It may surprise the reader to find this particular subject in a website devoted to cults and new religions. However, as we will see, there are valid reasons for including it. Before we delve in the Prosperity Gospel and its inherent problems, one observation is necessary. There are many well-meaning Christians who believe the teachings of this movement and belong to churches which espouse these particular doctrines. So we are not saying that to believe in the Prosperity Gospel means that you are automatically part of a cult, and are not a true believer in Christ. However, there are enough errors present in the teachings of the Prosperity Gospel that it is certainly a dangerous belief system to be avoided. Continue reading
One of the most common buzz words going around today in the fields of health, medicine and psychology is mindfulness. You hear it popping up in discussions on wellness, nutrition, education, business, sports, etc. Seminars, classes and conferences are being offered at universities, medical centers, and professional organizations around the world. For example, in May of 2004 the National Institutes of Health held a daylong symposium called “Mindfulness Meditation and Health.” The original mindfulness program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center is now used by over 700 hospitals worldwide. It is obviously something that is very popular. Continue reading
Herbert W. Armstrong began his career as a traveling salesman. While doing this work, he happened to come in contact with a splinter group of the Seventh-day Adventists. For a while he spoke as an Adventist evangelist, and demonstrated great success. However, he came to believe some things that caused him to split with the Adventists and form his own organization.
Armstrong saw himself as specifically called of God to restore the true church to the earth, which had been lost for 1900 years. His background in sales served him well as a self-proclaimed prophet. He began to broadcast his beliefs on radio, once again with great success. He attracted thousands of followers in the western United States. Working through his radio ministry, correspondence Bible courses, and a slick magazine called The Plain Truth, Armstrong’s movement grew. He formed his own church, initially called the Radio Church of God. Later this was changed to the Worldwide Church of God (WCOG). Continue reading
I have been reading a book lately about the history of Christian doctrine. In this work, the author comments on the differences between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospel writers. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the Synoptic Gospels. The world “synoptic” basically means “seeing together.” You may have noticed that these three Gospels present a great deal of similar material in a roughly parallel format. So these Gospel writers often share the same material but with their individual perspectives and approaches. The Gospel of John, however, is dramatically different from the Synoptics.
One of the chief differences is that John’s Gospel is very explicit in presenting Christ as divine. The deity of our Lord is most clear in John. The author of the book I am reading emphasizes this. Yet, he goes beyond this, and states that it is only in John that we see Christ’s deity. According to him, the Synoptics present Jesus as merely a man, Messiah perhaps, but certainly not divine. Continue reading