False Prophets Abound in WOF

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False Prophets Abound in WOF

 

I believe the Word of Faith (WOF) movement is home to many false prophets. Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with warnings about false prophets and, on at least two occasions, the Apostle Paul called out by name men who were teaching false doctrine (1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18). There is, therefore, biblical precedent for calling by name purveyors of spiritual error. Such action should not be undertaken lightly, however, so the names that follow are included only after great study and careful analysis:

  • Kenneth Hagin. Recently passed away, he is considered the father of the modern WOF movement. Hagin claimed that his faith teachings came to him by divine revelation, but they were actually the product of his extensive plagiarizing of Essek W. Kenyon.

Hagin’s son, Kenneth Jr., carries on his father’s work as pastor of Rhema Bible Church and head of its school in Tulsa, Ok. Boasting of at least eight personal visits from Christ, Hagin, as did his father, blurs the crisp line between Creator and created as in, “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.”

  • Kenneth Copeland. Along with his wife Gloria, the Copelands are considered to be two of the movement’s more intellectual leaders. Students of Hagin Sr., the Copelands have built a multi-million dollar “Christian” media empire.

Kenneth Copeland is known for his deification of man. According to Copeland, the Holy Spirit personally told him, “A born again man [Jesus] defeated Satan. You are the very copy of that one.” Incredulous, Copeland then asked the Holy Spirit, “Well, now, you don’t mean that I could have done the same thing?” (emphasis original) Replied the Holy Spirit, “Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did. ’Cause you’re a reborn man too.” This, sadly, just scratches the surface with Copeland.

  • Jesse Duplantis. With little doubt, this self-labeled Cajun preacher is the most entertaining of the WOF leaders. He is well known for his comedic style, prosperity teachings, and personal visits from Christ. (Regarding the latter, do you see a pattern developing?)

In his Voice of the Covenant magazine Duplantis claims, “The very first thing on Jesus’ agenda was to get rid of poverty.” In his video Close Encounters of the God Kind, Duplantis relates how one day he was ushered into Heaven itself. There King David told Jesse that he regretted writing some of his Psalms (what does this imply about biblical inerrancy?) and then upon seeing Jesus, Jesse noted that He “was taller than I thought He would be.”

Safely back on earth, one day Jesse sensed that Jesus was sad over something. After being asked what was wrong by the concerned Duplantis, the Alpha and Omega told him, “I need you, boy.” (emphasis original)

  • Creflo Dollar. This rather aptly named preacher is pastor of World Changers Church International in Atlanta, and is prominently featured on Trinity Broadcasting Network. He preaches the prosperity gospel quite convincingly. He confidently asserts that Jesus wore designer clothes and that that prosperity can be ours provided that we “sow a seed” into his ministry.

Even more disturbing, though, is Dollar’s outright denial of the deity of Christ: “If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint Him? Jesus came as a man, that’s why it was legal to anoint Him.” (emphasis original)

Space does not permit me to go into detail on all of the WOF leaders. Others to watch include Paul and Jan Crouch, Marilyn Hickey, Paul Cain, John Avanzini, Joyce Meyer, Mike Murdock, Rod Parsely, and R.W. Shambach.

Be wary also of preachers who share their pulpit with these people. Most preachers are very protective of their pulpits and rightly so; whom a preacher invites to fill his pulpit speaks to what that preacher believes.

Again – please understand, gentle reader, that this is not a personal attack on anyone. This is a call for discernment. Though I wish that this call was not necessary, both the present reality and the Word of God (Matt. 24:11; 2 Cor. 11:13f; 2 Pet. 2:1) indicate that it is.

–Justin Peters

originally printed 10/9/03
in the Baptist Record
mbcb.org/business_services/br/peters.aspx

Peters can be contacted at (601) 636-2493
 or by e-mail:
jpeters@fbcvicksburg.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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