Andrew Wommack is the founder of the Colorado-based Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College. He spreads his message across the world through “the power of radio and television” and ample use of the Internet.
But is Wommack’s message biblically sound? Because Scripture warns Christians to beware of false teachers, we must carefully examine and answer his potentially devastating doctrines in two key areas.
HEALTH AND PROSPERITY
It’s “false teaching” to claim that “God is the One who causes people to die” or that He “puts sickness on you to humble you for some redemptive purpose and to perfect you through all this suffering.”1 Instead, Wommack claims that “God’s Word is very clear that sickness and disease are oppressions from the devil.”2 He also tells Christians that “If you’re depressed, you’re demonized. Satan is messing with you.”3 Wommack claims that God “wants every person healed every time.”4 More so, he claims that the cross of Jesus has already redeemed believers from all sickness and disease. “Healing is a done deal, and is available to us now exactly the same as forgiveness of sins….God—by grace—has already healed everybody.”5 Also, believers are redeemed from financial poverty. In 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul says that Jesus “became poor so that you through His poverty might become rich,” and this applies both spiritually and materially. Jesus’ death and resurrection provide not just pardon for sin, but “healing, deliverance, and prosperity”6 for Christians in this life. To access this material prosperity, believers must use their authority (see below).
But the Bible really teaches…
Although sickness and poverty sometimes come from demonic sources, it’s clear that God can also be the author of such trials. For example, in Exodus 4:11 God says to Moses: “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” James 4:15 cautions believers that “you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”
Does this mean that God is cruel and uncaring? No! And though we can’t always understand His specific purpose in each time of suffering or sickness we endure, God can use these situations for our good. The Psalmist confesses, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word…It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees” (Psalm 119:67, 71). Like the Psalmist, many people turn to the Lord during hardship, not prosperity. For this reason it makes good sense that God would use such means to draw people to Himself.
After someone is saved, God continues use any means necessary to deal with him or her. The author of Hebrews explains that “the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (Heb. 12:6–7). A good father doesn’t discipline his child just to be cruel—and neither does the Lord. Instead, His discipline has a loving goal: to teach His child valuable lessons he or she might not otherwise learn. Peter advises us: “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Pet. 4:19).
Still, the Bible does teach that God will one day heal all of His people—but not in this present life. The Apostle Paul observes that here on earth our physical bodies are “wasting away” (2 Cor. 4:16). Only when Jesus returns will we receive resurrection bodies that won’t wear out or suffer sickness. In 1 Corinthians 15:42–43, Paul describes our current bodies as perishable, “sown in dishonor and weakness.” But after the resurrection our new bodies will be imperishable, sown in glory and power. The same is true of prosperity. Some of us may be poor in this life, and others wealthy. In the next life, all of our needs will be met! For now, we need to be content with our life circumstances while we seek to grow closer to God (Phil. 4:11–12). This doesn’t mean it would be sinful for us to seek a better-paying job or some other means of improving our finances. The danger comes when we focus on becoming rich instead of on God. Paul warns us that this can lead to “ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9).
God gave Adam and Eve “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth…” (Gen. 1:26 KJV). Wommack claims they had complete, unrestricted authority over this world.7 This “authority” is the use of God’s power, which is released through their words. As soon as God gave His authority away to Adam and Eve, He had none—and He could no longer use His power in this world unless someone spoke His words from the Bible! But when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they yielded their authority to Satan. People today have the same problem: Satan fools them into believing and saying things that oppose God’s will.
Wommack says this is why Jesus had to be born: “God didn’t have a physical human body, so He wasn’t free to just operate unrestricted on this earth. He had to become a man. Jesus—the Word made flesh, the God-Man—had to become a physical person so that He could have authority on this earth. (John 1:14.)”8 But Jesus couldn’t just come anytime He wanted. Authority was needed for Him to be born, and He had none. Wommack writes: “It literally took God four thousand years to find enough people who would operate in enough faith to speak forth and prophesy the things that needed to be spoken for Jesus’ body to be created.”9
But the Bible really teaches…
God did give Adam and Eve dominion over all the earth. But this “dominion” wasn’t releasing God’s power with their faith-filled words. Instead, it means that God put humans in charge over His creation. Our having that kind of dominion also doesn’t mean that Almighty God has no right to act in this world. If this were true, God couldn’t have cursed Satan (the serpent) or mankind in Genesis 3:14–24, because He would have needed Satan to pronounce the curses so they could be carried out. Instead, the sovereign Lord personally drove Adam and Eve from the garden and banished them forever (vv. 23–24). Hence, any limited dominion or authority God gives to people is still under His infinite power and control. This is why He could confuse the languages at Babel (Gen. 11:1–9) and cause the walls of Jericho to fall (Joshua 6:1–20). This is also why ancient Israel didn’t find peace when the many false prophets proclaimed prosperity in Jeremiah 14:11–14. God wasn’t in subjection to their words; they were subject to His words. This is also why even though people try to “plan their course” for their lives, in the end “the Lord establishes their steps” (Prov. 16:9). The Almighty God of Scripture is in control—not just over the world, but the entire universe!
Because Wommack’s teachings contradict Scripture, they cause confusion and harm. He describes an unbiblical God who can’t even accomplish His own will. For instance, Wommack tells the story of two teenage boys who entered their school in 1999 and murdered a dozen students, a teacher, and finally themselves. Wommack tells us that God didn’t want this to happen and did everything He could to stop them. God even spoke through a youth minister shortly before the tragedy and attempted to “put restraints on [the killers] and obstacles in their way.”10 But according to Wommack, God failed, so the two boys successfully carried out their bloody plans.
Wommack also offers callous counsel to a grieving mother whose seventeen-year-old boy accidentally shot himself at a friend’s house. Based on his unbiblical doctrine of the supernatural power of spoken words, Wommack says the real source of this tragedy was an argument between the boy and his mother before he left home that day. Wommack pronounces the mother guilty of causing her son’s death.11
Instead of a false faith that focuses on prosperity and denies His absolute sovereignty, God calls His people to have the true faith and that they will trust Him in all situations. The Apostle Paul learned “to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:11–12). Paul also explains that “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:6–9).
Andrew Wommack preaches a false God and promises false hope to his hearers. Let us trust in the true God and His Word. ◆
|1 Andrew Wommack (2010-07-02). God Wants You Well (Kindle Location 309). Harrison House LLC. Kindle Edition.|
2 Andrew Wommack (2010-08-10). You’ve Already Got It! So Quit Trying to Get It (Kindle Locations 1282-1283). Harrison House LLC. Kindle Edition.
3 Andrew Wommack (2010-06-13). A Better Way to Pray, 78. Harrison House LLC. Kindle Edition.
4 Andrew Wommack Ministries, “Faith for Healing Is Based on Knowledge” (www.awmi.net/extra/article/healing_knowledge). Accessed Sept. 25, 2014.
|5 You’ve Already Got It! (Kindle Location 203, 606).|
6 You’ve Already Got It! (Kindle Location 274).
7 Andrew Wommack (2010-06-13). The Believer’s Authority: What You Didn’t Learn in Church, 42. Harrison House LLC. Kindle Edition.
8 The Believer’s Authority, 57.
9 The Believer’s Authority, 58.
10 God Wants You Well (Kindle Location 423).
11 The Believer’s Authority, 18.