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Posts Tagged ‘full gospel’

Did The Pentecostal Prosperity Doctrine And TBN Cause The Financial Crisis?

Posted by Job on October 3, 2008

Foreward: please note that the Bible DOES NOT PROMOTE reckless financial behavior, but quite the contrary promotes hard work, frugality, and conscientiousness. Contrast the ostentatious wealth of King Solomon – who left God for syncretism – with Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger and lived the life of a pauper. And as for you prosperity preacher adherents, well, you wanted to be world changers, right? To take authority and dominion? Well, it looks like you did it. Your doctrines helped cause the international banking crisis that just may set the stage for the anti – Christ to come to power. By the way, sorry for picking on Palin, because TONS of black prosperity doctrine preachers have gotten behind Obama as well. You know, it makes for the perfect conspiracy theory.

All of these Council on Foreign Relations – backed preachers get on TV – especially if they own networks like TBN – or dominate the book publishing market (Left Behind) or even get mainstream publicity (like TD Jakes on the cover of Time Magazine – which ironically published this article ) which exploit the poor with false promises of wealth. Then have the same Council on Foreign Relations – connected politicians (Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Gingrich at minimum) change the banking laws, requiring/forcing banks to lend to these people. And when the inevitable economic collapse occurs (which by the way was just the result of terrible economic policy dating back to at least Reagan … remember how the Democrats AND Republicans exhorted you to go buy an SUV and invest your retirement accounts in Pets.com in the 1990s … and that speaks nothing of deficit spending and free trade deals with third world countries where people will gladly work for $5 a day) then use it as an excuse to practically nationalize the banking sector and promote economic globalism. If this WASN’T a conspiracy, it certainly played out like one. In any event, now you see how massively evil false doctrines are, and the prosperity doctrine is both false and evil.

Foreclosures: Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage? 

or “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” 

Has the so-called Prosperity Gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That’s what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God would “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, toxic expression during sub-prime boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” The results, he says, “were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers.”
Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York state, “The pastor’s not gonna say ‘go down to Wachovia and get a loan’ but I have heard, ‘even if you have a poor credit rating God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you’ll get that house, or that car or that apartment.'” Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma, “It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, ‘if you give this offering, God will give you a house. And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy.” If so, the situation offers a look at how an native-born faith built partially on American econoic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.

Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat, and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, it can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are “worthy of having more and doing more and being more.” (Sure, if you forget about the Bible says that the Holy Spirit, God the Father,and Jesus Christ are supposed to comfort and reassure us. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.

But Walton suggests that a decade’s worth of ever-easier credit acted like drug in Prosperity’s bloodstream. “The economic boom 90’s and financial over-extensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the prosperity message,” he wrote recently. And not positively. “Narratives of how ‘God blessed me with my first house despite my credit’ were common. Sermons declaring ‘it’s your season to overflow’ supplanted messages of economic sobriety,” and “little attention was paid to.. the dangers of using one’s home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations.”

With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks that some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants’ fortunes. Says Walton, “You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology.” But he predicts they will perservere, since God’s earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.

A recently posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on scriptural promises of God. But the believer’s note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. “Last Sunday,” it read, “You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace.”

And pray that the credit market doesn’t tighten any further.

Some videos that speak of the error of these doctrines.

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Posted in Christianity, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Can We Do Anything To Speed The Return Of Jesus Christ? Why I Say NO!

Posted by Job on November 20, 2007

Up until very recently I sincerely felt that Christians could speed the return of Jesus Christ by doing works, such as spreading the gospel. But now I find out by reading “Messiah In The Old Testament” by the (rather liberal but still orthodox) Walter Kaiser out that the Pharisees had that same error. They were correct in presuming that their failure to keep the law resulted in their nation being sent into captivity and subjected to brutal subjugation. They were correct that the prophets who foretold their current fate also spoke of a coming Messiah. So then, what was their error? A perfectly understandable mistake: that if disobeying the law caused them to lose their nation, monarchy, and sovereignty, then keeping the law would cause these things to be restored by the Messiah that their prophets spoke of. Of course, the natural progression was that the Jews could speed the return of the Messiah by being VERY ZEALOUS, but that being “less than zealous” would hinder his coming. That is why their actions against Jesus Christ, who like John Hagee His being Messiah they rejected, were very understandable … they thought that His using His influence with the people to disobey their interpretation of the law was hindering the restoration of Israel and the Messianic age.

