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Why I Left the Word of Faith Movement

Stephen Sanders
Stephen Sanders

I used to believe that being a Spirit-Filled Christian meant that I never had to be poor, never had to be sick and that I had exclusive God-given powers that most Christians (who hadn't received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the proof of speaking in tongues) did not have.

This posed 2 major problems:

1- When I didn't have enough money to pay my bills or when I was sick, I felt guilty. According to our beliefs, being in lack meant that we were "in sin" and needed to give more money to our church/visiting preachers and/or have more faith to get ourselves right with God again. Over time, I began to wonder why I saw it possible to be "in sin" if Jesus had already paid for my sin on the cross.

Either I had received salvation or I had not. Either Jesus was made a sacrifice so I wouldn't have to pay God sacrifices (as was done according to Old Testament Law) or he wasn't. I simply chose to believe that Jesus' sacrifice was enough (Ephesians 2:8). When I did that, I soon realized that I had become an outcast among this particular group of believers.

2- I found it absolutely impossible to maintain a stance of exclusivity and a stance of servanthood at the same time. Something had to go.

Either I deserved to have more blessings than everyone else around me or I lived my life trusting God to provide my needs and "love my brother as myself" as Jesus had clearly instructed. I'd been taking myself to seriously; it was time to take Jesus seriously.

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Originally published November 20, 2012.

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