Sounding the Alarm about Word of Faith

My mother, an intelligent, successful, late 50s business woman, has gotten completely swept up into the Word on Faith movement, and I don’t mean prosperity gospel light. I seriously cannot believe some of the things she believes are in line with the Christian faith. Below is a portion of an email she forwarded me from one of her favorite pastors, Joseph Prince, because she found it to be inspirational…***. You will be shocked at this stuff.*** Recently, she has told me the only time we are meant to suffer in life is when we witness for Christ. Yikes.

I have tried all the standard apologetics arguments against Word of Faith. She says I don’t understand the teachings! “He doesn’t believe that. You are mistaken,” she says. I “lent” her a copy of Marcus Grodi’s book “What Must I Do to Be Saved.” I told her I wanted her to know a little more about Catholic beliefs. Well, I found she’s marked it up with all kinds of disagreements based on Word of Faith stuff. Here I am, a 28 year old man, going to have to tell my mother it isn’t polite to write in people’s books, lol…

I guess all I can really do is pray for her. It is so sad that a woman who has been such a devout Protestant her entire life has come to believe in these snake oil peddlers. I guess there is nothing else I can do. Honestly, it is so disheartening to me.

I wish Catholic Answers Live would do a show on the prosperity gospel/Word of Faith crowd. This movement is growing big time in evangelical churches.

[quote=Pastor Joseph Prince]Today, because we are in Christ, we are king-priests—a royal priesthood. This means that we have a double portion of speaking power because as kings, “Where the word of a king is, there is power” (Ecclesiastes 8:4), and as priests, “by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled”. (Deuteronomy 21:5)

So if you are a Christian businessman, you will have an edge over worldly businessmen. What you say about your business deals will come to pass. And if you are falsely accused, know that by your very word, every controversy and every assault will be settled!

And as a king-priest parent, when you bless your children, your words have the power to set in motion supernatural events which will bring them into God’s abundance and superabounding grace. And there will be such a courage and resilience about them that it will empower them to win the fights of life!

When the devil comes to you and says that you will die young because your father and grandfather died young, or that you will never be successful because you are not well-educated, you must remember that the devil is neither a king nor a priest. There is no power in his words. But there is power in yours because you are a king-priest in Christ!

So instead of agreeing with him, believe and declare, “I will not die young. With long life He will satisfy me and show me His salvation!” Say, “The Lord will make my way prosperous and give me good success!” Use your double portion of speaking power and see these blessings come to pass!

@ Mikecash:
You have my prayers and my sympathy. My best friend converted to Christ about a year ago, and then turned to steadily more unorthodox beliefs. It’s been a grief to me. I can’t rightly imagine what it would have been like if it had been my mother.

It might be the only thing you can do for her is to keep her in your prayers. But if she’s put specific comments in your book, that might perhaps be an opening. If you can research those points and show her the truth of them, it might help.

I didn’t even know about WoF. Every year, there’s another movement, each scarier than the last. She’s in my prayers.

I have a precious friend who also got swept up. This family’s reckless pursuit has caused them to live a wandering life, state to state pursuing that perfect job to optimize their income, yet sacrificing their children, leaving behind friends and family, homes, etc. One Christmas they were back ‘home’ here briefly and she was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted, yet looked up to her husband, a WOF ‘prophet’. My husband and I could clearly see that he was not psychologically balanced. He could not carry on a normal conversation and had some very crazy views about God, religion, the Scriptures…

Pray for your mom, and be there for her if she crashes and burns from this whirlwind.

A little postscript to this posting. It isn’t a matter of “if” she crashes and burns out, it is a matter of “when”. Until 2001 I was in this WOF garbage. If I hadn’t left it and converted to Catholicism I think I’d be in a mental hospital right now. You and your mom will be in my prayers. If you really study the origins of WOF, you will find it has origins in Christian Science, some New Age, all glossed over with biblical sounding phrases. Start in the early 20th century with a preacher named E. W. Kenyan.

WoF is a virus that spreads and leaves nothing good behind it. It is responsible for the idea that if you are sick or ill that you are that way because you lack faith. They apply this to all kinds of handicaps as well as illness, including amputees. Their teaching makes God into a puppet that MUST respond to your faith.

I’ve heard it taught that even if you have a headache, you should proclaim that you don’t, and that makes it so. It’s a sad modern twist on “name it and claim it” theology.

My experience as well. I thought one of the big leaders though was Smith Wigglesworth because that is who Kenneth Hagin Sr quoted and got many of his ideas from.

