Q. I appreciate your teaching and sharing. What is the “word of faith” belief? What is your opinion of it?
A. “Word of Faith” or “Positive Confession” as it’s also known is the belief that that faith works like a mighty power or force. Through faith, we can obtain anything we want — health, wealth, success, whatever. However, this force is only released through the spoken word. As we speak the words of faith, power is discharged to accomplish our desires.
This view is Scripturally sound, as far as it goes. (Matt. 21:22) But I am persuaded that as it is most often practiced it involves motives that are not consistent with God’s will for us.
For example the Bible says that if we have the right attitude about giving, we can receive much more in return, (2 Cor. 9:7-11) and I have collected many testimonies of that principle in action. But word of faith preachers often distort this passage and others by saying that if we give to them, we’ll receive up to 100 times as much back. Then they use the money they get to build opulent life styles for themselves to show us what we could have if we just believe. And of course we have to demonstrate that belief by giving more to them.
In doing so they prompt exactly the opposite motive in our giving to the one the Lord intended. He wants us to be generous with His money and they appeal to our greed. As a result, the only ones blessed are the preachers.
In effect, the Lord had Paul say that if we give generously to the Lord’s work out of our gratitude for what we’ve already received from Him, and with no expectation of return, He will bless us with more abundance so that we can be even more generous. Unfortunately the word of faith movement more often teaches us to be greedy and selfish instead of generous and grateful.