Scripture says that we, as Christians, should have no fellowship with those who engage is deceptive, dishonest, evil practices and it is also our responsibility to expose the deception too (Ephesians 5:11).
This responsibility does not exclusively rest upon the shoulders of the pastor, though hopefully he is not ashamed to acknowledge the deception and error of the prosperity gospel and those associated with this unbiblical form theology, but it should also be the responsibility of every believing Christian too, for the benefit of the body of Christ and to the honor of God.
To my knowledge, I have not read of anyone in the Bible that has been miraculously healed or supernaturally gifted because they had given any amount of money either to Jesus or any of the Apostles.
In fact, a man named Simon, a practioner of sorcery in the city of Samaria who did some amazing works that astonished its residents and who declared this man to be someone great, demonstrating the great power of God (Acts 8:9-10). He at some point however, heard the Gospel preached by Phillip, believed the message and was baptized (v. 13). Then as he watched the apostles lay hands on the people of Samaria to receive the Holy Spirit, he thought he could receive this gift as well, by offering money to the apostles (Acts 8:18).
What followed for Simon was a stern rebuke by the apostles for his desire to purchase and receive such a gift the apostles had so that he may possess it as well. Because of this, the apostles were able to clearly discern that Simon had an utterly wrong motive to possess such a gift and issued a command to repent of his wickedness and seek God's forgiveness (Acts 8:20-22).
Shouldn't the same be said of those that John MacArthur describes in this introductory post that do the exact same thing today? Absolutely.
Shouldn't we also expose the deceitfulness of those who declare that the power of God or a miracle from God, can be bequeathed to another for a price, or that a person can be blessed with abundance of finances if they "sow their most generous seed (money) offering?" The answer is unequivocally yes, they should be exposed, because no such power of God or miracle can ever be bought from God. The bottom line is, God cannot be bought to do anything for us in our lives.
Yet why does it continue take place and why aren't there more people outspoken about it?
The answer lies simply in the fact that many Christians do not diligently study their Bible, like the Bereans did, searching the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:10-15) rightlly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), to find out whether what a television evangelist, prosperity preacher or faith-healer has said or done that is in direct accord with the context of Scripture.
I think from the tone of this article, it seems as if John MacArthur is fed up with the deception as well as the ignorance of Christians not calling out these people who purport themselves as godly ministers or evangelists. They should be repeatedly exposed and called what they truly are: conniving, deceiving wolves in sheep's clothing.
The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. Proverbs 15:28, King James Version.
The first quarter of this article by John MacArthur is posted and the remaining portion can be read at the link provided.
A Colossal Fraud
Monday, Dec 7, 2009
(By John MacArthur)
Former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff ran a ponzi-scheme swindle for nearly 20 years, and he bilked an estimated $18 billion from Wall-Street investors. When the scam finally came to light it unleashed a shockwave of outrage around the world. It was the largest and most far-reaching investment fraud ever.
But the evil of Madoff's embezzlement pales by comparison to an even more diabolical fraud being carried out in the name of Christ under the bright lights of television cameras on religious networks worldwide every single day. Faith healers and prosperity preachers promise miracles in return for money, conning their viewers out of more than a billion dollars annually. They have operated this racket on television for more than five decades. Worst of all, they do it with the tacit acceptance of most of the Christian community.
Someone needs to say this plainly: The faith healers and health-and-wealth preachers who dominate religious television are shameless frauds. Their message is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing spiritual or miraculous about their on-stage chicanery. It is all a devious ruse designed to take advantage of desperate people. They are not godly ministers but greedy impostors who corrupt the Word of God for money's sake. They are not real pastors who shepherd the flock of God but hirleings whose only design is to fleece the sheep. Their love of money is glaringly obvious in what they say as well as how they live. They claim to possess great spiritual power, but in reality they are rank materialists and enemies of everything holy. Continue reading...