Skip to comments.John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel
Posted on 12/11/2009 11:23:35 AM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
I dont know what you feel about the prosperty gospel; the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel. But Ill tell you what I feel about it; hatred.
It is not the gospel. It is being exported from this country to Africa and Asia. Selling a bill of goods to the poorest of the poor, Believe this message, your pigs wont die. Your wife wont have miscarriages. Youll have rings on your fingers and coats on your back. Thats comin out of America!
The people that out to be giving our money and our time and our lives, instead selling them a bunch of crap called gospel. And heres the reason that it is so horrible. When was the last time that any American, African, Asian ever said, Jesus is all-satisfying because you drove a BMW? Never!
Theyll say, Did Jesus give you that? Yeah, Well Ill take Jesus! Thats idolatry, thats not the gospel. Thats elevating gifts above giver.
Ill tell you what makes Jesus look beautiful:
Its when you smash your car and your little girl goes flying through the windshield and lands, like I was with a little girl on 11th Ave two weeks ago; dead on the street for three hours before the police could let her go. And you say, through the deepest possible pain
God is enough, God is enough.
He is good. He will take care of us. He will satisfy us. He will get us through this. He is our treasure
Whom have I in heaven but you? And on Earth there is nothing that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart and my little girl may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
THAT makes God look glorious, as GOD, not as giver of cars or safety or health.
Oh how I pray that Birmingham would be purged of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, indeed America would be purged and that the Christian church would be marked by suffering for Christ.
God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him in the midst of loss, not prosperity.
That is a great thought.
All one has to do is read the book of Job to know that God will do as He pleases. I thank Him for all things in my life and the strength and peace to deal with them in a proper fashion
The Gospel tells us again and again that God will give us all that we need. This is used to justify the “prosperity gospel”
But people miss the point. I have become convinced that what the Gospels mean is that God will indeed give us all that we need. To do HIS work. Not OURS. And given that all he gave his own Son to do the hardest job of all was a robe and a pair of sandals, I wouldn’t hold my breath for that BMW.
Piper's theology is Reformed and Baptist. He also believes in double predestination, which includes "unconditional reprobation" as a corollary to the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional election, and he subscribes to the Leibnizian view that God runs the universe in such a way that it will be the best of all possible universes. Piper believes in justification by faith alone apart from works, and his teachings emphasize the need for the active perseverance of the believer in faith, sanctification, and enduring sufferings, as this is evidence of God's saving grace. A once-professing Christian who does not persevere in faith to the end demonstrates that he was never a true believer in the first place.
Piper describes himself as an "optimistic premillennialist" and holds a post tribulation view of the second coming of Jesus. He maintains that Romans 11 teaches that a mass in-gathering of ethnic Israel will be saved when the hardening of their hearts is removed at Jesus' second coming. He advocates the importance of hoping in the resurrection of the dead at Christ's return.
Law and covenant
Piper does not don any of the typical hermetical frameworks, but claims he is furthest from dispensationalism, and closest to covenant theologian, or a New Covenant theologian in matters of the Law and covenants, but agrees with the Dispensationalist that there will be a millennium. He says that the Law was meant by God to reveal sin and show man's inability to live up to God's righteous standards. Christians, living under the new covenant, are not under the old-covenant law but able to fulfill its intent through faith in Jesus Christ. Piper teaches that God has only one covenant people, mostly believing Jews in the Old Testament, and now that relationship has been superseded by the church. Thus, the Church is rightful inheritor of all the promises made to ethnic Israel (land, kingdom, etc.), and Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah have no divine right of claim on those promises.
Regarding spiritual gifts, Piper is a continuationist. That is, he believes that supernatural gifts such as prophecy, miracles, healings, and speaking in tongues have not ceased and should be sought by the church, in particular with regard to missions and evangelism. He does believe, however, that the office of apostle has ceased  and that the gift of prophecy in the church is not the same as the inspiration of scripture . While he believes that God's supernatural revelation in the N.T. gift of prophecy is without error, he says that the prophet's perception, understanding and delivery of that revelation is imperfect and fallible , thus N.T. prophecies are subject to sifting.
Piper holds to a complementarian view of gender roles, and was co-editor of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood with Wayne Grudem. One of the chapters has been reprinted several times as an independent short book called What's the Difference?.
I also might make note of the fact that your original post is a "transcript" of what he says in that video... (just so people know that, too... :-) ...).
Here’s a good example of the delusion of the “Prosperity Gospel”:
The prosperity “Gospel” is the exact opposite of everything Christ ever preached. Anyone who buys into it has never read the Gospels. It is a doctrine of demons.
please read the book review by Gary Gilley of “Future Grace”, Piper’s book. My church did that book in Sunday school and it was awful.
