On Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology, Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it

These doctrines suffer from the serious error of thinking God is there to make you rich and/or to make all your dreams come true.

God never promised he would provide us with a spouse, a fancy house, a wonderful career, perfect health, or even children.  God never promised he would take away all our suffering, hard times, or poverty.

He did promise to keep us fed and clothed and to be with us as someone who can empathize.  Suffering, hard times and poverty are seen as leading us to salvation.

“Name it and claim it” sounds like demanding God do something for you, rather than “humbly bringing all your requests to him.”  Who are we to demand God give us anything?

Word-Faith Theology

Word-Faith Movement

 

Written around 2005

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

 

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Foreshadowing Orthodox and Calvinist Doctrines: Philosophical and Religious Background of the Birth of Christianity: Reading “Early Christian Doctrines” by JND Kelly

I just started reading “Early Christian Doctrines” by JND Kelly.  I bought it about 6 years ago while researching Orthodoxy, but only now have I gotten around to reading it….

So far it’s fascinating.  It starts off with the religious and philosophical background of the centuries surrounding the birth of Christianity.  Judaism was forming concepts of hypostases of God, of God’s traits becoming personified: Wisdom, glory, etc.

People were getting tired of the usual paganism and beginning to see the various gods as different manifestations of one God: monotheism.  The “mystery religions” claimed to bring you to unity with God.

There was an afterlife and ghosts, but it was a very dark, depressing existence; ghosts were feared because they were jealous of the living.  But there was also a concept of rewards and punishments.

In philosophy, there were concepts of the logos (before it was defined as Christ), fate and Providence, and a concept of ethereal fire which sounds very much like energies and the River of Fire.  There is also the division of man into such parts as soul, body, intelligence, and a discussion of material vs. immaterial.

There are, of course, two different ways people seem to take this information: 1) As evidence that Christianity was a product of its age.  2) As evidence that, as the Church Fathers would have it, God was revealing Himself even before Christianity and outside of Judaism, through the pagan philosophers.

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Left Behind: The Mark Review–Part 4

 

Previous parts

Tsion goes on to tell his flock that

if the Bible is true, next on the agenda is the ceremonial desecration of the temple in Jerusalem by Antichrist himself….this desecration shall include the sacrificing of a pig on the sacred altar.  It also includes blasphemy against God, profanity, derogatory statements about God and Messiah, and a denial of his resurrection.

I’m not sure where he gets all this from, saying it’s in the Bible. Best I can figure is that he gets it from Matthew 24:15-16:

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

The Daniel verses on this subject are 11:31 and 12:11, as follows:

Daniel speaks of warring kings.  As for one of these kings,

Then offspring shall arise from him, and they shall defile the sanctuary of power.  They shall take away the daily sacrifice, and place there the abomination of desolation.

There is nothing here about pigs or anything else Tsion mentioned.  In fact, Daniel was written before there was a Messiah or resurrection to deny.  Verse 12:11 reads,

From the time the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1290 days.

The Orthodox Study Bible notes explain that the Daniel verses describe struggles between the Romans, Antiochus IV Epiphanes who reigned in Syria and Judea, and the Maccabees.  2 Maccabees 5-6 describes just what Epiphanes did:

Among various other cruel and despicable acts, he desecrated the Jewish Temple by daring to enter into it, with defiled hands taking the holy vessels, pulling down “the things dedicated by other kings to increase the glory and honor of the place,” and carrying off 1800 talents.

He insisted the temple be dedicated to Zeus; in fact, the The New Oxford Annotated Bible identifies the abomination as an altar to Zeus set up in the Temple’s holy of holies.

The Gentiles filled the temple with “debauchery and reveling,” including sex inside the temple precincts, and brought “unfitting things inside.  The altar was filled with disgusting things forbidden by the laws.”  That would include pigs.

Hey, wait a minute, this is 2 Maccabees, the Apocrypha, not recognized as Biblical by Protestants.  There was nothing in the Protestant Bible in these verses about pigs being sacrificed on the altar, but it’s here in 2 Maccabees.

