Community, Social Justice, Giving and EvangelismLast time in part 9, I talked about the importance of Proper Accounting. This time I'm talking about a very popular theology that is leading many Christians astray.
Prosperity TheologyI am not talking about prosperity theology when I ask the questions,"what if your church was so well off that everybody in it had no needs"? That theology (also known as prosperity doctrine, the health and wealth gospel, or the prosperity gospel) insists that that if you are right with God then you will prosper. It’s based on the following scriptures and similar:
• Malachi 3:10 - "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,' says the LORD of hosts, 'if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows" (New American Standard Bible).
• Deuteronomy 8:18 - "But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day" (New American Standard Bible).
• John 10: 10 - "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
• 3 John 2-4 - "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."
Whilst at first glance it would seem difficult to put aside this concept however, Jesus himself made it clear that prosperity is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing (Mk.10:26).
As I've already shown that Jesus in His, "Sermon On The Mount" (Matt.5:1-ff) turned the whole concept of blessing on it head. Whilst there is no doubt that God wants the best for us and that may mean material prosperity, Blessings are not exclusively material. Having an abundant life may mean living in abject poverty and being very comfortable with it.
I am talking about basic needs. Enough to live on. Enough to look after those you are responsible for. Enough to do the work that God has called you to. That is what I mean when I ask the question, "What if your church was so well off that everybody in it had no needs?"
I am talking about Not Judging those who have more, Nor those who have less but everyone looking to each other for support to do what they need.
Next time in part 11 I'll talk about another of my faith Heroes, George Muller.