The Fallacy of the Word Of Faith Movement
The presence or absence of money is not the way to measure God’s blessing. As Christians, our hope is in the Lord, not our words, not money, nor even our faith. Our faith comes from God. It is not something we conjure up nor create for ourselves, it is a gift. God is the giver, the object of, and the perfecter of our faith. It is in Him and His Words we believe and trust for our temporal and eternal well-being. To hear and learn more about these truths, consider listening to the following sermons exposited by Dr. Richard Caldwell:
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The Fallacy of the Word Of Faith Movement
What is the Word of Faith movement? Does it teach that Christians are to be healthy, wealthy, and prosperous? Is that biblical? Where is it wrong, and why is it? Is it a sin to have wealth? Does the Bible condemn those who are wealthy?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss these questions as they relate to the teachings of the Word of Faith movement. Just what is the Word of Faith movement? It is not a denomination, has no formal organization, no hierarchy, and no formal creeds or confessions. It is a movement that teaches distorted views of biblical faith. It distorts what the Bible teaches about what it means to walk in faith.
The movement is heavily influenced by teachers who would say they do what they do because God told them to do and say these things. They take verses out of context, name, and claim things which they say, agree with God's will, concluding that God wants us to be healthy, wealthy, prosperous, and more. They do this based on their false understanding of faith. They say faith is a force, believing spoken words have power. So just as God spoke everything into existence, there is power in our spoken words.
This Isn’t Biblical
They say God wants His people to speak words that agree with His will and bring things into being and cause things to come to pass. In saying and doing these things, they reveal their belief (their faith) is in the words they use, teaching that spoken words have real effects. But this isn’t biblical, it is not what Scripture teaches.
Dr. Caldwell counters this distorted premise with what the Scriptures teach about faith. Faith is believing God, it has God and His Word as the object of our faith. What God says is true, it’s Him and His words we believe. Nowhere does the Bible, God’s Word, teach that God’s people will always be healthy and wealthy. These teachings by the Word of Faith movement are a distortion of the truth. They have a distorted view of God, the Scriptures, and a distorted view of the Christian life. In contradiction that God desires all men to be wealthy, many scriptural passages warn against greed, selfishness, coveting, the love of money, and idolatry. God’s Word teaches that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Does this mean that being wealthy is a sin and that in having wealth one cannot be saved or will not be saved? Dr. Caldwell says to have wealth is not a sin. Having wealth is not the sin, it’s the wealth having you. This is having money as your ultimate goal, your life’s pursuit, it has your heart. You cannot serve God and money. If your chief desire is for material gain, you are not a God worshipper.
His Words Are More Valuable
To worship the living God is to know that He is more valuable than anything this world has to offer. His Words are more valuable than even silver or gold. The only One who would ever get any of us to the place where we prefer Christ over anything this world has to offer is God Himself.
It is the Lord who gives wealth and the power to make wealth. So when He brings us to the place where Christ is our treasure, and He has entrusted or entrusts us with material wealth, the wealth does not have us. We see ourselves as stewards of what God has given us, all belonging to Him. Hence it is all at His disposal. Therefore, just as it’s wrong to teach that all believers should be wealthy, it is also wrong to teach that every believer is to divest himself of any or all wealth. The Bible nowhere indicates this teaching either.
The Bible does not condemn wealth nor those who are wealthy, and neither should we. There are certain kinds of ministry work that often only take place because of people who love Jesus and not money. These are people who have the means to invest, and they go forth making use of that money for the kingdom of God.
Making Money Your God
The issue is not having money but making money your God. What the Word of Faith movement does, it equates godliness with health, wealth, and prosperity. It sees riches as a sign of being blessed by God. It calls us to set our sights and our hearts on that which is temporal, not eternal. It is a distortion of what Scripture teaches and a great sin.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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