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Christians have listened for many years to the preaching of John Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee attended Trinity University on a football scholarship, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree before earning his master's at North Texas State University. He also studied at Southwestern Bible College and was granted an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University.
Hagee's ministerial activities began in 1958 as an evangelist. In 1966 he went to San Antonio to become the founding pastor of what eventually became Trinity Church. After resigning his pastorate of Trinity in May 1975, Hagee took the helm of the 25-member Church of Castle Hill in San Antonio. That church — rebuilt to seat 5,000 and dedicated in October 1987 as Cornerstone Church — now has an active membership of over 13,000.
Through his writings (books, booklets, and articles in his bimonthly John Hagee Ministries magazine), taped messages, and daily appearances on his Global Evangelism Television broadcasts (Cornerstone and John Hagee Today) aired by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and other media outlets, Hagee has gained broad visibility and influence among evangelicals.
A number of people consider Hagee's teachings to be thoroughly biblical. We would disagree with Hagee, however, on the following points.
John Hagee believes that all Christians should be financially prosperous so long as they continue to walk in obedience to God's ordinances. Although he does not subscribe to every doctrine common to the so-called Faith movement, he does agree with the movement's view that “poverty is caused by sin and disobeying the Word of God.”1 Hagee, like most other prosperity preachers, believes that “poverty is a curse.”
Promoting Positive Confession
Along with the prosperity message, Hagee accepts and promotes the doctrine of positive confession — a foundational teaching of the Faith movement which maintains that Christians can speak (i.e., positively confess) physical realities into existence as long as the believer exercises enough faith to accompany his or her verbal confession.
Salvation Without Conversion?
Hagee is recognized as a fierce foe of anti-Semitism. An outspoken supporter of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the nation Israel, he has been given the “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council. Hagee has also been bestowed the “ZOA Israel Service Award” by the Zionist Organization in Dallas and honored with the “Henrietta Szold Award” by the Texas Southern Region of Hadassah.
While his bold stance against anti-Semitism is certainly praiseworthy, Hagee's zealousness for the Jewish people and their cause has led him to commit a most serious doctrinal error — salvation for the Jews without conversion to Christianity.
Though many may claim Hagee's preaching is helping to spread the Word of God and building a bridge of unity between the Christian and Jewish communities, the fact remains that his message contains elements which lie in direct and serious opposition to biblical truth.
- Source: John Hagee, Christian Research Institute, Statement DH005
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