Can You Be An Evangelical Christian And Deny God?
by Ken Silva
On Slice Of Laodicea Ingrid Schlueter said ” “ “This writer believes that ‘in-house’ differences with Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Joel Osteen and company shouldn’t be addressed in the church. He says that Christians need to stop tearing down other Christians because everyone is doing a good job for the body of Christ. It makes one wonder just how bad the teaching has to get for this man before he would get concerned. Throw out the doctrine of the Trinity? Not a problem. Throw out the substitutionary atonement and repentance? Not a problem. Toss justification by faith alone in the merits of Christ? Not a problem. Claim that God wants you rich and anything less is your own lack of faith? Not a problem. Rip off millions of unsuspecting pensioners by telling them that by donating to a ministry, God will pay them back with whatever they want? Not a problem. Let’s all grab hands and sing. Maybe a group hug is in order. There are some Mormons down the block who really love Jesus. What do you say we let them in on the hug?”
Can’t We All Just Get Along?The writer Schlueter is referring to is Jeff M. Adams and his article “Love For One Another” An Editorial on Division in The Body of Christ. This “Christian” commentator shares the usual pap regurgitated by those weak-willed souls who have capitulated to the relativism of our inclusive and tolerant society. As I’ve shared before, Americans are tolerant of religions” “every one but Christianity. So here’s the ever familiar basic premise Adams set forth:
All I can say is: as Christians, PLEASE remember to have (and SHOW) LOVE for one another.
John 13:35 tells us that: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Now, I take that to mean we ought to use our actions and words to BUILD UP the body of Christ, rather than DIVIDE or TEAR DOWN the brethren with accusations and criticisms. But I sadly seem to be, in that respect, more and more in the minority of late. (http://www.saworship.com/article-page.php? Page=men.php&ID=2209&ArticleType=men, caps in original)
However, the question then becomes: “Can You Be An Evangelical Christian And Deny God?” This is not designed to be an exhaustive treatise of the Word Faith Movement (WFM), but what must first be understood here is the basic belief system of the infamous aforementioned bunch ” “ Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Joel Osteen ” “ all associated with the WFM. Unfortunately there isn’t much I agree with Hank Hanegraaff about anymore, but he is correct here:
[WFM is] a deadly cancer that is ravaging the body of Christ. Unless this cancer is halted now, the consequences for Christianity will be catastrophic. Influential teachers are utilizing the airwaves as well as scores of books, tapes and magazines to distort the biblical concept of the Creator and promote antibiblical doctrines that boggle the mind. The result is nothing less than a subversion of the historic Christian faith (Christianity In Crisis, back cover).
So we are now left with a dilemma; wishy-washy so-called Christians like Adams tell us we should sit by as these travesties to the faith of our Lord such as the purpose driven life juggernaut, the Emergent Church and the insidious cult of the WFM roll on crushing thousands under its out of control wheels, but Holy Scripture tells us to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3, NKJV)
As a matter of fact, if you look at this verse carefully, you will see that the Lord’s half-brother Jude (how awesome must that have been!) appears to have wanted to write a letter with similar motives as Adams suggests, but couldn’t due to the foolishness being taught by the false teachers in his own day. Look closely at what the Holy Spirit actually says through His Apostle Jude: Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Here is a concise bit of insight from Clete Hux into the WFM that was labeled as a cult by the foremost authority on non-Christian religions having their origin in the United States, the late Dr. Walter Martin:
As a movement rather than an organized group, there is no founder or founding date, per se. The philosophical roots extend to Gnosticism. E.W. Kenyon (1860-1948) was perhaps the earliest modern exponent to blend the movement’s eastern mystical and New Age elements with Christian teaching (http://www.watchman.org/profile/wordpro.htm, emphasis added).
This following is from my article “Apprising Joel Osteen’s Word Faith Teachings” to which the interested reader is referred for further background. In his book Christianity In Crisis, Hanegraaff goes on to say:
in the cultic theology of the Faith movement” ¦ God is nothing but a “faith being” and man is deemed to be sovereign. God is portrayed as a pathetic puppet at the beck and call of His creation. The faith god has height and weight; he is called a failure; he is bound by the laws of the spirit world and is dependent on the force of faith. This god is impotent rather than omnipotent, limited rather than infinite and omniscient (p.87).
Kenneth Copeland is arguably the head guru of WFM, though he is without a doubt the most influential of all current W/F teachers. According to the Internet website Apologetics Index:
Copeland is responsible for spreading many of the Faith movement’s unbiblical teachings. He distorts the biblical concepts of faith and covenant. He reduces God to the image of man while elevating man to the status of God. He lowers Jesus to being a product of positive confession who took on a satanic nature at the cross. And he promotes the occult practice of creative visualization.
Copeland’s errors are largely due to his negative stance on reasoning, his poor handling of the Bible, his aversion toward theology, and his bias against tradition (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/c53.html).
Cult Leader Copeland Says God Is A Big ManAmazingly reminiscent of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, Kenneth Copeland is on record as saying God is a creature much like us. Oh, and where do you suppose he might have gotten this idea from ” “ and you will be like God(Satan; as recorded in Genesis 3:5). In his fine article Return Of The God/Men, Christian apologist Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries shows us just some of the lunacy taught by Copeland:
Copeland speaking of Adam “his body and Adams were the exactly the same size.” (Holy bible K. Copeland Reference edition p.45)
K. Copeland speaking of God ” A being that stands somewhere around 6-2 , 6-3 that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds or a little better, has a span of 9 inches across (relating to his own hand span) (Spirit, soul and a Body 1985 audio # 01-0601 side 1Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body 1, 1985. ) (http://www.letusreason.org/Wf17.htm)
Now let’s contrast this with what the Creator God Himself in human form” “Christ Jesus of Nazareth” “taught us about the Father ” “ God is spirit (John4:24), and further the master informed us ” “ “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost (pneuma, spirit) does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39) So you immediately see the problem; we can either believe Kenneth Copeland, or we can believe God the Son” “Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They are diametrically opposed on this issue, and cannot both be right.More Denials Of God By “Christians” T.D. Jakes was listed number 13 among Time’s infamous top 25 Evangelicals and billed as “The Penetecostal Media Mogul.” And while it is true that Jakes is indeed a Pentecostal all right, he is a “Oneness Pentecostal,” and part of an heretical sect which actually denies the doctrine of the Holy Trinity! Jakes himself says:
While I mix with Christians from a broad range of theological perspectives, I speak only for my personal faith and convictions. I am not a theologian, and I avoid quoting even theologians who agree with me. To defend my beliefs, I go directly to the Bible.
