Saturday, September 24, 2005

Prosperity Teaching

The other night, I was reading up on the megachurch phenomenon when I came across Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. I believe this church is rather well-known here in Singapore, judging by the number of times I’ve heard teenagers play their songs (especially from their latest live album God He Reigns).

What I found particularly appalling about Hillsong, other than its “happy clappy” style of worship, was its doctrine of Prosperity Teaching. Also known as Word-faith theology, it is one of the hallmarks of the church’s teaching as outlined in Hillsong founder Houston’s book You Need More Money. Basically, in a nutshell, it teaches that God wants his people to be wealthy and has given them the ability to unleash this power from within.

Ugh.

Many Christians oppose this teaching as unbiblical and heterodox. Honestly, I think that’s an understatement. It is blasphemous, heretical and theologically unsound. Teaching such as this runs completely contrary to the word of God. One cannot follow this teaching and continue to claim to be “Christian”. For what reason, then, is this being taught? Why, none other than to attract converts. People want to hear what they like. If the church preaches about struggle and suffering being necessary in salvation, how many would actually be attracted to it? The unfortunate congregation of Hillsong believe that they will become wealthy, unless of course, they lack piety. As Lenin once said, “a lie told often enough becomes the truth”. No other phrase could have described this evil doctrine better.

Have they forgotten what our Lord has said – Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Mark 8:33 – 35)? Christ’s teaching against the obsession with the accumulation of wealth must have had nothing to do with them.

For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:25

Surely if the Almighty wanted His people to wealthy and prosperous, Jesus would not have been born into the household of Joseph. One only needs to see the lives of Christ’s disciples to know that this so-called doctrine is false.

Andrew and Peter were fishermen.
James and John were also fishermen.
Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans.
Simon was a zealot.

None of these occupations earned them huge salaries. They didn’t earn much more when they became the Disciples of Christ either. Being wealthy is almost always seen as a sign of God’s blessing – but remember Jesus’ words about how hard it was for a rich man to enter heaven. There is nothing wrong with being rich – it becomes wrong only when we begin to rely on wealth to make us happy.

Paul wrote “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Jesus taught us not to worry about money, rather, we ought to “seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:31). We are taught not to “lay up for ourselves treasures on earth…” but to “lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19).

Indeed, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

2 Comments:

Blogger Iosue Andreas said...

Constantine,

That was a great post. You've exposed one of the worst heresies of our times.

Joshua

Sun Sep 25, 07:50:00 am 2005  
Blogger exWitch Australia said...

I agree with what you have said about Hillsong 100% - Here's some links to articles on the Web that you may find interesting as they also expose some of Hillsong's errors and false teaching...

What's Wrong at Hillsong? - http://exwitchaustralia.com/Articles/Houstons_We_Have_A_Problem.html

Hillsong's Message to the Young - http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2002/hillsngMmess02.html

Houston's Unmasked - http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van2002/houston1.html

Hope these are of help/interest to you...

Wed Jan 25, 03:30:00 pm 2006  

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