Kenneth E. Hagin, a.k.a. Brother Hagin clearly taught heretical messages. To any clear thinking individual, there is no question about that. His version of faith is very different than that found in Scripture and accepted and established by the church for thousands of years. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for questioning authority, but when authority gives an answer that makes sense, I back down. There is something we can take from tradition. Hagin’s faith teaching is full of error and New Age mysticism wrapped up in Scriptures twisted to fit his interpretation. Much of his theology is quite obviously unscriptural. Therefore, by definition, he was a heretic. But the question of his motives is a different one entirely. No one but God can see into Brother Hagin’s heart or mind and determine his motive for revising the established and accepted definition of faith. (Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.) I, for one, believe he had good intentions. I do not believe he had malicious intent when he started preaching his “faith”. But we all know what paves the road to hell…
It seems apparent to me, having seen and heard Brother Hagin hundreds of times and having sat through his classes at Rhema Bible Training Center, that he sincerely believed that what he was teaching was divine inspiration from God. His faith in his faith message appeared stalwart. But let’s be honest. Brother Hagin was a simple minded, inarticulate man, having no formal education or seminary training. He developed his teachings through his own personal experiences, supposed visitations from Jesus, and from reading (and, by the way, plagiarizing) E.W. Kenyon’s writings. Examining his teachings, “revelations” and “visitations” from Jesus in the light of Scripture finds them severely lacking in Biblical truth, sometimes even explicitly contrary to Scripture! Therefore, we do not have the option of believing he was receiving divine revelation from God. The unforeseen consequences of Brother Hagin’s dissemination of his extra-Biblical “revelations” via radio, TV and print are clearly on display today. Just turn on TBN. Hagin unknowingly created a monster. I believe he realized it late in his life. He wrote a book titled The Midas Touch, where he addressed the excesses and errors in the prosperity message being taught by major Word of Faith ministries. But he was too late. The ministers targeted, Leroy Thompson, Kenneth Copeland and others, refused to listen to their “father of faith”. If the Faith Movement had died with Brother Hagin, maybe there would be little reason to ask these questions. But unfortunately, it is alive and growing rapidly, reaching its tentacles into the furthest corners of the globe. Clearly, the mantle of the Word of Faith Movement has fallen squarely on the shoulders of Kenneth Copeland. Interestingly enough, on a side note, Brother Hagin’s son, Kenneth W. Hagin, Pastor of Rhema Bible Church, does not have the influence, resources, or the audience that Copeland has. Copeland was a self proclaimed disciple of Brother Hagin. Copeland has said that he used to listen to Brother Hagin’s messages over and over so many times with the intention of memorizing them, then he would literally preach them word for word to his own congregation. Copeland now goes even further in misinterpreting and twisting Scriptures and advancing absurd and ridiculous teachings, all under the banner of Jesus is Lord. The question I have is this: Why did Brother Hagin redefine faith, claim to be visited by Jesus, and establish a new sect of Pentecostalism? In essence, why did he do what he did all those years in his”ministry”? In light of the fact that we cannot believe that what he taught was divine revelation from God, we are faced with 3 alternatives.
1) Brother Hagin intentionally made up his “visitations” and “revelations”, and purposely mislead his flock by teaching ear tickling prosperity/health/wealth/name it claim it messages in order to garner a following who would give him loads of money,
2) Brother Hagin was deceived by Satan, listening to a spirit/spirits other than the Holy Spirit, or
3) Brother Hagin had some sort of mental disorder and was delusional, imagining encounters with Jesus, angels and Satan.
I haven’t a clue. God only knows. I have to learn to live with the fact that I may never know.