Updates

Here are some updates to the book, articles and videos that are on the same subjects discussed in the book; such as more preachers who have died early, or info on the danger of extreme wealth.

One preacher that did not make it into the book was Jill Austin who spread a lot of stuff that made some people call her a false prophet. She died in Jan. 2009, at age 60.

Here is an article about her death in the Dallas News:

Jill Austin was a Christian evangelist well known in some circles who died a few days ago. I was struck by the juxtaposition of a couple of paragraphs in a short obit. Here’s how she died:

Austin entered emergency surgery last Tuesday after doctors found that her intestines were twisted and cutting off her blood supply. Parts of her stomach, intestines and colon were removed because of infection.

And yet:

“Our beloved Jill went home to be with Jesus,” a statement released by Master Potter Ministries read. “Thank you all for standing with us and praying. She is now with her best friend, Holy Spirit, and dancing with her destiny.”

People of less faith might be asking why her best friend let her intestines tie up in a knot. … (Mystery of faith in the midst of suffering: Death of Jill Austin, by Jeffrey Weiss/Reporter. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2009/01/mystery-of-faith-in-the-midst.html/

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I don’t think it was a coincidence that her guts were twisted up, because her teaching was twisted, such as third heaven visitations.

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Responses

  1. I want to relate a story that I forgot to put into the book. When I believed the Word of Faith stuff I stepped off a high porch and twisted my ankle. It hurt some so I stopped walking and began confessing that I am healed and proclaiming that I am healed and thanking God for healing me. I then began walking again and the pain went away.

    I was very happy and was praising and thanking God for the healing. I said to myself, “This stuff really works.” Then suddenly the pain came back with a vengeance. It felt like I had been stabbed in my foot, but I kept on confessing and rebuking the devil, but the pain only got worse. Eventually I was unable to walk at all on that foot and I was by then a couple of blocks away from my apartment. I had to hobble back home in great pain. Every step was excruciating.

    When I got home I called an ambulance and they took me to the hospital where I was x-rayed. I had a hairline fracture in my angle bone and had to walk on crutches for several weeks. This was one of the events on my path to the truth, that the Word of Faith teaching is totally false.

    • How can I get your book?

      • You can get the book at amazon.com or follow the links near the bottom of the home page of this web site. You can also order it at your local bookstore.

  2. In the book I mention that Kenneth Hagin died of a heart problem at age 86, which goes against the teaching of the WOF group, because they believe they have what they confess and believe. You may say that God was finished with KH, but that too goes against the WOF, because they believe it is not what God’s will is but what you confess and believe. So clearly his confessing and believing did not work.

    I want to tell you what happened to my mother in Dec. 2011. She is 87 and had a heart issue; she called the doc and he told her to go to the ER. The second night there, in Cardiac ICU, she died, but was brought back with just two pressings on the chest, CPR. She was then transferred to regular ICU and there she died again. This time they had to do about 20 compressions and inject drugs into her and the heart started again.

    This happened even though she had a document on file at the hospital that said not to give her CPR! Once they saw that they were not going to give her any more. Though she died God brought her back even though she was not supposed to be brought back and did not want to be brought back.

    So this shows that God will do what he wants to do, not what we want, or confess, he is in control. She is now home and very weak, but doing OK considering what she went through.

  3. It seems the judgment of God is continuing on this country, as I said would happen in the last chapter of this book, and it is getting worse with more drought, failed crops, even plagues of locusts.

  4. Here is a vision about the false prosperity preachers that I failed to put into the book:

    Not All True Food

    Susan Coble, April 2000

    A Vision:

    I needed a job and was hired to work in a church. The Pastor appeared normal to me (i.e. clothes, manners, etc.). He was willing to pay me nicely. I was so happy and felt that God had surely blessed me.

    I started my work which was cleaning in the church. People were there. They were all wandering around. Appeared to be waiting for something or someone. Some were very definite in what was to be done as far as the preparation.

    This young man comes over to me. He starts rebuking me for working in the church. I tell him that I need the money and that the pastor hired me. The young man tells me that I cannot work in the Lord’s house while the Pastor is there.

