your best lie now

I’m reading this tonight. And thought some of you might like this. It’s a 95 page book critiquing Joel Osteen’s first book. I’m 2 chapters in and it has been really good so far. Much better than the unsavory cover might suggest it would be. It’s a free PDF book too. Just register an account with LuLu publishing and download free or you can buy a paperback copy for 6.40$

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Joel Osteen is, without a doubt, one of the most prominent pastors in the United States. Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, the nation’s largest and fastest growing congregation, Osteen has achieved a great deal of recognition both from Christian circles and the world at large. The problem with Joel’s popularity is that it stems from his watered down Savior-less message that sounds much more like Tony Robbins than Jesus Christ. Every week, he lulls his listeners into a false sense of eternal security, deceiving them into believing that what he’s teaching will save them. He preaches to their materialistic lusts, all the while lining his pockets with their hard earned savings. Up until this point, no book has challenged the false teachings of so-called “Pastor” Osteen, due largely to his popularity and connections to major publishers. Today, this book takes a stand against the sugar coated sewage flowing from the pulpit of Lakewood Church.”

FREE PDF BOOK LINK

or

PAPERBACK COPY LINK (6.40$)

Joseph Prince admits his Word of Faith Roots in a video at the link below (the videos will not embed on this blog). WE had someone ask in the comment section about Prince and all I could say was that I was sure Prince had preached at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church and that he was for sure Word of Faith. The two videos at Ken Silva’s Apprising Ministries should prove that as Mr. Prince readily admits the influence of Kenneth Hagin and the WoF movement on his ministry.

In the second video you will see Prince praising Hagin and using Mark 11:23-24 to tell Hagin’s story. He sure knows how to make a mountain out of a molehill and they (both Prince and Hagin) rest scriptures out of their intended meaning by introducing anecdotal experience as evidence.

Look at this and go to the link below to see just how bad the slaughter of the verses really is.

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This is 1 of 33 Word of Faith responses from “Correcting the Cults -Expert responses to their scripture twisting” By Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes.

MARK 11:23-24 — Did Jesus promise to give literally anything we ask in faith?

Mar 11:23-24  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

MISINTERPRETATION:
On the face of it, this verse seems to be saying that God will grant literally any request we make of Him as long as we believe. Word-Faith teachers often cite this verse in support of their views, (Hagin, 1972, 27-28).

CORRECTING THE MISINTERPRETATION:
Limitations on what God will give are indicated both by the context and by other text, as well as by the laws of Gods own nature and the universe.

God cannot literally give us anything. Some things are impossible. For example, God cannot grant a request for a creature to be God. Neither can he grant a request to approve of our sin. God will not give us a stone of we ask for bread, nor will he give is a serpent if we ask for a fish. (Matt. 7:9-10)

The context of Jesus’ promise in Mark 11 indicates that it was not unconditional for the very next verse (v25) says “if you,,, forgive” your brother then God will forgive your trespasses. Thus, there is no reason to believe that Jesus intended us to take his promise to give us “whatever things” we ask without any conditions.

All difficult passages should be interpreted in harmony with other clear statements of scripture. And it is clear that God does not promise, for example, to heal everyone for whom we pray in faith. Paul wasn’t healed, though he prayed earnestly and faithful (2Cor. 12:8-9). Jesus taught that it was not the blind man’s lack of faith that hindered his being healed. Rather, he was born blind “that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3). Despite the apostle Paul’s divine ability to heal others (Acts 28:9), later he apparently could not heal either Epaphroditus (Phil 2:9) or Trophimus (2 Tim. 4:20). It clearly was not unbelief that brought Job’s sickness on him. (Job 1:1). What is more, if the faith of the recipient were the condition for receiving a miracle, then none of the dead Jesus raised would have come to life, since the dead cannot believe! See comments on Isaiah 53: 4-5; Philippians 2:25.

The rest of scripture places many conditions on Gods promise to answer prayer in addition to faith, We must “abide in him” and let his word “abide in us” (John 15:7). We cannot “ask amiss” out of our own selfishness (James 4:3). Even Jesus prayed, “Father if it be thy will let this cup [his death] pass from me”. Indeed, on all except God’s unconditional promises, this “if it be your will” must always be stated or implied. For prayer is not a means by which God serves us. Rather, it is a means by which we serve God. Prayer is not a means by which we get our will done in heaven, but a means by which God gets his will done on earth.
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Now to see how bad it is, go see the video here. WORD FAITH PROSPERITY PREACHER JOSEPH PRINCE

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 11, 2013

Joel Osteen and The History of The Cult of Positive Thinking

joel-osteen-ministriesThe Cult of Positive Thinking

Revisiting the Origins of the New Thought Movement in America

(SOURCE) “The Power of Positive Thinking” is a term which has become with synonymous with today’s self-help cult which operates on the general belief that our thoughts create our reality. We have all faced those difficult situations in the past where we have been encouraged by those around us to “stay positive” or to “not lose hope” and things will, consequently, “get better” sooner or later. What we often fail to realize, as does the person making such pronouncements, is that such statements are so commonplace in our modern society because it is such a deeply ingrained way of thinking that makes up an important part of our cultural heritage. American history is replete with stories of religious groups who came to the United States in order to either escape persecution in their native homeland or simply carried their religious and philosophical views across the Atlantic as they came to America to seek some sort of financial gain. What is often overlooked in this historical epoch of the American nation are those groups which fell far outside the mainstream of American religion.

One such movement that should be revisited is that of the New Thought Movement. Wouter J Hanegraaff has noted that “when the French Mesmerist Charles Poyen embarked upon a lecture tour through New England in 1836, he discovered to his surprise that the subject which had been occupying his countrymen for decades was still virtually unknown to his American audience.” Since then it has grown to become one of the largest and most influential systems of thought in American religion and philosophy. The relative lack of knowledge on the subject stems largely from the fact that it is a system of thought that is largely unsystematic in nature. The underyling premise, that thought creates reality, provides the undergirding for modern New Age thought and esotericism which has grown more mainstream decade after decade since the 1960s.

Having no definite origin has most likely contributed to the lack of a centralized ideology within the movement. Its coherence and lasting effect is best seen in the influence it has had on various religious groups in Americna history. It can be partially seen as a counter-culture feminist movement in that its early leaders such as Emma Curtis Hopkins, Myrlte Fillmore, and Nona Brooks served as the early backbone of the movement. It emerged among a variety of religious groups and thinkers such as the Unity Church, Religious Science, and the Church of Divine Science. Its later influences included groups like Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science movement which has somehow survived into the present despite scandals and question about the movement’s psychological and physical impact on its members, especially young children born into the movement. As one article notes, “The earliest identifiable proponent of what came to be known as New Thought was Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-66), an American philosopher, mesmerist, healer, and inventor. Quimby developed a belief system that included the tenet that illness originated in the mind as a consequence of erroneous beliefs and that a mind open to God’s wisdom could overcome any illness.”

It was later in the 1890s and from there onward that the movement became one associated more and more with printed media. A plethora of self-help books emerged in the early part of the twentieth century and became the basis for conventions where adherents could get together and learn to better fine-tune the powers of the mind or meet others who were also interested in the esoteric aspects of the movement. Throughout the twentieth century, New Thought was assimilated into mainstream religious thought more and more until it eventually became commonplace and, to some extent, accepted fact. It has since made its way into mainstream Christianity as non-denominational Christian groups like Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston Texas can be counted on to faithfully preach the power of positive thinking on an almost weekly basis. Positive thinking, it seems, has become a truly “American” thing to do.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-cult-positive-thinking-4262347.html

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 10, 2013

Is ‘name it claim it’ teaching biblical?

name it claim it teachers
(SOURCE: GotQuestions.org) Question: “Is ‘name it claim it’ teaching biblical?”

Answer: The “name it and claim it” or “prosperity gospel” is not biblical and is in many ways antithetical to the true gospel message and the clear teaching of Scripture. While there are many different versions of the name it and claim it philosophy preached today, they all have similar characteristics. At its best, this teaching comes from the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of some Scriptures and, at its worst, it is a completely heretical teaching that has the characteristics of a cult.

The roots of the Word of Faith movement and the name it and claim it message have more in common with new age metaphysics than with biblical Christianity. However, instead of us creating our reality with our thoughts, as new age proponents advise, name it and claim it teachers tell us that we can use the “power of faith” to create our own reality or get what we want. In essence faith is redefined from trusting in a holy and sovereign God despite our circumstances to a way of controlling God to give us what we want. Faith becomes a force whereby we can get what we want rather than an abiding trust in God even during times of trials and suffering.

There are many areas where name it and claim it departs from biblical Christianity. The teaching really exalts man and his “faith” above God. In fact many of the more extreme Word of Faith teachers teach that man was created on terms of equality with God and that man is the same class of being that He is Himself. This dangerous and heretical teaching denies the very basic tenets of biblical Christianity which is why the extreme proponents of the name it and claim it teaching must be considered to be cultic and not truly Christian.

Both the metaphysical cults and the name it and claim it teaching distort the truth and embrace the false teaching that our thoughts control reality. Whether it is the power of positive thinking or the prosperity gospel, the premise is the same—what you think or believe will happen is ultimately what controls what will happen. If you think negative thoughts or are lacking in faith, you will suffer or not get what you want. But on the other hand if you think positive thoughts or just have “enough faith,” then you can have health, wealth and happiness now. This false teaching appeals to one of man’s most basic instincts, which is one reason why it is hugely popular.

While the prosperity gospel and the idea of controlling one’s future with his thoughts or faith is appealing to sinful man, it is insulting to a sovereign God who has revealed Himself in Scripture. Instead of recognizing the absolute sovereign power of God as revealed in the Bible, the name it and claim it adherents embrace a false god who cannot operate apart from their faith. They present a false view of God by teaching that He wants to bless you with health, wealth and happiness but cannot do so unless YOU have enough faith. Thereby God is no longer in control but man is. Of course this is completely antithetical to what Scripture teaches. God does not depend upon man’s ‘faith” to act. Throughout Scripture we see God blessing who He chooses to bless and healing who He chooses to heal.

Another problem with the name it and claim it teaching is that if fails to recognize that Jesus Himself is the ultimate treasure worth sacrificing everything for (Matthew 13:44) and instead sees Jesus as little more than a way of getting what we want right now. Jesus’ message is that a Christian is called to “…deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul” (Matthew 16:24-24). Contrast that to the message of the prosperity gospel. Rather than being a message of self-denial, the prosperity gospel is one of self-satisfaction. Its goal is not becoming more Christ-like through sacrifice but having what we want here and now, clearly contradicting the words of our Savior.

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 10, 2013

Is there Power in Positive Confession?

positive-confessions(SOURCE: GotQuestions.org Question: “Is there power in positive confession?”

Answer: Positive confession is the practice of saying aloud what you want to happen with the expectation that God will make it a reality. It’s popular among prosperity gospel adherents who claim that words have spiritual power and that, if we speak aloud the right words with the right faith, we can gain riches and health, bind Satan, and accomplish anything we want. To confess positively is to speak words that we believe or want to believe, thus making them reality. This is opposed to negative confession, which is to acknowledge hardships, poverty, and illness and thus (supposedly) accept them and refuse the ease, wealth, and health God has planned for us.

