Posted by: John Edwards | January 19, 2009

Something Aint Right with the Word of Faith Movement

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Since my departure from the Word of Faith Movement, I have endeavored to reach everyone that I taught this heresy to. That is one of the reasons I blog and do you tubes. I want everyone to know that I was teaching a wrong message.

What surprises me are some of the comments I get from family and friends that have been watching from a distance all of these years. I asked my Mom what she thought of the Word of Faith yesterday. She told me that the very first time that she went to a Word of Faith service, that something didn’t feel right in her spirit. My mother-in-law, Pam, said that she got a weird feeling about the Word of Faith Message too, but that because we were so excited, that she kept her mouth shut.

I still get emails from old friends and other pastors that congratulate me for leaving the Word of Faith. Many people tell me that they had been praying for me all of these years, and I am glad that they did.

I will have to be honest, I had the same feelings myself. There was a large Word of Faith church that I used to visit that gave me the creeps just to walk inside of it. When I was a Birmingham Police officer, I had to go inside a Muslim book store on a call. My insides were doing flip flops! I got that same feeling in Tulsa at first but I guess I was so desperate to be a faith giant that I ignored those feelings. I remember many times sitting in class and hearing things that bothered me. I also remember being in a camp meeting and watching a woman flying a banner that she had pasted fake money all over, as a sign that she was claiming her blessings.

I used to look around at all the people running and dancing and feeling like it was all a show, but then I would feel guilty and judgemental.

A lot of times I would just listen in on peoples conversations, and how they were not about Jesus, but about health and wealth. One classmate would shake hands and smile saying “Health and wealth!”.

Another thing that always bothered me was the gestapo style ushers that patrolled the meetings. They would not let people get up during the offerings to go to the bathroom. I know, because I was one of them. I have seen with my eyes ushers grab people before by the arm to keep them in place. One time they had a guy with a shotgun in the offering room, and they would make us take our coats off to make sure we were not stealing anything. That always made me feel like a worm.

I would get creepy feelings even when I was teaching the Word of Faith. Many times as I was preaching, a little voice would call out that I was wrong. I thought that it was the devil. It got to where there were many parts of the Bible that I would not even read because it totally conflicted with my Word of Faith doctrines. I really hated it when people in church would come up and show me verses or ask me questions that I could not explain from a Word of Faith perspective.

One of the worst things about the Word of Faith is how it ruined my relationship with God and other people. My life and ministry became focused on a stupid vision, and I began to look at people as pieces to the puzzle instead of as person in need.

All that constant teaching on sowing and reaping, prosperity and increase ruined all of my motives. I remember one time that I put some change in a bucket for a crippled kid and the first thought I had was when will I get a return on that seed? Pathetic.

What really amazed me was some of the emails that I received from people that had visited my church and got an uneasy feeling about the message. That really hurt. I used to think that people and ministers that opposed the Word of Faith message simply did not understand it. I thought that they were missing out on “revelation knowledge” and that I had big advantage on them spiritually. Such arrogance on my part! The more I study and learn, the more aghast I am at some of the things that I taught. Having spent the last few months studying the Doctrines of Grace and the Sovereignty of God, I realize that I was indeed a heretic, and that the truth had been readily availiable to me the whole time. The internet is exploding with alarms about the Word of Faith. I was always too scared to read up on the subject out of fear that I could be wrong, but when I finally did begin to pray and open my eyes to the Truth God quickly did a work in my heart. I had never realized how humanistic and self-centered I was, thinking that I was walking in truth. I was deceived and did not know it.

Some people think that mine is an isolated experience, but I am not alone. There is a mass exodus of people searching for truth and leaving the Word of Faith. I get emails all the time from different parts of the country confirming that I am not on this journey alone. I should have paid attention to those weird “something aint right” feelings that I was overcome with the first time I listened to a cassette tapes of a man preaching about visions and teachings he received from Jesus. I should have thrown the tape away then. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

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