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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 10:26:06 -0800
-by J. Lee Grady.

Before he died in 2003, the revered father of the Word-Faith
movement corrected his spiritual sons for going to extremes with
their message of prosperity.

Charismatic Bible teacher Kenneth Hagin Sr. is considered the
father of the so-called prosperity gospel. The folksy, self-trained
“Dad Hagin” started a grass-roots movement in Oklahoma that
produced a Bible college and a crop of famous preachers
including Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Jesse
DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar and dozens of others—all of whom teach
that Christians who give generously should expect financial
rewards on this side of heaven.

Hagin taught that God was not glorified by poverty and that
preachers do not have to be poor. But before he died in 2003 and
left his Rhema Bible Training Center in the hands of his son,
Kenneth Hagin Jr., he summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa
to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that
some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what
he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence. Those who were close
to Hagin Sr. say he was passionate about correcting these abuses
before he died. In fact, he wrote a brutally honest book to address
his concerns. The Midas Touch was published in 2000, a year
after the infamous Tulsa meeting.

Many Word-Faith ministers ignored the book. But in light of the
recent controversy over prosperity doctrines, it might be a good
idea to dust it off and read it again.

Here are a few of the points Hagin made in The Midas Touch:

1. Financial prosperity is not a sign of God’s blessing. Hagin wrote:
“If wealth alone were a sign of spirituality, then drug traffickers and
crime bosses would be spiritual giants. Material wealth can be
connected to the blessings of God or it can be totally disconnected
from the blessings of God.”

2. People should never give in order to get. Hagin was critical of
those who “try to make the offering plate some kind of heavenly
vending machine.” He denounced those who link giving to getting,
especially those who give cars to get new cars or who give suits
to get new suits. He wrote: “There is no spiritual formula to sow a
Ford and reap a Mercedes.”

3. It is not biblical to “name your seed” in an offering. Hagin was
horrified by this practice, which was popularized in faith
conferences during the 1980s. Faith preachers sometimes tell
donors that when they give in an offering they should claim a
specific benefit to get a blessing in return. Hagin rejected this idea
and said that focusing on what you are going to receive “corrupts
the very attitude of our giving nature.”

4. The “hundredfold return” is not a biblical concept. Hagin did the
math and figured out that if this bizarre notion were true, “we would
have Christians walking around with not billions or trillions of
dollars, but quadrillions of dollars!” He rejected the popular teaching
that a believer should claim a specific monetary payback rate.

5. Preachers who claim to have a “debt-breaking” anointing should
not be trusted. Hagin was perplexed by ministers who promise
“supernatural debt cancellation” to those who give in certain
offerings. He wrote in The Midas Touch: “There is not one bit of
Scripture I know about that validates such a practice. I’m afraid it
is simply a scheme to raise money for the preacher, and
ultimately it can turn out to be dangerous and destructive for all

(Many evangelists who appear on Christian television today use
this bogus claim. Usually they insist that the miraculous debt
cancellation will occur only if a person “gives right now,” as if the
anointing for this miracle suddenly evaporates after the prime time
viewing hour. This manipulative claim is more akin to witchcraft
than Christian belief.)

Hagin condemned other hairbrained gimmicks designed to trick
audiences into emptying their wallets. He was especially incensed
when a preacher told his radio listeners that he would take their
prayer requests to Jesus’ empty tomb in Jerusalem and pray over
them there—if donors included a special love gift. “What that radio
preacher really wanted was more people to send in offerings,”
Hagin wrote.

Thanks to the recent resurgence in bizarre donation schemes
promoted by American charismatics, the prosperity gospel is back
under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns
and find a biblical balance.

Hagin told his followers: “Overemphasizing or adding to what the
Bible actually teaches invariably does more harm than good.” If the
man who pioneered the modern concept of biblical prosperity blew
the whistle on his own movement, wouldn’t it make sense for us to
listen to his admonition?

~J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. The Midas Touch is available
from Kenneth Hagin Ministries at-  www.rhema.org

~SOURCE:  http://www.charismamag.com/fireinmybones/