Piper has a Roman view of grace - he denies that grace is primarily God’s unmerited favor, and he opposes a believer having gratitude for God’s provisions. This, he says, is a “debtor’s ethic”. Although Piper is a useful devotional speaker (he was formally trained in poetry), he is a doctrinally tangled individual.
But, to continue along the line that you're talking about, see the following...
Free Grace theology is a soteriological view within Protestantism teaching that everyone receives eternal life the moment they believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. "Lord" refers to the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore able to be their "Savior". The view distinguishes between the "call to believe" in Christ as a Savior and receiving the gift of eternal life, and the "call to follow" Christ and become obedient disciples, meaning that the subsequent behavior of the justified believer is relevant in terms of the Lord's approval and rewards, but sanctification is optional.
In particular, the Gospel of John and most of the writings of Paul of Tarsus are seen by proponents as the overt Scriptural basis of Free Grace theology. A distinctive (and much debated) argument is that the Gospel of John is the only book in the New Testament with the stated purpose of providing the needed information for one to be born again. Another assertion is that Jesus Christ stated both explicitly (John 14:1, 14:27, Matthew 11:28) and implicitly (John 6:35, 6:37, Luke 10:41-2) that He "will give rest" to the believer, in contrast to a "troubled heart" and a demand of "labour" before salvation.
Free Grace theology remains one of the most debated subjects within Protestantism. It had ignited three major disputes: the "Majoristic controversy" (16th c.), the "Antinomian controversy" (17th c.) and the "Lordship controversy" (20th c.).
Some of the historical advocates of the Free Grace position are Johannes Agricola, Nicolaus von Amsdorf, Andreas Osiander, John Cotton, Anne Hutchinson, Henry Vane, William Dell, Thomas Boston, Robert Sandeman and Jesse Mercer. Its more recent adherents include L. S. Chafer, Harry Ironside, Lance Latham, J. Dwight Pentecost, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Miles J. Stanford, Warren W. Wiersbe, Zane C. Hodges, Charles Stanley, Tony Evans, Ernest Pickering, Curtis Hutson, Bruce Wilkinson, Erwin Lutzer and William Newell. Its prominent present-day expressions are the Grace Evangelical Society, the Free Grace Alliance, the Plymouth Brethren, Calvary Chapel, and the Chinese-American local churches movement. Free Grace theology, under this name, originated in the late 20th century as a critical response to a perceived legalist abuse of the New Testament by Calvinism's Lordship salvation, Catholicism, and Arminianism. These teach that perseverance in good works is obligatory as believers can never be completely sure that they are going to Heaven.
By Dave Hunt
The question of the "eternal security of the believer" is often raised in letters we receive. This subject has been the cause of much controversy in the church for centuries- and still creates conflision and distress for many Christians. It is too much to expect to dispel this problem completely for everyone in a brief tract, but perhaps we can at least help in that direction.
Those who believe in "falling away" accuse those who believe in "eternal security" of promoting "cheap grace." The latter in itself is an unbiblical expression. To call it "cheap" is really a denial of grace, since it implies that too small a price has been paid. Grace, however, must be absolutely free and without any price at all on man's part; while on God's part the price He paid was infinite. Thus for man to think that his works can play any part in either earning or keeping his salvation is what cheapens grace, devaluing this infinite gift to the level of human effort.
To speak of "falling from grace" involves the same error. Since our works had nothing to do with meriting grace in the first place, there is nothing we could do that would cause us to no longer merit it and thus "fall" from it. Works determine reward or punishment-not one's salvation, which comes by God's grace. The crux of the problem is a confusion about grace and works.
First of all, we must be absolutely clear that these two can never mix. Paul declares, "...if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Rom 11:6). Salvation cannot be partly by works and partly by grace.
Secondly, we must be absolutely certain that works have nothing to do with salvation. Period. The Bible clearly states, "For by grace are ye saved... not of works" (Eph 2:8-10). True to such Scriptures, evangelicals firmly declare that we cannot earn or merit salvation in any way. Eternal life must be received as a free gift of God's grace, or we cannot have it.
Thirdly, salvation cannot be purchased even in part by us, because it requires payment of the penalty for sin-a payment we can't make. If one receives a speeding ticket, it won't help to say to the judge, "I've driven many times within the 55 mph limit. Surely my many good deeds will make up for the one bad deed." Nor will it do to say, "If you let me off this time, I promise never to break the law again." The judge would reply, "To never break the law again is only to do what the law demands. You get no extra credit for that. The penalty for breaking the law is a separate matter and must be paid." Thus Paul writes,"...by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight..." (Rom 3:20).
