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Greed-Driven Theology

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First, listen to this 8-minute clip:

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Here's the topic for today's discussion:

So, which comes first—the bad theology or the greed? Use Scripture to support your position.


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#1  Posted by Oather Talley  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:17 AM

As to which came first, is like the chicken and egg question.

In II Tim 3:7, we read, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." And, in II Tim 4:3-4, the Apostle Paul warned that these days and type of teachers would come. For he stated: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Bad thinking produces bad theology.

And, it stands to reason that those individuals whose minds have been corrupted and blinded through darkness, unbelief and sin (II Cor 4:1-4) will gravate toward teachings that give them the very thing they are searching for in this world (in this life). But, we as believers are warned, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him" (I John 2:15). In closing therefore, "Be not deceived, evil companions companions corrupt good manners." (I Cor 15:23)

#2  Posted by Oather Talley  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:19 AM

As to which came first, is like the chicken and egg question.

In II Tim 3:7, we read, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." And, in II Tim 4:3-4, the Apostle Paul warned that these days and type of teachers would come. For he stated: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Bad thinking produces bad theology.

And, it stands to reason that those individuals whose minds have been corrupted and blinded through darkness, unbelief and sin (II Cor 4:1-4) will gravate toward teachings that give them the very thing they are searching for in this world (in this life). But, we as believers are warned, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him" (I John 2:15). In closing therefore, "Be not deceived, evil companions companions corrupt good manners." (I Cor 15:33)

#3  Posted by Nathan Keen  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:56 AM

Well it would be logical that if a believer started interpretting things the way the Word Faith guys do, he would begin to see that it does not line up with the rest of Scripture. As I have personally experienced, things start to jar with you: Jesus actually has crucified the flesh in me (Gal 5:24) and I found as these things were being talked about in my church that I just don't give a stuff about money or fame or reputation.

It might be then greed that starts it, because I cannot see a believer going so horribly wrong, considering the work that God does in us. Certainly the lust for money and authority is great in a carnal person, and as a person gains influence, it would just be so easy to push people into giving money through a few twistings here and there.

#4  Posted by Tom Sousley  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 4:32 AM

this seems the next logical step to the last 20 years,or so, of self-esteem teaching strait from the pit. when in fact, we are intructed to " not think more highly of ourselves than we should". From a baseball players perspective, a first basemen will get mighty tired trying to run back and forth trying to catch every pitch. We need to understand our position and stay in it. I consider it a great honor to sevre the King of Kings. I understand my position. I thank God he called me up to play on the team.

#5  Posted by Darla Wormuth  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 5:28 AM

WOW and Amen! Wow, as in unbelieveable that people think like that, but it is understandable since they DO NOT have the spirit of God; therefore, they are unable to understand the Word of God.

Amen, in that Pastor MacArthur keeps it real--all the way back to Genesis!

#6  Posted by Bryan Chasteen  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 7:54 AM

1 Tim 6:3-5 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Greed comes before bad theology. "If anyone teaches false doctrine...they think(already) that godliness is a means of financial gain" so they create the theology that supports it. Besides, Jesus teaches us that from within is where bad theology and anything else comes from. Greed is the inner motivation for the outward manifestation of false doctrine. Luke 6:45.

#7  Posted by Scott Thompson  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 9:25 AM

I pray that Jesus would drive out the money changers through John Macarthurs truth platform dear lord Jesus i pray that leaders in christian tv would get bombarded with this truth HEY BROTHERS IN CHRIST we can start going to the websites of these health and wealth teachers with our protesting message of distaste of there damnable theology if they wont come to this website lets go to theres you can do this right there from your chair you have a platfrom to. its your internet access lets bombard there websites go to where they let you put in your pray request or praise report go to every so-called teacher you can think of be nice but be firm for the truth lets let them know where taking a stand for truth and rightousness and if they are Gods chosen elect they will repent if not lets buy the truth of his word drive out the money changers in JESUS NAME. I LOVE ALL YALL AT GTY i live in texas so i cant come to your church thanks for being on the internet............

