John Hagee has received relatively little attention at Reformation Charlotte over the years. This is in part due to the fact that he doesn’t overlap much with circles of people at this publication and his name just simply isn’t brought up very often. He isn’t part of The Gospel Coalition, he isn’t a Southern Baptist, and, to the best of my knowledge, his church doesn’t produce music that’s passed off in mainstream Evangelical churches as “worship music.”
That being said, Hagee does deserve some attention–if for nothing else, for the sake of completeness. Hagee makes #40 on our False Teacher of the Day series.
John Hagee is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX, and the founder of, well, John Hagee Ministries. Hagee was educated at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Trinity University, and the University of North Texas. Hagee is well-acquainted with the Word of Faith movement though he wouldn’t necessarily be considered one of its primary advocates.
Hagee is a Christian Zionist; that is, he holds to the dispensationalism belief that the re-gathering of Jews in the newly-established state of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. While that view is relatively mainstream in Evangelical circles, Hagee’s teachings on this subject have been taken to dangerous and even heretical logical conclusions.
Hagee’s Word of Faith tendencies lies in his association with a well-known false teacher, John Avanzini. During a 1992 TBN Praise-A-Thon broadcast with Avanzini, Hagee said, “There is a relationship between your soul and physical and financial prosperity. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth.’ That’s the spoken Word of God. ‘And then shalt thou prosper and have good success.’ When? After you speak and act upon the Word of God. And you’ve been hearing that tonight out of the mouth of John Avanzini”
Worse, though, is Hagee’s apparent denial that Jesus is the only Messiah. Hagee, in his book In Defense of Israel, appears to deny that Christ was the appointed Messiah to the Jews and the Jesus essentially “refused” to be their Messiah while he instead chose to be the Messiah of the world. The following quotes are taken from his book:
- If God intended for Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel, why didn’t he authorize Jesus to use supernatural signs to prove he was God’s Messiah, just as Moses had done? (p. 137)
- Jesus refused to produce a sign … because it was not the Father’s will, nor his, to be Messiah. (p 138) If Jesus wanted to be Messiah, why did he repeatedly tell his disciples and followers to “tell no one” about his supernatural accomplishments? (p. 139)
- The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews. (p. 140)
- They wanted him to be their Messiah, but he flatly refused. (p. 141)
- He refused to be their Messiah, choosing instead to be the Savior of the world (p. 143)
- Jesus rejected to the last detail the role of Messiah in word or deed. (p. 145)
Hagee then attempted to clarify his position once confronted, yet seems to have only caused more confusion than clarity while solidifying this heresy. He then attempts to conflate “Messiah” with “Savior” and then later explains to a BBC reporter that he “does not target Jewish people for salvation.”
Hagee is very popular because of his bent toward conspiracy theories. While he is for the most part politically conservative, rarely does he preach the gospel and exegete the Scriptures. His sermons are filled with entertainment for worldly-minded people with itching ears; people who are looking for some kind of temporal hope or political or social respite from the chaos of the world around them. Instead of finding their hope in Christ alone, they are temporarily appeased by the smooth-talk and flattery of the false hopes constantly spouted by John Hagee.
He is a false teacher with a false gospel who must be marked and avoided at all costs.