This belief did not die, incidentally. The reason why Jews went from tolerating Jesus Christ’s Jewish followers as a sect within Judaism (if an errant bothersome one … though they far from the only ones considered errant and bothersome) to expelling them from their synagogues as apostates and heretics was because they were ultimately scapegoated for the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and Jerusalem in 117 AD. Why? Because they were following the Man who taught them to disobey the law, causing God to punish us as He did in 586 BC. (Of course, this is not said directly, instead they say that the reason why the second temple was destroyed was “the lack of unity.”) And though this is similarly rarely spoken of, some Jewish leaders blamed the Holocaust on a number of Jews going after secularism and liberalism (Conservative and Reform Judaism) and a general failure to keep the Sabbath. And to this day, the goal of rabbinic Judaism is to cause God to grant the Jewish nation their Messiah.

Is it an oversimplification to say that the Pharisees were too preoccupied and self – assured in their doctrines that they could bring cause the Messiah to come through works that they did not recognize the Messiah when He came to them not by their works to do their Will but by God’s grace to do God’s Will? For it must be said: the Word of God says that if a man labors, he must reap the benefits thereof. If even the ox that treads the corn should not be muzzled, how much more so should a man that labors be? So the inevitable conclusion is that with anything that man produces with works, man can take some credit for it. Man can take some ownership of it. Man can have some control over it. As such, the Messiah produced by works would have been THEIR Messiah to do THEIR Will, even if only least in part. So when Jesus Christ came to do not their Will in any sense but God’s, and was so not owned by or beholden to man that He did no so much as have a human father, they rejected Him because He was not the creation of their own hands. Nay, He was not the creation of ANY, but rather the uncreated God, the Word of the Trinity.

That is why our own salvation cannot be the result of works. If we labored in any least sense, in any jot or tittle, then that would give us that much ownership rights and control over our souls. That would deprive God not only of His due glory, but His ownership rights as our sole creator and sole managers of our destiny. And since works produce works, it would give preachers and evangelists ownership rights over those converted by their efforts! Now imagine the effect of this … the great masses of the redeemed dwelling with God in heaven, not only with each having a claim on himself and many having claims on others, but the combined net worth effect of their collective claims! For eternity! (Believe in interest perhaps?) So I say “God forbid!” Such a thing cannot not be and will not be. What say you?

And that brings us to the Imminent return of our Lord and Savior Y’shua HaMashiach, better known as Jesus Christ. If it were possible to facilitate or speed His return by the gospel or any other works, we would have a claim on His Return and Him with it! Since all things were created by the Word (John 1:3) through Him we would have a claim on the entire creation. And since He is one with the Holy Spirit, we would through Him have a claim on the Holy Spirit. And since He is one with the Father, we would through Him have a claim on the Father. And because sinful man would have a valid legal claim on the Father, the Father would no longer be holy and no longer sovereign. The result? He would be a false god, no god at all! God forbid that such a thing should happen. So now, Christian, do you see the error of works based theology?

Yet works based theology is alive and well in Christendom, and it is not limited to the Roman Catholic Church. It is alive and well in the Protestant movement too. Let me give you three ways.

1. Tithing. The practice was for the Old Testament only and for a specific purpose: to support the priests who stood before God’s presence as man’s mediator. The Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is our priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. From that, if you continue to tithe to your pastor or church, two things can reasonably be inferred. A. It is your pastor and your church and not Jesus Christ that is the mediator between you and the Father. Please realize that such is the position of the Roman Catholic Church. I cannot help but – after a somewhat whimsical fashion – wonder if Matthew 23:9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” is a prophetic polemic against the Roman Catholic practice to come. B. That Jesus Christ either never came, never died, or never resurrected. Those who continue this practice in ignorance of the truth do so in ignorance of the truth. But to those that have come into the knowledge of the truth, new covenant giving is to be directed by 2 Corinthians 9:7 which reads: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

2. The prosperity/Word of Faith movement, where we are taught that we receive things from God not according to grace, but by works. The prosperity doctrine the works are actually somewhat indirect through obedience (to quote Jesse DuPlantis, “the prosperity doctrine is an obedience doctrine”) and compulsory giving (John Hagee teaches that those who do not tithe will have their wages cursed by God, and that you will receive a greater blessing for giving to Jews and Israel than elsewhere). But the Word of Faith movement is more direct in telling people that you can bit a bridle and harness in the mouth of God, hop upon His back, and drive and command Him to use His Power to control nature and history as you see fit! It was from Albert Pendarvis of http://www.radiomissions.org – who ironically is located a few miles away from Jesse DuPlantis – whom I first heard warn Christians against those preachers that were “commanding God, not respecting Him, and misusing His Name” in the charismatic movement, especially the faith healers. Of course I was a full gospel Kenneth Hagin Word of Faith/prosperity adherent at the time so I rejected him at the time, but now I must acknowledge the truth in his preaching in this matter. These doctrines deny grace and try to co – opt, manipulate, and control God.

