That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

While I’m In Chess Mode…

I know that in the game of chess,

(and, evidently, in the Game of Prosperity preaching)

a Knight beats a pawn,

and a Rook beats a Knight,

the Queen is stronger than the feeble King (feminist propaganda!),

but I didn’t know that the

 Bishop beats the Queen!

Advertisements

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Bishop Thomas Weeks, Charlatans, Christianity, Current Events, False Doctrine, False Profits, False Prophets, False Teachers, Juanita Bynum, Marriage, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Quips, Religion, Televangelists, The Battle of The Sexes, Word of Faith | 2 Comments

“Check, Mate.” He said with his hand out.

The Christian journey can be like a real-life chess match,

 and one must beware of Rooks* posing as Bishops!

*A trickster, or cheat. Hint, hint…

August 27, 2007 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Bishop, Charlatans, Christianity, Common Sense, Creflo Dollar, Current Events, False Doctrine, False Profits, False Prophets, False Teachers, Frederick Price, God, Humor, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Logic, Paul Crouch, Praise-a-thon, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Quips, Religion, TBN, Televangelists, The Bible, Word of Faith | 1 Comment

…The Better To FLEECE You!

Sure. It’s fine for a preacher to own a jet, or to live in a million-dollar maintchun*, but if he made his money selling wool sweaters and blankets, then he deserves to be criticized!

*A large, garish domicile

August 23, 2007 Posted by | Charlatans, Christianity, False Profits, False Prophets, False Teachers, Humor, Prosperity Gospel, Quips, Religion, Televangelists, Word of Faith | Leave a comment

Scrutiny Is Mutiny!

The following is a letter I wrote to the famous Word of Faith preacher, Creflo Dollar a few years ago. He is a prosperity preacher in the line of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Clarence McClendon, Frederick K.C. Price, Rod Parsley, and many others. It was in response to a horrendously unbiblical doctrine he and his ilk espouse which suggests that mankind can and should aspire to Godhood. It also makes God submissive, in a way, to men in the “earth realm.”

 This appears to be a foundational tenet of the WOF movement, which is marked by a desire, not for God, but for the STUFF God has. Prosperity. Health. They also characterize “faith” as a substance one uses, through words, to accomplish one’s personal will. It is my opinion that they are charlatans, who have become rich at the expense of their uninformed followers. They populate the “Christian” airwaves to the point where they have become what many, if not most, mistakenly believe to be true Christianity. TBN, with their periodic “Praise-a-thons,” often feature the aforementioned “celeverends” along with other false prophets such as, Benny Hinn, Juanita Bynum, and Paul Crouch. We are often the butt of ridicule because of them. Rolling old women for their last dime! I am sick of it. We have to defend God in the face of this wanton materialism.I spent so much time complaining about this particular program, that one friend suggested that I do something about it, so I, having recorded the program (I still have it), wrote him, going line by line. The letter is, therefore, quite long and if you do read it, you have my gratitude. The crowning insult is that after having done all this work, sending this uncomplementary letter (14 handwritten pages!) via hardcopy AND email, What I received in return was a FORM LETTER THANKING ME FOR MY FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION AND ASKING FOR MY INFORMATION SO THAT I COULD MORE EASILY SEND MORE!!This guy cannot fear the God he claims to know! Thank you in advance for your time. Feel free to be outraged.

Dr. Creflo Dollar Worldchangers.orgI was recently watching your program (Developing Faith in the Anointing, the week of February 19-23) and I saw a number of things that disturbed me greatly. I was frustrated and dismayed at what I heard, and at the behest of a friend, was left with no option but to write you.

I am a Christian who takes seriously the exhortation of Jude to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Jesus left us with a Gospel that was pure and in no need of our embellishment, and daily I see the outline of that Gospel fading and changing into something base and tainted.

It seems that the average “Christian” today has only a cursory knowledge of the belief system he lays claim to. Just enough to send him down that, wide path that leads to misery and teeth ground to powder! They glance sidelong at the light God put in us all, but instead of walking toward it, they head in the opposite direction toward the gospel of Earthly Pleasures.

