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The Conversation Continues: Reader's Comments
Readers respond to J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu's "Did Jesus Wear Designer Robes?"

Displaying 1–38 of 38 comments

Oun Kwon

August 18, 2012  12:51am

Dawns to me this - how easily accepted are charismatic shows of ecstasy by African people who used to their shamanic rituals of frenzy.

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Oun Kwon

August 18, 2012  12:46am

Prosperity Gospel (like a smile on the peddler Joel) is a satanic verse sweet to hear.

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Apostle Paul J. Nel, South Africa

May 06, 2010  5:15am

The Bible teaches that human wisdom is foolishness with YHVH Elohim. The Bible teaches that endless arguments serve no purpose in building the Kingdom of YHVH. The Bible also teaches that it is to be the ONLY yardstick by which we measure. The Holy Spirit has revealed to me the truth of John 8:32 & 44 - the Bible = the written Word of YHVH = (2+2=4). You see, when you add 2 objects to another 2 objects, you will have 4 objects. It doesn't matter what you or I believe - there will still be exactly 4 objects. The original God-breathed Scripture is what it is and it says what it says. It doesn't matter what you or I believe - it doesn't change what YHVH has written. I can often just shake my head ut us "high & mighty" human cleverness (foolishness in His eyes). Shalom

Tim Molter, USA

April 27, 2010  12:07pm

On your "Who Is Jesus?" page you state that "God loves you and offers a "wonderful" plan for your life." I think your" Who is Jesus...Really" page is another example of the prosperity gospel. Think about it, should we be coming to Jesus for happiness or for righteousness? The early church and the disciples did not have a wonderful life, they were persecuted daily, however they did have an abundant life that was full in Christ.

Caroline, kenya

March 27, 2010  8:57pm

Hello I am from Africa and this video to say the least was hilarious and sad at the same time to see how christians can be taken advantage of if they do not read the word of God and understand it. I remembered the widow's mite and Jesus said that she gave the most because Jesus looks at the heart and not at the amount. I think what we really need to tell our fellow brothers and sisters in africa is to read the Bible and understand it like the Bereans did so that they will be aware of the spirits and be knowledgable about the word of God.

"Moruti" Lutz, South Africa

March 23, 2010  2:13am

Hi HD Randle. I should feel honoured that you took the time to write a response [though a slightly repettitve one, but that's ok, you are American], in spite of my theological attempts being so utterly laughable. But thahnks for giving me so much food for thought, as you indicate, for my "research". So I guess, I will shut up (on that particular topic, anyway), till I have done my homework...

D.R. Randle, U.S.A.

March 22, 2010  11:57pm

continued... And so while, your logic might be legitimate, it doesn't square with reality (i.e., the fact that American Evangelical Calvinists are staunchly opposed to the prosperity gospel and have no connections to its root in the U.S.). I would recommend you read some popular Calvinists on the prosperity gospel in order to confirm this. Some of the most well known and influential Calvinists in the U.S. include men like J.I. Packer, Albert Mohler, John Piper, John MacArthur, D.A. Carson, Wayne Grudem, and David Platt. I hope this helps you in your research of the prosperity gospel.

D.R. Randle, U.S.A.

March 22, 2010  11:56pm

continued... As for the prosperity gospel having possible roots in Calvinism, nothing could be farther from reality. You are correct that the prosperity gospel finds its roots in America. However, the origination can be traced to those who would be deeply opposed to Calvinism. Men like Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, E.W. Kenyon, and others tend to come out of Methodists / Arminian roots, rather than Calvinistic ones. In fact, I could not find one leader associated with the prosperity gospel that came out of a Presbyterian / Reformed / Calvinistic tradition.

D.R. Randle, U.S.A.

March 22, 2010  11:54pm

Mr. Lutz, The reason why your proposed connection between Calvinism and the prosperity gospel is so laughable is quite simply because there is probably no greater group of critics against the prosperity gospel than American Evangelical Calvinists. While I understand your logic of how one could attempt to prove they are indeed of the elect by showing material blessings (and there was actually some expression of this within the early Puritans), the reality is that you won't find this in any form of contemporary mainstream Calvinism. There might certainly be some cases out there, but as a general movement, Calvinism is staunchly opposed to the prosperity gospel.

