Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stigma

I feel like I will be living with the stigma of growing up in a Word of Faith Prosperity church for the rest of my life. So I take every chance I can to condemn it. It is vile and ugly and a total perversion of how God wants a Christian to live their life. It is all about them and not about our saviour Jesus Christ. Thinking back on things, I remember Jesus mainly being mentioned in the praise and worship music at the beginning of the service. After that, it was Spirit, Faith, Impartations, Pastor, and Money. And I know that he was referring to the Holy Spirit but the pastor always seemed to make things so spooky and vague. The faith part seems like voodoo to me now. The impartations seems like demon possession, and the pastor loved himself and money. All-in-all it was all just plain wrong.

Practically everyday, I am still thanking God I am away from there. Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Greg Surratt the Senior Pastor of Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC. He said something in his sermon that I can not put any more eloquently so I will quote him. "The only person getting rich in a prosperity church is the one preaching prosperity." Hey look at that, I am different from my former pastor; he would have just ripped that quote off and not had any guilt over it.

11 comments:

searching said...

Great post! I thank God everyday that I am out of there too!!!

Anonymous said...

My family is still recovering after years of abusive, I have some family members still attending this church.They try to preach this crap to me- I am free and never intend to go through that again!!!

Danny said...

I really have little desire to berate certain pastors and churches. I try not to get to upset these days about everything.
The message is the key thing--at any church. Many different types of churches have sucky pastors as you describe yours.

I grew up baptist. When I was a young teenager I was introduced to the word of faith doctrine. When I was about 20 I left my baptist church to join the word of faith one. I got mixed up in drugs which is one reason I stopped going to church then. But there were some things I didn't like. Such as "have faith in your faith". And things like that.

As for healing, I do not believe God wants us to be in physical misery. As for prosperity, I do believe that God wants us to be giving, and He wants us to have all our needs met plus that, so that we can meet others needs. As for pastors, if you don't like him-find another church, end of story.

I do believe that there is something to confessing God's word, regardless of circumstances. It's hard for me to listen to "word of faith teachers" because priorities seem to be mixed up.
In one church service the pastor had mentioned something about new cars and stuff which caused an eruption in the congregation, like one would see at a football game as their team scored the winning touchdown. Then in that same service someone receives Jesus, and light clapping is heard. I believe that this is part of the fruit of the message that was taught.
But whenever someone attacks the word of faith movement, it makes it difficult to have a productful discussion until things are clarified. Are you hostile toward the message, the messangers, the congregation, all or part of some combination, etc. Do you classify as a cult churches that teach that God wants them to be healthy and not to lack?
Or better yet, don't tell me what you do not believe of what other people say, tell me what you do believe.
We do not know each other, so if any of this seems to be hostile in nature please be assured that it is not. Dennis Delcamp gave me your site. He is a great friend of mine.
Take it easy,
Danny

re-Barr said...

Danny,

The Word of Faith cult teaches people to follow after earthly things. Call in that money… buy that new bigger car (or house). They get people hyped up over things that in the end are going to burn. You had 2 very good examples of how messed up this belief system is in the quote “have faith in your faith” and the sermon about the new car. Having faith in your faith is a new age occult belief that is actually at the very heart of the Word of Faith (I grew up hearing this phrase). Your Bible does not tell you to have faith in your faith, it tells you to have faith in God. I could go on further with examples but you may find better reading here (http://www.watchman.org/Profile/wordpro.htm).

As far as what I do believe. I believe that God created us to have a relationship with him, not to try to man-handle God to do what we want. I believe that God wants us to follow him regardless of how much money we have or what kind of condition our health is in. That is not to say that I believe that God wants us sick and broke it is obviously easier to do things when you feel good and have the money to do it. But then sometimes we tend to think we did it on our own when really it was through God’s help. So I just don’t think that a lack of money or health IS A DIRECT result of a person’s lack of faith in God. Does God heal people? Yes. If a person is not healed of something does that mean that THEY failed? No. Look at John 5 where it clearly states that there was a great number of sick people but Jesus heard about one man’s situation and decided to heal him alone (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%205:1-15;&version=31;). We don’t know why Jesus didn’t heal everyone there but he didn’t. Did the others fail?

I don’t believe everyone is supposed to be broke and sick. But their bank account or the fact that someone has not had a major illness does not mean that they are following God better than someone else. And this is what Word of Faith teaches.