#8  Posted by Chris Stanley  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 9:50 AM

Acts 14:22 “strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” When we think on the caveats given in scripture it is impossible to support a word/faith heresy. If it doesn't work in all situations then it is probably not Biblical. It is completely powerless to the persecuted churches in Darfur, China; and you can name a hundred other locations were God has seen fit to bless His children with discipline as an evidence of His love in conforming them to the image of the Son (Hebrews 12). Tozer comments that the font of all our ecclesiastical problems is a wrong thinking about God. Since the understanding of a right thinking about God falls under doctrine it would seem that bad orthodoxy leads to bad orthopraxy. However, as humans we all have the seed of greed within us and if this seed is nurtured by bad theology then we have the Copeland’s', Hagen’s' Hinn’s, Crouch’s', and the like; but it is God's truth that restrains this wickedness in His true children through the inward working of the Holy Spirit. It is the sin at the root of greed that causes both the greed and the twisting of scripture to support such heresy that is the product of bad theology. We need to pray for the exposing of such false "profits" as the TBN cult (Romans 16) and plead God for reformation of the true Church.
#9  Posted by Bruce Hooper  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 9:55 AM

These comments by Copeland are absolute heresy! Please God enlighten him to the truth and save his soul

#10  Posted by Shawn Simar  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 10:11 AM

This applies not only to today’s church but also today’s Government. We have preachers and politicians telling people what they want to here and not what needs to be heard. We need to come against this spirit in prayer and pray the Lord waken this generation.

#11  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 10:30 AM

Greed comes first, stemming from the depraved human condition. Without a redemptive revleation, man will say and do whatever he is big and bad enough to do.

Matthew 15: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies...

Out of the heart flow the issues of life.

Luke 6: 45"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

It's always a heart thing.

#12  Posted by Rhonda Taylor  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 10:52 AM

Oh what damage has already been done to the untrained ear!! I'm so thankful that John MacArthur has become a major part of teaching in this loosed world. Before I was ever saved I heard this "greed-teaching" and knew that it was a lie from the pit of hell. Now that I have Christ as my mentor and love of my life, I wonder why so many still can't see the truth of salvation but instead the jingle of coin and the shinny off the new. We are not stupid!! If a unsaved person can see Truth, why then can't a person that claims salvation see it too...let us not be lead by self or selfish men/women of the world hiding behind their wants and desires for more. Let us not be lead by the one hiding behind The Word of God!! Blasphomey!!

#13  Posted by George Law  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:15 PM

Unregenerate man is incapable of controlling his greed, pride, selfishness and all the rest of his depravity. But for regenerate man, he has the spirit to help him in his daily Spiritual Warfare.

Luke 12:15-21 (Phi) ..."Be on your guard against covetousness in any shape or form. For a man's real life in no way depends upon the number of his possessions... A rich man's farmland produced heavy crops. So he said to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have no room to store this harvest of mine?' Then he said, 'I know what I'll do. I'll pull down my barns and build bigger ones where I can store all my grain and my goods and I can say to my soul, Soul, you have plenty of good things stored up there for years to come. Relax! Eat, drink, and have a good time!' But God said to him, 'You fool, this very night you will be asked for YOUR SOUL!...' That is what happens to the man who hoards things for himself and is not rich in the eyes of God."

Man will twist his theology because of greed. All you have to do is look at the selfishness and greed shown in the actions of babies and young children. Also many adults. King of Greed Bernard Madoff

#14  Posted by George Law  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:21 PM

Ps 49:16-19 (NIV) Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed--and men praise you when you prosper--he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life.

Ecc 5:10-15 (NIV) Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune... Naked a man comes from his mothers womb, and as he comes, so he departs...

Prov 11:4,28 (NIV) Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death... Whoever trusts in his riches will fall...

What in The World is Wrong With The Televangelists?

1 Thes 2:5 (Jer) ...Never at any time have our speeches been simply flattery or a cover for trying to get money.

2 Cor 2:17 (NEB) At least we do not go hawking the word of God about, as so many do...

2 Cor 2:17 (NIV) Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.

2 Cor 2:17 (LB) We are not like those hucksters--and there are many of them--whose idea in getting out the Gospel is to make a good living out of it.

1 Tim 6:5 (Phi) ...among men of warped minds who have lost their real hold on the truth but hope to make some profit out of the Christian religion.

1 Tim 6:5 (TEB) ...They think religion is a way to become rich.

1 Tim 6:5-9 (NIV) ...men, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

1 Tim 6:10-12 (NIV) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

#15  Posted by George Law  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:26 PM

Many of us have been fervently praying that God would turn the church upside down and vigorously shake it (Heb 12:25-29). When this happens, those who love money and have lost their grip on the truth will be the first to fall.

1 Cor 4:8-21 (NIV) Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings--and that without us! How I wish you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!.. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless... Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children... I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with punishment, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

James 5:1-3,5 (TEB) And now, you rich people [see James 2:2-7], listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you, and eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days... Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter.

