The Word of Faith Movement and the Book of Job
I’ve been reading the book of Job in my devotions. I really love Job. I taught the whole book years ago. This morning I was going through some files on Job to look how I dealt with certain sections and found this blog post from a decade ago. Since we covered the Word of Faith movement at the beginning of this year, I thought it would be appropriate to repost it.
First Posted on 10/1/2009
Today is the first annual International Blasphemy Day. I am not going to say anything about this, Albert Mohler has addressed it and you can read what he says (http://www.albertmohler.com/2009/09/25/why-do-the-heathen-rage-international-blasphemy-day/).
It is not only the heathen who rage and blaspheme. Many years ago I was watching Frederick K.C. Price, a Word of Faith teacher, and he said, “As long as Job walked in faith, the wall – the hedge – was up. But when he started walking in unbelief and doubt, the hedge was pulled down. Job pulled the hedge down!” Price was spouting the standard Word of Faith view of Job, which obviously proves to be a problem to the false gospel of healing and prosperity. Years earlier, Charles Capps, a “pioneer” in the Word of Faith movement, wrote a book called, Kicking Over Sacred Cows: Rightly dividing some of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. The short version of Capps view, which is regurgitated by Price and others, is that Job began living in fear. This is obvious to them from Job 1:5. Job continually offered sacrifice for his children because he thought, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.”
For centuries, Bible commentators and Bible readers have seen Job’s sacrifices for his children as a demonstration of his genuine piety and godly fatherhood. The Word of Faith teachers see it as fear. This fear, in turn, pulls down the hedge which God had set up to protect Job’s blessings and prosperity. Capps actually says, “God didn’t put Job in Satan’s hands. Job’s fear put him in Satan’s power. It wasn’t something that God did at all.”
After Satan does his wicked work, Job says, “The LORD gave, the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” This declaration, according to the Word of Faith teachers, is flatly wrong. Capps again, “It is true that Job said it. But what he said was not the truth.” So where is God in this whole situation? Well, he is evidently held captive by Job’s fear and Satan’s right to plunder since Job pulled down his own hedge. Capps, and the other usual suspects, conclude, “Job’s faith gave, Job’s lack of faith let the devil take it away, the LORD isn’t even on the radar.”
If this take on Job is right, then Job did sin by attributing these tragedies to God. Job did ascribe moral impropriety to God, according to the Word of Faith-ers. But the inspired text says that Job did not sin and did not charge God with moral impropriety (Job 1:22; 2:10). I will stick with the inspired Author, not the un-inspired imagination of Bible-butchers.
Such a view is blasphemy. In fact, it is worse blasphemy than the heathen. They twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16). They blaspheme the character of God, whereas Job honors God. They undermine the bedrock of our faith, God’s sovereignty. They actually follow the counsel of Job’s worthless friends – “Job it is your fault. You stopped operating in faith and started living in fear!” They take the precious counsel of God, found in the book of Job, and blaspheme His counsel by their own carnality and wickedness. Frankly, these so-called teachers are more offensive to me than all the heathen who want to blaspheme the sacred. It may be that it is blasphemy day every day one of these Word of Faith teachers takes their Bibles and open their mouths.