Monday, January 7, 2008

Health and Wealth

O.K. Here is my soap box. I suppose I'm allowed to get on it from time to time since this is my blogspace. I'd like to hear your response.

I have some friends that are big believers in the Prosperity Gospel version of Christianity. The belief is based largely in that if one asks in faith and believes they have received it, they will indeed receive it. This obviously filters into wealth (if I have need, I will get it), and health (if I am sick, I need to believe I am healed and it will be realized.)

The issue was brought to national light in a recent Time article, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448,00.html . Some well known names on the tv circuit are found in the article to be highly in favor of a God who desires to bestow wealth on His people.

John Piper sums up his view of the prosperity movement in Christianity in one word...hatred. I agree. There are millions of faithful Christians around the world, in poverty stricken areas that do not live lives of abundance and wealth. It is absolutely sickening to think that Christians are telling the poor that they should be a Christian so they get wealthy...Or telling the sick that if they have enough faith, they will be healed.

Am I rejecting that God blesses people? No, in fact, God bestows blessing all over the place in scripture. But the primary purpose of such blessing is to bless others. (Check out Genesis 12:1-3). Am I saying that God does not heal? No, in fact, God is the source of many great healings...but how dare we confine God to some sort of finite equation..."if I do this...then God will do this." It seems that the creation controls the Creator in such an equation.

The bottom line is what do we do with what we are given? Joel Osteen bought a multi-million dollar estate in the wealthiest area of his town. Rick Warren gave away 90% of his income to fight poverty and the AIDS pandemic, and also paid back his church his salary for each year they paid him. Who is following the way of Jesus more? What do you all think about this subject?

2 comments:

mikeg said...

Another bad effect the "health and wealth gospel" has is that it makes Christians who are not healthy or wealthy seem like they are not faithful enough or not real Christians in the first place.
We need to remember that Jesus, most of the apostles and disciples from Pentecost until now have suffered quite a bit. In fact, Jesus told us we would suffer.

Ben said...

Preach it Mikeg.