That NEW Adage

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

Supersized Jesus

Can somebody please explain to me what is up with the whole “One church in three locations” thing?? Is it just a black mega-church phenomenon? There are a number of these in my city.

It is just about the most irritating thing to see preachers like Michael Freeman , Bishop Paul Morton, and Brandon Porter (here in my town) advertise all their locations like they are opening Wal-Marts or McDonalds’. What, the Lord can’t call another preacher? Is the force of your personality so strong, are you just so popular that people won’t come unless YOU are there preaching? Can God not Get His Word preached unless YOU are the one doing it? We let these dudes get away with anything!

I have friends who play at these franchises, and they tell me how the pastor has to preach the nine o’clock service at one church, leave before the benediction to make the ten thirty at site two just in time to preach the sermon, and rush back to the first for a noon service, and finally preach a six o’clock at the third! Morton said that he takes a helicopter or a plane from one place in Georgia to New Orleans every Sunday.

How can you be any good to any flock at that rate? Let somebody else preach! Christianity looks like just another business when it is done like this. It looks like you are just collecting three paychecks.

One church here has one location that is in the middle of a community that is falling apart and rife with crime. Isn’t there enough work to do there without having to make a giant triangle across the county to “help” those in the outlying areas?

One might think that it is because you have to maintain your nearly million-dollar estate, with your five figure home theater and sound system, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think you were pimping the Gospel. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that because you are going so far as to suggest that people pawn their jewelry and such, you are struggling to maintain a lifestyle and that this is why you keep opening up new franchises. (You know who you are. I know, because I know the guys who installed your system, and I know what they think of Christ as a result of seeing how you live versus how your church communities live.)

Memphis, where I live, is a town with nearly one church per person! It makes me sick to see churches, often of the same denomination, within a rock’s throw of each other. Some of these preachers could shut down and work at one of the franchises. But nooooo! Everybody has got to be the HPIC! Just greed masquerading as shepherding. Even Jesus delegated! My goodness!

Why do we put up with stuff in God’s name that we wouldn’t let a cop or a congressman do if he were in our own family?!?

Advertisements

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Bishop Paul S. Morton, Brandon B. Porter, Christ, Christianity, Church Life, False Doctrine, False Teachers, God, Hypocrisy, Michael Freeman, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Rant, Word Network, Word of Faith | 11 Comments

This is Your Soul on “Ignorant”

I got this YouTube clip from my friend, Phil, at http://phillyflash.wordpress.com/

We sin daily, and I know that when I bend my knee tonight I will have to clear from my account all the sinful wishes I had for Todd Bentley when I saw him here kick a stage four colon cancer patient in the colon! People are so desperate and often so ill-informed, and this is how they are treated.

Actually, Bentley is just doing physically what all the hucksters do spiritually.

The Lord takes no pleasure in the fate of the wicked. I ain’t God, and I’m earnestly working on that aspect of myself…

Any questions?

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Charlatans, Christ, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, E. Bernard Jordan, Eddie Long, Faith Healer, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Florida Healing Outpouring, God, Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Praise-a-thon, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Rant, Robert Tilton, Rod Parsley, T.D. Jakes, TBN, Televangelists, Todd Bentley | 14 Comments

“Badder Up!”

What are Paula White and Juanita Bynum doing these days? They haven’t been in the news or on tv as much lately. I see Paula every now and then doing her Oprah thing, and I guess Juanita is busy with her make-up line…

One would think that since they are not as visible the Devil has lost and given up.

Nope! Enter this Todd Bentley dude. He is following in their hollowed footsteps and is leaving his own “brand” on the scene. He looks like a biker or a circus performer with more tattoos per square foot than the entire roster of the Denver Nuggets, and more piercings than a dartboard in a bar somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen.

And as striking as is his appearance, his “teachings” are more disturbing.

His crusades from down in Florida (Why is it always Florida?) are always on, and his misled followers seem so sincere and emotional.

Just the other day, I saw this one guy — he was Asian. I don’t know his name — doing the Benny Hinn thing — laying folks out in a phoney display of “the Power of the Holy Spirit,” and he began telling this story.

They all have stories about what happened somewhere else. (2Peter 2:3) “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” Do none of the attendees recall this passage? Read all of 2Peter 2.

So, the “handlers” walk the next pawn up to the speaker, telling him — and us — that this man has been suffering from a bad back since a 1974 car accident. He has metal rods in his back and cannot walk straight and is in constant pain.

But now, praise tha lawd, he is better!

The barker, I mean, speaker shoves the mike under the mark’s chin for further elaboration… “I been in constant pain since ’74, but since I been coming to the meetings for the past few days, I can feel the power of the ‘anointing’ flowing through me, hallelujah!”

The handler intones, “Pastor, he says he’s 70 to 80 percent healed!”

As though this is some indication of the great and marvelous power of God!! No one seems to react as incredulously as I did! Can’t God heal all the way?!? Does He work in installments? Like buying a couch? Did the man Jesus healed take up his mat and LIMP away? Did the woman with the twelve-year bleeding problem leave Jesus with minor spotting? Did the blind man He healed need glasses? What’s UP with these folks?!? I mean, you don’t even have to know the Bible verse by verse to deal with these con men!

And that’s not all…

The speaker began to tell his story.

“I was in China just last weekend, and Saturday, this woman came up to me. She had a broken leg, and it was in such bad shape that they put a titanium rod in it, and she couldn’t bend it or move it or anything. Ohh, the anointing is so strong on me right now! She couldn’t do anything with that leg, and I tell ya, right before our eyes, the Lord melted that titanium rod and healed that leg just like new, and she jumped and danced all over the place!”

The crowd cheered in childlike anticipation, eating it all up like Apple Jacks.

“That same anointing is on me right now,” he said as he turned to the mark. “I feel the pow’r of GOD!!” He slapped the man on his forehead, and those handlers proceeded to — ever so gently, since he was only 70 to 80 percent healed — lay him out on his back softly on the floor.

And that’s the last we saw of him. Only his friends and family are there to see that he was not healed, just taken. Used.

My thing is this: For weeks now, everything Bentley and his cronies have been doing has been televised. Every “miracle” has been logged on video. Cameras are everywhere! If this is true, somebody tell me why there was no video of a woman having a titanium rod dissolved inside her leg in front of a multitude just this past Saturday?!?! We saw this dude with his bad back partially healed on video, we see four and five hour commercial-free healing crusades, but nobody has a camera to catch this great miracle.

I saw cellphone video showing Beyonce trip and fall off stage in Japan somewhere, I heard Obama talking about folks clinging to God and guns in some hotel conference room in San Francisco, Marion Barry was caught on camera smoking crack, I saw Paris Hilton use a racial slur at a house party, I’m sure there is some YouTube footage of Britney Spears scratching her butt in a truck stop bathroom, but someone rises up from the dead, or someone gets a long-broken leg healed and it’s aways somewhere else! There is always some story about some fabulous miracle that the television audience just missed! “Y’all should’a been there!”  No cell phones, no cameras, no verification. Yet the masses are always teeming like grunion on the beach, begging to be devoured, carcasses left rotting in the sun, of no more use to these emissaries of Satan.