Everywhere I turn, I seem to bump into someone who thinks that what Christianity is about is doing enough good deeds to go to heaven. And more and more, I run into amateur poets naming and claiming, believing and receiving, blabbing and grabbing, confessing and possessing ad nauseam! They treat the sovereign God of the universe as some sort of pinata to be smashed open and pillaged at their own will. They ignore the fact that God has never agreed to grant us ANYthing outside of His will. The Bible teaches us repeatedly that we are to ask of God those things that fall within HIS will, not ours. If I want a wife, and God says “no,” I cannot simply reach up and symbolically snatch it out of His hand! If I want a new job or a new car or a house, no amount of faith will give it to me unless God says so.

We are to wrap ourselves around the desires of the Lord, but instead you and an increasing number of others are teaching, in a transparent attempt to appeal to our basic human desire for material possessions and physical well-being, that God is a piece of string to be tied around our fingers. We with the wisdom of gum wrappers!! And when our prayers are not answered to our liking, you make us feel that our faith is lacking rather than noting that perhaps an all-knowing God knows what is best for us. Or that perhaps the “preacher” is not who he claims to be.

These and other of your teachings are disillusioning countless millions, and turning them from the true Gospel that has for us far, far more than our ephemeral satisfaction! “Store up for yourselves treasures in HEAVEN. . . .” “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. . . .” But bibles are left unread and multitudes leave their churches (if they even go at all) and God until next Sunday. They don’t study His word, and therefore, place themselves at the feet of whatever wolf wears the best sheep suit.

Our culture is hopelessly materialistic. We run ourselves ragged in pursuit of the sybaritic lifestyle Epicurus spoke of. We want as much money as we can get and all it can buy. We want offices on the top floor, personalized parking spots and license plates, mansions with views, fame, glory, and bodies free from pain.

And, seemingly, in response to this societal hue and cry, certain men of the cloth have created a god that answers all these demands. This god is not unlike the genie in the Arabian tale, only this one will grant an unlimited number of wishes. If you want a promotion, click your heels together! If you want your debt wiped out supernaturally–fold your arms and blink! If you want your cancer healed–wiggle your nose! If you want a loved one raised from the dead–say abracadabra! Presto! If you suffer in your life in any way, it is only because you don’t have enough Faith in the genie to invoke his power. He is at your beck and call, there to be bent and twisted to your will! Isn’t that wonderful?!

Where was he when Paul was suffering imprisonment, torture, and infirmity? Where was he when all those disciples–those who ate, slept, and walked with Jesus–were killed for believing in Him? Where was the genie when Christians in the early church days lived in the catacombs beneath Rome to escape persecution? Where was he when martyrs throughout the ages willingly gave their lives in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering? If only they had known, it could have all been avoided; the lions, the suffering, the misery, the beheading, the burning at the stake.

Instead, they held fast to a God that taught that to follow Him would bring suffering. This God says that in our weakness His strength takes center stage. This God says that, for many of us, a life of ease can bring forgetfulness and self-reliance. This God says that rather than laboring and hoping for corruptible material possessions, the true prize is unseen and unfathomed. This God says that in following Him, you forfeit your life for that which is greater. This God is not a respecter of men and cannot be bent to the will of any man. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not ours. Our genius is less than His foolishness. His love is for our souls, not our pocketbooks and our soft bellies.

My point is that so many Christians today are easily led and misled by what they see and what they want. They don’t know the whole truth, and so much of what is out there is–at a glance–just an unreasonable facsimile. We have so much blind faith in the man in the pulpit that–unlike the Bereans–we are subject to whatever he says without scrutiny (scrutiny is mutiny!). If the pastor says “ask and receive,” we believe it without exploring the CONTEXT that proper interpretation demands. If the pastor says “move mountains,” we don’t wonder why none of us has ever moved one. We just go along to get along–at the expense of proper exegesis and countless souls.

As I mentioned at the outset, your program bothered me to the point of response. While I possess no doctorates or ordinations, I consider myself a member of the priesthood of all believers. How could I watch problematic teaching go forth and not be moved to some kind of action? While you may or may not agree with the content of this letter (if I pray–in Faith–that your doctrine changes, will it?), the Bible speaks loudly enough. It is my desire that you take a look at your teachings and their potential harm to your followers.

