Book Review – Debt Blasters

10 years ago, I was asked to do an in depth book review of the book Debt Blasters, which was a word faith (i.e. health & wealth or prosperity gospel) book written by Richard and Lindsay Roberts (son of Oral Roberts).  It included chapters from various word faith teachers (i.e. John Hagee) and was a fairly aggressive presentation of word faith theology, making crazy claims and not beating around the bush.   Since I’ve been asked to comment on the word faith movement recently, I thought I would share this as it presents a good amount of the exegetical support used for the word faith movement from one of the larger figures in that movement (circa 1995).  This is definitely my  longest post ever, it’s writing that is representative of who I was 10 years ago (there’s a section where I distinguish between the office and spiritual gift of prophecy, a position I wholeheartedly rejected years ago…so we all grow and learn, right?), but on the whole it should be informative for people who are curious as to the word faith movement and how to respond to some of their common rhetoric and twisting of scripture.  The section on false teachers is informative in and of itself and could likely be it’s own blog post.
Enjoy!

SORTING THROUGH DEBT BLASTERS

            The word faith movement, with all of its various names (health and wealth gospel, name it and claim it, seed faith movement, prosperity gospel, etc.), has been around for some time now. Upon reading Richard Roberts’ book Debt Blasters, I was unsure as to what to expect but upon completing my study of the book, I find that Debt Blasters says nothing new to the Christian community.  Debt Blasters is the same old word faith (specifically seed faith) rhetoric and promises that have been thrown around for decades now.  Richard Roberts may use familiar “Christianese” terminology and may extensively quote scripture, but when his arguments and exegesis are tested against Scripture and orthodox Christian theology, Richard Roberts is revealed to be not a prince but a pauper.

The main argument of Debt Blasters runs along the following logical stream:

1.  It is the desire of God to bless mankind in spiritual, emotional, physical and financial ways.[1]

2.  God is working to get those blessings to mankind, but those blessings can only be accessed by utilizing the correct method.  Without using the correct method, God is powerless to bless you.[2]

3.  The method to access the blessings of God is the method of “sowing and reaping”, as revealed in scripture.[3]

4.  The demonic realm works against God to confound his attempts to bless mankind and “steal” the blessings of God by using various tactics to either confuse the discovery of the “sowing and reaping” method or deceive people from implementing the “sowing and reaping” method (cynicism, deceit, theft, curses and demonization – i.e. “the spirit of debt/bondage).[4]

5.  Financial debt is the result of demonic activity and oppression in the life of an individual.[5]

6.  By implementing the “sowing and reaping” method, the implementer can catalyze physical, spiritual, emotional and financial blessing (abundance and wholeness) in their own life.[6]

Richard Roberts, and those who contribute to the book, arrives at these conclusions through the same means that any, supposedly orthodox, Christian would arrive at such conclusions; through exegesis and application of scripture.  In order to display the fallaciousness of the presented arguments, one needs to do two things.  One must test the teaching with sound Biblical doctrine.  Then one must show through sound biblical exegesis, how the presented biblical exegesis is flawed.  If both of these goals can be accomplished, the foundation of seed faith will be unsettled and the teaching of seed faith will come tumbling down.

 

THEOLOGICAL FALLACIES

God Desires All Men To Be Blessed

            The first point in the argument, that God wants to bless mankind, is true in a sense.  It is true in the sense that God wants to bless mankind to be happy and prosperous.[7]

What kind of happiness does God desire for Christians?  Happiness that comes through spiritual poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger (for righteousness, not blessing), mercy, peacemaking and enduring persecution (Matt 5:3-11; Luke 6:20-22 – rendered from makarios).[8]  God desires believers to have the happiness that comes from obeying the word of God (Luke 11:28, 12:43; James 1:25 –makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from giving and not receiving (Acts 20:35 – makarios).[9]  God desires happiness that comes from the forgiveness of sins (Rom 4:7-8 – makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from enduring temptation (James 1:12 – makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from suffering for the sake of righteousness (1 Peter 3:14, 4:14 – makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from dying within the providence of the salvation of God (Rev. 14:13 – makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from being invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9 –  makarios).  God desires happiness that comes from being saved from Hell (Rev. 20:6 – makarios).[10]

What kind of prosperity does God desire for Christians? God desires the prosperity of inheriting the kingdom of God (Matt 25:34 – rendered from eulegeo).  God desires the prosperity that comes from being rich in spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3 – eulegeo).  God desires the prosperity (spiritual prosperity) that comes from the promised Holy Spirit (Gal 3:14 – eulogia).

In Ephesians 1:3-14, Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus saying that God has blessed believers with “every spiritual blessing” (1:3).  What does every spiritual blessing include?

1.  “He (God) chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (1:4, italics mine).

2.  “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ…” (1:5, italics mine)

3.  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (1:7, italics mine).

4.  “…he made known to us the mystery of his will…” (1:9, italics mine)

5.  “…you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth…” (1:13, italics mine).

6.   “…you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” (1:13, italics mine)

Christians are given election, predestination, forgiveness, revelation, sanctification and assurance. God did all solely this by his grace (1:6-7) for his own glory (1:6, 12, 14).  In the light of their spiritual blessings, Paul then prays two separate prayers for the Ephesian believers.  In those prayers he prays that they would know God better (1:17), that they would know the hope that God has given them (1:18), that they would know the power of God that works within them (1:19-23), that they would be inwardly strengthened (3:16), that Christ would dwell in their hearts (3:17) and that they may lay hold of understanding the love of Christ in order to be filled with the entire measure of God (3:18-19).  Then, in the last 3 chapters of Ephesians, Paul explains what he means when he writes “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (4:1). Paul then speaks on a large list of topics but does not mention money, health, worldly prosperity and emotional wholeness at all.[11]  With such a comprehensive exhortation to the Ephesian Christians, the testimony of silence is powerful indeed.

