The Prosperity Gospel

2 Peter 2:1-3 “1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

The “prosperity gospel” and its teachers have gotten a lot of press recently thanks to the bold release by Christian artist Shai Linne.  In his song, False Teachers from his album, Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology, Shai lists 12 false teachers associated with the prosperity gospel. For a good intro to the prosperity gospel, click here: The Worst Idea of the Decade: The Prosperity Gospel

In the song, he lists them as follows:

  1. Joel Osteen
  2. Creflo Dollar
  3. Benny Hinn
  4. TD Jakes
  5. Joyce Meyer
  6. Paula White
  7. Fred Price
  8. Kenneth Copeland
  9. Robert Tilton
  10. Eddie Long
  11. Juanita Bynum
  12. Paul Crouch

Mark Lamprecht at Hereiblog has done an excellent job summarizing the false teachings of each of those mentioned in the song, so no need to reinvent the wheel on that regard.  If you currently follow or are influenced by any of those teachers, please please use discernment.  Just because they use the Bible and Jesus’ name, does not mean they are faithful teachers of God’s Word. The Bible tells us in 2 Cor. 11:14 that, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”  Shai Linne defends his decision to include names in the video below:

The reason I bring this up now, after some of the dust from Shai’s song has settled (Shai Linne – Paula White), is that I just recently finished John Piper’s book, Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions, for an Evangelism and Mission’s class, and in its introduction, he mentions “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers”:

  1. Don’t preach a gospel that puts unnecessary obstacles in the way of people getting into heaven. (Mark 10:23-27)
  2. Don’t preach a gospel that kindles suicidal desires in people. (1 Tim. 6:9-10)
  3. Don’t preach a gospel that encourages vulnerability to moth and rust. (Matt. 6:19-20)
  4. Don’t preach a gospel that makes good work a means of getting rich. (Eph. 4:28; Luke 12:33)
  5. Don’t preach a gospel that promotes less faith in God’s promise and diminishes the glory of God’s help. (Heb. 13:5-6; Matt. 6:32)
  6. Don’t preach a gospel tht contributes to the people being choked to death. (Luke 8:14)
  7. Don’t preach a gospel that takes the seasoning out of the salt and puts the light under a basket (Matt. 5:11-14)
  8. Don’t preach a gospel that conceals the necessity of suffering in the Christian life. (John 15:20; Matt. 10:25)
  9. Don’t preach a gospel that obscures the God-ordained purposes of suffering in the Christian life.
  10. Don’t preach a gospel that ignores the shift from a come-see religion in the Old Testament to a go-tell in the New Testament. (Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30; Matt. 21:43)
  11. Don’t preach a gospel that minimizes the sin of making godliness a means of gain. (1 Cor. 9:9-12)
  12. Don’t preach a gospel that obscures the biblical truth that God himself is the greatest treasure. (Matt. 13:40)

The heart behind Piper’s appeal and his inclusion of a lengthy introduction that points out the dangers of prosperity teaching is the same as the heart behind Shai Linne’s song.  Let the Nation’s Be Glad is a book about missions, maybe more specifically global missions.  As Piper and Shai Linne both note, the continent of Africa has been greatly influenced by teachers of the prosperity gospel. As a people with little to no material/financial hope they are literally preyed upon by those offering a “gospel” (which is no gospel at all) of financial and material blessing.  It is a sick and twisted ploy to gain money for themselves while introducing destructive doctrines and oppressing an already weakened people.  May all those teachers of prosperity be convicted by the Holy Spirit and repent of misleading people and may those who follow said teachers be awakened to reality of who it is they are following and what it is they are believing.

 

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