Reverend Hagin’s Previous Rebuke of Kenneth Copeland
Rich’s Note: Before our post Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: The Untold Story became our most highly viewed article, this post about Kenneth E. Hagin was by far the most popular post on KennethCopelandBlog.com. In fact, it still receives a very high traffic rating today. Consequently, let me please point out that there is additional important information contained in the new FAQ page of this blog that relates (either directly or indirectly) to this very same topic. Thus, in addition to reading this important post about Hagin’s efforts to correct “prosperity gospel” excesses, I encourage you to review that FAQ data also, as well as the several other informative pages which you can find listed on the Table of Contents page.
Many people have enjoyed the teaching of the Word of Faith message through the years, while many others have been quite critical of that message. Some have actually been hurt or traumatized by professing “Word of Faith ministers” who pushed their doctrines to self-serving extremes (and unfortunately, some of these false-ministers are so-called “leaders” within the movement). Meanwhile, many other believers have found sound principles within balanced teaching of faith as taught by some of God’s honest ministers, applied it to their own situations—and have experienced tremendous blessing and victory as a result. Regardless of the type of exposure, however, most people at least familiar with the “Word of Faith message” are also quite familiar with the fact that the late Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin is considered the proverbial “father” of the movement. However…
Few seem to be aware of the fact that Brother Hagin (aka, “Dad Hagin”) had convened a special meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the campus of RHEMA Bible Training Center, circa the Fall of 1999. The topic: Excesses and error present within the “prosperity” message being taught by the major Word of Faith ministries.
My own former senior pastor was one of those in attendance. The first Sunday following that special meeting, he detailed publicly to the entire congregation (in both services) what had occurred. I was present to hear those details (in both services) since I was one of the Associate Pastors on staff there (in addition to hearing this same information privately as well). Thus my recollection of these events is confirmed by the memories of my fellow ministers and the many Christians who heard these same facts.
Among those whom the pastor reported to have been in attendance at that meeting were:
- Kenneth Copeland
- Creflo Dollar
- Jerry Savelle
- Jesse Duplantis
- Mac Hammond
- and Steve Parson (my former senior pastor)
Also summoned to the meeting was the “money cometh” preacher himself, Dr. Leroy Thompson. He refused to attend, however. Steve Parson explained to us that Mac Hammond reported to the group in attendance that he had previously called Leroy Thompson to find out why he was refusing to attend. “God told me not to come,” he replied. “That’s funny,” reportedly answered Mac, “God told me to call you and tell you to come. So one of us is missing it.”
When those who had agreed to attend were present in the room, Brother Hagin explained (and I paraphrase), “I called you all together to this special meeting because I need to address some error and excess within the Word of Faith ‘camp’ regarding the prosperity message. I have written a book entitled, The Midas Touch: A Balanced Approach to Biblical Prosperity, and it will be coming out very soon. In order to avoid strife and confusion among our ranks, however, I wanted to convene this meeting and address these issues with you—the major Word of Faith ministries teaching this doctrine—in person first. That way, you all can adjust your messages accordingly before the book comes out, and there will be no contention among us.”
Reportedly, Kenneth Copeland then responded before the group, “If I am in error in any way, please feel free to correct me.” However, as we will soon learn, Copeland’s profession before the group to his own personal mentor and one of his “fathers in the faith” (along with Oral Roberts) would seem to have failed to manifest in full.
Unfortunately, Copeland’s own protégé (i.e. Creflo Dollar) seemed to do a better job than Copeland in following is own mentor’s lead. He has apparently followed Copeland back into the same errors previously addressed by Brother Hagin—rather than the sound and seasoned counsel given by the senior leader of the Word of Faith movement.
Regardless, Brother Hagin did share with those ministers that day his biblical counsel. Further, he gave them all advanced copies of the paperback edition of the book, which was subsequently released in 2000. In 2002 the hardback edition of The Midas Touch came out on the market, and is now the only version available “new” at the time of this writing.
Click the graphic to view the Kindle (eBook) edition of this book on Amazon or you can simply click here instead.
