Throwback Thursday post #1 goes to a Tumblr post I wrote in 2011. It is a very short post, but one that holds a lot of weight. I linked to the video and then gave a short description. Today I’m giving a much more detailed description to try and explain a bit more about the Word of Faith movement:
Probably one of the best Chapel services I’ve been to.
9.30.10 – This is the first of a seminar he has developed called “A Call for Discernment” which is a Biblical critique of the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel. You can also go to this website to get more information about the seminar and also the ministries that Justin Peters is involved in.
I am a student at The College at Southwestern; I wrote this post on my Tumblr in 2011, but this chapel service was held at the College in 2010, and to this day it still really is one of the best chapel services I’ve ever been to. During his presentation, Justin Peters gives a Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith movement (or Prosperity Gospel), which he calls “A Call for Discernment.” One major aspect of this movement is the claim that it is always God’s will that everyone be wealthy and healthy. Justin explains that these followers believe that if a person gets sick, healing is guaranteed as long as the person has enough faith (at 1:33-1:50). Peters has Cerebral Palsy, and tells how the Word of Faith movement affected his walk with the Lord when he was a young boy. One of his neighbors told him that these Word of Faith ministers could heal him, but after seeing a number of them he still was not healed. This caused him to doubt his own faith in God – that maybe he didn’t believe enough or that he did not have enough faith to be healed, or even that he wasn’t saved at all (at 2:18-4:08). Peters also explains that although this movement seems “Christian” and uses some of the same terminology, it was actually founded by many cult and Christian Science believers (at 4:15-5:15). Justin Peters points out many Word of Faith ministers such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplanis, Joyce Meyer, and Kenneth Hagin (see Hagin’s Wikipedia page here) (at 8:45-9:11).
Justin Peters has three main sessions to this seminar, the first being Dangerous Doctrines (see slides at 6:20-7:45).
- Positive Confession (9:20-10:10)
- Substance of Faith – We can manipulate faith to make it do or give whatever we want, for an example: we can control the weather (10:30-13:30).
- Little gods Doctrine – If all things produce things in their likeness, and God produced us, then we are all little gods. We have power that even God doesn’t have (14:20-17:30) (at 17:30 Scripture telling that there is only one God) (17:50-21:11).
- WoF View of the Fall – Adam was exact duplicate of God. God was banished from earth when Adam sinned, and now has no access to it. Satan is now the legal god of this world. When a person gets saved, he regains his Godhood. A god cannot be poor and a god cannot be sick (21:13-22:50), therefore we cannot be poor or sick. At 22:35-25:10 is where Peters explains the deep, serious, and very dangerous problem with this false Gospel.
- Jesus Christ – Just a man, Spiritual Death of Jesus Doctrine. Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God, we also are the sons of God (25:11-27:00)
Peters also shows a clip of Joel Osteen on Larry King where Joel explains that he never calls people sinners (27:00-29:40). Therefore, Joel Osteen is missing the whole first step of the Gospel – to admit that you are a sinner. Osteen is tickling the ears of his followers, as 2 Timothy 4 explains, and as Peters says (29:15),
“He [Joel Osteen] is tickling their ears all the way to hell. And I know that sounds harsh, but friends, until you first realize that you are a sinner you cannot come to the Savior. And I can honestly tell you in all the years I’ve been watching Joel Osteen I have never once – not once – heard him clearly present the Gospel of Jesus Christ – not once.”
Next, Peters addresses the situation of Christians working with people of the Word of Faith movement in ministry endeavors (at 29:40). 2 John 10-11 says, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” Therefore, those who work alongside or in cooperation with the Word of Faith movement, they are affirming their teachings. Not only do they affirm their teachings, but they confuse those who are following Christ rightly (30:37-30:53). At 30:54, we see a clip of Joel Osteen on the Glenn Beck Show talking about the love for God that Hindus have. However, Hindus do not know God, therefore they do not love Him. He is confusing and lying to the world, especially the Hindu people.