Fourthly, if salvation from the penalty of breaking God's laws cannot be earned by good deeds, then it cannot be lost by bad deeds. Our works play no part in either earning or keeping salvation. If it could, then those who reach heaven could boast that while Christ saved them they, by their good lives, kept their salvation. Thus God would be robbed of having all the glory in eternity.
Fifthly, salvation can be given to us as a free gift only if the penalty has been fully paid. We have violated infinite Justice, requiring an infinite penalty. We are finite beings and could not pay it: we would be separated from God for eternity. God is infinite and could pay an infinite penalty, but it wouldn't be just because He is not a member of our race. Therefore God, in love and grace, through the virgin birth, became a man so that He could pay the debt of sin for the entire human race!
In the Greek, Christ's cry from the cross, "It is finished!" is an accounting term, meaning that the debt had been paid in full. Justice had been satisfied by full payment of its penalty, and thus God could "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:26). On that basis, God offers pardon and eternal life as a free gift. He cannot force it upon anyone or it would not be a gift. Nor would it be just to pardon a person who rejects the righteous basis for pardon and offers a hopelessly inadequate payment instead-or offers his works even as "partial payment."
Salvation is the full pardon by grace from the penalty of all sin, past, present or future; eternal life is the bonus thrown in. Denying this cardinal truth, all cultists, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, reject salvation by grace and insist that it must be earned by one's good works. They accuse evangelicals of teaching that all we need to do is to say we believe in Christ and then we can live as we please, in the grossest of sins, yet be sure of heaven. Evangelicals don't teach that at all, yet a similar complaint is made by those who believe in "falling away." They say that "once saved, always saved" encourages one to live in sin because if we know we cannot be lost then we have no incentive for living a holy life. On the contrary, love for the One who saved us is the greatest and only acceptable motive for living a holy life; and surely the greater the salvation one has received, the more love and gratitude there will be. So to know one is secure for eternity gives a higher motive for living a good life than the fear of losing one's salvation if one sins!
While those who believe in "falling from grace" are clear that good works cannot earn salvation, they teach that salvation is kept by good works. Thus one gets saved by grace, but thereafter salvation can be lost by works. To teach that good works keep salvation is almost the same error as to say that good works earn salvation. It denies grace to say that once I have been saved by grace I must thereafter keep myself saved by works.
Such teaching, says Hebrews 6:4-9, rather than glorifying Christ, holds him up to shame and ridicule before the world once again for two reasons: if we could lose our salvation, then (1) Christ would have to be crucified again to save us again; and (2) He would be ridiculed for dying to purchase a salvation but not making adequate provision to preserve it-for giving a priceless gift to those who would inevitably lose it. If Christ's dying in our place for our sins and rising again was not sufficient to keep us saved, then He has foolishly wasted His time. If we could not live a good enough life to earn salvation, it is certain we can- not live a good enough life to keep it! To make the salvation he procured ultimately dependent upon our works would be the utmost folly.
"Falling away" doctrine makes us worse off after we are saved than before. At least before conversion we can get saved. But after we are saved and have lost our salvation (if we could), we can't get saved again, but are lost forever. Hebrews 6:4 declares, "If [not when] they shall fall away... it is impossible (v.4)...to renew them again unto repentance." That "falling away" is hypothetical is clear (v.9): "But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak" So "falling away" does not "accompany salvation." The writer is showing us that if we could lose our salvation, we could never get it back without Christ dying again upon the cross. This is folly! He would have to die an infinite number of times (i.e., every time every person who was once saved sinned and was lost and wanted to be "saved again"). Thus, those who reject "once saved, always saved," can only replace it with, "once lost, always lost!"
John assures us, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know [present knowledge] that ye have [present possession] eternal life..." (1 Jn 5:13). To call it eternal life, if the person who had it could lose it and suffer eternal death, would be a mockery. On the contrary, eternal life is linked with the promise that one cannot perish-a clear assurance of "eternal security" or "once saved, always saved." John 3:16 promises those who believe in Jesus Christ that they "should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 5:24 again says, "hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation...." One could not ask for clearer or greater assurance than the words of Jesus: "I give unto them [my sheep] eternal life; and they shall never perish" (Jn 10:28). If, having received eternal life, we could lose it and perish, it would make Christ a liar.
