The Word of Faith heresy is a pernicious and dangerous belief system that has been consistently and decisively rejected by the Church and all orthodox, Bible-believing Christians throughout history. This false gospel, also known as the prosperity gospel, promotes the absurd and offensive idea that faith, positive thinking, and speaking words of faith can bring about physical blessings and material prosperity. These beliefs are a gross distortion of the teachings of the Bible and have no basis in traditional Christian doctrine.
One of the most repugnant beliefs of the Word of Faith heresy is the fraudulent and manipulative notion of the “law of sowing and reaping,” which asserts that if one makes financial donations, or more typically referred to in Word of Faith circles as “first-fruits tithing,” to their church or religious organization, they will be rewarded with financial blessings in return. This belief is a clear distortion of the teachings of the Bible and is nothing more than a sinister ploy for soliciting financial offerings under false pretenses.
Not only is this belief a gross misinterpretation of the Bible, it is also an insidious form of the prosperity gospel that seeks to exploit people’s vulnerabilities and desires for financial gain. It is a self-serving belief that has no place in true Christianity, which teaches us to give generously and selflessly out of love for God and others, rather than seeking personal financial benefit.
The idea that financial giving will necessarily result in financial blessings is not only unsupported by the Bible, it is also patently absurd and offensive. The Christian faith is about trusting in God’s provision and sovereignty, not about attempting to control outcomes through our own actions. Any belief system that promotes such manipulative and self-serving ideas is a dangerous and destructive heresy that should be rejected by all true followers of Christ.
In contrast to true Christian beliefs, Word of Faith theology prioritizes material wealth and physical outcomes over spiritual growth and a personal relationship with God. It is a shallow and self-centered belief system that is completely incompatible with the teachings of Jesus and the values of the Christian faith.
Furthermore, Word of Faith theology has been widely criticized for its legalistic and formulaic approach to faith, which emphasizes the importance of speaking certain words and performing certain actions in order to receive blessings from God. This approach to faith is not only misguided, but it also detracts from the core message of the Christian faith, which is about grace, love, and forgiveness.
It is imperative that we recognize that Word of Faith theology does not represent true Christianity and must be rejected as a false and harmful belief system. Even progressive groups such as TGC and the ERLC, with whom Word of Faith charlatans sometimes align themselves, tend to shy away from these aberrant beliefs.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against it, many churches continue to stubbornly promote this false theology. And Hillsong Church in Australia, in an especially egregious example, opened up the new year in 2023 with a sermon from pastor Robert Ferguson stating that “if everyone in this church tithes, we would have no financial problems.” It is highly suspect that Hillsong Church, which has faced numerous financial and sex scandals involving its leaders in recent years, would be making such statements. It is possible that the church is facing financial difficulties due to the legal fees associated with these scandals, and is therefore resorting to promoting this false and manipulative doctrine in an attempt to increase donations. Regardless of the motivations behind such statements, they are completely at odds with the true teachings of the Christian faith and must be unequivocally rejected.
It is a grave injustice that many churches continue to promote the insidious and false belief system of Word of Faith theology. These churches are doing a disservice to their congregants and to the Christian faith as a whole by promoting these dangerous and destructive ideas. It is our responsibility to stand against such heresies and to uphold the truth.