RE: Prosperity

From: Debbie Mann (
Date: Sat Jun 28 2003 - 16:07:59 EDT

  • Next message: Dr. Blake Nelson: "RE: Prosperity"

    I have heard hundreds of sermons from dozens of preachers on prosperity for
    Christians. Norman Vincent Peal, Dale Carnegie (almost a preacher), Joyce
    Meyer, Kenneth Hagin, many much smaller names have volumes and volumes on
    the more abundant life. Believing - receiving. Give and it shall be given
    unto you, pressed down, packed together and running over.

    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich
    man to enter the kingdom of heaven is followed with the comment that with
    man this would be impossible, but with God all things are possible.

    Solomon asked for wisdom and was made extremely wealthy. The Old Testament
    was written for our learning...

    We are children of God in the New Testament, born again. Surely our
    treatment is better?

    Take it to the extreme - reducto ad absurdum - do you really want every rich
    person, which also means every person with any real power, to NOT be a
    Christian? Do you want the world as a whole controlled by non-Christians?
    Corinthians says that the powers that be are ordained of God. Do you think
    that he would only ordain those who do not accept His Son?

    This forum came into being because the Bible seems to contradict science.
    Certainly the contradiction that the current discussion implies is far more
    basic to our daily lives.

    God does advance his Children. The paradox is, that those who worship riches
    cannot serve God. The key is where one's treasure is. What comes first?

    Simon the sorcerer was attracted to the disciples by their power. He tried
    to buy it from them. In the end, he sincerely changed his ways. Ananias and
    Saphira tried to buy approval with money. They lied about their situation.
    They were struck dead. Zacharias was struck dumb for not believing the
    angel, in the same situation Sarah laughed and was not punished. What was
    the difference? It had to be the heart. Simon's heart obviously wasn't in
    the right place at first. The power of the disciples attracted him and he
    changed. Why was there so much drama in the ministry of Jesus? Why did he
    physically heal people? Why did he give people bread?

    Riches aren't the reason we're here. They should not be our first priority.
    But, God absolutely does not withhold them from his chosen ones and he does
    use prosperity - physical, mental, financial - to attract new converts.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of Richard McGough
    Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 9:42 AM

    Sheila wrote:

    >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

    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:

    Romans 8.16f
    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

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