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Archive for November, 2009

Billy Joe Daugherty’s Word of Faith Teaching Debunked By His Own Death

23 Nov
Billy Joe Daugherty

Billy Joe Daugherty

The reverend Billy Joe Daugherty, a leading Word of Faith minister famous for preaching earthly healing as every Christian’s right, has died of lymphoma at the age of 57. An expression usually limited to child playgrounds will suffice: I told you so.

In the fortunate event you haven’t encountered Daugherty’s theology, I have here reproduced three of his “daily confessional” verses, which are supposed to suspend natural law in the confessor’s favor:

  • “I believe that I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord in this earth” – Psalm 118:17.
  • “God has said that I have been given at least seventy years to live and because of strength, I could live eighty years or more” – Psalm 90:10.
  • “It is God’s will that I prosper and be in health, even as my soul prospers” – 3 John 2.

Pardon me for asking, but where is the miraculous health promised to Daugherty on earth? Last time I checked he was in a coffin. Surely he had enough faith and confessed the right things—his Twitter account is evidence enough of that.

Perhaps Daugherty needed to to shout louder to God. Or maybe God was just daydreaming, or relieving himself. Or maybe God was away on a trip, or was asleep and needed to be wakened.

Word of Faith is a load of tripe that was condemned to the trashheap of religious history long ago. It is one of the more depressing facts of life that despite the movement’s manifest failure, its leaders will no doubt press on, raking in more millions selling their shamanic wares to credulous and uneducated lay people. Shame on Billy Joe Daugherty, and shame on them.

Update: It’s true that this note is untimely and disrespectful. As a humanist, I do feel the loss of a sincere soul on this planet, and my condolences go out to those who knew him personally and are aggrieved. But I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch yet another episode of Word of Faith denial play out without saying my piece. Already I hear people babbling on about how Daugherty “graduated to heaven”, as if his tragic death was perfectly expected. Are you kidding me? His death was so totally incongruous with the whole of his teaching that it is an understatement to call it the 900 Million Pound Gorilla with Flashing Red Lights Doing Cartwheels in his ministry. But no one is talking about that.

“But I shouldn’t be so mean”, you say. Folks, remember that this man made a career out of collecting money for declaring that the reason people are sick or die early is that they didn’t do something right in the supernatural realm. He regularly threw salt in the wounds of so many Christians who opened their hearts and pocketbooks to him that I cannot just sit back and coast while everybody praises him. Someone has to stand up for the truth, and hold him at least journalistically accountable for what he did and believed. Someone has to stand up and say that his death is certifiable, concrete evidence that the Word of Faith brand of Christianity is bunkum. I’ll take one for the team and deal with the consequences.