Jer 5:27-29 (NIV) ..."They have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek... they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?" declares the Lord.

#16  Posted by George Law  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 1:37 PM

One final word for the greedy

Rev 3:17-19 (Phi) [Jesus] "While you say, 'I am rich, I have prospered, and there is nothing that I need,' you have no eyes to see that you are wretched, pitiable, poverty-stricken, blind and naked. My advice to you is to buy from me that gold which is refined in the furnace so that you may be rich, and white garments to wear so that you may hide the shame of your nakedness, and salve to put on your eyes to make you see. All those whom I love I correct and discipline. Therefore, shake off your complacency and repent."

http://www.acts17-11.com/money.html

#17  Posted by Joanne Beange  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 5:22 PM

When these men talk like this I really wonder whether they are saved. I think this is an occupation for them and they are in it for greed, not because they are called by God.

#18  Posted by Roger Christiansen  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 5:29 PM

The Christian community today is not unlike the religious system and the secular system during the time the apostles walked the earth. So many people divided over so many issues. It seems nobody wants to hear anything that is controversial to their own personal belief system. So, people set in their own silos and listen only to those whom they agree. Many people I have found over the years, base their beliefs on some kind of truth. However, whatever truth they posses seems to be the focus of their entire belief system. And if somebody comes along and is able to get through to them, showing them some new truth, they dump the old guys and go to the new guys. We certainly see this in the mainline churches today. We see their membership declines to the maga movements and signs and wonders guys.

Jesus says do not grumble among yourselves. No one came come to Me unless the Father draws Him. (John 6:43-44) This signs and wonders movement seems to ignore this fact, as well as do so many others. So, it seems to me that people should be praying that the Father would call them to Jesus to hear the words that will give them eternal life. Not some kind of religious movement following the charisma of human endeveavers which can start out with good intentions, but usually end in common human greed.

The word needs to be implanted in our hearts to be received not unlike the why we need to breath. Then we can be doers and not merely hearers who delude themselves. This whole issue calls me back to Siman who was practicing magic in the city of Samaria Acts chapter 8. Also, Jesus was not impressed by many who believed in His name observing the the signs He was doing. (John 2:23-25; John 5:39-44; John 7:3-5)

#19  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 6:37 PM

I think Romans 1:18-32 shows us clearly that people reject the true God first,then "God turns them over to the lusts of their heart."One of the lusts listed is greed.I think this scripture is telling us that all false beliefs and teachings come from a rejection of the true God of scripture.So,bad theology comes first.

#20  Posted by Jessica C  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 7:28 PM

I think that the greed comes first. However, my first church was affiliated with Kenneth Copeland. But I had gone to church when I was young and knew some things. As I started searching for God, Really searching, I knew something wasn't right with the doctrine. I thank God for my curiosity and questing spirit, because that false doctrine was leading me into depression. I felt I wasn't a true believer becuase I was not naming a claiming things. I felt like a failure. But my dad (who doesn't even believe yet but knows a lot about the bible) told me that the teachings in my church were not according to the Word. So, I started searching for the truth and eventually a new church.

I think that greed started it, but some get trapped into this false teaching unknowingly. However, I think when your truly seeking the Spirit does make you feel uneasy when something is not right and that is why it is so important to read the Word for yourself and to be sensitive to the Spirit.

Thank God for deliverance.

#21  Posted by Stephen Morris  |  Tuesday, December 29, 2009at 8:17 PM

I am reminded of Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees. Jesus said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit (Matt 15:14)." As John MacArthur has pointed out, that is the wrath of abandonment.

Paul reminds us in his second letter to Timothy; "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers...treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. Avoid such men as these (2 Tim. 3:1-5). We must warn our brothers and sisters in Christ to stay away from such men. That is what Pastor MacArthur does so well. He addresses issues like this and gives clear biblical counsel. That is what I appreciate so much. That is what a good leader of God's people should do. Point them to the word of God.

I am also reminded that this is the same group who espouse more the sovereignty of Satan rather than the sovereignty of our Lord over Satan. Consequently Romans 8:28 takes a back seat to their intense spiritual warfare against Satan. They have developed all kinds of unscriptural practices for dealing with our arch enemy. Jude had much to say about imposters of the true faith. "Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh and reject authority and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' But these men revile the things they do not understand.... (Jude 8-10)." And then in verses 19-21 Jude says about these men, "These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."

These false teachers have been espousing their false doctrines for many years now. But their judgment is coming.

