Thursday, March 05, 2009

Joseph Prince in his own words

This does not need much commentary:

I give thank for God for my roots in the Word of Faith teachings. It is truly on the shoulders of great men of God like Brother Kenneth E. Hagin that we are able to see further into the Word of God today. Growing up, I learned a lot about faith from Brother Hagin who truly had a special revelation of faith from the Lord. I deeply honor and respect him for all that he has taught me.

[Joseph Prince, Destined to Reign: The Secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living (Singapore: Joseph Prince Media, 2007), 271]

For a good exposé of the Word-faith heresy, check out D.R. McConnell's book A Different Gospel: A bold and revealing look at the biblical and historical basis of the Word of Faith movement (Peabody, MA, USA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988, 1995). McConnell is a practicing charismatic pastor, so the typical nonsensical defense of "you are not a Charismatic, so you cannot criticize" is invalid here.

27 comments:

blackreformingkid said...

Well THAT says it all, doesn't it. If the root is poisoned, darn straight the fruit will be...

PuritanReformed said...

Douglas:

I agree. You really have to see the number of people defending Prince; it's an eye-opener.

Douglas Kofi Adu-Boahen said...

Oh, I saw that comment thread on your other blog - over 1000 comments! I publicly admit - I hate his teachings. No matter how much one tries to whitewash his teaching, he is as at best muddying the clear Biblical teaching on repentance, grace and the like and at his worst he is a downright antinomian.

PuritanReformed said...

Douglas:

well, I have his book. It was worse than I thought, and Antinomian to the core.

HisDisciple said...

Joseph Prince’s ministry finds its roots in what many people have referred to as the Word Faith Movement. Proponents of this movement include E W Kenyon (whose writings gave rise to most of the radical ideas that inform the movement), Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copleland, Joyce Meyer et al. They teach a collective theology which propounds that God has promised to bless His people based on His finished work on the cross, as well as the believer’s positive confession of faith (in other words, if you speak forth your need, and lay hold of it by faith, the spoken need will in due time come to pass. Put simply, if I desire a car, I claim it in Jesus’ name, and the car will come my way).

Critics have written quite extensively on Word Faith teachings, so i will not talk further about it here. What I do want to highlight is that JP’s teaching over the last ten years does not move beyond the whole theme of justification by faith. In fact, there has been no mention of the sanctification process or the need for it. In his teachings, believers become righteous from appropriating the finished work on the cross. There is no need to work out one’s salvation, one simply needs to “rest”.

JP’s teaching on Grace suggests a lack of basic understanding of God’s redemptive work. The Martin Luthers and Calvinists will tell you the only time a believer ever takes a rest in his walk with God is when he is getting saved through the finished work of Christ. One can’t earn salvation through his own good work, but he can by His grace and mercy as demonstrated by His outstretched arms on the cross. This is the turning point in a sinner’s life, when the sinner decides to take up the cross and follow Jesus, so that more and more he can be called to be in His image.

Positionally, the believer is forever saved, but the old man in him still needs to be transformed. Now, this walk of sanctification, JP Ministry completely ignores. It is interesting that JP perceives any effort on the believer’s part to act out God’s imperatives as the believer’s attempt to keep the law. He teaches that under the New Convenant, one does not keep the Law, but lives only by God’s grace. According to him, God has not only rescinded the need to keep the ceremonial laws, He has categorically abolished all laws, including the Decalogue (or Ten Commandments)!

My questions for all to consider:
1. If God has truly abolished the Decalogue, which reveals His moral character and absolute standards for human decency, then what should a believer hold fast to in order to live out his faith in a corrupt and decadent world? “We are in the world, but not of the world.” God also calls us “the salt of the earth”. What keeps us salty if God removes His standards/values for us? What is Grace? Is it a form of moral standard by which we can define and govern our thought life and behaviour?

2. If,according to JP’s theology, those of us who are trying to work out our salvation with fear and trembling are guilty of earning our salvation through our own “stinking efforts”, then what is the Holy Spirit for in our lives?

2 days ago

PuritanReformed said...

I agree.

1) According to JP, the believer only needs to hold fast his righteousness, then he becomes righteous. When a believer thinks of sin, then he starts to sin..
2) According to JP, the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our righteousness.

Needless to say, both of these are heretical nonsense from the very pit of hell itself.

2 days ago

HisDisciple said...

The last I checked, the Greek for Holy Spirit is Paraclete, which means Comforter, Counsellor, Helper. Nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit's function one which convicts us of our righteousness!!! The Holy Spirit is there to help us see God's will in our lives, His commands, and to help us walk according to these commands!! Work out our salvation!