Essentially, the New Testament nowhere talks about God’s salvation plan as including money or worldly prosperity.  The idea of Christianity being a means to worldly prosperity is completely counter to the entire message of the New Testament.  Jesus told people consistently that in order to follow him, one had to be willing to give up everything, including money (Luke 9:57-62, 14:25-35, 18:18-30), for life does not consist of an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15).  The New Testament gives a completely different picture of “riches” and being “debt free” than Richard and Lindsay Roberts.[12]  God has caused us to prosper and be happy spiritually, with joy from the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22; Rom 14:17; Col 1:11; 1Thess 1:6).   Jesus talks about true riches being in and of the kingdom of God and money is stored in heaven by obeying God with finances, which means using money for the purposes of God as opposed to the purposes of oneself (Matt 6: 9-21, 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33; Luke 18:22).  This is not exclusively meaning that one should give money to the poor, though that is part of the teaching in the New Testament (Luke 18:18-30; James 1:27).  One can serve financially in other ways, like by supporting a ministry (1 Cor 9:7-14).  The ways that one can use their money for the Lord are numerous, but the Lord does command service in the financial sense.  Also, the giving away of money is not “planting a seed” which God is obligated to bless in a like fashion.[13]  God promises us nothing in return for giving money away; that’s simply part of understanding that all money is God’s money (not Satan’s) and by using it for his glory, that obedience credits one with treasures in heaven.  This is called being “rich in good deeds” (1 Tim 6:17-19).  The “harvest”, if one can even call it that, of financial submission to God is completely spiritual and Christians can expect nothing on earth; nothing but trial and persecution (John 15:20; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 John 3:13).[14]

One last thing with the first point is that John Hagee makes an extreme claim regarding the concept that it is the will of God to bless Christians; he states that “this has been lost to the Gentile Christians for two thousand years.” (Roberts, 14).  This exclusive claim to have truth that no other Christian has had for two millennia cannot be ignored.  As a general rule of thumb, someone claiming to have a “secret truth” that apparently has been hidden from the church for millennia is a false teacher.  Paul had people claiming hidden and secret knowledge in his day (from Gnostics to Essenes) and he responded by saying that there is no secret knowledge outside of knowing Christ (1 Cor 2:6-16; Eph 3:1-11; Col 1:25-2:12).  Anyone who claims to have anything beyond Christ and the Christian gospel is condemned to hell and is certainly not to be listened to (Gal 1:6-9).

 

Only The Correct Method Yields Blessings

            The second point (and the entire argument) falls on the destruction of the first point, but there are certainly a few things that can be said.  Primarily, God does not need mankind to implement a method to catalyze him to action, whether for salvation or for any subsequent provision.[15]  God chose Israel for a holy covenant out of his own sovereign choice, not because of their power or righteousness (Deut 7:7-8, 9:4-6).  God, simply because he sovereignly chose to, elected Israel to be his people.  God is simply merciful to those to which he chooses to be merciful (Rom 9:15).

Like Israel, God provides salvation to Christians outside of their implementation of any method or instrument to either save themselves or make themselves savable.  In other words, people sin because they are sinners.  Psalm 51:5 says that the psalmist was sinful at birth (as is everyone).  Proverbs 20:9 rhetorically asks “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?”  The scriptures say that everyone is a sinner (Rom 3:23; Psalm 53:1-3).  Ephesians 2:3 says that people are by nature objects of wrath, not by deed.  Genesis 8:21 says that …”every inclination of his (mankind’s) heart is evil from childhood…”. Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21 and Luke 6:45 say that evil thoughts come from the heart and from that evil heart, the evil thoughts and desires boil over into sinful acts (Matt 12:34).  Mankind is unable to do any truly righteous deed at all, for righteous deeds can only come from a righteous heart (Luke 6:43-45, Matt 7: 17-18,12:33).  Ephesians 2:1 and Colossians 2:13 speak of non-Christians as being “dead in sin”.  Before anyone becomes a Christian, they are dead, not sick.  They are spiritually a lifeless corpse.

Amazingly and gloriously, God saves Christians while they are spiritually dead.  God saves sinners, while they are sinners (Rom 5:8, Eph 2:5; Col 2:13-15); while they are dead.  God saves people out of his grace, not out of anything that they do (Acts 15:11; Rom 3:23-24; Eph 2:8-9; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 3:5-7).  People are saved by faith, but even this comes from God (Eph 2:8-9).  God works in believers both “…to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil 2:13) and God changes the hearts of believers (Rom 2:29, 5:5).  In being saved, God lavishes out every spiritual blessing on believers as well (Eph 1:3-14).  How does this relate to God needing a method?

God did everything (salvation and pouring out every spiritual blessing) before anyone could implement a method!  God chose the elect before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4) and saved the elect while they were powerless to save themselves.  After that, there is nothing they could do attain salvation.  Paul writes the Galatian church, who was tempted to go back to the Levitical law, and says,

“You foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?  Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing?  Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Gal 3:1-5)

Once one is saved by God, one cannot get any more saved by attempting to perform meritorious good works and one cannot get any more blessing by implementing some “instant blessing” formula.  The Christian is signed, sealed and awaiting deliverance.  There’s nothing more that could possibly be done.[16]

A second idea that might be mentioned briefly is that the idea of certain words, places, rituals or items having power is simply witchcraft hiding behind rhetoric.  Contrary to Debt Blasters’ clear proposition that “they (words) have power”; words do not have inherent power.  Isaiah 8:19 says mediums and spiritists “whisper and mutter”.  Pagan shamans and warlocks (or witches) used to (and possibly still do) seek to protect the words and incantations that they used, for they believed that words have inherent power.  They mutter and whisper so that people cannot hear and then steal their spells and magic words.  They still think that if one says the right thing and God is forced to move for that is the main idea of magic: manipulating the spiritual realm by spell, ritual, location or talisman.

In John 11, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he both said and did something significant.  Once the stone was rolled away he prayed, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11:41-42)  John 11:43 then records “When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!””.  Jesus prayed in front of everyone and declares aloud that the following miracle will be performed so that people will believe that Christ is sent from God.  If the miracle happens, the people will know why it is happening and who is doing it.  Then, so that everyone could hear his words, John distinctly declares that Christ called out Lazarus in a loud voice.  There was no question that the power was not in the words, but from God.  Words have no power and formulas cannot force God’s hand.

