I Am Traveling to Africa Because of One False Teaching. Why?

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I’m excited to be going to minister in Africa for the first time and asking for your prayers. I’m making final preparations right now for ten days in Kenya training pastors in evangelism and apologetics. In addition, our team will be able to preach the gospel in several schools, villages, and churches. There is one main reason I was asked by Pastor Dave Evans of Highland Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma to join their Kenya team this year. It is because of one false teaching being exported from America sweeping across Africa that arguably may become the single greatest threat to African Christians. That one teaching is the Word-Faith Movement – also known as the “Health and Wealth” or “Prosperity” Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel and African Poverty

In Africa, a continent challenged by unbelievable disease and poverty, the seductive message of the “name it and claim it” preachers can be powerfully addictive. Preachers like Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Frederick K.C. Price, and Kenneth Copeland promise that if you have enough faith and “speak the word” you will receive total healing from all sickness and fabulous wealth. To guarantee these blessings, some Word-Faith preachers go so far as to claim that you must make a “seed faith” gift to their ministry to lock in a ten-fold or even 100-fold return on your initial investment.

This “health and wealth” gospel for the most part originates out of America – much of it from the Rhema Bible School founded by the late Kenneth Hagan in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Today it is spread primarily through the major Christian TV networks – Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Daystar. These networks have become worldwide media giants broadcasting the prominent Word-Faith teachers 24/7 – not just throughout the US but around the world.

In Africa, this message is finding fertile ground. With minimal Bible training and little access to good Christian literature, many African Christians are virtually defenseless when it comes to discerning the Word-Faith errors. African pastors are now buying in. Perhaps this is why half of the world’s top ten richest pastors are now coming out of Africa.

Of course, not every wealthy pastor made his fortune by exploiting the flock with false promises of fabulous wealth and miraculous healing in exchange for donations. Most pastors earn their salaries honestly. God provides for the financial needs of those honest pastors and in some cases goes far beyond their needs with His financial blessings.

But what do you call it when a pastor promises a couple that their terminally ill daughter will be healed if they just have sufficient faith and make a sacrificial offering to his ministry? Who do they blame if the child does not recover? What do you say to the believer who gave everything and can’t feed her family when she didn’t get the 100-fold return she was promised? This type of exploitation may make the pastor wealthy, but in reality it is one of the most wicked kinds of heresies and most powerful forms of spiritual abuse.

This is why I believe the Word-Faith error may be the one doctrine, currently being exported from America, posing the greatest threat to African Christians. I have been asked to help African pastors recognize the error of the Prosperity Gospel and train them on how to rebuild the spiritual lives of those who have been devastated by its false promises.

Help Train African Pastors

I want to thank each of you who pray for us and help underwrite the monthly needs of our staff and their families. You have my word that I will never promise that your donations to Watchman Fellowship will guarantee you a 100-fold return, fabulous wealth, or perfect heath. I know you do not “give to get.” You stand with us because you believe in the value of our ministry and you are thankful for what God has done for you through His grace. Thank you!

I’m grateful to report that all my financial needs for the Africa Mission Trip (flight, ground transportation, hotel, and food) have already been provided through our partnership with the Pastor Dave and the Kenya team. While my trip is covered, I would love to give the pastors something more that lasts beyond my visit. I would like to be able to bring books to help each pastor begin a good theological library. Some Kenya pastors have few or no quality books to help them understand theology or apologetics. Please consider an extra gift this month to help make that possible.

Thank you again for your prayers and support!

Photo of Africa from Freeimages.com/Patty Ghillebert

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2016 Utah Mission Trip: Help Us Share the Gospel or Go With Us?

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Can you help us with our 2016 mission trip to Manti, Utah? Last year we brought a team of 19 missionaries to join with over 200 other Christians to share the true gospel of grace with thousands of Mormons. We were blessed to personally witness several Mormons who were born again that week and heard reports of between a dozen and 20 others saved.

