Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 13, 2014

Why I Hate Joel Osteen’s Preaching by Adam Smith

joel-osteen-quotes-sayings-make-your-dreams-true-great-quoteSOURCE: This piece is purely an opinion on my part about why I hate Joel Osteen’s preaching. You say “Whoa, hate is a little harsh isn’t it?” No, I do not believe it is because Joel Osteen is a false preacher and his preaching has the dangerous potential of leading people away from the God of the Bible. PLEASE don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. I do NOT hate Joel Osteen. That is not what I said. I said I hate his preaching. Now let me explain my point.

It is our responsibility to spread the gospel that Jesus Christ is the only way to true salvation, that we are all dead in sin. Salvation is about the glory of God. Joel Osteen doesn’t preach this. In my opinion, the thing that makes Joel Osteen a false preacher is the fact that he does not preach the true gospel – or I should say he does not preach the true purpose of the gospel.

According to Tim Challies, life is meant to glorify God, not to bring blessing and ease to the individual. I would agree with this statement. Osteen’s book, “Become a Better You” seems to emphasize bringing blessing and ease to the individual.

In case you haven’t read the book, it is divided into seven areas: 1) Keep pressing forward, 2) Be positive toward yourself, 3) Develop better relationships, 4) Form better habits, 5) Embrace the place where you are, 6) Develop your inner life, and 7) Stay passionate about life.

This is pretty much like all of the other “self-help” books out there, except for one glaring difference. This one is supposed to be built upon the Bible and it is publicized as such, and that is very dangerous.

Here is what Osteen is teaching in this book: “We’ve all sinned, failed, and made mistakes,” he says, “But many people don’t know they can receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.” That sounds reasonable right? Sure. But, he goes on to say, “As long as you’re doing your best and desire to do what’s right according to God’s Word, you can be assured God is pleased with you.” Now I ask, is it enough to just desire to do right? Is God really pleased with those who sin, but desire to do right? I would submit to you that He is not pleased with just that. God is so holy that He cannot even look upon a sin. I got this question from Paul Washer and it stands up to the Bible: How many times did Adam and Eve sin before they were cast out of the presence of God? The answer is once.

Wow, I kind of got off track a little bit there. Back to my original question: What makes Osteen’s preaching wrong?

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 13, 2014

Gods Simple Plan of Salvation by Pastor Mike Paulson

gods plan of salvation

SOURCE: Most people have heard such terms as being born again, converted, or saved. There are even many people who have had a personal experience of salvation through Jesus Christ. However, there are still multitudes of people who never have accepted this free gift from God. Often people do not understand the purpose of salvation or how it can be obtained. Hopefully the following will help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about salvation.

What is salvation?

Salvation is the free gift of eternal life that is made possible only through Jesus Christ. John 3:16-17 KJV states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 KJV, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Salvation is not limited to any denomination, race, gender, or age, but it is available for everyone. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV).

Why do you need salvation?

Mankind needs salvation because it is the only way to get to Heaven. Jesus said in John 3:3 KJV, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Everyone will stand before God after death has occurred. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

(Hebrews 9:27 KJV). Those who have not been saved will spend eternity separated from God. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15 KJV). The penalty of sin that is passed on to all of mankind is death. Jesus Christ became the atonement for all sin. He took our place and died on a cross. Those who accept this plan, which is made possible only by Jesus, will receive forgiveness for their sins and obtain salvation.

How do you obtain salvation?

In order to be saved you must first realise that you are a sinner and that you cannot make it to heaven on your own good merit. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10 KJV). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV). Secondly, you must recognize that salvation is made possible only by the grace of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”

(Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV). Finally, you must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins and that he was raised from the dead. In Romans 10:9-10 KJV, Paul gives specific instructions for salvation. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In the sixteenth chapter of Acts, the Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas what he must do in order to be saved. Their response to him still applies today. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31 KJV).

Every Person Must Know That…

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 7, 2014

What is wrong the Joel Osteens message?

joel soteen purple shirtSOURCE: While on my road trip through the US I listened to Osteen preaching a message titled “Get Over It” and have since listened to another, “Take Control of Your Happiness”. Two, twenty-five minute, sermons could hardly be described as extensive research, but I think it is sufficient familiarity to give something of an opinion of Osteen’s teaching.

First of all, I did enjoy listening to Brother Joel. He, and wife Victoria, introduce each podcast with a wonderful folksy southern charm. If I were passing a bar where they were singing country tunes I’d definitely stop and listen! Their Texan sunshine and optimism is certainly attractive by comparison with grey British cynicism. There is no doubt that Osteen is an entertaining and uplifting communicator. I’m not sure I could cope with listening to him a lot though – his pattern seems to be to speak in axiom upon axiom. This makes his messages memorable, but I would imagine it would become wearying after a while.

So much for the style. What of the substance?

Let me illustrate this with an aside. Comedian Graham Norton runs an ‘agony aunt’ column in The Daily Telegraph once a fortnight and offers advice that I think is about as good as it can get, without reference to the gospel. Take this example

Dear Graham
Our mother died following a short illness. Before she died she had tried to make preparations, part of which involved cashing out her pension, and she instructed our father that the money was to be used for the education of her grandchildren.

Before she died, our father suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with dementia. His short-term memory has been affected, as has his interest in life. He has a good pension, owns a large house and is now sitting upon a very sizeable sum of our mother’s money.

He refuses to discuss carrying out our mother’s last wish, and gets into a rage when the subject is mentioned. He also refuses to plan for the future (e.g. setting up a lasting power of attorney) or do any inheritance tax planning.

We know we shouldn’t allow money to affect us in this way but both sides of the family are extremely angry about this. We feel let down and disappointed that he is not interested in investing in his grandchildren’s future. He never gets in touch, and it’s all we can do to call him. We can clearly see our inheritance evaporating in care home fees and inheritance tax.

Should we keep trying to engage him or just give up and leave him to himself, accepting that we mean nothing to him any more?
Richard, London

Dear Richard
Consider my gob smacked. Your mother dies suddenly and your father is recovering from a stroke after being diagnosed with dementia and you want to talk to me about school fees? If I find your concerns incomprehensible, imagine how your dad feels? He has lost his wife, his body is a stranger, he feels his mind slipping away. I really think he has enough on his plate without worrying about the fact you were too thick to realize you might have to pick up the tab for your kids yourself.

The bottom line is you are entitled to nothing. Your parents gave you life and brought you up – the rest is down to you. If your father decides to leave everything to a local cattery, then so be it.

If waiting for your parents to die is your idea of a get-rich-quick scheme then I feel very sorry for you. This is your only surviving parent and I really don’t think it is a case of you meaning nothing to him any more. This is an old man mourning his wife and coming to terms with the heartbreaking realisation that all he means to his children is school fees and a new bathroom suite.

In the end the only lasting legacy your father will leave is you. Make him proud, and pass those values on to your children. This was money you never had, so I suggest you kiss it goodbye and focus on what you do have.

If every pastor gave advice as good as this, our churches would be happier places. And Joel Osteen does. Osteen serves up practical, life-affirming, straight down the line advice, that is about as good as it gets, and the size of his church reflects the appeal of this.

But good advice is not enough. Certainly it is not enough for a Christian minister to offer. If all anyone needs is good advice, well they may as well stay at home and read Graham Norton as go to church.

What Osteens messages lack (and this is on the basis of only two sermons remember) is any real gospel explanation or application; and this despite Osteen beginning his messages by getting the entire congregation to recite,

This is my Bible, I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess, my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, I will never be the same. In Jesus name.

In reality, any Bible references Osteen makes are passing ones. There is no working the message out of the text. There isn’t any real teaching of the word. Rather, texts are rarely used, and when they are serve merely as illustrations used to support the points he is already making. And this is a great pity, because the points Osteen makes are good ones, and he could easily make them great ones by applying the gospel.

