Archive for the Joel Osteen Category

Measuring Oral Roberts’ – Influence John MacArthur

Posted in Apostacy, Bible, Emergent Church, Evangelism, Joel Osteen, Mission & Martyrs, New Age Garbage, Oral Roberts, prosperity gospel, Prosperity Pimps, Purpose Driven Lie, Seeker Sensitive, The Gospel on December 18, 2009 by Billy Creighton

Measuring Oral Roberts’ Influence
Friday, December 18, 2009

John MacArthur

Oral Roberts died this week and the obituaries have been abuzz with analyses of his life and legacy. The USA Today headline summed up his contributions this way: “Oral Roberts brought health-and-wealth Gospel mainstream.” The Los Angeles Times gave a similar snapshot of the man: “Oral Roberts dies at 91; televangelist was pioneering preacher of the ‘prosperity gospel'”

But Christianity Today‘s lead blogger, Ted Olsen, disagreed. He responded with a post titled “Why the Oral Roberts Obituaries Are Wrong.” The long subtitle at the head of Olsen’s post explained: “The ‘faith-healer’ (who hated the term) may have done much to mainstream Pentecostalism, but he was no architect of the Prosperity Gospel.”

Olsen’s argument, essentially, is that the real founder and mastermind of prosperity doctrine was not Oral Roberts but Kenneth Hagin, “who is far more widely recognized as the man who joined Pentecostalism with the Faith Movement (also called ‘Word-Faith,’ or derogatively, the Prosperity Gospel or ‘Health and Wealth’ gospel).”

E.W. KenyonOlsen, however, is wrong. He has evidently confused two categories. It is quite true that Kenneth Hagin is the main prosperity preacher who popularized word-faith doctrine–the notion that the words we speak determine the blessings we receive. Hagin borrowed that doctrine from an earlier, lesser-known preacher–E. W. Kenyon. (A mountain of evidence suggests that Hagin actually plagiarized large portions of his published works from Kenyon’s writings.) Kenyon had been strongly influenced by the teachings of New Thought, a 19th-century metaphysical cult similar to Christian Science. So Hagin’s word-faith doctrines had deeply cultic roots, but the idea fit perfectly with the prosperity doctrines that were already being taught by A. A. Allen, Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, and other faith-healers. The two ideas were natural complements to one another.

Still, word-faith doctrine and the prosperity gospel are not synonymous. (Even the current Wikipedia entry acknowledges this: “Although [the Word of Faith movement] shares teachings in common with Prosperity theology, they are not the same thing.”) Prosperity doctrine is the notion that God’s favor is expressed mainly through physical health and material prosperity, and that these blessings are available for the claiming by anyone who has sufficient faith.

Oral Roberts was certainly the 20th century’s leading advocate of that idea. His prosperity doctrine laid the foundation for an enormous media-based religious system, and Oral Roberts was indeed its chief architect. It is preposterous that Christianity Today would try to whitewash that fact. Prosperity teaching was what Roberts himself wanted to be remembered for.

In Oral Roberts: An American Life, biographer David Edwin Harrell, Jr., describes how Roberts discovered the prosperity gospel and how it became the centerpiece of his message. One day he opened his Bible randomly and spotted 3 John 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” He showed it to his wife, Evelyn, and “They talked excitedly about the verse’s implications. Did it mean they could have a ‘new car,’ ‘a new house,’ a ‘brand-new ministry?’ In later years, Evelyn looked back on that morning as the point of embarkation: ‘I really believe that that very morning was the beginning of this worldwide ministry that he has had, because it opened up his thinking” [(Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1985), p. 66]. Roberts testified that a shiny new Buick, acquired by unexpected means shortly after that experience, “became a symbol to me of what a man could do if he would believe God.”

After he embraced prosperity doctrine, Oral Roberts’ best-known and most far-reaching brainchild was the Seed-Faith message. Roberts taught that money and material things donated to his organization were the seeds of prosperity and material blessings from God, and that God promises to multiply in miraculous ways whatever is given–and give many times more back to the donor. It was a simple, quasi-spiritual get-rich-quick scheme that appealed mainly to poor, disadvantaged, and desperate people. It generated untold millions for Roberts’ empire and was quickly adopted by a host of similarly-oriented Pentecostal and Charismatic media ministries. The Seed-Faith principle is the main cash-cow that built and has supported vast networks of televangelists who barter for their viewers’ money with fervent promises of “miracles”–and the miracles are invariably described in terms of material blessings, mainly money. Elsewhere I have compared this doctrine to the mentality of the post-WWII cargo cults.

Tragically, the Seed-Faith message usurped and utterly replaced whatever gospel content there ever may have been in Oral Roberts’ preaching. In all the many times I saw him on television I never once heard him preach the gospel. His message–every time–was about Seed-Faith. The reason for that is obvious: the message of the cross–an atoning sacrifice for sins wrought through Jesus’ sufferings–frankly doesn’t mesh very well with the notion that God guarantees health, wealth, and prosperity to the righteous. Our fellowship in Jesus’ sufferings (Philippians 3:10), and our duty to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:20-23), are likewise antithetical to the core principles of prosperity doctrine. The prosperity message is a different gospel (cf. Galatians 1:8-9).

