Larry Burkett (1939-2003)

General Teachings/Activities

-  On July 4, 2003, Larry Burkett lost his long battle with cancer and heart disease. (Burkett's 1996 book, Damaged But Not Broken, detailed his struggle with renal cell carcinoma. Discovered in 3/95, he underwent surgery to remove his right kidney and left shoulder blade.) Burkett was the president and founder (1976) of Christian Financial Concepts (CFC), headquartered in Gainesville, Georgia, through which he and/or his staff conducted over a 200 seminars a year. Speaking in neo-evangelical, charismatic, liberal, and SDA pulpits, Burkett was rapidly becoming the Bill Gothard of so-called Christian finance. CFC merged with Crown Ministries in 2001, becoming Crown Financial Ministries (CFM) under the leadership of Crown's Howard Dayton. Larry Burkett's concepts and teachings will continue with Crown.

-  Burkett got his start in 1973 as a financial counselor to the staff of the ecumenical Campus Crusade for Christ. He authored more 60 financial books -- more than 70 if one includes several best selling non-fiction books and three novels. Some of Burkett's most popular books have been How to Manage Your Money, The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples, Investing for the Future, Preparing for Retirement, Debt-Free Living, and The Coming Economic Earthquake

Besides seminars, CFM's ministries include radio; career counseling; Single Parents, Hispanic, and Russian Outreaches; church counselor training; and in-house counseling. CFM employs a staff of more than 140 plus nearly 1,100 trained lay volunteers around the world, with a budget of more than $15 million. The official monthly eight-page newsletter of CFC under Burkett, Money Matters, had a circulation of over 200,000 in the U.S. and Canada. 

Burkett was also a frequent guest on pop psychologist Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio show, and since 1982, had hosted his own radio show, "Money Matters" (most recently co-hosted with Crown's Steve Moore); this live, call-in daily 30-minute program currently airs on more than 450 radio outlets across the nation, and is also electronically available on delay via the Internet courtesy of KKLA in Los Angeles. In addition, "How to Manage Your Money" is a daily four-minute, topical program heard on over 700 radio outlets around the world (including stations, translators, satellite repeat stations, and cable company outlets). The CFM Radio Department also produces a one-minute daily program, "A Money Minute" (public service announcements heard on more than 900 stations nationwide); and a 30-minute, weekend program (333 stations) that features a radio magazine format, "MoneyWatch." All totaled, CFM estimates a monthly listening audience of five to six million.

-  Though Burkett's books and seminars dealing with finances contained a few Scriptural principles (as well as many worldly insights for handling money), we believe that these seminars, in particular, may have been the latest satanic "wile" to entrap historical separatists-fundamentalists in the neo-evangelical net. Since the seminars claimed to be both "Christian" in concept and "Biblical" in content, they come under the restrictions, boundaries, and limitations of the Word of God with regard to Biblical separation. Yet, Burkett's associations and affiliations appeared to lie clearly in the new evangelical camp at best, and in the apostate liberal camp at worst. (Burkett's Money Matters newsletter for 9/95 listed five United Methodist Churches where CFC seminars were being conducted during the fall 1995 months -- congregations associated with the apostate NCC and WCC!; also included were Seventh-Day Adventist and Assembly of God churches.) With the economic uncertainties of the times, CFM's seminars appeared to have had the definite possibility of replacing Bill Gothard seminars on a mass scale, seminars which have immeasurably weakened the fundamentalist stand and enhanced the new evangelical cause, despite personal benefits that some individuals have received. (Reported in The Fundamentalist Digest, May/June 1992 and November/December 1995; and updated for the death of Burkett.) 

-  In his 1991 book, The Coming Economic Earthquake, Burkett warned of an impending economic calamity for the U.S. unless a drastic effort is quickly made to curb massive federal spending and the soaring deficit. Burkett said some good things in the book, but he was basically "panic-mongering," giving his readers no real solutions on how to invest for and/or protect themselves against the coming financial collapse (primarily because there are no ways to avoid its worldly and worldwide consequences). We also disagree with his ecumenical stance (p. 140) -- bemoaning Christians not being well organized in cooperative efforts. He said: "The denominational and ideological barriers we erect keep us divided and our resources scattered."

-  In Burkett's audiocassette message, "Perspective on the Next Four Years," he presented a sales pitch for his Super Fund, which purportedly was to be used to employ attorneys to fight legal battles in the court system "to protect our Christian liberties." Of course, there is no Scriptural support for the idea of Christians banding together to defend their so-called Christian liberties. If there were, then the Apostle Paul was grossly negligent. Instead of giving his life for the gospel, he should have used his influence to bring the churches together to fight the will of Rome in the court system of that time (or at least organized a protest march or two). (From a letter printed in the 4/93, Berean Call.)

Along these same lines, Burkett took an active roll in the "Christian America"/political activism agendas of the so-called Christian Right. Dr. D. James Kennedy and his church (Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) sponsored the third annual "Reclaiming America for Christ" Conference (3/1/96-3/3/96; at $95 per attendee). Larry Burkett was one of the speakers at this conference. Other speakers included Ed Meese (former U.S. Attorney General); U.S. Senator John Ashcroft; Gary Bauer (president of Family Research Council); Roman Catholics Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich; ecumenical charismatic Ben Kinchlow (co-host of Pat Robertson's 700 Club); Dr. Ronald Nash (of Reformed Seminary conducted a "Teen Track" for more than 100 teenagers); and CCM religious rocker Phil Driscoll. The purpose was to "equip and motivate Christians to impact American culture for Christ." Kennedy said, "The key to our nation's survival is the return of Christians to positions of influence and authority in our nation's political and cultural institutions. ... to kindle a passion in the hearts of those who come, to reengage American culture and public life with the claims of Jesus Christ" (3/25/96, Christian News).

