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Posts Tagged ‘Another Jesus’

Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Dangerous

When I read about prosperity-preaching churches, my response is: “If I were not on the inside of Christianity, I wouldn’t want in.” In other words, if this is the message of Jesus, no thank you.

Luring people to Christ to get rich is both deceitful and deadly. It’s deceitful because when Jesus himself called us, he said things like: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). And it’s deadly because the desire to be rich plunges “people into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9). So here is my plea to preachers of the gospel.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Encountering Prosperity Theology in Latin America

As a young Christian in a majority Roman Catholic country, I was always very excited when I met other young men and women who professed to be evangelical Christians. During my teen years, I spent a few months with some I considered Christians, people who were always eager to talk about religion and faith. When one of them learned I was a diabetic, his question left me perplexed: “So, what is it that you do?” He was asking what sin I’d committed that caused my diabetes. He then proceeded to explain how I could go to their church and their pastor would pray for me so I’d be healed.

Of that group of young friends, most—if not all—have fallen away from the faith. But the theology that fed that conversation isn’t only alive, it’s booming. In an article I wrote about the state of the church in Latin America, I argued prosperity theology is king in Latin America:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Augustine and Miracle Reports in Church History

by Nathan Busenitz

Some time ago, I received the following question by email:

I was wondering what your thoughts are on Augustine’s “City of God”, book 22, chapter 8 where he records many miracles taking place in Carthage. Some sound doubtful — making the symbol of a cross over the malady. I’ve always found Augustine trustworthy but am sensing some overtones of superstition. Are there other sources that might shed some light on his testimony?

I’ve been asked similar questions before, regarding miracle and healing accounts throughout different eras of church history. Though each instance is different, Augustine’s testimony in The City of God provides an interesting case study.

From a cessationist perspective, here are a few thoughts in response to Augustine’s healing accounts:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Prosperity Gospel Born in the USA

My eyes were intently scanning, and perhaps my heart coveting, the piles of books at the Christian book fair in Kyiv, Ukraine. As I perused the merchandise, my eyes stopped, focused, and involuntarily rolled upward. There it was: Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now, translated into Russian, lying on the table in front of me. This was another reminder that although the modern prosperity gospel originated in the United States, its preachers have exported this deadly virus around the world to places such as Latin America, Africa, Asia, and even Eastern Europe.

This article will briefly trace the origins of the prosperity gospel and suggest some reasons as to why it has prospered in the United States.

Rooted in New Thought

The prosperity gospel is built on a quasi-Christian heresy, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States, known as New Thought. This philosophy teaches that the key to health and wealth acquisition is thinking, visualizing, and speaking the right words. Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993), pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, popularized New Thought ideas and techniques in America through his book The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). Ralph Waldo Trine (1866–1958), however, was the most prolific purveyor of New Thought. In both works, one can discern some of the key recurring elements of the prosperity gospel: speaking the right words, invoking a universal law of success with words, and having faith in oneself.

The ideas of New Thought influenced, among others, E. W. Kenyon (1867–1948), an evangelist, pastor, and founder of Bethel Bible Institute. His approach to theology is the basis for one of the prosperity gospel’s most distinctive features—speaking the right words to bring about a new reality; what you confess, you possess. Kenyon served as a link to the popular prosperity preachers that formed the foundation of the modern prosperity gospel movement.

For example, in the late 1940s, Oral Roberts burst onto the religious scene with his ministry of alleged healing and financial prosperity. In the 1980s, his television show was one of the most popular religious programs in the country. While Roberts certainly captured national attention and spread prosperity theology, most recognize Kenneth E. Hagin (1917–2003) as the most prominent evangelist of the prosperity gospel as well the father of the Word of Faith movement. More than any other factor, the Word of Faith movement was the vehicle responsible for spreading prosperity teaching across the United States in the late 20th century.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel

More than a century ago, speaking to the then-largest congregation in all Christendom, Charles Spurgeon said, “I believe that it is anti-Christian and unholy for any Christian to live with the object of accumulating wealth. You will say, ‘Are we not to strive all we can to get all the money we can?’ You may do so. I cannot doubt but what, in so doing, you may do service to the cause of God. But what I said was that to live with the object of accumulating wealth is anti-Christian.”

Over the years, however, the message being preached in some of the largest churches in the world has changed—indeed, a new gospel is being taught to many congregations today. This message has been ascribed many name, such as the “name it and claim it” gospel, the “blab it and grab it” gospel, the “health and wealth” gospel, the “prosperity gospel,” and “positive confession theology.”

