After being in NCC all these years, I am understanding more and more that churches who are the Word of Faith type tend to preach very similar sermons, such that you see the same basic themes appearing in all of them.
The story from Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre
What happened was: Miejue Shitai's stance, 'fo guang pu zhao' purely took Emei Jiu Yang Gong as its foundation, which originated from the real Jiu Yang Shen Gong, which Zhang Wuji trained. After listening to Jue Yuan reciting the Nine Yang Manual, Guo Xiang developed Emei Jiu Yang Gong based on fragments she managed to remember. As a result, the power of Emei Jiu Yang Gong of course cannot be mentioned on equal terms with the original Jiu Yang Shen Gong. However, the power of these two internal energies were comparable, the essence was identical. When Emei Jiu Yang Gong met the Jiu Yang Shen Gong, it was like river and stream entering the ocean, or like milk dissolved into water, instantly disappeared without any trace.
To me, this reminds me of the story in Jin Yong "Heaven Sword and dragon Sabre". In the early part of the book, the hardcopy of Jiu Yang Zhen Jing manual was thought to be lost and only the monk Jue Yuan, knew the entire content since he memorized it. On his deathbed, he recited it out by memory and there were 3 listeners, Zhang Sanfeng, Guo Xiang, and a Shaolin monk.
Each of these three took different aspects of the contents, based on their own innate ability and listening. Guo Xiang was supposed to be the most intelligent one, the Shaolin Monk Wuse had the strongest martial arts foundation, and Zhang Sanfeng spent the longest time with Jue Yuan earlier so he had the advantage of already learnt some aspects of Jiu yang Zhen Jing.
But ultimately, all three versions were incomplete in different ways. When Zhang Wuji was struck by Xuanming poison that cursed him with constantly feeling cold, Zhang Sanfeng knew that his incomplete version of Jiu Yang could not heal him but he was hoping that if he could get the other 2 versions from Shaolin and Ermei by exchanging his version with them, it was possible that the 3 incomplete versions of Jiuyang, when combined, will be able to purge the coldness from Wuji.
That plan did not take off since none of the other 2 were willing to trade their own versions. In the end of course, Wuji managed to find the hardcopy of Jiuyang manual from the stomach of a gorilla, and managed to get healed. Incidentally I also linked Wuji's thinking of why he might as well just practice the manual even though he was not sure whether it can really cure him, to my original reason to be a Christian.
What I wrote was as follows:
Just completed reading the ongoing English translation of Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre and it was interesting reading about Zhang Wuji's reasoning as to why he might as well practice the Jiu Yang Shen Gong even if he is not too sure whether it can really cure his coldness.
Zhang Wuji thought, “Tai Shifu once said that if I can practice the ‘Jiu Yang Shen Gong’ [nine ‘yang’ divine strength/power] of Shaolin, Wudang and Emei, three Sects, then I can drive the cold poison away from my body. These three Sects’ Jiu Yang Gong all came from the Nine Yang Manual. If this book is indeed the Nine Yang Manual and I practice according to it, then the end result will far exceed the result if I practice the three Sects’ divine power separately. Since I have nothing to do in this valley, I’d better practice according to this book. Supposing my guess is wrong; that this book is actually useless, so much so that it is harmful to me, the worst that can happen to me is death anyway.”
...Even if I succeeded in cultivating the divine strength from the book, and managed to repel the cold poison, I would still be imprisoned in this valley with steep peaks all around, could not get out forever. My days in this valley are long, if I can succeed today, good; if I must wait ‘til tomorrow, it’s also good. It doesn’t make any difference. If I fail, I would have something to do to pass my boring days anyway.’...Strangely, with this win-or-lose-always-happy attitude, he made a surprisingly rapid progress. In only four short months, he succeeded to comprehend in detail the skill described in the first volume of the book, which he immediately trained accordingly.
I chuckled when I read this because this was the exact same reasoning I recalled when I decided to myself in Primary 6, way back in 1985, whether to accept Christ into my heart for the first time. Recalling from that episode:
While I was Primary Six, I happen to come across a series of six Christian articles. The article was trying to explain how God created the world and made man. How man sin and how Jesus had to come down and save us. I have heard this story before and I was prepared to just read through it. When I came to the sixth article, I was presented the destiny of Christians through many different "crowns" they can win when Jesus comes back. They include the "Soul-winners" crown, which would be won if the Christian win another to Christ and many others.
That set me thinking, "Hey, if what I am reading is true, I will have everything to gain by being a Christian. I get the insurance that I will go to heaven rather than hell after death. Those crowns I read about are bonuses beyond that which I do not need to aim for anyway. If Christianity is false, life will certainly not be any different from now. The most I go to church in Sunday for nothing. Life can't get any worse for me than this anyway." It seems as though I have everything to gain and nothing to lose by accepting Christ. (It was only when I was a 1st year undergraduate in philosophy that I realized that this reasoning was first put forward by the philosopher Pascal!). So I simply follow the suggested prayer written there and prayed to accept Christ in my life.
The Word of Faith preachers
Thus, applying that story to this perspective, the Word of Faith originated from people like E W Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. After that, various preachers like Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar took their understanding and focused on different aspects of the Word of Faith.
Joseph Prince is clearly focusing on the grace aspect of WOF. He is extremely gifted in his ability to understand and preach what salvation by grace really means. His exposition of Romans and Galatians in teaching me, what does it mean to be the righteousness of God in Christ.
And if JP focused on the grace aspect of WOF, Joel Osteen chose to focus on the hope aspect of WOF. His sermons are especially appealing to many non-Christians, and also Christians who have stopped going to church. They are mostly sermons on how wonderful God is, and to remind all these people that God loves them, without the same intellectual demands, no Greek or Hebrew that Joseph Prince often use.
What I have learned from Creflo Dollar that was less emphasized in JP, is how Man is also a trinity just like God. I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body. For some time, I was puzzled by NCC’s perspective of how God heals us today, using Abraham as an example. It was only after I understand that God sees my spirit as perfect, sinless and in health, that I understood why God renamed Abram as Abraham while the latter was still childless.
And from Andrew Wommack, I begin to understand the new covenant's perspective on tithing and financial stewardship, and I am currently trying to apply these principles now.
Furthermore, his preaching on healing has really strengthened my belief in this area. I especially enjoyed the numerous bible studies that his ministry puts up on Youtube, and especially the QnA section, where his ministers answer the various questions that people have on healing.
I chuckled when I recalled the only NCC cell group I went to during the early NCC years where the cell leader merely repeat the point, "Believe in God's grace that you are healed", and did not really say anything beyond that point. In this aspect, I learn so much from the excellent answers Andrew Wommack Ministry gives to all the very standard questions about healing that people will have.
Conclusion : My learning style
Coming from the same basic source, once you accept one perspective, it is quite easy for you then to immediately understand where the others came from. Just like the Jiu Yang Zhen Jing story from HSDS, once you combined the various perspectives, you will, in a sense, get a more complete understanding of the story.
This appeals to the way I learn. As I recalled in my university years, whenever I encounter new economics concepts, I will just grab many books that discuss this topic, and keep reading different perspectives about the same topic. I will then take the time to make my personal reflection on it, and make my own notes on it, as a way to consolidate the understanding. My personal belief is that, if you can't explain it logically, you don't really understand what you think you understood.