The following extract is from a Christian in Singapore who is warning against the inroads of Joseph Prince, a popular Word-Faith preacher. If you think “Christian” television doesn’t warp the understanding of the Gospel around the world – read this report:
“Here in cosmopolitan Singapore we have our fair share of ‘a different gospel’ running the gamut of local churches. As a matter of fact I’ve even attended New Creation Church for two and a half years as part of an ecclesiastical study apart from serving. Whilst in the pews of a hypergrace seeker-sensitive church, I’ve heard the sounds of perversity from the horse’s mouth–Joseph Prince himself–and his minions twisting scripture that is sadly regurgitated by mindless shepherds to their sheep at home cell units.
With the likes of Word-faith proponents such as Matt Crouch, Richard Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Judah Smith, Darlene Z etc. gracing the stage, imagine that after JP’s debut at Osteen’s Lakewood Church in 2011, a home cell leader could actually ask us, “Do you think it’s ok to adore Pastor Prince?’
I would say, ‘Tell him to read Matthew 7:15-23 where Jesus described the false teachers.’
The ‘Happy Gospel’
I had an email recently from friends concerned about the growing influence of the ‘Happy Gospel’ movement in their Church. Apparently some reasonably sensible people had been taken in by it and were beginning to promote it.
This movement has been deluding some Church members because they are biblically illiterate – an unfortunate contradiction in terms, but becoming more and more common.
Basically it is a movement headed by Benjamin Dunn and John Crowder who have written books which suggest that the Christianity described in the Bible is too staid, too negative and not ‘happy’ enough for them.
They may be right in that some Christians today are dull because they show no joy in the Spirit, but they are completely wrong if they think that the Bible needs to be thrown out so they can exchange another Jesus for the revealed One, a new Paul, or a new apostle John.
Like all plausible false teachers, Dunn and Crowder use just enough of the right words to seem to back up true theology, eg, ‘the cross’, but then go off on all sorts of tangents never dreamt of in the New Testament.
‘Soakin in the Spirit’, ‘tokin the Holy Spirit’, ‘sucking the Spirit from graves’, ‘drunk in the Spirit’, ‘fire tunnels’ and so on are just some of their aberrations. Christians would be well advised to steer clear of this rubbish, get back to the Great Commission and warn others.
The Hillsong Deceit
Most Australian Christians seem to love Hillsong songs. I thought some of their early spiritual songs were worth singing in worship because the thoughts and theology expressed in the lyrics and music were conducive to praise and reflection on God’s Word.
But some songs are just mindless nonsense sung in a style accepted by many young people in particular.
The recent scandals [financial and moral] which have been well-publicised, the Word-Faith teachings of the Houstons, the self-promotion of some of their musicians and worship leaders, are, however, a continual reminder to me that all is not well and that by promoting their songs in worship we are actually paying royalties to an apostate organisation.
The Church has had this problem also in the past but I believe we don’t need to throw out the baby with the bath water.
However I fully understand that anyone who shuns Hillsong songs for conscience’ sake must be respected, even if I may not agree with their stand: just as long as the theology is right, the music is not disrespectful or detrimental to worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Beware of ‘Christian’ Books
Every week I spend a little time volunteering at our Church Op Shop, where I check out the donated Christian books before putting them out for sale.
I guess the world would call me a censor, although Paul told Timothy he was only in favour of ‘approved study and teaching’, ie, that which was approved by God and His Word.
You would be amazed at the junk some Christians are reading, judging by what is donated.
Last week I came across at least eight books, seemingly from the same owner, promoting false teachings by authors unknown to me. Word-Faith headed the list, followed by some others with false teachings subtly interwoven between good Biblical statements.
What do you do with a book which is 90% right but 10% false and misleading? At present I am donating them to waste paper so they may not fall into the wrong hands or lead astray an immature believer.
If you have a better use for ‘Maximising Your Finances the Christian Way’ or for ‘Lose Weight Through Jesus’, or ‘The Happy Gospel’ please let me know so I can deal with them more appropriately!
Why Name Names Now?
After mentioning a couple of weeks ago that I was hesitant to name names of those involved in false Christianity, I would like to make it clear that I believe that proven and documented false teachers ought to be publicly named so that we, the sheep, may be warned to stay away from them and their teachings, books music and DVD’s.
It is not right that we name anyone, even well-known public names, if they have seemed to have slipped or back-slidden from the faith. Their ultimate destiny is known only to God and our task is to try and reinstate them back into the faith.
But those who may be leading them astray ought to be well known to all Christians.