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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Why Word Faith Organisation is a Cult and is Detrimental To Your Faith, Mind And Soul

Edited 24 Aug 2011 (see very bottom for the edited section, which includes a link to even better videos)


This article has been written in response to an email I received. This is what this person wrote:

Question:“We pray that we get lots of money, riches etc but didn’t Jesus say that it is very difficult or as good as impossible for a rich man to enter heaven? Will such prayers be answered? Many missionaries promise to offer prayers for our riches etc,  for a minimum donation to them or they say send in a certain amount for a years wellness or prosperity. For that amount they will pray for a years wellness. Is that okay?"

Answer: First, I would like to say that the true Christian Church do not teach such terrible things because they are not taught in the Bible. The Organisation which teach these things are called “Word Faith”.

In answer to your first question: we should never pray for riches. We cannot expect God to say yes to such selfish prayers. Jesus does instruct us that we can include prayer for our daily needs, but mostly our prayer should centre on God's Will and purposes, glorifying and praising Him. Certainly NOT praying for riches.  Jesus said “seek first the kingdom of God ”Matthew 6:33 and “he who loves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake, will find it” John 12:25 and Matthew 10:38-39.

Jesus is saying 
that we should not seek to serve ourselves but seek to put God (and His work) first,  and for no other reason than that He is God and deserves our worship and service.

Yes, there is great abundance which we receive in serving Him:  John 10:9-10.  However, those verses are referring to “spiritual” abundance within our hearts eg love, joy, peace etc. The abundance may well include the physical “if” we need it, but we should NOT seek those things. Matthew 6:19-33. Actually, the entire chapter of Matthew 6 describes the very opposite of a Word Faith preacher. 

In answer to your second question: these preachers (much like Catholic “paying for indulgencies”) are abusing and misusing their faith and position, by preaching ungodly, unscriptural nonsense.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering.  God then HAS  to grant us our requests. Thus, God's ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith.   James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

As already described above:  instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

The Word Faith Organisation is full of false teachers, influenced by scientology and are trained in the powers of the mind to seduce or manipulate people and congregations into doing what they want, using hypnotic type skills. I cannot really complete this reply without first highlighting why this group is very dangerous. There are many warnings written about Word Faith which prove this. 

I suspect you have some dealings with this group. This is why I give you this extra information to help you. Here is one written item which highlight their false teachings:

Word Faith follow all the signs of a cult and seem to be overly concerned with the treasures of this life. They use their religion for selfish reasons and self-glorification. They show very little heart for honouring God and putting Him first, but their focus is too much on “worldly” pleasures and treasures here and now. Whereas, Jesus said our citizenship is in heaven, not on Earth.


Edited 24 Aug 2011
I have had to remove two url's above because the videos are no longer available. However, I have now found even better videos  (because they cover much more material) than the ones above. You can find them within my article dated 20 Aug 2011. Here is the link:

Word Of Faith Deception. Everything You Need To Know On Video

These are 3 videos which are a series of a continuous seminar

16 comments:

RomaLynn said...

Good words John. Thanks for all you do on this blog.

Andrew Bowman said...

Hi John, I'm disagreeing with you on another topic, but we see eye to eye here. The word-of-faith and prosperity gospel teachings were invented for one reason and one reason alone, namely to raise money for the people who preach them. It's really the greatest perversion of the gospel imaginable, and those behind it are basically thieves.

Andrew Bowman said...

John, by the way, I was wondering if you are a church leader? If so, I applaud you for speaking out against the prosperity gospel, as few leaders are willing to do this. If you're not, well done anyway. Also, have you completed any theological study or training of any sort? You seem to be quite a knowledgable person who is making comment on some quite important areas, like this one. So I was interested to know what your background is.

Tony Cox said...

Hi John,

Thanks for a great article. This topic is really a sore spot with me. I know we should control our anger and our tongues - but these people really disturb me.

