This is one of the biggies and one of the most deceptive, yet subtle. Why is it deceptive? Because scripture is mentioned (although most out of context) and put God in the equation. It is ‘a form of godliness‘.

You can always discern man centered preaching against Christ centered preaching because one of the main emphasis is about who WE are in Christ and not about who Christ is. A classic example of this can be heard when Paul Edwards interviewed Paula White. The interview can be heard here.

With this type of preaching, we are at the center and it is as if we use God to get what we want because of ‘our identity and position in Christ’. So you will commonly hear the focus on how:

  • YOU can possess the land
  • YOU are the head and not the tail
  • YOU can reach your potential
  • YOU can live the abundant life
  • YOU can get that husband, wife, car house etc
  • YOU can receive health and wealth
  • YOU can receive blessings

Then there are the big giveaway phrases also like ‘YOUR destiny, YOUR purpose’, ‘YOUR season’, ‘YOUR breakthrough’, ‘YOU’RE going to another level’.

Just for fun, as I was writing this, I thought “let me go on some of these teachers websites and see what books they are promoting” and here is what I found.

You’re all that Become a better you Reposition Yourself Unleashing your God given dreams 8 Steps to create the Life you want When will we yield to the anoininting of wealth? Walking in Your own shoes

Do you notice a re-occurring theme? It’s all about YOU.

Phil 2:13 says “For it is GOD who works in YOU both to will and to do for HIS good pleasure.”

Notice it does NOT say “For it is YOU who works in GOD both to will and to do for YOUR good pleasure.

Watch this video

When ever you listen to a sermon or read a book, a good yardstick is to always see who is at the center of the sermon. True preaching will ALWAYS be Christ centered and all about glorifying him primarily.

Remember to pray for these teachers.

Related posts:

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 2 – Scripture Twisting

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 3 – The abuse of biblical numerlogy

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 5 – The Prosperity Gospel

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers (Interlude) – My reason for doing this

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 6 – Denial that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 7 – Signs and Wonders

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 8 – Deconstruction

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 9 – Giving False Hope

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 10 – The misuse of old testament scriptures

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 11 – The Gospel of Inclusion

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers  – The Conclusion

  1. Daniel says:

    once again….good job exposing these false teachers. i used to actually like Creflo Dollar and Joel. but i thank God that by his grace he opened my eyes and allowed me to listen to God-centered preachers. .

  2. Jana says:

    I for one am paying more attendtion to what and how “pastors” present Christ and the Bible. I want to be pure before the Lord a servant to Him and not to greed. And I am questioning all religious peoople and groups that continue to partner up with Paula White. SHE IS NOT A PASTOR. She is a motivational speaker. Nothing more!!

  3. Alan Higgins says:

    I totally agree with you Jana. A lot of the man centered theology is nothing more than self-help. Lets keep praying that peoples eyes will be opened because as I said, it is very deceptive

  4. Steve Sacman says:

    Yes Bro Higgins,

    Loving the site.. Keep teaching the truth and exposing these “brood of vipers” and “money changers in the temple” as we know through God’s word that our reward will be in heaven…

    Bless up!!


  5. STEVEM says:

    You lot are a deceived bunch . There is nothing more man centered than ignoramuses who set up blogs to attack fellow Christians

    Allan Higgins cites Phil 2:13 …What then does the ignoramus have to say about “I can do all things thru Christ which strengthens me” or the Apostle Paul who pressed for “the Mark of a Higher Calling”. Was the apostle Paul man centered also ?

    Was Daniel Man centered when he said “but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. ..”

    Was Jesus Man centered when he said “these works I do you shall do also and even greater works than these ”

    Seriously you folks need to get lives instead of setting up blogs and turning yoruselves into useless critics of other people. In case you dont know Mindless criticsm constitutes idolatry.

  6. Alan Higgins says:

    SteveM, you have made the mistake that a lot of teachers do and that is to take a verse out of context. So if you look at the whole previous verses of Phil 4:13 you will see that Paul also says

    “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

    Doing all things for Christ does not mean that you get use God to get what YOU want as if he was some kind of genie which is what so many preachers preach

    When you look at scripture, you cannot just pick out one verse and then say ‘hey see’, you have to look at the whole of scripture.

