Here's an email I just received from a well-meaning, but very confused man; he didn't write this to ask my opinion or start a conversation-he wrote this to correct me. Specifically, he wanted to correct my recent article The Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards-Let It Fall and Be Free. I decided to respond to his false "Word of Faith" doctrine in this article, because I hope it will be helpful for people who are trying to think through these issues. This man's words are in bold and my comments are in italics and in parenthesis:
While you likely meant well with your post titled the "Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards", you are actually doing more harm than good. While there are many excesses and problems in the charismatic church, there is an underlying spiritual reality that they have built these ministries upon (this is simply a gigantic assertion; this "underlying spiritual reality" is never defined or proven from Scripture). Think about how Satan operates - he takes something good that God has created and provided and corrupts it and distorts it so that it no longer functions properly. In doing so, Satan is then able to discredit God's original working or plan or intention and seed the sin of unbelief in its place (so these charismatics are almost completely smothered in the lies of Satan, but they also have great power against Satan?). By going along with the lie that there is so much smoke in the church and no real fire, you are promoting the anti-christ agenda (No, I'm pointing people back to Christ and Him crucified for our sins, as opposed to the confusing charismatic world that is largely incapable of fending off imposters and frauds and is often guilty of ignoring Christ and Him crucified for our sins.).
It is really hard to separate the false from the true, and in fact without the Holy Spirit's guidance and the Bible as a spiritual mirror it is impossible (Actually, it's not that hard, charismatics make it hard by constantly adding new revelation that competes with God's Word. They love their personal revelation and signs and wonders so much that simple Bible study is neglected, or the Bible gets misinterpreted in order to confirm their false teachings.). Take 'word of faith' doctrine as one example. Word of faith teaches that God created the universe by speaking it into existence, and He created us in His image and likeness. Given that Jesus received all authority in heaven and on earth from the Father and made us joint heirs with Him, we also have access to that same power (That's just another ridiculous assertion. Let's use that same deeply flawed logic in a similar way: "Given that Jesus received all authority in heaven and on earth from the Father and made us joint heirs with Him, we also have the ability to raise ourselves from the dead." or: "..we also have the ability to throw ourselves down from the pinnacle of the temple so the angels can catch us."). If you study the relevant Scriptures (Chapter and verse, please..), you will find that this is unrestricted power and authority (Really? UNRESTRICTED POWER AND AUTHORITY?? Why didn't Jesus or any of the Apostles tell us about our ability to speak things into existence with our unrestricted power and authority?). Now if you stumble over the sin of unbelief by refusing to believe what the Bible says this regard, you will not be able to activate your faith so as to speak and receive from the Father (Why are you bothering to write this email? Why argue your point using thoughts and words? Why are you not using your UNLIMITED POWER AND AUTHORITY to declare whatever it is you want to come true? You should just "declare that Steven Kozar will remove his article from the internet because it is causing unbelief!" Don't you have enough faith?)
While it is true that many teachers have abused this spiritual truth (What "spiritual truth?" The spiritual truth of casting spells with our unlimited power & authority?) by pandering to baser human nature while teaching this, that abuse does not invalidate the teachings found in Scripture (except that they are not found in Scripture). However, if we fall into unbelief on account of that abuse then that biblical truth is nullified and can have no power in our lives. See Psalms 78:41 and following verses for context and Hebrews 3 for further Biblical discussion of this concept. (These verses have NOTHING to do with Word of Faith doctrine or how we must activate our faith so we can have unlimited power & authority. These verses are about becoming disobedient and having a hardened heart. Wait a minute-is that supposed to be for me?!)
(I didn't include his name)
“For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”
— 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12
For further reading on this topic:
Steven Kozar started The Messed Up Church; he is an artist, musician, blogger and stuff.