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Jan 01 2010

Prosperity Gospel Popularity

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

I hope everybody had a Happy New Year.  This morning I woke up early as I wanted to make sure I was up early enough to catch the stealth bombers fly overhead (that’s a sight to see, it’s not the same as watching it on television).  I made myself a cup of coffee and took a look at my email and checked my blog before going outside to wait for the bombers to fly overhead.  What struck me most was the post that generated the most interest.  It was an old post from February.  The post that people were looking at was The Prosperity Gospel.  As I looked at the stats and the amount of people that read that post in one day, I decided to take a look at how people were even finding that post and why all of a sudden, while being rather dormant this whole year, all of a sudden there was so much interest.  The search terms clued me in.  Without listing all the search terms, I can summarize it.  People were looking how to prosper in 2010 and they were looking to God to prosper them in 2010.

God has promised to provide our needs but He has not promised to prosper us into riches and wealth.  I realize that there are some that teach that if we simply have enough faith, health and wealth can be ours to enjoy.

L. Ron Hubbard (Founder of Scientology) once said “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.”

Sadly L. Ron Hubbard was correct.  I once had a boss who I was having a conversation with regarding Christianity.  He said to me that if he wanted to be rich, he would have forgone law school and the practice of law and started his own religion.  He certainly was smart enough and charismatic enough to have pulled it off if he wanted to.

I won’t go through the list of names of the prosperity preachers, we all know who they are.  They are the wolves in sheep’s clothing that we are warned about in the bible.  They are destructive and give people false hope.  They appeal to people’s greed. Yes, that’s what they do.  People send in money to these wolves in sheep’s clothing as they are promised that God will multiply what they give back to them – they are told that they are planting seed money and will reap rewards.  The only one reaping rewards is the the receiver, that is the prosperity preacher.  If you have not had a chance to read the post I cited above, please take a moment.  I have cited instances in which people have been greatly harmed unto death for believing these false teachers.  Parents have withheld lifesaving medication from their own children believing that by their faith, a diabetic child will be healed all the while watching their child slip into a coma and die.

We all want financial security.  I can guarantee you (I have the Word of God to back this up), that sending money to prosperity preachers will not gain you financial security but will put a hole in your wallet.  The prosperity preacher will prosper with your money, you won’t.

Jesus was born into a working class family.  He worked as a carpenter.  His disciples were also working class.  Not one of them was wealthy.  Somehow these wolves in sheep’s clothing are teaching people that we deserve to live better than Jesus or His disciples.

This first post of the new year is in hopes that people will at least consider that these prosperity preachers are teaching falsely and instead of placing their hope in these empty promises, they place their trust and hope in the only One that can provide our needs.  He never promised riches; He promised to take care of His children’s needs.

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17 comments

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  1. Tami

    The necessity of your post is sad to me. Oh Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Tami,

      I think you nailed it when you said it is sad for the ‘necessity’ of this post. When we get right down to it, something like this post should not be necessary. But if we do a simple google search, we can find all sorts of people finding it necessary to speak out against these teachings for these teachings have become so much part of the Christian ‘culture.’

      Happy New Year to your and your family :)

  2. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    People’s desire for worldly goods is sad…. They have no clue about the spiritual riches we have in Christ Jesus alone….. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”….. That says the truth, but people don’t want to hear truth.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      I know Margaret :( — it sure is sad. Sometimes I don’t think we can even grasp how far we have fallen for I don’t think we can grasp the utter perfectness and Holiness of God.

      Happy New Year Margaret!

  3. Liz

    another whopper of a post!!!! I could tell you some experiences I have had regarding this very topic but the story is way to long.

    I thank God for truth. The gate is very narrow. Peolpe want to make it wider then it was suppose to be. The flesh gets to much in the way which is a very sad thing.

    thanks for sharing this and staying authentic to what the bible in thruth teaches.

    1. Tishrei

      Hey Liz,

      I am sure I have heard similar stories to the one’s you may have. I’ve been to those type of churches and have been around prosperity believers. Oy, the stories I have and the things I have seen.

      Hope you had a Happy New Year :)

  4. Repent Harlequin

    Tishrei,

    One of the books I read last yera was “Christianity In Crisis for the 21st Century” by Hank Hanegraaff. I actually had to put it aside at the half way point, read something else, and then pick it up again. It was that depressing.

    Before picking that book up I thought the prosperity preachers were simply greedy snake oil salesman, maybe some self deluded. Perhaps even led away by their predeceesors and their own naive and uneducated interpretations of Scripture. After reading this book I realized they had to be intentioanl tools of the devil (Hanegraaff does not make this explicit point, it is my conclusion). Also, I realized there are so many other people involved in the production of their tours and shows and that most of them have to know what’s really going on. The final purpose is to get people’s money and to distract them from the true gospel. If Satan hadn’t thought all this out I would be surprised. I then lent the book to a woman in our group at church who left a WordFaith church and she had the same reaction I did.

    One of the things I found shocking is a relatively new teaching that has been picked up by prosperity teachers is the idea that Jesus was actually very rich (why would he need a treasurer, after all) and that by today’s standards he would have been a multi-millionaire. When the Lord said he had no place to rest his head it was because the disciples had messed up the hotel reservations. I’m not making this up.

    People want to believe so they are often duped willinglingly. But these guys and gals doing the duping are simply evil.