Also, recently I shared some information from your blog when I discovered one of my friends and her 15 year old son were reading one of Joel Osteens books - they were raving about it and intended to share and endorse with others. After providing them with some sound information from your site and scripture - they see that this man/movement is very dangerous spiritually. They will not read anymore and will not forward to others. I also provided them with some other info on the preachers/movement from your site so that they may not be taken in by other false teachers as well.

So you see - your work is very IMPORTANT. Through the Lord you have have helped someone you don't even know from thousands of miles away in Wilmington, Delaware. How awesome is that!!!!

John Chingford said...

Hi Tony heyyyy! Good to hear from you brother. Been praying for you. Did you see my email reply. Thanks for this encouragement. Praise God!

Hi Andrew,
I am not (presently) a church leader. I have led bible studies on many occasions, though. I have not followed a course of theology either, although I was eager to do so at one point in my life. I will now explain why I decided not to take up bible Study training.

I have observed over 33 years that preachers, pastors become biassed in their preaching depending upon the Bible College they attended. So those who go to say a Pentecostal college end up too focussed on the Holy Spirit. Those going to a college teaching Calvinism, tend to focus too much on predestination etc etc

Although I wanted to attend Bible College, I was told you needed to have a "calling". In my naivity (as a young Christian)I prayed for that "calling". I waited for it (and even tested it out) but it never came. Yes I received the calling to preach/teach the Bible but never to go to Bible College.

I now, understand why! God preserved me from it. I hear of many stories of those losing their faith in these places because of strange practices (within these places) and questionings.

I am glad that I did not get stuck in the forest of one particular denomination only seeing one set of trees. It helps me to see the much much broader picture so that I can discern things much better.

Basically, my full training came from studying the Bible for myself, using a concordance to compare the whole Bible to get the WHOLE teaching of scripture in context. i have attended a number of different denominations - those who hold the Bible dear to them. This has helped me to see the different interpretations. My method is whenever I hear something different to ALWAYS check out what is said for myself in my own bible study.

I will never ignore any verses in the Bible. The whole Bible is the inspired Word of God, so every verse and word is there for a very good reason. I have observed that those with certain theological backgrounds tend to ignore verses that don't fit their theology. I refuse to do that. In fact, it troubles me when I read a verse which contradicts my view. I cry out to God to help me understand how it fits in, asking Him to help me to adapt my present theology to fit in with this new revelation.

So my method is FLEXIBILITY to God's Word, always prepared to adapt when God shows me I have it wrong. I think this is why I have a wider knowledge of the whole Bible because of this experience.

Actually, it is quite funny because a number of people have called me pastor because they thought I was one. Hmmm.

John Chingford said...

Btw, the Bible only mentions one person who attended a seminary. The Apostle Paul was trained under Gamaliel Acts 22:3 However, his training didn't help him, but inspired him to persecute the church.

Paul had to be retaught the scriptures and undo much of his training. The scriptures teach that Paul went into the wilderness to be taught by the Holy Spirit.

This tells me that Bible Schools can possibly be detrimental to the church. I read (in Ephesians) that it is the responsibility of "ingrown" pastors/teachers to train and equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

Nowhere in the NT does it state that pastors should be brought in from the outside. They should become pastors from within their own congregations. This was the picture of the early church.

Andrew Bowman said...

John, I am going to question your last comment.

As I understand it, in New Testament times, all children received formal religious instruction from an early age, and most were sent away in their teens for a year or two of intensive study. The ones that did really well became rabbis, scribes, teachers, etc, and the rest went back to the family business. And Paul said in Acts 25:8 and 28:17 that he did nothing against the Jewish faith. This was post-conversion, so he was continuing to live according to what he had learned, magnified of course by the knowledge that the messiah has come.

Basically, the situation in first-century Israel was unique, so I'm not sure that extrapolating it to modern times is a valid approach.

I do share the views you expressed in your previous post that churches, denominations, and bible colleges all have particular biases. But then again, there is a bias in your writings. So what's the difference?

(forgive me for going off-topic!)

John Chingford said...

Hi Andrew

Sorry for the long delay in publishing your comment. I wanted to reply first before publishing to maintain continuity. I have also now published your comment and my reply on the article about Handling Strange Teachings.