 “Sowing and Reaping” Is The Method To Use To Attain Blessing

            It would seem clear from the first two points that to talk about this would be to waste time.  There is no method, so “sowing and reaping” cannot be the method.  The method of “sowing and reaping” is also not found anywhere in scripture, but that will be discussed later.

Satan’s Confounding Attempts

            This is also a short discussion.  Can Satan “steal” blessings that God has meant for Christians?  Not if God is sovereign.  Psalm 115:3 says that “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”  God does what he wants, and nobody can stop his hand (Job 9:12; Is 14:27, Dan 4:34-35).  Romans 9:19 rhetorically asks “…who resists his will?”  Also, with regards to Satan and God, one might remember the first chapters of Job.  In Job 1:9-12 and 2:3-6, Satan has to get permission from God to strike Job with suffering and sickness.  Again, in Luke 22:31-32, Jesus tells Peter that “…Satan has asked to sift you as wheat…” but Christ prayed for him and Satan was not given permission.  Again, the demons in Luke 8:27-39 had to ask Jesus’ permission to enter the flock of pigs.  Satan doesn’t just run around and do whatever he wants; Satan answers to God.  Also, Satan cannot take anything from God because God already owns everything (Deut 10:14, Psalm 24:1).[17]  In fact, Satan is not called a thief once in the entire Bible and there is not one scripture that says that Satan has stolen anything.  He’s a deceiver, a murder, a liar and an accuser (among many other things), but scripture never refers to Satan as a thief.

One other thing that may need mention here is that the seed faith teaching of Debt Blasters, in typical cult fashion, teaches that cynics are agents of Satan, sent to lead one away from “the truth”.  This teaching is made clear on pages 65 and 82 and this is another identifying mark of a cult.  Cultists do not want their members to intellectually challenge their false teaching, lest they be revealed as charlatans by sheer reason (let alone the word of God).  In order to keep from being discovered, cultists will regularly tell their followers that cynics are something along the lines of agents of Satan, sent to lead them away from “the truth” or sent to test them to see if their commitment/loyalty to the cult (often called their “faith”) is legitimate.  This is true of Scientology, Mormonism, Christian Science and numerous other cults.  True Christians welcome cynics, for if Christianity is true, it will stand any intellectual attack (and may lead one to an avenue to share the gospel with the cynic).  Cult leaders, on the other hand, are frightened by questioning/free thinking and constantly seek to maintain a tight, intellectual restraint on their followers out of fear of their followers realizing that they have been deceived.

 

Debt Is The Result Of Demonic Attack

            The idea that all debt comes from the attack and oppression of demons is simply absurd.  On page 51 of Debt Blasters, Creflo Dollar says that “I believe that debt is backed up by a demonic spirit…”  Apparently, this spirit is known by various names.  Richard Roberts calls it the “spirit of debt”.  On page 53, Creflo Dollar calls it the “spirit of poverty”.  None the less, this is far from the truth.  Although scripture sometimes ascribes names to demons (Legion – Mark 8:32) and attributes certain illnesses to demons (being mute – Matt 9:32-33, being blind – Matt 12:22, seizures – Mat 17:15), several things must be noted.  First, scripture nowhere indicates that demons and poverty are normally related.[18]  Instead, we see the apostle Paul living in poverty (2 Cor 11:27: Phil 4:12-13).  If poverty is sin, then Paul was living in sin and teaching others to sin as well.  Jesus also had want (Luke 9:58), but was Jesus Christ a sinner?  James 1:9-10 instead flips the tables on the Debt Blasters and says that the brother in humble circumstances (poverty) has a high position but the rich brother is in a low position.

The Method Moves God To Bless You

            With the sixth point, that by implementing the “sowing and reaping” method, the implementer can catalyze physical, spiritual, emotional and financial blessing (abundance and wholeness) in their own life, there is not much to say.  Richard Roberts suggests that “you can tie God’s hands” by not implementing a method (67).  This is complete heresy.  Likewise, Richard Roberts suggests that implementing a method will make God “obligated to open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing” (112).  This is also complete heresy.  God does what he wants, and nobody can stop his hand (Job 9:12; Is 14:27).  “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” (Psalm 115:3).

It would be worthwhile to take a lesson from Elijah with this one.  1 Kings 18:16-40 tells the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  Elijah went up against “four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah…” in a contest to prove that Jehovah was God (18:19).  The prophets of Baal called on Baal from morning till noon and danced around the altar of Baal (18:26).  Elijah taunted them to shout louder, and they shouted louder and slashed themselves (18:27-28).  This occurred until the evening, and nothing happened (18:29).  Then, Elijah repaired the altar, set the sacrifice upon it and drenched it with water (18:30-35).  After that, Elijah simply stepped forward and prayed that God would defend his own name (18:36-37).  The altar was completely obliterated from the heaven-sent fire and the prophets of Baal were slain.  Two things should be noticed here.

The first is the format.  The prophets of Baal went all day long and did everything that they thought they should do.  They cried out, they danced, they slashed themselves.  The prophets were passionate, loud, aggressive, and persistent but none of that worked.  Elijah simply prayed aloud to God.  The former was dramatic and one would imagine that the amount of prophets (850) was representative of the nation’s opinion of the prophets.  If the people don’t believe and support it, it won’t be around for long (look at what happened to the prophets of Baal in the end…).  The latter was simple and not very dramatic at all.

The second is content.  The prophets prayed that Baal would do their bidding while Elijah prayed only that God would reveal his own glory.  Their plan depended on their performance (hence Elijah suggested that they increase the volume), but Elijah’s plan depended only on God being jealous for his own glory.  God simply revealed what he already possessed and so did Baal.  God showed forth his power and sovereignty while Baal (Satan) showed forth his impotence and subjugation.[19]

EXEGETICAL FALLACIES

Debt Blasters is built upon usage of scripture that ranges from shaky to atrocious.  There are several key texts that seem to appear frequently and numerous minor texts that appear sporadically in developing support for the seed faith argument.  When some of the main texts are properly exegeted, the supposed seed faith scriptures reveal consistent misunderstanding and misapplication.  In now way do they build the argument that is presented in Debt Blasters.

