Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. -- Philippians 3: 17-21 (ESV)
The much chronicled heresies from Bethel Church continue. As we have noted before, Bethel is really a new blueprint for heretical churches in that they embrace nearly every false teaching and mash them together into an essentially undiscernible hodgepodge of mystical religiosity. Bethel is ground zero for the false signs and lying wonders movement, as they have bragged about having all of the false manifestation -- gem stones, gold dust and angel feathers. Lead Pastor Bill Johnson actually claimed that angel feathers just start magically falling all around him from the heavens when he was having breakfast at a diner. Bethel is also the place that the "glory cloud" false manifestation began. Bethel runs a "school for the supernatural where they believe they can teach the gifts of the Holy Spirit to people despite the Bible assuring us that only the Spirit decides when, where and to whom the gifts go. Bethel is big on the experiential Christianity that says we must tap into our wickedly deceitful hearts and whatever pops into our mind therefore must be from God. The enemy of this is Scripture of course, which Bethelites will refer to as a "box" that us legalists have placed God into. Bill Johnson is a leader in the NAR movement and teaches the seven mountains mandate nonsense. They also constantly preach sloppy agape and dabble in the antinomianism of Joseph Prince. One of their core beliefs is God is in a good mood! Bethel has a "dead raising team" that claims 15 resurrections to their credit without a shred of proof and the infamous grave sucking garbage comes from there as well. In any one given service you stand a good chance of hearing nearly all of these theologies in one sitting. It is not wonder then that regular adherents of Bethel are so hopelessly confused.
Today however, we will deal with yet another popular false teaching they love -- the prosperity gospel. The chief resident whore of selling God out at Bethel is Kris Vallotton. He is the number two person in charge there after Bill Johnson and above you will find a link to his latest blog post asking that question Jesus never asked -- does God want you to be wealthy? I know the answer! I used to always give the halfhearted feel good answer of "of course He does." The more I read the Bible however I realized that is not correct. The truth is that if the question on your heart is if God wants you to be rich then the answer is no. You cannot serve both God and money beloved. So let us reason together as we review Vallotton's recent attempt to pimp out our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"There are a lot of people who don't know God and are rich. However, there are also people who are specifically blessed by God with wealth, and their blessing is in direct relationship with their relationship with God. Could it be true that wealth can be a sign of your relationship with God? Today I want to encourage you with this thought: is it possible that God is wanting to bless you with His resources beyond what you can currently hope for? If that's you, then let's get your hopes up!" -- Kris Vallotton
Let us start there beloved. These are raised hopes of Christians that will mostly go unanswered. Let's face it. Most people are simply not rich. It just came out this week that half of the wealth in this world is consolidated into the top one percent of people. The once proud Middle Class has been squeezed into the working poor. Most live paycheck to paycheck and the average credit card debt is approaching $17,000 per person. Can some escape this reality into wealth? Sure; but the vast majority simply will not. So what happens when someone claiming the mantle of Christianity starts raising their hopes that God wants them to be wealthy? I remember recently reading the comments section of a Facebook post from Joel Osteen ministries. The post was the same benign pablum he always shovels about how much God wants to bless your socks off. The comments however were so disheartening. There was one person who was genuinely confused. He said he had been tithing correctly as Osteen instructs and even given sacrificially above his tithe for years yet he was still facing foreclosure in 30 days. He said he was believing in faith and speaking God's promises into existence only to still be facing homelessness within a month. The people who tried to encourage him meant well but they had been so poorly taught all they could offer was more pablum. I stand in the gap with you. You have to have faith as a mustard seed. God will never leave you. All of these are biblical truths but they have been taught they are magical incantations that will stop a house from being foreclosed and they are not.
The second point here is one I always point out when prosperity pimps preach. If your gospel cannot be preached outside of your country and around the entire world, then it is not His Gospel and thus is false. The Gospel transcends time, culture, and the intricacies of this world. The same Gospel that saved a Jewish fisherman in 30 AD is the same Gospel that saved an Anglican farmer in the sixth Century and a Japanese businessman in the 20th. It is the same Gospel that saved me in 2002. The problem with many heretics is they cater their abominations solely for their audience. Take a look at the picture above of Christians living in abject poverty in Pakistan. Or consider the Christians living in the underground church in China or being martyred in the Iraq. Their lives were determined solely by where they were born. Now imagine saying the following to them:
There are people who are specifically blessed by God with wealth, and their blessing is in direct relationship with their relationship with God.