Word of Faith teachings: the balance between truth and abuse
Julie Anne is out on the road for most of the day and she asked me to post a discussion piece about Word of Faith. -Kathi
First, I would like to thank Loura Lawrence for sharing her story with us. I am so sorry for your loss. You have opened up to me a new world that is Word of Faith.
A quick Google search of Word of Faith led me to a Wikipedia article, local Word of Faith churches, and one of many articles on how Word of Faith has gone wrong. When looking into prominent preachers within this movement I started recognizing names: Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, and Robert Tilton. Those of you familiar with the movement will add Kenneth E. Hagin and Charles Capps.
Chris R. left a great comment on the last post that leads to this discussion:
And here I become confused.
I had been an ardent WoF disciple since 1981. Recently leaving an abusive church I must now rethink my worldview. That’s hard.
The problem is, it seems to me like there is much that WoF brought to the table in the early days which the church needed to hear.
There was a pervasive, almost fatalistic notion of the Sovereignty of God, which sapped any real expectation that God might intervene in the affairs of life if we trusted Him to do so. WoF answered that by pointing to Jesus’ own commendations of the faith of those who came to Him for healing. It presented the promises of God and encouraged believers to believe! The book of James itself appears to give plain instruction on how to ask, say, for wisdom – to do so with no doubting, since a doubter must not suppose he will receive anything from the Lord.
I could cite many other verses which appear to lay the emphasis on the believer’s response to the promises of God as somehow essential to their fulfilment.
And this finally leads to the abuses at the extreme end of the Name-it-and-claim-it movement. Extremes that even Kenneth Hagin addressed in his final book, “The Midas Touch”
I am at a complete loss as to know where what seem to be Truths turn finally into abuses.
Do I now reinterpret the Bible in much more relativistic and cultural way. Who is to say how far that process should go? How liberal with the text ought I to be?
Forgive me for not adding anything constructive to this debate, but it has hit a nerve.
Having once had a carefully constructive and watertight worldview I now find myself all at sea.
Which leads us to today’s discussion post. What do you know about Word of Faith? If you have been a part of the movement, are you able to share some experiences with us? At what point do we find a balance between truth and abuse?
Image source: Logopond