Friday, September 02, 2011

The Capped Idol of Copeland-Hagin, Part 3: The Idol and The Image

This is the third part in a series on a great heresy that has permeated the thought processes of too many Christians. Part 1 provides the basics in a chat I had with a friend, whom I’m calling “Bobbi Sue.” Part 2 starts dealing with some of the belief system involved. In there I refer to something I’ve chosen to call “Faith™” … the little “trademark” symbol is there to represent what they refer to as “faith,” as opposed to the more common definitions of the term, including the Bible.

So what is faith? References to faith occur throughout the Bible. We are saved by grace through faith that doesn’t even come from us, so that we cannot even brag about that (Ephesians 2:8). Faith allows us to persevere, assured that what we do not see right now or that we hope will happen will be there, if not something even better (Hebrews 10:32-12:2). Faith gave courage to those who were in dire straits in the world — those who were poor, literally beaten down, and without any earthly hope (Hebrews 11:32-40). Faith even gave people like Moses the courage to go against the “good life” of being a Prince of Egypt to do what God had called him to do (Hebrews 11:23-27)!

So what is Faith™? I almost wish I still had some of Charles Capps’ books handy, so I could cite passages to you that should make you fear for his very soul. Faith™ is the creative power “activated” by our rhema (see Part 2 for more details) — our actual spoken words, which I’m calling the Word™. Faith™ does what we command, if we believe without any doubt! Faith™ permits no questioning of its existence, its abilities, or its availability. Faith™ is within all of us, and it is our “responsibility” to bring it to life and effect those changes we are told are necessary to be made on this planet. Faith™ requires our spoken word to work, and it requires a complete absence of doubt! If what we speak does not come to pass, then our Faith™ was inadequate. (How that fits in with Deuteronomy 18:20-22 is, it seems, another story.) Faith™ doesn’t fail; we fail with our lack of Faith™.

Perhaps the most chilling part of the whole discussion, to me, was when Capps started discussing Genesis 1’s account of creation. As I mentioned in the previous part of this series, God used His spoken word to create the universe. Capps goes way out on a limb by saying that “God used His Faith™ to bring the universe into existence!” What does this say to you?

This says to me that God is not all-powerful! It says that God had to use a power limited in its powerfulness by the “spoken word” to do something He apparently could not do on his own!

The bigger connection, though, comes with a wild interpretation of Genesis 1:26-27. There it refers to God making “man” (“male and female” “man,” so don’t freak out, ladies) “in his [God’s] own image.” The exact meaning of this phrase has been a bone of contention for centuries. The bottom line, though, is that the Word™ of Faith™ teachers claim this means that mankind has exactly the same power as God! We were created “in His image,” therefore we must be so much like Him that we can do everything He can.

This means, according to these teachers, that each one of us can use our Faith™ to bring things into existence, to “speak [into existence] that which is not [in existence]!” It also means that, since we have sinned, we can also speak negative things, such as illness or decay or death, into existence!

In other words, we are effectively “little gods!”

In summary, then, these false teachers inform us that God is subservient to His portion of power known as Faith™, which He used to create everything in the universe. This brings God down from His topmost point. Since we are made in the “image of God,” we can do all this, too. This brings us up to the level of God.

Does anyone else see any problem here?

As we continue in this series, I intend to show just what true faith is, why we don’t have the power of God, and where our place is in God’s kingdom. That’s a tall order, but that’s what I sense God calling me to do in this series. I ask you to pray for me as I continue writing.

Let me end this with the same question I’ve posed before: if you don’t accept that Faith™ is what it’s claimed to be, how do you discuss this with those who believe otherwise? Have you had any successes in showing people the error? I’ve tried to include an additional question for those who subscribe to the Word of Faith or Positive Confession movement, but this time I honestly can’t think of one other than: how can you honestly think that usurping God’s rule comes from any place other than Hell?

For Part 4, click here.
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