“…materialism, flashy self-promotion, and foolish carnality.”

prosperity

I know I’m taking considerable time denouncing the godless and heretical prosperity gospel (inextricably intertwined in the equally heretical “word of faith” movement).

It just continues to make me righteously indignant – and downright angry – when I see that the prosperity wolves continue to raise their heads from their vomit long enough to bilk the sheep into financing their disgustingly garish lifestyles. They don’t care that their congregation (and viewing public) are losing their homes, jobs, cars, and families during these terrible economic times – they just keep begging for more.

The quote above is taken from one of the latest articles in the February edition of Christianity Today magazine:

Prosperity Gospel on Skid Row

Some of the high-flying icons of the prosperity gospel—the belief that God rewards signs of faith with wealth, health, and happiness—have run into financial turbulence.

Not all of their troubles can be blamed on the nation’s economic crisis, say critics of the name-it-and-claim-it theology found in some charismatic churches.

“I believe the charismatic movement, of which I am a part, is in the midst of a dramatic overhaul,” said J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine. “God is shaking us.” Grady predicts the movement will look much different in a few years as it refocuses on evangelism and overcoming what he calls the distraction of “materialism, flashy self-promotion, and foolish carnality.” But Scott Thumma, a Hartford Seminary sociologist who studies megachurches, is not so certain.

“Most clergy who preach a prosperity gospel would interpret for their congregation any conflict, scrutiny, or questioning as an attack of the Devil and proof that they are following God,” he said.

Among recent developments:

• In Fort Worth, Texas, a review board ruled December 7 that Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ $3.6 million jet did not have tax-exempt status. The ruling came after the ministry, whose 1,500-acre campus includes a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion, refused to release the salaries of Copeland, his wife, and others.

• In suburban Atlanta, Georgia, a sheriff’s deputy served an eviction notice November 14 at Bishop Thomas Weeks III’s Global Destiny Church. Court documents indicate the bishop, the ex-husband of televangelist Juanita Bynum, owed half a million dollars in back rent. The church has lost roughly half of its 3,400 members since Weeks and Bynum’s 2007 fight in a hotel parking lot, in which Weeks was accused of pushing, choking, and beating his then-wife.

• In Tampa, Florida, Without Walls International Church—which once attracted 23,000 worshipers—has shrunk drastically after co-pastors Randy and Paula White announced in 2007 they were divorcing. The church faces an uncertain future after the Evangelical Christian Credit Union began foreclosure proceedings November 4 and demanded repayment of a $12 million loan on the church’s property.

• In suburban Minneapolis on November 18, Living Word Christian Center pastor Mac Hammond won the first stage of a court battle with the Internal Revenue Service to keep his salary private. Yet in 2008, he was forced to put his private jet up for sale and cut Living Word’s hour-long television show in half to save money amid falling contributions.

Meanwhile, Copeland and the Whites are among six televangelists whose large organizations have been targeted in a Senate Finance Committee investigation into allegations of questionable spending and lax financial accountability. All six preach some form of the prosperity gospel.

Could followers of the prosperity gospel—encouraged by pastors to “sow a seed” of faith by spending money, often in the form of a donation to the pastors’ ministries—be turned off by the recent turmoil?

Oh..oh…let me answer that last question: OF COURSE NOT!!!

It doesn’t matter how despicable these degenerate pimps are, or how brazen their money-grabs become. They have perfected the following wicked equation:

Give cash to the pimp + “speaking those things that be not as though they were” + dance and speak in tongues = Access to God!

That means that no matter how bad the economy is, just keep paying the pimp (and rub your bible 8 times because 8 is the number of new beginnings!) and you will manifest prosperity in your life! (cue jumpy organ music).

And unfortunately, the lust of the flesh keeps compelling the gullible to throw the dice “one more time”…no matter how bad the odds are against them.

The article ends on a wishful note:

In Grady’s view, the notion that “God blesses us so we can be a blessing” is biblical. What is needed, he believes, is a shift to a more selfless movement where people “realize that God wants to bless us so that we can feed the poor, lift up the broken, and transform society.