Until the Lord mops all this business up, we will never be rid of the lying storytellers who prey on the unaware. If Paula falls, someone else will get up. If Creflo is toppled, another will be built up. Juanita will probably live through another ice age…

But, (2 Peter, 2:13) “they will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done.”

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Charlatans, Christ, Christianity, Faith Healer, False Doctrine, False Teachers, Florida Healing Outpouring, Juanita Bynum, Oprah, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Todd Bentley | 4 Comments

Pastor Peas

We have had, in this recent torrid election season, prime reasons why we should not vote for a person because of what faith they claim.

The Religious Right (I really think that, to them, the “RIGHT” is more than a compass point but a perspective. I don’t like it) hold so much sway in politics these days in terms of getting people elected and furthering certain agendas that now every public official has to have a personal pan pastor on his arm like a prom date in order to win, and put at ease, that sizeable body.

“He must be a good person! He parts his hair on the left side, he wears a blue suit and a red tie, and Jerry Falwell likes him!”

Maybe we ARE sheep!

John McCain, after losing his last presidential bid, was known to have cussed out that evangelical body. They didn’t offer him their ring to be kissed, and he felt they cost him.

So, this time, he was running around (like Jim Valvano after winning the NCAA champeenship looking for somebody to hug) trying to get what HE thought were powerful, influential pastors to use as cufflinks and flag pins.

Just to show how unaware McCain is, he chose two of the most theological off-base, Word of Faith, Prosperity purveyors out there!

Rod Parsley is one of the biggest names in the pulpit pimp stables. He raises money for TBN regularly, telling folk that, basically, sending money to TBN will activate the will, blessings, and power of God on their behalf. Basic “Give to Get.”

I saw this tactical shift of his a couple of years ago to issues of abortion and gay rights (two of my own sticking points) and I realized that he was aiming to do just what he has done; get aligned with this powerful constituency. He began writing patriotic books on winning back America and such, and to the untrained eye, he looked to be just as orthodox as Dobson or Stanley or the late Adrian Rogers. His doctrine, however, is still as foul as it ever was. McCain seemed to miss that. No. What made HIM jump ship was that Parsley made negative comments about Islam. That made him sever his ties. As if it is the responsibility of a “Christian” pastor to uphold the tenets — equally– of Christianity and Islam. Or any other faith, for that matter… I have friends who are Muslim, and I dare not water down the Truth of Christianity for the sake of harmony. I respect them, but do not have to believe what they believe, any more than they believe what I believe!

Then there’s John Hagee! This man is cut from the same cloth as the others — Copeland, Hagin, Creflo, Hinn– but he comes across simply as a “fire and brimstone Texas preacher.” What McCain didn’t know, or perhaps care to know, was that Hagee has said that the Jews came to Jesus to be the Messiah to them, and that Jesus “flatly refused!” WOW! He is known to be one of these guys who interprets the Bible with a newspaper. He predicts, with every new disaster, that that is a further sign of the Apocalypse, and that each new dictator on the scene was spoken of in Revelation. Never mind the huge pile of unfulfilled prophecies behind the curtain on the stage…

It is his belief (along with many other evangelicals) that the desire of God is for the current generation of Jews (were these people of Russian and Polish and German descent the SAME people spoken of in the Bible??? Just wondering) is going to suffer His wrath for the Jews who rejected Him two centuries ago. Hagee — and just about every other American Christian church — thinks that the Jews are to be herded back to Israel in order for the events in Revelation, Daniel, Thessalonians, and other parts of Scripture to happen. I believe it is called “Zionism.”

So, he is a “friend” of the Jews. He seems to make his living from that starting point. It is all he talks about. What he doesn’t say, though, is that these biblical events, in his understanding, mean that two thirds of the returning Jews are to be killed after all the Christians are “raptured” away, a la the “Left Behind” series of books, by Tim LaHaye.

Wonder if they would consider him a friend if they knew that…? Hagee, it seems, believes that the Jews can be saved without acknowledging Jesus as Messiah and Savior. Many Christians today believe this, it seems. This is another subject for another time. I am still studying on it.

He has also regularly appeared on the TBN telethons raising money to support a lie.

It would seem that McCain, who champions campaign finance reform and honest fundraising, would have stayed away from these two men just based on the fact that they have been involved in fleecing the weak in the most egregious type of fundraising there is!

Okay, then there is Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

There is an incendiary preacher here in Memphis, Bill Adkins, who preaches and conducts church in what appears to be the same way Wright did. Liberation Theology. They preach from an Afro-centric perspective rather than a Christo-centric one, it appears. They wear the dashikis and the kufis and lament the ills and injustices of black American life with a little bit of Jesus and the way of salvation and holiness sprinkled on the top.

Listen, to be honest, a lot of the emotion with which they speak, the mistreatment and alienation, echo in my spirit as well. I understand the idea of seeing America from the point of view of an abused step-child who loves the parent but calls him out on the realities of the relationship. But I don’t ever let that supersede my faith! In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free…!

The irony here is that Bill Adkins, the aforementioned pastor, used to be the associate pastor at my old church. He was there when I was a kid. He was over the vacation bible school program, and upon preaching the Gospel and explaining what salvation meant, I — a fourteen-year-old boy– stood up to be saved and baptized, and I made my sisters get up and come, too! In front of all those other kids! In other words, he led me to Christ, along with my family members. I looked up to him and sat under his teaching, but I don’t agree with some of the things he has said in his pulpit. Hmmm…

While a lot of what these guys preach have a secular truth to it, while in the speeches of MLK a lot of the same tones are touched, their theology can sometimes alienate rather than unify. While I may shout, “amen” to acknowledging the injustices, I have to be careful to remember that if I don’t forgive my brother, God said that He won’t forgive me! While I am an activist at heart, wanting to right the wrongs of The Man against mine, I must — if my faith is real — realize that God let’s nothing slide! He will get the revenge that I sinfully want to mete out.

But to be honest, my educated guess is that Obama, wanting to be in a position to do some good in the black Chicago community, wanting to be relevant to black folk who can sometimes be rough to folk who are not just like them, went to this church back then because it fit his criteria. This pastor had influence and charisma, and it was probably to Obama’s benefit to link himself to this inner-city black church. He probably wasn’t going to bible study on Wednesday night! He, as any other politician, was surely not sitting at church every Sunday!

The Mayor here is a member of my old church, and he was there maybe once every two months! 

It sounds opportunistic, yes, but I submit that all politicians are opportunists at heart. I have, over the years, seen dozens of people, white AND black, running for judge or mayor or congress or senate or the school board or sheriff or roach killer or night manager come to my church to beg for a vote only to leave right after they finish talking! 

Hillary didn’t need a pastor. Her church is Feminism, and they are their own gods. 🙂

If these candy dates were truly well-versed in the faith that they claim, they would NOT be in support of killing an unborn baby, or denying real help to those who can’t help, or sanctioning the wedding of two dudes, or racist policies, or teaching evolution, or  any other Democratic or Republican tenet that violates the way of God. Their Faith would inform and influence their decisions in a tangible, visible way. Both parties have Spiritual dealbreakers in their core principles. Jesus is neither Democrat nor Republican. Christians in the Bible pooled all the resources and doled them out as needed! (Hear that, bootstrappers?) But Jesus ain’t a Communist, either! I will vote, but I won’t vote based on who the Christian is. Otherwise, I’d vote for my pastor!