Ackermann Lutz, South Africa

March 17, 2010  1:51am

"4/3" {sorry, had to break this into pieces and just realized that the last bit did not get in, so here it is}: [ok, I see that it may be unfair to single out Calvinism; because for Dr M. Luther, for example, a driving question to his reformatory activity was precicely one of the "Am I in (or out)?" questions, phrased: "How do I find a God who is favourable (German: "gnaedig") towards me?" But that does not invalidate my argument - it just shows that we are dealing with a much broader phenomenon] How does that sound to you?

Ackermann Lutz, South Africa

March 17, 2010  1:49am

3/3 Assuming that such a theology would also be quite bibliocentric, could it not happen that one of the theological trajectories of the Old Testament emerges as a possibility? And there (in the OT) it does occur more often than not that people conclude: "Does G-d love/save/favour me? Well yes, the visible signs for that are G-ds blessings in my life." (And they certainly occur on a material basis) So what I am saying, while "prosperity gospel" as an ANSWER (quite certainly) may not follow from Calvinism, the corresponding (underlying) QUESTION many well have it's roots there! How does that sound to you?

Ackermann Lutz, South Africa

March 17, 2010  1:47am

2/3 Now, let me try to rephrase more carefully: could it not be, that a (any!) theology which thinks/works/argues in terms of "predestination" or the like could lead to a situation where there is a strong need to somehow demonstrate (to oneself or to others): "I am in" (i.e. I am one of the "elect" / "predestined" / "saved" etc ones)? While that sort of question may not necessarily reflect the original focus of that particular theology, is it then not conceivable that it (the question) would emanate as a practical consequence (ever so hidden and veiled, maybe)? But how, then does it get answered?

Ackermann Lutz, South Africa

March 17, 2010  1:47am

1/3 Dear DR Randle, thank you for your response and clarification. As I had indicated in my original post, of all possible theological approaches Calvinism is certainly the one I know about less than any other, so may I please be forgiven if my ideas about it are maybe as "laughable" as you indicate. [in fact, I admit that I may even be prejudiced by the perception that Calvinism (as an staunch "-ism) is much an US-American thing - and that is where I would also localize the epicenter of "prosperity gospels".] Thanks also for the link to Mr Pipers sermoncast, I will check it out.

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D.R. Randle, Georgia, USA

March 12, 2010  12:23pm

Mr. Ackermann, It's laughable to think that Calvinism is in any way related to the prosperity gospel, much less a prerequisite for it. Every Calvinist I know (including myself) believes the prosperity gospel to be a terrible misrepresentation of the entirety of Scripture. John Piper, a leading Calvinist pastor in the U.S. has made it a personal crusade to denigrate the prosperity gospel movement. You can check out this link of a powerful video made based on a sermon he gave on the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s&feature=related

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Michael Huffman, USA

February 22, 2010  10:18am

It is easy to condemn the "Prosperity Gospel" as a false teaching. But since we all seem to be convinced of its error, what should we do about poverty? This is a struggle for me. Is the corollary of recognizing the error of the "Prosperity Gospel" the teaching of a "Poverty Gospel"? I live in prosperity. Are Western Christians called to poverty in order to snatch their brothers and sisters from starvation? It sounds so cold to put it that way, but isn't that the heart of the issue? Does anyone else have this kind of struggle? I plan to spend $15,000+ a year on a seminary education in the next few years. I'm leading a youth retreat next month that will cost $85 per person. How does this relate to the problem of Christians in poverty?

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Peter Houston, Polokwane, South Africa

February 03, 2010  1:20pm

Like many theologies, half a truth is more dangerous than an outright lie. Yes, we are the King's Kids! Amen, hallelujah, God does pour out blessing! But the problem is always the cross. The purveyor of the whole truth is Christ and him crucified. The Prince of Peace wrought God's blessing for us through suffering and nails. Perhaps it is more likely that his blessing is for us to see him amongst the pain of the oppressed, the poor and the marginalised, than for me to be blessed by an excessive materialism that this world cannot sustain. Prosperity theology is the antithesis of Ecotheology.

