Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 4/19/2016 8:51:50 PM EDT
I have a friend who has recently become heavily involved in the WOF/Prosperity Gospel movement. He suffers from a mental illness, which through a series of unfortunate events led to his incarceration. While in prison he heard the Gospel through a prison ministry (not one affiliated with this movement) and began watching Andrew Womack on TV.

Since his release, he's visited a number of churches and I, along with his prison ministry mentors, have tried to help him as much as we can. However, like a magnet, he's been drawn to a local church that teaches this WOF message. He's going deeper and deeper into the movement, giving more money to this church, immersing himself in the youtube videos and literature of this movement, and he's stopped attending the other churches that he had been going to.

This whole time we've tried to guide him and explain the dangers of this movement. We've had discussions with him, taken him to Bible study, had Facebook debates, bought him books, etc. And it's not that we are trying to steer him to any one denomination. We are just trying to show him that this movement doesn't hold up under Biblical scrutiny.

For me, it's been an educational experience. I've had to learn their core doctrines, prominent names in their community, and how they operate. I understand the appeal. I'm just losing hope in him. The more we try to help; the more he resists. It really is an ugly thing.

Having said all this, I do believe he loves Jesus. He understands what happened on the Cross. He has asked for forgiveness. He's more dedicated than most. So my question is: where should I draw the line for concern? If he has the basic beliefs down, is it ok for him to remain as a newborn and never grow in understanding? Or does the fact that he clings to some of these heresies call into question his salvation?

Some days I think he's just confused. His mental illness combined with his lack of understanding gives him a pass. And then other days I feel it's vitally important to correct these beliefs because he may really be in dire need or he may lead others astray.

For those on here who may subscribe to this movement: this post is not for you. You know where I stand. I'm asking like-minded individuals to give me advice on how to help a friend.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:55:14 AM EDT
Hmmm. I figured someone would have an opinion.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:07:36 AM EDT
The "prosperity gospel" is one of the biggest cults out there and it will lead a lot of people astray, but being a Christian is about the relationship, not the religion.

Christians can be drawn into it just as easily as the lost, that doesn't make them "less Christian" but as you said, it keeps them stagnant, and in the worst cases they drag others down with them.

Osteen, Newspring, they all make me sick and so many people brag on it like it's the best thing since sliced bread.
You don't go to church to "feel good", you go to church to hear the gospel and the Word of God. If your "pastor" isn't preaching straight from the Bible without twisting things out of context, he is likely doing more harm than good.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:28:02 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RDTCU:
The "prosperity gospel" is one of the biggest cults out there and it will lead a lot of people astray, but being a Christian is about the relationship, not the religion.

Christians can be drawn into it just as easily as the lost, that doesn't make them "less Christian" but as you said, it keeps them stagnant, and in the worst cases they drag others down with them.

Osteen, Newspring, they all make me sick and so many people brag on it like it's the best thing since sliced bread.
You don't go to church to "feel good", you go to church to hear the gospel and the Word of God. If your "pastor" isn't preaching straight from the Bible without twisting things out of context, he is likely doing more harm than good.
View Quote


I agree completely. I guess what I'm struggling with can be seen in Matthew 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."

My friend follows these 'false prophets' and he is mesmerized by their 'signs and wonders.' But does being led astray mean he isn't in the Faith? Or that he will be cast out? I think of Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

Is it my duty to continue to try to help, even if it only makes his heart harder? Or should I leave him be? It's a real dilemma I'm struggling with.
Top Top