There are people who claim to be Christians and preach the Gospel of Christ who are liars. I know that’s no surprise to anyone. The sad part is that there are Christians who are immature in their faith and don’t know the scriptures who are lead astray by these charlatans. In fact, I spoke to a man this evening that professes Christ but is shacked up with his fiancé’. When I asked him what his pastor thought, he said “He’s ok with it”. I was dumbfounded so I called the pastor and asked him and he confirmed that he didn’t think it was sinful and would not call them to repent. This sort of rejection of biblical truth by Christians creates a fertile ground for heresy to grow. Christians are deceived and led astray by false teachers today just as they have been for years. Hank Hanegraaff in his book Christianity in Crisis-21st Century gives a great overview of the sorts of theological heresies found in the Word of Faith movement and should be a must read for all Christians.
First of all, as Henegraaff points out, I would like to add that the book is not a refutation of the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement. I personally do not agree with those of that theological tradition but the theological heresy addressed by the book is the Word of Faith movement. In the book, Henegraaff details the errors of the movement. He begins by describing their recreation of God as being less than omnipotent and sovereign. In fact, God is subject to our demands and whims when we speak using “words of faith” much as a waiter in a restaurant saying “May I take your order, sir.” He outlines their theology of redemption that teaches Christ suffered in Hell as payment for sin in contrast to what the Bible teaches. Henegraaff goes on to explain their theological gymnastics regarding health and wealth for all believers. He provides ample scriptural exegesis to refute the false claims of the false teachers and clearly explains why believers should reject their goofy theology.
Also, Henegraaf profiles the men and women who peddle these destructive doctrines. He includes men as far back as “Papa” Haggin all the way through Todd “Kick you in the face” Bently. Seeing the men and women behind these demonic doctrines helps drive home the point to the reader that these people and those like them are to be avoided like the plague. He also goes on to trace the roots of the word of faith theology and explain the impact it had on the teachers who teach it.
In short, I highly recommend this book. If you know someone, as I do, who is caught up in this nonsense I would recommend reading it and passing it along. If you don’t know much about this brand of false teaching, I recommend this book as an excellent resource of information to educate yourself. We need to not only know the truth but be familiar with the lies of the enemy so that we effectively contend for the faith.