I really want to go back in June but I can’t do it alone. There are three ways you can help:

  1. Praying for our missionaries
  2. Donating to support our team
  3. Joining the team by coming with us

Here Is How It Works

For over 25 years, Watchman has sent teams of missionaries to Manti, Utah each summer to witness to Mormons. The Mormons produce a huge outdoor drama, The Mormon Miracle Pageant, outside of their temple in Manti. The pageant features a cast of hundreds in a major production dramatizing the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

Over 70,000 Mormons attend this event annually. We join with many other Christian groups to pass out tracts and share in gospel conversations for hours each evening before the pageant begins. The first few days we provide training and a crash course in Mormon theology and history.

We also take a tour of Temple Square in Salt Lake City (and have tons of fun).

Please Partner with Us — CLICK to Donate Utah Mission 2016: http://www.watchman.org/donate

We need your support this year to help with the costs of this mission trip. Would you consider an online donation to help cover the expenses? Your gift may also provide partial scholarships for some of our missionaries who are ready and willing to go but fall short of the needed funds. If we are able to fully-fund the Utah mission trip, additional funds can be made available for other Watchman Fellowship ministry, apologetics, and evangelistic projects.

Want to Come with Us to Utah and a Watchman Missionary?

Why don’t you come with us? Please pray about being a summer missionary with Watchman for the 2016 Utah Mission Trip. We provide all the training but if you are not ready to witness to Mormons directly, you may want to go as a Prayer Intercessor. You can be part of our team by being onsite to watch, encourage, and pray as we share the gospel. It will be a week you will remember the rest of you life!

Our trip is June 12-19 and the cost is $1,300 including all training, witnessing materials, tracts, lodging, most meals, ground transportation, and airfare from most major US cities. If you want to provide your own transportation to Salt Lake City, the total cost is $800 for the 8 days and 7 nights. Space is limited so if you think you might be interested, let us know right away. Just email or call our mission trip coordinator, Renae Storms, and she will provide an application and more information. She will also work with you to help raise your mission travel expenses from your friends, family, and church.

Contact Renae Storms
rstorms@watchman.org
817-277-0023 ext. 103

I would love to have you come with us to Utah or help others to go but most of all, we need your prayers. Please pray that the Lord will touch countless hearts in Utah this summer with His gospel of grace. Please pray that each of us on the mission team will be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

Watch Now: “Is There a God? – Answering Atheists, Agnostics, & Skeptics”

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Do you know someone who is an atheist, agnostic, or skeptic? If so, I would like you to have free access to watch my new message, Is There a God? This talk addresses some of the most common arguments leveled against Christianity made popular by “New Atheists” such as Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

How would you respond to a friend, coworker, or family member who asks:

  • How can you believe in miracles or the supernatural?
  • If God is good and also all powerful, why is there so much evil in the world?
  • Why doesn’t God reveal Himself if He is really there?

Click to watch IS THERE A GOD?

Subscribe to our newsletter! I want to encourage you to stay tuned, as we will soon be announce plans for upcoming mission trips to Utah and Africa. On the Utah mission trip, we have room for more missionaries. I’ll get you the dates and more details shortly.

New Profiles are coming! We have some new 4-page Profiles in the works on timely topics. Later this month subscribers will be getting our Profile on the Cult of Mythicism, followed by our current Profile on the religion of Jainism. You won’t want to miss any of our new Profiles in 2016. We also now offer the complete collection of every Profile we have ever published (almost 500 pages covering 23 years). You can order the full Profile Notebook in either printed edition (USA Only) or the PDF, Digital Edition here: http://www.watchman.org/notebook.

New Islam Debate: Please pray for my upcoming debate with the Muslim apologist Khalil Meek. The two-hour debate will be held Wednesday, March 2, at 6pm on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Our debate topic is Jesus Christ: Prophet of Allah or Savior of the World. This will be my second debate with Khalil Meek, who is a former Christian now CEO of the Muslim Legal Fund of America. The debate is cosponsored by Valid Worldview and the Muslim Student Association.

Thanks for your prayers! We are planning to video the debate. Let me know if you might be interested in watching it on DVD.