    I then sit down to think.

    I notice that people are running to and fro all around me. Excitement surrounds me. The young man comes running through shouting, “He is here!!! He is here!!”

    Then the Pastor walks in. However, it is not the man that hired me. This man is wearing an expensive Armani suit, fine jewelry, and flaunting great wealth. His eyes are dull and his smile is fake.

    The people all clamor to him. They want to touch him and be near him.

    A service starts. The people are mesmerized.

    I start my job away from the people. The people start shouting and singing. They are throwing money unto the man.

    I turn and look out the window and see a long powder blue stretch limousine. Men of the church are wheeling out 5 dead bodies and put them into the limo. I turn and ask the young man if the limo belongs to the Pastor. At first he denies it. Then he tells me how good and holy the pastor is.

    Then he admits the car does belong to the pastor, but, justifies him having it. I inquire about the dead bodies being put into it. He tells me that is how the pastor keeps it running. I then noticed that each body had a dollar sign on it. The young man then looks at me and says, “The people are faithful. They give because the pastor tells them they have to give. In return, pastor feeds them with the Word.” *

    I then challenge the young man and say, “It is not all true food. It is manipulated to appear as such.”

    The young man replies, “This is true. But, by the time the people realize it, it is too late. They have given all. The bodies being put into the limo are those people. For as they were blindly led on their way, they gave their money faithfully. Yet, they spiritually died because they were malnourished by the man. And the man becomes bigger and bigger.”

    Then the young man looks at me and says, “You do not fit in here. You work here because for a while you believed. However, you work away from among the people because you see pure and holy truth. You can never mix in with these people lest you expose the pure truth and ruin it for the man. So, you are cast away from them. However, you will never be put into the limo because you see the truth and it has set you free.” 

  5. Here is an article about a man who died of cancer but was a Word of Faith believer:
    Songwriter’s Death Leads to Suits Against Preacher
    By CHRISTOPHER MAAG
    Published: January 1, 2007

    Darlene Bishop, the nationally renowned evangelical preacher, begins her book about how God cured the cancer afflicting one of her brothers with a Biblical verse: “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.”

    The book, “Your Life Follows Your Words,” is sold in the gift shop of Solid Rock Church, the 4,000-member congregation in Monroe, Ohio, where Ms. Bishop is a co-pastor. She has promoted it on her television show, “Sisters,” which is modeled after ABC’s “The View” and is broadcast on four cable networks nationwide.

    On her Web site, Ms. Bishop promises that the book reveals “how God healed her of breast cancer” and a brother of throat cancer.

    Nowhere, though, does she mention, that the brother, Darrell Perry, a successful country music songwriter whom everyone called Wayne, died from the cancer a year and a half ago.

    In a sworn deposition responding to two lawsuits filed by Mr. Perry’s four children, Ms. Bishop stated that no doctor ever diagnosed the breast cancer she referred to prominently in her book. Instead, Ms. Bishop testified, she thought that she had cancer in 1986 and that it was cured.

    “She’s lying to people and exploiting my father for her own financial gain,” Mr. Perry’s eldest son, Bryan Perry, 36, said in an interview.

    One lawsuit accuses Ms. Bishop of wrongful death because, it says, she convinced Mr. Perry to pray rather than to seek medical care. The other accuses her of mismanaging and misusing his estate, which the Perry children say could be worth millions. The estate case is to be argued in Butler County Probate Court on Friday.

    Mr. Perry’s death at age 55 left some of country music’s most popular performers, including Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, without one of their most trusted and prolific writers. Now the battle over who caused his death, who owns his assets and how best to interpret his legacy is dividing a once-close family whose members climbed from Appalachian poverty to prominence in the music industry and the evangelical movement.

    Ms. Bishop would not answer questions about the suits. On her Web site, she says that the allegations “are complete lies” and that she never discourages anyone from seeing doctors. She also says she is a trustworthy steward of Mr. Perry’s estate, which, she said in the deposition, could be worth nothing after his many debts are paid.

