Foes of the Faith


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  • Prosperity theology
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    For a related Pentecostal and charismatic teaching, see Word of Faith.
    Prosperity theology is the teaching that authentic religious belief and behaviour will result in material prosperity for the believer. That is, the doctrine holds that material prosperity, particularly financial prosperity and success in business and personal life, is to be expected as external evidence of God's favor. This favor may be preordained, or granted in return for efficacious prayer, merit-making and/or appropriate faith.
    Other terms have been used interchangeably with prosperity theology such as prosperity doctrine, health and wealth, etc. but it is perhaps most commonly referred to as the Prosperity Gospel.
    Prosperity theology is not the same as Word of Faith theology, though most, if not all, Word of Faith teachers hold to some level of prosperity theology.
    1 In Christian traditions
    2 Belief and critique
    2.1 Criticism
    3 Prosperity Gospel teachers
    4 New Thought Movement
    4.1 New Thought Prosperity teachings
    5 See also
    6 Notes
    7 External links
    [edit] In Christian traditions
    Prosperity theology is most commonly found within the charismatic and pentecostal traditions of Christianity although it is not exclusive to these traditions. In some countries belief in prosperity gospel type teaching is a more commonly held belief amongst charismatics than the belief of speaking in tongues.[1]
    It cannot easily be argued that it is a part of the evangelical movement. Prominent evangelicals reject the teaching as non-evangelical and none of the major Prosperity Gospel proponents belong to well-established evangelical organizations such as the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability or the National Association of Evangelicals [2] [3] [4] [5]
    The Prosperity Gospel gained more prominence in the 1980s through the teaching of the so-called televangelists.
    [edit] Belief and critique
    Prosperity theology proponents promote the idea that God wants Christians to be "abundantly" successful in every way, including financially.
    Biblical support for the Prosperity Gospel is believed to be found in specific verses and in the lifestyles of biblical characters. Critics argue that all of the verses Prosperity theology teachers use are taken out of their textual, cultural, historical and/or literary context.[6]
    The following verses are used by Prosperity teachers to support their theology:
    (Deuteronomy 8:18) "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day" (New American Standard Bible)[7].
    (Malachi 3:10) "'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,' says the LORD of hosts, 'if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.'" (New American Standard Bible)
    (John 10:10) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (King James Version)
    [edit] Criticism
    While some proponents claim that prosperity's ultimate purpose is the funding of evangelism and Christian charity throughout the world, critics argue that the teaching actually is a teaching of materialism masquerading as theology. Futhermore, it seems to promote more self-gratification than true spirituality.
    Critics point out evidence that it is the accumulation of wealth and material goods and not "Gospel work" that is the major hallmark of this movement[8].
    Biblical criticism includes:
    1 Timothy 6:7-10 - "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
    Mark 10:17-22 - " . . . go, sell what you own, give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven . . ."
    Matthew 6:19-21 - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
    Luke 18:22-25 - ". . . it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
    [edit] Prosperity Gospel teachers
    Critics claim that the doctrine is used by its proponents to become wealthy at the expense of persons who give and promotes materialism. Many prosperity teachers also believe in Word of Faith theology, but the terms should not be used interchangeably. Many of these individuals are also the so-called televangelists.
    Some of the proponents of prosperity theology include:
    John Avanzini
    Juanita Bynum
    David Yonggi Cho
    Kenneth Copeland
    Paul Crouch
    Creflo Dollar
    Jesse Duplantis
    Kong Hee
    Benny Hinn
    T.D. Jakes
    Eddie L. Long
    Chris Mentillo
    Mike Murdock
    Joyce Meyer
    Myles Munroe
    Peter Popoff
    Nasir Saddiki
    Lester Sumrall
    Robert Tilton
    Paula White
    Billy Joe Daugherty
    Bill Winston
    Marcus Lamb
    Joel Osteen
    Phil Pringle
    Brian Houston
    Pat Robertson calls this theory the "Law of Reciprocity" on his show, The 700 Club.[9] The theology was previously the basis of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Club, but it was renounced by them in the 1990s following Jim Bakker's prison term for fraud.