How can Christians be effective no matter which group is in control? That is the question.

My feeling is that we cannot look to any politician or party to be the governmental conduit through which our faith changes the world. These latest “pastor problems” highlight that fact.

 

May 28, 2008 Posted by | Abortion, Barack Obama, Benny Hinn, Christ, Christianity, Church Life, Current Events, Democrats, Elections, False Prophets, False Teachers, Hillary Clinton, Jesus, John Hagee, John McCain, Kenneth Copeland, Liberals, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Religious Right, Republicans, TBN, Zionism | 4 Comments

“Paging Dr. Pepper!”

So Joel Osteen says that Mormons are Christians.

Yeah. They’re Christians just like Dr. Pepper is a doctor! Like Col. Sanders was a colonel.

Read this transcript from a Fox News story:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318054,00.html

And Osteen is a preacher like Mr. T is an actor!

April 2, 2008 Posted by | Charlatans, Christianity, Faith, Joel Osteen, Prosperity Gospel, Word of Faith | 8 Comments

On the Mind of God…

You can’t put the ocean in a bathtub, but you can get enough water to get clean!

You may not know how the mechanism of the Trinity works, but as you may not know how a car works, you can still drive it with skill.

You may not know all the intimate details of how Jesus can be both fully God AND fully man, but you can know that that is precisely what Scripture teaches.

You may not understand how God can effect His will perfectly, but you can know that the Bible teaches that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and completely sovereign.

You may not know how to explain salvation, but you can know that, if you have let Him,  Jesus paid your bail, and cleared your record. You can know that Jesus didn’t have to arm wrestle His subject, Satan, for any keys!

You can know that when you hear someone saying that you have to spend money to have God meet your needs, they are flat-out lying, based on even a first grade reading of the Bible!

You can know that Christianity is different from every single other belief system. Because God won’t let you take any of the credit for saving yourself.

February 22, 2008 Posted by | Adage, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, Faith, False Teachers, Juanita Bynum, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, TBN, The Nature of God, Trinity | 2 Comments

Where is the Circle’s “New Beginning”?

“Wolf, wolf! Beware!”:

Watch how many televangelists (and local preachers) tell you that “2008 is the Year of New Beginnings!” (I just saw the little English bishop, John Francis, doing it on TBN today…)

As you are tempted to “buy” into it, tingling with anticipation at the thought of the new car, the job, the debt cancellation, the husman, or the miraculous healing, think back to the first few months of the previous years and recall that you’ve heard it alllll before, like Coca-Cola Classic — just the same old product re-packaged for the short-term-memory-deficient among us!

There is nothing new but the suit. The line is the same, and the hook is the same: Exercise your Faith, and open your checkbook. God is just a merchant to them, and you must PAY for your miracles. You must pay THEM! (What is the jet for? To fly up to Heaven with your prayer requests, and to get Personal instructions?!?)

Please hear me, people! The story is the same empty con every year! Stop letting these pimps take you. Jesus and salvation cost you not a dime! HE already paid the price. And not in Hell, either! You can get no miracle that He does not ordain, and you cannot order Him around by “learning these principles,” as they say.

 Christianity is not about “giving to get.” God will take care of you. You don’t have to pay Him. Some of us, through work, or inheritance, will be rich, but the poor will always be among us. Some of us will live sick-free lives, and die old, but all of us will die! And God is STILL perfect, and STILL right, and STILL good.

Understand that this life is an eyelash, and that eternity, though foreign to us, is broader than the distance from here to Jupiter by comparison. Any joy we experience here won’t even move the needle when we see Him and see all He has built for us! The REAL Faith comes in believing Jesus when He tells us not to put our hopes in earthly mammon, but to store up riches in Heaven where the glory is endless! Feed the goose, don’t cut open its belly and snatch out the last egg! Pray to God for that eternal point of view, and live life not in the pursuit of wealth and comfort, but in the hopes of grasping the scroll that says, “Well Done!”

The Christian faith is not about sloganism, numerology, and using the Bible as a chemistry book. And God ain’t the popsicle man! 

If their supply is cut off, maybe they’ll stop the “Quest fa yo Dollar” and get saved and learn the truth!

February 5, 2008 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, False Teachers, Frederick Price, Joel Osteen, John Francis, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Myles Munroe, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Word Network, Word of Faith | 13 Comments

“See How They Love One Another!”

This post is lonnnng overdue.

I want to — need to — tell you about my church.

I grew up in a Black Baptist church. I began going there when I was a pre-teen. I got baptized at fourteen years old. My church experience was the typical one: get up early,  go, listen to many songs, some shouting and crying, many announcements, stand for the entrance of the pastor, give tithes and or offerings, turn to my neighbor and say, “naaybuh…”, listen to some more songs (an “A” and a “B” selection), listen to a sermon, more shouting and crying, some falling out, watch the “urshers” attend the fallen, watch as “the doors of the church are opened,” listen to testimonies, sit through still MORE announcements, hear the benediction, wake my baby sister up, go home.

The service was replete with emotional outpourings. I, being a complete introvert, often felt uncomfortable with the displays, and was usually made to feel that I somehow did not love the Lord enough because I did not jump, shout, dance, and fall out like some of the others did.

Even though I knew that the Lord made me that way, this way, it took a long time for me to understand that there was more than one way to worship God, and that they are acceptable. I never thought the dancers were wrong (except for those I “discerned” were doing it for show), and I never once gave in to the crushing pressure to be untrue to my own character and worship Him in an insincere fashion.

But as I grew and learned, and visited, or played in, many other churches, I discovered two disturbing things.

1. While the adoration for God was ever on display, there simultaneously existed a frustrating absence of intellectual balance in the congregation.

2. The Church in America is painfully segregated.

People at my church, and others that I attended were sorely lacking in the knowledge necessary to love God “with our minds” as well as with the heart and soul as we are told to do. False doctrine was rampant, especially the prosperity teaching. Folk would break out in “tongues” with the impunity of knowing that no one had the information to challenge them for interpretations, stuff was being named and claimed, blabbed and grabbed, and legalism not unlike that of the Pharisees ran throughout. People were easily misled, and spouted the many disjointed Scripture verses they knew woefully out of context. No one seemed to be learning anything at all except how to shout like sister Davis, and “hoop” like the pastor.

And I rarely saw any White people. Unless some judge or prospective city councilman stopped by to ask for a vote.

I had always thought that if one were a true Christian, prejudice could not exist. I foolishly thought that racism was hatred and that one could not enter Heaven if he hated anyone. Stupid me! I live in, what I understand is, the second most segregated city in this country, next to DEtroit. That fact plays itself out in no more vivid way than on Sunday. I pass Methodist and Presbyterian and Southern Baptist churches and see NO Black people! There are churches here that I remember being White years ago that are now Black, not because they were outgrown, but because the neighborhood went Black and the Whites went away. Far, far away.

It always broke my heart that it appeared that the Christian life wasn’t being lived out because we could not open our hearts and truly allow God to reallychange us. The same people who denied me jobs, clutched purses when I walked by, ignored me when standing in line, pulled me over for no good reason, called me “nigrah”, and moved out when I moved in went to — go to — these churches. I am not fooled. Heck, the Klan burn CROSSES! Crosses, not pentagrams or some other symbol of racism, but the very emblem of suffering and shame by which God saved His people! Some of the people in my all-White-but-for-us neighborhood who never speak to us go to church, too!