-  The desire to handle God's money according to sound Biblical principles does not justify or override the Biblical principle of separation from apostates and disobedient brethren. Other documented facts concerning Burkett's inclusive, neo-evangelical stand include [(1) and (2) from the 7/96, Fundamentalist Digest]:

(1) Burkett was a featured speaker at the 1993 Concerned Women of America (CWA -- Beverly LaHaye) National Convention, along with Roman Catholics Bill Bennett and Pat Buchanan. The brochure promoting the conference contained a full page of prayer requests, with no disclaimer anywhere concerning the adherence of these Roman Catholics to the agenda of the Roman papacy (CWA 1993 National Convention Brochure).

(2) Burkett was a member of the "International Committee of Reference" for Campus Crusade for Christ's "New Life 2000" evangelism campaign. Members of this reference committee included apostates Norman Vincent Peale [now dead] and Robert Schuller; a Seventh-Day Adventist preacher; relational theology advocate Bruce Larsen (Schuller asst. pastor); Baptist World Alliance promoter Dr. Billy Kim; charismatic heretics David Yonggi Cho, Paul Crouch, and Jack Hayford; entertainer Pat Boone; left-wing neo-evangelicals Vernon Grounds and Roberta Hestenes; papal sympathizer Jack Van Impe; ecumenical evangelism promulgators Leighton Ford and Luis Palau; and Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw (1/11/93, Christianity Today, p. 38, advertisement).

(3) Burkett promoted Bill Bright's/Campus Crusade's unbiblical "Four Spiritual Laws" evangelism concept, as well as advertised Campus Crusade's "Jesus Film" (7/21/96, CFC Home Page on the Internet).

(4) Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright fasted 40 days during the summer of 1994, during which he claimed to have received a "prophecy from God" that a mighty revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics, and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. CCC's Bill Bright cited "a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20)." This ecumenical "linking" is in the "spirit of Jehoshaphat" indeed, but the Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he "linked" with wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94, Calvary Contender.) [Another three-day "Fasting & Prayer" conference was held in 11/95 in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 "evangelicals" and charismatics. The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (Conferences have been held every year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright's August 2001 retirement from Campus Crusade, and Bright's death in 2003.)

(5) In late-1996, 160 of Burkett's friends held a surprise party for him at the Atlanta airport to celebrate the 20th year of CFC. The guest speaker for the night was the Catholic-sympathizer and head of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright. (As mentioned earlier, Burkett began his career with CCC in 1973.) Burkett was also honored in videotaped messages from the neo-evangelical head of Moody Bible Institute, Joseph Stowell, and from pop psychologist James Dobson. (Burkett also received a plaque from Moody Press, which has published 3.5 million of his books.) Another of the guests was Peter Lord of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida. Lord is best known for his seminars on how to love yourself "Biblically."

-  A major deception in the church today is the so-called spiritual application of pseudo-psychological temperament theory for individual personality assessment, which, in actuality, is derived from pagan and occultic philosophies. (The "temperament" can be defined as the unique mental and emotional disposition identifiable as the personality.) The study of the temperaments, which are man-centered, self-oriented, and psycho-paganistic, are being offered to the unwitting as a sophisticated, almost magical way to understand our deepest natures and our personality types. In actuality, Christians could be unknowingly lured into the occult by practicing the temperaments and other New Age personality typologies.

Burkett tapped into four-temperaments/personality testing techniques through CFC's Life Pathways Division (formerly Career Pathways). (The name was changed [7/97] from "Career Pathways" to "Life Pathways" to emphasize even more "situations in which a person's unique personality and talents play a role.") CFC offered a "Complete Career Assessment Package" (dubbed Career Direct), which included an "Interest, Skills & Values Inventory" (ISVI) and a "Personality Inventory" (CPPI). (Over 40,000 packages at $75 each have been sold since 1990.) Other career guidance resources included a self-scoring Personality Analysis booklet to help "a person identify and understand his or her personality profile. It highlights strengths and weaknesses and relates 16 individual profiles to the work environment." (This self-scoring personality analysis was at one time also available as a $12.95 PC computer program, called MatchPoint -- 7/96, Money Matters, p. 6.)

In Burkett's materials catalog, there was a listing for the Personal Profile System (PPS), which is a personality inventory based on Carl Jung's (psychologist, spiritist/occultist, and anti-Christian) theory of psychological types, which has its roots in the four temperaments and astrology. Burkett's catalog said the following about the PPS:

"This is the self-scoring version of the DiSC instrument that Larry Burkett began using years ago to determine a person's basic personality profile. With it you can identify your primary and secondary motivations and begin to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your personality. You can also learn to appreciate how others have different motivations and see how each profile has a most desired and most efficient work environment." (Emphasis added.)

The implied promises in this and other such listings were wholly incompatible with the facts. But then, those infatuated with psychological concepts have never let their opinions be changed by facts. (See the Bobgan's book, Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing.)

Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Larry Burkett was a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement -- as evidenced by his regular column in the magazine New Man (originally run by PK, but now operated by Charisma), and by his speaking at PK events. Charisma magazine says, "People tell me they sense the Holy Spirit's presence as they read the magazine [PK's New Man]. We received rave reviews from a diverse group of leaders such as Jack Hayford ... and Howard Hendricks ... We have a regular column on fitness and another on finances by Larry Burkett" (7/94, Charisma).

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 10/2003