Posted by: John Edwards | January 27, 2009

WORD FAITH: Can the “Word” become an idol?

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 Having spent many years in the Word of Faith Movement I always wondered if some of us were making an idol out of the Word of God, and if we were spending too much time focusing of the mechanics of faith and confession.

A few days ago, I spent the afternoon looking at various Word of Faith church web sites as well as their sermons on line. An honest person would have to admit, that there is an extreme emphasis on FAITH and PROSPERITY, with a tremendous focus on sowing money seeds and the power of words.

A friend of mine that graduated from the same seminary that I did in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, made an interesting comment to me yesterday. She wondered if WOF people had made the mistake of making an idol out of the Word, instead of having a relationship with the Author. I had made the same observations.

Many of my current WOF friends like to refer to “The Word”, and they sound as if they are talking about some legal document, or to some formula. They make much to do about confessing the Word, although the Bible does not.

Word of Faith people easily fall into the common traps of “Word Worship” and “Faith Worship”. I know that I was guilty of this, and to be honest, many of my friends are but they cannot see it.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. The emphasis was always on the cross, Jesus, and grace. We never heard sermons on confession brings possession, seed time and harvest or how to claim a healing. It was all about Jesus and Grace. The salvation message. When I started attending the Charismatic church, the emphasis was switched to the Holy Spirit and the sign gifts. It was more emotional than the teaching I had grown up on. More was said of experiences than about Biblical doctrine. You can Google Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn on Youtube and see what I mean.

From the Charismatic church, I found the Word of Faith Movement. There I found the main thrust of the teaching to be on faith.

Here is a common teaching on faith, one that I preached on for years:

1) What is faith?
2) How does faith come?
3) How to get faith.
4) How to release your faith.

Jesus never did any in depth teaching on how to function in the laws and formulas of faith, He just said it and did it. Jesu talked a lot about other things,mostly about character and discipleship.

Jesus did not hold faith seminars, Word seminars or prosperity seminars.

esus had a balanced message of grace and character. But todays word of faith preachers are all about prosperity and faith. That is why outsiders dubb it the Faith Movement.

As a Word of Faith pastor myself, I taught a lot on confessing the Word, and to be honest it always bothered me that I was having to jump through loops and stretch some things in order to teach it. Confessing the Word can easily become a mantra, and is to thousands of wofers. “Speak the Word”.

I find it interesting that Jesus often had what word of faithers would call a negative confession. He stated facts. He did not tell us to write down a bunch of healing scriptures and confess them three times a day. This doctrine came from the Christian Science of Mary Baker Eddy and then woven into the writings of EW Kenyon. They turned the Word of God from being a message into being a mechanical formula. The word of faith teachers tell us to speak the scriptures about prosperity (99% Old Testament) and healing until they manifest. That sounds like vain repetition to me.

So, is the Word of God a living message, or is it a legal formula to be spoken like a magical spell? The Word of Faith Message is definately not Christ focused, it is “WORD” focus.

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