Even the music is segregated! Go to a Christian music store and notice the “Christian” category versus the “Gospel” category.

After years of frustration over these two issues, I left my church (not the Lord, though) in the hopes of eventually finding a place where God was both worshipped AND known, and where people of all races felt welcome.

By the time I got married five years ago, I wasn’t even going to church. I was sick of all the empty, clanging emotionalism that was void of even the basic hermeneutical understanding necessary to avoid falling into the trap of materialism and cult worship. My wife grew up in the Church of God in Christ (Which is the Baptist church on Red Bull and amphetamines!I certainly wasn’t going there!), and I didn’t want to take her to my old church and expose her to the status quo. Many Christians today, yes many Black people, get caught up in false teaching because of the charisma and style of the speaker. They can’t see why Oprah is not a Christian. I am speaking in general, of course, but I have spent most of my life being Black. I have seen these things first hand. The “Black Church” is largely driven by emotion, and the congregants often don’t know God the way they need to. This grieves me.

While in Lifeway Christian Bookstore one day a few years ago, my wife and I ran into one of her co-workers. Their conversation eventually led to the church, and after hearing Kathy’s friend talk about hers, I told Kathy in the car afterward that that was our church! It was doctrinally sound and it was run by people who had moved here (Memphis) from all over the country to specifically reconcile the races here! Sold!!

We have been members of Fellowship Bible Church, Memphis since July of 2005, and for the first time in my life, I love church. It is not all of one thing or the other. There are those who are (politically) liberal, and those who are conservative. There are those who throw up hands and sing, and there are those who don’t. There are doctors and there are African refugees. There are Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, and just about any other race you can think of. And there is this…

They LOVE!  Hard! All the way! They break open their lives like biscuits and share them freely without pretense or prejudice. I have never in my whole life experienced the openness and acceptance evident there. From all sides. It is Christian life in HD, 1080i, one billion megapixels, on a two mile screen. Believe me!

There are three teaching pastors, (Bryan Loritts, John Bryson, and Ben Parkinson) the lead teacher being Black. We don’t shy away from issues of race as many do in diverse environments, and they don’t give lip service to injustice. The idea is to take people from the comfort of the common ways of thinking and force them to live as Christ demands: loving thy neighbors as thyself, even the ones who look funny, dance off beat, or laugh loudly in theaters!

Growing up in Memphis has afforded me the opportunity to experience racism on a first-hand basis. I know what it looks like, which is why I hate and confront it here. I know what it feels like to be left out, unwanted. I know what the stares and the codewords mean. I have spent time away from Memphis, and have interacted with those of other races. But I have never had the wonderful fellowship I have now. We love each other like family! We spend time together, in each others’ homes. We use each others’ bathrooms!

I have stories of selfless acts of love that made Kathy cry (I don’t cry!) and that amaze us. I can’t recount them all. This church has shown me what I suspected but never witnessed; that God has true Christians of various hues who love each other unconditionally. And be sure that this love extends like climbing vines beyond the church and into the community in a tangible way. We give money and time to schools, and certain members have sought to live in rough neighborhoods in order to be change agents.

Maybe you have seen this but I, and those I know, never have. When Kathy gave birth to Max, we were amazed to find that every day women were coming to bring food until she was well enough to get around. Just the other day, one of the members, Megan, brought her son to the house and spent hoursputting our sunroom together. (Kathy is eight months pregnant, and we have never cleaned that room out) Wendy, (these ain’t Black names, you see…) came to the house last week to measure the windows in the kids’ room in order to hand make some curtains. Much, much more could be said. Much more.

Some of them read my New Year’s Eve post and chided me for not letting them keep Max when I was in a tight spot. These people take actual time and serve one another. Without seeking anything in return. I have never met so many affluent-yet-unpretentious people, White OR Black, in my life! (It was a whole year before I knew that “Eddie” was a freekin’ doctor! He was just Eddie to us)
These folks love us to death! And not as pets, which used to be the case back in the day. We are all equals. I don’t have to dilute my “Brotherness” in order to be seen as viable. And we love them! I would not trade this church for any other. And I tell my Black friends about it all the time.

We Black folk have a comfort zone, too. We like our food seasoned a certain way, our chitlins cleaned just so, our Gospel music sung a certain style, and our preachin’ hooped at a particular point in the service. I wish that we all could open ourselves up to the fact that God is not an American, that He made us all, and that we all find our reflection in Him. But we have been burned. Rejected and relegated. It is hard to break old habits. Not ALL White folks hate you.

Lest you think I am unwittingly in some CULT, understand that this church is populated by those who seek a full-orbed relationship with God. They know why they know what they know. And if they don’t, they are being taught by those who do. Our leaders are schooled, educated, and qualified. And they are humble. There are no titles, and we do not rise at their entrance. They stress servant leadership, not forced exaltation. They expect us to check their biblical work and are not offended by being questioned.

Of course there are differences in non-essential issues. No human-run organization is perfect. There are dispensationalists, amillenialists, charismatics, cessationists, Calvinists, and Arminians. But we all agree on the essential points of the Faith. And the spiritually sick are ministered to.

We are not taught the Bible in bullet-points, but by books. In context! We just got through with Ecclesiastes.

There is no Word of Faith doctrine or Prosperity pimpin’ going on here. No focus on the accruement of stuff. Rich and poor, sick and well alike, all enjoy the true prosperity of real life and Heavenly hope. Money is a tool and not a goal.

We worship individually and collectively in the way that God designed us to, and there is no peer-pressure. Some answer with “amen” and some nod quietly. Some stand and sing, and some simply stand.

Of course, there are problems that arise, but they are handled in a measured, Godly fashion. I truly feel that I have, in Fellowship, a small glimpse of what Heaven will be like in terms of our interaction with each other.

I know that some of you feel the same way about your place of worship. I hope you do. I know that some feel that if you are not of their particular denomination (CoC?) you are lost. This is in no way my assertion. It is just that in the course of writing my blog, the impression may be that there is a level of displeasure and despair, and that I don’t experience true Christian fellowship. Not true.

I just wanted to introduce you to my Family. The people I love.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Church Life, Culture, Diversity, False Doctrine, False Teachers, Hypocrisy, Love, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Race, Racial Reconciliation, Racism | 24 Comments

The Hypocralypse

Williams’ Dictionary. 

The “Hypocralypse”  (hi-POK-ra-lips)   n    def. – The sudden upsurge of “preachers”  (read: “Carnival Barkers”) who convolute the Gospel into a means of obtaining wealth from their “marks” by telling them to go get it from God.

Key sign of the Hypocralypse: They boast of  great wealth and “Supernatural Favor,” they flaunt their Bentleys or top-end Mercedes’, they regale with stories of  lavish mansions, (tax free “parsonages”). And rather than share with you the wealth they got from you, they make up magical formulas disguised as “Biblical Principles” for you to “tap into” the same blessings of God.

ex. “Use the same faith God used, the “God kind of Faith,” and create whatever you want, just like God did! Being made in the image of God means you can develop your Faith to the point to where you can do exactly what HE did!”