One last thought I am reminded of is that this same group appeals for financial support from those least able to do so. While they live luxuriously, many who are older and on a fixed incomes send in their money. Mark 12:41-44 is a story of a poor widow putting all her wealth into the treasury because the religious rulers were devouring widows' houses (v. 40). A husbands death became a source of revenue for the scribes who could influence a widow to contribute to God's work (MacArthur Study Bible notes for Mark 12:40). Needless to say, Jesus' comment about the widows' offering was not in admiration, but in anger at what the leaders had done, bringing her to total poverty.

#22  Posted by Lloyd Davidson  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 3:16 AM

2nd Peter 2 says it all much better than I can. Sin always leads to hearsay and blasphemy because the blasphemer needs to find some way to justify his sin. As water flows down hill, one sin leads to another until they are committing the worse possible sins, denying God and putting themselves in the place of God. The first commandment warns that God is a jealous God and will not tolerate the worship of another. When man worships man he is not only breaking the commandment, he is placing an abomination, Satan, in God's place. Woe, woe woe and triple woe to him. He will, as the Mafia says, sleep with the fishes. (Matthew 18:6)

#23  Posted by Cary Brown  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 4:08 AM

Thank you very much for your concern Dr. McArthur about the doctrine of greed. First of all there is hardly no one in the body of christ that looks like the church of acts, point blank. 90% of the churches look like fortune 500 companies with Pastors living like Ceo's instead of Acts 4:32 (When they had all things in common)

My question is to you Grace Community Body do the secretary and staff live like the Pastor with all of there needs met. Do they get to partake of the good of the land and be in covenant with the man of God or do everyone look like a company, serving the big boss and families around the leader barely make it. Anytime there is a problem with the greed doctrine and people begin using names, MAKE sure that you are looking just like the book of ACTS by distributing to the needs of your own body with same intensity that we have time to spend trying to be so doctrinely right.

I speak from experience being a minister and serving my local church with all sincerity and watching people needs go unmeet and the Pastors just preaching and teaching not being concerned about the body of christ being one financially. If your church doesn't look like the book of ACTS, please don't comment.

#24  Posted by Cary Brown  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 4:13 AM

Let's go again. When you as a leader get tired of people being broke, sick, and beat up by life you turn to the only remedy you know and it's God's word. If believers go and get their education they wouldn't have to wait on the prosperity preachers to come and give them a word of hope. That's why they are so Popular, really in the black community, because black people love glamour and nice things a whole lot. Again don't hate on prosperity preachers if you are not out making a difference yourself in your local church and neightborhood giving all you can.

#25  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 5:26 AM

Hey Cary, the direction of people that are broke, sick, and beat up by life, that direction towards God is ok. But, if your message' direction is geared only towards those people as a reason of "self help" and "motivation" then your message is misdirected, not the people. Your message should have legs, can your message travel. Ted Turner thinks Christians are wimps, let's see somebody win him to Christ with a proseperity message. The health and wealth message has many problems, one of them is its very obvious limitations. It can't travel.

Additionally, the forerunner, John the Baptist, told folks when the came to him form their various walks of life to go back into their lives and just be Holy. It didn't tell them "Go live your best life now", he told them to stop cheating, and lying and stealing. That's it. We have been called to be Holy no matter what your worldly condition or position.

#26  Posted by George Law  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 5:31 AM

Sounds like the rich man and Lazarus. At least lazarus had a name. I believe we hate the sin not the sinner.

Luke 16:19-31 (New International Version) The Rich Man and Lazarus

19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell,[a] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

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#27  Posted by Richard Miller  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 6:11 AM

Sin always comes first. Bad theology comes from many ideological directions. From prosperity preachers and political and socialist preachers. It's all from the same man-centered perspective. That is the key. It is man-centered.

#28  Posted by Nancy Lindquist  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 9:33 AM

While it is true, that we were designed for eternal life, and created in God's own likeness, it cannot be refuted that we are the created and not ever the creator.(Only God makes something from nothing) If it were not so utterly tragic , so eternally soul damning with all of the horrific consequence of unending suffering that such a twisted belief, such an ugly perversion of truth brings, it might almost be comical. The claims these decievers propose to a desperatly needy world, that humans can, in and of themselves, are sufficient and powerful enough to create anything at all! is utterly laughable. (Acts 4:12) While these "Evangelical" apostates are certainly deserving of being exposed for the lies and heresy they perpetuate, we want to be diligent,thourough, and fair. From the "church" of the false godess "Oprah Winfrey" to the pagan practices of roman catholicism and worship of the pope, to the multiplicity of Hindu, Buddism, Bahia, to the blasphemy and perversion of Gods nature and character as found in the teachings of Muhammed, John Smith, and others I can't think of right now. History is replete with false prophets, and anti-christs. I'm sure I speak for most of us us when I thank God for His work through Pastor John. Still, let's not set him on a pedistal and leave him there though. It doesn't matter to me how these people arrived on the road to eternal damnation, by a wrong belief about God, or by a wrong belief about self. The reality is these people are in serious soul damning trouble. As His children, his "vice-regents" we know the end of the story (Rev.12:l0). We have a duty to help Pastor John, to work together. "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow mere natural insticncts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt;others snatch from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to Keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!Amen Jude l7-25