You are correct, there needs to be better resources available to combat this stuff. I know there are some good Protestant rebuttles out there and some on line things available but some of those resources are not Catholic friendly either. I agree with you 100%. If your mom would read, the the chapter on suffering in the CCC is a good reference but since your mom isn’t Catholic, I would try to find Protestant resources.

Me, either. Thanks for the info!

prayers ascending

Dear Mike,

I am sad to hear about your Mother. I will pray for her.
The problem of how to deal with suffering is a big problem.
How many sins are committed because someone was trying to take the easy way out and avoid suffering ? How many families have broken up because of this ?

We do well to study what the Bible really teaches about suffering.
Here is a website listing many Bible quotes on the subject.

Of course, the problem is not just intellectual but also emotional as well as spiritual.
I am so thankful for Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book on
33 Days to Morning Glory – A consecration to Jesus through Mary.
It is excellent. He explains that we can never love Mary too much because we will never love her as much as Jesus did. We cannot give Mary too much. Blessed Pope John Paul II’s motto was Totus Tuus, meaning Totally Yours. He gave everything to Mary.

If you want to promote this book see links of sample pages under picture of the book. And consider doing what one person I know did.
He bought a bulk supply – at a deep deep discount - and donated them to his Parish.
He asked people for a small donation, so that they would value the book enough to actually read it and do the consecration. The money collected was then given to the pastor. Please note : this technique helps make this idea an easy sell to the pastor. :thumbsup:

Why is this book, consecration to Mary, Rosary, Crucifix, etc. so important ?
It helps us to meditate on Jesus through the eyes of Mary.
Mary brings us to the foot of the cross, to the Divine Mercy of our Savior, so that we might know his love, and how to respond to that love in a way that fulfills our calling in life. Mary defeats all heresies because she helps us to accept suffering and to love in response to this great mercy.

The world says to run from suffering at all costs - even if it costs you your salvation - and that suffering is the worst thing. That is why heresies that teach this worldly view are so dangerous. They promise a life without suffering. And when they don’t deliver they leave the person thinking God is far far away from them.

The scene at Calvary teaches us that suffering is not the worst thing.
Sin is the worst thing. The suffering at Calvary shows us how love conquers suffering and makes it redemptive.

You and your Mom are in my prayers,

Every so often there’s even a bowel movement!:smiley:

Kenneth Hagin actually plagiarized a lot of Mr Kenyans material without giving him proper credit. There was a book a few years ago called “A Different Gospel” (a Protestant Book) where the author interviewed Kenyan’s daughter and son-in-law and they stated that when ever they would hear Hagin preach, they could almost tell you chapter and verse of where he stole something from one of Mr Kenyan’s books, all the while saying that he got it from “the Holy Spirit.”

A Different Gospel was written by Dan R McConnell, by the way.

That’s interesting and i will look up that book. I know when I use to read Kenneth Hagin sf works, he only gave credit to Smith Wigglesworth and used his ideas. I wish there was more Catholic answers that directly confront a number of things WoF teach. The most direct material is Protestant and some of it not very pro-Catholic either. I use to attend a Charismatic Catholic group when a new Catholic and newly married and the people that ran this one used a lot of WoF material, in fact that they had more WoF books than solid Catholic. Because I was so new and coming from that kind of Church, I actually thought that the Catholic church approved this stuff. Found out much later that this wasn’t true at all. It also concerns me when Catholics listen to Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen which I see as the latest version of this stuff.

Where EW Kenyan got most of his ideas was from reading the works of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Kenneth Hagin may have gotten some ideas from Smith Wigglesworth, If you read Wiggleswoth’s biography in Wikipedia, you’ll find that he was a real screwball as we’ll. He attributed most if not all physical ailments to demons. He suffered kidney ailments himself but refused any kind of medical treatment. He would use all kinds of unorthodox maneuvers in his healing services such as if you came to him complaining of a stomach ache, he would often punch you in the stomach!:eek: In the 60s there was a professed Catholic named David DuPlassis who had learned some screwy things from following Wigglesworth and brought them into the Catholic Church. Perhaps you may have heard of him!:shrug:

I know about Wigglesworth because I’ve done a little research myself and the other connection to Christian Science doesn’t surprise me either because I’ve often thought there were similarities between the two. When I was into and reading Hagin, he did mention Smith but I am reading the book you recommended and again the connections are very interesting. I appreciate your recommendation. I wish there were better Catholic resources available but at least there are some decent Protestant books to refer too.