There are several things wrong with this philosophy. The most dangerous is the belief that words have a kind of spiritual, magical power that we can use to get what we want. The practice borrows not from biblical truths, but from a new age concept called the “law of attraction.” It teaches that “like attracts like”—a positive statement or thought will draw a positive reaction. Everything is imbued with God’s presence and power—not “God” as the omnipresent Creator, but “god” in a Hindu/pantheistic way. The net result is the idea that our words hold the power to force God to give us what we want—a heretical belief. Additionally, the results attributed to positive confession are powered by the faith of the individual. This leads to the old belief that illness and poverty are a type of punishment for sin (in this case, lack of faith). John 9:1-3 and the entire book of Job refute this soundly.

The second problem is that the prosperity gospel misinterprets the promises of God. “Confession” is agreeing with what God has said; “positive confession” is demanding human desires. People who push positive confession say that the practice is merely restating God’s promises as given in the Bible. But they don’t differentiate between universal promises God made to all His followers (e.g., Philippians 4:19) and personal promises made to individuals at a certain time for a particular purpose (e.g., Jeremiah 29:11). They also misinterpret the promises God does give us, refusing to accept that God’s plan for our lives may not match up with our own (Isaiah 55:9). A carefree, perfect life is the antithesis of what Jesus said the Christian life would look like—and the lives that His followers lived. Jesus didn’t promise prosperity; He promised hardship (Matthew 8:20). He didn’t promise that our every want would be fulfilled; He promised we’d have what we need (Philippians 4:19). He didn’t promise peace in a family; He promised that families would have problems as some chose to follow Him and some didn’t (Matthew 10:34-36). And He didn’t promise health; He promised to fulfill His plan for us and grace in the trials (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Read More…

This is a really good 8 minute video. The video’s author looks at one of Joel Osteen’s sermons titled, “Programming Your Mind for Victory”. You’ll see Osteen only uses 3 scriptures and he butchers them all to fit his preconceived notions. And Jesus’s name is only used 4 times while the word “YOU” (and it’s derivatives) are used 310 times in the sermon. You might say it’s a self centered sermon.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 7, 2013

VIDEO: Derren Brown Exposing the Fake Faith Healing Leg Trick

This old parlor trick passed off as faith healing has long been debunked and shown to the fraudulent. But Derren does a good job here.

RELATED POST:  (FULL VIDEO) Derren Brown – Miracles for Sale: The Word of Faith Movement and Fake Faith Healing

false-teachersSOURCE: I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgment
One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7: 1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning. In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v. 1 is referring to hypocritical judgment. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain, you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.Those who cling to “Judge not, that ye be not judged, ” to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing,  ” (v. 15). How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to exam the sheep of these “ravening wolves?” All through the Bible we find proof that they should be identified and exposed.Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.

II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers
False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many Bible believers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many.

John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) “a generation of Vipers” (snakes) (Matt. 3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.

Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.

Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them “hypocrites”, “blind guides, ” “blind, ” “whited sepulchres, ” “serpents, ” and “ye generation of vipers” (Matt. 23:23-34). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees.

In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, music, literature, movies, psychology, and seminars, and have turned the Father’s house into a den of thieves. It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.

The Bible Admonishes Us To Expose Error
We are to TRY them. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4: 1). All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to the Word of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20),

We are to MARK them and AVOID them. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them ” (Rom. 16:17). Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and to be avoided.

We are to REBUKE them. “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith ” (Titus 1: 13).

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers ” (Titus 1:9).

We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with them. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them ” (Eph. 5:11). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?

We are to WITHDRAW from them. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us ” (II Thess. 3:6). We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God.

We are to TURN AWAY from them. Concerning the last days, he says that some will have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. from such turn away” for such people are “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (11 Tim. 3:5,7). How can we turn away from them if we do not identify them, and this requires that their message be compared to the Word of God.

We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds ” (11 John 10, I 1). There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is ” Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ,  ” (v.9). By radio, TV, music and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!

We are to REJECT HERETICS. “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject ” (Titus 3: 10). We should reject those who deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.

We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached “another Jesus ,  another spirit ,  or another gospel” (II Cor. 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (11 Cor. II: 13). He explains in v. 14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 2, 2013

VIDEO: Joyce Meyer Teaches Doctrines of Devils – Dr. Alan Cairns

Joyce Meyer Teaches Doctrines of Devils – Dr. Alan Cairns

bishop-td-jakes-and-oprah-winfreySOURCE: Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, is donating $10,000 to Baptist minister and civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, “who embodied the spirit of Jesus,” and the 50th anniversary of his March on Washington next week.

“It is a tremendous privilege to contribute to the National Action Network and to the legacy of an inspiring leader and powerful movement that changed the course of history,” Jakes said in a statement released by The Potter’s House, a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization, on Friday.

“Today, I honor Dr. Martin Luther King, who embodied the spirit of Jesus when he challenged us to elevate ourselves and respond to physical force with soul force,” Jakes said, adding that the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963 was “a world-changing gathering.”

Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the march 50 years ago. Jakes went on to say that it is because of Dr. King and his historic march “that we are now able to hold such a gathering as MegaFest in Dallas next week.”

Some 50,000 people are expected to participate in MegaFest from Aug. 28 to 31, which will feature numerous speakers, some of them celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar. “People of all colors will unite and celebrate their faith, their families and their belief that tomorrow can be better than today,” Jakes said, of the event.

Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as “America’s Best Preacher,” noted the MegaFest will be held during the historic anniversary of the March on Washington. “What a blessing it is to have this opportunity to bring so many people together in a way that embodies the spirit of Dr. King’s message and the work of the National Action Network.”

Jakes said Dr. King’s rally “reminded those in Washington that America’s dream is that all men were created equal.” Dr. King “encouraged all of us to stand for justice and to continue to strive for all that is good.”

Jakes said last month he was shocked by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February 2012 fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. “I cannot imagine the devastation of this man and woman (Martin’s parents), whose son committed absolutely no crime at all, walking down the street on his way to his daddy’s house with some Skittles and a soda, and ends up being followed by someone and ends up with an altercation with someone, and never makes it to his destination,” Jakes told his congregation.

Dr. King’s 1963 march, attended by about 300,000 people, called for civil and economic rights for African Americans, and is seen as one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history. It was followed by the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/td-jakes-donates-10000-to-al-sharptons-group-to-honor-martin-luther-king-jr-102945/

copeland(CNN) – When Amy Arden joined Eagle Mountain International Church in 1997, her 11-month-old daughter had received all the recommended vaccinations, Arden says.

Her child didn’t get another shot until Arden left the church in 2003.

“There was a belief permeating throughout the church that there is only faith and fear,” Arden said. “If you were afraid of the illness enough to get vaccinated, it showed a lack of faith that God would protect and heal you.”

Members of Eagle Mountain International Church also believed that childhood vaccinations could lead to autism, said Arden, who is 35.

Arden said she was taught by a supervisor at the church’s nursery how to opt out of a Texas law that requires most children to be immunized. She now regrets passing the same lesson on to other parents.

“I didn’t know a single mother who was vaccinating her children,”  she said.

Eagle Mountains teachings on health, including disparaging remarks about vaccinations, have been called into question since an outbreak of measles in Texas – an outbreak that state officials tie to the church.

As a Word of Faith church, Eagle Mountain is part of the booming prosperity gospel movement, which holds that God wants to reward believers with riches, health and happiness, if they will just recite certain Scriptures, pray and trust in divine providence.

The church is also part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, a vast and profitable multimedia ministry led by its namesake, a longtime prosperity preacher and television evangelist. Based in Newark, Texas, a rural community 25 miles north of Fort Worth, Eagle Mountain is co-pastored by Copeland’s daughter, Terri Copeland Pearsons, and son-in-law, George Pearsons.

In the prosperity gospel world, Copeland, 76, and his wife, Gloria, are considered royalty, said Kate Bowler, author of “Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel.”

“He is a major grandfather of the movement, starting to age out but still incredibly influential,” Bowler said. “They’ve been on the air forever and stayed largely scandal-free. That’s partly why they are so trusted by lots of people.”

According to Kenneth Copeland Ministries, the Copelands’ daily program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network reaches millions of viewers, their magazine more than 500,000 readers.

Recent media coverage of the Copelands hasn’t been as positive.

Twenty-one people in Tarrant County and nearby Denton County have contracted measles during this outbreak, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.  The victims include nine children and range from 4 to 44 years old, according to Tarrant County.

Tarrant County epidemiologist Russell Jones said the confirmed cases can be traced back to a person who attended Eagle Mountain International Church after visiting Asia, which has higher rates of measles infections than the United States.

Health officials are not releasing the name of that person or the particular country.

Jones said he doesn’t know exactly how many of the infected people are members of Eagle Mountain. At least 11 of the 21 did not have any measles vaccinations, he said. (Doctors usually recommend two shots.)

“Our concern would be that if you have a pocket of people who associate and think alike, if they don’t believe in immunization there’s going to be some other vulnerable people,” Jones said.

Eagle Mountain Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons has said that while some people may believe she is against immunizations, that is not true.

“I believe it is wrong to be against vaccinations,” she said in a statement.

Since the measles outbreak, Eagle Mountain has held two free immunization clinics, where about 220 church members received vaccinations, according to Jones, who said the county assisted with the clinics.

Jones said that he is working to ascertain how many of the church’s 1,500 members have still not been immunized.

Eagle Mountain and Kenneth Copeland Ministries disinfected their shared 25-acre campus, including the nursery and day care center, Pearsons said at an August 14 church service titled “Taking Our Stand of Faith Over Measles.” The church also runs schools for children through the sixth grade.

Jones praised the church’s efforts thus far, but other health experts have criticized Pearsons and Copeland.

In an August 15 statement, Copeland Pearsons drew a link between vaccinations and autism, saying, “The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time.”

In 2010, during a broadcast about health, Kenneth Copeland whose followers consider him a prophet voiced alarm about the number of shots given to his grandchild.

“All of this stuff they wanted to put into his body,” Copeland said. “Some of it is criminal!”

Copeland was particularly agitated about the Hepatitis B shot.

“In an infant? That’s crazy! That is a shot for sexually transmitted disease!” he said.

“We need to be a whole lot more serious about this and aware, and you don’t take the word of the guy who’s trying to give you the shot about what’s good and what isn’t.”

Dr. Don Colbert, a “divine health” expert who has appeared with Copeland in several broadcasts, then said that the autism rate among children had increased along with the number of childhood vaccinations.

“I have had so many patients bring their children in and they say, you know what, the week after I had that immunization, for MMR measles, mumps and rubella my child stopped talking, my child stopped giving me eye contact. He was not alert, he was not coherent. he quit speaking, he quit being the child I had,” Colbert said on the webcast.

Colbert and the Copeland family are wrong about immunizations, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

“It’s painful because these pastors are trusted spiritual leaders who are speaking to people not only in their congregations but also on television,” he said. “They are putting people at risk.”

There is no link between vaccinations and autism, and hepatitis can be passed from mother to child, making the shot necessary and effective, Schaffner said.

Schaffner said that doctors call concerns about bundling immunizations the “pin cushion effect.” It’s a common but unfounded fear, he said.

Most health experts, including the American Pediatric Association and the Tarrant County Public Health Department, agree with Schaffner.

Neither Eagle Mountain International Church nor Kenneth Copeland Ministries responded to repeated requests for comment.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the church and ministry said that they believe in, and advocate the use of, medical professionals.

“If an individual is faced with a situation that requires medical attention, that person should seek out the appropriate medical professional and follow their instructions using wisdom,” the statement said.

