Rick D’s ex-Word of Faith Testimony from http://rickyd2000-walkingwiththelord.blogspot.com/
The testimony of my involvement with Word of Faith and Charismatic movement spans for a period of 22 years. How I left the wacky world of Word of Faith/ Charismania is what I will be sharing here. It was in 1987 that a business partnership went bad, my wife and I were facing a looming disaster with the possibility of a foreclosure, losing the business, and our whole lives being crushed all at the same time.
The a few years before this I rededicated my life to the Lord Jesus with the birth of my daughter. I found out that most of my in-laws were born again Christians and started to hang around my 2 brother-in law who were involved with Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International. It was at this time that I started to watch Christian TV, and found out about the prosperity gospel through Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price, Benny Hinn and the Word of Faith. It seemed like a God send at the time, concerning the huge financial problems I was facing, but I was to find out later that the false gospel of prosperity was an abject failure.
It was at a Full Gospel dinner that a new Pastor out of Rhema Bible Training center was opening up a new Church in Bethel Ct. so we all decided to attend. The indoctrination into word of faith began. The first thing you are taught is tithing, so I went jumped in with both feet. I was giving offerings to all the TV ministries, you name it and I gave to Copeland, Tilton, Price, Oral Roberts, Full Gospel and the Word of Faith Church I was attending.
I was totally caught up in this doctrine as the way out of my problems. Little did I realize that I was getting deeper in debt. The time was getting closer that the business had to be sold or just walk away. At the time it was my wife and I were working 14 hrs a day 6 days a week just to keep the business running so that we could sell it. A dear Christian brother who went home to be with the Lord a few years, heard of our dilemma and offered to work for us for whatever we could pay him.
What a blessing that was for my wife and I especially with a young daughter in tow. Sal and I would pray every day that the Lord to send the customer’s in to the store. The Lord honored our prayers and were able to keep the business running till a buyer became interested. My sister in law was committed to the Word of Faith teachings and told me to walk around the store 7 times and the Lord would sell the business. I was desperate, instead of reading my Bible and communicating with God. I walked around the store 7 times, because she said Joshua did it in Jericho,but what she left out was that God told Joshua to march around the walls of Jericho and then blow the trumpet and then God cuased the walls to fall down from the inside out. This is the type of false teaching that comes out of Rhema it is based on pure superstition.
The only way that we could sell the business was to take a down payment which payed the vendors and a monthly payment for a year which the buyer eventually defaulted. In turn my one bedroom condo was foreclosed on and my family left Connecticut and moved to Naples Florida in 1994. All of this happened at a time of going to a Word of Faith Church, attending Full Gospel meetings giving tithes and offerings all over the place. I felt like an abject failure because of what people were saying that I didn’t have enough faith thats why all this stuff happened to me.
At the time the Word of Faith Church was becoming more and more legalistic. The teachings of Kenneth Hagin were not working, I bought up every book possible such as You can write you own ticket with God and Authority of the Believer. Nothing was working as it was preached name and claim it, confess it and posses it. I mean all this false teaching was failing and my walk with the Lord was suffering. Full Gospel was devolving into a bless me club as they embraced the next false prophet that blew into town who was full of himself and not the Holy Spirit. There was a Jezebel spirit running loose in the Word of Faith Church I was attending, no it is called sin and the Pastor had to step down because he was involved in adultery as well as the Music Minister. I left the church before everything blew up. I was on my way out of the Charismatic life, but I still loved the Lord and was determined to know Him and serve Him in a greater way. I changed Churches and started attending an Assembly
of God Church in Stamford CT. for a year then it was time to to Florida.
Once in Florida I tried many different Charismatic Churches that preached the gifts of the Spirit but never saw any evidence of the Gifts in operation. Charismatic Christianity was becoming more and more of a side show. The Jim Baker scandal, Jimmy Swaggart scandal,Robert Tilton scandal. Every one of the scandals in ministry had a corresponding blow of lack of trust and integrity with these TV preachers. You can go right down the line, the scandals are too numerous to mention. It did have an effect on me and it caused me to question what were my real beliefs and allowed me time to dedicate my time to study the Bible more and know what God’s Word really says and how to apply it in my life.
For about 10 years I was in a dry spot with the Lord and I was dry, going through the travails of life, numerous surgeries and now dealing with prostate cancer. My sister-in-law told me about a wonderful non denominational Church that she was attending and ask me to go to a service. I started to attend services, but didn’t go regularly due to the fact of surgeries and going back to college to get my degree.
Once I graduated college and surgeries were finished. I started to attend the non denominational Church regularly and attend a weekly Bible study. The diagnosing of prostate cancer caused me to get right with God very quickly. I started to realize that my relationship with Him was not as it should be. As the Pastor preached his sermon on Sundays I became more and more aware of the catch phrases positive negative and faith, almost every sunday sermon ended with a faith conclusion which I heard being preached before in the Word of Faith in CT. Bells and whistles started going off in my mind. Could it be possible that I would be attending a Word of Faith Church again. Yes it was possible, upon further research I found out that the Pastor was a graduate of Rhema and that the Associate Pastor was also a graduate of Rhema. I did not leave a Word of Faith Church in Ct to only go back in one here in Florida. Whether the Pastor preaches Word of Faith or Word of Faith lite it is still from
I brought this to the attention of my brother and sister in law and they said to me the Pastor is not preaching Rhema doctrine, but it sure sounded like it to me.
After one Sunday service in which the Pastor mentioned that every one in the congregation should buy Charles Capps book The Tongue the Creative Force, I had it and left the Church. You see for the last 6 months there were many references to Rhema doctrine but it is so subtle that if you are not keyed into to the message it would fly over your head and would not catch it. Combined with the Todd Bentley’s false revival of last year the Lord had me on a true search of where the Charismatic, Healing revivals and Word of Faith intersected. The picture that developed was horrific, add to Joseph Chambers expose on Kenneth Hagin and the Spirit of Serpent in which a Holy Ghost turned into a laughing debacle in which Hagin was full of demon spirits causing people to slither out of their seats and hissing at everyone. I had it I had to move on and put this Charismatic chaos behind me.
I have been attending the Fist Baptist Church here in Naples FL for the last month and half and I am now a member and happy to be out of that Charismatic Chaos that I was involved with for all those years. Praise the Lord because Jesus has set me free!!!!!!!!!!!!