Essek William Kenyon  (1867-1948)

   D.R. McConnell of Oral Roberts University writes that E.W. Kenyon is the "historical root" from which the faith movement grew.1 Essek W. Kenyon was born April 24, 1867, in Sara- toga County, New York.  Born to a logger father and a schoolteacher mother, he was the fourth child in a family of ten. Kenyon's conversion came in 1886 at age 19. He preached his first sermon in a Methodist church (he later became a Baptist pastor who preached frequently in Pentecostal circles). In 1892 he moved to Boston where he attended the Emerson College of Oratory which was well known for teaching the religious and mind science ideas of Phineas Quimby.2 In fact, in an attempt to harmonize mind science with Christianity, Kenyon once said, "all Christian Science lacked was the blood of Jesus."3 Kenyon was responsible for several of the false ideas that permeate the faith movement today. Among these ideas:

  • That the spiritual world operates according to "spiritual laws" that can be manipu-lated by anyone, (the teachings of the Middle Platonists repackaged).

  • That the spiritual world and the physical world are "mutually exclusive," that is; one must ignore the physical "senses" in order to attain true success in the spiritual.

  • That man can attain "god consciousness," thus becoming a god himself.

  • That man is in "the same class as God."

  • That man is capable of "revelation knowledge (supernatural knowledge of the spirit realm)," and of a "new" interpretation to the scriptures.4  Those who would heed this knowledge will become "spiritual supermen" who would overcome the physical limitations of this world, as well as "demons, disease, and poverty."5

   Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute, and author of the book Christianity in Crisis, uncovered even more of Kenyon's false ideas:

  • That Jesus physical death on the cross did not pay the penalty of human sin.

  • That every believer is an "incarnation."6

   All of this, according to Kenyon, represents a "new" kind of Christianity. 7 Mr. Kenyon never realized how prophetic his words would prove to be.  He never could have dreamed that within 20 years this "new" kind of Christianity would be flourishing worldwide. That an elite cadre of disciples that he'd never met would be harvesting his teachings, dressing them up, and presenting them as "revelation knowledge." It is his group that we will focus on next, providing an unbroken line of ascent from Quimby, through Kenyon, to the modern "Profits of Got."
1. McConnel, D. R.  A Different Gospel 25.  Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995. 
2. McConnell, D. R., book (1995), entitled - A Different Gospel  (Hendrickson Publishers), pp. 30-34.
3. ibid.  25.
4. ibid.  47, 50.
5. ibid. 21.
6. Hanegraaf, Hank.  Christianity in Crisis 332.  Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1997. 
7. McConnell 47.
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Cast of Current Cultic Characters

Kenneth Hagin  (1917- )

   Kenneth Erwin Hagin was born in McKinney, Texas August 20, 1917.  He was born premature, underweight (only two pounds), and with a bad heart.  By the age of sixteen his heart condition worsened to the point of leaving him bed ridden.  It was during this time that, according to Hagin, he experienced the first of a series of "visions" that would change his life forever.  In his first vision, Hagin says, "he went to hell" three times, the result of which was Hagin giving his life to Christ.

   Hagin's second vision was a two-parter.  In the first part, he received a "revelation" of Mark 11:23, 24 (the "mountain moving" passage).  Because of this "revelation," Hagin began this teaching on positive confession: "believe in your heart, say it with your mouth, and 'he shall have whatever he saith.'" 

   In the second part of the vision, Hagin says that he learned to confess his healing as having already occurred no matter the prevailing symptoms.  In Hagin's words, "I've got to believe that my paralysis is gone while I'm still lying here flat on my back and helpless ."  This is quite similar to Quimby's idea, "that disease came into existence when the person accepted the 'error, or belief' in the disease.  In a move straight from the teachings of mind science, not only would Hagin begin to "positively confess" his healing, he would no longer even acknowledge his symptoms!