After the measles outbreak, Copeland said that he “inquired of the Lord as to what he would say regarding these vaccinations,” according to a statement posted on the church’s website on August 15.

The pastor said that God told him to “pray over it,” and then to “take advantage of what I have provided for you in Jesus’ name.”

When Copeland announces a change, it’s often after he has claimed to receive a new divine revelation, said former members of the church.

“Kenneth would always come up with a new prophecy to match what’s going on,” said one former church member, who wished to remain anonymous in order to maintain business ties with the church.

In this case, Copeland’s new revelation and the church’s recent statements represent a big shift in church policy, said the former members.

Amy Arden attended and worked at the church, including in its nursery, for six years, first as a volunteer, then as paid staff from 2000 to 2003.

Arden said she now deeply regrets teaching other parents how to access the Texas immunization exemption forms. But she and another former church employee described a closed spiritual world in which doubts are kept quiet and leaders’ words are rarely questioned.

“This was Kenneth Copeland’s ministry, and we did nothing that he did not approve of,” Arden said. “It’s hard to believe that hundreds of his children in his church were not getting vaccinated and he didn’t know about it. If he was pro-vaccination, we would have vaccinated our children.”

Arden recalled a 2002 lecture to church employees in which they were told that every part of Eagle Mountain International Church and Kenneth Copeland ministries must reflect the founder’s vision.

Arden said she was fired from Kenneth Copeland Ministries in 2003 for disagreeing with the church’s willingness to take donations from the mentally ill, including institutionalized patients.

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This is the best article I have read in a long long time. While it is rather lengthy it will convict those who just play Christianity while seeking their own desires and will embolden those who stand against the modern seeker sensitive message that people now-a-day wrongfully call the gospel of Christ. If you have suffered grief for preaching a gospel that some find offensive, this will help you see that the gospel and the cross is offensive and that if that offence is removed to placate the masses – it is not the Gospel of the Bible and is not Gods Gospel.

the offence of the cross 2The Offense of the Cross by Josef Urban

SOURCE: “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased” (Galatians 5:11). Paul’s Gospel had teeth. It bit hard into the kingdom of darkness and ripped chunks from it wherever it came. He didn’t make his message smooth and soft in order to suit the fancies of the religious majority. His Gospel was a sharp word that exalted Christ, lifted the cross up high, proclaimed total commitment to Christ the King, and utterly stripped man of all self-reliance, shattering self-righteousness, tearing down false religion, and leaving men stripped bare before God in utter dependence on His free grace alone to save them.

And of course, with a Gospel like this, Paul suffered persecution wherever he went. Yet he didn’t dare water-down the potency of the truth of God. He didn’t compromise his message in order to make it more acceptable to the people. He didn’t pervert it to make it look pretty. He proclaimed, “This is the way, the only way! Walk ye in it!” and pronounced a thundering “Anathema!” on anybody that dared to tamper with the message and preach another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).

Yet this is exactly what was happening in the church at Galatia. False teachers had come in and deceived the brethren by perverting the Gospel. They were preaching that in addition to believing in Christ, it’s necessary to be circumcised according to the Law of Moses. They were adding to the Gospel, changing the message to make it more acceptable. Paul said of them: “As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12). False teachers and false brethren today are rarely found preaching circumcision as necessary for salvation. However, they are still doing the same thing to the Gospel, adding to it and taking away from it in order to make it less offensive and more acceptable to the religious folk who fill the churches, in order that they don’t have to suffer persecution for the sake of the message. They take away the “offense of the cross” and in doing so, take away the heart and substance of the Gospel.

Paul’s Gospel exalted the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul preached salvation solely through the finished work of the cross, and preached abroad that those who are to be saved by grace must identify themselves with this bloody cross. He preached that men need to believe in Christ, and that the result of believing is an identification with the cross. He gloried in the fact that he was “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). He preached that the sinful flesh needs to be crucified; that the carnal man has to be put to death. Any who refuse to thus nail themselves to the cross are unworthy of the great, glorious Gospel of Christ. Any who water down the Gospel and dilute the message to make it more acceptable to carnal men or to tailor to the religious status quo, refusing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel are enemies of the cross, serving their own bellies, minding earthly things, and will face destruction (Phi. 3:18-19). There is no compromise here. Those that don’t like the message are the enemies of the cross.

Paul’s Gospel was offensive, highly offensive. He boasted that his message contained “the offense of the cross” and would not dare to cause such offense to cease. To him, the fact that there was such an offense was proof that he was preaching the true Gospel. He knew that the true Gospel would stir up devils and provoke the wrath of wicked men, and thus at times cause offense. And he continued to preach this true Gospel to the very end, even though it was “foolishness to those who are perishing”, because he knew that it was the power of God to those who believed and embraced it, resulting in salvation (1 Cor. 1:21). In addition to demolishing Satanic strongholds and turning multitudes from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, the result of preaching this was angry mobs, getting stoned, being whipped and scourged, getting thrown into prison, being hated everywhere he went, and ultimately being beheaded in Rome.

Why doesn’t our “gospel” today get us persecuted? Why does it sit so well with the religious masses? Why doesn’t it bite and cut and wound and hack and kill false religiosity? Because it’s not God’s Gospel! It’s not the sharp, two-edged sword that pierces hearts and slashes through false religious ideologies. It doesn’t wound the consciences of hardened sinners and cause them to cry out in godly sorrow, “What must I do to be saved?” It doesn’t tear away the false foundations and strip away their false hopes, and so it leaves us building on a faulty foundation that’s not going to stand when the floods of God’s just judgment come against it. There’s no digging deep in plowing up the hardened ground by preaching the offense of the cross and calling for deep repentance, so there’s not a solid foundation laid that will endure to life everlasting. The result is that multitudes are trusting in a false “gospel” that pampers the flesh and are blindly walking down the wide road that leads to destruction.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | August 10, 2013

How dangerous is Joel Osteen’s preaching? Answered by Hawk74

joelPretty dangerous because it distorts the message of God – We usually call that Heresy

SOURCE: It is only dangerous in that it may be setting people up for false hope.  The problem is that Olsteen’s preaching tells folks that if they love God enough – God is going to bless them with raises and promotions and economic prosperity.  The problem is that in the real world that isn’t how things usually work.  I have been a Christian all my life but according to Osteen’s model I must not be a very good one because I don’t own one single $1000 suit, I don’t drive a sports car, I don’t have a million dollar home – and I don’t know if I’ll ever see a million dollars.  So am I not a good Christian?  Has God not blessed me?

No God has blessed me a lot and I have what I need, I have my family and we are all healthy.  We have a place to live and somehow we pay the bills – actually we are doing just fine.  So I don’t buy into Osteen’s message.  I try to remember that God doesn’t need to give me Stuff to prove that he loves me.  I also remember that as a Christian – the model that my Lord and Saviour demonstrated was that he got nailed to a cross and died.  There were no $1000 suits for Jesus – no smiling preachers – no fancy sports cars – no promotions.  Only death which opened the door for all of us to eternal life.

By extension a few other Christians have not done to well on the Prosperity idea.  I guess Paul must not have been a very good Christian because he got his head cut off.  I guess Peter must have not been a very good Christian because he got Cruxified upside down.  Gee if they had only realized that God only wanted them to be wealthy and to take all of their problems away – then maybe they could have done something in this life.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | August 8, 2013

Chew the Meat and Spit Out The Bones? by Irene Shokan

Hat-Tip to Shawnice Powell of ExperiencingWordofFaith

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Chew the Meat and Spit Out The Bones? by Irene Shokan

Are we really instructed to ‘chew the meat and spit out the bones’?

When I first heard this phrase I thought the person was being sarcastic. In fact this statement is quoted with all seriousness and is used to reassure people that they are doing the right thing, by continuing to go to a church that teaches and practises error. It is used to justify ignoring things that are not quite right or what are unequivocally and outright wrong. “Well ‘I’d just chew the meat and spit out the bones”. I’ve never used this statement before but I certainly had that attitude, that’s why I stayed in a church like this for seven years. Every little bit of truth they gave me no matter how much error accompanied it would keep me going for a little bit longer. A little truth acted as the bait and they continued to reel me in, for seven years!

So what does this statement mean? It is often used to emphasise that no church or pastor is perfect. Of course they may teach things that are slightly off or may practise things that raise a few eyebrows. People who have this ‘bone spitting’ attitude claim that they choose to ignore the error and only receive the truth. They expertly dissect the bad parts and embrace the truth that is offered by the pastor. Well that’s all very well and good but is that what the bible  instructs us to do with error. Do we base our decisions on the word or on manmade phrases and ideologies? Do we make up things such as ‘bone spitting’ to ignore what God is really instructing us to do in these situations?

So, let us rightly divide the word of truth  (Not rightly divide the error from the truth to justify the error).

What should our response be when a pastor or minister of some sort is teaching error and mishandling the word of God? First of all, instead of saying no pastor is perfect, what we should really be concerned about is whether our pastor fulfils the qualifications for overseers, laid out in 1 Tim 3:1-7. That is the real question.  A false prophet is anyone that prophesises falsely. When someone claims to have a word from the Lord they are prophesising. This does not just refer to people who have the title prophet, it refers to anyone who presents them self as a minister of God’s word, whether that be a pastor, teacher, evangelist or someone who simply claims to have a word from the Lord. The bible is God’s word so when a person teaches from it they are claiming to be teaching or sharing God’s word. If the teaching of God’s word is mishandled or accompanied with error, they are not giving a true representation of what God is saying.  This is how false doctrines are created and how people become deceived.

Matthew 7:13-19 states:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

So, “by their fruits you will know them”. A pastor who bears good fruit will demonstrate the qualifications stated in 1 Tim 3:1-7. A pastor who bears bad fruit will demonstrate whatever goes against these qualifications. For example bad fruit includes: being ‘greedy for money’, having a bad reputation due to some scandal or indiscretion, not displaying gentleness, being prideful or unable to rule their own home. Do we dismiss this bad fruit with the argument that no one is perfect?  That is not what we are instructed to do by the word of God.

In the New King James Version, Matthew Chapter 7 is divided under sub-headings. However the original text was a continuous letter. So it helps to put the whole passage into context when it is read as a whole. Matthew 7: 13-19  makes it clear that we should beware of false prophets and reading it as a whole  makes it clear that this is required in order to enter in by the narrow gate. The narrow way and broad way does not simply mean that Christians are on the narrow way and the world is on the broad way. These scriptures were written for the saints not for unbelievers. So the narrow and broad way is within the church. Amongst all that call themselves Christians there are those who are on the narrow way and those who are on the broad path. If you are not convinced then all you have to do is read further to verse 21:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | August 1, 2013

Three Common Errors of False Teachers by Mike Gendron

false-teachersThree Common Errors of False Teachers

Written by Mike Gendron.

SOURCE: Since we are now living in the age of religious tolerance and ecumenical unity, there are some people who will immediately call this article unloving and divisive. Others will ask, “What right do you have to judge another religion?” The answer is given in Scripture. All God-fearing people are called to make right judgments, judgments that have already been established by the objective principles of God’s Word (John 7:24). There may be nothing more important than warning people who are being deceived about their eternal destiny. If we do not lovingly confront them with God’s Gospel, they may never know how to escape the eternal fire of God’s punishment. Clearly, the most unloving thing we can do is to ignore them and let them continue down the road to destruction. For this reason, I am always willing to offend people with the offense and exclusivity of the Gospel in the hopes that God may grant some of them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2: 25). Let us look at three fatal errors of false prophets and how to handle them.

