Posted by: John Edwards | August 18, 2008

Coming Full Circle for an Ex-Word of Faith Preacher

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THIS POST was made by John Edwards, but we was unable to properly credit him in the title bar above, after the post where imported from his blog

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I feel that in many ways that I am coming full circle in my life. It is scary and exciting at the same time. There is grief and hope. I grieve over what I have lost but my hope is in God and that He has a plan for my life that is better than the ones that I have made.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist church. I went to church every single time the doors were open until I was 21 years old and joined the Marine Corps.

Then I stayed out of church totally for ten years. I was really backslid but I still prayed and loved God. I just never read my bible or went to church.

I never believed in tongues but I always believed that God would and could heal if it was His will.

I was always very respectful towards Him and I had a very Calvinistic view of things. I rarely ever worried. My goals were always simple. As a Birmingham Police officer my goals were: Make it through the shift without being killed, go home and drink beer.

I thought all charismatics were loons. I thought Word of Faith people were extremely weird and full of greed. I thought the Baptist Church was the only real deal. I thought my pastor was awesome and knew everything about God. I always felt safe and secure at church. It was always the same people.

 It was stable. All they preached about was Jesus and salvation and doing good works. It was simple.

Then in 1994 I became a charismatic. The next year I became a Word of Faith person. I entered into a whole new system of believing and receiving.

Tongues and miracles, signs and wonders, tithing, sowing and reaping, healing and visions, prosperity, binding and losing, getting slain in the spirit, running speed laps in church, raising my hands in worship and on and on. It was an exciting experience that promised a life time of health, wealth and supernatural experiences with God. I drank it all in hook, line and sinker. I even went to Bible School in Oklahoma and graduated from the Top Word of Faith school in the universe. I worked for the greatest Faith Healer of all time. To top that off, I came home and started a church in my living room with four people. That grew into hundreds and hundreds of people that have come and gone. I have gotten thousands of people saved. I have taught the Word of Faith to thousands of others. I was on TV almost 100 times and went on mission trips to Europe and Africa. Then in October we built a gorgeous facility on 18 acres of land next to the school here.

Everything was going great. Then God removed the blinders of deception from my eyes so that I could see. It was like walking out of a thick fog and into the dazzling sunshine! It was like having my lungs filled with smoke from a burning fire, and then being able to breath the cold mountain air.

The first thing that I did was to share my discoveries with Coni and a few close friends. God opened their eyes just as He did mine. They got excited about Jesus again! They got excited about who God is again!

Next I began to share the truth with my church family. I named names and I exposed false doctrines and who was teaching them. I proved everything from the Word of God. I introduced tons of new scriptures and doctrines. I was asked by my Bible School to mail in my credentials. They quit responding to my emails and questions and removed http://www.faithpreacher.com/ from their web sites. All of my preacher friends started to ignore me. They would not respond to emails or phone calls. None of them came to visit me or to express concerns.

Next a group of church members left. Some of them walked off of their post without an explanation. I had staff members that had been loyal friends and co-workers leave. I had some individuals leave. The common denominator was that they would not even glance at the evidence. They were more in love with an idea or a movement than they were in the truth.

I have learned that telling the truth will get you into trouble in a hurry.

Standing for principal and having backbone will get you into trouble with a lot of folks.

So, here I am starting all over again. I’m not saying that I am a true blue Southern Baptist, but I might be. I believe that their doctrine is pure and right. I believe that their main message, the Gospel, is the greatest message on earth. I am also starting my ministry over again with whoever remains.

We sure could use some tithers in a hurry! I believe that if God wants me to be the pastor here, and that if he wants this church to work, then He will provide.

I have lost my salary. I am pennyless again, just like I was when I got out of the Maine Corps. But I have been on some great job interviews where I can make as much money as I want to with out catching hell for it. I have no plans to jump ship. I have never been a quitter. I have met a lot of them though. I’m not one.

Most of the people at church are fired up and in full agreement with the doctrinal changes. I gues its mostly the ones that were raised as Baptist or Methodist. I have had so many church members pull me aside and thank me for doing this. I have received tons of supportive emails and cards. I have had one church member after another tell me that they are free again! That makes me feel good.

So here I am full circle, back to being a denominational guy with no job! Life is good.

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Responses

  1. The Apostles didnt seem to enjoy a lot of prosperity did they? lol Thanks Todd for your insights

  2. John,
    I was reflecting on some things you said in an earlier post about the apostles and how they were doing miracles in the early days of the church and seemingly unable to later.
    I know you mentioned this to refute the false teachers of the WOF. I was wondering though if anyone had considered the fate of these men who were full of faith and beloved of God. All the apostles were murdered for their faith, along with many disciples, except for John and he was boiled in oil but lived. I’m including below the account of the deaths of these men of God. You may already know these facts but I thought them a notable consideration.
    I was also thinking about all those supposed brothers in the WOF that are no longer giving you any love and showing their true colors. Is not Christ our common bond and not our doctrine? If they believe you to be in error is it not their duty as your brothers in Christ to guide you to truth? The truth fears no examination! As a Baptist I disagree doctrinally with every other denomination but we can still fellowship together because we are all brothers in Christ. Did the apostle Paul abandon the believers in Corinth or Galatia when he thought them in error?
    Still praying for you brother,
    Todd M

    FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS

    CHAPTER I
    History of Christian Martyrs to the First General Persecutions

    Under Nero
    Christ our Savior, in the Gospel of St. Matthew, hearing the confession of Simon Peter, who, first of all other, openly acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, and perceiving the secret hand of His Father therein, called him (alluding to his name) a rock, upon which rock He would build His Church so strong that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. In which words three things are to be noted: First, that Christ will have a Church in this world. Secondly, that the same Church should mightily be impugned, not only by the world, but also by the uttermost strength and powers of all hell. And, thirdly, that the same Church, notwithstanding the uttermost of the devil and all his malice, should continue.
    Which prophecy of Christ we see wonderfully to be verified, insomuch that the whole course of the Church to this day may seem nothing else but a verifying of the said prophecy. First, that Christ hath set up a Church, needeth no declaration. Secondly, what force of princes, kings, monarchs, governors, and rulers of this world, with their subjects, publicly and privately, with all their strength and cunning, have bent themselves against this Church! And, thirdly, how the said Church, all this notwithstanding, hath yet endured and holden its own! What storms and tempests it hath overpast, wondrous it is to behold: for the more evident declaration whereof, I have addressed this present history, to the end, first, that the wonderful works of God in His Church might appear to His glory; also that, the continuance and proceedings of the Church, from time to time, being set forth, more knowledge and experience may redound thereby, to the profit of the reader and edification of Christian faith.
    As it is not our business to enlarge upon our Savior’s history, either before or after His crucifixion, we shall only find it necessary to remind our readers of the discomfiture of the Jews by His subsequent resurrection. Although one apostle had betrayed Him; although another had denied Him, under the solemn sanction of an oath; and although the rest had forsaken Him, unless we may except “the disciple who was known unto the high-priest”; the history of His resurrection gave a new direction to all their hearts, and, after the mission of the Holy Spirit, imparted new confidence to their minds. The powers with which they were endued emboldened them to proclaim His name, to the confusion of the Jewish rulers, and the astonishment of Gentile proselytes.
    I. St. Stephen
    St. Stephen suffered the next in order. His death was occasioned by the faithful manner in which he preached the Gospel to the betrayers and murderers of Christ. To such a degree of madness were they excited, that they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. The time when he suffered is generally supposed to have been at the passover which succeeded to that of our Lord’s crucifixion, and to the era of his ascension, in the following spring.
    Upon this a great persecution was raised against all who professed their belief in Christ as the Messiah, or as a prophet. We are immediately told by St. Luke, that “there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;” and that “they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
    About two thousand Christians, with Nicanor, one of the seven deacons, suffered martyrdom during the “persecution that arose about Stephen.”
    II. James the Great
    The next martyr we meet with, according to St. Luke, in the History of the Apsotles’ Acts, was James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord; for his mother Salome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. It was not until ten years after the death of Stephen that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor of Judea, than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow, by striking at their leaders. The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle’s extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other in Macedonia. These events took place A.D. 44.
    III. Philip
    Was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee and was first called by the name of “disciple.” He labored diligently in Upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54.
    IV. Matthew
    Whose occupation was that of a toll-gatherer, was born at Nazareth. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew, which was afterwards translated into Greek by James the Less. The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60.
    V. James the Less
    Is supposed by some to have been the brother of our Lord, by a former wife of Joseph. This is very doubtful, and accords too much with the Catholic superstition, that Mary never had any other children except our Savior. He was elected to the oversight of the churches of Jerusalem; and was the author of the Epistle ascribed to James in the sacred canon. At the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
    VI. Matthias
    Of whom less is known than of most of the other disciples, was elected to fill the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.
    VII. Andrew
    Was the brother of Peter. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations; but on his arrival at Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground. Hence the derivation of the term, St. Andrew’s Cross.
    VIII. St. Mark
    Was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by Peter, whom he served as an amanuensis, and under whose inspection he wrote his Gospel in the Greek language. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol, ending his life under their merciless hands.
    IX. Peter
    Among many other saints, the blessed apostle Peter was condemned to death, and crucified, as some do write, at Rome; albeit some others, and not without cause, do doubt thereof. Hegesippus saith that Nero sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter with much ado that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said, “Lord, whither dost Thou go?” To whom He answered and said, “I am come again to be crucified.” By this, Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.
    X. Paul
    Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptised at His sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.
    XI. Jude
    The brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72.
    XII. Bartholomew
    Preached in several countries, and having translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of India, he propagated it in that country. He was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.
    XIII. Thomas
    Called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.
    XIV. Luke
    The evangelist, was the author of the Gospel which goes under his name. He travelled with Paul through various countries, and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
    XV. Simon
    Surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, A.D. 74.
    XVI. John
    The “beloved disciple,” was brother to James the Great. The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, were founded by him. From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Nerva, the successor of Domitian, recalled him. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.
    XVII. Barnabas
    Was of Cyprus, but of Jewish descent, his death is supposed to have taken place about A.D. 73.
    And yet, notwithstanding all these continual persecutions and horrible punishments, the Church daily increased, deeply rooted in the doctrine of the apostles and of men apostolical, and watered plentously with the blood of saints.

  3. God is Good…all the time. Providence. One word, a life long journey.
    I’m proud of you Brother.
    The TRUTH has set you free.

    (2 Cor. 13:11) Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.

    (Deut 31:6) Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!”

    (Prov 3:3) Do not let truth and mercy leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

    (Prov 9:6) Abandon your foolish ways so that you may live, and proceed in the way of understanding.”

    (Jos 24:20) If you abandon the Lord and worship foreign gods, he will turn against you; he will bring disaster on you and destroy you, though he once treated you well.”

    (Pro 28:13) The one who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy.


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