The Goddess of Success
In America Unbeleivers and Christians
alike worship the “Goddess of Success” like nowhere else on
earth. In this article I will attempt for those who have an
ear to hear when and where and how the church came into this
adulterous, idolatrous worship of the Goddess of Success.
the mid-1970’s when I was in Bible school, we were taught that
people in the ministry try over and over again with failed work
after failed work until they finally get it right and their
Church flourishes. The text for this thought was 1Corinthians
3:10–17 which we will examine shortly. Although this experimentation
on congregations was not heralded as God’s best or God’s plan
it was described as a young preacher practicing their craft
on various congregations until they find their feet in God. This concept of experimental ministry is not one that this school
invented instead it is the conventional wisdom of a great many
bible schools concerning their students when they first graduate.
I would suggest to you is that the supposition that it is good
and normal for a young pastor is to go out and practice and
experiment on one congregation after another; leaving a trail
of wreckage in his wake is utterly false. Nowhere did Christ
or the apostles speak of such a thing. Paul did not advise Timothy
to try and try again to do the work of the ministry until you
find something that works for you.
from it Paul exhorts with the strongest possible language
For I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.
But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For (no)
other foundation can a man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
Paul says “take heed” how you build, he is not saying, “pay
attention” he is given a word of caution, a word of warning
to those that would add to and embroider the work that he and
the apostles had begun.
then tells us here that no other foundation can be laid than
Jesus Christ. Many has taken this merely as Paul giving a
suggestion in a fatherly fashion.
This is not at all the case the case – for in verse 12-13
1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by
fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it
we see that there is not only the issue of building another
foundation than Jesus Christ but that there is building on it
with wood hay and stubble – in other words something quick and
dirty, something that we can make a quick show of
-- and Paul is says of this that the fellowships and
congregations that are built in this manner will be utterly
1 Corinthians 3:14-15 If
any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:
but he himself shall be saved; yet
so as by fire.
is a grave thing when a person builds a church on a foundation
of themselves or on the foundation of a ministry or a denomination
for all this shall be utterly destroyed by fire – these people
will be destroyed for they are not founded on Christ and Christ
alone. If a Pastor or teacher rightly build on Christ imparting
Gold silver and precious stones – their work shall survive and
they shall receive a just reward. But for the evil and corrupt
pastors and teachers not only are those that they declared to
be saved not and they shall be destroyed but the fire that burns
up the congregation shall be unleashed also upon them and if
there is anything in them of Christ gold silver and precious
stone that shall be saved if they only have wood hay and stubble
nothing shall survive.
are familiar with Christ speaking of himself as the stone that
“the builders rejected has become the chief ” We are familiar
with Paul speaking of Christ being the “cornerstone.”
But as to the meaning of this to the church of this hour
seems to be at a complete loss. For in this day everyman builds
what is good in their own eyes. And everyman leads their church or denomination
as they see fit, doing virtually anything that comes into their
mind and it is all declared to be good, right and of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:17
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
ends this passage with a final warning – we could call this
a promise of God, one that needs not to be confessed by carnal
men to make it come to pass. As a matter of a fact what promise
of God in scripture needed men to confess and profess it so
that God could perform it? Can you find a single chapter or
verse to bolster this earth and carnal supposition? No because
this is a doctrine and tradition of men.
here we find a promise of God for all that would build another
foundation other than Christ himself, that would see to do a
quick work to show and display to men with wood hay and stubble
and that promise is if any man defile the temple of God HIM
shall God destroy. And that temple is the klessia to as man
y as God will call and Ek-Klesia – the out called of the called.
the words of Paul now fresh in our minds let us revisit the
issue of those that are practicing and experimenting on fellowships
and congregations. What has been postulated is that these young
preachers and teachers are trying to find their feet spiritually
and so we have been told that it is God’s design that these
men go forth and after failing with one congregation they then
move on to another group and then to another group until they
eventually get it right.
want you to see first that in Gospels and Epistles that only
those who had something solid in God were sent forth, that the
Gospel and the work of God is not some hit or miss game and
that pass or fail all is good. There are lives on the line,
and souls receiving either eternal life or eternal death. We have come to treat these things so lightly,
we act as if we have no responsibility and that there are no
consequences for any corrupt actions or teachings we have done
past or present.
some time pray before they speak that God would filter their
words and block anything that they say that is not right. This
is not a prayer of humility, this is the using God as a cover
incase anything goes wrong. And by the same token many believe
that God and the Holy Spirit run a clean-up service and take
care of all the wreckage and damage that they do in the ministry.
will tell you of a truth that when these young men are going
out and experimenting on congregations it is not his inexperience
or poor speaking skills that these men are trying to overcome.