False Teachers Usurp the Authority of God

The supreme authority of the Bible is established both by its divine origin and inspiration (2 Pet. 1:21). It is the infallible Word of God, and it will accomplish God’s purpose (Isaiah 55:11). It is the very foundation upon which all Christian truths rest. For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is the final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The divine authority of Scripture corrects and rebukes all false teaching because there is no higher authority or infallible source in which to appeal. It is the Word of God, and God cannot lie, cannot break His promise and cannot deceive.

People fall into serious error and sin when they exalt their own authority over God’s authority or when they suppress the truth of God’s Word to promote their own self-serving agendas. The Roman Catholic religion has done this by establishing its traditions and teachings to be equal in authority with Scripture (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] par. 82). In doing so, it has usurped the supreme authority of our sovereign God who alone has the right to rule and determine the eternal destinies of men. This fatal error has opened the flood gates to numerous other deadly heresies including: the preaching of another gospel, the worship of a counterfeit Jesus, the buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences, the creation of a fictitious place called purgatory, the establishment of other mediators and praying to and for the dead. These errors are fatal because anyone who is embracing them when they take their last breath will experience eternal death.

Catholics who are being deceived by these fatal errors must be told that the world has known only one infallible teacher. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the personification of truth and every word He spoke was truth (John 14:6, 17:17). Those who are seeking the truth need to look only to Christ and His Word. The Catholic religion has become corrupt the same way Judaism became corrupt – by following the traditions of men instead of the Word of God (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees taught much truth, but by mixing it with error, they “made the word of God of no effect.” We must never forget that the Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.

False Teachers Distort the Person of Christ

Jesus Christ is God’s perfect man and man’s perfect God. He is the perfect High Priest who offered Himself – the perfect sacrifice – once for the sins of His people. This one sin offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). For this reason there are no more offerings for sin (Heb. 10:18). The believer’s eternal sin debt was paid in full and their redemption was secured when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom. 4:25). Would there be false teachers who would deny this and steal away the honor and glory of our Savior?

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Religous Trojan Horse final cover_1The following is an excerpt from Brannon’s new hardcover book Religious Trojan Horse, to order the hardcover book (488 pages) or to download the Ebook now from which this article originated click this link.

SOURCE: Spiritual evolution is a common belief within Fabian socialism, the Emergent Church, the communitarian church growth movement, and the New Age movement. It will play a major role in bringing many of the world’s religions together as one.

The New Apostolic Reformation is one of the fast growing movements within evangelicalism today and this movement teaches that certain individuals are becoming new spiritual beings.

This NAR teaching is consistent with the New Age Movement or cosmic humanism, declaring that man needs to tap into his “Christ consciousness.” Cosmic humanism, (also known as the New Age Movement or pagan spirituality) is a major foundation of the NAR.

Jewel Grewe has been researching the Latter Rain Movement, Kansas City Prophet Movement and the NAR since the early 1980s. Jewel’s husband was an Assemblies of God pastor, who like many within the AOG, became concerned when this heresy began to rise within more and more churches. In 1991, Jewel released a report—even more relevant today than when it was released—entitled “Joel’s Army” in which she correctly identifies four aspects of the “Manifested Sons of God” heresy:

1.        The claim to perfection through progressive revelations beyond Scriptures;

2.        The written Word of God is held in low esteem and experiential knowledge very high;

3.        The Word of God is perceived as a symbolic book;

4.        The claim that the “god-man” dwells in every member and is waiting to be discovered and manifest by the believers.[1]

When the NAR speaks of the “Day of the Lord,” it is not referring to the biblical, literal second coming of Jesus Christ when he puts His foot on the earth. Those that embrace the heresy of the “Manifested Sons of God” have allegorized such scripture as Joel 2 to mean that the “Day of the Lord” is not when Christ comes for His church but when He comes in His church. Jewel Grewe offers this example:

References in the book of Joel pertaining to Israel and the “Day of the Lord” are spiritualized to apply to the Church. Literal Israel becomes “the Church” and the “Day of the Lord” is seen as the manifestation or “incarnation of God” in this Joel’s Army.[2]

So if you read the doctrinal statement of a NAR proponent or the “Manifested Sons of God,” and it states that they believe God’s Kingdom is not established on earth until after the second coming of Jesus Christ, you would believe the doctrine is sound—unless you know what these folks really mean by “the second coming of Christ” or the “Day of the Lord.” It seems that uniformed evangelicals and New Religious Right leaders are easily duped when they tell you IHOP, C. Peter Wagner, and the NAR have solid doctrinal statements. Almost all theological cults like the Mormons, New Apostolic Reformation, and Word of Faith proponents have different definitions of “Christian” terms.

A man named Paul Cain was one of the original “prophets” of the New Apostolic Reformation. When he was popular, it was called the Kansas City Prophet movement. After his rise to prominence, Cain was discovered to be both an alcoholic and a homosexual—facts readily admitted by the NAR. On his website in 2004, Rick Joyner explained:

In February 2004, we were made aware that Paul had become an alcoholic. In April 2004, we confronted Paul with evidence that he had been recently involved in homosexual activity. Paul admitted to these sinful practices and was placed under discipline, agreeing to a process of restoration…[3]

Bob Jones (no connection to Bob Jones University), also a major leader in the Kansas City Prophet movement of the 1980s proclaimed:

And the Church that is raising up the government will be the head and the covering for them… There is a ministry after the five-fold called the ministry of perfection—the Melchizedek Priesthood . . . your children will be moving into the ministries of Perfection . . . coming into that Divine Nature of Jesus Christ . . . they themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet . . . because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a church that has reached the full maturity of the GOD-MAN![4]

NAR proponent Bill Hamon has similarly declared:

Jesus will come back to earth and be given the Kingdom that has been won for Him by this “manchild company.” The Manifested Sons of God doctrine teaches that these sons will be equal to Jesus Christ: immortal, sinless, perfected sons who have partaken of the divine nature. They will have every right to be called gods and will be called gods.[5]

Hamon has also written:

The Earth and all of creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the time when they will come into their maturity and immortalization. . . . When the Church receives its full inheritance and redemption then creation will be redeemed from its cursed condition of decay, change and death. . . the Church has a responsibility and ministry to the rest of creation. Earth and its natural creation is anxiously waiting for the Church to reach full maturity and come to full sonship. When the Church realizes its full sonship, its bodily redemption will cause a redemptive chain reaction throughout all of creation.[6]

The NAR teaches that Joel’s Army will be doing the same things Christ did while here on earth and that this “army” will establish God’s Kingdom here on earth. In an interview with the Voice Magazine Bill Hamon declared:

We are at the prophetic-apostolic. The prophetic movement of the 80s brought in the prophet. And in the 90s it was the apostle. Now we have all five ascension gifts fully restored. Now we can get busy, working, training, equipping, and activating the saints to demonstrate the Kingdom of God…Now it’s the whole Body of Christ arising and demonstrating the supernatural. We will see the Body of Christ coming forth in the Saints Movement. We’ve crossed over the Jordan. The moment you cross over Jordan you’re going into warfare. As fanatical as it may sound to fundamental evangelical Christians, the Church is destined to subdue all things and put all things under Christ’s feet before He actually literally returns from heaven…The Church is being prepared now for the next moves of God. After the Saints Movement will be the Army of the Lord Movement. The next movement after that will be the Kingdom Establishment Movement.[7]

Word of Faither Benny Hinn has long been teaching his own version of the “manifested sons of God” heresy. He believes Jesus Christ was not God incarnate but came to earth as a man and then become divine while here on earth. Hinn and other Word of Faith false teachers like Kenneth Copeland teach that Jesus set the pattern for man to follow and that we will become like Jesus through a special type of spiritual evolution. Consider the blasphemy of Hinn in these statements of his:
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | August 1, 2013

Christians have a responsibility to judge and test all things

judge all the thingsChristians Are Exhorted To Judge

Written by Mike Gendron on 29 July 2013.

SOURCE: Many Christians are unaware of their responsibility to judge and test all things. Paul exhorted: “I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9-10). Christians need to take judgment seriously in this life because of the great responsibility that awaits us in the future. Paul reminds us: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?” (1 Cor. 6:2-3). Paul even commended the Bereans for rightfully judging his teaching. “They received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). The apostle John warned and exhorted Christians: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Clearly, all Christians are called to judge righteously by using the Word of God as the plumb line for discerning truth from error. After all, how can Christians contend earnestly for the faith unless they make judgments on what “the faith” is? Furthermore, how can Christians defend and proclaim the Gospel without discerning what “the Gospel” is?

How Are We To Judge?
John wrote: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Jesus said: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (Mat. 7:15). The instruction Jesus gives for judging others is to make sure you are not guilty of the same error or sin! Paul echoed these words when he wrote: “Do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Rom. 2:3). When we judge, we must judge righteously and with pure hearts!
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As The Scripture Has Said: by Closing StagesSOURCE: Life After Word Of Faith: What To Expect.If you have recently left a word of faith church that you attended for years, you will experience a very dark season. By dark I mean finding your way from deception to the truth. Word of faith churches have very deceptive demonic forces operating within them. You will be forced to face the truth about your former pastor and many friends and family members who you love and respect. Most of these people are good people who are deceived, however, you will likely cut off communication with most of them which will leave you feeling alone and confused. You will also be forced to face everything within you that allowed yourself to be deceived. Here is my “ex-word of faith testimony”:

I was a very dedicated word of faither for 8 years. I didn’t grow up in the church so it was the only exposure I had to the things of God. After I left, I questioned everything that I ever learned in church. I felt lost. I became cynical. I didn’t know who Jesus truly was. I had no idea what it meant to be saved and if anyone would have asked me I would not have been able to tell them. I went through what can only be described as de-programming. I literally felt like I had no identity during that year. Every day I watched Justin Peter’s DVD’s so I could flush out the lies that I believed and learn what the truth was. I lost the only “church family” that I had known. I became an alcoholic. I stopped reading the bible because I had no idea how to study it correctly. I stopped praying. I didn’t trust anyone. I was angry beyond belief. I cried everyday. I was mad at God. I found error in everything that was taught from a pulpit even if it was being taught in context. Buzz words and cliches triggered me to the point where I felt like I was being violated. I cringed around people from my ex-word of faith church when I saw them in the community. I lost my best friend for several months because she is a word of faith minister and I couldn’t believe that she refused to hear the truth after I warned her. People gossiped about me after I left. Thankfully I left on good terms so I was not hung out to dry but people still assumed the worst. I have not been able to fully commit to a church. I cant imagine ever serving in a department at a church ever again.
I almost lost my faith.

Reasons Why wSOURCE: The lies that bind…

It’s difficult to explain the whole concept of ‘The Word of Faith’ to someone not caught up in the mess that some ministers have made out of the Bible…Think of it as having a hundred dollars meant to feed your kids and someone tells you that if you spent that hundred dollars on lottery tickets that you’d be guaranteed to win millions…

…I know it sounds gullible, and it is, but in the words of a master sales person who knows his/her Bible, they can make the impossible sound possible, the implausible within reach…If only they believed…Not what the Bible says, mind you, what they say the Bible means…They’ll throw out Mark 11:24, Hebrews 11:1 and every other scripture that promises you can have whatever it is you want by simply believing it and people buy into this Fairy Tale hook, line, and sinker.

