Bronze-level articleName it and claim it

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... make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
John 2:16[1]

Name it and claim it is a "theology" taught by some televangelists, faith healers, megachurches, and Pentecostal preachers. Some of them think the "name it and claim it" label is derogatory and prefer it be called "Word of Faith" or the "prosperity gospel". Word of Faith theology is also called "blab it and grab it" by less kind detractors.

Contents

[edit] What it is about

The gist of "name it and claim it" is that the Bible contains numerous promises from God to Christian believers, but that believers have to first "claim" the promise before it can become effective. These "promises" may include healing from disease, exorcism of evil spirits, power to engage in spiritual warfare against Satan, or various supernatural gifts supposedly from the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:13, which runs:

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

is tortured to breaking point in order to suggest that anything the flock are in need of, not just salvation, can be earned simply by claiming it in the name of the lord. Passages such as Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Isaiah 53:5 and Psalm 91 are taken hilariously out of context in an attempt to back up this theological howler.

"Name it and claim it" is highly controversial in the Christian community, especially those of the left-leaning variety.

Note that God's promise of salvation is normally viewed as requiring acceptance; this is not a distinguishing feature of name it-claim it theology.

[edit] Controversial interpretation of the Bible

Since the Bible includes promises that God will meet the needs of believers, some "name it and claim it" preachers focus on this promise in particular and apply it in ways that would make the actual Jesus Christ want to vomit. Do you "need" that new car? Just name it, and claim it! Do you "need" a lot of money? Do you "need" that winning lottery ticket? You get the idea. [2] Often these preachers solicit money for their own lavish lifestyles by encouraging tithing, or giving 10% of one's annual income, to the corporation tax-exempt church. For example, former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield once gave $3.5 million to Creflo Dollar after a title fight. Holyfield's house is now going through foreclosure proceedings.[3] The US Senate has also opened up investigations into several Name it and Claim it "ministries."

[edit] Largescale economic damage

It is entirely possible that this line of magical thinking may have helped to fuel the expansion of sub-prime mortgages which created the current economic mess. The thought is that these preachers were encouraging people with bad credit ratings to take out mortgages on homes that they could not afford because, since they were faithful Christians, God would take care of the rest. In fact, many of the areas worst affected by the housing bubble also happened to be home to churches advocating name it and claim it.[4]

[edit] Roman Catholics

Some conservative Roman Catholics have their own inverted version of this philosophy. In their world view, sin causes all poverty, and Jesus only extends his blessings to Good CatholicsTM (however, this looks more like the concept of karma and runs counter to the conventional Catholic teachings, which emphasize charity and compassion). By contrast, liberation theology defines "sin" as "political oppression and suppressing the poor" and, influenced by Marxist views on poverty and class struggle, liberation theologians seeks to change these prevailing patterns through a very human struggle, rather than assuming that God will somehow fix things.

[edit] Prominent promoters

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

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