I always knew the teachings of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland were un-Biblical and wrong, from the time I first heard about them around 1979-1983, as a young Christian. One of the problems is that other Christians would not believe me when I would point out the heretical things that they would say and teach.
D. R. McConnell wrote a ground breaking book, A Different Gospel, in 1988, where he showed that Kenneth Hagin plagiarized his teachings verbatim from E. W. Kenyon and “New Thought” / “mind over matter” movements. Others like Gordon Fee, Charles Farah, Bruce Baron had warned about the problems with the Prosperity Gospel.
Walter Martin, the founder of Christian Research Institute (CRI) and the original “Bible Answer Man”, and author of the standard text book on Cults, The Kingdom of the Cults, warned about the Word-Faith Movement and Positive Confession/Name it, Claim it theology. I remember when Walter Martin had been talking about this problem on his radio shows in 1987-1989, up until his death. Martin first started warning about the dangers of the “Positive Confession” teachings in 1980.
Then Hank Hanegraaff came out with his book Christianity in Crisis in 1993. I was amazed that even then, people would not believe me when I quoted from it and read from it. [ Unfortunately, several years ago it started coming out that Hank Hanegraaff took over CRI in a very ungodly and questionable way – see Walter Martin’s family and extensive documentation of that whole scandal, and also, many others did all the research for Hank’s books, like Brad Sparks and Bill Alnor, and others.]
Update: I wrote this in 2013; and I was already disillusioned with Hank for the way he took over CRI after Walter Martin’s death.
Unfortunately, in 2017, sometime after I wrote this article, Hank Hanegraaff converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and has repudiated Biblical doctrines like Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide; and this has been very troubling. See articles about Hank Hanegraaff on my side bar. see also here for the first article on that.
I do not have his new book, Christianity in Crisis in the 21st Century. [I have since obtained a copy after I wrote this. (in 2017) I have not read all the details. I am assuming that is a good documentation of other “word of faith” false teachers that were not in the 1993 edition.] I don’t know if it is an updated version of the 1993 book, or all new material. I hope the researchers get credit.
Then Hank, based on all the research of others at CRI, put together a 2 part cassette tape series of these Word-Faith teachers in their own words – recordings from their own sermons. Hank should apologize and give credit to the researchers.
Well, thank God someone has compiled many of these quotes by these heretics on You Tube, since all my cassette players are long gone, either broken by my kids or me, or time and wear and tear years ago, or thrown away after the dominance of CDs and MP3’s and I-Pods. I am glad that it is a compilation of the quotes of the false teachers. It must have taken lots of hours for the researchers at CRI to compile all of this. Thanks to all those researchers who did the hard work, and yet many or all of them were later fired by Hank; or manipulated out. That is shameful. (see the details at the Walter Martin web-site above.)
Listen for yourself to these false teachers spout the most outrageous, heretical, cruel, and goofy things.
Others have also written on the problems of the Word-Faith Theology:
Robert Bowman, The Word-Faith Controversy: Understanding the Health and Wealth Gospel. Baker Books, 2001. Bowman’s book is good; but he is too positive towards the Pentecostal and Charismatic roots of this movement. I want to write more on that later, but I don’t have time right now, except to say, that there is a deep problem with the Pentecostal claim that all physical healing is guaranteed in this life now, or available now in the atonement of Christ, and that all we need to do is have enough faith in order to actualize that healing. When someone is not healed, the tendency of many Charismatic and Pentecostal preachers is to blame the person for not having enough faith – that is cruel. I have seen and known one Pentecostal preacher, who is sincere, but only after trying hard to believe and minister to a couple who the wife is paralyzed in a wheel-chair – like Joni Eareckson Tada- quadriplegic; to finally say something about God’s sovereign will; or say it will come in the future. That whole teaching is unbalanced. Only in heaven will be then get a glorified body and be completely healed. Healing is guaranteed in the atonement, but not in this life. God sometimes heals and many times does not. We still suffer in this world. (Romans 8:17-25) Only in heaven is complete physical healing for believers in Christ – in our glorified bodies (Philippians 3:20-21) Revelation chapter 7:15-17; chapters 21 & 22.
Why not just pray , asking with humility for God to heal, and trust that He can heal; but that if He does not heal us, we must surrender that it is God’s will not to heal us. There is a big difference between believing God is able vs. God will definitely heal me if I just believe hard enough. Asking is right; demanding or “claiming” is wrong. Prayer is asking with humility and surrender like Jesus modeled: ” . . . yet Not My will, but Thy will be done.” Luke 22:42
David W. Jones and Russell S. Woodbridge, Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? Kregel, 2011. (This one is very good as it offers positive chapters on what the Bible does teach about wealth, health, and suffering, with the necessary chapters of quotations of the word-faith heretics.
Because of the problems with Hank Hanegraaff and the sinful way he has operated CRI since Walter Martin died, I recommend Justin Peters and others as more credible on these issues. Justin Peters discusses problems with the Word of Faith movement. Justin Peters has an excellent ministry and his DVD, “A Call for Discernment” (now updated and renamed, “Clouds without Water”) is a comprehensive exposure of the whole Word of Faith Movement.