"Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. -- Proverbs 30: 7-9 (ESV)
I will be brutally honest with you beloved. It is an embarrassment to Christianity that I even have to address this story. It seems no matter how low someone who calls themselves a preacher goes there is someone else willing to defend them at the cost of the Gospel and our witness for Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon is credited with saying that discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. While true, there are also teachings and theologies that are far easier to discern. Low hanging fruit such is Mike Murdock trying to con you out your paycheck or the fake healings of Peter Popoff come to mind. Or when someone asks you for 54 million dollars so they can buy a new high end jet plane. Enter Jesse Duplantis, false teacher extraordinaire. Several weeks ago, Duplantis made his pitch on TV, claiming God told him to believe for a new Falcon 7X luxury private airplane. People asked me if I would weigh in on it and my answer was I sincerely hoped I would not have to. Enter John Burton. He fancies himself a Christian leader, evangelist and prophetic messenger. He recently came out with a defense of Duplantis linked above. Let us reason together and see what God has to say about defending the indefensible.
"Jesse Duplantis is believing for a new airplane. The way we respond will determine our financial future. As an introduction, I need to make it clear that I personally wasn't raised in the Word of Faith movement. This isn't a knee-jerk reaction from a Word of Faith member, as I am not one. That being said, I've known many phenomenal believers who were deeply involved in Word of Faith, so I have firsthand testimony of some pretty awesome fruit. In fact, you might read a recent article that exposes the limits of giving to churches and ministries without considering other, very potent and very important, financial strategies in a recent Charisma News article. Giving to ministries alone will never unlock the wealth that God has for his people." -- John Burton
Word faith is heresy beloved. Pure unadulterated heresy. It usurps the power of God to create with the spoken word. Its foundational belief that God wants everyone oozing with cash is simply unbiblical. So right from the start we see that John Burton cannot be trusted to discern. He claims to know "phenomenal" believers who believe in pure heresy. What is telling is his defense of it is the same nonsense Michael Brown uses to defend Bill Johnson and the usually front line defense of false teaching -- I know their heart. Pay no attention to their wildly wicked teachings -- I know them personally and they love the Lord! We do not need to rely upon the first hand testimony of fools or the personal interpretations of "pretty awesome fruit." We have the Bible and all we need to do is apply it to what we hear and determine if it's from God or from the devil. We also see here another clue into the false believes of John Burton. According to his theology God is holding back all of this untold wealth from us; just waiting for us to learn the secrets to unlock it. How does John explain the impoverished Christians around the globe? He can't so he continues:
"The reason I bring this up is so you understand this isn't another article defending the faith message. I am making the focus more specific. Let's talk about Jesse Duplantis. In fairness, we do need to let Jesse speak for himself. After you read what he said, you have to wonder what exactly people think is so wrong with his intentions: "I'm not asking you to pay for my plane," the televangelist says in a new video posted to his ministry's website. "The Lord said, 'I didn't ask you to pay for it, I asked you to believe for it.' That is what I said. So I'm believing, and I want you to believe with me." I'd be the first to defend him for fundraising if he were actually doing that. However, he is making it clear he isn't asking for money. He's asking for people to agree in faith. The following 10 points will at least give us a starting point when considering how to respond to Jesse's bold request. Be warned, though. My stance resulted in a longtime Facebook friend blocking me this morning and declaring I'm a false prophet. (He should know I don't consider myself a prophet at all, but I doubt that would have deterred him!)" -- John Burton
It sure smells like an article defending Jesse Duplantis. Let us also clear up the smoke and mirrors Duplantis has employed here. His initial plea was for people to pay for his plane. It was clear to the secular news. It was clear to me. The only people it was not clear to were his defenders. After the initial backlash, Duplantis has come out to clarify that he was only asking his followers to believe with him for the plane. Huh? I do not even think Joel Osteen could match this hubris. Let us also not think like children. Jesse Duplantis holds a position of power. When such people make such declarations of need they are bound to generate giving. That was entirely Jesse's point. To be able to say he never asked for money with his right hand while fleecing the flock with his left. Onto the defense of the indefensible.