For example, “Get Over It” is a memorable message, with great advice about not being stuck in the stuff that has happened to you. In this message Osteen even undermined normal ‘word of faith’ teaching by recognizing that bad stuff happens to good people and making no claim that this is due to a lack of faith. Instead, he urges his listeners to ‘get over it’ and get on with life. Some of the application is questionable (I’m not really convinced that every setback is always a setup for a greater comeback) but the main problem is the complete absence of the gospel. “Get Over It” could be summarized as, ‘Theism will work for you’ rather than, ‘Come to the cross’.

Osteen could so easily have preached what he preached, but then gone on to proclaim how Christ has dealt with our guilt and shame at the cross, which is the true reason we can get on with it. He could have gone on to describe an eschatology that speaks of the not yet as well as the now, and so offers us hope even when life is more setback than comeback. He could so easily have preached Christ, and offered something that was not only good advice but contained sufficient gospel seed for the salvation of those in need.

On the basis of two sermons that is what I think is wrong with Joel Osteen. What he says is good, but it is not sufficient. A lot like Graham Norton.

http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/whats_wrong_with_joel_osteen

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 7, 2014

Open Letter To Joel Osteen by Greg Garret

joelSOURCE: Dear Joel Osteen,

For some years now I’ve stood back and looked the other way as you preached your message of optimism and faith rewarded to tens of thousands of worshipers and to the millions of people who have bought your best-selling books, as you’ve become perhaps America’s best-known preacher or inspirational speaker. Earlier this year The Guardian actually called you “America’s Pastor,” which forced me to sit up and take notice.

My attention during that time has been focused largely on those preachers and traditions obsessing with sin and suffering, on the death of Jesus on the cross as the only salvation for a wicked race. And so I kind of lost sight of you, a couple of hours down the road from me in Houston.

You have said that you don’t like to talk about sin—who does, really?—and that you want to dwell on the positive messages of God’s love. Those are nice antidotes to the mainstream American evangelical focus I abhor, and they may have given you a free pass until now. But I’ve come to believe that your nicey-nicey message and your God of infinite promises is as antithetical to genuine Christian faith as the always-dying and ever-angry Christ of conservative evangelicals.

Mr. Osteen, here’s the thing. I’ve realized that I’ve been writing, speaking, and preaching about you as well. I’ve realized that The Other Jesus was also written in response to your Jesus of handouts and new cars—I can’t hang with that Banker Jesus any more than with the Spiteful Jesus. I’ve realized that I’m also tired of cleaning up your messes, of trying to constantly reorient Christian faith back to something real and true to scripture, tradition, and reason.

You and other Prosperity Gospel preachers advance a vision of God that is transactional: if you do this, then God will do that. He has to, in fact. Because a verse here or there in the Bible says so, however little it reflects God’s actual redemptive work in the world.

And I’m here to tell you, Sir, in the same language I use with anyone who imagines we can be in a transactional relationship with God, that this isn’t what Christian faith is. Praying the right prayer often enough to get what you want, believing really hard in Jesus to get what you want are not true to the Christian story, or to logic. To imagine that you, or your followers, or the person out in the bookstore or TV land who is exposed to your message somehow influences the God of the Universe, the Creator of All That Is, by his or her personal actions is not belief in God.

It’s belief in magic. Put your hands together, say a few faithful words, and the Universe will give you what you ask.

Your life is lifted up as a shining example of God’s blessing, and well it might be. But Sir, I suspect that the money to buy a former NBA arena for your mammoth Lakewood Church didn’t just flow into your hands because God blesses you for your teachings. I suspect that you got that money because you draw a crowd, because you sell a product that is always more enticing than the hard and lifelong work of genuine Christian spirituality and authentic belief.

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 6, 2014

Joel Osteen’s New Age Life Now? By Brannon Howse

Joel Osteen’s New Age Life Now? By Brannon Howse

joel_osteen1“Whatever you conceive you can achieve.”

With this favorite karma-changing promise, New Agers believe you need only use the “unlimited” power and consciousness of your mind to bring about all your dreams, desires and wishes.

Cloaked in a “Christian” package, Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now, bears an uncomfortable and dangerous similarity to this most popular of New Age claims. Sample a few of the Osteen versions:

• “You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind. If you foster an image of defeat and failure, then you’re going to live that kind of life. But if you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you.” (page 5)

• “You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it.” (page 6)

• “You must look through your ‘eyes of faith’ and start seeing yourself as happy, healthy and whole.” (page 15)

• “What you will receive is directly connected to how you believe.” (page 22)

• “We receive what we believe.” (page 72)

• “Learn how to conceive. Keep the image of what you want to become in front of you. You’re going to become what you believe.” (page 81)

Osteen now travels the country, packing out stadiums with his happy-talk. But I’d like to see Osteen pay a visit to China, preach his “your best life now” drivel, and see how Christians there respond. Let Osteen look into the eyes of Pastor Lei who has been repeatedly arrested and beaten for preaching the Word of God in his church-a church not licensed by the Chinese government. How would the American’s best life work out for Pastor Lei and his congregation? Perhaps their jail time for the Gospel would give them time to assess Rev. Osteen’s claims.

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 5, 2014

Joyce Meyer still teaching “Faith is a Force”

faith as a force

Is FAITH a “FORCE?”

By David A. DePra

SOURCE: Faith is NOT a force. Faith is a relationship word. It is dependence and reliance upon God. It is ultimately unconditional surrender to God. It is trusting Him, which includes believing Him. As you can see, faith is to govern our entire lives. We are to WALK BY FAITH in Jesus Christ.

This is important to understand because today there is a false teaching which states that faith IS a force – indeed, a force which YOU generate towards God. What this leads to is a whole array of other false teaching. First of all, it means that you can and must generate the, “force of faith,” that will act upon God and get Him moving for you. In other words, if you pray for something, and have faith, the faith you generate is a force which acts upon God, indeed, which actually creates the thing you want. From this comes the, “name it and claim it,” heresies. It also ties into the error that if you SPEAK something, it will come into existence, as is taught in the, “positive confession” heresy. Likewise, if you speak negatively, this will supposedly bring bad things to pass in your life.

False teachers have likened faith to gravity. They even say that God has faith! Of course, this is utter nonsense. Nonsense, of course, unless you have no understanding of faith. If faith were a force, then I suppose God would have faith. But once we see that faith is trust, reliance, and dependence, we see that God needs no faith. He hasn’t anyone to rely upon!

Notice the root error here: Error says that faith is a force YOU generate which acts upon God. The Bible teaches that faith is a reliance upon God and a desire for His will. Can we see the implications of each as to who is in charge? Error puts US in charge, and we use our faith to act upon God. Truth puts God in charge, and tells us to surrender to Him for His will.

There are other ramifications as well. If faith is a force, then faith is the power. YOU generate it. And it does stuff, or gets God to do stuff. But Biblical faith does nothing. It opens things up for God’s will so that HE can do it. Thus, faith is not power. God is the power.

The fact is, we have NO POWER at all. Indeed, real faith is the result of seeing that we have no power, no merit, and nothing about ourselves which obligates God to do a thing for us. Faith is the trust and assurance that all of the promises of God find their YES IN HIM. Not in us. Not in our faith. And not because we said the right words.

In every generation, it seems that Christians come up with a new gimmic as to how to get God to do what we want Him to do – although it isn’t usually put that way. Instead, we are told that God has already willed us to tell Him what to do. So we come up with ways in which MAN can do this. Does anyone see Satan behind this? He is. It is classic Satan, using religious flesh, and men of corrupt minds, to foster heresy in the church.

