4 Truth Ministry

False Movements

Six Dangerous Teachings Within the Visible Church

False Movements/Teachings Within the Church

Unfortunately, the Christian church has been influenced by quite a few false movements over the years. Below you will find some of the most dangerous false movements of our time: Word-Faith, Church-Growth, Signs & Wonders, New Apostolic Reformation, Emergent Church, and Spiritual Formations “Infiltration”. After each overview of the false movement, there is a link to additional information about that movement.

Word-Faith Movement

The Word of Faith Movement, also known as the prosperity gospel, is an attempt to utilize God for personal benefit based upon supposed truths from the Bible. Followers of the Word-Faith Movement are taught they were created as little gods and are encouraged to speak their own desires out loud to God. In return, God is obligated to fulfill those desires, since their words literally manipulate the “faith-force.” In this movement, you may also hear things like “Name it and Claim it” or “Health and Wealth.” On our Word-Faith Movement page, you can read more about the Word-Faith Movement’s roots, teachings, teachers and leaders.

Church Growth Movement (Seeker-Sensitive)

The Church-Growth Movement, also known as the Seeker-Sensitive Movement, is more concerned with bringing large numbers of people into the church by any means necessary rather than with the true message of Christ. The pastors and elders of the church begin to take upon themselves a new role that looks more like a CEO of a business, rather than shepherds who feed God’s flock. Some churches in this movement poll the neighborhoods they are in to see what needs they can meet. In turn, the church is focused more on meeting the needs of the culture instead of preaching the Gospel of Christ. On our Church-Growth Movement page, you can read more about the Church-Growth Movement’s roots, teachings, teachers and leaders.

The Signs & Wonders Movement (The Third Wave)

The Signs & Wonders Movement is also called the Third Wave Movement (meaning the Third Wave of the Holy Spirit). In this movement, it is all about the phenomena in what is called “power evangelism.” The emphasis is on miracles, healings, prophecies, and speaking in tongues rather than the message of the gospel. They teach that God speaks new prophecies apart from Scripture. On our Signs & Wonders page, you can read more about the Signs & Wonders Movement’s roots, teachings, teachers and leaders.

A wolf in sheep's clothing representing false movements in the Christian church

New Apostolic Reformation

The main distinction of the New Apostolic Reformation is in the use and exaltation of those who supposedly receive new revelations from God. These “new apostles and prophets” supposedly have a fresh authority from God that they believe is Biblical. Those in the New Apostolic Reformation overemphasize spiritual warfare as well as have an inaccurate view that Christians are to establish dominion over society. On our New Apostolic Reformation page, you can read more about the New Apostolic Reformation’s roots, teachings, teachers and leaders.

Emergent Church

The Emergent Church Movement gets its name from the idea that a new church should appear on the scene for a world that is “searching” and changing. The primary goal is to be relevant and sensitive to the culture, always engaged and listening. This results in an emphasis on subjective feelings rather than objective truth. “Absolute truths” are evidently the unpardonable sins in this movement. The Emergent Church is “missional” in its approach to ministry and at its out-set would probably have much rather had a small group meeting on a porch somewhere than find itself in a formal church setting. On our Emergent Church page, you can read more about the Emergent Church’s roots, teachings, teachers and leaders.

Spiritual Formations “Infiltration”

Spiritual Formations can be the unbiblical practices of things such as: contemplative spirituality and prayer, centering prayer, visualization and more.

The term Spiritual Formation is used quite differently today than it was once intended for or the Scriptural use. Scriptural ideas such as sanctification, discipleship, prayer, and silence have taken on new meanings in many universities and seminaries under the heading of Spiritual Formations (also Spiritual Disciplines). Many churches and pastors have adopted the new meanings as well. They instead stress things such as: contemplative spirituality, contemplative prayer, centering prayer, visualization, cosmic christ, practicing the presence, sacred reading (lectio divina), entering the silence, prayer labyrinths, ancient wisdom, enneagrams, and automatic writing. You can read more in-depth about Spiritual Formations on our Spiritual Formations page.

Last Updated: 3-07-22