The Hypocralypse is often associated with “Immagettin” (ah-mah-GED-n)  n  , which is the great battle being waged by biblically loyal Christians against crooked, heartless, greedy, satin-tongued fake prognosticators who are “gettin'” every dime they have from those who don’t know and don’t WANNA know the hard Truths of Scripture.

The fighting is fierce, and the enemy is great in number, but as always, the Lord will win out with fewer soldiers that He may prove His might! There will be no secret, “catching away” of the saints in this battle! The example of Scripture is that Christians have to join the battle, not hide away from it.

If you are angry about these terms, you are either a three-legged sheep, or a wolf with a lambhock in ya mowf (mouth)!

 

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Carlton Pearson, Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, E. Bernard Jordan, Faith, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Frederick Price, Humor, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Kerney Thomas, Paul Crouch, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Rod Parsley, T.D. Jakes, TBN, Televangelists, Word Network, Word of Faith | 10 Comments

Iron Sharpens Iron. And Sharp Iron Can Cut a Wolf’s Teeth Out!

 This “Charlatan’s Web” thing is getting tangled! Last night after I got home from work, I saw that I had received another comment that traces back to that earlier “Web” post which dealt with Creflo Dollar’s twisted theology. I felt that this was a decidedly civil and Godly example of how to express possible disagreement. As before, I have posted the comment, unedited, sent to me by Micca. This was a public conversation, so I put it here so that more of you can see what I think is my rebuttal of the prosperity gospel belief that those of us more orthodox don’t believe FULLY what God has for us in terms of healing.

I specifically deal with the oft-quoted, Isaiah 53 passage. Look it up. Do the cross referencing.

Micca said (“with gentleness and respect…”):

 Maxdaddy: I didn’t see the first postings and there are some things that I truly agree with you on in this post. But there are some things that I take exception to. I will only respond to a couple now, not sure how much disagreement you allow on you blog and I just don’t feel like typing for nothing.
I do agree that many of the prosperity preachers are out there preaching whatever feels good and whatever will motivate the congregations to give their money. A lot of them are basically motivation speakers who have zeroed in on a way to make a nice buck.
But still, you said…..”to RECONCILE us to the Father, to HEAL the rift between us, NOT to heal cancer or such, which is the proper, broad context of Isaiah 53:4, 5.
I say, look at the state of man in Genesis before the fall. If the rift that Jesus was “healing” was the relationship between man and God as you state, then who was Adam before the fall? Was Adam sick and hurting and lacking? In Gen 1:26-….and let them have authority over all the earth and over everything that creeps the Earth.Ver 28 goes on to say ….be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Adam had control of his environment, he was healthy, he was well fed, and once he got with Eve (wink wink) he was content AND he was able to freely communicate with God. Now by healing the rift between man and God what was it that Jesus restored us back to?
You said….” The PHYSICAL portion of that passage was completely fulfilled in Matthew 8:16-17.” I’m trying to follow you on this one because Jesus heals again and again after that. So were you trying to say that because that prophesy was fulfilled that He retired from healings? Do you think that Jesus came to Earth and left instructions for establishing churches only to relinquish all of His compassion and empathy for the very people that He came to save? Do you know of anyone who has been physically healed? Not cured by a Dr. but healed? I am trying to understand because I like most of the things that you post but this time I really couldn’t go all the way with you. Let me know what you think.

I responded:

Micca, thanks for your response. No, I allow disagreement! I think it would be, for me, kind of phoney to only allow those with whom I agree to post. Disagreement forces me to go to the Bible and study it to make sure I’m in line with it. It is the opportunity to sharpen my iron, so to speak. I am not a theologian, only a layman, and I need all the study I can get, as do we all. It is a fearful thing to take casually or mishandle the things of God, and to the extent that someone may take what I say and run with it, I want to be dead sure that I did the best I could!

Let me be clear: I absolutely believe that God heals, but I also absolutely believe that it is not the norm for people to be miraculously healed. Were that the case, we would see story after story of arms and legs being replaced, and empty eye sockets being filled and dead people being resurrected. We don’t. Why not?

It is my contention that Jesus’ healings were to PRIMARILY fulfill prophecy as to who He was. And that the apostles’ healings were to PRIMARILY lend credence to their station as the foundation of the church (which can only be laid once, according to Scripture), and to establish them as who they really were. Of course many people were healed. Many were not, though. I contend that, as the Bible says, our primary concern is not that which kills the body. Our main focus is to be on eternity, alongside which, time barely even exists. “Though He SLAY me, yet will I trust in Him.” When that tower fell and killed those people, Jesus told us not to be so concerned with that, but to get our souls right because we ALL will die (some cruelly) and face God.

Matt 8:17 states that,
“This was to FULFILL what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.’ ” (When a prophecy is fulfilled, it is fulfilled. The reason we say that Jews are mistaken is because the prophecies concerning the Messiah have been FULFILLED in Jesus. There is no need to wait for further fulfillment.)

That prior quote is from Isaiah 53:4 only. verse 5 says, “BUT He was pierced for our transgressions (sins)… crushed for our iniquities (sin)… AND by his wounds we are healed (from the eternal consequences of sin).” This last part, read as literature, logically concludes that what His wounds healed was sin, not disease.

Now, I submit that diseases are the RESULT of sin, not sin itself. In other words, autism may be the indication of our fallenness, but it is definitely not a sin for a child to be autistic!

No, I don’t suggest that the healings stopped there, but as I stated earlier, they sure decreased in number, till now miraculous healing is RARE at best! I’m only saying, in using Matt. 8, what the BIBLE has said. I’m not adding to it.

The compassion of God CERTAINLY remains with us. We have the Comforter, for instance, but my point is that there are numerous passages that state CLEARLY what Jesus’ mission was here– to redeem mankind, to justify us, to reconcile us, to atone for our SIN, to declare us POSITIONALLY righteous (not PRACTICALLY SO).
These, and many other clear and unambiguous passages certainly outweigh two or three dubiously interpreted verses in Isaiah.

As you know, hermeneutically speaking, we must ALWAYS interpret cloudy passages in light of those that are clear.

As for Adam, I’m kind of unclear on what you are suggesting here. If you are saying that we are restored to what Adam was before the fall, I say that Adam was made GLORIFIED and undefiled. Paul teaches us that we, being once again POSITIONALLY righteous, are but a bud of what we will blossom into when we recieve OUR glorified bodies at the end of all things. We only now see through a glass darkly. We will not be practically restored until after the resurrection. The Bible is clear on that. Besides, if we were like Adam was, we’d be living 900-some years like he did. We still sin daily, and still have to ask forgiveness for that sin daily. How can we claim to be “all that” when we now have to stand on Jesus cloak, so to speak, to have fellowship with the Father? Our righteousness is still filthy rags!

By the way, the word “authority” is not an autonomous word. Any word HAS to be interpreted within its context. The Word of Faith movement likes to use the omnipotent form of this word almost always (to build up their false theology, which DEmotes God, and PROmotes man), and that is faulty exegesis. Adam was a STEWARD. An employee of God. God’s gardener, His botanist, His ornithologist, His biologist, His agriculturalist, etc. Adam’s authority went as far as God’s front door. No further. IF that far!

I hope I covered it all. It would be cool if you agreed with me, but if you don’t, that is fine. I would just ask, as always, that we learn that the Bible is literature, and should be read as such. It should be interpreted INternally, and sewn together like a tapestry.

