Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spiritual Pickpockets?

In seems to me that in times of desperation, we are extremely impressionable, we accept hope in its most perverse forms and our faith in God is strengthened. We're convinced our misfortune is due to either our transgressions against God, or the world's transgressions against us. We recognize God as being the only entity that can save us from ourselves and whatever else ails us. There is greater devotion to whatever spiritual beliefs we have. To purge our lives of the misery, we do all things passionately - pray, fast, worship, tithe. We do it all to the max. Basically my point is that desperation leads to fervent living. When I was miserable, I was willing to do any and everything possible to honor God in my finances, my work, my relationships, etc...

Now on the other hand, when things are looking good, happiness galore, prosperity flowing, we are more firm in our set of "comfort" beliefs. The belief system that is without strain, that requires minimal sacrifice. We're confident in our worldly abilities and accutely aware of what steps we took to get to this happy stage in our lives. We can't be swayed. We take all the credit - "I worked my butt off" - "I stay on the grind" - "I'm doing my thing". Thanking God in prayer is less likely to happen. We tithe less, we pray less, we shop more, we spend more, we straddle the lines of immorality more. Why? Because we think we are invincible. We tell ourselves we're "representing the King" and justify squandering our wages on our vanities - not enriching God's kingdom. We tell ourselves that we "deserve" to be pampered for all the hard work we have accomplished, as if there was no more work to be done.

I think that there are some men and women of the Cloth who take advantage of Les Miserables... They feed off the souls of the desperate to advance their goals. I wonder how many comfortable/wealthy individuals whose lives are not met with much tragedy - how many of them tithe immensely and sacrifice constantly for their church.

Don't get me wrong - I think tithing is essential, and I strongly support it. But reading some of the requests for funds taking place among preachers of "Prosperity Gospel" makes me a bit skirmish... See the NY Times article below

1 comment:

Atiba de Souza said...


Good points...The prosperity gospel message and preachers teeter a very very fine line. Scripturally they are correct, however, their application is often 'suspect'. (I say 'suspect' because as a pastor I wont say another pastor is not preaching the Gospel, I dont know what God gave them...but I do know that's not what He gave me.)

Scripture is clear...God has plans to prosper us and not harm us and God will never forsake us, and Jesus says dont you know that God knows you need things to survive..if you do His will God will provide for you. Jesus also even says dont worry about tomorrow...God's got in under control.

Prosperity messages are usually rooted in these scriptures and many others. Just looking at this you may agree with some of these preachers is incomplete teaching. In the old testament God gave the Isrealites Manna in the wilderness and told them to only take what you could eat today and the next day He provided more for them. Then at the end of 40 years God said to them...I took you through this so you can learn that I will take care of you day by day. He did it so we could learn to not worry about tomorrow.

In Biblical days a prosperity message would have looked like this...bring your best animals to sacrifice and God will provide you with more animals. Other times in history prosperity was tied up in the number of kids you had.

Today prosperity is about bank accounts, 401k, 503B, vacation homes, etc.

But God never EVER promised what prosperity would look like. In fact He said your ways are not my ways, your thoughts are not my other words...we may define prosperity in material things and God may define it for you in terms of your health.

We cant define our own prosperity for a great God. Jesus warned us of that saying...dont tempt God. When we say I'm giving this money and God you need to bless me with more money is tempting GOD.

Bottom line..we tithe we serve we give not to receive from God but because its is our reasonable service to HIM that gives us all.