NEW THOUGHTLimited in Power and Authority;  A Glorified Man; The Biggest Failure in the Bible.

   The idea that God is limited isn't limited to Kenneth Hagin. The current recognized leader of New Thought, Kenneth Copeland, espoused this "doctrine" as well. According to Copeland, God was evicted from the earth when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. The earth hasn't belonged to God since the fall of Adam, according to Copeland's teaching.1  According to POG doctrine, God had to make a deal with Abraham in order to carry out His plan of Salvation. In return for Abraham's cooperation, God made Abraham and his descendants (physical and spiritual) spiritually, physically, and financially prosperous. 2  All these descendants had to do was claim" God's part of the deal. The argument for the limitation of God is as follows:

       · God had to use faith to create the universe.

       · God lost it all when Adam sinned, making God the "biggest failure in the Bible."3

       · God needed man to "give (the earth) back to Him."4 

       · The coming of the Messiah depended on the permission of Abraham.5

   According to the POG theology, God can only act according to the force of our faith.  This view completely voids any ideas of the Sovereignty of God. He is, to them, second fiddle to nearly everyone, i.e.; Satan, man. In fact, he has been reduced to the function of a Genie to Faith proponents.  In the words of Fred Price:

   "God can't do anything in the earth realm without permission. Now I understand that this statement is considered blasphemous in the Evangelical world. By that I mean the major denominations.  It's like me going out and committing adultery or something to them."6
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1. DeCastro, Erwin M. and Hendrik H. Hanegraaf.  “The Teachings of Kenneth Copeland.”  San Juan 
Capistrano, CA: Christian Research Institute, 1994.  Part 2 of “What’s Wrong with the Faith Movement.” 2 Parts.
2. ibid.
3. Copeland, qtd. in Christianity in Crisis 125
4. Benny Hinn, qtd. in Christianity in Crisis 212, parenthesis added
5. ibid. 212-13
6. Fred Price audiotape play on Christianity in Crisis (audiobook) tapeI, side 2.


BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITYGod as Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Ruler.

   The God of the Christian scriptures is the exact opposite of the one of POG Theology. He plays second fiddle to no one. Isaiah 43:13 is clear on this point; "Even from eternity I am He; and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?" Furthermore, the Bible tells us that Jesus came, not as a result of some "deal" with Abraham, but as the fulfillment of the "predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God." (Acts 2:23 NASB).

   It is clear also from scripture, that the true God isn't impotent, as is the God of New Thought. Rather, the true God IS sovereign, performing everything after the counsel of HIS will. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul:

" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as he hath chosen us  in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ  to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we
have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded
toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure
which he hath purposed in  himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one
all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an
inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all  things after the counsel of his own will."
                                                 (Eph 1:3-11, [emphasis mine])

   While the God of New Thought is limited in power and authority, the God of the Bible is sovereign. Of him it is written:

  • "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." (Deut 4:39)
  • "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.  Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting." (Ps 93:1,2)

  • "For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places." (Ps 135:5,6)

   In Christianity in Crisis, author Hank Hanegraaff mentions Nebuchadnezzar, who found out the hard way who is really sovereign. After thinking of himself as a god, Nebuchadnezzar had to eat grass for seven years. Nebuchadnezzar's words afterward (recorded in Daniel 4:34-35, 37) are appropriate:

   "But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.  And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?'  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."

   It is clear when reading these passages that there is a gulf between the "One True God," and he of New Thought mythology. The God of the Bible has absolute authority and might. None can stay his hand. Nor can any force it with an infinite number of positive confessions as New Thought proponents teach. He is sovereign, having his own agenda that we as his subjects MUST learn to submit to.7

   While the God of New Thought is nothing more than a glorified man, standing a mere 6'2, 6'3, and weighing a couple of hundred pounds, the God of the Bible cannot be limited to such things as height and weight. In fact, the very passage that "Word-Faith" adherents use to give God girth proves my point.  When speaking about the dimensions of God, Kenneth Copeland once said:

   "The Bible says he measured the heavens with a 9 inch span.  Now the span is the differ- ence.. the distance between the end of the thumb and the end of the little finger.  And the, and that Bible, in fact the Amplified translation translates the Hebrew text that way; that he measured out the heavens with a 9 inch span.  Well, I got a ruler and measured mine, and my span is 8¾ inches long.  So now God's span is a ¼ inch by a ¼ inch longer than mine.  So you see, that faith didn't come billowing out of some giant monster somewhere.  It came out of the heart of a being that is very uncanny the way he's very much like you and me.  A being that stands somewhere around 6'2, 6'3, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, a little better; has a span of 8 and.., I mean 9 inches across, stood up and said Light be!  And this universe situated itself, and went into motion."8

The passage that Copeland is basing this gross misinterpretation of scripture on is Isaiah 40:12. The passage reads:

"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted
out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a mea-
sure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"

A quick look at this passage reveals two things:

1. This passage is replete with METAPHOR, not METAPHYSICS.

   While Kenneth Copeland may have gone into this text searching for support for his metaphysical teaching, such could only be found if one totally ignores the entirety of the text.  For example:

  • If it is literal, then are we to believe that God also comprehended (held) all of the dust of the earth in a huge measure (basket)?

  • Did he also weigh the mountains with a scale, and the hills in a literal balance?

   Remember, the God of Kenneth Copeland is just a little above average in stature. Thus, as ridiculous as these questions seem, they must be given consideration. If God's span is supposed to be a literal human sized span, so also his measure, his scales, and his balance have to be considered human sized. This is untenable. This passage is clearly metaphor.

2. The purpose of the text is to give the exact opposite view of God than that taken by Copeland and his cohorts.
   Contextually, the subject of this verse isn't God himself, but rather, the individual that would propose to subject God to anyone, or reduce him, by comparison, to anything. This is proven in that:

  • Verses 9 through 11 encourages Israel of the sovereignty of God.

  • Verses 12 through 14 mockingly asks "who" in a series of rhetorical questions for those who would question this sovereignty.

  • Verses 15 through 28 forcefully reasserts God's sovereignty by pointing out that   not  only are there none that can compare with his power and authority, but also, that there are none to which he may be compared to physically.

   Copeland and his disciples would do well to learn proper hermeneutic principles before attempting to interpret scripture. If they had, in this case at least, they would have learned that the God of the Bible can't be likened to anyone; not even Kenneth Copeland.
7. Read Ephesians chapter 1, taking note of the number of 3rd person singular masculine (he, himself, etc) pronouns.
8. Kenneth Copeland Ministries audiotape #01-0601 (1985) entitled – “Spirit, Soul and Body I” – side 1.