Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Word of Faith Movement/Christianity in Crisis - 21st Century

It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since Christianity in Crisis was published way back in 1993. My prayer then was that it would be used by God as a wake up call to the body of Christ. I have to tell you though, that I was totally unprepared for the response I got to that book. On the one hand, I could have never imagined that this book would be recognized at the Christian Book Sellers convention in Atlanta that year as the number one best selling Christian hardback book in the country. Nor could I have imagined that it would receive the Gold Medallion book award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. On the other hand, I was largely unprepared for the ferociousness of the pushback on the part of prosperity preachers. Indeed those who were plunging Christianity into crisis proved to be willing to do and say virtually anything to silence opposition.

Because of my stance on the Word of Faith tenants as I outlined in my book, I experienced censorship on Christian television and churches that once welcomed my preaching shut me out. Even more insidious was the disinformation campaign that was lodged by faith teachers and their surrogates. I’ve often said, “If I had known in advance what I was going to face as a result of writing Christianity in Crisis, I would have not had the courage to continue the project.” Now when I’ve said that some think that was an expression of cowardliness, but what I was trying to say was that God often leads us through trials step by step, because if we are able to see what lie ahead in terms of suffering and slander even our steely determination and fiercest resolve would prove inadequate. In other words, God gives us the grace we need when we need it and often not a moment before.

While the financial cost of taking stand this stand has been staggering by all counts, the spiritual reward in terms of transformed lives was well worth the effort.

Since the publication of Christianity in Crisis, hosts of new prosperity teachers have continued plunging Christianity into an ever deepening crisis. In the late twentieth century, Word of Faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin and Benny Hinn were at the fore front. In the early twenty-first century they are being overshadowed by a new breed of prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Todd Bentley and a whole host of others who are being increasingly viewed ironically enough as though they are mainstream. Paula White, for example, is lauded by Donald Trump as “an amazing women” with “a significant message.” T.D. Jakes is lauded by Barack Obama and was trumpeted by Time as perhaps “the next Billy Graham.”

This is why I decided to launch a major new release; I’ve titled Christianity in Crisis - 21st Century. I’m convinced that if occult sources like The Secret pose the greatest threat from without, the deadliest doctrines disseminated now by a new crop of prosperity preachers pose the greatest threat to authentic Christianity from within. To avert this crisis we need a paradigm shift of major proportions. A shift from perceiving God as a means to an end to the recognition God is the end. While change must come, it’s not going to come easily. Those who are dispensing spiritual cyanide by the mega dose occupy powerful platforms within the evangelical Christian church. They control vast resources and they stand to lose multiplied millions of dollars if their exposed. No doubt what I will face this time around will make the original release of Christianity in Crisis pale by comparison but I’m absolutely convinced this new volume needs to be published.

Long ago, I memorized the words of Abraham Lincoln ­--- remember Lincoln stood against the tide of slavery and in the midst of persecution --- he said, “I desire to so conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end when I come to lay down the reins of power I’ve lost every other friend on earth. I shall at least have one friend left and that friend shall be deep down inside of me. I am not bound to win but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live up to the light that I have.” As Lincoln, arguably the greatest of the American presidents, understood our goal should never be to be popular or prosperous or have a larger platform, but rather to live according to the truth so that at the end Christ can say well done thou good and faithful servant.

I’m willing to stand against this rising tide of error and deception but frankly it’s tough to stand alone. Just knowing that people are standing with me in this battle is more of an encouragement than you will ever know. In fact, quite frankly that’s why I’m asking you for your prayers right now.

17 comments:

Allen said...

You got it, Hank- looking forward to reading the new book.

Anonymous said...

Hank, my wife and I will continue to keep you in our prayers, and may God continue to strenthen you in all you do.

Jeremiah & Beverly Jones...

Anonymous said...

Keep it going Hank. You're doing it right.

CowtownCarrie said...

Hank,
Our family will pray for you! I look forward to reading your new book. Know that you are not alone...there are lots of us who would willingly stand beside you!

CurlyGirl said...

Praying. Have your 1st edition on my shelf. Look forward to the second. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Hank, I fully agree with you but someone needs to edit your writing. This may seem like a nit, but you can turn people off and have them think you are not well educated by using the wrong words - tenant instead of tenet, their instead of they're, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Hank, I fully agree with you but someone needs to edit your writing. This may seem like a nit, but you can turn people off and have them think you are not well educated by using the wrong words - tenant instead of tenet, their instead of they're, etc.

October 1, 2008 8:59 PM"

IT'S A BLOG...

truth detective said...

I have attended a church now for som time and have recognized a trend developing that made me uncomffortable. I am from a small town and was my wife and I decided to have no television ect. theorfore i was ignorant that there was such a movement. After being made to feel that somthing was wrong I began to resurch and man how my eyes have been opened. There are other people out there that believe the same way as I do. I discovered your name resurching word of faith origins on the wikipedia web site. I just want to thank you and all of those like you and if there is any way I could be a part of shinning light into darkness expossing half truths and blatent lies for the cause of Crist and the Kingdom of God I'm there.

Anonymous said...

Hank, Lincoln? Great? You should know better. Especially the precarious position this country is in right now. Illegal wars and suspension of Habeaus Corpus.

Anonymous said...

i have the first Christianity in Crisis.

when will the next issue come out? hope it will reach Manila.

regards.

Anonymous said...

Your book was recommended to me by both the Billy Graham organization as well as Focus on the Family as I healed from a childhood filled with prosperity teachings and false theology. God has since used me overseas to speak out about these teachings and, for that, I am deeply humbled.

I look forward to reading this new book. I may be healed of these teachings but the fight goes on...

Anonymous said...

I have been involved in the word of faith movement for some time and i do agree that there are teachers out there that are just plain ridiculous and greedy i still believe that we should believe every word of the bible and divine heath and contentment with godliness are definitely taught in the bible. just my humble opinion

Anonymous said...

Christian Research Institute (CRI)
Hank Hanegraaff Lawsuit*

Christian Research Institute's Hank Hanegraaff had been accused of financial fraud and other criminal activities. A lawsuit was filed ("wrongful termination suit") on March 7, 1994, in Orange County Superior Court, California. The suit alleged that Hendrik (Hank) Hanegraaff, president of CRI, was guilty of numerous ethical lapses, financial theft, tax fraud, and a shocking list of other criminal activities and deceptive practices. The plaintiffs also charged CRI and its president and officers with violation of the federal racketeering act, defined as a criminal conspiracy or a "combination." Some of the details of this suit follow:

Taken from
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/cri/law.htm

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous;
The law suit was 1994 and you posted January 2009. I doubt that the suit is still pending after 15 years but thanks for putting that out there for us to research. It is always a good idea to research the people you plan to listen to.

Hank, I know that people are always going to be attacking the Word of God and those explaining there understanding of it.

I am new to your ministry but I look forward to the research. I pray that you live in the spirit and that God's Word is heard.

eddwel said...

God bless you brother. Keep up the good work. We need people like you to fight this plague.
God bless you.

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