Mark #1: They Do Not Stay Long in a Single Verse

Prosperity preachers cannot explain verses in their context. Taking a paragraph and opening up its meaning is as foreign to them as a time of silence in a modern church.

Friday night, for example, the speaker did use many verses. (Psalm 27:1-2; Rom. 8:28-30; John 12:46; 1 John 1:5; Exodus 4:16; Psalm 114:3; Exodus 10:21-23; Exodus 11:7; 3 John 2; and others) However, in each case he referenced them quickly, drew out some positive image, and applied it to the earthly prosperity of his audience. In each case, taking more time to look at the context would have disabused him of the meaning he was trying to cast on the audience.

When the plague of darkness came on Egypt but not on Goshen, he declared that we were all children of Goshen on whom “light” would shine. This was repeated for rhetorical effect at the loudest decibels. “Speak Goshen over your life. Speak Goshen over your family. Speak Goshen over your Children. Speak Goshen over your country.” Never mind that Goshen was the slaves’ dwelling—a kind of ancient squatter camp where one ethnic group lived in oppression.

Then he effortlessly applied another verse he had previously misinterpreted with this line, “When someone is sick, they must be healed because you are a god to the world.”

Using the same hermeneutic as at other times, he had us open to Psalm 114:3 “The sea looked at it and fled.” He immediately interpreted the “sea” as anything that makes our lives uncomfortable.

Moving quickly from verse to verse may not be a problem in a rare sermon if the preacher actually knows what the verse is saying. But with prosperity preachers, they use verses in order to draw men’s hearts to the earth. Though I have heard them use scores of verses by now, I cannot think of a single time when a single preacher appealed to a verse without this intended effect.

In other words, no prosperity preacher teaches verse by verse through Scripture.

Identifying Prosperity Preachers
Mark #1: They Do Not Stay Long in a Single Verse
Mark #2: They Are Intentionally Vague
Mark #3: They Consistently Disobey Explicit Scriptural Teaching About Tongues
Mark #4: They Prostitute the Old Testament
Mark #5: They Assume Their Listeners Are All Born Again
Mark #6: They Ignore the Great Themes of Scripture
Mark #7: They Have an Aversion to Humility
Mark #8: They Draw the Affections to Earth

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