Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Would You Rather?

Do you like the game “Would you Rather?”  You know, the game that puts us in weird situations and we are required to choose the lesser of two evils (at least in our opinion).  For example, would you rather play and always lose or never play? There are many eventualities and the questions are only limited to our imagination.
Yesterday a friend linked an essay to me about the “prosperity gospel”.  Well, it was supposed to be an essay at least.  The premise was flawed, the author continued to restate his thesis over and over, and his research was simply circular arguments and opinon.  Similar to the very thing, the prosperity gospel, he was attempting to refute.
I am no fan of the prosperity gospel – although I believe in prosperity.  I was looking forward to the essay and hoping to learn something but I didn’t.  The writer simply took about 4-5 pages to blast some of the people that spew the prosperity message.  I am actually quite concerned if this type of writing is what is coming out of a large seminary.  Yikes! Take the kid back to English 101 for Heaven’s sake.
I would like to ask the author of the essay the following question: If you were pastoring a church, would you rather have a family earn $21 million per year and give $3 million or have a family earn $30,000 and give $5,000? 
Often church “leaders” sound like communists and government bureaucrats.  They  are convinced they have a moral right to stick their collective hands into our checkbooks and extract as much money as they want.  Furthermore, these same people don’t want people prospering but they don’t want them poor.  They want them like Goldilock’s bed --- Just right.  But they define what just right is. 
I firmly believe people are generous – they really are.  Unfortunately, churches often seem like a bad investment.  Without a price mechanism and without a profit and loss statement there is no way of keeping score to see if a church or non-profit is doing well.  So the result is often out-of-control spending and increased pressure to give.  Offerings are squandered on bigger and better buildings and increased salaries. 
I don’t believe that God “wants” every person to be a millionaire.  I believe that God has made it perfectly clear in the good book how we can prosper or how we can enter into poverty.  The choice is ours.  Yes, the love of money is a root of evil but money is neither more nor immoral.  For a minister to beat people down for prospering or desiring to increase financially is simply insane. 
It’s easy to pull a few scriptures, throw in some communism, socialism, a couple of dashes of emotion and declare it the will of God.  The author, in his very weak essay, was no different than the people he was condemning (Copeland, Hagin, etc.)  Not sure why he didn’t quote Wesley…I guess that wouldn’t have supported his thesis.
If you are prosperous, thank GOD!  If you are struggling, learn how to be abased and find out how to turn the thing around.  You won’t become a millionaire by tithing (not scriptural but different post) and won’t by sowing seed.  If one could become a millionaire by sowing seed why don’t all the ministries that want your money just do the same thing?  Why, don’t they?  Because it doesn’t work. Work works. 

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