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According to a recent Dutch study , that point of view still holds true today: Protestants and citizens of predominately Protestant countries tend to conflate labor with personal satisfaction more than those of other religious traditions.

FGHT Dallas: Justified By Faith

A final strand of the development of the prosperity gospel was the development of charismatic Pentecostal churches in America. In addition, the decentralized nature of these churches also meant that individual leaders, many of whom practiced faith healing or similar practices, had a particularly strong effect on their congregations and could build up individual personal followings. These three strands collided throughout the twentieth century, as the prosperity gospel came into being.

Workshop One: Does Belief Require Warrant?

One early prosperity gospel proponent, Baptist preacher Russell H. Throughout the twentieth century, proponents of this particularly American blend of theology envisaged God as a kind of banker, dispensing money to the deserving, with Jesus as a model business executive.

Every businessman will read it and send it to his partners and his salesmen. For it will tell the story of the founder of modern business. Yet it was in Pentecostal churches — with their focus on immediate spiritual gifts and the power of God to confer favor and wellness immediately — that the prosperity gospel as we know it today took hold.

One preacher might, for example, feature another at his conference, or hawk his cassette tapes. This money, many prosperity gospel preachers promised, was an investment.

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Thus could Ken Copeland write in his Laws of Prosperity , "Do you want a hundredfold return on your money? Give and let God multiply it back to you. No bank in the world offers this kind of return! Praise the Lord! Yet despite the catastrophic fall of some of the most prominent proponents of the gospel — Jim Bakker, for example, spent years in prison for fraud — the movement has persisted well into the present day.

Perhaps no less unsurprisingly, two of its major proponents — Paula White and Wayne T. Jackson — were among the six faith leaders invited to pray with Donald Trump at his inauguration.

What is Faith? Does belief require warrant?

Certainly Trump is, in some sense, a product of that mentality. Both enjoy enormous support among evangelicals, yet they lack a command of biblical scripture. Will he seek to please their depraved taste? Ought we to change our preaching because of "the spirit of the age"? Never; unless it be to fight "the spirit of the age" more desperately that ever. We ask for no terms between Christ and his enemies except these, unconditional surrender to him.

He will bate not jot of tittle of his claims; but he will still come to you, and say, "Submit yourselves; bow down, and own me King and Lord, and take me to be your Saviour.


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Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and besides me there is none else. If you wait till there is a gospel brought out that will not cost you so much of giving up sin, or so much of bowing your proud necks, you will wait until you find yourself in hell. Come, I pray you, come even now, and believe the gospel. It cannot be altered to your taste; therefore alter yourself so as to meet its requirements.

Now suppose that these men, who will not believe, should all concert together to proclaim new views in order to upset the gospel. You see, up to the present time, they never have agreed. One wing of Satan's army of doubters always destroys the other. Just now the great scientists say to the modern-thought gentlemen, and say to them very properly, "If there is no serpent, and no Eve, and no Adam, and no flood, and no Noah, and no Abraham.

As you tell us now that all this is a myth, then your whole old Book is a lie. They thought that they were going to have all the scientists on their side, to join them in attacking the ancient orthodoxies. There is a split in the enemy's camp; Amalek is fighting Edom, and Edom is contending against Moab. But suppose they were all to agree. Well, what would happen then? I thought I saw a vision once, when I was by the seaside. To my closed eyes, there seemed to come down to the beach at Brighton a huge black horse, which went into the water, and began to drink; and I thought I heard a voice that said, "It will drink the sea dry.

All the while the sea did not appear to alter in the least, the water was still there as deep as ever. By-and-by the animal burst, and its remains were washed up on the beach, and there it lay dead, killed by its own folly.


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  7. That will be the end of this big black horse of infidelity that boasts that it is going to drink up this everlasting gospel. I remember that Christmas Evans put this truth rather roughly on one occasion. He said, "There was a dog on the hearthrug, and there was a kettle of boiling water on the fire. As the kettle kept puffing out steam and hot water, the dog sat up and growled.

    The more the kettle kept on puffing, the more the dog growled; and at last he seized the kettle by the throat, and of course the boiling water killed him. They growl at it to-day; but if they ever join together, and really make an attack upon it, the gospel will be a savour of death unto death to those who oppose it, as it is a savour of life to those who receive it. In reply to this question, "Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? It remains ever the same.

    Let them do what they may, they cannot alter it. Then Paul utters a vehement protestation: "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. Here they come, all the men who ever lived, unnumbered millions!

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    JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH by Charles G. Finney

    They come marching up; and we stand like the inspecting general at a review, and see them all go by; and as every man passes, he shouts, "The gospel is not true. Christ did not die. There is no salvation for believers in him. If you count the heads, and there is a general consensus of opinion, you are apt to say, "It must be so, for everybody says so.

    If God says one thing, and every man in the world says another, God is true, and all men are false.

    Spurgeon Sermons

    God speaks the truth, and cannot lie. God cannot change; his word, like himself, is immutable. We are to believe God's truth if nobody else believes it. He believes God's word, and he thinks more of that than of the universal opinion of men. Paul next uses a Scriptural argument. Whenever he gets thoroughly redhot, and wants an overwhelming argument, he always goes to the divine treasury of revelation.

    He quotes what David had said in the fifty-first Psalm, "That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. God will be justified in everything that he has said. You may take every line of the Word of God, and rest assured that God will be justified in having directed the sacred penman to write that line.

    God shall also be justified when he judges, and when he condemns men. When he pronounces his final sentence upon the ungodly, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" he shall be justified even in that dreadful hour. A very startling expression is used here: "That thou mightest overcome when thou art judged. Suppose that they could be daring enough to do even that, the verdict would be in God's favour. It would be proved that he had neither said anything untrue, nor done anything unjust. We are confident that, although some do not believe God, he will be justified before men and angels, and we shall have nothing to do but to admire and adore him world without end.

    Now, I could say much more; but I will not except just this, I want those who are the Lord's people to be very brave about the things of God. There has been too much of yielding, and apologizing, and compromising. I cannot bear it; it grieves me to see one truth after another surrendered to the enemy. A brother writes to me, saying, "You do not put so much mirth into your preaching as you used to do. When the captain at sea whistles, then all the sailors feel more cheerful.