From: Richard McGough (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jun 28 2003 - 10:42:07 EDT
>While I agree with the statement "When people
>see us with what they want ..." I didn't
>actually write it. Someone else did. I am
>unable to find the correct scripture reference
>to back this statement but the Bible does say
>we are to be the light and the salt of this
>world. Our life is to be a beacon to the
>world showing them the goodness and mercy of
>God. How can we show how great God is if
>we all live in poverty?
I think this brings out my concern. We shouldn't be looking for (much less be satisfied with!) easily forgotten proof-texts that contradict the spirit of the Gospel. Please understand, your enthusiam and zeal for Christ is not being questioned here. I have absolutely no reason to think that you are _trying_ "to misrepresent the gospel" (as suggested by RFaussette), but I do think you have uncritically received some fundamentally flawed teachings.
For example, what made you think to apply Jesus' "salt and light" to the idea of attracting people to the gospel with displays of personal prosperity? Consider these words that Jesus spoke in the immediate context preceding the text in question:
Blessed are the poor in spirit ...
Blessed are they that mourn ...
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake ...
Is there anything in the context that makes you think of money, except perhaps the lack of it? The context seems diametrically opposed to the idea of glorifying God through accumulation of personal wealth. This understanding is greatly amplified when we realize that Jesus never commended the accumulation of wealth and frequently taught explicitly against it. There are too many verses to bother citing ... it is part of the spirit of the Gospel which will never be contradicted by some obscure proof text.
When I first read your question "How can we show how great God is if we all live in poverty?" I was immediately transported to the time when I heard the utterly corrupt teaching of Frederick Price. I quote:
... how can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn't function right? How can you glorify God? How can He get glory when your body doesn't even work? ... What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside a body where He can't see out through the windows and He can't hear with the ears? What makes you think the Holy Spirit wants to live inside of a physical body where the limbs and the organs and the cells do not function right? ... And what makes you think He wants to live in a temple where He can't see out of the eyes, and He can't walk with the feet, and He can't move with the hand? ... The only eyes that he has that are in the earth realm are the eyes that are in the body. If He can't see out of them then God's gonna be limited he's not going to be helped... applause (Frederick K.C. Price, Is God Glorified Through Sickness? (Los Angeles: Crenshaw Christian Center, n.d.), audiotape #FP605)
How anybody could mistake this for the Gospel of Christ is utterly beyond me. It is an antigospel that torments those who suffer and points people away from God. It is anathema! And I mean that in the strongest possible terms (Galatians 1). The ironic horror of it all is that the very question Price posed - "how can you glorify God in your body" is ultimately answered in Christ Himself who refered to His crucifixion as His glorification. It is hard to imagine anything more antithetical to the gospel than the words of Fred Price.
Finally Sheila, your joyous proclaimation that "I am a child of the Most High God - a princess, joint heir to the throne!" makes sense ONLY in the context of the relation between SUFFERING and GLORY. You have all the proof you need ... just read the verse that contains the reference to you as joint-heir with Christ:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and JOINT-HEIRS with Christ, if so be that we SUFFER with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED together. 18 For I reckon that the SUFFERINGS of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us.
-- Richard Amiel McGough Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at www.BibleWheel.com --
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