Let me be frank: It simply is not possible to teach such error and know Jesus Christ. It just isn’t. This teaching is the very antithesis of the gospel of grace, skews the basic essential of faith, and leads people away from a grounded relationship with Christ. If the Holy Spirit were truly living in such people, and they were yielded, how could such heresy go unchecked, and how could the Holy Spirit not convict them? Furthermore, those well-known preachers who do teach these errors have been continually approached and appealed to with regards to this teaching. That is not a guess — THEY say so on TV. Thus, they not only teach error, but defend it.

Faith is not a force. Faith is a relationship word. By faith we abide in Christ and walk with Him. By faith we see that we have nothing to help ourselves. By faith we surrender our lives to Him for His will and purpose.

http://www.goodnewsarticles.com/Jan05-7.htm

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 5, 2014

Joel Osteen and the Jealousy Card

joel AND VIDTROIASOURCE: In political parlance there is often talk of someone playing the “race card” to shut down conversation.  A person is convicted of some crime and there is discussion about what the penalty should be.  Then the “race card” is played: the charge is made that the person is only being prosecuted because of their race.  Immediately all discussion must be stopped, or it must revolve around whether or not racial bias is in play.  Whether or not the person is guilty or should be charged is moot from that point on: when the “race card” is played, it’s all about race.  Discussion is effectively over when the “race card” is on the table; it is the nuclear bomb of rational discussion.

I’m noticing the same thing in regards to the discussion on Joel Osteen, but in his case it’s the “jealousy card” that is being played by his supporters.  Don’t know if you read the comments in regard to my IWJO post, but someone posted the charge that I’m just sadly, sinfully jealous.  Ironically, I didn’t even question Joel or his teaching in that comment or in my previous comment.  Yet, some Osteenista felt it necessary to come to my humble blog and condemn me for being sinfully jealous of the man.

If you read other blogs about Osteen, and now that his new book is out and he’s been on Larry King and 60 Minutes there is discussion aplenty, you will find a lot of lot of people questioning his message.  Immediately his supporters will come on and accuse the criticizer of being “jealous”.  Wham, the jealousy card is played and all discussion must end or the criticizer must defend against the charge that they are jealous.  The “jealousy card” is intended to shut down converation and discussion on whether or not Joel’s teaching is biblical or not.

So, if we question the theology of one of the best known preachers in America we are automatically jealous?  Give me a break.  I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be dissuaded from commenting on someone for fear of being called jealous, it’s a lame accusation and playing the “jealousy card” is nothing more than an attempt to shut down discussion.  I’ve had it played on me before when discussing some of the questionable gimmicks of other megachurches.  It’s a tactic meant to shift focus away from valid points and question the motive of the questioner.  “He’s questioning mega-guy, he must just be a jealous small-church minister.”

Yes, I’m sure that there are times when preachers get jealous– if you want to call it that– of those ministers and churches that are doing well by worldly standards.  But those pangs of envy are just momentary failings of the flesh which are quickly repented of in the light of reason.  Any minister worth his salt is going to be less concerned about being successful in the world’s eyes and more concerned about being faithful to God.

Questioning the methods and motives of megachurches, especially those whose theology and preaching is so blatantly suspect, is not a matter of jealousy; it’s called discernment.  To be honest, more of us ought to be exposing those who represent Christianity yet preach a gospel that is not biblical… which as Galatians says is no gospel at all.

So, go ahead, play the “jealousy card” all you want, but it’s not going to stop people from examining the preaching and teaching of those who claim to represent Christ… especially those in the public eye.  Any tactic that is meant to stifle discussion is simply cowardly.  If you can’t defend the teaching of your favorite preacher from the bible, at least refrain from playing the “jealousy card”.

http://insipidgarbage.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/playing-the-jealousy-card/

kenneth-copelandConsider Kenneth Copeland’s own words:

“You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” – ‘The Force of Love,’ audiotape Kenneth Copeland, 1987

“‘Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you are God … They crucified Me for claiming I was God. I didn’t claim that I was God; I just claimed that I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah! That’s what you’re doing …'” – ‘Take Time to Pray,’ Believer’s Voice of Victory, February 1987, p. 9

“Now Peter said by exceeding great and precious promises you become partakers of the divine class. All right, are we gods? We are a class of gods!” – Kenneth Copeland, ‘Praise The Lord’ TV Show, Feb. 5, 1986

“You really cannot ever come to that place were you let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who thought it not robbery to be called equal with God. Let this mind be in Kenneth Copeland, Oh my goodness, Ah! that thinks its not robbery to be called equal with God.” – Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory, Monday 29th January 2001, GOD TV

“You’re all God. You don’t have a God living in you; you are one! … When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, ‘I AM,’ I say, ‘Yah, I am too!'” –  ‘The Force of Love,’ Kenneth Copeland, tape BBC-56

As a result of his claimed position as a god, Kenneth Copeland claims that he is a creator, just like the God of the Bible:

“Jesus existed only as an image in the heart of God, until such time as the prophets of the Old Testament could positively confess Jesus into existence through their constant prophecies.” – (Kenneth Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, pp. 8-10)

“God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus.” “This [sic] faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in Him….” – Kenneth Copeland, ‘The Image of God in You III,’ side 2.

“Well, He created all those planets, how come you can’t create something? You don’t know as much about it as He does. He has a greater working knowledge of that faith than you do. But we’re learning. Our time is coming. And in some ways its already here.” – Kenneth Copeland, Cornerstone Church with John Hagee, San Antonio, Texas, August 18, 1999.

Kenneth Copeland is a false teacher and a heretic because:

1. He places himself in the position of God by claiming that he is a god.

2. He claims to have the same creative power as God – which he cannot demonstrate at any level.

3. He teaches the same claim that Satan made when he attempted to usurp the place of God.

4. He teaches the same message that Satan presented to Eve in the Garden of Eden.

5. He denies the deity of Jesus Christ.

6. He denies the uniqueness and power of the atonement by stating that he could have substituted for Jesus Christ and accomplished the atonement himself.

7. He gives false prophecies, demonstrating that he is a false prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:22.

Kenneth Copeland’s heretical and blasphemous claims are absolutely breathtaking in their scope, possibly going beyond any single heresy found in the church since its inception. If you claim to believe the Bible, then why do you not understand that Kenneth Copeland does not teach a biblical message? You accept Kenneth Copeland as a teacher of truth because you do not know what the Bible teaches and you do not know what Kenneth Copeland teaches.

(Article by Michael Houke)

When will Dr. Michael Brown call out Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin instead of defending and supporting them? Or will non-charismatics have to continue to do the job of discernment for him? This video has ample audio and video clips proving both Hinn’s and Hagin’s heresies. It is quite amazing if Brown is indeed ignorant of these men’s teachings. This video is posted to educate Brown and others of what these men have taught.

Thanks to Keith Thompson for letting me take this clip from his video entitled “Why I don’t support William Lane Craig or Michael Brown”

words have powerSOURCE: In the latter half of the 20th century with the blooming of the New Age Movement in its various forms, a new brand of philosophy has emerged which features P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) – positive thinking and positive confession. That philosophy has made its way into the church and affected the way certain portions of the Bible are interpreted, and has even altered our very outlook on life. Many prominent leaders in Christianity have embraced what is known as the Word of Faith movement. This article does not seek to refute the teachings of that movement, since this has been ably done elsewhere. Rather it examines the scriptures that allegedly promote positive thinking and seeks to determine whether the Bible really endorses positive thinking and positive confession.

First let it be said that the Bible has much to say about the mind and tongue. The tongue is one of the most difficult members of the body to control. The mind is critical in that it is never disengaged from our actions. We are influenced by what we see and hear and such is stored somewhere in our minds. When we entertain certain thoughts, our emotions develop an affinity toward them, and finally our volition is convinced that a relevant course of action is needed. This is the process of human decision making. So if we can renew our minds (Rom. 12:1, 2) or change our attitudes we can change our actions and the course of our lives.

