Brannon S. Howse
Like the first step, number two in the eight transformational steps to a global false church is well under way. As with the redefined Jesus, there are several versions of the redefined Gospel: the prosperity gospel, the social gospel, and the collective salvation gospel. I’ll explain each in turn.
A product of the Word of Faith movement, the prosperity gospel is also known as name it and claim it. In a nutshell, this gospel says that Jesus wants you to be rich—in fact, He needs you to be rich. Kenneth Copeland explains why he thinks this is true:
[quote] People that get all upset at preachers who preach prosperity never have taken the time to pray and see if God wanted them to prosper financially for some reason or another. God needs you saved. He needs you filled with the Holy Ghost. He needs you well, and He needs you strong, and He needs you rich. [end quote]
Word of Faithers like Copeland believe that if you’re living the kind of life that you should be living—properly using the power of your words and the power of your mind—you can obtain whatever you want. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. To them, God is a sort of heavenly butler to give you what you want—your best life now, for instance, to paraphrase Joel Osteen. This is simply modern-day shamanism, a form of spiritualism through which a channeler (shaman) brings beneficial spiritual energies into the natural world in order to produce some desired result.
And how about the social gospel? This is the hippy Jesus gospel I mentioned earlier, and I’ve noted below a list of specific reasons why I think the hippy Jesus gospel is so dangerous. The social gospel:
The third redefined gospel is a derivative of the social gospel. Collective salvation is a teaching of the Emergent Church, similar to reconstructionism, which holds that we need to build a utopia on earth. Adherents embrace dominion theology but reject many essential Christian doctrines. The cultural mandate of the Neo-Calvinists and the Religious Right is also a form of collective salvation. They are comfortable setting aside theological and doctrinal differences in order to work together to win the culture war or establish the kingdom of God on earth. This is why they emphasize the need to revitalize the United States as a “Christian nation.”
The pragmatism of collective salvationists amounts to a humanistic, man-centered theology of group consensus—i.e., “If we all work together, we can make the world a better place”—reminiscent of the 1980s hit song “We Are the World” that includes these words: “We are the world; we are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day. So let’s start giving.”
The concept works well with the amalgamation of world religions—Roman Catholics, Mormons, New Agers, and social justice advocates. They seem to think the alternative is disaster. As Jerry Falwell, Jr., explained on one of Glenn Beck’s programs in 2010:
[quote] If we don’t hang together we’ll hang separately. I mean, that'’s what my father believed when he formed Moral Majority. It was an organization of Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, people of no faith. And there are bigger issues now. We can argue about theology later, after we save the country. [end quote]
The concept of collective salvation was espoused by Martin Heidegger, a Nazi who worked with Adolf Hitler. Heidegger advocated the setting aside of theology, doctrine convictions, and values to embrace the Third Reich—in order restore Germany’s economy and the country’s status in the world. As a result, the false church ended up as part of the destructive, murderous, antichrist, satanic worldview of Adolf Hitler. Many churches even permitted the swearing in of SS officers during worship services. Children were baptized in front of the Nazi flag, the Bible was replaced with Mein Kampf, and the cross was replaced with the swastika—all because they were willing to set aside theology and “save the nation.”
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