Among other things, John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference has touched on the false teachings of the Prosperity Gospel. It’s influence among Charistmatic circles is huge. Known as the Word of Faith/Name-it-Claim-it/Blab-it-Grab-it theology, the impact of such teachings has dangerous spiritual repercussions and even at it’s best is a distraction from the Gospel (though I would add that its focus on the wrong things actually undermine the message and priority of the Gospel).
Over the years we have documented on our blog some of the dangerous fruits of Third Wave Continuationists and the Prosperity Gospel; and the fruits are not pretty.
I’m convinced that at the root of the problem with the Prosperity Gospel is the issue of idolatry. That is, it’s an issue of who it is that is one’s God. The functional god of those who are preachers and “parishioners” of the Prosperity Gospel is not the God of the Bible: it is the idolatry of the Self. Let me explain with this illustration:
Until one identifies the root that’s driving the bad fruits, one can’t fully repent from the Prosperity Gospel since they don’t know what they must be turning away from.
The prosperity Gospel appeal to the carnal self. It is all about pleasing the self and seeking gains for the pleasures of the self. As a result, one shouldn’t be surprise to see the following fruits:
1.) An Emphasis on Subjective “Spiritual” Experiences versus the Word of God. It’s experience-based rather than expositionally-based upon the Word of God. And within Charismatic Word of Faith paradigm, the more supernatural the experience supposedly is, the better. It becomes almost like a drug, an addiction to the spiritual experience itself rather than God Himself. For some, one goes on religious roller coasters, where most of their life is in a spiritual slump until they wait for the next big high. I believe that most of today’s speaking in tongues, getting slain in the spirit, holy laughter, “prophesying,” visions and “healing” spawn from this. This also explains why so many false prophecies made in Pentecostal circles often are forgotten by those who hear them, because they are already looking for the next fixing for their veins of new “word” or predictions.
2.) Prosperity Gospel. Having it’s mooring away from the Bible, advocates and believers of the Prosperity Gospel now have their discernment down. With the idol of the self, a message of health and wealth appeals to their carnal wishes. It tickles their ears. Plus it’s about experiences and the experiences of the here and now-so why can’t we have the best of our life now? Oh, should one also be surprise at tales of corruption behind the profits of prophets of the Prosperity Gospel?
3.) Infatuation of entering the entertainment industry. Having now become materially driven, one now wants to be as successful in acquiring prosperity as they possibly can reach for. For the best of the best in the circles of Prosperity Gospel, the sky is the limit but practically the sky is Hollywood: think of what other industry brings the greatest fame, recognition and temptation of riches and luxury? So with the supposed cover of wanting to reach out to Hollywood for Christ on a bigger platform, worldly methods and values are adopted in order to be part of the missionary effort to the entertainment industry and worldly goals and measure of success are adopted as well. All this, while a bit of generic non-confrontational spiritual “Christian-ese” is sprinkled in one’s twitter and Facebook page, packaged for the mass amount of consumption possible. Matter fact, often times prosperity preachers began small, who in desiring to be famous for being famous, they see twitter and other social media as the training wheels for developing fans responding to their selfies.
4.) Sexual immorality. It can begin “innocent” enough with little efforts at mimicking the entertainment industry. Or what you wear to indicate your prosperity by their fashion. But if you are already feeding the Gods of self by appeasing it’s appetite of health and wealth, and fame and game, why hold back and be tame when it comes to sex? Should we be surprise at why preachers of prosperity gospel have such heinous reputation of sexual immorality?
Don’t we see this being true at level three or four with those who are in the show Preachers of L.A., Kong Hee, Sun Ho and Jaeson Ma?
If any one sees this as a description of themselves, and God is convicting them, be warned by the Apostle Paul in Phillipians 3:19:
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
See your sins for what they are, repent, surrender yourself so that Jesus would be the Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus Christ has died on the Cross and His blood is the source of our forgiveness. Have truth faith in God’s grace alone through Christ alone to save us.