#29  Posted by Stacey Morales  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 10:20 AM

Galations 5:19 " Now the works of the spirit are evident sorcery,enmity,fits of anger,jealousy ......and things like these. Greed is a type of "fruit" of the flesh . So without meditating on this longer than my lunch break ,I think bad theology comes first...

Stacey

#30  Posted by Bryan Chasteen  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 12:06 PM

I posted earlier that I think greed comes first. While it is true that in Romans 1 that a wrong conclusion about God leads to impurity, degrading passions and a depraved mind, it is important to point out that it is not just the wrong conclusion about God that results in these things, it is the failing to give God the praise and glory for the good things that he gives us. We receive good things from God and use them selfishly. We don't give to others and share keeping in mind that everything we have is a gift from him. Then we start to put more importance on the created things than we do our creator. God and others take a back seat to our lusts. This lust continues to gain more and more ground in our hearts and we become harder and harder.

We know that God's word tells us to, "love your neighbor as yourself" and "if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, 'How does the love of God abide in him'? But instead, because of our deceitful and deluded heart (way of thinking), we distort God's word and emphasize the parts in scripture that we want to use to support our lifestyle so that we can still call ourselves Christians and practice greed. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 I believe says that bad theology comes from the way we think(our heart) and Jesus says that bad theology comes from within us in Luke 6:45.

I think that we all think "bad theology" means different things. If bad theology means, "what I think about God", I can see why some say that bad theology comes first. Theology is the study of God. So in our study of God, his invisible attributes in the creation we can come to a bad conclusion. I disagree that this could be considered as "theology" simply because these things about God mentioned in Romans 1 are "clearly seen". This just says that anyone, whether they are trying to understand God or not can see that the world had a creator. The problem is that according to Jeremiah 17:9, what we see in the world about God is automatically doomed to be interpreted wrongly. We don't even have a chance at getting God right unless, something had already happened since the foundation of the world...hmm. I wonder what that could be?

Romans 1:20-24 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

#31  Posted by Michael London  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 1:18 PM

God said, " Besides Me, there is no God", ....."None before Me or after" to believe anything else comes from a depraved nature. Jesus said, "What comes out of people makes them 'unclean.' 21 Evil thoughts come from the inside, from people's hearts. So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery, 22 greed, hate and cheating come from people's hearts too. So do desires that are not pure, and wanting what belongs to others. And so do telling lies about others and being proud and being foolish. 23 All those evil things come from inside a person. They make him 'unclean.' " Greed is what comes first, which comes from within. I believe no one who is Spirit filled, transformed by the Spirit can agree with such erroneous teaching or theology as the wealth and prosperity gospel. The Spirit will only speak to what is true from the Father and Christ and for those of us who have the true indwelling of the Spirit, must use Him (Spirit) for correct interpretation that our application maybe relevant. Woe to those who intentionally misuse the word of God for selfish gain.

#32  Posted by Michael London  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 1:54 PM

@ Carey Brown, 1st. As one who professes to be a believer, " Don't grow weary in doing what is good"(Galatians 6:9). 2nd. Education or lack there of is not the cause of misplaced hope rooted in erroneous teaching. The disciples of Christ were mostly poor and uneducated, yet there hope was in Christ and the truth he spoke.( Acts 4:13)Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

You don't become bolder or happier, content in life because of education or even having plenty, but because you are ANCHORED in Christ Jesus. 3rd. Glamour, glizt and the love of money is not racial, it's human ( depraved, human nature) whether you are black, white , yellow , etc. The human nature is corrupt and in need of the Great Physician-Jesus Christ. The love of money by those who were poor, didn't start with black people. Greed knows no color, which sin. If you turn on international news, you can clearly see it.