Peters’ second session is called Mangled Manifestations (32:44), where he discusses the many beliefs and claims about God that the leaders of the Word of Faith hold to:
- Abuse of Tongues
- Spectacular Claims
- Heavenly Encounters
- Slaying in the “Spirit”
- Divine Revelation Knowledge
- False Prophecies
Time 33:05-35:20 shows clips of two members of the Word of Faith movement claiming that God needs us. Jesse Duplanis claims that God took him to Heaven and told him that He chose him because He needed Duplanis. Kenneth Copeland says that “God needs you saved, He needs you filled with the Holy Spirit, He needs you strong, He needs you well, and He needs you rich” (34:15). Peters quickly assures us that God does not need anyone or anything, but that we are in need of Him. Anyone that is teaching anything contrary is teaching a false Gospel. At 35:20, Benny Hinn claims that visible miracles are necessary to get people right with God (35:30-37:14). Peters responds by explaining that even if God healed him of his Cerebral Palsy, that would pale in comparison to the miracle of what Jesus did for him on the Cross when He saved him from his sins, “that is the power of God” (35:30-37:14).
Peters’ third session is The Hurt of Healing (36:15).
- Physical Healing – Always God’s Will, Healing in the Atonement, Biblical Record
- Requirements for Healing – Sense of Expectation, Money, Right Walk with God
- Why are the Healers Sick?
- Hindrances to Healing – Lack of Faith, Not Saved
Peters gives us a quote from Benny Hinn, “He promises to heal all – every one, any, any whatsoever, everything – all our disease! That means not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache – nothing! No sickness should come to your way, God heals all your diseases” (from Rise and Be Healed, page 32) (at 37:50). At 39:40, Peters tells of the claims that these people make about the absence of healing in the lives of some; they claim that if a person is not healed, it is their own fault, whether a lack of faith, not enough money given, a secret sin, or maybe even an absence of salvation (40:25-41:17 shows a clip of Kenneth Copeland making this claim). Then, at 42:05 we see a clip of John Hagee making this statement, “Let me tell you, sickness is from the devil. When you walk into a hospital room and your friend is there, a member of your family is there, you have the power to say, ‘in the name of Jesus I rebuke that disease.’ And the God of Heaven will heal that disease when you are right with God in Heaven.” Benny Hinn also claims “healing should never be separate from salvation” (43:25). Peters describes the huge burden that this puts on the followers of the Word of Faith movement. He asks us to put ourselves in the shoes of people who are sick, handicapped, or people who have a sick spouse, child, friend, or family member. If these people remain sick or die from their sickness, can you imagine the burden? These people not only have to deal with the death or sickness of their family member (or even their own sickness), but now they must deal with their lack of faith or lack of salvation as the Word of Faith members say they must have (and with the burden that they are the cause or reason for the death or sickness). How torturous it is, the pain that these claims cause (44:27-45:53).
Peters closes with 2 Peter 2:1-2,
“But false prophets arose among the people, even as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality; by reason of whom the way of truth will be maligned and in their greed they will exploit you with false words.”
Each phrase of these verses perfectly describes the leaders of the Word of Faith movement. They are false prophets and teachers, they secretly introduce heresies, they deny the Lord by teaching a false gospel, and bring destruction quickly to themselves. These movements are extremely popular; they have millions of people who listen to and believe their claims. The truth has been trampled upon and twisted by their false teachings, and these leaders are all incredibly wealthy. Peters explains that the Word of Faith leaders are getting rich off of sick and hurting people (45:54-47:55).
Many people have claimed that Justin Peters is simply bitter because he was not healed when he was young and this is why he is against the Word of Faith movement and this is why he hosts these seminars. Peters explains that next to his salvation and his wife, his Cerebral Palsy is one of the greatest gifts that God has given him. He says that through it, he has been able to meet God in ways that he would never have been able to otherwise. It is crucial that we as believers recognize not only the frailty of our humanity, but also the blessing of spending eternity with our Lord, just as Peters concludes,
“If I have to live the rest of my life with Cerebral Palsy, that’s fine. I’ve got all of eternity to live without it.” (48:15).
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