Word of Faith?

I fought long and hard against the Word of Faith movement (Hagen, Copeland, Roberts, et al.) all through the late 70’s and 80’s. It embedded itself in our church through the people who came in during the healing revival and since the Rector was a relatively new Christian (despite seminary, or maybe because of it) he was always one step ahead of the congregation. He eventually fell on his face and the Word of Faith people used the opportunity (they were substantial givers who had “claimed” their success and wealth) to pretty much take over for a while.

I recovered many an injured soul that had been damaged by the fallout when their healing did not materialize, so their faith became suspect. When Joseph Farah wrote “From the Pinnicle of the Temple” there was finally a public stand from someone who could said to be within the circle (he taught at Oral Roberts).

I sometimes referred to it as the Word of Arrogance movement and other times, since there were so many yuppies caught up in it, the Word of Self-Centeredness movement. Believe you me when I say I am initimately aware of that flavor of heresy.

That said, Lakeland is not that type of expression. It may have more in sync with the Emerging movement than anything else. It is sort of like a Christian version of Ozzy Ozborne, but with understandable dialog.

Only God raises from the dead (albeit the Anti-christ may be raised after a mortal head wound by Satanic possession but the jury is still out on that). Mordor seduces, gives mere lipservice to Christ if he is mentioned in a realistic way at all, and elevates itself. It seeks to possess, not point to God in any meaningful way.

This may be a Corinthian revival where the power of God is mixed with excess and error, but Corinth was real and Paul counseled them TWICE for all of us to see and use. I wonder what the first few months years at Corinth were like. The power of God must have been palpable, just like it appears to be in Lakeland. Error and excess are correctable to a right heart and about that only time will tell.


On another front, tomorrow I do a lemonade fast day (only drinking lemon enhanced water with a little honey). I plan on fasting every Friday for the near future. I am beginning with food. Later I will add things like audio/video entertainment, the internet, reading of anything outside of the Bible, etc. But for now, it is one step at a time.

Grace and peace.

10 thoughts on “Word of Faith?

  1. Please see A Call for Discernment by going to http://www.justinpeters.org. Justin is an evangelist and in addition to expository preaching, also holds seminars on the Word of Faith movement. He has cerebral palsy and concurs with the apostle Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee.

    You can view his brief overview of the misleading Word of Faith movement given at Southwestern Theological Seminary here:


    To God be the glory!

  2. Interesting. Frankly, I’m not sure what to believe. I’m not healed though healing is dearly needed (and desired, frankly, because it has become intensely disruptive), despite prayer and faith and trust. Still, based on what I read in the Bible… we WERE healed. Right? So it seems to me that somewhere I’ve screwed up and so must keep seeking God. It’s that or everything crashes down around me at this point.

    Good luck with the fast! I know God will sustain you. Man lives not by bread alone, after all! Was just reading the story of Jesus and the woman at the well the other day, and how He was telling the disciples that He had food they knew not of. 🙂

  3. Also, will have to look for that book. Actually heard back in January (what kind of great timing is that?), “If you pray for someone who is sick and they die, it is your fault. You didn’t have enough faith.” Then…ugh. I can’t believe that one at all even though it ‘sounds’ ‘right’. God is sovereign, after all.

  4. So, what happened to the child with cancer in your church who went down there several days? Should we suppose that since you haven’t said anything about it that he still has cancer?

    Not that we should expect 100% healings at Lakeland, even if it is truly God’s work, after all we are all going to die eventually. I think God can heal who He chooses to, but that there are more things at work than just our getting better, and none of us are promised good health forever. But that is at least a specific knowable instance, so I’m curious what happened…


  5. Keith, while he felt better initially, he is back in the hospital, so at this point he has not been healed.

    His name is Chris Abshire and he and his family could use your prayers. He is a music minister at a church in PA and has a wife and kids.

  6. I think the Catholics have a point when they say that salvation is a process, not an event or an experience. Two steps forward, one step back, sometimes three steps back. It takes a whole life of struggle.

  7. Hello,
    I found this page by doing a google search for “Chris Absire”. I received an email today from Tim Thomas with Chrysalis sharing the news of Chris’s illness. I am attempting to find out where he is so I can contact him. What church do you go to? Do you know what hospital he’s in? I served on team with him at Chrysalis and am besides myself with grief at hearing this news. I’ve moved to Florida and have not been in touch in years. (Quite a coincedence that I learned in this post that he was down here – I live 1 hr away from Lakeland). Anyway, blessings to you. I read a good book recently “Same Kind of Different as Me” that helped me to understand God’s motives when he chooses NOT to heal someone. It was instrumental for me in understanding my mother’s death.

  8. Heather,

    I attend Good Shepherd CEC Church with Chris’ parents, who are music ministers at our church. As a result, Chris’ concerns have long been a part of the prayer concerns of our congregation.

    I have emailed you information about Chris.

  9. It’s great to find a site like this for people like me. Keep the faith and thanks for your work and showing us these things. God bless and happy National Prayer Day!

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