Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Preaching Greed

Great post from Al Mohler on the false gospel of the prosperity preachers:

"God knows where the money is, and he knows how to get the money to you." That was the message of Gloria Copeland as she was speaking at the Southwest Believers' Convention recently held in Fort Worth, Texas. The event drew the attention of The New York Times and reporter Laurie Goodstein contributed a compelling report about the meeting and its message. The Southwest Believers' Convention drew a crowd of more than 9,000 to hear an "all-star lineup" of preachers deliver the message of the prosperity gospel. One by one, the preachers and the speakers enticed the gathered thousands by offering them the assurance that God wants them rich -- even fabulously rich.

As Goodstein reports, the preachers were not shy about drawing attention to the luxurious lives they lead. "Private airplanes and boats. A motorcycle sent by an anonymous supporter. Vacations in Hawaii and cruises in Alaska. Designer handbags. A ring of emeralds and diamonds." According to the preachers of the prosperity gospel, these are merely examples of the riches and rewards that come to those who have sufficient faith -- and invest sufficient funds in the ministries of the prosperity preachers.

The New York Times took note of the fact that the current recession and financial distress did not keep the crowd from attending the Southwest Believers' Convention. The event is part of the ministry of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, described by Laurie Goodstein as the "current patriarch and matriarch" of the prosperity gospel. The paper summarized their message as the promise that if an individual has sufficient faith in God and donates generously, God will reward that generosity by multiplying the offerings a hundredfold.

Read the entire post HERE.

As the post mentions, the prosperity false gospel is a part of what is often referred to as "word faith theology" which is nothing more than sorcery. They teach that the words we speak create reality. Faith, they teach, is a universal force to which all things including God are subjected. Therefore one needs only to speak the right words (it must be out loud) with enough faith and reality will yeild to the force of faith. Again, speaking words in order to create reality is pagan sorcery, not Christianity. Incidentally, these false teachers like the Copelands, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and others teach that God must exercise faith in order to get things done.

Make no mistake these people preach a different Gospel. And let us not forget what the apostle Paul writes about those who distort the Gospel:
"...there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:7-9).


TUG said...


First off, this is really Bill Legge posting incognito. Long story. Well, short story really, but it gets long when I have to type it.

I read this post yesterday, in addition to listening to Dr. Mohler's radio program dealing with the same topic.

I believe you've buried the lead here. Dr. Mohler concluded his article with the most succinct indictment of the "health - wealth" movement that I've read/heard so far. He wrote, "It's not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little."

Regardless, excellent series of posts.

Todd Pruitt said...

Mohler's conclusion is definitely the key point - these preachers are teaching their followers to settle for so much less. They see God in strictly utilitarian terms. God is not treasured so much as His gifts are treasured.

TUG said...

"God is not treasured so much as His gifts are treasured."

Perfectly written.

And that goes to the very heart of the matter, our fallen status. It is so hard for us to treasure God more than we treasure ourselves.

It's all so counter-intuitive. Complete submission leads to ultimate inclusion? That makes so little sense here. There is little wonder this message sounds foolish.

Harley A. said...

Technically, they are right. You CAN have your best life now. But, it's not a good idea. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus teaches us that…

Todd Pruitt said...

Good point. Do you want "your best life" now? Or do you want something infinitely better forever?