4th and lastly, As a professed believer and leader, it's your responsiblity to preach the truth in the face of what is clearly false doctrine. The poor and rich are both from God, so to grasp onto false teaching to give false hope to people who are having hard times is not the answer. We should neither teach these things nor give credence to those who do. Carey, you sound fustrated and tired at doing the good you ought to, Satan will attack us, especially when we are weak,as scripture says,"2 Corinthians 11:3But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ

Carey, get refreshed by God if it's what you need and preach the truth, but don't go down this slippery slope and fall off the edge.

#33  Posted by Joe Watkins  |  Wednesday, December 30, 2009at 7:31 PM

That false teching makes me mad and sad at the same time. People souls are hanging in the balance. As Christians we need need to be confronting false teaching and pulling folks out of the fire. Lets get busy!!!

#34  Posted by Margaret Dunn  |  Thursday, December 31, 2009at 2:30 AM

The way to confront such error is to be a devoted student of the Word. Thank you, GTY, for being there as a resource and for teaching God's Word one verse at a time!

#35  Posted by Bonnie Mueck  |  Thursday, December 31, 2009at 8:45 AM

Praise God for John Macarthur & GTY. Finally someone is calling out the "Charlatans" & clearing up the deception...

#36  Posted by Mike Finnerty  |  Thursday, December 31, 2009at 10:15 AM

ignorance of the bible plays a big part in getting sucked into the greed mentality. Was never part of a true authentic church. This plays a small part I believe in holding a person accountable to the true doctrines of the church. Your church must be authentic on all bible doctrine or you will fall into error. Prosperity comes in all forms even from so called real christian ministries. Ministries I have trusted for years will come crawling to you door, they do not even teach prosperity or word faith out right, but I believe there a tares among the wheat for why would I be receiveing mail not just asking for money, but a note in personal hand writting along with the letter, as if to say you cannot make your own decision based on our year end, we need to urge you to give by making you feel guilty by personally writting you a message. I'm sorry but I give to my church as I have what God has given me to give. To assume that writting me a message in your own hand writting is going to spur me to give a gift is not only offensive but dosen't take into account that the person you are writting to may be poor and to assume that all christians who listen to your ministry must give to you because you have personally written to me, I say how many times will you do this, will you send me a note each month, make it so personal that I feel obliged to give to you untill I am homless and on the street because you are telling me that as a christian I am indebted to give to every letter you send to me?

#37  Posted by Francisco Flores  |  Thursday, December 31, 2009at 9:04 PM

HI MR. MACARTHUR, fOR THE INFORMATION you provide we apreciate it, I like all your teachings on the radio I haven't been able to find u in the tv station I live in ventura county if you are on tv on the weekends I could see you on tv, The messege you gave sounds like the preacher crafty dollar, and Joel steem , they are so twisted in their doctrines that whomever is hungry for the word of god they belive everethig they say, I came out of the 7day adventist sect they like to brain wash you if they can but Jesus said you shold know the truth and the truth should send you free, Can you make some coments about those poeple sda,? Here is the problem in my opinion,We as cristians are super lasy we don't want study the bible the way we should thats why we are easy targets of all kinds of charlatans I don't watch keneth copeland because he looks like he has a satanic face he is to scary for my to watch,again thank Mr, Macarthur keep up the good work.

#38  Posted by J. Michael O'Berry  |  Thursday, December 31, 2009at 10:20 PM

I absolutely concur with Dr. MacArthur's assessment. What a shame that the gospel is being obscured by these people who preach such a twisted and perverted doctrine. It is also so very sad to see people so close yet so blind to the truth of Scripture.

#39  Posted by Christopher Davis  |  Friday, January 01, 2010at 5:01 AM

Im sad and i weep that thease false teachers are leading people astay pray that God will open there eyes and make them a hearer and doer of the truth. Thanks Pastor John

#40  Posted by George Fultz  |  Friday, January 01, 2010at 7:13 AM

Hmmmmm......lets see. If all the faith teachers never die.......then by George they are gods. I made a "funny" but we need to take this more serious and dialogue about it. Faith does cause things to happen in the Kingdom of God and yes we are "joint heirs".......but we are not gods. Nothing irritates me more than someone who believes we can get all we want.......Jesus said if we do that, then in the end "we will lose our very souls". The gospel is about giving up all that we have (own), all that we are, and all that we hope to be.....and then give them to Him for his purposes in the Kingdom of God

#41  Posted by Alexander Armstrong  |  Friday, January 01, 2010at 9:46 AM

This teaching is absolute blasphemous! I am grateful to God that this demonic teaching is being exposed!

