The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Part 2 — The Good

By , | 19 Jul 2023
good, bad, the ugly featured image

In this article, we will begin our evaluation of the Word of Faith (WoF) movement at this moment in history.


First, A Bit of Church History

The Protestant Reformation is still very much in progress, in my humble opinion. From the get-go, it attempted to correct moral corruption and blatant heresies within Roman Catholicism (all of which are still very much dearly held and tightly woven into that belief system to this very day, I might add!). Those valiant reformers gave far more than mere lip-service to the concept of the Bible (sola scriptura) being our sole authority over faith and practice — sometimes at the cost of their lives! — and their contributions cannot be safely ignored or trivialized. All things considered, their efforts were wildly successful in so many ways I don’t have time or space to recount them all here.

That being said, those brave men still perceived Christianity through personal worldviews heavily tinted by Roman Catholic (RC) dogma and centuries-long church traditions first introduced by Constantine back in the 4th century. While we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for being used of God to rescue the Body of Christ from centuries of RC moral turpitude and outright heresy, they failed to tear Christendom’s assumptions, customs, and beliefs down to its bare bones, rebuilding the entire edifice using sola scriptura as their sole yardstick (what we classic car guys call a “frame-off restoration). As a result, certain erroneous doctrinal assumptions and traditions which had developed during the early centuries of Christian practice and the ensuing millennia or so of RC dominance remained unchallenged, therefore unaddressed and carried over intact (aka “The Rags of Romanism”).

Both Calvinism and Catholicism derive many of their erroneous concepts from Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, respectively, each heavily influenced by the secular-humanist Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, respectively, rather than the Scriptures alone. This is a crucial point to remember whenever examining any aspect of these two groups and what they proclaim as “Truth.” Personally, I’m far more closely aligned with a 2nd-century church father who said:

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem, the Academy (of Plato) with the Church?
Tertullian of Carthage in Prescription Against Heresies (parentheses mine)

Such syncretization of the godly with the godless has caused more than a few doctrinal errors; it’s little wonder the modern-day Body of Christ has been so typically gutless and powerless in the face of great evils! But I digress…

The WoF’s Core Purpose

The movement’s founding teachers attempted to strip Christianity down to its bare studs by re-examining everything from a fresh, unvarnished-by-the-past perspective and scrapping unscriptural religious traditions. They posed — and dedicated themselves to answering — the following crucial question:

What would we Christ-followers look like, speak like, act like, experience, and be able to accomplish for the cause of Christ if we deliberately believed the Bible precisely as it is written instead of defaulting to the empty-of-power traditions-of-men taught over the centuries by both Roman Catholicism and mainline Protestantism alike?

In other words, the WoF attempts to take a long, hard look with fresh unfiltered-by-religious-tradition eyes at the following kinds of questions:

What is the Bible?

  • What does it actually say?
  • Does it literally mean what it literally says?
  • Is it true in all times in all places under all situations or are there exceptions?
  • What does God say about His Word, His purpose for it, and its role in the life of Christ-followers?
  • Can we utterly depend upon what we find in it regardless of our past experiences and current circumstances?

Who is God?

  • What does the Bible say about His character and nature?
  • Has He sovereignly limited Himself in any way?
  • If so, how, where, and with whom?

Who is Jesus?

  • What does the Bible say about the Christ Event (His birth, life, words, torture and crucifixion, and resurrection)?
  • What exactly did his substitutionary death and resurrection purchase for us?
  • Was it limited to salvation or was there more?
  • If more, what precisely does “more” include?

Who is the Holy Spirit?

  • What is His role in the lives of modern-day Christ-followers?
  • Are the gifts of the Spirit as defined, described, and regulated in 1 Corinthians 12-14 still in operation?
  • If so, how does one receive them?
  • How do they work?
  • How does one position oneself to be so used?

Who are we as Christ-followers?

  • What impact does the New Birth truly have upon those who have experienced it?
  • What is the true nature and extent of our relationship with God?
  • What are our privileges as God’s children?
  • Even more importantly, what are our duties and responsibilities before Him?
  • Does God still perform miracles through modern-day, rank-and-file Christ-followers?
  • If miracles are indeed for today, how do Christ-followers position themselves to both receive them and be used of God to perform them?
  • If modern-day believers can be used to perform miracles, how can we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to increase their frequency and/or magnitude over time?

Who wields spiritual authority on Planet Earth?

  • God?
  • Satan?
  • Church officials (pastors, elders, bishops, popes, etc.
  • Rank-and-file Christ-followers?
  • Some combination of one or more of the above?

The words we speak

  • Do they have any influence or power over ourselves, our circumstances, and our destinies?
  • If so, what is the nature of that power?
  • Over what/whom is that power effective?


God says we must have faith to please Him (Hebrews 11:1), so it is a crucial spiritual currency within His Kingdom.

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • Can faith grow and develop?
  • If so, how do Christ-followers do that?
  • How does faith relate to the other crucial spiritual currency, agape love?


Who is responsible for doing the work of the ministry, presenting the grace of God to the lost and hurting of this world?