I appreciate the charity and fairness with which you framed your comment!  God bless. Derrick.

Would that all who have issues deal with them in such a civil manner. When I post things on false teaching, I often employ humor, and some sarcasm. This is generally in response to those who have ALREADY demonstrated an unwillingness to have their views questioned. Folk like Dollar, who sent me a donations form letter when I addressed him, and COGIC pastor and blogger Stephen F. Smith, who regularly deletes comments with which he disagrees, launch terms such as “heresy hunters” at people who question endorsement of “wolves” and “vipers” who victimize baby Christians for sordid gain, and point them out as instructed.

 As a matter of fact, Smith, who lives in my area, is known to promote Dollar, Juanita Bynum, Clarence McClendon, and many other false teachers on his blog. This led me to ask him if that meant that the COGIC endorsed the teachings that Jesus was less than God, and that man is more than man and all the rest of the aberrant teachings of this crooked, twisted Word of Faith movement. He deleted my question without addressing it.

It may be fair to call some of my posts biting. Some folks NEED to be bit! But one thing about me is that I am not so prideful that I don’t think I can be told– and convinced– that I’m wrong. But you gotta convince me, though! Micca expressed his concerns in a manner that engendered a similar response. If we are about the work of God, as we claim, why should our thoughts be above reproach? My prayer is that I continue to grow and learn about God and His Word, and that you who read this do as well.

Iron sharpens iron, the saying goes. If Christians understand and rightly employ  the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God when facing crooked, charlatan preachers, we can de-fang them and allow Truth to pour forth. A toothless wolf is no threat to the body of Christ.

October 21, 2007 Posted by | Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, False Prophets, False Teachers, Hermeneutics, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Prosperity Gospel, Religion, TBN, Televangelists, Word of Faith | 6 Comments

HELP! And Read the Other Stuff, Too.

I need help. I am a struggling musician. I make what some would consider a decent living, and what yet others would call nothing! I want to do more, but I am in a field that is totally dependent upon knowing someone on the other side of the door. I want to make records. I want to write song lyrics. I absolutely love the art of making music.

I also love words and the clever employment of them. So I write. I would like to do it on a professional basis as well. I take care of my baby son (another one is on the way!) during the day while my wife works, and she does so at night when I gig. Writing would give me much more flexibility as far as practicing and taking gigs I don’t want to take because I need the money. I have musical standards, but having to eat and live indoors makes me step all over them!

 I started this blog at the advice of a friend and church member who suggested it as a way to build up a following of sorts. I have posted a lot of things on subjects about which I am passionate, such as Christianity, parenting, politics, race, and various other social issues. The problem is that the only things that get read are the posts I write about crooked preachers. That is fine, in and of itself. Apologetics is a passion of mine, and blogging about charlatan preachers gives me the perfect opportunity to defend God and Christianity. I HATE to see people deceived and treated unjustly! Those guys need  the literary butt-whuppins they get, and more. And I love it when I get either an “amen,” or a challenge from a supporter of that mess.

My current dilemma is that while I feel that the primary purpose of this blog is to enlighten, entertain, and educate people, to the extent that I can, I need for the other things to be read as well. I need feedback and assistance in my endeavors, as we all do. I am not the boldest person in the world. As a matter of fact, this blog (and ESPECIALLY this particular post) is perhaps the most forthright thing I’ve ever done in my life. Even asking my wife to marry me was kind of easy, because I knew she was gonna say yes!

I need an advocate. Like an actor needs a manager. I can do the artistic stuff. I can stand on the stage and play because there is a thin veneer of separation that exists, however unnoticeable, between it and the audience for me. This is the mechanism I use in order to be able to perform effectively. I can hide behind my horn. I can write things that express emotion for essentially the same reasons.

But I am not the kind of person who can go from door to door trying to sell vacuum cleaners, or whole life insurance policies. (Don’t buy “Whole Life,” by the way…) I need some help in the marketing of myself. My (flawed?) thinking is that the gift will make a way for me, that these words and stories and turns of phrases will speak for whatever ability I may possess. My thinking is that if I play well enough, or arrange cool enough horn parts– which I do as well– someone will engage me in some fashion. Apparently, I am wrong.

So if you are reading this and feel that, “Man! THAT guy needs to put this stuff in a BOOK!” Or that, “Man! I am a literary agent (or an editor), and I see a market for this kind of stuff!” leave at least a comment. And if you happen to be a musician who can’t write lyrics, let me know. I feel really awkward doing this, but that may just be my paranoia gene kicking in. The art of self-promotion is not one in which I am trained.

At the very least, don’t just read the stuff I’ve written about the false teachers,  Juanita Bynum, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, or the Word of Faith prosperity movement. Read about my time onstage and my thoughts on parenthood, morality, and life in general, too. And tell me (and many, many others) what you think. Thanks, Derrick, the Daddy of Max.

See how I threw those “tags” in there to justify drawing you here? Was it not subtle enough? Thanks for indulging me. I thought it was funny… Sorry for the subterfuge. Not trying to be disingenuous.

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Columns, Creflo Dollar, Employment, False Teachers, Humor, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Opportunity, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Recording Industry, Word of Faith, Writing | 14 Comments

More Buzz Words

Here are a few more catch phrases used by those in the prosperity movement. As I stated in an earlier post, if you hear two or three of these in one sermon or telecast, run for your soul! This spiritual bubble gum can make you feel good about yourself, but you’ll get scurvy or something else if you try to live on it!

1″We ’bout to go into the enemy’s camp and take back everthang he took from us!!!” (I thought Jesus already did that on the Cross?? What biblical precedent is there for this kind of declaration? Did the enemy take your BMW, or your Huzzzband, or your new house? Stop. Please.)

2 “I’m walkin’ in my authority.”

3 CO-pastor, Mrs. so and so (Was your wife listening on the other line when God called you to preach?)

4 (In prayer) “Satan, I bind you…” (We don’t pray to the DEVIL! And besides, if you keep binding him, how does he keep getting loose? Does the demon of rope-breaking sneak in and break him free? Or did the demon of nicotine light a cigarette and burn the rope up?) By the way, get out your Bible and flip to 2 Peter, 2: 10, 11, and Jude 8, 9, and notice that the very angels, even Michael, the Archangel dared “not bring slanderous accusations” against the devil and his demons. How dare we do it? “Bold and arrogant,” however are the false teachers that use the Word of God for selfish gain.

5 “In this hour,” as in, “God is about to do a NEW thing in the body of Christ ‘in this hour’

6 “Move of God,” as in, “…the divine spiritual prophetic manifestation of the ‘move of God.’

7 “Uh oh!! Um preachin’ now!!”

8 “I declare… I release… I decree… I speak blessings, prosperity, breakthrough, etc. into your life!” Note the emphasis!

And where did all these doctorates come from?  

Can someone send me the link to the website so I can get one too? No, not every doctor is a pimp, but  just about every pulpit hustler is a trumped-up, bible-twisting doctor! I guess it adds weight. Creflo is a doctor like Judy is a judge!

