by Timothy Jerry
Over the past year, I have become familiar with a number of ministries on the web that have made it their aim to “expose the false teachings of the Word of Faith movement.” While I have absolutely no problem with people disagreeing about biblical interpretation I do have a problem with a great deal of the spirit in which most of this so-called interpretation on the WOF is carried out.
I believe that healthy debate and dialogue are not only beneficial, it’s also essential if we are to maintain sound doctrine. Yet a great deal of the attack against WOF ministries is not only misleading, but it’s also simply dishonest. I have heard prominent ministers declare over the radio, internet and TV, that WOF preachers are preaching a different Jesus, and therefore they are preaching a different gospel.
The only Jesus I know of any WOF preacher proclaiming is the one who shed His blood to take away the sins of the world as stated in Scripture. I don’t know of any WOF preacher that has ever declared that there is any other name given among men whereby we must be saved than the name of Jesus. So if we proclaim that salvation is through the shed blood of Christ alone, and by His atonement, then for these folks to say that we are preaching another gospel is simply misleading.
When a person makes a public declaration that another minister of the gospel is a false teacher or not a Christian this is a very serious allegation. People who listen to these ministers who oppose the WOF usually know little or nothing about what we preach, so they are taking the word of the one making the statements.
To make matters worse, these ministers will often use sound bites from messages of various WOF ministers to persuade their audience that these ministers are heretics. Nearly every one of these sound bites I have ever heard has been pulled completely out of context, or at best distorted. I have always believed that a half-truth is a whole lie.
This sort of witch hunting has nearly always caused a great deal more harm than good. While I realize that these men who attack the WOF movement believe that they are called to expose error and false teachers, I question the motives and methods that they are employing. I have never heard a single one of these men ever humbly admit that they could possibly be mistaken. Or that perhaps they are misunderstanding what we actually believe.
I have absolutely no problem with people disagreeing. What I have a problem with is accusing men and women of God of heresy without so much as even attempting to engage in a constructive dialogue with them. What I have a problem with is the negative impression that is left upon those who know absolutely nothing about most WOF ministers, and yet who will come away with the erroneous idea that we are some type of fringe cult group.
I will attempt to clarify some of the erroneous misunderstandings about what we believe. There is a great deal that the body of Christ has gained from the WOF camp, and what we have to offer to those who might be willing to hear.