A Video Message from James Walker

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Good afternoon . Please allow me to share this very brief video message with you. Click here to watch (3.5 min.):

CLICK TO WATCH

I want you to know that we are very thankful for your prayer and financial support in 2015 that has helped to keep us on the mission field. Watchman Fellowship is an evangelical Christian ministry focusing on apologetics (defending the faith), evangelism, and research. Our main mission is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people of other faiths by “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Your donation also helps our staff engage this important task.

Stay tuned, as early next year I will announce plans for upcoming mission trips to Utah and Africa. We have some new Profiles in the works on timely topics. You won’t want to miss any.

We are also in early discussions about the possibility of another Islam debate in 2016 where I hope to be able to debate a prominent Muslim leader.

Are you enjoying our bimonthly Profiles? Remember, your tax-deductible donation in December of any amount will help us to continue to research, write, and publish these 4-page Profiles.

Only 3 Days Left to Help Us in 2015

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There are just 3 days left to make your year-end donation to help support our staff and ministry. Year-end giving for us is huge as it can literally make or break us. That’s why I am asking for your help right now. If you can make a tax-deductible donation between now and December 31, I would like to say thanks by sending the 259-pg. book, Rescuing Slaves of the Watchtower, by my long-time friend Joe Hewett, a former Jehovah’s Witness.*

As much as a third of our total support for the year is received in December but with just days to go and time running out, we still need over $62,000 to reach our budget and fully enable our ministry going forward in 2016.

Our staff and their families trust in the Lord’s provisions and rely on the generous donations of partners like you to advance our ministry of apologetics, research, teaching, and evangelism. Would you please stop and pray for us right now?

If you have recently given a gift to support this work, THANK YOU for partnering with us to reach the lost in other faiths and religions. If you have not yet made a 2015 year-end gift, would you please consider a tax-deductible donation right now?

About Joe’s Book

Here are some reasons I think you will love this book. Do you know a Jehovah’s Witness? Have you ever had them knock on your door but you didn’t know what to say? If so, I know you will truly appreciate this valuable resource.

In this spellbinding look at the Watchtower Society, Joe B. Hewitt, formerly a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness, pulls back the curtain of mystery and exposes the lies, mind control, and glaring contradictions behind one of the world’s fastest growing religions. What’s more, this book gives you a practical plan to actually rescue a Jehovah’s Witness from the spiritual bondage of the Watchtower organization. As Joe Hewitt personally discovered, only the true Jesus of the Bible can free us from the slavery of false religion.

If you can help before midnight, December 31 with a tax-deducible donation I would like you to accept this book as a small token of our gratitude. Please know that your generous donation is much-needed and greatly appreciated!

* Offer ends midnight December 31, 2015 and is valid in the USA only. A similar book may be substituted in the unlikely case that demand overwhelms our stock.

Watch James Walker Interview Four Atheists: “Would You Believe If…”

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I can’t wait for you to watch this short video! Earlier this year, the “outreach director” of the Metroplex Atheists invited me to visit their weekly fellowship meeting. So far they have been very friendly and I have been back 5 or 6 times since. They even offered to make me an “honorary member.”

Atheists Interviews

We have had lengthy discussions on everything from big-bang cosmology and the source of ethics. They have asked some tough, thought-provoking questions — and so have I. We’ve debated topics like Intelligent Design, the “finely tuned” universe, and even Multiverse Theory. It’s been both friendly and challenging.

Last week I did a live Periscope video interviewing several of my Atheist friends. I wanted to ask them these two questions:

  1. As an Atheist, what would you say to Christians like me to help us understand you better?
  2. If you had sufficient evidence that Christianity was true, would you worship Jesus?

You will be shocked to hear the answers to question 2 — especially from the last two Atheists I interviewed. Watch it now and tell me what you think.

http://www.watchman.org/AtheistsInterviews.htm

I plan on being back at their fellowship meeting later this week. I don’t know if they will go for another live Periscope interview. If they do, what would be some good questions you would like me to ask?