   Kenneth Hagin made E.W. Kenyon's New Thought (a.k.a. "Faith Movement") ideas popular among Christians in the years following the Second World War.  Although he denies getting any teaching from Kenyon, the fact is his teachings seem to be word for word copies of several of Kenyon's works.  McConnell lists eight different lengthy quotations of Hagin that are really uncited direct quotes from Kenyon.  According to McConnell, "he (Hagin) maintains that it was not until after his discovery in 1950 of the truths of the 'Faith Gospel' that he was introduced to Kenyon's writings ."  But Hagin also remembers reading a book in 1949 where he learned his doctrine that God can do nothing in this world apart from the permission of man.  According to Hagin, "God is limited by our prayer life, that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him."  This "Hagin" quote actually came from Kenyon's The Two Kinds of Faith !  When one reads the writings of Kenneth Hagin, he can rest assured that much of the time he is really reading the doctrine of Kenyon and, therefore, by extension, the lies of Quimby's New Thought teaching.

   Hagin spent the years 1934 to 1949 in various roles as a faith healer, Assemblies of God pastor, and a Baptist evangelist.  During this time, according to Hagin, his meetings were noted with such events among his attendees as miraculous healing, the resurrection of the dead, long "cataleptic" trances, and even levitation!  During the next several years Hagin says that he received personal visitations from Jesus Christ eight times and many visionary experiences.  It was during these visions Hagin says he received his gifts as a teacher and a prophet.  According to Hagin, "the Lord said this to me, which is not just for my benefit, but for yours, 'if you will learn to follow that inward witness, I will make you rich I am not opposed to my children being rich, I am opposed to their being covetous.'"  What this really means is that for those who would believe Hagin, personal financial wealth is the real "bottom line" when it comes to getting revelation from God.  What of those who would question Hagin or doubt his "visions?"  Well, according to Hagin, ministers will "fall dead in the pulpit," and lay members are going to "fall dead in the church!"

   Today, Kenneth Hagin proliferates his "faith gospel" using a number of means.  His radio program, "The Faith Seminar of the Air," airs on 249 radio stations.  Hagin's publication, Word of Faith magazine, reaches 400 thousand homes and has sold 47 million copies.  In addition to magazines and radio shows, his Rhema Bible Training Center, started in 1974, has trained 12 thousand graduates (many of whom are leaders in the New Thought Movement today)!  Hagin has influenced Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Frederick Price, and Benny Hinn, the New Thought Movement's most popular leaders.   In fact, those who are considered the leaders of this modern metaphysical movement lovingly refer to him as "Dad Hagin."

Kenneth Copeland:

   - President of Kenneth Copeland Ministries Inc.  Fort Worth, TX.
   - Hosts the Believer's Voice of Victory broadcast.
   - Publishes the Believer's Voice of Victory magazine.
   - Authored more than 58 books that have been translated into 22 languages.

Frederick K.C. Price:

   - Pastor of the Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles, Ca.
   - Hosts Ever Increasing Faith broadcast.
   - Publishes the Ever Increasing Faith Messenger.
   - Authored numerous books on faith.

Benny Hinn:

   - Pastor of the World Outreach Center, Orlando, Fla.
   - Hosts This Is Your Day! Broadcast.
   - Authored numerous books.

Charles Capps:

   - President of Charles Capps Ministries, England, AR.
   - Hosts Concepts of Faith radio broadcast.
   - Publishes Concepts of Faith magazine.
   - Authored numerous books and booklets on faith.

Creflo Dollar:

   - Pastors World Changers Christian Center, College Park, Ga.
   - Hosts Changing Your World broadcast.
   - Authored books on faith.

   While these are just a few of the modern profits of Got, this list isn't meant to be all-inclusive.  These are just a few of the upper echelon of the faith teachers.  The list, however, continues to grow.  In fact, not finding acceptance within mainline orthodox Christian denominations, many of these individuals joined together and established the International Convention of Faith     Ministries  (ICFM) in 1979 in Tulsa, OK.  This organization was commissioned to ordain those who would promote the "faith" message.  In 9 years (1988) they had grown to represent more than 800 Pastors and congregations worldwide devoted to the teachings of this "Christianized" version of New Thought.