From: Debbie Mann (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jun 29 2003 - 00:00:17 EDT
There have been a number of the prosperity preachers that came out of
poverty. I'm tempted to quote names, but they aren't those who I follow,
though I've read several of their books. I'm likely to get them
criss-crossed. (If you really want a list, my mother probably has some of
the books.) The stories of neighbors dropping off food just as the cupboard
was bare, or of a pound of spaghetti feeding more than a dozen people are at
least heart-warming. These tales of God coming through just in the nick of
time are so wide spread that I refuse to doubt that most of them are true.
What is rich? What do you want for your life? Certainly the measure has to
be relative. Many Americans living in the projects in the seventies were far
richer than all but the top few percent of the populations of other
God enriches - in all areas of life. How much can God enrich your life
financially? I couldn't begin to say. It most definitely will depend upon
Believing = Receiving has many Biblical references. When the disciples
couldn't heal the boy with a demon, Jesus confronted the father for his
doubt. He responded with 'I believe, help my unbelief.' Jesus cursed the fig
tree and then told the disciples that if they told the mountain to be cast
into the sea, and believed, it would do so.
We are saved by what our heart believes.
How many success stories are there of people who made it out of the slums
due to sheer determination and belief that they could? Andrew Carnegie
started out as the immigrant son of a weaver. Read the biographies of some
of these people - they believed in what they were doing. Believing is a
spiritual law that works in the physical realm as well. Maya Angelou's
grandmother worked her way from poverty as a single mother to being a local
business owner. She was a devout Christian who acted on beliefs.
I'm not going to waste my time mourning over those who don't succeed. I'm
going to look for the common denominators in those who did. Those are: faith
in God and a solid belief in their goal.
Paul said that we had a great cloud of witnesses around us. Well, their
number has increased in the last 2000 years.
Belief can work in all sorts of different ways. There are many cases of
cancer striking in the areas where people's lives have bothered them. I
personally know of several women who waited on their domineering husbands
hand and foot for years and then ended their lives in wheel chairs having
been waited on hand and foot for years by their husbands. Two daughters of
different couples let me know that it was 'just desserts'.
St. Bernadette felt that she couldn't die until she had suffered enough to
get into heaven. I have read that there is a certain ecstasy in suffering -
a point where one gets beyond the pain to another state. There are those who
My point is that there are numerous cases of people succeeding through the
principles of believing = receiving, give and it shall be given unto you and
other biblical principals. There are also numerous cases where it can be
documented that people wanted or believed they deserved their 'suffering'.
The converse is much harder to prove. Who's going to write a book about why
Many of these preachers do speak on serving. Give and it shall be given unto
you is a sister sermon to believe and ye shall receive. (Their own
prosperity does reflect this.) Giving is more than financial giving and
prosperity is more than financial prosperity. 'Brethren, I wish above all
things that thou mayest prosper and be in health EVEN AS THY SOUL
PROSPERETH' comes up often. One has to feed the soul. I can't count the
number of times morning devotionals have come up in regards to the
prospering of the soul.
Record a few of these sermons and fast forward through them on your VCR,
pausing here and there to get the gist. You might find yourself getting
grabbed now and then.
From: Dr. Blake Nelson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 7:45 PM
To: Debbie Mann
Subject: RE: Prosperity
The "Believing -- receiving" part is one of the many
theological problems with this view.
Are you saying that those who are poor do not believe
adequately in God?
I don't want to get into issues about theological
acceptability here, but just as a footnote, Norman
Vincent Peale, for example, was more a pop-pyschology
take on the Gospel -- the power of positive thinking,
etc. like Robert Schuler has done more recently.
Again, the problem that is presented by such a take is
whether one's "success" is due to God as blessings or
due to one's "power of positive thinking". Likewise,
if one does not succeed does that mean that one did
not think positively enough? I am not sure how either
preacher addresses how one's power of positive
thinking integrates into humbling one's self before
God and seeking His will rather than thinking
positively about what we want.
--- Debbie Mann <email@example.com> wrote:
> 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
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