Part 1 in a series of three
That’s right! If you don’t believe me, ask Joel Osteen. Or Joyce Meyer, or Kenneth Copeland, or Robert Schuller, or TD Jakes, or Benny Hinn. How could so many TV personalities, er, Christian ministers be wrong?
Check out their “gospel teachings”:
Q: Do you need to have a personal relationship with Christ or even be a Christian to benefit from what you write?
Joel Osteen: I was reading today about one of the wealthiest men in the world. Every week he gives away homes and cars and surgery for the poor in his country of Saudi Arabia, and he continues his business and continues to be one of the wealthiest men in the world. I thought about it and that’s just right out of the principles of the Bible. When you give, God is going to give back to you. I think that having a positive attitude and expecting good things is just what the Bible says. The answers I think will work for anybody.
“When we approach a circumstance already stressed out, we’re setting ourselves up for misery before we begin. Instead, refuse to allow your circumstances to dictate how you’re going to feel. You may not be able to control the situation, but you can control how you respond to it. Take an offensive approach and decide beforehand what your attitude will be. Then the door will be opened for God to supernaturally help you through your choice to calm down and cheer up.” — Joyce Meyer
“…in the reborn human spirit, these forces are ALIVE. As we begin to learn these things, we begin to find out that these forces are in there. If we learn what produces them, what feeds them, and what releases them, then you don’t have any excuse for not USING them. And they are more powerful than ANY force that can bind any part of your spirit, any part of your mind, any part of your body, any part of your social life, any part of your eternity. Hallelujah! There’s no demon in Hell, there’s no law that ANY devil can pull on you and operate on you that’s bigger than these forces. Against these there IS no law. Praise God! Amen?” — Kenneth Copeland
~~~ (y’know I really hate it when preachers use “Amen?” instead of a period at the end of sentences… amen?) ~~~
“I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.” — Robert Schuller
From an article in the Dallas Observer: “Jakes says — during an interview and in his sermons — Jesus was a rich man. He had to have been, in order to have supported his disciples and their families during his ministry. “The myth of the poor Jesus needs to be destroyed, because it’s holding people back.” — T.D. Jakes
“The Lord is speaking to eight men to sow a $1,000,000 each. If you will obey, one of you who lost millions, if you sow that seed God will restore everything that you lost…Obey God and win! I am speaking under the anointing. What God is asking for is a little to what he is going to give you.” — Benny Hinn
I should have called this post “Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain, Part 2”. I’m going to come right out and say it: these people — ALL of these people — are teaching false teachings. Heresies. They’ll tell you it’s all about Jesus. But take a look at the quotes… how often is Jesus’ name mentioned? (twice — once as a rich man and once as a destructive influence) And how often is either money or success mentioned? (in all of them) Which is clearly more important to these preachers?
There’s lots more I could say, but I’ll save it for future posts. For now I’ll just say this: if I named your favorite preacher in the list above, and you think I’m wrong about them mis-teaching the scriptures, drop me a note. I’ll be happy to share my research with you.
Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Jesus says: “when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Jesus says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus says: “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: …you say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Are there rewards for serving Jesus? Sure there are, and He says so in the above quotes. (Note: Jesus also said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He never promised His disciples an easy life.) But following Jesus for what He can do for you is as crass as marrying someone for their money. The Creator of the Universe has wealth enough to satisfy, I’m sure. Personally I’d rather just spend an afternoon talking with Him… (continue to “Part 2: Prosperity Preachers, Academics, and Fence-Sitters” here)