 

 

Galatians 3:13-14 and Genesis 12:2

The first main support text is Galatians 3:13-14.[20]  This is part of a greater misunderstanding of the application of the promises of the Abrahamic covenant, which applies the “…I will bless you…” of Genesis 12:2 to Christians.  Essentially, the “seed faith” understanding of this passage is that Christians obtain the blessings of Abraham (Roberts, 11, 20) and this means financial riches (Roberts 91-92).  Abraham was promised a blessing and he got rich, so believers should get rich as well.

The main problem here is that Galatians 3:14 says that the blessing that might come to the Gentiles is the Holy Spirit, not money.  Second, Galatians 3:15-16 say clearly that the promises of Abraham were for Christ.  The blessing promised to Abraham (the Holy Spirit) was given through Christ (John 15:26, 16:7).  Thus, the seed faith understanding of the passage has some major obstacles to overcome if it is to be proven true.

As far as the financial blessings of Abraham go, one must also notice something significant.  The first covenant was confirmed by an oath (Deut 4:31; Heb 6:17) and the blessing of worldly riches, possessions and land (Deut 8:18, 28:1-2, 28:9-14).  The second covenant was instead confirmed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; 4:30; Heb 2:4).  As a mark of the first covenant, those who partook in it would be blessed in finances (commercial and agricultural prosperity) and victorious military conquest (Deut 28:1-14).  As a mark of the second covenant, Christians live in love (John 13:35, 17:23; 1 John 3:10-16, 4:7) and endure persecution/suffering (Matt 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20; Rom 8:16-17; 2 Cor 1:3-7; Phil 1:27-29, 3:10; 2 Tim 1:7-9; 1 Pet 2:20-23, 4:12-19).  Christians are no longer under the first covenant, so the promises of the first covenant don’t directly apply to Christians (Rom 6:14-15, Gal 3:25, 5:18; Heb 8:3-10:25).

Genesis 8:22

            This passage is understood as eternally establishing the “seed time and harvest” principle (Roberts 58-59).  This is simply a case of horrible exegesis.  Genesis 8 comes after the flood and in it God makes an oath to Noah.  Genesis 8:21 says that God will never again curse the ground and destroy every living creature.  In this context, 8:22 says “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  God is not establishing a principle, but making an oath to never again destroy the earth by flood.  Agriculture will never again be disrupted by a worldwide flood.

 

Malachi 3:7-12

            Malachi 3: 7-12 is a favorite among seed faith teachers.[21]  It seems to plainly present a seed faith message to the reader.  Malachi is not presenting anything close to a seed faith message though.  Giving that it was written under the first covenant, Malachi must be understood in that context.  In Malachi, Israel had wandered away from the covenant of God and was being called back to fidelity to God.  Malachi speaks against Israel and accuses them of defiling the altar of God (1:7-8), having wayward priests (2:7-9), performing spiritual adultery (2:11-12).  Then, in chapter 3, Malachi condemns Israel for robbing God by withholding tithes (3:7-10).  The call of God in Malachi 3 is not to “plant a seed”, but instead is to return to covenant fidelity.  Essentially, God is saying “I’ve not kept my part of the deal because you have not kept your part of the deal.  If you keep your part, I’ll keep mine.”  Israel is being called back to the covenant of God by being reminded of the promised blessings and curses from the law.

 

 John 10:10

            John 10:10 is quoted as talking about Satan, who with this text is said to be desiring to “steal, kill and destroy”.[22]  Basically, this text (specifically verse 10) is not talking about Satan at all, but “the thief” in John 10:10 is an infinitive reference to the false prophets/false messiahs that came before Christ.  Chapter 10 of John starts with Jesus saying,

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:1-5)

From this one learns that the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate is a thief and a robber (10:1).  One learns that the man who enters by the gate is the shepherd (10:2).  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice (10:3).  The shepherd calls his own sheep by name, leads them out, goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (10:3-4). “They (the sheep) will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (10:5).

John 10:6 says that Jesus was using a figure of speech (for those who aren’t sure if he’s using a metaphor) and the people did not understand what he was talking about.  Jesus responds by saying,

“…I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep. ” (John 10:7-15)

Christ is the gate and the good shepherd.  All who came before him were thieves (plural) and robbers (plural) but the sheep (Israel and now Christians) ignored them.  Jesus was not saying that Satan was “the thief” at all.  A closer inspection of the text reveals that Satan is in fact the wolf that comes to scatter the sheep (the Christian Church).  Satan does not “steal and kill and destroy” (10:10) but instead “attacks the flock and scatters it” (10:12).  Once again, Richard Roberts and his seed faith peers strike out miserably on their exegesis.

 

Numbers 6:22-27

            This passage is used to promote the idea that it is God’s will to bless people.[23]  In tackling this passage, one only must refer back to the exegesis and application of Genesis 12:2 and Galatians 3:13-14.  As with essentially all Old Testament covenantal promises, one must realize that those promises are not for Gentile Christians.  They are for the Jews under the first covenant.  That covenant is over and done, and (depending on the specific promise) those promises are either met in Christ or are awaiting fulfillment in the end times.  Numbers 6:22-27 says that God would bless the Jews under the first covenant, but most of “us” are Gentiles under the second covenant (and the second covenant is much better – Hebrews 7:11-10:25).  So, Numbers 6:22-27, Deuteronomy 28:13, Malachi 3:7-12 and essentially every other Old Testament covenantal promise is not applicable to the New Testament Church.  Further more, if the seed faith teachers expect to collect on the promises of the first covenant, do they seek to be righteous under the law of the first covenant (Sacrifices, Levites and all!)? That is how one “attained” the blessings under the first covenant (Deut 28:1-2, 28:15).[24]  Of course not, for they would say that they are not under the law, but under grace (Rom 6:14-15, Gal 5:18).  The problem here is that with a covenant is that one cannot only take parts of it and keep the parts that are desired.  This type of inconsistency is silly and shows a misunderstanding of the first covenant.