At the beginning of your program, you stated that God has set in motion laws that He Himself can’t contravene. While this is partially true in the sense that two plus two will always be four, and that God, being Holy, cannot sin, your purpose for making this statement is an attempt to make the sovereign God of the universe subject to something or someone other than Himself. This is evidenced by your repeated and persistent use of such terms as “illegally,” and “no legal authority.” How appalling to suggest that the God who owns the earth and the fullness thereof, (Psalm 24:1) the God who does whatsoever He pleases (Psalm 115:3, 135:6), the God who dresses Job down unequivocally can be constrained by anything!

You say that God cannot do anything in this “earth realm” without a physical body, but you provide no biblical basis for the assertion. Remember that even if you were able to twist some verse from the Bible to support this far-fetched claim, context demands that it be reconciled with the overwhelming number of verses that proclaim God’s ultimate “authority!”  The God of all that is will not contradict Himself.

You say that Adam was created with blood type “G,” insinuating that he was some kind of  direct representation of God. As though when you looked at Adam, you saw God. You appear to take the fact that God gave Adam “dominion” to mean he (Adam) was in ultimate control. However, Adam was in dominion in the same sense that we “own” our bodies, and that we “own” our material possessions, and that the house I rent is mine. Once again, the context of the Bible as a whole makes this unmistakably clear. Rather than Jesus being the last Adam, you seem to view Adam as the first Jesus. Any baby Christian knows that Adam sinned, God cannot sin and therefore Adam can in no way be God. Besides, God Himself said that there is, was, and will be, only one God–big “G” or little “g.”

A little later on, you go to Matthew 5:1, where Jesus drives the demons from the man at Gerasa. The Bible says that the man, seeing Jesus and immediately knowing Him, ran up to Him and fell to his knees in the posture of genuflection, and begs the Lord not to torture him. By all indications, he appears to react to Jesus the way a subdued bully would his conqueror. Verse ten says that he “begged Jesus again and again.” He is in the presence of the Almighty God and knows it.

You, however, place the demons in the position of telling Jesus where He can and cannot be (to the amens of your flock), and what He can and cannot do, “You can’t touch me!” (Wagging his finger in Jesus’ face!) You say that where the demon was right was in the fact that God has no legal authority to be “on this planet if You don’t have a physical body.” You assert that God can’t operate in this “earth realm” since Adam supposedly gave God’s power to do so over to Satan when he sinned in the garden. Were this true, how does God destroy the earth by flood, or destroy Sodom and Gomorrah by fire, or cause the walls of Jericho to fall, or protect the Israelites with a pillar of fire, or part the Red Sea, or rain manna from the sky, or cause Balaam’s donkey to speak, or interact with Old Testament figures on dozens and dozens of occasions? This is an absurd assertion. Your scenario plays out like a novel, and a bad one, full of contradictions and loose ends!

I am led to believe, and I may be wrong, that the fact that you (and those of the same ilk) express the need for God to have a “physical body” in order to operate “on this planet” is some desire to elevate humanity to the level of some kind of deity. You would not be the first. Creation has been aspiring to the throne of God from the beginning. Satan told Eve that to eat of the forbidden fruit would make her like God. Satan himself was tossed out of heaven for that desire. The builders of the tower of Babel attempted to reach heaven. So you may be in well-known company.

You go to 1John 4:1-6, which illustrates that those who deny that Jesus Christ (God in human form) came in the flesh are false prophets. You use this passage to promulgate your theory that God needs a physical body to cast out demons. In your dramatization, you have demons with their hands on their hips sassing God, saying, “What in the world are you doing here, God? . . . I don’t have a physical body, and You don’t have a physical body. . . . You can’t fool me with that body on.”

Now, according to you, the demons are addressing Jesus (they called him “God”), but they say He doesn’t have a body. Then, in the same statement, you say He has a “body on.” This seems like jibber-jabber, but I’m just a layman. You seem to have my Lord and Master relegated to playing a cosmic game of  “Simon Sez.”