You can also download our free Profile on atheism.

I want to thank you for your prayers and financial support that keeps us on the “front lines.” Your partnership helps make possible our ongoing ministry of apologetics, evangelism, and missions. Please click here to donate.

BTW: Would you like to watch my future videos real-time as they happen? Periscope works with Twitter so to watch live video, just download the Periscope app (iOS or Android) then follow me on Twitter: @jkwwfi.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Free Profile

 

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Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Who could object to trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples, and other fun activities?

In our free Profile on Halloween, Rick Branch and James Walker look at the occult roots of the celebration, its history in America, and provide a Christian response. They conclude:

Because of its Occult history and symbolism, many informed Christians avoid any activity that would appear to support, promote or celebrate Halloween. Other Christians attempt to minimize the glorification of Halloween’s Occult roots by refusing to directly participate in costuming or activities where witchcraft, Satan, or demonic themes are prevalent. They feel that participation in Halloween and even trick-or-treating is acceptable if alternative costumes and themes are substituted or gospel tracts are given at the door. There is not total agreement among believers and churches concerning appropriate Christian responses to this pagan holiday. Knowledgeable Christians; at the very least will certainly want to avoid Halloween’s more obvious glamorization of the Occult. The Bible is replete with warnings and examples of involvement with the Occult.

You can learn more about the roots of Halloween, and receive suggestions for Christian alternatives, in our free Profile. You can also keep up-to-date on cults and new religious movements by getting your free subscription to future Watchman Fellowship Profiles.

Christian Perspectives on the News

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Have you read the latest posts to our Facebook or Twitter streams? Each weekday we provide a link to a recent news story about a cult or new religious movement, and we’ve recently mentioned:

Subscribing to one of our social media streams will help you keep up-to-date on developments in new religions around the world.

We also provide more than mere links to news stories — in our Profiles we also provide the background and Christian perspective you need to understand and respond to these religions. For example, you can read our free Profiles on:

Order your free subscription to the Watchman Fellowship Profile so you can increase your evangelism and keep up-to-date on new religions!

2015 Confident Christianity Conference

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You are invited to the Confident Christianity Conference September 18-19 hosted by Fielder Church, which is my home church in Arlington, Texas. The conference is presented by the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention (SBTC). Keynote presenters include Frank Turek, president of Cross Examined and Barry Creamer, president of Criswell College in Dallas. I am thrilled to also be invited as one of the speakers.

Bruno Molina, who leads Interfaith Evangelism at SBCT, has put together a great lineup of teachers and I am very excited to be participating. Some of the top experts in evangelism and apologetics will be equipping and inspiring you to share the gospel with your friends and neighbors of other faiths as well as atheists and agnostics. The conference includes:

  • Former Seventh-day Adventist
  • Former Jehovah’s Witness
  • Former Mormon
  • Expert in Buddhism
  • Experts in Islam
  • Experts in apologetics for students
  • A Spanish language track

Confident Christianity Conference
September 18-19, 2015
Fielder Church, Arlington, Texas

The scriptures tell us to “always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience….” (1 Peter 3:15-16). This conference can motivate and equip you to do just that.

Do you know an atheist or agnostic?

Do you have a friend or family member who is a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon?

Are any of your friends, family, or coworkers involved in Buddhism or Islam?

Would you like to have real, practical answers when your faith is questioned or challenged?

If so, this conference is for you. Check out the full lineup of speakers, the complete schedule, and registration info here:

Speakers

Schedule

Register

Thank you for helping us to provide training and equipping in events like the Confident Christianity Conference. Your continued prayer and financial support literally makes our ministry possible. If you wish to help us continue our ministry of apologetics and evangelism, you may partner with us by clicking here: http://www.watchman.org/donate

Shi’a Islam Profile

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We have just added to our website our Profile of Shi’a Islam. In this free Profile, Mike Edens looks at the history of the religion, as well as its philosophy and application, and provides a biblical response.

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest information and resources from Watchman Fellowship.

Photo of the Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala, Iraq