Positive thinking however goes beyond this. It teaches that there is a creative aura associated with our thoughts and words. What we think and confess can even change our circumstances, bring prosperity and healing. Practices such as yoga and TM are thought to bring us into the mental state where we can realize our full power and potential. Quite frankly, New Agers can believe whatever they want. I am more interested in what the Bible says. We will analyze those scriptures that allegedly teach positive thinking and demonstrate that, properly interpreted, the Bible does no such thing.

Key Scriptures

On the surface, certain scriptures can appear to promote positive thinking if interpreted from the perspective of a 20th (or 21st) century culture which has been influenced by the New Age Movement. Questions that I will repeatedly ask are “what is the meaning originally intended by the authors of the Bible?”, and “what did the original hearers understand by these scriptures?” It is true that based on our culture, upbringing and religious background, we each have a lens through which we read the bible. It is important to be aware of what our biases are. This obviously affects how we read the bible. But because we see the Bible a certain way, that does not make us right. Peter made it clear that because Paul’s epistles were hard to understand, unstable men had twisted those scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Essentially this means that not every interpretation of the scriptures is correct. Because you think it means something, does not mean that is the correct meaning. The correct meaning is the one originally intended by the authors.

Language is a tool used to communicate ideas. It is well known that words and expressions change meaning. For example the expression “What’s up?” means one thing to a 1970s African American, another thing to a 16th century Englishman. P.M.A. proponents see positive thinking and positive confession in any passage of scripture that mentions certain trigger words like mind, think, tongue, and speak. It is almost as if they are conditioned to read the Bible this way. I’ve even heard a preacher use Ex. 14:15 to teach that we must “speak to our circumstances” simply because the verse used the word “speak”. In fact God was telling Moses to speak to the children of Israel, not the Red Sea. With that said, let us consider a few scriptures.

Mark 11:22-24.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 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. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Some people have overstressed the word “says” in vs. 23. It has even been taught that we are not to pray for mountains to be removed, but to simply speak to our circumstances. Vs. 24 denies such a notion. The “speaking” in vs. 23 is synonymous with the  “praying” in vs. 24. Thus the emphasis is not on speaking but on trusting God. The message here is that by trusting God, we can overcome any hurdle (mountain) in our Christian life.

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According to Kenneth Copeland, a “historic change” occurred at his most recent leadership conference. The Pope sent a special message to those leaders of the Word of Faith Movement in attendance, Kenneth Copeland and Charismatics everywhere – through an Episcopal Bishop.  This video from the Pope and message of unity is not all that surprising. It’s typical ecumenical talk. But the next video, I found simply amazing – in a bad way. Copeland said those in attendance and the rest of us would “talk about tonight for a long time”. It’s been about a week since I watched the long video and I am still kinda shocked.

Here is the longer version and Bishop Tony Palmer’s introduction to the Popes video message.

Just how did Kenneth Copeland get a message from the Pope delivered to him and his conference. Bishop Palmer, whom personally brought the video message from his personal freind and mentor the Pope, tells us that KCM (Kenneth Copeland Ministries) has sponsored his ecumenical ministry for a long time. Palmer even worked for KCM directly for 3 years. Palmer claims Copeland as one of his three spiritual mentors and his “sole partner” of his outreach ministry to Catholics. The problem is that Palmer is not calling people to come out of the catholic church, rather he is saying that “THE PROTEST IS OVER” and urging everyone that that makes us all Catholics already?

The Bishop claims that the Catholic Church signed an agreement with Lutheran church that ended Luther’s protest. While the agreement on Justification by Faith Alone on the surface seems to be a paradigm changing agreement that would in effect reconcile protestants to Catholicism, there is way more to the Protestant Protest than just the doctrine of justification. And also the Catholic church wrote a written response to their agreement with the Lutherans that also notes the two positions on Justification are still “divergent”: “The “Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on the Doctrine of Justification” represents a significant progress in mutual understanding and in the coming together in dialogue of the parties concerned; it shows that there are many points of convergence between the Catholic position and the Lutheran position on a question that has been for centuries so controversial. It can certainly be affirmed that a high degree of agreement has been reached, as regards both the approach to the question and the judgement it merits (1). It is rightly stated that there is “a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification” (2). The Catholic Church is, however, of the opinion that we cannot yet speak of a consensus such as would eliminate every difference between Catholics and Lutherans in the understanding of justification. The Joint Declaration itself refers to certain of these differences. On some points the positions are, in fact, still divergent.”

And the Catholic church has never repudiated Council of Trent Session Six which list 33 anathemas (let them be damned) to those hold to the Protestant position on Justification. THE PROTEST IS NOT OVER!!! But this is one more small step toward an emerging one world religion.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 15, 2014

Ex-Word of Faith Testimony of Shawnice – MyExperienceInTheWordofFaith

Shawnice blogs at http://experiencesinwordoffaith.wordpress.com/. Several of her post have been re-blogged here on this blog and she has done really good work on her site. You can also read one of her written testimonies here at our Testimony Page.

Published on Apr 2, 2013 I was part of the word of faith movement for 11 years. I am here to share my testimony.

VISIT OUR EX-WoF

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 15, 2014

Examining Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer – Do Your Words Create Reality?

In this episode of Fighting For The Faith, Chris Rosebrough examines 2 sermons from Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. Chris looks at Joel’s sermons entitled “The Power of I Am” that he talked about at Oprah Winfrey’s Life Class. Chris shows that despite Joel’s good ole boy demeanor, he and those who follow the Word of Faith doctrine of positive confession are the epitome of Narcissism and all about me, me, me. And the Joyce Meyers clips show how she answers such questions as “How do we talk to God honestly about our problems without speaking bad things into existence”. This is 42 minutes long but well worth the time to listen to or read.

Here is the transcript if you would rather read the show than listen to it.

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 12, 2014

You Shouldn’t Express Negative Thoughts And Feelings

This video expresses allot of much needed truth in just 3 1/2 minutes.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 10, 2014

Ex-Word of Faith Testimony: Recovering From Word of Faith

The name of author of this testimony is unknown, but she blogs at http://abigailanddolley.blogspot.com

125202528632529SOURCE: Recovering From Word of Faith - Abigail and Dolley readers as a new believer I was starving for all things of God.  If you have followed this blog or are friends with me on facebook you know that I always have something I am passionate about.  I am almost always researching something and I try to find out as much as I can about a subject.  My Mom teased me about this trait this Summer and I realized that there are a couple major themes I usually adopt:  Faith, Gardening, Health/Weight Loss/Cooking, and some times Politics.  Thus, it is no surprise that when I recommitted my life to the Lord that I would dig in deep and I did!  Unfortunately, in my hunger to learn everything about this wonderful life in Christ I began watching Word of Faith preachers on INSP (pre-internet world!).

I was enthralled!  I could pray for healing and be healed.  I could invest in God’s kingdom and reap exponential awards.  I could confess and speak things into existence because God promises in His Word and He HAS to do it because that is who God is!  I read books, I taped shows, I confessed the Word, I prayed, I gave, I believed, I made terrible financial decisions based on “faith”…. I was sold out and so on fire for the Lord I was tough to be around.

Then, I got sick.  I prayed.  I believed God for healing.  I did not receive that sickness into my body.  I exercised incredible faith.  I did not get better.  Sitting in the Emergency Room one night about 6 weeks into this mysterious illness, I looked at my husband and complained that I was doing everything I was supposed to do and I was still sick!  Something was very wrong with this picture and I gave up on the Word of Faith movement in that moment.