#42  Posted by Ken Shelton  |  Friday, January 01, 2010at 1:20 PM

Great subject! I believe that the direction of Christian Theology today is moving in that direction. What many of us are not looking at is how far most Theology has dramatically changed since the early 1800's. A great book that will open you eyes to the change is CHARISMATIC CHAOS by John McArthur and THE NEW COVENANT MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BY Larry Pettigrew. But I would attribute the beginning to sin instead of Greed or Bad Theology.

#43  Posted by Carla Baker  |  Friday, January 01, 2010at 8:04 PM

For several years now it has been my prayer that the Lord would expose these hucksters and raise up one who loves the Lord and teaches truth according to the Holy Scriptures, such as Dr. MacArthur and other faithful shepherds. Dr. MacArthur, this expose that the Lord has laid upon your heart is a wonderful answer to those prayers--now I know what it means to "wait upon the Lord..." as in Psalm 27. There are many others who are interceding with this very prayer and we are grateful to Yahweh for this His blessing. I also pray that any one of these heretics would realize what they are espousing and repent of this fraudulent use of the Lord's precious Word, or that they would simply leave their so called "ministry". Glory be to the Lord for what He is doing through John and the GTY ministry! We are thirsting for the tools to accurately identify the charlatans so that our apologetics will wax strong against the blasphemy. Indeed it is sin at the root of these diabolic practices and the fruit of that sin appears as greed, false teaching, and perversions of many kinds. I also pray that the Lord would stir true believers hearts to vigorously share the gospel and shed His great truth in opposition to this travesty of heretics as they offend the Almighty, the Most High, our beloved Adonai.

#44  Posted by Brett Clements  |  Saturday, January 02, 2010at 3:20 AM

God's Word is His revelation of Himself to us. We are given such revelation that we might know God, not be God. Anyone who has even begun to know God knows enough to understand our inability to be God. Scripture plainly teaches us that we now see through a glass darkly, but then face to face we shall see Him as He is. Until we stand in His presence we just don't fully comprehend His greatness. Thank God for Grace. I am amazed at what people will say to gain viewers and followers. Sad to see how many people are falling into the trap Satan uses through false teachers. True prosperity is knowing God by faith in Christ. His presence is enough. That will hold us in health, sickness, wealth and poverty.

#45  Posted by Steve Orozco  |  Saturday, January 02, 2010at 11:10 AM

It's so sad to see that the world judges Christianity by what they see on TBN. The false teacher's consciences are seared. Money has become their God. We know which master they serve. God does propser people, but what is more important is our spiritual prosperity.

#46  Posted by Scott Thompson  |  Saturday, January 02, 2010at 5:42 PM

ATTENTION !!!!! This job is for you.. just call 1-800-bible manipulation..and you can join the thousands who have already climbed aboard this money making ban-wagon It"s BIG BUISNESS! It"s turning us little people into millionairs simple bible manipulation and our 12 step program can and will GET YOU RICH TODAY you don't need to be a bible student or even be a high school grad all you need is a suit and microphone slick haircut and your on your way. just follow there exsample say what they say. do what they do. it's as easy as reading two scriptures and telling nice stories and just watch YOUR MONEY GROW !!!! everyone will call you great..they'll put you on national TV and YOU WILL BE A STAR !!!!! so own your own jet. be debt free! make something out of your life for a change ALSO if you call today we'll through in a control god and satan with your faith. guide absolutely free .you can be the head and not the tail. you can have what you say so speak to that money. speak to that checkbook. talk in tounges to your wallet tell that poverty devil to get under your feet. let's bring heaven down to earth ...ha ha i know bad joke !!!!!!!!!!!!

#47  Posted by Sam Gietzen  |  Monday, January 04, 2010at 8:48 AM

I haven't listened to the sermon (yet - I'll be listening later today).

2 Peter 2:2 & 3 - (NASB) "Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

I think that if we read from left to right, we may find our answer (I don't claim to have the correct answer, I don't have a PHD or anything like that, but in my studying, I believe this could be an option for an answer to the question).

"Many will follow their sensuality (KJV - pernicious ways) and because of them (the 'many that follow'), the way of Truth will be maligned..." I think that this is one of those "because / then" situations. BECAUSE of their sensuality (perniciousness, covetousness, selfishness, greed), they THEN pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and twist, mangle, distort the God of the Bible. A condition of an un-regenerated heart - desiring and ultimately creating a God that is more appealing (Idolitry). I also believe this is how un-regenerated, false-teachers connect and lure (un-regenerated) people in. Through the lusts of the flesh - whether it's immorality or 'self-help / prosperity'... or whatever god they can create to meet the selfish needs and desires of the human flesh.