Why?

Because we want to believe…We want to think that we can grab that brass ring without stretching forth a hand to grab it, that we can just say a few words, repeating them over and over again in the hopes that all of our financial, medical, personal needs will be met by a God who has nothing better to do than to drop a couple of grand in your pocket so that you can go out and eat at a nice restaurant, buy clothes that represent success…Faith…Prosperity.

The reality is a little more bitter…Ken Copeland, one of the ‘Giants’ in the whole Word of Faith movement, once gave a special seminar to the students at Rhema, explaining, with the Bible as backup, that since we were studying to be ministers, men and women of God, that we were doing Gods work and because of this we didn’t need to divide our time with that pesky little thing called employment…That we’d be provided all of our needs because we were the chosen, we were the future Apostles and Prophets who would go out and preach this (Then) relatively new interpretation of the scriptures…And believe me when I tell you that, upon hearing this man, a man who’d told us how he’d believed God would give him an airplane and he was given that plane…Granted, it was given to him by his father, a wealthy man in his own right, but, hey…Faith is Faith…It sounded good, it sounded tempting, and most of all it sounded scriptural.
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prosperity-gospel1

ROlsonSOURCE: This week I visited a mainline Protestant seminary and sat in on several classes. Teachers should do that from time to time. Being an observer of one’s own profession can be very eye opening. I learned some things to do and not to do. I learned that eighty minutes is a long time when you’re just sitting and listening! I learned that it’s helpful when professors ask if students have questions and then take their questions seriously! I learned that some students have “better” things to do than listen, learn and take notes. I learned that sometimes playing games on one’s Ipad is better than paying attention—especially when the lecture is vapid.

According to one lecturer, a church historian, the so-called “prosperity gospel” is regarded by many African-American and Hispanic Pentecostals as “true liberation.” The professor didn’t exactly compare it against liberation theology, but the implication was clear. The professor is a Hispanic Pentecostal and seemed to me favorable to the chosen topic and the claim that it is “true liberation.” (But, it’s difficult to tell; the professor may have been playing the devil’s advocate.)

I’ve blogged here before about the prosperity gospel. But let me be clear about what it is and what it is not. This is important because even some sociologists of religion I know think it’s simply the beneficial effect of a conservative Protestant work ethic on poor people who join Pentecostalism—especially in the Global South. They do tend to prosper—at least more so than before they became Pentecostal. (John Wesley observed the same phenomenon among his Methodist converts and worried that the newly acquired prosperity tended to dampen spiritual enthusiasm.)

No, the real prosperity “gospel” is not simply the fact that people who convert to Pentecostalism tend to save and invest money and work harder instead of wasting money on alcohol and gambling. It is also not merely that some Pentecostal preachers and evangelists give their followers good advice on financial matters. The real prosperity gospel is what the Hispanic church history professor was describing with many stories drawn from hands on research in African-American and Hispanic Pentecostal congregations. (A recent Time magazine issue featured a cover story on the growth of Hispanic and Latino Pentecostalism in the U.S. but hardly mentioned the emphasis on prosperity gospel in many of them. The professor rightly mentioned it as a feature of many Hispanic [and African-American] Pentecostal churches—especially newer and non-denominational ones.)

The real prosperity gospel is the teaching that: 1) God wants his people to be financially prosperous—usually beyond merely having “enough,” and 2) financial prosperity, like physical healing, is available through positive faith that is spoken without doubt. These two points well summarize the prosperity gospel as it is taught in many Pentecostal churches. (To the best of my knowledge it has been pretty much kept within Pentecostal circles.)

First, there’s nothing really that new about this prosperity gospel. It has roots in nineteenth century “New Thought”—especially as taught by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, founders of Unity. They taught that financial prosperity, like physical healing, is every person’s potential blessing available through a spiritual technology called “Affirmations.” Some New Thought adherents call it “prayer,” but it’s really magic. What’s the difference between them? Prayer is supplication to a personal, sovereign God that acknowledging God’s freedom and greater wisdom. Magic is any attempt to create a different reality through manipulation of spiritual forces by means of gestures, words, thoughts, chants, etc. Clearly the Pentecostal prosperity gospel builds on New Thought. The connection is E. W. Kenyon, a New Thought inspired Pentecostal (or proto-Pentecostal) teacher of about a century ago. Kenneth Hagin was steeped in Kenyon’s teachings and passed them on to other Pentecostal prosperity preachers and evangelists.

Of course, New Thought did not invent “the power of positive thinking.” That goes back at least to Phineas Quimby if not to Anton Mesmer (in modern times). What New Thought teachers like the Fillmores added to the “power of positive thinking” was the power of positive speaking. Healing and financial prosperity can be spoken into existence through “affirmations”—positive sayings. Kenyon picked up on that, added it to his healing ministry, and Hagin later discovered it and worked it into his “Word-Faith” ministry and teachings. (Of course, Hagin claimed that he learned this technique through revelation—both the “logos” and the “rhema.” That distinction is a subject for another blog post.)

What might surprise many people is that the prosperity gospel also has African-American religious roots. To what extent “Father Divine,” “Daddy Grace,” and “Reverend Ike” borrowed from New Thought is unclear, but I believe they were influenced by it and packaged it for their African-American and mostly poor followers. Reverend Ike was a phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s. Anyone who has lived long enough to remember him will be struck by the similarities between his “gospel” and that of several leading African-American Pentecostal television preachers.

I want to note very carefully, however, that the Pentecostal prosperity gospel is not limited to African-American, Hispanic or poor people. It flourishes as well among people of majority cultures and affluent people of all races. However, it seems to be having a special appeal among some African-Americans and Hispanic people.

Second, this prosperity gospel, the one the church history professor was talking about and that I am talking about here, is not liberating. It is giving false hope to people who are in some sense desperate. They may not be desperate in the sense of financially stricken; they may be desperate in the sense of feeling profoundly a need of financial security—in the face of illness or impending retirement or whatever. (Admittedly, some followers of the prosperity gospel simply want luxuries.)

What poor people and people struggling with financial insecurity need is not magic; what they need is concrete help and justice. (I’m not talking about people who choose to be poor; I’m talking about those who are poor or financially insecure through no fault of their own.) They need to be liberated from purveyors of false hope including prosperity gospel preachers and teachers.

The church history professor told the class they could not possibly understand the prosperity gospel and its appeal to African-American and Hispanic Pentecostals because they, the students, are “rich white kids.” It may be true that one has to be in an oppressed community fully to understand the appeal of false hope, but many of the students are struggling with financial pressures, too. I would be willing to bet (!) that more than a few of them have purchased lottery tickets out of a feeling of desperation.

Nothing I have said here or elsewhere or before discounts the power of prayer. I have myself experienced God’s financial provision in times of need in response to prayer (my own and others’). Years ago, when I was just starting my teaching career and was severely underpaid by an evangelist whose name the university bore, my car broke down and the repair was very expensive. My wife and I prayed for divine intervention in the form of financial assistance. That very week a colleague gave me a check for the amount needed to fix the car.

Read More…

SOURCE: IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL REALLY UNBIBLICAL?

IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL REALLY UNBIBLICAL?

In light of the recent controversy about Shai Linne’s reference to the prosperity gospel teachers in his new song, I wanted to shed a light and really define what exactly the prosperity gospel that some are teaching is. This “gospel” is taught by some preachers around the US and the world today, some of which are well-known. The aim of this article is not to call out particular pastors or teachers, but rather to inform you objectively on what the teaching is and then see what the God, in his word, has to say about it.

WHAT IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL?

The prosperity gospel is the teaching that God rewards the faithful with wealth, possessions, and monetary gifts. It teaches that if one gives tithes and offerings to the church, then God will bless them with abundantly more. The underlying theology emphasizes God’s desire for all to be prosperous who follow him in this life, leading to things such as a new home, a good job, good health, a good car and so on and so forth. Simply put, it equates piety with prosperity.

This message is exactly what we want to hear as self-serving creatures. It’s why so many American Christians follow these teachers; it’s music to our ears. The Lord of the universe is personally committed to giving us all of our earthly desires. Sounds great, right? Wrong. This false gospel does a disservice to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let’s see what God’s word has to say about this.

6 FALLACIES OF THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL (ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE)

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 16, 2013

The Prosperity Gospel is a Tofu Burger by Katie McCoy

sound doctrine
WHY WORRY ABOUT DOCTRINE? Here’s what the Bible says…
by Cedric Hohnstadt

1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor. 13:6)

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (Hebrews 13:9)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

I hate and abhor falsehood
but I love your law. (Psalm 119:163)

The righteous hate what is false (Prov. 13:5)

2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards.

[The LORD said,] “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)

Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:7-9)

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

…Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9)

3. God repeatedly warns His people that some who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD… Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:16,32)

Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them” (Ezekiel 13:6)

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. (2 Cor. 2:17)

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned…By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Rom. 16:17-18)

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous:

A. False Doctrine can confuse immature Christians.
Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 14, 2013

VIDEO: God is our Reward, Not Stuff – John Piper

This is a very very deep one minute video.

gordon feeI have not yet had a chance to but and read this booklet yet but have heard good things about it years. So I was very happy to find and be able to listen to these two audios from Fee on the topic. Here is a review of the booklet from Amazon.com, then some biographical info on Mr. Fee and the click-able links to the two audios below.
______________________

“This is a tremendous little book. Gordon Fee is a world-class New Testament scholar and a Pentecostal. He discusses the “theology” of the health and wealth teachers and preachers and how they take Scripture out of context. With all the imbalances and biblical distortions going on in the Pentecostal/charismatic scene today, Dr. Fee’s book is refreshing and much-needed. Don’t miss this one!”
______________________

Gordon D. Fee (b. 1934) is a New Testament scholar and Professor Emeritus at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. He received BA and MA degrees from Seattle Pacific University and was ordained in the Assemblies of God church in 1959. Fee earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1966.

Publications

  • Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. ISBN 1565631706. Hendrickson, 1996.
  • How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (co-authored with Douglas K. Stuart) ISBN 0310246040. 3rd Ed. Zondervan, 2003.
  • New Testament Exegesis : A Handbook for Students and Pastors. ISBN 0664233635. 4th Ed. Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
  • How to Read the Bible Book by Book. ISBN 0310211182. Zondervan, 2002.
  • 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, New Intl. Biblical Commentary, with W. Ward Gasque ISBN 0943575109
  • New International Commentary on the New Testament (editor)
  • First Epistle to the Corinthians, New International Commentary on the New Testament ISBN 0802825117
  • Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, New International Commentary on the New Testament. ISBN 0802825117. Eerdmans, 1995.
  • Philippians, IVP New Testament Commentary ISBN 0830818111
  • The act of Bible Reading : A Multidisciplinary Approach to Biblical Interpretation (co-authored with Eugene Peterson, J. I. Packer, Craig M. Gay & James Houston) ISBN 0830816232
  • Discovering Biblical Equality : Complementarily without Hierarchy (co-editor) ISBN 0830828346
  • God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul ISBN 094357594X. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.

