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Megachurch pastor warns of a 'spirit of division' in the Church: 'We're acting fleshly'

Bill Winston
Bill Winston, the lead pastor of Living Word Christian Center in Illinois, speaks at the International Faith Conference in Forest Park, Illinois on Sept. 17, 2021. |

Chicago-area megachurch Pastor Bill Winston shared at an annual conference at his church last week that there is a “spirit of division” in the Body of Christ exacerbated by the existence of racial division between congregations. 

At Living Word Christian Center’s six-day 2021 International Faith Conference in Forest Park, Illinois, last Friday, Winston preached a sermon in which he told the audience that many Christians continue to act “fleshly” even though they have been saved.

“The enemy has created a spirit of division, and racism is division [and] prejudice. Once I come into Christ, I have a brand new identity,” said the founder of the 20,000-member Living Word Christian Center and Tuskegee Christian Center in Tuskegee, Alabama.

“It doesn’t make any difference. Acts 10:34: ‘In every nation, he who fears God is accepted in Him.’” 

The 78-year-old televangelist said typically, when someone needs a heart transplant, they need the blood and usually won’t pay close attention to the race of the blood donor.

In the same way that people view the body’s internal anatomy as being similar, Winston said, people should also view each member of the Body of Christ — regardless of their race — as equal with Christ dwelling inside them. 

“When the blood comes [for a blood transfusion], the people don’t say, ‘Whose blood is that? Does that blood come from an Indian?’ No, they don’t say that. They say, ‘Give me that blood,’” Winston rationalized. “The man inside me is God. I am God's child … in the plan of God.” 

The God-given opportunities are open to everyone, according to Winston, because external appearances should not make a difference. 

“Most cities on Sunday morning are the most segregated time in the Body of Christ. … Because of that, we have been somewhat carnal,” he added. “So, I can get me a check too. … Whatever you can get, I can get it too. This thing comes in the Church. The world creeps in the Church, and as long as [the enemy] can keep the Church there, he can keep the Church from the miracles.” 

Winston also said that miracles start in the spirit, not in the natural places. And without miracles, he added, humans can potentially be held back from many places they would have gone otherwise.

“You are not from this world. … You were born from above. Act like you are from home. Talk like God. I don’t care what the situation looks like,” he said. “We have been programmed to operate in this human-logical-that-makes-sense world. And as a result of that, we’ve seen no miracles. The whole earth is waiting for you to manifest. The enemy’s job is to keep us in a place where we won’t grow up.” 

“If we did more acting like our faith, some of us wouldn’t be broken out there. You got to come out of that,” he charged.

One of the ways Christians can reach their final destination is by not allowing themselves to be ashamed of what the Gospel has to say, Winston stated. 

“You got to be unashamed of the Gospel. You were made for this. You weren’t made to sit back and cry about it and talk [about] how bad it is. You're made to do something about it. That’s what this is all about — that it’s time for miracles,” he said. “There are things that if there were no miracles, that wouldn’t have happened in the Bible.”

“Let God be true, and every man be a liar. No matter what the doctor said, talk like God. No matter what the banker said, talk like God. No matter what your cousin said, talk like God. If you talk like God, God’s going to back it up.” 

He warned that the devil’s goal is to derail Christians from the Word of God. 

“The enemy knows if he can stop the Church from getting the word out, then what he can do is hold the world in hostage. He can keep them from coming to the Kingdom,” he concluded. “The enemy's job is to wipe out all traces of God's Word from the earth. … But, the Bible says the gates of Hell will not prevail against you.” 

Winston was one of many widely known pastors who preached at the International Faith Conference. For almost 27 years, the International Faith Conference has featured renowned speakers and musicians and has “impacted the lives of countless men, women and young people.” 

Other notable speakers at this year's conference include Bishop, T.D. Jakes, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Rev. Kenneth Copeland.

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