Posted by: John Edwards | July 21, 2008

WOF Danger to Kids

Several people have asked me what my kids have thought about my rapid and hasty exit from the Word of Faith Movement. Let me share with you some comments from my 13 year old son Brian, who was born and raised in the Word of Faith.
First of all he feels very free and relieved! He used to be in a lot of bondage and mental torment because of the teaching he had received. That is totally my fault. His children’s pastors were outstanding teachers that were taught by me. When they taught gross error it was because of me. His teachers were extremely focused on the power of your words and that what you said would come to pass. Let me give you a couple of examples:
1) Brian has always had a fear of his head falling off. Why? Because one time when he was in kids church he laughed at something funny and made the comment that “that is so funny that I’m laughing my head off”. He was warned that that could happen if he said that! can you believe that? He has gone for years with a fear of his head being severed because he said he was laughing his head off!
2) Brian would never tell us when he was sick or feeling bad. That’s is because he had been taught that if he said that he was sick then he was claiming sickness. Therefore he would be hurting without us knowing it. Word of Faith children’s ministers teach kids that what ever they say will come to pass good or bad.
3) Brian told me that this weekend that he has all but stopped praying. He had been taught all the regular legalistic Word of Faith rules for praying to the point to where he was afraid to open his mouth to God. That is a shame.
On a funny note, Brian would often read the Charles Capps confession book out loud on the way to school. One day in the middle of it he yelled out: “Why isn’t this crap working?”. It made me mad at the time but he was right.
One of the worst things that you can ever do to a child is to have him or her in a Word of Faith church. They will be brainwashed into fear, bondage and legalism. I have received two complaints from a grandmother that was furious with me because her grandchildren would not tell her when they were sick because they had been told that saying they were sick would cause them to be sicker.
This is basic Word of Faith teaching. It starts in kids church and is re-enforced all their lives until they are a walking talking robot with no personal way to pray or to share their problems. It teaches them to ignore their symptoms. It is very, very dangerous!
This is very dangerous for children. The Word of Faith teaching causes superstition instead of faith. It teaches them to be inward focused. It is a very unbalanced teaching.
If you have any friends that have children in this Movement then please refer them to this blog! The truth is freeing!


  1. Just my opinion: I also like reading all the Old Testament stories that are just like the Sopranos and other movies!
    You ever read thge story of Solomon taking the throne and having every one whacked that offended his father?
    Remember Jacobs kids whacking a whole city?
    Thank you for judging me!

  2. it is funny to me that your favorite movies are “Unforgiven” and “Dumb and Dumber” and your hero is Tony Soprano that is a mobster and kills people (not just their reps)

  3. To John, I appreciate the fact that you let opposing viewpoints have their say on this blog. Open dialogue is healthy.
    To Anonymous, I’m glad you are in a WOF church whose pastor doesn’t do those things you mentioned. Those of us in the Birmingham area though are VERY familiar with a pastor who is abusive in words, tone, and action from the pulpit. It has come to light that literally hundreds of people have been affected by his conduct (or lack thereof)for years. Johns experience has come from years of learning the SAME methods from the SAME people at the SAME bible school. Using your words of it’s the parents responsibility to make sure the lines of communication are open, This same Birmingham area WOF pastor still has not explained to the congregation or police the actions of his son other than deny that anything happened or try to cover it up. I speak this because I was there. And he is not a well intentioned pastor that spoke inaccurately, just ask him