If sin causes the loss of salvation, what kind or amount of sin does it take? There is no verse in the Bible that tells us. We are told that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness-so apparently any sin can be forgiven. Even those who teach falling away rarely if ever say they got "saved again." Rather, they confessed their sin and were forgiven. Hebrews 12:3-11 tells us that every Christian sins, and that instead of causing a loss of salvation, sin brings Gods chastening upon us as His children. If when we sinned we ceased to be God's children, He would have no one to chastise-yet he "scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Indeed, chastening is a sign that we are God's children not that we have lost our salvation: "if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
Some teach that one must be baptized to be saved; others that one must "speak in tongues." Both are forms of salvation by works. Some people lack assurance of salvation because they haven't "spoken in tongues," others are confident they are saved because they think they have. Both are like those who say, "Lord, Lord, have we not...in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Mt 7:21-23) They are relying on their works to prove they are saved, instead of upon God's grace. Nor does Jesus say, "You were once saved but lost your salvation" He says, "I never knew you."
Here is an important distinction. Those who believe in "falling away" would say of a professing Christian who has denied the faith and is living in unrepentant sin, that he has "fallen from grace" and has "lost his salvation." In contrast, those who believe in "eternal security," while no more tolerant of such conduct, would say of the same person that probably Christ "never knew him"-he was never a Christian. We must give the comfort and assurance of Scripture to those who are saved; but at the same time we must not give false and un-Biblical comfort to those who merely say they are saved but deny with their lives what they profess with their lips.
Are we not then saved by our works? Indeed not! In I Corinthians 3:12-15 every Christian's works are tried by fire at the "judgment seat of Christ" before which "we must all appear" (2 Cor 5:10). Good works bring rewards; a lack of them does not cause loss of salvation. The person who hasn't even one good work (all of his works are burned up) is still "saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor 3:15). We would not think such a person was saved at all. Yet one who may seem outwardly not to be a Christian, who has no good works as evidence (if he has truly received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior), is "saved as by fire" and shall never perish in spite of his lack of works.
Do we then, on the basis of" once saved, always saved," encourage Christians to "sin that grace may abound?" With Paul we say, "God forbid!" We offer no comfort or assurance to those living in sin. We don't say, you're okay because you once made a "decision for Christ." Instead, we warn: "If you are not willing right now to live fully for Christ as Lord of your life, how can you say that you were really sincere when you supposedly committed yourself to Him at some time in the past?" And to all we declare with Paul, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves" (2 Cor 13:5).
Our confidence for eternity rests in His unchanging love and grace and the sufficiency of Gods provision in Christ-not in our worth or performance. Only when this is clear do we have real peace with God. Only then can we truly love Him and live for Him out of gratitude for the eternal life He has given to us as a free gift of His grace- a gift He will not take back and which He makes certain can never be lost!"
- Dave Hunt
The position taken herein is not based upon either Calvinism or Arminianism, both of which Dave Hunt opposes. For further discussion see his book, whatever Happened to Heaven?
For more information contact
THE BEREAN CALL
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I think the Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel is an abomination. One is going to have to explain Hebrews 11 if they believe that heresy...
In Wikipedia, see the "Prosperity Gospel"... It will give you an overview and some thinking on the matter, but Wikipedia is not a theology site, so don't make it so... :-)
Written by Gary Gilley
Piper likes to shock. He makes statements, and creates phrases (e.g. Christian hedonism) that unravels his readers. His goal is to get our attention and provide a basis for changing the way we think. It works, but it also confuses. While I appreciate much of what Piper says, I have found that his readers interpret him in many ways. This is always true to some degree we all put or own spin on what we read and hear, but Pipers writings seem to lend themselves to this problem more than most. Why? Because he says things so many different ways. About the time you think you know what he is saying he addresses an issue from a different direction and leaves you scratching your head. Or he attacks a time-honored position of Bible teachers, replaces it with his own, then turns around later and softens his blows only to attack afresh in a future chapter. Such tactics are common place in Future Grace.
The book opens with a full-fledged assault on living the Christian life motivated by gratitude (he calls it the "debtors ethic"). This is unfortunate, surely there are bigger demons to exorcise from the Christian community (later, he will admit that gratitude is not all bad, as long as it is not taken too far, see pp. 48,49 and chapter 7). He replaces gratitude with "living by faith in future grace." Surely no one questions that the Christian life is lived by faith, but why he had to behead the straw man of gratitude to prove this point escapes me. Faith and gratitude are not enemies, they are friends. Both should be embraced.
It is impossible to miss Pipers primary point living faith in future grace. He repeats this phrase hundreds of times throughout the book, as often as ten to fourteen times on a given page. He repeats it at every opportunity, at every turn. I felt like the people of Israel who had eaten so much manna that it was making them sick. But like the people of Israel, I could live with this. My struggles run deeper.
