I know some of this is going to upset some ppl, and that is fine but just know all I say is in LOVE and my only wish is for you to have a close walk with God and come into the Truth.
The last few days I have been doing a lot of reading on this subject. And what I have read makes me sick and very sad for those who I personally know who subscribe to this.
As a rule I don't watch TV Evangelists that often or even read many Christian books (I have read a few but it is rare) because when I first was saved I was warned to be very careful where I take any teaching from, that often there are teachers out there that mix truth with lies.. giving you just enough truth to make their lies believable.. like all good con-men do. And lest's face it, you wouldn't eat ice cream that fell in a litter box and pick off the bad to get to the good parts, you throw it all away.. why would you not want to do the same with those who are teaching you about God?!
From what I have read in several places the Word Of Faith Movement is more like witch craft then praying to our Sovereign God for his will to be done in our life. The popular teaching is your faith is what is going to get you what you want, to have faith in your faith, not faith in the Lord who is by the way the author and finisher of your faith to bless you as he sees fit.
This reminds me of a recent conversation that was at church a few Sundays ago. Before Worship a member asked us to listen to a tape from some one, I can't remember who, and on this tape the preacher goes on to say that when we praise God and clap and raise our hands it does something in the spirit realm and God responds to it.. when the praises go up.. the blessings come down. Sounds good.. we all want to be blessed right? Praise and Worship the Lord.. you get blessed..oh so there is a formula to it? humm. I am not disputing that we are blessed for worshiping and praising.. but as another member pointed out tearfully, the point of worship is NOT for the blessing, we don't worship him because of what he does or will do for us BUT for WHO HE IS, PERIOD. It is out of a thankful heart and in awe of him, when we realize Who God is, that is all we can do is worship him, not for selfish reasons, not because we will be blessed for it and want something in return, butbecause it is in our nature to worship God for who he is.
The Word of Faith Movement says with your very words you can make things happen.. not that God does it but because you are a little god yourself when you become born again your faith will make it happen. More of the positive reinforcement thinking.. very similar to the New Agers and upon more reading that is almost exactly where this movement took it's roots from. Reading one preacher's claims.. he says in essence we ARE the same as God.. we have his power.. he doesn't say Jesus lives IN YOU and thus you can do all things threw him, no, it is of your own will and power because you have God's nature is what this preacher says. You want a to be rich? You want all the good things in this life? Name it and then claim it as your right as a child of God to have it, speak it into happening and it will, is what is taught be those of this movement.
HELLO!!! Doesn't the Bible say and Jesus taught the rich man to give every away everything he owns and come and follow him? Doesn't he say not to worry about or love the things of this life, that we have a greater reward in heaven? There is also a teaching that sickness and illness are our own fault and that if we confess our healing we will be healed. So I guess it was Job's fault that God allowed Satan to afflict him? That is not what the Bible says. Job was a righteous man and God used him as an example to us all.. God is God, he is even sovern over Satan. We live in a cursed world, our bodies are temporary and decaying, illness is a product of the fall, and often God will use an affliction to bring those he has chosen to him and also as the refiners fire to bring out an imperfection in us and bring us to a closer walk with him. I know of those who are thankful for the bad situations that have happen in their lives.. for it brought them closer to the Lord.
How do you know if a ministry is of the Word of Faith Movement or the Name it and Claim it teaching?
Though there is diversity of belief and practice among those who might be classified as, or consider themselves, part of this group, they typically will agree on several key doctrines.
- God creates by using His faith through the power of spoken words.
- Man is a “little god” capable of creating in the same fashion as did God.
- Man, through faith-filled words, creates or causes to come to pass that which is spoken. Thus by one’s spoken words health/healing and wealth/prosperity are created.
- Jesus earned our redemption, not on the cross, but in hell.
Listen very carefully to them and if there is even a hint of that ministry is teaching you those things.. my suggestion is to RUN RUN RUN as fast as you can away from them or turn off your T.V. and pick up your Bible and ask The Holy Spirit to lead you into all understanding as you read his Word.
Jesus warned us that if it was possible the very elect could be fooled.. also to be weary of those who claim he is there physically. (a few of these preachers have said they have spoken to him, that he has physically appeared to them and one even said he was going to be at one of their meetings) For there will be false Christ's and false teachers in these last days that teach another gospel contrary to what is found in the Bible.
The fact is if you know what the Bible says you will not be fooled to believe a lie, so know The Word! Don't take any man's word for what the Bible says or even allow him to interpret it for you, why do you think we have the Holy Spirit?
Now I am not saying leave your church and not listen to your preachers.. but if what he is teaching is contrary to the Word of God, call him on it, hold him accountable. Any church that says they are above reproach and you can not talk to your preacher about the message he just preached that Sunday or Wednesday is suspect to me. When I first started going to my church the leadership said.. don't take my word for it, read the bible, know what it says and if you have found anything we have taught to be contrary to it, feel free to confront us, to talk to us about it, hold us accountable. I guess that is a rare thing these days, for I hear of many ppl say that their pastor is the final authority on everything and you just don't dare go to him if you disagree with something. Don't you know that your pastor or teacher is there to serve, not to be served?
Threw reading about the Word of Faith Movement I was lead to examine how I pray myself. Do do that? Do I name what I want or need and then "claim" it as my own? I have often said to those I am praying for to find a scripture in the Bible, scripture is God's promises to us, and hold that promise close and pray for it. I think that is much different than saying.. My own words are going to cause to make that thing happen. Those are God's words, his scripture and it is his will if he brings to pass what we are asking for or not. I pray in Jesus Name because of the scripture saying that what ever we ask for in his name he will do it to bring honor to the father, but that is for his honor, and glory, not mine AND if I am asking for something that is NOT in his will for me.. HE IS NOT going to do it. And I am encouraging others to read the Bible and grow closer to God.
The thing about name it and claim it is there is no relationship there, there is no back and forth with God. You are not being humble, coming to your father who is in Heaven, it is more like being a child having a fit until he gets what he wants. I don't know about you but I know I much rather my own children come to me asking for what they desire or need, then naming it and claiming it, demanding they have it. Infact I am more inclined to deny my child something if they ask me in that manor to teach them how to properly ask for something.
For further reading I recommend these links. It gives more details on this subject and the history of this movement in the Christian Church and even names some names along with quotes from those ministries.