I’ve been reading A Different Gospel by D.R. McConnell. The book takes a bold and revealing look at the biblical and historical basis of the Word of Faith movement. The book began as McConnell’s master’s thesis when he was a student at Oral Roberts University. McConnell himself is a Charismatic pastor, so this is an insider’s look at something he finds unbiblical and heretical.
McConnell says that today’s Word of Faith preachers (Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Fred Price, Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, etc.) base their doctrine on the works and teachings of Kenneth Hagin. Hagin based (some say plagiarized) his doctrines on the works of E.W. Kenyon. The real bombshell in the book is that Kenyon based his teachings and beliefs on what he was taught in college, at the hands of teachers who were Gnostics and Christian Scientists. Although Kenyon was sincere, his theology was not biblical from the very beginning.
I personally believe that many of the Word of Faith ministers are sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. In effect, they have changed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to include Gnostic and Christian Science teachings. Paul clearly warns:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”
Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV)
McConnell’s book is not an easy read, but it is imperative that every believer be informed about the Word of Faith message. You can also read a lot about Word of Faith with a simple Google search.