Thursday, February 15, 2007

Damnable Heresy

Desiring God posted an article by John Piper entitled, "Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly." In the article Piper asks preachers not to develop a philosophy of ministry that is deceitful and ultimately deadly because it misrepresents the promises of God and the call of Christ. I commend Piper for the brief article, and once again Piper is willing to say some things that equally prominent white (reformed) evangelicals seem reluctant to say. However, being as familiar as I am with the prosperity gospel, and knowing family and friends who are deceived by this heretical teaching, I would suggest that Piper's words do not go far enough. While he is right in pleading with pastors not to teach prosperity, just warning those who read his material is not enough. We must we willing call it more than deceitful and deadly. We must be willing to call it what it is - DAMNABLE HERESY. And those who teach it - HERETICS.

While we debate about NT Wright and the various and nefarious perspectives on Paul, people flock to see Benny Hinn by the thousands. While we argue about the ecclesiastical errors of the Emergent Church and the exegetical fallacies of Open Theism, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long are building worldwide empires on the backs of people being duped by the desire to be prosperous. We must ask ourselves the question, "what are the more pressing heresies of our day: the New Perspective Teachings or the Health and Wealth Teaching?" Look at any list of the most influential and popular preachers in America and you will find the list littered with Prosperity Preachers. Yet, you will be hard pressed to find on that list an advocate of the New Perspective on Paul. In fact, I would venture to say that most on the list could not even tell you what it is.

I am not saying that these other issues (i.e. New Perspective, Open Theism, Emergent, etc.) are not important. They are. I am saying however, that they garner far too much of the evangelical (reformed) debate and ink in light of their relative insignificance in broader Christianity. Therefore, I believe we need men like Piper to say what he said and more. We need other prominent (reformed) evangelicals to say what Piper has said and more. This is no light matter. And in case you believe I may be overstating the case, check out this horrific video from none other than Dr. Creflo Dollar himself. He is not ashamed to call it as he sees it, why are we?

What say you?



FellowElder said...

Ohhh... so many reactions... so little space in your comment section!

1. This is a pretty graphic display of their true color: green!
2. Materialism baptized in perverted godtalk.
3. The exporting of this could be huge... deadly... and damnable.
4. I used to be able to "pop" like some of the guys in this video... but you can't make your body move like that when you're sporting 50 extra pounds! :-) You reckon if I just believe it and quote "body exercise profiteth litte" the pounds will just disappear?

Lance said...

And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord." 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

In Grief

Anonymous said...

As usual Anthony, you're on the .. err money !

Interestingly in the clip at the end, Mr Dollar made the point that he would rather his kids listened to that music than the other (I take it meaning the guns and sex material).

Well to my mind the hyper materialism is equally problematic - in many cases the violence we see on our streets is a means to an end in itself, but it is also often a means to secure and maintain the hyper nmaterialism espoused in the video he showed us - for young men who will never get near it any other way and end up in the grave or in the jail cell.

As one who works with young people in these situations - unless we are teaching them via the gospel it is not just about the material - we have very little else to disuade them from the violence and materialism (and hyper sexuality) of street life.

And Mr Dollar's books are widely available in the mainstream Christian bookshops here in the UK, and if he came here, I'm sure he would fill our biggest conference centres - as opposed to any of the reformed guys, who would do well to fill a large church.

So yes, we must take him on ... and I am guilty as I have the books on the new perspective and none of my young people have ever said to me 'Yeah Blood (as they are given to say) ... EP Saunders, may have a point about Covenantal Nomism !'

Colin Thomas

Ken Davis said...

In answer to your question 'What say you?" I say "Thank you".

Thank you for an accurate perspective. The prosperity Gospel is much more of a threat than NT Wright orClark Pinnock, in my church, which is lower middle class, poor, with a smattering of some very successful people. Some of my people are told to leave our church because of what I teach and what I don't. The utter nonsense of word/faith, name it and claim it, prosperity "theology" has far too many followers. And then there are those who say that to point out their heresies is to disturb the unity of the church!!

So thank you again for this very accurate and not at all harsh assessment of this teaching.

Russ R said...

I never thought about it before, but the raw materialistic bling bling of hip hop and the prosperity gospel really go well together, like two sides of the same coin. My only addition would be that people don't flock to see Benny Hinn by the thousands - it's more like the hundred thousands, and worldwide this heresy is spreading throughout Latin America and Africa. Most in Reformed pews and pulpits are too insular to have a clue how widespread this stuff is.

Lionel Woods said...

I actually have a couple of post on this on my blog. I was duped for years by these guys (although I was a little cheap so they didn't get much from me). Wonderful post. I now see some of the greats of the faith now doing ministry with people like Creflo and Eddie Long such as Charles Stanley and Tony Evans (who I have respected a great deal for a long time). God bless.