The Most Dangerous Kind of False Teaching

Scene 1

He boldly claims that the viewer will receive a transfer of wealth from the world to their bank accounts.

Debts will dissolve, they’ll get their dream house or a new car—and healing from debilitating disease to boot.   

If only…

If only they’ll call and ask for his free packet of “miracle water”–now available in a larger size!  That’s their point of contact with his faith, the hinge on which their personal prosperity turns. I’ve viewed snippets of numerous broadcasts, and every single time he talks about  his miracle water.  Not once have I heard anything remotely resembling a Bible exposition. Hundreds, often a thousand-plus, pack his small-venue meetings across the country.  Gullible attendees and TV viewers get on his mailing list, and send him money to pay for his broadcast time, and a whole lot more.

But his is not the kind of false teaching I worry about.

Scene 2

She’s articulate and steeped in Bible knowledge.  She quotes verse after verse without turning to the texts in her Bible.  I’ve heard her give a clear plan of salvation and explain the efficacy of the cross.   She travels extensively to speak, often in large church venues.  Satellites beam her messages across the globe.  

She’s also a top-echelon proponent of the so-called “prosperity gospel.”   After interviewing a famous billionaire entrepreneur—a man few associate with evangelical faith– she turned to the camera and exclaimed, “Jesus wants you rich!  He paid a high price on Calvary so you can be financially wealthy.”

Why is she a hundred times more dangerous than the huckster who hawks his miracle water?   Because parts of her sermons—sometimes entire messages—are so right and true.

Extraordinary passion.

Compelling truth.

Spellbinding delivery.

All tempered by a deficient  Biblical theology of suffering.  Her erroneous teaching is so much easier to believe when she sandwiches it in between rock-solid stuff.  I wish she promoted packets of miracle water instead.

Nobody has ever been fooled by a counterfeit $90 bill.