I wonder what if the Lord has not enlightened me on the evils of the Word-of-Faith Movement? What if I was left in darkness listening and reading these dangerous teachers? What would appear on my news feed if the Lord has not kept me away from their clutches?
On March 30, 2012, I decided to visit the Facebook Walls/Timelines of some of the big names in the movement.Their Facebook posts appears in red in this series.
"The force of faith that comes from the Word in your heart brings life and health to your flesh."
In the Historic Protestant view,, biblical faith has three essential elements: Notitia, Assensus and Fiducia. This is how R. C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries define each element:
Kenneth Copeland radically redefined faith and so distanced himself not just from the Reformers but the entire evangelical community. Copeland says, "Faith is a power force. It is a tangible force." According to Copeland's Facebook post, this force brings life and health to the body. And the way to release this force so you can benefit from it is by the words you say because "Words are spiritual containers" and "force of faith is released by words."
Notitia. Notitia refers to the content of faith, or those things that we believe. We place our faith in something, or more appropriately, someone. In order to believe, we must know something about that someone, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Assensus. Assensus is our conviction that the content of our faith is true. You can know about the Christian faith and yet believe that it is not true. Genuine faith says that the content — the notitia taught by Holy Scripture — is true.
Fiducia. Fiducia refers to personal trust and reliance. Knowing and believing the content of the Christian faith is not enough, for even demons can do that (James 2:19). Faith is only effectual if, knowing about and assenting to the claims of Jesus, one personally trusts in Him alone for salvation.
Copeland's god is not omnipotent because he himself is dependent on this force. Copeland explains "God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith... faith is God's source of power." He says that the proper translation of Mark 11:22 is "Have the faith OF God". Furthermore, he teaches that God created the world by HIS own faith and uses Hebrews 11:3 as a (twisted) proof text.
In Evangelism Explosion's "The Chair Illustration", the goal is to show the prospect how to transfer trust from personal good works to trust in Jesus Christ and to what he did on the cross. This is done by leaving one's chair and transferring to another chair.
Faith then has an object, and the object of faith must be God himself. The question then is, in Copeland's view, who is the object of faith? It cannot be God because he himself is dependent on this faith. The answer: the object of faith in Copeland's system is faith itself. It is faith in faith. This is the chair upon which Copeland sits on: an impersonal force.