    Long before she gained fame as a preacher, Ms. Bishop was her family’s spiritual leader, Bryan Perry said.

    One of Mr. Perry’s two former wives, Janet Perry-McCormick, said that he often sought the religious counsel of his older sister, whom he called Sissy, and that his children grew up attending her church.

    “I put my faith in Darlene,” Bryan Perry said. “We all did. We thought she was a holy, pure woman.”

    Wayne Perry fathered four children with three women, two of whom he married, his sons said. He abandoned his family when Bryan was 2 to pursue his songwriting career, which produced such hits as “A Woman’s Touch,” recorded by Mr. Keith, and “Not a Moment Too Soon,” by Mr. McGraw. He earned millions of dollars, said a music industry lawyer, Rush Hicks, who is advising the children.

    After doctors diagnosed his throat cancer in December 2002, Mr. Perry moved into Ms. Bishop’s mansion on her $2.6 million horse farm in Monroe to re-commit his life to God, his sons said.

    According to Ms. Bishop’s book, when her brother arrived at her front door, he confirmed that he had cancer, and she replied, “Let that be the last time those words ever come from your mouth.”

    In her deposition, Ms. Bishop said Mr. Perry had decided on his own to disregard doctors’ advice that he immediately begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But Mr. Perry’s children contend that their aunt persuaded him to forgo medical treatment and rely on a process of faith healing that, Ms. Bishop wrote in her book, God had explained to her in a revelation.

    “He was laying in bed dying, and she had him convinced that he was healed,” said Mr. Perry’s son Justin Jones, 28, who lived in Ms. Bishop’s house for a year caring for his father.

    As his throat tumors swelled to the size of tennis balls, Mr. Perry stopped eating, Mr. Jones said. His weight dropped to 84 pounds. He did consent to chemotherapy, Mr. Jones said, but only after the tumors had restricted his breathing to the point that he collapsed. The chemotherapy shrank the tumors, Mr. Jones said, and his father began eating again.

    In her book, Ms. Bishop describes her brother’s spiritual awakening and the improvement in his condition, but she does not mention his chemotherapy.

    As Mr. Perry regained strength, he and Ms. Bishop went on a nationwide tour of evangelical churches, promoting Ms. Bishop’s book about his miraculous recovery, his children said. Against his doctor’s advice, Mr. Perry stopped chemotherapy, Mr. Jones said.

    On Oct. 13, 2004, an oncologist, Dr. Albert Malcolm, wrote a letter telling Mr. Perry that his cancer was terminal. Mr. Perry forwarded the letter to Janet Perry-McCormick, his former wife, after writing across the top, “Destroy this letter after you read it,” and, “Only you and Darlene know this.”

    The note is proof that Ms. Bishop knew her brother was dying but concealed it from the public while continuing to promote her book, Mr. Perry’s children said in interviews, but in her deposition, Ms. Bishop said she learned of Dr. Malcolm’s diagnosis after Mr. Perry died in May 2005.

    Mr. Perry’s death raised questions about the ownership of his royalties, his catalogs of songs and his “hook book,” which his children describe as a loose-leaf notebook stuffed with lyrics and musical riffs, most of which had not been recorded. The children accused Ms. Bishop’s son Lawrence Bishop II, a musician, of recording two albums that contained a total of five songs copyrighted by Mr. Perry without paying royalties to his estate.

    Copyrights are not strictly followed in the Christian country music business, Ms. Bishop said in her deposition. She also said Mr. Perry’s notebook was missing. Their father’s songs could be worth millions of dollars, the children said, but only if they can be marketed, an impossibility given no hook book and a dispute over song rights.

    Ms. Bishop said Mr. Perry’s catalogs of songs belonged to the record companies that recorded and promoted them, not the family.

    Also in dispute is Mr. Perry’s life insurance policy, worth $260,000. Ms. Bishop was named the policy’s sole beneficiary, but the children claim it was meant for them.

    One point on which both sides agree is that Mr. Perry died believing he had been healed by God.

