By Clete Hux –
Many Christians are appalled by the ‘health and wealth’ gospels known as ‘Word-Faith’ or ‘Positive Confession’. These teach that if one has enough faith, then, by their positively confessing health and wealth, it can be theirs. Of course, this puts all the burden of proof upon the shoulders of the individual to have enough faith to heal their own body of sickness or disease and have financial prosperity. As erroneous as these teachings are, they pale in comparison to other Word-Faith doctrines such as the “Little gods” belief. All too often such a teaching is glossed over or goes unnoticed by many in the body of Christ.
It is unfortunate that discernment on this topic is lacking. The truth is many Christians do not understand sound Biblical anthropology or theology, for that matter. What’s worse is most people could care less about either. Some have even succumbed to pragmatism on such issues.
When Word Faith teachers such as Hagin, Copeland, Dollar and many others teach that Christians are “Little gods”, it should not go unchallenged. What follows are just a few examples of this heresy:
Kenneth Hagin: “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Everyman who has been born again is an incarnation.”
Earl Paulk: “Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God. Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods; we have trouble comprehending this truth. Until we comprehend that we are little gods, we cannot manifest the kingdom of God.”
Kenneth Copeland: “I say this with all respect, so that it don’t upset you too bad, but I say it anyway-when I read in the Bible where He says, I am, I say Yes, I am too!”
Creflo Dollar: “What do you thinks gonna happen when all this is over with? The Father’s gonna take you and all those unfinished planets out there – Halleluiah! Since you’re learning how to operate in this earth. . . What do you thinks gonna happen when God Almighty declares, ‘I want you to create a universe. I want you to speak to these worlds and like I said ‘Light be,’ you say, ‘Light be,’ Like I say, let there be a firmament in the midst of the firmament, you do the same’.”
Many don’t realize that Joyce Meyer, another Word-Faith teacher espouses the same. In her message “Authority and Opposition” she says… “Why do people have such a fit about God calling His creation, His man-not His whole creation, but His creation – little gods? If He’s God, what’s He going to call them but the god-kind? I mean, if you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If cattle have another cattle they call it cattle-kind. So, I mean, what’s God supposed to call us? Doesn’t the Bible say we’re created in his image? Now, you understand I am not saying you are God with a capital G.”
Yes, some are confused about ‘creating’ versus ‘pro-creating’. However, Word-Faith teaches that if we’re created in God’s image, that somehow means we’re little gods.
They base the “little gods” teaching, largely on John 10:34 and Psalm 82:6. In John 10:34 Jesus is speaking to Jews who were upset over His claim of equality with God. Jesus responded by referring them to Psalm 82:6, saying, “Is it not written in your own law, ‘I have said you are gods?” Why would Jesus answer them this way? The Word-Faith teachers assert that Jesus is affirming the “little gods” doctrine in these passages.
Looking at the contexts of Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34, however, we can see that Jesus is doing nothing of the sort. In Psalm 82, God addresses the Israelite civil magistrates or judges. He refers to them as “gods” (Heb. Elohim) because they had been appointed to fulfill the “god-like” role of administering justice, deliberating issues of life and death. In this sense, their responsibilities were “God-like.” These judges were not called gods because they possessed deity, but because of their role. Besides, they would be stoned to death if they thought they were little gods.
When Jesus reasons with the Jews in John 10, He was basically saying, “If human judges, because of their role and work, can be called ‘gods’ (though they aren’t gods by nature), then, I-the Son of God-can be called God even more so.” What the judges in Psalm 82 were by role, Jesus is by nature. By nature, these judges were men, as indicated in Psalm 82:7, where it says that they “will die like men.” It is a contradiction in terms to be a god and die like a man. When Jesus called himself the Son of God, on the other hand, He was referring to His deity, not the deity of men, because men don’t have any deity to defend.