If you’ve turned on the TV on a Sunday morning, you’re bound to see some “preachers” that preach “if you just name it, you can claim it.” If you send them money, God will bless you with wealth. If you think positively, you can banish sickness. These are false teachers that teach a false gospel.
I am very pleased that Justin Peters will be joining us this year, sharing God’s Word and enabling us to discern the error in these unbiblical ideas. Justin is an itinerant preacher and founder of Justin Peters Ministries. Here’s what he had to share about his upcoming presentation:
The Word-Faith Movement (W-F), more commonly known as the Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, or Prosperity Gospel, dominates what we see today on Christian cable and satellite television. Networks such as TBN, Daystar, The Word Network, It’s Supernatural Network, etc., regularly promote this theology which holds that it is always God’s will for a Christian to be financially wealthy and physically healed. You can be rich, and you never need to be sick as long as you speak the right “positive confessions,” exercise your faith and, of course, sow a seed (translated: send money) into a particular ministry so you can reap a harvest. Some of the more prominent leaders of this movement include Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and Bill Johnson.
The prosperity gospel appeals to two of the most basic and universal of all human desires; to be wealthy and physically healed. The message is that if you become a Christian, then your money and health worries are over. There are about 7 billion people on the planet who desperately want those things. But is that the real Gospel? The answer, of course, is no.
The prosperity gospel promises people a life of luxury. The true Gospel calls people to a life of sacrifice. The prosperity gospel calls for self-indulgence. The true Gospel calls for self-denial. The prosperity gospel promises alleviation from trials. The true Gospel promises God’s sufficient grace in the midst of trials. The prosperity gospel promises a life of ease. The true Gospel promises a life marked by persecution for the glory of God.
The Word-Faith movement is now the face of Christianity around the world. We in the United States have created this false gospel and have exported it to nearly every nation on the planet. As bad as this movement is here, it is far worse in countries in Central and South America, Asia and especially Africa. The poor, the sick, the desperate, and the widows are being exploited. Worse than that, though, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being distorted.
One of the things that make false teachers so appealing to people and so dangerous at the same time is that not everything that they teach is false. Some of it is right. But there is enough error and heresy mixed in with it to corrupt the entire thing. Remember that the Bible describes false teachers as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) and that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
I am so honored with the invitation to speak at the 2020 Answers for Women Conference at the Ark Encounter. In my presentation, I will provide an overview of the Word-Faith Movement and will have video clips from some of today’s most popular preachers so that you can see and hear for yourself what they are actually teaching. We will then correct each point of error by scripture.
Some would say that calling out false teachers is not something we should do or is negative in nature. It is noteworthy, however, that 26 of the 27 books in the New Testament directly warn about false teaching and/or false teachers (only Philemon does not). The Apostles warned about false teachers and even called them out by name. So did Jesus Himself. So, it is a task that we must undertake, for it is a mandate from Scripture. It is not, however, a task to be taken lightly. We should not call someone a false teacher for minor theological differences. The error in the Word-Faith movement is not minor as we shall see.
Some would say that pointing out error is not a loving thing to do. But the most loving thing we can do for someone is to tell her the truth. It is the truth that sets people free from spiritual bondage and deception. It is my prayer that our time together will be one of both teaching sound doctrine and refuting those who contradict per Titus 1:9 and of equipping the saints to “speak the truth in love” per Ephesians 4:15.
I appreciate Justin’s bold stand on the word of God and his desire “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).