“We need that kind of prosperity,” he said, “and I think that is where things are going.”

Yup, that’s the kind of prosperity we need, but Eddie, Creflo, and the other degenerates can’t take that kind of prosperity to the bank every Monday and Thursday morning…

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14 Responses to ““…materialism, flashy self-promotion, and foolish carnality.””


  1. 1 brother willy January 19, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for posting this brother, For about two or so years I was completely taken in by the prosperity gospel and word-faith theology. I would buy Kenneth Copeland’s books and cds and I would by Creflo Dollar’s books because I believed that what they tought was biblical. But the Lord has opened my eyes and I see these “pastors” for who and what they are. False prophets and wolves in sheeps clothing. Keep up what you’re doing it is having an impact.

  2. 2 Vaughn January 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

    “That means that no matter how bad the economy is, just keep paying the pimp (and rub your bible 8 times because 8 is the number of new beginnings!) and you will manifest prosperity in your life! (cue jumpy organ music).

    And unfortunately, the lust of the flesh keeps compelling the gullible to throw the dice “one more time”…no matter how bad the odds are against them.”

    That part about the jumpy organ music struck my funny bone, as it shouldn’t have but sounds like you’re hip to the game!

    But on a serious note that along with the speaking the things that are not as though they were, can only be applied if it’s according to the will of God.

    All of these parlor tricks work as long as the audience (wanting to say congregation) aren’t willing to pick up the bible and read it for themselves, not with the speed reading techniques that were so popular in the 70’s

  3. 3 Pastor Jim January 19, 2009 at 10:43 am

    ST
    You know this grieves me and I’ve never even been mixed up in it personally. I just deal with a bit of the fallout with a few people who end up in the church where I pastor. And feel the resistance from everyone in the culture that sees through the charade. (Sort of like being guilty by association when regular people find out I’m a pastor. I can read their thoughts, “Oh, you are one of those guys.”)

    Brother, I ask where do all the refugees from the WoF ‘ministries’ end up? What would you promote as a biblical response after leaving?

    The Church is Jesus Christ’s BRIDE and I urge you to turn your sharp and insightful writing skills to promoting the true church. And pray tell this pastor how to reach out and get these refugees to trust God’s true church again!

  4. 4 Vaughn January 19, 2009 at 11:25 am

    @Pastor Jim,

    The truth and nothing but the truth, in today’s society we tend to look at folks with the side-eye, basically due to the fact that led this country in this present stage, greed & pride.

    You can succumb to the feelings of that complex, but I think that we both beg to differ.

    Emphasis must be made upon who God is, while giving those that would hear you His attributes. I’ve been studying the Old Testament of late, and must say as a fan of history, that we see history repeating itself.

    There’re too many doing the work of The Lord deceitfully, and woe unto them, but you have a charge to keep and a God to glorify. So you best glorify God by doing His work His way, and not for status and filthy lucre.

    Tell whomever that is giving you their attn. the plain unadulterated facts, and their blood wont be on your hands.

    Afterall they (the conned) were drawn by their own lusts, point that out! No false promises just the Word.

  5. 5 speaking truth January 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Brother, I ask where do all the refugees from the WoF ‘ministries’ end up? What would you promote as a biblical response after leaving?

    Good questions, Pastor Jim. The WOF refugees that I run into have found assemblies where sound biblical teaching takes place. Of course, they didn’t just leave the pimp and walk right into sound doctrine – they had to study the Word for themselves so that they would know truth when they heard it preached.

    Sadly that’s not the case with every WOF refugee. I suspect that many get fed up with church (period) and seek refuge back in the world – making it even more difficult for men like you to expose them to truth again. As you know, the Lord wills whom He will draw to Him, so all we can do is (as Vaughan said) preach truth – no fluff, no gimmicks, no games – and pray that the Holy Spirit will allow their ears to hear it.

