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This is 2 of 33 Word of Faith responses from “Correcting the Cults – Expert responses to their scripture twisting” By Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes. Bookmark the site and come back for this series. PART 1 IS HERE

1 Peter 1:18-19 — Is our redemption based on Christ suffering in hell, as some word of faith teachers argue, and not on His shedding of blood on the cross.

1Pe 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Misinterpretation:
Word-Faith teaches say that Christ shed blood on the cross did not atone for our sins. Kenneth Copeland, for example, says “Jesus went into hell to free mankind from the penalty of Adams high treason….When his blood poured out, it did not atone…. Jesus spent three horrible days and nights in the bowels of this earth getting back for you and me our rights with God.” (personal letter from Kenneth Copeland; cited in McConnell, 1988, 120).

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Unholy Trinity
Friday, Dec 11, 2009

(By John MacArthur)

I don’t watch much television, and when I do I generally avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). For many years TBN has been dominated by faith-healers, full-time fund-raisers, and self-proclaimed prophets spewing heresy. I wrote about the false gospel they proclaim and the phony miracles they pretend to do almost two decades ago in Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. See especially chapter 12). I had my fill of charismatic televangelism while researching that book, and I can hardly bear to watch it any more.

Recently, however, while recovering from knee-replacement surgery, I decided to sample some of the current fare on TBN. From a therapeutic point of view it seemed a good choice: something more excruciating than the pain in my leg might distract me from the physical suffering of post-surgical trauma. And I suppose on that basis the strategy was effective.

But it left me outraged and frustrated—and eager to challenge the misperceptions in the minds of millions of unbelievers who see these false teachers masquerading as ministers of Christ on TBN.

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Former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff ran a ponzi-scheme swindle for nearly 20 years, and he bilked an estimated $18 billion from Wall-Street investors. When the scam finally came to light it unleashed a shockwave of outrage around the world. It was the largest and most far-reaching investment fraud ever.

But the evil of Madoff’s embezzlement pales by comparison to an even more diabolical fraud being carried out in the name of Christ under the bright lights of television cameras on religious networks worldwide every single day. Faith healers and prosperity preachers promise miracles in return for money, conning their viewers out of more than a billion dollars annually. They have operated this racket on television for more than five decades. Worst of all, they do it with the tacit acceptance of most of the Christian community.

Someone needs to say this plainly: The faith healers and health-and-wealth preachers who dominate religious television are shameless frauds. Their message is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing spiritual or miraculous about their on-stage chicanery. It is all a devious ruse designed to take advantage of desperate people. They are not godly ministers but greedy impostors who corrupt the Word of God for money’s sake. They are not real pastors who shepherd the flock of God but hirleings whose only design is to fleece the sheep. Their love of money is glaringly obvious in what they say as well as how they live. They claim to possess great spiritual power, but in reality they are rank materialists and enemies of everything holy.

There is no reason anyone should be deceived by this age-old con, and there is certainly no justification for treating the hucksters as if they were authentic ministers of the gospel. Religious charlatans who make merchandise of false promises have been around since the apostolic era. They pretend to be messengers of Christ, but they are interlopers and impostors. The apostles condemned them with the harshest possible language. Paul called them “men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:5). Peter called them false prophets with “heart[s] trained in greed” (2 Peter 2:14). He warned that “in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (v. 3). He exposed them as scoundrels and dismissed them as “stains and blemishes” on the church (v. 13).

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