devotional

31DEC
2012

A Question About the Word of Faith Religion

 

On 20 Dec, Jennifer C. Asked:
 
     Her question is abbreviated here. She had read my letters on the Word of Faith Religion and, though in agreement with most of it, took respectful issue with my inclusion of one name I had cited. Commenting, she wrote: "…The shocker was when I read the name Dani Johnson because all I know is that in my experience, along with many others, Dani teaches the complete opposite of the prosperity gospel." 

 
Response:
 
Dear Jennifer,
 
     Thanks for taking the time to write. That says a lot. I appreciate it. I've read your response thoroughly, and I'd like to respond as kindly as I can and should. I didn't/don't know Ms. Johnson very well. Her name's not in bold on my little list as you see. Those in bold are those I knew well or even very personally. I'd truly like to read, listen or watch anything you have from her denouncing or otherwise debunking/disavowing WF theology as you said she has. (See 700 club line below). Please, if you would, send it to me when you can. That would be interesting. I'm glad you were helped by her teaching. Girls keeping themselves before marriage, etc, is a very good thing. I'm glad to hear she teaches this. I agree with this. I'm sure many would say they've been helped by her. That's good…maybe. She's obviously very successful. I'm glad she's no longer living in her car, etc. My enduring issue, ma'am, with such teaching isn't that I think God doesn't prosper people. Sometimes He does. My issue is when faith in Christ is made a "seed-time" system (WF ideology) for producing money. More to follow on this. God may send a person poverty. A system of "theology" that sees this last statement as de facto anti-the will of God as she does is incorrect and likely blasphemous in many respects. Her system is a self-help program with a few Bible verses sprinkled on top. It's nothing new in our day. Life coaching is very big business it's just not a Christian pastor/teacher's business. 
 
     I've seen her on TBN with Benny Hinn and many others of his faith holding hands with him and laughing in all pleasantry as pals in common spiritual enterprise. I think this is when I first saw her actually. Maybe not, but perhaps. It was long ago. Benny Hinn. Hello! If anyone alive is a poster boy of false prophet inc. today it's him. Jeremiah 23 all the way. She is guilty of association with some of the most dangerous men alive, ma'am. I'd like to invite you to 2 John 1:9 which reads: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." Benny Hinn (and others she's with in "spiritual" enterprise) does not bring "this doctrine." She shares in the evil deeds of Mr. Hinn having publicly supported him, and likely many more times than once. He's big business. This is no light matter! I've seen men and women I love go to similar places to preach. I.e. Ray Comfort to Joyce Meyer's show, Ravi Zacharias to the Mormon Tabernacle (yikes! didn't care for him calling Jesus "Our Lord" there. That's dangerous), John Piper inviting Rick Warren to his church to speak, etc. These men take the risk here of being perceived as promoting falsity (2 John 1:9). The difference is that I know their ministry. It's well established and there's no doubt about their purposes in going. I can see the soundness of their doctrine and therefore understand why they would go. I can't see that in the WF approach of a Dani Johnson with books like, "Spirit Driven Success," broadcast messages like, "Spiritual keys that unlock the vault of wealth," "Faith that makes the impossible possible," or "Receive your inheritance." This is WF phraseology without doubt. Her "First steps to wealth" book is listed under her "Spiritual" resources link. The love of money is the root of all evil. It's the root of a religion that fashions a god who promises it. It's the root of a self-help system that calls wealth the promise of God if you only have right faith or enough faith to get it. She may not market herself entirely as a preacher, I understand that. I'm glad. On the scale of the WF religion she'd be far over to the conservative side near a Joyce Meyer or a John Hagee, yeah. On the extreme other side would be a Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth Copeland or Jesse Duplantis, sure, but being on the scale at all is bad. 
 
     I've seen her marketing her faith and products to many on "Christian" TV. Here's a promo you've likely seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYVgFj-x6XI. Her message is exactly the same as theirs as far as I can tell. It's the same as the hip-hop rappers. The fact that hard work is a part of her ethic doesn't excuse anything. I hear them all talking like that too. Some call it "hustling."  
 
     I must leave her on the list. She is a WF preacher. I wish she wasn't. She claimed to hear a voice of God (in the ocean after her first line of cocaine), she has lot's of private Biblical interpretation which is the misusing of Scripture. She claims not to be a WF preacher. Sure. Most would. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKQG2CQnGlM. She claims "deliverances" in this video. Her description is WF. No repentance mentioned. I doubt you'd ever hear the word. You don't see me writing of other self-help people like a Tony Robbins or something. The fact that there are lots of Bible verses (1,500 talking about money) doesn't justify the sin of spending 97.9% of one's "pulpit" time talking about it and having it being portrayed, even inadvertently, as the gospel. I might be able to illustrate this point by pointing out the Westboro Baptists. These are the non-Christian folks that protest funerals and hold up the signs that say things like, "God hates fags," etc. Yeah, insane right? You know what though, ma'am, there are many thousands more Bible verses that speak of the hate, wrath and anger of God against the very things their signs talk about than speak of money. Does this justify such horrible theology or the 97.9% of "pulpit" time they spend talking about it? That's an easy example because it's extreme.
 
     Her "ministry" is undoubtedly marked by money. It's the get more to do more snare. It's tempting. Believe me. I know. We all want to do more. We should all do more. God should be able to trust us with money more. God surely calls people to minister on the subject. It's important and a lot of people are in debt and need help. I'm glad when they get it. I seriously doubt, seriously doubt, however, that any page in her literature would take a serious approach to the gospel at all. This is either because she herself doesn't know it, or that she simply doesn't consider it part of her public ministry. I can't see the latter being true by anyone who possesses the riches of Christ. Her lack of wealth in the gospel, at least as far as I can see in her marketing, makes her just another WFer (conservative). Regrettably, I see nothing other than this from the lady. It's like the deadliness of a Joel Osteen or Creflo Dollar; it's all just self-help with Bible verses. It's postmodern therapeutic man-centered selfishness. It's certainly not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. 
 
I know this is hard to hear, Jennifer. I pray God reveal the truth of it all to you. Your soul may be at stake. Mine was when I thought such speakers spoke Biblical wisdom. 
 
Couple things in closing (start with #4). Just copy/paste these into your browser. It seems Yahoo no longer hyperlinks easily. 
 
1. Two Youtube links, since Youtube's so popular: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaMAw5v9kGs. This is what we should feel about her teaching albeit perhaps on a smaller scale than an Osteen.
2. justinpeters.org. This gentleman can help you to see some of the underlying things that should trouble us all about a teacher like Dani Johnson if we know the Bible well and therefore have sound theology.
3. Check out my recommended listening list sermons. Just a few perhaps from the top. It's my hope that hearing sound teaching next to hers would illustrate a thousand glories in Christ to you that a direct attack never could.
4. John MacArthur's free audio sermon series, "Charismatic Chaos." http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermon-Series/219. Ms. Jennifer, it's this I hope you'll invest some real seed-time into more than anything else. Her teaching is the same as what he'll cover here. If you do listen to this series and the case is not made against such teaching, then perhaps a case against it can't be made with you. 
 
Sorry for writing you so long an email; I didn't have time to write a short one.
 
Please try to forgive me for any offense I may have caused you outside of the cross.

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