CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

God, Prayer and Positive Confession

May 14, 2013

One major part of the health and wealth gospel is the positive confession movement. Also known as “name it and claim it” teaching, this spurious theology suggests that believers can basically get whatever they ask for; as long as they

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Difficult Bible Passages: Philippians 4:8

Apr 15, 2013

Like some of the other passages I have discussed in this series of articles, this is not really a “difficult” passage as such. But it is a passage which is very often misused, especially by the “positive confession” folks. They

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They Suffer and Die While We Party

Apr 11, 2013

As we speak, all over the world Christians are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and killed for their faith. The worst persecution of Christianity in its 20-century history is happening now. Yet we in the comfortable West basically don’t know about

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Charging For the Ministry

Apr 7, 2013

Many people reject Christianity because they perceive it to be a big money-making racket. And sadly for far too many Christian leaders and ministries it does seem that way. They not only preach a gospel of prosperity (‘God wants you

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Suffering, Scripture, and False Gospels

Feb 5, 2013

It goes without saying that suffering is a major part of life. No one denies this. Yet there are some Christians and some theologies which assure us that believers at least need not suffer. They may allow persecution as a

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Jesus or Prosperity?

Jan 4, 2013

Judging by some teachers, if you come to Jesus, you are entitled to prosperity, riches and the good life. But according to Jesus, if you come to him, you are entitled to a life of hardship, deprivation and suffering. So

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Real Gospel vs Fake Gospel

Sep 7, 2012

As I am reading through the book of Acts right now I am again struck at how markedly different the gospel the first Christians preached was from what we so often hear today. It is as if there never was

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Difficult Bible Passages: Mark 16:17-18

Jun 2, 2012

This passage is as much a misused passage as a difficult one. And its misuse can often be deadly. There have been a number of fringe Christians who have died because of its misuse and abuse. Often found in America’s

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Is Physical Healing in the Atonement?

Apr 29, 2012

Divine healing proponents look to Isaiah 53:4,5 as proof that healing is to be included in the atonement. Indeed, almost all of the faith teachers appeal to this passage. The NIV rendering of the passage in question is as follows:

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Possessions, Contentment and Discipleship

Apr 27, 2012

Admittedly, contentment is rather difficult to achieve in an age of rising expectations. Not only does everyone want to keep up with the Joneses, but they want to surpass them as well. Our modern consumer society, aided and abetted by

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Spirituality and Material Riches

Apr 18, 2012

One major mistake of some believers in general, and the prosperity gospel in particular, is to equate a person’s economic and material standing with his or her spiritual condition. The more extreme proponents of this teaching seem to assume that

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The Prosperity Gospel

Apr 17, 2012

There are always plenty of twisted teachings and dodgy doctrines circulating in our churches. One is known as the Prosperity Gospel or the Health and Wealth Gospel. This has been quite popular in many circles for several decades now.

This

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The Lament Psalms

Feb 2, 2012

Given that we usually think of the psalms as songs of praise, it may be startling to some just how much ‘negative’ content is found in the psalms. Indeed, it may surprise many believers to learn – especially those who

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On Spiritual Bankruptcy

Jul 24, 2011

I came upon an interesting religious news item today. It seems that one very famous church in America has gone bankrupt, and is up for sale. The cash-strapped church is now trying to get out of debt by selling off

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