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, Faith Healer, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps | 3 Comments

B.S. (bishop-sniffing) Buzzwords

There are a few words and phrases common within the current form of popular Prosperity preaching. Many of us are not biblically literate enough to discern, so I figured that I’d perform this small service right quick. Indulge my grammar, if you will…

If you are at a church and hear two or more of these terms in one service, button up yo’ hip pocket and get out before offering time! If you are watching teevee and hear these terms, turn the channel to Nick at Nite and find “Sanford and Son,” ’cause Aunt Esther got more Holy Ghost than most of these televandalists!

If they try to get you to donate a certain amount of money that corresponds with a certain Bible chapter and verse, ding ding ding ding! They are trying to test your sucker-filter.  

I’ve done tireless research- to the chagrin of my wife-  and there are more, but these are a few of the key ones;

1 “Sow into…” (meaning money)

2 “Believe God for your…”

3 “You’re the head and NOT the tail.”

4 “Birth out”

5 “Increeeease!” (Jakes)

6 “Seed” (meaning money)

7 “Your BREAKthrough!” (THIS one is the “Chill Out” of worn-out Christian phrases)

8 Next Level

9 “…calls things that are not as though they were.” (GOD does this. Not people. Word of Faith trash.)

10 “Shanda la la bosha tayaya…”

11 Such and Such “Christian Center”

12 “The spirit of…” (perversion, pedophilia, nicotine, alcohol, drug abuse, pornography, adultery, greed, etc. Are these supposed to be demons? What sense does that make? What were these demons doing before these things were invented, or before people were created?)

13 “Slap yo neighbor, an’ say ‘naaaybuh’…!” (I think they do this to make sure that the mob mentality has kicked in and they are ready for the fleecin”!)

14 Authority (YOURS, not God’s)

15 “In this season”

16 “This is your Time

17 “God’s gittin’ retty ta…”

18 “Take you out” (as in, “The devil’s tryin’ to “‘take you out!'”)

19 “Double Po’tion”

20 “Tenfold Blessin'”

21 “Money COMIN’!”

22 “God is raisin’ up a generation of…”

23 “I’m speaking prophetically, now…”

24 “You will never be the same!”

25 Supernatural favor!

26 “Supernatural debt cancellation”

27 “This (whatever year it currently is) is the year of…” (They do this every– single– year! It is so tired. Endless false, unchallenged prophecies.)

28 “Speak to your situation.”

29 “It’s your time!”

30 “Um preachin’ now!”

31 The anointing

Question: Why do they always have to holler? Did Jesus holler at His congregations? And HE didn’t even have a microphone. Don’t holler at me. I ain’t sleep! If you can’t get your point across in a calm manner, maybe you need to check your source material. Preach more Bible and less Rev.Whosoever.

I like to hear James Brownholler, but his lyrical content and diction were a whole lot less important than yours should be, IMpostle.

September 29, 2007 Posted by | Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, E. Bernard Jordan, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Kerney Thomas, Paula White, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, T.D. Jakes, TBN, Televangelists, Word Network | 19 Comments

Juanita: The Transparent TeleVANDAList.

You ever had a feeling about someone, an inkling, an undelineated indication that you can’t specifically identify? I know you have. We all have from time to time. I have had this feeling on numerous occasions, and have been wrong a couple of times. However, I have been right a LOT.

 The person about whom I have this feeling currently is Juanita Bynum, the -self-proclaimed, self-fulfilled (pun)- prophetess. This feeling does not stem from my bitter aversion to her abuse of doctrine, or of her OBVIOUS prostitution of the Word and name of the Lord for her own personal accruement of wealth. (No, I am NOT jealous of her! No more than I would be jealous to usurp the position of anyone who would dare put a millstone around his own neck in the enterprise of misleading baby Christians!) No, this is not about her abominable doctrine.

I’ve heard her screeching at the top of her shrill voice countless prophecies that did not come to pass.  I’ve heard her say some of the most inappropriate, titillating things on the altar of the Lord that appear to be only for shock value. The shrieks of her mostly female audience prove my point. To her proponents, she is only being “real.” She intimidates those in her presence in a quite masculine manner. I’ve heard her demanding folk to empty their bank accounts and send them in. I’ve heard her speak of having “intercourse in the spirit(!)” with a male televandalist, and heard her justify this statement by saying “you have to have a male and a female” to do this! I’ve heard of her blessing out a woman in front of an entire assembly who DARED enter a thousand-dollar line with only fifty dollars! I have heard her torture the Scriptures in a more efficient fashion than an abattoir overseer!

I have heard all this and much more that I’ve forgotten, but her heresy is not my issue right now… When I hear her speak, I hear a profound arrogance. A pronounced self-importance! I get the sense when I hear her, that there’s no one in that room on her level. No one as important as she. The words she speaks seem to roll syruptitiously (my word) down her surgically reconstructed nose to the longing ears of her eager thrall.

I cannot STAND arrogance! How dare we seek to take credit from the Lord for any ability or blessing? Yes, one may claim to give God the glory, but their actions usually spell out the truth. She may claim humility, but she fairly drips with hubris.

I remember her relating a story one time recently where a niece of hers asked for a key to Bynum’s house. Bynum reproved her shrieking, “Naw, honey! I got MILLIONS in my house!” Her audience hummed approval; “Yeh, she DO! Umm-Hmm. Thass right, gurrl.” ARROGANCE. She often has her audience at the point where she can say just about any crazy thing without fear of reprisal. 

I come from a neighborhood where a lot of “worldly” guys lived. We had a pimp named “Percy” who lived down the street and always kept a yellow Cadillac and a woman with a rabbit fur coat on. Percy the Pimp!! The man next door did time for accessory to murder in the commission of an armed robbery. His son would lie and say, “He gone to the Army,” or, when we found out he was in prison, “He stole a lawn mower.”

There was a housing project in the neighborhood behind us, and when it was built, bikes mysteriously began coming up missing, and fences were erected in previously open yards. There were people who had a little, and people who had nothing, all living in the same neighborhood. We had police officers, teachers, like my parents, laborers, drunks, and hustlers, all there on Gainsville. There was a time when I was fairly gullible. I was quick to trust and believe the word of someone I thought my friend, because I thought the world was a nice place when I was five. I soon learned that if I were going to make it, I would have to be able to discern the truth from a lie. You see, a liar is not going to come straight out and say, “Okay, I’m gittin’ ret ta tell a lie, but ack like you believe me anyway*!” I had to get burned a few times before I figured out how to spot a liar. I had a guy in the second grade tell me that if I gave him my Hot Wheels ’68 Cougar, he had this machine at home that could turn it into a fancy CORVETTE! I’m STILL waiting on that car… You don’t have to have grown up on the streets to recognize a hustler when you see one, but it doesn’t hurt. (I saw Kobe’s arrogance WAY before he got into trouble!)

Watching Bynum on video doing an interview on her recent, alleged, beating at the hands of her Rook-I mean-Bishop husband left me with the sense that something was amiss. She was double-talking, contradicting earlier public statements in which she stated unequivocally that, “even if we KILL each other,” she would not leave her husband. Here, she emphatically pronounced the marriage over. She seemed the perfect victim: a few tears, an uncharacteristically calm, demure demeanor… All who know her story know that she is the dominant partner in the union. Just look at some of their photos.