Richard Hays writes, ‘Fee’s book is the most comprehensive treatment available of Paul’s understanding of the Holy Spirit, a topic that has rarely received sufficient attention in studies of Pauline theology… Fee emphasizes insistently that the Holy Spirit must be experienced as a living presence within the church. That message is both faithful to Paul and urgent for the community of faith in our time.’ – Listening to the Spirit in the Text ISBN 0802847579Getting the Word Across: Speech Communication for Pastors and Lay Leaders (co-authored with G. Robert Jacks) ISBN 080284152XStudies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism ISBN 0802824307Power, Holiness, and Evangelism Rediscovering God’s Purity, Power, and Passion for the Lost ISBN 1560433450Gospel & Spirit ISBN 0943575788To What End Exegesis – Essays ISBN 0802849253The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospels. ISBN 1573830666. Regent College Publishing, 1985.

THE LINKS TO: AUDIO 1AUDIO 2

justin timber

Having a Google Alert for Joel Osteen I have followed the so called “JOEL OSTEEN LEFT CHRISTIANITY HOAX” since I got this first post about it from Yahoo Answers. I was very glad the creator, of what he now calls a “Media Campaign” came out and said he did it to open up a discussion and I was very happy he agreed to be interviewed by myself and to answer some questions that I think the readers of our groupblog might want to ask him.

His name is Justin Tribble and he is Freelance writer from Minnesota who said to Mr. Osteen directly in a message to Joel on Tuesday April 9th.

A message to Joel, from the so-called “hoaxer”

“I am the person who created the Joel Osteen “resigns” hoax that resulted in dozens of media stories, TV segments, a million hits in one day on the hoaxed sites alone, 500 frantic phone calls to the Lakewood Church and managed to cause Joel to smile even bigger than usual.

I did it because I wanted to get this guy’s attention and get him to wake up. “Wake up? Wake up to what?” you say? Allow me to explain…

I have to ask, What would Christ want? Bibles… or Joel Osteen’s fifteen books?

What would Christ want? A pastor who takes risks, or instead molds his message in such a way so as to justify his lavish lifestyle?

It’s time to get real, Joel. It’s time to put the “feel good”, “prosperity gospel” message and all the platitudes and cliches aside for a second and get serious about real issues.

You should be held to a higher standard — but nobody is holding you to that standard.

I am begging of you, start talking about the *real* issues in this world and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Get serious. Take some risks. Get out of the insulated Lakewood social circle full of sycophants who agree with you on everything.

I’m not seeing you do much of anything other than flash that big, fat grin on TV.

I don’t see you taking risks or talking about real, pressing issues of the day — whether it be Monsanto and their GMO poisons, Obama’s traitorous signing of the NDAA and support of drones, the toxic fluoride in our water, the materialistic, consumer based culture we live in that is so dysfunctional it’s placed the U.S. number one in the world in mental illness rates.

We’ve got the highest rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes in the world, and not a single person is asking, “Why?” Why aren’t *you* asking why, Joel?

I thought you were supposed to be a “teacher”? As far as I’m concerned, you’re the “McDonald’s” version of preachers — feels good to down a big soda, until the heartburn sets in. Telling people what they want to hear isn’t helping anyone, but it’s sure getting *you* rich.

This is a viral campaign designed to get the attention of a man who is incredibly powerful and wouldn’t otherwise likely even listen to me. I hope, hope, hope he wakes up a little and starts informing his flock about what’s really going on in the world and delves into some deeper issues. That’s his job, his duty, as a messenger of the Lord”.

http://christianitynewstexas.blogspot.com/2013/04/megachurch-pastor-joel-osten-annouces.html

Here is also a video of Justin’s interview.

With that I start the interview.

Hi Justin, Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I guess the first question I would like to ask of you is one of a motive question.

Question #1 — Your “hoax” plan was pretty elaborate, deliberate and seems to be well thought out. I can see in your message to Joel that you seem to be a fellow follower in Christ and interested in doctrinal purity and integrity, but is there any other reason than that for your motive to do this “Media Campaign” – perhaps your just wanting to Osteen to engage, rather that intentionally disengaging and avoiding, some of the more controversial issues within Christianity and living the Christian life? Or is your issue solely about doctrinal correctness?

“Unfortunately, having not had sleep for a day and a half, with media requests coming in, I took the opportunity to get on TV and try to get people thinking about this guy but I may have muddled my own message. I’m not sure it worked. I was tired and ended up being too charitable, appearing too much a “fan” of Osteen. Selective editing by ABC didn’t help.

All I want is for people to stop and think about what this guy is up to. The entire argument for why Osteen is great is that “he makes me feel good.” Ok. Cocaine makes you feel good, so does alcohol, sometimes excessive eating and many other things that are destructive in quantities other than extreme moderation.

Let me just put this scenario before you: imagine Satan wanted a pastor or preacher to rise to prominence. What would he want that guy to do or say? Well, he’d love it if that guy wrote fifteen books with his name and face on them, and profited handsomely from the sales. He’d love it if this guy spoke less and less from scripture, but instead formulated his own brand of “self-help” Christianity that has no basis in doctrine. He’d love it if that guy sold a feel-good brand of “faith” with an emphasis on acquiring money and good material fortune if you just “believe enough.” He’d love it if that guy had a $10 million dollar mansion and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.

I can’t help but think Satan would love what Joel Osteen is doing.”

Question #2 — This one perhaps has to do with motives also. What kind of previous experience do you bring to the table of discussion about Osteens current “feel good, prosperity gospel message”. Meaning directly have you or anyone else you know been adversely or over affected by Oteen and the agreeably swallow message he teaches? We respect your need to keep personal people in your life anonymous and appreciate any general insight here.

“I have no personal experience. I’ve just been watching his ascension to the top for many years.”

Question #3 – Most of the bloggers and regulars readers at this blog are Ex-WoFers, people who are researching the Word of Faith Movement or people who have been generally adversely effected by the movement, are you aware of the movements distinctive teachings and their historical origins.

“I have to admit my ignorance on this subject. I’m interested to learn more.”

Question #4 – The most distinctive teaching of the Word of Faith Movement is it’s teaching on the “power of words” or “confession teaching”. In pejorative terms it is known as the “Name-it and-claim-it”,,, or,,, “blab-it and grab-it” doctrines. Are you familiar with this teaching? Every ex-WoFer I have ever met agrees that this teaching is the same as witchcraft, occult and new age doctrine. Instead of “confessing” or “declaring” the occult teaches these same things also know as Conjuring’s, Incantations and Spell Castings. Not knowing how much you know about the teaching I’ll go ahead and ask you to put your neck out a little further since you have already stuck it out this far and ask you,, do you see similarities between WoF power of words teaching and witchcraft?

“That sounds consistent to me. Is word of faith a part of the charismatic movement? Is Osteen’s “believe enough and you’ll get rich, too” similar to this?”

MY RESPONSE TO JUSTINS LAST COMMENTS – No brother, Joel Osteen and The Word of Faith Movement are not part of the Charismatic movement. I’m having problems staying connected to the internet today so for now I’ll give you links to two articles to read. Perhaps some of the readers here can fill you in more in the comment section.

Word of Faith Movement profile
http://www.watchman.org/profile/wordpro.htm

Here the largest Charismatic denomination has issued a position paper on the word of faith movements teaching on positive confession. These two articles should help you understand the difference for now. If someone does not respond better in the comment section I’ll post more about it when I am getting better internet connection.

THE BELIEVER AND POSITIVE CONFESSION: The Assemblies of God response to extremes in the Word Faith Movement

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/02/24/the-believer-and-positive-confession-the-assemblies-of-god-response-to-extremes-in-the-word-faith-movement/

Question #5 – One of our groupblog authors asked me to ask you this… Do you think “Jesus would have been crucified in the 1st place if He had preached like Osteen. Or would have any of the Apostles have been martyred if they had preached Osteen’s message?”

“What risk does Joel Osteen take in his teachings? None that I can discern. He’s safe. So, no.”

Question #6 – If you have two minutes to speak to Osteen one on one – what would you say or ask that have not already said?

“I would ask if him the Lord spoke to him and told him to leave all of his money behind and to live as Jesus, humbly, would he?

I don’t think there is much to say to him, however. It’s his followers who embolden him. He isn’t going to change. I see a man who is doing absolutely nothing to challenge himself or his followers, a man the Lord is not and has not tested … likely because he may not be a man of the Lord in the first place.”

Question #7 — If you have one minute to speak to all of Osteen followers one on one – what would you say that have not already said.

“Why are you reading Joel’s fifteen books and not the Bible? Why are you listening to Joel every week instead of reading the Bible and praying? Why do you rely on Joel to make you “feel good” instead of Jesus? Why do you rest on every word Joel says instead of every word Jesus said?”

Thanks so much for answering these questions for us Justin. As mentioned above this post will have open comments and I’m sure we can have more discussion on this over the next days of you wish.  I sure hope you answering these questions will help us all as we have some conversation about Joel and his teaching. We sure hope you accomplish your goals in this. Thanks allot Justin.

THE COMMENT SECTION IS OPEN.

Here are more post on this blog about Joel Osteen

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 10, 2013

VIDEO: DID JESUS GO TO HELL?

This clip came from the sermon Suffering To Learn, part of Mars Hill Church’s Trial series through 1&2 Peter.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

KOOL NEW SONG by Shai Linne – Fal$e Teacher$

Shai Linne’s NEW SONG – False Teachers

I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE AREN’T AFRAID TO NAME NAMES

This Song IS REALLY COOL and they also did a great job on the video

“Faulty Doctrine” by Timothy Brindle feat. Shai Linne

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

Sermon/Book Review: Your Worst Life Now

This sermon was preached on 2/26/2012 and is available at SermonAudio.com here. This critique starts off rough with the pastor saying right-out that Osteen is a minister of Satan, not of God – and that Joel’s book is stupid. I agree with all these things about Osteen but I wish the pastor would have made his case first and then stated his conclusions because the case he made is very compelling that what he says about Osteen and his book is true. With many scripture references the pastor shows how everyone who ever lives will have eternal life in eternity – the question is a matter of where we wll will live. The pastor shows how it is impossible for any Christian to have his best life now; or for a non-believer to have anything but his best life now – since the unbeliever lives to die the second death. When the pastor gets around to reading and reproofing the scripture that Osteen eludes to in his book, it is clear that in almost every case Joel takes promises about heaven and the next life – mixes them all up – and presents them as promises for now in this mortal life. And by doing so Osteen leaves himself and no-one else any hope at all but to have their best life’s now. This is worth an hour of your time, especially if you have read Osteens book Your Best Life Now.

Here is the video of this transcript >

If you want to listen to the full podcast just subscribe to the Fighting For The Faith Podcast in iTunes. The name of this episode is h Is the Joel Osteen’s I AM Teaching on Oprah Life Class’s Whicwas originally broadcast on 30/11/2012 – Friday November 30th 2012.

SOURCE: [First Segment – 00:10:57 – 00:12:04]

Chris Rosebrough, “We are going to be listening to Joel Osteen’s first appearance on Oprah’s Life Class. They are talking about I AM, which is really kind of a blasphemous topic. The way they are handling it, but we are not going to review the entire thing. I have pulled out some segments that I think will help make the point. Now I have had the audio for this segment of Joel Osteen appears on Oprah’s Life Class. I have had the audio of that since they recorded it, a few weeks back, actually more like a month back. But I have not decided to respond until the day it airs. But the same thing with Rick Warren’s appearance on Oprah’s Life Class, will not be responding about it formally until it airs in January. So if you are thinking well Chris we saw you tweeting about it. We saw you. You know listen you don’t want to critique something that hasn’t officially broadcast yet, even though you might have an advanced copy. That is just all I am so saying so we are going to be listening to Joel Osteen today.”

