Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bishop Noel Jones: Word of Faith Theology Has Crippled the Black Church

By: Angela Lee Price

Left: Smiley chats with his pastor Bishop Noel Jones who gives him spiritual advice. Picture taken from the October 18, 2004 Jet Magazine cover story, "Tavis Smiley: Why Everyone Listens When This Man Talks, page 58.

I know, he runs with a bad crowd, but Bishop Noel Jones "got skills," and he had me shouting again last night and praising God for giving him courage! He said the Word of Faith theology, or Prosperity Gospel, as many call it, has crippled the Black church. Jones was a guest on Tavis Smiley's late-night television show, Tavis Smiley On PBS. Noel Jones spoke in no uncertain terms about the damaging effects the aberrant, at best, theology has had on the pysche of many 21st Century Christians. Bishop Jones and author David Ritz appeared on the show together to discuss Ritz's new book, Messengers. The book about Christianity in the Black church context features Bishop Noel Jones among several Black preachers.

I am praying for Noel Jones that God will use him to talk some sense into the prosperity preachers in his circle of influence. I have been praying for him since I saw him discuss, as a panelist on the State of the Black Union IV: The State of the Black Church on C-Span February 8, 2003, his concerns with the prosperity message. Since then, I have heard him on at least two separate occasions at Canaan Christian Church, March 13, 2003, in the message, Bless God For the Final Outcome, and March 18, 2005 in the message, You've Heard Enough to Save You, speak at length about the errors of the prosperity message.

"Many people are judging their walk with God by their financial capacity," Jones stated on March 18, 2005. "The haves no longer have a sensitivity for those who have not because their response is that if you were to have faith, you could have it like I have it....My sister Grace (Jones) makes more money than me. That does not make her more anointed. In all of this, we have forgotten to preach Jesus."

Pray with me that more preachers will be courageous enough to trust God enough to repent from preaching the one-sided "Name It, Claim It" prosperity message, a gospel that glorifies materialism and diminishes Christ's death, burial and resurrection for the remission of sin. In studying the theology's root, E. W. Kenyon and Kenneth Hagin, I found that it is not Christian in origin but Eastern in origin, mind science and mysticism mixed with Christianity. My prayers are with Bishop Jones, too, that the Lord continues to rebuke Satan through him. Satan is a liar. The Word of Faith theology is crippling the Black church as we continue to spend and not invest, and purchase and refinance homes on sub-prime loans.

Oh, I feel like havin' church!!

Here is a five-minute excerpt from the sermon, Bless God for the Final Outcome, Canaan Christian Church, March 13, 2003:
this is an audio post - click to play

Here are two five-minute excerpts from the State of the Black Union IV: State of the Black Church, Detroit, Michigan, February 8, 2003:
this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

Related articles/sermon by Angela Lee Price:
  • Church Growth: Is Bigger Always Better?, April Archives
  • The Emergent Church Alert, March Archives
  • Radio Responses to 50 Most influential Christians in America, March Archives
  • The 50 Most Influential Christians In America, February Archives
  • Are You Letting Yourself Down?, February Archives
  • Prophetic Or Pathetic, February Archives
  • Follow the Yellow Brick Heaven?, January Archives
  • Sermon: To Tell the Truth: Will the Real Deal Holy Fill Please Stand Up?, November Archives

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Ages that saves. Jesus saves!


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