    [edit] New Thought Movement
    A somewhat similar (yet strikingly different) belief appears in most "New Thought" religions, Unity, Religious Science, Divine Science denominations.The major differences are that this sort of prosperity theology teaches that God wants all people to prosper (regardless of religion), leaves it up to the individual to define prosperity (rather than defining it in terms of material wealth), and does not condone the accumulation of vast fortunes at the expense of others.
    The concept is similar to that which is proposed in many "New Thought" philosophies. "The Secret", which was largely based upon the concepts with in New Thought of being blessed by following the power of positive thinking.
    [edit] New Thought Prosperity teachings
    New Thought
    Divine Science
    Religious Science
    Law of Attraction
    Michael Beckwith
    The Secret
    Wallace Wattles
  • Foes of the Faith

    1. 1. Philippians 4:11-14 (NKJV)Philippians 4:11-14 (NKJV) 1111 . . . I have learned in. . . I have learned in whatever state I am,whatever state I am, to be contentto be content:: 1212 I know how to be abased, andI know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in allI know how to abound. Everywhere and in all thingsthings I have learned both to be full and toI have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to sufferbe hungry, both to abound and to suffer needneed.. 1313 I can do all things through Christ whoI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.strengthens me. 1 Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.
    2. 2. Julius Wellhausen
    3. 3. Torah study Torah Fragment Eichhorn Astruc Wellhausen
    4. 4. ♦ Jean Astruc (1684- 1766) noticed something odd about some lines in Genesis 2. ♦ One referred to God as Elohim. See yellow arrow: ♦ The other used Yhwh. See turquoise arrow: ~Jean Astruc 1684-1766 Genesis composite of 2 Documents Birth and History of Biblical Criticism and Documentary Hypothesis
    5. 5. Biblical Criticism: Documentary Hypothesis: Julius Wellhausen proposed that the Pentateuch was composed from four main sources, not written by Moses. 1) J = Yahwist 2) E = Elohist 3) D = Deuteronomist 4) P = Priestly writer
    6. 6. Implications from the Wellhausen hypothesis which became widely accepted 1.Moses did not authored the Pentateuch 2.The Pentateuch is much later then the traditional view 3. The Law originated after the historical books, not before them. 4. The true history of Israel is very different from the history narrated by the OT. 5. Scripture has errors Biblical Criticism: Documentary Hypothesis: BC
    7. 7. Higher Criticism: Old Testament Historical & Literary Criticism *Isaiah - Two Parts Isaiah himself wrote only the first 39 chapters “Deutero-Isaiah” (or second Isaiah) wrote chapters 40-66 *Daniel – From Maccabean Period (164 BCE to 63 BCE) (Long after Daniel lived)
    8. 8. Higher Criticism: 20th Century 1. Source Criticism (God or Men?) Who depends on whom ? Refers to the attempt to establish the sources used by the author and/or redactor of the final text Example: Sources of the Gospels: --“Q” “Quelle” hypothetical lost source (material common to Matthew and Luke and not found in Mark), --Mark, --L (material unique to Luke) and --M (material unique to Matthew). B. H. Streeter in 1924 Mark Q
    9. 9. Higher Criticism: 20th Century 2. Redaction Criticism What did the editor add ? Redaction criticism is when a biblical scholar, like a detective, traces through clues in the text to see how it was pulled together, by some unknown editor or editors who gathered the sources, selected materials and wove them into the biblical accounts. In the New Testament, there are two stories of Jesus' birth (Matthew 1:18 —2:12 and Luke 2:1-19). The redaction critic asks why the two evangelists using the same basic material have told significantly different stories. Here, as in most cases, it is the editor's purpose and audience which give a clue to the choice of material and presentation of it.
    10. 10. Higher Criticism: 20th Century 3. Form Criticism Form criticism is the Biblical method which seeks to discover the type of literature which is contained in the Bible. For instance, when you go to your mailbox and open it you are liable to find various kinds of literature: bills, advertisements, personal notes, and others. Yet you would never treat them all the same. You would never treat a bill as an advertisement or a personal letter as a bill. You can distinguish between these literary "forms" and interpret them accordingly.
    11. 11. David F. Strauss The Life of Jesus (1835-36) Strauss combined all the critical elements in his work -denied miracles -denied the integrity of the New Testament -denied the deity of Christ
    12. 12.                    
