It is so good to hear back from you. And it is great that I can say I agree with almost everything you said. I would not like any of the things you said you feel word of faith endorses. I too have seen people who have fallen into loving a minister rather than loving Christ's word and his life. They fall into giving too much money. That is always sad to see. I see that as a real failing in the business of TV evangelism. It has made me angry too. I haven't experienced that in the churches I have attended. Just the biblical 10 percent tithe. I'm not into prosperity ministry, just into transforming my mind so that there is more of Christ and less of me/flesh/satan's influence.
I can see your point on how Bethel ministry can be read as promising everything. This may be a valid concern for some listeners. But lack of faith seems the greater threat for most people today. I think it can be a balance between having faith that God will provide in general rather than a specific thing and following biblical verses that tell us to pray to our father about everything. But we can't see that as just a part of word of faith. I am sure you can bring to mind several scripture where Christ himself seemed to promise everything.
Where two or more are gathered....
Ask and it shall be ...
say to the mountain...
Trying to believe those types of scripture requires balance with surrender to God's will. People can blow out when it doesn't happen right away just by believing for it.
As Christians, we are meant to keep growing and Bill Johnson has challenged me to do so.
I do hate that old belief that if you are not healed it is for lack of faith. It is over simplistic and too broadly applied. There are lots of reasons why healing doesn't manifest. You'll be happy to hear I have heard both Bill and David Hess speak against this. But there is some truth to the statement that we are called to have faith and that nothing can be accomplished without it.
To sum it up, I wish it was as simple as saying all this denomination is false or abusive. I'm not sure its that simple. This world requires us to develop our discernment and our reliance on God's protection. I have prayed many times Lord whatever is of you plant it in me. Whatever is error let pass away. Close the doors that are not of you. I heard once that God uses imperfect vessels so that people see the minister as human and worship God not the minister.
I am not an apostle of Bill Johnson or David Hess, but I do find them inspirational in my walk towards becoming more like Jesus. Both teach primarily on the love of God and developing your awareness of his presence. They both teach about the development of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are wonderful to me. The fruit that it has been born in my life from their ministries is that I am more submissive to the Lord, love him more, and to understand that I have a responsibility to develop faith in his plan for my life and to work towards bringing his kingdom to earth.
I hope you don't think I have horns. I'm okay with everything.
May God bless your rest and give us all peace.
I'm off to bed.