So what did Brother Hagin have to say to them in that meeting? Well, exactly what was written within that very book that they were all given. Consequently, we will examine in the next video the details of what that book clearly articulates—which are the same corrections ministered that day by Rev. Hagin to those ministers present:
YouTube Video (English only):
Prosperity Balance (But Other Imbalances)
Having now watched the above video—and learning therein what types of issues Kenneth E. Hagin thought were necessary to be corrected among Word of Faith “prosperity” teachers—you can better understand the fact that Brother Hagin sought a significantly more “balanced” approach to the topic than that for which many have given him due credit through the years. Nevertheless…
The fact that Kenneth E. Hagin sought a more balanced approach to the topic of “prosperity” and other topics, does not mean that he was perfectly biblical in all his teachings or beliefs.
Reverend Mel C. Montgomery as written one of the best online summaries I have ever read concerning Brother Hagin’s more controversial doctrines in an article entitled, J.R. Goodwin and Kenneth Hagin Sr. (PDF, which was originally an article entitled, Kenneth Hagin’s Two Faith Messages). Therein, Rev. Montgomery also advocates a return to biblical orthodoxy within faith-teaching by returning to what he calls “Reformed Word of Faith” teaching. He also clearly articulates why he rejects the more bizarre doctrines that Hagin picked up later in his ministry from E. W. Kenyon (and which were subsequently widely propagated by Copeland and others). I highly recommend that anyone interested in this topic—whether they be an advocate or critic of Hagin’s teachings, or someone merely curious about the same—because Brother Montgomery has done a marvelous service to the Body of Christ in documenting and highlighting these issues in such a well-written, balanced, and fair article.
For my own perspective on the late Brother Hagin and his teaching: I have been very blessed by many of his testimonies and biblical insights, but other teachings have proven to be problematic. Beyond the concerns mentioned above in the preceding paragraph, I am also concerned by the unbalanced way in which Hagin taught the “love” message from Scripture (e.g. failing to adequately explain when severe confrontation of others might be necessary to fully walk in love—both towards those in error and also toward those they affect). Though his “love walk” is often touted as one of Hagin’s “strengths” by his most ardent defenders, he was actually quite erroneous with regard to his understanding and application of some biblical aspects of true agape love. This imbalance of Hagin’s regarding agape love has also been further distorted from biblical truth (and widely propagated) by Copeland and others, who use these distorted teachings as “convenient doctrines” to protect themselves from scrutiny, rebuke, and censure.
Hagin also often failed to correct OBVIOUSLY sinful and errant behavior within his own family, the RHEMA organization, and Word of Faith/RHEMA ministerial circles in general (e.g. adultery, unbiblical divorce, etc). Of course, this shortcoming seems to be related to the aforementioned error in his comprehension of agape love. In his later years it seems that Brother Hagin often failed to hold other Christians (and especially his own family) accountable to a biblical standard of conduct. Thus, it is the well-founded conclusion of many that these personal and ministerial failures of Kenneth E. Hagin have caused great harm to the Body of Christ—and have severely damaged the legacy of his own ministry as well.
Nevertheless, these issues would have to be expounded in greater detail separately in order for me to do these topics fair justice. However, I believe it is sufficient for me to state here that although I am honoring the memory of Kenneth E. Hagin for his courage and integrity in correcting the so-called “prosperity” teachers for their obvious self-centered doctrinal errors and sin, I am certainly NOT hereby endorsing ALL of Brother Hagin’s teachings categorically.
Hagin’s Consistency Concerning Financial Issues
Charisma Magazine also wrote about this special meeting called by Brother Hagin, and his Midas Touch book. In a previous blog post entitled Kenneth Hagin’s Forgotten Warning, Phillip and Esther Walters of the Back Yard Believers blog has replicated that entire article written by J. Lee Grady. (You can also read the original article on CBN.com here.) This particular article provides you a “second witness” of the facts that I have already presented within the text above and the videos from a respected Charasmatic media source.
