The Word of Faith movement (Prosperity Gospel) is deceiving countless people, causing them to grasp after a way of life and faith that is not biblical. At its core is the same lie Satan has been telling since the Garden: “You shall be as God” (Genesis 3:5). Sadly, those who buy into the Word of Faith movement are still listening to him. Our hope is in the Lord, not in our own words, not even in our own faith (Psalm 33:20-22). Our faith comes from God in the first place (Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 12:2) and is not something we create for ourselves.
The Word of Faith is not biblical and is in many ways antithetical to the true gospel message and the clear teaching of Scripture. While there are many different versions of the name it and claim it philosophy preached today, they all have similar characteristics. At its best, this teaching comes from the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of some Scriptures and, at its worst, it is a completely heretical teaching that has the characteristics of a cult.
It caters to the fallen human flesh. All of us want Christianity to be about us, and we want to focus upon our own wants and desires and needs. And since our heart is already bent that way, when the prosperity gospel comes along and says, “Christianity is about you, and if you just believe in Jesus you’ll be healthy, wealthy and wise,” that just resonates with our fallen flesh. People are already primed to hear that message — especially those in our churches that don’t know much of their Bibles
The prosperity gospel says that it’s OK to pursue riches and that worldly wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. Here’s the thing – the Bible is clear in telling us that riches are a dangerous thing to pursue. It’s not that money is evil in itself. Money can be used for great things. But as soon as we make riches and prosperity our pursuit, our priorities get all screwed up. That’s exactly the point behind the story of the rich young ruler and Jesus found in Matthew 19: 16-30.
It wasn’t enough for the rich ruler to keep all the commandments. Jesus specifically brought up his wealth because the young ruler made it a priority in his life. It was so much of a priority that he valued it more than following Christ.
When we turn our focus away from sharing the Gospel message and promote the promise of prosperity in health and worldly wealth, we are clearly forgetting the purpose of the Gospel.
There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. I love it when Christians are rich. That should mean more money to fund the mission of God, His Kingdom. But there is a line to how much money our leaders should spend on themselves. I don’t know where the line is, but it is somewhere before the ministry purchasing million dollar homes for their own use and their children. That line is somewhere before purchasing a $10 million private jet. The line is somewhere before the ministry spending $261, 498 for 68 pieces of furniture. That equates to $3,845.56 per item. That line is somewhere before spending so egregiously that the U.S. Senate investigates us.
There are many areas where name it and claim it departs from biblical Christianity. The teaching really exalts man and his “faith” above God. While the prosperity gospel and the idea of controlling one’s future with his thoughts or faith is appealing to sinful man, it is insulting to a sovereign God who has revealed Himself in Scripture. Instead of recognizing the absolute sovereign power of God as revealed in the Bible, the name it and claim it adherents embrace a false god who cannot operate apart from their faith. They present a false view of God by teaching that He wants to bless you with health, wealth and happiness but cannot do so unless YOU have enough faith. Thereby God is no longer in control but man is. Of course this is completely antithetical to what Scripture teaches. God does not depend upon man’s ‘faith” to act. Throughout Scripture we see God blessing who He chooses to bless and healing who He chooses to heal…..