Christianity Still in Crisis?

By Bob Hunter

Christianity in Crisis 21 CenturyHank Hanegraaff wrote in his book Christianity in Crisis that because of the influence of the Word of Faith movement, the true Christ and true faith of the Bible were being replaced by diseased substitutes. This movement has continued to grow rapidly in the years following the book’s release and several new teachers since have risen to prominence. Among them are Creflo Dollar, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Rod Parsley. Along with these new teachers, distortions of biblical truth have emerged. Word of Faith teachers have replaced the all-powerful God of the Bible with a god who has limited power, and have elevated humanity to the status of godhood, placing at its disposal seemingly unlimited power. These modern-day prophets of health and wealth believe that people can speak things into existence, thwart God’s plans, and purchase salvation; that money is the root of all happiness; that Christians are not sinners; and that Jesus did not come into the world as God. Rather than saying to Christ, “Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory,” today’s self-absorbed brand of Christianity insists that ours is the kingdom and that we have all the power and the glory. Another gospel clearly is being preached in many of today’s most prominent churches, and the prevention of its propagation demands our utmost attention.

Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute, wrote when his book Christianity in Crisis1 first was published in 1993 that Christianity needed a “megashift.” He warned, “[we need] to avert a very real and present crisis in Christianity. Without such a megashift in both perception and perspective, the church is in horrifying danger….The true Christ and the true faith of the Bible are being replaced rapidly with diseased substitutes offered by a group of teachers who belong to what has been labeled the ‘Faith movement.’”2

More than a decade later, the church, for the most part, has ignored this warning and the movement has continued to grow rapidly. This article will examine in alphabetical order the teachings of five Word of Faith teachers who have come to the forefront in recent years: Creflo Dollar, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Rod Parsley…

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