Posted by: John Edwards | October 21, 2008

THE WORD OF FAITH MOVEMENT and The 800 Pound Gorrilla In The Room


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This time last year I was a Charismatic and now I am a Calvinist. This time last year I was a Pentecostal and now I am a Presbyterian. This time last year I was a Pastor and now I am a church member. My whole life has changed because of the 800 pound Gorilla.

It all started around Thanksgiving when I drove up to Carmel, Indiana to attend my pastor’s father’s funeral. It was held in a massive Presbyterian church. The same church that Peyton Manning attends. I guess he is a Presbyterian too. You don’t have to be a Presbyterian to get to Heaven, but why risk it?

All the way up there I listened to a teaching CD about pride. I listened to it all the way to Indiana. The next day I drove up to Michigan and kept listening to the same Cd. Then I listened to it all the way home. The Spirit of God revealed to me how self centered my life and doctrine had been. Everything in my life revolved around my vision and my dream and my goals.

When I returned home, I began to re-examine the Word of Faith doctrine of calling those things which be not as though they were. I began to re-examine the Word of Faith doctrine of speaking things into existence. All of these doctrines had been instilled into my thinking and believing by listening to hundreds of Kenneth Hagin tapes and Cd’s. His teachings were anchored on these doctrines. He had received personal instructions from God and Jesus on how to operate in these spiritual laws and formulas, but they were not working for me, or for anyone around me.

I started doing a lot of praying and studying. I asked too many questions from those above me and received the left foot of fellowship.

I then began to do some serious inquiry into my charismatic beliefs. I dug deep into the Word, laying all preconceived notions aside. I prayed and I read and I asked a lot of people questions that they could not answer. I examined all of the charismatic experiences that I had had and came to the conclusion that the vast majority of them did not hold up in light of Scripture.

Then I discovered that 800 pound Gorilla. His name is TULIP. He had been there right in the Word of God all the time, but he had always scared me away, so I ignored him even though he was so big and obvious.

I found the doctrines of election and predestination and began to teach them as I learned them. It was a whole new way at looking at God and at myself. God became God again, and I returned to man status. It was very humbling. I had thought for years that I was in control of my life and my destiny by making the right confessions. I soon learned that God is the Boss and not me. When I shared these finding with others they got mad.

In one service, I read 58 scriptures out loud from the Bible on the subject of the total depravity of man. In all I read about 200 scriptures concerning the 800 pound Gorilla. The Truth has a way of ticking folks off. Word of Faith people, and many charismatics have a personal view of God and Who He is that is clearly apart from Scripture. Some people would come up to me and say, “PJ, I know the Bible says that, BUT God told me……..” Many people exalt their ideas and doctrines above the Scripture. That is why I embrace the Presbyterian Church for it is based on Sola Scriptura, that is, Scripture Alone.

The 800 Pound Gorilla is T.U.L.I.P. Another name for this acronym is Calvin’s Flower. It is the doctrine that originated with Christ Himself, and then was expounded upon by the Apostle Paul. Later Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and many others wrote and preached this Truth.

This is the part of the Bible that makes people mad and angry towards God, but once they accept it then it becomes the greatest truth of the Bible, and it brings the greatest joy of salvation.

T stands for Total Depravity of Man.

U stands for Unconditional Election
L stands for Limited Atonement
I stands for Irresistible Grace
P stands for Perseverance of the Saints.

I have multitudes of scriptures for each of these points. The Word of God is full of these doctrines. I will list a ton of these scriptures later. I am finding many more each day. How in the world did I miss this 800 pound Gorilla? Because I was deceived with Humanism. More later. Stay tuned. I hope that your computer will not start smoking with the amount of scriptures that I will pour forth on this subject. Or if you cannot wait, go out and buy yourself and copy of the Westminster Confession of Faith, or simply Google Calvin’s TULIP in your browser.



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