Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why People Should Have a Problem with Prosperity Teaching

First let me say that I believe God wants to bless His children with good gifts. I believe in the word of faith. I believe the miracles testified to in the gospels. I believe that Christ said, that the works that He worked we should do also and greater works than these. I pray earnestly for the church, the body of Christ to walk in the power of the Spirit, so that the blind may see and the lame may walk and the deaf may hear....and that we all would have “mountain moving faith”.
Prosperity teaching is a teaching that leads Christians into a mindset where the sins of covetousness have been sugar coated with the truth of God’s desire to bless His children. It is true that God wants to bless His children. However, it is not always financial blessings that God wants to give to His children. In fact, there are many times that Christ talks about the rich and the poor, giving and receiving and there is not one instance where Christ teaches that we should believe God for financial blessings. There is not one time in the new new testament where there is the teaching that one should seek and desire financial blessings. In fact it is to the contrary. Christ teaches that we should not seek those things. There is not one instance where Christ teaches that we should we do so, not one instance! There is not one instance in the new testament where any of the apostles teach that we should do so, not one instance!
Followers of prosperity teaching always try to belittle other Christians who do not follow the same principles. Christians who are content with such things as they have are often made to feel as though their faith is somehow not what it should be because they have not learned to believe God to make them prosperous. Things are arrogantly said, like; if peoples hearts are right and their faith is right and they are givers, God will open the windows of heaven. Then those who are not desiring to be rich or abundantly prosperous are left to feel that their heart is not right and that their faith is not right. Shame on those who teach such things! To question someones faith because they don’t desire worldly things or seek financial blessings; to say to them that the enemy has done this thing to their mind; Shame on those who would say such arrogant self-righteous things. If it is uncomfortable for a Christian to seek financial blessings from God, prosperity seekers would then say that there is a stronghold that they must be freed from. This is absurd! It is the other way around. If you are seeking financial blessings then there is a stronghold that you need to be set free from; it is called the stronghold of covetousness.
The faith of Christians not seeking prosperity is always put in doubt by those who seek prosperity. They say things like; “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Then those who are content with such things as they have are supposed to be left feeling like they are not pleasing to God. The scripture “without faith it is impossible to please God” has nothing to do with prosperity teaching. The scripture goes like this: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. This scripture is a Spiritual one; the reward is not financial but spiritual. You must in believe in God to please Him; that is all. Just to believe that God is and to seek Him; you are already pleasing Him, Amen.
Some may want to imitate friends, pastors,Evangelist or even friends of God; But I say to you, be imitator's of Christ. Too many times we are let down by the weaknesses and sins of those whom we look up to. They are after all, only human. Those on the front lines fighting the spiritual battles, are often attacked by the evil one the most. We should not shake our heads and point our fingers and let out a big, shush sound. We should lift them up in prayer. Backsliders have been attacked by the enemy of Christ and they need our love and prayers.That is why we should be imitators of Christ and no one else. Luke 6:39-40 Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. Matthew 19:21...If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22 Notice that Christ did not say, give it to the temple (church) or give it to Me (Evangelist); Christ said, give it to the poor. What would the pastor do, if the congregation came in one Sunday morning, wearing old rags and no shoes, saying, “Pastor we gave all that all that we had to the poor.” After getting over the initial shock, of not being able to collect the tithe; I would hope that, he would send them out two by two to preach the gospel. You don’t need money to further the gospel. When Christ sent out His disciples two by two, He told them not to take a money bag.
For the edification of all; let us look at what our Teacherr said about seeking financial blessings, and giving and receiving:
Matthew 6:19-20 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,... Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. It is God’s good pleasure to give good gifts to His children; but Christ said do not seek them, they will be added to you, without you asking for them.