What I did not realize was that I was now very spiritually damaged.  As a new believer, I indoctrinated my soul with lies.  I set up ways of thought, beliefs, and actions based on the words of greedy liars disguised as preachers.  In many ways, I had black highways paved through my soul.  My thoughts and prayers raced across the false roads.  When I abandoned the Word of Faith movement, I abandoned the Word and Faith and the Hope that comes with being a true believer.  Subconsciously, I embarked on the rest of my faith life where God’s promises were tainted.  Having Hope seemed like a Mountain Top Proclamations.  Expending my Faith was ruined.

It was 15 years after the fact that I realized that I still carried the damage.  Reciting scriptures of God’s promises ran over those dark highways in my soul and reached my heart with unbelief and no power.  I did not even realize it.  As I began to dig into it, I realized that only God can heal me of these spiritual scars.

How many walking wounded are there right now?  How many new believers are sucked into this false doctrine and scarred forever?  How many huge houses went into foreclosure because vulnerable Christians were believing God for the money to pay for their mortgages?  How many sick people are not seeking medical treatment because they are believing God for divine healing?  How many people completely fall away from the faith as seeds sown in shallow ground?

I have been a vehement critic of the Name it and Claim it movement.  I left a church home over a dispute about it and never looked back.  I hate the doctrine and what it does and there is a special place in Hell for the wolves in sheep’s clothing that deceive God’s people and line their pockets with the proceeds.  Beware.

http://abigailanddolley.blogspot.com/2014/02/recovering-from-word-of-faith.html

VISIT OUR EX-WoF

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 10, 2014

Did Jesus Become a Sinner on the Cross? by Nathan Busenitz

Did Jesus Become a Sinner on the Cross?

SOURCE: Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary? I was asked a variation of that question just last week, which prompted today’s post.

crown_of_thorns

The heart of the question centers on Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:21: ”He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

In what sense did Jesus become “sin on our behalf”? Does that phrase mean that Jesus literally became a sinner on the cross?

There are some today who teach that Jesus became a sinner (or took on a sin nature) at the cross. Benny Hinn is one such advocate. In a TBN broadcast, Hinn exclaimed:

“He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, ‘The only way I can stop sin is by me becoming it. I can’t just stop it by letting it touch me; I and it must become one.’ Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan when he became sin!” (Benny Hinn, Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 1, 1990)

Prosperity-preacher Kenneth Copeland echoes those same teachings. In Copeland’s words:

“The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there; the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’ He said, ‘I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.’” (Kenneth Copeland, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,” 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)

On another occasion, Copeland reiterates that same teaching:

“How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God’? Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” Trinity Broadcasting Network, April 21, 1991)

But do assertions like these accurately reflect Paul’s teaching that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf”?

To come back to the original question: “Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary?” My answer to that question is a resounding no.

Here are five reasons why:
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 2, 2014

REVIEW of Joel Osteens book “Break Out”

REVIEW BY BOB JOHNSON: Detroit’s freeways are framed by dozens of billboards featuring happy, young, successful people enjoying a night of games and entertainment at one of the city’s casinos. The sleek, enticing images preach an alluring message: “Greatness awaits you in the casinos.” “You were born to be lucky.” On and on it goes. A closer look reveals the 1-800 number for Gambler’s Anonymous. And if you ever went to a casino, you would find that the reality does not quite match the billboard.

For years, potential casino operators attempted to get gambling legalized in Detroit. On three different occasions, they got an initiative on the ballot, but there was one pastor in the city who stood in their way. He knew what gambling would do to this city. He organized and educated, and each time the initiative was defeated. Then this pastor had a serious heart attack, and the initiative for casinos in Detroit was back in play. This time, the organizers did not have the pesky pastor to contend with. But they did something else. On this fourth attempt, the organizers gathered a number of pastors from Detroit together and offered them stock in the casinos in exchange for their support from the pulpits. They were told to sell this idea to the people as something that will be good for the economy and will save our city. The pastors did, and on the fourth try, the initiative passed.

Today you can visit the casinos. Go to the slot machines and watch the glazed-over faces of old people whose reverse mortgages freed up some money so they could buy tokens for the slot machines. Hour after hour, they pull the one-armed bandit, awaiting the glory the billboards promise. Fear sets in. They think, “If I get up from the machine, the next person will come and win.” So they sit, hour after hour, until their clothes are soiled and their tokens are gone. Next month, after the social security check arrives, some of them will be on the first bus back to try again.

And in case you haven’t heard, Detroit is bankrupt.

The promises of the prosperity gospel are like the billboards of Detroit’s casinos. It looks so good. It seems so appealing. One of its most influential voices is Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas who recently released a new book called Break Out! If Disneyworld was a church, Joel Osteen would be the pastor. Break Out! is basically a combination of “When You Wish upon a Star” and “A Whole New World.”

The problem is, Joel is a pastor, and his sermons and books are presented as truth, not fairy tales, and thousands of people really believe what he says. Some may be in our churches.

THE MAIN MESSAGE

Break Out! is a collection of twenty-five chapters (presumably sermons) organized into five sections. I could not discern much difference between the first four sections: (1) Believe Bigger; (2) Consider God, Not Circumstances; (3) Pray God-sized Prayers; 4) Keep the Right Perspective. The chapters basically follow the formula of stating the principle, supporting it with a story, inserting a vague reference to the Bible, and closing with a few more stories and exhortations.

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | January 18, 2014

VIDEO: Sound The Alarm: The Dangers of the Word of Faith Movement

This video, which is a expose documentary, is very good. It uses many audio/video clips I have never seen or heard before, and I have listened to and watched many in the years I have been the admin of this blog. The videos creator also shows where the Christian Music Industry has made many popular songs that espouse dangerous Word of Faith doctrines. It’s really good and well worth two hours if you want to know for sure what the WoF teaches and why the WoF movement is so dangerous.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Full-length documentary exposing the dangerous doctrines of the Word of Faith movement. Highlighted teachers include Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Eddie Long, Jesse Duplantis, and Myles Munroe.

****UPDATE**** It has come to my attention that Pastor Fred Price, Jr. may no longer embrace the views expressed in this video. God knows my heart in this matter, and I do not wish to cause any to stumble, least of all one with whom the Lord is dealing. While I have not spoken with him personally to verify this claim, I sincerely pray it is true and encourage all others to do likewise.

cccSOURCE:  I’m in a bathtub. I can’t get up. I feel like I’m about to die. Mercury poisoning.

The water in the tub has grown cold. Maybe that’s why I feel so cold. I’ve been marinating in my own soup stock for the past two hours. I’m floating in and out of consciousness. Whenever I can concentrate I begin to pray.

“Jesus, please, save me. Please, heal me. I repent, I put my whole heart into prayer right now, and I cast out any doubt or fear. I know you can heal me. Please heal me!”

My mom’s keys are rattling in the doorknob now, and I hear the door thud shut in the distance. I hear her purse sliding across the counter and her keys landing next to it. I barely recognize her figure as she tries with all of her wiry might to pull me out of the tub. I spend the next two days in the hospital. My mom wants to know why I didn’t let her know, why I didn’t want to go to the hospital, why I didn’t do something.

“Mom, Jesus is my doctor. I’m blessed, and I know that he would have healed me.” This is me trying to live out what I think is true Christianity.

I had just gotten saved two months prior. I’m fresh out of jail and I’m walking around the projects where I used to stomp like a tiny teenage giant. I’ve got a bare back, a few tattoos, and a Bible in my hand. I’m just praying for the opportunity to share the Christ with someone.

I meet a man named Roger who invites me into his home. He buys me lunch and we spend all day talking about the Bible. This guy knows way more than me. I’ve never heard anyone spout off so many Scriptures in such rapid-fire succession. “This guy is legit…” I say under my breath.