    13. 13. 1.Adopted Malthusian idea: Population growing faster than food supply Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population
    14. 14. 2. Therefore he concluded there was a struggle for survival. 3. Some Offspring may have slightly improved variations from their parents 4. Through a process of natural selection superior traits will be passed on, those with inferior traits will die out. 5. So a constant process of evolution is at work
    15. 15. Spencer & Social Darwinism Herbert Spencer (1820 1903) He put forward a “General Law of Evolution,” valid for all events in our universe. Applied biological concepts to social principles: “Survival of Fittest, Elimination of Unfittest” “If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do- if not they should die.” Don’t intervene with state supported education, sanitation, health regulation…!
    16. 16. Evils of Darwinism and Social Darwinism 1. Rejection of Bible, *Creation of Universe and Man *Christ as son of God 2. Viewed Bible as an evolutionary product 4. Darwinism an important factor in the growth of secularism, view that nature had no divine purpose, but merely followed blind laws of chance. 5. Most evils such as war, racism, imperialism… are the law of nature (survival of the fittest)
    17. 17. Young Marx, 1836 Wife Jenny Marx, Highgate,London
    18. 18. According to Karl Marx and Communism Throughout history there has been class conflict -between those owning the means of production and those whose labor has been exploited. The class that controlled the means of production also controlled: the shaping of ideas, which were presented as moral or natural laws. But these were no more than expressions of what was good for the wealthier classes. Religion was a mere human creation by Owning Class for their benefit
    20. 20. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV OTHERWISE: “…the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith…” 1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
    21. 21. 22 Materialist theology is the teaching that authenticMaterialist theology is the teaching that authentic religious belief and behavior will result in materialreligious belief and behavior will result in material prosperity for the believer.prosperity for the believer.
    22. 22. ““I'd always quoted 3 John 2,I'd always quoted 3 John 2, saying, "saying, "Above all things GodAbove all things God wants you to prosperwants you to prosper.“.“ I lovedI loved that Scripture. It looks great onthat Scripture. It looks great on a TV screen when you're raisinga TV screen when you're raising funds, and I interpreted it asfunds, and I interpreted it as God wants you to be rich… “God wants you to be rich… “ Jim Baker, Christianity Today, Dec. 7, 1998Jim Baker, Christianity Today, Dec. 7, 1998 ““Poverty comes from Hell.Poverty comes from Hell. Prosperity comes fromProsperity comes from Heaven.Heaven. Adam had complete dominionAdam had complete dominion over the earth and all itover the earth and all it contains. . . .”contains. . . .” (Benny Hinn, Praise-a-thon (TBN), recorded(Benny Hinn, Praise-a-thon (TBN), recorded November 1990)November 1990) Benny HinnBenny Hinn
    23. 23. ““Well, you need to hear aboutWell, you need to hear about money, because you ain't gonnamoney, because you ain't gonna have no love and joy and peacehave no love and joy and peace until you get some money!…until you get some money!… WeWe established last night that you areestablished last night that you are not whole until you get yournot whole until you get your money. Amen. Amen.”money. Amen. Amen.” ((Praise The LordPraise The Lord, July 20, 1999), July 20, 1999) ““Some of you are going to break into that nextSome of you are going to break into that next dimension of 1,000 times more that I've beendimension of 1,000 times more that I've been teaching around the country. I want you to partnerteaching around the country. I want you to partner with me…with me… “The myth of the poor Jesus needs to be destroyed, because it’s holding people back.” (Kaylois Henry, “Bishop Jakes Is Ready. Are You?,” The Dallas Observer magazine, June 20-26, 1996, pg. 31. PFO Quarterly Journal Article) Mercedes-Benz, a Bentley, a BMW, a Lexus and a jet... 9,689-square-foot mansion Practical-Receiving-Blessing/dp/0785269002
    24. 24. Secularism is one of the important movements in the history of the modern West A philosophy which forms its ethics and behavior without reference to religious dogmas
    25. 25. Philippians 4:11-14 (NKJV)Philippians 4:11-14 (NKJV) 1111 . . . I have learned in. . . I have learned in whatever state I am,whatever state I am, to be contentto be content:: 1212 I know how to be abased, andI know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in allI know how to abound. Everywhere and in all thingsthings I have learned both to be full and toI have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to sufferbe hungry, both to abound and to suffer needneed.. 1313 I can do all things through Christ whoI can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.strengthens me. 26 Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.