22 hours ago

liz said...

It appears that no one on this blog has consider judge not lest ye be judged with christians like you really what't the need for the devil. With christians like you the war on the devil will definitely take a long time with many christians as causalties.

PuritanReformed said...

Well Liz,

it appears you have NOT taken your own advice. 'It appears that you Liz have not consider judge not lest ye be judged. With christians like you really what't the need for the devil.' Hypocrite! Upon what basis are you judging me? Who gave you the right to sanctimoniously judge others for "being judgmental" while you do the very same thing?!

Kevin said...

I've listened to a few of Joseph Prince's sermons over the past two weeks. One I listened to yesterday was called "Holiness through Grace", and by no means can I say I have experience or knowledge of the sum total of his preaching or writings.

Speaking to only what I've heard preach, there are things he has said that surely don't line up with Scripture, and can be criticized legitimately in the light of Scripture. In particular, some of the things said in regards to health and wealth; it conflicts with verses like 2 Corinthians 12:9, where Paul boasts in his infirmities that the power of Christ may rest in him all the more (just one example). My concern is that he may be preaching in order to gain wealth—I can’t say. I can say that my concern drives me to pray for him and his congregation. I myself am a member of a “mega church” in the US, and it grieves me to see the amount of money going to buildings rather than to people and furthering the gospel.
Based on his sermon "Holiness through Grace", how was his preaching Antinomian? He teaches of Jesus' grace as our justification, and that it is the righteousness of Christ that we now live by faith, which establishes the law in our hearts as a result of the adoption [Jeremiah 31:33, John 1:12]. His teaching may be misguided in some areas, but hardly from the “pit of hell”.

I see Daniel, after reading the other comment thread that you’re reasoning skills may be great and in the end, you can win an argument simply through your intellectual prowess; but how does that graciously persuade anyone? Did Jesus or the Apostles or the Reformers attempt to reach an end game of “I’m so right, you’re wrong, so there—the Reformed faith rocks!”?

PuritanReformed said...

Kevin:

Joseph Prince is not 100% in error; if he is he wouldn't be able to get such a huge following.

With regards to the charge of Antinomianism, I would like you to hear sermons on him talking about the Law. There is one sermon which has since been removed which shows him saying that if you want to keep the Law as a rule of life, you are commiting spiritual adultery. The charge can also be established in his book Destined to Reign.

With regards to persuasion, it is not about "winning arguments". Rather, it is:

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. (2 Cor. 5:11a)

Kevin said...

Daniel:

I apologize if this doesn't directly relate to the post here, but one of the reasons that I responded to your post is perspective. Right now, in the US, there's seems to be a great deadness in the church as a whole. My chest tightens as I look out on the landscape. Do you know the feeling? The jealousy for a strong and righteous church? I'm so glad you referenced 2 Corinthians. 2 Cor. 6:11 says, "...our heart is enlarged". Thanks for your blog and bringing up JP. May Christ enlarge our hearts for his sheep :)

PuritanReformed said...

Kevin:

yes, I know about the deadness in the churches. However, what do you think is the cause of the deadness? Have you read the Scriptures and spend time daily with God to see why this is so?

Blog Attack said...

Hi there. I am a solid Christian but I am a homosexual. I am not proud of being as such and I don't want to be discreet about it either.
All I can say is that, I am undeserving of God's love because as a homosexual, of course it's a sin.
But there's one thing that I'm truly thankful for.
because even as I sin or not, Jesus still came down to save us! My failures will always catch up with me, God knows that well from the day I was born and the day that I will pass here on earth. See, He is a smart God! He sure knows what to do by sending His Son , Jesus as a one time sacrificed for us all forever..:)
Someday, I may change or not only God knows.
I don't want to change because of fear that I may not be saved! Silly! And what a choice that would be.
I will leave it all to God to change me.
For God wants inner transformations and not behavior modifications!

If you believe in your effort that in your blog you can change the people and save the world, go ahead. You have seem to gather alot of audience in here.

As for me, I will continue listening to Ps Joseph Prince sermons because he is teaching us on how to deal with life's difficulties, trials,being healthy, protection from all calamities and danger and living LIFE abundantly with God, our Abba, our Father as our partner.

You DO NOT set aside the Grace of God;for if righteousness comes THROUGH the law, then Christ died in VAIN! - Galatians 2:21

Jesus didn't come down here on earth to make bad people good, He came to make DEAD people LIVE!!

Shalom everyone..and may you have Peace in all that you do.

I'm listening to Ps Joseph Prince sermon now..
"Redeemed From The Cursed Of Sickness"
let me know peepz if you want this sermon,.
I'd be glad to share it with you.:)

PuritanReformed said...