    Of course the biblical response to the pimps is to call them on it (face to face privately, then publicly if rejected) – which is what I and others have done – and to call them into repentance. Don’t worry, I will use my “sharp tongue and writing skills” to highlight doctrine and the Gospel truth…you just keep being a humble pastor, and those hurting hearts will discern your empathy (and see the fruit of your walk) as the Holy Spirit allows you to assist in His work.

  6. 6 Pamela January 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Some leave church but do NOT leave the Lord. Many of the people that are currently at the church I attend (in the mecca of the WOF nonsense, Tulsa OK) stayed away and did seek the word for themselves. At least that portion of what the WOF people taught in the early days stuck with many of them. Most of them began to question when after a few years nothing was produced in their lives as promised. A good number of them that saw these folk up close also saw no fruit of spiritual maturity in their lives. All of the ones that I know that bought the lies will tell you that it pulled on the love of money they had. They wanted to believe it was true. I will also say the vast majority of them were people that really struggled in their finances when they first heard these extortion messages.

    One of the main problems that they found was that if you take a real close examination of what they are teaching the root of it is the law, which we have been set free from according to Galatians 3:13 I believe and other references in the NT that state that works do not earn amy brownie points with God.

    I was fortunate because at the time these teachings began I did not have financial struggles. I found them to be pretty greedy. One thing I’m glad about is that their monies are drying up. I learned long ago that when you hear a lot of teachings on finances they are either (1) pulling for more money just because and/or (2) the offerings have dropped.

    I remember hearing Jim Bakker a few weeks ago talking about this. He is friends of a marketing consultant for some of the large Christian ministries. He was told that giving had dropped 40-50%. I’m sure since Jim Bakker learned his lesson he would tell you that people are wising up to this madness. The drop started long before the financial situation that we are in today.

    Gary Carpenter is a Bible teacher at the church I attend. He was in the middle of the madness. He and his wife because believers in 1980 when the big thrust of this teaching was beginning. He will tell you that the Bible teachers had taught him to be greedy because right when they came to Christ their heart was to give. Of course he has learned his lesson and has many teachings FOR FREE on his web site about what he calls extortion tactics (prosperity gospel). The vest majority of the time when he does the offertory he is telling people what not to fall for and gives scripture to explain why the tactic is unbiblical.

    I would advise any leader to strongly speak the truth about this because too many people truly think they are pleasing the Lord by giving their last dime because of the widow’s mite story being taken out of context. You will set those people free. Some may not understand how to study the Bible and for a time need solid teachers that will teach them. Leaders need to be the ones to speak out against this nonsense. I am so grateful to have leaders at the church I attend that will strongly speak out against this stuff.

  7. 7 escapeetoo January 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    “Some leave church but do NOT leave the Lord”…Well stated Pam! WoF fools think because you leave this foolishness you also leave God. In fact when you are removed from the WoF heresy you in fact draw closer to the will of God.
    I can’t tell you how many folk avoid me from Club Hustle & Flow. They claim I have “left God”.

    The WoF faith movement is in a major “rebranding mode”. New Birth South Metropolitan Church recently changed its name to “Higher Living Christian Church”. They also added a “Pentagon” to its logo. Why did they do this? They wanted to differentiate itself from the future prosecution about to beset other WoF heresies!

  8. 8 speaking truth January 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    You are extremely fortunate that you sit under someone who eschews this type of ignorance, Pamela. I have found that the ministries that truly seek to do the Lord’s work do give their messages away for free, where the pimps charge for it (and even package it into neat “series” to help you unlock wealth). The sound teachers don’t even ask for anything in return, or promise you a vial of “holy oil”, or the trinket of the month.

