Skip to comments.The Ponzi Prosperity Gospel [According to: Joel Osteen, Ken Copeland, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Etc]
Posted on 07/06/2013 5:34:39 PM PDT by Steelfish
The Ponzi Prosperity Gospel
May 21 2009 The Ponzi Prosperity Gospel
Today we shriek as we hear of financial scams, corporate greed, and virtually anything money-related that isnt entirely on the up-and-up. While religion has generally been a help in these economically difficult times, there is one segment of Christianity that is scamming as many as they can. Those who have ears (and debt) let them hear.
The Prosperity Gospel, also known as a facet of the Word of Faith movement (a louder voice in Pentecostalism), has been writing checks with its lips that its theology cant cash. Last years Pew Foundation mega-poll, which surveyed nearly 35,000 people (one of the largest religion polls ever accomplished), revealed a few interesting facts about Christians in the Pentecostal tradition .But the most interesting thing is that they earn the least annual income of any other Christian tradition polled. This is shocking, considering that a main feature in popular Pentecostalism is the Prosperity Gospel, where church members are promised that God will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams if they tithe generously and believe that they will receive the money.
Say what you want about the corruption of the pulpit, or the decadence of the ministerthats not my issue. My point is that while the world howls at the scam artists who fail to deliver on big promises, Christianity has its very own Ponzi scheme thats alive and well. At least when Bernie Madoff promised big returns he actually delivered (if only for a moment); the prosperity gospel doesnt even do that much. When Joel Osteen, Ken Copeland, Paula White, or Benny Hinn take your money, youll never see it again (unless you happen to glimpse one of their private jets leaving a runway for Bermuda).
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Just a waste of time. Stupid OLD article.
God hasn’t sent me the bill yet.
I don't know anyone who preaches that. We tithe out of obedience because God tells us to. It is an act of trust. But rich beyond our wildest dreams? Sounds to me like someone needs to examine their motive.
I agree with you in a small way, in that the preachers at the top of these churches have an incredibly lavish lifestyle, but I also believe that the folks in the pews are getting something out of it too, maybe not money, but they are getting large lavish social and religious events once a week in their mega churches along with the service and sermon itself.
Then there are the breakoff bible study groups, musical groups, religious drama groups, some have sports groups; there are a multitude of auxiliary groups attached to these churches. That’s not even counting those folks running relief efforts, evangelizing efforts, counseling programs, the usual marriages, funerals, etc. So the common parishioner may not be getting rich, but they are getting something they want which is communion on a multi-layered scale that has a significant value to them.
It’s not such a black and white Ponzi scheme, and for many in the Church it provides them with a weekly safe haven and gives them structure in their lives. What kind of a price tag do you put on all of the above? To many it is priceless. If the parishioners were that disgruntled, they would rebel and get new leadership. But they usually don’t, because they are getting something of value out of it.
As to the everyone should be working to get rich theme of the preaching from the pulpit, some parishioners will get rich, most won’t. But that depends on the individual and their own efforts. The Pastor can’t make them get rich. They must achieve that on their own. The Pastor is just the cheerleader telling them they can change their lives for the better, including financially. I have no problem with that, it’s the capitalist way.
Unless it is a cult, the Pastor of any Church can be voted and/or kicked out if abusing the position. A lot of folks like their leader to do well, and aspire to the same. Someone like a Joel Osteen basically has a church empire to look after. That’s no small job, as he’s like the CEO of a major corporation. I don’t begrudge him; he built that empire up with his own ingenuity, business sense, and good judgment. The more power to him. May he and his parishioners live long and prosper.
Hogwash!! All of it.
Only those who refuse to know the truth .. are the ones who peddle that “prosperity” doesn’t work.
I’m living proof that it does. “Beloved, I wish above all things that ye might prosper and be in good health”.
The operative word is “might” .. because it’s related to YOUR GIVING .. not YOUR GETTING.
And our tithes are used to help the poor, the sick, the hungry, and missionaries around the world as well as for disaster relief purposes. I guess the libs just don’t get that part because they assume we are like them; inwardly focused, selfish, worldy, etc...
God damn the prosperity gospel.
Osteen is a bit more subtle with his message but it is pretty much the same.Just only BELIEVE and God will make you rich. I don't liken it to a Ponzi Scheme so much as to a State Lotto whose winners always live somewhere far away.
T. is Catholic now, goes to mass every Sunday and watches EWTN. I never talked about Osteen to him buthe has come to similar conclusions.
He is the only one of these that I'm familiar with. I've never heard Osteen ask for money...but doesn't mean he hasn't.
“OH Lord wont ya......”
I remember Rev. Ike. That was a long, long time ago. Used to listen to his broadcast bounced on AM at night as a kid with a transistor radio in bed at night. ‘Send me twenty dollars and I’ll heal that leg . . .”
“We tithe out of obedience because God tells us to.”
Where does God tell Christians to tithe?
In a perfect world, the likes of Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen etc should be serving time.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:
Blessed be Abram of God Most High,And he gave him a tithe of all.
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.
So I contended with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together and set them in their place. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the storehouse. And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.
Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
In what way have we robbed You?
In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me,
Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try 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 such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Might be old but I’m glad it was posted. Never was a fan of Benny Hinn. This sheds new light on him.
Prosperity Gospel is heresy. Its that simple. The people who preach such things are heretics...
“I remember Rev. Ike. That was a long, long time ago. Used to listen to his broadcast bounced on AM at night as a kid with a transistor radio in bed at night. Send me twenty dollars and Ill heal that leg . . .
I met Rev. Ike as a kid. “See this ring? You bought it. See this car? You bought it.” (big flashy ring, late 50’s Cadillac with fins)
I belong to a Church of God church and our pastor preaches against the ‘charismatic’ movement. While tithes are expected and asked for honestly, he says “I don’t make any financial promises of return. Only that God will see your obedience and if you like the church having air conditioning... well, someone has to pitch in.”
Very honest and heartfelt as far as I’m concerned.
One of the biggest offenders, in my opinion, is Rod Parsley. His broadcasts aren’t sermons - they’re infomercials.. His basic pitch seems to be: “God wants to bless you, but he can’t do it until you send me a $300 seed gift - and the check clears.” Before I started watching Rod Parsley, I did not know that God accepted Visa and Mastercard.
The real key is just what I said: It’s about your personal giving .. it’s not about getting.
Being a tither (giving 10% of your income) is crucial. It’s God requesting that 10%, not the preacher. And then, offerings should also be given on top of that .. according to your ability. I started with just $5 extra each month. But, I finally ended up getting better and better jobs and I was then able to offerings of more.
Our obligation is to be sure the person we’re giving our tithes to is competent to handle it. I was in a church where it was not competently handled .. it caused the removal of the Pastor, and the installation of another Pastor; the church flourished after that. One of the new Pastor’s secrets to prosperity for the church was giving a set portion of the church’s finances to other ministries around the world (on a monthly basis). These were people he knew personally (could judge their character), and they were starting churches everywhere.
But, I’ve followed what the Bible teaches about giving, and I never feel compelled to give to my church every time it’s presented .. the secret is to ask God what HE wants you to give to any special giving. If people would do that, and then follow what God tells them, they would not get in trouble. One instance I’ll use as an example. I was troubled with the fact that I could not pay my tithe and pay for the registration of my car. Being human, I wrestled with it, but finally realized my tithe was more important so that’s what I paid. Just a few days later (as I was seeing former church friends off on a flight), 3 of them walked up to me and handed me checks totalling the amount of my car’s registration (to the exact penny). All 3 said the same thing; God told me to give you this. And, I believe all 3 of them got blessed by God for being obedient.
The problem with some is that they do not know God’s voice; or don’t listen to God’s voice when they hear it; and allow themselves to feel GUILTY if they don’t give - which is a trap ungodly people use. Several speakers who came to my church did not get my offering - because I just knew I was not supposed to give to them. Several times I would hear stories of that speaker’s demise .. and it concerned the mishandling of finances. God does not want us giving to minnistries who are not following God.
People want to make the preacher responsible for their prosperity .. and God never designed it that way. YOU are responsible for your own prosperity; based on your belief that God wants you to prosper, and you’re listening to what God wants you to do with your money. Remember, people who are poor do not have the funds to give to anybody. God wants us to prosper so he can give our finances to other ministries who will teach other people how to prosper God’s way.
Some people are too ready and willing to believe any gossip they hear about different ministries. They have itching ears and believe anything. We must discern what people say and check it out with the Word of God.
Robert Tilton was fine UNTIL .. he made a mistake other preachers have made .. he went off ALONE to a place where he had no spiritual cover (no church members to pray for him and pray for his safety), and he wanted to seek God.
However, the “god” that showed up was not what he expected; he was easily deceived and it ended up destroying him.
This happened immediately after the launch of his TV network flopped. How much he was to blame for that, I have no idea. But, to run away and hide from God, just when you need him to show you how to get out of the mess, is playing with fire.
He opened himself up to self-pity and believe me the devil will gladly join with you in your pity parties .. because he can use them to lead you astray. You’re not appreciated, the devil can give you this and that and make you the most popular person on TV, yada, yada, yada.
When Robert returned from Hawaii (an island filled with vodoo; satan worship, etc.) there was a noticible change in him. I studied his face and its expressions more than I really listened to what he was saying .. I clearly saw something about him had changed. Of course, I didn’t know what it was, but my discernment button was screaming.
It wasn’t long after that event that I stopped watching him, and it grieved my spirit to see a man of God so deceived. Sadly, he was not the last one I witnessed.
People who are not Godly, will always say, “judge not, lest ye be judged”. However, the Bible teaches that we are to “judge a man by his fruits”. In other words, what has his life produced .. good or evil. This can be hard because some may “appear” to be good, while all the time they are truly evil inside. This is where God can tell you - if you ask Him - Am I judging this person correctly ..??
When I did this regarding a co-worker, I was stunned to find out what a gossip she was, and how she had lied about me to my boss. My boss and she had been long-time friends.
God wants us to question those we chose to listen to .. because choosing the wrong people can hurt us.
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