BlogAttack:

>because even as I sin or not, Jesus still came down to save us!

It is written:

... and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Mt. 1:21)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9)

BUT

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:10)

No practicing unrepentant homosexual can be a true Christian at the same time. Christ came to save His people from their sin. In 1st century Corinth, some Christians were homosexuals, BUT after they are saved, they renounced their former lifestyle and refuse to partake of that sin any longer. So although Christ died to save homosexuals, once they are saved, they stopped being homosexuals.

Scripture knows of no true believer who are unrepentant and remain in their lifestyle of sin.

>I will leave it all to God to change me.

God works through means; He does not *zap* his *wand* and suddenly you are changed just like that. All Christians are to struggle against sin and strive for holiness in their lives, without which they cannot see God (Heb. 12:14b).

>Jesus didn't come down here on earth to make bad people good, He came to make DEAD people LIVE!!

And spiritually alive people are DEAD to sin, which is the thrust of Rom. 6:1-14 to begin with. They are not apathetic or continuing in their sins, thinking that God will save them even though they continue to sin.

Seth said...

Are there some sins that are not as bad as others? Does God make a distinction? Did He not say that, whoever says they have no sin is a lier? Then how is homosexuality placed an some "other" catagory? Idolatry is a sin of putting other things first before God. Are you exempt from this? None of us are. Does that make it ok? Obviously not but I must ask. You wish to do right, but why? There are many who Do many right things but to God it makes no difference unless what you do is done for the RIGHT reason. Though you give your flesh to be burned, all the goods you own to the poor but have not love it profits you NOTHING. Which is first? LOVE or the LAW or RIGHT doing? How do you love? Through YOUR OWN efforts? Your OWN wisdom? Your OWN power? Does the word not say that we love BECAUSE HE (GOD) FIRST loved us?

You say all Christians "struggle" against sin. It is only a "struggle" if you're focusing on your sin and right doing verses focusing on Jesus. Do you not understand that? Focusing on your relationship with Him the SOURCE of your love. You can't love without Him, you can do NOTHING without Him. The verse you quoted says we WERE (Past Tense) Washed, Sanctified and Justified... I believe it, don't you? It's a done deal.

Let me ask you, do you love your children, parents and friends based on some "law" or requirements or does your LOVE for them CAUSE you to respond appropriately? God does not want you to focus on your behavior toward Him He wants you to focus on His Love for you, to focus on Jesus Christ's love and what He did for you. When you receive that love THEN that same love is an overflow through you back to Him and Jesus and your fellow neighbor made in the image of God. Do you see? Focus on the Love God has for you and you will.

PuritanReformed said...

@Seth:

Are there some sins that are not as bad as others? Does God make a distinction?

All sins are sins, but it is not true that all sins are equal. If not, you might as well commit murder, since God according to the Sermon on the Mount treats hatred as a violation of the sixth commandment. And I am sure you have hated someone before in your entire life.

There are many who Do many right things but to God it makes no difference unless what you do is done for the RIGHT reason

It makes little difference even if it "done for the RIGHT reason". All our righteousness are as filthy rags (Is. 64:6)

It is only a "struggle" if you're focusing on your sin and right doing verses focusing on Jesus. Do you not understand that?

That is blatently unbiblical nonsense coming from the Mind-science cults of the 19th century. The theory that the mind is able to change nature comes from the occult into the church through E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin Sr, Kenneth Copeland and now Joseph Prince. The fact of the matter is mind cannot change nature! You can think all you want you have wings and can fly, and speak "words of faith" to make it so, yet you will still plummet to the ground regardless when you step off a tall building.

The verse you quoted says we WERE (Past Tense) Washed, Sanctified and Justified... I believe it, don't you? It's a done deal.

Your use of CAPS is getting irritating. So what? This verse does not say anything about whether Christians continue to sin! It is just stating a fact that all Christians have been washed by the blood of Christ, are considered holy and reckoned as acquited and righteous before God.

Let me ask you, do you love your children, parents and friends based on some "law" or requirements or does your LOVE for them CAUSE you to respond appropriately

False dichotomy. You obviously have not heard of the fifth commandment.

God does not want you to focus on your behavior toward Him He wants you to focus on His Love for you, to focus on Jesus Christ's love and what He did for you. When you receive that love THEN that same love is an overflow through you back to Him and Jesus and your fellow neighbor made in the image of God. Do you see?

Of course you still have not defined "love", "focus" and all the other words you use. So no, I don't see any truth behind your sentimental 'airy-fairy' verbiage. If "love" is defined by emotions, then you have no right to tell the pedophiles and beastialists off, since for then they "love" the object of their affections, and who are you to judge them?

