Posted by: adamgkrause | June 4, 2009

Cultic Qualities of the Word of Faith Movement

Qualities of the Word of Faith Movement


Here is an outline analysis of qualities exhibited by the Word of Faith Movement as a whole, which began with Kenneth E. Hagin and his Rhema Bible Training Center and are now being carried on by his son, Kenneth W. Hagin (Kenneth Hagin Jr.), Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Joel Osteen, Jesse Duplantis, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar, Jerry Seville, Leroy Thompson, Mike Murdock, Todd Bently, etc. and many more lesser known preachers on a smaller scale. Of course, not all ministries and churches exhibit every one of the following qualities, but the movement as a whole has and continues to demonstrate many of these qualities. If you attend a Word of Faith or a Rhema affiliated church, carefully compare the following outline with your church, and see how many of these your church demonstrates.
 
  1. Generally, a Word of Faith church or ministry is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person or a set of new ideas.
    1. New Teaching – has a new theology and doctrine.
    2. Only True Teaching – often considers traditional religious systems to be apostate and it alone possesses the complete truth.
    3. Strong Leadership – often an individual or small but powerful leadership group holds control of the group’s teachings and practices.
    4. Asset Acquirement – often requires tithing.
    5. Isolationist – to facilitate control over the members physically, intellectually, financially, and emotionally. This is rare.
    6. Controlling – exercises control over the members. Sometimes through indoctrination.
    7. Indoctrination – possesses methods to reinforce the group’s beliefs and standards where opposing views are ridiculed and often misrepresented.
    8. Apocalyptic – to give the members a future focus and philosophical purpose in avoiding the apocalypse or being delivered through it.
    9. Experience – various practices including meditation, repetition of words and/or phrases, speaking in tongues for extended periods of time, and ‘spiritual’ enlightenment with God are used as confirmation of their truth.
      1. Depravation – sleep and food deprivation which weakens the will of the person. This is uncommon, though practiced by a few.
    10. Persecution – predictions of being persecuted, often combined with claiming any opposing views demonstrated against them as a form of persecution.
  2. Many have non-verifiable belief systems;
    1. For example, they would teach something that cannot be verified.
      1. That God, or angel appeared to the leader and gave him a revelation.
      2. The members are seeded angels from another world, etc.
    2. Often, the philosophy makes sense only if you adopt the full set of values and definitions that it teaches.
      1. With this kind of belief, truth becomes unverifiable, internalized, and easily manipulated through the philosophical systems of its inventor.
  3. The Leader of a Word of Faith Church or Minsitry
    1. Often charismatic and is considered very special for varying reasons:
      1. The leader has received special revelation from God.
      2. The leader claims to be a special messenger.
      3. The leader claims to be appointed by God for a mission.
      4. The leader claims to have special abilities or anointing from God.
    2. The leader is often above reproach and is not to be denied, questioned or contradicted.
  4. Group ethos
    1. Usually seeks to do good works.
    2. They are usually moral and possess a good standard of ethical teaching.
    3. The Bible is used.
      1. The Bible, when used, is many times distorted with private interpretations.
    1. Many Word of Faith ministries believe in Jesus as one of their own and redefine him accordingly.

These qualities are not only displayed by many Word of Faith churches and ministries, they are the very qualities that define a cult. Yes, a cult. Unfortunately, according to this outline, I can easily put the Word of Faith Movement, Rhema Bible Church, Rhema Bible Training Center and a good majority of the churches and ministries it has spawned under the heading “CULT”. This anaylitical outline of a cult is found HERE. Over the next few weeks, I hope to expound on these qualities one by one to demonstrate exactly how Word of Faith and Rhema in particular correlate with this list.

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