3. Christian Zionism. If you are a dispensational pre – tribulation rapture doctrine adherent, I shall not speak against you for believing in that doctrine. What I do speak against is how so many pastors who hold this view teach that we can speed or facilitate the return of Jesus Christ based on it! For instance, some Christians are helping finance the return of Jews to Israel. But the Bible says that it is the Messiah’s job to do this in Jeremiah 23:3-6. Some Christians are helping Jews breed red heifers so that the Jews can restart their sacrifices in the temple. Why are we facilitating that which we no there is no profit but instead is a snare, an act of rebellion against everything that Hebrews says? Are we helping the Muslims practice their religion? Why not? Are they not the children of Abraham too? Are we aiding the Hindus, Mormons, and Scientologists in their abominations? Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh, die on the cross for our sins, and rise again on the third day or not? Did He do such a thing for the Jew first and then the Gentile or did He not? Are we ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Jews’ presence? For the Jews’ sake? Well what John Hagee is now preaching is merely the fruition, the logical conclusion of that mindset!

And speaking of John Hagee, it is not enough to speak of his dual covenant theology, though it is bad. Hagee, Robertson, and their fellow travelers use “defending Israel” as an license to justify whatever level of atrocity and militarization of the Middle East they desire. With Hagee, his running a “Christian AIPAC” gives a third tier televangelist from San Antonio great wealth and power. And as for Robertson, who does own oil interests, how much is his personal wealth increased by oil being over $100 a barrel? And how much higher will the price of oil go if our government assassinates Hugo Chavez as Pat Robertson suggested? How much higher will it go if we invade Iran as Hagee demands? Now Hagee prophesied (back when I was a fan of his show) that we would be at war with Iran by now and that Jesus Christ would come back a few months later. Put all the details in his best – selling books. A false prophet that no one has held accountable? Of course!

But consider what would happen if Hagee was RIGHT. That would mean that it would be possible for even crooks, liars, thieves, and false prophets to have a claim on God if works doctrines be true. Though they are false preachers, the gospel is preached through these fellows, and people are saved by it. But you can see the effects of people perceiving works doctrines to be true? These pastors have tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of people at their command, onward Christian soldiers marching to war! Blood, violence, disease, starvation, death, and poverty for the many. All for the profit of a few. Is that the gospel of Jesus Christ? Maybe a false Jesus Christ that you can own through works, but not the true Jesus Christ obtained only by grace. We are to show love to God’s people and His holy city, certainly, but the way that the Bible tells us to. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Support the legitimate needs of Jews out of love and obedience to God, not expecting blessings in return or in support of a political agenda. And to also give aid to the Palestinians so as to not show partiality.

So in the final analysis we must come to the conclusion that man can do nothing to speed the return of Jesus Christ. No one knows the day or the hour. Jesus Christ is returning when the Father sees fit. The sovereign God will determine when Christ will return. God is not hindered by man, He is not frustrated by man, He is not dependent upon man. God is sovereign. 2 Peter 3:9 declares that it is by the grace of God and not the works of man that has hindered the coming of Jesus Christ to this day, and it will be by that same grace that Jesus Christ comes to rescue the church from this life and punish all else for its uncleanness. Yes, it is said that Christ will not return until the gospel is preached throughout the world, and that does mean that evangelism and missionary work should be done in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth from the least to the greatest, the youngest to the oldest. But even that will not be our doing lest any man should boast, but rather God’s doing. I am going to co – opt the words that so offended the renowned missionary William Carey and say that when it pleases God to evangelize the world He will do it without your help or mine. He will do it without the ecumenical movements. He will do it without the TBN satellites that Paul Crouch asserted in one of his mass mailings was the angel flying around the world proclaiming the gospel in Revelation 14:6.

The sovereign God will do this by His grace! And when history comes to a close, all creation will see that God does not need us. Instead, it is we that need Him. The only question is whether people realize this in due time or in past time. Those who do so in due time will receive eternal life as a reward. Those who fail? Eternal wrath and destruction. Will you do so know? Will you bow before the Great King of creation, acknowledge that you need Him, and submit yourself to Him? I urge you to do so now, for tomorrow is not promised. There are many people that were here yesterday that presumed that they would be here today that are not. Are you better than they are? If so, how? I say this not to frighten or manipulate you but rather because I am concerned about you, and also because it is undeniably true. If you have not acknowledged the sovereignty of God, please do so. Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan right now.

Posted in Calvinism, catholic, child evangelism, christian broadcasting, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, christian right, Christian salvation, christian worldliness, Christian Zionism, Christianity, Christians United For Israel, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, dual covenant theology, election, endtimes, eschatology, evangelism, false prophet, fascism, George Bush, GOP, Islam, Israel, Jesus Christ, John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland, missionary, Moshiach, Muslim, New Age, oneness pentecostal, palestine, Pat Robertson, predestination, prophecy, prosperity doctrine, Republican, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, trinity broadcasting network, venezuela, Word of Faith, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach, Zionism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

 
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