 

Proverbs 26:2 & Romans 12:14 & 21

John Hagee, on pages 20 through 24 says certain things about words having power.  He misapplies Proverbs 26:2, saying that an undeserved curse cannot “stick” to someone.  Proverbs 26:2 is really saying, in the context of 26:1 and 26:3 (for proverbs are usually related to the couplet either above or below or both), that if one is not a fool people will not call one a fool.  People do not make unfounded accusations and that is something to consider if people are slandering somebody.  John Hagee also misunderstands and misapplies Romans 12:14 and 12:21, saying that if you bless someone, “God’s invisible shield envelops me and surrounds me, and the curse that you speak to me cannot stick.  I become a Teflon Christian.” (Roberts, 22 – boldface his)  Romans 12:14 and 21 are speaking of overcoming evil with good in the sense of responding to wickedness with righteousness.  This entails being righteous under persecution (12:14), associating with the poor (12:13), not taking revenge (12:19) and loving your enemy (12:20).  Hagee simply doesn’t read Romans 12:14 and 21 in their immediate context.  In Debt Blasters, pages 20 through 24, Hagee talks about words as if the power was in the words themselves.  There is nothing Christian at all with the idea that words have any power whatsoever.  Hagee ends up using the “respond to curses with blessings” formula in attempt to outsmart the devil, who in the end has instead outsmarted him.

 

Galatians 6:7

            This passage says “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” and is explained to mean, on pages 77 through 80, that a person must sow the correct seed to get the correct harvest (i.e. one must plant corn see to grow corn – 79).  Now there is no such thing as the “seedtime and harvest” principle, and Galatians 6:8 explains that the “sowing and reaping” in 6:7 is talking about sin and righteousness when it says “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  None the less, according to Lindsay Roberts one has to sow corn seed to get corn, one has to sow money to get money, one has to be a friend to get a friend and one has to sow time to get time.  So, how does this work with more abstract things?  Does a person sow health to get health?  Does one give away blood?  According to Lindsay Roberts, sowing blood would lead to a harvest of blood because “whatever a man soweth, that {and only that} shall he also reap” (Roberts, 78 – italics hers).  In order to reap “health”, one would somehow have to somehow sow “health”.  What about a good marriage?  Can one sow a good marriage?  Or how about straight teeth?  Or what about peace of mind?  In reality, the seed for everything is the same.  The seed for finances, health, emotional wholeness and everything else is money and Lindsay is simply after cash.

There are plenty of other passages that could be dealt with in Debt Blasters, but it would be extremely tedious to walk through the fallacies of each and every misapplication of scripture.  It stands to evidence that the main theological and exegetical framework of the seed faith teachers is consistently erroneous and should not be trusted by the discerning Christian.  Also, one only recognizes falsehood by growing in familiarity with truth.  Studying every possible fallacy will not lead one to the truth.  Studying the truth will lead one to the truth.  When a person claims to teach the truth and does in fact teach heresy, that puts them in a very dangerous realm…

A SCRIPTURAL VIEW OF FALSE TEACHERS

Characteristics of False Teachers

False teachers could be anyone form close friends or family (Deut 13:6-8) to priests and spiritual leaders (Jer 23:11; Acts 20:30; 1 John 2:19).  They introduce new and contrary teachings (Rom 16:17; 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6-8; 1 Tim 1:3, 6:3; 2 Tim 2:17-18) that can range from telling the people to follow other gods (Deut 13:2) to worshiping angels (Col 2:18) to denying that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22).  Although they claim to speak for God, they speak and prophesy by Satan (Jer 2:8, 23:13; 1 Kings 22:19-23; 1Tim 4:1), their own imaginations (Jer 14:14, 23:16, 26; Ez.13:2; 2 Pet 2:3) and out of stealing one another’s claims (Jer 23:30).  Scripture lists dozens of adjectives used to describe false teachers, but in essence they exhibit characteristics in line with the Devil and the flesh, on behalf of which they speak.[25]  There are also two clarifying teachings in the scriptures regarding false teachers.

First of all, false teachers actually do have visions and actually can perform miraculous signs and wonders.  In Deut 13:1-3 God makes this clear:

“If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder which he has spoken of takes place (italics ed.), and he says “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them”, you must not listen to that prophet or dreamer.”

God said through the prophet Jeremiah that the false prophets had visions that were not from God, but they actually did have visions (Jer 23:16, 27-28).  Also, in Mathew 7:22-23, Jesus states that “Many will say on to me on that day ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me evildoers!’”.  Jesus stated in Matthew 24:24 that “For false christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect –if that were possible”.  Paul warned the church in Thessalonica that “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan, displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in ever sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.” (2 Thess 2:9-10).  2 Corinthians 12:12 say that the signs of an apostle are “signs, wonders and miracles” but it is clear in scripture that signs and wonders alone are not a sure sign that someone is an authentic apostle or minister of God.[26]  Performing miracles does not show one to be a man of God.

The second teaching is found in Paul’s extended arguments against those who claimed to establish credentials to prove their authenticity as apostles.  They boasted about their worldly credentials by concentrating on their genealogical qualifications (2 Cor 11:17-23), although Paul beat them at their own game and proved himself more qualified than any of the “super apostles”.  Paul then spoke of how all of his worldly credentials were garbage and all he would brag about is Christ’s strength in him (2 Cor 11:16-12:10; Phil 3:2-11).  The second way that that false teachers built up credentials for themselves was by claiming to have secret knowledge and hidden wisdom (Col 2:2-4, 16-23; Rev 2;24).  Paul smashes these claims by explaining that only hidden mystery of God is Christ (Col 1:25-2:4).  The third way that false teachers attempt to establish their credentials is with false reports and pseudopigraphal letters, which Paul again warns the church against (2 Thess 2:2).  False teachers seem to be consumed with proving that God has sent them and people should listen to them, but Paul has a hard response for each attempt at deception.  Having a “great resume” does not show one to be a man of God.

