The 2015 Semper Reformanda conference, entitled “Clouds Without Water,” was hosted by GFBC, Voddie Baucham, and Justin Peters on the 23rd and 24th of October at Founders Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. The conference was opened with a session by Voddie Baucham who spoke out regarding the Word of Faith movement and how it has led millions to turn away from the Gospel. He passionately preached on the importance of contending for the faith according to Scripture, declaring that “the idea of contending for the faith is consistent with the ideas of love, grace, and mercy.”
Next, in confronting the beliefs of the Word of Faith movement with clear, comprehensive biblical references, Mr. Peters presented a thoroughly edifying seminar in which he explained the teachings of Word of Faith ministers before laying out the biblical truths rooted in Scripture arguing against many of the beliefs valued by such teachers as Benny Hinn, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Andrew Wommack, John Hagee, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, Creflo Dollar, Joseph Prince, and Bill Johnson, among others. His introductory session, “The Duty of Discernment,” addressed the importance of studying the Law in order to gain discernment, the weapon that is essential in confronting the claims of Word of Faith advocates since, according to Scripture, “the last days will be marked by unsound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Mr. Peters’ next session, “Dangerous Doctrines,” introduced the many prominent founding figures of the Word of Faith movement (Phineas P. Quinby, Essek W. Kenyon, and Kenneth Hagin, among others) and their varied beliefs which clearly stand in opposition against the truths revealed in Scripture. In explaining the doctrines of Positive Confession, the "little gods" doctrine, Softening of Sin, Spiritual Death of Jesus, and the errant Christology, Peters placed full emphasis on his points that only God can speak things into existence, He cannot lie or die, and He does not change.
“Mangled Manifestations” was the third session which explored many of the seemingly spectacular aspects of the charismatic Word of Faith movement and focused on the abuse of the gift of tongues, the practice of being slain in the Spirit, and the claims of those who say they have been to heaven (Jesse Duplantis, Don Piper, and Colton Burpo, etc.). Expounding upon the importance of recognizing the false prophecies of Word of Faith advocates, Mr. Peters gave biblical examples of how God does and does not speak to humans in the world today.
In the closing session, “The Hurt of Healing,” Peters tackled the twisted ideas upheld by Word of Faith preachers regarding physical healing, declaring that if people are not healed it is not because they do not have enough faith or have not “sown a seed to reap a harvest.” He instead argued that though it is not always God’s will for a believer to be healed, He still heals people today, according to His will. The “Clouds Without Water” conference was enlightening in its revelation of the issues surrounding the Word of Faith movement. Although many of the topics evoked a sense of dismay, horror, or even anger at the beliefs of Word of Faith preachers and advocates, the call to contend for the faith, study the Law, and spread the truth of the Gospel was encouraging and motivating.