Cal Easterling, Ph.D. said...

Joseph Prince should not be linked with Word of Faith. Brother Hagin and Brother Copeland consistently insist on Godly sorrow for repentance, which Prince denies. If a Christian sins, he must confess it to God, according to I John 1:9, realizing that sin is gross and heinous and will obstruct one's close relationship with a just and holy God.

For Prince to claim the Word of Faith heritage in no way means that he is representative. Destined to Reign does contain heresy, and this is recognized by most Word of Faith churches.

PuritanReformed said...

@Cal:

certainly we do recognize that the Word-faith movement may not be as heretical as Prince. What we are arguing is not that "Prince is a heretic, therefore the Word-faith are also as bad". What we are saying is that "the Word-faith movement is heretical, therefore Prince is at least there if not actually worse".

Rick said...

Joseph Prince preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ! If any of you would like to stay under the curse of the law, be my guest, unfortunately, with that, comes a veil - so you cannot see grace. Until you've lived in grace - you'll never be free from what ails you - I'm living proof that the fruit from these grace teachings changes your life for the better by 100% - and always remember - Grace is not a doctrine - it's a person, and his name is Jesus!!

PuritanReformed said...

@Rick:

if you are so confident of the rightness of your position, why is your profile locked?

Besides sprouting Princeanisms, can you even interact with the biblical text? Your Antinomianisn is showing. So far, the rotton behavior of the Prince fans have shown me the rotton fruit of the movement, so I am disinclined to take your so-called testimony seriously. In my experience, those who promote "grace" and disregard the Law of God certainly behave lawlessly in total disregard of all manner of civility and constant violation of the rules.

dan said...

Whoever wrote this blog should take it down. Was it the prompting of the Holy Spirit that made you make this post? Your intentions may be "good" and you "think" that you are saving mislead souls, but what is really going on is you are creating the internal conflicts in the Christian community out into the open for the other non-believers to laugh at and does not in any way save more sheep.

It is such a disgrace for Christians like me to have come across this site seeing Christians throw unpleasant tones to each other. Even my tone is upset because I really am!

The disagreements in theology within the Christian Church is many. Every Christian just needs to get one theology right, that is saved by grace, so that we can make it to heaven and get God to answer all our questions.

From the top of my head:
- Pre, post, amillennialism
- Gift of tongues, prophecy, interpretation
- Law vs saved by grace, antinomianism
- baptism method immersion, sprinkle
- inspired bible version i.e. KJV is an inspired translation
- Charismatic, traditional.
- Style of worship
- prosperity vs poverty (supposedly more pious) mindset.

so many more! And a blog can be set up for each disagreement with many responding.

Seriously, consider taking this blog down. It is useless in "persuading" who you believe are mislead and only creates animosity among fellow brothers in cyberspace with useless arguments. And it does nothing to further the Kingdom of God or strengthen the theology in the Church today.

In any case, something much much more effective than posting a blog and have our brothers and sisters argue with each other is to pray and pray hard for the Holy Spirit to guide those whom you think are mislead. Isn't the Holy Spirit more effective than your blog?

One more thing, you don't want non-believers to ask this question no Pastor has ever answered to my satisfaction. If God is speaking today, why do so many good men of God hear so differing voices from God? Another blog to argue there.

Hope you get my point.

God bless

PuritanReformed said...

@Dan:

next time if you don't allow your profile to be seen, I will not approve of your comment.

>Was it the prompting of the Holy Spirit that made you make this post?

Yes, so your point is?

>but what is really going on is you are creating the internal conflicts in the Christian community out into the open for the other non-believers to laugh at and does not in any way save more sheep.

You assume that Prince et al are part of the "Christian community". I disagree. Prince IMO is not even a Christian.

>It is such a disgrace for Christians like me to have come across this site seeing Christians throw unpleasant tones to each other.

Really? You should be upset with the Apostle Paul then (http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2009/02/satire-if-galatians-was-contemporary.html). Such a disagrace for having aired dirty laundry in public and placing that shameful letter into the canon of Scripture!

>Every Christian just needs to get one theology right, that is saved by grace

OK. Define for me the words "saved", "by" and "grace" for me. Can one be "saved by grace" through belief in a non divine Jesus? If not, then you have just added another condition, and so on and so forth.

The fact of the matter is that the Gospel defines what is necessary to be saved, and not reductionistic formulas created by intellectually lazy evangelicals.

PuritanReformed said...

[cont]

>- Law vs saved by grace, antinomianism

Oh, so are you saying that the Gospel is now optional for salvation? Really?