Over the course of the next six months, this man indoctrinates me with the prosperity gospel. Just a few months earlier, I’d never even opened a Bible. I have no idea that I’m being given arsenic in my kool aid. I take it all. I believe it all. I know it’s true. It has to be. It’s all right here in Scripture. Look, she touched the hem of his garment and was healed. Look, Jesus couldn’t heal them because they didn’t have enough faith. Look, all throughout the Old Testament you see curses for sins, and blessings for righteousness. Prosperity for the good, pain for the bad. It’s so plain. So obvious.

But stuff isn’t making sense. I’m still without a job. I can’t pay my rent. My mom isn’t getting saved, and I keep getting cold sores. None of these things should be happening. There must be sin hidden somewhere in my heart.

Now I have the flu, and I don’t have any money to buy groceries. I just need to claim it. I just need to rebuke Satan and his lies, and believe that what I have proclaimed in the name of Jesus will surely come to pass. Maybe I’m not tithing enough. Time to double up. I’ll get it back one hundred-fold. Maybe more. I just need to sow in faith.

But it’s still not happening. “Roger, hey man, I don’t understand. It seems like this stuff isn’t working. What am I doing wrong?”

“Dude, I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know the problem ain’t with God or his Word. It’s got to be something in your heart, or in your life. Let’s pray about it.”

Fast forward a year. I’m nineteen and married now. We’re struggling hard. I can’t pay the rent or the electricity bill, and I just lost another job. My wife wasn’t saved when we met. She gets saved during the course of our friendship, and somewhere in there, she starts listening to me and taking in all of the “truth” I’m giving her. She does wonder, though, where the disconnect is. When the ATM receipt says we’re negative forty dollars, I rebuke myself, the ATM, and the receipt. I claim my blessing even in the face of this lie from Satan. I know that Jesus is looking down on me, proud of my strength in the midst of such persecution and adversity. “In the name of Jesus!”—I keep claiming what he’s promised me.

The prosperity gospel and word of faith movement are basically the same thing, but I’ve never heard anything about any of those things before. All of the good Bible-loving Baptists around me are afraid of me because I probably robbed their sons, stole their cars, or vandalized their church. Yet because of my powerful testimony, scores of churches invite me to come and share. I preach a false gospel every time I go. Not once does anyone ever sit me down and talk with me about the danger that my soul is in. Not a word. Not a peep. Not to my face, anyway. I now know that they waited respectfully until I left, and then talked amongst themselves about how sad it is to see such passion so misdirected.
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(SOURCE: http://extraordinaryintelligence.com) In what seems like a previous life, I used to believe in a principle that states that you can have anything you desire, so long as you want it bad enough. This theory, touted as a Law by practitioners and believers, suggests that humans are divine; in fact, we’re creators. Everything that ever was and ever will be was created by a cosmic desire to make it so, thus we have the power to manifest our own reality in the here and now.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I now hold a different view. I believe that everything that ever was and ever will be was brought into existence by a creator God, and any power a human being can manifest is only available through the Holy Spirit, and according to the perfect will of our God.

Which is why it is endlessly troubling as I witness the modern church embracing principles like the one I used to hold dear. Having studied it thoroughly previous to my being born again, I can recognize it with ease, and it is pretty prevalent, right under the noses of the faithful.

Before we explore precisely how this movement has made its way into Christendom, let’s have a look at exactly what this principle is, who promotes it, and why it is dangerous.

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction, as it is now known, is not really the breakthrough that it claims to be. Magicians and Occult practitioners have been engaging in this philosophy for ages. In an effort to make it sound cutting edge, proponents of the Law of Attraction couch it in scientific terms. Specifically, the Law of Attraction can best be understood as the principle of “like attracts like”. If you put something positive into the universe, the universe (the catch all term for those who refuse to accept a singular deity) will send something positive back to you. Likewise, if you put only negativity into the universe, negativity is what you will attract. This is explained in a pseudo-scientific sense by claiming that since all matter, including human beings, are made of energy on a quantum level, like energy attracts like energy. If your thoughts have a measurable mass, then that means that they too are made of energy, hence your thoughts can and do manipulate the energy around you.

Through this principle, you can literally focus your thoughts to a specific outcome, and the “universe”, or the energy around you, simply has no choice but to comply with the specific energy output of your positive thoughts. If your positive thoughts are focused on a certain specific outcome, say you want a new shiny red bicycle, the energy around you will work to put events in place that will ultimately result in you receiving said bicycle. Kinda sounds like magic, doesn’t it?

While this principle has been available in varying forms for ages, the promotion of the Law of Attraction as scientific principle came into vogue around the early 1900’s as part of what was known as the “New Thought Movement.” The phrase “Law of Attraction” was used in the 1906 book by William Walker Atkinson titled Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World. Herein we see the term “like attracts like” presented as a provable theory. Soon thereafter, this “law” began to be applied in terms of prosperity, such as the book Prosperity Through Thought Force by Bruce MacLelland. As the term caught fire, more and more New Age practitioners began to co-opt the principle, and apply it to their own philosophies. Famous Theosophist Annie Besant, who was a follower of Madame Helena Blavatsky, adopted the term in 1919, claiming that it proved the reality of the mystical concept of karma.

This principle was widely known amongst gurus of the New Age for a long time, but began to gain a big foothold in mainstream pop culture with the release of the film and subsequent book The Secret. The Secret had an insidious rise to popularity. Touting itself as a “self help book”, the title is derived from the claim that the Law of Attraction is something so powerful and so completely successful; it has been hidden away from mainstream thought. The author and presenters claim that successful business owners and elite millionaires have known this “secret” for a long time, and have tried desperately to keep it out of the hands of average human beings, lest we all become mega-bazillionaires.

The Law of Attraction. The New Age.

Nothing “new” about the New Age.

When watching the film, one begins to see how this purportedly scientific principle is actually an esoteric form of divination, handed down from age to age. The film opens with the title screen reading “The Secret was Buried.” We then see an emerald tablet (which is a blatant shout out to the Emerald Tablet of Egyptian/Greek Hermetic lore) being transcribed onto a parchment scroll and handed to a priest. The emerald tablet is then buried by the pyramids of Giza. Next, we are taken on a journey through time as we witness alchemists like the darling of the New Age set St. Germain, who are studying and applying the principles of the Emerald Tablet. These texts are passed down from generation to generation until ultimately we see them being handed to a group of elite businessmen in a boardroom. Unlike the original intentions of the New Thought Movement, which filmmaker Rhonda Byrne claims as the source of inspiration for her film and book, The Secret adopts a very clear focus on materialism and wealth enhancement, packaged in slick esoterica, promoted as self help.

So, with the obvious occult implications of The Secret, how did it become so popular with Average Joes and soccer moms?

Enter Oprah Winfrey. In an article on her website, Oprah says of The Secret, “It has been marketed and packaged in such a way that people of our generation, of this time, can receive it in a way that perhaps they couldn’t have received it from other philosophers.”

Oprah was so moved by the contents of The Secret, that she invited a selection of gurus and New Age practitioners featured in the film to be guests on her show. It can be remarked that this was likely the beginning of Oprah’s burgeoning spiritual movement, which continues to this day on her website and her OWN network. Due to Oprah’s incredible visibility and popularity at that time, she influenced millions of unsavvy viewers to purchase The Secret and apply it to their lives.

The Law of Attraction - The SecretOnce the Law of Attraction gained a foothold in pop culture, it never really let go. Using basic ideas like visualization, it is easy for the gullible and misguided to practice. One of the most popular methods described by practitioners of The Secret is that of The Vision Board. Essentially, the reader/viewer is encouraged to get a big piece of cardboard and paste things to it that they want to draw into their lives. If you want a new car, a new home, money, a new dog, a new boyfriend/girlfriend… whatever the case is, you are to find pictures of these items and glue them to your Vision Board. Once the board is full of all of the STUFF that you want, you are encouraged to study the board regularly, imagining that all of these THINGS are yours. Eventually, the universe will give them to you. Isn’t that AMAZING!? Again, it sounds an awful lot like magic, doesn’t it? Occultists and wiccans use a similar philosophy with their sigils and signs that are meant to represent things that they’d like to manifest in their lives. They use visualization while focusing on their created sigil in an effort to bring those things to themselves.