    And to think, you’ve found sound doctrine in the land of Carlton Pearson…go figure 😀

  9. 9 Pamela January 20, 2009 at 1:19 am

    It has been amazing and a relief. I believe more and more ministers will speak up in the days to come. Many probably want to but are afraid of the conflict they will have, especially with their peers, when they take this stance. Pastor Dave Roberson lost most of his preacher friends when he stopped teaching that stuff. Gary Carpenter is also hated by many preachers. When you touch people’s money they will scream out. The good thing is that people are wising up to all of this and are stopping their support of these extortionists. I expect this to continue along with seeing those ministries that deal righteously with the funds they are given to truly prosper because their hearts will be in furthering God’s kingdom. The next few years will be really interesting to see how God deals with this stuff.

  10. 11 johnny Brooks July 27, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Hey there! I’m Kate (Johnny’s wife) and I was just writing an article on this very topic. Kudos to you for speaking out! 🙂
    We are missionaries in Kenya, and I see the prosperity doctrine ruining people’s lives here.

    I just wanted to borrow your picture for my article as well. I found you/it by doing a Google search I hope you don’t mind.

    Feel free to read the article if you like @ http://purechristianity.blogs.com/pure_christianity/2009/07/blessing-from-god-or-selfish-gain.html

    Thanks for seeing the truth!
    kb

  11. 12 Michael July 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I am a Christian and a preacher in training. It’s sad to see the state that the American Church is in and even more sad to see how silent everyone is on this topic. Let me begin by saying that I believe in the blessing of God. I believe that God will increase and bless us so that we might give according to as He has purposed in our hearts and prospered us. I believe that as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He will add to us everything we need. I also believe in the blessings of tithing and giving of offerings(to their storehouse/local church) as God directs the believer in their hearts.I believe that when we give, it is one of the greatest expressions of our love. When Jesus Christ washes us in His blood and justifies us in His Spirit and begins to teach us His Word it affects everything we have ever been taught by life regarding our finances.

    We are going to want to give of our substance to the work of The Lord so that other souls can be reached, saved and experience the freedom from sin that we have in Jesus Christ. We will want to give so that other CHRISTIANS among us will have provision if they are in need. One of the greatest ares of giving is in what the Bible calls ALMS. Alms giving is when we are sensitive to God’s Spirit to help someone else that is in need. It may be a single parent in church that’s trying to make through the rest of the month. It may be a working father who doesn’t want a handout but enough gas in his vehicle to make it to payday. It may be an elderly saint that needs food. Whenever God speaks to us and moves on us by His Spirit to help someone else, we should avail ourselves to Him. When we minister to other saints we do it unto the Lord. There should be a spirit of BENEVOLENCE in any “church” that professes Jesus Christ as Lord and that benevolent spirit and heart should be apparent in the pulpit and the pew.

    I also believe in proper stewardship and personal responsibility. We cannot continue (after our conversion) to haphazzardly handle money the way we did when we were sinners. We cannot continue to spend more than we make or live above our means. We cannot allow covetousness to cause us to live a lifestyle that we cannot afford. We must learn the true meaning of Godliness with contentment. I’m not saying that Christians have to live in a card board box under a overpass but God is going to bring order and proper structure to our finances.

    With all that said, I am angered and grieved at the extreme prosperity message coming out of American pulpits. Very seldom if at all will you hear a prosperity preacher talk about ALMS giving. This is where we give and minister to the needs of those around us and God blesses this type of giving also. But instead, their message is followed by a appeal or plea to give to THEIR MINISTRY. I believe in world missions and good charitable works that are done around the globe on behalf of any church or ministry. But sometimes I find myself wondering why are ministries doing countless “deeds” in other parts of the world when there is NO….NO…..BENEVOLENCE department established in their local churches to help faithful members that are in need.

    We are being played,conned and gamed! ANY faithful Christian and church member that has placed their family in that place as their spiritual home and are faithful with their tithes and offerings as well as their time should be able to go to their storehouse in TIMES of need and get help. The the WOF/Prosperity conn artist have successfully taught the people that if they have a need in their lives it is because they are doing something wrong or their faith “isn’t working” thereby excusing themselves from the God commanded responsibility of helping their sheep. They will also play the IF A MAN DOESN’T WORK HE DOESN’T EAT,”card” which is true but some people are in a situation where they’ve been laid off and are not slothful. Job did absolutely nothing wrong to warrant the attack of the enemy in his life and there may be times when we a Christians undergo an attack for absolutely no reason at all and that’s when we need the love, strenght and help of our church the most.