    I would advise you have a read of

    God Bless you


  7. STEVEM says:

    Mr Higgins
    I really have no desire to sit down and argue with you.I have read your blog thru and thru and you clearly dont have a clue on contextualization . If You were even remotely familiar with the ministries you ignorantly criticize , you would know that EVERYTHING about them is God Centered

    The bottom line is that there is God side to the Christian faith and there is also a man side and there are scriptures that speak to both . This is why the apostle Paul refers to us as Co-laborers with God

    “1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. ”

    These ministries believe that The God side of the Christian Equation is Perfect but the man side is flawed hence their emphasis on what you term as “man centered theology”

    For you to attempt to paint these ministries as “man centered” based on selective quotes and publications is the height of intellectual dishonesty or ignorance (Take your pick) but Like I said I have no desire to belabor the point further just do yourself a favor and quit digging your own premature graves with your tongue or rather your keyboard.

  8. Alan Higgins says:

    I am very familiar with these ministries, hence the reason why I chose them. And I used to follow these ministries regularly so I am not just selecting a few ‘quotes and publications’.

    I do not dispute there we are co-labourers but when we are the center of a message and not Christ then it is no more than self help with a little ‘Jesus topping’. But as you said I do not want to argue so God bless you

  9. STEVEM says:

    This was written by an acquaintance of mine but I believe it speaks aptly to the issue at hand ……….

    The old story of the buzzard and the hummingbird flying over a desert comes to mind, the former looking for a dead carcass and the latter for a sweet flower. In the end both desires were met. The moral: You’ll find what you are looking for, whether that target be Death or Life. Proverbs 11:27, [i]”Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.”[/i] Also Matthew 7:7, [i]”Seek and you will find.”[/i]

    When I view these six ministries I am looking for that which is Life-giving, and I find abundant evidence that multitudes of lives are being impacted in that positive direction. Others look for points of controversy and reasons for justifying a call for their demise, and their quest will also be amply rewarded with evidence!

    The Scriptures refer to an [i]”evil eye”[/i] (Mark 7:22, NKJV) as well as a [i]”good eye”[/i] (Matthew 6:22). Interestingly, these have been translated by Bible scholars at times as a [i]”stingy eye”[/i] and a [i]”generous eye.”[/i] Another interpretation is that they have to do with one’s outlook or viewpoint. Is one looking for a [i]”good report”[/i] or an [i]”evil report”[/i]? Remember the story of the twelve spies searching out the Promised Land? Two saw things entirely different from their ten counterparts! Remember, you will find what you are hunting for, be it Death or Life! The pursuit of what you are specifically wanting to observe, good or bad, will be accompanied with confirming signs following!

    Titus 1:15 reads, [i]”To the pure, ALL THINGS are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, NOTHING is pure…”[/i] Matthew 5:8 reminds us that [i]”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God.”[/i] An impure heart sees man in his Adamic failings, and their skewed judgment of such a one is that [i]”nothing is pure.”[/i] On the other hand, [i]”to the pure,”[/i] i.e. those who possess a [i]”pure…heart,”[/i] they instead see God and His perfection, planted in the person of Christ residing within the hearts of those whose outward conduct has yet to fully measure up to the standards of that One who freely [i]”declares righteous the ungodly”[/i] (Romans 4:5).

    On another note, I believe is that some of these ministries are being investigated for their administrative costs; overhead which is unfortunately a necessity with every organization. A further issue is that the dollar numbers that are being received by these ministries are staggering when compared to the typical pre-modern era church on the street corner whose idea of big spending was the stocking of the neighborhood food pantry. What is forgotten is that money is relative to the task at hand and to the perspective of the person or ministry handling it. What one may consider as “much,” another would view as “miniscule.” One man’s jet may be nothing but a Gospel burro in his eyes — a tool to efficiently get from point A to Z, while in the view of another it may border on gross waste and extravagance. Again, it all boils down to one’s relative perspective.