>-prosperity vs poverty (supposedly more pious) mindset.

You clearly do not understand the issues involved with the so-called "prosperity gospel", which is no Gospel at all.


>Seriously, consider taking this blog down

Upon what basis? That I offend your unbiblical sensibilities is not a good reason.


>only creates animosity among fellow brothers in cyberspace

I deny that those who knowingly follow Prince are my brothers. They are goats who follow the wolf to their own destruction.


>pray and pray hard for the Holy Spirit to guide those whom you think are mislead

First of all, how do you know I have not prayed? Secondly, I am not a quietist. I don't see anyone applying that "logic" to evangelism - pray and pray hard for people to believe in Christ without actually witnessing for Christ.

>Isn't the Holy Spirit more effective than your blog?

Your question has as much merit as asking whether the Holy Spirit is much more effective than preaching, witnessing, serving etc, and just as vacuous. Maybe we should just "trust the Holy Spirit" and stop evangelizing? After all, isn't the Holy Spirit more effective than our witnessing?


>If God is speaking today, why do so many good men of God hear so differing voices from God?

How do you know that they are even "good men of God"? Are "good men of God" infallible? What do you mean by "God is speaking today"?

This objection is analogous to saying that just because there are many counterfeit notes available, therefore there is no true currency.

Eric S said...

I am not going to use a lot of scripture here in trying to make my point. I am a big fan of Joseph Prince. I spent the past 20 years believing that as a christian I was supposed to live a sinless or at the least sin less in my life. I based my salvation on how I "lived" as a christian. I "believed" I was somehow supposed to be godly in all my actions. Over and over again as I grew as a believer, I beat myself up emotionally because I was such a failure for Christ. A year ago, I was so angry and fed up with christianity, I almost believed it was just a load of crud. I told a christian friend "It is only right for God to ask us to give 10% considering He doesn't give any more Himself." A few days later I felt a peace like I never felt before as I realised He had been in my life since the beginning guiding me. 3 months later I found Joseph Prince and began listening to his sermons. I realised then that all my life I have measured myself by my success or failures. Joseph teaches that although I may be up and down in my walk, Christ is always "rock steady." If I could become like Jesus, I would no longer have need of faith. Faith is not seeing my righteousness but seeing His righteousness for me at the cross. I no longer focus on my own actions as a way to please an unhappy God. In fact my new freedom is exactly why I seek Him every day now. If God loved me so much that He has completely done all the work on my behalf, I am in awe of this new realisation of God's love for me rather than focusing on my love for Him as I did in the past. Do I love Him? Yes, because I have realised how much more He loved me all my life. Do I not care if I sin? I hate sin. But I can't seem to get very interested in sinning because all I want to do these days is tell people how much God loves them. In fact I have lost friends from church because all I do is talk about the love of God for us. At one point I thought the truth I learned from JP was a curse because all my christian friends have ditched me. I know that when JP says that grace is the power of God he is telling the truth. That same grace has set me free and yet empowered me to talk about Jesus non-stop. I never grow tired of talking about the God's grace, love, and Jesus. I don't have all the answers to people's arguments from the scriptures. I only know I am a living testimony of His Grace. I am sorry if I have offended anyone with my poor punctuation or perhaps I put too much focus on God's love at the cross in someone's opinion. Thanks for reading my post.

PuritanReformed said...

@EricS:

that you were struggling with legalism can be seen. You were brought up with a false view of what Christianity is. But that does not imply that the opposite of one error is necessarily true.

You liked his teachings only because most of Christianity is legalistic. You however interpret his teachings based upon your prior upbringing, and therefore achieve some sort of balance. But your being able to achieve balance does not make Joseph Prince's teaching necessarily true.

I encourage you to find other sources that proclaim the true Gospel, not those legalistic rubbish you cam out from, and not those from Prince. A balanced diet is what you should be looking for, not over-reacting from one extreme to the other.

Johnie Lee said...

Joseph Prince is a Word Faith member of a new age movement started from deceased Kenneth Hagin, heretics Benny Hinn and also fraud sentenced Cho Yonggi.

All are heretical in teachings bending the Scriptures out-of-context and adding new stuff not taught in God's Word.

Many of his copied teachings are from Word Faith movement which are the source of their own problems they create out of thin air.

People should read the Bible and check the misquotations Prince take out of context on all occasions. He fails to grasp the Gospel message and builds fables around his audios, books and Youtubes like most charismatic heretics.

If I am a good student of the Bible Joseph Prince gets an F- for flunking the test. He is afterall a false teacher. His same acquaintances are the same groups as Kong Hee. All are Word Faiths heretics.