Yet Tsion said it was in the Bible.  So–Does Tsion agree with the Catholics and Orthodox, and recognize 2 Maccabees as part of the Bible?  Hmmmm….

The Orthodox Study Bible notes also say that

Many early Christians also saw the destruction of the temple by the Roman general, Titus, in AD 70, as well as the persecutions of Christians by the Roman emperor Nero, as fulfillments of these verses [Daniel 11:30-35].

Indeed, Daniel’s prophecies have been fulfilled many times over the course of history, as God’s people have endured persecution and testing at the hands of those who blaspheme God in their pride.

Which works against the idea of complete literalism in the End-Times prophecies, doesn’t it?  How can the same exact thing be happening over and over again unless it can be understood as symbolic?

This also shows that the Antichrist is hardly one single person at one single point in time, but a figure who keeps rising again and again throughout history, persecuting first the Jews and then the Church.

Hitler would probably qualify as one Antichrist.  Also Stalin, Lenin, the Chinese government.

From what I’ve seen of Carpathia so far in these books, he’s a wimp compared to the many real-life Antichrists who have risen and fallen during the last 2000 years since Revelation was written.

If you want to create a compelling Antichrist character, you must study the madness of the previous Antichrists, their narcissism, how they got so many to do their bidding that–in the case of Hitler–even Christians fell in step with the Nazis.

These men did not have Carpathia’s mind-bending powers; they used their own words to mesmerize.  Good people, normal people, ended up following the tyranny of the majority–why?

This is how you write an Antichrist.  You don’t just keep saying that Carpathia is succeeding because he’s such a good speaker, and then portray him giving some lame speech that names all the countries of the UN.  Is that the kind of speech Hitler would give?  How did Caligula inspire his followers to treat him as a god?

Carpathia is making such a half-hearted attempt at scapegoating the Orthodox Jews and Christians that I just don’t see it convincing anybody in the real world, except maybe for people with personality disorders who already like to scapegoat.  Until I can imagine your Antichrist and his followers in a Rammstein music video–

–until I–while listening to Links 2 3 4

–can imagine his soldiers goose-stepping, he just isn’t a convincing Antichrist.

The Study Bible also notes at Matthew 24:15,

Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation (Dan 9:27) was fulfilled in AD 70, when the Roman general Titus entered the Most Holy Place and had a statue of himself erected in the temple before having the temple destroyed.

The Lord’s phrase ‘when you see’ indicates that many of the disciples would still be alive at the time.  The words ‘whoever reads, let him understand’ are commonly understood to be inserted by Matthew into Christ’s address as an encouragement to his early Christian flock, who may have witnessed this event.

Also, for Matt. 24:3-31 the Study Bible notes that Scripture describes the End Times in so many ways that “no precise chronology can be determined.”  We are to be watchful and virtuous, not focusing on timetables for things that haven’t even happened yet.

For Daniel 9:27, we learn that Hippolytus identified the “abomination of desolations” as Antichrist himself, “announcing desolation to the world.”

Eusebius writes about the abomination of desolation, referring the reader to the works of Josephus on the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, where he can read how the abomination “was set up in the very temple of God, celebrated of old, when it was utterly destroyed by fire” (“The Last Siege of the Jews Before Christ,” chapter 5, Book 3: Missions and Persecutions, Church History).

This website goes into this from a Jewish perspective.

Also, you can read Josephus’ “War of the Jews” here to find out just what all went down during that desecration–all things not detailed in the Protestant Bible.

You need to go outside the Protestant Bible into other sources–Early Church Fathers, Eusebius, the Jewish Josephus, histories, the Deuterocanonical books which Protestants call “Apocrypha”–to find out what the “abomination of desolation” is all about.

But the danger of doing that, is discovering that maybe your system of interpretation is faulty.

On page 150, after reading Tsion’s latest missive to his Web flock, Buck hits “with great relish” “the key that broadcast Tsion’s words to a global audience.”  Aw, it would’ve been so funny if he hit the wrong button and deleted it instead.

 

To be continued.

 

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