This is my reply to your last comment above:

Part 1
Before I answer, I will just quote the verses you gave:

Acts 25:8
“I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar”

28:17
“My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors….”

Did Paul actually mean that he upheld his Judaistic faith? Let us look at the evidence of what happened to Paul after his conversion from his own testimony in Galatians 1:11-18:

“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days”

I would like to ask, why did Paul go immediately into the Arabian desert?. It was for only one reason to be alone with God (not affected by any man) to be taught by the Holy Spirit and probably check the scriptures about Jesus. It took 3 years!!! before he checked in with the apostles.

He also wrote in Phil 3:5-9:
“circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

In Judaism there are many practices which are unscriptural. They have the oral Law, they have the commentaries like the Talmud, Midrash etc and traditions of men (which Jesus spoke about). Jesus said that He came not to abolish the Law but to fulfil it. However, Jesus DID speak against the temple. Jesus fulfilled the Tenach (Old Testament) scriptures NOT the traditions etc. In the same way, Paul was probably talking about the essence of the Law and solid (not false) customs. However, it is clear by looking at the things Paul wrote in his letters that he preached against legalism to save. So by saying we are saved by grace through faith and not by the works of the Law, he is actually speaking against the Law.

So am unsure exactly what Paul was saying in Acts, but it certainly was not to say that he was encouraging going to Bible College.

I am unsure what you mean by saying I have biases. The point I have been trying to make is that I DO NOT have any biases apart from what the Bible teaches me directly.

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

I received your comments but have not published them. My article about my rapture stance in:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-rapture-and-end-times-stance.html

explains why. Basically, I need to avoid spending my time (being sidetracked) on discussions which do not support the purpose of this blog.

Thanks so much for your brief interest in this blog, but I hope that you can understand why it would not be helpful for me to publish your comments.

God bless

John Chingford said...

I received a comment (unpublished) asking me where I had authority to teach on this blog. Here is my answer:

What authority do I have? Well, the writer to Hebrews says in Hebrews 5:12 "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers" which implies we should ALL be teachers. In fact, 1 Cor 14 implies that we ALL should be encouraging and edifying each other.

So, my authority is given to me from God (provided I use His Word as the Authority)as declared in the Bible.

Also, we are all called to be watchman. Jesus said "watch and pray". Jesus also said in Luke 12:37 "It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes". Actually this whole passage (Luke 12:35-48) is describing what sort of watchmen we should all be.

If I say something incorrect, then I am very happy to be corrected IF you can prove I am wrong through the Bible and (where applicable) by actual facts. I am a very adaptable learner, so am happy to be corrected.

I have a passion to confront error if error is likely to destroy the true faith of believers.

Why? Because God has put compassion in my heart.

God bless everybody

Expected Imminently said...

Hi Andrew

The Jews were trying to trip Paul up regarding the Scriptures, but they had nothing they could hold against him. As Paul was once a Pharisee and zealot, these Jews could say nothing he didn’t already know.

They had tried the same trick on Jesus and failed; now it is Paul who is bearing the Revelation from the same Jesus. This SAME Jesus whose Spirit is in Paul. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8. with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello John

It occurs to me that it may be helpful to share with others a puzzle I have had to deal with over the past few months.

I was told by a Purpose Driven soul, that it was ‘bad’ for me to read so much Scripture. I was going too deep into doctrine and it would make me ill. The hint behind this was it would make me loopy.

I was dumbfounded at first; I couldn’t credit how a Christian could believe such a thing. I was left feeling bemused by this ‘accusation’ as we are encouraged to study doctrine; and one verse in particular is straight to the point.

1Timothy 4:13 “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to DOCTRINE.”

We are encouraged to study God’s Word.

2Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.

Recently I came to realise that this is just one of many of Rick Warren and Company’s twisting of Scriptures (same with Word Faith). By misquoting 2 Corinthians 3:6 they remove from the verse “…THE LETTER KILLETH, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE.”

