In the previous post we detailed the description of “good” ones, those who are on the bottom rung of the ladder we call “christianity”. We described this group as under the mercy of God, and who, like their predecessor type Lot, Abraham’s brother, are saved “by the skin of their teeth”; ie, they are plucked from the burning sulfur flames of Sodom-vicious-cycle-city, the circle of hell, in a vomiting out process.
By saying they are on the “bottom rung of the christian ladder”, I am not denigrating them in any way, for there are no levels of deservedness in the eyes of God. I am merely describing their circumstances. They are strongly attached to the things of this world which shows itself in their lives in ways different than other groups. Sometimes the difference is just a subtle one.
The next group under discussion seems to be more enthusiastic, zealous and positive in their character. We call them “Name it and Claim it’s”. These appear to be more up front with their christianity, which is fine – as a matter of fact, this is one of their main tenets, that everything is or is going to be fine.
Much of their positive attitude has been imbibed from a liberal “positive thinking” guru named Norman Vincent Peale who wrote a popular book some time ago titled “The Power of Positive Thinking”. This imbibing I have discussed previously as “eating meat sacrificed to idols”. This is a taking of a worldly teaching -idol meat/food- and “christianizing ” it by inmeshing it into christian doctrine and using various Bible verses to support it as “proof texts”, and giving it to christians to “eat” – put it into practice in daily life. This demonic methodology was initiated in antiquity through the so-called church fathers.
Historically, this group has it’s origins around the turn of the 20th century in the Kansas and Los Angeles area, much of it centered around a woman named Aimee Semple McPherson. As one of it’s early prominent leaders was female, the group self identifies as same – emotionally led and female. Notice also at the same time the same female principle was taking over in the governmental and cultural sphere.
Emotionalism was one of the main identifying marks in this group’s founding during various “revivals” around this time through the manifestation of “speaking in tongues” and the emphasis on the miraculous so-called “signs and wonders”. This continues to this day.
This group has within itself several names it goes by. Nazarenes, Church of God, Word of Faith, New Life, New Covenant, Assemblies of God and lots of others usually with the words, “word, faith, new, life, and covenant” in them. The broad categories they are under are, “Pentecostal”, “Holiness”, “Charismatic”.
Many of them believe in women preachers. Some call their husband and wife team “pastors” Jim and Mary Brown. One of their great woman personages beside McPherson was Kathryn Khulman who basically followed in her forerunners footsteps both in ministry and personal life.
This group has a large emphasis on money and is very materialistic. At bottom, one of their foundational principles is you can have whatever you want. That’s where name it and claim it comes in.
A large segment of their population adhere to what has become known as the “prosperity gospel”; ie, “God wants you to be rich”. The suffering servant idea is as far from them as night is from day.
In the last 60 years or so, this prosperity stuff has been pushed by a subgroup called “Word of Faith” preachers. Generally it became centered around a man named Kenneth Hagin from Tulsa Oklahoma and spread itself abroad throughout the country through his followers. Like many of the more successful ones, he started his own “Bible Training Institute”.
They teach that everyone can be prosperous and become rich, but like every ponzi/pyramid scam, only those at the top rake in the big money. One of Hagin’s early followers, Kenneth Copeland, has a thing for airplanes; has his own air/landing strip facility. Of course it’s all for the use of the “ministry”.
There is nothing wrong with becoming wealthy if the wealth is gained by honest hard work, but not by get rich quick schemes, getting something for nothing through stock/wall street machinations/manipulations and/or religious ponzi/pyramid schemes.
The leaders of this group are quite adept at emotionally manipulating their followers, particularly through their tv ministries and their direct mail appeals. It is the female principle who sets up these by using emotion in pulling the “heart strings”, particularly of their elderly womenmen followers. Oral Roberts and his son were very good at this. Oral built a large university complex in Oklahoma using these tactics.
Some of this groups preachers and teachers, particularly some who have had tv ministries, have been involved in financial and sexual scandals, such as the Bakkers and Jimmy Swaggert.
Many of the leaders in this group began the popular use of audio cassettes in their outreach. Also books and other related print materials. They started the practice of selling books and tapes at all their appearances in steeple houses and larger venues. It seems that they must make money from every thought they think and every word they utter. They make merchandise of their hearers….
John2:16″….and unto them who were selling doves he said, take these things hence! Be not making the house of my Father a house of merchandise”.
2Peter2:1-3″ But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall arise false teachers;men will stealthily bring in destructive parties, even the Master that bought them denying, bringing upon themselves speedy destruction. And many will follow out their wanton ways, by reason of whom, the way of truth will be defamed, and in greed with forged words will they of you make merchandise, for whom the sentence from of old is not idle and their destruction does not slumber”.
All their so-called ministers are false prophets speaking good things that the people want to hear. The preacher/teachers are ear ticklers and the female-ized hearers love to have it so.
Jeremiah 5:30-31″ An astounding and horrible thing has been brought to pass in the land: the prophets have prophesied falsely and the priests tread down by their means, and my people love to have it so”.
To be continued.