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Investigative Report: It's not in the Greek Does Greater Ministries Misuse Scripture?

1999This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Greater Ministries bases its "Faith Promises Program" on two key scriptural passages, Luke 6:38 and James 5:1-4. Followers believe the Lukan verse, "Give and it will be given unto you," guarantees that donors will receive twice as much money back as contributed. And they take James's warning that "Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you," to be prophesying an "end-time transfer of wealth" from the unidentified "heathen" to God's specially chosen followers, particularly those organized under the Greater Ministries banner.

This exegesis does not much impress Wayne Grudem, professor and department chair of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Grudem told CT that "it will be given" only implies that God is the giver and does not specify what the blessings are or when they will be given. "Are they spiritual or material blessings?'" Grudem asks. "Are they given now or in the age to come? That's up to ...

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