(Photo: Kenneth Copeland preaching on August 1, 2022)
During this year’s Southwest Believers Convention in Fort Worth, televangelist Kenneth Copeland announced that his wife Gloria would not be in attendance because of her health. Kenneth explained that early in their marriage, over 50 years ago, Gloria received a traumatic brain injury during a car accident.
Kenneth also revealed he uses a pacemaker because of an irregular heartbeat.
These confessions are at odds with the Copelands’ theology.
For decades, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have preached that it is God’s will to heal all Christians, but sin and unbelief prevent many healings.
These statements are easy to find in sermon videos on YouTube and in ministry articles. The documentary Suffer the Children critically examines the health and wealth gospel of the Copelands.
The Kenneth Copeland Ministries article How to Get and Keep Your Healing claims, “Your days of sickness and disease are over. No matter how long you’ve been struggling, no matter how serious your situation—healing belongs to you.”
The same article also says, “Healing is your Covenant right. If you want it—it’s yours. It’s not up for debate, as far as the Word of God is concerned. The problem is, most Christians haven’t truly believed it.”
The Copelands’ theology can be described as Word of Faith. Wikipedia explains, “The Word of Faith teaches that complete healing (of spirit, soul, and body) is included in Christ’s atonement and therefore is available here and now to all who believe.”
The website Got Questions dissects the Copelands’ message:
“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). 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. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god.”