Why Be Concerned About T. B. Joshua & His Heresies?

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T. B. Joshua’s so called “Holy Water”

I still fail to understand why so many so called Christians (including pastors) are enamored by T. B. Joshua and his teachings.

In this post, I want to speak to my fellow pastors – especially those of you who are closer to the situation than I am – please dear brothers, remember the words of Titus 1:9 where the Apostle Paul in talking about the qualifications and responsibilities of church elders/overseers writes, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

Continue reading “Why Be Concerned About T. B. Joshua & His Heresies?”

What to Ask Myself Before I Teach the Bible – For All The Preachers Out There!!

The results of our teaching are entirely God’s business. But it is our business to be as prepared as possible. This not only means that we must know our subject, but that we must be spiritually-minded and intentional. The following are questions to ask yourself before you teach others: Continue reading “What to Ask Myself Before I Teach the Bible – For All The Preachers Out There!!”

A CHALLENGE FOR THE PASTORS – SPURGEON

“Come from the four winds, O breath!”

If the Holy Spirit does not come, and give spiritual life, we may preach until we have not another breath left, but we shall not raise from the tomb of sin even the soul of a little child, or bring a single sinner to the feet of Christ.

Look sir, you may study your sermon; you may examine the original of your text; you may critically follow it out in all its bearings; you may go and preach it with great correctness of expression; but you cannot quicken a soul by that sermon. Continue reading “A CHALLENGE FOR THE PASTORS – SPURGEON”

“TO PREACH…IS TO DIE NAKED A LITTLE AT A TIME”

I really like this description of both the pain and pleasure of preaching. I have to remind myself of this every day but especially on Saturday nights and after church on Sunday. It keeps me not on my toes but mostly on my knees where I cry, “Lord, do it again for Your own Name’s sake!”

Preaching is the most public of ministries and therefore, the most conspicuous in its failure and the most subjective to the temptation of hypocrisy. It is imperative only that those who undertake it are appropriately gifted by the Holy Spirit. Such ‘gifting’ includes prophecy, evangelism, the consciousness of an unavoidable call, providential endowments, and outward confirmation as evidenced by the Holy Spirit’s making the preaching effort into a new Bethlehem.

There is no special honor in being so gifted–there is only special pain. The pulpit calls them to it as the sea calls its sailors, and, like the sea, it batters and bruises and does not rest, but always there is the lure of its ‘better and incomparable’ society.

To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time you do it that you must do it again. Only one certainty sustains the preacher: That God never denies a man peace except to give him glory.”

Source: Bruce Thielemann, and appeared in the Wittenburg Door in April of 1977.

Rejecting the Prosperity Gospel: Book Review

The explosive growth of Christianity in Africa and South America has led many observers to speak of this demographic shift as creating a new Christendom. Unfortunately, the teaching that has fueled growth in these areas has been tainted by an American-style prosperity emphasis that focuses on health and wealth at the expense of sin, redemption, and repentance.

A PLEA TO REJECT THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL

Femi Adeleye is the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Associate General Secretary for Partnership and Collaboration. A Nigerian based in Ghana, Adeleye argues against the prosperity gospel from a place of personal experience and from an up-close view of how his country (and continent) is developing theologically. His book Preachers of a Different Gospel: A Pilgrim’s Reflections on Contemporary Trends in Christianity is a heartfelt plea to reject the prosperity gospel and embrace the biblical message that saves.

Adeleye begins his book by describing a “strange gospel” that has created “strange Christians.” He laments the fact that many no longer adhere to the gospel as it was first presented in Africa. “The gospel that downplays human sinfulness and the eternal benefits of the gospel is not a gospel of Christ” (134).

Throughout the book, Adeleye contrasts the revivals of the 1970′s with contemporary gospel presentations in an effort to show how quickly the degeneration has taken place. Quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A.W. Tozer and others, Adeleye seeks to show the disparity between the prosperity teaching in Africa today and historic Christian witness. He writes: “Whereas the gospel of the cross calls for repentance and denial of self and other things, the gospel of champagne calls for self-satisfaction in response to stimuli from diverse entertaining attractions” (19).

 Adeleye sympathizes with the early aspects of the charismatic movement. He traces the history of recent African renewal movements and recounts his personal experiences during this time. At the same time, he laments the tendency of Africans to focus on the gifts of the Spirit more than the fruit.

A PROPHETIC SERMON AGAINST THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL

Preachers of a Different Gospel reads like an extended sermon in which Adeleye, like an African prophet, seeks to correct his brothers and sisters and bring them in line with the gospel that was once for all delivered to the saints. And, like a good preacher, Adeyele turns some striking phrases, such as the polarity between “the God man uses” rather than “the man God uses.”

But Adeleye is careful to not critique in such a way as to create a different sort of distortion. When speaking of God’s immanence, for example, Adeleye seeks balance and makes sure to not rule out a believer’s experiential piety and relationship with God.

Toward the end of the book, Adeleye points out ways that the prosperity gospel is responsible for some of Africa’s ongoing cultural problems. He sees the witness of the church as tightly tied to the content of the gospel it preaches. “The primary purpose of the gospel is to save us and bring us into a living relationship with God and with one another. The goal is to produce transformed people who bear witness to the righteousness of God” (134).

It quickly becomes clear that Adeleye believes that the prosperity gospel has left the church in a state of impotence, totally unable to address many of the societal and structural issues in Africa today. He writes: “When there is a fire in the church, society should feel the heat” (121). And again: “True renewal is not just personal; it must also have an impact on society.”

Some may not agree with Adeleye’s description of Christians as “transforming agents” in society, but it is clear that Adeleye views societal transformation as intricately connected to personal evangelism and the church being the people of God. Preachers of a Different Gospel is a clarion call to the contemporary church to return to authentic Christianity, not only for the sake of the church, but also for the good of the world.

– first published in the 9Marks eJournal, Jan-Feb 2012