No matter what name is used, the essence of this message is the same. Simply put, this “prosperity gospel” teaches that God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy. Listen to the words of Robert Tilton, one of its best-known spokesmen: “I believe that it is the will of God for all to prosper because I see it in the Word, not because it has worked mightily for someone else. I do not put my eyes on men, but on God who gives me the power to get wealth.” Teachers of the prosperity gospel encourage their followers to pray for and even demand material flourishing from God.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Do Charismatics have a Specific Bible Commentator they Use?

It is really hard to define what Charismatics believe because they have no set beliefs that have been embedded in a creed, confession, or statement of faith. I am not saying that there are not several Charismatic denominations which have not put out some kind of small statement of what they believe the scriptures to teach; nevertheless, for the more part, Charismatic beliefs vary from Church to Church.

One of the main sources where Charismatics get their false views is from a Bible called ‘The Dake’s Annotated Bible.” Finis Jennings Dake was the compiler of all the notes and commentary that is prevalent in this annotated Bible.

Finis Jennings Dake was born in 1902 and died in 1987. He claimed that upon receiving conversion that he was able to quote thousands of scriptures, even though he had never once read the Bible. I want to say that there has never been any person in the history of the world who has ever received such a gift. God does not bypass our intellect when he works through us.

What most Charismatics do not know is that Finis Dake is not far removed from the Charismatics of today when it comes to gross and immoral sins. Finis Dake served six months in jail in 1937 because he had plead guilty to having sex with a sixteen year old girl, of whom he registered at a motel with, feigning to be husband and wife.

The doctrines taught in the Dake’s Bible are being used by Kenneth Hagen, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, and a host of others through the TBN network. These doctrines have more to do with occultic beliefs such as those put forth by Mormons.

I will retire from speaking for now and leave you to the article:

The Dake’s Bible and Confused Charismatic Theology by Joseph Chambers

This quote from Dake’s Bible is the very first New Testament note in the edition that I have owned since the early seventies. The edition I am quoting from is the sixth printing, December 1971.“Gr. Christos, ‘Anointed.’ – Used in N.T. 577 times. Like the name “Jesus” it has no reference to deity, but to the humanity of the Son of God, who became the Christ or the “Anointed One” 30 years after He was born of Mary. God “made” Him both Lord and Christ. The Heb. Is ‘Messiah’.” (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, published by Dake Bible Sales, Inc, Lawrenceville, Georgia, New Testament, p. 1.)No Biblically solid minister or Bible student would accept the quote above. It is rank heresy and must be totally rejected or our view of Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God is compromised. To suggest that Jesus became the Christ or the “Anointed One” thirty years after His birth is to commit heresy. This is an ancient heresy that is called “adoptionism.” Kenneth Scott Latourette stated in his book, History of Christianity, Volume I, the following:

 Read more of this article here.

Comment on Post

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week I posted a blog entitled:

“Can a Person be Saved Without Hearing the Gospel”

This is a comment I received on this post.

[“I have to take issue with you on some points .

Firstly, Innocence is a fundamental part of the nature of Man . We do not need saving from Judgement Day . There will be a Judgement Day and for everyone the verdict will be Innocent .

Secondly, Jesus is a projection of the Christ that already is within us . It’s just a matter of connecting with this part of us . We do not need ‘ saving ‘ as we are already ‘ saved ‘.

Thirdly, the point of the resurrection story is to show there is no Death .

These comments are sent with my best wishes . – Frank”]

Well Frank I appreciate your comments, but I have got to let you know that we are discussing two separate topics. I have an authoritative book called ‘The Bible.’ As for you I have no idea where your information comes from. In other words I do not know what book you are reading. The Bible is plain that man is a sinner from his conception because he is a descendent of Adam. Adam sinned and was punished for his sin by being given a sin nature. That nature is passed on to all Adam’s descendants.

Secondly, I agree with you that there will be a Judgment Day, but everyone will not be found innocent. Just as the Bible is plain that man is a sinner from birth, comes forth from the womb speaking lies, and by nature children of wrath, it is also plain that those who are not found written in the ‘Book of Life’ will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Thirdly you state that Jesus is just a projection of the Christ that is already in us. This my friend sounds and wreaks of New Age Philosophy. I believe in a historical Jesus. A Jesus who lived, died, and rose again from the dead in order to deliver us from our offences and being raised for our justification. The ‘our’ here are all those who are in him by faith.

Finally I must say that you have a different gospel, a different Jesus, and are getting you information from a different source other than the Bible. The Bible is plain that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God ” Therefore I would suspect that you would take issue with what I wrote in my blog post, seeing that you have a New Age World view of reality. But it is not a logical coherent view.