I come from a family who identifies with the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel (though we just called it “believing what the Word says”. Along with that, they are really convinced of the pre-trib rapture and everything that goes with that. I’d be interested in talking with people who also have experience with this. I’m not really interested in bashing or mocking anyone, as my family and my parents in particular are among the most faithful people I know, and I know they’ve had many genuine answers to prayer. In fact, I’m part of their family and probably only have my relationship with Christ today because of their steady faith. I’m more interested in discussing some of our experiences, and ideas on how to point my family toward the fullness of the faith and the sacraments. Prayers to that effect are welcome as well.
I come from a similar background, and my family still subscribes to it to varying degrees. Today, I identify with classical Pentecostalism, which is historically related but is less focused on the materialistic and consumeristic aspects of spirituality.
I think a lot of people misunderstand this movement. They judge everyone in it based on something (really, really) wacky they’ve seen or heard on TBN. Yes, what you see on TV represents the movement, but it does not define every aspect of the movement.
There are degrees to prosperity theology. Many people involved in it have, for the most part, orthodox and biblical understandings of Christianity. They just emphasize certain aspects of the faith to a greater degree than other Christians.
At the same time, there is a lot of questionable teaching, but I’d rather people understand it more before they criticize.
I’d say the Word of Faith movement is very questionable. After all, Jesus didn’t become man so we could practically “demand” what we need in this life. He came to save our soul and show us how to live eternity with him.
I mean, I keep hearing about how WE are the righteousness of Christ. We are righteous IN CHRIST, we are not the righteousness of Christ. Are we all little gods? Isn’t this what the Word movement is leading to? Reminds me of Buddhism a bit - god is IN us and in everything.
Plus, how must these good people feel when they don’t get what they’re already believing they have received? You know, you already have it. Does it make them feel like a failure? They’re told that they don’t have enough faith? I mean, it doesn’t depend on us, it depends on God. Praise Jesus for His sacrafice to save us.
“For all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans
We need a savior not a santa.
I’m sorry - I don’t have a lot of time. There are many scripture passages that would help you with your family, but if they’re really into this I don’t know if it would help. Do your talking in a kind and loving manner as I’m sure you do in reading your post PDXSeeker. Don’t argue, of course, I believe they are saved people, just misguided and are trying their best with what they have. How about moving to a more “traditonal” church like mabye Nazarene. Catholicism is too big of a jump for them right now. I think they would even feel better in a church like that - The Word of Faith makes you feel so guilty and scared that you’re doing something wrong. (in my experience, doesn’t mean your family is).
Let me go.
God bless you
p.s. not my personal experience but others.
Well, my personal experience is that no one is made to feel like a failure because things happen that they can’t control. My father was a minister (never a pastor but he was ordained) and a member of the board of our church. He read and watched Hagin and Copeland and Hinn and Dollar and Jakes.
He’s living with alzheimers. We have never been told by anyone at their church that he’s sick because he or his family lacked faith to see him healed. We have been encouraged and prayed for like you’d expect Christians to react.
Just wrote a whole letter and lost it! No can do a second time.
It’s just that I’m very interested in this topic.
The ministers you mention: I believe Hagin started it all. Hinn has a healing ministry and I don’t know if I’d put him in with the bunch. Dollar is the most Word pastor out of the ones you mention (I think). Copeland and Jakes too but they also preach grace so they seem to be between the Word movement and the Grace movement.
It sounds like you go to a good church. My father also had alzheimers and whatever helps him is good. I’ll also be praying for him as are your church friends.
I was just wondering where we’re headed with the Cross movement, the Grace movement and the Word movement??
I also had mentioned that the catholic church has also changed. Used to be we depended on the church, now it’s a personal relationship with Jesus. Remind you of something? Don’t mean to start a whole new thread.
God bless you
To PDXSeeker 1975
The catholic church doesn’t believe in the rapture, not pre or during.
Am I to understand here that there is an orthodox teaching to be understood that is not necessarily being portrayed on TV? How is the average Joe supposed to gain this understanding in a definitive manner and in terms of universality?
Here is a balanced article on the who’s. how’s and why’s of Word-Faith:
Read the article, very good.
Of course if the Word movement is correct, we’re all little gods since WE are the righteousness of God. incredible idea.
Name it and claim it: God has already promised it to us, we just need to claim it. Another incredible idea.
Like everything else, though, there are elements of truth involved - which is why it’s so believable.
What about Joyce Meyers ministries? She should have been a psychologist! Mix a little scripture in there, it’ll sound good.
The most interesting part of the article for me was:
Some African-American pastors are worried about the Word of Faith movement. Lance Lewis, pastor of Christ Liberation Fellowship Presbyterian Church in America, in Philadelphia, said, “When people see that the prosperity gospel doesn’t work they may reject God altogether.”
A proper worry, which is why you should stick to the correct word of God.
Also, I know that Creflo Dollar has a private jet but it doesn’t disturb me. If a pastor gets, let’s say, 10% of total contributions and they are 40 million$ per year, he’d get 4,mil per year. As long as he’s honest about it. So I don’t understand the following:
*As religious organizations, Word of Faith ministries are exempt from filing Form 990 with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In 2007, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa), a member of the Finance Committee, sent letters to six Word of Faith ministries about complaints he had received regarding nonindependent boards and ministers’ lavish lifestyles. The ministries were:
Benny Hinn Ministries; Grapevine, Texas; Benny Hinn;
Kenneth Copeland Ministries; Newark, Texas; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland;
Joyce Meyer Ministries; Fenton, Missouri; Joyce and David Meyer;
Bishop Eddie Long Ministries; Lithonia, Georgia; Bishop Eddie L. Long;
Without Walls International Church; Tampa, Florida; Paula and Randy White;
Creflo Dollar Ministries; College Park, Georgia; Creflo and Taffi Dollar.*
Am I missing something??
God bless you
from dust have you come and to dust you shall return
As I said above, there are degrees. Not everyone in this movement is Jan Crouch on steroids.
When I say “orthodox,” please understand I mean orthodox in terms of Protestant orthodoxy: justification by grace through faith, Sola Scriptura, etc. Basically, the core emphases of the Reformation informed by the Trinitarian faith of the undivided church expressed in the creeds.
I do not suggest there is any “orthodoxy” in the Word of Faith movement, only that there are people within the movement who are relatively orthodox but who have added certain emphases in the area of divine healing, prayer, and their understanding of faith that mark them as being influenced by the Word of Faith movement.
You don’t have to agree with me, and I, perhaps, see things from a different perspective being Pentecostal. A lot of what WoF and prosperity theology teaches are aberrations of Pentecostal theology merged with New Thought, popular psychology, and self-help mumbo jumbo (why do you think T. D. Jakes and Oprah Winfrey get along so well).
So, I see the historical evolution of Word of Faith/prosperity theology from evangelical Pentecostalism into something much different but not entirely alien. It’s just an emphasis that has become unmoored from a larger biblical understanding. Within a larger biblical framework, an emphasis on divine healing and the power of prayer would not be a bad thing. But isolated and allowed to take center stage, it becomes a cancerous growth.
There are many within the movement who have learned and gained insight into these emphases but have not bought entirely into the theology. They have taken what they think works and makes since biblically and added these new insights (that in the more traditional churches are often totally ignored or downplayed) into their belief system.