Furthermore, Brother Hagin’s exhortations about financial integrity are in various tapes and other books, not just within the book The Midas Touch. For example, he exhorted us within the pages of Plans, Purposes, & Pursuits (Copyright ©1988):
Never put money first! The first time the Lord appeared to me, He told me, “Be careful about money. Many upon whom I’ve placed my Spirit and called to the ministry have become money-minded, and have lost the anointing.” We don’t want to become money-minded and lose the anointing of God on our lives! (page 13, emphasis added)
Consider also the following additional quote from The Midas Touch beyond those I already read to you verbally within the previous video:
During my more than sixty-five years of ministry, I have often dealt with the issue of prosperity for believers, insistently emphasizing a balanced, scriptural approach. I have observed many teachings and practices that have both helped and hindered the Body of Christ. I have seen some faith men of God stay the course, and move accurately with the truth of the Word and the Spirit, resulting in great blessing for a host of believers. Unfortunately, I have also seen many others become side-tracked by extremism, ultimately shipwrecking their ministries and hurting and disillusioning many people in the process. (excerpt taken from the Introduction, page xiii, subsection Finding Balance Between Extremes, emphasis added)
Grassley’s Quest Exonerated
So in the light of all of the above, we can conclude easily what I stated in the closing remarks of the last article of this blog: That the Senate Finance Committee investigation, led by Senators Grassley and Baucus, is IN FACT completely in CONFORMITY with the teachings of the founder of the Word of Faith movement—Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin. Some of the very things “Dad” Hagin corrected both Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar (and others) concerning—especially with regard to their “lavish, ostentatious” lifestyles—are the very things Senator Grassley’s team are inquiring about. Thus:
If Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar had heeded the biblical advise of their superior, they would NOT be having many of the problems they are having today.
Brother Hagin clearly stated within The Midas Touch, “We have seen an extreme emphasis on teaching that prosperity—especially material prosperity—is for Christians. Some have come to believe that demonstrating prosperity involves displaying a lavish, ostentatious lifestyle rather than being good stewards and efficiently harnessing abundant resources to promote the Gospel and to minister the goodness of God to all who are in need” (the italics are his, the bold text emphasis is mine). It is clear from the following BBC news broadcast that the lifestyles (not beliefs) of the Copelands and others, are what have drawn the attention of Senator Grassley’s office, and raised concern that such televangelists might be actually taking advantage of unsuspecting donors. (Please note: The following video will NOT work, but as will be noted further below, we have a backup copy.):
Update December 28, 2010! You will notice that the above BBC video from YOUtube no longer works. It appears that KCM is on the “offensive” to try and squash negative media.
Update January 23, 2011: Do not worry, however. I found another copy of this BBC report and have embedded it below, along with another BBC report, for your viewing convenience.
We can readily see that (within the light of that is in this article and the previous one) the SFC investigation is certainly NOT an effort to “persecute” these six televangelists because of their “Word of Faith” beliefs.
In fact, it could ACTUALLY be said that the Senate Fiance Committee investigation is an extension of the Lord’s corrective efforts toward Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar (in particular), since they failed to heed the reproof given by Brother Hagin.
(And it is interesting to note that the ONLY two of the six televangelists who have refused to cooperate with the investigation are the ONLY two of the six who were present at that meeting with Kenneth E. Hagin. This is because neither Kenneth Hagin—nor any Word of Faith minister I know personally—considered the other four to be “Word of Faith” ministers. Charasmatic, yes. “Prosperity preachers,” yes. But not Word of Faith. In our opinion, that is just another one of Copeland’s and Dollar’s deceptive tactics used to try and turn this investigation into a Constitutional “First Amendment” issue.)
Again, we can easily conclude the same thing that Rusty Leonard of Ministry Watch did concerning Kenneth Copeland’s refusal to cooperate with the SFC investigation when he said:
…Copeland doesn’t want the public or his donors to see what he’s been doing, and that’s alarming. It screams that he his hiding something from KCM donors and the public.”
“The idea that Copeland is standing on some constitutional principle [i.e. his First Amendment rights to freedom of religion] is simply a diversion,” Leonard said.
Leonard added: “Copeland’s complaint about Sen. Grassley’s right to ask for this information is nothing more than a sideshow. KCM donors themselves have every right to ask for this information and Copeland has a moral obligation, that overrides any constitutional issue, to provide it….” (To review the entire Ministry Watch statement, download the PDF here)
Let me add that Kenneth Copeland also has a moral obligation to submit to the godly counsel of his mentor, who already admonished him with the Word of God in these same matters. Thus, even Kenneth E. Hagin’s previous actions—and still-published position on these particular issues—support our own efforts to call “on the man, his family, and his ministry… to simply repent.“
Now let us proceed to the next article of this section to examine Kenneth Copeland’s alleged “holy war” against Senator Grassley even further, and draw our discussion of this particular manifestation of Copeland’s deceit and corruption to an appropriate close in the light of the Scriptures. Then we will move on to the NEXT set of issues we need to expose…
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