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Yesterday morning, as I was channel surfing while eating breakfast, I once again stumbled across Andrew Wommack’s show. This time, he was teaching about prayer. I listened for a few minutes but was so disgusted by his remarks that I quickly turned off the television. Just now, I decided to listen to a little bit more of speech on prayer online because I wanted to address his remarks in this blog.
I was raised Catholic. Although I currently attend a non-denominational church, Catholicism is near and dear to my heart. I personally don’t believe there is any one “right” religion – I believe it depends upon what is truly in your heart and soul. Some of the finest people I have ever known were Catholic, so I’m sure you will understand when this man insulted Catholics during his show on Monday. No, he didn’t actually say the word “Catholic” – he actually said that he didn’t want to point out any one group, but he talked about how some Christians would use beads and say the Hail Mary repeatedly and how this wasn’t real prayer. Clearly, he is referring to Catholics. His attempt at saying he didn’t want to point out any one group was pathetic and just plain mean. We all know who he is talking about. He went on to say that some prayer is bad if it isn’t done “correctly”. He talked about how prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t praying the right way.
First and foremost, I would like to point out that Andrew Wommack isn’t God! He cannot say at all if someone’s prayers are right or wrong. Only GOD know what is in someone’s heart. Only GOD knows how someone was raised and what they were taught. Only GOD decides if a prayer is genuine or not. Andrew Wommack doesn’t get to decide how you must pray. If you reach out to God with all your heart and soul, He will respond. He doesn’t need anyone’s permission here on earth. Don’t be deceived by this man.
Second, it is of utmost importance to not compartmentalize religious groups – any group, really. I have been very active in the Catholic church, especially in my youth. Yes, there are some bad people, but there are many, many wonderful people in this denomination who believe in Jesus with their whole heart, mind, and soul. What about Mother Teresa? What about Padre Pio? Andrew – are you really saying that these two people, both of them Catholic and both who prayed the rosary constantly, were not really praying? Are you saying that their prayers weren’t heard by God? You’ve got to be kidding! And there are so many other examples! There are bad and good people in every religion. Judging an entire group of people based on the actions of a few is very dangerous. Remember, Andrew – the Bible also says “Do not judge lest ye be judged”.
Third, it is extremely important to realize that prayer will not always be answered according to how you think it should be answered. Sometimes what you are asking for is not God’s will for you. Andrew leads you to believe that if you pray a certain way, your prayers will be answered according to how you want them answered, and that is just not true. The key is that you pray, just as God taught us to, and then you submit to His will. His will may not be the same as your will, but you have to trust in Him.
I believe it is a very dangerous teaching to tell others that they must pray in a certain way or God won’t hear their prayers. If the prayer is truly coming from your heart and you believe in Him with all your heart and soul, He will listen, no matter how you pray. Remember – Jesus himself taught us how to pray through the Lord’s Prayer. He wants us to pray – listen to Jesus, not Andrew.
Finally, Andrew tells of a story where a woman asks him to pray for her husband. Andrew said “no” because in his mind, this lady wasn’t praying the right way. This is horrible. We should all pray for one another, no matter what. It is not up to us to judge how someone else talks to God. Shame on you, Andrew Wommack!
To sin because mercy abounds is the devil’s logic. He that sins because of God’s mercy shall have judgement without mercy. Mercy abused turns to fury. Mercy is not for them that sin and fear not, but for them that fear and sin not.
Over a good portion of my life, I have watched “Christian” people who sin knowing completely well that it is the wrong thing to do. They don’t seem to have any remorse for what they have done, and they keep committing the same sin over and over again. These same people always come back with the same reasoning that God will forgive them because they believe in Jesus. Yes, God will forgive those who sin against Him, but does that give these “Christian” people the right to sin?
Recently I was made aware of a situation involving some people who I knew in the past. The beliefs of this group were generally along these same lines. They proclaimed to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but the way they lived was anything but Christian. Recently, one of them had an adulterous relationship and married the paramour. A comment was made in their guest book by another family member that said “God made the two of you for each other”. Clearly, God does not condone adultery in any way, shape or form. This statement by the family member is blasphemous.
Enter antinomianism. As I was preparing to write this blog, I happened to come across this term, and I was shocked that all this time, this way of thinking actually had a name. Antinomianism is an unbiblical belief that man can freely sin as he wishes because only the mercy of God is sufficient for salvation.
There are many verses in the Bible that speak to this exact topic and misunderstanding of the scripture.
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkeness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1-2
If someone is a true Christian, they cannot live in sin without the Holy Spirit convicting them of that sin. Therefore, those who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their savior will try their hardest to avoid sin and will be unable to live in a state of constant sin.
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Galatians 5:16-18
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24
So how can we tell who are the true Christians? By their actions. Remember Judas? He was one of the twelve disciples yet he betrayed Jesus. Actions speak louder than words.
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 8:18-20
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:21-23
You cannot live in sin if you truly believe in Jesus Christ. Yes, we are all human and we all sin, and that is why Jesus died for us on the cross. But the deadly mistake comes when we abuse God’s mercy and think we can sin all the time. We cannot do this, and this is not what the Bible teaches. We are not called to sin at will but rather to try to live without sin.
“We know that we have come to know Him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:3-4
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” 1 John 5-6
I have heard many people say that deeds have nothing to do with salvation. But I say that deeds show what is truly in your heart. This is even addressed in the book of James:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him?” James 2:14
“Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” James 2:18-19
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 7: 43-45
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?….But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46, 49
I believe that those who believe that they are free to sin as they like because of God’s mercy are falling into this trap of the devil because it is easier to accept than the truth. Getting salvation while not having to follow any commandments or teachings of God is a tempting road to take, but it is an evil one. If you want to take the true road to salvation, you have to take the road less traveled and follow His commands. God will reward you beyond measure in heaven.
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” Revelations 2:2-3