The Three Tests for False Teachers

Although the scriptures comment extensively on false teachers, there are also three tests in scripture to discover whether someone who claims to be a spokesman for the Lord is in fact so.

The first test is that of orthodox teaching.  If anyone teaches doctrine that does not fall in line with the rest of scripture, they are a charlatan and a false teacher (Deut 13:1-4; Is 8:19-20; Gal 1:8-9; 1 Tim 6:3-4; 1 John 2:22-23, 3:2-3, 6, 4:1-6; 2 John 2:7, 9).  A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mt 12:25-28) and God cannot contradict himself.  What was true in the past is still true and if someone tries to change the truth they are condemned and must be ignored.  Teaching sound doctrine does possibly show one to be a man of God.  This is a test that is all but completely ignored in many churches, for in most churches where this test needs to be administered, doctrine is either almost nonexistent or qualities of personality and character consistently override doctrinal aberration.

The second test of a false teacher is the test of prophetic fulfillment.  This test is a double edged sword.  First, the office of prophet is no longer in operation and anyone who claims to hold (or denies holding but attempts to operate in) the office of an Old Testament prophet is a charlatan.  The “prophet” being discussed here is not the Old Testament office of prophet, but is instead the New Testament gift of prophesy.  The New Testament gift of prophesy is understood as “sharing something that God has spontaneously brought to mind”. [27]  True, sound prophecy does possibly show one to be a man of God.  Second, if a person claims to hold the office of prophet (and someone is welcome to try), in the Old Testament sense, he must follow the rules and regulations for that office.  If a person be a prophet (in the Old Testament sense) and then prophesies something that does not come to pass, he is a charlatan and a false teacher and must be killed (Deut 18:20-22; Jer 28:9).  If a man speaks for God and God’s word does not come to pass, either God is a liar or the person was not really speaking for God.  The sure bet is that the person who claimed to be speaking for God was in fact not speaking for God.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  God does not have a batting average, because every single time he swings, the ball goes out of the park.[28]  So, if “prophets” even claim to be prophets in the Old Testament sense, they are charlatans.  If a person claims to be an Old Testament prophet, prophesies and the prophecies don’t come true, they’re dead.

The third test of false teacher is the test of fruit.  Anyone who claims to be a man of God and yet lives in sin cannot be a man of God (Mt 7:16; 2 Tim3:9; 1 John 2:3-6, 3:7-10).  True men of God are men of character who exhibit the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and love for their fellow men (1 John 3:11-20).  If someone claims to be a true teacher and lives a life of sin, there is not a lot of question as to whether or not they are authentic.  There is also no overlooking certain offenses.  Some churches sweep “things under the carpet” (drunk driving charges, pornography addictions, etc) because they are either not publicly disgraceful or “not a big deal”.  In the end though, those “secret sins” of men’s hearts that apparently are “not a big deal” will be what sends those men to hell (Psalm 90:7-8; Rom 2:16;1 Cor 4:5) All sin is a big deal in the eyes of God; even breaking the slightest commandment is equal to breaking the entire law (James 2:10). Living a truly righteous life does possibly show one to be a man of God but if a man is truly a Godly man, he’ll have sound doctrine and right prophesy as well.  Godliness comes in a package, not components.[29]

Evaluating The Debt Blasters

In the light of the scriptural understandings and test of false teachers, how do the Debt Blasters line up?

1.  Do they pass the test of orthodox teaching?  Based on their views of God (and his limited sovereignty), their seed faith version of salvation, their views of demons, their affirmation that words having inherent power and their constant and consistent misunderstanding and misapplication of scripture, it would seem that they fail miserably.

2.  Do they pass the test of prophetic fulfillment and fruit?  It doesn’t matter.  They fail the first test and they’re out.  Game over.  It’s either one hundred percent or zero.

3.  Do they resemble false teachers as presented in the scriptures?  With their obvious and explicit view of the gospel as a means to financial gain (Micah 3:11; 2 Pet 2:14; Titus 1:11), their enticing of people with appeals to (financial) lust (2 Pet 2:18), and legalism (Is 28:9-10) they’re out on three counts.  Many of the other characteristics of false teachers are difficult to verify from reading a book (adultery, seared consciences, etc.) but the test of orthodox doctrine receives a tremendous failure.  In the light of scripture, Debt Blasters and the seed faith movement in general should be recognized as a pseudo-Christian cult and should be avoided by Christians.  That may sound extreme, but God (and logic, which is a reflection of the perfect thought of God) doesn’t have any room for “almost” or “kind of” Christian.  Nice guys are not the same as godly men, and passion does not equal orthodoxy (Matt 7:15-27; Gal 4:18).  A light is either on or off.  A person is either alive or dead.  Wood is either burning or not burning. Doctrine is either correct or incorrect.[30]  Truth has no room for compromise with falsehood.  Richard Roberts and those word faith teachers that associate with him claim to be sheep but in the end are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Do not be deceived and do not be led astray.  Test everything and hold on to what is good (1 Thess 5:21).


[1] These points are found consistently in every chapter in the book. Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 5, 9, 10, 13, 15, 20, 24, 30, 48, 65, 84, 89, 91, 118, 119, 125, 128, 129.

[2] Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 11, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 24, 42, 51, 54, 57, 58, 60, 79, 80, 84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 98, 112, 118-120, 124-129, 131-138.

[3] Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 21- 25, 30, 36, 49-54, 58, 59, 63-67, 70, 73, 74, 76-85, 95-102, 112, 113-120, 133-138.

[4] Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 9, 12, 65-67, 73, 82, 83, 84, 88, 125, 133.

[5] Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 31, 51, 65-67, 82, 83, 125.

[6] Some, but not all, of the pages where this idea can be found are 24, 25, 54, 57, 63, 64, 66, 67, 73, 74, 78, 84, 85, 97-107, 119, 120, 121, 128, 129, 131, 132, 35-139.

[7] The word English word “blessed” can be rendered from eulogeo, makarizo (both Greek), barak, esher (both Hebrew) and, depending on the word used in the original language, can mean “happy”, “caused to prosper”, or “blessed” (as in verbally given praise).

