Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My War on the Prosperity Gospel

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." (Mt. 6:19-24)

Does the end justify the means? I run into too many people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ because they are looking for a reward here on earth. They want something they do not have. Wait! Isn't that coveting? Jesus did not come to increase sin but came to save us from our sins. If the thief repents of stealing, shouldn't the covetor repent of wanting what does not belong to him? After all, we are to be content with what we have!  There is so much that could be said here. But perhaps my greatest pet peeve with the prosperity 'gospel' is the if - then dichotomy that is promoted. If I do this God will do that. God isn't waiting on any of us. He is King. He is sovereign. His will will be done! Our earthly blessings come from the knowledge that all things are under His control. We can ask for stuff but God will not give it to us if it does not accord with His holy and perfect will. And if you think you can do something to influence His will, well, let's call that manipulation and what does that say about you? Let us not forget we are God's servants. He does not serve us. Let us trust Scripture when it says:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
what can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:5-6)