Updated: Jun 8
Such people try to sell you how to have a happy home or marriage, how to create wealth, how to get a great job or a promotion, how to buy a house or property, how to thrive and excel as an entrepreneur. They try to sell you everything but “the infinitely greater blessings of forgiveness from sin and the eternal blessing of the believer’s spiritual union with Christ.” (MacArthur, 2013, 157).
And these people are selling a bale of goods because the truth is, it is never free. It will almost always cost you a buck or two. Rather than open a Bible and rightly exegete the divine word of God, these supposed “Christian leaders” are selling courses, books, workshops, and conference tickets (that can cost as high as USD1,200) where they will “teach you spiritual secrets of success” or how to “download blueprints for divine activations”. This is because the entire point of this scheme is for them to make money off you.
Sometimes, I just want to yell: WAKE UP!!
This is not the gospel of Christ.
These are con (wo)men; charlatans and wolves posing as sheep. They prey on the weak and on the poor. They run “women’s empowerment summits/programs” where the fragility and emotionality of wounded and insecure women are taken advantage of. Rather than the balm of the Word of God being applied to broken spirits, what you see instead is New Ageism and Gnosticism and Psychological techniques being used, and a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme with these leaders at the top of the pyramid.
The best way to lie is to mix the lie in with the truth. Many times, these “pastors” will say that God promises you healing or success. But this is incorrect. While God might wish to heal you and/or give you material success, this does not mean that you will always get it or that the Creator of the universe is obligated to give you anything. It makes sense to the human mind that God would want to grant those He loves healing, joy and prosperity. But where exactly in the Bible are the children of God promised these things?
Enter: Scripture Twisting
“Healing is the children’s bread.”
Contrary to popular opinion, the above quote is not a Bible verse. It is an erroneous summary of the story of the healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter narrated in Matthew 15:21-31 and Mark 7:24-30. The proverb Christ uses regarding giving the bread belonging to the children to the dogs is turned on its head and used to say that the “bread” must thus mean “healing” and that it belongs to the children of God.
“Christ died for your healing.”
He did not. He died for your justification:
“...Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” - Romans 4:24+25
Jesus made you, drench in sin and stains, righteous by inputting His own righteousness unto you, thus making you (the guilty one who deserved death) just.
That’s it. That’s the whole gospel. It has nothing to do with being guaranteed healing or wealth. That instead is the deadly lie of the prosperity gospel which makes you work (by giving your money or sowing a seed or a faith offering) in order to gain your salvation. And that is the law and the law leads to death because you can never, ever measure up to the righteousness of God. But Christ’s righteousness is free of charge and costs nothing - not $10 for a workbook, $25 for a course, or $1,200 for a three-day conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Studying to Show Yourself Approved
These “pastors” get away with so much Bible twisting because many Christians, according to Dr. Rev. Tony Costa, are illiterate in their A, B, C, Ds:
Apologetically - they cannot defend their faith
Biblically - they do not know what the Bible says
Canonically - they do not know the Old and New Testaments
Doctrinally - they do not know correct, Christian doctrine as set out in Scripture
We must read our Bible and study it to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15) so that when someone twists Scripture, we can immediately spot the error. And the more we read and take the time to study the Bible, the easier it becomes to spot a false prophet and to see that many of the mainstream evangelical “Christian leaders” scattered across social media and the internet do not handle Scripture with care or with fear. They add their own experiences, their personal opinions (and sometimes even themselves!) into the Bible and then call that anecdote a sermon. It is wrong to do this and they ought to fear God.
MacArthur, J. F. (2013). Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship. Thomas Nelson Incorporated.