What is really happening is that this preacher is compromising
and building over and over again a better mousetrap until he
finds a “winning” combination of flesh enticing teachings, music,
and church atmosphere that will entertain and tickle the ears
of his hearers. And
thereby making his hearers "natural" church experience
something that is greater in value than the time and money they
are required to put in belonging to that particular Church.
they have really learned is not from the Holy Spirit or Christ
but from the god of this world, and that is how to conduct a
successful business in the entertainment field. think of Rush
Limbaugh -- I cite him not because he is a born-again or a spirit-filled
Christian or that he even implies that he is one,
I cite him because he unabashedly admits his business
is entertainment and that his goal is to have the biggest audience
possible, and to make as much money as possible. But far be
it for a Pastor or preacher to admit that they have one and
the same goals.
in the Church most of the best Preachers and Teachers are Christian
entertainment professionals. The best style themselves Christian
comedians and entertainers. The best are Christian celebrities
with a gaggle of star-struck groupies that follow their every
engagement and hang on their every word.
are Christian pop idols, they are promotional machines that
build up and boast their own names and their ministry’s name.
Since image is everything (Bible thumpers read that as: They
are beholden by the lust of the eyes) these ministries spare
no expense to create the right atmosphere of the church, with
the finest seating, the finest carpeting, the finest altar,
platform and podium, the finest sound systems with real time
technicians running their sound boards, Hollywood stage lighting,
Hollywood chorography in the choir and other staged events.
All of this is wood hay and stubble. All of this shall be destroyed
and all of this defiles the temple of God. This love and praise
of corrupt mammon this love of the world this love of the things
of the world and this shamefaced seeking of the praise and adoration
us not move on to the content of the current madness, the Anti-Gospel
of success that is preached across the land.
of the men who pioneered the prosperity Gospel was Dr. Robert
Schuler of the Crystal Cathedral in California – Since the early
1960’s he has been unabashedly preaching what he terms the Gospel
of the Power of Positive Thinking. – The other man that was
a central figure in pioneering this message of “positive thinking” and “positive confession”
was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.
As near as I can tell he was the first
one to preach this message. He began preaching it in
the marble collegiate Cathedral in New York City back in the
1940’s. What you need to know is that this message was not unique
to these two preachers, it was originally penned, by several
unsaved businessmen in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, I am
speaking of Dale Carnegie author of “How to Win Friends and
Influence People,” and Napoleon Hill author of “Think and Grow
I ran into all this was in the late 1980’s God put me in a place
that I became a hardcore salesman for a national marketing corporation.
I those days we had three hours of sales training a day, we
attended marketing training seminars, we were required to read
motivational books, listen to motivational tapes, and watch
motivational videos. The materials recounted hundreds of testimonies
of the unsaved and how that when they followed the principles
set forth by Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill they had come into
great wealth. This was not a con game where some man is selling
snake oil and giving you a list of pretend product users – the
testimonies was from a variable who’s who of the captains of
industry many names being household names.
no mention of God, salvation Christ or scripture who or what
do you suppose was bringing these corrupt, unregenerate men
into all this great wealth – if you answer anything other than
the devil the god of this world you are utterly deceived.
Matthew 4:8-9 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high
mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I
give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
When it says “and
sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them
– the glory of them was their wealth and opulence. The devil was not offering Christ a bunch
of poverty stricken, plague infested kingdoms.
Luke 4:5-8 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain,
shewed unto him all
the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said
unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered
unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore
wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and
said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou
On this high mountain the devil gave Christ
a vision of the most wealthy and powerful kingdoms on earth
– what he said was if you really want to go and do this Gospel
thing if you had the money and power of these earthly kingdoms
preaching the Gospel to the whole world would be a piece of
cake. You could buy all the finest preachers and missionaries
money could buy, and have the world at your beck and call to
How is it that Christ called accepting the
friendship of the kingdoms of this world, and the covetousness
of their wealth and opulence Not Serving the Lord?
How is it that Christ and the Apostles warned
that those who had the love of money could not be Christ’s disciple
and that the friendship of the world would make one enemies
The servant is not above the master. If
Christ rejected the riches, the opulence, and the friendship
of the world, how then can we possibly believe we are following
in his footsteps and accept, covet, pray for, and seek after
that which He rejected?
once more at these testimonies contained in Dale Carnegie and
Napoleon Hill’s books the testimonies were breathtaking. Many
of these were rags to riches stories that directly hinged on
these motivational teachings, and acts of confession. We need
to call this phenomenon what it is “A faith in that they would
succeed” or a “Faith in Success” as if it were a living breathing
entity.” Among their most successful were ungodly men,
atheists, and humanists. An example of one of them would be
Ted Turner, who at a young age had been called to the fundamentalist
missionary, but Ted Turner turned his back on God and completely
backslid and then he met up with the Goddess of Success and
became Liberal democrat billionaire that hates anything to do
with Christ that we know today.
