A Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith Movement
(more commonly known as the Health and Wealth or Prosperity Gospel)
This seminar is a fair, comprehensive, biblical critique of the modern Word of Faith movement. Word of Faith theology (WoF) dominates Christian satellite and cable television and is making alarming inroads into more theologically conservative, evangical churches. This seminar contains dozens of audio and video clips (primarily the latter) of various WoF leaders such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jessie Duplantis, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, etc. incorporated into a PowerPoint format. This format allows people to see and hear for themselves what these individuals are actually teaching. Everything then is, in turn, balanced with Scripture.
Each session is approximately 70 to 75 minutes in length. A Call for Discernment can be structured and scheduled according to the desires of the pastor or conference organizer.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies..”
~ 2 Peter 2:1
“…that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written…”
~ 1 Corinthians 4:6
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
A Call for Discernment is not intended as a personal attack on anyone, it is simply, as the name implies, a call to the church for discernment. It would be easy to make the assumption that this is an anti-charismatic seminar. Such is not the case. When it comes to the fundamental tenets of orthodox Christianity, charismatics are in agreement with me as a Southern Baptist. I am not charismatic, but neither am I anti-charismatic. The Word of Faith Movement, however, does at times denigrate and even deny some of the fundamental, non-negotiable truths of the Christian Faith (as documented in the seminar, especially in Sessions 1 and 2). It may be said that all Word of Faith adherents are charismatic, but not all charismatics are Word of Faith. I have had a number of charismatic pastors to attend my seminars and, to a man, they have found little, if any, with which they would disagree. When it comes to minor, peripheral issues of the faith, we as believers in the Lord Jesus may have differences of opinion and still call one another brother and sister in Christ. When it comes to the fundamentals, however, we must all unite in stalwart defense.
I have presented A Call for Discernment in twenty five states and eight countries thus far to churches of widely varying sizes. Regardless of the size of the church there are always people who will approach me telling me how either they themselves or one of their loved ones has been adversely affected by this movement. It is making alarming inroads even to our Baptist churches. One mother whose son has Muscular Dystrophy recently told me, ‘Justin, ever since my son was diagnosed with M.D., I have blamed myself for his condition because I have been told that if I just had enough faith or if I loved him enough that he would be healed. Now for the first time I realize that his illness is not my fault.’ It is for ladies like her and millions of others that I take the stand that I do.
Not everything that the Word of Faith teachers teach is wrong. Some of it is right. Therein, however, lies the seduction. It is a craftily packaged counterfeit gospel made to look like the real thing. A Call for Discernment is being used by God to bring clarity and understanding to a complicated and confusing issue.
Throughout his years as a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Justin studied at great depth the Word of Faith movement. The thesis he wrote for his Master’s of Theology (Th.M.) degree is entitled An Examination and Critique of the Life, Ministry and Theology of Healing evangelist Benny Hinn.
In addition to his academic research, Justin also has attended numerous Benny Hinn crusades and has been witness first hand to the harm, both physical and spiritual, that the Word of Faith movement inflicts upon so many. As a teenager, Justin himself attended faith-healing services in hopes of being delivered from his Cerebral Palsy. Though the potential was there to shake his faith in the Lord, in the long run, these experiences had the opposite effect. Says Justin:
Some have made the charge against me that I am just bitter about not being healed. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Next to my salvation, my Cerebral Palsy is one of the greatest gifts God has ever allowed me to have. He has used it to keep me dependent upon Him and through it has shown me His “sufficient grace” and “strength made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
In 2004, Justin was featured as an expert witness for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary on Benny Hinn entitled Do You Believe In Miracles
In 2006 Justin was interviewed for the documentary entitled Suffer the Children produced by Trevor Glass. This documentary shows the profound harm, both physical and spiritual, that the Prosperity gospel inflicts upon so many.