Destiny Church Archive

You'll find articles about this subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Destiny Church’s Worship of Money * Brainwashed cult member

Destiny Church‘s controversial, self-appointed ‘bishop’ Brian Tamaki last week asked his followers (well, he blamed God for telling him to do so) to shower the stage with high-denomination bills during a church service, boosting church coffers by $100,000.

Quoting the Bible, Tamaki on Twitter referred to the windfall as a “sweet-smelling fragrance that is acceptable to God.”

Destiny Church raking in cash

Those who have observed Brian Tamaki’s teachings and behavior for a while now likely have some other, more appropriate Bible verses in mind.

The money event led the Herald On Sunday to editorialize that Destiny Church ‘shows its true object of worship.’

Destiny Church worships money

Tamaki pushes the prosperity gospel — as scam in which devotees make you or your ‘ministry’ rich in the believe that they are showing God how much faith they have, so that they too can be ‘blessed.’

He has also been criticized over his heretical teachings.

He demands cult-like devotion, and has urged his followers to join him at ‘The City of God,’ which he is building with their donations.

As Paul Little says, your destiny at Destiny is to pay and pay.

A former member of Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, who is awaiting trial, continues to behave as if brainwashed, a social psychologist says.

After 17 years on the run, Katsuya Takahashi — who was arrested in June 2012 — apparently still adheres to the cult’s teaching.

He is facing trial on suspicion of murder in connection with Aum’s 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

Takahashi was the bodyguard of Aum Shinrikyo’s cult leader, Shoko Asahara (real name: Chizuo Matsumoto), who is on death row.

“The fear of a cult lies in being unable to be free of brainwashing despite leading a social life for a long time,” Rissho University professor Kimiaki Nishida — who met with Takahashi — said.

Nishida’s assessments of former Aum members have been admitted as evidence in court.

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church must find ways of welcoming divorced and gay Catholics.

The pope made his remarks in an exclusive interview with Argentine newspaper La Nacion.

On an entirely different note, the article says Pope Francis, who turns 78 on Dec. 17, takes no holiday, usually rises at 4:30 a.m. and maintains an intense schedule.

Pope Francis: "God has bestowed on me a healthy dose of unawareness"

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Controversial preacher Brian Tamaki urges his flock to leave homes and jobs

‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki has raised the stakes with his Destiny Church followers, exhorting them to leave behind houses, jobs – even family members – to join him at a “City of God” he is building in South Auckland, New Zealand.

Fairfax NZ News reports

At the church’s annual conference in Rotorua on Friday night, Tamaki spent his entire two-hour sermon talking about how God had told him to build the city and why his followers had to lose their “parochialism” towards their home areas, even if it meant leaving behind loved ones.

Cult expert Mark Vrankovich said the speech was designed to “soften up” Tamaki’s followers and the real pressure to move to South Auckland would come with one-on-one sessions with local pastors.

“Saying that the church family is more important than your physical family, that you must go with the spiritual family, is a classic cult idea. This will put great pressure on families and break up families.”

Vrankovich was also concerned that Tamaki appeared to be encouraging people to sell their homes. “They’ll be pressured to give the money from the house sale to the church, and they’ll never see it again. He’s extracting money from people for his dream, and something that he will effectively own. He wants to be mayor or king of this ‘city’ so he’s softening them up to get them to move [to Auckland] so he’s guaranteed not to be losing money on the deal.”

Tamaki announced at a New Year’s Eve service that Destiny Church had permission to build schools, a university and a massive auditorium at a property in Wiri, which he calls the “new Jerusalem”.

The church has put its Mt Wellington headquarters up for sale to help fund the move, which is due to happen in December. It hopes to get more than $5 million from the sale.

It is unclear if people would live on site or nearby.

Cult of Christianity

Mark Vrankovich is the founding director of the Auckland-based international organisation Cultwatch.

He had documented Brian Tamaki’s descend into heresy. Theologically, Destiny Church is considered to be a cult of Christianity.

Sociologically the church has cult-like issues as well.

Tamaki, who calls himself the “tangible expression of God,” demands cult-like devotion. He has proclaimed himself the church’s “spiritual father” and designated the male members of the church as “spiritual sons”. In October, 2009 about 700 male members of the church swore a “covenant oath” of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a “covenant ring” to wear on their right hands.

In October 2008 New Zealand’s TV 3 reported that Destiny Church plans to create a ‘holy city’ Tamaki’s followers never have to leave.

TV 3, New Zealand, October 31, 2008

Many critics refer to Destiny Church as a cult.

Money, Money, Money

Tamaki’s emphasis on money is of special concern. The preacher is a proponent of the so-called ‘prosperity theology,’ in which a Biblical concept it twisted beyond recognition and essentially turned into a scam.

Prosperity teachers claim tat God wants you to be rich (and/or healthy), but that He can not bless you unless you first demonstrate your faith by donating money (also known as a “seed-faith offering”). Naturally the money must be send to whichever televangelist or teacher tells you about this scheme.

TVNZ notes

Destiny Church said its members are going to have to donate a lot of money to build a new site in South Auckland.

The church, which is currently located in Mt Wellington, will take possession of a three hectare block of land in Wiri this September.

Leader Brian Tamaki said at a conference in Rotorua last night he wanted to take the church to “another level”, making it 10 times bigger than its existing site, to attract more members.

“This is no ordinary church, this is taking it to another place, another level.”

Tamaki said he did not put pressure on Destiny members to donate money, but said the expansion project would “need a lot of pennies” to build.

“I can’t make people give. I encourage people, but people want to give.

“We don’t encourage people to borrow or give beyond their means. That’s not part of our type of teaching or ministry.”

According to TV 3

Mr Tamaki says it will be around six months before the development starts being built, but already he’s asking followers to sell up their homes and leave their jobs.

Mr Tamaki says God told him to build the multi-million dollar city.

“Because of the demand for our ministry that helps people, genuinely and permanently helps them, we give them hope,” says Mr Tamaki. “We give them a future.”

Auckland councillor Dick Quax says Mr Tamaki’s ambitious plans should be praised.

“He’s looking at educating people, helping people with social problems,” says Mr Quax. “No problems with that whatsoever.”

Locals agree it could help the proposed neighbourhood.

“I think it may help some of the places around here,” says resident Aaron Wihongi. I was just going to collect my young fellow and he’s bored. There’s nothing around here for him.”

But the new city also has its sceptics, who fear the church is targeting donations from those who can least afford it but will feel pressured, in the name of God.

Destiny Church plans to create a ‘holy city’ followers never have to leave
Destiny Churches must be treated as a cult of Christianity; Heresy taught by Brian Tamaki
Note the differences between the sociological vs. theological definitions of the term ‘cult.’
What is a cult of Christianity
More about Destiny Church