    “The only thing he told me,” Ms. Perry-McCormick said, “was, ‘I’m going to show Sissy that I can be healed just like she was.’ ”
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/01/us/01brother.html?pagewanted=all

  6. Piper Denounces Prosperity Preachers, Playful Worship in Last Sermon
    By Lillian Kwon
    January 2, 2013|3:49 pm

    In his last message as pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper condemned prosperity preachers for enticing worshippers into a faith that’s not real Christianity.

    “If you entice people with wealth, … ease, health, chipper, bouncy, light-hearted, playful, superficial banter in your worship service posing as joy in Christ, you will attract people, oh yeah, you can grow a huge church that way. But Christ will not be seen in his glory and the Christian life will not be seen as the calvary road that it is,” said Piper on Sunday.

    After 32 years of preaching at Bethlehem in Minneapolis, Piper handed the baton to Jason Meyer, who will be installed on Jan. 20.

    While Sunday’s sermon was not likely Piper’s final message, it was his last on an official level as pastor for Preaching and Vision. In his last official message, Piper wanted to convey to the congregation “what the world needs from the church.”

    What it needs, he preached, is “our indomitable, invincible joy in the midst of suffering and sorrow.”

    He wasn’t speaking of a “chipper” or “bouncy” joy that he sees in many church services but true rejoicing in the face of suffering and sorrow.

    “I turn with dismay from church services that are treated like radio talk shows where everything sounds chipper and frisky and high-spirited and chattering and designed evidently to make people feel light-hearted and playful and bouncy,” he said. “I say, don’t you know there are people dying of cancer in this room? Don’t you know some are barely making it financially? … And you’re going to create an atmosphere that’s bouncy …? I just don’t get it. It’s not who we are.”

    Of course, the world does need to see happy Christians but that happiness has to be a “Christ-bought, God-wrought happiness in pain,” Piper stressed. “Otherwise, what we offer them isn’t anything they don’t already have. They know how to be happy in good times.”

    “What they need is to see and feel indomitable joy in Jesus in the midst of suffering and sorrow … This people are not playing games here. They’re not using religion as a platform for the same old hyped-up self-help that the world gives them every day. They need the greatness and grandeur of God over them.”

    So many pastors today try to attract people to Jesus with their lavish houses, cars and clothes, Piper lamented. But that’s not the way the Apostle Paul did it as recorded in the New Testament.

    “You shouldn’t ever attract anybody to Jesus like that because if they get attracted they’re not coming to Jesus. They’re coming to the stuff and the one who can provide it. Thank you very much Jesus for giving me what my fallen, selfish heart always lived for anyway,” he said.

    The Apostle Paul made it clear that the Christian life is not without suffering such as beatings, hunger, imprisonment and sleepless nights. But in the midst of those hardships, Paul’s spirit was never broken and all he could do was rejoice because he had Jesus.

    “We’re commending the value of Christ and we’re doing it exactly the opposite of the way that prosperity preachers do it,” Piper noted, preaching from 2 Corinthians 6.

    What Paul does is show that knowing Christ and having eternal life with Christ “is better than all the worldly wealth and prosperity and health that there is.”

    “We commend our life in ministry by afflictions, … calamities … It means that Christ is real to us, more precious than sleep, health, money, life … Wouldn’t you want a Christ that precious?

    “If not, Christianity is not for you.”

    Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/piper-denounces-prosperity-preachers-playful-worship-in-last-sermon-87588/

  7. An article reveals that millions of dollars was scammed from the members of Eddie Long’s church

    Eddie Long’s Church Warned in Advance of Million-Dollar Ponzi Scheme?

    By Nicola Menzie
    February 8, 2013|11:23 am

    Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia was warned about the alleged financial shenanigans of Ephren Taylor long before the businessman managed to convince members of his congregation to hand over more than a million dollars for investment deals, which the federal government says were part of an elaborate scam.

    According to submitted court documents from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church reviewed by Atlanta news station WSB-TV, someone called the megachurch more than a week before Taylor’s scheduled appearance before the congregation to pitch his investment deals as part of a financial seminar.

