Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
CNN: A survivor of "prosperity gospel" speaks out

CNN has recently posted a very interesting and very sad article from a person who was pulled into the neopente dominionist "prosperity gospel" stuff--and ended up in debt to the point she had to borrow from neighbours and family just to eat.

Sadly, this is *not* uncommon with these groups, and hits *very* close to home for me--there were times my family had to charge groceries at salvage stores when I was growing up because my mother was giving thirty percent or more of our pre-tax income to the church for tithes, "love offerings" and "seed faith offerings".

The post ties in the three pastors the survivor donated to (Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White) in regards to the ongoing investigation of several "name it and claim it" promoters by Sen. Grassley (and there are some indications the investigation may soon expand beyond the six "name it and claim it" promoters to a general investigation of the televangelist industry--to which I say, it should have happened 20 years ago, but it's good to see it now).

Not noted in the article, but important to note--yes, this is related to dominionism and neopentecostal dominionism in particular:

a) Many of the parties specifically mentioned explicitly promote neopente dominion theology and deliverance ministry; both modern television and radio networks devoted to promotion of "name it and claim it"/"prosperity gospel" have been the primary conduits of promotion of political dominionism (and this is not a recent innovation; in fact, televangelism and political dominionism have been hand-in-hand since the very beginnings).

b) Political dominionism in and of itself--especially as practiced within the Assemblies of God and its "daughter" churches (including most of the big neopentecostal megachurches where "Prosperity gospel" is promoted--almost all of them are either Assemblies "stealth congregations" or "Assemblies daughters")--is *itself* a subset of "name it and claim it"; these groups teach in general that people can "open doorways to Satan" via the most innocent activities and that nations can be "oppressed by Satan" or--in many cases--have God "withdraw his blessing" for tolerating things outside the church "rules" (including things like equal rights for women, mere tolerance of non-neopentecostal religions, allowing LGBT people to exist, etc.).

Most churches promoting "name it and claim it" also promote some version of "Serpent seed" theology, which teaches that all people are either "children of God" or "children of the devil"; quite often it is taught that the "Elect" also have been blessed for the specific purpose of eventually converting people to dominionist theology (by force, if necessary) and to crush all those opposing.

The infamous "Joel's Army"/"Joshua Generation" theology popular in Assemblies churches--both in its modern incarinations and in its origins within "latter rain" theology--both stemmed from "name it and claim it" revivals; the "Joel's Army"/"Joshua Generation" stuff in particular is explicitly linked to a series of revivals triggered by Paul Yonggi Cho (and later, Rodney Howard-Browne) now known (rather inaccurately) as the "Brownsville Revival" or "Toronto Outpouring" (the "revivals" started long, long before the "Brownsville Revival" in the early 90s; there are indications the source of this "movement" should actually be traced to Yoido Full Gospel in South Korea starting in the mid-50s, and at least four churches in the Americas (including the church I am a walkaway from and New Life Church in Colorado Springs) which were Assemblies or "Assemblies daughters" (in the case of New Life; it's still not certain if New Life is truly an "Assemblies daughter" or possibly a stealth Assemblies congregation) promoted it all the way back in the 60s and 70s). Pensacola's main newspaper has written a particularly damning expose of the "prosperity gospel" revival credited with widely popularising "Joel's Army" theology (and mirrored at Rick Ross Institute); the "revival" had such bizarre claims as people spontaneously having tooth fillings changing to gold, etc.