[Second Segment – 00:49:04 – 01:20:02]

Chris Rosebrough, “We have a Joel Osteen update that requires us to play this.”

[plays audio music]

 When I’m feeling lonely

Sad as I can be
All by myself on an uncharted island
In an endless sea

What makes me happy
Fills me up with glee
Those bones in my jaw!
That don’t have a flaw

My shiny teeth and me

My shiny teeth that twinkle
Just like the stars in space
My shiny teeth that sparkle
Adding beauty to my face

My shiny teeth that glisten
Just like a Christmas tree
You know they walk a mile just to see me smile
Woo!
My shiny teeth and me
(shiny teeth shiny teeth)

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah that is our Joel Osteen update music, alright so Joel Osteen has appeared on Oprah’s Life Class and the name of the Life Class that we will be referring to today, well the topic is I AM. You are thinking I AM. Yeah I AM. You see this is some dangerous stuff. Here is the reason why in Exodus 3 remember God the Lord appears to Moses in a burning bush. Okay, Moses asks the Lord, “What is your name?” Okay so that I can you know I can tell people. What is your name? And the Lord gives His name as I AM eh yeh אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה. Okay this is the name that God gives Himself from the burning bush. Now Jesus Himself picks up that same phraseology several places in the book of John.

This is the you know the disciple John, the apostle John writes about this. For instance okay Jesus has this long running battle with the Pharisees and the Jews in his day in Luke 8 and he makes some wild statements in there that have got to be listened to and heeded. Because what Jesus is saying here is super important. In fact this divine name I AM. Jesus applies it to Himself and He does so, so that you won’t mistake who He is. Okay in fact let me read to you a passage from The Gospel of John chapter eight. If you have your Bible go ahead and flip on over, we are going to be looking at John 8 starting at v21. I am going to just do a couple of highlights here.

John 8 v 21-24 (ESV – English Standard Version)

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

Okay now the Greek construct there could not be clear. It is strange construct, because normally it is a you know. It is a emphatic sense here because Jesus says, egō eimi ἐγώ εἰμι.I unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. Jesus is not saying unless you believe that He exists that you are going to die in your sins. Here he is invoking the divine name from Exodus 3 and basically applying it to Himself. Okay but we continue. I am going to fast forward a little bit in this exchange that Jesus has.

John 8 v 48 (ESV – English Standard Version)

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Oh yeah this conversation is going really well yeah right. This is put your big boy pants on here. This is a politically incorrect confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. This would not be tolerated by the way today. Jesus would arrested for upsetting the Pharisees and breaking politically correct rules. Okay just so you know how this would go down today. So that’s anyway.

John 8 v 48-51 (ESV – English Standard Version)

48 “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

Again He keeps His Word, He basically is equating His Word with the Word of God right.

John 8 v 52-53 (ESV – English Standard Version)

52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”

Okay great question.

John 8 v 54-59 (ESV – English Standard Version)

54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.

Now Jesus here is giving some information regarding Abraham that ain’t recorded in The Torah. It is as if He knows Abraham right. So He says

 John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)

56 Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. So apparently Abraham knows Jesus right?

John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)

56 He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Okay so here you know you take a passage like Exodus 3. You take this passage from John 8 and there is a couple more passages you could look to and you have got to understand what we are dealing with here. When we start talking about I am language we are talking about the very name of God. One of the revealed names of God and one of the names that Jesus applies to Himself, to demonstrate and prove that He is God. That is who Jesus is making Himself out to be. Jesus isn’t some fly by night angel. Jesus isn’t some self appointed human. Jesus is none other than God in human flesh and He is the reason why He is using this I am language is to demonstrate that point.

Okay so now we come to the Oprah Life Class that aired last night on The Oprah Network and she had Joel Osteen on to discuss the topic of I am. Now I happen to have the recording of when was this was being taped, not when it aired and I think that is going to be instructive to help you figure out what is going on here. So who is Oprah with? Well none other than America’s most favourite pastor Joel Osteen who is not a Christian pastor in any sense of the word. He is an ear tickler extraordinaire and I will explain to you a little bit about you know how to identify a false teacher in just a minute. But you have got understand what is going on here is that this is a blasphemous programme because of the topic itself as it was billed as The I am Life Class. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen from part way through the basically the opening of the programme to discuss their topic and Joel is going to talk to somebody who has called in. You are going to hear Oprah give some advice. This segment is going to run a little bit long. We have got about eight minutes that I want to cover here. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen.

Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am. Saul from Miami Lakes Florida is in our audience. Stand up Saul. What is your question for pastor Joel Osteen?

Saul, “Well it is an honour to be here with you guys. My question was when I was eleven years old.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay I have got to back up. Already see I will assume that I can tell that this is going to be a long segment, work with me. Okay listen again to Oprah.”

Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Biblically there is no power in these words. The power is the fact that these words reveal who Jesus is none other than God in human flesh. It is not as if the words I am have any special magical power to make anything happen in our life. In the Bible the words I am, the significance is they point us to the one true God Jesus Christ. We continue.”
Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 5, 2013

The Case against the Gospel of Prosperity by Learnmore Zuze

This article from Nehanda Radio (Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio Station) is kinda llengthy but a really really great read. Very Insightful and said with much passion. You can tell this guy has had much first hand experience with the Word of Faith Movements Prosperity Gospel.

Learnmore ZuzeSOURCE: The Case against the Gospel of Prosperity by Learnmore Zuze

A story is told of a dog that died. The owner loved his dog so dearly that he went to his pastor and said, “Pastor, my dog has died this morning. I have one request which, if you grant, I would be grateful forever. Please, could there be a service for the poor creature?”

The Pastor replied, “No, we can’t have service for animals in the church. The church is for human beings and not for pets. However, there is one of the new churches mushrooming down the road, try them, maybe they will accept such a request.”

The dejected man rose from the chair and shook his head as he headed for the door on his way out. Just as he was about to leave he enquired, “Pastor, but do you think at that church they will accept a donation of  three thousand dollars for personal use by their pastor in return for the burial service?”

The Pastor shouted, “Blood of Jesus! Come back! Why didn’t you tell me all along that the dog was a Christian? Let’s have the service right way. Where is the dog?” The story may sound funny but contained therein is a deadly and Satan-induced cancer that is eating the unsuspecting church of today.

Whereas the shepherd and follower of Christ of the past focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance, today’s follower has been schooled to believe that the focus of the Christian is the acquisition of worldly wealth.

The prosperity Gospel teaches that God wants Christians to be prosperous financially, physically and spiritually. This Gospel has taken centre stage influencing millions of people and has had startling success because of what it promises the believer.

Marketers of this gospel have touched the hearts of millions of eager listeners seeking to escape from the jaws of poverty. This gospel is premised on the idea that God wants you to be rich and to have excess in your life and that your physical possessions indicate your spiritual worthy.

Below I quoted live recorded statements by prosperity preachers.

·          “Today’s service is on Seven steps to prosperity …”

·          “If you are still a lodger then you need to understand that poverty is not from God.”

·          “Receive your house, receive your miracle…”

·          “The very moment you stepped in this church, poverty and sickness have departed from your family.” 

It’s undeniable that the Bible has many scriptures which tell of God’s blessings. However, the tragedy of those who peddle the gospel of prosperity is their myopic focus on these scriptures and reluctance to understand the core objective of the Gospel.

Did Jesus impliedly or explicitly teach that His Gospel would also be a tool for earthly prosperity? Is the prosperity gospel the urgent message that the world needs in these last days? Suppose there is a father who has a family to feed and one day brings a bar of chocolate to the excitement of his family.

The next day the man brings two more bars of chocolate and again the family is happy. The father increases the chocolate bars he takes home in the next few days much to the delight of his family.

Meanwhile, his home has run out of the basic food like mealie-meal and oil yet surprisingly, the man of the house continues to bring more chocolate. Consequently the family reaches a point where all that is left for food is chocolate.

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 5, 2013

The ABUSE of the Prosperity Gospel by ShowJesusLight

Image

SOURCE: I am not against anyone prospering and so isn’t God. In fact there are undoubtedly many clear cut scriptures showing the will of God regarding the prosperity of his people. The problem is with the position prosperity is given in the gospel by us humans. That is where all the issues with prosperity are arising from. What it has promoted is greed and the pursuit of wealth much more than the pursuit of God. God is the source of wealth but wealth will not bring anyone close to God. Even the definition of prosperity has been limited to wealth or largely wealth. While they defend themselves saying they know prosperity is beyond just money their sermons say something else. Let them preach what they claim to believe. True prosperity must be taught closely with the obedience of God. Not just the obedience involving finances but living a holy life through out.

Jesus gave the blue print and showed how all this should work.

Mat 6:19-34 RV  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth consume, and where thieves break through and steal:  (20)  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (21)  for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.  (22)  The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (23)  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!  (24)  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (25)  Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?  (26)  Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they?  (27)  And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature?  (28)  And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  (29)  yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (31)  Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (32)  For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  (33)  But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (34)  Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Emphasis mine).

Compare that with the situation we have on our hands today. What we have is prosperity taking up the largest part of sermons even when the sermon is on a different subject. We have prosperity taking up the largest number of sermons preached year in year out. It’s so easy to hear prosperity being mentioned in any sermon but not the sinful state of church and society that certainly needs attention. God calls different people for different specific missions and calls and gives them the anointing to accomplish that particular call. There are people God has called to help the church deal with finances and prosper just like there are those called into deliverance etc. There are people gifted in medicine, engineering, teaching, IT etc. it’s okay when those called to finances major in finances but they should not shy away from preaching a holistic gospel even while doing what they do best. There however is a problem somewhere when money sweeps over the church and everyone is preaching it for the most time and the more important doctrines are swept aside.

There are plenty of ways to invest in heaven, like using your finances specifically for godly purposes. Jesus was clear on the order. The kingdom and righteousness first, then “all these things” shall be added to us.  Jesus said the gentiles (unbelievers) are the ones who seek such things. It’s certain these are the major concerns of gentiles. It shouldn’t be the same for us. Jesus said we should be different. How? Go after God, he will give you the rest. We have changed the order. There is denial about this but what’s being done proves it. “Things” are sought in the place of God. Like when people get to know every verse about prospering yet few or none are known on the subject of holiness etc. All day what do you think of most? Is it Prosperity or God? That’s a result of too much prosperity sermons that are not holistic. God knows well for man to focus on anything that’s not Him will cause trouble, where your treasure is is where your heart will be. Jesus commands us to store treasure in heaven, to invest in heaven not earth.  That doesn’t mean not having any investment or anything on earth. That interpretation contradicts a lot of scriptures. He says to not lay up treasures on earth for “YOURSELVES”. That is a selfish me me mentality. If you seek God first storing treasure in heaven will be automatic because He will always be your first love and not earthly treasures. If you invest in heaven your heart will continue to be there. If you lay up for yourselves treasure on earth you will be earth minded thus carnally minded.

READ MORE HERE

hell200SOURCE: “Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?”