    An internal memo reportedly indicates than an unidentified caller informed Bishop Long’s assistant that he “did not want the church to be taken advantage of” and predicted that Taylor would “issue promissory notes to the congregation if allowed that gives him legal authorization to do what he wants and there will be no return on investment.”

    A dozen members of Long’s New Birth congregation have filed a joint civil suit against the minister, the church and Taylor and his companies in an effort to recoup their million-dollar loss.

    Lillian Wells is one victim claiming to have been scammed out of her savings. She told the local news station that indeed Taylor had her sign a promissory note when she gave him $122,000 that he allegedly claimed he would invest in real estate. She said Taylor promised her a 20 percent return on the investment.

    “That was my everything, and that’s it, it’s gone,” Wells told WSB-TV of her life’s savings.

    The attorney representing the alleged victims called the internal memo from Long’s church a “smoking gun,” and said the minister had an obligation to warn his flock.

    “He has to put his church members’ interests before his own,” said attorney Jason Doss. “He was obligated under the law to tell everybody about it, and obviously he didn’t.”

    Bishop Long reportedly had introduced 29-year-old Taylor to New Birth members as “my friend, my brother, the great Ephren Taylor.” The Georgia minister did not, however, invest in any of the businessman’s purported deals.

    “We remain hopeful that Ephren Taylor and companies related to him restore the funds that were taken from congregants at New Birth and churches around the county. We continue to cooperate as the case proceeds,” said a spokesperson for the Georgia megachurch, which is reportedly home to about 25,000 members.

    Bishop Long, who is not involved in Taylor’s criminal case, released a video when the lawsuit filed against him and New Birth was revealed. In the online video, Long pleaded with Taylor to “do the right thing” and return the monies given to him in good faith.

    “Please, do what’s right. You’re a great fellow, you’re a great man, you do great things, let’s settle this so these families can move on,” the minister addressed Taylor.

    In April 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which investigates financial fraud, charged Taylor with running a Ponzi scheme, or affinity fraud, that targeted church congregations and other groups. The SEC also charged City Capital Corporation and Wendy Connor, its former chief operating officer, for their roles in the alleged scheme.

    According to a statement from the SEC: “Taylor and City Capital raised approximately $11 million through … promissory notes supposedly funding various small businesses, and interests in ‘sweepstakes machines.'”

    Federal investigators allege that the millions Taylor acquired from unsuspecting Christians from churches across the nation were used to cover personal expenses and pay other investors, with none of it going to charity, as Taylor allegedly had promised.

    The 29-year-old businessman is said to have marketed himself as “The Social Capitalist” while claiming to be the youngest black CEO of a public company and the son of a Christian minister who values the importance of “giving back.”

    A previous Christian Post report revealed that Taylor had also targeted Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, with a similar business seminar. When notified that an investor from the megachurch led by Pastor Joel Osteen had contacted the authorities about Taylor, a Lakewood Church representative told CP that they were previously unaware of the case.

    Taylor, a former New York City resident, has failed to respond to numerous subpoena requests to answer to the charges made against him. While another class action complaint was filed last August against Taylor, his father and another family member for similar crimes, his current whereabouts are unknown, according to the SEC.

    Attorney Cathy J. Lerman contacted The Christian Post last fall when Michael Winans, member of the famous gospel-singing Winans family, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of nearly $8 million in a Ponzi scheme.

    Lerman is among a team of lawyers said to represent thousands of victims of Ponzi schemes, some of which were executed through affinity frauds and targeted Christian investors.

    “I know firsthand the emotional, financial and spiritual toll these kinds of crimes have had on their victims and it has made me very, very angry. I find such frauds perpetrated in the name of religion to be some of the most insidious because the victims are targeted because of their goodness and faith. These people were fooled, not foolish,” she told CP, adding that religious organizations and their leaders need to do more to address these kinds of fraud cases.

    Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/eddie-longs-church-warned-in-advance-of-million-dollar-ponzi-scheme-89670/

  8. Here is another dead preacher who died of cancer at age 51. He was originally part of Carpenter’s Home Church in Florida, then founded his own. He also embraced The Purpose Driven falsehood.

    “Shane Simmons, lead pastor of Life Church in Auburndale, Fla., passed away Sunday from prostate cancer at the age of 51. Simmons was the son-in-law of Karl Strader, formerly the senior pastor of Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Fla.”

    http://www.charismanews.com/us/38828-life-church-pastor-shane-simmons-dies-of-cancer-at-51

  9. How One Lottery Winner Blew Through $10 Million in Less Than 10 Years

    By Eamon Murphy Posted 1:00PM 03/25/13

    With a $338 million Powerball ticket having been sold in New Jersey — the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history — it’s a good time to remember that the sudden gains of a lottery windfall can be fleeting.

    Imagine, for instance, winning $10 million and having almost none of it left less than a decade later.

    It happened to Sharon Tirabassi, a 35 year-old resident of Hamilton, Ontario. Nine years ago, The Hamilton Spectator reports, Tirabassi cashed a check from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. for $10,569,00.10 (Canadian). Today, after spending almost all her winnings — “big house, fancy cars, designer clothes, lavish parties exotic trips, handouts to family, loans to friends” — she’s back in the working class: riding the bus, working part-time, living in a rented house.

    What remains of her windfall is in trust for her six children; the money will become available when they turn 26.

    “The moment I got it, I divided it among my family,” Tirabassi told The Spec: $1 million to her parents, and $1.75 million among her four siblings. She was generous with others, too, buying houses and renting them out at low rates, paying people’s rent, offering loans for bail and business ventures.

    “All of that other stuff was fun in the beginning, now it’s like … back to life.”

    That other stuff included vacations in Cancun, Florida, Las Vegas, California, and the Caribbean, as well as four cars: a Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger and a custom Cadillac Escalade.

    Tirabassi was a single mother, recently off welfare and newly employed as a personal care provider, when she struck it rich on Easter Weekend in 2004. As a teenager, she had lived in shelters, and all that money didn’t come with instructions. Tirabassi didn’t hire a financial adviser; she didn’t even keep close track of her account balance. Suddenly, with just $750,000 left, Tirabassi woke up: “that was just time for fun to stop and to just go back to life.”

    Tirabassi’s husband, Vinny, who brought three kids of his own to the marriage, shares her stoicism about the couple’s lost fortune. He says he lived simply his whole life and is used to not being rich. Recalling the post-winning entreaties of suddenly interested friends, some of whom came asking for favors and then disappeared, Vinny says, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness. It caused her a lot of headaches.” His wife had a hard time saying no to those she thought of as in need: “That’s the way I was brought up,” she says. “Help those who can’t help themselves.”

    For the complete story of the couple’s financial descent, head over to The Spec.com, and check out the paper’s 2007 interview with Tirabassi, when she had already spent half of her winnings.

    Tirabassi’s experience stands in contrast to that of Sandra Hayes, who pocketed around $6 million when she and a dozen coworkers split a $224 million Powerball jackpot in 2006. (Watch Hayes tell her story in the video below.)

    Like Tirabassi, Hayes went on a spending spree — including a boat, an Escalade and a Mercedes — but she also paid off her mortgage and student loans, and was leery about handouts to friends and relatives. Today, Hayes lives comfortably but not extravagantly.

    “I love a good deal, I’m on a budget, I save my money,” she says. “I try not to live above my means.” Her warning to the newly rich: “If you’re not disciplined, you’ll go broke. I don’t care how much money you have.”

    Hayes sounds as though she might have taken lessons from Six Tips on How to Avoid Squandering a Financial Windfall. For more advice, check out these Powerball winners’ lessons on how to hang on to your cash, whether you’re a millionaire or just trying to make ends meet.