    In Christ,
    Kent

    Several of these preachers

    1. Tishrei

      I Kent,

      I have also heard that incredibly heretical teaching that Jesus was wealthy. What is unfortunate is that these people can get away with it because their followers want in on the riches as well. That’s why I am so — well maybe a bit pushy — on reading scripture. When we stand before God, we’re not going to able to use the excuse that so and so taught us such. We have a responsibility to know His word and it ain’t gonna fly that we listened to someone’s teaching and they’re to blame. Sure, those prosperity salemen will have their own problems for what they did to His Word but people also have a responsibility to know His word.

      I don’t know if you had a chance to read the sister article I wrote but I cited some outrageous tragedies from these teachings. For instance, this mother and father withheld lifesaving insulin from their diabetic child because they wanted to heal him by faith. They sat their and watched their child slip into a coma and still did not give him insulin. They were convicted and are in prison where they belong.

      ~BLT :)

  5. Repent Harlequin

    “Several of these preachers”

    I think that was left over from my editing… :-)

  6. Tara

    So ur saying theres no santa clause. My mom told me that when I was 8. Im 13. Do ppl talk 2 each other here or do they have to talk 2 u only?

    1. Tishrei

      LOL Tara. That’s a good connection — santa and prosperity. Pretty good pick-up.

      And no, people don’t only have to talk to me. You can talk to anyone on my blog that you want. Just ask questions and people will answer you if they can.

      Happy New Year.

  7. Tory B

    I understand the deception these phonies are perpetrating on less learned christians and am apalled and, quite frankly, angry. I’m afraid for my husband because rather than spend time studying God’s Word he listens to the crap on TBN. We’ve already had a huge blowup over the Copelands because he thinks they’er “anointed” but I know they are greedy liars. Well, I tried to tell him but he thinks I’m just listening to “satan” and think everyone should be poor. How stupid! “Lord, keep lies and deception far from me, and give me neither riches nor poverty, but give me the food that is my portion.” That’s all I want but he says because of my attitude we’re going to be poor all our lives. SO WHAT! Better a little with the Lord than much riches with damnation!

    1. Tishrei

      It’s sad but this is a very titillating teaching. If we think about it, who doesn’t want those promises that the health & wealth, prosperity teachers teach. Unfortunately, it isn’t true so believing in it doesn’t mean its going to happen. God never promised those things they teach but He did promise to take care of our needs.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

  8. Zirkon Kalti

    Giving tithe to God is an act of obedience. In the book of Malachi, God says that we must give a tenth of our income. Regarding to the prosperity gospel, I have heard of a pastor that said that it is God’s will for all Christians to become millionaires. I think what the pastor said is wrong. God has different will for everyone. I feel that he said this because he is after the world. Pastors should not become millionaires. I have read about a multimillionaire Korean pastor who died and was lifted up to heaven. The pastor owns two school that worth $50 million US dollars. When at heaven, he saw the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus said that he is wrong to have pray him to appear to him. Later, he was brought to see his mansion. He was shocked to see that his mansion is small and not anything special. He told the angels that he gave away many million dollars but these deeds were never record. This is because he gain recognitions from the government. Even if he is a pastor with thousands of members, it doesn’t make him rich in heaven. He was raised to live again and gave his testimony later. Real Christians would never be greedy for money.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi,

      I agree that giving tithe is an act of obedience. However, tithing is not a commandment in the New Testament. Tithing is a tax and if you add up all the tithes that God commands the Israelites, it adds up to about 23 percent, not the 10% that pastors teech. We are commanded to give cheerfully.

  9. Frik van Wyk

    Exo 32:2 And Aaron said to them, Break off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters; and bring them to me. 3 And all the people broke off the rings of gold in their ears, and they brought to Aaron. 4 And he took them from their hand and formed it with an engraving tool. And he made it a casted calf. And they said, these are your gods, O Israel, who made you go up from the land of Egypt. 5 And Aaron saw, and he built an altar before it. And Aaron called and said, a feast to (Living Bible: let us worship) Jehovah tomorrow.

    The cow or the calf was one of the most popular idols in Egypt. Hapi and Hathor, two of the most worshipped cow gods, were symbols of power and fertility. Therefore they were closely connected to immoral sexual practices.
    When the Israelites forged their calf-idol, some of the people may have truly believed that they were worshipping God, for they had made the idol to represent God himself. Just as Hapi was the Egyptian god of the Nile River, this golden calf was the god of Israel. They had simply borrowed the idea for their own purposes.
    Though some of the Israelites may have been sincere, they were clearly not worshipping God the right way. They were violating God’s command not to make or worship any idols or images as well as the command to worship Him alone.
    Even more disastrous, they were no longer worshipping the true God for they had made God conform to their own image of Him, shaping Him to fit their expectations, desires and present circumstances. They had invented a twisted image of God to justify their immoral behavior. This demonstrates how easy it is for us to “make God in our own image.” shaping our understanding of His Word to agree with our actions or beliefs. Sincerity isn’t enough because there is always the danger of creating Him in the image of our needs, desires, or latest ideas.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Frik,

      Your comment reminded me of a really good book I read titled “Made in Our Image” by Steven J. Lawson. It’s a great book describing how man has recreated God to fit man’s view as opposed to man changing his view of God to fit God’s description of Himself. Lawson talks and describes exactly what you posted in your comment. Great book and it’s one that I would recommend all Christians read.

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