Summary: The word of faith/prosperity gospel is an abominable heresy that makes you a little god who can decree and declare the heavens open and do whatever you want. It totally disregards the sovereignty and lordship of God.
STAYING IN MY LANE
A few weeks ago, I read a post by Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler is President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. On his updates, he posted an article entitled ‘Staying in his Lane—Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation without salvation. Soledad O’Brien on CNN. He commented on the interview and I will quote from the article. (next slide)
“You’ve got to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go.” “With our words we can either bless our futures or we can curse our futures.”
Osteen calls faith, “activating faith,” because “faith is what causes God to work.”
“I think part of my, if you want to call it success, I’ve stayed in my lane and my lane is listing people’s spirits and there are issues that good, Bible-believing people see on both sides of the fence.” (next slide)
Dr. Mohler went on to say, “Viewers of CNN saw a display of confusion, evasion, and equivocation coming from one presented as a Christian pastor. What they were really seeing is the total theological bankruptcy of the word of faith movement and the gospel of positive thinking. Osteen cannot, or at least will not, speak even the simplest word of biblical conviction. He states his intention to stay in his “lane” of glib affirmation.”
Joel Osteen is probably the best known preacher of the Word of Faith movement or Prosperity Gospel. His church, Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas, is attended by over 40,000 each weekend. He has written books, visited many cities, doing “An Evening with Joel Osteen.” If you listen to him, you can’t help but be encouraged by his smile, winsome personality and encouraging message.
But what exactly is this message Joel Osteen preaches? And why am I so concerned about it? If you listen to Osteen, or any of these other Word of Faith preachers, here are some of the things you here. (next slide)
• God wants you to be happy, healthy and wealthy
• You can create your own destiny by faith
• Just declare it by faith
• It will happen!
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But wait. Just the other night I was watching a video on a Cathay Pacific 747-400 taken in the cockpit. The captain took us into the simulator where pilots learn to fly these airplanes. I have been privileged to fly both a 747 and a 777 simulator. You might not want me for your pilot! Once they close the door, and get going, you will forget you are actually on the ground. Airplanes have to fly a certain speed to maintain lift. Otherwise they will stall. And if they go to fast, it can have catastrophic consequences as well. The pilots have to stay within the window of safe airspeeds to fly. Otherwise they are getting into the “Danger Zone.” (next slide)
• Faith becomes nothing more than a “force.”
• By your words you can manipulate God and create what you believe the Bible promises—health and wealth.
• It denies God’s sovereignty and makes God subject to your will.
• This is idolatry—turning yourself into God. (next slide)
• Demotes God and makes man equal to Him.
• Faith—by your spoken word you can speak whatever you want into existence.
• Just declare it by faith
• Joyce Meyer--I will be healthy, I will not have this cancer, I will be prosperous in Jesus’ name (next slide)
This teaching is based on Positive Confession. Here’s what Positive Confession teaches.
• When you say aloud what you want to happen with expectations that God will make it happen, your words will have spiritual power.
• If you speak them aloud with the right faith, you can gain health and wealth, and accomplish what you want.
• The law of attraction states that like attracts alike.
Positive Confession comes not from the Bible, but from a philosophy that started in the late 1700’s called New Thought. Here’s what New Thought teaches. (next slide)
• The key to getting health and wealth is in thinking, seeing and saying the right words
• Your words have power
• Add some Bible verses and it definitely sounds Christian.
• This sounds great but it has done irreparable damage in the Body of Christ.
Notice the last point. My good friend Dr. Matthew St. John said, “This teaching is like eating salad with dirty lettuce. It will toss your cookies like you can’t even imagine. It has done irreparable damage to the body of Christ. Let me give you a couple examples.
In the early 1980’s I read an article from the Jews for Jesus newsletter, about a man who was Jewish like me, and a believer in Jesus Christ. His name was Milton Kohut. Due to a cancelled flight, Kohut changed his travel plans and rescheduled his business trip. The flight was cancelled in New York because of weather. Had Kohut’s flight not been cancelled, he never would have made it home. He was originally booked on American Airlines flight 191; the DC-10 that lost an engine taking off from Chicago in 1979. All 271 passengers and crew onboard were killed along with 2 people on the ground, as the plane crashed into a field just near a trailer park. Many more could have been killed. While Kohut was thankful his life was spared, he also knew many lives were lost. He had no answer. And he wrote an article about it, and he shared one of the responses. It was from a Christian publisher in Chicago whose colleague was aboard AA 191. He responded with, ““I don’t question my colleague’s untimely death, and I cannot tell you how to live the rest of your life. It is my conviction that God has further work for you to do, while my colleague’s work has been accomplished.”