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/03/25/lottery-winner-powerball-sharon-tirabassi/?ncid=wsc-dl-cards-headline&a_dgi=aolshare_facebook

  10. Irish Prosperity Gospel Church Collapses Under €18 Million Debt
    Pastors narrowly avoid jail time after blocking church’s repossession by auditors.
    [ posted 7/2/2013 09:10AM ]
    An Irish church that encouraged followers to tithe more by preaching the prosperity gospel has collapsed.

    The Independent reports that Victory Christian Fellowship trustees are “reeling” after they blocked the Bank of Scotland from repossessing church property, prompting a contempt-of-court order that almost sent them to jail.
    Victory Christian’s dramatic downfall began last year, when the church lost its tax-exempt status because it engaged in too many commercial activities. “The decision sparked the Bank of Scotland to appoint a receiver over its loans of €18million,” according to the Sunday World.

    When receivers went in to take charge of the Victory Christian’s three main properties last week, however, they found themselves blocked by church members and staff “staging a sit-in.” That led a judge to hold pastors Brendan and Sheila Hade, as well as trustee Gerry Byrne, in contempt of court—an order that could have sent the church leaders to jail, if it weren’t for a last-minute agreement to hand over the properties after all.

    But Sunday World also reports that the church, “which took one tenth of its followers’ wages, was run like a personal bank for its pastors (including the Hades and Byrne).” The tithes from church members, which amassed more than 1 million Euros each year, directly benefitted the Hades.

    CT previously has covered the topic of prosperity gospel teaching, including the Lausanne Theology Working Group’s 2009 statement on the “unbiblical notion that spiritual welfare can be measure in terms of material welfare.”

    RELATED TOPICS:Debt; Fraud; Ireland; Prosperity Gospel
    POSTED:June 2, 2013 at 9:10AM

    Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/june/irish-victory-christian-fellowship-collapses-under-18-milli.html

  11. Here is a good article I just came across, called “Rich Preachers … Poor Souls”.
    http://evanghelineblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/rich-preachers-poor-souls/

  12. Here is a video about an article that shows that rich people tend to cheat, lie, steal, and even run a crosswalk more than poorer people. They even steal candy from poor children more than non-rich people.
    http://www.upworthy.com/take-two-normal-people-add-money-to-just-one-of-them-and-watch-what-happens-next

  13. I found another great article called, Why I called out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.
    http://churchismessy.com/2013/08/05/why-i-called-out-joel-osteen-and-joyce-meyer/#comment-1878

  14. Here is another great article, I will include the whole thing here, written by J. Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine. It is called:

    5 Ways the Prosperity Gospel Is Hurting Africa

    I’m not an African, but in 2008 some Nigerian friends gave me a Yoruba name (“Akinwale”) because I have been to that country so often. My visits there, along with trips to Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Egypt, planted a deep love for Africa in my heart. My first grandson’s arrival this year from Ethiopia made the connection even stronger.

    I’m often asked to describe how God is moving in Africa today. Since I’m an optimist, I usually tell of the large churches, the passionate praise and the intense spiritual hunger that characterizes African Christianity. But there is also a dark side, and I think it’s time we addressed one of the most serious threats to faith on the continent.

    I’m talking about the prosperity gospel. Of course, I know a slick version of this message is preached in the United States—and I know we are the ones who exported it overseas. I am not minimizing the damage that prosperity preaching has done in my own country. But I have witnessed how some African Christians are taking this money-focused message to new and even more dangerous extremes.

    Here are five reasons the prosperity message is damaging the continent of Africa today:

    1. It is mixed with occultism. Before Christianity came to Nigeria, people visited witch doctors and sacrificed goats or cows to get prosperity. They poured libations on the ground so the gods would hear their prayers. Today similar practices continue, only the juju priest has been replaced by a pastor who drives a Mercedes-Benz. I am aware of a pastor who buried a live animal under the floor of his church to win God’s favor. Another pastor asked his congregants to bring bottles of sand to church so he could anoint them; he then told the people to sprinkle the sand in their houses to bring blessings. The people who follow these charlatans are reminded that their promised windfall won’t materialize unless they give large donations.