Luke 12:29-30 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. If you are truly living by faith; you do not ask God for material things, you know that God knows your needs, without you asking. If you think you need wealth to further the gospel, God will provide. If you are calling those things that are not, as if they were; and those things are material, then you have fallen into the trap of covetousness. Luke 12:15 ...Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Matthew 6:1-4 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:8-13 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (Pray to God only, and first of all, at the beginning of the prayer, give Him glory).  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (We don’t always know what God’s will is. But we should desire for God’s will to be done, knowing and trusting Him to take care of us). Give us this day our daily bread. (Notice that there is no request for prosperity). And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. (The tithe puts Christians in debt, and the pastors leave no room for forgiveness, it is an obligation and a commandment, for which there is no excuse, for it not to be performed). And do not lead us into temptation, (God does not tempt man with evil, but prosperity teaching leads into the temptation of covetousness). But deliver us from the evil one. (for the evil one tries to use the church whenever he has the opportunity). For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (May our prayers always begin and end with praise to our Father, Amen).
Luke  14:12-14 ...When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they can not repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just. Christians give to the church with the expectation of being blessed and prospering, because God promised them; that is what they have been taught.
Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his ability; ... We all have different talents, gifts and callings. Not everyone has the desire to be rich; this is good, not to be covetous. If you are poor and take the bus to work everyday because you can not afford a car. Then you hear the prosperity teachers telling you, “you are not supposed to be poor, the enemy has deceived you, you are a child of God, God wants you to live a prosperous life. Then you begin to live by faith, you start calling those things that aren’t, as if they were. Now you are believing God for that car you need ,because if you had a car you could be a blessing to others and you wouldn’t have to stand in the cold waiting for that stupid bus. Now, you begin to be that cheerful giver, knowing that God wants to bless you, and now you have been taught that it is in the bible, it is scriptural. However, there is someone on that stupid bus who has been crying out to God, day and night, to be delivered and shown the way to His love and mercy. Then someone in your church comes to you, and says; “I know you have been believing God to bless you with a car and the Lord has placed it on my heart to give you my old car, the one that I was gone to use as a trade in. The Lord blessed me and I want to bless you.” Hey, praise God, your need has been met. But God wanted you to keep riding that stupid bus, so He could lead you to that person who has been crying out, day and night. Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Philippians 4:11-12  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 1Timothy 6:6 Now Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. Luke 7:24-26 ... What did you go out into the wilderness to see?  A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in king’s courts. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. How many prosperity teachers do you know who wear expensive designer suits and fine leather Italian shoes? How many have more than one house? How many have a Mercedes and a Lexus? How many send their children to private schools? Oh, the pastors need money so that they can further the gospel. So that they can build bigger churches and christian schools and universities to teach the word of God and television equipment so they can be on cable. Matthew 23:3-5 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their little fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. Prosperity teaching always leaves those who are content, to feel as though their faith is not what it should be, because they have not learned to believe, that God wants to bless them. It is a heavy burden to bear; to have your pastor telling you that you are not living by faith, your faith is not what it should be, and to please God you must live by faith.
Why do Christians have to pay tuition at a university, to learn the word of God and theology? Shouldn’t these things be freely taught?They were freely given. I would imagine that if modern day preachers and Evangelist where present during the “sermon on the mount”, with their modern day technology and recording equipment; that the next day, you would have seen cassettes and DVD’s for sale in the markets; With signs saying, “Hurry while supplies last, get your copy of the one and only “sermon on the mount”. How many churches and preachers do you know who sell the word of God? Matthew 21:12-13 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.”
Acts 2:41-45 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. The Apostles did not make it an obligation, it was a free will choice. The Apostles did not collect a tithe. Later on when the churches had grown in number, many of the Apostles were travelling and preaching the word of God. They were not taking up offerings from those whom they taught. Many of them were living in caves with no shoes on their feet. Paul made a request to the churches to provide for the needs of the saints.
Luke 12:29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
If you truly want to live by faith; learn to be content with such things as you have, and TRUST God to provide anything else, that He thinks you need. God knows what you need better than you do; God knows what you need before you ask for it; even before you start believing Him for it.
Heavenly Father, I pray that Your name be glorified; that the world may know, that it is You who have made us and not we ourselves. May the churches and body of Christ be united as one. May all the brethren, of all the faiths, be of one love. Just as Christ gave His life, so that as You and Christ are One, that through Christ we should be one with You. May we, the body of Christ be united as one; with true love for one another in all sincerity. I pray that the world would be united in love, peace and harmony. That all the world may sing praises to Your name, with one voice and one love. In Jesus name I ask it Father, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment