"Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever". (1 John 2:15-17)
In Word Faith religion, the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite, God uses the believer. Word Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God's will. The movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.
Paul warned Timothy about:
"Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." 1Timothy 6:5, 9-11
Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and forbade the Ephesians to be partakers with anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As in the name "Word of Faith" implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.
The Fornicating Fortune Cookie
Far from stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). Love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned,
"Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15
In sharp contrast to the Word Faith's gospel's emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal" Mat 6:19
The irreconcilable contradiction between prosperity teaching gospel and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, "You cannot serve God and mammon."
I know I'm taking considerable time denouncing the godless and heretical prosperity gospel (inextricably intertwined in the equally heretical "word of faith" movement).
It just continues to make me righteously indignant - and downright angry - when I see that the prosperity wolves continue to raise their heads from their vomit long enough to bilk the sheep into financing their disgustingly garish lifestyles. They don't care that their congregation (and viewing public) are losing their homes, jobs, cars, and families during these terrible economic times - they just keep begging for more.
The quote above is taken from one of the latest articles in the February edition of Christianity Today magazine:
Prosperity Gospel on Skid Row
Some of the high-flying icons of the prosperity gospel - the belief that God rewards signs of faith with wealth, health, and happiness - have run into financial turbulence.
Not all of their troubles can be blamed on the nation's economic crisis, say critics of the name-it-and-claim-it theology found in some charismatic churches.
"I believe the charismatic movement, of which I am a part, is in the midst of a dramatic overhaul," said J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine. "God is shaking us." Grady predicts the movement will look much different in a few years as it refocuses on evangelism and overcoming what he calls the distraction of "materialism, flashy self-promotion, and foolish carnality." But Scott Thumma, a Hartford Seminary sociologist who studies mega churches, is not so certain.
"Most clergy who preach a prosperity gospel would interpret for their congregation any conflict, scrutiny, or questioning as an attack of the Devil and proof that they are following God," he said.
Among recent developments:
In Fort Worth, Texas, a review board ruled December 7 that Kenneth Copeland Ministries' $3.6 million jet did not have tax-exempt status. The ruling came after the ministry, whose 1,500-acre campus includes a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion, refused to release the salaries of Copeland, his wife, and others.
In suburban Atlanta, Georgia, a sheriff's deputy served an eviction notice November 14 at Bishop Thomas Weeks III's Global Destiny Church. Court documents indicate the bishop, the ex-husband of televangelist Juanita Bynum, owed half a million dollars in back rent. The church has lost roughly half of its 3,400 members since Weeks and Bynum's 2007 fight in a hotel parking lot, in which Weeks was accused of pushing, choking, and beating his then-wife.
In Tampa, Florida, Without Walls International Church - which once attracted 23,000 worshipers - has shrunk drastically after co-pastors Randy and Paula White announced in 2007 they were divorcing. The church faces an uncertain future after the Evangelical Christian Credit Union began foreclosure proceedings November 4 and demanded repayment of a $12 million loan on the church's property.
In suburban Minneapolis on November 18, Living Word Christian Center pastor Mac Hammond won the first stage of a court battle with the Internal Revenue Service to keep his salary private. Yet in 2008, he was forced to put his private jet up for sale and cut Living Word's hour-long television show in half to save money amid falling contributions.
Meanwhile, Copeland and the Whites are among six televangelists whose large organizations have been targeted in a Senate Finance Committee investigation into allegations of questionable spending and lax financial accountability. All six preach some form of the prosperity gospel.
Could followers of the prosperity gospel - encouraged by pastors to "sow a seed" of faith by spending money, often in the form of a donation to the pastors' ministries - be turned off by the recent turmoil?
Oh... oh... let me answer that last question: OF COURSE NOT!!!
It doesn't matter how despicable these degenerate pimps are, or how brazen their money-grabs become. They have perfected the following wicked equation:
Give cash to the pimp + "speaking those things that be not as though they were" + dance and speak in tongues = Access to God!
That means that no matter how bad the economy is, just keep paying the pimp (and rub your bible 8 times because 8 is the number of new beginnings!) and you will manifest prosperity in your life! (cue jumpy organ music).
And unfortunately, the lust of the flesh keeps compelling the gullible to throw the dice "one more time" no matter how bad the odds are against them.
The article ends on a wishful note:
In Grady's view, the notion that "God blesses us so we can be a blessing" is biblical. What is needed, he believes, is a shift to a more selfless movement where people "realize that God wants to bless us so that we can feed the poor, lift up the broken, and transform society. We need that kind of prosperity," he said, "and I think that is where things are going."
Yup, that's the kind of prosperity we need, but Eddie, Creflo, and the other degenerates can't take that kind of prosperity to the bank every Monday and Thursday morning...
A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is "positive confession." It refers to the Word of Faith teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer. Thus God's ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching,
"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil." James 4:13-16
It is known by various aliases - Word Faith, The Prosperity gospel, Name it Claim it, Positive Confession, Abundant Life Now, Kingdom Now, ... yada, yada, yada... and guess what? It's all New Age dogma. It's enticing and popular because it appeals to the flesh - specifically... the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). It costs nothing save the exercising of an extreme version of 'faith' and treats the Almighty God as a kind of cosmic bellhop subject to its adherent's ever fickle and all too often selfish demands. This type of 'doing church' along with it's Purpose Driven / Seeker Sensitive bed fellows is, in the words of author James Twitchel, "How Christianity went from in your heart to in your face" and is an absolute travesty!
Personally I see the whole movement as the embodiment of Esau who traded his future inheritance for a bowl of temporal soup. Esau exchanged that which was to be lasting beyond his years for that which satisfied his immediate craving. They are like the impatient children of Israel fashioning a golden calf to serve and fornicating with one another while Moses was out of sight and out of mind atop Mount Sinai. To me the whole movement is yet another diversionary tactic of the enemy to keep eyes fixed on the earthbound rather than the Saviour Y'shua's imminent return. I like to refer to such tactics as Satan's Weapons of Mass Distraction.
Despite the ludicrous claims which can only be justified after some serious pretzel-like Scripture twisting, the Word of God does not promise health, wealth and prosperity in our sojourn here. Rather, it assures believers they will have TROUBLE, that they will be hated, persecuted and even put to death for their faith. That the Word Faith / Prosperity movement has such a large following is tragic testimony of the wholesale gullibility of those who subscribe to it.
Of course purveyors of the Prosperity gospel have to live the lifestyle they promote in order to validate its credibility... at least that's how the spin goes... either way the gullible are duped and the wolves line their dens with all the opulence they desire. Exponents of this popular heresy include the Bishop of Bling T.D Jakes, Joyce Meyer (who has a $10,000 dunny), Marilyn Hickey, Randy and Paula White (recently divorced), Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, John Bevere, Morris Cerullo, Paul, Jan and Matthew Crouch, Creflo Dollar (too easy), Jesse Duplantis, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Brown, Myles Munroe, Mike Murdock, Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, Roberts Liardon, Peter Popoff, Robert Tilton, Jerry Saville, Robert Schuller, John Avanzini, Paul Yonggi Cho (David Cho), Ashley and Jane Evans (Paradise Community Church Adelaide South Australia), Brian and Bobby Houston (Hillsong, Sydney Australia), False Prophet Phil Pringle (Oxford Falls Christian City Church, Sydney Australia) etcetera. The Australian component comprise the ecumenical edifice now known as the ACC (Australian Christian Churches).
The above mentioned individuals along with their contemporaries are the divisive brethren mentioned in the Book of Romans - those who scatter the flock with their false teachings.
"Now I urge you, brothers, mark those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned: and turn away from them. For those who are such do not serve as slaves to our Lord Christ, but to their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the blameless." Romans 16:17-18- Emphasis mine.
And they will not go unpunished...
"Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Yisra'el, against the shepherds who feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit on you the evil of your doings, says the LORD. I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set up shepherds over them, who shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be lacking, says the LORD." Jeremiah 23:2-4
The word translated 'shepherds' in this passage of Scripture is the Hebrew word 'râ´âh' (raw-aw) which means: 'to tend a flock, that is, to pasture it'. It is from this word that the term 'pastor' comes. The Lord here is indicting pastors for scattering, driving away and thereafter not visiting His flock. How do they do that you may well ask... With errorsome, divisive and heretical doctrine such as Rick Warren's Purpose Driven ideology, Bill Hybell's Seeker Sensitive nonsense and Pentecostal Kingdom Now, Dominionist and Prosperity/Abundant Life Now doctrines to name but a few.
Seriously, if I had a dollar for every saint who has, with broken heart, relayed incidences to me personally of betrayal and ostrasization for having the audacity to question the seemingly blind allegiance to movements or trends which 'pastor' has embraced to the negation of Word of God, I would indeed be a monetarily wealthy man. False shepherds scatter the flock with heresies - only the wolves remain. The organised 'church', far from being a sanctuary of the redeemed is rapidly becoming a toxic waste dump void of any life or truth which is why true believers are leaving them in droves choosing instead to meet in small home groups to study the Word of God and fellowship with one another. Satan clearly has a stronghold in the professing church and the Father is calling His wheat out from among the tares.
Believer's are commanded to store up treasures (thesauros - Lit: wealth) in Heaven NOT on Earth - how hard is that to understand? Apparently very!
For a very concise and somewhat lengthy article entitled 'Jumping On The Bandwagon - Australian Christian Churches - Seduced by the Beat of a Different Drummer? by Hughie Seaborn which addresses the whole deceived movement click HERE
The following brief articles shed further light and perspective on a movement clothed with light but basking in complete darkness.