Friday, August 04, 2006

I Fold At A Hundredfold

By: Angela Lee Price

When it comes to "a hundredfold," I fold! I draw the line! Word of Faith televangelists the late Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, and many other prominent "prosperity preachers," have popularized the terms "sowing a seed," and "seed faith offering" by telling followers that sowing money into their ministries will produce a "hundredfold return." As a result many trusting Christians, mostly poor, have sacrificially given to these and other mega ministries, some have even mortgaged their homes, in hopes of cashing in on the "hundredfold" blessing. I fold at a hundredfold. I draw the line. One hundred dollars for every one dollar is not what is promised in the Word of God.

On pages 135-136 of the book, When Cultists Ask: A Popular Handbook On Cultic Misinterpretations, authors Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes cite Kenneth Copeland's twisting of Mark 10:30, the scripture use to prove a "hundredfold return," and provide commentary on the misinterpretation of this verse:

"but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethen, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the the world to come eternal life."

You give $1 and the Gospel's sake and $100 belongs to you; give $10 and receive $1,000; give $1,000 and receive $100,000....Give one house and receive one hundred houses or one house worth one hundred times as much. Give one airplane and receive one hundred times the value of the airplane. Give one car and the return would furnish you a lifetime of cars. In short, Mark 10:30 is a very good deal. [Copeland, 1978, 54]

In response to Copeland's misinterpretation, Geisler and Rhodes state:

This verse has nothing to do with money or riches. It is speaking specifically of those who forsake home and loved ones for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. These individuals will receive a "hundredfold return" in the sense that they become a part of a community of believers. It is in this new community that they find a multiplication of relationships-many of which are ultimately closer and more spiritually meaningful than blood relationships (cf.Mark 3:31-35; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Tim. 5:1-2).

Geisler and Rhodes go on to provide a biblical perspective on money citing numerous scriptures that prove that it is not a sin to be wealthy, as Abraham and Job were quite wealthy, but God hates the love of possessions and riches (Luke 16:13; 1 Tim. 6:10; Heb. 13:5; Matt 6:33).

Pastor John Cherry, Senior Pastor of the 26,000-member From the Heart Church Ministries, Inc., Temple Hills Maryland, warned against the "hundredfold" teaching in the 2003 sermon series, Beyond the Decision: When Famine Arises:

this is an audio post - click to play

Don't let faulty prosperity teachings trick you into making foolish decisions with your money. There are many predatory lenders just waiting to put people in homes they can't afford so that they can say God gave them the houses they claimed. Many Christians are speaking to their wallets when they should be speaking to God. If you have a problem with out-of-control spending, start speaking to God and asking him to deliver you from your addiction. Ask, seek and knock. Get a grip on your finances before the prosperity wolves get a grip on you.

The fortune tellers, soothsayers, and prosperity preachers don't have a clue about our personal futures. Otherwise, they would have predicted, 9-11, the Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. Be a good steward with what God has given you, and keep an eternal perspective on riches, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matt. 6:6-19-20a NIV). God only knows what tomorrow will bring. It's certainly not a hundredfold return on your money.

Read the article, Blacks Saddled With High-Interest Loans: Study shows disparity in subprime lending

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


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