My views on the Godhead are from 1 John 5:7-8, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (NKJV)
I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions” ”so separate that each has individual attributes, yet are one. I do not believe in three Gods (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/108/13.0.html, emphasis added).
It’s little wonder why Jakes avoids quoting “even theologians who agree with” him because those of us who study Comparative Religion will immediately recognize the modalism contained in the vague explanation of his beliefs. Space doesn’t allow a thorough critique of this heretical view, but it is a doctrine which the historic orthodox Christian Church labeled “Sabellianism,” and excommunicated the man named Sabellius who taught it.However the doctrine of the Holy Trinity states that rather than God being one Person having three “distinct and separate functions” (i.e. modes), putting it as succinctly as possible, we state as such that the correct doctrine about the one true and living God of the Bible is that:
In all the universe there is but one God; Who created that universe ex nihilo, which means “out of nothing.” Within the nature of this one God there exists three distinct co-equal and co-eternal cognizant egos, or Persons: God the Father, God the Son” “Who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and God the Holy Spirit. And these three Persons are that one God (see” “ Keeping You Apprised Of: The Holy Trinity).
But can you be an Evangelical Christian and deny Who God is?Or how about Joyce Meyer; another notable among Time’s infamous top 25 Evangelicals, at number 18, who is allegedly “A Feminine Side of Evangelism,” Meyer adheres to the WFM cult headed by Kenneth Copeland as well and also teaches the atrociously abhorrent Jesus was “born again in Hell” doctrine. As I have previously pointed out, in their excellent article “Doctrinal Ambiguity Of A Wandering Star” on the very ebullient Joyce Meyer, another of the more prominent ear-tickling man-pleasers, G. Richard Fisher and Paul R. Belli of Personal Freedom Outreach inform us:
Meyer can be classified as a Word-Faith teacher and as such has shown an inclination to waffle on major doctrines. In her 1991 booklet, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, an evangelistic work aimed at nonbelievers, she resounds the Word-Faith view of Christ’s atonement:
“During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there … no plan was too extreme … Jesus paid on the cross and in hell” (pg. 35, emphasis added).
“God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, ” ˜Let Him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus … He was resurrected from the dead ” ” the first born-again man” (pg. 36, emphasis added).
The pathetic fact is that T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen, the human smiley face, are all firmly entrenched in the Word Faith Movement, which has at its rotten core this tenet of the “born-again” Jesus. A vile and pernicious doctrine of “Evangelicalism” that clearly denies the all-sufficient substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross and teaches that Satan and his demons tormented Jesus for three days in Hell before our Lord finally finished the work of salvation and was Himself “born-again.”
However, here is what Christ Jesus Himself said, as recorded by the eyewitness John while he stood next to Him at the cross, and keep in mind what he writes is inspired by God the Holy Spirit ” “ When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30). And once again we are left with our familiar dilemma, God says that the Savior finished His work on the cross, and those who teach within the WFM say Christ had to go to Hell and then be humiliated by Satan. Think for a moment, knowing that the Bible tells us that the Devil desires to be worshipped, have you a guess where this doctrine might have originally been hatched?Can You Be An Evangelical Christian And Deny God?Reading the above from these false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing this passage of Scripture comes to mind:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep (2 Peter 2:1-3, NASB).
Today’s backward man-centered seeker sensitive counterfeit Christianity is way too concerned with the love of self to even realize what Christ actually means when He says that the greatest Commandment is to ” “ And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength (Mark 12:30, KJV). Well let me clear up the mystery; our Lord means that our fierce love for God Himself and God’s glory and God’s honor come before anything to the true Christian. This comes before even our own lives because we are dead to this world but alive in Christ.However, in a tragic misplaced desire to win more converts” “no matter how much ill-repute we bring to the mighty Name of Christ” “today we will do anything; anything that is, except stand for the Truth. A.W. Tozer could see it:
The crowds-at-any-price mania has taken a firm grip on American Christianity and is the motivating power back of a shockingly high percentage of all religious activity… Our constant effort should be to reach as many persons as possible with the Christian message, and for that reason numbers are critically important. But our first responsibility is not to make converts but to uphold the honor of God in a world given over to the glory of fallen man. No matter how many persons we touch with the gospel we have failed unless, along with the message of invitaiton, we have boldly declared the exceeding sinfulness of man and the transcendent holiness of the Most High God. They who degrade or compormise the truth in order to reach larger numbers, dishonor God and deeply injure the souls of men.
The temptation to modify the teachings of Christ with the hope that larger numbers may “accept” Him is cruelly strong in this day of speed, size, noise and crowds. But if we know what is good for us, we’ll resist it with every power at our command.
Beloved, I cannot help but wonder, as our Lord surveys more and more of His Evangelical church while this apostasy spreads like a spiritual wildfire, if with tears in His eyes He says, just as He once said while on His earth:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37, NKJV)
Those who have ears will know that the Spirit has spoken…