Saturday, March 25, 2006

a desire to retch

Why...? Why...? Why do I torture myself by even flipping by the religious channels that I get for free with my TV antenna? On one hand, I like to see what is going on once in a while in order to motivate me (even more) to be faithful to the Word and preach Christ correctly. That being said...

I was flipping through the channels and came across the channel that is characterized by Word of Faith theology.1 A program was on where Benny Hinn was interviewing Creflo Dollar. If you have ever seen the word of faith garbage that permeates the various programs on this channel, you wouldn't be surprised to hear things that tell you what to do in order to be prosperous. Almost without fail, the leaders who hold this type of theology make a big point in saying that you need to speak the thing that you want to come to pass. The idea is that if you say something and if you believe it enough (don't doubt now, if you doubt, it won't happen), you will reap your reward (much bigger than what you sowed). I expect this, and am reconciled to the fact that this distortion of the Word is so readily accepted by so many people. But I was not ready to hear the example that was to be given for what speaking and then believing something will produce an actual result.

The Example:

I don't have a transcript, nor do I have a tape, so I am not able to quote Mr. Dollar or Mr. Hinn exactly, but the example that was given was of Mary in the birth of Christ. "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38 NASU) The essence of what Mr. Dollar was saying was that it was the word that she spoke and the faith that she had in them that caused her to become pregnant. If he was pressed (which he was not), he probably would have agreed with scripture that it was the Spirit that came upon her and caused her to be pregnant with Christ. But, that is not what he said. He was making the correlation between what Mary did (speaking something, believing it, and seeing the tangible result) and what we can do - the specific context was giving money to a ministry and believing God for a harvest for the giver. This "harvest" is usually, by default, referring to money.

I was sick. I felt like I was going to throw up. I couldn't believe that the actual event of the immaculate conception of the Lord Jesus Christ was being defiled in such an horrific manner by putting the focus on the words that Mary spoke and what she believed would happen.

So, other than going off on a thorough critique and rebuke of the false doctrine that was abounding in that program that I saw - I am taking a different approach (this time). My response is simple: be diligent to make no mistakes in how I understand God's Word so that I am not guilty of such horrendous false teaching and doctrine. That being said, I know that I am not infallible, and that I will miss the mark. So I need to continually be humble and accepting of reproof if I am in the wrong. Trying diligently to make no mistakes, I will hopefully make fewer than if I were to casually gallop through the scriptures seeking the truth.

May God keep my path straight, and may I always rely on the Word of God to be my light on that path.

1 The Word of Faith movement has an understanding of faith and words that are very different than orthodox Christianity. I would sum up this false theology in this way: Faith is a power, and the spoken word is the container of that power. So in order to "get" something, you need to speak it and believe it.

There is much proof-texting done in order to attempt to back up this whole notion that our words and faith act in this way, but I have found it to be completely and totally false. And the problem doesn't begin or end with the view on words and faith - this false theology has radical implications creation (what man really is), the fall, the death and resurrection of Christ, and more.

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