Monday, October 6, 2008

The prosperity gospel and the credit crisis

Even Time Magazine has picked up on the fallacy of the prosperity gospel and how unbiblical pastors have led their flocks down the path of destruction.

David Van Biema's article: Maybe we should blame God for the sub-prime mess, referencing: Does God want you to be rich? brings up a lot of points that I've been thinking about lately too. As I have some friends in 'health and wealth,' 'name-it-claim,' hyper-charasmatic churches, I think the current crisis does bring up a few important issues.

For my friend who believes that if his faith is strong enough and the right kind, he will enjoy prosperity and good health in this life, does he now condemn his own faith because he lost his house (and is also facing some major medical issues)? Or is it God's fault that he is now suffering? Will he become bitter as a result, or perhaps apostate? Actually, I see both things happening in his life, right before my eyes. And of course the remedy, I believe, is a return to the true gospel, and a turning away from idols. It is all too apparent that many branches of our churches, have gone to idols.

Of course God cannot be blamed for evil or darkeness, it is completely against His good and perfect nature to be the author of evil. So we must not be mistaken and allow ourselves to "blame God." However, God allows these kinds of trials to happen in our lives, so that His people will be made more like Christ. I believe that in times of hardship, we rejoice in Him and the work that He is doing in us. He is sanctifying His Church and calling us to repent and persevere, knowing that he uses all things to work for our ultimate good. Not in the sense of health and wealth. Not in the sense of name it claim or encouraging us to indulge our natural desires, but rather for the good of becoming more like Jesus Christ. I'm convicted by that very thought and keep thinking about a number-777. When the bottom dropped out of the financial markets, the Dow Jones plummeted exactly 777 points. I have to admit, that did get my attention and it made me think and pray about 2 Chron 7:14:
2 Chronicles 7:14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will
I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Just some of my rambling thoughts, for what they're worth.

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