    2. It fuels greed. Any person who knows Christ will learn the joy of giving to others. But the prosperity gospel teaches people to focus on getting, not giving. At its core it is a selfish and materialistic faith with a thin Christian veneer. Church members are continually urged to sow financial seeds to reap bigger and bigger rewards. In Africa, entire conferences are dedicated to collecting offerings in order to achieve wealth. Preachers boast about how much they paid for suits, shoes, necklaces and watches. They tell their followers that spirituality is measured by whether they have a big house or a first-class ticket. When greed is preached from the pulpit, it spreads like a cancer in God’s house.

    3. It feeds pride. This greedy atmosphere in prosperity churches has produced a warped style of leadership. My Kenyan friend Gideon Thuranira, editor of Christian Professional magazine, calls these men “churchpreneurs.” They plant churches not because they have a burden to reach lost souls but because they see dollar signs when they fill an auditorium with chairs. A selfish message produces bigheaded opportunists who need position, applause and plenty of perks to keep them happy. The most successful prosperity preacher is the most dangerous because he can convince a crowd that Jesus died to give you and me a Lexus.

    4. It works against the formation of Christian character. The prosperity message is a poor imitation of the gospel because it leaves no room for brokenness, suffering, humility or delay. It offers an illegal shortcut. Prosperity preachers promise instant results and overnight success; if you don’t get your breakthrough, it’s because you didn’t give enough money in the offering. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him; prosperity preaching calls us to deny Jesus and follow our materialistic lusts. There is a leadership crisis in the African church because many pastors are so set on getting rich, they can’t go through the process of discipleship that requires self-denial.

    5. It actually keeps people in poverty. The government of Malawi is currently under international scrutiny because of fraud carried out by top leaders. The saddest thing about the so-called “Cashgate” scandal is that professing Christians in the administration of President Joyce Banda have been implicated. One of these people stole millions of kwacha from the government and hid the cash in a teddy bear! Most people today in Malawi live on less than $1 a day, yet their leaders have been known to buy fleets of cars and huge plots of land with money that was not theirs. Sadly, the prosperity gospel preached in Malawi has encouraged pastors and leaders to follow the same corrupt pattern. As a result, God’s people have been financially exploited.

    When Jesus described false prophets as wolves in sheep’s clothing, He warned us to examine their fruit. Matthew 7:17 says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (NASB). What is the fruit of prosperity preaching?

    Churches have been growing rapidly in many parts of Africa today, yet sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where poverty has increased in the past 25 years. So according to the statistics, the prosperity gospel is not bringing prosperity! It is a flawed message, but I believe God will use selfless, broken African leaders to correct it.

    J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is preaching in Kenya this week.

    http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/19113-5-ways-the-prosperity-gospel-is-hurting-africa

  15. I found a story that reports a different attitude of rich people. It agrees with what I mention in one chapter of the book:

    Take Two ‘Normal’ People, Add Money To Just One Of Them, And Watch What Happens Next

    Science can explain a lot of things that I’ve always wondered about (go, science!). In this case, it explains what I’ve known for a long time but been unable to quite understand: Why do some folks who have a lot more money than others seem to be less nice and more evil to everyone around them?

    Read the whole story here:
    http://www.upworthy.com/take-two-normal-people-add-money-to-just-one-of-them-and-watch-what-happens-next

  16. I found another article I recommend:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pastor-rick-henderson/osteen-meyer-prosperity-gospel_b_3790384.html

  17. An “investor” is charged with swindling 5 million dollars from church members across the U.S.– Greed did not get them money, it cost them money: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/june/after-teaching-churches-how-store-treasures-ephren-taylor.html?&visit_source=twitter

  18. The Pope is trying to get the apostate flock back into the fold, such as Kenneth Copeland, and others:
    http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=22896

  19. Alabama Megachurch Builds $26 Million Entertainment Center with Bowling Alley, Night Club
    http://christiannews.net/2014/08/27/alabama-megachurch-builds-26-million-entertainment-center-with-bowling-alley-night-club/

  20. Here is a link showing that Joel Osteen has become a universalist. http://freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3059879/posts


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