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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:

Idol of Prosperity Gospel Preacher

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.

SLIMJIM:

I started writing a blog post on this but MennoKnight beat me to it!

Originally posted on Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...:

Well, I was cross-border shopping this afternoon and playing in a park with my kids, but when I got back to the border, my phone went nuts with alerts/messages.  Apparently some rather ironic and humorous events happened today at the Strange Fire conference involving two well-known continuationist practical cessationist dudes and some boxes of books.  I’m guessing you already know what I’m talking about…

The dudes:

Bo

The boxes of books:

Twilight

Wow.  You were WAY off.

I said “dudes”, not “dukes”.  You should read more carefully…

These were the dudes:

James and Mark

(photo credit)

And they were handing out boxes of this book:

Call Resurgence

Now there are two sides saying what did and what did not happen, and since I wasn’t there I won’t weigh in with any ideas along the lines of that…but I will weigh in on the fact that they tried it

Mark Driscoll and James…

View original 913 more words

I grieve writing this post and it brings me no pleasure.

Pastor-Kong-Hee-wife

Yesterday I wrote a post concerning a major bad point of the theology of Kong Hee, a famous prosperity Gospel preacher in Singapore who is now facing legal trouble for inappropriate use of church funds.  Today I want to focus my post more on where he spent the stolen church money that reveals more of where he and his wife is at spiritually.  According to the UK newspaper Daily Mail, reportedly the Singapore megachurch founder was ‘stealing more than $40million to fund his wife’s American pop star dream’

Kong Hee’s wife is name Sun Ho.  What is the fruit of her American pop star dream?

This carnal music video.  (WARNING: INAPPROPRIATE)

And videos like it.

I hesitated posting this video, after all I have managed to blog about Miley Cryus without posting any pictures on here.  Here we have a Pastor’s wife who publicly display herself more like Miley Cyrus than a Biblical portrait of a Godly Woman.  I couldn’t bring myself to finishing this video, it’s that bad in terms of visual content, message, lyrics, musically and vocally.  It is aesthetically unpleasing.  It’s ironic that her video is about a women who’s enslave to serving her lover and the celebration of a woman’s freedom from the whim of a depraved male lover BUT the visual content of the video  wouldundermine that very message when Sun Ho the Pastor’s wife has to be enslaved to the lust of the World by protraying herself as an objectified woman, a woman who says she holds to the standard of the world’s beauty (with it’s sexual innuendo) rather than the standard of God.

And from what both Kong Hee and Sun Ho publicly states, they think their entrance into Hollywood is a good thing for the cause of God’s Kingdom!

But there is nothing of Christ, the Gospel or Christ-like being communicated in her music video.  Not with the B-Word used in the music video.  Not with Sun Ho the Pastor Wife acting like the pun of her last name.

Heed the Word of Paul in Ephesians 5:6-11:

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes uponthe sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Lightconsists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 [f]trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even [g]expose them;

We ought not to walk in darkness or imitate ourselves like those in darkness.  We ought to expose it as Ephesians 5:11 teaches.

Stay tune for tommorow’s post on the topic of the functional idol of Charistmatic Prosperity Gospel preachers which will provide a Biblical paradigm to understand the modern Charistmatic Prosperity preachers and their fruits.

SLIMJIM:

Notes from one of the Panel Discussion from the Strange Fire Conference. Waiting for the media to be made available!

Originally posted on Truth2Freedom's Blog:

For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to other sessions (check out Tim Challies‘ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.

Read More Here

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kong-hee-look

In Singapore, one of the largest Charismatic Church is City Harvest Church.  Its sphere of influence can be seen not just in Singapore but in its affiliated ministries which reach Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia.  Their founder and Senior Pastor is Kong Hee who himself is also very influential, being a popular speaker among the South East Asian circles of Christianity.

In June 2012, Kong Hee was arrested by Singaporean authorities for the misuse of church funds for personal gain.

As of October 8th, 2013, according to the Christian Post, “The trial of Singapore’s popular pastor Kong Hee, who is accused of spending $41 million of church funds on his wife’s singing career, has now gone on recess and will not resume until January 2014.”[1]

Even with all the scandal going on Kong Hee continues to pastor the church.

The courts and investigative reporters will do their job at uncovering the truth of the matter concerning his corruption.  Here in this post I wish to critique his message on a theological basis with concerns for the affirmation of the Gospel.

On September 21st 2013, City Harvest service was extended with the following time of worship.  Obviously, with the trials and the scandal one can imagine it’s a trying time for Kong Hee and his church which is the context to the following clip:

I watch the whole clip and I was sadden to see the lack of the Gospel in it.  You know, that Jesus died for our sins, that we are guilty before a Holy God and that we are saved by Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.  One might say in his defense that he might have shared the Gospel before or after this clip.  I suppose one must be charitable but I also wonder if perhaps the Gospel itself should be even more paramount  during a time like this for the church.

All that aside, I must say however that I was most disturbed at what Kong Hee has to say beginning at minute 6:43 of the clip:

Look at the pastor for a moment.  You know it’s precisely moments like this, seasons like this, that our worship to God is so precious that we are letting God know that we love him not because of what we can get, we love him because of what we can give, we can give him our worship when it’s not convenient to come to church but we still come to church week after week, when it’s not convenient to pray and yet we pray for our leaders and we pray for the ministry of city harvest, when it’s not convenient to give and we keep on giving because we want to arise and build God a great house in our generation to bring him glory.”

