A MAJOR PROBLEM CONCERNING FAITH AS EVANGELICAL MEGAPASTORS UNITE WITH WORD FAITH HERETICS

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One of the trends I’ve been monitoring here at Apprising Ministries is the increasing syncretism of Word Faith mythology into the mainstream of evangelicalism.

A good example of this would be two-time Elephant Room vet and Seeker Driven prophet-leader Steven Furtick, e.g. Steven Furtick As Televangelist At Lakewood Church Of Joel Osteen.

That’s why I showed you earlier that Joel Osteen Has Influenced Steven Furtick Longer Than You May Know. This most definitely is not something to be proud of at all; but he’s not alone.

I showed you just a few weeks ago that Mark Driscoll Defends His Christian Brother Joel Osteen where the New Calvinist leader, while promoting his new book, stated to The Gospel Coalition:

I am aware of the theological differences that exist between our tribe and Pastor Joel. I also know my Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a piñata, but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription medications are antidepressants. (source)

In Mark Driscoll’s answer above it becomes crystal clear that Driscoll is, beyond any reasonable doubt, defending the Word Faith prosperity preacher as a legitimate Christian minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We also see in the Christian Post article Mark Driscoll on Joel Osteen: ‘There Are Worse Things Than Being Happy and Encouraging’ that Driscoll’s considered heretical Joel Osteen his brother for years.

Christian Post Reporter Nicola Menzie tells us that in an October 7, 2007 sermon Mark Driscoll says of his Christian brother Joel Osteen:

“Who’s the happiest Christian out there? His name is Joel Osteen,” said Driscoll, showing an image of the August 2005 cover of “Texas Monthly” featuring a photo of Osteen with the caption: “And on the 8th day God created Joel Osteen.”

Calling the Lakewood Church leader “the most well-known pastor in America,” Driscoll noted that “America is absolutely in love with this guy.”

While acknowledging Osteen as his Christian brother, Driscoll, however, expressed concern with Osteen’s prosperity message, which is not unique to the Texas minister.

“I’ll tell you what doesn’t bother me about the guy. It doesn’t bother me that he’s got a big church, it doesn’t bother me that he’s on the radio, it doesn’t bother me that he’s on the TV, it doesn’t bother me that he publishes books.

It doesn’t even bother me that he’s happy all the time, because maybe his spiritual gift is encouragement,” says Driscoll in his 2007 sermon, according to the video and a transcript from Mars Hill. (source)

It also apparently doesn’t bother Mark Driscoll that Osteen preaches another gospel, which is no gospel at all,  and that our words have actual creative power when spoken using the substance known as faith.

For you see, in Word Faith mythology faith is a literal force which God used to speak the universe into existence; and what is more as his children, using this substance, we too can decree and declare things into existence:

Of the multiple views of faith held by Faith teachers,1 Copeland focuses primarily on an understanding of faith as a force. “Faith is a power force,” he claims. “It is a tangible force. It is a conductive force.”2 Moreover, “faith is a spiritual force….It is substance. Faith has the ability to effect [sic] natural substance.”3

As “the force of gravity…makes the law of gravity work…this force of faith…makes the laws of the spirit world function.”4 Copeland affirms that “God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith,”5 for _”faith is God’s source of power”_ (emphasis in original).6

Moreover, “everything that you’re able to see or touch, anything that you can feel, anything that’s perceptive to the five physical senses, was originally the faith of God, and was born in the substance of God’s faith.”7  In other words, “faith was the raw material substance that the Spirit of God used to form the universe.”8

Copeland adds that “God used words when He created the heaven and the earth….Each time God spoke, He released His faith — the creative power to bring His words to pass.”9 For “words are spiritual containers,”10 and the “force of faith is released by words.”11

Copeland derives his definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV). He interprets the word “substance” as some transcendent, primary element that makes up the universe; it was and is activated by spoken words at the onset of creation (both God’s original creation of the world and all subsequent creations, whether by God or man).

Contrary to Copeland’s view, the word translated “substance” in the King James Version is the Greek word _hypostasis_ which, in the context of Hebrews 11:1, means “an assured impression, a mental realizing.”12

Far from being some tangible material or energetic force, faith is _a channel of living trust_ stretching from man to God. It is an _assurance_ that God’s promises never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment during our mortal existence. Other translations render _hypostasis_ more precisely as “being sure” (NIV), “to be sure” (TEV), and “assurance” (NASB).

Neither the original Greek text nor any of the modern translations support Copeland’s understanding of faith. The same holds true for his understanding of spoken words. Besides, the idea of words functioning as faith-filled containers makes no sense if there is no such thing as a “force of faith” (requiring packaging and transportation) in the first place. (source)

This is one of the gravest dangers now that New Calvinist and Seeker Driven vision-casting prophet-leaders are blending together with outright Word Faith prosperity preachers like T.D. Jakes.

Combine this with the rebirth of Pietism fueled through evangelicals embracing so-called “spiritual disciplines” of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, and we see huge misunderstandings concerning faith.

Instead of realizing that God gives faith to us, today these cult of celebrity megapastors are trying to “whip up” people’s faith just as you’e about to see below from well-known WF pastrix Cindy Trimm.

I originally used this clip in my June 22, 2011 piece Word Faith Heretic Cindy Trimm Receives Award From Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. If you didn’t know, Trimm is good friends with T.D. Jakes.

