Word Faith Preacher Joseph Prince, “Miracle Seed Sunday” and the Blessing of Suffering for Christ

In the Apprising Ministries article, “Word Faith Prosperity Preacher Joseph Prince,” CRN General Editor Ken Silva introduced us to Joseph Prince, Singapore’s rising Word Faith star and pastor of New Creation Church. Notes Silva,

Although slicker and more understated than most, Joseph Prince preaches the same WF prosperity message as WF royalty like Kenneth Copeland.

Bottom line is: “Pastor” Joseph Prince is an up-and-coming WF heretic who’s already a staple at TBN, itself a WF haven of heretics.1

Today, Bloomberg reports that Prince’s New Creation Church (NCC) recently held what is known as “Miracle Seed Sunday,” wherein pastor Prince encouraged his congregation to sow a financial seed into the church with the hope that they would be rewarded with material blessings from God. Bloomberg reporter Sharon Chen writes:

At “Miracle-Seed Sunday” in Singapore’s New Creation Church last month, the pastor’s sermon was preceded by PowerPoint and video presentations, and donations were overseen by Deloitte & Touche LLP auditors.

Centuries after Catholics established missions in Asia, Singaporeans are flocking to a new species of churches making appeals more in common with “Material Girl” pop-singer Madonna than the Jesuits. Wearing a white leather jacket and jeans, Senior Pastor Joseph Prince asked God to reward a crowd of about 1,200 with houses, cars, jobs, pay raises and holidays if they contributed to New Creation’s multimillion-dollar funding drive.2

Chen even notes that, at this service, “PowerPoint slides showed attendees how to write checks to the church, while armed security guards watched the cash.” We also learn about this service that,

The special session sought to raise funds for the church’s half of a S$976 million ($783 million) retail and entertainment complex, which includes a 5,000-seat auditorium. The venue, which will double as New Creation’s meeting place, is set to open in November with concerts by musician and producer David Foster and friends including Chaka Khan and BabyFace.3

It is seemingly undeniable that Joseph Prince teaches the doctrines of the aberrant Word Faith gospel. Do Not Be Surprised has documented that Prince credits Word Faith heretic Kenneth Hagin with nurturing his Word Faith roots. In his book, Destined to Reign, Prince writes:

I give thanks to God for my roots in the Word of Faith teachings. It is truly on the shoulders of great men of God like Brother Kenneth E. Hagin that we are able to see further into the Word of God today. Growing up, I learned a lot about faith from Brother Hagin, who truly had a special revelation of faith from the Lord. I deeply honor and respect him for all that he has taught me.4

Kenneth Hagin is widely recognized as the father of the Word Faith movement, as noted by D.R. McConnell in his book, A Different Gospel:

Although there is little doubt that E.W. Kenyon is its founding father, the contemporary [Word] Faith movement is virtually incomprehensible without explicating the role played in it by Kenneth Hagin.

Kenyon may have authored the teachings on which the [Word] Faith movement is based. But Hagin is the man who fashioned these teachings into the fastest growing movement in charismatic Christendom.

All of the major ministers of the [Word] Faith movement admit Hagin’s tutelage. He is universally recognized in the movement as both a teacher and a prophet.5

The aforementioned Bloomberg article continues with an astute observation:

By making their services enjoyable and embracing prosperity, groups such as New Creation, City Harvest and Hillsong in Australia are able to attract followers, said Jeaney Yip, a lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School who has studied the marketing practices of mega churches.

“Market-friendly ideologies associated with individualism and self-empowerment are often blended with selective Christian theologies to emphasize positive living and blessings, while deflecting overtly negative Christian doctrines such as suffering, judgment, sacrifice, hell or death from sin,” Yip said. “Their church services are scripted and ‘produced’ with deliberate use of contemporary music, sound and lighting.”6

These observations sadly are true. Churches such as Prince’s New Creation Church and many others around the world have chosen to denigrate the Word of God simply by refusing to preach all of its truths. They blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ by offering false teachings in His name.

“Positive living and blessings” by the world’s standards do not necessarily constitute the life of a true Christian. May believers be reminded that Christ taught of suffering for His name’s sake.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. John 15:18–21

The blessings bestowed by God upon the Christian are far greater than any material trinket or temporal wealth (see Eph. 1:3–14). May we then follow in the steps of the apostles, who rejoiced in suffering for the name of their Savior, counting not cars and cash, but insults as blessings.

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 1 Pet. 4:13–14

Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Acts 5:41-42

Footnotes

  1. Ken Silva, “Word Faith Prosperity Preacher Joseph Prince,” Apprising Ministries, July 9, 2012.
  2. Sharon Chen, “Singapore Mega-Church Faithful Invest In Malls: Southeast Asia,” Bloomberg, September 3, 2012.
  3. Sharon Chen, “Singapore Mega-Church Faithful Invest In Malls: Southeast Asia,” Bloomberg, September 3, 2012.
  4. Joseph Prince, Destined to Reign, [Harrison House Publishers: 2007], 217.
  5. Dan R. McConnell, A Different Gospel: Biblical and Historical Insights into the Word of Faith Movement, [Peabody: Hendrickson, 1995], 55.
  6. Sharon Chen, “Singapore Mega-Church Faithful Invest In Malls: Southeast Asia,” Bloomberg, September 3, 2012.