The question must be asked who is pouring this untold
wealth and riches on these unregenerate corrupt men and woman?
It is none other than the devil the god of this world – it is
he who controls the kingdoms of this world and their wealth
after 40 something years ( a little over one generation) some
people in the church took notice of what the devil was hoeing
around in the garden patch next door.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale of the Marble Collegiate Church a Dutch
Reformed Church located in New York City. He wrote his best
seller in 1952 “The Power of Positive Thinking” which sold 20
million copies. On a 1984 Phil Donahue Show, Peale revealed
he was a 33rd degree Mason, and said, "It's not necessary
for salvation to be born again.” He later said “You have your
way to God, I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine".
This non-gospel worldly message of Peale’s became a force to
be reckoned with when he transformed a dying Dutch Reformed
Church built in New York City back in the 1600’s into a 5000-member
church. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale predated the tele-evangelists
by decades with a national television following, and a magazine
with 750,000 subscribers.
like manner Dr. Robert Schuler is another example of Preacher
of a dying breed old line denominational church that with an
apparent strong influence of Dale Carnegie’s teachings becoming
a highly successful national ministry. In 1954 Dr. Schuler had
a church built in the liberal haven of Orange County California.
Later on the same grounds Robert Schuler built the Crystal Cathedral
-- a monument to his success and influence. And I confess, in
my youth I used to listen to both men preach with some regularity.
men demonstrated to the church and the world that working within
dying old-line evangelical denominations of their day that they
could with their better mouse trap of the prosperity gospel
build super-churches with memberships of thousands in some of
the hardest most liberal ground in the U.S. And likewise the
disciples of Norman Peale and Robert Schuler have prospered
by preaching this same humanist wealth building message, consisting
of stories of human hope, stories of worldly financial success,
and stories of the triumph of the human spirit.
that said it should be clear that this is not preaching Christ
nor is this at all the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a Gospel
of humanism. It is the Gospel of faith in the faith of man’s
soul It is the Gospel of earthly prosperity. Whether there is
a direct connection between these evangelical preachers and
Oral Roberts in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s or that Roberts
got his ideas of what eventually became the prosperity Gospel
from Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill it really doesn’t matter.
What matters is that somewhere someone saw the success and power
of those serving the god of this world. What matters is that
someone dared to preach that you could be taken with the lust
of the eyes, and the love for the things of this world and still
be a disciple of Christ. This was the melding of the power of positive
thinking message, the think and grow rich message, and the Faith
healing message into a blasphemous mixture that for the last
thirty years has been like crack cocaine to believers and non-believers
can add a bit more of a timeline to all this in the 1950’s during
the latter rain revival there was the rise of tent evangelists
and these men became utterly corrupt in that they discovered
that they could take the real power of God and for the first
time in Church history make themselves multi-millionaires with
it. Within a period
of 6 years almost every one of these corrupt men were struck
dead. For anyone that cares too they can God online and identify
these apostates and read what befell them. One of their number
was none other than Oral Roberts by the early 1970’s he had
become a total has been that no one cared about. He postulated
that if in the 1950’s people had been willing to had a preacher
100.00 to 200.00 to stand in a prayer line that people might
be convinced that if they just give to a “select man of God”
their tithes or offerings that they would receive of their seed
faith money 30 fold 60 fold or 100 fold –it was an amazing and
brazen scam. And so he published his book called SEED FAITH
and it received tepid reviews and was denounced as the money
grubbing scheme it was But then something happened tens of thousands
of Christians sent into to Oral Roberts HUNDREDS of MILLIONS
OF DOLLARS in seed faith money and every ministry and evangelist
heads almost twisted off their bodies as they watch the money
roll into Oral Roberts. The first that were to utilize this
new cash cow was the tele-evangelists in the mid seventies it
was told to me that once the tele-evangelists began preaching
this the local churches were bled dry. To the hearers they could
give their tithes and offerings to the local church or else
to could enter their gifts into the Christian lottery with Jim
baker, Pat Robertson, or any number of other televangelists
and with these they had the chance to strike it rich. And of
course to perpetuate this Christian Ponzy scheme all they had
to do was spike the call for more money with the tales of a
few that hit the jackpot. And
so the Prosperity Gospel gold rush was on. Since its inception
a few years after I got saved this blight and rottenness have
literally leaven through the whole loaf. It is now preached
in all quarters even in churches that don’t even preach salvation.
