These Southern Baptist preachers seem to think so. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new prosperity non-gospel.
*** Sorry, the video wouldn’t embed.
This kind of thing isn’t new. My old pastor taught a tithe sermon once a year where he informed us that we were under a curse if we didn’t bring in a full 10% (off gross, of course).
In answer to the question proposed in the title: I give you Paul the apostle:
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14 ESV)
In this final post on the false teachings of Prosperity Pete I’m scrutinizing his outrageous claims about both man and God.
Quote: “Unbelief is more powerful than God in you.”
“some of you looked at me funny when I said ‘unbelief is more powerful than God in you’ – but I just read it to you. God was present but he was limited because of unbelief.”
Scripture proof given: “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78: 40-41).
Let’s zoom out for second and take a look at this Psalm of Asaph as a whole. He sets out to show God’s faithfulness to unbelieving Israel throughout her inglorious history. Despite continual unbelief and unfaithfulness God preserves his people by his sovereign hand. At times he brings strong rebuke and chastens his people with judgment and wrath. God then shows his love and compassion by bestowing upon Israel abundant blessings that are totally undeserved. Rather than teaching that man can trump God with his unbelief and thwart his will this Psalm does just the opposite. It teaches the absolute sovereignty of God, that his providence extends over all human works and endeavors. On top of that, the Hebrew word for ‘limit’ can be interpreted various ways. Here are how some modern translations render it: (more…)
Here is the next post in this series exposing the false doctrines of a Word-Faith teacher who stopped by a local church just long enough to drop a full load of heresy on its unsuspecting congregants. I’m astounded that it’s been necessary for me to write five long articles debunking a handful of Prosperity Pete’s teachings from one single sermon – and I’m only dealing with a few selected quotes. If I determined to critique the entirety of the message my response would be novel-length. This is ludicrous! The doctrines I’ve defended should all be obvious to the discerning reader of God’s word. This is common sense, foundational level stuff, folks! But somebody has to do it. These teachers have ministries because they have followers, else they would have long since abandoned the occupation. So onward I press.
Quote: “Unbelief is more powerful than God in you.”
What truth? I don’t see any truth here, just one great damnable lie.
Man’s disposition of failing to trust upon the Lord who created him somehow overrides God’s ability to govern him. When put like this it sounds even more ludicrous. This idea stems from a typical Word-Faith teaching on the essence of faith itself. They have hijacked the term and completely redefined it. Faith isn’t an unshakable trust and tenacious clinging to God and all his promises. No, faith is a force, an internal power inherent in all humanity that can make things that are not as though they are. In other words, faith has creative power when spoken, just as creation came into existence when God spoke. (more…)
Prosperity Pete has an unhealthy obsession with the sin of unbelief. I’m almost convinced that he has a great affinity for it. He certainly treats it with a tremendous amount of respect. In his message I’m critiquing, he makes bold claims about the ‘power’ of our unbelief. First, let’s look at this statement just bursting at the seams with false claims:
Quote: “There is only one sin – unbelief. Everything else are lawless deeds. There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven – the sin of unbelief.”
Unbelief is a serious, grievous sin.
Unbelief is the only sin.
No. Not even close. 1 John 5:17 reads, “All wrongdoing is sin“. The apostle John earlier in the same epistle states, “sin is transgression of the law.” (3:4) Breaking God’s commands and doing evil of all kinds is sin. Unbelief, too, is sin. Not believing God certainly will lead one to transgress God’s laws, just as Adam and Eve chose to believe the serpent’s lie rather than God’s commands. Unbelief may be at the root of every sin committed, for our natural disposition believes the seductive whispers of sin rather than the promises of the written word of God and the voice of conscience. However, unbelief is not the sum total of all biblical sins. Nowhere in either the Old or New Testament can this claim be substantiated. Any want of conformity or transgression of God’s moral law is sin. Violating any of the Ten Commandments is a sin. If I look at a woman lustfully I’ve committed a sin. If I steal, lie or covet I’ve sinned. (more…)
In this post I will take selected quotes said by Prosperity Pete from Part 1 and break them down to determine if Scripture actually teaches these things.
First at bat:
Quote: “The devil is your adversary. Your enemy is ignorance. Never forget that. The devil is not your enemy, he’s your adversary… The word adversary just means ‘one who questions your identity’. The enemy can only destroy the ignorant.”
Devil does mean adversary. He is indeed our adversary in living a Christian life. Pete appropriately quotes from 1 Pet 5:8,which reads, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (more…)
Recently, a so-called gospel preacher came through our sleepy little town and stirred up a local congregation with rousing oratory, keen insight and splash of redneck charm. He’s a frequent guest to this church and I had been exposed to his teachings before via recorded messages. This happened at a time when God had graciously granted me new eyes of discernment. They were still adjusting to the light of truth in the aftermath of prolonged confinement in the bowels of the Word-Faith and Charismatic movement. I started making notes on elements of his message that didn’t appear to line up with scripture, but quickly abandoned the project. At the time I felt I was being too critical, so I backed down.
Well, fast forward a few years later. A close friend who attends the aforementioned church informed me that ‘Prosperity Pete’ was coming to town. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he would not be attending those services. When I asked why, he filled me in on some of his past teachings. This jogged my memory and I agreed that his teachings should be avoided like the plague. Neither of us attended his services. Unfortunately, curiosity bested me one afternoon and I visited that church’s website. They had posted Pete’s message online.
I made the tragic mistake of listening to it. (more…)
False teachers are a reality of the Christian church. Jesus Christ himself warned of their coming, as did the apostles throughout the New Testament epistles. False teachers and prophets have plagued the church since its inception. Scripture shows us that they will endure until the end of this present world system. False teachers are not simply a New Testament phenomenon. They plagued Israel throughout her troubled history.
The fact remains, false teachers walk among us, very likely within our own congregations. False professors, teachers and prophets will leach themselves to Christ’s visible church until the day he comes to gather his elect from every corner of the earth. If this is incontrovertible truth why do so many Christians pretend all is well in Zion? Why do we refuse to discern every message purporting to be gospel truth to determine if it is of God or not? Why are we not acting as good Bereans, searching out the scriptures to discern if that charismatic guest teacher flying through town this week is injecting poison into our spirits? Why do we not question his doctrine and theology before we ever grant him audience to our congregations? No, he usually gets a free pass, because he’s so likable and popular. Next thing you know he grabs a thick wad of greenbacks he just collected for a sermon well preached and bails for the next church down the road gullible enough to swing open its gates to the sheepfold. (more…)