  • Pastors and other professional ministers?
  • The Body of Christ at large with our leaders training/coaching us on the why, when, where, and how to do so?

What should church look like?

  • What is worship?
  • Should services be primarily focussed on saving the lost or teaching Christ-followers so they can do that?
  • Are Christ-followers merely spectators watching a minister and choir perform?
  • Or are we active participants flowing with the Holy Spirit has He guides the progress of the service?
  • How should churches be governed?
  • What should laypersons’ relationship with their pastor look like?
  • How should pastors and other spiritual leaders be regarded and treated?

There is much, much more, but this brief list hits the high points.

In summary, nothing has been exempt from exhaustive reexamination under the searing light of the Scriptures. While the opinions and commentaries of long-dead theologians as well as the traditions of the past are valuable and informative, they are no longer regarded as virtual holy writ as if they came down off Mount Sinai on tablets of stone written by the finger of God.

Ignoring the preconceptions and assumptions of the past scares a lot of folks because we humans derive a false sense of safety and security from authority figures in the past who have spoken to various issues which concern us spiritually. We tend to indulge in one or more logical fallacies, primarily ad verecundiam (an appeal to authority) and ad antiquitatem (an appeal to tradition), among others.

The fallacious concept in play here is the assumption “old = good and correct.” Point-of-fact: there were more than a few church fathers who not only got stuff wrong, but did so quite badly as Christianity evolved over the centuries. Study it out for yourself!

To move a few of these issues from the esoteric theological realm into our practical rubber-meets-the-road day-to-day walks with Jesus:

  • Are we worms who dare not approach our holy God apart from groveling about how unworthy we are or can we “boldly approach the His throne of grace to seek mercy and help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:12) because are we children of our Heavenly Father, princes and princesses in His Kingdom, made co-heirs with Jesus by His finished work of the Cross despite our complete lack of personal merit.
  • Are the calamities of life we all face dispensed by a cosmic child-abuser (both Catholicism and Calvinism’s view of God) to judge us for our sins or teach us humility/patience/whatever -OR- are they caused by Satan, the god of this world system, who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy all mankind, and especially those who have sworn allegiance to Jesus? If the latter, how do we fight him and prevail? What are our weapons and how can we both master and wield them?
  • Is it truly God’s will to heal every Christ-follower physically, mentally, and emotionally? If so, how do we position ourselves to receive that? If we are not experiencing divine health, why not, and how can we correct it?
  • Is it truly God’s will for believers to live in financial poverty? If not, how do we get out of it? What does a truly biblical and godly relationship between a Christ-follower and his money/possessions look like?

As I’ve already covered elsewhere, our worldview shapes our perceptions of God, the world and people around us, as well as ourselves. Those perceptions determine how we choose to interact with them. In other words: our behavior.

Ergo, if we have the wrong worldview, our behavior and experiences will never, ever line up with God’s Word and never, ever conform to His will for our lives.

Answers to Those Questions

We will not be digging into the answers to those questions in the depth they truly deserve in this series simply because I have already done so elsewhere here at Miscellaneous Ramblings. That body of work is simply too lengthy to include here, so I will simply point you to our Table of Contents from which you can select articles to later read at your leisure.


My personal experience with the Word of Faith teaching and mode of worship set me on a course of relationship with God and His church I would never have experienced otherwise. I mentioned my Baptist roots ingrained in me a disciplined need to be in church, but the message always seemed to be the same: you’re a sinner, you need to repent, and give your life to God.

I don’t recall looking for a change, looking for “more,” I was sort of swept into it — and I liked it!

The WoF message opened my eyes to the responsibility and authority every Christ-follower has. One of the first in particular was our words needing to match up to our supposed faith. Early in my walk as a WoF person, teachings on covenant rocked my world. We are in a covenant with the King of the Universe, its all for our good, and He even provided the sacrifice.

For the first time I was hearing life-changing information about the spiritual warfare which goes on around us every minute of every day and the weapons we have access to. The Armor. Angels. Worship. Our words. Locating our faith. Faith growing like a muscle. Sowing and reaping. Love based on relationship instead of works. And a host of other topics based on the foundation of taking God’s Word literally and building our faith on those words.

When the Word of Faith message is working correctly, it is good. In my heart, this short list is some of what might be included in “the good” of the WoF;

  • God’s Word has power to work on our behalf today, right now.
  • God is interested in every aspect of our life.
  • God wants the best for us in every situation.
  • God has made provision for our every need, and wants us to have it.
  • God wants us to live in health, in supply, in illumination.
  • We have direct access to Almighty God.
  • We have been given gifts to empower our lives and bless others.
  • We are seated in power with Christ over all dominions.
  • We are created in God’s likeness, able to speak with authority.

When these teachings are brought forth in humility, subjection, kindness and quiet strength, devoid of any pride, haughtiness, arrogance, boastfulness, in an atmosphere of love, safety and liberty, you are experiencing the good.

The “good” of the WoF message changed my life forever, and I am grateful for it.

Thanks for reading!