When cult-watching organizations first came on the scene a few decades ago, they focused mainly on exposing the non-Christian beliefs and alleged brainwashing techniques of such groups as the Unification Church, the Children of God, and The Way International. In addition, they sought to expose the teachings of more conventional religious groups, including Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, whose doctrines were incompatible with the essential tenets of Christian faith.
These long-standing emphases have continued for many apologetics ministries, which today number about 600. In recent years, however, the countercult movement has increasingly focused its investigative energies on individuals and organizations that have a strong foothold in certain segments of the Christian community.
This refocusing was reflected in the title of the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR) conference, "The Cults, Occult and Word-Faith Movement," in September in Philadelphia. One of the plenary sessions featured a panel discussion on the issue of whether the Word-Faith movement should be considered cultic.
Among those identified as subscribing to some form of Word-Faith doctrine were Trinity Broadcasting Network president Paul Crouch, Korean megachurch leader David Yonggi Cho, and television preachers Kenneth Copeland, Marilyn Hickey, Fred Price, Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Rodney Howard-Browne, and Kenneth Hagin.
Plenary speaker Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute (CRI), explained that, according to Word-Faith teaching, "faith is a force, words being the container of the force. And through the force of faith, you can create your own reality." Hanegraaff, whose best-selling Christianity in Crisis details the "erroneous ...1
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