    I am so glad that God is fed up and about to pull the plug on some of these T.V. Ministries. I don’t see how anyone with a heart of compassion can drive around in a Bentley,Mercedes,Escalade (double cab if you will)or sit on a G4 that the ministry is paying for with the donations of the congregation, when there are people in their congregation AND ON THEIR STAFF struggling to put food on the table.If someone or a group of people WITH THE MEANS approaches a Pastor or preacher and said I/We want to do this for you then fine. But when these luxuries are bought under the ministry’s corporation and then paid for by the contributions of the congregation then something is wrong! In these tough economic times, have any of these guys felt a compulsion to SELL some of their STUFF and give it to the ministry in case church members have unexpected needs that arise?

    I wonder how many of these guys will allow a church member to ride their G4 to a family emergency in another city because they don’t have the money to go commercial?

    I believe in giving honor and double honor to true SHEPERDS that labor in the word of God and feed His sheep the truth. But some of these guys want us to believe that there is a hirarchey or eliteism in Christianity. They can wear their rolexes,custom suits,custom shoes,fly first class or private lear jet but us……we’re just the little dumb sheep of the Lord. Nonsense! I marvel at how some of these guys brag about their stuff but when the media or IRS launches an investigation, they are quick to point out that it isn’t “theirs personally” but belongs to the ministry. If it belongs to the ministry then why don’t congregation members benefit from the usage of it?

    I recently came out of a mega church in the Midwest. I was so “green” when I first got there. I believe that I truely went there with a right heart to seek the Lord and live in truth. After 15 years I realize I was a commodity. I’ve seen it all and NOTHING in ministry surprises me! The marketing strategies,church growth formulas and the giving gimmicks invaded that church. These guys will do anything to keep givers in their clutches. Control and an extreme view of spiritual covering are used as tools to keep people from leaving. It doesn’t matter how erroneus their teachings become or how much it contradicts scripture…you can’t leave because they are your covering.If a Christian buys into this, these guys will take them off the clift with them.

    I hope The Lord NEVER allows me to go back to such a place. I’m not saying that all large churches are bad. Jesus had the ability to mininster to 5,000 and then 1 woman at a well a few scriptures later. There are also some small churches with some bad doctrine. What I’m saying is when ever we select a church it should based on what’s coming out of that pulpit. I don’t care about their dynamic childrens ministry (which is also another marketing ploy to target your kids and in turn get you)besides, how can you say no when your child likes it there so much. If it sounds like corporate America it is. I don’t care if they have a hip coffeee bar and a cafe. I can get that at the mall! What kind of doctrine comes out of that pulpit? Is the Pastor SAVED? Is there an emphasis on holiness? Is there an emphasis on self denial? Is there an emphasis on seeking the Kingdom first and placing our affection on things above? Is there a spirit and heart of benevolence? Such churches have become so hard to find in America, Maybe God will grace,equip and enable me to start one.

  12. 13 Carol November 12, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    All I can say is amen brother! I am soooo sick of those people and really angry too.

    They claim to be of God but wouldn’t know Him if He was standing in front of them. They destroy lives to build their own little, oh pardon (their mega kingdoms) in order to do it and then wonder why sinners hate Christians so much and think they are nothing but phonies. That is because the majority are nothing but blessing seeking, sign following pharisees.

  13. 14 Pastor Chris December 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

    The reason people keep giving is that what they are preaching, from a Biblical point of view, is essentially true… they are only slanting it and sometimes feeding upon people’s nature of greed or need. But God desires to bless us so that we can BE a blessing… so that we can BE an example of His love and goodness to those in need… so that we can RE-Present Him to a lost and dying world. For a balanced message on the subject go to http://www.CasablancaChurch.org and click The Blessing Series. -pc


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