From two articles on the Word-Faith Movement
AUTHOR: Martin, Walter/ Bowman, Robert M. Jr.
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003

Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute.
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Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 500, San Juan Capistrano,
CA 92693.
“Growing Dangers in the Positive Confession Faith Teachings”
(an article from the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 1:
Number 3, 1988, page 3) by Walter Martin.

    The editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron

From the FROM THE DIRECTOR column:

    In 1980, on a cassette entitled _The Errors of Positive
Confession,_ and in subsequent tapes, which have been widely
distributed nationally and internationally, I warned that the
teachings of Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Earl Paulk, Charles
Capps, and others of the so-called “faith teachers” were a
perversion of biblical theology and could only lead to deeper
heretical doctrines.

    Since that time the doctrines of the born-again-Jesus and of
Christians being “little gods” have evolved from the original
positive confession teachings. Christians are now being told that
Jesus Christ not only needed to die on the cross for their sins
but also suffered in hell for them, and then needed to be born
again in order to become their Savior! People have been misled
into believing that men are little gods since they were made in
the image and likeness of God and are to “take dominion” over the
earth because of their godhood.

    It is an unchanging law that heresy begets heresy and error
begets error when men depart from the objective authority of the

    This does not at all necessarily mean that individuals who
fall into these errors are unbelievers. It need only mean that
they are ignorant or sincerely mistaken. But those who refuse to
repent of their heresies when shown the error of their ways must
be classified as false teachers in the biblical sense.

    Certainly, we at CRI are all for faith healing in its proper
biblical sense. But to teach people that their faith is sovereign
over the sovereignty of God is a gross perversion of the Bible. 
It is God who is on the throne of the universe, not the faith of
His creatures. We are informed in 1 John 5:14 that if we ask
anything _in accordance with His will_ He hears us. It is
axiomatic that if it is not in accordance with His will, He will
not grant our petition no matter how sincerely we ask or how
great the magnitude of our faith.

    The faith movement has proven itself to be a divisive force
splitting churches, dividing families, and leaving a trail of
broken spirits and bodies belonging to those who believed that
all they had to do was confess with their mouth and God was
obligated to obediently perform. The God of the Bible is not some
divine bellhop who jumps at the exercise of our faith. He is the
sovereign Lord who works all things after the counsel of His own
will (Eph. 1:11), and, when it pleases Him, graciously takes into
account the faith of His children.

    The so-called positive confession movement has done a great
disservice to the body of Christ by paving the way for the errors
of the born-again Jesus, the “little gods,” and the dominion
theology doctrines. In the end these things will come to nothing,
because, as the Lord has reminded us, “Before Me there was no God
formed, neither shall there be after Me….I am the first and I
am the last, and apart from Me there is no God” (Isa. 43:10,

    The Lord Jesus Christ died once for all, offering one
sacrifice for sin forever. Nowhere does the Bible teach that He
ever suffered in hell or that men may become gods. This is Mormon
theology, cultic theology, and Christians should beware when they
hear it. This theology divides and does not unite the body of
Christ, and must be avoided at all costs (Rom 16:17; Tit 3:9-11).

Because the following text was right at hand when I prepared the
above material — and because it was so brief — I felt that it
should be included in the same file.  Please note that the
material below is from an out-of-print booklet CRI used to sell
and is no longer available.

                    (partial text)

1st Edition, Copyright March 1991, Christian Research Institute
by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

    Much of the mail which Christian Research Institute receives
concerns the teaching known variously as “positive confession,”
the “faith” (or “Word-Faith”) teaching, and the “prosperity”
doctrine. Some of the best-known American televangelists
subscribe either partly or wholly to this teaching. Its chief
representatives today seem to be Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin,
Fred Price, Robert Tilton, and Benny Hinn, though there are many
other evangelists, teachers, and writers promoting the teaching.

    It is our considered opinion that this teaching, at least in
its complete form as expressed by the above men, is at best
extremely aberrational and at worse heretical. (We use the term
“aberrational” to refer to teaching which is decidedly unbiblical
and damaging to authentic Christian faith, but which is not quite
so heretical that its adherents must be considered
non-Christians.) CRI has attempted to meet with these men and
dialogue with them concerning their teachings, but most of them
have refused. We were able, however, to meet with some of them
and discuss a few of our concerns. We are continuing our efforts
to engage these men in dialogue.

      In brief, the teachings of these men may be summarized as
follows: God created man in “God’s class” (or, as “little gods”),
with the potential to exercise the “God kind of faith” in calling
things into existence and living in prosperity and success as
sovereign beings. We forfeited this opportunity, however, by
rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves
Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a
man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature),
went to Hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s
nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the
Incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling
their calling to be little gods. Since we are called to
experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in
every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as
is often taught) be left by one’s spouse, and not to have these
problems solved  by “claiming” God’s promises, shows a lack of
faith.  While certain aspects of the above doctrine may vary from
teacher to teacher, the general outline remains the same in each

End of document, CRN0003A.TXT (original CRI file name),
“Growing Dangers in the Positive Confession Faith Teachings”
release A, March 9, 1993
R. Poll, CRI
(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in
the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)

The Christian Research Institute (CRI) — founded in 1960 by the
late Dr. Walter R. Martin — is a clearing house for current, in-
depth information on new religious movements and aberrant
Christian teachings.  We provide well-reasoned, carefully-
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