The Prosperity Gospel has got to be one of the top 3 in Christianity's Worst Contributions to the World. To put it in a word: Disgusting. Sick. Vomit. Awful. (Sorry, couldn't make my mind up on the most appropriate one.) Now before you stone me, let me tell you why this false gospel is one of the biggest embarrassments to the Church of Jesus Christ.
"God doesn't want you to drive a Volkswagen. God doesn't want you to settle with a one bedroom apartment. He has so much more for you."
"I have been blessed with enough money...you don't understand, I just bought a ring, this one I'm wearing, for $12,000. My wife's dog back home is worth $35,000. And when people drive past my mansion and see my Rolls Royce in the driveway, they know there is a God in heaven."
"And if you sow a $1000 seed right now, God is going to do something extraordinary in your life this year of 2012. God is going to cancel your debt, he's going to open doors to such wealth and blessing that you won't have enough room to contain it. Just go ahead and sow your seed to unlock God's favor over your life this year."
I don't even have to make this stuff up. It makes me want to get sick when I read these quotes made in the name of Jesus and to think what people, who are desperate to get out of their tough financial situations, will do. They will continue to struggle and wonder why God isn't blessing them with debt cancellation while the 'man of God' buys another ring, dog, mansion or Rolls Royce.
The message is the same "Give so that you will get." It's an investor's dream investment scheme. You tell investor that he can get 30 times, 60 times or even 100 times what he puts in....and he'll be busting down the door to throw his money at it. I mean, who wouldn't?? Only a total idiot wouldn't. The only problem is that even idiots know a pyramid scheme when they hear one. You might get caught once and lose some money, but never again.
But these Prosperity Preachers have been going at it for over 40 years now, and people are still falling for these lies. And before you accuse me of pointing the finger, I admit, I was one of them. I was 17 when I began watching the programs of Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin and Benny Hinn. I was caught up in this stuff for about 6 years. I saw with my own eyes how families got poorer and struggled even more with unpaid bills because out of blind faith they gave their rent money and kid's school fees to the 'man of God' who demanded they sow above their means in order to see God do a miracle..
Give more and you'll get more. You can have your heart's desires. God wants you to be blessed. He wants you to be rich. He wants you to have the best of everything. Give, give, give.....and you will reap a harvest of wealth, a good measure, pressed down, shaken and running over. It's funny, but when I study the scriptures, I see a different picture altogether preached to the New Testament believer:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." - 1John 2:15-17
It cannot be clearer than that. The very thing these 'men of God' are telling me to desire is the very thing scripture is telling me to turn away from. It's a sad, sick and embarressing gospel that is being allowed to masquerade as the true gospel of Jesus. It has caused pain, lack and disillusionment in many believers who truly love Jesus but can't understand why He doesn't take their credit card debt away when they give their $1000.
I thank God that he is faithful and has delivered me from that satanic message that was fueled by greed and world desires. I believe that my God looks after me because I'm a son of His, and not because I gave my rent money to the church. I give where he tells me, often to my local church, the place where I and my family are connected, with the motivation to see our community make a difference in our city to reach the lost. I give out of love, not out of a promise of a harvest. Have I seen financial miracles in my life?? TOO MANY TO COUNT. Have they been a result of my giving? Who knows, maybe. Maybe not. The point is, my faith for having my needs (not greedy) met lie in the love of God towards me and in Him seeing me as His son. He takes care of His kids. My faith doesn't lie in how much I give when the offering basket comes around.
I hope that in the coming years, the church will rise up as one, and flush this sadistic gospel down the toilet because that is the only place where crap really belongs.