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Lutz Ackermann, South Africa

January 27, 2010  12:04am

5) Liberation theology / revolutionary: Poverty as global problem of "structural sin". Needs to be changed (with or without force)! 6) Prosperity Gospel: have faith! Tithe! and God will bless you (spiritually and materially!) ... and there must be more, I am sure. Comments?

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Lutz Ackermann, South Africa

January 27, 2010  12:03am

part 2 3) Calvinism: ??? [I know too little about it, but I dare say that it's ideas about predestination/election (of a few) at least falls in line with [if not is a prerequisite for] a "prosperity gospel" for a few which excludes the many. Experts, am I right?] 4) Missionary / collonialist: "poverty is good for you / [not for us]" (in South Africa we have this saying: when the white people came, they had the bible and we (the blacks) had the land. They said: let us pray! After the prayer, they had the land and we had the bible.

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Lutz Ackermann, South Africa

January 27, 2010  12:03am

part 1 Looking at this blog, there seems to be much consencus that a "health & wealth" gospel cannot be "it". But what are the alternatives? How have Christians throughout the ages responded [in their theology and in their spiritual practice] to the ugly issue of poverty (and wealth)? A few come to my mind... 1) St Francis (of Assisi) and many others in the monasic tradition: embracing poverty, which, as one of the three "evangelic councils" [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04435a.htm], became part of their Rule of Life 2) Luther's work ethics [c.f. Max Weber's analysis of Protestantism and the spirit of capitalism]: from a faith perspective, wealth is seen as something God-given = good (in principle, at least); working hard (to create income or wealth) is seen as a virtue

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Cameron Wells, USA

January 09, 2010  10:31pm

The insidious prosperity gospel is a teaching that has been started by bigots driven by greed and power. It is a distortion of the gospel of Christ. It preys upon superstition and utilizes a guilt tactic. Whoever espouses such a theology needs to simply peruse the Bible and see that God's people are not exempt from suffering and pain, but are usually more susceptible to it. Did not Christ Himself suffer and say we would have to take up our cross and follow Him? Did He not tell us to not build up treasures here on earth? Did not Job learn the truth that prosperity and freedom from pain is not guaranteed to the righteous? Do we not have entire organizations (Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, etc.) dedicated to helping Christians around the world who are suffering from the pain and poverty brought on by persecution? This heresy is one of the most dangerous and poses a huge threat to the furtherance of God's kingdom! It must be contended against in this generation!

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Mike Barefield, USA

December 28, 2009  11:23am

It is sad that the prosperity gospel has left the "west" and infected the "east". I am reminded of Rev 3 speaking to the church of the Laodiceans, where the statement is made - "Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked." I don't believe God is against wealth or prosperity by any means, but I also don't see any evidence of the prosperity gospel being something spoken of in a positive way in scripture. How about the focus being on the "harvest" of souls, instead of the "harvest" of wealth? When Jesus said in John 4, " I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!.", I don't think He was talking about a big offering or a big business deal. Let's be about the prime directive and not let our attention become focused on worldly goods which are so short lived and then eternity. Thanks for this article.

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David Hausmann, Switzerland

December 14, 2009  3:29pm

Not an easy subject... Often we have failed to exercice the gitf of discernement, distinguishing between spirits (1 Cor. 12:10). I have discovered that some sufferings are to be dealt with in the name of Christ and we stupidly accepts them. Some are to be embraced and we strongly refuse them. For sure, God is a good God and His provision is sufficient to face the pains of this present world (1 Pet. 5:6-7). Saying that, I would not to easily throw the first stone on the african prosperity preachers...

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Pastor Pitshou Moleka, DR Congo

December 06, 2009  12:24pm

I think according to Ephesians 1,15 to 22, the church is above all powers and authorities with his Lord. So by his power, christain church as the primitive did it, must works for the well being of all poors in the world specially in Africa where after 4seconds one person dies.

