January 3, 2013

Another One Bites The Dust…(maybe)

All that know me from my writing know that what comes first in my life is God and proper theology. So it should not come as a surprise to hear the following from me. This will be my first post of the new year and it is unintentionally snarky and will start many off on the wrong foot if they are of the persuasion I will discuss in this post. If you are rubbed wrong I recommend a better grip of Scripture as this post pulls no punches (not that any of the past thousand I have written have either)
For a long time I was an avid follower and supporter of Ravi Zacharias and his ministry. Like others though I have been forced to put him on a watch list of possible candidates for apostasy or backsliding. After having received certain information from other brothers whom I consider theologically sound and doing a little online homework it has come to my attention that Ravi Zacharias did indeed endorse the "Word of Faith" teacher Joyce Meyers. Anyone with half an ounce of theological integrity can do a routine search online to see why this is a serious problem.

Joyce Meyers is an avid adherent/teacher of "Word of Faith" theology which, at its questionable core, is the sin and greed blackened heart of Prosperity Theology. Others in this flawed theological category are TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) favorites Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland (a self-proclaimed disciple of Kenneth Hagin), Paul and Jan Crouch, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, T.D. Jakes, Eddie L. Long, Myles Munroe, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, Fred Price, Joseph Prince, Oral Roberts (now deceased), Robert Schuller, Paula White…and the list goes on. In other words, if its on TBN, you'd better be watching with a discerning biblical eye.

In short, Word of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical. It is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers such as Meyers. The Word of Faith movement grew out of the Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. It pretty much originated with E. W. Kenyon, who studied New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby and this study was called Mind Science. This "science" [found here] is even more dark and sinister than Word of Faith philosophy. The New Thought Movement is pretty much where "name it and claim it" originated. It was unfortunately piggybacked into Pentecostalism and the result is a peculiarly satanic or sycretistic mix of orthodox Christianity, unorthodox Christianity and an unhealthy serving of mysticism. Kenneth Hagin studied under E. W. Kenyon and helped make the Word of Faith movement what it is today.  Many including Meyers have learned from Hagin among others. Although some teachings seem somewhat orthodox many are outright heretical and completely ridiculous. I don't suppose it is sadly ironic that Phineas Quimby was also influential on another person that started a Christian cult...name Mary Baker Eddy of Christian Science fame (which is neither Christian nor scientific). 

In this Word of Faith religion (cult) people are led to believe that their words can be used to manipulate the “faith-force”, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises which is usually interpreted by sinful depraved people as physical and tangible benefits in this earthly realm in this life (health and wealth). Never mind the fact that the only ones usually getting wealthy from this style of false teaching are the false teachers themselves lying to people with open wallets.

Whether it is stated or not, the flawed theology that people need to adhere to, to be able to pursue this “theological” framework requires one to  think that God created human beings in His literal, physical image as “little gods”. Many Word of Faith preachers will deny this is true of what they preach but it is logical fallout of what they preach. Following this twisted theology leads one to the following teaching: As little gods we have the ability to manipulate this “force” and become prosperous in this life. Illness and failure are the result of a lack of faith, and are remedied by confession or claiming God's promises for oneself into existence. This is horribly damaging to otherwise faithful but naïve Christians. These false teachings could lead the faithful to believe that they are poor or sick solely due to a of a lack of faith...which is preposterous (the Son of Man  had no place to rest His head for goodness sakes!), does this mean He had no faith and was/is a horrible sinner? May it never be!

In a nutshell, the Word of Faith preacher(s) put man/woman at least on par with God if not above Him by “demanding” or “commanding” God/Jesus to do the will of man. Not only this, but it makes God obligated to obey people's words which is beyond obscene, it is laughable. It also assumes God’s favor or blessing results in riches and health in this realm, in this life. The Bible does not explicitly say this. As a matter of fact Paul told us in 1 Timothy 6:9-11 that:

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

This is pathetic and atrocious theology and cannot even be deemed as theology per se, merely a flawed outworking of bad logic. Greedy self-gratifying philosophy yes, theology, no. It is fantasy, and bad fantasy at that. It is a false representation of Christianity and Christ. Match any of this absurdity with Scripture and it will be shot down in flames on sight.

This is the main issue I have with Meyers and Word of Faith preachers. I have not even remotely gotten into the self-indulgent, narcissistic aspect of many of this ilk or breed. Many Word of Faith teach and preach that Christians are to be focused on the self when nothing could be further from the truth. True Christians are to turn outward and die to self…daily.

1 Corinthians 15:31~ “…I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord

Romans 8:4-13 ~ “…order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Galatians 2:20 ~ “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Many are deceived by this foolishness and they end up pursuing an unbiblical way of life. It is the literal fulfillment of the Devils promise in the Garden (Genesis 3:5), “and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” It has become so infectious in evangelical America that I have seen it slowly and insidiously slither into the Seeker-Sensitive churches also.

How does Ravi Zacharias play into this? Why does he become subject to much closer scrutiny by me before recommending him ever again to new believers or Christian brethren? It’s actually quite simple. He whole-heartedly endorsed Joyce Meyers a Word of Faith preacher calling her a, “great biblical teacher” and also said that Joyce Meyers, “devoted her life to the preaching of the word.” Perhaps she has devoted her life to the teaching of the word. The problem lies in the fact she has devoted her life to teaching it…improperly. To teach God's word improperly is no different that teaching someone or something else's word altogether. This is why I must call not only Meyers to task, but also someone like Ravi that would endorse her like this knowing she is Word of Faith oriented.

Please note that my issue is not that Ravi was on her show. Frankly, that is just smart apologetics because he is using media to his advantage. This was no different than when he spoke at the Temple Square about Jesus or at the Mormon tabernacle. This is just smart evangelism and apologetics. No…my issue is what he says about the person he is supporting on her show. She is not a biblical teacher. She preaches a false gospel and Ravi of all people should understand this (he ain't no dummy folks). As such I will warn people to now listen to him with a discerning ear and beware. The wolves creep in when people are not looking or paying close attention. Usually the wolves manage to get in when the sheep have been put to sleep by pleasant sounding heresy like a lullaby.

2 Peter 2:1-3 ~ “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4 ~ “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

They all look good from the outside but inside, many are rotten to the core. Am I saying Ravi is rotten? No, what I am saying is that the people he is now associating himself with...may very well be so.

Ravi is on my "watch list" now. 'Tis a shame, he is a darn good apologetic.

1 comment:

val said...

Satan has deceived the whole world until the woman of Rev 12 delivers the true word of God Rev 12:5. She is not a church, she is not Israel, and she is not Mary. She is the prophet like unto Moses and Elijah Matt 17:3, Acts 3:21-23, Luke 1:17 delivering the true word John 1:1 from the wilderness Rev 12:6 to prepare a people for the Lord’s return. God our Father will not put any child of his into a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer7:31, Jer 19:5. Turn your heart to the children of God. A gift is now delivered to the whole world as a witness Matt 24:14. http://minigoodtale.blogspot.com. A righteous judge gathers ALL evidence before making a judgment. If you are called to know the true word- Prove all things.

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