You’ll often hear preachers of this stuff give the “disclaimer” and I quote “If what I am preaching sounds like Christian Science, it isn’t! It is Christian Sense!” They may also have a bridge across the Mississippi River to sell you and they might even throw in the River at no extra cost!:rolleyes:

Yea, that quote does bring back memories. WoF is dangerous stuff to get involved in. It initially sounds good, they quote the Bible very well and if one is searching to “build up their faith”, it seems like this is it. I think the book you recommended would be a good resource for OP since his mother is not Catholic. What I am finding interesting is that the author is from Oral Roberts University. The author laments that WoF has taken over the Protestant Charismatic movement which is kinda true. But the charismatic movement has no authority over seeing it. That is one thing I am grateful for in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has an authority structure and teaching which protects the faithful (if they are trying to following their faith) from dangerous heresies and ideas. Someone can’t just stand up and say “i heard from God and he told me this”. There is also inspection of miracles as well. Again someone like Kenneth Hagin claimed a bunch of different visions and healings. There was no double check on if true or not or even any inspection by anyone to the things he would say. He just said these things and because he was deemed as hearing from God, people just accepted it. Look at the investigation done for saints. The process is very strict. Something can genuinely be a miracle but may not pass the mustard in terms of counting that as a miracle towards sainthood. This is also true on the investigations over Marian aberrations. It’s a very detailed investigation which includes looking at the visionaries life. Since it is obvious that Kenneth Hagin plagiarized his ideas and teaching, I kinda wonder about some of his other claims of visions and miracles.
While that author is lamenting what has happen to the 60’s charismatic movement, he fails to realize that that is all he has, a movement with no boundaries or authority or checks and balances and anything and everything blows in, around and out and deceives sincere Christians.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!:thumbsup:

Blessed Thanksgiving!

In my English Composition class we had to pick one subject to write on throughout the whole class. So I chose the “Word of Faith” Movement. If you could please comment on my paper, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to see my article in all its entirety please go to this website (with Pictures):

Thank you,
R. Andrew Quaife

The Sound Truth of the “Word of Faith” Movement

Posted on Web Site:

The belief of the “Word of Faith” movement also named the “Health and Wealth” Gospel has made quite a stir on whether it is scripturally correct or not. The belief teaches that God wants believers to be prosperous, and that it is already God’s will for his people to be completely healed. The move was originally founded by Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin. This teaching is pushed by many mega churches throughout the US including Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Charles Capps, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Jesse Duplantis Ministries, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and others. However, many people disregard the teaching because they say it is an ungodly philosophy and that the teaching is not biblically correct.

The “Word of Faith” movement defines the word “Faith” with God’s mighty power to supernaturally intercede in our lives. With great power one must first have great responsibility. Additionally, this coincides with Luke 16:10 which says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much…” All because when one is suffering, in which they have “what is least,” and continues in “Faith,” they have the responsibility to be faithful with much. This connection is why we need to speak life rather than death so that we can eat the good fruit from the seed that was originally spoken in the past (James 3:10, Proverbs 18:21, Luke 17:6…). This understanding is how Elijah called fire from heaven, Moses parted the Red Sea, and how King Solomon became the wisest wealthiest man that has ever been.

I am going to discuss the foundation of the “Word of Faith” movement, through in context scriptures and logic, to convict that this doctrine holds true. While many have strayed off the path of the movement, and it seems like this is a new age confusion, by analyzing five topics I hope to convince the good in people.

Arguments Against the “Word of Faith” and the Sanctity of God

The biggest argument, and rightfully so, is the fact that the “Word of Faith” movement attacks the sanctity of God. When movement preachers slightly ver off the path and say some quote that is taken out of context it makes the movement look bad. Also, the majority of the people in this world cannot responsibly handle any form of power well. Additionally, when a movement, The “Word of Faith,” tells you that systematically you have control of your future, some extreme listeners will misinterpret the movement on an extreme tangent.

Preachers often say some weary things to engage the audience. They can engage the audience by telling jokes or are in the heat of the situation were small things can slip. Then, one also has to understand that there is a lot of pointing fingers (persecution), and a preacher is preaching as a job. It is incredible how people have no sense of mercy, people have no idea that sometimes preaching week after week or year after year can get old. Moreover, when a preacher says something disconcerting people are so easy to judge no matter that fact or the bulk of what he is saying. Finally, while some of these things are disconcerting at the moment, one has to think of the major picture; and understand that all preachers don’t all teach the movement well as of any religion.


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