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James Martin, USA

November 28, 2009  12:49am

What struck me was the professor who stated that these preachers connect with the people in that they bring "hope." It is a false hope based on a lie. So what happens to those people when the house of cards collapses and they realize that all they have done is to enrich the clergy? Apart from playing with the most sensitive spiritual emotions of people ( which is horrendous enough), this movement drains communities of the few financial resources that they could use to develop a better life for themselves. I don't not believe in hell, but this video presents a pretty compelling argument as to why there should be some sort of punishment (not necessarily eternal burning) from God for this wholesale fraud on credulous and sincere people.

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Marcos Antonio Ferreira, Brasil

November 25, 2009  5:19am

I do praise the idea of have a time to join hands and knologe to expande the gospel of Cristh and not man's. That is the key, if we can set togheter and not be involved in "theology" discutions but on a conversation that will put us in partinership to find ways to reach the lost as fast we can with the Word of God (Jesus Cristh as the only savior and lord)

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Francis Vitalis Arthur Rj., USA

November 23, 2009  4:39pm

I have high praise for any group of people who choose to have a council to discus any theology that is different. This is consistent with the Jerusalem council. However, many questions come to mind. Example: In the Jerusalem council, the apostles could make a legitimate decision since they literally walked and talked with Jesus. In our Era, who is qualified to make such a decision? Once that decision is made how then will if affect a change? We have one bible, but 2000 sects of Christian denominations each claiming to tell the truth, and none of them have authority to affect a change in the other.

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Pastor Andy Sodestrom, USA

November 22, 2009  8:49pm

Amir, You pose a question that is a bit ambiguous. If you are asking for a comparison of terrorism and imperialism, then they are quite different. Terrorism is typically understood as the use of violent acts which are intended to create fear for ideological purposes, quite often perpetrated on random victims. Imperialism is when one state exerts control over another state or region through political or other means. If you are asking to state the differences between the truth claims of Christianity and Islam then that is a very different question. Either way, your question is really outside the scope of this particular discussion.

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Amir, Afghanistan

November 22, 2009  5:46pm

Can anybody tell me, what is the different between Islamic terrorism and christian imperialism? Both of them changing people's life and culture by imposing their idea of life. for example an Muslim terrorist imposing the 1400 years ago way of life to people and an american christian!! scholar!! sitting in the heart of US writing a prescription for a Muslim convert in arabia or afghanistan how that person has to live as a christian!!! not knowing that Christianity is been in the east for last 2000 years and there is indigenous churches in any single Muslim country. Just you need to open your eyes.

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Pastor Andy Sodestrom, USA

November 21, 2009  9:44am

Well said Christine! Suffering when understood in the context of Jesus life and teaching is truly a gift. Perhaps one that we would not at first request, but when we can experience the power of the Gospel as the way to cope with it rather than eliminate it we can truly embrace it. This truth about the Gospel is certainly part of the "whole" Gospel. How was your teaching received?

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Christine Dillon, Taiwan

November 20, 2009  8:51pm

Last night I spoke to a group at a Presbyterian church in southern Taiwan on, "The present that no body wants." i.e. suffering! The reason I spoke on that topic is that Taiwan too, is increasingly infected with non-biblical ideas. How one can follow Jesus, who promised persecution as an evidence that we are truly his disciples, and then fail to talk about such things is a mystery to me. We discussed the reason that suffering is a gift. It can grow patience, trust, dependence, awareness of weakness, humility, contentment, bring glory to Jesus' name, encourage others to stand firm, and generally grows mature believers as gold going through refining. I would not want the curse of prosperity or the kind of 'blessing' that is offered. I much prefer to accept Jesus' presents which are designed to make my like Him and so bring Him glory.

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Andy Sodestrom, USA

November 17, 2009  8:08am

I recently had a long conversation with a dear Ugandan pastor friend who shared his observations about the effects of this practice in his own country. God has called him to minister in the rural villages of Uganda where poverty and disease abound. He described how some of the villagers would save their money for the long trip to the city to pay a pastor for his prayers and blessing. As we talked it became clear that the only difference between paying a local witch doctor for the same services was you saved the cost of transportation. This is an important conversation that needs to include the influences of this distortion of the Gospel has on "the least of these".

