Name it and claim it
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|Devil's in the details|
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“”... make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.
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.
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 whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall 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 91:1 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.
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. [note 1] 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. The US Senate had some (fairly feeble) investigations into several Name it and Claim it "ministries."
Large scale economic damage
This line of magical thinking may have helped to fuel the expansion of sub-prime mortgages which fed into a recent economic mess. Preachers encouraged 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.
Some prejudiced reactionary 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 Catholics™ (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.
- Jim Bakker back in the PTL Club days, although in his book I Was Wrong he says he has come to reject those beliefs.
- Todd Bentley
- Kenneth Copeland
- Paul Crouch
- Creflo Dollar
- Kenneth Hagin
- Benny Hinn
- Bob Larson claims not to promote it, but does.
- Eddie Long
- Megachurches — a popular venue for the theology
- Joel Osteen
- Cargo cult
- Law of appreciation
- Law of Attraction
- Law of reciprocity
- Liberation theology
- Magical thinking
- The Secret
- This philosophy doesn't always work, so some churches urge responsibility in managing one's finances.