RHEMA


#1

Is anyone familiar with RHEMA ?

A new coworker and I have been discussing Christianity, etc and sharing our faiths. As best I can tell she married into this church and I’m trying to get a handle on what they believe. I get thet sense that as our families socialize, etc her husband may attempt to evangelize us and I want to have some background, beyond whay I’ve learned from their website.

Thanks in advance.


#2

From their site: The four pillars of Rhema church

[list]
*]Morally relevant
*]Socially significant
*]Evangelically potent
*]Power to live by
[/list]Rhema Ministries is “more than just a church”; our vision is to be, together with the greater Christian community, excellent tools of God’s great saving compassion and love. This God-given task we will pursue with dedication and vigour.

Just type rhema in your search engine.


#3

Rhema is a church and a ministry school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, founded by Kenneth Hagin, Sr. He is called the father of the faith movement, although he basically plagarized the writings of E.W. Kenyon. They call themselves Word of Faith and full gospel. Their theology is basically pentecostal and health and weath gospel. The word RHEMA in English means the spoken word, which they believe creates reality. You may have heard it described as “name it and claim it”–that is what they do, keep saying “I believe I have a new car in Jesus’s name”, and this will cause it to happen. Hagin was the inspiration for many of the popular word of faith preachers such as Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. He died a year ago or so, but his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr runs Rhema.

I grew up “word of faith” so if you have any other questions feel free to ask!


#4

[quote=AmandaCatherine]Rhema is a church and a ministry school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, founded by Kenneth Hagin, Sr. He is called the father of the faith movement, although he basically plagarized the writings of E.W. Kenyon. They call themselves Word of Faith and full gospel. Their theology is basically pentecostal and health and weath gospel. The word RHEMA in English means the spoken word, which they believe creates reality. You may have heard it described as “name it and claim it”–that is what they do, keep saying “I believe I have a new car in Jesus’s name”, and this will cause it to happen. Hagin was the inspiration for many of the popular word of faith preachers such as Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. He died a year ago or so, but his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr runs Rhema.

I grew up “word of faith” so if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
[/quote]

Thank you. As a cradle Catholic this is pretty foreign to me. I’d never heard “name it and claim it” before. My coworker seemed to focus more on the healing when we talked.


#5

It sounds strange–even more wacky now when I am looking back and trying to explain the “theology”. (I put theology in quotes since the WOF preachers are very anti-theology.) It sounds so good, when they are talking about healing, etc., but it is a tremendously dangerous system. “Faith”, according to WOF, is a force that we can use to create our own reality. So if you pray for healing and it doesn’t come, guess whose fault it is?! You must have sin, or your faith is weak or something, because they believe it is always God’s will to heal. BUT, God can’t just reach down and answer our prayers, because Satan is the god of this world, and God cannot act unless we authorize him with our words. This is obviously very heretical teaching, and there is much more! :rolleyes:

I am very thankful that I found my way to the Church that Christ founded. :smiley:


#6

[quote=AmandaCatherine]It sounds strange–even more wacky now when I am looking back and trying to explain the “theology”. (I put theology in quotes since the WOF preachers are very anti-theology.) It sounds so good, when they are talking about healing, etc., but it is a tremendously dangerous system. “Faith”, according to WOF, is a force that we can use to create our own reality. So if you pray for healing and it doesn’t come, guess whose fault it is?! You must have sin, or your faith is weak or something, because they believe it is always God’s will to heal. BUT, God can’t just reach down and answer our prayers, because Satan is the god of this world, and God cannot act unless we authorize him with our words. This is obviously very heretical teaching, and there is much more! :rolleyes:

I am very thankful that I found my way to the Church that Christ founded. :smiley:
[/quote]

The way she explained didn’t seem so “whacky”. Actually, the way she explained it seemed quite reasonable. As she explained it, they believe that healing is not confined to biblical times, but that through prayer people can be healed now. She went on to say that healing is not guaranteed, but that it depends on God’s will. As she explained it, it didn’t sound problematic at all. But she may either not understand it completely (she’s a “convert” if that’s the right term. ie she came to RHEMA from a different Protestant background.) or modifies it to what she thinks makes more sense.

She said nothing about this “name it claim it” but she did refer to it several times as a “Church of the Word”.


#7

Unfortunately there aren’t any good Catholic books out on the Word Faith movement. Probably the definitive one is by Hank Hanegraaff and it’s called “Christianity in Crisis.” You can probably pick it up at your local library, but here is the Amazon link.

amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1565076966/104-2229723-4461517?v=glance

As a note of caution, Hanegraaff is not Catholic, and his theology is Protestant. However wrong he may be wrong about Catholicism, he writes very well on the Word Faith movement.