Answer: There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles’ Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead” or the “place of departed souls/spirits.” The New Testament Greek word that is used for hell is “hades,” which also refers to “the place of the dead.” Other Scriptures in the New Testament indicate that sheol/hades is a temporary place, where souls are kept as they await the final resurrection and judgment. Revelation 20:11-15 gives a clear distinction between the two. Hell (the lake of fire) is the permanent and final place of judgment for the lost. Hades is a temporary place. So, no, Jesus did not go to hell because hell is a future realm, only put into effect after the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Sheol/hades is a realm with two divisions (Matthew 11:23, 16:18; Luke 10:15, 16:23; Acts 2:27-31), the abodes of the saved and the lost. The abode of the saved was called “paradise” and “Abraham’s bosom.” The abodes of the saved and the lost are separated by a “great chasm” (Luke 16:26). When Jesus ascended to heaven, He took the occupants of paradise (believers) with Him (Ephesians 4:8-10). The lost side of sheol/hades has remained unchanged. All unbelieving dead go there awaiting their final judgment in the future. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes, according to Ephesians 4:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-20.

Some of the confusion has arisen from such passages as Psalm 16:10-11 as translated in the King James Version, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption….Thou wilt show me the path of life.” “Hell” is not a correct translation of this verse. A correct reading would be “the grave” or “sheol.” Jesus said to the thief beside Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus’ body was in the tomb; His soul/spirit went to the “paradise” side of sheol/hades. He then removed all the righteous dead from paradise and took them with Him to heaven. Unfortunately, in many translations of the Bible, translators are not consistent, or correct, in how they translate the Hebrew and Greek words for “sheol,” “hades,” and “hell.”

Some have the viewpoint that Jesus went to “hell” or the suffering side of sheol/hades in order to further be punished for our sins. This idea is completely unbiblical. It was the death of Jesus on the cross and His suffering in our place that sufficiently provided for our redemption. It was His shed blood that effected our own cleansing from sin (1 John 1:7-9). As He hung there on the cross, He took the sin burden of the whole human race upon Himself. He became sin for us: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This imputation of sin helps us understand Christ’s struggle in the garden of Gethsemane with the cup of sin which would be poured out upon Him on the cross.

When Jesus cried upon the cross, “Oh, Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), it was then that He was separated from the Father because of the sin poured out upon Him. As He gave up His spirit, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). His suffering in our place was completed. His soul/spirit went to the paradise side of hades. Jesus did not go to hell. Jesus’ suffering ended the moment He died. The payment for sin was paid. He then awaited the resurrection of His body and His return to glory in His ascension. Did Jesus go to hell? No. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 1, 2013

VIDEO: How to “channel” Joel Osteen

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Joel Osteen wannabe’s are popping up all over the place. What I want to know is why are people getting up on a Sunday morning to go and sit and listen to this stuff???

1%2520%25284%2529acfSOURCE: When, at age 22, I began having inexplicable chronic ankle pain that kept me from the walking, dancing and biking I loved, I honestly felt like my life had come to an end.

Fresh out of college, I was ready to take on life’s unexpected adventures, but just not this one. Persistent pain was an anti-adventure, an unwelcome companion that kept me sidelined at home while the rest of my friends hiked mountains and salsa danced. My faith, which had sustained me up until now through a rocky family life and a bout of depression in college, now wore thin. God’s promises of life abundant and a hope-filled future seemed distant and stale, as if a stranger other than me used to believe them. Life stretched before me in a tunnel of unrelenting pain.

At the root of my angst were several questions that wedged into the once-stable core of my existence, leaving me un-moored. I questioned my body, by which I felt betrayed. Why wasn’t it able to heal properly? How could these limbs on which I had prided myself for being so strong, trim, and supple suddenly turn fragile and diseased?

I questioned society and the health care system along with the mentality of efficiency and scientific mastery of the body which pervades both. Why did doctors seem not to care about my pain? How could the medical industry go on blithely selling pharmaceuticals that often do more harm than good?

I questioned God and his wisdom in allowing the world to be the way it was. The problem of evil, which was abstract before, became glaringly personal. Children dying of hunger, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers coming down with cancer, and all manner of disease, disability and pain cascaded into my own pain to form one gigantic glowing question mark that blinded me every time I tried to look to God.

Finally, I questioned the messages of the church and of my fellow Christians. I had digested many implicit forms of the health and wealth gospel. The more explicit ones I rejected outright as false gospels, but others were more subtle and plausible. Sometimes, I honestly didn’t know whether the truth lay. If it was true that God intended his children to be healthy and whole, where did my chronic pain, of which I prayed constantly to be healed, fit in? Why was it that sometimes miraculous healings occurred, and sometimes they didn’t? Could I, as one prayer minister suggested to me, be “harboring unforgiveness” or some other sin, such that it was blocking God’s healing power?

In the end, I just couldn’t fully reconcile the fact that some faithful followers of Jesus could suffer horrible, interminable diseases, pain and silence from God with the images of glowing physical and spiritual health that I had associated with being a Christian. As a young adult just beginning to realize the depth of despair and darkness that is part and parcel of living in a broken world, it was too much. Disease, dying, decay…how did these realities make sense together with the healing, restoration and rebirth that Christians speak of as signs of God’s presence among us?

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daughter house in heavan

SOURCE HERE: “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

On “Word of Faith” or “Believing Prayer” Movements

I’ve picked on the occult, media, Messianic Judaism, Harry Potter, and Beth Moore. I’ve picked on “spiritual disciplines”, tithing, and missionaries, “Purpose-Driven”/Emerging churches, pragmatism, Biblical authority, ecumenism, and a variety of Christian-living topics.

But until now I haven’t picked on the one topic that can make me mad as a hornet, quicker than anything (which surprises me, actually). I am usually passionate, though diplomatic about topics, even more so when speaking to non-Christians.

I enjoy the mutual exchanging of questions and learning about other people (but I do not like accusations). This subject however, brings a lot of personal emotions to the surface because I lived this worldview for a brief and very painful time.

Putting my faith in sincere and well-intentioned spiritual elders, my spouse and I bought into this worldview hook, line, and sinker at the start of our young marriage, and especially when our first-born was diagnosed with a fatal heart anomaly in utero.

We were promised that “if we had faith” (if we believed hard enough) God would have to heal her. We read in proponents’ books, about certain “spiritual laws” that God was bound by (ha!). We were told that only certain people must be told about the baby’s condition; those discerning few who really knew how to pray “correctly” for her; to “pray believing”.

Here is an example (from CBN’s website) on how to pray believing for “your personal” miracle (though they give themselves an out by not guaranteeing your desired outcome). http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/CBNTeachingSheets/Can_I_Be_Healed.aspx

To my eternal regret, we hurt and deceived a lot of people by essentially lying about the baby’s condition, because if you admitted there was a problem, even allowed yourself the tiniest thought there might be a problem, you wouldn’t get your miracle (in New Age circles this idea is called “positive thinking” to an extreme, and obviously unhealthy end).

In my naiveté and desperate hope, I clung to the belief my baby would live even after she lay dead in my husband’s arms. I firmly believed God would bring her back from the dead (and I know now how crazy this all sounds) and awe all the nay-saying doctors.

It wasn’t until her graveside funeral a week later, when we pulled up to the outdoor awning and I saw her casket, that reality finally hit me. It hit me so hard I refused to get out of the car. I didn’t want that reality; that was not what I had worked and prayed and vainly hoped and “believed in faith” so hard for.

But the death of my Elizabeth Ann nearly nine years ago, has spurred me to look before I leap, and research and study my Bible harder than ever. I can now say unequivocally that the Word of Faith movement doesn’t work based on my experience, and it is very un-Biblical.

The most hurtful thing after Elizabeth’s death was the lack of apology on the part of those who had pushed their beliefs so hard. Rather than admitting the obvious (this system failed), they pulled away from my husband and I and grew distant and remained quiet. Worst of all, they continue to believe in and promote this garbage.

That is when I become very angry. The same people who convinced me of their beliefs and themselves held my dead baby or attended or spoke at the funeral, refuse to admit their mistake and seem intent on dragging other people through the hell that I went through.

It may just be my perception, but it appears this movement is growing. Take note however: this movement is merely witchcraft* in disguise. The idea of having to say prayer in a particular (i.e. ritualistic, formulaic, or prescribed) manner is a key occult practice; they call it incantation or spell-casting.
Read More…

Roma-Downet-OM-Magazine-The-Bible-Miniseries-A-Christian-Review-e1363330756325This post exposes the New Age affiliations of Roma Downey, critiques the first two episodes in light of the Bible and list the projects “board of advisers” being Joel Otseen, TD Jakes, Rick Warran and many other questionable “advisers”. I said about a week ago I needed to write an article that showed these New Age connections that I had read about in the comment section of an article critiquing the Bible Miniseries but THIS POST from BeginningAndEnd.com does a great job. I’ll post some of the article and you can read the rest at BeginningAndEnd.com.

To the article I’d like to add this one that shows Mark Burnett and Roma Downey telling of the importance they thought it was to have New Age Prayer Circles during the Miniseries production. This article does a great job of detail critiquing the first episode. That one and this one both say that some of the artistic license that was taken in the MiniSeries was talk about “changing the world”.

And here is Todd Friel of WretchedRadio doing a great job of summing up the issue.

The Bible Miniseries: Hollywood Heresy


SNIPPET:
With much critical acclaim and fanfare, History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries debuted as the highest rated program in the network’s history. A 10-hour mini-series that covers popular Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation, has been a commercial success. The Christian Post online news site proclaimed: “This Time, Hollywood Got It Right.” Christiancinema.com wrote in its review: “This 10 part mini-series is a must-see epic of Biblical proportion. It is a wonderful testament to the enduring power of the Holy Bible, and the importance it plays in the history and eternal destiny of mankind.”

Yet watching the mini-series with a Bible-based perspective, it becomes obvious that this mini-series is full of unbiblical heresies, changes a great deal of the Bible’s details and ignores the message of salvation and forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ that is the main purpose of the entire Bible itself. And what is even more dangerous is that many churches have adopted this series for teaching and sharing the Word of God in their services, continuing the fall of many Christian churches into spiritual apostasy.

READ MORE HERE

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: NEW Joel Osteen parody, Joel Osteen Exposed for 2012! Includes educational parody and spoof material about Joel Osteen! Includes interviews with Byron Pitts of 60 Minutes and Oprah Winfrey; along with criticism and parody by John MacArthur and Paul Washer!

The latest interview, in 2012, with Oprah Winfrey exposes the true nature of Joel’s counterfeit “gospel”. Joel’s “smiling preacher” demeanor and flattering words entice many to follow him instead of the true gospel of Christ! Joel Osteen’s disarming charm makes it difficult to expose the error of his teachings; because people are so enamored with his personality and comely appearance.

Joel Osteen studied under his father (John Osteen) for seventeen years after graduating college. Joel Osteen holds NO ministerial degree or training that anyone knows of; he majored in TV production in college. Joel served under his father as a communications specialist and fine tuned the TV production and in the process he developed his “smiling” methods. Pay special attention to how much he closes his eyes while speaking (and smiling)! This is Joel’s Pharisaical tactic to appear more “Holy” and good!

Also pay special attention to the MAKEUP he wears for the camera! If this video hurts Joel’s feelings, oh well, surely he will cry all the way to the bank and/or back to his $10 MILLION home in Houston. It is a small thing to offend men; but a great thing to offend God, which Joel Osteen does habitually by preaching JOEL’S “gospel” instead of Christ’s gospel!

The reason behind making this video was two-fold:
1. To educate and edify the true Christians.
2. and hopefully to wake-up and draw away sincere (albeit immature) Christians currently caught up in the deception of Joel Osteen, Lakewood “Church” and Joel’s pantheist/universalist false prosperity gospel!

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