  4. I have to say I have 4 children and have been attending a WOF church for many years. My children have always come to me if they aren’t feeling well so that I can pray with them and give them medicine or take them to the Dr. when they need it. We have been taught that God created Dr’s and meds for a reason. If children aren’t telling their parents when they aren’t feeling well, it’s the parents fault. It is the parents responsibility to make sure they have open lines of communication with their children.
    My children have never been afraid to talk to me, or that their head would fall off or anything else.
    I have never heard a WOF minister or WOF children’s minister say to have faith in “our” words, but in God’s word.
    One of the most important things I have learned in WOF, is to walk in love towards everyone. Not with my own love, but with God’s love. After all, that is one of the greatest commandments. I have never had anyone tell me I’m in a cult, never lost a friend, and never had anyone run from me.
    I’m sorry John that you were hurt.
    I think there may be well intentioned pastors that give inaccurate information, but that is in ANY denomination. We will only know when we get to Heaven. And can only do our best to follow the word of God.
    To come against WOF in such a bitter way is very sad to me. If WOF is not for you, that’s fine. But why attack it so maliciously?
    I have NEVER heard my Pastor, whom I work closely with, attack another Pastor or denomination. Your time could be used doing something to further the kingdom instead of attacking your brothers and sisters. If you truly are so against WOF, WOF preachers, and so called WOF sheep, why not just pray that our eyes would be opened?

  5. I have wondered the samethings, nothing I have prayed for has came to me, but I still have faith in the word and in the power that God will be there through my FAITH even if it is by Word of Faith teacher. Thank PJ for the words.

  6. PJ,

    Your Blog was great today. There will be some unhappy “toes” that will be getting stepped on over it. Though, I think it is a great thing.

    How can we possibly think that it’s a good thing to tell our children that they will “Have what they say…good or bad” and then still have them believe that God has ANY power in their lives. When quite possibly they’ve asked Him for hundreds of things, in the name of Jesus (according to how WE are teaching them) that they have not, nor will ever they receive those things.

    It is dangerous. It renders God ineffective in their minds (and their hearts, not to mention their lives). It would be possible (after so many unanswered prayers) to actually “shipwreck” their Faith in God in the future, leaving them open to all kinds of (not so good) influences after they come of age, and are able to choose a path on their own. Why would they continue to Worship a God who has “ignored” them all those years?

    Kids ask for SERIOUS things….i.e. “Healing of broken homes”, “Money for Mommy, so she won’t have to work 2 jobs.” “My headache to go away, so we won’t have to pay a doctor.” “My Children’s Pastor to return, so things will be like they were before.” “A new car, so Daddy won’t have to walk to work.” “Food on the table, so my family won’t be hungry.”

    After sitting on the floor, and looking up from their point of view….how distant, and sadly uninterested God MUST be…Daddy’s still walking, Mommy’s still working 2 jobs, we’re still hungry, they’re still divorced, and my childrens’ Pastor that I believed in and trusted has turned his back on me. (This isn’t how I feel of course, but I know some kids who have asked for all these things, and I can’t say that they’ll EVER get any of them).

    The MISSED point here is that we need to teach them how to have Faith in God, and things happening IN GOD’S TIME. Not, “faith in their words, so THEY can control the world”…then they’ll be happy.

    I think it’s VERY important to have a child who can be happy through ANYTHING….we’re not always going to have sunshine on a cloudy day, and that’s o.k. Not everything in life comes up roses, and they need to know how to COPE, and we need (as PARENTS) to know how to MINISTER to them on THEIR LEVEL. Right WHERE they are, instead of making them feel inadequate, like they’ll never be good enough, and like the problems we’re having “are because YOU lack faith, and your WORDS are ALL WRONG.”

    I think it’s sad that the thing that has split us, is so BOLDLY disproved, just by that not being a reality.

    Personally, I think it’s up to them, but by bringing a child’s point of view into it, it does open this “can of worms”. She was upset, she’s better now. But, she can see where one of the biggest things that she was taught by them, can’t possibly be.

    Sometimes you learn more, than just what’s in the books.

  7. Regarding your son’s comment, “Why isn’t this crap working?”…Isn’t it funny how kids can see through the truth in a matter?

  8. You are right, John. This message is dangerous to children. It is so ironic that the WOF leaders give everyone the impression that the world outside their bizarre little bubble is so perilous and threatening. Inside that bubble is where the error is taught, and subsequent damage is in store for the unsuspecting.

    Thank you for this post.

  9. This is so true thank you for shareing this on here I hope someone see’s this and takes your warning,God bless you for takeing this stand,and for shareing this with us,keep up the good work.


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