    What is lost in this inquiry are some of the greater facts: Among these six “pimping” ministries are included those that without fanfare partner with and underwrite the largest prison outreaches in America, the largest African and South American evangelistic outreaches, not to mention a plethora of innummerable indigenous “niche” ministries. I can’t speak in behalf of all of them but I can say with certainty that some of these ministries are wholly responsible for funding some of the most effective and unique Gospel outreaches known in the Kingdom. Where they can’t personally go, nor where they aren’t specifically equipped and commissioned, they target a vast portion of their funds to support. This covenanting with strategic ministries is a major emphasis with at least some of “the Grassley Six.” Sounds like the “pimps” have a heart and a wallet that allows them to reach those that otherwise would be under-funded and forgotten in terms of evangelism and discipleship. If effective fruitbearing is a criteria would to God that He’d raise up more “pimps” with deep pockets combined with a heart to invest in both visible as well as unheralded Kingdom ministries!

    I’d like to close with these insightful posts from saint Paul, beginning in Philippians 1:15-18,

    [i]”Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: [u]The former preach Christ from selfish ambition[/u], not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. WHAT THEN? Only that IN EVERY WAY, WHETHER IN PRETENSE or in truth, CHRIST IS PREACHED; AND IN THIS I REJOICE, yes, and will rejoice.”[/i]

    Even if some of the “Grassley Six” are self-serving, I with Paul’s admonition, [i]”will rejoice”[/i] that [i]”Christ is preached.”[/i] To those who are quick to administer the lethal cocktail into the veins of these six ministries might Paul’s counsel also be appealed to in 1 Corinthians 4:5,

    [i]”Therefore [u]judge nothing before the time[/u], [u]until the Lord comes[/u], who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s [b]praise[/b] will come from God.”[/i]

    Has the Lord [i]”come”?[/i] If not, then why the rush to [i]”judge…before the time”?[/i] Also, note that Christ is coming to [i]”praise”[/i] His faithful representatives. It says nothing here of criticizing or penalizing or denigrating, though in the eyes or viewpoint of others with a far lesser view such a determination of “guilty” would appear to be readily discernible based upon their “evidence” stash. In juxtaposition to this [i]”evil eye”[/i] it seems to me that Christ has a view to commendation, not condemnation (see Romans 8:1). Ahhh, the [i]”good eye.”[/i] How refreshing and life-giving.

    In Scripture I am often reminded that I can remove the barrister’s wig and put the gavel down. Thankfully, it is not my position in Christ to judge. Another who is perfect in judgment has rightfully earned that post. John 5:22, [i]”For [u]the Father judges no one[/u], but has committed ALL judgment to the Son.”[/i] Mercifully, only through the merits of His redeeming work of salvation and of our gracious inclusion “in Him” by the Father, it seems that Christ in the aforementioned verse in 1 Corinthians 4:5 rejoices in proclaiming His subjects [i]”praise”[/i] worthy. I find that viewpoint, and depth of love and acceptance, awe inspiring.

    I hope the above helps if not, well, I leave you critics to God

  10. joe blow says:

    “YOU can get that husband, wife, car house etc”

    I don’t mind having a cheap car and a cheap house, but if I really love a girl I’m gonna’ strive to be the type of guy she’d wanna’ be with forever. That’s what God wants me to do.

  11. jay burns says:

    I think it is hypocrytical to talk about men of GOD who preach the word. They are not caught up in your religious views. And who are we to say who are false teachers, Will God not judge you also. We need to check our ingredient. I rather have your so called false prophets than to have a religious fanatic driving people to athiest. The world is bad because of senseless fools such as yourself with nothing better to do than to step on people that have done god’s work.

  12. richard mccullagh says:

    i gotta say is this , there is only one life giving message and thats to preach the gospel (christ and him crucified)

    the gospel is not a one time thing its life ……

    rom 1:16

  13. richard mccullagh says:

    god bless you brother , keep fighting the good fight

  14. Corey says:

    I have a question, is preaching the gospel the only thing we are expected to do

    • Alan Higgins says:

      That question had no bearing on what I am talking about. But instead of going back and forth in two places, let’s stick to Facebook

  15. Corey says:

    I have another question, besides Jesus the Son of man, why do some people expect men and women of God to be perfect. You may respond you don’t but most of you keep casting stones.

  16. Alna Fuls says:

    It’s all about God! All honour to Jesus Christ!

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