[8] Every Beatitude renders “blessed” from the Greek word makarios.  The Hebrew words are not studied in the following biblical outlines because of the issue of the relationship of Christians to the Abrahamic promises, which will be discussed in detail under the exegetical fallacies section.

[9] This is in direct contradiction to the idea in Debt Blasters that says that Christians should receive and not give (11-12, 97), which is a misapplication of Deuteronomy 28:13 that is taught on page 11-12 of Debt Blasters.

[10] Makarios is the only Greek word rendered “happy”.  The verses all contain makarios because that is the word rendered “blessed” in the beatitudes (Matt 5:3-11).  The various uses of the word in the Scripture show the spectrum of understandings resident in a proper, biblical understanding of the word.  Context dictates the specific meaning of a word in a passage, but the scope of the various contexts reveals the parameters of any possible definition.   To apply the entire range of meaning to each occurrence of the word would be an exegetical fallacy (the fallacy of totality transfer), but to also apply a meaning that is non-existent would also be an exegetical fallacy (eisegesis).

[11]  Paul talks about humility, gentleness, patience, unity, love, hope, the offices of the church, service, maturity, doctrine, renewal of the mind, righteousness, holiness, truthfulness, anger, sharing, pure speech, compassion, forgiveness, godliness, sacrifice, purity, obedience, goodness, truth, wise living, thanksgiving, submission, edification, marriage, the family, work, authority, having right hearts, spiritual warfare, standing against sin, prayer and evangelism.

[12] Let’s not beat around the bush here.  Richard Roberts describes debt as being “anything that is lacking in your life.  It may be spiritual, physical, financial, emotional…” (9). This is not what the rest of the book talks about.  The rest of the book talks consistently about material, financial riches and that’s really what kind of definition of “debt” the authors and contributors have in mind.

[13] Though Debt Blasters explicitly says the opposite; that God is “obligated” to bless a person that plants a seed (Roberts, 112).

[14] This is not to be utterly nihilistic and say that the Christian life is only suffering…but suffering is a big part of the Christian life.  It is a component of the passage to spiritual maturity (Rom 5:3-4; Heb 12:7-11; James 1:2-4; 2 Pet 1:5-7) and sharing in Christ’s sufferings was then  penultimate goal of the apostle Paul; the ultimate goal being the resurrection and Christ likeness (Phil 3:7-11).

[15] God does not need it, though prayer and obedience are revealed in scripture to influence God in certain situations.  (Genesis 18:20-32; Ex 32:9-14; 1 Sam 1:1-20; Jonah 3:4-10; James 5:13-18)

[16] Before somebody begins to wonder about free will and determinism here, it must be said that what is being discussed is positional righteousness.  Confession still is part of a Christian conversion (Rom 10:9-10, 2 Tim 2:19; 1 John 1:9).  Repentance (Matt 3:2; Mark 1:15; Luke 5:32, 13:3, 13:5, Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30, 20:21; Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:10; 2 Pet 3:9), obedience (Matt 28:19-20; Luke 11:28; John 14:15, 14:21-24, 15:10; Rom 1:5, 2:13, 6:12-13; 1 Pet 1:22; 1 John 2:3-5, 3:22-24; 2 John 1:5-7)and perseverance (Rom 5:3-4; 1 Tim 6:11; Heb 10:36, 12:1; James 1:1-4; 2 Pet 1:5-7; Rev 13:10, 14:12) are also components of Christian conversion  .  One would be sadly mistaken if one held to the “once saved, always saved” idea and though that it meant that sin meant nothing anymore.  True believers don’t live a life characterized by sin anymore (1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 John 1:6-7, 2:3-6, 3:6, 3:9-10, 4:7-8, 4:20-21,5:1-4) but it is not the purpose of this paper to explore, in detail, the relationship of faith and works.  Simply put, faith is proven to be true faith when it produces good works (James 2:21-26).  Anything less proves you a liar (1 John 2:3-6).

[17] It is not the purpose of this paper to give a comprehensive demonology and explain the workings of the Devil.  What is intended is to only refute the heresy of Debt Blasters.

[18] Satan did destroy the property and money of Job, but one or two occurrences of an event do not make it normative for believers.  If that were true, all Christians could expect to walk on water (that happened twice)…  There is no clear teaching of scripture that establishes a relationship between demons and poverty.

[19] Satan caused fire to reign from the sky in Job 1:16, but without God’s permission, he could not do that here.

[20] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Gal 3:13-14)

[21] Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’  “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. (Micah 3:7-12)

[22] Richard Roberts writes this on page 11, and general references to Satan stealing and destroying are found throughout the book.  If Richard Roberts is not quoting John 10:10, then there is no other passage in the New Testament that uses the phrase “steal and kill and destroy” and he’s pulling it out of his imagination.

[23] John Hagee writes this and expounds on it, off and on, on pages 13 through 21.

[24] And only Christ could do that (Heb 4:15).