Another popular concept from The Secret is the positive affirmation, or repetitive statement of intent. In this practice, you just say the things you want over and over and eventually you’ll get them. Easy peasy! Exactly like a magical incantation! Except not, because it is SCIENCE, right??

With all of the overtly occultic, Gnostic, and Hermetic pagan influences on The Law of Attraction, how do I boldly claim that it has found its way into Christian circles?

In recent decades, a movement has been spreading throughout Christian churches. Largely knows as the Prosperity movement or Word of Faith, these preachers make bold claims about how to achieve personal prosperity through abundant faith practices. Their skillful couching of The Law of Attraction in Christianese has led many millions of people unknowingly into New Age concepts. Many of the readers of this site are aware of the dangers of this movement, but perhaps not aware of how tightly woven the prosperity gospel is with the Law of Attraction, and how insidiously it twists true Christian principles of faith with deceptive occult practices.
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GREAT VIDEO: This video is a one hour summation of Justin Peters 4 1/2 hour seminar on the Word of Faith Movement, formally entitled A Call To Discernment. It would be perfect to give to some who are becoming skeptical of the WoF movement claims but yet are not willing to devote hours and hours to learn more about it.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | October 3, 2013

VIDEO: Kenneth Copeland brags about being a billionaire

This video should make your stomach turn.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 27, 2013

Some Biblical Facts About False Teachers and Doctrine

Just-the-Facts-Hoboken

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS

1. Jesus warned about false teachers (Matt. 7:15-17).

2. Paul warned about false teachers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

3. Peter warned about false teachers and said that many will follow them (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

4. John warned about false teachers (1 John 2:18-20).

5. Jude warned about false teachers (Jude 3-4).

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT DOCTRINE

1. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2. We are to continue in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).

3. Preachers are to give themselves to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13).

4. No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Tim. 1:3).

5. Our doctrine is to be uncorrupt (Titus 2:10).

6. We are to separate from false doctrine (Rom. 16:17).

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 27, 2013

Why The Prosperity Gospel Angers Some People by Sarah

Why the Prosperity Gospel angers me

Posted on June 21, 2013

941678_22182854(SOURCE: Penny of a Thought) The Prosperity Gospel gets a lot of hype – both positive and negative – in evangelical circles. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to believe that Jesus wants us to have our best life now or that by trusting him all of our problems will disappear? Who doesn’t want to pay their bills, have a nice house, be healthy, or live in peace? Many Christians have experienced the physical blessings of God in Christ, and that is something to rejoice over and sing about.

Yet is this prosperity truly the focus of the Gospel message? Is this what Jesus came for; is it why he died? The theology of the prosperity gospel has always bothered me intellectually, but recently is has also angered me experientially, sounding like a clanging cymbal in the midst of difficult circumstances. It has been the joining together of theological reflection and experience that has caused me to take seriously the danger which the Prosperity Gospel presents. There are five key areas where I see this gospel being theologically and experientially untenable, undermining the true beauty of hope in Christ.

It Creates God in our Own Image

The cornerstone of the Prosperity Gospel is that God gives physical blessings in this life to those who trust in Jesus. Claim God’s promises and watch Him bless your socks off. While it’s true that God often blesses Christians with health and monetary gain, the underlying assumption is that God is obligated to bless our faith in these ways.

This makes our relationship with God one based on a contract or a “what’s in it for me?” mentality.  The blessings God bestow become about him owing us for our good behavior and not about his goodness and grace. This is to create God in our own image, lowering His holiness to our imperfections. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). He is not obligated to bless us and does not owe us anything. When we use the gospel to bargain with God we have lost sight of the character and holiness of the King of kings we claim to serve.

It Distorts the True Gospel

The Prosperity Gospel also distorts the Gospel’s true beauty.  The Gospel is good news because it shows that humanity’s greatest problem and need is not physical, but spiritual. Our greatest need is not health, physical safety, and prosperity. Our greatest need is forgiveness and the restoration of a right relationship with God, which Jesus has accomplished for us.

Yes, Jesus came that we might have life abundantly (John 10:10). But the abundance he was talking about was not limited to the temporal abundance this world labels as ‘blessings.’ The abundance Jesus offers in his death and resurrection is abundance of safety and security in our relationship with him. The true Gospel is that through faith in Jesus Christ there is no condemnation for our sin, we are in a right relationship with God, and we have the promise that someday we will be with him forever (Romans 8; Ephesians 2; Revelation 21-22).

It Misrepresents Jesus Christ

Because the Prosperity Gospel distorts the true Gospel, it also misrepresents Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself promised that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). As Christians we are not guaranteed that when we live correctly evil and injustice will never win in our life. But we are promised ultimate victory because Jesus has overcome the world.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 27, 2013

Ex-Word of Faith Testimony of Paul: I was the victim of a Cult

This testimony is lengthy but thorough, filled with Scripture and quotes, and it is very expressive of Pauls feelings about his short time involved in the Word of Faith Movement.

marks of a cult(SOURCE: Life Now and After Death) I am of the belief that witchcraft, sorcery, Black Magic, greed, deception, covetousness, selfishness, materialism, pride, temptation, idolatry, and blasphemy should have no place in a church or ministry that claims to represent Jesus Christ.

I was a victim of a cult. This writing is meant as a warning to unsuspecting people who may be involved in or considering any church or teaching that is from the Word of Faith Movement or Prosperity Gospel. I attended a church that employed both. I had seen the pastor of this church guest-minister at a church I used to go to in another State and I didn’t notice any obvious warning signs. Also, a couple family members who were also remotely familiar with this ministry and who are involved in their local churches encouraged me to ‘get involved’ as much as possible. I just concluded a very desctructive relationship so I figuratively ran into this church beat-up and unguarded seeking much needed refuge but little did I know I had just left a dark wooded place only to enter the home of known serial (spirit) killers.

I was not even aware that there were such things as “Word of Faith” or “Prosperity Gospel” movements and I was sitting right in it. Once I was spiritually flattened by this consuming machine I began to look back into what had happened. The Word of Faith Movement is where great emphasis is placed on the words that leave your mouth, all your words must line-up with success, and many other manner of behaivoral safeguards. The Prosperity Movement is where the belief is that all should be rich according to God’s great glory which is achieved by “sowing” money into the ministry; you pay the pastor then God pays you back with interest (Acts 8:20 “But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” ). It was all the Pharisees and Sadducees and self appointed Scribes creating their rules to control people while pointing to scripture and collecting cash. These people keep you mired down in the bondage of law and ‘works’, not elevated by freely receiving the liberty of Grace through humility. They are the gatekeepers of such law and ‘works’.

Matthew 23:1-4 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”; Matthew 23:13-14 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”.

