What is Faith? Is it saying it and have it?
In recent time starting from the 1930’s we have had what we call the Faith Movement.
Word of Faith Movement Founders
Evangelist E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948) is considered by many to be the founder of Word of Faith teaching. He began his career as a Methodist minister but later moved into Pentecostalism. Researchers disagree on whether Kenyon was influenced by Gnosticism and New Thought, a belief system that holds God will grant health and success.
Most scholars agree however, that Kenyon was an influence on Kenneth Hagin Sr. often called the father or “granddaddy” of the Word of Faith movement. Hagin (1917-2003) believed that it is God’s will that believers would always be in good health, financially successful, and happy.
Hagin, in turn, was an influence on Kenneth Copeland, who worked briefly as a co-pilot for TV evangelist Oral Roberts. Roberts’ healing ministry promoted seed faith; “Have a need? Plant a seed.” The seeds were cash donations to Roberts’ organization. Copeland and his wife Gloria founded Kenneth Copeland Ministries in 1967, based in Fort Worth, Texas.
In Africa, Word of Faith is sweeping the continent. Christianity Today estimates that more than 147 million of Africa’s 890 million people are “Renewalists”, Pentecostals or Charismatics who believe the health and wealth gospel. Sociologists say the message of money, cars, houses and the good life is almost irresistible to the poor and oppressed audiences.
In the U.S. the Word of Faith movement and the prosperity gospel have spread like wildfire through the African-American community. Preachers T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, and Frederick K.C. Price all pastor Black megachurches and urge their flocks to think right to get their monetary and health needs met.
Some African-American Pastors are worried about the Word of Faith movement. Lance Lewis Pastor of Christ Liberation Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia said, “When people see that the prosperity gospel doesn’t work they may reject God altogether.”
Is the word of Faith Bad?
- The word of faith is the proclamation with our mouth what God said in His word, but the challenge today is that confession with our mouth is the last step in the journey of faith but today is taken as the first step in many places.
- It is unfortunate that the faith movement has been equated to money, fame, health, success and Happiness and this is not good for faith as faith is more than that, it is the hallmark of our belief.
Heb. 11: 32-39 –
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mocking and scourging’s, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
If you read the above scripture you will realize that these men never just got the faith for Money or financial breakthrough, they also got the faith to go through persecution and affliction that was part of the process of making them; they never ran away from fiery persecution but they all stood and many even died in their faith, for instance several martyrs died in their faith, will you say we have more faith than them?
How Does Faith Come?
Heb. 10: 6 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
Here we can begin to x-ray how faith comes, not just by confession but first is to believe the word, and then you confess. The expectation of God is:
- Let it be clear that confession is the last step of faith and never the first, second or even third step of faith, that is why it is possible for you to confess and never see result. God is not human that words alone move Him; the workshop of God in our life is the heart.
- Let’s review the Men of Faith in Hebrew 11 and see how they got their faith and how they confessed it and were able to change their world.
- Heb. 11: 13 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Take your time to carefully study about the faith movement and the heroes of faith in the Bible; this will help clear up any confusion and set you on the right path!