So this one has been a long time coming. I’ve been holding off on this one for a while because i wanted to pray and think about my wording here and i want to be clear on something before i start.
I am NOT against anyone in the church being paid for their service, in fact, it’s biblical for them to be according to 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, and “The worker deserves his wages.) And 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.) Some of us are called to make our wages and our living from the word and that’s brilliant. But that’s not prosperity ministry. So what is prosperity ministry?
Prosperity ministry is the belief that God will bless us with money and other material gains for living in accordance to his word, that if we’re kind, and loving and give our tithes, that God will reward us with more riches than we can imagine. That if we believe hard enough we’ll get that new car, or that new house we really want.
I have a couple of problems with this mindset, so like i do sometimes, i’m going to break this up into three points.
- God doesn’t owe us anything
I want to start with this point because this is the one i understand the least about those that preach prosperity gospel. God in his kindness and love, saved us from our sin by giving his son. Not because he had to, but because of the love he has for us, look at one of the better known passages in John 3:16 for more on that. God is not in our debt, we’re in his. He doesn’t have to bless us, but in his kindness chooses to. We should be grateful for this gift, not be of the attitude that we’re in some sort of deal with God that if we’re kind and loving enough, that he’ll give us what we want. This is not to say our God is unkind, or unloving. Because he is both of those things and so much more, but we are in his debt, not the other way round.
2. Without love, what are our good deeds?
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) There’s a cynicism that comes with the gospel of prosperity. That with enough good deeds and a bit of faith God will bend to your will and give you the money for the things that you don’t really need or want. That the good deeds that are done are not out of love, but are instead done with an expectant heart to be rewarded for these deeds. That we are not slaves to righteousness as we are called to be (Romans 6:15-23) But we in accordance to this ministry, become slaves to a Pavlovian response that our Godly deeds lead to material wealth. It’s this sort of love of money, and the riches of this world, that will lead to our downfall and keep us from loving the lord with all of our hearts.
3. Give me neither poverty NOR riches
Proverbs 30:8-9: “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” I’m not a rich man, in fact i’m far from it. I don’t have a lot of money, but i have what i need. And i’m far more grateful for that than i would be to never struggle a day in my life. Because if i had it all from birth, i don’t think i’d really appreciate the good that the lord has done in my life. I’m a working class man who has been given a place in the kingdom.I may not be rich, but i am wealthy. I feel like those that partake in prosperity are not doing so out of greed, well for the most part. But due to a misunderstanding of what it means to inherit the kingdom. I’m referring to those that get caught up in this ministry rather than those teaching it. And i’m not meaning this as a way to condemn those that have been swept up in this corrupting practice, but as a rebuke.
We are people of Christ. We should act as such, our king’s crown is not one of earthly gold. But of cleansing light. His throne is not one of metal, But of love. and the riches we are given can not be bought or sold. But grant us everlasting salvation. Jesus himself said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24). So why would we want to be rich? Those teaching this ministry should be ashamed with themselves and with the utter contempt they have for the one that died with their sin on his heart, the one that give his life so that they may live theirs. And i pray they may find out what it is to be in a relationship with the lord that isn’t blinded by a love of money.
Lord, thank you for the love you have for all of our children. Even those that have been blinded with the love of money. May you lift the cover from their eyes to reveal the wonders of your love Lord. And show them your love and that your glory isn’t given in gold, but in salvation. In your wonderful name, Amen
This is something that has been on my heart for such a long time, and honestly i never thought i’d write this. But with the encouragement of some of my close friends, i finally went through with it and you know who you are so thank you. And as always Thank you for reading and May God Bless you.
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And Here’s a link to the song that tipped me over into writing this post False Teacher-Shai Linne