Reader Comment: How could a Pope be so gullible as to be taken in by a “Word of Faith” swindler and a 2-bit “bishop” of unknown origins?

CCMPopeVideo

A very interesting and heartfelt video – but a stupid thing to do!

Pope Francis already has a long, troublesome history of associating himself with “shady” partners and substandard “media outlets”. Now he provides a 45-minute personal video to a heretical “Prosperity Gospel” group from Texas, where a pseudo-bishop, a big-money, “Name It and Claim It” television preacher, and a dubious collection of doctrines are the primary order of the day.

Humility is great – but how about exercising a bit of good old prudential judgment and theological discernment, for a change?

This is a another huge miscalculation, a public embarassment, and a failure of ordinary due dilligence that will be widely misappropriated and misconstrued, in order to discredit and malign the Catholic Church, for years to come!

Full article and reader comments

Watch the video

Editor’s note: A huge number of our Protestant brethren … as well as the leadership of their particular denominations … according to their own generally accepted understanding of the Bible … continue to believe (and preach) that the Pope is the Antichrist. Just wait and see how they are going to “spin” this!

The danger of subscribing to the falacious “prosperity” Gospel

biblecash

Greed is often downplayed today where accumulation and ostentatious display of wealth is often celebrated.  Great rooms with cathedral ceilings, 72″ flat screen TVs and even private home theaters (entertainment centers), fancy cars etc., are shamelessly flaunted.

But greed is at the root of a lot of evils and suffering. Scripture says,

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. (1 Tim 6:7-10)

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The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel

In its American incarnation, the prosperity Gospel probably began with the theological speculations of the late evangelist Oral Roberts. Roberts encouraged his followers to “expect miracles” and to look forward with confidence to the ways in which God would reward them, materially and financially, for their trust in his providence. One of the most prominent prosperity gospellers on the scene today is Joel Osteen, the pastor of the largest church in America, best-selling author, and a former student at Oral Roberts University. He tells his millions of readers and listeners that they should not settle for mediocre lives; instead they should trust in the Lord’s ability to give them the house that they desire, the job that they deserve, and children that will make them proud. A typical piece of Osteenian advice: “friend, you have to start believing that good things are coming your way and they will!” Other advocates of this position today include the very popular televangelists Joyce Meyer and T.D. Jakes.

To give the prosperity gospellers their due, there is some biblical warrant for their position. The book of Deuteronomy consistently promises Israel that, if it remains faithful to God’s commands, it will receive numerous benefits in this world. The psalmist too assures us, “delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” And Jesus himself counsels: “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (food, shelter, clothing, etc.) will be added unto you.” And there is no doubt that the Bible consistently urges people to trust in the providence of God at all times. Jesus’ reminder that the birds, who neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns but who are nevertheless fed by their heavenly Father, is a summation of the Scriptural confidence in God’s care for those who have faith in him.

However, we must be attentive to the very subtle way that the Bible itself nuances and specifies these claims. The great counterpoise to the book of Deuteronomy is the book of Job, which tells the story of a thoroughly righteous man who, in one fell swoop, suffers the loss of all of his material prosperity. Job’s friends, operating out of a standard Deuteronomistic (or prosperity Gospel) point of view, argue that he must have grievously offended God, but Job—and God himself—protest against this simplistic interpretation. The deepest reason for Job’s suffering, we learn, is lost in the infinite abyss of God’s permissive will and is by no means easily correlatable to Job’s virtue or lack thereof. And Jesus himself, the very archetype of the faithful Israelite, experiences not earthly prosperity, but a life of simplicity and death on a brutal instrument of torture. If Joel Osteen and Oral Roberts were right, we would expect Jesus to have been the richest man in Nazareth and a darling of Jerusalem high society.

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