saying that Christ the person became the abstract expression of sin. Such an interpreatation does violence not only to Scripture but to rational thought. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and according to law that Lamb had to be without blemish. Thus our sins were laid upon Him, and He paid the penalty; no alchemy occured by which Christ literally became the idea of sin.

    fG7, you said,

    But, I am sure you can find obscure preachers who preach heresy, as well as I probably could for the denomination of your church. This forum is about substantial ministries, and not obvious quacks.
    Obsure preachers? Is Kenneth Copeland obscure enough for you? Benny Hinn? Frederick Price? Or are these preachers not the very "substantial ministries" to which you refer? Let's go down my list from the start and see if I got these heresies from "obscure preachers!

    • God has a physical body and Heaven is the planet on which He lives.


    fG7, you have said in regards to this:

    I, for one, don't believe that. I believe that God is Spirit, and that He lives in me, as well as in millions of other Spirit-filled believers.
    To which I say, "Amen!" But it was Kenneth Copeland who said that God stands about 6'2" to 6'3", weighs a couple hundred pounds, and has a hand span of nine inches across. He has also said that heaven is a planet, and that God used the planet of heaven as a mental blueprint for when He created the earth.

    • The born-again Christian is just as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was.


    You said,

    No one is 'just as much' anything as Jesus.
    And so long as "anything" is in reference to those qualities which are good and godly, I again say, "Amen!" However, this point on the list was lifted almost verbatim from Kenneth Hagin, and I've already cited the actual passage in Round Two. Maybe you'd like to contact him, though, to rebuke him for his error.

    The next point:

    • God created man on terms of equality with Himself.


    To which you said,

    Don't buy that. Adam walked with Him and talked with Him, but that is not to say that he felt that He was God's EQUAL.
    Again, we agree. But I've already shown (in Round Two) that this teaching was handed down by Hagin.

    Next point:

    • Man may make himself physically well by making positive affirmations about his health.


    You replied,

    This one I would consider to be not only heresy, but a common teaching of cults and witches covens.
    To which I say, "So why is it so prevalent then in the Word-Faith Movement?"

    I'll skip to the last (as we covered the penultimate point already):

    • The biggest failure in the Bible is God.


    To which you said,

    God has never failed at anything.
    Again, a hearty "Amen!" But I pulled this doctrine verbatim from the teachings of an obscure preacher named Kenneth Copleand, who said, "I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible is. . . . The biggest one is God."

    Now, with all that you've said in regards to these points, I'm beginning to think that you're not so much a Word of Faith proponent as you are a sincere believer who is mixed in with the wrong crowd. You know enough to disagree with many of the heresies put forth by Hagin and Company. I suggest that you might find deeper spiritual fulfillment outside the movement.

    As to my moral character, I'm sorry that I have so deeply disappointed you. What I said was meant as a compliment. I'm not sure how I can repent of an offense when I meant it for the good, and I'm still not entirely sure how an casual reference to genitalia is inherently lewd, especially when the Bible makes repeatedly such references. If this is something you wish to educate me in, my PM box is open to your letters.

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