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

africamission

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