Faith Healing

Faith Healing

 - Redefining God?

Faith Healing: The Roots of the Word-faith Movement
Faith healing is the principle focus of the "word-faith" movement. Examining the roots of any Christian movement is critical to understanding its theological teachings. The birth of the word-faith movement took place in the mid 1800's. Phineas Quimby (1802-1866) developed a method of natural healing, which involved techniques of hypnotism and magnetism. He emphasized the role of the human mind in achieving bodily health. Quimby felt that the key to healing lay in the confidence of the healer in the patient's recovery, and in the confidence that the patient has in the healer's ability. Interestingly enough, he mentored Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy founded the Christian Scientists, a cult that has a membership somewhere in the range of 150,000 to 250,000. The Scientists also have 2,000 churches in sixty countries (The church does not release official membership statistics). This line of teaching also influenced the late Kenneth Hagin, considered the father of the modern day word-faith movement.

Faith Healing: Redefining the Attributes of God?
There are various names associated with faith healing and the word-faith movement, such as "name it and claim it" and the "positive confession." Many word-faith leaders have written books under these alternate names. The underlying theology is generally the same: we create our own realities by what we say, by speaking "power" into our words spoken through faith in God.

Here are a number of quotes from various leaders in the word faith movement. We think it's important to test these teachings as a whole...

"You don't have a god in you, you are one."(Kenneth Copeland, "The Force Of Love", audiotape #02-0028, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987.)

"I say this with all respect so that it don't upset you too bad, but I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, 'I Am,' I just smile and say, 'Yes, I Am, too!'"(Kenneth Copeland, "Believer's Voice of Victory", broadcast on TBN, recorded July 9, 1987.)

"I am a 'little messiah' walking on earth." (Benny Hinn, "Praise-a-thon Program" on TBN, broadcast November 6, 1990.)

"God's on the outside looking in. He doesn't have any legal entree into the earth. The thing don't belong to Him. You see how sassy the Devil was in the presence of God in the book of Job? God said, Where have you been? Wasn't any of God's business. He (Satan) didn't even have to answer if he didn't want to...God didn't argue with him a bit! You see, this is the position that God's been in…Might say, 'Well, if God's running things He's doing a lousy job of it.' He hadn't been running 'em, except when He's just got, you know, a little bit of a chance."(Kenneth Copeland, "Image of God in You III," audiotape #01-1403, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989.)

"And let me add this: Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He would have sinned. That's right, it was the Holy Spirit that was the power that kept Him pure. He was not only sent from heaven, but He was called the Son of Man-and as such He was capable of sinning…Without the Holy Ghost, Jesus would have never have made it…Can you imagine Christ headed for the grave, knowing He would remain there forever, if the Holy Ghost would change His mind about raising Him from the dead?"Benny Hinn, Good Morning, Holy Spirit, Thomas Nelson, 1990, 135-36.)

"Somewhere between the time He (Jesus) was nailed to the cross and when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane-somewhere in there-he died spiritually. Personally, I believe it was while He was in the garden."(Frederick K. C. Price, "Identification #3," Tape #FP545, Ever Increasing Faith Ministries, 1980.)

Faith Healing: Creating God in Another Image?
After reading these selected quotes from leaders in the faith healing movement, we must review biblical scripture and make sure that these teachings mesh with biblical doctrine. The Bible tells us a great deal about the character and attributes of God. Since Jesus Christ is also God, He has the same attributes and character. The Hebrew and Greek names of God in the Old and New Testaments define the nature and character of the Almighty. His names, nature and character are forever unchanging. We must be careful as teachers to avoid redefining or re-creating God in another image.

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