But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! - Galatians 1:8-9
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church - 3 John 1:9-10
When Scripture repeats itself in such a way it is to emphasize a point. The point here being that those who teach a different gospel, including an augmented one, are cursed to be eternally damned. Word of Faith teachings are by definition, a Different Gospel.
Word of Faith Fellowship located in Spindale, North Carolina is no stranger to controversy. Described by some as the "Wesbro Baptists of Charismania" Word of Faith Fellowship is by every metric, a theologically deviant, abusive cult associated in name only with authentic Christianity. This conclusion is drawn after examining both their unbiblical teachings and the "alleged" emotional, spiritual and physical (including sexual) abuse of their congregants. Aside from their obsession with demonic possession, sexual sin and the heretical teachings of Kenneth Hagan (the plagiarist regurgitator of fellow heretic E.W. Kenyon's ravings) which are passionately peddled at the "church", congregants routinely endure a ritualized "prayer" session known as "blasting". Blasting involves being screamed at for lengthy periods of time (including young children - see videos in the media bar to the right of this page), and being man-handled by fellow congregants including being repeatedly punched in order to "drive out demons". Now, after a year long investigation into the cult and information received from multiple former members, Associated Press is set to release the findings of its investigation on March 6th, 2017, information inside sources describe as "mind blowing". Those interviewed by AP were raised in the church, say that Word of Faith leaders waged a decades long cover-up to thwart investigations by law enforcement and social services officials, including strong-arming young victims and their parents to lie. They said members were forbidden to seek outside medical attention for their injuries, which included cuts, sprains and cracked ribs. Several former followers said some congregants were sexually abused, including minors. The former members said they were speaking out now due to guilt for not doing more to stop the abuse and because they fear for the safety of the children still in the church, believed to number about 100. [source]
We will be reporting on those findings as they emerge.
So Who and What are the WoFF?
Word of Faith Fellowship (WoFF) was founded in 1979 by Jane Whaley, a former math teacher, and her husband, Sam, a former used car salesman. Its membership to date is 750 members who gather in a 35-acre complex protected by tight security. WoFF also boasts nearly 2000 members in Brazil and Ghana, as well as affiliations in other countries. While Jane and Sam are listed on WoFF's website as co-pastors, (again there is no provision in Scripture for female pastors - 1 Timothy 2:12) it is Jane Whaley, a fiery, 77-year-old "Christian" Charismatic preacher who maintains dictatorial control of the flock and also administers some of the beatings herself according to multiple sources. It is alleged that Whaley rules with an iron hand controlling every aspect of her follower's lives, including whether or not they can marry or have children. According to a news.com.au report, "sexual thoughts and intercourse are considered “ungodly” or “unclean,” so adult members need permission to date, get married and even have sex after marriage. Ministers dole out condoms because couples are not allowed to have children without Whaley’s authorisation. Several couples said they had to wait up to a year after their weddings before they were allowed to have sexual relations. Two former members said a 20-year-old woman was repeatedly smacked and punched by a church leader who blamed her late menstrual cycle on pregnancy, when she hadn’t obtained church permission to have a child. In fact, the victim said she’d never had sex with her husband; they’d only kissed — once.
“That was one of the worst beatings,” said Rachael Bryant, 28, who left the church last year. “She started punching her in the chest, punching her in the stomach, slapping her in the face. It went on and on.” But one rule stood out above all others: No one can complain about her or question her authority. Failure to comply often triggers a humiliating rebuke from the pulpit or, worse, physical punishment, according to most of those interviewed. Word of Faith Fellowship has been scrutinized on numerous occasions by law enforcement, social services agencies and the news media since the early 1990s- all without significant impact, mostly because followers refused to co-operate." [source]
As stated already, even though Whaley is forbidden by Scripture to be a preacher or to exercise authority over men in the Church (1 Timothy 2:12), she does so anyway. So what does Jane Whaley teach? According to former WoFF cult member John Huddle and author of the book "Locked In" , the "church" compiled a list of 145 rules detailing what church members were not allowed to do. Among other things the list bans celebrating Christmas, watching TV, listening to the radio, reading unapproved books, wearing black tennis shoes, playing ping pong and drinking Cheerwine. (See John's testimony here) Another survivor, Lacy Wien who left the cult and literally everything she owned, was interviewed by Inside Edition in 1995. Check out her tragic tale HERE.
Down the Rat Hole of History
Word of Faith teaching (the belief that the creation of events, situations, realities, healings, resurrections from the dead, personal desires and the like can be conjured through the vessels of positive confession and faith in one's own faith to believe that the thing desired will come to pass) is witchcraft, not Christianity. In short, it's heresy. E.W. Kenyon, actor, piano and organ salesman by trade and disciple of the New Thought Movement - the product of the delusions of one Phineas Quimby (philosopher, magnetizer, mesmerist, healer, and inventor by trade), introduced the teachings to the professing Church throughout his career masquerading as a minister of God. Mary Baker Eddy of the Mind Science cult Christian Science (which is neither Christian nor Science incidentally) adopted many of Kenyon's delusions but denied having done so. Kenyon's delirious disciple Kenneth Hagin, also known as "Daddy Hagin" further popularized Kenyon's works by outrightly plagiarizing them and they spread like wild fire in undiscerning / sign chasing charismatic and Pentecostal circles. To their credit, the US Assemblies of God has officially renounced Word of Faith teaching as heresy, though its influence is clearly strong in most AoG associated churches to this day. Not so in Australia where it is unashamedly taught and celebrated. While not as extreme in their practices, yet clearly walking the same wide path, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joseph Prince, Joyce Meyer, Kong Hee, Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Ashley and Jane Evans and kind are all heretical Word of Faith preachers, none of whom are considered to be authentic Christian ministers by those who take the inerrancy and integrity of Scripture seriously..
In this short report I have focussed primarily on the Biblical illegality of ministers of a false Gospel, a false Christian message, a false hope and a false Jesus. In our next report I'll survey the human wreckage left in the wake of the lies taught by false Christian teachers such as Jane Whaley... and her kin (not exhaustively mentioned above).
Something to consider until we meet again...
Q: Who was the first cult leader in the Christian Church?
A: According to CNN it was Vladimir Putin
In reality it was actually a dude by the name of Diotrephes
The Apostle Paul explains.... "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church." - 3 John 9-10
Jane Whaley is a contemporary of Diotrephes as surely as bears poop in the woods.
Stay tuned for more information as it comes to hand.