*THE HERESY OF ‘SOWING A SEED’*
Many TV evangelists are communicating to their audience that financial prosperity can be obtained by showing enough faith in God to make a donation to their ministry, which they call ‘sow a seed’. Of course a good part of your donation goes in their pocket and some towards humanitarian projects (only for the purpose of advertising their fund-raising).
*Here are doctrinal ERRORS they use to get money from you:*
*1.’POVERTY IS CURED BY THE ATONEMENT’*
Many faith healers preach that through his sacrifice, Jesus has provided automatic physical healing for the body through faith, not only spiritual healing (Is53:5 – ‘by his stripes we are healed’). Some have gone a step further to say that the atonement also delivers us from the ‘curse of the law – poverty.’ Kenneth Copeland said: ‘Jesus bore the curse of the law on our behalf. He beat Satan and took away his power. Consequently, there is no reason for you to live under the curse of the law, no reason for you to live in poverty of any kind…’ (The Laws of Prosperity, p51,54)’ Then why was Apostle Paul poor most of the time? See 2Cor11:27.
The atonement on Calvary did not cure our financial woes. If I am in debt when I obey the gospel, I will be in debt the day after I obey the gospel. Jesus has not promised to deliver me from financial bankruptcy through obedience to the gospel. The blood of Jesus is no more a cure for my financial woes than a cure for my physical hunger and thirst. According to these preachers, Christians in England have more faith than Christians in Zimbabwe…but in England a very small percentage of Christians read the Bible or even go to church! According to these preachers Muslims in Saudi Arabia or atheists in Sweden have more faith than Christians in Zimbabwe, being more rich. We should never evaluate the blessings of God in terms of earthly riches: remember that Satan can make rich also, see Mat4:9;Luke4:6.
*2.GIVING FOR SELFISH REASONS*
The teaching of seed-faith giving encourages one to give in order to get something from God.
The TV evangelists promise their audiences that their problems (whether they are financial, physical, emotional, marital, etc.) will be solved when they have enough faith in God to plant a seed for God to multiply back in his harvest. The ‘seed’ should be planted in the TV evangelist’s particular ministry. Why don’t they ask you to go give to the poor, as Jesus did in Matt19:21?
In Abundant Life (July 1980, p4), Roberts wrote, ‘Solve your money needs with money seeds.’ This teaching on giving appeals to man’s carnal greed and selfishness as motives for giving and thereby undermines the gospel. God does reward a cheerful giver: heavenly rewards are sure but earthly riches are not guaranteed.
*3.THROUGH SEED-FAITH GIVING ONE MANIPULATES GOD*
One distinction between magic and religion is this: in religion one submits himself to the higher will of God; in magic man manipulates a higher power to get things for himself. In seed-faith giving, one plants a seed ($$) which God must cause to grow into a harvest (more $$). Hence, one is able to get anything he wants from God by seed-faith giving. He manipulates God through seed-faith giving. Heresy! The same as Tetzel’s indulgences 500 years ago said: ‘you can buy forgiveness of sins’, the same way these false preachers say you can buy God’s financial blessings.
*4.FINANCIAL POVERTY BECOMES A PROOF OF SPIRITUAL POVERTY*
These false prophets say: ‘if someone has a financial need which is unmet, he either does not know about seed-faith giving or lacks the faith to practice it; in either case, his own financial needs manifest his spiritual poverty.’ All the seed-faith doers are still poor (or even poorer after giving, only the ‘prophet’ gets more rich), but the false preachers say they didn’t have enough faith and didn’t seed enough cash…
*SOME SCRIPTURES THAT THE SEED-FAITH PREACHERS USE WRONGLY:*
*1. 3John2* ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may PROSPER and be in health, even as your soul prospers.’ John’s personal wish for Gaius is distorted into a divine promise of financial prosperity for all believers. There is nothing in the text that promises financial prosperity upon the condition of faith in seed-faith giving. John said, ‘I wish’, he didn’t say, ‘I promise you will prosper, if you sow a big enough seed’
*2. Mark10:29,30* ‘Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an HUNDREDFOLD now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.’
I suspect that these TV ministers might correctly understand ‘brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, and children’ to refer to spiritual relationships, not physical. However, when financial matters are mentioned, the meaning of the terms immediately shifts to literal houses and dollars.