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Pastor Mark Chinchen , SouthAfrica

November 16, 2009  1:31am

This Game shed new light on the Romans mocking and scourging of Jesus they beat him dressed him in a purple robe,gave him a Crown of thorns and told him to save himself by mocking Jesus the Romans and Herodian soldiers saw an opportunity to play the King for a day game minner Jesus the son of God,was not simply to be King for the day,for the Cords of death could not hold him by his resurrection he revealed that he was and is King forever

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Pastor Mark Chinchen , SouthAfrica

November 16, 2009  1:19am

Title:The purple robe an aswer to did Jesus wear designer robe by Kwanda Asamoah-Gyadu(Nov 2009 Joy Magazine)The King Forever pg 1151 The new possibility thinkers bible New king James version Robert H. Schuller executive editor Thomas Nelson publisher Printed in the United State of America Jesus Christ was tried before Pontius Pilate in the Roman Praetorium inside the Antonia Fortress Archaeologist have discovered etched into the stone pavement of the praetorium a playing board for the game known among the Roman soldiers was dressed in abeautiful purple robe imported from the City of Colossar where the special purple dye was extracted from seashells.This particular style of robe was reserved for their use.In addition to the robe the King received a Crown,scepter,and anything else he wished including wine,women and Song,but there was one catch at the end of the day the King was put to death This Game sheds new light on the

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Romesh Bulathsinghala, Sri Lanka

November 16, 2009  12:07am

Act 2:44-45 "And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need." I wonder why we don’t here too many sermons preached on this text? The church at large is no different to the world, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. On the theme of prosperity on the one hand we have those who preach a prosperity Gospel and on the other hand we have those who oppose it and preach a poverty Gospel. I believe it was Selwyn Hughes who said Christians are like drunkards trying to ride a horse. They fall of one side or the other. I believe we need to preach a balanced Gospel. All God has given us whether plenty or just enough all belong to Him and we are but stewards, therefore be wise stewards & use all He has given for the glory of God.

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Manny Frias, Philippines

November 12, 2009  7:53pm

MAYBE the prosperity gospel is giving hope to certain people and thus providing them with a positive outlook. But maybe they (those who adhere to the prosperity preaching and even the preacher themselves) also need to ask themselves that if prosperity is a sign of God's approval and favor then that would imply that the disciples of the Lord were also NOT favored and UNAPPROVED by God because they live in poverty, pesecutions, sickness and even death. Who now holds more truth (if there is such a word as 'more truth'), the prosperity preachers or the Scriptures?...just a thought.

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Oseias da Silva, UK

November 11, 2009  3:28pm

The Gospel has to be a good news for the poor and whoever accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord. In a secular society it is very easy to relate Christian perspective with secular apporach. Also, in developing countries the theology of prosperity is very suitable, because it promises something that people are so looking for. Unfortunately, they are many christian leaders who are using theology of prosperity to establish their own interest. May God have mercy...

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Alexandre Araujo, USA

November 09, 2009  8:53am

Peter's point is well taken at one level, but perhaps it misses a larger point? Surely we can always find kernels of truth, exceptions to the rule, in nearly all social movements and patterns. It would be unhelpful if the populist damage done by the prosperity gospel were missed or its critique weakened by focusing on exceptions to the rule.

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Alexandre Araujo, USA

November 09, 2009  8:41am

Fascinating discussion by Amos Yong. There are several worthy sociological and cross-cultural insights in his response. I would suggest one additional line of thinkng for consideration: Based on what we know of Jesus' character, life, and social behavior, how do we imagine he would present himself in any given social context, whether Africa or the Americas? Contextualization is an important communication principle. It should not be elevated to the level of Christian virtue. Neither East nor West, North nor South represent what God has in mind through redemption in Christ. I am a servant who should wear simple servant clothing so that I may not compete with the glory of the gospel in the eyes of others.

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