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BWA Women’s Department Board members along with leaders of the Jamaica Baptist Women’s Federation

the infl uence of evangelical parachurch ministries.

The Nigerian Baptist leader was generally critical of the prosperity gospel movement, which he said has had widespread infl uence in Nigeria and other countries of Western Africa, such as Ghana. Many proponents, he said, have “moved away from key and fundamental tenets of the evangelical faith, including the authority and priority of the Bible as the Word of God, and the centrality of the cross of Christ.” It is obvious, he claimed, “that the teachings of those who most vigorously promote the prosperity gospel can be spurious and unbiblical and that the impact on many churches is pastorally damaging and spiritually unhealthy.” Ayegboyin insisted “it is unbiblical to

teach that spiritual welfare can be measured only in terms of material welfare, or that wealth is always a sign of God’s blessing or that poverty or illness or early death, is always a sign of God’s curse, or human curses.”

He declared it dangerous “to conclude that success in life is entirely due to our own striving, or cleverness. Those elements of prosperity teaching that are virtually identical to ‘positive thinking’ and other kinds of ‘self-help’ techniques must be rejected.” Ayegboyin bemoaned that too many persons have been duped by false expecta- tions inherent in prosperity teaching, and when such expectations are not met, they give up on God or lose their faith. “It is rather unfortunate that in some cases pros- perity teaching over-emphasizes individual wealth and success without the need for accountability.”

BWA Women

BWA Women’s Department Meets in Jamaica T

he annual Executive Board meeting of the BWA Women’s Department was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from June 24-30. The Board welcomed three new vice presidents: Moreen Sharp, North America; Joina Dhlula, Africa; and Aniko Ujvari, Europe.

There were eight women from the

Jamaica Baptist Women’s Federation that welcomed Board members to Jamaica. They

gave the Board members an

introduction to the Caribbean Island, and an orientation to what Baptist women are doing in Jamaica.

During the week the business of the

Women’s Department was discussed and acted upon. One of the important decisions was the selection of the theme for the 2015 Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference, “Arise, Shine,”

based on Isaiah 60:1. The conference will be in South Africa from July 18-21, 2015. On Saturday, June 29, a women’s

rally was held at Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay. It was a special time of worship, singing, testimonies by continental union presidents, and message by Raquel Contreras, president of the BWA Women’s Department. Before Contreras spoke, the children from Garland Hall, a ministry of the Jamaica Federation, sang.

Baptist Women’s

Otniel Bunaciu of the Faculty of Baptist Theology at the University of Bucharest in Romania, who responded to Ayeboyin, indicated that “linking atonement with healing and prosperity has become especially popular in the preaching and teaching of the so-called ‘prosperity Gospel.’” This, he said, is commonly associated with those of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians, but “the ideas are by no means limited only to those Christian movements.” Bunaciu said “the prosperity gospel suggests that when Christ dealt with sin through atonement, he also dealt with the consequences of sin like poverty, illness and death.”

Otniel Bunaciu One of the strongest criticisms against

Above: New Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department vice presidents, from left, Moreen Sharp, North America; Joina Dhlula, Africa; Aniko Ujvari, Europe

Left: The women’s rally at Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay

prosperity gospel claims and teachings, Bunaciu asserted, “comes from the fact that Jesus Christ himself was not rich and did not promote prosperity.” Jesus, he explained, “was born into a relatively poor family. Jesus did not have a stable home, he once had to perform a miracle in order to pay the temple tax, he had to place his mother’s care into that of one of his disciples just before his execution, and, in the Sermon on the Mount, he called the poor blessed.”


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