Hall of Heretic Hucksters (Updated)

“CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.” Christianity Today also has a report on this investigation.

The six hucksters being investigated for “improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles” are Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar (the name says it all), Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, and Joyce Meyer.

Sen. Grassley describes their lifestyles as “Rolls Royces, Bentleys … a marble commode in an expensive home: that’s a lot of money down the toilet.” And Michael Horton has a term for their false teachings: “wild and wacky theology.” Here are some examples of their heresies and blasphemies:

“Life Coach” Paula Whiterenowned, twice divorced marriage counselor and “inspirational speaker”: “Anyone who tells you to deny your self is from Satan.” “You will die! You will die unless you go to the phone and do what God says to do.”

Kenneth Copeland – “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross” (his emphasis); Christ in hell is an “emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit.”

Creflo Dollar – “You are gods, little ‘g’. You are gods because you came from God… You are not just human. The only human part about you is this physical body that you live in.” “Jesus didn’t know that he was the Son of God; he had to grow into Sonship.”

Benny Hinn – “God the Father is a person separate from the Holy Ghost… Do you know that the Holy Spirit has a soul and a body separate from that of Jesus and the Father? …God the Father then is a triune being within Himself. He’s a person, He has a soul… and He has hair… has eyes… has a mouth… has hands.”

“When you don’t give money, it shows that you have the devil’s nature.” “Poverty is from the devil and that God wants all Christians prosperous.”

“Bishop” Eddie Long – “You have enough glory in your mouth that when you declare a thing, then it shall be established… Touch your neighbor and say, ‘You have power in your mouth.’ Tell them, ‘There is power in your words.'”

Joyce Meyer – “During that time He entered hell… God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, ‘Let Him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus… He was resurrected from the dead – the first born-again man” (emphasis mine).

After looking at this list, one wonders why only these six? How about other Trinity Broadcasting Network regulars like Juanita Bynum, Paul Crouch, John Hagee, Marilyn Hickey, “Bishop” T.D. Jakes, Clarence McClendon, Fred Price, Robert Tilton and many other “wild and wacky” peddlers of “the gospel of bling“?

Update: With the sex abuse scandal, Eddie Long’s wife has divorced him. He then resigned from his mega-“church.” The latest comedy stunt is his crowning as “king,” but of course, he’s one of the kings of the Kingdom of Satan, which includes the other five heretics above.

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6 thoughts on “Hall of Heretic Hucksters (Updated)”

  1. However, in the Philippines, most of the so-called “weird” fundamental churches are the soul-winners, and those lazy neo-evangelicals just snatch those precious fruits those churches labored for.

    I guess they’re more heretic in action.

  2. These views are not only supported by Scripture, but are also refuted by history. We know that by the second century, baptismal regeneration was already popular. If Baptist succesionism and Landmarkism are true, then the authority to baptize has been lost for about 1400 years. In other words, there was no succesion to begin with.

  3. Thanks, Albert, for bringing to the front the errors of Baptist Successionism and Landmarkism. I’m not that familiar with these views, but here’s the little that I know about them. I welcome corrections if I’m wrong or misinformed.

    Baptist successionism is similar to the Roman Catholic view of apostolic succession. As Peter is to the Roman Church, so John the Baptizer is to the Successionist church. They believe that Baptist churches today can be traced back through the ages in an unbroken succession of Baptist churches all the way back to John, the first Baptist (as Peter is the first Bishop of Rome).

    I think that Landmarkism is a more radical form of Successionism in that they also say that no water baptism is valid except theirs. Of course, there are many exclusivist cults who also believe this, e.g., the Boston Church of Christ (which also teaches baptismal regeneration). Another Landmark distinctive is their teaching that the the visible local church, consisting of only true believers, is the only true church; there is no invisible, universal church.

    With these teachings, it’s not surprising that they claim to be the only true church. I think I met that pastor in Davao City many years ago. He was very proud to have descended from Donatists and Anabaptists.

  4. dvopilgrim: Some of the other problems you mentioned in your last paragraph – KJV-onlyism, antinomianism, and Baptist successionism – still have a good presence in the U.S.

    me: I apologize for my misleading statement. A word was missing. I should have written “I was surprised to know that these beliefs are no longer a problem within American Christianity ALONE. They have also become Filipinized.”

