When I agreed to read and review this book for the publisher, I will admit that I knew very little about author John Hagee. I recognized his name from his television ministry but, if I’m being honest, I spend very little time watching televangelists because television ministries lack a key component of ministry – relationship. I say this simply to convey that I have no idea where Mr. Hagee stands theologically. I do not know his denomination or his stances on the popular theological debates of our time.
I will, however, argue that his book, The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, reveals some theological miscues. To make a long story short, Mr. Hagee is asserting that God proclaimed certain blessings on the Israelites that are now offered to Christians (who have supplanted, or at least joined with, the Jewish people as God’s chosen ones) and all we must do is claim those blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. Hagee writes, “The priestly blessing was not just for Moses. Levi, and the elite members of the tribe of Levi; it was intended for every person on the face of the earth!”
According to Hagee, all you have to do to claim your blessings is say them out loud and claim them as your own. Or as my wife astutely put it – Name it and claim it.
For example, Hagee writes:
I want you, regardless of your circumstances or how hopeless you feel at this moment, to say aloud, “I was born to be blessed.”
Begin thinking of yourself as successful in everything you put your hand to. I encourage you to end all destructive speech about yourself, your spouse, your children, your current circumstances, and your future.
You have the power to turn your life around!
Hagee claims that when he began preaching on the power of the prophetic blessing in his local church that everyone’s lives suddenly took a turn for the better. He even shares a heartwarming, personal story of how his unborn baby was saved from birth defects simply because Hagee claimed blessings in his name.
I have several problems with Hagee’s theology.
First, I am a dispensationalist. I believe the the church and the Israelites are distinct groups. Both are saved by Jesus Christ, but a promise or blessing made to the Jewish people is not automatically conveyed upon the church. I believe God has separate programs in store for both. Hagee seems to believe the Jewish people and the Church are one in the same. He is certainly not alone in this belief, however, it is one that I do not agree with.
Secondly, while I do believe that God blesses believers (and unbelievers to a certain extent), I do not believe that I can claim the specific blessings I desire simply by proclaiming them. Hagee seems to take the power of blessing away from God Almighty and claim it for himself. As he shared the story of his unborn baby’s rescue from birth defects it seemed less about what God did and more about what Hagee himself did. This makes me very uncomfortable.
Finally, Hagee’s theology doesn’t jive with reality. Life is hard sometimes. Heck, when Siddhattha Gotama ventured from isolation to view the world for the first time his immediate observation was that life is hard. According to Hagee, these hardships can be wished away in the name of Christ. This is hogwash. The Bible I read tells me that life is difficult and that God will stand by us no matter how mad it gets. It tells me that I can experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a taste of Heaven on earth provided I put my faith in Jesus Christ. And finally, it promises me that someday I will live in a literal Kingdom ruled by Christ Himself. It does not, however, promise me a perfect life in the here and now provided I simply claim it.
Hagee’s theology offers no hope to the believer who is truly suffering. What about the couple whose baby is born with a birth defect. In Hagee’s church, the couple could of avoided the trauma if they had just had a little more faith and proclaimed their blessings with just a little more boldness.
This is a twisted and perverted take on the gospel that is presented in the Bible. Personally, I do not recommend this book for anyone.I was, however, given a promotion copy of the book to use in a give away promotion on this blog. If you want it, let me know. First come, first serve!
Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was given to me by Handlebar Publishing in exchange for this review.