Home > Uncategorized > The “Prosperity Gospel” and “Name It and Claim It” Gospel is A False and Damning Gospel

The “Prosperity Gospel” and “Name It and Claim It” Gospel is A False and Damning Gospel

September 24th, 2010
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The Joel Osteens of this world, and others like him, who attract huge followings by preaching a message of prosperity are false teachers, the very wolves in sheep’s clothing our Lord warned us about. Martin Luther had these comments about the temptation that “mammon” always holds presents:

The world cannot conceal its unbelief in its coarse, outward sins, for I see it loves a dollar more than Christ; more than all the Apostles, even if they themselves were present and preached to it. I can hear the Gospel daily, but it does not profit me every day; it may indeed happen, if I have heard it a whole year, the Holy Spirit may have been given to me only one hour. Now when I enjoyed this hour I obtained not only five hundred dollars, but also the riches of the whole world; for what have I not, when I have the Gospel? I received God, who made the silver and the gold, and all that is upon the earth; for I acquired the Spirit by which I know that I will be kept by him forever; that is much more than if I had the church full of money. Examine now and see, if our heart is not a rogue, full of wickedness and unbelief. If I were a true Christian, I would say: The hour the Gospel is received, there comes to me a hundred thousand dollars, and much more. For if I possess this treasure, I have all that is in heaven and upon earth. But one must serve this treasure only, for no man can serve God and mammon. Either you must love God and hate money; or you must hate God and love money; this and nothing more.
Source: Public domain text in Volume V:103-117 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI, 1983). It was originally published in 1905 in English by Lutherans in All Lands (Minneapolis, MN), as The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 14.

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  1. September 24th, 2010 at 10:00 | #1

    I think it’s unfair to label Joel Osteen as preaching a prosperity gospel… He does come from a tradition that leans that way, and occasionally steps over the line, but if you read his books, he definitely teaches a reality of suffering, humility, hard work, etc., that doesn’t fit with the “mainline” prosperity folks.

    Prosperity teaching is pure evil; it’s designed to keep people in bondage, not make them prosperous. It adds man-made law after man-made law and teaches people that faith is a “work” they must achieve; and if they aren’t successful, it’s their own fault. I’ve seen it destroy people. It’s a big spiritual pyramid scheme, where the only winners are the ones on top who reap the rewards of their followers “faith.”

    While Osteen is not perfect by any means, he doesn’t fall in this camp.

  2. Mike Baker
    September 24th, 2010 at 15:15 | #2

    @Alden

    Joel Osteen may not be the most hardcore pusher of teh Prosperity Gospel, but he is certainly a preacher. His sermons, books, and interviews are replete with examples of this false doctrine. Since he waters everything down in touchy-feely, wishy-washy language, it is a common misconception that he has been falsely accused of teaching Prosperity. Since I live near “Osteen Country”, I always have some quotes on hand. A few examples are:

    “The first step to living at your full potential is to enlarge your vision. To live your best life now, you must start looking at life through eyes of faith, seeing yourself rising to new levels. See your business taking off. See your marriage restored. See your family prospering. See your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experience it.” -Joel Osteen

    “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.” -Joel Osteen

    “If we say it long enough eventually we’re going to reap a harvest. We’re going to get exactly what we’re saying.” -Joel Osteen

    “Understand this: God will help you, but you cast the deciding vote… [we must] get into agreement with God.” -Joel Osteen

    “Get up each morning and look in the mirror and say, ‘I am valuable. I am loved. God has a great plan for my life. I have favor wherever I go. God’s blessings are chasing me down and overtaking me. Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I’m excited about my future!’ Start speaking those kinds of words, and before long, you will rise to a new level of well-being, success, and victory. There truly is power in your words.” -Joel Osteen

    “If you want to rear financial blessings, you have to sow financially.” -Joel Osteen

    “To me, we’re marketing hope.” -Joel Osteen

    “We were old sinners – but when we came to Christ we are not sinners anymore.” -Joel Osteen

    “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.” -Joel Osteen

    “God has already done everything He’s going to do. The ball is now in your court. If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you’re going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family.” -Joel Osteen

    “You can change your world by changing your words… Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.” -Joel Osteen

    “You may make some mistakes-but that doesn’t make you a sinner. You’ve got the very nature of God on the inside of you.” -Joel Osteen

    “You were born to win; you were born for greatness, you were created to be a champion in life.” -Joel Osteen

    “God wants you to go further than your parents.” -Joel Osteen

    “God wants you to live an overcoming life of victory. He doesn’t want you to barely get by. He’s called El Shaddai, ‘the God of more than enough’.” -Joel Osteen

    “Before we were ever formed, He programmed us to live abundant lives, to be happy, healthy, and whole. But when our thinking becomes contaminated it is no longer in line with God’s Word.” -Joel Osteen

    “Prosperity” and “Name It and Claim It” themes are even embedded in his own personal testimony. He frequently tells the story about how his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer twenty years ago, but because she confessed good health she is cancer free today (pp. 126-127 in his book). As a matter of fact, one of the highlights of the “A Night of Hope” events is the testimony by Osteen’s mother concerning her physical healing – implying of course, that those in the audience can also be healed if they will but do what Joel suggests.

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