Christian influencers, superstar pastors, and women preachers are accused of heresy, false Gospel, and called “false teachers”
Robert Oral can be considered the father of charismatic evangelism. His concept of “Seed Faith” (Blessing Pact) puts heavy emphasis on “gifts.” God wills his children to prosper in all areas of their lives. However, that was not the message of the Gospel.
Today, a new kind of Gospel is purported by “superstar preachers” on social media. Their message center on good health and prosperity. Others are absorbed in political and social justice that endangers the Gospel they preach.
1. Women pastors
For example, female preacher Jen Hatmaker is criticized for pushing “gay unions,” Joyce Meyer’s prosperity gospel, and Beth Moore’s casual relationship with Jesus.
Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer
Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer are the most popular women pastor in the USA, but Moore is the most criticized. Justin Peters calls her troublesome with her faulty Biblical hermeneutics. She was mentioned a couple of times by John MacArthur as a prime example of heresy in the church.
“God tells me a secret, He knows upfront I’m going to tell it!, By and large, that’s our deal.”
In short, Beth Moore has a deal with God. In her book ‘When Godly People Do Ungodly Things,’ she claims to hear God’s voice in her heart.
“Come and play… I also love how I could tell by the sweet tone of His silent voice that He was smiling…” “I built a snowman… I laugh with God He laughed with me I am so in love with Him.”
Moore wants to believe she has an intimate and deep relationship far deeper than we have. Justin Peters calls her experience the modern version of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. Other female preachers like Priscilla Shrier use John 10:27 as the go to verse for it and trivialize it.
Recently, Lindy-Ann Hopley, also a female pastor, apparently called for a “Christian revival” and claimed Jesus walked into her room and proposed to her with a ring in His hand.
Women claiming Jesus talks to them casually is a growing trend among them. Aside from this kind of gnostic intimacy, they preached on speaking in tongues and the prosperity gospel of “claiming and receiving.”
2. Moralistic Theistic Deist
Joseph Prince on “hypergrace”
Prince has been accused of ignoring the need for confession and repentance. But it could all be semantics. For example, Prince wrote, “We don’t have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven. We confess our sins because we are already forgiven.” [Destined to Reign, page 53]
In short, forgiveness is not dependent on what I do, but on what Jesus has done. However, his excessive emphasis on grace can polarize a believer and assume sinning is OK. Hence, it becomes “cheap grace.”
Undoubtedly, the emphasis on grace by Singapore’s prominent charismatic preacher, Joseph Prince, is healthy, says Paul Barker of Gospel Coalition.
Steven Furtick’s claims
Steven Furtick is extremely popular. However, critics brand him as a “motivational speaker” that makes people feel good and tickle their ears.
Joel Osteen: Poster child of MTD
Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and Steven Furtick are said to rarely incorporate scriptures in their preaching. What they teach is summarized as moralistic theistic deism.
Osteen has at least 25 million followers worldwide. Many love him because he often talks about positivity and how to be blessed. However, just like other preachers of pop-Christianity, he apparently dilutes what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus.
For example, in his book ‘The Power of I Am,” Osteen quotes 64, “I am…” In other words, to be a follower of Jesus points to what we get from Him rather than His glory.
I am blessed.
I am prosperous.
I am successful
I am talented.
I am wise.
I am healthy.
I am happy.
I am confident.
I am attractive.
I am anointed.
3. Woke pastors
Wokeism is most evident among Evangelical Lutherans (ECLA). Episcopals and Methodist churches admit trans pastors, lesbian priests, and same-sex marriage ceremonies, including “transgender baptism” among Unitarian or Universalist churches.
Brandan Robertson’s “Queer holiness”
Millennial “gay” pastor Brandan Robertson is a progressive TikTok and YouTube preacher. He tells his followers that Jesus is effeminate, there is no hell, and homosexuality (Queer holiness) is not a sin.
Robertson cherry-picks scriptures and translates Jesus’ words to mean something else. For example, polyamory is fornication and an adulterous relationship. He said the following:
“As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus, your relationship (polyamory and open relationships) is holy. They’re beautiful, and they are welcomed and celebrated in this space. We call all of us together to the same standards that we seek to follow Jesus.
And all of our relationships seek to be honest, respectful, self-sacrificial, consensual, and loving with your partner. When any of us live into this standard, we can be sure we’re on the path to wholeness and holiness.”
4. Embroiled in financial and sexual misconduct
Sex scandals among pastors are a growing trend in the United States. Perhaps one reason why church attendance has rapidly declined.
Zacharias led a very successful ministry that took him around the world. He was dubbed as one of the most critical apologists of the century. He mentored celebrities and church leaders, but a double life beneath it—is Ravi Zacharias in hell?
In 2022, an Indiana pastor confessed to adultery with a woman who was just 16 years old. Incidents like these have become so familiar that it’s also becoming an acceptable sin.
After the pastor finished his speech, the congregation gave him a standing ovation for his “humble confession.” In short, they applauded his efforts instead of absolute remorse.
For many years, Hillsong has been embroiled in various scandals. Recently, Carl Lentz, criticized for a lopsided theology, was fired in November 2020. Lentz committed adultery that Hollywood calls “entanglement.”
5. Christian musicians and singers
Hillsong Australia has been spreading the Gospel of Jesus through songwriting and inspiring music since the early 1990s. Decades after, the “music institution” has been embroiled in a number of scandals.
6. Wealthy “modern apostles”
Pastor Guillermo Maldonado is co-founder and senior pastor of El Rey Jesús, the largest and fastest-growing Hispanic church in the USA. He is criticized for claiming to be an apostle of Jesus. Although his theology, for the most part, is empowering, he is associated with the prosperity gospel.
In 2021, his wife, who refers to herself as prophetess Ana Maldonado, filed for divorce. According to court papers, their estate could be worth as much as $120 million.
Christians who became wealthy after becoming a preacher
In recent years, many pastors in the United States have been called out for living extravagant lifestyles when they became pastors.
For example, celebrity pastor James MacDonald co-founded a megachurch, Harvest, and lived in a mansion. He was later accused of misappropriating church funds.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of pastors worldwide living wealthy lives that they have acquired from church funds, incongruent with what Jesus taught.
Pastors who are listed as multi-millionaires and billionaires
Paul & Jan Crouch
Paula & Randy White
Edir Macedo (B)
Kenneth Copeland (B)