Viral Threats to Religious Liberty (Part 3 of 3) By Col. Tim Moore Judge a…
False Teachings on Faith
By Dave Hunt
We each shrink from pointing the corrective finger at anyone, yet each of us is responsible to check out today’s teachers against the Bible, just as the Bereans did with Paul. Critics often demand, “By what authority do you question the teaching of Christian leaders?” My standard response is, “I’m just a Berean, and so are you, so test what I teach by Scripture also.”
The failure of Christians to know the Bible, to think for themselves and to do their Berean duty allows church leaders to continue to lead millions astray. That is no light matter and should concern us all enough to do something about it. No one can excuse himself for going along with false doctrine and practices or for remaining silent when others are being misled!
Several people have forwarded to me copies of a Kenneth Copeland letter that is a blatant example of what every Christian ought to reject and reprove. Enclosing a photo of himself standing in front of his “prayer cabin” in the Ozarks, Copeland writes, “There will be moments during those three days and nights [at the cabin] when the anointing on me will be greater than any need you have.” Setting himself up as a channel of “the miracle power of God flowing through me,” he instructed recipients of the letter to do three “very important” things to get their “miracle”:
As you visualize yourself there with me, remember there is no time nor distance in the realm of the spirit. Fill in and return to me the ‘Covenant of Agreement’ prayer form. I want it right beside me so that every time those special moments of anointing come I can touch you by touching our Covenant Agreement. The very moment your letter leaves your hand to be mailed back to me say with your mouth (out loud)”Lord Jesus, my miracle has started! It’s working for me now!”
This three-part ritual was presented as the technique that would assure “you will have what we say.” It is sad enough that naive Christians are being led into attempting to manipulate God through white magic, but they are also being relieved of their money and enticed into covetousness by the unbiblical promise that “planting money” guarantees a harvest of money in return. There is one guaranteed winner: the person enticing you with the seed-faith promise, in this case Kenneth Copeland.
He makes clear that giving him a seed-faith offering is an essential part of the ritual: “I want you to remember…your “Covenant Agreement” letter is not the only thing that will be in your envelope when you release your faith words. Your seed-faith offering will also be in your envelope.” Describing his ministry as “good soil,” Copeland invokes visualization again: “As you enclose your seed-faith offering in the envelope see your harvest coming up!” (Copeland’s emphasis for all quotes)
On TBN February 5, 1986, with co-hosts Paul and Jan Crouch giving enthusiastic approval, Copeland explained that Galatians 6:7 means that when you give money to a ministry, if you don’t expect to reap a harvest of money you are mocking God! And in her book, Gloria Copeland declares that Mark 10:30 guarantees that for every $1 you give you receive $100, which she says is a very good deal.
It sounds like a slot machine in the sky, a guaranteed way to buy a miracle and at a bargain price! There is nothing mysterious about how it works, however; the money doesn’t drop from the sky into the ministries of Hagin, Copeland, Roberts, et al. It is given to them by their supporters, who unfortunately don’t have a list of donors to entice into giving them seed-faith offerings, which is the only seed-faith that works! Of course we ought to give to ministries that will use the funds for God’s purposes, but it is not biblical to “give to get.” Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that even if we give all we have to feed the poor and our bodies to be burned and are not motivated by love (love expects nothing in return) it is not accepted by God.
How did this pagan idea get into the church? It was invented by Oral Roberts “in the early fifties,” as he explains in his book The Miracle of Seed-Faith (p 6). The “faith teachers” who use this same money-raising technique learned it from him. There is no way it can be derived from Scripture. In Matthew 13 the seed represents the Word of God, the soil is the heart of those who receive it, and the sower is Christ. In variations of this central parable, the seed represents Christians, the soil is the world and again the sower is God himself. Never is there a hint that “seed” is money or that God blesses those who give to get.
Yet millions of Christians go along with this and other unbiblical schemes, hoping to reap a reward in this world, which, if they did, would rob them of an eternal reward. In direct reproof of this false interpretation, Galatians 6:8 goes on to say, “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
Every Christian ought to firmly oppose false teachings whether they come from Kenneth Copeland or Dave Hunt or anyone else. To fail to do so is not only an encouragement of false teachers but a failure to warn those who are deceived by them. TBC