By Elizabeth Prata
The Passion 2019 conference concluded last weekend. The event has expanded to four simultaneous venues spread among three cities, and all four were sold out. A total of just over 43,000 youths between the ages of 18-25 were in attendance.
One of the speakers this year was Christine Caine. Christine hails from Australia and is known for having founded the Propel Women organization and A21. Propel aims at “Activating every woman’s passion, purpose, & potential.” A21 “is abolishing slavery everywhere, forever.”
The three-day Passion conference event is specifically a youth-oriented event. There is a restricted age-range that is allowed to attend. No one under 18 (unless you’re a senior in High School) and no one over the age of 26. Only the Pastor or Leader of the group attending may enter. No parents, no elder siblings, no elders of your church. Access denied.
Here are videos of the event.
I received a query aobut Caine’s sermon, so listened to Caine’s it, which was almost an hour. Well, I muted the sound and pushed forward the slider in ten second increments while reading the closed captions. I read what she taught and it was straight Word of Faith, twisted verses and all. Here are specifics on how to detect Word of Faith teaching.
At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). GotQuestions
Here are a few screen shots from the video with the captions of statements that stood out to me. Her base text is from Matthew 8:10,
When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.”
In Word of Faith you’ll often hear the word ‘allow.’ The WoF believes (GotQuestions again) that ,
“Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws.”
In WoF world therefore, when we do something according to these laws, God can then be ‘allowed’ to operate within them. The section of Caine’s lecture as seen on the screen shot shows she is teaching classic WoF.
In WoF land, you will hear the word “activate” a lot. In WoF teachings, the object of our faith is our faith (really, us). We possess faith. Something we DO activates it, then God works within it. That’s why within WoF if something doesn’t happen the way we decreed it, (healing, prosperity) it means WE didn’t have enough faith. Things depend on us and our faith, not on God. You see the switch: in WoF teachings it’s switched from God being sovereign to us being sovereign. Word of Faith teachers need to read and re-read Job 38-41 to learn man’s place befroe a sovereign God.
As for activating things, God is not a dried up sea monkey waiting for a drop of water to activate Him. If we are regenerated, then the Holy Spirit is in us and He is always working. His will is independent of ours and He does as He wants. He needs no “activation.” Even the rinted word of God is living and “active.” Nothing WE do activates it.
In WoF you will hear the word “miracle” a lot. Miracles are important to these people because they are the proof of ‘our’ faith. The emphasis, again, is on our faith, and the results from our faith, such as miracles (or health or prosperity). Biblically, miracles were a sign authenticating the unique personage of Jesus, who was sent from God. (John 20:30,31; John 2:23). The WoF teachers do not focus on Jesus as He is for Who He is.
So why did Jesus marvel at the centurion’s faith? Doesn’t Jesus already know everything? We remember that Jesus is God, but in His incarnation He was also man, and when He marveled it is this side of his dual-single nature that comes into play.
For example, Jesus “grew in wisdom”, (Luke 2:52). The God side of Jesus aleready knows eveything, but the man side of Jesus grew because that is what men do, grow. We can’t really grasp how He can know everything but also grow wiser- but that is the mysterious nature of the hypostatic union. [FMI see this Theological Primer from Keven DeYoung on the Hypostatic Union].
Alternately, can Jesus be surprised enough to marvel at a person’s faith? It is the man-God nature again. Jesus dispenses all faith, so the Centurion received it from Jesus as God. Remember the verse in Mt 16:17 when Jesus told Peter,
“And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus as man can be astounded at a man who was a Gentile, had never learned the scriptures, but who had faith enough to trust that Jesus’s power permeated all the universe and that His physical presence or absence to do a miracle was of no matter.
“When Jesus heard this remarkable expression of the centurion’s humble faith, He marveled at him. Here is a glimpse of Jesus’ true humanity, since as God He is omniscient and cannot be surprised by anything. But just as in His humanity He became tired (John 4:6), hungry, (Matt. 4:2), and thirsty (John 19:28; cf. 4:7), so also could He be astonished at the faith displayed by this Roman soldier.”
He turned him about, as one amazed, and said to the people that followed him, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. Note, Christ will have those that follow him to observe and take notice of the great examples of faith that are sometimes set before them—especially when any such are found among those that do not follow Christ so closely as they do in profession—that we may be shamed by the strength of their faith out of the weakness and waverings of ours.
RC Sproul explains why WoF folks like Caine believed as she does, here is a snippet from his devotional,
“Some professing Christians have concluded from texts like this that human faith gives power to God.”
In addition to Caine’s Word of Faith doctrines showing her as a false teacher, she was inappropriate elsewhere in her speech. She spoke twice of how husbands can be “getting some action” out of their wives. She spoke of a skiing accident where she was loaded onto a stretcher and bemoaned the fact that she wasn’t wearing any underwear. Yes, these items were included in her speech to thousands of teenage and young male adults listening. Should a teacher or pastor say this ever? Of course not.
Jude 1:4 warns that false teachers will ervert the grace of our God into sensuality-
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
If Christine Caine’s “sermon” raised red flags to you, good for you. If anything in this essay raised red flags for you, good. He needs no activation, no Word of Faith Law to operate within, and He does not depend on us.
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3).