I believe Pipers mistake began with the title. He attempts to reduce the whole Christian life down to one component, "future grace." This is an unfortunate and narrow-minded deduction. Once this premise is established he then attempts (forces) to reconcile everything else in Scripture around this thesis. It cannot be done and the result is a distortion of the Christian life.
Rather than writing about the privilege of placing our faith in God as one of the many important elements of living for Him (remember that Paul even spoke of faith, hope and love, and the greatest was love), Piper becomes too narrow and actually makes claims for faith that cannot be substantiated. Even the phrase "faith in future grace" is fraught with problems. Is all of the Christian life a faith in future grace? Is there no looking back with gratitude to Gods faithfulness (Piper, remember, calls this the debtors ethic). What about the present? Is God doing nothing now? Is everything in the future? When the future comes will it not be the present, a present in which, according to Piper, we will then be looking to the future? And do we really place our faith in future grace or do we place our faith in the God who gives grace in all tenses (past, present and future)? Undoubted, our author would agree that our faith is in God, not in "grace," but he seldom says so. Instead, it is "faith in future grace." This troubles me for it is not unlike the theology of the Word of Faith movement that believes faith to be a force that can be controlled and manipulated through the right methods. Piper would surely deny this, but he comes dangerously close to such a view in Future Grace (see chapters 6,8,12). Not only does he use confusing terminology but he often speaks of unleashing power through faith (see chapter 12 especially pp.161,162 for one example, also p.185).
Piper has good chapters on anxiety (3), grace (5) and patience (13). But he places the Christian under the Law (chapters 12,19) and his view of the gospel left me with grave concerns. In chapter 15 he presents a very confusing gospel message. He says nothing about repentance of sin but adds "delight" in God as a prerequisite for conversion. He also confuses, I believe, salvation with sanctification. Piper states, "I say that saving faith must include delight. Delight in the glory of God is not the whole of what faith is. But I think that without it, faith is dead" (p.203). So now the poor sinner must not only trust God but must delight in him before he can be converted. Incredible!! In addition, our eternal salvation, according to Piper, is dependent upon how well we live as Christians. "Jesus said, if you dont fight lust, you wont go to heaven. . . . If we dont fight lust we lose our soul. . . . Faith delivers from hell, and the faith that delivers from hell delivers from lust. . . . Faith alone is necessary for justification, but the purity that confirms faiths reality is also necessary for final salvation" (pp. 332,333). Wow, this certainly sounds likes works to me.
Future Grace has some excellent material but it is so entwined with questionable statements and theology that it is not worth the struggle to filter through it. Additionally, if swallowed without discernment this volume could do great damage.
Thanks for all your posts!! Have you ever read “Once saved always saved” (a book) by RT Kendall? Or “Reign of the servant kings” by Jody Dillow?
Yes, Piper is right about the prosp gospel, but it really doesn’t take a genius to figure that out
.... Thanks for posting the text of Gilley’s article.
Have you ever read Once saved always saved (a book) by RT Kendall? Or Reign of the servant kings by Jody Dillow?
I looked up the name... R. T. Kendall, and no..., I haven't read his book. I haven't followed him. I haven't read or followed Jody Dillow either.
I've followed people like J. Dwight Pentecost, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Dave Hunt, John MacArthur, Mark Hitchcock, W.A. Criswell, Robert Jeffress, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Thomas Ice, Chuck Missler, Randall Price, Earl D. Radmacher..., along with a number of other names that I can't remember right at the moment, and in similar Christian teaching as these listed.
Joseph (Jody) Dillow went to Dallas Theological, and although ROTSK (Reign of the Servant Kings) is a long, hard read (700+ pages), he’s a colleague of many of the people you listed.....
Also, RT Kendall was referenced many many times in Jody Dillow’s book.
There are two chapters of the book here:
Joseph (Jody) Dillow went to Dallas Theological, and although ROTSK (Reign of the Servant Kings) is a long, hard read (700+ pages), hes a colleague of many of the people you listed.....
Thanks for the information. As I don't know him, I can't say if his teachings fall into the Dispensationalist area or not. So, I'm saying this not even knowing where he's at, in regards to this.
But, from what I've determined -- is that anyone who cannot see the kind of theology in the Bible, which is labeled as "Dispensationalism" -- that puts them as a big question mark in my mind as to whether they can read the Bible right at all.... LOL...
I see that as a sort of quick "litmus test" to easily get an idea where a theologian is coming from. That doesn't cover all bases (of course not) but it's a quick and dirty test, if nothing else.... :-)
Do you know where he comes from in regards to Dispensationalism?