Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 23, 2010

MikeMcK’s Ex-Word of Faith Testimony

I was in the WoF cult for several years. I don’t think I was aware of Dollar at that time, but I can tell you why I got caught up in the movement.

The first thing WoF does is to play on your emotions. That’s why they have so many high energy, jump up and down song and then switch to slow songs that encourage you to just repeat the same words over and over. By doing this, you work yourself into an altered state of consciousness that is much more receptive to suggesting and because it causes a heightened sense of expectation, you begin to interpret even the most trivial things as “a move of the Holy Spirit”. It also plays on our natural tendency toward group think and the influence of peer pressure, making you believe that if you’re not having some sort of esoteric experience, while everybody else is (or, at least, appears to be having), then there must be something wrong with you.

I don’t know if they still do it, but little girls used to have a slumber party game where one girl would start by saying “Ha”. The next girl would say “Ha Ha”. The next girl would say “Ha Ha Ha “, and so on, until all of the girls in the circle would begin to laugh. WoF operates on the same principle.

Second, they work on your ego, telling you things like “Well, your family means well, but they just haven’t arrive at the same place you have. After all, they don’t even speak in tongues! But you speak in tongues, don’t you?” I was constantly told that my family and my Christian friends who were desperately trying to get me out of WoF were just being manipulated by Satan to “rob me of my joy” and they were just responding to the Holy Spirit in me.

As sinners, our natural inclination is to serve ourselves, which includes our egos. It’s really not hard to convince someone that they’ve arrived at a special spiritual plateau and that they shouldn’t bother with all of the little people down below.

The third thing they do is to appeal to the dangerous combination of zeal and ignorance, particularly of new believers. They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and nowhere is this more true than in Christianity or the cults that feed off of Christianity.

For instance, this thread is about Dollar’s teaching about tithes. Even in good churches, a lot of people don’t understand that the tithe was an Old Covenant concept, not something for the church. The word tithe is used in the NT, but the concept behind it is totally different. So it really isn’t all that difficult to throw out a few selected verses about tithing, while neglecting to mention others, and the Biblically illiterate followers don’t know the difference. Those who do aren’t very likely to speak up, because they’ve been convinced that their leaders have some special spiritual insight granted by the Holy Spirit and, in many cases, to question a WoF leader means banishment from the group (that’s what happened to me that eventually led to my leaving the WoF cult).

Paula White is notorious for using Hebrew words in order to make herself sound like a Biblical scholar. And, for many Biblically illiterate people, she is their idea of a Biblical scholar. The problem is that to anyone who has actually studied Hebrew (or even the Bible at all, for that matter), she’s a fool. She’s constantly mispronouncing words (even very elementary words), butchering Hebrew grammar and applying all sorts of bizzare interpretations and meanings to common Hebrew words.

From a guy trying to impress a girl in a bar, to a used car salesman, to a politician, rule number one is, throw around enough big words and you’re going to look smart because nobody’s going to argue with you for fear of looking stupid.

It’s no different with cult leaders.

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