‘If you’re not rich it’s because you’re not doing it as good as us'; the wizards would imply. ‘If you’re sick you lack faith and you don’t talk the right way, it’s your fault, you idiot’. ‘We’re trying to help you evolve from being an ignorant sheep to flying your own jets, like us…keep trying (sending us your money and allowing us to control your minds), just a couple more decades and you just might make it…we love you’. Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

These cults were birthed under the guise of a more revelatory form of Christianity, on the cutting edge. They are heretical and preach a doctrine that takes away power from God and gives it to man. ‘God has given you the power, now it’s up to you to perform the correct way and use this power to shape your life according to the way you want it’. God becomes your own genie in a bottle, as long as you say the right magic words, He will come out of the bottle and do whatever you wish. It also promises new found riches if you follow the program closely but it’s nothing more than an ongoing ‘get rich quick scheme’ infomercial. A ponzi scheme motivated by the greed of the proponents and adherers; you pay money in so you can get more money out. ‘Because it’s God will that we be self-centered materialistic brats, you know, so we can be good witnesses for Jesus in this self-centered materialistic world. And once we have this money we can minister the love of money by giving some of our extra money to the lost and hurting people of this world who are also fixated on money, all in the name of our precious Father, Amen. It’s all clearly stated in the Bible, if you don’t believe me bring your check book or Visa card to church sometime and the pastor will show you, that’s just how much he loves you. Then you can spread to all of your friends, unless they are to stupid to see it, this refreshing gospel of Jesus Christ as interpreted by Benjamin Franklin’. Matthew 6:25; “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”.

First, these pastors have to get the audience to believe there’s something special, unique, and more Godly about them, a Pope or Medicine Man like quality; far from equals with the audience. Note, this has nothing to do with lowering ones spirit to being a humble servant, as Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament did, it has everything to do with elevating oneself to grand wizard status as the Pharisees and Sadducees did. They convince the audience that they are more spiritually advanced than them and they have supernatural knowledge; like the kid in class who has a secret and all the other kids want to know. This is done through charisma, speaking with authority, bragging, and ridiculing people and points of views that don’t come from them or line up with their agenda. Once they’ve established their unique credibility and got their hooks in you, everything else is easy. They then create an atmosphere of ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s from the audience, these pastors call it “Revelatory Knowledge”, to keep the audience bamboozled and mystified; in a sense casting a spell over the audience through deception. They package the messages in an uplifting and exciting presentation buttressed by out of context scripture to support their points. They offer gifts of empowerment to the audience. This is the exact same cunning as the serpent in the garden of Eden. Similarly, what it does is actually minister oppression to the audience; spirits of pride, greed, selfishness, and covetousness. What follows is self doubt, confusion, and disappointment when the desired results are not achieved. Some people follow this movement for decades. I was there for a little more than a year and I have been very regretful to God for my poor choices. Ephesians 4: 14; “. . .henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”.

Oppositely from the grand wizards, Jesus actually said this; Matthew 23:8-12 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”.

It’s rooted in the same teachings as Christian Science, New Thought, and other forms of the occult and it has swept into the Christian world like a cancer. It began with the writings of E.W. Kenyon, which were stolen and plagiarized by Kenneth E. Hagin, AKA “Dad” Hagin (“Originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of His hands. In other words, Adam was the god of this world.” ), who then merchandised the cult in a huge way; Kenneth Copeland (“Several people that I know have criticized, some of them are dead right today in an early grave because of it, and there’s more than one of them that’s got cancer.” ), Benny Hinn (“You have attacked me, your children will pay for it” ), Joel Osteen (who claims your future will be contingent on “the words you say today” which is from the occult), Joyce Meyer (“men are called god’s by the law, men to whom God’s message came, and the scripture cannot be set aside or canceled or broken or annulled” ), Fred Price (“God the father cannot do anything in this earth realm without permission.” ), Jesse Duplantis (said of Jesus “Why was He born in a stable? Because that short, deaf lady lost their reservation. He couldn’t get into the inn.” ), Creflo Dollar (“You begin to study the righteousness of God is also defined as having equality with God” ), and the gang over at Trinity Broadcasting Network (founder Paul Crouch said this regarding anyone who would get in the way of TBN which he claimed was “God’s plan”; “I attended the funeral of these two people who tried.” ) are fruit of E.W. Kenyon’s cultic teachings brought to us by Kenneth E. Hagin. Regarding the above cursing of people; James 3-9-10 “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”; and, regarding the antichrist; Daniel 8:25: “…he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many…” (“craft” is witchcraft).

E.W. Kenyon went to an oratory school in Boston that was filled with the teachings and followers of Transcendentalism, New Thought, and other metaphysical cults…’you are what you think’, ‘you can have what you speak’, ‘we are all little gods’. It was Emerson School of Oratory where he was under Charles Emerson, a Christian Scientist, and R.W. Trine, a Gnostic who advanced New Thought. It is clear that his writings reflect this. Kenneth E. Hagin took these cultic writings and was able to charasmatically parlay them into great power, influence, and riches with his unique carnival barker presentation. Now they are mainstream and polluting the clean water of sound doctrine. Revelation 13:5; “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies…”.

The leaders of this movement are already the masters, how else could they coach us if they haven’t mastered the movement? So we looked up to them as wizards and grand wizards. They were already living the life of the rich and powerful, how could we argue with them? The problem is they are spending money lavishly on themselves raised using the name of the Lord, the same Lord who lowered Himself to flesh, then lowered himself further to wash the flesh of men. Matthew 23:16-19 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?”.
Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 21, 2013

500,000 Hits/Top 25 post

500_000_hits_by_spiritwarriors-d46pamh

 

THE TESTIMONY PAGE 17,738
TBN Watch – NEW Paul Crouch Trouble 15,588
Kenneth Copeland: 33rd Degree Freemason and other “Word of Faith” Masonic Ministers Exposed 13,751
PICTURES of Joel Osteen’s 10.5 Million Dollar River Oaks Mansion 13,536
Benny Hinn and Paula White Caught In Affair? 13,135
Ex-Faith Healer Mark Haville Explains The Tricks of the Fake Faith Healing Trade 11,909
Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn: Can they be Christians and Freemasons? These 4 articles say NO 11,895
Ex-Word of Faith Testimony of a Joyce Meyers Follower 7,061
Todd Bentley’s 2nd Wife, Jessa Bentley, Talks About Speaking With Dead People – Which Scripture Forbids (Video Working) 6,548
Some Commentary[ies] on Mark 11:23-24 (An Often Mis-Interpreted Verse By Word of Faithers) 6,266
Drunk in the Spirit ? 5,714
Marjoe Gortner: Proof that some Christians will fall for anything 5,012
Ex-Word of Faith Preacher tells “THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORD OF FAITH” 4,744
MOVIN’ ON UP: Joel Osteen moves to $10.5 million River Oaks Mansion 4,714
Facts About the Word of Faith Cult 4,631
The Word of Faith and the Kundalini Spirit (Occultism in Christianity) 4,415
Signs And Wonders Movement Exposed: THE VIDEO SERIES THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST SEE!!!!!!! 4,383
COMMENTS 4,009
False Teachers of the Word of Faith 3,748
CAUTION End Time Church: Top 5 False Doctrines To Avoid 3,554
Did Jesus Command Us To Tithe? 3,500
ABOUT 3,358
The Word of Faith Seed Faith Money Scam 3,273
World Changers Church International: CULT or Christianity? by Rick Sherrell 3,181
Ex-Word of Faith Pastor: MY Rhema Days 3,133
Pastor Creflo Dollar SUED for Business Fraud (COPY OF LAWSUIT PROVIDED) w/VIDEO 3,098
Fleecing the flock. How Corrupt Is Christian Television? 3,023
Posted by: Damon Whitsell | September 20, 2013

Jesse Duplantis says “You, not God, decide when to die!”

Jesse Duplantis makes the case that since “death and life” are in the power of the tongue he then concludes that we, not God, decide when to live or die.

It’s really outrageous, and sometimes deadly, when you see some of the Word of Faith teachings carried out to their logical conclusions.

RELATED POST: PROVERBS 18:21 – Are There Really Life and Death In The Power Of Words?

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/03/02/proverbs-1821-are-there-really-life-and-death-in-the-power-of-words/

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.

_______________________________

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.
_____________________

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.

Read More…

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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