 She has spent most of her on-air time since then touting her new destiny as the “Face of domestic abuse.” Not a scratch to be seen on that face. Now, I don’t expect her to come right out and say, “I’m gone ride this hoss till it DROP!” (that would be counter-productive) But something in her words and manner says just that! Growing up as I did makes me kind of recognize when someone is “Runnin’ Game,”** as we say.

I noticed that she said repeatedly, on the video, that she would not disparage Weeks, “As long as he is my husband.” (transparent statement) But I also heard her repeatedly refer to the occurrence as “a parking lot incident.” Over and over. I was reminded of Mark Antony’s clever speech in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” He claimed that he came not to praise Caesar, but to bury him, all the while subtly turning the crowd’s wrath on the men who murdered him while constantly repeating that they were “All, all honorable men.” I don’t know if the “Prophetess” ever read the play, but I recognized the strategy, and she employed it deftly!

I have seen the faces of beaten women, and they look just that. Beaten. Why do I have to pause here and say that any man who hits a woman is a punk? Of course that is the case. If he did it, HE needs to be medicated in the same way, so to speak. But I suggest that even if he just pushed her down, or tripped her, she can SAY that he did whatever to her, and will automatically be believed. I have seen it happen. Why were there no pictures of her face?

Why did she go after him when he chose to leave?

If you are going to fight in a parking lot, you’ll fight in a restaurant. If he was that angry, he would have done it inside. They are both public places.

The bellhop said THEY were fighting, not just that he was beating her.

She has used her platform as a motivational speaker (that’s all she really is) cleverly enough so that her legion of fans need nothing but her word that he did whatever she says he did in order to be convinced. She is so arrogant and prideful, that she, supposedly a minister, adamantly pronounces the marriage over- with NO adultery, the ONLY Biblical reason- and states that she would have to give 250% to her union in order to save it, while her ministry, her DESTINY, is more important, requiring only 190%! Does she not know that God says that you sin if you forsake marriage for ministry? Is it more important to be the the face of domestic violence than to lead souls to Living Water? Or, is it simply more lucrative?Does not Christ and the Gospel suffice? Should she not concentrate on proper exegesis and marital soundness? Should she not learn how to-Biblically- submit her pride and arrogance as a proper wife? 

Has she not made a cottage industry out of “teaching me how to love you,” and counselling couples and “ministering” to hurting women who need a good man? Should she and her husband already know how to navigate such waters as these? Don’t they know that God can fix anything? Are her “millions” more important than her standing before the God she claims to serve and obey?

I guess I write this because I know that she is about to milk this incident dry. At the expense of women who really have been brutally abused and murdered at the hands of their husbands and boyfriends. I am tired of her ubiquitous presence on “Christian” airwaves. I am sick of hucksters, pimps, and dream-sellers abusing those really in need, and unlearned. I am sick of the arrogance and pride with which they so boldly bilk the multitudes. It is just another business angle for her, and I’m frustrated because it is all so transparent.

There is just something about her demeanor and attitude that rubs me the opposite way. Something in that shrill, croaking voice that does not impress upon me the love of God… There appears to be a character chip missing from the programming. I don’t see that she truly respects people. Certainly not the ones whom she demands empty their bank accounts and such! There is refuge for her, I guess, in the fact that I’m not a prophet, not a mind-reader. But I know I’m right, and many of you feel it too. Is that what the Bible calls, “discernment?”

Maybe. However, I can’t stand arrogance in people. It’s okay if I esteem you, brother, as better than me, but humbug it if YOU esteem yourself so! How dare you, Rosie O’Donnell, or Trump (Paula White’s landlord), or T.O., or Bynum, or anypuffed-up “Apostle,” or “Bishop,” or any other phoney prideful prognosticator seek God’s prominence for yourself based on how much money, or power, or influence you have?! I don’t hate you, but according to I Cor. 5, specifically, verse eleven, I wouldn’t, don’t have to, even EAT with you, or anyone so haughty and disingenuous as to claim Jesus and be so obviously, repeatedly, out of His will. Get fixed up. Quickly.

Pride goeth before the fall, baby girl! Thass Proverbs 16:18! 

*”I am preparing to prevaricate. Conduct yourself as though you are benighted to this fact!”

**Being deceptive

September 9, 2007 Posted by | Bishop, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Character, Charlatans, Christianity, Commitment, Common Sense, Current Events, Divorce, Faith Healer, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, God, Humor, Jesus, Juanita Bynum, Language, Marriage, Morality, Paula White, Personal Responsibility, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Rationality, Religion, Respect, Sin, TBN, Televangelists, The Bible, Thomas Weeks, Word of Faith | 6 Comments

Charlatan’s Web

I’m sitting here at this very moment listening to Creflo Dollar telling his congregants that the only way to deal with negative or sinful thoughts is to use words. And that if you say a negative thing such as, “I don’t believe I’ll live past 35,” you’ll die at 34 1/2. He has seen it happen!

This is the core of the Word of Faith lie: that the world is governed by the words you SAY.

A thought occurred to me: What about people who can’t talk? Can they not be delivered from negative thoughts? Can a mute person not be healed because he has no tongue with which to speak? What about someone in a hospital who is bandaged up and unable to say words out loud? This is some stupid, un-thought out theo-illogical materialistic madness! Please, people, stop giving these charlatans a foothold in your minds and pockets, and THINK!

This is ridiculous! And so many have bought into it because THEY want to be in control of whether they are healthy, or wealthy enough. When I was a child I would sometimes sneak and do something without asking my folks, because I knew there was a possibility they would tell me “no” if I asked. We are often scared to ask, “if it be thy will” because we know that He may not desire that we get the high-paying job, or the big house, or the flashy car. He may tell us that His “grace is sufficient,” and we may not want to know that.

Christianity is not about jobs, cars, breakthroughs, situations, and other sloganistic foolishness. It is about serving God, worshipping God, SUFFERING for, and like, Christ, and for telling everybody else who He really is and what He really DID!

He says that the Christian does not want the responsibility of changing their own situation. That we want to see what GOD’S gonna do for us.

That is very clever. To take what God has told us is  HIS job, and make it seem as though it is a sin to act that way, but proper to command God to do OUR will.

“See, you still think GOD’S in control!” He says boldly. Creflo thinks that we need to know that God has given US the control. Blasphemer! What kind of god does he, or you if you follow him, serve who gives up the wheel?

These Word of Faith hucksters weave a web of lies that ensnare the greedy and selfish among us. They are infecting the entire world with this counterfeit brand of Christianity, and the only way to stop it is for REAL Christians to learn the Word of God-book by book and not quote by quote- and to stand up and sit these spiders down!

September 7, 2007 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Frederick Price, God, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Religion, Rod Parsley, TBN, Televangelists, Word of Faith | 10 Comments

The Charlatan’s Mantra

 “Have a need?

Plant a seed.

Stop! Don’t read!

Put on speed!

Feed my greed!”

Sheep, take heed!      Derrick L. Williams

September 5, 2007 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Bishop, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, E. Bernard Jordan, Faith Healer, False Doctrine, False Prophets, False Teachers, Food for Thought, Frederick Price, God, Hermeneutics, Immorality, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Kerney Thomas, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Prosperity Gospel, Pulpit Pimps, Quips, Religion, Robert Tilton, Rod Parsley, Salvation, TBN, Televangelists, The Bible, Thomas Weeks, Truth, Word Network, Word of Faith | 5 Comments

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!

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