#8

She went on to say that healing is not guaranteed, but that it depends on God’s will. As she explained it, it didn’t sound problematic at all. But she may either not understand it completely (she’s a “convert” if that’s the right term. ie she came to RHEMA from a different Protestant background.) or modifies it to what she thinks makes more sense.

There is a lot of variety in the WOF churches, and there is of course no catechism, so her local version may not be as unorthodox as the preachers such as Hagin are. It is very clear in WOF teachings that not only do healings take place today (which as a Catholic I certainly wouldn’t disagree with) but that healing is a right, and it is always God’s will. The only problem is with our faith not being able to create it.

I suppose you could say I was a “hard-core” adherent. :stuck_out_tongue: I took the 3 year correspondence course, read virtually all of Hagin’s books, listened to hundreds of hours of sermons by him and Copeland on tape, went to Campmeeting at Rhema in Tulsa and to Copeland meetings. I really wanted to learn, and to know God. We used “name it and claim it” as a joke, since that is what detractors called the method. They also call it “blab it and grab it”. We thought that was funny.

:slight_smile:


#9

[quote=Fidelis]Unfortunately there aren’t any good Catholic books out on the Word Faith movement. Probably the definitive one is by Hank Hanegraaff and it’s called “Christianity in Crisis.”

As a note of caution, Hanegraaff is not Catholic, and his theology is Protestant. However wrong he may be wrong about Catholicism, he writes very well on the Word Faith movement.
[/quote]

I agree! Christianity in Crisis really opened my eyes. There is also a book called A Different Gospel, written by an ORU grad, that is another good source but unfortunately not Catholic.

Hanegraaf can take some credit for me being Catholic now–I am sure he would be flattered! :rolleyes: --because his talk about “the historic Christian faith” got me to thinking… :wink:

I will celebrate my one-year anniversary of being Catholic this December 21st!

:smiley:


#10

My ex-fiance fell into the Kenneth Copeland crowd. This eventually led to our parting. His view of the teaching was that anytime you went to a doctor or took medication, you were expressing your lack of faith in God. No, healing wasn’t guaranteed but it was a product of the degree of faith that you held. In our case, my fiance agreed that any future children would have to have conventional medicine available because my lack of faith would undoubtedly cause them to need it.


#11

[quote=kmktexas]My ex-fiance fell into the Kenneth Copeland crowd. This eventually led to our parting. His view of the teaching was that anytime you went to a doctor or took medication, you were expressing your lack of faith in God. No, healing wasn’t guaranteed but it was a product of the degree of faith that you held. In our case, my fiance agreed that any future children would have to have conventional medicine available because my lack of faith would undoubtedly cause them to need it.
[/quote]

Oh she’s always taking her kids to the doctors.


#12

[quote=AmandaCatherine] There is also a book called A Different Gospel, written by an ORU grad, that is another good source but unfortunately not Catholic. :smiley:
[/quote]

Hi Amanda Catherine, I grew up AOG here in the Tulsa area, immersed in Oral Roberts propaganda, saw the big gaping holes and decided Christianity was full of hypocrites. Years later, living very near Rhema, the actions of students there unfortunately only ultra-strengthened that belief. But, fortunately for me, God did not give up on me! My eyes were opened to His Church on earth.

An interesting note for you, here in the Diocese of Tulsa, we have the Pastoral Studies Institute, which teaches mini-courses, long courses, even college level and post-grad level courses. One of my favorite instructors is a professor at ORU. He grew up in a similar church background, but found the Truth, and he is a Catholic professor at ORU! Praise God!

Another note, I still live very near Rhema, and it always strikes a wrong note with me when I see someone arriving in a long white stretch limo, presumably Hagin or his wife. I always wonder if the members there have a hard time with their tithing, knowing it is going to help with such things.

Brenda M.


#13

My ex-fiance fell into the Kenneth Copeland crowd. This eventually led to our parting. His view of the teaching was that anytime you went to a doctor or took medication, you were expressing your lack of faith in God. No, healing wasn’t guaranteed but it was a product of the degree of faith that you held. In our case, my fiance agreed that any future children would have to have conventional medicine available because my lack of faith would undoubtedly cause them to need it.

I always felt guilty that I still had to wear glasses, because my faith wasn’t strong enough. But I didn’t want to crash, trying to drive without them, so that was an area where I had to not follow the faith formula.