What better way to keep the sheep dumb and ignorant than to warn them off relying upon God’s Word in their daily walk of Faith in Jesus saying “Don’t read too much of the Bible, it will make you ill”!

What is ‘doctrine’? It is simply ‘teaching’. The Bible contains the Teaching of God, and with the guidance of The Holy Spirit we gradually come to know what The Lord wants us to know and understand.

All things Purpose Driven/ Seeker Sensitive/ Church Growth Movement/ Emergent/Word of 'Faith'--- are allegorizing Scripture to deceive and to support their apostate teachings. They have an idea, then find a Scripture, and by removing it from its context, use it to ‘Biblically’ support their heresy. Satan did the same thing to Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11.

2Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear".

So what of 2Cor.3:6, what is GOD telling us by looking at the entire context of this verse?

“who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?"

Paul is making a distinction between the Old Covenant written on stone and the New Covenant that is presented inside us by the Spirit. The old (the law) brought death, because no one could keep its directives, whereas the new brings life through the life-giving Spirit.

The letter (the law) killed because no one was able to keep it. It made us guilty, while the New Covenant sets us free from the condemnation of the law. The law was fulfilled in the only person who could have fulfilled it, the God/man Jesus Christ.

Now we have the spirit of God inside us all because of this new covenant that is superior to the old covenant."

John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you free”.

Sue

John Chingford said...

Thanks EI for this excellent contribution

I have also pasted your last comment onto 3 other articles as I felt your comment was applicable to all of them. you can find them on:

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/01/no-longer-under-law-but-under-grace.html

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/03/why-we-should-reject-rick-warrens.html

http://watchmanforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/08/rick-warren-blinded-by-toxic-poison.html

John Chingford said...

I need to urgently correct an error I made on one of my comments.

I have just noticed a typo on my comment at 3:27 PM, September 27, 2010. The second paragraph read "I will now explain why I decided not to take up 'bible Study' training."

Actually that should have read "Bible College" training. Of course, I have been heavily involved with Bible Study training, just simply not gone to Bible College for it.

GeeBee said...

I would like to ask, regarding the new covenant and old covenant, could this possibly be how Christians view a remarriage? I have heard some Christians have remarried and some say its a no-no
Would appreciate some clarity , please, because I dint think Im understanding properly

John Chingford said...

Hi GeeBee

I wrote this on another blog in reply to a similar question. You may find it helpful:

"Before Jesus died and rose again to establish the NEW Covenant, they were STILL under the OLD covenant of Law. During Jesus time on Earth, the men could legally have more than one wife but (as far as I can gather) the women could not. The men could divorce their wives but the wives could not divorce their husbands - but they could separate from their husbands. When Jesus talked about divorce and whether it was okay to remarry it was in the context of that time period.


Jesus was ushering in the New Covenant but was still dealing with the Old. I think you will find that Jesus is "marrying" (excuse the pun) the two together into a better way. I will explain what I mean:

Old Law:
men could have many wives, so divorce is different. However the man needs to have acceptable reason for divorcing her in 1st place. If he sends her away, he puts her at risk of being married by another man. Under the Old Covenant, that was allowed, but he could never remarry her as it is an abomination to remarry his wife if another man has had her in the meanwhile. Deut 24:1-4 As men used to have more than 1 wife he could always remarry his first wife (2 wives) if she remained unmarried.


New Law:
one wife one husband. Ie if woman is divorced she can always be remarried to same man again (as God reckons them still married) as long as that man remains single and adultery free. If another one marries that woman it causes her to be in an adulterous relationship because in God’s eyes she now has 2 men because the first husband is still single and that second man is creating that problem so the second man is also taking part in the adultery in God’s eyes because God sees the previous couple as still married. If the woman does get married to the second man then surely the first man then becomes free to remarry because he remained single and adultery free during that period, but should repent before the Lord for causing the whole problem in the first place

Now reread what Jesus said in Matthew 5:32

"But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery"

Every word now makes far more sense because it is NOW in context. I mean why would SHE become the adulteress if SHE is the innocent party? But take things into context per above and then it all makes sense!"