I work on every other weekend, and last Sunday was one of those working days. But I found myself with nothing much to do and after writing a few stories, I stepped out of the office for a walk.
I ended up at Mamlaka Hill Chapel (MHC), on Mamlaka Road, just a few minutes from my office. I was just in time for the third and final service of the day. I slipped into the back row and sat down.
Pastor John Musyimi was preaching. He is an excellent speaker, and one of my favorite teachers at MHC. On this Sunday, he was handling the second part of an on-going series the church has been doing on “Counterfeit Gospels.” Musymi titled his message “Money for Miracles.”
“I am going to give us four reasons why the popular ‘word of faith’ or ‘money for miracles’ teaching is wrong,” he started. Then he did something that many pastors would rather avoid because of how much cringing it tends to evoke.
He named some of the popular proclaimers of this kind of “Prosperity Gospel”: Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Kenya’s very own Victor Kanyari.
You have probably already heard some teaching or another on why prosperity gospel is false and an abomination before God. You have also probably heard all the reasons why we should just speak against false teachings without labeling anyone a false teacher because, well, that would be judging and the Bible “clearly” tells us not to judge. You know the script.
But whatever your sensibilities over who gets to call out false teachers and who gets to be called a false teacher, I think the following points from Musyimi’s sermon are well worth your consideration. I will just summarize them here and attach a link to the full sermon below.
FOUR REASONS WHY THE “MONEY FOR MIRACLES” TEACHING IS DANGEROUS
- It displaces God as the object of our worship. The main goal of life becomes to be wealthy. These teachers are promoting idolatry from the pulpit. God is being displaced by the idol of wealth, He becomes a footnote and a side-note. A mere means to our own ends.
- It disparages Christ by making him a means to an end. The prosperity preachers treat Jesus as a genie in a bottle. A conduit to health and wealth. Jesus died so that you can have your beat life NOW. But the Bible teaches us to prioritize Christ over all that Christ can give us. Christ is complete, sufficient, enough, pre-eminent. Prosperity preachers love addition and multiplication as the benefits of following Christ, but Jesus talks about loss and division as the costs of following Him.
- It dishonors the Holy Spirit by manipulating the scriptures that he offered. Putting words into God’s mouth. Guaranteeing what God has not guaranteed. To distort scripture to serve the needs of man is to dishonor God. Prosperity preachers take scripture out of context, and ignore other texts that talk about poverty and loss.
- It deceives men as to the nature of their true need. We are sinners in need of a savior. Rebels in need of redemption from the wages of our rebellion. Being broke or sick are merely secondary manifestations of our primary need — salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In the sermon, Musyimi briefly shares about once being a prosperity preacher himself — or rather, sitting at the feet of one such teacher — in his earlier days in the faith. He clarifies why prosperity Gospel attracts so many people: “When you look at these churches, they are huge. Isn’t that a sign of God’s blessing? Prosperity gospel appeals to our greed and covetousness.
He then concludes with these four heart-checking questions that any sincere seeker of the true Gospel ought to ask themselves:
- Do you love things more than you love God?
- Is Jesus Christ enough for you? Is He worth denying yourself?
- Do you rely on the scripture wholly, rightly understood and in context or do you rely more on the preacher?
- Have you come to terms with your real need?
Check out the sermon MP3 here. It will be worth your while.
3 thoughts on “A Timely and Timeless Warning by Pastor Musyimi”
thanks for sharing
I love it when truth is spoken, coz we live in a world that lacks it
Great sermon it was. Thanks for the synopsis