[25] Scripture states that they are deceptive (Ez 13:19; Mt 7:15, 24:5,11; Mk 13:22; 2 Cor 11:14-15; Col 2:4; 2 Thess 2:9-10; 2 Tim 3:13; 2 John 7) and deceived (1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 2:26, 3:13). They seek to be teachers but don’t understand what they try to teach (1 Tim 1:7; 2 Tim 3:5; 2 Pet 2:12) because they cannot acknowledge the truth (2 Tim 3:7), they have depraved minds (2 Tim 3:8), they have lost their senses (2 Tim 225-26) and they have seared consciences (1 Tim 1:18-19, 4:2; Titus 1:16).  They win converts by using hollow philosophy (Col 2:4,8), enticing people with appeals to lust (2 Pet 2:18), telling the people what they want to hear (Ez 13:10; 2 Tim 4:3) and promising freedom that they themselves do not even have (2 Pet 2:19).  They seek to win their own disciples (Mt 23:15; Acts 20:30; Gal 4:17) and many people seek the out and follow them (2 Tim 4:3-4; 2 Pet 2:2) because people love false prophets (Jer 5:31; Luke 6:26; 1 John 4:5).  False Teachers exploit those who follow them (2 Cor 11:20; 2 Pet 2:3) and seek to please people in order to escape persecution for the sake of the cross of Christ (Gal 6:12-13).  They delight in being “humble” but are arrogant and conceited/ego-centric (Zeph 3:4;Rom 16:18; Gal 4:17; Phil 1:17; Col 2:18; 2 Pet 2:10; Jude 12), pursuing myths and genealogies (1 Tim 1:4) and slandering celestial beings (2 Pet 2:10, Jude 8).  They use God and the gospel as a means to financial gain (Micah 3:11; 2 Pet 2:14; Titus 1:11) and as a way to worm their way into the homes of weak willed women (2 Tim 3:6; 2 Pet 2:14).  They despise justice (Mic 3:9) and authority (2 Pet 2:10; Jude 8).  They are divisive (Rom 16:17; 1 Tim1:4, 6:4-5; Jude 19), treacherous (Zeph 3:4), secretive/sneaky (Gal 2:4; 2 Pet 2:1; Jude 4), adulterous and immoral (Jer 23:11, 14; 2 Pet 2:14; Jude 4-5), legalistic (Is 28:9-10), foolish (Ez 13:2), shameless (Jer 6:15), ignorant (1 Tim 6:4), boastful, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, ungodly, loveless, unforgiving, without self control, brutal, lovers of pleasure and evil (Mic 3:2; 2 Tim 3:1-9).

[26] Miracles, regardless of nature and intensity, are not a sure sign at all.  This means that performing an extremely intense miracle (like raising the dead or actually healing a disease) is no more a proof than performing a small “miracle” (finding a pen or healing a “sore throat”).  People are often duped by miracles that appear to be intense, but scripture is clear that false teachers will be able to do quite impressive miracles.

[27] This could be seen in a variety of ways, though an example would be a person having a spontaneous, Spirit given remembrance or understanding of scripture, with the Spirit bringing the “right” scripture for a situation to mind at the “right” time, with or without the prophet even knowing it.  Many people may have had a moment in their past where a person seemed to be able to “read their mind” and delivered a scriptural message to them that was uncannily specific and directed towards meeting a certain need.  This would be an example of experiencing a movement of a New Testament prophetic gifting.   (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan 1994, 1049).

[28] Some claim that prophets sometimes prophesy “in the flesh” and sometimes prophesy “in the spirit”, which is how they account for so many prophesies not coming true.  Guess what?  Moses didn’t consider a prophet’s “batting average”.  If that would have happened around Moses, that prophet would have not lived very long!  Just a single miss and that “prophet” would have been in big trouble (i.e. dead – Deut 13:1-10).

[29] This is not to say that people who are godly are completely godly right from the start of their walk with God.  One learns and grows in one’s walk, but one cannot have right doctrine without a correspondingly right life (and vice versa).

[30] This is not to say that someone (including myself) has every aspect of doctrine correct.  Christians should aspire to be correct on matters of doctrine though, as what one believes about God effects how one lives in relation to those beliefs.  Plus, God commands it! (1 Tim 4:16, Titus 2:1)  Nobody has everything spot on, but there are those that are close and are getting closer and those that are half-right and aren’t worried about it that much.  The ones that are close live life more fully every day and will get perfected in the end in God’s presence (1 Cor 13:12).  The ones that aren’t worried about it too much are already dead in sin and will have a flaming eternity to ponder the ramifications of their ignorance and apathy (Matt 13:24-30; John 15:5-6; Heb 6:7-8; Rev 3:14-16).

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5 thoughts on “Book Review – Debt Blasters

  1. Your friend Greg Benson has told you about me and how your open letter to Brad Jersak impressed me because it wasn’t written in the “Scortch , Attack and Burn” style but you wrote him in a loving style. Also noted in the “Comments” section was the person who wanted to attend a Chritian Seminary in Western Canada (on a part-time basis). Your answer rightly impressed me in that you stated that you had some understanding about such institutions in Western Canada and that you couldn’t recomend any! You were probably right! Most are involved in the non-scriptural teachings of “Spiritual Formations and Spiritual Foundations and a whole host of other false doctrines. My alma mater was Bethel Bible Institute, last class(62) before it got re-branded as Central Pentecostal College. Then in 2009 it became Horizon College and Seminary. I cannot and wouldn’t recomend it to anyone. In my early retirement 2002-2006 I voluntered to do distance educations for 14 semesters, video-taping the classes, video-editing this material then making DVD’s (five classes to one DVD). Of the 14 semesters of classes, the teaching was excellent Dr. D. Munk and Brian Glubish were excellent. I didn’t know that spiritual diciplnes and formations were being taught.

    The College lacked students and under the leadership of Dr. Gordon GIESBRECHT instituted a threee year plan, the first year was SURIVE the next year was ALIVE and third year was THRIVE. since 2009, (implementation year) I believe that they are going into their fifth year of Year One “SURVIVE”

    It was two years ago that I became aware of the “Emerging Church” and the need to be a good Berian! I really appreciate your ministry and your review of “Debt Blasters” is right on the money and many of these false teachers/false ministers came out of my former denomination-!

    God Bless you! Gerry Klassen

    • Thanks for your thoughts Gerry!

      I laughed when I was talking with Greg the other day and he mentioned how someone at his church found my little blog and was blessed by it. I’m sad to hear that Central Pen. has embraced some of the goofy and clearly unbiblical ideas that have become “en vogue” as of the last 2 decades.

      I have started to wonder if Satan’s most successful attack against the church has come in the form of bible colleges: the church abandons it’s teaching commission and hands it off to a school that is ultimately accountable to a board of directors whose only qualification is their income, and then wonders why professors who are anemic in the scriptures (or celebrated theological rogues) produce students of a similar vein who downplay the word of God and destroy the local church.

      Feel free to come back anytime and toss out comments or questions. I always value interaction here!

  2. !2 feet from the OR and my surgery got cancelled-so my spinal stenosis is still a pain in the butt! Hope you will enjoy this article

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