For the length of what has been written and will be written on this subject, it seemed best to post this in small doses. Sure, I could throw the whole thing out there at once, but I haven’t written it yet, nor would you want to read a blog of that beastly length. This first post will simply involve some of the teachings within the movement. Further posts will follow within the days to come, Lord willing.
Within the Word of Faith Movement, there are many differing concepts that have crystallized into sub-cultures within the larger framework. Because of this, it is relatively hard to speak in generalized terms to encapsulate the entirety of the movement. However, through this initial post, we will look at three common teachings within the movement. Many of these teachings can be found within various different denominations in some fashion, though most churches within the WOF movement are largely non-denominational.
Healing – The WOF Movement teaches that healing of the believer involves the spirit, body, and soul. All of these things were included in Christ’s atonement and are available for use today for those who believe. They will use Isaiah 53:5 and Matthew 8:17 to appeal to this belief, exhibiting that the prophet uses the present tense in saying, “we are healed.” Beyond this, Matthew 8:17 evidences the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in 53:4 to evidence Christ’s ministry for all believers.
In order to be healed, one must verbally confess such scriptures in complete, unwavering faith in order to be healed. Thus, it is not denying such realities as sickness, disease, and the like – but denying the power of such things to supersede the belief drawn from Isaiah 53:4-5. They are actively denying Satan’s “ability” to deny believers of their divine right to be free of the effects of sin.
Furthermore, one’s measure of faith is tantamount to the ability for them to be healed. Thus, if a person comes to a healing crusade and is not healed, it is due to a low measure of faith. In this, generally speaking, faith healers will urge participants to give freely with their money in order to ensure God’s blessing upon them. If a person does not have the funds to give freely, this is also due to a small measure of faith, as we will see in the next section.
Prosperity – Essentially, this teaches that God wants all believers not only to live without sickness, pain, and disease, but in affluence. Men, like Kenneth Copeland express that if you are poor, it is because you have given Satan dominion over your life; God only allows something like this to happen because the person has not invited Him in to rescue them from the financial oppression of Satan.
Many verses are used to support this view, yet we will limit this to some of the more popular scriptures. Malachi 3:10, Matthew 25:14-30, John 10:10, Philippians 4:19, and 3rd John 1:2 all support their claims that believers are to live an abundant life, free from the struggles of financial strain. God wants to bless us with prosperity, and if we aren’t living in prosperity, we aren’t living under the blessing of God.
The most affective ministry that they have developed to proselytize this has been through the use of televangelism. Common elements are found within each, such as “sowing the seed of faith” and utilizing the “prayer of Jabez,” alongside these aforementioned verses to claim the divinely given dominion over poverty. However, it should be noted that prosperity does not solely mean through a means of financial gains. Naturally, successful endeavors in your life are also guaranteed – because God wants you to be successful in all things you put your hands to.
Faith and Confession – The power of words comes largely into play here, simply meaning that one can have both “positive confession” and “negative confession.” In this, the believer can positively confess verses of promise, believing fully that by the power of this confession, the promise will come to fruition. Likewise, someone can utter negatively, having adverse affect on the outcome of his or her lives. Hence, why it is vitally important for one to choose their words carefully.
The main premise this is built off of is through the scriptures in Genesis in relation to God speaking the created world into existence. From this, they extrapolate that since man is made in the image of God, we were also endowed with this divine power to speak things into existence. While it may not manifest itself in the form of literally creating something out of nothing, it does manifest itself in these areas of promise.
Built off of this teaching, we find such things as the “prayer of agreement.” Using Matthew 18:18 and the surrounding context loosely, the “prayer of agreement” has binding power through two or more fellow Christians meeting together for the intensive purpose of praying for the “positive confession” to be realized. This is said to be an incredibly powerful means of achieving the desired outcome, and claiming what is rightfully the confessor’s. However, it is urged that those who utilize the “prayer of agreement” do so in times of great need.