By Brannon S. Howse
Lest you think Word of Faith teaching is limited to Word of Faith teachers, think again. For about five years, I monitored the teachings of well-known Southern Baptist, ladies Bible study teacher Beth Moore. For the most part, I refrained from speaking publicly about Moore in hopes she would make a course correction. However, I have not seen a change for the better and have seen what appears to be further veering into the Word of Faith camp through her teaching and weekly television appearances with Word of Faith sympathizer James Robison.
I recognize that Moore has Bible studies that have been very popular. However, something seems to have changed in her theology. In an online video clip, Beth Moore declares that God is speaking to her: “[God] began to say to me, ‘I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it....’”
Let me be very clear: God is not verbally speaking to people today, and if He is, then the canon is open, but that cannot be because Jude 3 tells us the Word of God was once for all delivered to the Saints:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Proverbs 30:5-6 also makes it clear we are not to be adding to the word of God: “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Deuteronomy echoes this truth in 12:32: “Whatever I command you be careful to observe it. You shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
Similarly, Deuteronomy 4:2 says: “You shall not add to the word, which I command you, nor take from it that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
Beth Moore even seems to embrace the idea of positive confession, also known as “Name It and Claim It.” In describing Matthew 17:20-21, she says:
Look carefully at what that verse is saying. He said, “and you can say to the mountain.” For some reason ordained by God alone, He tells us that when we want something to move, we are to tell it to. That we are to open our mouths and say to the mountain, “Move it! You’re in my way!”
Now I can tell you what’s going on right now. Some people are thinking, they’re already shutting off right here. Because they’re thinking, “Well, that is not for today.” Then why in the world did He leave us this word? Why in the world did He leave us this word? We are to confess with our mouths. He said, “Open your mouth and say.” When He spoke the worlds into existence, He didn’t just think them. He spoke them! And He set a precedent, and He’s saying to us, “My words are omnipotent, but your words are potent!” You stir up the faith within you, you look at that mountain, and you say, “Move it!”
I’ve got to tell you something. God has been teaching me how to move some mountains with my voice.
Pay close attention to what Moore says here: “When He spoke the worlds into existence…He set a precedent.” God speaking the world into existence is not a precedent for us. God can create with His words, but we cannot. Standard Word of Faith heresy teaches that man’s words can create. That is not only heresy, it is shamanism; it is pagan; it is taught within the occult.
Matthew 17:20-21 and a corresponding passage of Mark 11:23-24 are not talking about us moving mountains with our words but about Christians praying and having faith that God can do things that we see as impossible. It is not you or I that move the mountain with our words, but it is God who does what we think is impossible. Context is vital. Look at Matthew 17:20-21 in context:
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Notice, the important word is “however,” and then comes the full context: this is done through prayer and fasting. Look at Mark 11:23-24:
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Again, the mountains or obstacles in our life may or may not be moved by God as we pray and God’s will is done. We have to have faith that God will do what He knows is best for us, and if it is God’s will, then He will do what we think is impossible, such as moving a mountain. God is the object and source of our faith. It is not having faith in the power of our words.
We must use Scripture to interpret Scripture. First John 5:14-15 tells us that whatever we ask has to be in accordance with God’s will:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Luke 1:37 tells us, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Nothing is impossible for God, but that does not mean God will always do what we ask. That is where true faith is revealed. True faith does not just believe God can do something, but true faith is content and trusts Him even when He does not do what we want or ask. We know His ultimate will is what is best for us.
There is serious danger with what Moore is teaching and, sadly, too many pastors are more interested in appeasing the sheep than in protecting them. Instead of warning the women in their churches about Moore’s unbiblical proclamations, most will keep silent. After all, Moore is very popular and to present the documented facts of what she has taught in light of what the Bible teaches would be too controversial. It might even start a stampede of the sheep to another shepherd’s field, and no hireling wants to take that risk. But this is a perfect opportunity to separate the shepherds from the hirelings. True shepherds put the well-being of the sheep before anything else, and sometimes it’s surprising which “true” shepherds end up being not-so-true.
Credibility for Crouch
California pastor and author David Jeremiah has spoken for several Worldview Weekend events, and one of the last times he spoke, I talked with him privately about what is happening in evangelicalism with regard to the Emergent Church and the New Spirituality. I challenged him to be careful about those with whom he associates so as to preserve the integrity of his teaching.
Sadly, like so many I have pleaded with, the warning seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Dr. Jeremiah has offered credibility to Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), one of the world’s largest Word of Faith television networks. On March 5, 2012, he participated in TBN’s Praise-A-Thon fund-raising broadcast where praised not only God but TBN and delivered a troubling message on sowing and reaping. His comments included this plea for financial contributions to TBN:
Well, you probably have a big harvest coming because God’s saving the best… You only reap what you sow. Let me ask you this: Do you get blessed by this network [TBN]; by watching the teaching programs and the music and the things that come to your life?… Do you get blessed by this ministry?…If you wanna get blessed by TBN, then the problem you have to solve is, “how am I investing in TBN?” Let me tell you something, we have this incredible network today because people before us—for many, many years before us—have invested their dollars, their time, their effort, in this network so that it could be what it is today. So, I wanna stop right now and ask you to do this; if you’ve been blessed by TBN this year—and you haven’t called to say, “I wanna be a part of TBN going forward”—I want you to go to your phone and find out how you can help make this network even more successful than ever before.
Why would David Jeremiah associate himself with TBN? Why would he want to support a network that promotes some of the worst false teachers in the history of the world, such as Benny Hinn, Paula White, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and Jesse Duplantis? His Praise-a-Thon participation demonstrates that some of evangelicalism’s most well-known and trusted teachers are giving credibility to the religious Trojan horse. It’s time they remind themselves of 2 Corinthians 11:3-4:
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
On the program, Dr. Jeremiah declared that God had given Paul Crouch the vision for TBN:
I’m so amazed at the vision God has given to this man… I want to be a part of helping him continue… I hope you will do that, too. Be a part of what’s happening at TBN. And let’s pray together that God will enable you to do more than you even thought… [A]fter you support the [local] church, you need to support the ministries that feed your soul.
Jeremiah persists in giving God the credit for TBN’s growth and success:
So tonight, I wanna encourage you, with all of my heart, to understand your part in the ministry of TBN… Everybody needs to do it [send money], and especially now… It’s really encouraging to hear Paul talk about how God has sustained [TBN], and it hasn’t gone backwards. But unless everybody who’s involved in this ministry gets underneath it and says, “This is part of my life”—I mean, if you sit and watch this program [Praise The Lord] at home—if you use this to grow spiritually, then the Bible says you should be involved with it. You should invest in it. You should make it part of what you do for almighty God.
Really? God gave Crouch the vision to build a network on which to promote false teachers? Only if you think God is helping build a religious Trojan horse.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.