11 March 2014
I do not believe in the prosperity gospel and the false teachers who preach a prosperity culture. They sell God as someone who enriches our lives, primarily through wealth but also in other seemingly innocent ways such as joy, power, authority and status.
Such things have the appearance of good but are in fact the very things that lead believers astray to pursue friendship with the world. I notice a stark difference between the life Jesus led and the life that ministers of prosperity preach. Jesus said friendship with the world is enmity with God. I don’t think we are to hate the world or money or joy, but we are to be very very careful about how we think about it.
The heart is a deceitful thing. Leave it alone and free to wander for a few hours and it will roam into mischief and possibly evil. My point is that we as Christians can hardly guard ourselves against the temptations that so easily ensnare us, what more can we expect to become if we start treating the word of God and Jesus as some kind of life enhancing tool? Yes, in a way, God does want to, and will help us from our troubles, but that is different from saying that we are to expect or seek a life free of pain and suffering.
The point of the gospel is neither that we must suffer in life in order to be godly, nor that we can now enjoy and expect to enjoy life because Jesus has saved us. Jesus had suffered for our sake and so we know that even in our suffering, we hold the ultimate hope and trust that Jesus has overcome the world and that we will eventually enjoy comfort in Jesus whether in this life or the eternal life to come. If we find ourselves in good fortune, Jesus has said that we are to turn it responsibly into an opportunity to serve for the sake of the less privileged.
A gospel that is focused on prosperity without focusing equally on how such prosperity is to be handled responsibly is a skewed gospel at best, or a false gospel at worst.
I would warn to stay clear and far from such teachings, no matter how persuasive it may be or sound. I’ll take my chances and forsake claiming my “blessings” as a right in this life, because i know God has certainly already promised me eternal life with Him. So I am not about to jeopardize this eternal life with Him for a momentary and short lived pursuit of prosperity. If God grants me prosperity then I pray He grants me the wisdom to use it wisely and responsibly. Otherwise i rather He does not.
Father, i pray for a clean and discerning heart. A heart that is jealously guarded in You and by You. Let not my heart be tempted or my ears itch to hear anything that leads me away from Your heart. May your Holy Spirit test and reveal the inadequacies of my heart and direct it.