Copeland was the #1 preacher for us and for our pastor. (We went to a small Assemblies of God church.) His teaching really gets a hold on people. I never thought my mom would give it up, because we debated it for years. She became Catholic at Easter Vigil this year, so I am very thankful.

:cool:


#14

[quote=BrendaM]Hi Amanda Catherine, I grew up AOG here in the Tulsa area, immersed in Oral Roberts propaganda, saw the big gaping holes and decided Christianity was full of hypocrites. Years later, living very near Rhema, the actions of students there unfortunately only ultra-strengthened that belief. But, fortunately for me, God did not give up on me! My eyes were opened to His Church on earth.
[/quote]

Hi Brenda!

It is great that you found the Church! I am in the OKC archdiocese, and I went to an AG church for years. I was really active in Missionettes and everything that went on. I wanted to go to ORU but decided to go to college nearer home. I did take a correspondence course from ORU.

When I started seeing the problems with the WOF teachings, I got really soured on being a Christian. I didn’t go to church for a long time, didn’t pray, or read my Bible. I believed in God, but I thought that he pretty much leaves us to get along by ourselves.

It is still so amazing to me that I am Catholic, since that is the most unlikely thing I could have imagined! I went to a Christian college and discovered apologetics, and that led me home to Rome.

An interesting note for you, here in the Diocese of Tulsa, we have the Pastoral Studies Institute, which teaches mini-courses, long courses, even college level and post-grad level courses. One of my favorite instructors is a professor at ORU. He grew up in a similar church background, but found the Truth, and he is a Catholic professor at ORU! Praise God!

That’s great! I had heard that they have a lot of variety of professors there, but I didn’t know they had Catholics.

Another note, I still live very near Rhema, and it always strikes a wrong note with me when I see someone arriving in a long white stretch limo, presumably Hagin or his wife. I always wonder if the members there have a hard time with their tithing, knowing it is going to help with such things.

Did you ever hear John Avanzini preach? He always talked about how Jesus was rich, and if he lived now he would wear designer clothes and ride in a limo. That kind of prosperity is a sign that you are spiritually great–that is what I was taught. It is really unbelievable. No one is advocating vows of poverty in the WOF groups. :rolleyes:

I remember going to Campmeeting at Rhema once, and as we were walking up, the limo pulled up and the Copelands got out. People were running to open the doors for them and fawning over them. My mom nearly had a heart attack with the awe of being so near the gurus. I remember feeling disgusted. It must be strange to be someone like that, with people thinking you are some kind of god all the time. Not very good for being humble! :wink:

God bless!


#15

[quote=AmandaCatherine] I am in the OKC archdiocese

[/quote]

We are just a turnpike away! My husband and a friend have been going to a Catholic Men’s Conference in OKC for a couple of years. And I’m sure you know, we were once one big diocese here in OK.

Yes, I am with you on this. I am Okie by birth, and with a Catholic population of about 3-4%, I sure didn’t know anything about Catholicism growing up! But God in His goodness can call even Okies to the Truth!

No, they surely aren’t. I guess it’s the contrast of how our good and holy priests live compared to those of the health and wealth crowd that shocks me so much.

But in my hurry to post earlier this morning, I forgot my charity. Please forgive me. I did grow up to find that all churches, even our great Catholic Church, do have hypocrites, (and sometimes its me too!) but there is always an opportunity to repent and reconvert back to God.

And even though I still have a very hard time with the attitudes at Rhema, and to a bit lesser degree with the Oral Roberts organization, I must say that they do lots of good for the community. I do believe most of those communities are sincere, even though they are lacking the fullness of the Truth. I need to remember to pray for them to find that Truth more than I criticize them!

Brenda M.


#16

Yes, I am with you on this. I am Okie by birth, and with a Catholic population of about 3-4%, I sure didn’t know anything about Catholicism growing up! But God in His goodness can call even Okies to the Truth!

I am still so amazed that I found the Church, and I can’t even explain well how it happened!

And even though I still have a very hard time with the attitudes at Rhema, and to a bit lesser degree with the Oral Roberts organization, I must say that they do lots of good for the community. I do believe most of those communities are sincere, even though they are lacking the fullness of the Truth. I need to remember to pray for them to find that Truth more than I criticize them!

Yes, I think the vast majority of the people in that movement are very sincere and love God and want to serve him. But as I discovered, it is SO much better to have the whole truth!

I’m glad to know there is another Okie convert on this site. :slight_smile:

God bless!


#17

I found an article by Dave Armstrong addressing the Word-Faith teaching–the first one I have found that addresses it from a Catholic perspective!

web.archive.org/web/20030604073922/http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ440.HTM


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