My Testimony By Danny H. from FREEDOM FROM WOLVES
I was raised in a traditional Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) Church. I can remember going to tent meetings, like the ones on the Marjoe Documentary. (I wish I’d seen it sooner! But it wasn’t shown in the South when it was first aired.)
Before I go any further, I’d like to state that I hold no grudges or anger against any of my former churches, pastors, etc. Though I now realize I was in cultic churches, I know God has a way of working all of that mess out for good. (Rom. 8:28) Though I am no longer Pentecostal, I still have many Pentecostal friends and consider them to be brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m not anti-Pentecostal/Charismatic; I’m against the Word of Faith message.
Back to my story. I turned away from God around the age of 12. Fortunately, I returned to church at the age of 16. From about 16-20 was an exciting time in my life. I was a part of an active youth group. It was at this time that I was brought deeper into the Word of Faith message. It was slowly creeping into my A/G church and youth group. I bought my first Kenneth Hagin book and read it many times. My Youth Pastor taught the message and even stood before the entire congregation and claimed his healing from diabetes. To make a long story short, he was not healed and suffered great embarrassment.
As time passed, the church began to shift into the Prophetic Movement in the mid-1980′s. It was also in the mid-80′s that I began to question my Pentecostal beliefs for the first time. I read a book by Charles Ryrie called, Balancing the Christian Life. After reading the book, I left the Pentecostal Movement. Dr. Ryrie said, “Nowhere in the bible does it say that we are commanded to seek the baptism in the Spirit, nor does it say we should seek it.” (I’m paraphrasing.) I was told all my life that all Christians are commanded to seek the baptism. After digging and digging, I came to the conclusion that the Pentecostal message was wrong.
So, I left the Pentecostal church out of conviction, but could not find a good bible church in my area. The highlight of those years was when I met Christian author Bruce Barron, author of The Health and Wealth Gospel. I’m still acquainted with him today. His book helped cement my concerns about gross error in the church.
But my new beliefs were short lived. Since I could find no fellowship outside of the Pentecostal Movement, I returned, but to a different church. I maintained my non-Pentecostal beliefs for about four years (1985-1989.) It was then that I threw caution to the wind and jumped headlong back into the movement. But it was years later that I was reintroduced into the Word of Faith teaching.
I attended another A/G church in the mid-1990′s. At first, the pastor preached regularly against the Word of Faith. He called it: Blab-it-and-grab-it, etc. I was happy with that and felt as if though I was in a solid church. However, one day, someone gave him some Creflo Dollar tapes and he began to heavily promote the Word of Faith.
I quickly left that church and joined what I believed to be a solid A/G church. Wrong again. This church taught the Word of Faith message in a more subtle manner. For a long time, I didn’t even recognize it. I was so busy working in the church that I didn’t take time to dissect the messages.
One day, I went into a Sunday School class that taught from Kenneth Hagin’s books. I thought that this was an isolated case and the pastor probably didn’t even know about it since it was such a large church. It’s funny how your eyes open slowly sometimes. So, I joined another class and forgot about it.
In this church, money, especially tithing, was heavily emphasized. I’d been a tither all my life so it didn’t bother me. The doctrine of Seed-Faith was taught so subtly, that I didn’t recognize it either. We gave even when we could barely afford to buy groceries. It seemed there was always some project to feed. And this would be the issue that opened our eyes once and for all.
I stayed at this church for the better part of 10 years. I tried a few other churches during this time but always returned because my family liked the worship service better.
Notice I said we left a few times over 10 years. It was because something just didn’t feel right about the church. Most of the people were arrogant, judgmental, and acted high and mighty. (Later, I found out this is typical of a lot of WoF church members. The artificial smiles, the fake-it-till-you-make-it mentality.) During the 10 years, we had many, many reasons to leave, but kept making excuses for everything.
Finally, in 2008, we began to question tithing. Our finances were a mess. Where was our ”breakthrough”? We began to study the topic from Genesis through the New Testament and came to the conclusion that compulsory tithing was not to be enforced upon Christians. Our former pastor had said that we’d be under a curse if we didn’t tithe. What a lie. He also said that you could not have God, and God could not have you if you weren’t a tither. With our new understanding of the Word of God, we knew we couldn’t stay in that church. So we resigned all our posts and did church at home for a while.
For about a year, we were still Pentecostal and began to visit other churches. Then we decided we need to check out our Pentecostal beliefs. We found the teaching ministry of Dr. John MacArthur to be very helpful. After much research, we finally left our Pentecostal roots forever.
One day, I listened to a CD from MacArthur about the Word of Faith Movement. I was able to put the pieces together that we’d been deceived for a long time. I read D.R. McConnel’s book: A Different Gospel. I found the website: The Word on the Word of Faith. I found John Edward’s blog. I feasted on the information about the WoF from these sources. I also purchased many other books and DVDs about the movement. I’ve watched Justin Peter’s DVD more than once.
So, over the past year, I’ve became a student of learning the truth about the Word of Faith and the NAR. (But that’s another story.) I’ve read tons of books, articles, and listened to many podcasts on the subject. We have found a solid Reformed Church and couldn’t be happier.
Now looking back, I have several conclusions about the Word of Faith:
1.) It is a very man-centered message.
2.) Only the people at the top of the pyramid get rich
3.) It is a metaphysical mind cultic
4.) Most pastors are controlling and manipulative
5.) It is serious bondage
6.) Most pastors are idolized
7.) It stunts one’s spiritual growth
8.) It is an apostate false gospel and doctrine of demons
9.) People in the movement are spiritually blind
10.) If you are in it, get out as fast as you can!!!!
The other day, I visited a discernment blog and the author was criticizing a new WoF book. The book’s endorser said, “This book will help clear up your frustration and confusion…” I replied, “Since I left the WoF, my frustration and confusion left at that point.”
I found a quote today that encapsulates my experience with the WoF. I don’t know who said it but it describes our experience: “It’s hard to find error when it’s hidden in broad daylight.”
I trust this brief testimony will help others find the errors wherever it is.
Blessings In Christ