Thursday, September 18, 2014

Je$u$ $ave$


The False Gospel of Prosperity

We Americans are nuts! Somehow, we think that God has only, ever shed His grace on me and only crowned my good with brotherhood. Note to self(ish): There are other believers in the world besides us!

We are so “Amerocentric” in our philosophy and in our theology. We feel that the parables of Jesus are all set in American Suburbia. Our skewed theology has paved the way for an insidious heresy, the Prosperity Gospel. The belief that believers are to sow $eed and reap riches. The idea is that if we speak faith, think positively, give graciously and rebuke poverty, we will realize God’s financial and health blessings at every turn.

Yet, for 2000 years Bible-believers have known mostly destitution and persecution. They have understood what it means to lose it all to find everything in Jesus. They understood that, when He was all they had, He was all they would need. Even the Apostles declared, “Silver and gold have I none…”

That is a far piece from today’s name it claim it, health and wealth, prosperity gospel preachers with their private jets, multiple mansions and exorbitant lifestyles.

Imagine, telling the Christians meeting in the caves of the Alps, or in the Catacombs of Rome that they must be living in sin or else they would have a ring on every finger and a Cadillac in the driveway. When Christians were being fed to the lions, drawn and quartered and burned at the stake, little could they have imagined that they ought to be members of the country club, jet-setting to exotic ports and living in luxury.

Those martyred saints of past ages believed the simple, powerful gospel of Jesus, how that He died according to the Scriptures, was buried and raised again on the third day, according to the Scriptures. Word never reached their hovels, caves and dungeons that there was more to the gospel than eternal life, that this is their “best life now.”

If I remember correctly, Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head, much less a Malibu mansion. He commuted by sandal power, fishing boat or borrowed donkey rather than by Lear jet, yacht or Italian sports car. He paid His taxes out of a fish’s mouth, not by exploiting widow’s pensions.

But that’s not how we roll in America’s holy land. Godliness is great gain here. It is not the love of money, but the lack of money that is the root of all evil according to the gospel of our twisted televangelists.

Okay, run that by the Christians of India, Somalia, China, Guatemala or Haiti. Prosperity ain’t happenin’ for the faithful in those places. Tell the believers in the Arab nations how Christians are to be flush with cash. If anything, conversion gets one black-listed, persecuted and martyred in any Muhammadstan.

Meanwhile, Benny and the Jets continue to name it and claim it. Jakes takes. Joyce rejoices in prosperity. Crouch’s couches are trimmed in gold. Price lives nice. Dollar preaches dollars. And you would smile like Joel if your best life was now. Je$u$ $ave$ is their gospel.

No comments: