This following article was written several years ago - in 1997; it's a short
article dealing with the superman theology of much of today's church and indicates
how easy it is for those who subscribe to it to involve themselves in George
Bush's "War Against the World."
THE OBERMENSCHEN (Supermen) OF KENNETH
HAGIN, BENNIE HINN & JOHN WIMBER
by: S.R. Shearer
THE OBERMENSCH OF HITLER'S GERMANY
The concept of a super-human brotherhood of men characterized principally
by their "perfection" and "devotion to duty," permeated the mythology
which surrounded Hitler's SS - a mystical, extraordinary "brotherhood"
of supermen (Obermenschen) dedicated to purity of character,
a kind of "Grail Quest," a "Vision of Divinity," and the expansion of
Hitler's "Millennial Reich."
To a large extent, much of this mythology was derived from Jorge Lanz
von Liebenfels, a former Catholic Cistercian monk who lived in Vienna
at the turn of the century, and his friend, Guido von List. Both List
and Lanz were devotees of the "Grail Quest."
Lanz created The Order of the New Templars; List began Armanen.
The membership of both groups interlocked. As a child, Lanz's greatest
wish had been to become a Knight Templar. In 1893, at the age of nineteen,
he entered the Cistercian monastery of the Holy Cross. The following
year he published a work about the meaning of the Crusades. In 1899
he left the Cistercians and started his own order, usurping the name
and rituals of his beloved Templars. His order was based on a type of
"Racial Christianity" which was then in vogue throughout the Western
World. (Please see "Racial Christianity" in vol. 1, no. 2.)
While Lanz's Templars were perhaps more extreme than most other forms
of "Racial Christianity" then in fashion, it would be a mistake
to conclude that it was outside the mainstream of Western tradition,
as so many are pre-disposed to conclude today. Indeed, what
Lanz proposed in the pages of his magazine Ostara, was
not that much different from the thinking of Cecil Rhodes -
the spokesman for an entire generation of British empire-builders
and the man who established the "Rhodes Scholarships." When
judging the "Christianity" of men like Lanz and Rhodes, one
must be careful not to read history backwards - to read today's
perspective into the past, a perspective which has been colored
by the shame of Hitler's Gotterdammerung and the Holocaust.
The fact is, much of the racial verbiage which appeared in Ostara
was not considered that "far out" at the turn-of-the-century.
(Please see the "Bell Curve" in vol. 1, no. 2.) Indeed, as bizarre
as it may sound today, Lanz quickly found people who were willing
to believe - and some of the believers were very wealthy men,
ready to help Lanz make his wildest dreams come true.
With the help of these well-to-do devotees, he acquired three castles
- one at Werfenstein in Lower Austria, one at Marienkamp near Ulm, and
the third at Rugen, an island in the Baltic - where he conducted elaborate
ceremonies based on the Grail Quest - ceremonies which Himmler adopted
wholesale for his SS. Lanz was devoted to the idea of "man-gods," a
concept totally at variance with Biblical Christianity, but a concept
of Christianity well within the tradition of the Grail Quest and one
which is not that different from the kind of Christianity taught today
by Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland - a notion which teaches that
through dedication to individual purity, man can progress to perfection
- to the point where he can begin to take on god-like dimensions. This
thinking had a great and very profound impact on Hitler.
THE OBERMENSCH OF THE "NEW CHARISMATICS"
And what a powerful dream it was - the dream to be as gods - to reach
for the heavens; indeed, it permeates our legends and myths, and echoes
back down through the corridors of time to Camelot and Valhalla - the
thought that there is within man a "divine spark" which longs to be
set free in order to ascend to its Originator, God. Man is, therefore,
divine and has a god's role in the universe. Through knowledge of "secret
ways" - as elaborated in such myths as the Arthurian Legends, Excaliber,
Tristan, and Parsifal - man has the potential to ascend into divinity.
Lanz aimed at creating a brotherhood of Christian believers dedicated
to personal purity, the acquisition of supernatural powers and the rescuing
of Western Christendom from destruction - and in this respect, such
notions parallel in almost every respect the thinking of many of today's
"New Charismatics." Indeed, D.R. McConnell, an acknowledged authority
on this subject, writes that -
"One of the more disturbing aspects [of this movement (i.e., the
'New Charismatics')] ... is its tendency to create a ... class ...
of 'supermen', the 'miracle class', ... 'god men'."
BENNIE HINN & KENNETH HAGIN
And there's very little difference here between the thinking of men
like Jorge Lanz von Liebenfels and Guido von List on the one side, and
the "New Charismatics" on the other. A simple perusal of the theologies
taught by such well-known "New Charismatics" as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth
Copeland, Bennie Hinn, etc; [and in such movements as Latter Rain, Manifest
Sons of God (MSG), Word-Faith, etc; and in notions which encompass ideas
like "the Continuation of the Incarnation," "Divine Spark," "Overcomers,"
etc. (concepts which purvey the thought that when man accepts Christ
into his heart, he becomes a "little Jesus," a "man-god")] would confirm
For example, McConnell writes that -
"Kenneth Hagin (one of today's most popular "New Charismatics") clearly
... teaches ... the doctrine of human deification."
And it's true! - Hagin makes no secret about what he is teaching. His
pronouncements on the subject are clear and unambiguous. For example,
Hagin says that -
"... there is a real incarnation in the new birth."
He goes on to say that in the new birth, God imparts -
"His very nature, substance, and being to our human spirits."
Hence, Hagin maintains,
"... every born again man is an incarnation" and that "the believer
is as much an incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth."
And lest the reader think that Hagin is only speaking metaphorically,
one has only to consider the following additional quotations:
"That's who we are; we're Jesus."
"In fact, in the Epistles, the Church is called Christ. The Church
has not yet realized that we are Christ. When we do, we'll start doing
the work we're supposed to do" - i.e., take over the world.
CHARLES CAPPS AND WILLIAM BRANHAM
Charles Capps, another extremely popular "New Charismatic," goes just
as far as Hagin. He writes,
"In August of 1973, the Word of the Lord came unto me saying, 'If
men would believe me, long prayers are not necessary. Just speaking
the Word will bring what you desire. My Creative power is given to
man in Word form. I have ceased for a time from my creative work and
have given man ... my creative power'."
William Branham, an early pioneer of "Latter Rain" concepts, believed
that it was possible to achieve such complete "oneness" and intrinsic
unity with God that truly "holy men" - "Master's of the Faith" - could
create ex nihilo through the use of their own words. These are
the supermen of the "Manifest Sons of God," the "Manchild Company,"
the "First Fruits," "Joel's Army," the "Overcomers," the "New Breed,"
etc. - and it's no coincidence that these supermen of the "Christian
Faith" bear a striking resemblance to the supermen of Hitler's Third
Reich. C. Douglas Weaver relates a story which Branham frequently told;
Branham, an avid hunter, said that God spoke to him during a hunting
trip in Arizona:
"And something said to me: 'Now this is the beginning of your new
ministry. Now ask what you will, and it shall be given to you'."
Branham asked for the creation of three squirrels, which he promptly
shot and killed. And in this connection, it should be noted that almost
all the present Word-Faith teachers promote the possibility of man attaining
to "creative faith" (creatio ex nihilo) through purity of life.
This is the Grail Quest, not Biblical Christianity. McConnell continues,
"The ultimate end of ... (this kind of thinking) is deification (man
becomes God). Deification may be defined as the process whereby men
are transformed into gods ... man was created with the divine nature
(in Eden), sinned (through the Fall), and was filled with the satanic
nature; but through the new birth, he is again infused with the divine
nature. To be born again ... is to receive 'the nature and life of
God in one's spirit'."
Ralph Waldo Trine, a purveyor of deification in the late 1800s, says
that as a person cultivates his "inner spiritual sense" he is,
"... opened to the direct revelation and knowledge of God, the secrets
of nature and life ... and made to realize his own deific nature and
supremacy of being as the son of God ... The ultimate goal ... is
the transformation of man into a god."
Once again, this is "Grail Christianity," a form of Christianity which
has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity.
Moreover, this kind of thinking is not confined merely to the Word-Faith,
Latter Rain, and MSG movements; it has spread to other denominations
which cannot be so easily "typed." Take for example, Paul Cain, a one-time
associate of John Wimber of Vineyard International, one of the fastest
growing evangelical denominations in the country, and a leader in the
effort to bring conservative Protestants and Catholics together "to
take back the earth for Christ." Cain believes that it's possible for
"Overcoming Christians" - i.e., those Christians which have been sanctified
to God through purity of heart - to attain immortalization after coming
to perfection under the authority of a "super-brotherhood" known as
the latter-day "Apostles and Prophets." They will be able to move in
and out of the supernatural and natural realms, even walking through
walls. This is Paul Cain's interpretation:
"So my point is this, that there will be a manifestation of the sons
and daughters of God. And it won't be this baloney that we've heard
of in the past; I mean, there's been a few people tried to walk through
a wall like this over here and knocked their brains loose, but that's
not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a manifested son of
God; if anyone walks through this wall over here, they're not going
to tell you about it - I mean, they're just going to do it. And sons
of God don't tell you they're sons of God, they'll just show you!
According to this kind of thinking, Jesus was the "pattern" for what
God intended to do with men - to deposit a "spark" of the divine essence
into them, creating for Himself a whole race of "god-men" after the
pattern of Jesus - supermen ("Jesus Men" - the "First Fruits," the "Overcomers,"
etc.) who would conquer and subdue the world through the exercise of
divine power and authority, bringing it into subjection to God.
THE "LATTER RAIN" SUPERMEN (OBERMENSCHEN)
The "Faith" and "Latter Rain" supermen become "kings in life" and the
"bondage breakers" for the rest of the human race. Indeed, the claim
of the "Faith" and "Latter Rain" theology that God is intent on creating
a "master race" of "bondage breakers" is exactly the claim made by Himmler's
SS - and one may be making a very grave mistake in thinking that the
"supermen" of this form of Christianity differ to any great degree from
Himmler's SS - after all, what is one to think when Jack Deere of Vineyard
"When this army (i.e., Joel's Army) comes, it will be large and mighty.
It's so mighty that there's never been anything like it before ...
"begin the SLAUGHTER and begin it in the temple (i.e.,
the church) and begin it with the elders, the leaders of my people".
And they walk through the land and they start and they begin to SLAUGHTER
... He has already started the SLAUGHTER ... and it
is coming now among the church. He'll start with the leaders, but
he'll move out into the church (and beyond)."
Many will say that we are bending the truth too far in drawing a parallel
between what Jack Deere is saying here, and what Hitler predicted in
1933. Of course, in 1933, people said the same thing about those who
tried to point out the fact that Hitler just might be serious in what
he was saying. Words are words, and more often than not, they convey
EXACTLY the meaning they are meant to convey. It's only
those who don't want to hear what's being said that try to "water down"
the meaning of such words and say that people don't really mean what
they have so plainly said.
- List was much more the pagan than was Lanz; he dedicated his fellowship
to the German god, Wotan. List became a pioneer in reviving Teutonic
folklore and mythology; but even here, it must be remembered that
it's not such a long journey from Wotan's Valhalla to Arthur's Camelot
- not as far as some people might want to believe. Indeed, Trevor
Ravenscroft places List well in the mainstream of what he calls "Grail
Christianity." And List's willingness to work with Lanz seems to bear
Ravenscroft out on this matter. Together, List and Lanz joined forces
in creating the Germanen Orden.
- Please see Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult (New York:
Dorset Press, 1977).
- D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson
Publishers, 1988), pg. 108.
- Op. Cit., McConnell, pg. 122.
- Hagin, Zoc., pg. 42.
- Hagin, "Walking in the Light of Faith," Word of Faith (January,
1978), pg. 3.
- Hagin, "The Virgin Birth," The Word of Faith (December, 1977),
- Hagin, Zoc., pg. 41.
- Hagin, The Name of Jesus, pg. 105.
- Charles Capps, The Tongue: A Creative Force, pgs. 8-14.
- Weaver, The Healer Prophet, pg. 137.
- Op. Cit., McConnell, pg. 121-122.
- Ralph Waldo Trine, In Tune with the Infinite (New York: Dodd,
Mead & Co., 1920), pg. 35.
- Paul Cain, "The New Breed," tape.
- Jack Deere, Vineyard Ministry International, "Joel's Army," 1990.
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