is one more aspect that I want to look at in this toxic mixture
of the prosperity gospel and this is the church’s long time
desire to be accepted and loved by the world.
the 1970’s Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, and Charismatics,
have attempted to remove the Hollywood stigma that Christians
were wimps, squares, and were no fun.
the 1980’s a cultural revolution of sorts occurred with the
rise of the dot-coms and the rise of the Internet – for the
first time Geeks suddenly became cool as they became multi-millionaires
overnight and they were the guys with all the cool stuff that
everyone else wanted to have. So the world suddenly befriended
those which they had reviled for the last two generations.
an odd way Geeks were sort of brothers in arms with Christians
because both were treated with equal disdain. And another reason
is that a high number of Christians at least in the US are PC
users and so comprised at least peripherally this group of computer
geeks. Anyway with the coming of the 1980’s and the rise of
Geeks as a cultural Icon there has been a concerted effort from
Young Fundamentalists, Young Pentecostals and Young Charismatics
in general to remove the Hollywood stigma that Christians are
wimps, squares, and no fun.
on the wimp front this has given way to Christian activists
with a feisty in your face attitude both in politics and in
the local community. And on the square and no fun front this
same generation has increasingly are tried to show the world
that it is “Hip to Be Saved.” So like the children of Israel
that railed and cried for Egypt in the wilderness these have
created their own Idols. Christian Rock Idols, Christian Sports
Idols, Christian TV Idols, Christian Movie Idols, Christian
Business Idols, and Christian Ministry Idols.
America our national idolatry is success. And nothing breeds
the lust for success more than success itself. – Enter the leaven
of the power of positive thinking, enter the leaven of think
and grow rich, enter the leaven of the prosperity gospel. So
out went the old morality, and in came the old immorality, and
surprise, surprise in the American Church for a taste of the
pottage of success, and for a taste of the forbidden fruit of
the love of the things of this world the Fundamentalists Pentecostals
and Charismatics have stripped down naked and are dancing before
the golden calf.
kills me to hear that the music and television of the 1960’s
that we had been told that led to the breakdown of society and
immorality and rebellion of the 1970’s; declared a single generation
later (30 years) as wholesome entertainment by none other than
Pope Pat Robertson. – Long before Bill Clinton had his infamous
tryst with a white house intern and his even more infamous declaration
that oral sex was not sex, Fundamentalists Pentecostals and
Charismatics had been sold out to the devil by their carnal
leadership in their quest for the Goddess of success. Oh to
have a church of thousands, oh to have a grandiose building
program. Oh to have a televised national ministry. Oh to have
a Christian television or radio network.
might laugh but here at the edge of the world in North Pole,
Alaska a “City” of less than 5,000 where I attend a Church with
12-18 people in the last 6 months I have heard all the “Ohs”
listed above by the pastor the assistant pastor and a guest
Evangelist that was formerly a member of that Church.
believe what has been happening before our eyes is that God
has been giving these ministries and groups up and over their
personal vanity and lusts. Just as God gave up and over the
tent evangelists in the 1950’s to their own personal vanity
and their own lusts, and God gave up and over the backslidden
Israelites over to their own vanities and lusts before the nations
captivity. I fear today as I write this that the church is locked
into[ the same path of destruction.
We can no longer afford to look away from the sin among
us, nor can we ignore the sins of our fathers any longer.
must to come to grips with where the loaded Lincoln gospel they
are riding in is taking them, and bail out, and try to save
as many of their fellow passengers as they can. The Lincoln
of going over the cliff of perdition and destruction and none
can save it. Those who
have been taken by this drug induced lust for the riches of
the world and the love of the world will ride that Lincoln straight
is call to those who have not stained their garments to come
out from among them and partake not of their sins.
final note: I believe that the ultimate set up for the Prosperity
Gospel what the Fundamentalist movement’s preaching for the
last hundred of so years that in heaven we would get mansions
(Greek. dwelling places), that we would walk on streets of gold
(If gold is the dirt of the kingdom what value is it?), that
we would rule angels (Are angels to be our personal slaves?)
and rule nations, (Are men and women to be our toys in the next
life?) that we would be rich beyond our wildest avarice (Did
christ shed his blood for you to have carnal riches in heaven?)
And with the pumps having been primed -- all the devil had to
do was whisper –“You can have that all here and now.” And 10,000
people that know not the scriptures nor the power of God lined
up to get theirs now. And the rest seeing all the hub-bub thought
that a revival was taking place and so they got in line to get