Next, you send Jesus to hell “illegally” to orchestrate a prison break. Jesus is like Richard Burton in “Where Eagles Dare,” dressed up as a German officer, or a damned soul sneaking around the dungeon unlocking cells and finally throwing off His disguise in triumph, to Satan’s horror. Trumpets blow a fanfare as Satan realizes he’s lost! Even though your god triumphs in his undercover cop role, your version of events is not biblical, and that is the point. The nature of God is the crux of this issue.

You say Jesus was in hell for three days and nights, but nowhere does the Bible advance this assertion. You use as confirmation Acts 2, saying “He suffered the pains of death.” Acts 2:24 actually says that “God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death. . . .” Obviously, this passage speaks of Jesus’ torture and suffering on the cross, and the manner in which He died, so your declaration that Jesus went to hell for our redemption needs, and will not find, further proof.

Jesus said “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” When He breathed His last, He said “It is finished.” Was He just talking about His life? Or the work He came here to do? The context confirms the latter. He told the thief on the cross that “today” he would be with Jesus in paradise. When the Bible spoke of Jesus being in the heart of the earth for three days and nights, clearly it was speaking of the grave, not hell.

It seems to my uneducated ear, that when you say that Jesus was the “first born of many brethren,” you are implying that “since there is a first one . . . there’s got to be a second one . . . like Him and a third one . . . like Him ( and a) fourth one . . . like Him,” that you, a mere mortal man in no way deific, are “somewhere in the number” of beings like God. This worries me, and seeing the cheering thousands in your congregation, and the frequency with which you appear on the air, I would hate to think that this throng of humanity could be led to believe they could possess the attributes of divinity, as well as believe these other misconceptions of God’s nature.

“Did Jesus come to this earth functioning as God?” you ask. The Biblical answer is “yes,” but in perhaps the cleverest twist of the program, you say “no.” Here you walk your listeners through a mine field, deftly avoiding true facts that could blow your whole tale to oblivion. You say that He had to come as a man in order to be an example to a man. First of all, Jesus came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice, the sinless Lamb, not to show us how to walk on water, and raise the dead and to be perfect. Those things, along with His other miracles and proclamations served to prove He is God.

Of course, His humanity was an example to us–service, humility, love, self-control–but He came as God and said so! Jesus said “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), and the Jews tried to stone Him, saying He claimed “to be God.” These people, well affiliated with Scripture knew what Jesus was saying. He said in John 8:58, that “before Abraham was born I am.” “I Am” is the name of God told to Moses in Exodus. Philippians 2:5-11 has Paul asserting Jesus’ deity. His deity is precisely the reason He was able to be sinless, despite what you say, otherwise we wouldn’t have needed Him, and somewhere else in history there would be evidence of perfect, sinless people.

It seems once again, in my crude thinking that this is a further attempt to snatch for yourself the attributes of God: the ability to do what He did, and to “develop your Faith to do any of the things you read about.” To those like me who would claim mere humanity, you say, waving your hands in praise, “I’m trying to tell you you ain’t just a man.” Dangerous.

Next, you move to James 1:13 in your first step in busting Jesus from His Supreme position to that of mere human. James 1:13: “God cannot be tempted by evil.” Question: Did Jesus come as God? (See where this is going?) You then go to Psalm 8:5 where David, in praise of God’s glory, says “You made Him a little lower than the angels.” While you say that the word “angels” in this verse is translated “Elohim,” there are a few definitions for this word, and the CONTEXT once again determines the meaning. (The cynic in me sees that in order to complete your scenario of Jesus being less than God, for however short a time, you must twist passages to make your case.) Man is created a little lower than angels, and Psalm 8 is speaking of man, based on verses 6 through 8. While “Elohim” does mean “God in Hebrew, it also can describe representatives of God, such as judges, and angels in this case.

The New Testament passages, Hebrews 2:7 and 2:9 use the Greek word, “Angelos” (It is very slick how you went to the Old Testament to get the word “Elohim!” Wasn’t the New Testament written in Greek?), meaning “angels.” (Notice the plurality of the word, while there is only one God) While the Psalms passage is speaking of man, the Hebrews passage is showing Jesus in His humanity. Since the Hebrews passage uses the word “angels,” the Bible, not contradicting itself, is clearly quoting the Psalms passage in a parallel comparison. Therefore, Jesus in Hebrews was made a little lower than the “Angelos” as was man in Psalms. He kept His deity (Philippians 2:5-11).