(Minute 6:43-7:21)

This is at the heart of my concern.  It’s not just a circumstantial evidence of absence of the Gospel that I’m criticizing but the fact that his statement above is imcompatible with the Gospel in the Bible.  I’m not saying here he does not know the Gospel, maybe he does (I am going to listen more of him) and didn’t see through the logical implication of what he’s saying in relations to the Gospel but the logical minimum we can say is that the quote has serious theological error and one that the Gospel should correct when we start unpacking it.
First off, I want to be charitable.  One can see some truth to his statement, “we are letting God know that we love him not because of what we can get…”  To use the preachers’ cliche, God is not just merely a “Vending Machine” as a means to get something else more greater that we enjoy.  God can not be reduced to a Genie in a bottle so to speak.
genie-lamp
Secondly, the problem becomes evident when Hee starts explaining why is it that WE DO LOVE GOD.  And what he has to say lacks Scriptural support.  Note his words, “we love him because of what we can give…”  What?  We love God because of what we can give Him?  Now preachers can sometime say things they don’t mean accidentally ( I will always remember the time I preached and asked who here wants to go to hell tonight).  But I don’t think Hee accidently said something he didn’t mean because Hee, never missing a beat with the prosperity gospel of giving to God (Hee’s church) goes on to give examples of what it is we can give: “we can give him our worship when it’s not convenient to come to church but we still come to church week after week, when it’s not convenient to pray and yet we pray for our leaders and we pray for the ministry of city harvest, when it’s not convenient to give and we keep on giving because we want to arise and build God a great house in our generation to bring him glory.”  Where in the Bible can he (e) find the evidence that We love God on the basis of what we can give him?
Thirdly, I would also say that the Word of God clearly contradicts Hee’s claim that we love God because of what we can give him.  Note 1 John 5:9-10:

By this the love of God was manifested [a]in us, that God has sent His [b]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Verse 9 clearly show that God does “give” to those saved as a way of revealing His love to us.  His love was manifested in sending His Son to give us life.   Jesus is “given” to us who are saved.  It’s only within this contextual flow of what God does first to initiate His love that we approach verse 10.  Note verse 10 statement of what that love means: “not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  The Gospel is really INSPITE of our love (“not that we loved God”).  I don’t think we should think so highly of our natural love for God but we should esteem God’s love first.
We don’t love God because of what we can give God.  We love God because of God’s love first.  Heed the words of 1 John 4:19:

We love, because He first loved us.

And of course logically “We love, because He first loved us” “We love, because of what we can give..”
Fourthly, I must add a greater problem with this we love ” because of what we can give..” is that it is man-centered and not God-centered.  God is the one that loves us on the basis of what He Himself desires to give to us.  That’s because we don’t deserve anything in of ourselves as creatures and sinners, and God being our Creator, Judge and Savior.  What is Hee saying, and what does it show about Hee’s hubris in his theology when we are saying we love God  because of what we can give?  Isn’t this rank arrogance?  Blasphemy?  The worst form of a gospel of works righteousness?

[1] Morgan Lee, “Pastor Kong Hee Trial Goes on Recess Amid Allegations City Harvest Church Leader Financed Wife’s Superstar Career,” The Christian Post (October 8th, 2013),  http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-kong-hee-trial-goes-on-recess-amid-allegations-city-harvest-church-leader-financed-wifes-superstar-career-106117/ (accessed October 17, 2013).

The Strange Fire Conference is going on right now which you can see livestreamed here and of course the internet is buzzing.

charismatic chaos

We will be blogging a bit on this topic the next few days and Lord willing I myself want to focus a bit on some of the problematic Charistmatic/Prosperity Gospel in the Asian scene.  My concern is primarily centered on the issue of the Gospel and the worldliness of several proponents.

In this post I want to answer the question, “Why?”

Why should our blog tackle this issue when we can just focus on apologetics and only deal with Presuppositional apologetics and be happy with our niche?

Mennoknight over at his blog probably put it better in words than I could several days ago.  Although he writes this in the context of the problem of false teaching in Africa, I think the situation applies in the Asian context or anywhere right now in the world for that matter.  MennoKnight’s point is worth an extended block quote, challenging our priorities in apologetics:

Africa is drowning in prosperity gospel heretics and signs & wonders churches; the prosperity gospel is the face of Christianity in Africa…far more than I ever anticipated before I started this research.  It’s absolutely disgusting, and the influential churches in the west need to take out the axe and start clearing up shop.

Forget the atheists.  There’s a few thousand of them and they’re not worth wasting time on.  They’ve proven to be a total waste of time, every time…

Forget 99% of Western apologetics.  Who CARES about who’s debating another biology/zoology/whatever professor turned atheist/darwinist crusader?  I’d dare suggest that the debates that need to be done have already be done fifteen times over again.  Let’s give all our apologists a holiday and send in someone who will settle the issues at hand

I say a hearty amen.

FLYING-HOUSES-10-L-CHEHERE-CIRQUE-jpg_150535

These are links on Presuppositional apologetics between October 8th-14th, 2013.

1.) What is Presuppositional Apologetics?

2.)Creation Worldview

3.) Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: A Response to J.W. Wartick

4,) Antitheism Presupposes Theism (2)

5.) Do People Bark?

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