Posted by: John Edwards | May 20, 2008

Why I left the Word of Faith

As many of you may know and probably do not care I have been on a spiritual journey of seeking the Truth for the last 14 years. My journey led me away from the Baptist Church where I had been born and raised and into the Charismatic/Pentecostal Churches. I left the Baptist for the power and promises of God that I could see and feel with the Charismatics. I was baptized in the Holy Ghost and prayed in tongues in 1994 and was consumed with a new fire for God. The next leg of my journey led me into what is known as the Word of Faith movement. Someone gave me a Kenneth Hagin book and it really turned me on. I began to listen to all of his tapes and to attend all of his meetings that I possibly could. What appealed to me the most about the WOF is that I could “Have what I say” instead of just having whatever came my way. I also liked the faith teaching, that all of my prayers would be answered by simply believing that I had received. I learned a lot about the power of my words. I was actually taught that my words were creative entities that would bring me anything I desired. You possess what you confess! I was so fired up about the faith message that I quit my career as a successful police officer to attend RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rhema is the Harvard of faith schools, the Mecca of the Word of Faith, the home of the Hagin’s. I loved it! My wife also attended and we both were in the Evangelist Group.
From 1994 through the Spring of this year, 2008, I have listened to hundreds of Cd’s and tapes by such WOF preachers as Kenneth Hagin, Charles Capps, Mark Hankins, John Osteen, Jerry Seville and Fred Price. I have read hundreds of their books. I was obsessed with the message and nothing like it had ever thrilled my soul. I felt truly sorry for every christian on this earth that was not WOF.
WOF teaching is very heavy on some of the topics and doctrines that are never or rarely preached in the major denominational churches such as faith (not faith in God but “obtaining faith), prosperity, power of words, healing and having a vision for your life. These things appealed to me and gave me hope and excitement. I would lay awake many nights meditating on these things. I preached on these topics every Sunday and Wednesday for eight years and had fun doing it.
Then God opened my eyes! Then the lights came on! I am now on my journey out of the WOF and into the place that I know God has planned for me.
I left the WOF for many reasons. I will try to list a few for now:
1) The confession message does not work. You will not have what you say! The WOF has made an entire religion based on an erroneous interpretation of Mark 11:23.
2) The WOF fixation with money, prosperity, status and image.
3) Faith fixation. WOF focuses on faith to receive from God instead of faith IN God. WOF has developed a legalistic religion around spoken words and around “formulas”.
4) Brother Hagin’s Visions. I just don’t believe them.
5) Brother Hagin worship. Try to find a WOF sermon without a few references to him. It’s as bad as the Mormons with Joseph Smith.
6) Earthly minded. The bulk of WOF teaching is about the hear and now. It is a gospel of “Me”.
It’s all about me, what can God do for me? My vision. My desires. My church. my ministry
7) Scripture twisting! Wow, WOF teachers are the worlds worst and I was one of them! WOF can take any scripture in the Bible and turn it around and make it say anything that lines up with faith and prosperity. Most WOF teaching is taken from scriptures out of context.
8) Class System. WOF ministers and churches are all about celebrity and outward appearances. Respecters of persons big time. Pastor Worship.
9) No love. Disdain for the poor. Very judgemetal towards the sick.
10) I have a few hundred more reasons that I may get into later.
I basically lost my relationship with Jesus through the WOF. It became the Gospel of Me. I became spiritually haughty, greedy, materialistic, self centered, legalistic and ignored so much New Testament doctrine. I was blinded because I had been taught and trained to fixate on certain passages that fit WOF doctrine. The bad thing about it is that I taught hundreds of people the same wrongly divided message of error! Yikes! More later.

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Responses

  1. This is great bro! I am excited for what the Lord is doing, bringing you out of this and all…You will have insight to share with other WOF’ers and may be able to help them get out as well.
    -Eric

  2. Hey man, I know this has not been easy for you and it is bold to say the least. I think we all, no matter what denom, need to have an insatiable appetite for Biblical truth that corresponds to life – the way the world actually works, and exemplifies Christ – the things He pursued, taught, and did. I will be praying for you, and covet your prayers for me as well.

    BB
    Gal. 2:20


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