I would say that any church that focuses primarily on getting earthly things, any church that tells people to have faith in their faith, any church that tells people that we are little gods, any church that has cloak and dagger styled rules, any church that treats the pastor with just as high of a regard as they would God, is a cult.

I hope this clarifies things. And I hope that you keep reading and responding because I think that the discussion is beneficial (at least it is to me.). As you may have read I grew up in this kind of church and I am still trying to figure out what is right and what is wrong.

Danny said...

I do agree that a person being sick or broke does not mean they do not have faith, or have failed somewhere.
The bible does say that Jesus could not do any mighty works at one place because of their unbelief. So I also do not believe that should be left out either.
I do not believe death and poverty are Gods will for us. How can that be His desire for us? There are more than one posible answer for why people die and are broke, and probably more reasons than I have thought of.
But unbelief is one of them, and I just don't think that God's will is another. Why does it have to be either God's will, or unbelief?
I don't think that the strength level of our faith is why bad things happen. Jesus is the originator and perfector of faith. Weak faith was enough for the 12 diciples to be saved from a storm. I do not believe that weak faith equals unbelief.

re-Barr said...

I will definitely give you Mark 6:1-5. I mean after all, if you take offense to Jesus, it does make it hard for him to work in your life. So yes unbelief can be a reason for God not healing a person.

BTW I loved your last paragraph. My Former Church would hate it, but I think you are spot on. Because, I believe that God will use any open door that he has to work in a person's life. Where they taught that only those with the most faith would blah blah blah...

For clarification purposes, I have never claimed that it is God's will for people to be broke and die. I would have to agree with you in that it is not God's will for people. But things happen in life that are not God's will. The children of Israel wandering around the wilderness for 40 years, not God's will. Israel having kings, not God's will. David sleeping with Uriah's wife, not God's will. In David's case God turned things around because David had a heart of repentance. In Matthew, Bathsheba is listed as an ancestor to Jesus. To say that these things were all God's will, to me is saying that God has predestined each of us to our end. But God has given each of us free will. So then how could we have free will if God has already laid every footstep before us. I think some people get the fact that God is omniscient confused with His will. He knows everything we will do before we will do it. But it doesn't mean He wants us to do it. It just means he isn't surprised by it and already has a plan in place to get us back on the right track.

Unfortunately, for the Israelites in the wilderness the path they chose to follow, meant that God had to wait for their children to grow up and take the places of their parents before they could enter into the promised land.

Then, there is the unfairness of life on earth. Ya know those things that we just can't ever say that this happened to me because of XYZ.

Look at the blind man in John 9. The disciples try to find out who was at fault for his blindness. Which I gotta say, I would have wanted to know why if it had been me. But Jesus redirects them and shows them that what is important is God working in this man's life not knowing what was the cause of his blindness. Sometimes, like this scripture reference, we may know exactly how God used this for His glory. Other times we may not.

Let me take this to a more personal level for me. There was a dear and sweet lady at MFC that died of cancer. Why? I don't know. But when she died... there was a HUGE red flag to the congregants at the church. Some people saw it and decided it was time to move on. Others saw it and were puzzled (place me here). And still others thought nothing of it at all. I don't know “why” she died. All I know is that God used it to show people the truth. And some realized it and others didn't.

Danny said...

My friend just died from lupas. They believed God would heal her. Obviously she did not get healed. I can't say whether it had something to do with faith, or how she treated her body, the devil, or just crap happening. God knows, and now she does. And maybe she could have known while she was here.
But I don't think it was a tragedy for them to believe that God healed her at the cross. The doctors gave her six months to live eight months ago, and she continued to see doctors. I see no tragedy in her "believing for her healing" at the point of her dying in sickness.
I miss her.
Anyway, I prefer to talk about this. What does the bible say about faith and what do you and I actually think about it. Screw them stupid preachers.
Take it easy,
danny.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

re-Barr said...

Anonymous, lol Your right my older articles are much better than the ones I have put out the past few months. I have been swamped here with work for quite awhile. And the increase in my family has not helped me have more free time either. I plan on posting again soon though.

Inay said...

Listen to Bro.Eli F. Soriano
Find his blog......
just listen and then find if he what he is saying is true.....

Anonymous said...

Yes, really.