Reading on: "and in their greed they will exploit you with false words..." - Pretty self-explanitory. Greed, THEN false words (yes??). Also - Luke 6:45 "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." (emphasis added) - reading left to right.

#48  Posted by Cary Brown  |  Monday, January 04, 2010at 10:12 AM

Hello Jehovah God, Father God I am so sorry that you have Streets of Gold, Mansions, Angles flying around the throne and broke children down here on the earth.

This BROKE DOCTRINE that Pastor John McArthur has introduced to the body of Christ is so powerful. So God's orginal intent in the Garden was for ADAM and EVE just to barely have enough for them and their little kids. WOW he gave him dominion over the earth, you broke minded people. So if their are any doctors, atheletes, and professors in your church tell them to sell all they have and give it to the poor.

Jesus was talking to sinners, not believers. Once a man is born again he will be a blessing to the poor, he will readily give of us finances. Like the so called prosperity preacher that gives away a Million dollars a year in his giving to churches around the globe via Dr. IV Hilliard from New Light Christian Center in Houston, TX. Lets see John give away a million a year, oh I forgot he don't want a million dollars because GOD the Father is broke and want us to barely have enough.

PLEASE read GENSIS and tell me why was ABRAHAM very rich, Solomon, & David. Oh I forgot Jesus said it's better to be poor. No my ignorant brothers and sisters. Oops I mean my step brothers and sisters who don't know who their father is and by the way, do you have children and think. You guys are going to barely make it. No you put money in savings, mutual funds and insurance policies for your children. Do away with this pious mentality and look at God's original intent for man. It never mentions being poor, except for when Adam disobeyed. Jesus purpose wasn't to open a bank, he came to save the souls of man kind. But that wasn't again God's original intent. He gave Adam the earth. THINK BLINDED CHILDREN. Your Father wants to give you all. Love you and read Gensis please, and don't let the blind lead you in a ditch of brokeness.

#49  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Monday, January 04, 2010at 10:33 AM

Hey Cary,

While I am formulating a response to your last post I feel compelled to ask if you have read any of the responses to you up to this point?

Additionally, here is something for you to think about. What is the only thing that man cannot "accomplish / achieve" within his own control and / or power? There is one thing only. Every and anything else he can. He can get money, he can lose money, he can buy planes, he can build cities, he can get married, he can get promotions, the list goes on... But what can he not do?

Man cannot bridge the gap between himself and God. That's why Jesus HAD to come! Not because folks are rich or because folks are poor. You want more money, go get, just be holy in your acquisition of it. You want to live moderate, then live moderate, just be holy. You want to live meagerly, live meagerly, just be holy.

Word of Faith teaching skims the very surface of the Word of God, at best. As someone here has said already, Grow Up! There is liberty in christianity, read your bible, it's in there. So glorify God, think more highly of someone else other than yourself and live your life in the liberties that you have. Grow up, again I say! There are riches in the Word that God is really revealing to His people. Stop surfing the top of the Word and get a pick and a shovel and do some digging!

Respectfully,

Eric

#50  Posted by John Kelsie  |  Monday, January 04, 2010at 10:43 AM

Man I can't let this go.

Cary, do you really think that Jesus came here to compete with Tony Robbins and Les Brown?

#51  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, January 04, 2010at 3:42 PM

Cary, JM isn't condemning wealth. The issue is that the driving factor behind the prosperity gospel is that the preachers want to become rich. So they tell people that God will bless them materially according to the size of their donations. This is deceptive manipulation at its worst. The sole beneficiaries of this corrupt system are the preachers. The theology is driven by their greed, and nothing else. And I can't think of anything more evil than twisting God's word to take money from the vulnerable by making false promises.

Look at it this way - if the prosperity gospel was true, then its devotees would all be rich. They're not, and in fact many end up in poverty because they give more than they can afford.

#52  Posted by Osei Doffour  |  Tuesday, January 05, 2010at 3:30 PM

Those who preach and taech this bad theology, are they sincere but wrong in thoelogy or intertionally misleading the congregation ? what are the faith of the followers ?

#53  Posted by Bruce Hooper  |  Wednesday, January 06, 2010at 12:31 AM

I have challenge any of the prosperity teachers how many of their congregants live the prosperity they preach. i know from being there very few. So either their doctrine is a lie or they are bad teacher (not anointed) and in both cases they should not be their.

I fear that in this case it is their doctrine that is in error