TO EVERYONE EXPOSED TO THE TBN “PROSPERITY” DECEPTION
Now, as the truth takes its toll upon him, mammon takes another turn of cunning manoeuvre: giving words new meanings, and making grammar the last line of defence.
The word poor, as has been clearly preached by the prosperity message, always referred to lack of material things, which is the absence of excess money and luxuriant living. The Prosperity Preacher, now in a corner, and unwilling to surrender, suddenly brings about other meanings that cunningly and yet shallowly conceal covetousness in some sort of a justifiable wish for an overall welfare. Now the definition of “prosperity” is extended to include other elements which the false prophet believes would help get his teaching accepted, against the numerous and vivid teachings of Jesus Christ against materialism. This sudden catapulting, characteristic of a political manipulation of ignorant constituencies, reveals a clear lack of the virtue in John 1: 47 without which nobody shall see God. It is dishonesty and it smacks of an acute lack of integrity. Charlatanry at its best!
They’ve talked and they continue to talk about their mansions, malls, airplanes and luscious lifestyles. We know what they say, which is what made us object in the very first place. We are not buffoons. Riches, worldly riches. They always called that prosperity, and they made it an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They said, without mincing matters, that for anyone to be truly saved they have to material possessions in abundance. They repeatedly said that that was the Lord Jesus had meant in John 10: 10, irregardless of what He had said in Luke 12: 15. We therefore charged, and we shall not relent, since this is creating a wrong impression about Salvation and therefore leading people away from God.
Now, as the truth naturally pushes against that fallacy, and they realize that the people in their audiences whom they milk and misguide shall eventually hear and understand what we are saying against their deception, they begin to define words and give them other new meanings. They now slyly scratch everywhere for some flimsy routes of technical escapisms.
I wonder whether these people would describe Apostle Paul as having been prosperous. This man, who had had a status, by virtue of his education, social standing and supposedly material wealth, declared in uncertain terms that, on conversion and commitment to die to self and follow Jesus Christ, he regarded all that [which the prosperity people say are all parts of a wholeness that makes one prosperous] as dung: Philippians 3: 1 – 11. Apostle Paul, the Christian believer’s sample and example, did not only say this about himself, but he lived it. He spent his days in shipwrecks and long weary days of uncertainty, opposition and persecution. The man of God spent dreary nights in wildernesses far from the comfort of a warm home. This man of God, who had gone to Heaven and seen what some of us shall never set their eyes on, was literally wounded, hungry and thirsty most of the time. Paul the Saint did not have a beautiful wife, and he owned neither mansions nor spacecrafts. Health-wise, Paul the Bible writer reported a scourging ailment about which he had gone to God in sincere puling, in vain.
How did Zacchaeus prove to Jesus Christ that he meant business with Heaven: Luke 19: 8? How differently should the present day convert indicate commitment?
Prosperity Preacher, was Paul the Apostle, in terms of your new definition of prosperity, prosperous? Is the man of God doing rounds around the world without limbs prosperous? Whole, nothing missing, nothing lacking…? Shame!
If the Prosperity Preacher feels he does not have to fight the same fight that Jesus Christ had fought for him, does that mean that he does not have to heed the call to share in Jesus Christ’s sufferings? Why did Paul have to, and the other disciples? Aren’t people dying today in remote areas of the world where they are trying to take the Gospel to countries where carrying the Bible is still taboo? What leisure and luxury is this?
Vincent Seokane and I visited New Delhi India and, in the rare resting intervals during our hectic work schedule I inquired of a number of munching Indian employees: Back home in South Africa I learnt that some of you in India worship the cow. How true is that? A woman boldly stood up and said a very resolute YES, WE DO! WE DO WORSHIP THE COW AS OUR GOD. My stunned follow-up was a coy which cow? To that another Indian replied ANY COW!
Devout and determined people of God, the likes of KP Yohannan, are appealing for assistance in order to reach these poor people, yet the Prosperity man believes he should boast about the riches which gratify his selfish life basking in sunshine on the shores of the islands and coming back to television screens to turn Christian programmes into comedies? Woe!
I am duty-bound to take this opportunity and extend my sincere gratitude to the few of the ilk of Michael Youssef, Ed Young Sr., Adrian Rogers, Ed Hindson, Benny Hinn, Charles Stanley, Robert Schuller, Mark Finley, Erlo Stegen, Jack Van Impi, Perry Stone, Bert Pretorius, Theo Wolmarans, and who else … I shall still recall. It is not as if these people would never ask for money to support their ministries. But they have not turned money into the Gospel, and, even if they have to talk about money, that is when it is necessary and they would have fed the flock with the proper Heavenly rations. Find a program on TBN called It Is Written by Shaun Boonstra and learn the whole truth.
Prosperity in Christianity is determined by the affinity of man and his Creator! Sin, its rule or otherwise, in the life of man, is the determining factor. It has nothing to do with what man has in terms of material possessions.
I am not criticizing anyone. I have no ground to stand on and judge anyone. I am waiting for my turn to be judged. Yet, it would be a gross mishap if Satan played around with my faith and I stayed mum. John the Baptist, a man who knew the Cause he lived for, was beheaded speaking the truth. Today, politicians do not have amongst their problems any nagging Christians, because Christians are not what they used to be in Bible days when governments had to think about their opposed stance to corruption and low moral standards.
Why should President Obama bother to think about the existence of Christianity in America when this faith has become just another financial competitor? Why should he care what you think of his allegiance to Christianity while you yourselves are by no means loyal to the Master Who pronounced Luke 14: 33? By the way, would we have to ask what the Prosperity Preacher’s explanation of Luke 14: 33 would be…? Maye!
As a person leaves God, they chant give me. As man approaches God, they chant make me. Read about the prodigal son, and wise up, greedy man! Those who want to live in Christ must die to themselves, and there is nothing like dying while you garner for whatever gratifies the insatiable self in you.
Reason and logic fail in the most appalling situations in the most developed world. One overhears the American televangelists’ message of leisure and shudders at the thought of prison statistics there, where female cells are filled to the brim with well in excess of two million women convicted of crimes ranging from theft to murder. You get a strange and bewildering sense of two worlds in one. Your wildest rationalization capabilities get strangled because one of the extremes is the only faith founded on real sacrificial love. What a petrifying polarisation! It’s a dizzy-dizzy world! Precarious!
From the obnoxious stenches of the dungeons of a pre-medieval jail a man of faith writes rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice. While you cogitate on that and marvel at what faith can accomplish, you eavesdrop that on the other hand the man’s twenty-first century compatriot in the faith swears that pleasure comes from some strange and mundane freedom he derives from hedonism. Startled and baffled you stand. You cheekily pinch your cheek in wonder whether you are still with yourself. It stands. The biggest Christian channel, as they maintain TBN is, is proclaiming a Christian peace ascribable to explicable and tangible sources. They are pacified by the fallacy that they call prosperity. While they claim that Jehovah is their God, they loyally serve mammon and spread his fixed-term kingdom. Cantankerous!
Here is a dire situation where people do not know what the Will of their God is for them. They ask for and insist on irrelevant things. They shall not be advised. Calamitous!
Humbly and earnestly yours in Christ Jesus
Lereko Ishmael Mamonyane
Antioch Evangelical Mission
Pretoria, South Africa
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