One leading charismatic figure this week stated that without Oral Roberts’ influence, “the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred.” That may well be true. For that very reason, Roberts’ legacy needs to be evaluated soberly, honestly, and carefully, under the stark light of Scripture. Was the message he proclaimed the unadulterated gospel? Though he eschewed the label, Roberts made his main reputation on television in the 1950s as a faith-healer, and he even claimed to have raised multiple people from the dead.Did his best-known and most staggering “prophecies” prove to be true? Was he himself a credible man?

Kenneth HaginThe answer to all those questions is an unambiguous no. Oral Roberts’ influence is not something Bible-believing Christians should celebrate. Virtually every abberant idea the Pentecostal and charismatic movements spawned after 1950 can be traced in one way or another to Oral Roberts’ influence. (What the CT blog fails to mention is that Kenneth Hagin and Oral Roberts often ministered together and affirmed one another’s ministries. Furthermore, the heir to Hagin’s standing as chief of the word-faith preachers is Kenneth Copeland, who went into television ministry after working as chauffeur and pilot to Oral Roberts. So even though it would not be quite accurate to portray Oral Roberts as an aggressive proponent of word-faith doctrines, he acted as more of an ally than an opponent to the movement. We might say his relationship with that movement was reminiscent of a benign grandfather who refused to correct an out-of-control grandchild.)
Kenneth Copeland
One thing all the obituaries agree on is that Oral Roberts paved the way for all the charismatic televangelists and faith-healers who dominate religious television today. He did more than anyone in the early Pentecostal movement to influence mainstream evangelicalism. He parlayed his television ministry into a vast empire that has left a deep mark on the church worldwide. In many places today, including some of the world’s most illiterate and poverty-stricken regions, Oral Roberts’ Seed-Faith concept is actually better known than the doctrine of justification by faith. The message of prosperity is now the message multitudes think of when they hear the word “gospel.” Countless confused people worldwide think of the gospel as a message about earthly, temporal, and material riches rather than the infinitely greater blessings of forgiveness from sin and the eternal blessing of the believer’s spiritual union with Christ.

ORU Praying-HandsAll of those are reasons to lament rather than celebrate Oral Roberts’ fame and influence. My prayer is that future generations will see the folly of those doctrines, renounce and turn away from them, and cling tightly to the sure word of God and the glorious, eternal promises of the true gospel. Were those “miracles” real and verifiable?

The Shame Of The False Gospel Preachers.

Posted in Emergent Church, Joel Osteen, John Piper, Joyce Meyer, New Age Garbage, Prosperity Pimps, Purpose Driven Lie, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Seeker Sensitive on August 15, 2009 by Billy Creighton

Heretics still abound.

‘But there were false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.’
2 Peter 2:1-3

A.W Pink:

“Satan is the arch-counterfeiter. The Devil is now busy at work in the same field in which the Lord sowed the good seed. He is seeking to prevent the growth of the wheat by another plant, the tares, which closely resembles the wheat in appearance. In a word, by a process of imitation he is aiming to neutralize the Work of Christ. Therefore, as Christ has a Gospel, Satan has a gospel too; the latter being a clever counterfeit of the former. So closely does the gospel of Satan resemble that which it parodies, multitudes of the unsaved are deceived by it”.

Thanks to YeeeHaw83

Thanks to cana77

Your Best Life: Now Or Later? John Macarthur Audio Here

Posted in Joel Osteen, John Macarthur, Prosperity Pimps on June 15, 2008 by Billy Creighton

Bible Study by John Macarthur on Joel Osteens ‘Your Best Life Now’ book.  Bible Study in Audio Format Below. Well worth a listen.

John Macarthur – Your Best Life: Now or Later?

Posted in Joel Osteen, John Macarthur, Prosperity Pimps, Sermons on May 28, 2008 by Billy Creighton

John Macarthur has just released a new study from Grace To You, this is available for free by transcript or can be purchased on CD format.  I highly recommend getting a hold of this study, one quote from John Macarthur on Joel Osteen..

Out of curiosity, I want to know what’s in the book and so I found this on page 5, “God wants this to be the best time of your life.”  On another page it says, “Happy, successful, fulfilled individuals have learned how to live their best life now.  On another page it says, “As you put the principles found in these pages to work today, you will begin living your best life now.”  And that is absolutely true if you’re not a Christian.  This is it, you better get the book because your next life is going to be infinitely worse than this one.

This is your best life now.  In fact, it’s your only life because in the world to come, you will only exist in a perpetual state of dying with no hope, no satisfaction, no meaning, no joy and no future and no relief from eternal suffering.  That’s the worst life possible.  And this is your best life, if your next life is in hell. ‘

The transcript and CD are available here

Preaching outside Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston

Posted in Joel Osteen on May 7, 2008 by Billy Creighton

Joel Osteen VS John MacArthur: Two drastically different views on the importance of Scripture.

Posted in Joel Osteen, John Macarthur on May 5, 2008 by Billy Creighton

Joel Osteen

John Macarthur

Osteen Said What?!

Posted in Joel Osteen, Seeker Sensitive on May 5, 2008 by Billy Creighton
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