    Here are some of the websites of Filipino Christian churches who hold to these outrageously weird beliefs:

    › Moriah Baptist Church, Marikina, M.M. (www.moriah.sme.ph/) – KJV-only church

    › Buhangin Missionary Baptist Church, Davao City – KJV-only Landmark Baptist church (www.geocities.com/mbaptist.geo/), pastored by a former Southern Baptist pastor who now thinks that no one has the authority to baptize except the people from their group.

  5. Albert,

    Good insight on what ails Philippine evangelicalism.

    Superstition, poverty, and Biblical illiteracy also play an important role in the popularity of these televangelists among Filipinos. Superstitious fear is one of the weapons used by Pentecostals against those who accuse them of unsound teachings and practices, i.e., signs and wonders. “You’re committing blasphemy against the Spirit!” ♦ And ears itching to hear flattery and promises of financial rewards also play a big part in a poverty-stricken land. “Who knows, I might hit the jackpot!” these supporters are probably thinking as the plate is passed. ♦ Evangelicals would believe anything they see and hear, even if they are contrary to Scriptures. One of my students (a pastor) told me that he is a follower of Benny Hinn, even though he knew of his heretical teachings. He who can do such miracles must be from God!

    Most of my students believe that these Pentecostals can also do what the Apostles did in the first century – healings, casting out demons, speaking in tongues, prophecies – because they have “seen” them. It doesn’t matter what the Scriptures say about the anathema on false gospels; what prevails is their own subjective opinion and experience. Solo Scriptura is just an excuse for Biblical illiteracy, which itself is a result of a “soundbyte” culture in postmoderns.

    Some of the other problems you mentioned in your last paragraph – KJV-onlyism, antinomianism, and Baptist successionism – still have a good presence in the U.S.

    It’s the same all over the world. Perhaps 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 is being fulfilled for the third time, after the Babylonian and the Roman destruction of God’s house?

  6. A lot of Filipino Evangelicals admire many of these televangelists as servants of God. In fact, their “Prosperity Gospel” is already making inroads in many churches. I personally believe that the popularity of these televangelists is due in part to the lack of evangelicals who have a high view of Scripture here in the country. I do not know any Filipino Evangelical pastor/teacher who has spoken against the heresies of people like Benny Hinn and anti-Trinitarian T.D. Jakes. When I last visited a Christian bookstore in Quezon City, I saw a lot of books written by the Oneness preacher being sold. If there is guilt by association, I think there is also recommendation by association. Since Jakes is in fellowship with Hinn, owners of Christian bookstores are perhaps thinking that there is nothing wrong with his theology.

    Because of the absence of a high view of Scripture, Filipino evangelicals either embrace extra-biblical revelations, or SOLO Scriptura (not Sola Scriptura) in which the use of creeds and confessions is seen with extreme content and disgust. I have been to Christian circles where both of these extremes are accepted. In effect, it has become extremely difficult to determine which doctrines are Biblical and which are not. Since creeds and confessions are not used, there is no way for people to know what exactly they believe about the Bible. They would have to rely on anemic versions of a “Statement of Faith.” People are easily carried away by novel beliefs.

    In the absence of a high view of Scripture, semi-Pelagianism, hyper- charismaticism, seeker-sensitive methods, and false ecumenism will abound. Even the allegedly Filipino evangelical organization, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) has not been spared from these problems. Recently, I learned that the Council had a joint activity with the ecumenical, liberal and modernist organization called the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). I would have to agree with the observation that the word evangelical has really lost its meaning.

    I almost forgot another set of problems found in a separatistic and anti-cultural group of Filipino Christians. Though this does NOT apply to all of them, it is nevertheless found in some of their churches. They espouse a distorted view of Church history as reflected in what they call Baptist successionism. Some also believe in KJV-Onlyism… and antinomianism. I was surprised to know that these beliefs are no longer a problem within the American Christianity. They have also become Filipinized. Again, this is because of a low view of Scripture.

    Blessings,
    Albert

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