And what is that mish-mosh about birth certificate? You inquire of the devil, “Do you have a birth certificate?” And when he cannot produce one, you order him out of your house. Concerning the current practice of addressing the devil, many of today’s Christians could benefit greatly from reading Jude v. 8, and 2 Peter 2.

By the time you get to Hebrews 2:9 you have taken what thousands of years of biblical scholarship interpreted, and changed it in a matter of minutes! How proud you must be to have corrected such a glaring oversight. Now, men are “more than just men,” and Jesus is less than God!

How many of your followers go home and check for themselves–as we are instructed to do–to see if your new revelations are true?

Now, with the table set, since Jesus is apparently not God anymore (for a little while), you can have Him subject to the pressure of temptation. You have Satan presenting Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world. You say that it had all been turned over to him, which is false. Remember, the earth and everything in it belongs to God, according to Scripture. You say, “that’s exactly what Jesus came for,” and Satan says, ‘You bow down and worship me, I’ll give you everything back!’ “Don’t you think that was pressure on His flesh?!” you ask. First of all, Satan can’t give God what already belongs to Him! Secondly, Jesus didn’t come into the world and endure unimaginable suffering for stuff! Finally, was it pressure on His flesh? No! If it were, we’d still be in our sins waiting for someone better to come and save us.

You further attempt to demonstrate your point by illustrating an example where Jesus, when challenged by Satan that He turn stones into bread, reaches out to do it with His right hand and clamps His left hand over it to stop Himself. You are clearly saying that Jesus almost commits this act. You portray Jesus as almost taking Satan at his offer, which clearly contradicts Jesus’ own teaching that we sin even when we think of committing a sinful act. So, if Jesus mulls over the possibility of giving in to Satan’s temptation–for even a nanosecond–we are doomed. God cannot sin. (Were the “angels” who attended Jesus after his temptation in Matthew 4:11 “Elohim,” too? If so, do you have gods attending God?)

Many people mistakenly think that this “temptation” means that Jesus rubbed His chin, cocked His mouth to one side, rolled His eyes upward, and at the last second said “. . . Naw, no thanks.” This would violate the law of contradiction that a perfect God cannot break. What “temptation” means in this instance, is that Satan held a fresh, hot loaf of bread under Jesus’ nose, and the Saviour didn’t sniff. Jesus was made an offer–one that He didn’t consider accepting. If a moth threatens a Greyhound bus on the highway, does the bus even for an instant feel threatened? Context goes a long way toward eliminating apparent contradictions in the Bible.

If you haven’t torn this letter to pieces by now, God bless you (even if you have). A lot more could be said, but this is a letter, not a book. All that I am attempting to do in this undertaking is shed some light on some problematic issues. The body of Christ is plagued enough from without with heresies of many varieties. If we claim to be of Christ, our doctrine and teaching need to be evidence of that.

The vast majority of Christians seem to be as vulnerable to flawed theology as non-believers, and those called to teach should be careful when tampering with the unplowed field of naive, searching minds. Teachers are held to a stricter standard and are responsible for leading or misleading God’s children. I would hate to think that you are fully aware of this fact and purposely say such disturbing things.

The true Scriptures are infinitely more interesting, suspenseful, and dramatic than any story invented by our weak human brains. Those thousands and millions drawn to your church and your telecasts will be just as enthralled by the truth, and their souls will be eternally more advantaged.

“With gentleness and respect”

Derrick L. Williams

He still preaches this stuff to this very day. Just check YouTube.

August 21, 2007 Posted by | Atonement, Benny Hinn, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, Faith, False Doctrine, False Profits, False Prophets, False Teachers, Frederick Price, God, Hell, Jesus, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Paul Crouch, Praise-a-thon, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Religion, Rod Parsley, TBN, Televangelists, The Bible, The Nature of God, Word of Faith | 26 Comments