I finally sat down and wrote up a short testimony about why I blog here and am against the Word of Faith Movement. I intend to do a video testimony soon.
Hello, my name is Damon Whitsell. I would like to tell you why I am against the Word of Faith Movement. To do so I will have to share some of my life and experiences. I grew up with Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals and members of a small little cult called Bible Missionary in my family. And about 5 years ago I found out I have a distant relative who is a retired traveling WoF evangelist. Although not by the actions of this relative, I have been more drastically and negatively effected by the WoF than all the cults I just listed.
As you can imagine, there have been times in my life when I have clashed with some of the religious folks in my family. It was a tough time to go through when I was being proselytized to become a Mormon. Oddly enough, this only happened after I became a Christian and fortunately I had some friends that warned me that Mormons do not believe Christian things and are a cult. I rejected that notion at first because my relatives right out lied to me about what Mormonism teaches. But once they came forthright with their real beliefs and stopped trying to look Christian – it was easy for me to label them as a cult and not be very effected by my relatives and their religion. But it did cause me to be made out to be the bad guy for believing Mormonism is a cult. My own mother did not talk to me for two years when I told my relatives that they where in a cult and to quit sending Mormon Missionaries to my house. It made no difference to her that on almost every visit to my house the Missionaries claimed that all other churches where wrong and of Satan.
The Oneness Pentecostal relatives effected my dad so strongly that my dad was a very vocal atheist for most of his life. He used to openly make fun of my mother and brother and myself for believing in God. But as I got older that did not effect me anymore. My dads sisters where so strongly effected by the Oneness Pentecostals that they migrated to a little cult called bible missionary that is against the gifts of the Spirit and the anti-Trinitarianism of the UPC. But they are strongly influenced by the holiness movement and have no problems claiming that they have not sinned in decades and if you don’t stop sinning, your not a Christian and on your way to hell.
Growing up was frustrating spiritually because of the influence of these groups on my family. But I think the WoF has effected me more in adulthood than all these other cultic groups.
I was in a car wreck in 85 and was in a coma for two weeks. I have struggled with a mood disorder as a result of a head injury from that wreck and take medication to help me with my moods and to keep me out of the hospital. I get debilitating lows and highs in which I get delusional and schizophrenic if I go off my meds. I got a new job around 91 or 92 and there was allot of followers of John Osteen of Lakewood Church here in Houston. Although I sought healing many years before and came to believe that my healing would not happen, I got caught up in the “God always wants to heal you” and “You have more faith in medicine than in God” rhetoric and I got off my medicines several times only to have to go to the hospital to get back on them. I had one WoF friend at work that was a Copeland follower that got so mad at me for not being healed, I thought he was going to hit me. I went to the Christian book store and bought Christianity in Crisis and discovered that the WoF is very cultic also. As before, this knowledge made it easier for me to not let people in the movement effect me, instead I would try to help them see the non biblical aspects of the WoF. Then I met a neighbor that was WoF and seen what the WoF beliefs did to him.
He was a strong follower of Joel Osteen. He was on parole for a drug charge but was clean and sober when I met him. After his parole elapsed he started using drugs again and got hooked on prescription pain pills. Over a three year period he went to jail twice and totaled 6 vehicles. When myself and others would warn him “your going to destroy your life if you don’t get off those pills”, he would boldly proclaim “not if ya’ll will quit speaking these bad things into my life”. It was really sad to see him blame the power of life and death in other peoples tongues for the problems he was creating for himself by his actions. I tried in every way I could to help him. And then one day he got shot and became a paraplegic because he stole some pills from a drug dealer. Even in this state he still blamed others words for the responsibility of his actions. To watch all this happen to someone I really cared for was horrendous. To this day he blames others for his situation. I can’t help but to think that if his guru Joel Osteen had mentioned sin every once in awhile that he might not have went down the path that he did.
My friend and I got lucky, many have died from practicing the WoF. I have read many articles highlighting people who have died not taking medicine believing that they was healed when they was not. I have met several who have lost loved ones because medical help was not given because “it showed a lack of faith”.
At the time my friend got shot and paralyzed I was already blogging on cult apologetics but soon started to blog allot about the WoF. I am also against the WoF because it is infiltrating all Christian groups and I believe that the WoF is a major ecumenical tool that is leading us to a one world religion. And I am against the WoF because most non-Christians now see the WoF as true Christianity because of TV channels like TBN and Daystar. Many will not consider the claims of Christianity because of the WoF and of those who do consider and accept the claims of the WoF, I feel they are coming to Jesus for the wrong reasons (health wealth and prosperity) and many of them are not even getting saved from their sins.
It is truly a shame that the worlds greatest story ever told, that God became a man to die for mans sins to make him acceptable to Himself, is being overshadowed by the false gospel of the Word of Faith Movement.
ADDENDUM 11/02/2015: It is unfortunate that my freind Kenneth died from bed sore infections shorty after this testimony was written: I have not yet gotten around to rewriting this testimony or wiring another one. But I did write about his death and it’s relation to the WoF teaching in the following article.