Actually, Trimm’s an annual speaker for James at his Women Thou Art Loosed Conferences. She’s a major player in the WF camp. Unless they repent, behold a peek at the future of mainstream evangelical preaching.

So you can analyze Trimm’s fables more carefully, I’ll supply a transcription following the clip so you’ll better understand that, as all WF preachers, she really does think she’s decreeing and declaring things into existence:

I’m gonna move to the right. The anointing is gonna shift economics in here. Your finances are gonna have a divine visitation from God. I’m talking about the hand of God getting ready to touch everybody.

I’m gonna move to the right; and a wave of the anointing is gonna hit everybody in here. The hand of God is gonna touch ya. How many of you believe that? How many of you receive that? Cuz a lot of people believe, they don’t wanna receive. Put your hands down, don’t grasp anybody.

You are gonna receive a double portion, you’re gonna receive what God has for you, and you’re gonna pick up your neighbor’s anointing. And I’m gonna prove it; Father, in the Name of Jesus now, Your people have given, they have given willingly. The portals of Heaven have been locked up and closed and constricted, for year after year over every individual’s life.

But I decree and declare now, that they are open, I open them prophetically right now, in the Name of Jesus. Now Father, whatever Heaven has been locked up, because of ignorance, because of withdrawing–Hallelujah–withholding, I decree and declare that the spicket is open. Now Father, like a tsunami, I decree and declare, that You are going to begin to move from my right and left.

I decree and declare, Father, that You would move from the front to the back. Father, as I move across the stage, I decree everyone–Hallelujah–that sees me as I move, will be slain; and you will birth, and you will birth–Father, they will pick up mantles in the realm of the Spirit. I decree and declare, right now, that as I move across the stage–Hallelujah–economics are gonna be shifted, finances are gonna be shifted.

I decree and declare, that the wealth of the wicked is no longer laid up for you; but the wealth of the wicked, is being released. I decree and declare, that winds of the Spirit are beginning to blow; and they’re blowing into your home. I decree and declare, that your sons and daughters–by virtue of the pack of your praise–you are going to birth them into the Kingdom.

You and your sons and daughter are gonna be birthed into the Kingdom, while they’re in prison, they’re gonna be birthed into prison, while they’re in crack houses. Your husbands are gonna come back, your ministries are gonna turn around! I decree and declare, a supernatural anointing sweep; [shouting] Father, from my right, to my left! After I move, everybody open your eyes! Hear it is!

[praying in “tongues”] Now Father, in the Name of Jesus, we thank You that here is a shifting, a shifting that is going on in the Kingdom. We thank you that the spirit of Esther is upon each individual; every woman, that You are now transforming. [gradually becoming louder until shouting] You are posturing them, for the next move of God! I decree and declare, from the earth, mantles that have been dropped, they are being picked up! I decree and declare, double portions of the Elijah anointing is being birthed! Every prophet, that is assigned to this time–and this generation–I stir up, stir up, stir up; stir it up! I quicken! I quicken callings! I quicken ministries! I quicken churches! I quicken visions!

Everything that died, because of doubt, because of unbelief! I call you from the grave! I decree and declare–Hallelujah–[unintelligible] are being extended! I decree, the spirit of Jabez, falls upon the women! I decree and declare, that Your hand, is working in them; both to will, and to do, of Your good pleasure! I release, angels on assignment! I assign them, to your ministries, to your houses!

Everything, that this season should bring to you, I decree, every invisible barrier is now destroyed! I decree, you a trailblazer; a prophetic trailblazer, an apostolic trailblazer, a didactic trailblazer, an evangelistic trailblazer, a teaching trailblazer, a natural trailblazer, in the Name of Jesus!

I decree, new territories; new territories–glory–I decree, that the Kingdom, of Heaven, comes! It comes, with force; it comes, with a supernatural anointing! Supernatural God; activate, prophetic destinies, in the Name of Jesus! I close off, the gates, and the doors, to your soul! Eye gate, shut down, to the world; open up, and see the Kingdom! Ear gate, close yourself, and open up, to hear the frequency, of the Spirit! Nose gate, open up! Mouth gate, oh taste and see, the Lord is good!

I anoint, you from the crown, of your head, to the souls of your feet! I decree, channels open; doors open; gates open; in the Name of Jesus! He makes a way, for you! I decree, a shifting; in the Name of Jesus! [pauses, then begins praying in “tongues”] Somebody tell Him, “Yes!” I mean, yes from your heart. You gotta receive it; God I receive it.

Further reading

Endnotes

  1. D. R. McConnell, _A Different Gospel_ (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), 135-142.
  2. Kenneth Copeland, _The Force of Faith_ (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1989), 10.
  3. Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit_ (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1982), 8.
  4. Kenneth Copeland, _The Laws of Prosperity_ (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974), 18-19.
  5.  Kenneth Copeland, _Freedom from Fear_ (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1983), 11.
  6. Ibid., 12.
  7. Kenneth Copeland, _Spirit, Soul and Body I_ (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0601), side 1.
  8. Kenneth Copeland, _Authority of the Believer II_ (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0302), side 1.
  9. Kenneth Copeland, _The Power of the Tongue_ (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1980), 4.
  10. Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit,_ 15; cf. 14.
  11. Ibid., 17.
  12. The Analytical Greek Lexicon_ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970), 419.