*3.Gal6:7,8* ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ The reaping of this text has no reference to reaping in this life; it refers to life everlasting in the world to come (Mk.10:30). The corruption is eternal damnation in hell. To use this verse to teach that one shall receive financial prosperity by making a donation to a TV evangelist’s ministry is to pervert this text.
*4.2Cor9:6to11* This text plainly states that the harvest which is reaped from sowing is ‘THE FRUITS OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ (9:10). Few verses before this passage, in 2Cor8:16to23 Paul says he has sent brothers to collect the gifts of the church for the brethren in Jerusalem, he didn’t even touched the money personally and did not draw a benefit, being honest and transparent before God and men v20,21.
*5.Old Testament texts*
The TV evangelists cite a number of Old Testament texts to justify seed-faith giving – giving which is done in order to get a blessing from God.
(a) Promises made to Israel as a nation are wrongly applied to specific individuals. God made many promises of prosperity to Israel as a nation on the condition that she would be faithful to God. We are not to understand that every individual in Israel had prospered.
(b) General truths, such as in the Proverbs, are given specific application. The Proverbs condition many temporal blessings upon obedience to the word of God (for example, diligent labor produces prosperity which generally is true, but specifically in many cases many work hard yet their wages are not paid for months by selfish bosses). The wisdom literature also recognizes that time and chance happen to all (Eccl9:11); consequently an individual may do all that the word of God says and still not be prosperous because of circumstances beyond his own control.
*SEED-FAITH TEACHING IGNORES SCRIPTURES:*
1. Scriptures which foretell that the RIGHTEOUS SHALL SUFFER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE. Though he was a perfectly obedient Son, JESUS DID NOT HAVE A PLACE TO LAY HIS HEAD (Lk. 9:57); in Matt.17 Jesus had no money to pay the tax and sent Peter to catch a fish and find a coin in the fishes’ mouth; Jesus’ parents had no money to buy a lamb as a sacrifice so just bought doves Luke 2:24; Jesus had no burial place so Joseph from Arimathea gave him his own burial cave Mark15. Jesus taught that the righteous might have to give up their lands and houses because of Christ (Mk.10:29). The Hebrew Christians lost their possessions because of their faith in Christ (Heb. 10:34). Jesus was helped with ministry’s expenses by volunteers Luke 8:3, without Jesus asking them for financial help. Judas was stealing money from the ministry’s purse as he was appointed treasurer, but Jesus did not rebuke him or replace him Jn12:6. Jesus did not feed all the poor of the planet, he didn’t even do miracles to make rich his followers. Acts19:12 miracles through handkerchiefs and aprons did not last throughout all Paul’s life or after him. Jesus said, ‘lay up treasures in heaven’ Mat.6:20.
2. Some FAITHFUL SAINTS WERE NOT PROSPEROUS PEOPLE. The apostle Paul not only suffered persecution, he also experienced hunger and thirst and nakedness, even though he was a faithful Christian (2Cor11:27). Saints suffered in the famines which struck the general populace (Acts 11:27-30), even as did the unrighteous.
–2Pet2:3 ‘through covetousness … with feigned words make merchandise of you’
–Rom16:18: ‘For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple’
–2Cor12:17 ‘Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?’
–1Tim6:5-6: ‘Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain’
–Luke12:15: ‘Keep yourself from greed of money…’
–Luke8:4-11: ‘seed brought fruit HUNDREDFOLD…Now the parable is this: the SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD’ – not money.
–See also: 2Cor12:14,15; 1Thes2:9; Ps50:9to12; Prov22:16; Matt7:15to23, 1Tim6:9, Heb13:5to9
Seed-faith giving preys on the poor. Those who are attracted to this message are the poor and desperate, who sometimes send their last dollars (even borrow to give) and ‘expect a miracle.’ Like their Pharisee counterparts, the TV evangelists who preach seed-faith giving ‘devour widows houses’ (Matt.23:14), as they build their financial empires on contributions sent in by poor and desperate people.
We do believe in giving: giving to the poor and to the church for the furtherance of the Gospel.
Seed-faith giving is a doctrine of the devil which is causing the general public to lose confidence in Christianity. This doctrine must be opposed.